The following is reply to the above Podcast lecture titled "The role of the guru and the disciple",
delivered by His Holiness Sivarama Maharaja (SRS). As usual excerpts from Maharaja shall be enclosed in speech marks “ “ thus, with our comments following underneath.

“And although Srila Prabhupada's vision of, as with other things, the way in which this process of parampara guru-disciple relationship continues within the Krishna Conciousness  movement was sort of implicit in the way in that he established ISKCON.”

This is a stunning admission from SRS that there is actually no order from Srila Prabhupada stating that either guru succession will continue in ISKCON or how it will happen. Rather ISKCON’s process of gurus continuing the parampara with successor gurus to Srila Prabhupada is based solely on assuming that what Srila Prabhupada wanted is “sort of implicit” in how ISKCON was established!
This echoes the GBC’s acceptance of His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami admitting the same:

“Srila Prabhupada never quite comes out and says:
“I select some of you to take up the service of initiating new disciples,” does he? Yes, I agree it’s implicit.[…] Now, I agree that what His Divine Grace intended by this was that these rtviks, after his departure, would initiate disciples on their own and that this is implicit in the conversation.”

(Jayadvaita Swami  e-mail to GBC, 13/12/2003)

So SRS’s evidence for guru succession is simply assuming that its “sort of implicit”. And in the absence of actual evidence it is possible to prove anything by assuming this.

“And  there was also no such thing as a institution.  And then when I mention the word institution, like ISKCON, then there's also something sort of non-traditional is how a guru functions within an institution. […] Guru-disciple tradition means you're a guru because you follow the order of your guru.  What he asks you to do doesn't establish traditional or non-traditional.  Tradition is and it’s consistently the same, is, and of course, this we'll hear and read everywhere is a person is only as much a spiritual master as he follows his spiritual master. […] So, therefore it's not an issue of that in ISKCON there's something that's non-traditional. It is traditional.  It's just a question of what was it that the traditional process of following the order of our guru entailed.”

So tradition and historical precedence do not matter. Rather to simply follow the order of the Guru – this is what is traditional. By this argument, if Srila Prabhupada ordered the ritvik system it must be followed, and cannot be dismissed on the basis that it is non-traditional and without precedence. And we already know Srila Prabhupada did such a thing on July 9th, 1977, stating that the initiation system for ISKCON would involve using representatives which would keep Srila Prabhupada as the Diksa Guru for ISKCON. And Srila Prabhupada never ordered that such a system should be abandoned. And ISKCON’s only argument against this has been that it cannot possibly be correct since it is not traditional and without historical precedence. Above SRS has completely defeated this argument. We must simply follow the order of the Guru literally without trying to interpret it in terms of tradition and history.

“And therefore, it's Srila Prabhupada had this other vision that no, the guru is not invested with all of the authority of the institution.  But rather he is also a servant just like everybody else.  And he performs this as a service.  His service is to give diksa.  Everyone else is giving siksa as their service, he also shall be giving siksa.  But he also gives diksa, initiation.  And by dint of the fact that he gives diksa, which is actually a principle that's based on siksadivyam jnanam yato dadyat kuryat papasya sanksayam.  So Srila Prabhupada says initiate him with transcendental knowledge.”

1) But everyone in ISKCON sings everyday to Srila Prabhupada during Guru-Puja that it is HE who is giving us this ‘divyam jnanam’:

"cakhu-dan dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei, Divya-jnana hrde prokasito."

