The Secretary Knows Better Than The Boss?


By Krishnakant

January 18, 1999

Recently Tamal Krishna Maharaja in his lecture in Hong Kong (dated 6th Aug 1998 and in other parts of the Far east), responded to the Rtvik issue by claiming that it was Tamal Krishna Goswami who was the creator of the rtvik issue. Being the Secretary to Srila Prabhupada it was his idea to write the July 9th letter. He also mentioned that the rtvik devotees should be grateful and indebted to him for bringing up the rtvik issue in the first place by issuing the July 9th letter and that therefore he was the "founder Acarya" of the rtvik movement. And if they wanted to know about Rtvik, they should approach him for actual information.

In simple words Tamal Krishna Goswami points out that it was not really Srila Prabhupada's order to the society to continue the already existing rtvik system of initiations in 1977,and that only because of him bringing the subject of rtvik up to Srila Prabhupada in a garden conversation on July 7th did Srila Prabhupada selected the rtviks. His ardent supporter Drutakrama das also makes the same claim. Thus according to Tamal Krishna goswami's latest tactic to defend the present Guru system, he claims that only because he had brought up the problem of a back log of devotees who were waiting for initiations and could not receive initiations because Srila Prabhupada was sick, did Srila Prabhupada order the rtvik system. (This point of Srila Prabhupada not being able to initiate because he was sick has already been extensively dealt and defeated with in the Final order pages 8 of the English version and also in the reply to the GBC called "Its best Not TO accept any Disciples").

However what follows is a logical and proper response to this latest invention of Tamal Krishna Goswami in his defense for the previous and present Guru system post 1977 in ISKCON,. Tamal Krishna Goswami claims that because he signed the July 9th letter as the secretary to Srila Prabhupada, he is the main author of its contents and the message and contents were coming from him , with Srila Prabhupada only being in the background and not directly involved with the rtvik issue. Tamal Krishna Goswami and Drutakrama das now claims after 21 years that the contents of the July 9th letter was his direct words and that even if Srila Prabhupada only signed "APPROVED" in the letter he was not directly involved in issuing the order of rtvik initiations in ISKCON.

The following are explanations from Krsna Kant prabhu's article in response to Drutakrama das, to the above latest and ridiculous attempt to undermine Srila Prabhupada's instructions to ISKCON on rtvik initiations. We ask the reader to first read the recent article posted on VNN called "Colorful History of Tamal Krishna Goswami", and then to study carefully the issues in this present article with a cool headed mind and make up his own mind on this point.

1. Srila Prabhupada is the founder acarya of ISKCON. Thus he is responsible for all the directives establishing the GBC, and how precisely it should run and manage things. He would issue policy documents to his GBC via his secretary. When for the past 10 years of Srila Prabhupada's physical presence, letters came from his secretary, even without a counter signature to the Society leaders and the GBC, they would never for one second think that the instruction was generated by, or coming from the secretary himself, what to speak of the July 9th letter which was indeed countersigned by Srila Prabhupada who signed under the statement "APPROVED".

2. H.H. Tamala Krishna Maharaja was Srila Prabhupada's secretary as stated on the letter - not adviser, or co-policy maker, or head of a think-tank, but his secretary. His duties were only to communicate Srila Prabhupada's wishes to his society.

3. Just in case this blindly obvious fact is still missed, the opening of the July 9th letter states that what follows is the desire of Srila Prabhupada, not of the secretary:
" ... Srila Prabhupada indicated [...] His Divine Grace has so far given ..."

4. If Srila Prabhupada is not allowed to communicate his desires to his society via his secretary for fear of the instructions having less validity, then why would he keep a secretary in the first place if every time the GBC were going to think - 'oh this is actually Tamal's letter'!?

5. This latest invention to cover the rtvik system of initiation by Srila Prabhupada is so absurd. When an employee of a corporation receives a letter from the boss's secretary saying that "The boss says you are fired", there is no sane person who will say that the letter has less validity because it was signed by the secretary. What to speak of a situation where the boss actually goes to the trouble of countersigning the letter in approval as Srila Prabhupada actually did.

6. Drutakrama das also makes the same point in his second article against rtvik and by such argumentation implies that it was actually H.H. Tamala Krishna Maharaja who ran ISKCON and that he would simply get Srila Prabhupada to approve his decisions. Such devotion to Maharaja by Drutakarma das is admirable, but we suggest he please urgently wake up and starts following his spiritual master who was responsible for issuing the letter.

