Fabricating Authority


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 70, Vol 3, 2021, Interactive

"Dear Krishnakant
Hare Krishna. Please accept my
pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
One of our devotees has recently received a posting issued by Uttama Sloka Dasa. You may wish to refute it and publish it on your site.
Hare Krishna,"

- Yasoda-nandana Dasa, Los Angeles, USA

Editor replies:

The posting referred to above is quoted below in shaded boxes, with our response interspersed.

"That July 9th letter was composed by Tamal Krsna and Srila Prabhupada just signed it. He didn't write it. I know many ritviks fixate on the word ‘henceforward' in that letter, saying that Srila Prabhupada chose that word for a reason. No he did not. He never even wrote that letter."

1) Tamala Krsna Goswami ("TKG") was Srila Prabhupada's secretary. One of the functions of this secretary was to communicate the orders of Srila Prabhupada. Hence, TKG opens the July 9th, 1977 directive by simply communicating what Srila Prabhupada had done:

"Srila Prabhupad indicated that soon He would [...] His Divine Grace has..."

The letter is then signed by:

"Your servant,
Tamal Krsna Gosvami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupad"

And then Srila Prabhupada countersigns the letter:

"Approved: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami"

This makes it clear that TKG was simply passing on Srila Prabhupada's orders in toto, since Srila Prabhupada specifically signs to approve of the contents of the letter.

2) The above facts are so obvious to anyone who knows what the function of a secretary is, that even TKG himself agrees:

"These 11 persons were named by Srila Prabhupada in the beginning of July, 1977, in Vrindaban in the back garden of his house. These names were dictated to me as I was serving as his Secretary, and he had me write a letter to all the GBC and Temple Presidents which he also signed as approved on the 9th of July, listing their names and defining their function."
(TKG Letter to Upananda Dasa, 13/12/78, all emphases in Interactive added)

Hence, the fact that Srila Prabhupada had his secretary issue this letter has no relevance to the authority of its contents, whatever they may be. Rather, every point made in the letter is approved by Srila Prabhupada, and thus it has exactly the same effect as if Srila Prabhupada had written the letter himself.

"Not one single TP or GBC in all of ISKCON thought or said that this letter meant that Srila Prabhupada would continue to accept disciples after he passed away."

1) Even if this claim were true, it has no relevance since Srila Prabhupada never introduced a new system of authority in ISKCON known as "what my disciples think" ("WDT").

2) The only system of authority in ISKCON is Srila Prabhupada's documented orders.

"Every single devotee understood that this letter was just a temporary arrangement until Srila Prabhupada's health was strong enough for him to continue accepting disciples directly."

1) Again, even if this were true, this is invoking a new fabricated system of authority, invented by the author, known as WDT, as mentioned above. It has no relevance. The author makes appeals to WDT numerous times in his posting, and we have omitted all subsequent such appeals, as they are just as irrelevant, since WDT is not a valid system of authority taught by Srila Prabhupada. However, not once does the author supply any statement from Srila Prabhupada, the actual authority in ISKCON.

2) Therefore, the author would actually need to quote Srila Prabhupada stating that:

a) This directive is just a temporary arrangement due to my health.
b) It will be terminated as soon as I am strong enough to continue accepting disciples directly.

Not only did Srila Prabhupada not state this, but, as the article on page 4 proves, he actually stated the opposite.

"And Srila Prabhupada never said anything after that to indicate he would accept disciples after he left. Not one word."

There was no need for him to state this, since:

a) He had already established himself as the Acarya and diksa guru of ISKCON as soon as he formed the Society in 1966.

b) He never taught that either:

i) He would have to give up being the diksa guru of ISKCON due to his physical departure;
ii) Or that he would give up being the diksa guru of ISKCON due to having appointed successor diksa gurus.

Thus, Srila Prabhupada does not need to keep stating that he will continue to remain the diksa guru of ISKCON when he never stated he was going to renounce his position. It would be like demanding in 1975 that Srila Prabhupada state that he would continue to be ISKCON's Acarya and diksa guru in 1976. He did not need to do this since he never announced that he intended to step down in 1976 – just as he never announced that he intended to step down as soon as he physically departed either – see above.

Thus, one first needs to prove that Srila Prabhupada stated that he intended to renounce his position as ISKCON's Acarya and diksa guru, before one can claim that he did this. And, if he did not do this, then it means he remained as ISKCON's diksa guru, and thus there was no need for him to continually state that, "Yes, I am still ISKCON's diksa guru".

"Srila Prabhupada had made it clear dozens of times over the years that he wanted his disciples to become qualified to be genuine gurus to continue the lineage from him."

If it is indeed true that Srila Prabhupada ordered his disciples to displace him as ISKCON's diksa guru, not just once, but "dozens of times", then I am sure it will be easy to provide such references. But not even one is provided. Claims are not proof. Proof is proof.

"These are the facts of history and sastra and the previous acaryas. There is no diksa after a guru leaves his body. There is no support for that idea in sastra or from the previous acaryas."

1) Srila Prabhupada never taught that there is "no diksa after a guru leaves his body". If he had, one would not need to try to bypass Srila Prabhupada by appealing to history.

2) The very fact that one is forced to jump over Srila Prabhupada and claim that the evidence supposedly lies elsewhere (even though it is not produced) is itself proof that one is teaching something not supported by Srila Prabhupada, otherwise: one would just quote Srila Prabhupada – period.

But this is not even attempted.

"Personally, I would never recommend anyone take diksa from any of them [ISKCON gurus]."

So, we can agree on this. Which then just leaves Srila Prabhupada, who never taught that he must be removed as the Acarya and diksa guru of ISKCON, just because he physically departed. And thus, he is the only authorised and available choice to be one's diksa guru in ISKCON.


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