Published on April 6th, 2001 | by Madhudvisa dasa


ISKCON Accepts One Ritvik Temple and IRM Disintegrates

At least one ISKCON temple already accepts Srila Prabhupada as the guru. If one visits ISKCON Bangalore there will be no doubt that Srila Prabhupada is living still in sound and still very actively spreading the holy name around!

ISKCON Bangalore has created a positive example showing how nicely things can run if Prabhupada’s orders are followed and Prabhupada is the guru in ISKCON. They don’t want to attack ISKCON and it’s leaders. Rather they welcome devotees and leaders from other temples to visit so they can see first-hand how nicely a temple can run with Prabhupada in the centre.

Recently ISKCON Bangalore has withdrawn from the ISKCON Reform Movement (IRM). They are disappointed with the leadership of IRM and the new direction their preaching has taken. They are also not happy with the result of the IRM’s war with ISKCON in Calcutta. At least for the time being the preaching field in Calcutta has been spoiled. It is now very difficult to preach and distribute books there, the public don’t really understand what’s going on, just that there is an enormous fight within ISKCON and they don’t want any part of it.

Madhu Pundit Prabhu, the ISKCON Bangalore Temple President, says IRM are simply good when it comes to writing papers but they have no ability to work with people. He says, “Ultimately, if you want to preach, you need to work with people.”

Currently the Bangalore temple has a first-class reputation in South India and the public give a great deal of respect to the devotees and very much appreciate the ISKCON temple. Bangalore was once famous as the garden city, but now it’s famous for the ISKCON temple. Almost all the tourists to Bangalore now go to see the ISKCON temple… Considering this the Bangalore devotees don’t want to start a war with ISKCON which would destroy the good name of ISKCON in South India.

The GBC have given Madhu Pandit the guarantee they will not interfere with his preaching in South India but have not yet gone so far as appointing a ritvik representative of Srila Prabhupada to perform the initiations in Bangalore. This means that ISKCON now has its first official ritvik temple.

In the meantime the devotees in Bangalore are being initiated by Srila Prabhupada personally. When the Temple President considers a devotee to be ready for initiation he writes a letter recommending the devotee to Srila Prabhupada. Then the devotee goes before Srila Prabhupada and prays: “Dear Srila Prabhupada currently your ritvik representatives are not doing their service so I am asking you to please accept me as your disciple and inspire me to select a spiritual name.” So in this way the ISKCON Bangalore devotees are being initiated by Srila Prabhupada.

ISKCON Bangalore plans to increase the number of devotees waiting for formal initiation from Srila Prabhupada to one thousand.

Then every year they will go to the Mayapur festival and have a grand kirtan and request the GBC to appoint a ritvik representative of Srila Prabhupada as Srila Prabhupada outlines in his July 9th, 1977 letter so the devotees can be formally initiated.

Due to serious leadership problems the IRM has lost most of its support from the worldwide community of devotees however we are all greatly indebted to Krishna Kanta Prabhu and the other IRM devotees for writing and putting so much energy into distributing and preaching about, “The Final Order.” While it contains nothing new [it’s basically a summary of what many other devotees had written previously] the devotees distributing “The Final Order” were able to break through the barriers of ISKCON. The “Final Order” convinced Madhu Pundit and many other leaders and general devotees in ISKCON that Prabhupada did establish a system to enable him to continue to accept disciples in ISKCON after his disappearance from our mundane vision.

Previously many devotees outside ISKCON knew Srila Prabhupada established a ritvik system to continue the initiations after his physical departure, but now, thanks to “The Final Order” many devotees living in ISKCON temples also agree, although they may not be able to come out and say it yet publicly. We shall see how things develop in the future…

Chant Hare Krishna and be happy! All glories to jagat guru, saviour of the whole world, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!

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About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna." I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can. That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental! That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!

15 Responses to ISKCON Accepts One Ritvik Temple and IRM Disintegrates

  1. SUJOY GHOSH says:

    Hare krsna!.

    What is the present scenario of Ritvik initiation in ISKCON bangalore. Did GBC APPOINT any Srila Prabhupada disciple as Initiating Ritvik for Bangalore Iskcon. Kindly update. If GBC has still not cooperated then why ISKCON Bangalore is not inviting the 10000 initiated disciple of ISKCON out of which many should be living till date then choose the best of them who are strictly following Srila Prabhupada and APPOINT them as Ritviks to represent Srila Prabhupada for Diksha first & second. I fail to understand why this initiative has not been taken till date. Because present Diksha system all across Iskcon including iskcon bangalore is equal to no initiation. Every one is being cheated.

