Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most respectful obeisances unto your Divine Lotus feet.
On this auspicious appearance day of Your Divine Grace, I stand before you humbly, to express my deepest appreciation and gratitude for your causeless mercy due to which alone we are able to see you as you rightfully are – the Acharya of this movement, spiritual master of each and every one of us and each of those who have stepped into the shelter of your divine instructions. Despite having been misled to believe otherwise for many years, you still saved our precious spiritual opportunity of this life time from being lost in the course of following a deviant path. We feel safe and secure and blessed at the shelter of your divine lotus feet.
Looking at the history of ISKCON it is difficult to escape the realization of the consequences of deviating from your divine instructions. Over the last ten years more and more clarity has come about in many of our hearts, at ISKCON Bangalore, as to why and where ISKCON got derailed after the physical disappearance of Your Divine Grace. I can never be grateful enough for your causeless kindness upon me, insignificant as I am, because of which you have pulled me out of such a hopeless plight that ISKCON has led itself into after your disappearance.
After Your Divine Grace’s physical disappearance in November 1977, GBC meetings were held in Mayapur in March 1978. It is after this meeting that the eleven representatives of Your Divine Grace, who were named as Officiatiators for initiation on 7th July 1977 (followed by an institutional directive signed by Your Divine Grace on 9th July 1977), instituted a concocted system of worship of themselves by everyone in ISKCON. This included even their God brothers as well as the new followers who joined the movement. Thus, ISKCON saw an exodus of thousands of disciples from the mission in the next few years as they could not bear the suffocation and embarrassment brought about by this unauthorized worship.
The last three disgraceful decades of ISKCON has clearly demonstrated to all of us that instituting the worship of personalities other than Your Divine Grace in ISKCON has created the greatest havoc in the institution. This single serious offense has been the root cause, directly and indirectly, for most of the problems in ISKCON which drove more than 95% of the initiated disciples of Your Divine Grace out of ISKCON over the years. This misuse of power of the gurus in the GBC body is also the root cause of abuse of children, women, and money in the movement. It is appalling that out of 5000 odd disciples initiated by Your Divine Grace less than 200 are serving in the mission, of which most of them have carved a place of a self-made guru in the organization. Even more appalling is that many of those who left ISKCON are stalwarts who still have strong faith in Your Divine Grace and Krishna and yet are being deprived of devotional service in your mission. It is sad that the GBC couldn’t care less about this offense in ISKCON for it does not matter to them since they are busily lost in taking worship from their ever new supply of innocent followers who enter the portals of ISKCON attracted by reading your transcendental teachings.
Our prayers to Your Divine Grace is to make ISKCON GBC see this clear cause-effect revealed by `Kala’ over thirty years and retrace its step to reestablish the state of affairs that existed before the 1978 GBC meeting vis-a-vis who is to be worshipped in ISKCON. Your Divine Grace with great foresight has given us such clear directions for management of every little thing in ISKCON and we find nowhere even a single instruction from Your Divine Grace about how and who after your life time, need to be worshipped in the institution. This clearly shows that you did not intend anyone to take that position. Prior to 1978, Your Divine Grace was the only personality who was worshipped in ISKCON. One’s guru has to be worshipped as good as God is doubtlessly our siddhanta. To allow to be worshipped as good as God by other Vaishnavas is not an ordinary thing according to our own philosophy. It is very serious for both the worshipper and the worshipped. For the worshipped, the risk of imitation is like imitating Lord Shiva drinking the poison that came out of the churning of the ocean. It requires very high qualification and spiritual attainment, and the most important, the order of the predecessor acarya to do this as a service for the Lord.
Worship for a jiva from another jiva turns into poison unless it smoothly flows to Krishna. Any imitation of this function would only spiritually kill one who is getting the worship. And that is why Your Divine Grace states that unless you are ordered by your guru you cannot be a guru. No one can certify himself to be qualified to do this service. The following conversation between Your Divine Grace and an Indian Guest in Nairobi on October 28, 1975 testifies this point:
INDIAN MAN: WHEN DID YOU BECOME THE SPIRITUAL LEADER OF KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS?
