From Time Immemorial
by Kailäsa Candra däsa
Second of a Two-part Series
“If guru mahäräja could have seen someone who was qualified at that time to be Äcärya, he would have mentioned, because, on the night before he passed away, he talked of so many things, but never mentioned an Äcärya. . . So Çrédhara mahäräja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one Äcärya, and later it proved a failure. The result is now everyone is claiming to be Äcärya, even though they may be kaniñöha adhikäré with no ability to preach. In some of the camps, the Äcärya is being changed three times a year. Therefore, we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp.”
“When I order, 'You become guru,' he becomes regular guru, that's all. He becomes disciple of my disciple. That's it.”
“My guru mahäräja was in the tenth generation from Lord Caitanya. We are eleventh from Lord Caitanya. The disciplic succession is as follows: 1. Çré Krishna, 2. Brahmä, 3. Närada, 4. Vyäsa, 5. Madhva, 6. Padmanäbha, 7. Nrihari, 8. Mädhava, 9. Akshobhya, 10. Jayatértha, 11. Jïänasindhu, 12. Dayänidhi, 13. Vidyänidhi, 14. Räjendra, 15. Jayadharma, 16. Puruñottama, 17. Vyäsatértha, 18. Laksmépati, 19. Mädhavendra Puré, 20. Éçvara Puré (Advaita, Nityänanda) 21. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, 22. (Svarüpa, Sanätana) Rüpa, 23.(Jéva) Raghunäth, 24. Krishna däsa, 25. Narottama, 26. Viçvanätha, 27. (Baladeva) Jagannätha, 28. (Bhaktivinode) Gaura-kiçora, 29. Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté, Çré Varshabhänavidayitä däs, 30. Çré Çrémad Bhaktivedänta.”
The disciplic succession from time immemorial consists of uttama-adhikärés, although the Personality of Godhead Himself is present in two places in the one listed above. There are four Vaiñëava lines of disciplic succession mentioned in the Padma-Puräëa, and this line is one of those. The guru-paramparä is also known as the disciplic succession, and His Divine Grace is the most recent Äcärya in this Brahma-sampradäya.
This particular line was embellished when the Supreme Personality of Godhead rejuvenated bhakti-yoga in India a little over five hundred years ago, appearing there as Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. As such, this particular paramparä is also known as the Brahma-Madhva-Gauòéya Vaiñëava sampradäya, and one of the later Äcäryas listed above--namely Baladeva Vidyäbhuñaëa—was authorized by the Supreme Lord to write a separate commentary on Vedänta-sütra in order to establish Gauòéya Vaiñëavism as bona fide. Çréla Prabhupäda never treated Gauòéya Vaiñëavism as being separate from the disciplic succession of Lord Brahmä and Madhväcärya, conclusively evidenced by the letter to Upendra (posted above).
The Äcärya in the true sense of the term represents the guru-paramparä perfectly, but he need not be a nitya-siddha or a great scholar of Vaiñëavism. He need not be a nitya-siddha, as the third Äcärya in the line, Narada Muni, was previously a conditioned soul. The twenty-eighth Äcärya listed above, Gaura-kiçora däs bäbäjé, was illiterate.
However, the Äcärya must be a pure devotee on the highest level (uttama-adhikäré), and he thus must have perfectly received the pure message handed down to him from the previous Äcäryas through the unbroken chain of disciplic succession. As such, he continues to deliver the message just as he perfectly received it, and thus this divine knowledge and process is transmitted from time immemorial, from the time of the universal creation itself.
A regular guru, on the other hand, is not listed in the chain of perfect Äcäryas, as he is still not completely liberated. He is conversant in the divine science, and he thus correctly delivers the message. Nevertheless, his guidance is still insufficient. A disciple of a madhyam-adhikäré should not delude himself that the regular guru (he has accepted initiation from) is equal to the great Äcäryas in the disciplic succession. One day he may become so, but, as long as he is a regular guru, he is not authorized to imitate any of the great Äcäryas in the disciplic succession; instead, he must follow in their footsteps.
This knowledge of the regular guru should not be misunderstood. Prabhupäda certainly wanted at least some of his disciples to become regular gurus, but that does not automatically mean that any of them did. The eleven pretender mahäbhägavats of the late Seventies and early to mid-Eighties were not regular gurus, and “ISKCON” gurus since that time (all of them institutional gurus) are still connected to that initial deviation. This will be discussed in more detail as Part Two proceeds.
