Guru in ISKCON

Published on August 23rd, 2005 | by


ISKCON Gurus are Ritvik Representatives of Srila Prabhuapda

Maharaja, were you to decide renounce your Krishna conscious activities you would discover the majority of those
whom you have initiated would not choose to follow you to Upper No-whereia and would hold fast to their ardent faith and admiration for the shelter of Srila Prabhupada.

Dear Maharaja

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Prabhu I neglected to offer one more thought the other day to you for your consideration.

While claiming to take a contrary stance in regards to Srila Prabhupada’s original system – ISKCON has in fact established a clear position for those men who now serve the mission as “initiators” which is essentially the position Srila Prabhupada anticipated for them as Ritvik Representatives .

These man are prohibited from placing their photos on the alters of all ISKCON temples as if they were singularly responsible as the “current link” in our spotless Parampara. They are prohibited from assuming or going by titles such as Vishnupada, Krsnapada, Prabhupada – etc. They are prohibited from allowing “their” disciples” to conduct daily Guru Puja in the temple room. Simultaneously they are instructed to teach by precept and example “their” disciples to participate in the daily GURU PUJA of Srila Prabhupada. Perhaps most importantly when any of the men who serve as gurus renounce their position and return to this or that, i.e. Vipramukya Swami, Satsvarupa Swami, Prithu Prabhu, Jagadish Prabhu, Hari Kesa Swami, Bhagavan swami etc etc etc, ISKCON does not oblige the disciples to accept reinitiation in order to continue chanting Gayatri Mantra, serving the Diety, running a center, etc, etc, etc. They take the position, and correctly so, that this is now to be determined exclusively by the individual devotees and their sense of actual “need.” If they see the need they are encouraged but if they don’t then ISKCON essentially leaves it alone.

So in effect ISKCON has already, for all intents and purposes, firmly established Srila Prabhupada’s system with a few aspects left more or less unstated but embraced.

The “Law” of Gravity,  “what goes up must come down,” is experienced by everyone and everything. Whether we call it that or not.

Similarly Srila Prabhupada’s instruction regarding how the simple procedure for formalizing the mutual commitment between those who surrender to his teachings contained within his purports and himself are the manifest reality of his mission. Whether we acknowledge it or refer to it with his terminology or not.

So truth be told when you wrote to me after many many years and said “Praghosa Prabhu… I have heard from various sources that you are NOW preaching Ritivk Philosophy. Is this true?” you were asking me AS IF you and the rest of ISKCON were really acting contrary to Srila Prabhupada’s instructions in this regard. But in fact you are yourself, as an initiator or guru in ISKCON, acting fully under the authority of Srila Prabhupada and His GBC/Temple President structure and are yourself acting ON BEHALF OF SRILA PRABHUPADA AND HIS MISSION.

TKG said to Srila Prabhupada, after Srila Prabhupada described such an important post, “Is that CALLED RITVIK Srila Prabhupada?” and Srila Prabhupada answered “Yes. Ritivik”.

So your asking me this question while functioning in EXACTLY the manner described by His Divine Grace is a little out of place.

Like a man who has just fallen from the top of a garage and helplessly broken both legs now asking someone, “Hey I heard you were preaching ‘What goes up must come down?’ Is this true?”

Do you get my point? You function as an appointed representative. Your functioning as such within ISKCON at least is dependent upon certain factors. If you fail to meet those requirements then your authority can be revoked. You could then of course advertise yourself as a guru but not within ISKCON. There are some who have chosen to do this. Like Swami Ramakrishnananda here in NYC who openly declares himself to be Acharya, pure devotee and self realized sou. Or Tripurari Swami or Jagat Guru Swami or Alanath Swami or Narayana Swami.

These men are prepared to stand on their own merit or demerits and claim what they claim and men are free to accept or reject them. ISKCON offers no opinion as to their position.

However WITHIN the mission of Srila Prabhupada our gurus are so posted by the GBC and their position can and has been revoked when they decided that they no longer wished to serve in this capacity or when despite their sustaining such desire the mission decided that their services as gurus were no longer in the interest of Srila Prabhupada’s mission.

That is EXACTLY what Srila Prabhupada wanted and that is what he got. Despite all our foolish missteps in the process we can never be more than HE ORDERS. It is that simple. The system he left us is the natural system that is born out of his organizing and forming or shaping his mission in the form of an INSTITUTION. His Godbrothers could neither understand or appreciate this. That was evident from their assessment AND more importantly their advice and/or their objections to his instructions upon his departure.

The beauty of Srila Prabhupada’s arrangement is that it holds us all fast to his position as our spiritual Monarch while leaving full latitude for the full use of each man’s initiative, enthusiasm and genius!!

Think about this carefully Maharaja. The way I see this is this. YOU, Umapati Swami, wrote to me as one of Srila Prabhupada’s presently ISKCON approved or sanctioned initiators now authorized to chant on the new men’s beads, give them spiritual names and instruct them both by precept and example in all the ins and outs of how to serve His Divine Grace and his own spiritual “best interest” asked me if I thought that was in fact what you were doing?

Most of you simply do not think deeply enough about the reality of what you are in fact AUTHORIZED to do. AUTHORIZATION does not imply REALIZATION. It can never be an indicator of that. You are fully free to make as significant a contribution to the spiritual life of anyone as you are actually capable of doing, including those you have been authorized to initiate on behalf of Srila Prabhupada. That is and has always been a given. But were you to decide renounce your KC activities, as you directly said in your interviews with Siddhanta Prabhu on the memory tapes that you had done more than once, you would discover that the majority of those whom you had initiated would not choose to follow you to Upper No-whereia and would hold fast to their ardent faith and admiration for the shelter of Srila Prabhupada.