PRABHUPADA: WHAT IS THAT?
BRAHMANANDA: HE'S ASKING WHEN DID YOU BECOME THE SPIRITUAL LEADER OF KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS?
PRABHUPADA: WHEN MY GURU MAHÄRÄJA ORDERED ME. THIS IS THE GURU-PARAMPARÄ.
INDIAN: DID IT...
PRABHUPÄDA: TRY TO UNDERSTAND. DON'T GO VERY SPEEDILY. A GURU CAN BECOME GURU WHEN HE'S ORDERED BY HIS GURU. THAT'S ALL. OTHERWISE NOBODY CAN BECOME GURU
When the GBC met with Your Divine Grace on May 28, 1977, Vrindavana you said, WHEN I ORDER, "YOU BECOME GURU,"
In Bombay on December 2, 1974, you spoke
“GURU MEANS WHO FOLLOWS THE PREDECESSOR, AUTHORIZED PREDECESSOR. HE IS GURU. NOT THAT EVERYONE IS GURU”.
On February 27, 1977 you spoke
“AND NOWADAYS, SO MANY RASCALS, THEY ARE BECOMING GURU WITHOUT ANY AUTHORITY. THAT IS NOT GURU. YOU MUST BE AUTHORIZED. EVAÀ PARAMPARÄ-PRÄPTAM IMAÀ RÄ... AS SOON AS THE PARAMPARÄ IS LOST, SA KÄLENA YOGA NAÑÖO PARANTAPA, IMMEDIATELY FINISHED. THE SPIRITUAL POTENCY FINISHED. YOU CAN DRESS LIKE A GURU, YOU CAN TALK BIG, BIG WORDS, BUT IT WILL NEVER BE EFFECTIVE.”
Further in SB 4.8.54 purport Your Divine Grace wrote:
“ONE SHOULD TAKE INITIATION FROM A BONA FIDE SPIRITUAL MASTER COMING IN THE DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION, WHO IS AUTHORIZED BY HIS PREDECESSOR SPIRITUAL MASTER. THIS IS CALLED DIKSHA-VIDHÄNA.”
After decades of debate, today it is an undisputed, admitted and established fact by all camps within and without ISKCON that Your Divine Grace did not authorize anyone to be the next acarya to be worshipped in ISKCON. Initiation is not the real issue. The real short circuit that happened and is happening, is in instituting worship of the initiators other than Your Divine Grace in the position as good as God. If only those eleven who were authorized to perform initiation of new candidates, did not take up the position of being worshipped as good as God but remained a humble representative of Your Divine Grace and helped you in your mission by initiating them on your behalf none of these calamities would have happened. The real issue is one of offense of tampering with the ‘spiritual substance’ of relationship between Your Divine Grace and newly initiated, and not merely the issue of external form or terminology like, ritvik or ritvik guru or monitor guru etc. If we undertake to repair the short circuit of ‘spiritual substance’ in the initiation process within ISKCON (in the heart of the initiator and the initiated) then the terminologies is of a lesser issue falling in the domain of this vyvaharic world and will no longer be a dispute of substance. If the real ‘spiritual substance’ of initiation is in place these secondary issues automatically vanish from the forefront. The blunder they committed was in deviating from what Your Divine Grace asked these eleven to do. It is important to note that these eleven personalities were all well accomplished preachers then, but carried away by the gross to subtle glamour of being worshipped, being barely 5 to 10 years in the movement. The result was, we can say now, today, confidently, that all of these worship turned into poison, which when consumed killed them spiritually one after the other. The initiation per se was not dangerous as the worship and ownership of disciples.
Even during the physical presence of Your Divine Grace, you had asked many of your disciples to initiate on your behalf, but that did not harm them and as they never took worship unto themselves. You wrote to Revatinandana dasa as early as 1974
“KIRTANANANDA WILL CHANT ON THE BEADS FOR NEW DEVOTEES IN AMERICA, CANADA, LIKE THAT, YOU CAN CHANT ON THE BEADS FOR THE EUROPEAN CONTINENT NEW DISCIPLES. THEY SHALL, OF COURSE, STILL BE CONSIDERED AS MY DISCIPLES, NOT THAT THEY SHALL BECOME YOUR DISCIPLES, BUT YOU WILL BE EMPOWERED BY ME TO CHANT THEIR BEADS AND THAT IS THE SAME EFFECT OF BINDING MASTER AND DISCIPLE AS IF I WERE PERSONALLY CHANTING.”
