GBC's Historic Acceptance of IRM's Conclusions


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 43, Spring 2014

The cover story of BTP 41 made the following announcement: "GBC Adopts IRM Position!". In it we showed how ISKCON UK's "Vision Statement", which was officially endorsed by ISKCON Governing Body Commissioner Praghosa Dasa, presented evidence of the GBC's acceptance of the IRM's position -- that Srila Prabhupada is ISKCON's only diksa (initiating) guru. The GBC has now gone much further. They have published and widely distributed a "Foundational Document" devoted exclusively to Srila Prabhupada's position, titled Srila Prabhupada -- The Founder-acarya of ISKCON: A GBC Foundational Document. In this year's GBC Resolutions, Resolution 323 hails this document as "an historic text for ISKCON". And GBC Resolution 310 calls for the document to be made widely available throughout ISKCON.

The GBC document is indeed historic, for its conclusions are actually in accordance with the IRM's own foundational document, The Final Order, which was published and presented to the GBC in 1996. And, to demonstrate this fact, the IRM have published a special paperback book, titled Srila Prabhupada -- The Founder-acarya of ISKCON: Presenting the Conclusions of the GBC Foundational Document, which has been distributed to every BTP subscriber along with this BTP issue (please see cover picture above).

Founder-acarya means diksa-guru

Our book demonstrates that the conclusions offered by the GBC's Foundational Document endorse the position of the IRM that, following his physical departure, Srila Prabhupada's position in ISKCON remained unchanged. These conclusions arise from the GBC's acceptance that Srila Prabhupada's position in ISKCON is denoted by his title of Founder-acarya; that this title includes acting as diksa guru; and that Srila Prabhupada's position in ISKCON never changes. Which in turn means that Srila Prabhupada is both the Founder-acarya and diksa guru of ISKCON for as long as ISKCON exists. The diagram above summarises the proofs offered by the GBC's document -- please see the book supplied with this issue's BTP for the supporting evidence.

These conclusions are substantiated directly from the instructions of Srila Prabhupada quoted by the GBC, as well as the GBC's explanation for what these instructions from Srila Prabhupada mean; and therefore are definitive. Thus, we have the landmark situation that the GBC has issued a definitive, "historic", "Foundational Document" for ISKCON which concludes that Srila Prabhupada shall continue to occupy a permanent position in ISKCON as its only diksa guru.

Over the years, the IRM has been accused of having an adversarial position to the current GBC. We have been advised instead to cooperate with the GBC. In the spirit of such cooperation, our book offers the conclusions of the GBC's own foundational document -- a document which it has recommended should be widely read by everyone in ISKCON. Granted, as usual, these conclusions were reached by the GBC unintentionally, but they should take it as the will of Krsna, that the Supersoul Himself guided the GBC to reach these conclusions. How else can we explain the mystical result that a document which set out to justify the current ISKCON guru system, actually ended up proving the exact opposite!

IRM prevails

The Foreword to the GBC foundational document was written by HH Bhakti Charu Swami ("BCS"), and he had already recognised long ago that accepting that Srila Prabhupada is the Founder-Acarya of ISKCON means accepting the conclusions of the IRM (whom the GBC labels "rtviks"):

"Guru Maharaja (BCS) was reading out loud to us the final version of his famous Founder acarya Paper. [...] He mentioned jokingly, 'actually, the Ritviks could have won me over so easily! This is all their philosophy.'"
(BCS Istagosthi, 15/1/2001)

Now, the GBC has formalised this understanding, albeit unwittingly, that accepting Srila Prabhupada's position as the unchanging Founder-acarya of ISKCON, also means that Srila Prabhupada's position as the diksa guru of ISKCON is unchanging. Thus, again we see that no matter how hard the GBC try to defy the preaching of the IRM, one way or another they end up being forced to actually accept it!


The GBC's document opens with a note from the GBC Executive Committee, which they end by declaring:

"As Bhakti Charu Swami writes in the Foreword, 'this book is not meant for casual reading, but for implementation'."

Thus, if the GBC have any integrity, they will need to follow through on their own advice and implement their own conclusions by immediately declaring Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's only diksa guru. They may not wish to listen to Srila Prabhupada or the IRM, but surely they can at least listen to themselves?!

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