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Rebuttal to Rupanuga's Article on "I Stop for the Time Being"

The logic given by the GBC and now Rupanuga does not hold up.  His recent (March 11) article deals with a conversation between Srila Prabhupad and several GBC on Oct 18th, 1977, concerning the initiation of one Bengali Gentleman. 

Rupanuga, inline with the current GBC, take this conversation as evidence that Srila Prabhupad had stopped acting as initiator guru, having as of that date, given his order for the 11 Rtviks to then act as regular initiator gurus.  I herein refute their logic.

The Oct 18th conversation takes place, as Rupanuga states because, "A Bengali gentleman has come from New York seeking initiation from Srila Prabhupada. But Srila Prabhupada has already deputed his ritvik acaryas and he thinks Jayapataka should do the initiation."    Yes, this is true. Even Rupanuga admits that Srila Prabhupad had deputed Jayapataka to act as Rtvik, and here on Oct 18th is asking him to perform the initiation.  Rupanuga does not make the argument that on Oct 18th Srila Prabhupad actually asked Jayapatak to become the initiator guru, but several current GBC have made that argument. I will address both ideas.

Rupanuga then quotes from the conversation starting at what he claims is the most relevant part.  However, when we look at the beginning of that conversation we see that he actually misses very relevant aspects.  Here is where the conversation actually begins on this topic:

Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. One Bengali gentleman has come from New York?

Tamala Krsna: Yes. Mr. Sukamal Roy Chowdury.

Prabhupada: So I have deputed some of you to initiate. Hm?

Tamala Krsna: Yes. Actually... Yes, Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: So I think Jayapataka can do that if he likes. I have already deputed. Tell him.

Tamala Krsna: Yes.

Prabhupada: So, deputies, Jayapataka's name was there?

[Below is where Rupanuga started his quote -  and his quote actually differes from what is in the Vedabase]

Bhagavan: It is already on there, Srila Prabhupada. His name was on that list.

Prabhupada: So I depute him to do this at Mayapura, and you may go with him. I stop for the time being. Is that all right?

Tamala Krsna: Stopped doing what, Srila Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: This initiation. I have deputed the, my disciples. Is it clear or not?

Giriraja: It's clear.

Prabhupada: You have got the list of the names?

Tamala Krsna: Yes, Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: And if by Krsna's grace I recover from this condition, then I shall begin again, or I may not be pressed in this condition to initiate. It is not good.

Giriraja: We will explain to him so that he will understand properly.

Prabhupada: Hm? Hm?

Giriraja: I said we will explain to the Bengali gentleman just as you have described to us, so that he'll be satisfied with this arrangement.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation -- October 18, 1977, Vrndavana

Rupanuga claims that, 'The key sentences here are not the ones containing the word “depute,” but rather the following: “I stop for the time being,” “And if by Krsna’s grace I recover from this condition, then I shall begin again.” '

However,  I strongly protest that before we can understand the "I stop for the time being" sentence we must first understand the context of the conversation to know, in reality, what it is that Srila Prabhupad is referring to that he is stopping.  And to do that, we must first properly understand the "depute" aspect in full context.

Go back to the very start of the conversation. 

Prabhupada: So I have deputed some of you to initiate. Hm?

Srila Prabhupad declares that he has (I have) deputed.  Srila Prabhupad is speaking in Past Tense. He is speaking about something he has already done in the past. Not now, not on Oct 18th, but he is referring to that which has already deputed at some time in the past.  (I point out the tense because there have been GBC members who have put forth the arugment that Srila Prabhupad was deputing Jayaptaka on Oct 18 to become regular guru. But, Srila Prabhupad is herein referring to having already deputed him in the past tense, not what he was newly deputing him to do that day). 

Importantly is that Srila Prabhupad refers to what he had deputed Jayapataka to do was "to Initiate".  In Srila Prabhupad's own words he says that he had already deputed those men to "initiate".  And, we shall see as we continue with the conversation that he is referring back to the July 9th list of Rtvik-Representatives who had been only deputed to perform the rtvik aspects of the initiations.  Thus, what Srila Prabhupad is referring to here by the single word "initiate" is in actuality a referrence to the rtvik aspects of the initiation process, only, and not to the full process of initiation. 
Continuing with the conversation:

Tamala Krsna: Yes. Actually... Yes, Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: So I think Jayapataka can do that if he likes. I have already deputed. Tell him.

Again, Srila Prabhupad clearly uses the Past Tense,   "I have already deputed"   He has ALREADY DeputED those men to "initiate", but only the Rtvik aspect of the initiation.

Tamala Krsna: Yes.

Prabhupada: So, deputies, Jayapataka's name was there?