As you can readily see in the letter to Rüpänuga (above), Çréla Prabhupäda traced the chief problem of the failed Gouòéya Mutt back to its initial deviation just subsequent to his guru mahäräj departing physical manifestation. This principle applies to the “disciplic succession” of the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation. First, there were eleven commissioners who were awarded—by the deviated governing body itself--eleven geographic zones for their pretensions. Then, three more institutional gurus—all of whom also wrongly accepted uttama-adhikäré worship—were added five years later.
Things slid downhill from there. None of those people were pure devotees on any level, and none of them passed the perfect message and process to any of their disciples and followers. They all disobeyed the orders of His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda just as badly as the deviated leaders of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Prabhupäda disobeyed his orders in connection to the next Äcärya. From one perspective, you would not be illogical to conclude that the leading secretaries of Çréla A. C. Bhaktivedänta Swämi deviated even worse than did the Gouòéya Mutt leaders.
When a non-liberated disciple of a bona fide Äcärya takes over after the disappearance of his guru mahäräj, if he deviates from the perfect guidance, the result will always be putrefaction, failure, and destruction in due course. There may be some fabulous and superficial results before that, but everything will eventually collapse, and the pretenders will be exposed and eventually degraded. The followers will abandon those bogus gurus and their governing body when those followers become aware of the imperfections and deviations, and the organization will then slowly drift along as a dying institution.
Even if a guru reaches the spontaneous platform of sädhana-bhakti, he is best advised not to flaunt himself as a fully liberated Äcärya or to imitate the uttama-adhikäré, because, by rightly deciding to remain active as a regular guru, he can more effectively maintain the unity of his international organization. However, this injunction is irrelevant now, because whatever unity may exist in “ISKCON,” it is nothing but an imposition and has no ultimate credibility, i.e., it is not real unity. There are no regular gurus in “ISKCON,” and, since March of 1978, there never have been any gurus to be found living there.
His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda remains the most recent Äcärya in the line of disciplic succession headed by the Universal Creator in his capacity as an Äcärya, namely, Lord Brahmä. The message is still perfectly present on this planet, but that does not mean that the movement Prabhupäda appears to have founded is representing it perfectly. It is not, in no small part, because it is no longer Prabhupäda's movement. You need to secure the right perspective of our timeless disciplic succession, but “ISKCON” can and will only divert you from securing that realization. There is actually no comparison between the tiny, dying institution of “ISKCON” and the disciplic succession from time immemorial. When you finish reading and assimilating this article, you may be able to get a glimpse of this truth.
The Imitation of Christ
“Because he has dovetailed himself with the supreme consciousness, so, for himself, he has nothing to do. He simply depends. He simply depends on the supreme consciousness. It is very elevated stage. . . Without coming to that highest stage, we should not imitate.”
“The spiritual path is to follow the footprints of predecessors, great Äcäryas who (have) realized. Then you become perfect. Not imitate, but to follow. Imitation is different thing. So, this is not imitation, but this is following the footprints. So, one who wants to become devotee, he has to follow certain rules and regulation(s) which are enacted by authorized persons in this line. We cannot deny it.
Bob: So then a devotee must work for everybody's liberation?
If you're yourself are a Prabhupäda, you can imitate him, because you would then not be imitating. Following in the footsteps of Prabhupäda is not imitation, and the neophyte must make considerable effort to even follow in his footsteps in the right way. For the madhyam, it is not very difficult, because the desire to imitate is no longer present within him. However, while it may be difficult for a neophyte, it is extremely difficult for the mixed devotee.
Even for someone on the spontaneous platform (as unlikely that would be at the current time), it is risky to imitate the devotee who is on a higher level. Anyone engaged in sädhana-bhakti is prone to fall-down, but the uttama-adhikäré does not fall down. As such, even the spontaneous devotee rightly chooses (usually) to follow in the footsteps of the Äcärya, as well as following the great Äcäryas. Setting that good example is helpful to all those who are struggling with the rules and regulations of sädhana-bhakti.
