Krishnakant Das (ACBSP), Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:21 am (PST) — As usual the article below has been first published in the IRMs official magazine Back To Prabhupada.
BTP is being distributed for free to ISKCON devotees and people interested in Srila Prabhupada’s teachings worldwide. If you would like to receive BTP as well, simply send us your full name and street address via yahoo or the following email address: email@example.com.
Also, we welcome all correspondence, so if you have any questions, comments or criticisms, please write to us via one of the two methods mentioned above.
Thank you & Hare Krishna.
Readers’ questions and challenges
“Do you send your BTP to every Hindu/karmi in the world? Only the wicked persons/devotees will read it and listen to you. If you are publishing the truth about ISKCON gurus, then why you are bothered about it? Leave it to Krsna!! He will deal with them. Who are IRM!! God or Krsna Himself!! But don’t expand IRM by BTP!!! That is a big, big aparadha!!”
- Nirmala Radhika Dasi, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Editor replies: There are indeed many “Hindus” and “karmis” who read BTP, including scholars of religion, religious leaders, journalists, anti-cult organisations and, of course, ISKCON devotees. We do not believe they are all “wicked persons”. You admit that we may indeed be publishing the truth about ISKCON gurus, and yet you say we should not be bothered by this truth! Rather, you suggest that we leave the cleansing operation of exposing the truth up to Krishna. However, if you read a book called Bhagavad-gita As It Is, you will find that Srila Prabhupada states the opposite:
“According to social conventions, it is said that one can speak the truth only when it is palatable to others. But that is not truthfulness. [...] Although sometimes the truth is unpalatable, one should not refrain from speaking it. Truthfulness demands that the facts be presented as they are for the benefit of others. That is the definition of truth.”
(Bhagavad-gita, 10:4-5, purport)
And furthermore, the entire Bhagavad-gita is about fighting for dharma – truth and righteousness; not sitting idly and “leaving it to Krishna”. Pray tell, how can such dissemination of truth be a “big, big aparadha” (offence)? Unless you are suggesting that truth and dharma itself is the greatest offender…
“Who will choose the disciples to initiate them and how will we know that Srila Prabhupada has accepted the choice because he is not physically present? Is this not an imposition of our choices on to His Divine Grace ??”
- Nitaiprana Das, France (translated from French)
Editor replies: You are correct that we should not impose our choices on to His Divine Grace. However, in July 1977, Srila Prabhupada set up a system whereby the ritviks (representatives) he authorised were given full power of attorney to accept disciples for him, as long as these disciples had been recommended by the Temple President, without any consultation with Srila Prabhupada needed:
Prabhupada: “So without waiting for me, wherever you consider it is right… That will depend on discretion.”
Tamala Krishna: “On discretion.”
Tamala Krishna: “That’s for first and second initiations.”
(Conversation discussing the appointment of ritviks, July 7th, 1977)
” [...] After considering the recommendation, these representatives may accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupad.”
(July 9th, 1977 directive, signed by Srila Prabhupada, setting out the process for initiations for the future of ISKCON)
But in 1978 we did impose our choices on to Srila Prabhupada, when these representatives decided that actually they had been appointed as diksa gurus, which even they later admitted was false. But still the false system continues. So we are preaching Srila Prabhupada’s message and telling people not to impose their choices onto him, just as you advise.
“One thing I would like to bring up is that a desire to get initiated is a very real one that should be addressed in your magazine. If a devotee wants to get initiation where do they go to receive it? It’s something that needs to be dealt with. ”
- Bhaktilila Dasi, California, USA
Editor replies: Real initiation means to follow Srila Prabhupada:
“So anyway, from 1922 to 1933 practically I was not initiated, but I got the impression of preaching Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s cult. That I was thinking. And that was the initiation by my Guru Maharaja.”
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, December 10th, 1976)
“Initiation is a formality. If you are serious, that is real initiation [...] My touch is simply a formality. It is your determination, that is initiation.”
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Back to Godhead #49, `Search for the Divine’)
“The chanting of Hare Krsna is our main business, that is real initiation. And as you are all following my instruction, in that matter, the initiator is already there.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 19th, 1968)
“Well, initiation or no initiation, first thing is knowledge… knowledge. Initiation is formality. Just like you go to a school for knowledge, and admission is formality. That is not very important thing.”
(Srila Prabhupada Interview, October 16th, 1976)
In addition, this “real” initiation is formalised with a ceremony. Once a real ISKCON is revived according to Srila Prabhupada’s directions, then these formal ceremonies, along with so many other things currently missing in ISKCON, can be re-introduced. The IRM is working to do this by first exposing those who are masquerading as ISKCON and misleading and cheating all the innocent devotees.
“It is now for the second time that you are mentioning in your magazine that in ISKCON Zurich Siva worship is going on.
1. Whenever there is an appearance day of a previous acarya or great devotee we put in honor of him a picture on the altar.
2. On Maha-Sivaratri we do the same for the greatest of all Vaisnavas (as it is said in the Bhagavatam and as Srila Prabhupada many times confirms it) Sri Siva.
3. Siva is NOT a demigod. He is Sivatattva and beyond demigods.
Before next time committing Vaisnava-Aparadha please use your brain. No offence meant.”
- Mandalibhadra Das (head pujari) and Mantrarupa Das, ISKCON Zurich
1) Our point is very simple: Is what you are doing the standard set by Srila Prabhupada? Is the system you are following the system ordered by Srila Prabhupada for all ISKCON temples to follow on Sivaratri? If not, then we are not authorised to do it. We cannot “add or subtract” anything, even if it may seem to be correct.
2) Regarding your emphatic declaration that Lord Siva is NOT a demigod, we prefer to stick with what Srila Prabhupada taught:
“Even the great demigods like Brahma and Siva cannot be compared to the Supreme Lord. In fact, the Lord is worshiped by demigods such as Brahma and Siva”.
(Bhagavad-gita, 4.12 purport)
“Above the human beings there are demigods. As we human beings are above the lower animals, above us there are demigods, the most important of whom are Lord Brahma and Lord Siva.”
(Teachings of Queen Kunti, chapter 6)
No offence meant.