Then why did it become dangerous for them, doing the same after 1978. Because of wrongly receiving worship as good as God and false ownership of disciples.
Only the picture of a personality who is truly worthy of as good as God can be placed on the altar as only such personality’s oneness and difference with the Supreme Absolute Truth exists perfectly in their constitutional state. It is only such persons who can claim that they are non-different from their picture or the Deity. In CC Madhya 10.136 you wrote,
“THE CONCLUSION IS THAT AN EMPOWERED SPIRITUAL MASTER IS AUTHORIZED BY KRISHNA AND HIS OWN GURU AND SHOULD THEREFORE BE CONSIDERED AS GOOD AS THE SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD HIMSELF.”
You have explained the exalted position of a bonafide spiritual master who can sit as a link in the disciplic succession.
In CC Madhya 24.258 purport
“THIS IS THE PROCESS OF INITIATION. THE DISCIPLE MUST SURRENDER TO THE SPIRITUAL MASTER, THE REPRESENTATIVE OF KÅÑËA. THE SPIRITUAL MASTER, BEING IN THE DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION STEMMING FROM NARADA MUNI, IS IN THE SAME CATEGORY WITH NÄRADA MUNI. A PERSON CAN BE RELIEVED FROM HIS SINFUL ACTIVITY IF HE SURRENDERS TO THE LOTUS FEET OF A PERSON WHO ACTUALLY REPRESENTS NÄRADA MUNI.”
In CC Madhya 25.9 purport
“SUCH AN ÄCÄRYA, OR SPIRITUAL MASTER, SHOULD BE CONSIDERED NONDIFFERENT FROM KRISHNA—THAT IS, HE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED THE INCARNATION OF LORD KRISHNA’S POTENCY. SUCH A PERSONALITY IS KRISHNÄLIÌGITA-VIGRAHA—THAT IS, HE IS ALWAYS EMBRACED BY THE SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD, KRISHNA.”
Without knowing the depth of the philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, ISKCON GBC erred in introducing the practice of placing the pictures of conditioned souls on the altar of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus indulged in idol worship which the Vaishnava philosophy condemns. It is hard to believe that the GBC is still not sure of this practice and has not banned the same. It is nothing but mockery that the GBC has given a direction that when one does puja, the pujari can take his guru’s picture and place on the altar. After the puja he should remove it. The basis of this solution is only confusion. If the GBC’s decision is based on spiritual substance then the answer should be `yes or no’. They can go on altar or not.
If only the GBC abolishes all kinds of worship and its associated practices in ISKCON of any person other than Your Divine Grace it would stand reformed for good to a large extent. Now Your Divine Grace plants the seed of faith in Krishna through your transcendental words and lead thousands of souls into ISKCON and he is first taught to chant your pranam mantra for six months. This has been institutionalized in recent years by stating that Srila Prabhupada is the Siksha guru of everyone. But when he gets initiated by one of the self-made gurus, he is advised to shift your pranam mantra behind to the second place and position his guru’s mantra first. The subtle message is sent to the soul that His Divine Grace is not your guru. We are taught from your books that Krishna brings one to the guru and the guru takes him to Krishna. In ISKCON today, they have a new siddhanta. Your Divine Grace will bring one to Krishna through your books and a self-made guru will rubber stamp him/her as his disciple by the ritual of initiation. Then the system misleads him to worship the self-made guru as good as God as is required by the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness. (A little reformed today to do it privately and publicly once a year on Vyasa Puja day -but the principle survives) The self-made guru will drink the poison of worship to more or lesser degree and gradually spiritually die. When such death is externally manifest by a visible fall down then ISKCON advises the disciples to take shelter of Your Divine Grace as an interim arrangement and are also simultaneously advised to find some new guru. After finding one, he goes through the ritual of initiation again. After which again he has to push Your Divine Grace to the second place.
