Non-existent Orders Are No Orders


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 71, Vol 4, 2021, Interactive

"I just started looking into the philosophy of ritvik post-samadhi, and I find it very interesting. However, I am not completely convinced. I am convinced that some of the leaders in ISKCON are corrupted, and I find it terrible that they alter Srila Prabhupada's books. I don't believe the current guru system is or was authorised by Srila Prabhupada and I know about the missing tapes. I have read some of your literature on the internet including The Final Order.
So I am down to two possibilities:
1. Ritvik post-samadhi as you are propagating.
2. Some of Gaura Govinda Swami's disciples say that Srila Prabhupada gave Gaura Govinda Swami and Radha Govinda Swami an order to become the only gurus in ISKCON after Srila Prabhupada's departure.
Do you have some evidence against theory 2?
Thank you in advance and looking forward to your reply.
Your servant,"
- Caitanya Candra Dasa, Copenhagen, Denmark

Editor replies:

1) You refer to claims made regarding the existence of guru orders given by Srila Prabhupada. However, as long as these claims have not been substantiated with evidence, then there is nothing for us to offer evidence against. There is no record of such guru orders from Srila Prabhupada. Nor did Srila Prabhupada state that ISKCON would be governed via orders that were given secretly without any record of them and unknown to anyone else.

2) At the very least, those who would have to implement such orders would have needed to have been told about such instructions. The system of initiations present in ISKCON at the time of Srila Prabhupada's physical departure was the "rtvik" system of initiations, which was being implemented by the temple presidents who were under the authority of the GBC. Thus, both the temple presidents and the GBC would have needed to be informed regarding any diksa gurus who had now been authorised to operate in ISKCON, otherwise how could the temple presidents possibly know that:

a) They should stop sending recommendations for initiation to the rtviks to initiate on Srila Prabhupada's behalf as ordered by Srila Prabhupada;

b) And instead they were to now, do what? Suddenly start sending all these recommendations to only these two men? Or just allow them to come into any temple and start canvassing for the temple devotees to be their disciples? They were supposed to abandon an order that Srila Prabhupada did give them for an order they had no knowledge of? How? Through the power of mystical mind-reading they did not possess?

Thus, such a suggestion is clearly absurd.

3) We would have to believe that Srila Prabhupada had ordered that ISKCON was to be governed by chaos and anarchy, as now anyone could simply claim that "Srila Prabhupada said" something, and everyone would have to just suddenly turn ISKCON upside down to "obey" these supposed orders.

This is why Srila Prabhupada warned us to guard against using such a method to operate ISKCON:

"Unless it is there from me in writing, there are so many things that "Prabhupada said.""
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 2/9/75)

"just like in our ISKCON there are so many false things: "Prabhupada said this, Prabhupada said that.""
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 7/11/72)

"Sometimes they say, "Prabhupada said it." [...] More misleading [...] Yes."
(Srila Prabhupada, Morning Walk, 3/2/75)

4) Whereas, in regards to Srila Prabhupada remaining as ISKCON's diksa guru, we can note that:

a) ISKCON's leadership does not dispute that Srila Prabhupada established himself as ISKCON's sole diksa guru.

b) Hence, given this already established state of affairs, the burden of proof to show that this state of affairs was to be changed falls on those who are calling for such a change.

c) Therefore, in order to enact something as momentous as removing Srila Prabhupada as the diksa guru of his own Society, we would need nothing less than documented evidence that Srila Prabhupada gave a clear and unambiguous order to the whole of ISKCON to remove himself as ISKCON's diksa guru. Especially since Srila Prabhupada established a GBC to manage ISKCON to whom he gave "in writing" "everything" needed in order for ISKCON to continue functioning:

"I have given in writing everything, whatever you wanted – my will, my executive power, everything. [...] I have already given everything in writing."
(Srila Prabhupada, Room Conversation, 2/10/77 & 3/10/77)

But no such order for Srila Prabhupada's removal as ISKCON's diksa guru was given in writing to the GBC or anyone else.

d) Thus, absent such an order, Srila Prabhupada remains as ISKCON's diksa guru. And the orders we do have "in writing", such as –

i) The July 9th, 1977 directive;
ii) Srila Prabhupada's Last Will and Testament

– all merely reinforce the state of affairs that existed in ISKCON just prior to Srila Prabhupada's physical departure: that Srila Prabhupada would remain ISKCON's diksa guru and there was to be no change to this state of affairs.

Thus, in conclusion:

• There is no evidence that Srila Prabhupada asked to be removed as ISKCON's diksa guru, and thus we do not need to offer evidence against this unsubstantiated theory.
• Therefore, Srila Prabhupada remains ISKCON's diksa guru.

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