Rtvik Pretender Programs


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 40, Summer 2013

In previous issues we have presented much evidence documenting how ISKCON's "gurus" are actually functioning more like "rtvik" priests who only masquerade as being diksa gurus so that they can garner Profit, Adoration and Distinction ("PAD"). For example, please see "ISKCON's rtvik System Summarised" (BTP 36) and "Srila Prabhupada v. The Rtviks" (BTP 37). Despite, or maybe because of, this reality, these ISKCON "rtvik" pretenders are continually making attempts to try and hide their true "rtvik" status. Below, we expose some of these efforts.

Database program

"In February I asked you to submit your data to update my disciple database. I hold this project with the highest importance, and I want you to understand the reason why: I want to engage with you personally, beyond giving you a spiritual name and a japa-mala. I want to help you pursue your spiritual lives. I am using this database to understanding your situations, provide specific spiritual guidance, allocate seva and plan my preaching activities. To do this, I need to know who all of you are."
(HH Bhakti Charu Swami ("BCS"), 13/5/2013)

BCS frankly admits that he wants to be someone who does more than just give "a spiritual name and a japa-mala" (chanting beads). This function is similar to that of the "rtviks" appointed in the July 9th directive by Srila Prabhupada to initiate on his behalf:

"these representatives may accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupad by giving a spiritual name".
(July 9th, 1977 directive)

Only now, BCS claims the initiate as his own disciple! To try and become something more than a stealing rtvik, BCS wants to find out who his disciples are so he can engage and guide them individually. Whilst he was on the planet, Srila Prabhupada had delegated the function of individually engaging his many thousands of disciples to the temple presidents and other local leaders. They would engage Srila Prabhupada's disciples to carry out Srila Prabhupada's orders for distributing his books, preaching, etc. Indeed, BCS agrees that the temple leaders still cultivate and train the devotees, and people like himself basically just show up "once in a blue moon" to grab disciples:

"A devotee joins the movement and is trained and cultivated by ISKCON in the form of the local temple devotees. He is doing fine and being trained up nicely. But then he gets initiated by somebody who comes to that place once in a blue moon, but because he has been initiated by him he begins to think that he is his authority and the local devotees don't mean anything to him anymore."
(BCS, Disciples Meeting, 1/8/2007)

Thus, all BCS's "database" will do is allow him to compete better with local temples in utilising the resources of "his" disciples!

Book writing program

Another way in which the "rtvik" tries to show he is something more is by writing lots of books which are meant to be read by the same devotees who are supposed to read Srila Prabhupada's books. For example, ISKCON "guru" HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami ("BVKS") boasted that:

"30,000 Telugu Ramayana have just been printed, which brings the number of my books in print to over one million. [...] I request all the devotees to pray [...] that I may write many more books as a service to Srila Prabhupada and his mission."
(BVKS, 24/11/2011)

However, BVKS also states:

"Numerous devotees who have been initiated for ten years or more, and are even brahmana-initiated, have not read all of Srila Prabhupada's books, and apparently have never thought of doing so."
(BVKS, "Time For a Revolution", November 2011)

If "numerous" devotees have not even managed to read all of Srila Prabhupada's books, BVKS should ensure they all do so, rather than producing tons of his own books for them to read!

Going beyond program

Some of the "rtviks" are more ambitious in their "diksa guru pretender" programs. They attempt to justify their existence by claiming to give knowledge which goes "beyond" that already given by Srila Prabhupada. For example, HH Sivarama Swami attempts to take us into the realms of the intimate pastimes of Krsna with the gopis by writing his books on "gopi fiction". While, as we detailed in the article on pages 4-5, HH Hridayananda Dasa Goswami claims to explain where Srila Prabhupada's teachings should be rejected based on his understanding of what "sastra" (scripture) teaches. However, as we detailed, such "going beyond" merely results in deviating from Srila Prabhupada's instructions.

"Connection" program

The pretender "gurus" claim they are needed to "connect" a newcomer to Srila Prabhupada by telling that person to read Srila Prabhupada's books and to follow Srila Prabhupada's orders as his life and soul. But these activities are the same as those performed by all devotees as part of their preaching, when Srila Prabhupada was physically on the planet. Except now, the same activities of providing this "connection" to Srila Prabhupada magically make the person "connected" as a disciple of the pretender guru, and not Srila Prabhupada!


Such pretender programs do not result in the pretenders giving anything which elevates them to being diksa gurus. Rather, these programs are doomed to failure because even the GBC accept that Srila Prabhupada is effectively everyone's diksa guru:

"Srila Prabhupada, is the preeminent and compulsory siksa-guru for all Vaisnavas"
(GBC Resolution No. 409, 1999)

"Such uplifting knowledge is called divya-jnana, and its transmission is called siksa. This divya-jnana is the principle active ingredient of diksa."
(GBC Resolution No. 404, 1999)

Srila Prabhupada gives everything

All the rules, regulations and practices that constitute one's spiritual life in ISKCON are coming only from Srila Prabhupada's instructions. Hence, everyone is following the discipline given by Srila Prabhupada and is therefore his disciple, with others simply helping us to follow this discipline:

"Disciple means one who observes discipline."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 21/1/1974)

Thus, Srila Prabhupada alone is giving everything. The "rtvik" pretenders need to accept this reality and deal with it. Changing labels does not change the facts!


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