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Note from Madhusudani Radha dasi:
As several of our readers noticed yesterday, Adridharan prabhu's first question were really two questions. As a result, Ajamila prabhu was not able to answer both questions within the 650 word space limit and the few hours that he had to prepare it. As moderator, I have therefore made the decision to post only his response to the first question (a). Allowing more time and space would not only get us off our schedule, but it would also cause Ajamila's answer to significantly exceed the space limit. To resolve the time issue, I have asked both debaters if they would prefer having their texts posted every other day instead, so that they can take more time to compose and edit their replies. I have also reminded them about the "one question at a time" rule, which they both violated in their first questions. Please watch this space for procedural updates.)
Ajamila's Response to Adridharan's 1st Question

Dear Adri Dharan Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

My answer to your first question is as follows:

"a) Where does the 'direct until departure ritvik priests meaning of the 9 July letter' come from?

Note the word 'direct' means your answer has to be literal i.e. it >should contain words such as 'until departure', and 'ritvik priests'. No extrapolation permitted. Otherwise you must withdraw your claim that there is a 'direct' meaning."

First of all you are not authorised to limit the words Srila Prabhupada used to convey a direct or literal meaning, for by such a tactic you exclude vital evidence so as to favour your concoction. If you are authorised to do so, who authorised you? Nobody. Otherwise in debating circles such an attempt to cover evidence would immediately disqualify you. I am surprised you chose to discredit yourself in this way at the outset of your first question.

Now for your question.

The ‘direct until departure ritvik priests meaning’ of the 9 July letter is the self-evident meaning.

Consider the following evidence carefully. On 9 July 1977 Srila Prabhupada was very ill and hundreds of devotees worldwide were eager to take initiation. To solve this impending problem Srila Prabhupada appointed more ritvik priests to perform the initiation ceremonies on his behalf, as he instructed in 9 July letter.

Since Srila Prabhupada does not mention anything at all in the 9 July letter about continuing that temporary system after his departure, and since only five weeks earlier Srila Prabhupada concluded that the ritviks would become regular gurus 'after his departure' and that the initiates would be their disciples and his grand disciples, and since Srila Prabhupada mentioned so many times that he was training his disciples for becoming spiritual masters 'after his departure', and since never before in the history of Vaisnavism have there been posthumous initiations, and since never before has the law of disciplic succession been broken before as per your interpretation of the 9 July letter, and since even Lord Krishna and Lord Caitanya and every single acarya in our line had living diksa-gurus, and since your interpretation of 9 July letter rejects the authority of guru, sadhu, and sastra, the self-evident meaning and instruction to us all in 9 July letter is that the temporary ritvik system Srila Prabhupada deployed in that letter was indeed to be used only ‘until his departure’. This is the direct meaning.

But for arguments sake, even if what I just said is incorrect, and I don’t say it is, your case for ritvikism is still wrong because, as Srila Prabhupada mentions, (and you have already admitted this), that on his order he expected all his disciples to become regular gurus who in turn would produce grand disciples. You brushed aside this evidence denigrating it as another entity as if deploring its existence.

You agreed that Srila Prabhupada said that "when I order" you become regular guru. You also agreed that if the order was actually given, then Srila Prabhupada's disciples could initiate. In fact, you have stated this several times. To cancel Srila Prabhupada's order you argue that he didn’t actually give the order to any of his disciples. But Srila Prabhupada’s order for his disciples to become regular gurus after his departure was a standing order that he had been giving his disciples all along, as the following quotes from Srila Prabhupada prove:

"Keep trained up very rigidly and then you are bona fide Guru, and you can accept disciples on the same principle. But as a matter of etiquette it is the custom that during the lifetime of your Spiritual master you bring the prospective disciples to him, and in his absence or disappearance you can accept disciples without any limitation. This is the law of disciplic succession. I want to see my disciples become bona fide Spiritual Master and spread Krishna consciousness very widely, that will make me and Krishna very happy." New Delhi, 2 December, 1975

"Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh. So we have to follow the acharya. Then, when we are completely, cent per cent follower of acharya, then you can also act as acharya. This is the process. Don’t become premature acharya. First of all follow the orders of acharya, and you become mature. Then it is better to become acharya. Because we are interested in preparing acharya, but the etiquette is, at least for the period the guru is present, one should not become acharya." (PUBLIC Sri Caitanya-caritamrta class, Adi-lila 1.13 Mayapur, April 6, 1975)

"One who is now the disciple is the next spiritual master." Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.43p

"Everyone can, whoever is initiated, he is competent to make disciples. But as a matter of etiquette they do not do so in the presence of their spiritual master. This is the etiquette. Otherwise, they are competent. They can make disciples and spread… they are competent to make disciples." Detroit, July 18, 1971

"Every student is expected to become Acharya. Acharya means one who knows the scriptural injunctions and follows them practically in life, and teaches them to his disciples…

"Regarding your question about the disciplic succession coming down from Arjuna, it is just like I have got my disciples, so in the future these many disciples may have many branches of disciplic succession. Los Angeles, 25 January, 1969

"So how everyone can become a spiritual master? A spiritual master must have sufficient knowledge, so many other qualifications. No. Even without any qualifications, one can become a spiritual master. How? Now the process is, Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, amara ajnaya: "On My order." That is the crucial point. One does not become spiritual master by his own whims. That is not spiritual master. He must be ordered by superior authority. Then he’s spiritual master. Amara ajnaya. Just like in our case. Our superior authority, our spiritual master, he ordered me that "You just try to preach this gospel, whatever you have learned from me, in English." So we have tried it. That’s all. It is not that I am very much qualified. The only qualification is that I have tried to execute the order of superior authority. That’s all. This is the secret of success." London, August 3, 1973

And so on, there are many more such quotes.

I know your argument will be ‘show me one place where Srila Prabhupada specifically ordered in writing or verbally that his disciples can become gurus.’

To this argument I ask you, ‘Did Srila Prabhupada ever receive from his guru the direct order to be guru either in writing or verbal?’ No. Nevertheless he still received the order. When? In the quote directly above Srila Prabhupada says,

"He must be ordered by superior authority. Then he’s spiritual master. Amara ajnaya. Just like in our case. Our superior authority, our spiritual master, he ordered me that "You just try to preach this gospel, whatever you have learned from me, in English." So we have tried it. That’s all."

The simple order Srila Prabhupada received is this:

"You just try to preach this gospel, whatever you have learned from me, in English." So we have tried it. That’s all."

That is the ‘simple standing order to be guru’ that Srila Prabhupada received from his guru, and that is the same simple standing order that Srila Prabhupada gave all his disciples hundreds of times. This argument is irrefutable. The overwhelming body of evidence clearly shows that all along Srila Prabhupada was giving the order to his disciples to be guru after his departure. Thus your argument that Srila Prabhupada never gave his disciples the order to be guru is completely false. And ISKCON's regular guru system is correct.

But even if your semantic analysis of the 9 July letter is correct, which it is not, still you are wrong because you have already agreed with us that Srila Prabhupada gave the order for his disciples to become regular gurus and produce grand disciples and I have just irrefutably proved with the above quotes that all along Srila Prabhupada had been giving the order for his disciples to initiate after his departure. So on that basis your argument for ritvikism has been completely defeated.

Furthermore, in 1977, H.H. Radha Govinda Swami took some devotees to Vrindavana to get initiated but Srila Prabhupada directly told the Maharaja to initiate them himself. Srila Prabhupada directly gave him a 'verbal order'. Knowing the Maharaja’s truly renounced and excellent character, I and many others have no doubts that this is true. Srila Prabhupada also gave a similar direct order to H.H. Jayapataka Maharaja, Bhavananda, and a few others. Your response to this was that all those devotees banded together to tell the same lie! When we challenged you to meet with some of those devotees, you declined. I herein again challenge you to put those devotees to a sophisticated lie detector test since such devices have proven to be 85% effective. But when the tests prove negative will you give up your ritvik concoction?

Confirming the total evidence I have presented, your proposed system of posthumous initiations must be a concoction since the whole idea defies and insults the law of disciplic succession and clearly contravenes guru, sadhu, and sastra.

So which ever way you look at it your ritvikism is a dangerous and devious concoction, as the GBC researchers rightly concluded.

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