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February 9, 1999   VNN2984   See Related VNN Stories

Diplomacy Or Truth


USA, Feb 9 (VNN) — An open letter to the GBC - Please stop the madness

Dear GBC please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Maybe this letter comes late, because the Harikesa case its already old, but better late than never.

Reading trough the Harikesa case, made me to remember the Mayapur festival 1987 and more specifically the 50 man committee that in that year was supposed to review the remaining GBC after the big fall-downs of 1986. I was part of that committee and I remember that we started in a very good mode analyzing the GBC men. The first GBC we reviewed was H.H. Hridayananda Goswami and after he left the room we voted, and for big majority vote, he received a vote of no-confidence.

The next was the former Harikesa Maharaja, I remember that it was extremely distasteful just to hear him or ask questions to him. He was extremely proud and arrogant. Some weird story about his flying-saucer experiment came out during the interview, and he replied in a very arrogant mood just as during the entire time of the interview. When he left the room all committee members were flabbergasted by his performance and completely convinced that he was on a trip and dangerous.

But instead of giving the no-confidence vote, it came to a discussion that he had many disciples and control over a lot of money and many suggested that if we gave a no-confidence vote he may split away from the movement, take disciples with him and take a lot of money. Instead of giving to him a no-confidence vote it was decided, (please note that personally I did not agreed with that decision) to give him a confidence vote.

As a result of this practically no more GBC where reviewed because we concluded that if we gave a confidence vote to him, then in no way we could give no-confidence votes to others.

To not make Hridayananda feel offended we had to give a confidence vote to him too, and (ridiculous!) beg for forgiveness for giving a no-confidence vote in the first place.

After that the all meeting became a joke, just voting on new candidate to the body. I remember a man extremely ambitious complaining to me for not having voted for him as a candidate (he poked his nose on my voting). I am recalling this occurrence, to bring on a very important point - diplomacy. The pride and arrogance of Harikes Prabhu was evident, he being on a grandeur trip was evident, maybe at that point he could be rectified, but with the diplomacy used, with the fear of loosing men and money, he went on with is pride for many more years. He burned out many good God-brothers, he accumulated more money, more men, and now just see the result, all of Europe is in turmoil, thousands of his disciples are suffering and going trough terrible confusion.

Who actually knows for certain how much money between stock-lost and what he pretend to be his, Srila Prabhupada's movement has lost? And now he is criticizing and faultfinding Srila Prabhupada. Inviting devotees to leave ISKCON and so on.

This incident is a very important lesson for our leaders. It appear that compromising the truth and the purity in the name of saving men and money does not work, purity is the force not diplomacy. Diplomacy can only bring more politics, more problems, more division more fall-downs.

Now after 22 years since the time Srila Prabhupada entered samadhi I can't believe that the entire GBC body is convinced of the multiple acarya system, the living guru system, or what else you want to call this concoction. I can't believe that the entire GBC body does not understand that if Srila Prabhupada's desire was to have acaryas he would have spoken for days and days about it, giving all details how to do it. Is somebody actually believeing that Srila Prabhupada would have left such important point (ISKCON is divided and fighting over this argument for the last 21 years since Mayapur festival 1978) unclear and let Virabahu Prabhu, or Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu, smoke their brains over the folio to understand what Srila Prabhupada's desire about initiation was?

Srila Prabhupada's desire it is clearly defined on the July 9th letter:

July 9th, 1977

To All G.B.C., and Temple Presidents

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. Recently when all of the GBC members were with His Divine Grace in Vrndavana, Srila Prabhupada indicated that soon He would appoint some of His senior disciples to act as "ritvik--representative of the acarya, for the purpose of performing initiations, both first initiation and second initiation. His Divine Grace has so far given a list of eleven disciples who will act in that capacity:

His Holiness Kirtanananda Swami
His Holiness Satsvarupa dasa Gosvami
His Holiness Jayapataka Swami
His Holiness Tamala Krsna Gosvami
His Holiness Hrdayananda Gosvami
His Holiness Bhavananda Gosvami
His Holiness Hamsaduta Swami
His Holiness Ramesvara Swami
His Holiness Harikesa Swami
His Grace Bhagavan dasa Adhikari
His Grace Jayatirtha dasa Adhikari

In the past Temple Presidents have written to Srila Prabhupada recommending a particular devotee's initiation. Now that Srila Prabhupada has named these representatives, Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendation for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their temple. After considering the recommendation, these representatives may accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of second initiation, by chanting on the Gayatri thread, just as Srila Prabhupada has done. The newly initiated devotees are disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, the above eleven senior devotees acting as His representative. After the Temple President receives a letter from these representatives giving the spiritual name or the thread, he can perform the fire yajna in the temple as was being done before. The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Srila Prabhupada, to be included in His Divine Grace's "Initiated Disciples" book.

Hoping this finds you all well.

