Jadurani Contradicts Narayana Maharaja

21st February 2002 
By ISKCON Revival Movement (IRM)

Narayan Maharaja Contradicted By His ‘Mediator’

In her article called: Iskcon Is Much Bigger Than We Think (VNN Jan 9th), Jadurani prabhu (henceforward ‘the Author’) responds to an article by the IRM on a lecture given by His Holiness Narayan Maharaja (henceforward NM) that had also been posted on VNN. The Author is a renowned follower of NM, and since NM has not publicly objected to her paper we assume he must agree with it.
In this article we will show that the Author:

  1. contradicts what NM had said in his lecture;
  2. puts words into his mouth that he never spoke;
  3. tries to cover the fact that NM had misrepresented our position by launching into her own separate attack on the ritvik position, and insinuating that NM is beyond criticism;
  4. these attacks on the ritvik position consisting of nothing but recycled GBC arguments that were defeated long ago.

The Author herself admits her article is quite lengthy, so we shall just give a couple of examples of each category, and in this way expose the flawed nature of her stated position. All quotes from her paper (which also quotes our article) shall be enclosed thus< >, and will be followed by our comments.

<1) The IRM quoted Srila Narayana Maharaja: "Those who think, 'There is no need to accept a guru as a mediator because we can chant the holy name, we can read books, and we can do arcana and sadhana simply by the rtvik system,' are not within the guru-parampara. They deceive others. They are actually cheaters; not bhaktas."

The IRM replied: [Of course no one except NM has ever even proposed this. The Ritvik system is DEFINED as accepting Srila Prabhupada as the Guru who mediates.]

COMMENT: Srila Narayana Maharaja is not saying that Prabhupada is not the guru who mediates. All acaryas in disciplic succession are gurus who mediate; no doubt.>

Above we see the author contradicts NM, since he had stated that the ritvik position (which by definition maintains that Srila Prabhupada is the ‘guru who mediates’) means ‘there is no need of a guru as a mediator’. Clearly then NM does not accept that Srila Prabhupada can be a ‘guru who mediates’, since he is the only guru the pro-ritviks claim is the ‘mediator’. Jadurani feels differently, she even claims that ‘all acaryas’ can do this, so then why not Srila Prabhupada?
She then goes on to pose the absurd notion that we require a pure devotee to understand another pure devotee.

  <"Srila Maharaja is simply saying that one needs the guidance of a pure devotee to understand Prabhupada's mediation.">

Aside from the fact that NM did not actually say this (in fact he was completely dismissing the whole idea of Srila Prabhupada being a guru who ‘mediates’ since Srila Prabhupada is the only mediating guru within the ritvik system); if the author were correct, it would necessitate an unlimited line of pure devotees being present to understand anything at all, since each one would require another one to explain the one before, who in turn would need another one to explain what he was saying etc, etc, ad infinitum. We do not remember Srila Prabhupada saying that with each of his books there must also be distributed a little miniature pure devotee who will explain what is in the book (and then of course another pure devotee to explain what that pure devotee just said). The Author may argue that this is only necessary if the pure devotee has physically departed, yet we see NM has not physically departed, and yet here is the Author herself already having to explain what he meant, except she is a ‘mediator’ who contradicts the ‘pure devotee’ she is meant to be ‘mediating’ for.
Of course the Author is promoting NM himself as the ‘pure devotee’ who we all now allegedly need to approach in order to understand what Srila Prabhupada meant when he wrote his books and gave his directives etc. Yet, following our expose, she has had to step in and re-explain what he had said, so perhaps it is the Author herself who we now need to approach in order to understand what NM means.
What we all do need is association of more senior devotees, but these senior devotees do not have to be ‘pure devotees’ ( if they are then all the better), they just need to be able to read and repeat what Srila Prabhupada actually said, and set an example by following strictly. And that is why Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON, to provide that type of association. He certainly never said we need another pure devotee, or ‘mediator’ to understand what he said in his books.

<2) The IRM quoted Srila Narayana Maharaja: "Nowhere in the sastra is it written that a rtvik can ever give bhakti. This can never be the case."

