From Being Rtvik to an Illegal Guru


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 73, Vol. 2, 2022

GBC voted-in guru HH Kadamba Kanana Swami ("KKS") is known in ISKCON for being one of the first "grand-disciple" gurus to start initiating in the physical presence of his guru – GBC voted-in guru HH Jayadvaita Swami ("JAS"). He thus broke the "law of disciplic succession", which states that only after his guru's physical disappearance is it even possible for the disciple to initiate:

"during the lifetime of your Spiritual master you bring the prospective disciples to him, and in his absence or disappearance you can accept disciples without any limitation. This is the law of disciplic succession."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Tusta Krsna, 2/12/75)

In a lecture dated 29/4/22, KKS reveals how such law-breaking illegality was engineered, and all quotes in shaded boxes are taken from this lecture. All emphases added.

I was a rtvik

"He [JAS] said, ‘So, my plan is you can initiate disciples on my behalf' [...] I said, ‘you mean, rtvik?' He says, ‘yes'. I said, ‘But, you know the GBC is never going to approve that'. He says, ‘no, there is no law against it'. [...] the 9th of July letter is the letter which had [sic] written about Srila Prabhupada's disciples [...] it starts with ‘henceforth', and then it says that you appoint some people to initiate on his behalf. What did Jayadvaita Swami do? He wrote a letter on the 9th of July, ‘henceforth, to all temple presidents...'"

KKS describes how JAS initially appointed him to act as a rtvik who would initiate disciples on JAS's behalf, in exactly the same way that Srila Prabhupada's rtvik representatives initiated disciples for Srila Prabhupada – even going to the extent of mimicking Srila Prabhupada's July 9th letter. Thus, JAS was enthusiastic to institute his own rtvik system, claiming there "is no law against it", even though he is completely opposed to Srila Prabhupada's rtvik system, although there is also "no law" from Srila Prabhupada against that system continuing after Srila Prabhupada's physical departure. As we shall see, JAS then went on to hypocritically endorse another system for which there definitely was a law against.

GBC flip flops

"the GBC Chairman, and he came [...] ‘Jayadvaita Swami, Kadamba Kanana Swami, [...] you can't do this' [rtvik], [...] Jayadvaita Maharaja says, ‘Why not?' He says, ‘It's against the law'. Maharaja said, ‘Which law?' [...] then they had an emergency meeting and then it happened. So, I initiated two people actually in this rtvik system [...] But then the GBC found that this was too complicated, so they requested us to make it regular."

KKS reveals more flip flops made by the GBC in relation to the grand-disciple guru issue, whereby he reports that:

1) its chairman first objected to KKS acting as JAS's rtvik because it was "against the law";

2) it then approved KKS acting as JAS's rtvik, apparently agreeing that there was no "law" forbidding it;

3) it then again objected to KKS acting as JAS's rtvik simply because it was "complicated", and instead wanted KKS to become a regular diksa guru. Even though this definitely violated the "law of disciplic succession" quoted at the outset, which the GBC itself had previously vigorously invoked (see last issue's article "A Movement with No Philosophy").

Thus, we can observe here at least a triple contradiction.

JAS "cracked" the law!

KKS then boasts about JAS breaking the "law of disciplic succession":

"So, Jayadvaita Maharaja literally cracked it open. I don't know how he did it, but he did it, he really cracked it open, the impossible, the impenetrable wall, he penetrated it. So, somehow or other, here I am, became a spiritual master, in the presence of my spiritual master"

KKS emphasises the illegality of JAS's action, how with it being a law, to break it should have been "impossible"; an "impenetrable" law. And hence it required JAS to have "literally cracked it open". Even though JAS himself had also invoked this law when trying to combat Srila Prabhupada's rtvik system:

"That a spiritual master initiates until his departure and then his disciples initiate next is the normal system. On this we are all in agreement. This is what Srila Prabhupada taught the entire time he was with us."
(Where the Ritvik People are Wrong, JAS, 1996)

Thus, hypocritically, JAS had only "used" this law to try to stop Srila Prabhupada remaining ISKCON's diksa guru.

JAS doesn't accept

In a lecture, JAS referred to the IRM's argument that in order to become a successor diksa guru in ISKCON, one must first have received an order to do this from Srila Prabhupada, and JAS claims regarding our demand for such an order that:

"Those who have that idea don't even know what such an order would look like. Does it have to be a written order? Can it be an oral order?"
(JAS Lecture, 4/5/22)

But this is a false claim. We know exactly what such an order would look like. After July 9th, 1977, every temple president and GBC had been instructed by a movement-wide directive signed by Srila Prabhupada that all initiations would be carried out via the rtvik system. Clearly, if this system was to be terminated and replaced with successor diksa gurus, this would require a written comparable counter-directive to be similarly sent to the whole movement. Otherwise, no temple president would know that they should stop following Srila Prabhupada's rtvik order, and instead allow these new supposed diksa gurus to come into their temples and start initiating everyone!

JAS then claims about the IRM that:

"And even when there is a written order to one disciple, ‘you remain, you continue in this way and in the future you'll be able to initiate disciples of your own', they don't accept it"
(JAS Lecture, 4/5/22)

The letter quoted at the outset from Srila Prabhupada to Tusta Krsna Dasa, explaining the "law of disciplic succession", is such a letter that JAS refers to here. But the letter does not actually order anyone to replace Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON's diksa guru. It only states the time period when it is theoretically possible for such a thing to happen, and we do accept this. But, as we have proven above, it is actually JAS who doesn't "accept it", as he has blatantly rejected this law!


We would like to thank KKS for presenting the evidence for the contradictions and hypocrisy of both the GBC and his own guru, JAS.

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