Nonsense Corner: July 9th Directive


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 74, Vol. 3, 2022, Interactive

This is a column in which we answer articles or statements that have been forwarded to us by our readers for rebutting. We present these statements below in shaded boxes.

"There is no sign at all that the July 9 letter is Prabhupada's final order about how the parampara was to continue in his absence."

This refers to the July 9th, 1977, directive sent to all GBCs and Temple Presidents in ISKCON. Let us break down what the issuance of this directive means for ISKCON.

1) The July 9th directive was counter-signed by Srila Prabhupada and issued by his secretary, HH Tamala Krsna Goswami ("TKG") on his behalf, after Srila Prabhupada had told him what to write, as this is the function of a secretary:

"These 11 persons were named by Srila Prabhupada in the beginning of July, 1977, in Vrindaban in the back garden of his house. These names were dictated to me as I was serving as his Secretary, and he had me write a letter to all the GBC and Temple Presidents which he also signed as approved on the 9th of July, listing their names and defining their function."
(TKG Letter to Upananda Dasa, 13/12/78)

Thus, it is Srila Prabhupada's order.

2) This order stated at the outset the purpose for which it was issued:

"for the purpose of performing initiations, both first initiation and second initiation."
(July 9th, 1977, Directive)

Thus, it was an order for how initiations would be conducted.

3) There was no subsequent order issued by Srila Prabhupada regarding how initiations would be conducted.

4) The directive was issued to instruct how initiations were to be conducted in ISKCON. ISKCON was established to endure for many thousands of years (the "golden age" inaugurated by Lord Caitanya):

"the Krsna consciousness movement will be prominent within the next ten thousand years, but after that people will all become mlecchas and yavanas."
(Cc., Antya-lila, 3.50, purport)


Statement 1) proves that it was "Prabhupada's order".

Statement 2) proves that it was an order regarding how the parampara would continue from that moment onwards, i.e. how initiations were to now be conducted, and by whom.

Statement 3) proves that it was the final order on this subject.

Statement 4) proves that the order was meant to be operative in ISKCON, which was to exist long after Srila Prabhupada's imminent physical departure 4 months later.

Hence, the letter gives more than just a "sign" – it actually states "Prabhupada's final order about how the parampara was to continue in his absence".

"But in his *purport of the Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya (8.128), there we will find a very clear evidence of Srila Prabhupada's final instruction regarding who will stand up as the bona fide guru to initiate and will act as the successor to continue the parampara in the absence of the predecessor."

And the following part of the purport is sent along with the above claim to indicate the statement referred to above:

"Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also states that although one is situated as a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmacari, vanaprastha, grhastha or sannyasi, if he is conversant in the science of Krsna he can become a spiritual master as vartma-pradarsaka-guru, diksa-guru or siksa-guru."

This is a statement of fact regarding the qualification required in order to be a diksa guru. This is not disputed by the IRM. However, there is no mention in that passage of what is claimed, which is who:

"will act as the successor to continue the parampara in the absence of the predecessor".

This has just been made up out of thin air. Never mind there being "clear evidence" or a "final instruction" regarding this.

The above qualification to become a diksa guru stated in the quoted passage also applies to Srila Prabhupada. But it does not tell us anything about when Srila Prabhupada must stop acting as diksa guru. This needs to happen first, before we even need to consider the qualification required for someone to succeed him as another diksa guru. Otherwise, we are putting the qualification "cart" before the succession "horse". Once Srila Prabhupada has given up his position as diksa guru, only then can we consider the issue of succession, and only then does the qualification required for such a successor become an issue. But the above quote makes no mention of either:

• Srila Prabhupada giving up acting as diksa guru;
• Srila Prabhupada being succeeded as diksa guru by someone else.

Note, as with all challenges to the IRM's position, we have been very easily able to answer this "challenge" above simply by using the "superpower" of "reading". Thus, we simply read what the July 9th directive and the quote supplied from the Caitanya-caritamrta stated, and then we read what was claimed about them, and saw that the two did not match. That's it. No special knowledge of "sastra" or logic or debating was required. Only the ability to read exactly what Srila Prabhupada states without adding or subtracting from his statements with our own speculations.

"Any action and decision we will make must be supported by Sastra evidence or from the words spoken by the Lord."

Any action or decision taken by Srila Prabhupada is already "supported by Sastra evidence":

"Thus the statements of the revealed scriptures correspond to those of the bona fide spiritual master and saintly persons."
(Cc., Adi-lila, 7.48, purport)

Hence, we only need to follow what Srila Prabhupada ordered. If he gives an order, we follow it. If someone proposes something Srila Prabhupada has not ordered, then we do not follow it, period. And we just showed he did order a system of initiation where he remains the diksa guru of ISKCON. But there is no order from Srila Prabhupada for a successor to him.

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