Pleasing Srila Prabhupada


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 67, Vol 3, 2020, Interactive

"I have seen many sincere devotees reading Srila Prabhupada's books, distributing books. Even though they are initiated by GBC-appointed gurus, will not these sincere devotees go back to Godhead? They are distributing Srila Prabhupada's books, which is pleasing him. Bhakti Vikasa Maharaja even though he is a GBC-appointed guru, he is also pleasing Srila Prabhupada by setting up farm communities, gurukula and varnashram. Srila Prabhupada insisted majorly on farm communities, gurukula and varnashram before his physical departure. But, on the contrary, Prabhupadanuga devotees following Rtvikism have not done anything about farm communities, gurukula and varnashram... How is it so? I have not taken initiation because of this overall situation. Please help me understand.
Thank you.
Your servant,"
- Neelkanth Benade, Pune, India

Editor replies:

1) You state in conclusion that:

"I have not taken initiation because of this overall situation. Please help me understand."

However, in regards to the matter of initiation, the only thing you need to "understand" are the following facts a) and b).

a) Srila Prabhupada established himself as ISKCON's Acarya and diksa guru for as long as ISKCON exists.
b) He never authorised the GBC to make successor gurus such as HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami ("BVKS").

Hence, unless you can disprove the above facts, then if you are actually interested in what "pleases" Srila Prabhupada, you would not even consider taking initiation from BVKS or anyone else, as they are not authorised by Srila Prabhupada to take his position. If you make a vow to never take initiation from any GBC guru, then it will be clear that you are actually interested in what "pleases" Srila Prabhupada. If you refuse to make such a vow, then it will be clear your questions about what is "pleasing" to Srila Prabhupada are not serious, because the one thing that we know for certain does not please Srila Prabhupada, and hence does not even require you to ask any "questions" about, you refuse to act on.

2) Thus, whether or not BVKS has established more "projects" than those who claim to be "Prabhupadanugas", cannot change facts a) and b), and therefore such considerations are irrelevant. Indeed, nothing can ever change facts a) and b) as they are historical orders Srila Prabhupada gave and did not give, and you cannot change Srila Prabhupada's orders. Trying to change Srila Prabhupada's orders by discussing the failings of someone who may put these orders forward is a logical fallacy known as argumentum ad hominem. GBC gurus, having no evidence to back their usurpation of Srila Prabhupada's position, often engage in such a fallacy to divert attention from the fact that they are not authorised. Hence, even if all the claims you put forward above were correct, they have no relevance to whether or not you should take initiation from an unauthorised ISKCON guru.

3) However, if we examine your claims regarding BVKS's "projects" we will find they are not actually correct.

a) BVKS himself states:

"So Srila Prabhupada always said about varnasrama that the first thing is to get the brahmana order, then the others can follow, because if the head is not in order, even if you have healthy body, if the head is not in order then the whole functioning becomes useless or disarranged. So still the need is there to get the head in order because – I have given some examples and I'll give some more – the best is yet to come in this lecture – of how things are not philosophically in order in our movement. [...] We're still at the stage of needing to get the brahmana order in proper shape."
(BVKS, Lectures 24/8/11, 10/10/11)

So, according to BVKS himself, it is not possible to have varnasrama unless there are qualified brahmanas. If he was a qualified brahmana he would not masquerade as being a successor to Srila Prabhupada when he is no such thing. Nor would he not be able to grasp even elementary philosophical principles. The evidence for this is documented here.

b) Srila Prabhupada states:

"because everything in the gurukula or in the temple, it is for the interest of the guru."
(Lecture, 16/4/76)

Hence, you cannot establish a gurukula without at least knowing who the guru is – otherwise how can you do anything for his interest? And, as we have shown above, BVKS does not know that the guru is Srila Prabhupada. Rather, in his deluded condition he thinks it is himself!

c) Similarly, there are non-devotees who have established farm communities with cow protection due to beliefs in self-sufficiency and alternative living. But they are not dedicated to, nor have, Srila Prabhupada in the centre as the guru. Nor do any of BVKS's projects. Rather, they have him as the guru. But Srila Prabhupada never authorised projects where someone else was to be in the centre as the guru for the project.

d) In addition, there are devotees who accept Srila Prabhupada as the guru who have established the projects you speak of.

4) In regards to book distribution please note the following.

a) You have lauded those who distribute Srila Prabhupada's books, seeing such an activity as being worthy on its own of taking one back to Godhead.

b) However, you have also lauded BVKS and his "projects". One of his main projects is to write books to rival those of Srila Prabhupada. He boasts:

"But my heart is burning with the desire to produce more books. It may sound puffed-up, but I feel they will be important contributions to the ongoing respiritualization of human society."

However, in the Preface to his wonderful magnum opus, a multi-volume English translation of and commentary on the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada wrote:

"Srimad-Bhagavatam will fill this need, for it is a cultural presentation for the respiritualization of the entire human society."
(SB, Preface)

Thus, BVKS is speaking of his books as though they are on a par with Srila Prabhupada's – stating that they are also "important contributions to the ongoing respiritualization of human society". He also boasts that he has written "several books" and that "members of the public have expressed appreciation of my writing", and that he actively seeks "distributors for my books in different parts of the world." (Quotes above taken from BVKS's website). Since he further boasted 9 years ago that he had "over one million" (24/11/11) of his books in print, this means that today many, many more of his books will have been printed and distributed.

c) Yet, your two points above are in direct contradiction with each other. If you believe the distribution of Srila Prabhupada's books is such a most important activity then you would completely condemn BVKS. Because his engaging devotees to distribute his books diverts them away from distributing Srila Prabhupada's books, as their time is a finite resource. But you do not condemn him but laud him.

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