We are pained at the embarrassment that these practices have caused to Your Divine Grace in your own institution. Once anyone realizes these abuses, how can he live in an environment so offensive to Your Divine Grace. It is total insensitivity on the part of the GBC, majority of whom are all self-made gurus, to have led the institution to this miserable state. The insensitivity has arisen because conditioned unconscious thinking that Guru is dead once he leaves his body like anyone else. In a room conversation on August 16, 1976 you said,
“SO BETTER REMAIN A FOOLISH PERSON PERPETUALLY TO BE DIRECTED BY GURU MAHÄRÄJA. THAT IS PERFECTION. AND AS SOON AS HE LEARNS THE GURU MAHÄRÄJA IS DEAD, "NOW I AM SO ADVANCED THAT I CAN KILL MY GURU AND I BECOME GURU." THEN HE'S FINISHED.”
You had further warned while referring to Gaudiya Mutt in a letter to Rupanuga on 28th April 1974,
“THE RESULT IS NOW EVERYONE IS CLAIMING TO BE ACARYA EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY BE KANISTHA ADHIKARI WITH NO ABILITY TO PREACH. IN SOME OF THE CAMPS THE ACARYA IS BEING CHANGED THREE TIMES A YEAR. THEREFORE WE MAY NOT COMMIT THE SAME MISTAKE IN OUR ISKCON CAMP.
We shudder to see that your worst fears have come true and unfortunately the very same thing has happened in ISKCON Camp.
Srila Prabhupada, I have had to state all these offenses in ISKCON in order that myself and thousands of others can deeply appreciate with eternal gratitude our good fortune to have been freed from such an offensive environment by your mercy. You have given us several temples today where these kind of offenses do not have to be seen and tolerated. I was in ignorance, not knowing all these for nearly 20 years till 1998, believing fully that you ordered them to be gurus as claimed by them. So it is important to remember and broadcast repeatedly these relevant statements of Your Divine Grace for those who do not know. Probably Your Divine Grace are choosing ISKCON Bangalore to broadcast it as we were in that Muddled-ISKCON and are now able to compare the relief of being in the real ISKCON. We are blessed today in ISKCON Bangalore and its associated temples where we can live in the association of devotees who are all focused on worshipping Your Divine Grace as their personal spiritual master as it was in ISKCON before 1978 GBC meeting. No more hodge-podge.
I pray at your lotus feet that you empower us to establish more and more such temples in this world as was your vision.
Letter to: Kirtanananda, San Francisco, 11 February, 1967
“I WISH THAT EACH AND EVERY BRANCH SHALL KEEP THEIR INDEPENDENT IDENTITY AND COOPERATE KEEPING THE ACARYA IN THE CENTRE. ON THIS PRINCIPLE WE CAN OPEN ANY NUMBER OF BRANCHES ALL OVER THE WORLD. THE RAMAKRISHNA MISSION WORKS ON THIS PRINCIPLE AND THUS AS ORGANIZATION THEY HAVE DONE WONDERFULLY.”
Even if someone in ISKCON attains the status of being worshipable as good as God, either now, or in the future, the principle of transcendental etiquette will operate and such personalities should rightly refuse such worship within the institution of ISKCON as it would create a situation of rasa-abhasa in Guru-disciple relationship with Your Divine Grace as the center in ISKCON. Apart from the fact that there is nothing on record to show that such situations were envisaged by Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada, we want to open ISKCON Bangalore and its temples to all the early disciples of Your Divine Grace, who wish to serve your mission in an atmosphere of worshipping one acharya, Your Divine Grace, similar to pre-1978 situation, and all those who believe that Your Divine Grace did not authorize any person/s for spiritual succession in ISKCON. When a reporter asked you about succession on July 16th 1975 in San Francisco, this is what you replied
REPORTER (2): WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE MOVEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES WHEN YOU DIE?
PRABHUPADA: I WILL NEVER DIE.
