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Ajamila dasa
Ajamila's Comments on Adridharana's Answer to Question No. 2

Dear Adri Dharan Prabhu,

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

You have avoided answering my second question which is:

"Please prove directly and unequivocally without any evasion tactic whatsoever that your proposed system of ritvikism, a system of posthumous initiation that you declare Srila Prabhupada supposedly wanted after his departure, does not put Srila Prabhupada in a bogus position of contravening guru, sadhu, and sastra by breaking the law of disciplic succession?"

You have not answered my question. I have proved herein that by your own omission of guru, sadhu, and sastra you have clearly lost the debate.

I requested you to support your NCIP ritvik idea with evidence from guru, sadhu, and sastra, otherwise it is a concoction. Everything I have said is rooted in guru, sadhu, and sastra since this is the standard in Vaisnava debating. You have violated this standard and have thus disqualified your self and have lost the debate. The more you debate the more you confirm your failure.

Your evasion tactic is your accusation that I recycle the same arguments but that is what we are both doing in order to prove our points of view. Your accusation exhibits ignorance of fair debating. Your evasion only confirms that your posthumous initiation proposal is a devious and dangerous concoction. One of the rules of this debate which you accepted is that everything must be supported by guru, sadhu, and sastra. On this count you have failed. Another standard debating rule is that a question cannot be answered with a question, that is evasion. You have to answer the question, not evade it because you can’t answer it. For example, you answered my question with this question: "Which principle of sastra are we changing?" when I clearly refer to the major principle of the disciplic succession. You also didn’t answer my request for guru, sadhu, and sastra references to prove that your NCIP does not put Srila Prabhupada in a bogus position of breaking the law of disciplic succession and defying sastra.

Thus you have lost this debate on the following grounds:

1. Evading a question by using the diversion tactic of answering a question with a question.
2. You have not answered Question Two as requested with evidence from guru, sadhu, and sastra.

Being disqualified in that way you should be honest and withdraw from this debate and stop harassing ISKCON with your concoctions. Anything that is not supported by guru, sadhu, and sastra is a concoction. This is irrefutable. If the deciding factor of this debate is speculative concoctions then you win. But if the deciding factor of this debate is guru, sadhu, and sastra then you have clearly lost because your concoction is rejected by sastra.

The main contention of your speculation is this: Why was Srila Prabhupada removed as the diksa-guru of ISKCON?

Here is a simple answer: In this question you insinuate that Srila Prabhupada was illegally removed out of envy, but every single guru in our very long line of disciplic succession gets removed from being a living diksa-guru by the very nature of their physical departure. Please use your common sense.

 

You quoted me as saying: "You argue that Srila Prabhupada was so powerful as a guru, sadhu, and Founder Acarya that he could change a major principle of Vedic philosophy that was firmly upheld even by Lord Krishna Himself!"

And then you said: "We have never argued this. We challenge you to show where we have."

My response to your challenge: Your whole NCIP (no changes in ISKCON paradigm) is an illogical, unauthorized, and ‘impossible to implement’ concoction that puts Srila Prabhupada into a bogus position of changing a major principle of Vedic philosophy, the law of disciplic succession that was firmly upheld even by Lord Krishna Himself. If this is the bogus result of your NCIP idea then how can you say you have never argued this?

 

I said: "What makes ritvikism a dangerous concoction is that the directive therein blindly rebels against the fact that major principles of sastra can never be changed."

You said: "You are just assuming that which you need to prove. Which principle of sastra are we changing? You have never been able thus far to quote it."

My answer: Here is irrefutable proof from Srila Prabhupada:

"…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." (Srila Prabhupada 2 December, 1975)

The principles of sastra you are trying to change is the law of disciplic succession that Srila Prabhupada describes above. Your concocted NCIP clearly contradicts what Srila Prabhupada teaches in that instruction and therefore must be rejected without hesitation. As I have explained to you many times in this debate, your NCIP concoction defies a major principle of sastra, the law of disciplic succession that has never been broken and cannot be broken by ISKCON as you wrongly presume it should.

 

I said: "According to your ritvikism Srila Prabhupada contradicted himself here when he said, ‘then we have to go to a physical spiritual master.’"

You said: "The 'physical spiritual master' argument was already answered on page 49 of 'The Final Order'. Srila Prabhupada uses the term 'physical spiritual master' to distinguish between the Supersoul and the external manifestation of the Supersoul, the diksa Guru, who comes via an embodied form in the parampara. The issue is how does the disciple 'go to' this external representation of the Supersoul? This cannot involve either the physical presence or physical body of the guru, since thousands of Srila Prabhupada's disciples did not 'go to' the physical body of the spiritual master, having never met him. So if Srila Prabhupada's physical body was not required to give diksa then, how can it be needed now?"

