Below is a response to the above podcast given by His Holiness Sivarama Maharaja (henceforward abbreviated as SRS). As usual Maharajas comments shall be enclosed in speech marks thus " ", with our comments following underneath.

"and this really for me is one of the defects, countless defects of the whole ritvik ideology has. Is that you cant force Srila Prabhupada to become your guru, you cant force him to give you initiation. Its a reciprocal two way relationship, diksa and acceptance of actually being an initiating spiritual master comes on the basis of a relationship which respects the tradition of guru disciple which follows the proper process which isnt imposed, dreamt up, imagined and which takes into consideration that - does this person actually want to give me initiation."

1) The proper process was given by Srila Prabhupada, and it involved the ritvik representatives he appointed having full power of attorney to accept as disciples on his behalf, all those recommended to them for initiation by the temple president, WITHOUT needing to consult Srila Prabhupada:

Srila Prabhupada: So without waiting for me, wherever you consider it is right... That will depend on discretion.
Tamala Krsna: On discretion.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.
Tamala Krsna: That's for first and second initiations.
Srila Prabhupada: Hmm

(Conversation discussing appointment of ritviks, July 7th, 1977)

In the past Temple Presidents have written to Srila Prabhupada recommending a particular devotee's initiation. Now that Srila Prabhupada has named these representatives, Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendation for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their temple. After considering the recommendation, these representatives may accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of second initiation, by chanting on the Gayatri thread, just as Srila Prabhupada has done.

(July 9th, 1977 directive appointing ritviks)

Therefore the use of ritviks appointed by Srila Prabhupada does not force Srila Prabhupada to give anyone initiation, since he already decided that he will give initiation to anyone the temple president recommends via the ritvik representatives, after they consider the recommendation. There is therefore no defect in Srila Prabhupadas ritvik system of initiations.

2) However the process practiced by SRS, whereby he became a successor guru to Srila Prabhupada due to getting voted in as such by the GBC, is imagined, as stated by His Holiness Jayadvaita Maharaja, whom SRS has continually promoted as an authority on this subject:

That Srila Prabhupada personally detailed the procedure for increasing the number of initiating guru[s] is something we can only wish. Or falsely tell the Society he did.

(HH Jayadvaita Swami, December 13th, 2003)

His Holiness Jayadvaita Maharaja here accepts that Srila Prabhupada never gave any procedure to the GBC by which they could authorize initiating gurus, the very process by which SRS himself became an initiating guru.

"and of course transcendental knowledge is divya jnana. That is one of the two main aspects of diksa other is the receiving of mantra"

1) Everyone in ISKCON accepts that Srila Prabhupada is the guru who is giving this divya-jnana, since we sing the following to him every morning, as part of honouring him as the guru, during guru-puja:


cakhu-dan dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei,
divya jnana hride prokacito
prema-bhakti jaha hoite, avidya vina├ža jate,
vede gay jahara carito


He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth. From him ecstatic prema emanates; by him ignorance is destroyed. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.

2) Similarly, the GBC, of which SRS is a member, agrees that Divya-jnana, which we have just noted ISKCON accepts is given by Srila Prabhupada, is the principal active ingredient of Diksa, transmitted by siksa:

Such uplifting knowledge is called divya jnana, and its transmission is called siksa. This divya jnana is the principal active ingredient of diksa.

(No. 404, GBC Resolutions 1999)

and the GBC also accepts that all the pre-eminent, essential and empowering siksa transmitted in ISKCON comes from Srila Prabhupada:

ISKCONs founder-acarya, Srila Prabhupada, is the pre-eminent and compulsory siksa-guru for all vaisnavas (gurus and disciples) in the Society, who may directly receive empowerment from him through allegiance to his teachings.

(No. 409, GBC Resolutions 1999)

Srila Prabhupadas instructions are the essential teachings for every ISKCON devotee.

(GBC Resolution 35, Founder-Acarya Statement, 19)

and therefore, included in all this pre-eminent, essential siksa Srila Prabhupada is transmitting, must be Divya-jnana.

So both SRS and the GBC have to agree, that the transmission of the key ingredient of diksa, Divya-jnana, to everyone in ISKCON, is done by Srila Prabhupada. In addition, we saw in the last section, that shortly before his departure, Srila Prabhupada appointed ritviks, so that one could receive first initiation and the gayatri mantra for second initiation.

Thus according to SRS, Srila Prabhupada is providing, the two main aspects of Diksa, Divya jnana and the mantra and therefore he must, by definition, also be the Diksa guru.

"And you cannot breach that process, you cannot just mechanically artificially capture knowledge from someone and force someone to become a guru."

This is correct. But Srila Prabhupada desired that he remain as ISKCONs diksa guru by appointing ritviks shortly before his departure, so that the process of initiation would continue without requiring his personal approval for each and every candidate.

So by following what Srila Prabhupada ordered, one cannot be imposing on Srila Prabhupada something he did not want!

"So whether transcendental knowledge or whether the military science whether learning language we should always follow the process of Guru parampara, and the scientific method."

And the approved method of getting transcendental knowledge, the principal active ingredient of Diksa, according to the GBC is via Srila Prabhupadas siksa, as we saw from the GBC resolutions quoted earlier. And the whole of ISKCON already accepts we are getting this transcendental knowledge or divya-jnana from Srila Prabhupada by singing this fact to him every morning during guru puja! So it is already accepted by all concerned that Srila Prabhupada is giving us transcendental knowledge or divya-jnana. And if SRS believes that this is not following the process of Guru parampara, then he would be guilty of contradicting himself because then it would mean that the whole of ISKCON, including himself, is violating the process of guru parampara by taking transcendental knowledge from Srila Prabhupada.

Hence in conclusion, again we see that SRS has not been able to find a single defect in the process of ritvik initiations as given by Srila Prabhupada, and as documented in Back To Prabhupada magazine. Rather again, he has simply made statements that unwittingly support the conclusions stated in Back to Prabhupada magazine.