The shelter that was given them from the very BEGINNING or “INITIATION” of their Krsna Consciouness. This more than anything demonstrates who is their actual GURU. Who is the very source of their spiritual life at its core. Who is the proverbial “OXYGEN” that they NEED in order to sustain themselves in Krishna consciousness.

Our association CAN be a boon to another devotee. Our association is not mandatory for anyone’s advancement. Srila Prabhupada’s guidance is however AN ABSOLUTE IMPERATIVE. Srila Prabhupada said: “If one thinks he can advance back to Godhead – outside this Krishna consciousness movement – he is living in a hallucination!”

This Krishna consciousness movement is ENTIRELY contained within Srila Prabhupada’s disclosure of Lord Krsna through his purports. And the means to return to him? Also disclosed within his purports.

Those purports are NON DIFFERENT from Srila Prabhupada. He is now LIVING FOREVER (He affirmed this) within THOSE PURPORTS. Eternally!!

So the way I see it You–a happy, humble and capable Rivik Representative of Srila Prabhupada–wrote to me and asked me “Do you consider me to be a Ritvik Representative of Srila Prabhupada?”

The very short, concise and important answer both for you and your men is “YES”.

Not just you. Everyone sharing your responsible post as well. What is more, I thank you very much for trying your best to do a good job of it as well.

Thank you for your patience

Always your friend and servant
Praghosa Das

Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author

4 Responses to ISKCON Gurus are Ritvik Representatives of Srila Prabhuapda

  1. Akshay says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. Who is this hh bhaktivedanta ramakrishnananda swami maharaja. It is said in the lineage section on his site.

    According to site his spiritual masters are His Divine Grace B. A. Paramādvaitī Mahārāja and His Divine Grace Atulānanda Ācarya which are both disciples of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda and founders of the Vrinda Mission.

    And is this Vrnda mission or these two disciples of Srila Prabhupada typical modern time example of so-called religious/spiritual movement disobeying Srila Prabhupada. Or are these like one of the gurus who today\’s iskcon threw out.

    • Hare Krishna Akshay

      This Vrina is a Vaisnava association with a combination of ISKCON and Gaudiya Matha influence that appeared may years ago in Columbia, South America, when ISKCON threw out this B. A. Padmavati Maharaja and the Columbian devotees decided to keep him and instead throw ISKCON out of Columbia. Which is what they did. So now today there is no ISKCON in Columbia, only Vrinda, and they have expanded to about a 100 centers world-wide, mostly in South America.

      They are connected with the Gaudiya Matha who Srila Prabhupada forbids us to have anything to do with, so in that respect they are disobeying Srila Prabhupada. But in their temples they have big photos of Srila Prabhupada and I have found them to be very nice people, the ones I have met.

      But, at least from what I have seen in Columbia, they have a very different mood to Prabhupada’s mood. They are big into preaching about Vegetarianism, something not likely to be very successful in such a heavy meat eating country like Columbia, and you know I guess that Srila Prabhupada told us not to bother trying to make people vegetarian because even the sparrows are vegetarians but the sparrows are not becoming devotees of Krishna. It is not that if one becomes vegetarian he will become a devotee of Krishna. No. It is that if one becomes a devotee of Krishna then automatically all the good qualities will develop in him, including vegetarianism. So the idea is to make people devotees of Krishna then automatically they will be vegetarians. There is no point in preaching to try and make meat eaters vegetarians. They will not be interested in this. That is my personal experience also. I used to be a big meat eater and at one stage two of my sisters [by visiting the Hare Krishna temples] became vegetarians, and they tried to make me a vegetarian by preaching to me about the evils of animal killing, etc. But I did not care, I did not listen to them, it had no effect on me. But later when I went to the Hare Krishna temples myself and started accepting Krishna prasadam and chanting Hare Krishna and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books then automatically I gave up eating anything that is no Krishna Prasadam and so automatically became a vegetarian.

      So anyhow the point is that this B.A. Padmavati does not have the clear ideas that Srila Prabhupada presented and he presents something of a compromised hodge-podge thing drawing from the local South American Indian culture and incorporating their myths and traditions… And he does not stress chanting japa. In fact most of the devotees I met there in Columbia I think do not even have japa beads. At least I did not see them. And they were not getting out of bed very early in the morning. You know. It was very laid back. They are very nice sincere devotees and with proper leadership I think it would be wonderful. But there is a feeling there in Columbia something like the feeling in ISKCON that there was once something very wonderful but it is gone now…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  2. Joe says:

    We need to get rid of Brahmin & Jewish gurus from Iskcon.Gurus from all other communities are wellcome.Both of these community peoples want to be superior to each other and want to keep others below them .So unless & untill we understand their conspiracy we will be befooled.We need to get rid of these peoples who secretely give confidential knowledge to their community member & make sure that they go on to become gurus & sanyasies & arrange the falldown of devotees from other communities.Just count how many jewish & brahman gurus have fallen
    down & how many non jewish & non brahman gurus have fallen down.The truth will come out .
    1)They always praise their own community member peoples.
    2)Give important posts to their cast peoples.
    3)Give bramhnical sevas to them & all sudra work which will reduce a person to kanishtha level to other cast devotees.
    4)They have spies in every temple to through out bramhachari who is having potential to be guru.
    5)They arrange the falldown of gurus/sanyasies/bramhacharies from other community .
    6)They always keep observing what others appreciate in gurus from other community & then propagate through their network that they have this quality.
    7)Any time you praise devotee from other community ,they immediately come & tell you what bad quality that person is having.
    8)They increase the prestege of their community man amongst their desciples / followers.
    9)They descridit any 1 who speak against them as against prabhupad & against iskcon.
    10)They enjoy dhanam ,janam ,kavitam etc while making a show that they are not interested.

  3. KASTHURI says:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to Top ↑