The “double appointment” hoax


Back to Prabhupada, Issue 27, Spring 2010

By Krishnakant

When false guru succession theories are destroyed, in desperation its adherents may concoct an even more ludicrous theory to keep their guru ambitions alive. One ludicrous theory, which was proven to be so ludicrous that even the whole of the GBC and ISKCON officially rejected it, was the “zonal acharya appointment theory” (“Great Guru Hoax, Part 1”). Faced with the fact that this particular appointment theory has been rejected, some desperate ISKCON leaders have attempted to revive it in recent years under another ludicrous guise, which we will shall call the “double appointment” hoax.

Double appointment

Whereas the zonal acharya appointment theory states that 11 men were appointed as diksha guru successors via being appointed as ritviks who were to then automatically turn into diksha gurus on Srila Prabhupada’s departure, the “double appointment” hoax states:

a) 11 men were first appointed in July 1977 as ritviks to only be ritviks.

b) Then in October 1977, due to Srila Prabhupada becoming too ill to initiate, the 11 are now appointed to act as diksa gurus immediately, even during his physical presence.

The desperation of ISKCON’s leaders to revive the guru appointment theory has led to at least the 3 following attempts by ISKCON’s leadership to propose this “double appointment” hoax in one form or another:

Sankarshan Das, GBC-voted in guru.
ii) HH Trivikrama Swami, GBC-voted in guru.
iii) Prabhupada’s Order, the official GBC reply to the IRM’s The Final Order.*

We mentioned instance a) above in BTP 20, and will deal with this ludicrous theory in full here by analysing an article called “Final Order” by ISKCON guru HH Trivikrama Swami (“TKS”), with all the quotes in the panels below excerpted from this article (typing errors kept intact); the original article can be found at this link:, archived February 23rd, 2010).

No diksha order given

“Here Srila Prabhupada is saying two things. One is that he will appoint some of his leading disciples to act as riviks, like it had been done before, to initiate disciple on behalf of His Divine Grace. Then he is also saying that when I order they can become actually guru. The FINAL ORDER is not given yet. […] that comes Oct 18 1977.”

TKS refers here to the May 28th, 1977 conversation, and crucially, he admits the IRM position that there is no hint of any diksha guru order in the May 28th conversation, by claiming this order has still yet to be given, and will not be given until October. This means that if it can be shown that no diksha gurus were appointed in October, then the “double appointment” hoax traps itself into admitting that Srila Prabhupada specifically only appointed ritviks to carry out initiations in ISKCON.

Fake final order

Referring to the conversation below:

Prabhupada: “Hare Krsna. One Bengali gentleman has come from New York?”
Tamal Krsna: “Yes. Mr. Sukamal Roy Chowdury.”
Prabhupada: “So I have deputed some of you to initiate. Hm?”
Tamal Krsna: “Yes. Actually… Yes, Srila Prabhupada.”
Prabhupada: “So I think Jayapataka can do that if he likes.
I have already deputed. Tell him.”
Tamal Krsna: “Yes.”
Prabhupada: “So, deputies, Jayapataka’s name was there?”
Bhagavan: “It is already on there, Srila Prabhupada. His name was on that list.”
Prabhupada: “So I depute him to do this at Mayapura, and you may go with him. I stop for the time being. Is that alright?”
Tamal Krsna: “Stopped doing what, Srila Prabhupada?”
Prabhupada: “This initiation. I have deputed the, my disciples. Is it clear or not?”
Giriraja: “It’s clear.”
Prabhupada: “You have got the list of the names?”
Tamal Krsna: “Yes, Srila Prabhupada.”
Prabhupada: “And if by Krsna’s grace I recover from this condition, then I shall begin again, or I may not be pressed in this condition to initiate. It is not good.”
(Conversation, October 18th, 1977)

TKS states:

“From July 8th ’77 until this point Srila Prabhupada has been initiating disciple via his ritvik representives. Now he wants to stop doing that. […] By now Srila Prabhupada is very ill. He has lost a tremendous amount of weight and has practically no strength even to shift himself in his bed. Now Srila Prabhupada is giving his FINAL ORDER. He wants his disciple who he has appointed to begin initiating their own disciples. Otherwise what can he mean when he says he is stopping this initiation but he still wants Mr. Sukamal Roy Chowdury to be initiated. [...] This is his FINAL ORDER on this subject.”

a) But the ritvik system already in place did not require Srila Prabhupada’s physical involvement at all! Hence his illness or physical health can have no bearing on the arrangement since the ritviks had been authorized to accept disciples on his behalf without Srila Prabhupada requiring to do anything.

b) Clearly, therefore, Srila Prabhupada could only be stopping an activity which depended on his physical health, and this was performing the initiation fire yajna ceremony for those persons who approached him to be initiated personally, just as Mr. Sukamal Roy Chowdury has done here.

c) This is confirmed by the fact that Srila Prabhupada refers to the initiation being carried out via the same system of “deputation” he had given via the list of “deputies” (ritviks) that he had appointed in July, of which Jayapataka was one. He does not state that actually this system of deputation is now to be ceased, and the ritviks must now turn into diksha gurus. Rather, Srila Prabhupada makes a point of re-confirming the original ritvik order:
“This initiation. I have deputed the, my disciples. Is it clear or not?”

Thus no diksha guru order was ever given.


By claiming that Srila Prabhupada appointed ritviks, whose status was to change only via a non-existent diksha guru order in October, the “double appointment” hoax merely ends up confirming the IRM’s position!

*Here a hybrid version of both the zonal and “double appointment” hoax is suggested:
“Prabhupada indicated that the 11 were in fact to all intents and purposes performing the full-fledged function of gurus in his own presence, for on October 18 he was approached for initiation by an Indian man who flew in all the way from New York […] From the above conversation it is clear that Prabhupada was not willing to accept the new initiate because of his condition he didn’t want his karma. […] Yet as a matter of etiquette the persons the first 11 initiated were still to be considered Prabhupada’s disciples during his presence;”
(Prabhupada’s Order, GBC, Hari Sauri Das)

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