My comment: The unbroken law and tradition of disciplic succession is that one must take diksa from a living spiritual master, not a departed spiritual master. You say that Srila Prabhupada’s living physical body is not required to give diksa but this is wrong. His living physical body is required according to guru, sadhu, and sastra. The fact that some of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples had very little or no physical association because of the many thousands of disciples taking initiation through a temporary ritvik system is not the point. The point is Srila Prabhupada was at that time a ‘living spiritual master’ who willingly accepted those devotees through the temporary system he adopted. To continue that system after Srila Prabhupada’s departure is a concoction because it defies not only Srila Prabhupada’s instructions but guru, sadhu, and sastra.

 

You said: "What happened in the past cannot be proof that it must occur now, otherwise by this same foolish logic all the gurus now would have to also be Indian-bodied. That is also a 'unbroken tradition'. Neither could ladies receive gaytri initiation. That is also an 'unbroken tradition'. Need we go on? Your arguments for 'tradition' are the same as used by the smarta brahmanas to criticize Srila Prabhupada."

My comment: This is a foolish argument and hardly deserves a comment. You are either intentionally or naively mixing sastra’s ‘unchangeable principles’ with ‘changeable details’ so as to mislead your readers. There are things in Vedic tradition that can be changed and things that can’t. Details of the past like skin colour and giving women gayatri will of course differ from the present but the major principles cannot change. Please use your common sense. The law of disciplic succession has never been changed and cannot be changed because it is an unchangeable principle of sastra. Need I go on? We believe we are not smarta brahmanas but rather ‘smarter’ brahmanas by following guru, sadhu, and sastra.

 

I said: "But now after all these years you dig up a hidden meaning from the 9 July letter implying that Srila Prabhupada opposed the principles of sastra."

You said: "We do not 'dig up' any anything. We simply ask a very simple question Ð why did you decide that the letter was no longer applicable for ISKCON after Srila Prabhupada's departure, even though the letter itself makes no mention of departure? And all you offer is an attempt at inventing the non-existent 'ritvik-acarya' entity, which resulted in you contradicting yourself, the GBC, HH Hridyananda Maharaja and putting words into the mouth of Srila Prabhupada in the process.

My comment: The 9 July letter does not even hint at your NCIP theory. The sole purpose of that letter was to inform ISKCON leaders worldwide about the temporary ritvik system and the new priests added to make a total of eleven. Only five weeks earlier Srila Prabhupada made it very clear that the temporary ritvik system would continue until his departure; therefore, he didn’t need to mention such the sensitive departure point again in the 9 July letter. I challenge you to ask the GBC and HH Hridayananda Maharaja whether or not what I have said contradicts what they said. The GBC and I are in total agreement that everything should be based on guru, sadhu, and sastra. And since your argument is not supported by guru, sadhu, and sastra we reject it as a concoction. This is fair. The only words that have gone into Srila Prabhupada’s mouth that weren’t there before is your NCIP concoction.

 

I said: "Sastra considers Vaisnava tradition as valid evidence and therefore this proof is irrefutable."

You said: "If you really believe that that 'tradition' is 'irrefutable proof', then why do you ask a question about a ''law of disciplic succession', that the GBC states is neither in sastra or a part of tradition: [Adri is quoting the GBC here.] ‘There are many such instances in the scriptures about disciples giving initiation in the presence of guru, [I] This statement proves that acceptance of disciples in the presence of one s spiritual master has been approved by the scriptures. In the scriptures there is no specific instruction about a disciple not giving initiation when his guru is present. [I] Even though in the past spiritual masters have given disciples permission to initiate in their presence, [I]

‘We must assume that as Founder-Acarya, Srila Prabhupada had the vision to set down a law--a law suitable for that unique institution, a law we would transgress at our peril. (Devotees Initiating Before Their Guru's Physical Departure -An Official GBC Paper, Part of 'Gurus and Initiation in ISKCON', GBC, 1995)’

"How many times must we point out this embarrassing and glaringly obvious fact?"

My comment: The GBC have correctly referred to Srila Prabhupada’s right as Founder Acarya to transgress the normal etiquette for preaching which would become a precedent law in ISKCON but not to be confused as a law of disciplic succession. Again you are confusing a major principle with a detail. Another example of a detail that is not a law of sastra but is a law in ISKCON is that all initiates must chant a minimum of 16 rounds daily. Either you intentionally don’t want to hear or you have a serious ‘hearing’ problem. Which is it? The ‘etiquette’ I repeat ‘etiquette’ of not allowing his disciples to initiate in his presence was followed by Srila Prabhupada. But since this is question of etiquette, not disciplic succession law, Srila Prabhupada was seriously considering overriding the normal etiquette so that his disciples could initiate in his presence for the higher purpose of preaching. Details and etiquette can change but major laws and principles like taking diksa from a living guru can never change. Please don’t confuse these two items of ‘law’ and ‘etiquette’ again.