DEVOTEES: JAYA! HARI BOL! (LAUGHTER)
PRABHUPADA: I SHALL LIVE FOREVER IN MY BOOKS, AND YOU WILL UTILZE
Srila Prabhupada, after we have refused to subordinate ourselves to the Guru-GBC body since 1998, we have not conducted any diksha ceremony till date. More than 300 devotees have taken oath of chanting 16 rounds and four regulative principles, taken a Vaishnava name before Your Divine Grace, the fire and Deities and Vaishnavas and are happily situated in their devotional service. No wrangling about the word Ritvik or Ritvik guru, monitor guru etc. This simply shows that what is important is the ‘spiritual substance’ of diksha, which is the relationship of the disciple in his heart with Your Divine Grace. They do not feel anything lacking. For decades Maya has diverted the ‘reformers’ of ISKCON from the real issue of position of Your Divine Grace to going on trying to resolve the position of the Officiator of initiation.
The essential spiritual substance of diksha and secondary nature of the formality of intitation is revealed in your teachings. Diksha is a process and not merely a one time event or ceremony of fire sacrifice though it is also included. The relationship with the transcendental initiator starts when he hears from him first and grows in reciprocation to surrender and service and transcendental knowledge is fired into the heart by the mercy of such an Acarya step by step to eventually free him from the material modes and reveal the Supreme Personality of Godhead in his heart and take him back to Godhead. This whole process is diksha.
In a lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam in Los Angeles on December 29, 1973 your Divine Grace taught that initiation means receiving transcendental knowledge,
“DIKSHA MEANS INITIATION. DI MEANS DIVYA JNANAM, AND KSA MEANS KSAPAYATI. FROM THE DAY OF INITIATION, YOU SIMPLY GET SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE, TRANSCENDENTAL KNOWLEDGE. “
In CC Madhya 4.111, you write
DIKSHA ACTUALLY MEANS INITIATING A DISCIPLE WITH TRANSCENDENTAL KNOWLEDGE BY WHICH HE BECOMES FREED FROM ALL MATERIAL CONTAMINATION.
In CC Madhya 9.61 you write
INITIATION MEANS RECEIVING THE PURE KNOWLEDGE OF SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS.
In a letter to Dinesh 0n 31.10.69 you wrote;
REGARDING THE DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION COMING FROM ARJUNA, DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN THAT ONE HAS TO BE INITIATED OFFICIALLY. DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION MEANS TO ACCEPT THE DISCIPLIC CONCLUSION.
Who is the person in ISKCON who was doing this function pre 1978 and post 1978? Can there be any doubt that it is Your Divine Grace, doing this through your books, then and now. Srila Prabhupada, you are the ‘TRANSCENDENTAL INITIATOR’ of everyone. Srila Prabhupada, you have revealed the essence or substance of diksha in the following quotes.
1. THE ETERNAL BOND BETWEEN DISCIPLE AND SPIRITUAL MASTER BEGINS FROM THE FIRST DAY HE HEARS. (Letter to: Jadurani — New Vrindaban 4 September, 1972)
2. SRILA PRABHUPADA: IF YOU ARE SERIOUS, THAT IS REAL INITIATION. IF YOU HAVE UNDERSTOOD THIS KRISHNA PHILOSOPHY AND IF YOU HAVE DECIDED THAT YOU WILL TAKE KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS SERIOUSLY AND PREACH THE PHILOSOPHY TO OTHERS, THAT IS YOUR INITIATION. MY TOUCH IS SIMPLY A FORMALITY. IT IS YOUR DETERMINATION. THAT IS INITIATION. ( Srila Prabhupada goes here even into deeper essence of diksha)
3. DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN THAT ONE HAS TO BE INITIATED OFFICIALLY. DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION MEANS TO ACCEPT THE DISCIPLIC CONCLUSION. (Letter dated 31 October, 1969)
4. INTERVIEWER: WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE OF THE MOVEMENT? DO YOU INITIATE YOURSELF ALL THE DISCIPLES OR DO YOUR OTHER DISCIPLES ALSO DO THAT?