    Haribol !.
    Sujoy Ghosh

    • Srila Prabhupada is living in his books. So if you read his books and follow the instructions he gives you as you read his books Srila Prabhupada is fully capable of initiating you through his books. So there is no ritvik required. However it is of course good to have a formal ceremony and commit to following the four regulative principles and chanting at least 16 rounds a day in front of the guru (Srila Prabhupada), the Deities, the devotees, the fire, etc. So there is no problem if ISKCON Bangalore have some formal ceremony to recognize the surrender of the disciples to Srila Prabhupada.

      However, ISKCON, that is a totally different story. In ISKCON there is no standard for a guru. In ISKCON they say guru is just a service, like pot-washing. As the pot-washer in ISKCON does not need any particular qualifications, anyone can do it, similarly ISKCON guru, there are no requirements, anyone can do it. So this is TOTALY bogus.

      So ISKCON have a totally bogus guru system and only totally bogus gurus could take part in such a system.

      In ISKCON actually guru is simply ceremonial. He has no authority over his so-called disciples. In ISKCON all authority is with the GBC and the Temple Presidents. Guru can not instruct his disciple anything unless it is in accordance with the orders of the GBC and the Temple President.

      So there is no guru-disciple relationship in ISKCON. Gurus are simply puppets of the GBC. They have to parrot the policies of the GBC to their disciples, otherwise GBC removes their guru authorization and takes away their disciples and gets them reinitiated by some other ISKCON “guru” in “good standing”. And good standing means surrendered to the GBC, that is really the only qualification ISKCON gurus need…

      So the point is the initiation ceremony is only a formality. It is not even required actually. All those ISKCON devotees who sit through grand initiation ceremonies, even if they actually surrender, they are not surrendering to Prabhupada and Krishna, they are surrendering to some GBC appointed conditioned soul, so they are getting cheated. Of course hardly any of them surrender anyhow. Can you actually find any ISKCON devotee who is actually surrendered to his ISKCON guru in the way a sincere disciple of Srila Prabhupada is surrendered to Srila Prabhupada? I have not seen one, at least not since the mid-1990s when most of the original 13 ISKCON gurus were exposed as being bogus pretenders.

      So these days in ISKCON the disciples don’t really surrender to the “gurus”. And even if they do, the “gurus” don’t have the spiritual strength to absorb all the sinful reactions of the disciples and take them back home back to Godhead. So whole ISKCON guru system, based on non-liberated conditioned souls taking on the “service” of guru, just like a non-liberated conditioned soul takes on the service of pot washing, is completely bogus and has absolutely no justification or support in the sastra.

      One could write many books on it, but who would read them and what would be the benefit in the end?

      In short ISKCON guru system is bogus, and ISKCON Bangalore system, that recognizes Srila Prabhupada is capable of accepting disciples still, that he is living in his books, that he can instruct his disciples through his books. That is actually the correct bonafide system, the one Srila Prabhupada established for the continuation of his movement.

      The actual initiation ceremony has very little significance. One does not become initiated by sitting in a fire yajna. The real initiation happens when the disciple actually completely surrenders to his bona-fide spiritual master, accepting the orders of his spiritual master as his life and soul. You can sit in a fabulous fire yajna but if the guru is not a pure devotee, he will have no power to absorb your sinful reactions and purify you, and he will have no power to guide you back home back to Godhead, so he is not a guru actually, but cheater. Presenting himself as powerful enough to absorb all your sinful reactions and take you back home back to Godhead, but actually having no such power. A cheater, not a guru. And if you read Sri Isopanisad unfortunately you will find that the worst hellish planet is reserved for these cheaters who engage in the “Guru Business”.

      Anyhow summary is Prabhupada is still living, he is still with us, he is quite capable of initiating new disciples himself, simply through his books. And yes, it is very nice that ISKCON Bangalore is having an official initiation ceremony where disciples of Srila Prabhupada publicly commit to following the regulative principles and chanting at lest 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, etc.

      So point is the initiation ceremony is not where the initiation actually happens. The initiation happens when the disciple actually surrenders, actually accepts the order of his spiritual master as his life and soul. And if he does not surrender, or if he surrenders to a bogus cheating ISKCON guru, then he never gets initiated at all…

  2. Gregory Sexton says:

    Hare Krishna! Please accept my gratitude and thanks for restoring Srila Prabhupad’s ISKCON. It has broken my heart for decades to watch as an outsider (albeit follower of Srila Prabhupad) the dilapidation of the ISKCON movement primarily due to false “guru hoaxes” and other horrible failures. It is clear the Srila Prabhupad is within the Bangalore ISKCON temple and it’s leadership should be thanked 🙏….eternally.
    I wish that I could too receive initiation from HDG Srila Prabhupad…however , I live in the USA and cannot. Hari Bol!!
    Greg Sexton

    • Prabhupada is living in his books. You can read Prabhupada’s books, and he can initiate you in that way if you actually surrender to him and actually follow all the instructions he gives you as you read his books.

