by Krishnakant

This is in response to Adikarta's response to our article 'Respecting the Order of the Guru' which has been prominently posted on CHAKRA for over a week.
In his article Adikarta prabhu commits the classic logical fallacy of argumentum ad hominem, by insulting and denigrating proponents of Srila Prabhupada's final order on initiation, rather than defeating them through philosophical argument, (which is, after all, the proper Vaisnava procedure).

Thus not only is his article hopelessly irrelevant to the current discussion, it also betrays a disturbing and unreasonable unwillingness to comply with a direct order from his own spiritual master.

Excerpts from Adikarta prabhu's paper shall be numbered:  

1) "An Answer to Krishna Kant by Adi Karta Dasa. Response to the reply of Krishnakant to my previous paper entitled "Respecting the Guru Principle."

From the title the reader might be excused for believing that they are about to read an 'answer' and 'response' to my previous rebuttal of Adikarta prabhu's original paper. This impression is strengthened by the following:

2) "This letter is an open response for the benefit of those who may be bewildered by the clever word jugglery of Krishnakant."

Had Adikarta actually fulfilled this early promise we would have been as interested as anyone to know precisely how we are bewildering people with 'clever word jugglery' since it is certainly not our intention to do so. As a conditioned soul I am certainly not beyond the four defects and am thus grateful when more senior devotees such as Adikarta take the time and trouble to correct any misconceptions I might have, (based, of course, on Srila Prabhupada's teachings and institutional directives). Indeed we have been waiting patiently since October 1996 for such guidance from the GBC, which they promised would be immediately forthcoming on receipt of 'The Final Order'.
A little further into his article and our hopes in this regards are quickly dashed:

3) "Arguing all the specific points in Krishnakant's paper is a waste of time. I could, but he will simple counter argue and we could go on with this for many lifetimes."

In doing so he is misleading his CHAKRA readership, (an experience they must be growing accustomed to by now). Instead of responding point for point in a gentlemanly way, he simply asserts that anyone who is sincere would never accept anything that is written by myself and that if they do, then they must want to be cheated:

4) "I can't be bothered because if anyone accepts his arguments, all I can say is, 'You want to be cheated, here he is.' I really do not believe that Krishna would let a sincere, humble devotee without grudges accept someone who displays such a puffed-up mentality as his siksa guru."

His 'I cannot be bothered' attitude is very surprising as he later accuses us of not having any 'compassion'.

Some might conclude that he is actually incapable of countering Srila Prabhupada's final order, and so instead rather petulantly pretends that it is all beneath him now.
The rest of his article continues in the same vein. He does not answer a SINGLE philosophical point. In fact he does not offer any philosophy at all in his article. Instead he simply argues that we MUST be wrong because we are "puffed up".

5) "How is it that he and his fellow advocates are privy to the truth, and others, who really love Prabhupada and have proved their love by serving him faithfully, for probably as long as Krishnakant has been alive, are all wrong? It just doesn't make any sense."

He then tells us to leave and start our own movement. What's interesting is that this approach was EXACTLY the tactic used to enforce the zonal acarya system.

"We MUST be right because we are Srila Prabhupada's most senior disciples. You are just envious snakes. And if you do not like it just get out."

No philosophy, no evidence, no debate.

When Adikarta Prabhu does try and venture into an area that isn't just offering fallacious argumentum ad hominem attacks (trying to discredit a person's philosophy by discrediting THEM), he makes still more mistakes. For instance he states:

6) " ... 'Why not let Srila Prabhupada initiate,' without at all considering Srila Prabhupada's own desire, which by all accounts was that his disciples become gurus in their own right, as shown by numerous quotes in my previous paper."

If anyone wishes to check back to Adikarta's original article they will find just ONE quote that in any way relates to the issue of Srila Prabhupada's disciples becoming diksa guru's, and this was comprehensively answered in our response. It is clearly misleading to describe ONE quote as 'numerous'. The word 'numerous' means- 'consisting of many units or parts', not just ONE unit or part. This error is particularly embarrassing for him since he later accuses me of having poor math:

7) "It seems that his math is about as good as his understanding."

He earlier had boldly claimed:

8) "Contrary to Srila Prabhupada's clear instructions to his disciples to become guru, he has somehow decided that his and his associates' paper "The Final Order," is the ultimate sastra on the whole topic."

The only thing 'The Final Order' does is ask to see these 'numerous' 'clear instructions to become guru'. The same instructions that Adikarta prabhu could not be 'bothered' to produce. The same instructions which miraculously became 'numerous' when only ONE irrelevant one was offered in his original article. Without this evidence Adikarta prabhu can argue for as long as he likes as to why the ritviks MUST be wrong because they are all arrogant, puffed up, do not really love Srila Prabhupada etc etc; but he will not have a legitimate case, and will thus fail to convince the intelligent class of men. He further agues that:

9) "... Krishnakant and his followers don't really care about what Prabhupada wants, all they care about is to prove that they are right and therefore they read everything as a confirmation of their own convictions, inevitably seeing their opposing party as totally wrong and misguided, even though far more senior in terms of years and devotional service."