Imitation of the Äcärya has wrecked havoc on Çréla Prabhupäda's branch of Lord Caitanya's Hare Kåñëa movement. Yet, this idea--”do what Prabhupäda would do”--was glorified by the eleven pretender mahäbhägavats, especially by the rascal in the foothills of Moundsville. In the Folio, do we find it validated? “Do what I would do.” No hits. “Do as I do.” No hits. Other variables of the same thing. No hits. If Prabhupäda said this, it must have been in a limited setting with one or two of his disciples. What was the context? How can we know? If any of those men were directly implicated in the grand imitation of 1978, then that context would be warped for their own aggrandizement; after all, they could and did warp almost everything His Divine Grace said to them in order to further their own interests.
You act according to your adhikära, and then, by doing so, when you make further advancement, you act according to that higher adhikära. This is the process. You follow in the footsteps. These big leaders who fancied each of themselves to be a Prabhupäda had a deluded and puffed up conception of who they were, what they knew, and what they could do. They were full of themselves. When they entered a room, they immediately sucked out all the oxygen from it, as everything always had to be about them and for them. The obnoxious fawning they received served to verify, in their own minds, that they are special. Criminal dons do the same thing when they meet their down-line hitters.
Could the eleven pretender mahäbhägavats do exactly what Prabhupäda was able to do? For a few months, it may have appeared like that, but it was all Maya's pitiless intrigue. The center could not hold. The G.B.C. could not keep the scheme from falling apart. The new gurus could not pull the scam off, because their imitation of Prabhupäda was so egregious. That was obvious to some of us from the very beginning, but, in due course of time, their false displays became more and more evident to almost everybody.
Then, they had to bail, especially when the chief Party Men (presidents) got together and complained. How can you suspend a guru? Yet, this was done by the G.B.C. It didn't work, and the house of cards was on the verge of cratering when Professor Blueblood saved the day by bringing in the collegiate Second Transformation of the mid-Eighties.
Imitation and dishonesty go well together. The big lie of 1978 held for a time by the imitation of the bold, arrogant men, who convinced themselves that it was heroic on their parts to imitate Prabhupäda. Of course, since their characters were anything but pure, those proud imitators soon enough turned upon each another—after all, Prabhupäda was the Sole Äcärya from the mid-Sixties to the late Seventies. As such, if you're going to imitate him in all ways, then you also need to crush the competition and become yourself the Sole Äcärya.
A collegiate attitude would not do, so the first mäyikä trick got exposed because those fellows were so caught up in their own glorification echo chambers that they could not see straight. By fighting one another, the foundation that had been propping them up was cracking. That defect on their part should not be lamented, of course.
The fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation survived the era of imitation--the heady days of the zonal äcäryas--because it was able to pull the Joker out from the bottom of its deck. That Joker reads: “It is on You!” The new people were forced to come to the realization that they fell for the imitation because they wanted to be cheated. So, with the Second Transformation, they got another chance to be cheated, i.e., the Second Transformation was just as false as The Era of the Imitation Prabhupädas, only flawed and unauthorized mostly in a different way. And, for those who went all in with The Good Professor in the mid-Eighties, the Joker laughs at you. He is coming out from the bottom of the deck to once again remind you that the song remains the same.
Defining Deviancy Down
“That is the difference dog and man: Better knowledge. So, as we advance in better knowledge, that is perfection of life, and the topmost knowledge is to understand Kåñëa. Then he's most perfect being. That is perfection. Knowledge other than Kåñëa consciousness (is) degraded knowledge or lower-grade knowledge.”
“Actually, I cannot claim any credit for myself, but I say, if any credit is due, it is due to the fact that I have not deviated from the original instructions. Whatever I have learned from my spiritual master, I have presented before you, and similarly, whatever success you are having, only it is due to the purity of the message which you are carrying.”
sva-mata kalpanä kare daiva-paratantra
In the beginning, deviancy gains a foothold due to concoction. Mundane opinion has no place in any realm meant for transcendental knowledge. Çréla Prabhupäda did not create his movement for the purpose of entertaining white elephants, and degraded knowledge means nothing to a genuine transcendentalist, as he is never enamored by factoids or opinions. You must know their value, and you must also know that those things, when they are wrongly accepted as having absolute value, dumb deviancy down even further.