Pathetic line of argumentation

Thus how in heaven's name is the fact that Srila Prabhupada used his secretary to communicate his desires to the society as people with secretaries do, relevant to its validity or application? Why doesn't Tamal Krishna goswami or Drutakrama das just give up this pathetic line of argumentation and just deal with the contents of the July 9th letter?

This continual attempt to undermine the validity of a letter personally approved by Srila Prabhupada leads one to believe that both Tamal Krishna Goswami and Drutakrama Dasa are actually scared of its contents. And if not they they are implying that Srila Prabhupada signed something he did not agree with? Why cannot both these persons just deal straight forwardly with the final order rather than casting irrelevant and baseless aspirations.

Drutakarma das apparently tries to offer us first hand knowledge about exactly how the July 9th letter was generated (perhaps he was hiding in the closet in Vrndavan at that time ). He speculates that H.H. Tamala Krishna Maharaja writes the letter of his own accord as a result of the July 7th conversation. Unfortunately the letter itself directly contradicts this fanciful speculation because it begins as follows,

"Recently when all of the GBC members were with His Divine Grace in Vrindavana, Srila Prabhupada indicated [...] His Divine Grace has so far given a list of eleven disciples ..."

The letter clearly states that the context of the letter is a meeting held previously with all the GBC.

According to the GBC this meeting occurred on May 28th and deals only with what should happen after Srila Prabhupada's departure. The letter makes no mention of the fact that the reason for the system was the same concern for Srila Prabhupada's health that Tamal Krishna Maharaj had expressed just two days previously. We are now to believe that in writing this letter of his own accord, Tamal Krishna Maharaj forgets to mention the real reason for the letter - the conversation of two days ago - and instead mentions the context as being a conversation in May 28th that is not even mentioned in the July 7th conversation. Further the May conversation, according to the GBC, only specifies the context of what should occur after Srila Prabhupada's departure

Srila Prabhupada's 'DIRECT WORDS'

Therefore any sane person with a little bit of common sense will refuse to accept the absurd notion that just because a letter is typed by a Secretary the letter has any less validity because the secretary typed and signed it. The argument that the letter is not Srila Prabhupada's 'direct words' is even more ludicrous. By this logic, Tamal Krishna Goswami and Drutakrama das would also have to reject all of Srila Prabhupada's books since they also are not Srila Prabhupada's direct words, having been first typed and edited by Hayagriva das and other devotees in the 1970's and and lately by Drutakarma's friend H.H. Jayadwaita Swami in the 1980's. Thus Tamal Krishna Goswami and Drutakrama das by their own latest "logic" must cease presenting any evidence from Srila Prabhupada's books when they preach unless they can first locate the appropriate dictation tape and demonstrate that the book does indeed contain Srila Prabhupada's direct words.

If as Tamal Krishna Goswami and Drutakarma dasa allege that there is a difference between the July 9th letter and any other letter that is directly drafted by Srila Prabhupada in his own words, we beg to ask what precisely is the difference? For example Srila Prabhupada would often sign approval to GBC resolutions which he had not personally drafted. (though if there was something he did not like, he would have the GBC change it). Are we now not to take such resolutions seriously? When such resolutions were sent to the Temple Presidents did they refuse to follow them because Srila Prabhupada had only approved them and not sat down and typed them himself ?

Are Tamal Krishna Goswami and Drutakrama das suggesting that Srila Prabhupada would irresponsibly sign something without fully reading or hearing it being dictated and then agreeing with what was written? (Especially when Tamal Krishna goswami admitted in 1978 that it was Srila Prabhupada who dictated the letter to him and had him "write the letter to all the GBC's and Temple President which Srila Prabhupada also signed as approved on the 9th of July". We suggest that both these persons should try and develop more faith in their Guru Maharaj. Srila Prabhupada is perfect, he never makes mistakes.

Therefore we beg to submit that beacuse the July 9th letter was directly approved by Srila Prabhupada this is as good as his direct words.

IF Tamal Krishna goswami and Drutakarma das wishes to challenge the July 9th letter then they will need to produce another approved document issued subsequently to July 9th 1977. Unless they can do this then the July 9th letter is by definition Srila Prabhupada's final directive on the matter of initiation within ISKCON.

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