Not Nasty, Just Already Answered


Feb 28 1999 - A response to 'Three Nasty Questions To Both Sides -From A Fence Sitter' by Jagat Candra das.

Doctors do not recommend sitting on a fence for extended periods. It can also stagnate ones spiritual endeavors, leaving one vulnerable to Maya's tricks. His Grace Jagat Candra prabhu (henceforward the author) has made valid points against MASS adherents, but asks questions of the pro-ritviks which have already been answered in 'The Final Order' paper. Still there is no harm in repetition. The author challenges:

"To the ritvik Vadi

On the other hand neither does the July 9 letter stand up to being the Final Order

1. It does not say so (this in itself is good enough to stump any attempt to refute the above point ."

This is very easily answered. The July 9th letter is most certainly an 'order'. It was not that Srila Prabhupada simply issued an idea or a suggestion that the GBC could or could not follow at their whim. It was a directive to be implemented immediately and without deliberation. Was it Srila Prabhupada's 'final' order on initiation (which is the IRM claim)? Unless the author can produce a later one, then by definition it must be his last or final order on this important issue. Therefore it is Srila Prabhupada's 'final order' on initiation. The author challenges once more.

"TWO: Whose personal responsibility are the disciples of the future?

To the ritvik Vadi

Srila Prabhupada has shown us by example the personal commitment that he took in cultivating a devotee's spiritual advancement by personally tending to individuals on their first tottering steps towards a spiritual maturity. Like a caring father to his children. This Personal tending-to is VERY important and is the reason for the existence of the Parampara.

The above is simply factually inaccurate. Srila Prabhupada did not 'personally' tend to every one of his thousands of initiated disciples. Many disciples never met Srila Prabhupada even once, what to speak of receive individual instruction. The whole reason Srila Prabhupada set up ISKCON was to train up devotees in spiritual life. This 'personal', 'warm' one-on-one training would be done by Temple Presidents, Sankirtan Leaders, Pujaris, Bhakta leaders etc etc. As long as a disciple strictly followed, Srila Prabhupada promised to take personal responsibility for taking him back to Godhead. To my knowledge that offer still stands. There is absolutely no reason why this system could not have continued to this very day.

"Why did Srila Prabhupada only choose a few as Officiating Acharyas if the task was merely to check out and perform a ceremony?"

Only a few were needed, one for each designated zone. Their function was to oversee initiations so that the standards of each Temple were rigidly maintained. This was a responsible position, and hence went to prominent members of the society who had shown commitment and managerial ability. Our question is "why did they stop doing the service they were personally given by Srila Prabhupada? "

To the ritviks vadis

Since neither side can claim absolute correctness why not weave in what the essence of the Ritvks issue is and offer the Guruvadis an alternative to the ritviks system accommodating what the Guruvadis hold dear

The author has first claimed to be a fence sitter, but then makes an absolute statement- that neither side is absolute. That means he has already made the decision that neither side of the argument is correct since Vaisnava philosophy is always absolute. This is not sitting on the fence; this is in effect rejecting both sides, and leaves the author open to the question 'so what did Srila Prabhupada order then?' Either Srila Prabhupada wanted to continue on as ISKCON's diksa guru, or he did not. Which is it? The author then suggests we weave together two incorrect ideas in the hope of somehow arriving at a solution. This approach is highly speculative, and ignores the fact that Srila Prabhupada did issue clear instructions on how initiations should continue. Now for the author's own idea:

"It probably calls for a well defined and exacting hierarchy of GURUs - something like the Madhva Mutta has ( Moola Guru, etc.) or even like the Catholic Church like Srila Prabhupada always pointed out. Some thing people more expert at this could get into for details."

Not a lot to go on then for someone who is absolutely certain both sides are wrong. It seems everyone is very anxious to come up with their own new ideas, but few wish to follow the simple clear instructions Srila Prabhupada undeniably left us. What a shame! The author claims:

"I know for a fact that even the toughest ritvik hard-core is NOT entirely convinced with JULY 9th letter"

Perhaps these devotees should try reading 'The Final Order'. When they have please ask them to send their questions to our web site. The author concludes:

"But the Solution SURELY lies in a Compromise setup"

If there is one thing I learned from my Spiritual Master, it is never compromise the truth. Time to get off that fence and join us prabhuji.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,

Bhajahari das