Prabhupäda was never deviated from the time immemorial instructions of the guru-paramparä, and following in his footsteps in this connection is the way of making advancement in spiritual science. Accepting the words of the Äcärya clears the path for spiritual and devotional advancement, and it is the secret of success. That is the Vedic system, and all true Vaiñëavas still adhere to it.
Any deviation from it bewilders a devotee's understanding of the mystery of disciplic succession. The word jugglery that “ISKCON” mis-leaders have used (and continue to use in order to rationalize their many deviations) promulgates an indirect meaning of what it supposedly means to follow the Äcärya. They are experts at dumbing deviancy down in that way. They ignited the fire of the original schism in early 1978, and it smoldered for some time. Then, the flame burst out when Neo Mutt broke off a couple of years later. Then came another schism at the end of the Eighties: Rittvik.
All of these degradations, including “ISKCON,” are the results of self-motivated concoctions. The governing body did not stick to the principle of regular guru, and what they concocted in its place, being different from the instruction of the Äcärya, was immediately rendered useless. The zonal äcärya scam was a materially concocted idea for so-called advancement of the preaching. It was only able to infiltrate the movement because the governing body authorized it and the pretenders and their fanatical disciples imposed it.
There was no scope for such an “adjustment” in Prabhupäda's movement. Why was it so readily accepted? It was able to gain traction, because deviancy had already been dumbed down in countless ways before its introduction. The zonal deviation met minimal resistance, and many initiated devotees instantly liked it. They immediately recognized that everything would soon become loose, and such turned out to be the case. Thus, they could enjoy life in a number of ways (unavailable previously) by giving lip service to the new dispensation, along with some superficial (and often hypocritical) worship of the big guns.
The purity of the message was lost in 1978, and the governing body and its supplicant temple presidents were fully responsible for that. The movement that had existed just previous to the dumbing down, in the Sixties and early Seventies, has never re-emerged. The momentum since the late Seventies has been, more or less, unimpeded—although it is being impeded now by some effective preaching through various media.
“ISKCON” deviations have wiggled their way into what only appears to be the Hare Kåñëa movement, resulting in not only mission creep, but all kinds of extraneous controversies that ignore the root cause. “ISKCON” mis-leaders not only ignore it, but they also cover it. That is the nature of dumbing down the instructions, the knowledge, and the process. They have also promulgated mind-boggling changes to the actual history, and, as a result, almost no one is able to see just what has gone down and what continues to go down.
TKG's Topanga Canyon Admission
“Actually, Prabhupäda never appointed any gurus. He did not appoint eleven gurus. He appointed eleven rittviks. He never appointed them as gurus. Myself and the other G.B.C. have done the greatest disservice to this movement for the last three years, because we interpreted the appointment of rittviks as the appointment of gurus. . . If it had been more than that, you can bet your bottom dollar that Prabhupäda would have spoken for days and hours and weeks on end about how to set up this thing with the gurus. . . You cannot show me anything on tape or in writing where Prabhupäda says, 'I appoint these eleven as gurus.' It does not exist, because he never appointed any gurus. This is a myth.”
Tamäl certainly would have known, as it would have been in his interest to maintain the myth he herein exposed (and which he was pushing for the previous three years). Of course, that myth is exactly what he returned to after he laid down his trump card. His move was effective, and it would turn out to be a key factor for ending his suspension by the G.B.C. as an initiating guru. T.K.G. attended this meeting with Hansadutta, and he decided to blow the whole thing up (if he could no longer benefit from it), and thus he spoke the truth. How nice on his part to have done so. It was, ever so briefly, a breath of fresh air. What is stated by him here is the factual truth: Prabhupäda never appointed initiating spiritual masters.
That he only appointed rittviks is used to allegedly establish that Prabhupäda wanted rittviks to initiate on his behalf after his departure, a cent-per-cent anti-Vedic, anti-Vaiñëava concoction unprecedented in our disciplic succession. Of course, His Divine Grace never said that, either. That concoction is just as much a myth as the shibboleth that Prabhupäda must have appointed gurus--because initiations just had to proceed.
Actually, to apply one point made in connection to T.K.G.'s admission, if Prabhupäda had wanted rittviks to initiate on his behalf for perpetuity—to conduct initiation ceremonies (by rittviks) wherein a departed Äcärya remains the initiating spiritual master--he would have spoken about it for hours, days, and weeks in order to set it up. He did not do so. Indeed, he could have verified the principle only of such a new dispensation in but one or two sentences, but you cannot show anyone anything on tape or in writing where Prabhupäda verifies that as his intention.
