Srila Prabhupada:
First and Last Initiating Guru for ISKCON


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 6, Winter 2004/5, Editorial

Welcome to our sixth issue of Back To Prabhupada (BTP). In this issue we quote a voted-in ISKCON Guru accusing ISKCON's Governing Body Commission (GBC) of seriously offending and minimising ISKCON Founder-Acarya Srila Prabhupada. Speaking of which, we also examine some passages from the "authorised" biography of Srila Prabhupada, written by Satsvarupa Das (given his recent problems, we think it prudent not to include the title "Goswami" in his name), to prove that this offending and minimising of Srila Prabhupada is not a recent phenomenon.

One of the hardest concepts to grasp for those trained by ISKCON's renegade Gurus seems to be the idea that Srila Prabhupada could remain the current initiating acarya for an extended period of time. "How can you say Srila Prabhupada will be the last acarya in our line? Where did Srila Prabhupada ever say he would be the only initiating (diksa) Guru for ten thousand years?" they sometimes ask. The facts are:

• Srila Prabhupada established himself as the sole initiating acarya within ISKCON in his final, signed institutional directive of July 9th, 1977.

• Srila Prabhupada left no institutional directive that this set-up should ever change.

• The ritvik system of initiation he formally established on July 9th, 1977 (but which had already been operational within ISKCON for a number of years previously) required absolutely no physical involvement from him.

• He consistently taught that the physical presence of the Guru was irrelevant (see BTP 2, back page).

• He said ISKCON was non-different from Lord Chaitanya's sankirtana movement.

• He also taught that this sankirtana movement would run for a total of 10,000 years (500 years having already passed since its inception):

"When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared, He ushered in the era for the sankirtana movement. It is also said that for ten thousand years this era will continue."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.5.23, purport, all emphases in Editorial added)

Prabhupada: "This movement will go for ten thousand years without any impediment."
(Conversation, June 5th, 1976)

• Therefore, Srila Prabhupada shall remain the sole initiating Guru within a movement that he claimed would last another 9,500 years.

• At the end of this 9,500 year time period the sankirtana movement shall cease to function and Lord Chaitanya's specific process of deliverance will no longer apply:

"It is said that the Krishna consciousness movement will be prominent within the next ten thousand years, but after that people will all become mlecchas and yavanas."
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya lila, 3.50, purport)

Allen Ginsberg: "400,000 years. Will people still be chanting Hare Krishna in 400,000..."
Prabhupada: "No. Hare Krishna will be finished within ten thousand years. There will be no more Hare Krishna."
Allen Ginsberg: "Ah. So what will be left?"
Prabhupada: "Nothing."
(Conversation, May 13th, 1969)

• Therefore, at some point in time, there must be a last acarya for the sankirtana movement inaugurated by Lord Chaitanya.

The above outlines the IRM's official position.

Given the above, why should it be so hard to accept that Srila Prabhupada will be the only acarya for ISKCON, which will last for the next 9500 years? After all, it was Srila Prabhupada who fulfilled the original prophecy of Lord Chaitanya: prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama / sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama: "In every town and village on this earth the glories of My name will be chanted."

He also established a system whereby he could initiate long into the future via priestly representatives (ritviks). So there is really nothing left for a future acarya to do; Srila Prabhupada has already done everything:

"There is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavour. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn't matter."
(Srila Prabhupada Arrival Speech, May 17th, 1977, Vrindavan)

To insist that Srila Prabhupada cannot possibly be the only acarya for ISKCON is therefore an arbitrary and unsustainable assertion. Certainly within ISKCON there is no institutional mechanism by which Srila Prabhupada can legitimately be replaced as the initiating Guru. That much is certain. The purpose of BTP is to constantly demonstrate the fact that those persons, posing as saintly men, who have usurped Srila Prabhupada from his rightful position within ISKCON have absolutely no valid reason for doing so. It is not that we enjoy criticising for the sake of it, but, as Srila Prabhupada said:

"Our business is to point out who is not a saint."
(Srila Prabhupada, Morning Walk, April 10th, 1974)

Please feel free to write to me at the following address if you have any questions, criticisms or comments:

Hare Krishna.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,

Krishnakant, Editor

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