But we are the only ones who are bringing 'what Prabhupada wants' to the table. The Final Order deals specifically with what Srila Prabhupada wanted for the 'purpose of performing initiations' (quoted from the opening line of the July 9th letter) in ISKCON.

Adikarta is the one who needs to demonstrate 'what Prabhupada wanted', (if he can be bothered to do so). Instead the response is similar to the previous occasion CHAKRA posted a so-called 'response' (which was exposed in our article 'Chakra's Champions Evade Combat') i.e. just an attack on the author's character and no attempt to deal with the actual PHILOSOPHY or points made. Unfortunately Adi Karta prabhu needs to understand that the zonal acarya years are now over. Attacking a devotee's character will no longer serve as a substitute for well argued and reasoned philosophy and evidence. I accept that I have many faults and am extremely lowly in every way, but this is all the more reason to provide me and others like me with proper philosophy and evidence. If you just insult us we will not be convinced. At least give some philosophy and evidence along with the insults.

10) "My first point was that who initiates is not the main criterion because out of 5,000 direct disciples of Srila Prabhupada, only about 1,000 are still active in Krishna consciousness, whereas the number of those initiated by followers of Srila Prabhupada and still active is much higher."

If someone can explain to me what the above statement means I would be very grateful.

The following is a brief summary of some of the other faults in Adikarta's paper.

Once again Adikarta makes the absurd suggestion that the ritvik system is really 'Krishna's Trick'. Once more he fails to explain why The Supreme Lord would deliberately mislead His own devotees via a directive from His own pure representative.
Adikarta disputes our estimation that 95% of Srila Prabhupada's disciples were driven out. This figure was admittedly an approximation based on the figures that Srila Prabhupada had ten thousand followers (including five thousand initiated) at the time of his departure, and that only 500 currently remain active (thus giving a figure of 5% remaining). It is generally acknowledged that the bulk of those who left did so during the zonal acharya system. Of course Adikarta was very happy during these years and never in any way opposed a system that everyone now recognises as completely bogus. Those who did oppose this system were systematically abused, bullied and even shot. Adikarta himself says that only 1000 disciples out of 5,000 are now active, which means that even by his own glossy estimation 80% have left. He may believe that these devotees were not driven out, but others feel differently:  

 'ISKCON gurus have opposed, oppressed and driven out many sincere Godbrothers and Godsisters.'
(Jayadvaita Swami Maharaja, Where the ritvik people are right' 1996).

 Ironically Adikarta tries to drive us out of ISKCON even in his own article:

11) "Finally to Krishnakant and his associates I would say, if you really are right, fine, go ahead and start your own movement."

Thus Adikarta is continuing a long tradition of driving away devotees who may well be right, but who are not prepared to toe the party line.  

There are several points to be made here:  

  1. The BBTI refuses to supply known ritvik centres.
  2. ritvik centres DO distribute books when they can get hold of them. If he likes we shall arrange a visit for him to observe this for himself.
  3. Many ISKCON gurus do not personally go out and distribute books, is Adikarta saying they are all off too?
  4. This same argument was used to support the zonal acharya system.

Bhagavan used to intimidate his detractors by boasting about how he was keeping the BBT healthy. Maybe Adikarta learnt this form of fallacious argument from Bhagavan since he served unquestioningly in his zone for many years.
Adikarta rather unconvincingly claims: 

"From the bottom of my heart, though, I do sympathise with all of them (ritviks)."

This after he has just said he can't be 'bothered' because we all want to be cheated. This is a clear contradiction. If he really does sympathise why won't he take the time to show us the error of our ways, instead of just dismissing us all as people who 'want to be cheated'.  

He says if we are right then we should start our own movement. Another contradiction. If we were right we would have to try and reform ISKCON not abandon it, since we say ISKCON is the 'most important society on this planet' (opening page of the Final Order) and that it needs reforming. Thus he is asking us to do the exact opposite of what we should do if we are right. How silly!

Adikarta also accuses us of disturbing the faith of those who are expanding 'Srila Prabhupada's mission'.

Having told us to stop 'disturbing the faith' of those who are 'expanding Srila Prabhupada's preaching mission', he then ends by telling us that the very same people will be 'untouched' by our words.

We really feel that CHAKRA needs to seriously review its editorial policy since it constantly posts items which are nothing but nonsense from start to finish.