Again, Past Tense:   "Jayapataka's name was there"     Was Where???   

Bhagavan: It is already on there, Srila Prabhupada. His name was on that list.

It is obvious that those devotees present knew exactly what Srila Prabhupad was referring to.  When Srila Prabhupad asks if Jayapataka's name was there, Bhagavan agrees that "it is already on there",  "His name was on that list".

Bhagavan also is speaking in Past Tense.  His name was already on that list.  That List.  What is that list?  Everyone, the GBC, everyone agrees that list refers to the Rtvik-Representative list of 11 names given in the July 9th letter.  That is the only list where Srila Prabhupad had given a list of men whom he had already deputed to 'initiate', and that July 9th letter explicitly and clearly defines the specific type and limitation of the sort of initiations.  What Srila Prabhupad here refers to by the word "initiate" clearly refers to just the rtviks aspects of the initiation process.

Prabhupada: So I depute him to do this at Mayapura, and you may go with him. I stop for the time being. Is that all right?

Now, here Srila Prabhupad is using Present Tense. On Oct. 18th, 1977, Prabhupad is now deputing Jayapataka to do something. Previously Srila Prabhupad had deputed him and the other 11 men to act as Rtvik representatives, but, today Srila Prabhupad is now giving something new for Jayapataka.  What is that? Prabhupad is deputing 'him' (Jayapataka) to do 'this' at Mayapura.   "This"?  What is 'this'?  In the context of the conversation, to do that which Srila Prabhupad had Already Deputed Him to Do, in That List (July 9th letter), and that was to perform the Rtvik aspects of the initiation only.   The only thing new that Srila Prabhupad was deputing JP to do on Oct 18th is that Prabhupad is now deputing him to perform the rtvik initiations for Mayapura. In the July 9th letter Srila Prabhupad had stated that whoever is 'nearest', and since this was in Bengal and Jayapataka resided there, Srila Prabhupad is saying that Jayaptaka should then perform the rtvik initiation there.   That is the only new thing that Srila Prabhupad deputed,  in Present Tense, on Oct 18th.  

Now we come to the part that obviously the GBC is mis-understanding and thus mis-presenting.  

Prabhupada: So I depute him to do this at Mayapura, and you may go with him. I stop for the time being. Is that all right?

Tamala Krsna: Stopped doing what, Srila Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: This initiation. I have deputed the, my disciples. Is it clear or not?

Giriraja: It's clear.

Note carefully Srila Prabhupad's words and use of tense.  Srila Prabhupad is now Stopping.  Stopping what?   Stopping that which he has Already Deputed his disciples to do in that list.  And what is that,  This Initiation.  

The word this is very important.  In previous email discussions I have had with GBC or their supporters over this issue they take it that Srila Prabhupad is herein declaring that he is no longer going to act as the initiator guru. That he is declaring here that he is now stopping, or no longer performing initiations as the initiator guru. They argue that this statement means that from now onward those whom he had earlier appointed as rtviks would now become the initator guru as Srila Prabhupad was now stopping. 

However, this logic does not make sense in the context of the conversation.  Rather, up to this point, the entire conversation was regarding the Rtvik aspects of Initiation that Prabhupad had already, in that list, deputed these men to perform.  Within this conversation the aspect of who will be the regular guru has not been discussed. It was not part of this conversation.  Rather, Srila Prabhupad was only referring to the Rtvik Aspects of the Initiation process.  Srila Prabhupad was only referring to That which he had Already DeputED his men on That List to do.

Thus, when Srila Prabhupad says that he is stopping "this" initiation we must understand that the word "this" is referring to the aspects of initiation that were being discussed in the same conversation.  In context of the conversation itself. 

Note from the very beginning of the conversation that Srila Prabhupad simply used the word "Initiate" to indicate that which he had already deputed his men to do in the July 9th list, which was the Rtvik aspects of the initiation process only.  Here Srila Prabhupad says he is now stopping. He is asked what is it that he is stopping, and Srila Prabhupad says "This initiation".  This, the rtvik aspects that was being discussed.  What clinches this understanding is that in the same sentence he connects "This initiation" to "I have deputed the, my disciples."    Clearly, Srila Prabhupad, in his own words, is making the connection crystal clear. Since the entire conversation was only about the Rtvik aspects of initiation that he had already deputed his men to do, the word 'this' can only refer to the same topic that was being discussed, and Prabhupad makes this abundantly clear by saying, as "I have deputed".  As he has already deputed those men to do (which is wha the entire conversation was about), and that was the rtvik aspects of the initiation only. 

