Dear Jayadvaita Swami,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I hope you have had a chance to read "Srila Prabhupada Siddhanta". Feel free to comment either in confidence or openly. I also gave a copy to Hrdayananda Maharaja a few years ago and asked him to comment on it. He never replied.
The book gives stress to the exalted position of our Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas. All evidence indicates that Srila Prabhupada's position is unique, even among mahabhagavatas. Mahabhagavatas like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thukura and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura are individually capable of initiating and delivering all conditioned souls in this age. Lord Chaitanya's nitya-siddha associates are omnipotent Vaisnavas, capable of delivering all conditioned souls in the universe. I am sure you agree. Srila Prabhupada, in particular, has made the necessary institutional and spiritual arrangements for accepting everyone joining ISKCON as His initiated disciple by the same formula perpetually.
All the senior devotees who helped put this book together, as well as thousands of other devotees from all over the world, agree that worship of Srila Prabhupada as spiritual master for all Vaisnava devotees and for the whole world is the proper sadhana and siddhanta for the entire Krishna consciousness movement. You probably also agree with this.
Unfortunately, the GBC has introduced the misleading idea that anyone in ISKCON -- even a dependent woman or a do-nothing sannyasi -- can occupy the post of the acarya and initiate his or her own disciples in Srila Prabhupada's mission. This shift away from giving emphasis to the understanding that everyone should accept Srila Prabhupada as guru has led to schisms. Due to the gbc's mismanagement, the mission has become a multi-branch sentimentalist movement full of devotees who are easily misled, having never been trained to hear from Srila Prabhupada carefully or worship Him exclusively. Devotees have been taught instead that they must invest heart and soul in a gbc rubber-stamped guru before they can have true connection with the absolute guru, Srila Prabhupada. Many potential and former disciples of Srila Prabhupada have thus opted to go outside of Srila Prabhupada's mission for sadhu-sanga and diksa. This is tragic.
As you know, after waiting for months for Srila Prabhupada to pass away, the GBC started this unfortunate trend immediately thereafter when they began unauthorized consultations with Sridhara Maharaja. They obviously had serious misgivings regarding Srila Prabhupada's instructions for ritvik initiations and therefore wanted to consult a “higher authority” who they thought would be sympathetic to their cause.
The GBC's speculations regarding the guru-parampara have led to contradictory ideas about Gaudiya Vaisanava siddhanta and schisms in the Krishna consciousness movement. We now see many persons posing as Vaisnava gurus, both inside and outside ISKCON, who are ignorant, inexperienced and incapable of delivering their followers from the miseries of birth and death.
Rather than giving emphasis to the utter necessity for everyone to surrender heart and soul to Srila Prabhupada as guru, the GBC has argued that Srila Prabhupada is dead and thus unavailable or inaccessible. In truth, Srila Prabhupada gave emphasis not to external smatra ideas of guru succession but to the eternal spiritual conception: the disciplic succession is continued by bona fide disciples of the self-effulgent Acarya, the Sad-Guru, who lives forever. As long as bona fide disciples exist, the disciplic succession continues and everyone will get the same opportunity to attain Srila Prabhupada's full mercy and direct service. The gbc's artificial sanction of diksa-gurus and self-appointed successor acaryas has been a disaster for ISKCON and the world at large. This deviation has opened the floodgate for cults of pretenders.
Because the GBC has consistently misrepresented Srila Prabhupada's instructions, intelligent and thoughtful devotees all over the world, young and old, have rejected the authority of the GBC and ISKCON. Thus iskcon is left with many sycophants, pravritti-margis and others who are not very knowledgeable or thoughtful.
As Srila Prabhupada Himself noted, “What's the use of so many devotees if none of them are knowledgeable?” (Letter to Satsvarupa, 1972)
Hope you are blissfully well. I look forward to hearing from you.
Your humble servant,