The Evidence Continues: Letters Issued on Behalf of Srila Prabhupada


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Supporters of the ISKCON Guru hoax claim that the representational initiation system instituted by Srila Prabhupada on July 9th 1977, whereby he would initiate all future eligible members of the institution via the use of priests (ritviks) acting on his behalf, was only set up as a temporary measure. In the first issue we reproduced the original directive, signed by Srila Prabhupada, where there is no mention that the ritvik system was just a temporary measure for ISKCON. The only indication of the directive's duration is the word 'henceforward', which simply means 'from now onwards'. It is interesting to note that at around the time of the July 9th directive, several other letters concerning the ritvik system were issued by Srila Prabhupada's leading disciples whilst acting in an official capacity on his behalf, and not one of them gave any hint that the ritvik system was only a temporary, stop gap measure. Below is a transcribed conversation between Srila Prabhupada and his Secretary Tamala Krsna Maharaja wherein he is dictating a letter to one of his selected ritvik initiators, Hamsadutta Das:

Tamala Krsna Maharaja: "Upendra and I could see it for the last..." [break]
Srila Prabhupada: "And nobody is going to disturb you there. Make your own feld and continue to become ritvik and act on my charge. People are becoming sympathetic there. The place is very nice."
(Room Conversation, July 19th,1977)

Above Srila Prabhupada says: "continue to become ritvik". He does not say "continue to become ritvik until I depart, and then become an initiating Guru"; nor does he say "continue to become ritvik for the time being only." He just says "continue". This same word ends up in the final letter:

July 31st 1977

"Now you have a very good field. Now organize it and it will be a great credit. No one will disturb you there. Make your own field and continue to become ritvik and act on my behalf."

Although Hamsadutta was one of the original eleven Guru hoaxers, he has since capitulated, admitting he was only ever authorised to act as a ritvik. A similar letter was sent by Srila Prabhupada's secretary to Kirtanananda Maharaja (another of the original deviators) on July 11th 1977:

"A letter has been sent to all the Temple Presidents and GBC which you should be receiving soon describing the process for initiation to be followed in the future. Srila Prabhupada has appointed thus far eleven representatives who will initiate new devotees on His behalf. You can wait for this letter to arrive (the original has been sent to Ramesvara Maharaja for duplicating) and then all of the persons whom you recommended in your previous letters can be initiated."

Above we see the ritvik system described as: "the process for initiation to be followed in the future." It does not say "the process for initiation to be followed for now", nor "for the time being", nor "until the ritviks turn into diksa Gurus."

We also have no words in any letter or document of that time that give any notion that the ritvik system was just a short term measure. There is no statement from Srila Prabhupada that even hints that this system was to terminate on his departure. Rather, as we saw in the last issue, Srila Prabhupada's Last Will and Testament stated that whatever was running in ISKCON at the time of Srila Prabhupada's departure "will continue as it is now" and "there is no need of any change".

So we have the following words being used by Srila Prabhupada and his most senior men in relation to the applicability of the newly instituted ritvik system of initiation:

"continue", "future", "no need of any change"

Hence the convergence of all the evidence says just one thing: the ritvik system should still be running within ISKCON.

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