 

I said: "Here is more incontestable proof that ritvikism is completely wrong. His Divine Grace again clearly confirms in the following quote that he wanted the disciplic succession to continue after him and not stop with him as you dangerously concoct. Srila Prabhupada clearly says here that he is eleventh in our line of disciplic succession from Lord Caitanya and that his disciples would be twelfth."

You said: "This also has been answered in 1996 in 'The Final Order' page 14. You contradict yourself - first you say "his disciples would be twelfth', and then immediately you correctly quote Srila Prabhupada saying "you are the twelfth". You need to impose this contradiction on Srila Prabhupada since as Srila Prabhupada is speaking in the present tense he couldn't possibly be speaking of diksa gurus, otherwise you would be advocating breaking the 'law of disciplic succession', which forbids such diksa succession taking place whilst Srila Prabhupada is still on the planet.

My comment: First of all, since you can’t refute the evidence itself, you try to create a ‘tense’ contradiction where in fact there is none. You said "Srila Prabhupada is speaking in the present tense he couldn't possibly be speaking of diksa gurus." The contradiction you flag down can only be true if I accept your false premise that initiating in the presence of one’s guru contravenes disciplic law, but I don’t, nor does Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada defines not initiating in the presence of one’s guru as the ‘normal etiquette’, and he defines the option for a disciple to accept his own disciples after his guru’s departure as the ‘law of disciplic succession’. Your TFO relies heavily on word juggling and mental concoctions without reference to sastra. Srila Prabhupada taught us to always refer to sastra. You should know that by now.

 

I said: "There are many MAJOR principles in bona fide Vaisnavism that can never be broken, and the law of disciplic succession that one must receive diksa from a qualified LIVING guru is one of them."

You said: "Srila Prabhupada acting as the diksa guru for ISKCON could only break the 'law' if the 'law' stated that diksa must be taken from a 'physically living, present on the planet' Guru. But the 'law' does not make any mention of this. We already pointed this out the last time you falsely tried to assert that we were 'breaking the law'."

My comment: The proof that it is ‘disciplic law’ that diksa must be taken from a ‘living guru’ is the unbroken tradition given in sastra where we find that every single acarya in our line and even Lord Krishna and Lord Caitanya took diksa from a living guru. Your proposal to deviate from that tradition that nobody ever dared to break defies an unbroken tradition. This is very serious and puts Srila Prabhupada in a bogus position of breaking the disciplic law. Hence we reject your NCIP stuff as an insult to Srila Prabhupada.

 

You said: "As we have seen the 'law' in question merely states that one is forbidden to be a diksa guru whilst the Guru is on the planet, with such succession only possible after the Guru has departed."

My comment: This is your false interpretation of the law which contradicts Srila Prabhupada’s clear statements. Sastra says that ‘principle laws’ can never be broken but ‘details and etiquette’ can be adjusted circumstantially. In order to support your concoction you have doctored up the ‘etiquette’ to be a ‘law’, which it isn’t. Only the less intelligent will accept your cantankerous word jugglery. Srila Prabhupada could have changed the etiquette; however, he could never have changed the law because not even Lord Krishna Himself dared to change that law which He observed by taking diksa from a living guru.

 

You said: "Thus Ajamila only offers arguments that either have already been defeated or that he himself does not believe in, and which also contradicts the GBC, who he is supposed to be defending! These actions have ensured that Ajamila has already lost the debate."

My comment: This Vaisnava debate is not about one-upmanship or word juggling. This debate only concerns understanding initiations after Srila Prabhupada’s departure according to guru, sadhu, and sastra. Thus far you have only proved yourself to be argumentative, peddling concocted arguments without any reference to guru, sadhu, and sastra and issuing unsubstantiated accusations as a smoke screen for your concoctions.

Your failure to prove your NCIP idea with guru, sadhu, and sastra makes you the outright loser of this debate. In fact you have failed to support your premise with even a shred of sastra. Although you have declared yourself the loser by disqualifying yourself, you can always continue the debate and make it clearer to the assembled devotees the greater extent of your defeat. You cannot defeat guru, sadhu, and sastra. So if you have any dignity you will withdraw from the debate admitting that you have no guru, sadhu, and sastra support for your NCIP concoction.

Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!!! Guru, sadhu, and sastra ki jaya!!!

Ajamila Dasa Adhikari

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