Reply to Hari Sauri's 14 points

Subject: Reply to Hari Sauri's 14 points
Camp: Radha Krishna Chandra Temple, Bangalore
Dear Prabhus/Maharajas,

I humbly beg those devotees who sincerely wish to stop the court case to read the following very very carefully.

H.G.Hari Sauri prabhu has once more re-presented quotes which have already been addressed many times by the IRG. He would be far better employed answering our objections than merely re-presenting the same evidence. Maybe our objections are completely invalid, and so he can prove so philosophically. Why not demonstrate how our objections are wrong, and in that way avert the legal action that nobody, wants to see happen?

Since it may be troublesome to go to the IRG website or VNN and read our objections, I have taken the time once more to explain them. If our camp is in complete illusion, utterly and stupidly in the wrong, and raving mad Ravana type demons, then it should be possible to show this philosophically, and logically. Simply calling people on our side Mayavadis is very silly and childish since we are simply repeating instructions given by Srila Prabhupada, which have nothing to do with Mayavada philosophy, and everything to do with providing unlimited numbers of conditioned souls the opportunity of taking direct shelter of the authorised, bona fide current link in the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya. We have seen no evidence to suggest that the current link is any other than His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

I humbly implore everyone to very carefully consider our objections, and in future to address those, rather than merely stating the same material, which led to the objections being raised. This is a very basic rule of debate or any sort of rational discussion. As we are preparing for the legal case we will not have time to answer, or even read, endlessly repetitive postings which go nowhere and do not hear or take into consideration points that have been made years ago.
To remind everyone, I had previously challenged the following statement made by H.H. Jayapataka Maharaja:

"Srila Prabhupada has said in dozens of places, admitted by all of you, that after his physical departure he wanted his disciples to become diksa gurus."

This claim was then supported by Hari Sauri prabhu:

Adri prabhu keeps repeating that nobody has yet supplied quotes from Srila Prabhupada stating that he wanted his disciples to give initiations and become diksa gurus. (...) Its simply a fact that throughout the years of his preaching in the West and around the world Srila Prabhupada talked openly about his desire to have his disciples initiate their own disciples after his disappearance and become gurus, which includes accepting disciples. So here's 14 quotes from Srila Prabhupada about his views on his disciples becoming gurus and giving initiations in the future:

Now I shall go through every one of the quotes and see if it matches EXACTLY the claim made by H.H.Jayapataka Maharaja. If they do not match EXACTLY then he must withdraw or modify his claim.
Before we even look at the content we should note that 14 quotes is not 'dozens'.

Next, one of the 'quotes' is taken from Hari Sauri prabhu's own diary! Without meaning any disrespect this is not proper evidence, it is hearsay. We have devotees on our side who have quite different memories, such as Gauridasa Pandita prabhu. The GBC have never accepted his memories of events since they were not all recorded. Hari Sauri prabhu has always supported the GBC, firstly through the zonal system, then the MASS, and now with the MISS (minimised initiator successor system). Whatever he remembers it is obviously so malleable it can fit with any system the GBC can dream up. However, if he can produce the tape or a signed letter to the GBC to this effect we will happily consider it.

So we are now down to thirteen quotes.

But then we see there is another 'quote' from the Lilamrata, a book which frequently paraphrases and changes actual conversations (no doubt for literary reasons) and so is also inadmissible. I could write a book and have Srila Prabhupada saying anything I wanted, but I think the GBC would most likely ask to see the original transcripts.

So now we are down to twelve quotes, or ONE dozen to be precise.

Then there is another quote from H.H. Tamal Krishna Goswami's diary. Again inadmissible unless the original transcripts can be produced. In any case the quote does not mention Srila Prabhupada departing before Aksayananda began initiating, and hence he must be alluding to the representational system he later set up with the July 9th order (taking into account the 'law of disciplic succession'). I don't think I need to elaborate any further on H.H.Tamal Krishna's various interpretations and shifts of position.

