GBC Guru: We Can Allow the Rtvik System


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 76, Vol. 1, 2023

BC voted-in guru HG Mahatma Dasa ("MAD") recently stated that the positions of ISKCON and the "rtviks" (ISKCON's leaders' label for those who accept the IRM's position that Srila Prabhupada is ISKCON's diksa guru) are gradually moving closer together:

"as time goes on we see, we start to see there's less difference between the rtviks and us than there were, you know, 30, 40 years ago"
(MAD Lecture, 15/1/23. All quotes in shaded boxes from this lecture. Emphases added.)

We need to be almost rtvik

MAD then explains the reason for these two sides coming together:

"because we realized how much we need to connect our disciples to Srila Prabhupada, and it's almost a kind of rtvik"

a) MAD thus admits that this shift has come entirely due to the GBC guru hoaxers moving closer to the understanding of the IRM. This has happened because he and his GBC guru colleagues eventually "realised" that they need to "connect" people to Srila Prabhupada. Hence, MAD concludes that the GBC system consequently needs to be "almost" a "kind of rtvik".

b) This means they were ignorant and had to learn from the IRM about the need for everyone to connect to Srila Prabhupada, and thus then try to make the necessary adjustments. We therefore hope that this gradual movement spanning 30-40 years will continue, and the IRM's position will be fully accepted, with the GBC gurus simply becoming the "rtviks" that Srila Prabhupada ordered.

Not connected to Srila Prabhupada

MAD admitting that the GBC gurus "need to connect" their disciples to Srila Prabhupada also reveals that the GBC gurus' disciples are not already connected to Srila Prabhupada, and thus there has needed to be a move to connect them to Srila Prabhupada. Hence, by MAD's words, if you have accepted a GBC guru, it therefore means that:

i) you are not connected to Srila Prabhupada;
ii) but rather, the GBC gurus have needed to first realise, over 30-40 years, that they even needed to make this connection.

Whereas, directly accepting Srila Prabhupada as one's diksa guru, as the IRM advocates, means this connection to Srila Prabhupada is already achieved. And that's why MAD states that the GBC has gradually been moving towards the IRM's position in order to achieve this connection to Srila Prabhupada.

This is further evidence of the point we made in the BTP 73 article "Srila Prabhupada v. GBC Gurus": that having a GBC guru, rather than enhancing one's connection to Srila Prabhupada, only obstructs this connection. Thus, the GBC guru system is a natural block to connecting to Srila Prabhupada, as proven by MAD admitting that they needed to first "realise" that they even needed to connect a disciple to Srila Prabhupada – never mind actually achieve it! And, we documented in the previous issue (please see "GBC Guru Admits They Are Not Real Gurus") that MAD admitted the GBC gurus such as himself are not even real gurus anyway.

Should not have faith in GBC guru

"the problem here, that we saw with some gurus, was they didn't help their disciples connect with Prabhupada [...] So when their guru fell there was no Prabhupada to fall onto [...] devotees that didn't have as difficult a time, because all their faith wasn't reposed just in their guru, ‘my guru is everything, if he goes, I am finished'"
(MAD, Discussion, 30/11/22)

MAD states:

1) that the disciples of the GBC gurus lacked Srila Prabhupada as a ‘back-up guru' to "fall onto" in case their GBC guru fell away;
2) thus, putting all one's faith in one's GBC guru and accepting he "is everything" causes one to be "finished" in the event that he falls.

But putting all one's faith in one's diksa guru and accepting he is "everything" is the actual guru-disciple system. MAD is therefore proposing a different "part-time guru" system whereby a disciple should not fully surrender to the GBC guru, but instead also connect to Srila Prabhupada.

We quoted MAD stating that they are moving to "almost" a "kind of rtvik", because the difference is that he claims:

"they're not Prabhupada's disciples, they're ours"

But, as he admitted above, that is the very cause of the problem which forced the GBC's position to move closer to ours: the GBC gurus' disciples are not connected to Srila Prabhupada and they need to connect. If they were Srila Prabhupada's disciples, they would already be connected automatically.

We should allow the rtvik system

Accepting that "the rtviks made points which were valid", MAD therefore proposes:

"'Okay, in your temples you can do it this way, in our temples we'll do it this way, let's stop the in-house fighting. Well, let's just say this is, this will be a branch of ISKCON that does this.' At least you could have a discussion like that, you know: these are the rules, how, let's at least talk about it, can it work? [...] That's what I would like to see. I think that's the direction we need to be going."

Having accepted that the GBC guru system has had to move towards the rtvik system, MAD now goes further, and basically accepts that the rtvik system is bona fide. He does this by proposing that ISKCON could allow the rtvik system to operate in ISKCON side by side with the current GBC guru system and accept that it is a "branch of ISKCON" – and he states that to achieve such a result is what we should be aiming for. For MAD to make such a proposal, it means that he accepts that the rtvik system is not a deviation, but rather at least as valid as the GBC guru system.


If the goal is to connect oneself to Srila Prabhupada, which MAD admits above is the aim, then, based on his statements, one can:

a) Accept a GBC guru:

i) who does not connect you to Srila Prabhupada;
ii) who is not a real guru anyway;
iii) who then "realises" that one should connect to Srila Prabhupada over a period of 30-40 years.


b) Avoid this incomplete, ignorant, indirect, "unreal" path, and instead accept the instant, full, direct path of connecting directly to the real guru Srila Prabhupada by accepting him as one's diksa guru, as advocated by the IRM.

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