      Prabhupada is ready to initiate anyone into Krishna consciousness. But the problem is we refuse to surrender to him. That is why Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita sa mahatma sudurlabha, “Such a great soul is very rare”

  3. Rukminisa dasa says:

    Hare Krsna,
    Srila Prabhu has spoken on this theme, ” Read my books and chant Hare Krsna”.
    As far as building temples, in India, its a normal practise.
    Here in the west, better to read Bhagavad Gita As It is and find the nerve to give them away.
    It works. Krsna will always send someone to you to take a book.

    Also, one time, Srila Prabhupada, was having problems over his regarding perceived lag in his book translations, by his disciples, Prabhupada spoke as follows.
    I paraphrase here,” Take Iskcon take it! leave me to my work and I will go back to India and work
    It begs the question, “is it not time now, to stop and focus on
    us”? Us, being , family, with a Geeta in the home and a life,
    Let the bogus system carry on, they will die off, Krsna is in control and His emmisary is AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!
    So, get some small Bhagavada Gitas As It is and carry one on your person or car. Put a zip lock bag on them. You will be very.
    surprised on how your life will change.
    Many of us early converts are leaving this place and passing on. Time is rapidly running out. Many of us will not see each other again in this life.
    Hare Krsna soldiers don,t fade away with out giving away a Bhagavada Gita As It Is…
    That,s the ticket you need to ride the Soul Train…
    Bless You All

  4. amita says:

    srila Prabhupada in his last few months had dictated that there shouldnot be gurus but there should be ritviks, who will initiate deciples on behalf of prabhupada( and not on behalf of themselves) and they will further initiate deciples on behalf of prabhupada. thus there will not be ‘inheritance’ but only ‘propagation’ with prabhupada at the could have really made a difference and prabhupada could have seen his hard work becoming a major reality. still its time. who are really on the path of krishna consciousness , should read biography of prabhupada, hear his lectures which are there on and get inspired. i just hope these 2 things are done sometime:
    1. follow the ritvik system to uproot the greed prevailing in ISKCON .
    2. finish his transcriptions of shrimad bhagwatam which he could not complete

  5. raghavendra rao says:

    all the celebrations of festivals at ISKCON temple are performed on a grand scale with lots of devotion, which I do not find it other centers.
    Madhu Pandit and his associates need to be congratulated in spreading Prabhupad’s desire of spreading KC

  6. Greg Sexton says:

    Hare Krishna! Hari Bol!!
    I have researched the subject of “true Guru” in regards to today’s ISKCON.
    I have concluded that ISKCON Bangalore is the only Temple (to my knowledge) that is adhering to Srila Prabhupadas wishes.
    I congratulate and thank you as it is wonderful knowing that ISKCON was not destroyed by the “rascals” after the disappearance of HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Gosvami Prabhupad!!! How could a neophyte (me) associate with you and by Krishna’s Grace eventually receive initiation ? I reside in Florida, USA… are there devotees living here that understand Srila Prabhupad’ s position as our only initiating Guru? Thank you for your help! 🌿🙏🍃
    Hari Bol!!!!!

    • Akash m Angadu says:


      Please accept my most humble obeisances

      Prabhuji there is an official branch ISKCON Bengaluru (not GBC) in the USA.

      It’s in Sunnyvale, California

      Do visit it.

      May Radharamana bless you


  7. yuga avatar das says:

    yes there should be room for the rittik team,i appreciate not everyone is willing to accept the gaudiya vaishnava way of diksa from a personally present guru and parampara system.i look forward to making progress between the two teams of followers of prabhupada

  8. John Kenneth Bhairosingh says:

    Jai Srila Prabhupada, such an enlightment, have been looking for this since a long time. Great news, congratulations. Hare Krsna.

  9. Radha-Damodara dasi says:

    Srila Prabhupada ki JAYA!!! This is a wonderful idea, that devotees can approach Srila Prabhupada directly. Very, very, nice. Hopefully more and more temples will adopt this same standard. All glories to his Divine Grace!! our beloved Jagat Guru!

  10. dr.k.s.rinivasraghvan says:

    Hari bol hare Krishna,Krishna bakthi is eternal and no one can own it and if they think they won it or own it then they are not taken as true Krishna premi God has made all of you to gather and propagate Krishna’s glory and let His Glory only reverberate in an resounding manner through out the earth. Believe the eternity that God is the true owner of your well-being. Hare Krishna.When there is Krishna and there will also be a Kamsa.Let Krishna Caitanya be filled in you to protect you.

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