So we are now left with eleven quotes, or just under one dozen.

Then we see that five of these quotes are private letters to individuals, never released to the movement until the mid-eighties when someone in the BBT was bribed. How exactly are these instructions applicable to ALL of Srila Prabhupada's disciples, since they were only sent to FOUR individuals? Had these individuals remained in ISKCON, the very best you could argue is that these instructions were for them and them alone. How do these private letters, which were not released till the mid-eighties, explain why the GBC stopped the ritvik system in 1977? How can unpublished hidden private correspondence be used to stop a signed policy directive to the ENTIRE MOVEMENT?
Not only are they letters to individuals, they are also to ambitious ones at that. These disciples were anxious to initiate their own disciples right in Srila Prabhupada's presence. Apart from one (Letter to Hansadutta, 3rd December, 1968) they are clearly attempts by Srila Prabhupada to curtail, or deal with the effects (Milner) of his disciple's ambitious nature with such statements as:

"The first thing, I warn Acyutananda, do not try to initiate. You are not in a proper position now to initiate anyone."

Clearly Srila Prabhupada is not writing to an advanced humble devotee, who is soon to be able to act as current link to a chain of pure Mahabhagavata's going back to Lord Sri Krishna Himself. Let us look at the one exception amongst the private correspondence:

"I want that all of my spiritual sons and daughters will inherit this title of Bhaktivedanta, so that the family transcendental diploma will continue through the generations. Those possessing the title of Bhaktivedanta will be allowed to initiate disciples. Maybe by 1975 all of my disciples will be allowed to initiate and increase the number of generations. That is my program."
(Let. to Hansadutta, 3rd December,1968)

Above it could be argued that although private, the letter outlines a system that would be generally applicable. But how can the above quote be talking about his disciples giving diksa on their own behalf? Srila Prabhupada was still on the planet in 1975. In effect Hari Sauri is saying one of the following:

  1. Srila Prabhupada was expecting to leave the planet in 1975. Or
  2. Srila Prabhupada was going to violate the 'law of disciplic succession'.

Perhaps Hari Sauri could make up his mind and let me know the answer. In the meantime I shall assume Srila Prabhupada was considering a representational system even as early as 1968.

So far I have examined 8 quotes out of the fourteen originally tendered in support of H.H. Jayapataka Maharaja's claim. Three are just hearsay memories from diaries with no supporting proof, five are private letters, unpublished till years after the GBC stopped the ritvik system, four of which are dealing either directly with ambitious disciples, or with the effect of their bad preaching (Milner). The fifth would contradict the 'law of disciplic succession' which underpins the GBC's entire position. We now have just six quotes left. Just half a dozen. What happened to the 'dozens'? Let us look at the remaining quotes to see if they match EXACTLY Jayapataka Maharaja's claim:

"...I am very much hopeful that my disciples who are now participating, today, even if I die, my movement will not stop. I am very much hopeful, yes. All these nice boys and girls who have taken so seriously... You will have to become spiritual master... you... all my disciples..." (Vyasa-Puja address, London, 22 August, 1973)

The above quote does mention departure, but does not say that the disciples will give diksa or initiate their own disciples. Thus the quote does not match the claim. We all agree that everyone is meant to become spiritual master, guru, acarya, messiah etc etc in an instructing sense. Hari Sauri's argument that the instructing guru usually becomes the diksa guru is self-defeating since who is giving more instruction than Srila Prabhupada? Even the GBC recognise that Srila Prabhupada is the foundational siksa guru for everyone in ISKCON for ever more, thus by Hari Sauri's own argument he should go on to be everyone's diksa guru also- henceforward.

