The Original System


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 62, Vol 2, 2019

GBC-elected ISKCON guru HG Kripamoya Dasa ("KMD") explains:

"But the original idea was that whoever is nearest would chant on the beads and give you a name, as it was from maybe 1972 all the way through to 1977, we had that system. [...] Prabhupada's idea was that the GBC members [...] would complete the function by chanting on the beads and giving a name, and already before he passed away the name did not have to be sent to him. So we had that."
(Interview, broadcast 6/12/18)

KMD here correctly describes the "original" system of initiation given by Srila Prabhupada for ISKCON, whereby GBC members would initiate on behalf of Srila Prabhupada as "rtviks" (representatives). However, KMD admits that this original system was changed, with the rtvik turning into a guru, even though they did not even know that this was what Srila Prabhupada wanted:

"his [Srila Prabhupada's] expression was: you become initiated by whoever is nearest. So there was — we don't know exactly what he meant, but there was some type of geographical pragmatism involved, in that it's not that a devotee living in Fiji should really have to travel to Sweden in order to find a guru."
(Interview, recorded 6/12/18)

Thus, KMD admits that even though they (ISKCON's leaders) did not know that Srila Prabhupada was referring to "gurus" when he said "nearest", they still assumed it did refer to a "geographical pragmatism" in order "to find a guru". However, Srila Prabhupada's use of "nearest" was used only when describing the "original" rtvik system:

"Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendation for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their temple. After considering the recommendation, these representatives may accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada".
(July 9th, 1977 directive, approved by Srila Prabhupada)

Hence, a GBC-elected guru is admitting that they jettisoned Srila Prabhupada's original rtvik system in favour of a guru system that was not based on Srila Prabhupada's orders, but on their ignorance of these orders. Orders which actually referred only to Srila Prabhupada's "original" rtvik system. (All emphases above added).

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