Thursday, May 7, 2015

Founder-Acarya Position Destroys ISKCON GBC Myths

ISKCON IRM : Back To Prabhupada, Issue 45, Autumn 2014

HH Bhakti Charu Swami ("BCS") has presented a number of myths commonly used by ISKCON's leaders against the IRM:
"And that is the difference we are having with some other group in ISKCON, I mean a group which kind of splintered away from ISKCON. They are saying that Prabhupada is going to be the diksa guru. No one is qualified to give diksa. I mean we have problem with that concept because there is no such precedence, there is no such scriptural evidence, it never happened in the past, it's not mentioned in the scriptures that after one's disappearance one will continue to give diksa. It doesn't happen that way and Srila Prabhupada didn't himself say anything about that."
(BCS Seminar, 7/4/14, "Srila Prabhupada's Position in ISKCON")

These myths can be analysed in light of the GBC having now unwittingly accepted that Srila Prabhupada's position as Founder-Acarya also means that he is ?ISKCON's diksa guru (as proven by the IRM's "Founder-Acarya" book sent along with BTP 43).
Srila Prabhupada never said
MYTH: Srila Prabhupada did not explicitly say that he would give diksa after his departure.
Founder-Acarya Answer:
It was established by Srila Prabhupada from the very beginning of ISKCON in 1966 that he would be its Founder-Acarya. And he stated that he would always occupy this position in ISKCON, which meant even after he departed. Thus, through establishing himself as the only Acarya of ISKCON, he did explicitly state that he would be ISKCON's Acarya and diksa guru even after he departed. Seen in this light, the July 9th, 1977 directive setting up a rtvik initiation system merely becomes the practical arrangement that would ensure that his position as the Acarya of ISKCON (Founder-Acarya) continued to be fulfilled.

Scripture never says
MYTH: Scripture does not state that the diksa guru can initiate after he departs.
Founder-Acarya Answer: Having established in the previous point that Srila Prabhupada did establish himself as ISKCON's diksa guru, this myth can easily be answered through applying the principle of guru, sadhu and sastra. This principle states that the teaching of the guru will always follow scripture (sastra):
"Sadhu, sastra. And guru? Guru means who follows the sastra and sadhu. So there are three, the same."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 30/11/76)

Thus, we know that Srila Prabhupada establishing himself as the Acarya, and therefore diksa guru, of ISKCON, is already in line with scripture.
No precedence
MYTH: The lack of a historical precedent for an action means that it is not bona fide.
Founder-Acarya Answer: We already know that an Acarya sets precedents, otherwise there never could be any precedents that one could compare subsequent actions against, and therefore, this objection is self-defeating. Thus, this objection is not applicable to the Acarya, Srila Prabhupada. And, we have already established that as the Founder-Acarya, Srila Prabhupada did establish himself as ISKCON's diksa guru. In addition, BCS himself explains that it was this same false objection of "no precedence" that caused the Gaudiya Matha to deviate from following the orders of their Acarya, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura:
"And in order to hold the institution together we need the head of the institution who will stand against the onslaught of time or who will remain over a period of time even after his disappearance. And to hold it together there is a need of concept of collective management. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura quite clearly indicated that to his disciples but unfortunately they could not understand that because there was no such precedence in the past."
(BCS Seminar, 7/4/14, "Srila Prabhupada's Position in ISKCON")

And, ironically, ISKCON leaders today are making exactly the same mistake -- rejecting the orders of their Acarya, Srila Prabhupada, due to the same false "no precedence" objection.
Other gurus
MYTH: Due to Srila Prabhupada's special position as Founder-Acarya, other Acaryas, or diksa gurus, can also exist in ISKCON.
Founder-Acarya Answer: The website of ISKCON Mumbai, one of the largest ISKCON temples in the world, states this myth as follows:
"Although the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has many spiritual masters, or acaryas, Srila Prabhupada, its founder-Acharya, holds a permanent position of special esteem".
But it has been established that Srila Prabhupada alone is the Acarya of ISKCON (Founder-Acarya = Founder and Acarya) and that no one can ever take his position:
"It is declared that His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness). He is the supreme authority in all matters of the society. His position cannot be occupied by anyone else, and his name and title must appear on all documents, letterheads, publications, and buildings of the Society. [...] Approved: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Founder-Acharya".
(Topmost Urgency, Amendments to registration documents, 22/7/74, emphasis added)

And, since Acarya in the context of the "Founder-Acarya" title means diksa guru, it is not possible for ISKCON to ever have any diksa gurus (Acaryas) other than Srila Prabhupada.

Not qualified

MYTH: Having no successor diksa gurus means claiming that no one can ever be qualified to be a diksa guru in ISKCON.
Founder-Acarya Answer: The IRM has never claimed this. Rather we state that all qualified devotees can serve as perfect siksa gurus under the Founder-Acarya, Srila Prabhupada. See the article on page 3 for more information.


Simply accepting Srila Prabhupada's position as ISKCON's Founder-Acarya, and what that actually means, alone defeats all objections against his remaining as ISKCON's diksa guru.

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