More Rtvik Nonsense


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 71, Vol 4, 2021, Quotes, Notes & News

In BTP 70, in the article "Verifying the Guru Claim", we exposed an argument from GBC guru HH Hridayananda Dasa Goswami ("HD"). He had unnecessarily claimed that "rtvik" does not mean "surrogate" and thus falsely concluded that the whole "rtvik" concept was "nonsense". On 19/10/21, a few days after BTP 70 landed in the USA, HD tried to substantiate this argument that we had just defeated in BTP 70, by posting the following "Point of clarification" (enclosed in shaded boxes below, all emphases added) on his social media:

"Point of clarification: the word rtvik does not even mean a surrogate guru. I will explain.
1. The word rtu means 'season', as in summer, fall etc.
2. The suffix 'ik' is originally 'ij', an abbreviation for yaj, to sacrifice.
3. Thus rtu-ij, which by sandhi becomes 'rtvik' literally means ‘one who sacrifices in season.'
4. The Vedic sacrifices were seasonal, following the agricultural seasons of planting, rain, harvest etc, [...] a team of rtv-iks, sacrificial technicians, assisted the main priests.
Thus, the word rtvik, which TKG suggested, actually does not mean ‘surrogate'"

As we stated in the last issue's article, The Final Order, the IRM's position paper, does not even define rtvik as "surrogate". It defines rtvik as "priest". Because that is how Srila Prabhupada defined it:

"rtvik – the priests"
(SB, 4.7.16)

Thus, HD has merely repeated his former nonsensical "surrogate" straw man point!

"...surrogate diksa guru. The word [rtvik] is never used that way in sastra, and indeed there is no such thing as a rtvik guru in Sastra."

Yes, but there is such a thing as a rtvik priest, because HD himself was appointed via the July 9th, 1977 directive to act as one and initiate on Srila Prabhupada's behalf, and he acted as such for an extended period of time. And all we are stating is that HD has not put forward any evidence that Srila Prabhupada ordered HD to change this priestly role in which he was creating Srila Prabhupada disciples, and instead become a "successor" diksa guru and accept the disciples for himself. We can also note that in the first quote above that we gave from HD, he has basically, in any case, agreed with us by stating that rtviks functioned in a priestly-type role since they "assisted the main priests"! Hence, HD has merely "clarified" that he is again speaking nonsensically by attacking an argument we never made, while now also effectively agreeing with the one we did make!

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