PRABHUPÄDA: WELL, INITIATION OR NO INITIATION, FIRST THING IS KNOWLEDGE. [BREAK] ...KNOWLEDGE. INITIATION IS FORMALITY. JUST LIKE YOU GO TO A SCHOOL FOR KNOWLEDGE, AND ADMISSION IS FORMALITY. THAT IS NOT VERY IMPORTANT THING.
Press Interview, October 16, 1976, Chandigarh
GBC has managed to create hatred for the word ritvik and associate it with offense. As long as one does not contradict the ‘spiritual substance’ of diksha – giver of transcendental knowledge by Your Divine Grace in ISKCON and receiving the same by the disciple, varieties of forms of formal initiation can co-exist . It is possible for all of us to co-exist with differences in secondary forms as long as it does not destroy the ‘spiritual substance’ . Those who want to take the last written instructions on the subject of initiation as a matter of following Your Divine Grace in substance and form, may then also be permitted and accepted within ISKCON. If the essence is accepted let not the dispute on terminology be the cause for two ISKCON camps on the planet.
Everything will change in ISKCON if we proactively institutionalize worship of only Your Divine Grace, not merely in form, but encourage in spirit, to all the new comers. And explicitly desist any other person’s worship as good as God if we want to keep ISKCON the way Your Divine Grace founded and desired to keep it for 10,000 years.
Srila Prabhupada, we pray for the day when, we can mix freely with each other as one ISKCON but only when you are the only Spiritual Master of everyone in your house and all these anomalies and offenses that have erupted post 1978 are cleared. Irrespective of what terminology we use for the physical initiator of new devotees in ISKCON the essence of dikhsa should prevail as taught by Your Divine Grace. ISKCON GBC and initiators should do everything to remove the short circuit in the relationship of everyone in ISKCON with Your Divine Grace without attempting to categorize you as param guru by unauthorizedly trying to retire you as the current link in the parampara and create a vacancy of guru that does not exist in reality and such vacancy remains an illusion always as long as your books are preserved in its original form. You will continue to reign day after day, and everyone is realizing these fundamental deviations. Thanks to the age of internet. Time reveals the truth to all the genuine and innocent followers of Your Divine Grace that ISKCON has turned into as many personality cults as there are self-made gurus under the garb of a bogus philosophy that you are not living anymore and only those in flesh and blood are living.
What an irony, the very foundation of spiritual life is that we are never dying spirits and opposite is the basis in ISKCON today for continuing the bogus system of so called ‘living gurus’. You are always living in your sound. Are the self-made gurus the only Vaishnavas who are living in flesh and blood and are not all the Temple Presidents and Sanyasis and senior devotees living in flesh and blood to fill in the need for Vaishnava guidance and association as it was pre-1978?
Then their last conscious defense and unconscious excuse to go on with the self-made guru system is ‘tradition’ argument. Hence they have to have gurus in flesh and blood even if they are not fully qualified . Srila Prabhupada, you have even covered this argument in your books. In a conversation in 1975 you said
PRABHUPADA: THAT TRADITION IS NOTHING. TRADITION IS JUST TEMPORARY. YOU MAKE YOUR TRADITION; HE MAKES YOUR TRADITION……
PRABHUPADA: YES. THAT IS CALLED TRADITION. BUT THAT IS NOT PARAMPARA. PARAMPARA IS DIFFERENT. PARAMPARA MEANS WE GET THE RIGHT KNOWLEDGE FROM THE SUPREME……. SO THIS KNOWLEDGE IS NOT COMING TO ME FROM TRADITION, BUT I LEARNT IT FROM GREAT AUTHORITIES LIKE KRISHNA.
In CC Adi 7.37 purport Your Divine Grace hit the nail on essential function of an Acharya;
“EVERY ACARYA HAS A SPECIFIC MEANS OF PROPOGATING HIS MOVEMENT WITH THE AIM OF BRINGING MEN TO KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS. THEREFORE, THE METHOD OF ONE ACARYA MAY BE DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF ANOTHER, BUT THE ULTIMATE GOAL IS NEVER NEGLECTED.”
In CC ADI 7.31 purport:
“AN ACARYA WHO COMES FOR SERVICE OF THE LORD CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO CONFORM TO A STEREOTYPE, FOR HE MUST FIND WAYS AND MEANS BY WHICH KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS MAY BE SPREAD.”