"This initiation" cannot be referring to the aspect of him accepting the disciple as guru, as this was not the topic being discussed in the conversation and neither was that what he had already deputed those men to do. Here "this initiation" and as "I have [already] deputed" is inseparably linked. 

Thus, for the GBC to construe that here Srila Prabhupad means that he is stopping the process of being the initiator guru is baseless.  It is introducing a meaning for the word initiate that is out side of the context of this conversation.  

There is another argument that many GBC have given in regards to this conversation.

That other argument is that via the July 9th list they argue that Srila Prabhupad had already stopped the Rtvik aspects of initiation. Thus, the argument is if Srila Prabhupad had already stopped performing the rtvik aspects of initiation, then he would not be saying on Oct 18th that he is now stopping the rtvik aspects.  Thus, following this logic they argue that Srila Prabhupad could only be referring to the aspect of being the actual guru.   That he was stopping all aspects of initiation. 

While this may seem, on first glance, to be solid logic, on careful examination it also doesn't hold water.

"This initiation. I have deputed the, my disciples". To understand what 'this' refers to, we need to examine what exactly he had deputed those men to do in that July 9th list to see if Srila Prabhupad had indeed previously stopped performing that which he had previously deputed them to do, OR, is there actually clear evidence that he did not stop 'this' aspect of the rtvik initiaton process that he is herein refering to until Oct 18th!

The following is directly from the July 9th letter [after the list of 11 men is given, which are therein referred to as Rtvik Representatives]:

"In the past Temple Presidents have written to Srila Prabhupada recommending a particular devotee's initiation. Now that Srila Prabhupada has named these representatives, Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendation for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their temple. After considering the recommendation, these representatives may accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of second initiation, by chanting on the Gayatri thread, just as Srila Prabhupada has done. The newly initiated devotees are disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, the above eleven senior devotees acting as His representative. After the Temple President receives a letter from these representatives giving the spiritual name or the thread, he can perform the fire yajna in the temple as was being done before. The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Srila Prabhupada, to be included in His Divine Grace's "Initiated Disciples" book."

On Oct 18th clearly Srila Prabhupad is referring to the process of rtvik initiations that he had already deputed those 11 men to perform, as stated in that list, Juy 9th letter.     So, here, above, is the specific details as to what aspects of the initiation process Srila Prabhupad had deputed those men to perform. It is "This" aspect of initiation that Srila Prabhupad is now stopping. 

No where in the Oct 18th conversation, or in the July 9th list referred to in that conversation is Srila Prabhupad ever speaking of ceasing to be the initiator guru.    What he had deputed these men to do was that previously temple presidents had given the list of recommended new devotees to Srila Prabhupad, and that Srila Prabhupad, himself, and only he, made the final decision to accept those men or not. 

The single unique feature of the July 9th letter is that Srila Prabhupad had now selected 11 men to make that final decision on his behalf, and he has given them the title as Rtvik-Representatives, or Rtvik-Acharyas.   He had now authorized them to make the final decisions for whom should be initiated as a direct disciple of Srila Prabhupad, and select the names of the new devotees.  

All other aspects of the rtvik initiations were to remain unchanged and continue on as they were already doing.  Here is the exact wording:  "After the Temple President receives a letter from these representatives giving the spiritual name or the thread, he can perform the fire yajna in the temple as was being done before. The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Srila Prabhupada, to be included in His Divine Grace's "Initiated Disciples" book."

The Temple Present who sent the letter of recommendation, in the past to Srila Prabhupad, and now to the Rtvik-Representative, on getting the confirmation letter back, the Temple President will now perform the actual fire yajna in the temple, as they had been already doing before (before the July 9th letter).

Thus, the Single Unique feature of that July 9th list is that Srila Prabhupad had authorized those 11 men to make the final decision on his behalf.  That from now on rather then TP's recommending the new initiates to Srila Prabhupad, they would now make those recommendations to the nearest Rtvik Representative, and the Rtvik will make that decision on Srila Prabhupad's behalf.  

That is it. That is the sum and substance of what the July 9th letter deputed those men to do.  No more, no less. 

Clearly, in that letter, Srila Prabhupad states that He remains the actual initiator guru, that the new initiates will be his direct disciples.

On Oct 18th he repeatedly refers back to what he had previously deputed these men to do.

But, what about the argument that Srila Prabhupad had already stopped doing this as of July 9th?   And, if so, then he could not be saying he is again stopping the same thing on Oct 18th.