T.K.G.'s obvious motivation in slapping down his trump card on the rest of the G.B.C. (which had suspended his dékñä-guru operation and taken away his zone) is not the important thing here. The important thing is that the truth came out, and no one spent as much time as T.K.G. did with Prabhupäda in the final days. Also, please note: T.K.G., in this excerpt, does not say that Prabhupäda established a new dispensation in the form of rittvik-in-absentia. He does not even allude to any such idea. The rittviks who disingenuously attempt to utilize this excerpt for that purpose are putting an intention into it that was not present when T.K.G. made these statements for the record in late 1980.
There is nowhere on record wherein Prabhupäda directly and indisputably appointed any initiating spiritual masters from either the mass of his disciples or from the clique of his leading secretaries. There is nowhere on record wherein Prabhupäda created a new dispensation of rittviks initiating on his behalf after his departure.
Also, in case your intelligence has not registered it yet, if you take the July 9th letter appointing rittviks as a rittvik-in-absentia authorization, then only those eleven men were officially appointed to be rittviks after Prabhupäda's departure. If you are going to read the Rittvik interpretation into it, then you owe it to yourself to remain logical in doing so. The direct and logical interpretation (if you back Rittvik) is that those eleven only were appointed and authorized to be rittviks, and that would be ad infinitum. Any additional rittviks could only be considered bona fide on the basis of a concoction that was not mentioned by Prabhupäda, either in the rittvik appointment letter itself or anywhere else.
If some disciples were authorized, by His Divine Grace in private conversations, to become dékñä-gurus after Prabhupäda departed, that cannot be proved, either. There is no record of it, and, if there was, “you can bet your bottom dollar” that those fellows would have made that record public. There are no witnesses to any such authorization. Over and above this, those so-called new gurus did not confront the zonal äcärya scam. If they were real devotees—which they must have been, if they were ordered to become dékñä-gurus after Prabhupäda left—then it would have been their duty to have confronted the imposition and declared, for the benefit of all, that the G.B.C. was in massive deviation. None of them did, in no small part, because there were never any of them to do so in the first place.
Oct. 18, 1977: The Right Interpretation
Prabhupäda: So, I have deputed some of you to initiate.
“Now I understand that what he did was very clear. He was physically incapable of performing the function of initiating physically. Therefore, he appointed officiating priests to initiate on his behalf. He appointed eleven, and he said, very clearly, 'Whoever is nearest, he can initiate.'”
Concerning the October, 1977 excerpt (above), a lot of smoke has wafted around and from it. A Bengali gentleman, a Mr. Chowdury, wanted Çréla Prabhupäda to come to Bengal and to initiate him personally as his new disciple. Smoke disturbs; fire serves. Let's first stipulate the fire, viz., let us stipulate a self-evident fact: Prabhupäda deputed eleven senior men, leading secretaries, to initiate on his behalf on July 9, 1977. There is a letter proving that. All eleven of these men had previously served in the capacity of rittvik. There was little new in this appointment, the only change being that Prabhupäda did not have to personally validate a person approved for initiation by a temple president. Not a big change, because it was rare that he ever did not approve somebody after a name was submitted to him.
Now, as inconceivable as it may seem, both “ISKCON” leaders and the warped leaders of Rittvik have cited this October, 1977 excerpt as evidence for the legitimacy of their current scams. It is neither. Both have engaged in word jugglery by using it, but, if we stick to the facts, we can immediately blow all of that smoke away.
The chief fact is that Prabhupäda deputed eleven rittviks in July, just three months previous to this excerpt, to once again initiate the back-load of anxious new devotees wanting to be initiated into Kåñëa consciousness by a bona fide spiritual master. The vast majority of them had no idea of Prabhupäda's actual condition (strongly indicative of imminent departure) as that was kept hidden from virtually everyone by the vested interests. For months, due to his condition, no initiations (and they were almost all rittvik initiations since 1970) were being performed. Now, the common sense policy of Prabhupäda not taking on that huge load of karma (most of which would be bad) was being replaced by what was the standard method for initiation the previous six-plus years. He was once again going to take it on.