The IRM replied: [Nowhere has it ever been claimed by anyone that the 'rtvik gives Bhakti'. Those who accept the rtvik system receive Bhakti from the self-realized Guru, Srila Prabhupada.]

COMMENT: (…) Srila Narayana Maharaja is simply saying here that in order to get bhakti from Srila Prabhupada, one has to be able to understand and then follow his instructions.>

We removed some pre-amble, but as can be seen the Author has simply put words into NM’s mouth, words he never spoke, in order to deflect attention from the fact that NM clearly had no idea what the ritivk system Srila Prabhupada established entailed. So what are we to think? Either NM is deliberately misrepresenting the ritvik position as established in The Final Order, a paper based entirely on signed documentation, or he has no idea what it is. Either way it is not going to help resolve the matter by just pretending he said something he clearly didn’t. That is not ‘mediating’, that is completely taking over as a separate authority.
The Author then claims:

<By the association of pure devotees we can understand what was Prabhupada's intention for initiations and everything else, after his departure, and forever>

We would have more faith in her assertion had NM actually addressed the position he was meant to be helping us all to ‘understand’. Instead he attacked a position that nobody is advocating.

<3A) The IRM quoted Srila Narayana Maharaja: "They say that in this world there are no pure devotees, and therefore there are no pure devotees to initiate anyone. This idea is very, very wrong and it is against the principles of bhakti.">

The IRM replied: [No we do not say this. In "The Final Order" we actually state the opposite. There maybe many pure devotees. But this does not change the fact that Srila Prabhupada established the Ritvik system for ISKCON. Thus NM's idea is 'very, very wrong' and it goes against the principles of actual Ritvik system as given by Srila Prabhupada.]

<”The IRM stated here that there may be many pure devotees. Since Prabhupada is the 'guru who mediates', we turn to Nectar of Instruction Text Five, in order to see how to relate to those pure devotees. Prabhupada translates Srila Rupa Gosvami: "One should mentally honor the devotee who chants the holy name of Lord Krishna, one should offer humble obeisances to the devotee who has undergone spiritual initiation [diksa] and is engaged in worshiping the Deity, and one should associate with and faithfully serve that pure devotee who is advanced in undeviated devotional service and whose heart is completely devoid of the propensity to criticize others.">

Above we see that the Author tries to cover up the fact that NM had completely misrepresented the ritvik position by quoting a verse that says we must not criticise pure devotees. However, we are still left with the fact that NM misrepresented our stated position. So perhaps someone should present him with a copy of The Final Order so he can correct us over our real position, rather than the mistaken one he currently believes we promote.

<3B) Again we quote the IRM's reply: There maybe many pure devotees. But this does not change the fact that Srila Prabhupada established the Ritvik system for ISKCON. Thus NM's idea is 'very, very wrong' and it goes against the principles of actual Ritvik system as given by Srila Prabhupada.]

COMMENT: Prabhupada did not establish the rtvik system (the theory of post-samadhi diksas, or the theory of a departed acarya giving diksa) for ISKCON.>

Again the Author ignores the fact that NM has mis-stated our position, and instead launches into her own ill-considered attack. This approach lacks intellectual integrity. She should first admit that NM has misrepresented us, and then make her points. As far as her argument goes, it is identical to the GBC’s. Srila Prabhupada most certainly DID establish a ritvik system, as the Author herself reluctantly later admits, and the directive says nothing about the issue of ‘post-samadhi’ or ‘departure’, thus on what basis does the Author claim such issues have any relevance to the ritvik system? In other words, Srila Prabhupada set in motion a system of initiation that said nothing about stopping on his departure, did not even mention the word ‘stop’ or ‘departure’, so how can anyone claim the issue of ‘depature’ has any relevance to the system? Especially since Srila Prabhupada had over and over again taught that physical presence and depatrture have no relevance to guru disciple relationships.
The Author talks about the origins of ISKCON: 

