By:Yashodanandana Dasa, Los Angeles, California
Originally GK tried to use the Oct 18th conversation as evidence that July 9th only applied to while Srila Prabhupada was sick. He said that July 9th, Srila Prabhupada appointed ritviks because he was sick, and then said that in Oct Srila Prabhupada had deputed the 11 ritviks to be regular diksha gurus because he was sick. I asked him, which was it? Had he deputed them to be ritviks because he was sick, or deputed the ritviks to be regular gurus because he was sick? How can it be both? He did not answer. What he was trying to assert was that on Oct 18th SP had deputed JP to initiate as diksha, not just as ritvik, because SP was now stopping THIS initiation. He claimed that THIS initiation could not be the ritvik aspects because he claimed that SP had already stopped those aspects on July 9th, and thus he claimed the only initiations he could be stopping in Oct was the diksha aspects.But, after praying to Srila Prabhupada what the facts were, SP revealed to me that he had not actually stopped anything as of Oct 18th. The 11 had not yet started to perform the duties he had deputed them to do. Not one ritvik initiation had been held. And the most unique feature of the July 9th letter was that SP had turned over to the ritviks the duty to make the final decision whether someone could be initiated or not. This, clearly, SP had not yet stopped because there he was on Oct 18th making that very decision regarding one Bengali man whom SP just made the final decision for him to be initiated. Thus disproving GK's argument that SP had stopped those ritvik aspects back in July. No, he was stopping them, finally, on Oct 18th.
Besides that, Oct 18th SP is referring to that PAST where he had already deputed JP, and all he had deputed in the past was as ritvik. SP also repeatedly referred to Where, in what document, he had already deputed him. It was There in That List, the List of Names which was the July 9th letter. He was not asking them to become diksha guru at that time.
Also, I noted that SP told JP to initiate (via the ritvik process on SP's behalf) that Bengali man because JP was ritvik acharya for Mayapur. Because he was the Nearest. One does not take diksha from someone, accepting them as eternal guru just because they happen to be nearest. In so many ways I kept defeating his [GK's] points, and not one single time did GK admit, even once, that I was right and he was wrong. He just kept trying to come up with another angle, another point, somehow or the other to try and trip me into some trap.
But he never answered most any of my questions or addressed the ramifications. And the unanswered questions were increasing with each new point he raised.
The questions and ramifications demand to be addressed, because no matter what other angle he put forth, those issues would stand, regardless of any new point. But in the end he remained silent and chose not to address the issues. At the end I reminded him that failure to answer was a sign of defeat. He ignored that and tried to push on with his plan to come up with new ways to trap me into some web he was weaving.
It is accepted principle, and he quotes also, that to avoid replying means defeat.
I am setting up a new website where I plan to post more detailed excerpts of the discussion and of the topic, to try to provide a place on the internet for propagating the arguments in support of the on-going ritvik side. I have the website, www.rtvik.org, but have not had time to work on it. I was about to do so when this discussion ate up all my spare time. But, the discussion came at just the right time, because now I will be able to incorporate the essential points of both sides and more conclusively present our arguments.
The speculative idea that the July 9th letter only applied to when Srila Prabhupada was ill is debunked. It has no basis, no evidence to support it, and to do so has serious ramifications that their side refuses to address. Thus, it cannot be accepted. The Oct 18th argument that Srila Prabhupada had stopped diksha initiation and deputed JP and the others to be diksha was also debunked. This was the main evidence the GBC and GK were using to support their theory. These arguments were shown to be insufficient and in the end, disproved.
Also, in conclusion, I would like to point out the following analysis. These people are obstinate in thinking that they are right. I see two main foundations for this obstinacy:
1) Is that some are totally convinced that an on-going ritvik process is bogus. No past Acharya ever did this. It "has" to be bogus. For them, they feel there is absolutely no way Prabhupada could have ever meant this to be. They are so convinced of this that they try every which way they can to prove this is not what Srila Prabhupada wanted... When the evidence shows it is what he wanted, they either ignore the evidence or try their best to discredit it. Many times they wind up discrediting Srila Prabhupada in the process, but do not realize it. (Such as insisting that Srila Prabhupada intended the July 9th letter to mean something totally different than what it says.) That path leads us to question Srila Prabhupada's mental capacity at the time. Had he become senile? Absent-minded, forgetful, befuddled, confused? This, they will not answer. They do not believe this (and of course the facts do not support this), but they cannot answer the questions and so try to gloss it over and try to side skirt those challenges to find another way to prove their losing case.
2) Another cause of their obstinate behavior is that some are or very much want to become regular diksha guru. They are very motivated to want to prove that the on-going ritvik is bogus and were not what Srila Prabhupada actually wanted. (They can be regular guru, no one can stop them.) But, they cannot imagine how the two, an on-going ritvik process and their becoming regular guru can go on side-by-side. They kept arguing as if one nullifies the other. That concept was shown to exist only inside their heads alone, and in reality, both processes can go on, side by side. Even one person can be both a regular diksha guru for those who desire his direct shelter, and can facilitate a ritvik initiation on behalf of Srila Prabhupada for those who feel their direct relation is with Srila Prabhupada.
I wish to point out that there is also stronger potential to be motivated beyond the truth from their side. Especially those who have desire to become guru. Actually, they are free to become guru, but they want to become ISKCON guru. ISKCON has its guru, Srila Prabhupada. If they want to become guru, they need to start their own ashram, as Srila Prabhupada had done, as he set the example. All past gurus are gurus of their own ashram.
What is our motivation? What do I personally have to gain by arguing that SP wanted an on-going ritvik system? The only motive I can find is my desire to establish that which I see that Srila Prabhupada wanted. I have nothing to gain from promoting this stand. I have no disciples to gain, no dakshina to gain, no fame, adoration, distinction, profit, etc. Rather, the ritviks are today put down by most in ISKCON. They are seen as deviants, as rogues and rascals, as fallen. We are called names, denied services, sometimes kicked out of temples, slugged in the face for trying to show others that the GBC has been wrong. Personally, I do not see that I have anything personally to gain, but have stood to lose a lot by taking this stand. Why else would I do so other than I am convinced this is what Srila Prabhupada wanted?
Aspiring to become your humble and most obedient servant,