What both the “ISKCON” vested interests and the rittviks try to do with this excerpt is to misinterpret it as indicating something new being introduced and/or validated at that time. It is no such thing, of course. For those who had knowledge of how Prabhupäda spoke—and there is plenty of evidence of this in his letters and tape recordings—he would sometimes refer to something that was already known as if it was new. From the perspective of a mere three months, the re-establishment of the rittvik system of initiations could still be said to be somewhat new. However, whether you view it from that perspective or not, His Divine Grace, in the above-mentioned excerpt, was simply verifying what he had established (or, more accurately, re-established) in July of that same year.
He says there, in two places, that he has deputed his disciples to initiate. The verb “deputed” is in the past tense. In other words, it was already a done deal, nothing new. It was not a covert method to now appoint Jayapatäkä as dékñä-guru through the back door. And, if it was, why simply Jayapatäkä? That idea is nonsensical, for, if His Divine Grace wanted to then authorize initiations that were no longer on his behalf, he could have—and, much more importantly, would have—directly said so.
There was no need to be indirect, and, if he wanted that, he would have wanted all eleven of them to move up, not simply Jayapatäkä. Again, any fantastic misinterpretation counter to this common sense is meant to appease mental speculators and nothing more.
Also please note that, at Topanga Canyon, T.K.G. similarly admitted that Prabhupäda was physically incapable of performing the function of initiating. That was the basis of the whole October, 1977 discussion, excerpted above. In other words, His Divine Grace is simply verifying what was already obvious. He had a tendency to do that. He was in quite bad shape physically, so it is not difficult to understand, again by common sense, that he did not specifically separate “initiating” from “initiating on my behalf” while he was speaking at that time. T.K.G. also notices this (in his Topanga Canyon statement), i.e., that the two concepts were merged in Prabhupäda's verbiage, not separately specified.
That rittviks have used this excerpt as evidence for their scam is astounding! At least, an intelligent person can figure out how and why “ISKCON” attempted to use it, but that it verifies Rittvik-in-absentia is nowhere logically to be found in it.
“ISKCON” may use it to claim that Prabhupäda, via this excerpt, upgraded (indirectly and covertly) the status of his rittviks to dékñä-gurus just prior to his disappearance. It is a bogus claim, of course, but at least there is a shred of apparent logic to the idea—but only you delude yourself into believing that he is not referring to initiating on his behalf throughout the excerpt. Rittvik has to engage in heavy-duty mental calisthenics in order to come up with some twisted way to believe that this excerpt helps their cause, because it does not.
In summation, Çréla Prabhupäda was indirectly informing Mr. Chowdury that he (Prabhupäda) was physically incapable of performing the initiation ceremony at that time. Maybe later, but not at that time. So, Prabhupäda re-iterates the newly re-established rittvik system and informs two leading secretaries and a temple president to make it known to Mr. Chowdury that Jayapatäkä Swami is authorized to perform the initiation ceremony on Prabhupäda's behalf. He is to do so as a rittvik, and Mr. Chowdury will thus become a directly initiated disciple of His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda. The excerpt is evidence of nothing more than that.
Never Go Back
“Those who serve the Truth at all time, by means of all their faculties, and have no hankering for the trivialities of this world, are always necessarily free from all malice born of competing worldliness and are, therefore, fit to admonish those who are actively engaged in harming themselves and others by the method of opposing or misrepresenting the Truth . . . The method which is employed by the servant of the good preceptor for preventing such misrepresentation of the Truth is a part and parcel of the Truth itself.”
In the paramparä system, the instructions taken from the bona fide spiritual master must also be based on revealed Vedic scriptures. One who is in the line of disciplic succession cannot manufacture his own way of behavior. There are many so-called followers of the Vaiñëava cult in the line of Caitanya Mahäprabhu who do not scrupulously follow the conclusions of the çästras, and, therefore, they are considered to be apa-sampradäya, which means 'outside of the sampradäya.' . . In order to follow strictly the disciplic succession of Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu, one should not associate with these apa-sampradäya communities.”
