Srila Prabhupada’s ‘Competitor’


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 71, Vol 4, 2021

The statements in the shaded boxes are translations of a Hindi lecture by GBC voted-in guru HH Lokanath Swami ("LOK"), which was posted on 18/8/21. All emphases added.

No order for rival books

"Srila Prabhupada used to expect from us, his disciples or followers, to write some scriptural books. I have also written some scriptural books. Wrote some books. And there is a desire and idea to write a lot more."

LOK is claiming that Srila Prabhupada ordered his disciples to write "some" books. However, if every Srila Prabhupada disciple wrote "some" books, then throughout his or her lifetime, each disciple could easily write 10-20 books, especially when you have ambitious people such as LOK who states he still has a "desire" to "write a lot more" to add to the books he has already written. This would then mean that in total these many thousands of Srila Prabhupada's disciples between them could write, say, up to 100,000 different books. But there is no record of Srila Prabhupada giving such an order that would result in there being up to 100,000 books to rival his own books.

Actual order

Rather, Srila Prabhupada's only instructions to us on record are to read his books:

"I have given you everything, so read and speak from the books and so many new lights will come out. We have got so many books, so if we go on preaching from them for the next 1,000 years, there is enough stock. [...] if we study one sloka daily in our classes it will take you more than 50 years to finish Srimad-Bhagavatam alone, so at least 50 years matter is already there minimum. So we can finish Bhagavatam once in our lifetime and the next generation can begin again, like that."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 16/6/72)

Thus, given that –

a) Srila Prabhupada wrote many books;
b) The lifespan of a human in Kali-yuga is very limited, and the time in that limited life-span just for reading books is even less

– it would in any case not be practical for ISKCON members to thoroughly study Srila Prabhupada's books daily as he ordered, and also read many books by others as well. This is one reason why Srila Prabhupada never gave such an order for rival books to be produced. Another reason is that printing and distributing such books would in turn lead to up to a billion books being printed, even if these 100,000 titles only had a few thousand copies of each printed. However, Srila Prabhupada never gave such an order for ISKCON to produce and distribute up to 1 billion books by other people. Not least because Srila Prabhupada himself wrote lots of books which we were instructed to print and distribute, whereas reading, printing and distributing so many books by others on similar subject matter would end up detracting from, undercutting, rivalling and ultimately displacing and devaluing Srila Prabhupada's own books.

Rivalling Srila Prabhupada

"At the same time, we have also established an archives. [...] Bhaktivedanta Archives are also famous in ISKCON. And then there are more archives of ISKCON leaders. [...] we will also continue to remain, as in the form of those archives, we can live."

LOK then states that he has also established his own archives, dedicated to his own works, to rival Srila Prabhupada's archives. He notes that there are also more archives for other ISKCON leaders. This underscores the point just made regarding the consequences of rival book programs to that of Srila Prabhupada's own books. Srila Prabhupada's archives are now rivalled by lots of other archives, with Srila Prabhupada's archives being noted by LOK as simply being just another archive which is "also famous" in ISKCON, rather than being the one and only archive for ISKCON.

Whose books?

"Srila Prabhupada also used to write that, ‘books are the basis' [...] I need help writing or getting it written and then typing, *and then manuscript, then layout, the design, and this and that, and promotion, and distribution*."

* * spoken by LOK in English.

LOK justifies this rival book program by quoting Srila Prabhupada stating that "books are the basis". However, Srila Prabhupada was only referring to his books:

"My first concern is that my books shall be published and distributed profusely all over the world. Practically, books are the basis of our Movement. Without our books, our preaching will have no effect."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 20/1/72)

Srila Prabhupada makes it clear that he is referring only to his books being the "basis" of the movement, and not the books of LOK or anyone else. A fact that LOK himself states in the same lecture:

"Srila Prabhupada. And his books are the basis. And with this one more instruction – study Srila Prabhupada's books carefully."


"And never adopt any deviant philosophy like rtvik, etc. Never, don't get caught up in this, stay away."

LOK is very concerned to warn his disciples to not accept that Srila Prabhupada is the diksa guru of ISKCON, which he calls "deviant philosophy like rtvik". Given LOK's desire, as documented above, to rival Srila Prabhupada's books with his own books, this is no surprise. For, if persons start focusing only on Srila Prabhupada as their diksa guru, they will spend all their time absorbed only in reading Srila Prabhupada's books, just as he ordered, as documented above. We noted this desire of LOK to try to supplant Srila Prabhupada's books with himself before. In the BTP 15 article "Bait-and-Switch in Action", we noted how, after lecturing from Srila Prabhupada's books, which prompted the audience to want to buy these same books, LOK then spent several hours signing them as if he were the author!


Thus, it is not only by claiming to be a successor diksa guru to Srila Prabhupada, and taking disciples in ISKCON which are meant for Srila Prabhupada, that LOK is attempting to supplant Srila Prabhupada. He is also desirous to write a lot of books and to establish his own archives to compete with Srila Prabhupada. However, such a program was not authorised by Srila Prabhupada, despite LOK's empty evidence-free claim to the contrary.

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