Inciting Hatred For Ritviks
by Vaishnava das
What should have been a calm, rational discussion upon the merits and importance of Srila Prabhupada's process of initiations now called ritvik-initiations has constantly and calculatively escalated into a "line in the sand" by ISKCON-types.
Drutakarma dasa's recent article as posted on Chakra is more evidence that ISKCON-types are unwilling to consider the merits of Srila Prabhupada's system of ritvik-initiations and the importance of such initiations to disaffected and alienated aspiring devotees who are confused by the rhetoric by the general body of devotees.
Drutakarma calls for an all-out propaganda campaign from all sections of ISKCON including everyone from Gurudeva to Bhakta Bill to root out this evil heresy from ISKCON completely, once and for all and for good. How appropriate that such a call-to-arms is posted on Chakra, the self-proclaimed army of Lord Krsna. Chakra is the brainchild of Vipramukhya who is no friend to ritviks. At a time when ISKCON pundits should be addressing earnestly the questions and challenges by ritvik proponents, they continue with their ad hominem smear campaign, propped along by bits and pieces of quotes from Srila Prabhupada.
The unashamed self-righteous attitude ritvik-haters take continues to go on despite the tidal wave of growing opposition to ISKCON's GBC and their unyielding position on supporting their policy of appointing and promoting conditioned souls into the absolute position of guru. Despite Drutakarma's correct citing of Srila Prabhupada's desire for gurus to succeed him, he totally neglects to address the problem of why the GBC had adopted the policy of electing and appointing gurus which is totally against anything Srila Prabhupada taught. Instead, Drutakarma calls for unyielding and uncompromising censorship of ritvik philosophy as if his proclamation is sufficient to warrant a society-wide call-to-arms against those who have found sufficient merit in ritvik ideas especially compared to the unyielding and ever-growing sentiment against ritviks.
Unyielding ritvik haters like Ravindra Svarupa, Hari Sauri, Vipramukhya, and Drutakarma will someday have to address their apparent duplicity when their unyielding position leads the society into ever greater factions when ritviks were trying to get them to the table for earnest debate.
My understanding of the matter is that the rtvik-haters and so-called defenders of the status quo within ISKCON have lulled themselves into a very false sense of security thinking that simply by remaining within the walls of the bricks and stones of the institution, they are within the shelter of Srila Prabhupada, whereas those disciples who are not are not. The current ritvik siddhanta as presented by Krsna Kant and his disciples may not represent the guru-tattva of Srila Prabhupada, yet when we compare the respective merit of the GBC-guru-appointment party and the Final Order Ritvik party, we can understand that it is better to follow instructions from Srila Prabhupada directly rather than to have to approach Srila Prabhupada through the agency of a bogus guru -- a guru who has been appointed by a board of conditioned souls who later on, as history has shown, goes on to abuse, neglect and mislead his disciples with absolutely no censorship from the GBC. This is a most horrible, irresponsible policy. It is a wonder that ISKCON has any membership at all with this type of policy in place.
All this simply proves that no one, including the GBC, can legislate the hand of God. If the GBC and ISKCON-cheerleaders continue to incite hatred against rtviks, they will bring about the ruination of Srila Prabhupada's legacy in the form of his ISKCON, and not the rtviks. It is their continued policy of being completely unwilling since at least the 1990 Ritvik Debate to vilify, censure and ignore the voices of the general devotees. It is a policy continued today by the above mentioned devotees, and instead of heeding the repeated pleas by the devotees to resolve the issues, instead we are repeatedly treated to ever-increasing intolerance. By all indications, it appears that ISKCON-types are prepared to allow their egos to prevent the issue to be fairly resolved and that they are willing to sacrifice the integrity of the society to press the issue all the way. We simply must take heart that there is no material condition of life that can prevent pure devotional service, so if the fanatic section does decide to ruin everything by their impudent behavior, those who have witnessed the tragedy can understand that the total destruction of Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON does not mean that devotional service can be hindered. Here are closing thoughts quoted from Drutakarma's paper:
----- From Drutakarma dasa: "The time has ccome to draw the line in the sand. Any ISKCON authority (GBC, president, sannyasi) who is not prepared to publicly endorse and teach and practice what Srila Prabhupada says here should be removed from his or her position. The time has come for ISKCON to make full use of every means of communication at its disposal to reject the rtvik heresy and to insure that there is no scope for the promotion of the rtvik heresy on any ISKCON property or among ISKCON's membership. I also propose that for the next year, the rejection of the rtvik heresy should be the major propaganda effort of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Every sannyasi should be required to make this a major part of his preaching effort for the next year. Everyone who gives classes should publicly criticize the rtvik philosophy and its supporters when any statement about guru and disciplic succession comes up in verses and purports. There should be articles rejecting the rtvik heresy in every ISKCON related publication, from Back to Godhead magazine to temple newsletters. ITV should be commissioned to do a special video, in which senior disciples of Srila Prabhupada, such as Hari Sauri Prabhu, and others, give their testimony of Srila Prabhupada's intentions for the disciplic succession. All ISKCON web pages should also have material about this. In these presentations, the rtvik philosophy should be presented as not only wrong but offensive to Srila Prabhupada. In every way possible, this offensive and concocted infection should be removed from ISKCON's body. It is a disease and it needs to be treated with strong medicine. There is no need for endless debate with rtvik supporters. Anyone who advocates that idea should be invited to remain apart from ISKCON.
"Absolutely rejecting the rtvik heresy and imposing sanctions on those who try to promote it within ISKCON is the most merciful thing that ISKCON can do for these misguided people. It gives them a clear choice that many of them will hopefully make correctly. Without taking these steps, we will be allowing them to persist in their offenses to Srila Prabhupada, for which they will have to suffer reactions. We also create confusion in our own ranks. So let's get the rtvik heresy out of ISKCON once and for all."
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