In any question why we died,
The First Transformation took place in the spring of 1978. It inaugurated the era of the zonal äcäryas. It was not a rejuvenation; it was a transformation. It was not bona fide. It converted Çréla Prabhupäda's ISKCON movement into an apa-sampradäya (“ISKCON”), a sahajiyä movement. It lasted for about eight years or so.
The Second Transformation, led by Professor Blueblood and a number of cooperative temple presidents, took place in the mid-Eighties. It inaugurated the collegiate era of good feeling. The pretender mahäbhägavats were allowed to keep their initiated disciples; they simply had to come down in their level of worship. It was not a rejuvenation; it was transformation. It was not bona fide. It converted the zonal äcärya era into a different kind of apa-sampradäya, and, like its predecessor, remained a sahajiyä movement. It lasted until approximately to the turn of the century, although some remnants of it still function.
The Third Transformation, provoked primarily by diminishing revenue, took place near the turn of the century. It locked in around 2005. It was not rejuvenation, it was transformation. It was not bona fide, and it is not bona fide. It converted the era of good feeling (collegiate-style) into a modification of that previous apa-sampradäya. This new “ISKCON,” like its predecessor, remains a sahajiyä movement. It will give way to another transformation in due course of time. There will be no rejuvenation in the next one, either. Bank on it.
All of these transformations have one thing in common: They are all based on dishonesty. Prabhupäda's movement was created in order to train brähmins, but there has been and will be no genuine brähmins emerging from “ISKCON” at any time, because everyone connected to it in any way is contaminated, either directly or indirectly, by dishonesty:
çamo damas tapaù çaucaà
“Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, cleanliness, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom, and adherence to the Vedic religion are the qualities born of the nature and work of the brähmin.”
Since the spring of 1978 (and, frankly, from before that), dishonesty and disobedience have been all-pervasive features by which the mis-leaders of the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation have conducted their ever-changing mission. Trying to build their current case atop lies (previously enacted by them) will turn out to completely undercut whatever they may appear to be accomplishing now. Argument-from-results is their modus operandi, but their whole foundation has been built on quicksand, permeated by institutional mendacity. Their six chief prevarications are as follows:
1) The G.B.C. claimed that Prabhupäda appointed eleven gurus. This idea, a big lie, held up for about two years, and during that time, each of those eleven—all themselves G.B.C. men—solidified their operations. It turned out that Prabhupäda never appointed any dékñä-gurus at any time. That lie alone would be enough to eventually doom “ISKCON,” but it was certainly not the commission's sole prevarication;
2) The G.B.C. endowed each of those eleven with exclusive zones, thus manifesting a penchant—one which would be acted on repeatedly—to formulate and actuate any idea they want to implement. In practical terms, this means that they have claimed (and continue to claim) that they have unlimited right to do whatever they choose to do. A genuine guru cannot be restricted to any geographical boundary. He may turn out to be provincial, but he cannot be put under an institutional edict to that effect. The G.B.C. had no right to create those zones, but, by doing so, it claimed to have that right. That was and is a lie;
3) The new gurus took on all kinds of imaginative “päda” names, although some of them took names such as “Äcärya-deva,” designating the same kind of exalted status. This was done in clear imitation of Prabhupäda. Similarly, they all had individualized praëäma mantras concocted glorifying them. The whole thing was a massive lie;
4) The G.B.C. created the Äcärya Board in direct disobedience to Prabhupäda. It abrogated its power to another entity, a concocted board within a board, by doing so. It had no right to do this. By doing so, it claimed to have that right to make that change, another lie;
5) All eleven pretenders had newcomers worship them with pomp and ceremony. They also allowed—indeed, encouraged—their own godbrothers and godsisters to worship them in a similar manner--not only on the altar, but on their imitation vyäsäsanas. The G.B.C. authorized this. It had no right to allow or authorize godbrothers to worship their own godbrothers in Prabhupäda's temples. It should have been stopped instantly. That the G.B.C. had any such right to tolerate and indirectly authorize such worship was an egregious lie;
6) The G.B.C., if it had been bona fide, had the right and duty to be a watchdog, alert for wayward gurus falsely claiming to represent Prabhupäda's mission. Of course, the G.B.C. allowed eleven of them to function in the late Seventies; that was its initial major deviation. The G.B.C. then began to elect gurus by vote in the Eighties. Guru is not determined by vote. Guru is determined by the Paramätmä. The G.B.C., by voting in gurus, claimed to have the right to do that, overstepping its important but restricted duty to be a watchdog guarding against bogus gurus. That G.B.C. guru-by-vote scheme was and is a lie.
