Knowledge v. Ignorance


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

Welcome to Issue 70 of Back To Prabhupada (BTP).

What distinguishes the IRM is the fact that it uses an evidence-based approach – the Prabhupada-Only Paradigm (POP) – rather than one based on ignorance, speculation and fabrication – the Prabhupada-Free Paradigm (PFP). The GBC Strategic Planning Team (SPT) is a body which was set up specifically to help guide ISKCON's leadership. The chairperson of this team, Gopal Bhatta Dasa ("GBD"), was asked in an interview conducted on 20/6/21 whether Srila Prabhupada should still be the diksa guru of ISKCON. GBD replied:

"I haven't bothered to study in depth, and I'll tell you why I haven't bothered – it's all nonsense. So, you know, it's kind of like, why bother studying it"

So, he admits that he is largely ignorant on the issue, as it is 'not worth studying'. This itself is shocking, since if he is responsible for helping to establish a bona fide ISKCON leadership, he should at least be fully informed regarding who should be the guru of ISKCON! However, what is even more shocking is that despite boasting about this ignorance, GBD also states that he is still certain that Srila Prabhupada remaining ISKCON's diksa guru is "nonsense". He explains his ignorant certainty as follows:

"I don't have any question in my mind or doubt, you know, Srila Prabhupada is not wishing us to follow the Jesus Christ Syndrome of, you know, everybody is initiated by Jesus Christ, plain and simple."

Thus, GBD claims he knows for a fact that Srila Prabhupada did not want us to consider him having a position in ISKCON like Jesus Christ has in Christianity. However, let us see if GBD's ignorant speculation is indeed supported by the facts.

1) Srila Prabhupada recommended that we follow the example of the Christians following Jesus:

"So you have to follow one great personality, acarya. [...] like Christians, they follow Christ, acarya. [...] That is good."
(Room Conversation, 20/5/75, emphasis added)

And, therefore, Srila Prabhupada similarly established that in ISKCON we must follow him as that one Acarya. He did this by designating himself to always be ISKCON's sole Acarya via being its Founder-Acarya, which means Founder and Acarya of ISKCON.

2) In our book, Srila Prabhupada: The Founder-Acarya of ISKCON – Presenting the Conclusions of the GBC Foundational Document, we have quoted verbatim the statements of Srila Prabhupada and the GBC, which show that, as this sole "Acarya" of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada is also its sole diksa guru.

3) In addition, GBD accepts the teaching of deceased ISKCON leader HH Bhakti Charu Swami ("BCS") about Srila Prabhupada's position, stating about BCS that:

"greatly missing him because he was the strongest proponent of Srila Prabhupada is the pre-eminent guru"
(GBD during interview dated 18/11/20)

And BCS explained how Srila Prabhupada is to be respected as the "pre-eminent guru":

"Therefore, when people ask ‘what do you mean by Srila Prabhupada's having the position of Founder-Acarya', my reply is, ‘What Jesus is to Christianity and what Muhammed is to Islam, Srila Prabhupada should be that to ISKCON'"
(BCS, Day 3, LA Seminar, published, 11/6/00)

Therefore, GBD must accept BCS's statement that Srila Prabhupada's position in ISKCON must be the same as that of Jesus in Christianity.

4) So, this is the problem with arriving at conclusions from a position of self-admitted ignorance – you end up reaching ignorant, false and self-contradictory conclusions. Whereas, if one takes the path of study and knowledge, which the IRM follows, then one will reach knowledgeable, rather than ignorant, conclusions. We therefore recommend that GBD actually educate himself on this subject by studying Srila Prabhupada's teachings, just as we have done. Especially since, as the chairman of a body that is supposed to be guiding ISKCON's leadership, he needs to be knowledgeable, rather than ignorant, otherwise it will be a case of the "blind leading the blind" which Srila Prabhupada condemned.

Thank you and Hare Krsna.

In Srila Prabhupada's service,


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