BY: GEORGE A. SMITH
Aug 20, 2010 — CALIFORNIA, USA (SUN) —
“Hasti Gopala dasa, Kurma dasa, and George Smith proudly proclaim themselves as “followers of Srila Prabhupada”, as if such impassioned public declarations were enough to make them so. But what is the actual proof? Does twisting the Vaisnava siddhanta make one a follower of Srila Prabhupada?”
“Initiation by a Bona Fide Spiritual Master” by Rasaprema dasa
The proof of what? Initiation or following?
I thought that you were talking about diksa, but now you are talking about following. You seem to have confused yourself or are attempting to confuse us. Here, let me help you if it is the former that is true. Anyone can follow Srila Prabhupada, whether they take diksa or not.
But there are differences between diksa, one of the forms of initiation, and following. Anyone can take diksa, for whatever reason and follow or not follow, but following is not so easy, more difficult, it takes real commitment, it takes sincerity, it can take all you’ve got.
But what it gives back…ah prabhu, you are so imaginative as to think that without diksa that following gives back nothing, that for the sake of the lack of what Srila Prabhupada himself has described a time or two as being a mere formality, that Srila Prabhupada will withhold his mercy from us and that Krishna will award us with naught for our following.
How anyone can think that the Supreme Personality of Godhead could be so miserly, or our most merciful Sampradaya Acarya Srila Prabhupada so devoid of mercy is beyond me, perhaps you are an atheist.
But as to your question, it seems to be only rhetorical device to me, for you know and I know that only diksa is something that takes place among the pomp and spectacle of thousands, to the sound of trumpets and elephants and tympanis, but that following, although some may accompany you part of the way, that except for Krishna and the spiritual master who I pray will be eternally before you, is something for the most part that you do alone.
How would one go about proving that one was following? One would have to have a witness, a credible person who has accompanied one in all of his moments and journeys.
When I left the movement in 1977 no one followed me any further than the doorway of the temple room, to call out “fool” after me. It’s funny, but up until that moment I did not think that I could feel any worse than I already did.
My mother had fallen and broken her neck a few days previously and was not expected to live and my father, blaming himself for her accident had overexerted himself and died of a heart attack a few days later, so my brother called me at the temple with the news: “Your mother is dieing, your father is dead.”
So I left the movement then to be at the bedside of one dying parent and to pay my last respects to another one dead, and for this I was called a fool, for I was expected to understand the philosophy and thus to leave my mother to die alone surrounded by strangers and the sounds of the hospital, because nothing was more important than remaining in the temple, cleaning the floors and taking out the trash, but that wasn’t so.
I remember I had asked him once, I had asked Srila Prabhupada in my heart “What is more important than these temple walls?” And he turned me around to face the whole world outside the temple walls and I heard him answer me in my dream “They are.”
I loved the movement during Srila Prabhupada lila, it was Heaven to me, paradise on earth, but it was also only a place to come to and stay at until one was strong enough to follow in the footsteps of the devotees and then to go out into the world after them, for to truly follow them is to preach. I will always follow Srila Prabhupada, I just hope one day that I will catch up with him, for I miss him greatly but in the meantime I follow and I preach.
Everywhere I go I ask, “Have you seen this person? He is Krishna’s pure devotee.” And I show them a picture. Sometimes they ask me “Who is Krishna?” and then I stop to tell them, making sure they understand before I resume my journey, always following Srila Prabhupada hoping one day to catch up tp him, and sometimes I think that I glimpse him far in front of me or hear him chanting in the distance Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
If you want to see proof of my following you will have to look behind me.
But that is enough of me, lets get back to you.
Because of all these things I deem your question to be merely rhetorical, a device designed to create suspicion in order to weaken your opponents position and to strengthen your own.
Were this the only incident of apparent and deliberate dishonesty that your articles evidenced I would dismiss it as merely accident, but it is not the only incident but only one out of many.
Your second question in this paragraph, contains a faulty premise that you do not even bother to attempt to support with any evidence, let alone prove. You say that I am twisting Vaisnava Siddhanta but supply no evidence that I am doing this from any statements that I have made in my article.
Perhaps your feeling yourself to be free to make accusations without having to back up your claims with any evidence is simply reflective of the great contempt that you display in your articles towards the intelligence of the devotees, who you refer to variously as morons and fools, and who are thus, by your estimate, to stupid to figure out what you are attempting to do, so why go to the bother of supporting your claims by providing any evidence and attempting to win your points with valid argument when you don’t have to?
Irregardless or your rationale, I see you as being nothing other than a liar and a hypocrite for on the one hand though you present yourself as being a man of logic, claiming of others that they are not and ridiculing them with contempt because they are not themselves following logic in your professes estimate, that you, yourself betray it and stab honest anf well reasoned or logical argument in the back any chance that you get by presenting to us faulty logic, fallacious reasoning and rhetorical device.