The G.B.C. remains the power node of “ISKCON.” These six major lies (listed above) have not been overcome, because their beneficiaries—not all of them (some are dead), but many of them—are still institutionally benefiting from those prevarications. Thus, the chain of dishonesty remains electrified, and “ISKCON” cannot possibly be producing any brähmins in such a corrupt milieu permeated by mendacity at its foundation.
If you had direct experience of the fanaticism—all based on lies--which dominated the late Seventies and early Eighties, why would you re-enter that fire? The transformations since that time amount to little more than wallpaper; the dishonesty on its underside remains. It will not be peeled away, and, if another major scandal comes down the pike, “ISKCON” mis-leaders are expert at damage control. They have had experience aplenty in order to develop those dark skills. A new paradigm modification will not uproot that which has been locked in place for a generation now. Why go back to any of it?
“ISKCON” is not linked to the guru-paramparä, which, from time immemorial, has given the desperate people of this lonely outpost called planet earth--special individuals who have searched for it and wanted it--only Absolute Truth. “ISKCON” does not represent that Absolute Truth, and it is not functioning in the way that it (before it was converted into “ISKCON”) was meant to function.
Çréla Prabhupäda fully and perfectly represented that Truth, and he came to the West—as the Guru of the Americans—in order to create brähmins. Arjavam. Honesty. This is one of the nine chief qualities of brähmins. “ISKCON” does not produce them. The time has come to expose this stark fact, and, if you want to yourself become a brähmin-Vaiñëava, it is a major and unforgivable mistake to look to “ISKCON” for any genuine help.
“ISKCON” influence must be terminated, and then
OM TAT SAT
1The guru-paramparä in this letter does not exactly match the guru-paramparä delineated at the conclusion of the Introduction to Bhagavad-gétä As It Is. Mostly it matches, but it does not exactly match. For example, Brahmaëya Tértha is skipped. Your author believes that such was the intent of Prabhupäda, as there is a legitimate explanation for it, i.e., it is not—at least, not necessarily—unintentional.
However, in the 2003 Folio letter, the name Puruñottama is listed twice in two different places, and this is almost certainly some kind of discrepancy. There are many reasons for it, and none of them can be pinned on Prabhupäda. Those possible reasons are not to be listed here, as that would constitute a diversion.
Exactly corresponding to the same position (the twelfth Äcärya) where Puruñottama is first mentioned in the letter, the Äcärya Dayänidhi (as per at the end of the Gétä's Introduction) is skipped. That is almost certainly not coincidental. As such, your author has placed Dayänidhi as the twelfth Äcärya of the disciplic succession in reproducing the excerpt, although he is not mentioned in the edition of the letter reproduced in the 2003 Folio. He is, however, listed as the twelfth Äcärya in the paramparä at the end of the Gétä's Introduction.
Puruñottama is also listed there as the sixteenth Äcärya, and he is listed (in the 2003 Folio letter) as the sixteenth Äcärya, although that was a repetition of his name in the Upendra letter. As such, we have maintained him as sixteenth in the disciplic line in the excerpt, but not in his first listing (in the twelfth spot).
There were no diacriticals in this letter to Upendra, but they have been inserted, as is the case with all other letters reproduced on our pages.
If the charge is made that the letter is substantially changed by inserting Dayänidhi as the twelfth Äcärya in the line, this endnote, providing a full explanation for why that was done, nullifies the argument, i.e., if you choose to believe that Puruñottama was the twelfth Äcärya and the sixteenth Äcärya simultaneously, have at it. If you choose to believe that there must have been two separate Puruñottamas in the disciplic succession—although the Gétä Introduction says no such thing, and it is also quite illogical--you are free to believe it anyway. Dayänidhi is the twelfth Äcärya in the guru-paramparä. Why the excerpt from the letter was reproduced in this article (above), with that Äcärya in that position in the disciplic succession, has been meticulously detailed. All sane devotees will acknowledge that this article's reproduction of the excerpt from the letter to Upendra has been adequately explained in this endnote, whether you agree with it or not.
Quotes from the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are copyright by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust