The First Mistake


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 78, 2023

Srila Prabhupada guru of ISKCON

Welcome to Issue 78 of Back To Prabhupada (BTP).

1) Srila Prabhupada explains that if we make a mistake in an opening calculation, then no matter what you do afterwards, the calculation will always be faulty:

"If you miss one point, there is a mistake in your calculation. Regardless of what you add or subtract after that, the mistake is already in the calculation, and everything that follows will also be faulty."
(The Science of Self-Realization, Chapter 4)

2) In regard to ISKCON, that mistake is not establishing Srila Prabhupada's correct position, both in theory and practice. And without doing this first, everything else will fail and has failed. Hence, the IRM concentrates on this point to the exclusion of all else. We have been severely criticised for this single-minded approach, but without it, as Srila Prabhupada explains, everything else will be futile.

3) ISKCON leaders are beginning to agree. HG Rasaraja Dasa ("RRD") is a long-time senior member and trustee for the governing board of ISKCON India (the "Bureau", the legal entity which controls ISKCON India), and he states:

"unless, you know [...] Prabhupada's position in the movement is properly established, we'll never be able to, you know, correct anything else because Prabhupada said if you're adding 10 numbers and you make a mistake in adding the first number, the total is never going to be right"
(RRD, Video Discussion, 12/5/23, emphasis above and in rest of Issue added)

In the same discussion, RRD also adds that "the position of Srila Prabhupada and Guru-tattva is not clear", and this fact must be recognised "at the GBC level". RRD is, of course, correct that Srila Prabhupada's position in ISKCON is not clear, and that until it is clearly established, they will not be able to correct anything else.

4) It would be shocking if there existed a Krsna consciousness movement in which it was not clear "who is Krsna?"! Yet, to have a movement ISKCON, founded by Srila Prabhupada, in which it is still not clear "who is Prabhupada" is no less shocking, especially after almost 50 years. And yet, the answer is no less obvious. Srila Prabhupada's position in ISKCON was completely clear before he physically departed, and the movement flourished, and there is no reason for this to have ever changed. And what was that position? As the Acarya of ISKCON, it encompassed:

a) His position as the diksa guru;
b) His position as the siksa guru;
c) His position as the supreme authority.

We know that position a) is no longer acknowledged, but surely his position in respect of b) and c) is still accepted in ISKCON? After all, ISKCON still acknowledges that Srila Prabhupada is the "preeminent siksa guru" for everyone in ISKCON (GBC Resolution 409, 1999), which should mean, one would think, that he is also ISKCON's supreme authority.

5) However, as we detail in the next article, Srila Prabhupada's position even as the authority of ISKCON is under attack. In addition, if one wishes to accept Srila Prabhupada as the "preeminent" source of all teachings in ISKCON, then there is no need to ever go outside his teachings, and we should always adhere to the "Prabhupada-Only Paradigm" or POP. The article on page 4 proves why there is never a need to go beyond Srila Prabhupada. Ironically, on page 7, we analyse some teachings from RRD himself, the implications of which, if they are accepted by other ISKCON leaders, would lead to ISKCON adopting the IRM's position!

6) Despite the situation in ISKCON not being clear, as RRD explains, the IRM has succeeded in making the "position of Srila Prabhupada and Guru-tattva" clear. One proof of this is how we are able, almost mystically, to take what ISKCON's leaders state when they challenge how we have made Srila Prabhupada's position clear, and show that their statements actually support what we have said! Or show how such a challenge defeats itself through self-contradiction. And this issue will be showing more of that as well!

Thank you and Hare Krsna.

In Srila Prabhupada's service,


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Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!