What you are offering here in this paragraph is typical of the fallacious form of reasoning referred to as a straw man, or straw dog argument (give a dog a bad name and hang it).
This type of faulty logic, deliberately misinterprets ones opponents position in order to weaken the strength of his actual proposition (which, by the way; was strongly supported by referral to substantial evidence in my original article “The Nitpicks vs the Ritviks”.
I never “proudly proclaimed to be anything, except one who prefers to offer his love and devotion and his prayers to a picture of the pure devotee of Krishna Srila Prabhupada rather than to the person of a rascal and a fool, and if you’d asked for evidence of that, instead of being so busy trying to twist and misrepresent my position my position, you would have noticed it right there in front of you, in my name prabhu.
What does the name George A. Smith tell you, or at least suggest? Do I have to spell it out just for you Rasaprema dasa? So it seems, for the devotees that you call morons and imbeciles have already caught its meanings which are on the one hand that I have never taken initiation of a fool and a rascal nor am I myself a Rtvik, not that they are either fools or rascals in my esteem, just devotees who see things differently and who are entitled to the free expression of their faith (and btw, their argument has merit).
It was never my position that one should not take initiation from a bona fide guru, but only that one should not take initiation from a rascal and a fool, such as ISKCON and the Gaudiya Math have been in the business of offering to us for quite a few number of years.
I only maintained that better than the acceptance of a fool and a rascal as ones guru that the worship of a picture of a pure devotee is more preferable and carried the added benefit that one could not be betrayed by it. I did not however claim that this was the best solution as you seem “only to see”.
How could you who calls me blind, with all of your eagles eye not see this? Or was it that you saw but it but an admittance of seeing it would have prevented any misrepresentation of my position, and thus ineffective of your designed intent which is only to reduce my credibility?
It was not advantageous to you to proclaim the truth that you did indeed see but were only appearing not to so that you could miss-state my position, that or because you are situated in animal consciousness and see only the things that you want to see from bad habits of mental promiscuity. Which was it prabhu?
The type of fallacious reasoning that you employ here is used when an opponents actual position cannot be discredited. If however his position can be successfully misinterpreted to one that can be discredited than both it and the holder of it can be both be discredited if his opponent has been successful in identifying with the misrepresentation well enough and in discrediting it. Then when the misrepresentation is discredited ones opponents credibility reputation goes down with it.
So this is what it seems to me that your trying to accomplish in your article Initiation by a Bona Fide Spiritual Master. By misrepresenting my actual position in my article “The Nitpicks vs the Ritviks” you seek to reduce the strength of my true position.
Recognizing that my true position in that article cannot be defeated, that it is the wisdom of the wise, Krishna Himself, and thus ajita or unconquerable and also just “good ol common sense. ” you have to adopt dishonest and misrepresent the position and simply focus on dragging down the person presenting such a position.
It is so enabling of people to avoid the many horrors that can be associated with the acceptance of a rascal and a fool as ones guru, that these types of gurus simply cannot stand it and seek to destroy this simply truth wherever it manifests by misrepresenting and dragging down anyone who presents it.
Otherwise why would anyone want to discredit a person presenting such a position of wisdom and good ol common sense by misrepresenting their position? Can you answer that prabhu?
“In our previous article, “Simple or Simpleton”, there is not the slightest hint that one should take initiation from an unqualified person. But that is all they saw in the posting. Quite amazing!”
Here’s another example…
Logical fallacies of presumption, such as the one that you are presenting here, not only fail to establish their conclusion but assume that there are no other options to consider.
That was not the only thing that I saw, as you presume. That is the only thing that I see that ISKCON and the Gaudiya Math are presenting, but I also saw that you yourself were offering us nothing, no mention of anyone who you consider to be qualified to initiate nor even the name of your own guru.
So since you weren’t offering anything, why talk about nothing? But it isn’t that I didn’t notice it, or wonder, who you were representing prabhu, what individual or what organization, since your name is suggestive someone who has been initiated by someone prabhu, that, or that you are yourself a Rtvik playing devils advocate? No, more probably you are like Margaret was to Praghosa earlier this year on the Sun, a Stalking Horse prabhu. Only in this instance stalking for someone other than your own alter ego who risks nothing when you lose unless you identify yourself as his representative and he of course does not disavow any connection with you “Rasaprema who?”
In your next post please clear the matter up as to whether you are initiated and if so by who so that your guru can receive the glorification that would otherwise go to you in the case of your winning your arguments, which you have not yet done and will not be able to.
George A. Smith