Your servant,

Tamala Krsna Gosvami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada

Approved: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

[Srila Prabhupada's signature appears on the original]

I do not like to repeat what so many other exalted vaisnavas already stated. There are so many good article as "who is representing Srila Prabhupada now?" by H.G. Madhudvisa Prabhu, "the final order" by H.G. Krishna Kant Prabhu, "simple for the simple" by H.G. Pragosh Prabhu, and so many others, that clearly demonstrate that Srila Prabhupada's desire was that He will continue to be the diksa guru and his disciplic continue to be the siksa guru.

2. Each temple will be an ISKCON property and will be managed by three executive directors. The system of management will continue as it is now and there is no need of any change. (Srila Prabhupada's will)

It is so simple to understand that there was no reasons to change the system of initiations. The system of initiations trough "ritvik priest" it was already functioning prior to the July 9th letter, personally I remember initiations in France to be performed by Bhagavan Prabhu as early as 1972, so if that system was to function only until Srila Prabhupada entering samadhi what was the need of the July 9th letter if the system was already functioning.

It is clear that the letter is as, the letter itself mentions, to function henceforward. Of course somebody may argue that the July 9th letter was just for changing the system of to whom to send the recommendation: In the past Temple Presidents have written to Srila Prabhupada recommending a particular devotee's initiation. Now that Srila Prabhupada has named these representatives, Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendation for first and second initiation to whoever of these eleven representatives are nearest their temple.

Again I am asking if anybody actually think that Srila Prabhupada would have left such extremely important subjects as initiation, guru, what to do when a guru falls etc. to some of his disciple to brake their brains over the folio to figure out what to do? Repeating what Sriman Pragosh Prabhu said, simple for the simple, please note the following:

3. Properties in India will be managed by the following executive directors: a) Properties at Sri Mayapur Dhama, Panihati, Haridaspur and Calcutta: Gurukrpa Swami, Jayapataka Swami, Bhavananda Gosvami and Gopal Krsna das Adhikari. b) Properties at Vrndavana: Gurukrpa Swami, Akahoyananda Swami, and Gopal Krsna das Adhikari. c) Properties at Bombay: Tamala Krsna Gosvami, Giriraj das Brahmahary, and Gopal Krsna das Adhikari. d) Properties at Bhubaneswar: Gour Govinda Swami, Jayapataka Swami, and Bhagawat das Brahmachary. e) Properties at Hyderbad: Mahamsa Swami, Sridhar Swami, Gopal Krsna das Adhikari and Bali Mardan das Adhikari.

The executive directors who have herein been designated are appointed for life. In the event of death or failure to act for any reason of any of the said directors, a successor director or directors may be appointed by the remaining directors, provided the new director is my initiated disciple following strictly all the rules and regulations of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness as detailed in my books, and provided that there are never less than three (3) or more than five (5) executive directors acting at one time. (Srila Prabhupada's will) In the event of death or failure to act for any reason of any of the said directors, a successor director or directors may be appointed by the remaining directors, provided the new director is my initiated disciple following strictly all the rules and regulations of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness as detailed in my books. How this part of Srila Prabhupada's will could be followed if the "concocted living guru system" continue? I wish my God-brothers 100 more year of life still in 100 years this will of Srila Prabhupada will not be possible to be followed. Srila Prabhupada emphatically affirmed many time that this movement will go on for the next 10.000 years, so his will also have to be followed for the next 10.000 years.

Srila Prabhupada many times boldly said that He will never die, but the GBC hare saying that Srila Prabhupada is dead and you need a living guru. This is insanity. And where this insanity is coming from? From the desire for name, fame, distinction, adoration. If everyone gives up this attachment and become a humble servant of the servant it will be very easy to understand. Simple for the simple.

"When one has attained the topmost position of maha-bhagavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshipped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru." (C.c. Madhya, 24.330, purport) To rush to the post of guru before having attained the maha-bhagavata stage it is insanity, there is need of more fall-down to confirm this simple fact?

So now at this point of history the leader of ISKCON have to decide:

To accept Srila Prabhupada's final order given in the July 9th 1977 letter and restore love and trust among the devotees. Restore in the movement the original strength and enthusiasm to change the world, or to make a new diplomatic arrangement to prevent some mega gurus to go of with men and money (there is only a few left), and again compromise truth, for diplomacy and continue the present situation that is causing so many good devotees to become discouraged or ostracized from ISKCON.

'Myself and the other GBC have done the greatest disservice to this movement the last three years because we interpreted the appointment of ritviks as the appointment of gurus. What actually happened I'll explain. I explained it but the interpretation is wrong'. (Topanga Canyon Confessions, 3/12/80)
Actually this disservice it is going on for the last 22 years it is time to stop.

Please give up the attachment to name, fame, glory, worship and big daksin, and let this madness stop and sanity to prosper.

Please forgive me for any offense and please allow me to remain your humble servant.

Somaka Das

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