<It was started by Krishna Himself, then it came to Brahma and so on. (…) Prabhupada is in that same line. He never manufactured a new system. He only followed the same system of initiation and instruction as was established by his predecessors. He never gave 'the principles of the actual rtvik system,' as stated by the IRM. The rtvik system is nowhere to be found in our disciplic succession. Even Lord Brahma, who was the only person in the universe for awhile, personally met his guru, Bhagavan Sri Krishna, and Krishna personally shook hands with him.>

We would make the following points here:
The ritvik system simply facilitates the acceptance, by the authorised current acarya, of new disciples. This is the parampara system.
The system of initiation described in Srila Prabhupada’s books is identical to the ritvik system (please see ‘The No Change In ISKCON Paradigm’ paper on the IRM web site).
Acaryas are permitted to change the details of initiation ceremonies.
The Author thus needs to prove that the ritvik system violates sastra.
Lord Brahma did not meet Krishna physically at the point he received initiation, he was sitting alone on a lotus flower and heard Krishna’s flute.
Furthermore, Srila Prabhupada explains that the members of the disciplic succession mentioned in Bhagavad Gita 4.1 were all residing on different planets, and transmitted knowledge, the definition of diksa, from one planet to another.
Srila Prabhupada explained over and over again that physical proximity has no relevance to guru disciple relationships, indeed he never had any physical contact with many hundreds of his own disciples.
All these arguments have been made time and time again, without any response from the GBC or the Author herself. So to simply recycle them is just sloppy scholarship. The Author then goes on to quote some of the instructions Srila Prabhupada gave for us all to become guru, an issue not in contention. We all agree that we must all become guru, but also remember that ‘It is best not to accept any disciples’ (C.c.Madhya Lila 7.130, purport).

<4) The IRM quoted Srila Narayana Maharaja: "Beware of this rtvik system. Without a self-realized guru you cannot achieve bhakti in thousands of births. This is an established truth. This is siddhanta. You should therefore accept a sad-guru, serve him, and try to follow his instructions. Then you can develop your Krishna consciousness and all of your anarthas will disappear. Otherwise, it will never be possible for pure bhakti to come and touch your heart and senses.

The IRM replied: [Since the Ritvik system actually ENABLES one to 'accept, serve and follow the instructions of the self-realised sad guru', it is clear that one must 'beware of NM', for he is teaching the exact OPPOSITE of the truth. Otherwise 'it will never be possible for pure understanding to come and touch your heart and senses'.]

COMMENT: It is not stated anywhere in Prabhupada's books that the rtvik system 'actually enables one to accept, serve and follow the instructions of the self-realized sad-guru'.
Prabhupada never established the rtvik system. It is nowhere in his books. It is also nowhere in his letters, except for one letter, which was actually written by Tamala Krishna Maharaja.>

Once again we see the Author failing to admit that NM had misrepresented totally our position, but instead once more launches her own attack. Even if we were wrong she should at least be honest and admit that NM had misrepresented us, and then gone on to make her points. And see how the Author first states:

<Prabhupada never established the rtvik system>
And then uses Drutakarma’s old defeated argument:
<It is also nowhere in his letters, except for one letter, which was actually written by Tamala Krishna Maharaja.>

Of course Tamal Krishna was merely the secretary who typed the letter that Srila Prabhupada signed his approval to. So clearly Srila Prabhupada did establish the ritvik system, via a letter he dictated and signed. So in effect she contradicts herself by first stating that Srila Prabhupada never established such a system, but then admitting the existence of a letter that does establish such a system. A letter that is signed by Srila Prabhupada.
The Author then goes on to give what she calls ‘ a history of the origin of the rtvik theory’, that amounts to little more than presenting the GBC’s arguments, the same GBC who completely reject NM. She says of the July 9th directive:

<In that letter, Tamala Krishna Maharaja was referring only to the rest of the period that Prabhupada would be physically present, from July to November, 1977.>

As anyone who reads the letter will know there is not a single mention anywhere that it is only for "the period that Prabhupada would be physically present". This may be what Tamal Krishna says, but then he has changed his mind nine times over the issue of ISKCON’s guru tattva over the past 24 years, and officially rejects NM. So the author is on very shaky ground if she wishes to use Tamal’s authority on the letter, over and above what the letter actually states, and what Srila Prabhupada signed his approval to.

<In that letter, Tamala Krishna Maharaja gave his own interpretation of a conversation that took place on May 28th, a conversation in which he, himself, had given an interpretation of the word rtvik that is nowhere in Prabhupada's books.>

Here the Author forgets that Srila Prabhupada signed the letter, so whatever it said, he agreed with it. Srila Prabhupada also must have agreed with the way the word ‘ritvik’ was defined in that letter, and we would suspect he knows a lot more about such matters than the Author. This is an example of the desperate argumentative lengths people will go to to obscure Srila Prabhupada’ real instructions.

<The cassette tape recording, if heard carefully, strongly suggests that it was a combination of several spliced conversations, all grafted together.>

Above the Author attacks the authenticity of the May 28th conversation, but what has this got to do with the authenticity of the July 9th directive that carries Srila Prabhupada’s signature?

<Now, in 1977 Prabhupada was not starting a new thing. It was neither an appointment of gurus nor of rtviks.>

Above the Author claims that Srila Prabhupada did not appoint any ritviks, in so doing she once again contradicts NM’s statement in the ISKCON Journal in 1990:

Ravindra Svarupa: In fact, that word (ritvik) was not introduced by Srila Prabhupada but by Tamal Krishna Goswami. Srila Prabhupada himself said "officiating acarya".
Narayan Maharaja: Well, that can be done. He has told me like this .
Ravindra Svarupa: He?
Narayan Maharaja: Swamiji. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I asked him in Vrindavan, what arrangement have you done for after your. And he told me that in different countries I have given this trust to our devotees to do the work of acarya, and they will do. And that after his demise he said they will preach and give hari-nama and diksa. He has told me also.

Notice that Narayan Maharaja admits Srila Prabhupada had mentioned the term 'officiating acarya', and that they were meant to give diksa after his demise. On the one recorded occasion where Srila Prabhupada used the term 'officiating acarya', he equated it with the word 'ritvik' (May 28th 1977) and according to the final July 9th order ritviks were indeed meant to give diksa after his 'demise'. So the Author must accept that Srila Prabhupada appointed ‘officiating acaryas’, and they are defined as ritviks in the letter Srila Prabhupada signed.

<6) The IRM quoted Srila Narayana Maharaja: "Nowadays, therefore, those who call themselves rtviks are all cheaters, and we should beware of them."

The IRM replied: [Here NM contradicts himself. He had JUST said that he is: "NOT saying that ALL rtviks mislead others." Here he says that: "Ritviks are ALL cheaters".]

COMMENT: There is no contradiction here. Srila Narayana Maharaja only meant that all those who are pretending to be rtviks, without knowing what the word really means, are cheaters.>

Well that is not what he said, so once more the Author is putting words into his mouth. And just how does The Final Order define the word ‘ritvik’ incorrectly? We simply use the definition of the word as given in the letter that Srila Prabhupada signed and had sent to all his leaders, and as it is given in his books.
The Author gives a list of what she sees as apparent contradictions that only another pure devotee can resolve:

<(1) Apparent contradictions regarding the kanistha-adhikari:
1a) "…the neophyte kanistha-adhikari does not know much about sastra but has full faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead." (SB 4.22.16 Purport)
1b) "One whose faith is soft and pliable is called a neophyte (kanistha jana)." (CcMad.22.69)

(2) Apparent contradictions regarding the ease of chanting Hare Krishna:
2a) "My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom."
(SB 12.3.51)
2b) "If one is infested with the ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, despite his endeavor to chant the holy name for many births, he will not get the love of Godhead that is the ultimate goal of this chanting." (Cc Adi 8.16)

(3) Apparent contradictions regarding Prabhupada and ISKCON:
3a) "No one should think that this Krishna consciousness movement is a new movement. As confirmed by Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, it is a very, very old movement, for it has been passing down from one Manu to another." (SB 4.28.31 Purport)
3b) "As far as we are concerned, we have already started the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and many thousands of Europeans and Americans have joined this movement." (SB 4.28.31 Purport)

(4) Apparent contradictions regarding the fall of the Jiva:
4a) "Formerly we were with Krishna in His lila or sport." (Letter to Madhudvisa, date unknown)
4b) "The conclusion is that no one falls from the spiritual world, or Vaikuntha planet, for it is the eternal abode." (SB 3.16.26 Purport)

(5) Apparent contradictions regarding Nanda Baba being Krishna's real father:
5a) "Lord Krishna saved His foster father, Nanda Maharaja, from the fear of the demigod Varuna and released the cowherd boys from the caves of the mountain, for they were placed there by the son of Maya." (SB 2.7.31)
5b) "O Sanatana, please hear about the eternal form of Lord Krishna. He is the Absolute Truth, devoid of duality but present in Vrndavana as the son of Nanda Maharaja." (Cc Madhya 20.152)
5c) "He (Krishna) wanted to inform Arjuna that because Arjuna was the son of Prtha, the sister of His own father Vasudeva…" (Bg 1.25 Purport)

Who can reconcile these statements, which are not contradictory but seem to be, and which are all wonderful? Can the IRM do so? Only a pure devotee can reconcile the above statements in such a way as to greatly increase our faith in Srila Prabhupada.>

But none of the above changes the fact that NM has misrepresented the ritvik position, and then attacked statements and ideas that have nothing to do with us. If that is how he ‘resolves things’ then we are not confident he will be able to help with any of the above. 

<7A) The IRM quoted Srila Narayana Maharaja: "There are so many gurus: caitya-guru, diksa-guru, siksa-guru, bhajana-guru, and others. Why go to a bogus-rtvik guru? If our siksa-gurus are Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda prabhu, and Radhika, why do we need to go to these rtviks?"

The IRM replied: [Since Ritviks accept all these same 'Gurus, and do NOT accept a 'ritvik-guru' (this term is never used by either Srila Prabhupada or "The Final Order"), since all the Ritvik does is perform a ceremony on behalf of the Real Guru - Srila Prabhupada - the actual conclusion is why do we 'need to go to NM', since he states nothing EXCEPT the actual OPPOSITE of the facts.]

We read in Chapter Nineteen of Nectar of Devotion:
"There are many societies and associations of pure devotees, and if someone with just a little faith begins to associate with such societies, his advancement to pure devotional service is rapid. … This is the first stage of association with pure devotees. In the second stage, after one becomes a little advanced and mature, he automatically offers to follow the principles of devotional service under the guidance of the pure devotee and accepts him as the spiritual master.">

Once again the Author completely ignores the point we are making, that NM has clearly misrepresented our position, which itself is based solely on signed directives from someone NM claims is his own Siksa guru, Srila Prabhupada. The Author instead offers a quote implying that we should just accept whatever NM says because he is a pure devotee. If that is the case why is the Author trying to justify anything he says, as she has tried to do, if whatever he says must be accepted simply because he is a pure devotee. It would be much quicker to just say that, rather than offering all the reams and reams of rambling ‘explanations’ and ‘justifications’ and complex GBC arguments. This is the Author’s ‘last ditch’ argument, when she can’t find any way round the plain fact that he has no idea what the whole debate is about. It is also intellectually dishonest for the Author to not admit that we are correct in our complaint that we have been misrepresented.

<8) The IRM quoted Srila Narayana Maharaja: "This word 'rt' has come from the word 'Rg-Veda.' Those who know all Vedas, including the Rg, Sama, Yajur, and Atharva Veda, all the Upanishads, and all the Puranas, are actually rtvik. [...] (There are nineteen places in Prabhupada's books where the word 'rtvik' is used, and in all cases the word only refers to a priest officiating or performing a fire sacrifice). [...] After deliberation upon the Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Puranas, it becomes obvious that rtviks have nothing to do with the supreme transcendental goal...'Rtau yajtiti rtviki.' One who conducts sacrifices according to Vedic mantras is called a rtvik. There is an arrangement of 16 types of rtviks to perform the sacrifices."

The IRM replied: [This is massive contradiction by NM. Earlier in an interview that he had given to the ISKCON Journal in 1990, NM had claimed that: I have not seen the word "ritvik" in our Vaisnava dictionary. (…) We have seen no such word as "ritvik". (Narayana Maharaja Interview, ISKCON Journal, Page 23) Now NM wants to enlighten us how the word Ritvik not only exists, but how he has seen it in many places from the Vedas to Srila Prabhupada's books!]

COMMENT: (A small point is that those words were in brackets. They were not spoken by Srila Maharaja during the July 19th lecture, but at another time. They were published in the magazine called "A True Conception of Guru Tattva.) There is no contradiction here. Srila Narayana Maharaja is only saying that the word rtvik and the word Vaisnava are not synonymous.>

Here again the Author completely changes what NM had said. He said there was no such word in the Vaishnava dictionary, not that the word ritvik and Vaishnava were not synonymous. Who ever said they were synonymous, and so why would he have needed to make such an obscure point? So here NM is not only contradicted by himself, but also by his own ‘mediator’.

<That is why he uses the term 'Vaisnava dictionary.' The rtvik is an employed priest who performs a fire sacrifice to fulfill the material purpose. A Vaisnava's only purpose is to satisfy Visnu, or Krishna.>

But Srila Prabhupada used ritviks to perform initiation ceremonies, what’s so materialistic about that. Here the Author really is talking complete nonsense as we shall conclusively demonstrate below.

<9) The IRM quoted Srila Narayana Maharaja: "I think, however, that these modern rtviks don't even know the ABC's of the Vedas. [...] There are nineteen places in Prabhupada's books where the word 'rtvik' is used, and in all cases the word only refers to a priest officiating or performing a fire sacrifice. Even when the word used is 'rtvik acarya,' it is still defined as a priest performing a fire sacrifice for a secular gain."

The IRM replied: [The word 'ritvik-acarya' is NEVER used in Srila Prabhupada's books. It seems it is NM who does not know the ABC's of Srila Prabhupada's books.]

COMMENT: That statement, "There are nineteen…secular gain," was not made by Srila Narayana Maharaja. In the edited transcription of this lecture, that statement is in brackets, as correctly indicated by the IRM article. Any sentences that are in brackets are added by the editors. This is our general procedure. So please excuse us for that.>

However the words came to be there, they contradict what NM had said previously:

"We have seen no such word as "ritvik"." "I have not seen the word ritvik in our Vaishnava dictionary" (NM 1990 ISKCON Journal)

So not only can NM not have read the Srimad-Bhagavatam, but his ‘Vaishnava dictionary’ must have had some pages missing too. And this claim by NM’s ‘editors’ or should we call them ‘mediators’ that ritviks are only used for ‘secular gain’ is also completely false. For example, ritviks are used in a sacrifice described in the Srimad- Bhagavatam at which:

"Lord Vishnu appeared there in His original form as Narayan".
(SB Canto 4, chapter7, text 16-18)

How can ritviks only be used for ‘secular gain’ if the Supreme Lord Himself turns up at one of their sacrifices? So even on these basic very facts the Author, NM and all his other ‘mediators’ are quite simply mistaken.

In conclusion:

This is yet another desperate attempt from the Narayan Maharaja camp to try and convince everyone that their guru is a pure devotee who can resolve all our misunderstandings, and explain Srila Prabhupada’s intentions and instructions. However, we see that in doing this the current ‘mediator’ has had to change what Narayan Maharaja actually said, contradict him, use old defeated GBC arguments (even relying on the false testimony of a man who officially rejects NM), and attempted to deflect attention away from the simple fact that Narayan Maharaja has not understood the position he is supposed to be defeating, and has seriously contradicted himself. If there is any merit to Narayan Maharaja’s position, he will need to find better mediators to convince us, that is for sure.
In the service of Srila Prabhupada,