"He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge.  He is my Lord birth after birth."
(Guru-puja prayer sung every morning by every ISKCON member to Srila Prabhupada)

And in an explanation of this verse from the Guru-puja prayer, Srila Prabhupada categorically states that it means he is giving diksa, or initiation:

"Divya-jnana hrde prokasito. What is that divya-jnana? […] This is divya-jnana. DiksaDiksa means from this divya-jnana."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 11/7/1976)

2) And if Diksa is based on siksa, then again Srila Prabhupada must be the Diksa Guru since it is admitted that he alone gives virtually all the Siksa:

“ISKCON’s founder-acarya, Srila Prabhupada, is the pre-eminent and compulsory siksa-guru for all vaisnavas (gurus and disciples) in the Society, who may directly receive empowerment from him through allegiance to his teachings.”
(No. 409, GBC Resolutions 1999)

“Srila Prabhupada’s instructions are the essential teachings for every ISKCON devotee.”
(GBC Resolution 35, Founder-Acarya Statement, 1994)

“Srila Prabhupada mentioned this point that the spiritual master should be a eternal associate of the Lord. He should be a resident of Goloka Vrindavana. And that's the Bhagavat-viddhi.  Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in His mission to save the conditioned souls.  And considering that the relative rarity of such exalted personalities allowed amara ajnaya guru.  He gave this order, "Anyone who's in India and actually everyone to take the responsibility of guru."  Which is, which means that you have then a whole broad spectrum of devotees who are spiritually advanced.”

But Lord Caitanya’s amara ajnaya guru was given to any uninitiated person he met in passing in South India. It clearly therefore not an order to be a non-liberated Diksa Guru, and the purports to this order from Srila Prabhupada make this very clear:

“This is the sublime mission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Many people come and inquire whether they have to give up family life to join the Society, but that is not our mission. One can remain comfortably in his residence. […]
The Krsna consciousness movement is trying to elevate human society to the perfection of life by pursuing the method described by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His advice to the brahmana Kurma. That is, one should stay at home, chant the Hare Krishna mantra and preach the instructions of Krishna
as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. […]

One may remain a householder, a medical practitioner, an engineer or whatever. It doesn't matter. One only has to follow the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and instruct relatives and friends in the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is best not to accept any disciples. One has to become purified at home by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and preaching the principles enunciated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”

(Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya, 7:128-7:130, purports)

So this is an order for regular householders with jobs to stay at home and become purified themselves by chanting Hare Krishna and preaching to their friends and relatives. And they definitely should not take any disciples. Such persons are usually known in ISKCON patronizingly as “friends of Krishna” or “Nama-hatta members”, the congregation, who are considered at the bottom of the hierarchy of the Krishna conscious movement, below even new Bhaktas who have joined the temple. Now all of a sudden SRS claims that such persons are actually Diksa Gurus substitutes for residents of Goloka Vrindavana!

And indeed later on the same lecture, SRS admits this:

“If you're taking initiation, then amara ajnaya guru, you've taken responsibility for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's order and you have to preach.  You have to take responsibility for supporting this movement in whatever way that your gurus decide.  Whether it's financially or you have Nama Hattas in your homes or you go out and distribute books or you…”

So having admitted that the Guru must be a pure nitya siddha like Srila Prabhupada, SRS’s attempt to substitute for this via the amara ajnaya guru order is defeated both by Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, and his own subsequent words!

“on occasions in the past when the guru left ISKCON, that the followers were wise enough to realize, "Well, but I'm, I'm not going to, because I joined this Society, my allegiance is to Srila Prabhupada who wanted my allegiance to be to the Society, so I'm not going to follow."

SRS here states that initiation from one of ISKCON’s “diksa gurus” means that one actually establishes one’s allegiance to Srila Prabhupada, and not to his “diksa guru”, who one can jettison if he later leaves ISKCON. This is admitting therefore that initiation in ISKCON is more akin to a ritvik process, since initiation leads to more of a connection with Srila Prabhupada rather than one’s ISKCON “diksa guru” (ritvik) being established.

“but we're also taking initiation through the parampara and particularly establishing a very real connection with Srila Prabhupada which is another onus on all members of this movement. That they really have to know who is Srila Prabhupada, what he wanted, what his instructions were for individuals, for the Society, the mission that he expected every single member of this movement to take responsibility for.  And then initiation also means that.”’

It will be difficult for ISKCON members to really know what Srila Prabhupada’s instructions were in respect of taking initiation from successor diksa gurus, since SRS has already admitted that such instructions do not actually exist but must just assumed to be “sort of implicit”!