In SB 4.8.54 your write;
“SRIMAD VIRAGHAVA ACARYA, A ACARYA IN THE DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION OF RAMANUJA SAMPRADAYA, HAS REMARKED IN HIS COMMENTARY THAT CANDALAS, OR CONDITIONED SOULS WHO ARE BORN IN LOWER THAN SUDRA FAMILIES CAN ALSO BE INITIATED ACCORDING TO CIRCUMSTANCES. THE FORMALITIES MAY BE SLIGHTLY CHANGED HERE AND THERE TO MAKE THEM VIASHNAVAS.”
ISKCON guru system is nothing but a new caste system, totally material, introduced in 1978, to carve out special material position within the community propelled by deep subconscious desire for worship, position and profit and probably conscious desires too. History bares it all. Material caste systems are very difficult to eradicate as it gets socially and emotionally entwined into a complicated web. In this age of communication, this business will not thrive anymore like it did for last three decades. Internet facilitates any intelligent person to see the mind games played by the unconscious mind of these self-made gurus coming between Your Divine Grace and your sincere followers. The entire range of mind games stands exposed from very subtle ones in the name of humble gurus to the few who are still flying high in the mind though grounded badly by reactions for the offenses unto Your Divine Grace of stealing the ‘spiritual substance’ from your innocent followers.
ISKCON has survived as an organization so far due to phenomenon of keeping the newly joined in ignorance by scaring them of Vaishnava offenses. But now the new devotees who join ISKCON as soon as they advance spiritually a bit by following the spiritual discipline given by Your Divine Grace quickly wake up to the Truth due to the exposure to hard facts. Thanks to the age of information explosion. As the few wake up to the Truth and keep leaving ISKCON, the gurus are not getting newcrops as before from the wide world. So the temple outside India are all empty having more ‘leaders’ than followers.
We only pray to Your Divine Grace to shower some inconceivable mercy on all of us so that soon ISKCON is forced to re-establish your position as the Acharya and spiritual master of everyone in ISKCON and start a new chapter beginning from where ISKCON stopped in 1978. Then all material and spiritual opulence of ISKCON will be back. Better late than never. We are enjoying the nectar of real ISKCON for the last decade. Thanks to many of your stalwarts disciples who are outside ISKCON and a few inside still, who have through their decades of tireless crusade against the self-made guru system have created the foundation for ISKCON Bangalore and its seventeen temples in India. Their efforts of disseminating truth have borne fruit at last. In turn we are pleased to be instruments to give them some hope and solace that Srila Prabhpada’s ISKCON is not finished. It is rising up again after its bad fall and will continue to surge ahead.
Srila Prabhupada, forgive me for any arrogance that may have crept in behind my conscious mind, while criticizing these deviant systems in ISKCON. The purpose is only to share with everyone the inspiration you are giving us every moment in our lives through Transcendental knowledge and realizations and also to see your movement expand forever to provide eternal shelter of Krishna to thousands of innocent conditioned souls in this world. Frankly I do not doubt the conscious good intentions to serve Srila Prabhupada’s mission of many of the vaishnavas who have become part of the self-made guru system and beg your and their forgiveness for any offenses that I may have committed to your servants irrespective of their deviant standing, in our humble understanding, in this matter of initiation. For all I know, I cannot guarantee that I would not have fallen prey to the first slip into Maya in 1978, with only 5-10 years of little exposure to Krishna consciousness if I were one of them then. Past is over. What is important is future. We beg you to help us learn our lessons out of this sad history where many gave their lives to Your Divine Grace in this misadventure. The idea is to leverage it in your service and the attempt is never to sound ‘holier than thou’.
Thank you, Srila Prabhupada, for saving us all from this MUDDLED-ISKCON and putting us in REAL-ISKCON. We love ISKCON as it is your child. But we will continue to fight like gentlemen with our might against its present leadership to remove the muddle as we think it is our duty unto Your Divine Grace. Please bless us.
Aspiring to be your eternal servant
Madhu Pandit Dasa