Prabhupada: Ah, no problem. G.B.C. means now they should travel Very extensive. That is the first principle. Not sit down in one place and pass resolution. No, they must be active. They must act like me. As I'm old man traveling all over the world. Now to give me relief the G.B.C. members... I shall expand into twelve more so that they can exactly work like me. Gradually they will be initiators. At least first initiation. You must Make advance. That is my motive. So, in that way I want to divide it in twelve zones. And you have to make propaganda throughout the whole world. Now if you think that the world is so big twelve members are insufficient, then you can increase more than that and make the zone similarly divided. It is world affair after all.... [...] (25 May, 1972)"

The above quote does not mention anything about departure, so no match with Maharaja's claim, and any initiating being done must be in a purely representational sense, taking into account the 'law of disciplic succession'. Also if this quote were referring to diksa Srila Prabhupada would be herein ordering the old zonal acarya system which everyone in the GBC has now rejected. So if Hari Sauri wants to use this quote he shall have to:

  1. Dump the 'law of disciplic succession'.
  2. Re- introduce the old zonal acarya system

He would then need to explain why Srila Prabhupada says these zonal diksa gurus might only give first initiation. Where does Srila Prabhupada ever talk about diksa gurus who are only ready to give first, not second initiation? Once more this quote seems more relevant to some type of ritvik system to me.

"Srila Prabhupada: You become guru, but you must be qualified first of all. Then you become. [...] Srila Prabhupada: Yes. I shall produce some gurus. I shall say who is guru, Now you become acarya. You become authorised.' I am waiting for that. You become, all, acarya. I retire completely. But the training must be complete.
Tamala Krsna: The process of purification must be there
Srila Prabhupada: Oh yes, must be there. Caitanya Mahaprabhu wants. Amara ajnaya guru hana.' You become guru. But be qualified. (Laughs) Little thing, strictly follower. --
(Room Conversation - 22 April, 1977, Bombay)

Again no mention of diksa or initiate, or departure, therefore no match with Maharaja's claim. Srila Prabhupada says: ." I shall say who is guru". This would support the old appointment theory, which again the GBC have completely rejected. If Srila Prabhupada is saying he would select who is guru, then who were the gurus he selected? The GBC now say he never selected anyone to be diksa guru. Srila Prabhupada says when he makes the selection he shall 'retire' not 'depart' therefore he must be referring to a representational system or once more risk being in violation of the 'law of disciplic succession'. Only four quotes to go.

Srila Prabhupada: Everyone of us [is] messiah. Anyone Krsna conscious, he's the messiah. Everyone. Why...? All of us Gaurangera bhakta-gane, jane jane sakti dhari, brahmando tari saksi': The devotee of Lord Caitanya, everyone has so immense power that every one, they can deliver the whole universe.' Gaurangera bhakta-gane, jane jane sakti...,brahmando tari...' That is Gauranga's men.
Devotee: Only you are that powerful, We're like...
Srila Prabhupada: Why you are not? You are my disciples.
Devotee: We're like the bugs.
Srila Prabhupada: Like father, like son.' You should be. Gaurangera-bhakta...jane'. Everyone. Therefore, Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, amara ajnaya guru hana tara ei desa.' He asked everyone, Just become guru.' Follow His instruction. You become guru. Amara ajnaya.What I say, you do. You become a guru.' Where is the difficulty. -- (Morning Walk, 13 April, 1977, Bombay)

Above there is no mention of departure, initiation or diksa, therefore no match. Also there is the 'amara' verse which can only refer to siksa- 'best not to accept any disciples'.

"So we have to follow the acarya. Then, when we are completely, cent per cent follower of acarya, then you can also act as acarya. This is the process. Don't become premature acarya. First of all follow the orders of acarya, and you become mature. Then it is better to become acarya. Because we are interested in preparing acarya, but the etiquette is, at least for the period the guru is present, one should not become acarya. Even if he is complete he should not, because the etiquette is, if somebody comes for becoming initiated, it is the duty of such person to bring that prospective candidate to his acarya. Not that "Now people are coming to me, so I can become acarya." That is avamanya. Navamanyeta karhicit. Don't transgress this etiquette. Navamanyeta. That will be falldown. Just like during the lifetime of our Guru Maharaja, all our Godbrothers now who are acting as acarya, they did not do so. That is not etiquette. Acaryam mam vijaniyat na avaman... That is insult. So if you insult your acarya, then you are finished."
-- Lecture Adi Lila 1.13, Mayapur April 6 1975

The above quote is getting a bit closer. It does indeed mention the principle of his disciples going on to become acarya, the word 'initiated' is also present in the quote. However the whole emphasis is that they should NOT do it NOW. In fact Srila Prabhupada only seems to mention the principle of his disciples becoming acarya if he is cautioning them not to do it in his presence. This is in a similar vein to the personal letters mentioned earlier. He is giving a very heavy warning to any of his disciples who may have similar ambitions-

"So if you insult your acarya, then you are finished."

This lecture is clearly not a specific order for any particular individuals to take their own disciples, but much more a warning. As we see later on, with the May 28th conversation, Srila Prabhupada still had not given the diksa guru order even as late as May, 1977 ("On my order, [...] But by my order, [...] When I order"). And this situation remained unchanged until his departure. Furthermore, later on in the same lecture, he encourages his disciples to channel these acarya ambitions in the following manner:

"And to become acarya is not very difficult. [...] amara ajnaya guru hana tara ei desa, yare dekha tare kaha krsna-upadesa: "By following My order, you become guru." [...] Then, in future... suppose you have got now ten thousand. We shall expand to hundred thousand. That is required. Then hundred thousand to million; and million to ten million." (SP C.c. Lecture, 6/4/75, Mayapur)

It is clear that Lord Caitanya's instruction, as conveyed to us by Srila Prabhupada, was for everyone to preach vigorously, make lots of Krsna conscious followers, but not to take ANY disciples. This point is reinforced where Srila Prabhupada encourages his disciples to make many more devotees. It is significant that Srila Prabhupada states "suppose you have got NOW ten thousand..." (i.e. in Srila Prabhupada's presence). From this it is clear he is talking about HIS disciples, not 'disciples of his disciples', since the main point of the lecture was that they should not initiate in his presence. The implication being then, that just as at that time there may have been around ten thousand initiated disciples of Srila Prabhupada, who made up the Krsna Consciousness movement, so in the future millions more would be added. The ritvik system was to ensure that when these followers became suitably qualified for initiation, they could receive diksa from Srila Prabhupada, just as they could when he gave the above lecture. Thus the above lecture does not support Maharaja's claim in any clear unambiguous sense. Just two quotes left.

Mohsin Hassan: Yeah, the tenth. After you, is it any decision has been made who will take over?
Prabhupada: Yes. All of them will take over. These students, who are initiated from me, all of them will act as I am doing. Just like I have got many Godbrothers, they are all acting. Similarly, all these disciples which I am making, initiating, they are being trained to become future spiritual masters.
Mohsin Hassan: How many swamis do you initiated, American? I'm speaking just on...
Prabhupada:  About ten.
Mohsin Hassan: You have ten swamis. And outside of swamis, what's the lower..
Prabhupada: Now, they're competent. They can, not only the swamis, even the grhasthas, they are called dasa adhikari, and brahmacaris, everyone can, whoever is initiated, he is competent to make disciples. But as a matter of etiquette they do not do so in the presence of their spiritual master. This is the etiquette. Otherwise, they are competent. They can make disciples and spread. They can recruit more members in this. They do, but they are being trained up. Just like here in this meeting, one of my disciples, he is acting as priest. It is not myself; he is acting. So some of my students, they are acting as priests, some of them are swamis, so they are competent to make disciples." Conversation Detroit July 18, 1971

Objectively speaking this is the GBC's strongest piece of evidence, far stronger than the May 28th conversation. If Srila Prabhupada had made the above statements to the GBC in recorded minutes, or ordered the conversation to be transcribed and sent out to all GBC's and TP's as future policy, then the GBC position would be stronger. On closer inspection there are a number of other problems that preclude it from terminating the ritvik system. If you will excuse me I shall quote from one of the IRM's previous papers (Institutional Cataclysm):

With regards to the Detroit room conversation, Srila Prabhupada is also endorsing the activities of his god-brothers, even though he said that none of them were 'qualified to be acarya', and later that they were all 'dead men' and envious. So it is clear here Srila Prabhupada is just giving general encouragement, since he emphasises the following points:

That his grhastha disciples are just as qualified as his sannyasis.
That ALL of his disciples are 'competent' to become diksa gurus. That anyone who is simply 'initiated' is automatically 'competent' to become a diksa guru. That even at that time - 1971- they were ALL already qualified to become fully-fledged diksa gurus - 'NOW, they're competent'.

Otherwise we have to seriously accept that Srila Prabhupada is stating that: - anyone just by being initiated is automatically qualified and authorised to become a diksa guru. Thus if the GBC want to take this quote literally then all of Srila Prabhupada's 10,000 disciples, men and women, should all be free regardless of their spiritual standing, to initiate without the need for the elaborate voting and 'no objection' arrangements that occur at present. Since as Srila Prabhupada states, they are 'all competent'. He does not say that they still need to be qualified. Though he does say that his disciples are being "trained to become future spiritual masters", his very next words are: "NOW, they're competent". - Please remember that as little as one year later Srila Prabhupada had to suspend the whole GBC for gross unauthorised behaviour. Thus we can hardly accept that Srila Prabhupada had such bad judgement that in 1971 he was stating that ALL of his disciples were there and then qualified to be Diksa Gurus even though one year later his leading men were not even able to behave as disciples. Most importantly: ? The encouragement given in Detroit was never repeated to the entire movement, nor written into any GBC resolution or directive or published book. Just one mention in a conversation to a one-off visitor to a temple in 1971, and which was not in any case uncovered until twenty years after Srila Prabhupada's departure.

Thus this quote does not actually match Maharaja's claim, even though it is very close, since this was not an instruction to all his disciples, but to a one time visitor to the temple, in a conversation that was only discovered a couple of years ago.
So now we come to the last quote. The famous May 28th conversation. If Srila Prabhupada really had stated again and again how his disciples would all initiate on his departure, how is it that the GBC knew nothing of it? They had no idea what Srila Prabhupada was planning, that is why they sent a special delegation to find out. This more than anything proves the Maharaja's claim to unfounded.
So the May 28th conversation, for which the GBC have given at least four or five different transcripts, and a similar number of different interpretations. Hari Sauri's understanding actually contradicts the GBC's as expressed in 'Disciple Of My Disciple'. In his own paper Hari Sauri's experts say the conversation is muddled and confused, Ravindra Svarupa says it is perplexing. Half the GBC think the word ritvik means diksa guru, and half think it means a priest who acts on another's behalf. We have dealt with all the GBC's contradictory statements in 'The Final Order' and 'The Final Order Still Stands'. All I know is Srila Prabhupada makes it clear that the ritviks were meant to act 'particularly' at that time when he was no longer with us. Gurus and grand disciples only when specifically ordered, which he never did. If Hari Sauri can decide which transcript and GBC interpretation he prefers, I may, if I have time, try to answer him. (He also needs to have the tape forensically examined as advised by the GBC's own expert Perle). Hari Sauri says:

if we take the many other quotes where Prabhupada repeatedly told his disciples to "become guru" there are, as Jayapataka M. previously has stated, dozens of such instructions given by Srila Prabhupada to his disciples.

Above Hari Sauri is trying to bail the Maharaja out by altering his outlandishly false claim. He now wants us to consider all the quotes where Srila Prabhupada is merely asking his disciples to become guru, a point no-one disputes, as somehow filling out the numbers of relevant quotes from none to 'dozens'. It just won't wash.
In future Maharaja should modify his claim to something more realistic like the following:

"There are handful of occasions where Srila Prabhupada appears to discuss the idea of four of his disciples initiating in private letters which were not published till the mid eighties. There is also one conversation with a visitor to the temple which was discovered two years ago."

Hari Sauri continues:

there are no quotes whatsoever from Srila Prabhupada saying that he would continue giving initiations after his physical departure.

Srila Prabhupada was always the diksa guru for ISKCON, and he left in place a system whereby he would continue to be so 'henceforward'. According to the Will these systems were not to be changed. This is a very simple legal matter that we hope shall soon be rectified.

The ritviks can only come up with a single piece of evidence to support their theory, the July 9th letter. Yet that was not even written by Srila Prabhupada personally [nor was it a dictation from him to his secretary] and furthur, it was the product of a conversation on July 8 in which discussion of initiations after his departure never arose. The ONLY discussed topic was initations while Prabhupada was still present but unwilling to give them anymore.

Here Hari Sauri loses it completely. Was Hari Sauri hiding in the closet when the letter was composed? How does he know how it was written? Did Tamal Krishna just dream the whole concept up out of thin air? Why would Srila Prabhupada sign it unless he agreed with it? If he agreed with it what difference does it make how it was written?
Also Hari Sauri's assertion that it was produced from the garden conversation of July 8th is highly misleading. The July 9th letter starts by alluding to a conversation between Srila Prabhupada and all the GBC members. It purports to relate the details of that meeting, one that sounds very similar to the May 28th meeting in which the subject was- what was to be done 'particularly' after Srila Prabhupada's departure. Were all the GBC members in the garden on July 8th? Perhaps they were hiding in the bushes. How can Hari Sauri say the letter was the product of July 8th when ritviks were first mentioned way back in May in a meeting that opens the July 9th letter?
Many devotees are sick and tired of reading such speculations. I pray they will not have to for very much longer. To quote again from Institutional Cataclysm:

In summary:

The simple objective fact remains that the 'evidence' offered by the
GBC, 6 instances in 11 years:
  1. Do NOT represent the "MANY references to becoming diksa guru upon
    Srila Prabhupada's departure that are repeated throughout Srila
    Prabhupada's books, letters and lectures" commonly claimed by the GBC.
  2. Were NOT generally available to the movement in 1977 and thus cannot
    be used to support 'Modifications A & B' that were supposed to have been
    enacted on Srila Prabhupada's departure.
  3. Do not give a general and clear specific authorisation that all his disciples should start initiating as soon as Srila Prabhupada leaves the planet. Rather the emphasis usually seems to be on them not doing so at least while Srila Prabhupada is present, and encouraging them.

Only if ALL the three conditions above were present could we even discuss the possibility that there is some sort of evidence that may point to the ritvik system set up by Srila Prabhupada being immediately displaced by the current M.A.S.S. (or MISS) on Srila Prabhupada's departure. The many other calls to become guru have been dealt with in previous papers. In essence they refer to becoming instructing spiritual masters, not diksa gurus. This is clear since they will incorporate one or more of the following elements:

  • No mention of Srila Prabhupada's physical departure being necessary
    before they can act as guru;
  • Little mention of qualification required except to faithfully repeat and preach what Srila Prabhupada has taught them;
  • Mention of amara ajnaya verse;
  • Word `guru' used to indicate teacher/instructor - no mention of terms 'initiate' or 'diksa'.
Thus there is NO instruction from Srila Prabhupada that can be used to displace the ritvik system that he instituted in ISKCON just before he departed. Until such evidence is presented, the system needs to be re-instituted at once if we are to remain faithful to Srila Prabhupada's orders.

So once more, either H.H.Jayapataka Maharaja should substantiate his claim, or retract it and let us start the long job of putting ISKCON back on track.

Your servant Adridharan das