Losing the Debate Before It Has Begun


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 75, Vol. 4, 2022, Quotes, Notes & News

ecently, GBC Strategic Planning Team member Vraj Vihari Dasa ("VVD") offered a pontification regarding the system of Vedic debate. All the quotes in the shaded boxes were made by VVD at the Third ISKCON Communications Global Online Conference on 5/11/22.

"Vitanda is quibbling, or merely destructive argument in which one tries to defeat the opponent by any means possible, but does nothing substantial to positively prove one's own thesis."

A good example of this would be to make unsupported or false allegations to simply attack the opposition.

"And jalpa is using various deceptive means to fool the opposition. That's sometimes, like, you quote half a sentence from Prabhupada. I saw this a lot in, what was that thing called?... "The Final Solution"?... that person, who was it?... Krishnakant Desai, sometimes he would quote like half a sentence of Prabhupada, whereas the rest of the sentence proved the opposite."

1) He claims he saw such deception "a lot" in "The Final Solution". This would imply that he must have read the document very thoroughly to not only have spotted such deceptions but to have spotted them numerous times. Yet, he does not even know the name of this document (The Final Order)!

2) There is not even one instance, never mind "a lot", of The Final Order quoting "half a sentence" of Srila Prabhupada, where the rest of the sentence proves the opposite. If such a thing did exist, then VVD would have presented the evidence for this. But, neither he nor anyone else has ever done so, even though The Final Order has been in circulation for over 25 years now. Rather, VVD has just made this false allegation against The Final Order to "fool the opposition" that The Final Order is full of lies and misrepresentations.

Therefore, while trying to explain vitanda and jalpa, VVD himself has engaged in both vitanda and jalpa with his false allegations against The Final Order (we have written the title out in full 5 times now so that hopefully VVD will get it correct!). Hence, before trying to pontificate to others regarding how to debate, VVD needs to first learn it himself, and thus avoid making a fool of himself in trying to attack The Final Order.

Subscribe for FREE to Back To Prabhupada Magazine - Click Here

Return to Vraj Vihari Dasa Index

Siksa Guru's Presence


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 75, Vol. 4, 2022, BTP Interactive

"Dear Krishnakant Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Just received Issue no. 74, Vol. 3, Back To Prabhupada. After reading the article entitled "Diksa Guru Wars Come to a Head", I thought I would contact you regarding the physical presence of a siksa guru.
"Since one cannot visually experience the presence of the Supersoul, He appears before us as a liberated devotee. Such a spiritual master is none other than Krsna Himself."
Purport by Srila Prabhupada
"It is not possible for a conditioned soul to directly meet Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if one becomes a sincere devotee and seriously engages in devotional service, Lord Krsna sends an instructing spiritual master to show him favor and invoke his dormant propensity for serving the Supreme. The preceptor appears before the external senses of the fortunate conditioned soul, and at the same time the devotee is guided from within by the caittya-guru, Krsna, who is seated as the spiritual master within the heart of the living entity."
(Cc., Adi-lila, 1.58)

There seemed to be a question as to whether the siksa guru must be physically present as a "special qualification" so then that siksa guru becomes diksa guru for the devotee. I hope I have understood that correctly. The discussion you present is on page 3 last column and top paragraph (2) of the article. It would appear from the evidence of Adi-lila 1.58 above that the physical presence of the siksa guru is axiomatically the case.
Your servant,"
– Dusyanta Dasa, Carmarthen, Wales

Editor replies:

1) Srila Prabhupada explains in that verse that, unlike the caitya guru, who guides "from within" and whose presence cannot be experienced visually, the siksa guru is sent in an external embodied form so that he can be perceived via one's "external senses". There is no dispute regarding this, that this is how the siksa guru (or diksa guru) initially manifests in the material plane, via an embodied physical form. No one, for example, is claiming that the siksa guru "manifests" via instructions that magically appear mysteriously overnight as graffiti left on walls.

It should be noted, however, that "external senses" also includes hearing and reading, which would also be applicable even after the siksa guru has physically departed.

2) Nor is it disputed, at least not by anyone connected with ISKCON, that such a siksa guru continues to remain acting as the same fully-fledged siksa guru even after he departs his physical form. A case in point is Srila Prabhupada, who the GBC strongly insist is everyone's "compulsory" siksa guru, whether you like it or not (GBC Resolution No. 409.1, 1999)! Even though he has physically departed.

3) The discussion you referred to discussed Srila Prabhupada's statement that, as a general rule, the siksa guru becomes the diksa guru. However, the GBC insist that this is not the case. Rather, they do not accept that the siksa guru becomes the diksa guru unless that siksa guru is only acting whilst he is physically present on the planet, even though:

a) Srila Prabhupada does not state this "special" qualification for the siksa guru when giving siksa.
b) The GBC accept that Srila Prabhupada continues to act in the same way as the siksa guru, even though he may be physically absent.

To understand why this indeed would be an absurd imposition of a "special qualification" on Srila Prabhupada being able to act as a siksa guru, it would entail having to claim the following:

i) That the ability to read and understand Srila Prabhupada's instructions suddenly changed as soon as Srila Prabhupada physically departed.
ii) The ability to hear Srila Prabhupada's instructions via his tapes suddenly changed as soon as Srila Prabhupada physically departed.

Such an imposition becomes all the more absurd when one considers that most of Srila Prabhupada's disciples never received instructions orally, in person, from Srila Prabhupada. Otherwise, whether physically present or not, Srila Prabhupada is able to function normally as a siksa guru, and thus goes on also to become our diksa guru.

Hence, even the GBC do not argue that Srila Prabhupada's ability to act as the siksa guru changed as soon as he physically departed. Indeed, if it did, such an argument would in any case be self-defeating as we may not be able to understand Srila Prabhupada's instructions, such as the one you have presented above, as Srila Prabhupada's very ability to continue to instruct us would now be called into question. Thus, the GBC accept that Srila Prabhupada remains exactly the same siksa guru today as when he was physically present; but, contradictorily, they also claim that, at the same time, somehow, magically, the instruction from Srila Prabhupada that generally the siksa guru becomes the diksa guru can no longer apply to him, even though Srila Prabhupada never states this.

Subscribe for FREE to Back To Prabhupada Magazine - Click Here

Return to "Physical Presence" Index

Return to "Siksa" Index

Return to IRM Homepage


Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!