Elementary, My Dear Watson
BY RADHA KRISHNA DASA
Hare Krishna. Despite the voluminous contentions and dissertations written, we contend that the current Guru issue is very elementary, and it is ONE QUESTION, and one question only.
We commend Jayapataka Maharaja for the civil tone in his paper, yet we suggest that there are too many questions and points and objections being made, so that the reader gets lost in the voluminous details. We contend that we only need to satisfy JUST ONE QUESTION, and ONE QUESTION ONLY, and by doing that, all these other objections and points will be transcendentally satisfied.
That question is this- DID HE (or did he not) order a system of initiation?, or did Srila Prabhupada order a permanent ritvik system? We do not need to belabor all the ramifications of Siddhanta and Parampara and everybody's opinions to come to this conclusion. We need only examine the actual facts, of whether he did or did not, in fact, make such an order. If he did not, then the discussion is over. If he did, then all other considerations are null and void, because all power and authority is contained within the order of the great acarya. His order is beyond question.
We have very strong reasons to believe that HE DID, IN FACT, make such an order, and there are several DOCUMENTED reasons below, SIX in number, to show why we believe that he factually made such an order-
A. The July 9th document is a factual order. "Henceforward" has permanent connotation. The definition of ritvik, and whose disciple is whose, is clearly defined in this document. This is clearly an order for a ritvik system. This was recently confirmed by several other authorities, namely Sri Bannanje Govindacharya, and HH Rangapriya Swami, and Lakshmi Tatachar.
1. We reject the recent ploy of the secretary, in claiming that he, the secretary, wrote the letter, by dint of the fact that he deflates his own veracity by his prior statements in 1978, that it was Srila Prabhupada who dictated the letter to him and had him "write the letter to all the GBC's and Temple President which Srila Prabhupada also signed as approved on the 9th of July". After reading the "colorful history" of said secretary, we do not accept his veracity in this desperate ploy. Srila Prabhupada wanted a society of intelligent people, not a multitude of gullible people for the next 10,000 years. This absurd claim will never attract any intelligent people, because everybody knows that a secretary does not compose such a letter of such a monumental decision. This ploy is laughable and absurd. This ploy is obvious sheer desperation, and it will not last.
2. Henceforward may be ambiguous to some, still the onus lies upon those who terminated this order, to produce evidence to justify their authorization to terminate the order. Only Srila Prabhupada has the authority to terminate the order, and there is no evidence of that kind, in fact, all evidence is to the contrary, that its permanence was to go on into the future. However, ambiguity is cleared up by the next documented evidence.
B. The May 28th tape is a documented recording. Srila Prabhupada directly answers the direct question of the Maharaja, and his unequivocal answer is a ritvik system, "after he is no longer with us."
1. Srila Prabhupada's answer stands on its own. We reject the notion that the second half of the tape modifies Srila Prabhupada's clear answer. This is because the second half is from a different conversation, in a different context. This is supported by 2 forensic lab experts who said the tape was doctored. We hear the dubs and backgrounds changes. We contend that Srila Prabhupada could not have first given a solid answer, and then contradict himself in the next paragraph. This makes no sense. He makes no mistakes like that.
2. Even if we include the second half, still it proves nothing, as Srila Prabhupada said, "WHEN I order," which means that he did not order them to be regular gurus at that time. This is confirmed when Srila Prabhupada said later, in 3 letters, "continue to be ritvik." He could not order full gurus on May 28th, and then later say "continue to be ritvik." This is elementary, my dear Watson.
C. His last Will is documentation of not changing his order. Only his initiated disciples are allowed to be directors in the future. That is only possible if they are his disciples in the far future. Also the Will says "no change in management," which confirms the permanence of the ritvik managerial directive July 9th document.
D. We have the documented evidence of the diary of Yasodanandana das, with its original entries made directly after conversations with the secretary and Gauridas.
1. This diary quotes the secretary to say, (after departure) "they'll be ritviks, its all on tape." We accept the veracity of Yasoda's entry in this diary. This evidence stands on its own, unless, of course, the secretary produces the tapes, and demonstrates some error in the diary. By the mere fact that there are 150 missing tapes from 1977, we surmise that someone is hiding the evidence, namely, that "they'll be ritviks, its all on tape." Again, its elementary, my dear Watson.
2. Another diary entry records how Gauridas heard Srila Prabhupada say, "Tomorrow I will I will announce some ritvik acharyas who will initiate disciples on my behalf when I leave the planet." Again, unless the secretary produces some of the 150 missing tapes to say otherwise, until then, we honor this testimony.
E. We have the documented statements of other authorities on Sampradaya Siddhanta, namely Sri Bannanje Govindacharya, and HH Rangapriya Swami, and Lakshmi Tatachar, and all these authorities support Srila Prabhupada's decision for ritvik representatives. They confirm that "this system can continue perpetually even in the physical absence of HH Srila Prabhupadaji," they say its been done before and therefore Srila Prabhupada chose this system, and there's nothing in the Vedas to veto such a decision.
F. We have numerous documented statements from Srila Prabhupada, which confirm that he did not want many unauthorized Gurus, thus confirming his decision for ritvik representatives.
1. Quotes from Srila Prabhupada - "Not that you take the place of guru. That is all nonsense. Very DANGEROUS" (4/21/77) ** "Everyone wanted to be guru. A small temple and "guru." What kind of Guru?" ** "That is the failure. They never thought, 'guru maharaja gave us instruction on so many things, why did he not say, "This man should be the next acharya?"' They wanted to create somebody ARTIFICIALLY as acharya and EVERYTHING FAILED. ** The result is that now everyone is claiming to be [guru] acharya even though they may be kanistha adhikary [spiritual neophytes], with no ability to preach. In some camps, the [guru] acharya is being changed three times a year. Therefore, we may not commit the same MISTAKE in our ISKCON camp." (4/28/74) ** "They did not even consider common sense - that if guru maharaja had wanted to APPOINT somebody as acharya, why he did not say? He said so many things and this point he missed? The main point? And they insisted on it. They declared, 'Come on unfit persons to become acharya,' then another man comes, then another, then another. So better to remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by guru maharaja. So that is perfection. And as soon as it was announced that, 'Guru maharaja is dead, now I am so advanced that I can kill my guru and become [guru]'." (CONV 8/15/76)
CONCLUSION: We accept all the above to be bona-fide documentation of Srila Prabhupada's statements and directives, which factually establishes that Srila Prabhupada ordered a permanent ritvik system. We humbly hope that those who have preached this system as "deviant" should go to the murti of Srila Prabhupada and beg his forgiveness. We hope we all decide to unite under the order of His Divine Grace, chant Hare Krishna and all be happy. Jai Srila Prabhupada!
Your servant, Radha Krishna dasa