Posted Mar 12, 2009 USA: All is fair and well, and still Srila Prabhupada did not give definitive instructions to change the ritvik procedure that He inagurated. There is no order where he stated to change such a highly important issue, or what has become an issue. Surely, being such a momentous instruction of the most fundamental nature, (disciple/guru relationship), Srila Prabhupada would have made it perfectly clear, but it appears to us that he did not.
Henceforward, to myself, means to be continued until further notice. Bas. Until further notice. That He spoke with hope to initiate to a young Hindu man is not an instruction given to everyone. Were it intended for everyone, why Srila Prabhupada would not have given it?
The fact that the ensuing zonal guru set-up alienated over 80% of Srila Prabhupada’s disciple is indisputable, and shows beyond doubt that what the gurus and GBC’s (many were both) did after Srila Prabhupada left was highly incompetent and simply wrong. The evidence is blatant.
Whether Srila Prabhupada felt that He would actually recuperate enough to again begin more active initiations as He had done, is conjecture at best. Who can read Srila Prabhupada’s mind? As if he were an ordinary human being. Perhaps Srila Prabhupada, in that instance of seeing the young Hindu man, felt the need to be positive in that way with him? Who can say, there are so many nuances and varying conditions to every event in human interactions.
Srila Prabhupada said that if one has faith in the Bible, he is worshiping Lord Jesus. So if one is praying to Lord Jesus, who is he praying to? This idea of formal initiation in ISKCON has been abused repeatedly. Is that what Srila Prabhupada wanted?
Some of the ISKCON gurus are very responsible and advanced souls, so we should not slight them in anyway. We are discussing the point of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on this initiation matter. They seem ambiguous or insufficient.
So many new young people are coming, where is the harm is saying that Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, books , conversations, etc, are now as your instructions? Was Srila Prabhupada only speaking to us, his initiated disciples? We know that is not the case. As he said in the case of Lord Jesus, if one reads the New Testament with faith then he is accepting Lord Jesus as his/her guru. That is fact. So the formality is there by much less God-realized souls than Srila Prabhupada. How nice and honourable to be authorized to initiate on Srila Prabhupada’s behalf.
But no, they must have the guru pujas, the samadhis, the adoration: they all say that is the way it is and has been done. But was it done in this way for conditioned souls? Or fully self-realized souls. Do you want a guru who is fully self-realized or simply perfected at sadhana bhakti? Or even perhaps in the spontaneous stage, but lacking full love of God as Srila Prabhupada exhibited? Looks like the choice is ours, as we are all evolving in these ways of devotional service.