The actual fact is, as is clearly shown in this Oct 18th conversation, is that the GBC had NOT yet implemented those aspects of the July 9th letter.  How is that?  Because, here it is on Oct 18th and the GBC have come to Srila Prabhupad informing him that this Bengali Gentleman wants to be Srila Prabhupad's disciple and they are asking Prabhupad to still make the decisions as to whether Srila Prabhupad will accept him, and even how and who will perform the intiations.  

Clearly, as of Oct 18th the GBC are still approaching Prabhupad and still requesting him to make the final decision.  Yet, this making of the final decision is the entire sum and substance of the July 9th list.  To make the final decision is the sum and substance of what he had deputed those men to do on July 9th.   From then on temple presidents were to make the recommendations to the nearest Rtvik, and those Rtviks were to make the final decision, on Srila Prabhupad's behalf, and select the names.   By actually doing this, then Srila Prabhupad would no longer need be directly - physically - consulted or involved.

But, here it is, Oct 18th, and the GBC are still approaching Srila Prabhupad and still asking him to perform the very same duties that he had deputed those men to do on his behalf. 

Thus, when we examine the entire context, by seeing what it was that Srila Prabhupad was referring to when he says I am now Stopping 'this' initiation, as I have already deputed his men to do on his behalf, we clearly see that those men had not, at all, taken up that duty, and that as of Oct 18th they are still approaching Srila Prabhupad, still asking him to do that which he had deputed them to do.  

Thus, when Srila Prabhupad says that he is Now Stopping, when we view it within the context, we see that he is only refering to the aspect that he is now no longer going to be involved in making the final decisions.   The sole topic of this conversation is about that which he had already deputed his men to do (make that final decision on his behalf), and yet, Srila Prabhupad clearly refered to this aspec by the single word 'initiate'.  

This logic all makes perfect sense.  No contradictions and no twisting or contortions.  The logic is consistent throughout this conversation and is consistent with what he had deputed his men to do, consisten with the content of the referenced July 9th list.  

On the other hand, the GBC idea that when Srila Prabhupad said 'this' initiation, that he meant the aspect of being actual guru, such logic is full of inconsistencies.  The only topic of the conversation and the referenced list is about the rtvik aspects, specifically the duty of making the final decision.  To say that 'this' now refers to being the actual guru is a topic that was not being discussed. It is totally outside the context of the conversation.  Where is there any evidence that Srila Prabhupad meant something totally out of the context?    In the same sentence he says, I have deputed the, my disciples..  'This' refers to that which he had already deputed them to do.

And, how can we accept the (ill) logic that Prabhupad is, on Oct 18th, deputing those men to become actual initiator gurus?  That topic, who will be the actual initiator guru is not at all discussed in this conversation.  The GBC are implying it is by the words 'this initiation', but Prabhupad connects 'this' to that which he had already deputed his men to do in that list.  There is no other proof or evidence that Srila Prabhupad was on that day deputing those men to now act as initator guru, it is all in the confused mental state of the gbc. Out side of their mental concoction, such evidence does not exist.   Rather, Srila Prabhupad makes clear reference and connection to There in That List where he had already deputed his men to do 'this' initiation, and in that referrenced list the topic of who is the actual initiator guru is mentioned, and that is clearly declared to be Srila Prabhupad.

It is also totally absurd to say that Srila Prabhupad was herein asking Jayapataka to become this man's initiator guru.  The Bengali man had requested to become Srila Prabhupad's initiated disciple.  To accept that Prabhupad now wanted Jps to become this man's initiator guru would mean that Prabhupad was dictating that the poor fellow must now become Jayapataka's disciple instead.  Without even discussing this with the man, Prabhupad would simply dictate who he must now accept as his eternal savior?  He asks to be Prabhupad's disciple, and without even speaking to the man, Prabhupad is dictating that he must become disciple of someone else?   Such an idea or concept is totally opposed to what Prabhupad has taught in his books.  Where is the test between disciple and guru? Where is there relationship?   How can the GBC promote this madness that Srila Prabhupad would dictate such a thing?  He would then be dictating to the man who his guru will be, and dictating to Jps who his disciple will be.  This is madness.  Srila Prabhupad would never do such a thing, and never did such a thing.  But, that is what the GBC want us to believe.  And, they are concocting meanings outside of the context of the conversation as evidence of their mental concocted ideas.  Srila Prabhupad never did such a thing. He did not, on Oct 18th, depute Jayapataka to become that man's guru, he did not dictate to this man who his guru was to be.  He did not Stop acting as the initiator guru. 

Thus, we reject the logic given by the GBC, and by Rupanuga.  

Srila Prabhupad never authorized these men to become regular gurus.  Especially not in this Oct 18th conversation.
Aspiring to become the most worthy and humble servant of the Vaishnava's
ameyatma das (ACBSP 1973)

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