The Rtvik Delusion


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 64, Vol 4, 2019

In 2004, the GBC abandoned "Gurus and Initiation in ISKCON", its paper justifying ISKCON's guru system. This was also the very paper that The Final Order, the IRM's foundational document, addressed. The GBC resolution announcing this abandonment stated:

""On My Order-Understood" contains assumptions and assertions that, in numerous places, do not match the available evidence from the statements of Srila Prabhupada, And the GBC desires to make a more concise statement".
(GBC Resolution 409, 2004)

Significantly, though they admitted their official position paper did "not match" the actual "statements of Srila Prabhupada", they refused to give a new paper which did match the actual statements of Srila Prabhupada. Instead, they only offered a "concise statement", which remains the GBC's official position, and in which, as we shall see, they simply took shelter of the term "regular guru".

Regular guru claim

The GBC stated in the resolution mentioned above:

"Srila Prabhupada said that his disciples would become "regular gurus"".

And HH Hridayananda Dasa Goswami ("HD"), who claims to be one of these "regular gurus" supposedly appointed by Srila Prabhupada, similarly claimed:

"there's even some controversy, did Prabhupada really appoint gurus? First of all, it's really foolish. Because Prabhupada directly said, ‘When I am gone there will be regular gurus.' "
(HD, "Darshan", 15/9/19 ⁠— quotes in shaded boxes below are from the same talk, emphases added)

Thus, they both mention the term "regular guru", by referring to some "order" Srila Prabhupada supposedly gave for them:

"disciples would become "regular gurus";
"When I am gone there will be regular gurus."

Indeed, HD claims it is "foolish" to even question if Srila Prabhupada did "really appoint gurus", because Srila Prabhupada supposedly "directly said" the above.

Regular guru reality

However, despite the claim for ISKCON's guru system being entirely dependent on Srila Prabhupada supposedly ordering these "regular gurus", we can note that:

a) Srila Prabhupada is recorded to have only ever used this "regular guru" term once.
b) This was when he stated:

"When I order you become guru, he becomes regular guru."
(Room Conversation, May 28th, 1977)

Thus, despite the claims made by HD above, Srila Prabhupada never "directly" stated: "When I am gone there will be regular gurus". There is no mention here of "when I am gone" or "there will be" regular gurus. Nor did Srila Prabhupada say, as the GBC claims, that his disciples "would become" regular gurus. Rather, he only stated a condition ⁠— "When I order" ⁠— rather than an order. But, following this conversation, he did not order any regular or diksa gurus. He did however give an order for 11 "rtviks" on July 9th, 1977, which he stated he was going to give just a few sentences before his mention of "regular guru" above:

Satsvarupa: "Then our next question concerns initiations in the future, particularly at that time when you're no longer with us. We want to know how first and second initiation would be conducted."
Srila Prabhupada: "Yes. I shall recommend some of you. After this is settled up, I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating acaryas."
Tamala Krsna: "Is that called rtvik-acarya?"
Srila Prabhupada: "Rtvik, yes."
(Room Conversation, May 28th, 1977)

These rtviks would only make disciples for Srila Prabhupada. So, only rtviks, and not "regular" or diksa gurus, were ever ordered. But, for the GBC and HD, an order for rtviks, which Srila Prabhupada did give, has become an "order" for "regular gurus", which he never gave.

The rtvik delusion

"Everyone who got chosen to be a guru was in charge of some part of the world. So I was in charge of Latin America [...] he named certain people, he said, well also this person, because there was a part of the world that wasn't covered. So Prabhupada chose gurus and he did not choose, he chose gurus to cover geographic areas basically."

HD refers to persons being "chosen" as gurus when Srila Prabhupada named certain people to cover "geographic areas". This is that naming by "geographical areas":

Tamala Krsna: "So supposing someone is in America, should they simply write directly to Kirtanananda or Satsvarupa?"
Srila Prabhupada: "Nearby. Jayatirtha can give. [...] And... Five, six men, you divide who is nearest."
Tamala Krsna: "Who is nearest. So persons wouldn't have to write to Your Divine Grace. They could write directly to that person?"
Srila Prabhupada: "Hmm. [...] In India, Jayapataka. [...] And Hrdayananda."
Tamala Krsna: "Oh, yeah. South America."

However, in the same conversation it is admitted that they are being named as rtviks, not regular or diksa gurus:

Tamala Krsna: "But all these persons are still your disciples. Anybody who gives initiation is doing so on your behalf."
Srila Prabhupada: "Yes."
(Room Conversation, 7/7/77)

But the GBC and HD are still deludedly imagining that the appointment of these rtviks is the appointment of regular or diksa gurus.

Child delusion

Offering a further justification for his delusion that Srila Prabhupada sanctioned "regular gurus", HD states:

"Prabhupada said that, and this everyone knows this quote, ‘I want all my disciples, men and women, to be become guru'".

So HD, being a supporter of female diksa gurus, also takes shelter of this same "men and women" quote which was thoroughly examined on page 4. Yes, Srila Prabhupada did say "men and women", but HD conveniently forgets that Srila Prabhupada actually said "all of you, men, women, boys and girls" (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 22/8/73). Thus, as explained on page 4, this is not speaking of every child becoming a diksa guru, and therefore this quote is not actually referring to anyone becoming a diksa guru ⁠— period.


As proven above, the belief that Srila Prabhupada authorised "regular" or diksa gurus is based entirely on a "rtvik delusion" ⁠— that the appointment of rtviks by Srila Prabhupada is the same as the appointment of diksa gurus.


Return to Hridayananda das Goswami Index

Return to Succession Index

Return to IRM Homepage


Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!