I would further suggest that this so called debate already took place between myself, Vipramkuhya, Yasodanandana and Gauridas Pandit last year,with active non participation by Vipramukya Umapati and Chakra. I tried to organize the "Great Ritvik Debate" to take place at New Vrndavan. New Vrndavanís Board was disinterested and said the matter was too controversial for them since they were contemplating re-joining ISKCON, and did not want to jeopardize their position to do so. The GBC ignored any request for discussion and Chakra refused to allow itself to be a forum for anything but GBC propaganda under the censorship of its two editors. If you want to take the time you can read here various correspondences from last year. I did my level best to see that guru tattva would be discussed. I hoped that we could all agree and that ISKCON could be re united with the ritvik camp and all the disenfranchised god brothers who have been excluded from the preaching mission due to GBC politics and envy. Alas the debate never happened and it is unlikely that anyone will change their point of view or come forward with any real discussion. This is aptly explained by Kundali Prabhu in the introduction to this book, banned by the GBC, "Not Even the Leaves Fall From Vaikuntha." That book is about the origin of the jiva. To this day the subject is still misunderstood,and mis-taught within ISKCON,as is guru tattva misunderstood by both the ritvik and GBC camps as well.
The GBC chooses to ignore Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Jiva Goswami and prefers to discuss management and institutional politics. The Ritviks are more than willing to argue with them over the management of ISKCON and the control of its assets. Vadi discussion (in the mode of goodness which seeks to come to understanding of the truth of a matter ) is unlikely between these two groups. Jalpa,( where they ignore each other and are concerned only with what they say themselves) is much more likely. And the last alternative Vitadi (where they simply try to defeat each other in the mode of ignorance) is a strong possibility.
Here for your amusement are a series of letters from myself to several ritvik proponents for last year. You will see that they were only interested in discussing with other GBC men and were not really eager for philosophical discussion with any attempt to come to the truth of guru tattva, only the practical matter of who will manage ISKCON and set its policies. I must admit to the same concern, and at that time I really thought that if such discussion took place all could be reunited under a new ISKCON flag based on the understanding of guru tattva that comes from Srila Rupa and Sanatana Goswami. But alas, the best laid plans of mice and men, and there was no debate, no cooperation from Chakra and not much real understanding shared. Tal fruit falls from the tree and the ritvik camp will argue it scared away the bird who was seen flying away from the same branch. . The GBC will argue the bird knocked down the fruit as he flew away., and Srila Rupa Goswami will offer that fruit to Radha and Krsna and accept sadhu sanga and point us to the real issue which is how to achieve suddha bhakti in this life.
Both camps (IRG/GBC) are different sides of the same ritvik coin. One thinks living diksa is unnecessary and the other thinks living siksa guru is unnecessary or unavailable. Both groups are fixed on the efficacy of and institution mostly defunct and dysfunctional except on a surface level. Empty temples, not many devotees, and neglected Deities abound. . Lots of karma misra bhaktas and Hindu congregational members with checkbooks, but not too many bhakti yogis lurk behind the modern ISKCON walls. Hamlet said, "Somethingís rotten in the state of Denmark." The smell of a dead matha reeks for miles whenever one dares to venture close to an ISKCON center, especially in the United States. There are a few exceptions, but they are far and few in between. Credit to Niranjana Maharaj for not being an overt Vaisnava aparadhi, though still loyal to an institution that has failed is real membership royally. Wherever you see bold type it is myself, Other writers, either Ggauridas Pandit or Yasodanandana or VS are in italics, Kundali Prabhu is underlined. Date: Sat, 07 Mar 1998 07:34:07 +0000 From: "Ralph H. Somershein" Organization: The Bhaktivedanta Memorial Museum & Library To: Gauridas@aol.com Subject: Continuing Our Discussion in hope of a Final Resolution One day!
My Dear Gauridas Pandit Prabhu,
Hare Krishna. PAMHO.AGTSP. Thank you so much prabhu for forwarding the information. I am hopeful that the GBC body or its representative will meet with us as well. Sivarama Swami just presented a paper on siksa diksa, and I will offer this to you soon, as soon as an evaluation of it is complete. Gaura Kesava Das and Kundali prabhu are working on it, and when they send it to me I will forward it to you.
Could you send me the Final Order paper, or have someone else send it, as requested along with email addresses for Kamsa Hanta, Krsna Kantaand Ysodanandana so I can contact them directly and you won't have to forward everything your good self..First some additional information foryou and then a short netiquette to your letter. YS Puru Das
P.S. Please forgive any offenses I might have made to you or other prabhus on the vnn forum. There were many things that I did not fully understand about this issue before I read SGA(Sri Guru Ashraya) and SKB*Sri Krsna Bhajanamrta) and became more literate to our actual vaisnava siddhanta with regard to guru- Particularly the issue of photos on the altar, I offer you my re-evaluated understanding now based on guru,sadhu and shastra and not rah rah institutionalized thinking, which I have been a victim of for many years.
This excerpt is from Pradyumna's letter
"But the news I hear from these sources is very alarming and therefore I am writing you in some anxiety.
The matter concerns the Godbrother who were selected by Srila Prabhupada to accept disciples. At the time of Srila Prabhupada's disappearance, it was most clearly understood by all of us present that Srila Prabhupada MADE NO SUCCESSOR. Everyone admitted that fact and understood it clearly. Instead, the GBC was to jointly manage ALL affairs of ISKCON just had been the case previously. This was the same solution as desired by Om Visnupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatiThakura, who also had not made any successor, although his wishes were NOT followed. In addition to the GBC management, Srila Prabhupada also selected 11 somewhat aadvanced disciples to grant initiation to newcomers. However if was never mentioned at any time by His Divine Grace that these 11 were to be known as ACARYAS. He simply instructedthat they may now accept disciples. Otherwise, as it was understood and practiced at that time, there was NO SPECIAL POSITION given to these 11, either in the society as a whole or in relation to their Godbrothers. Management would depend on the joint GBC, and among Godbrothers and sisters all are on the same level, with the exception of some special regard and respect shown to older (senior) disciplesby these Godbrothers and Godsisters who are junior.
This next section is a short section from an argument I had with Vipramukhya Swami, the author of the GBC Home page and IKSCON law. You will see how the issue of "re-initiation" points us the larger misunderstanding by himself and the GBC body of the guru-tattva issue and the resultant siddhanta, or conclusion of what they should do in our ISKCON temples. It is my firm opinion now to agree with all of you that their pictures do not belong on the altar and I stand corrected, not as much by previous arguments on vnn forum, as I do by the guru,sadhu and sastra I have since been exposed to. Your conclusions lead you to accept Ritvik initiation and mine conclude to expand diksa mantra initiation to anyone who has received it from Srila Prabhupada, and who follows strictly and can show by his own example to qualify him to offer diksa as well. Not much difference between ritvik and this. After our debate perhaps we can cast aside the name differences and all preach nicely together once again.
Vipramukhya is in italics, I (Puru) am in bold type.
Vipramukhya. . . Re-initiation was supported by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta.
Puru. . . Nonsense. You cannot prove this. Go ahead try and I will smash your speculation like cracking walnuts with a brick. And when I do then you surrender to me on this and post SGA, SKB and UK Forum, and you tell Umapati he owes me an apology.
Viipramukhya. . . Sarasvati Thakura, who wanted his father, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, to take re-initiation, even though his initiating spiritual master (Vipina Bihari Goswami) was a Gaudia Vaisnava.
Puru. . . This is not true. He wanted him to take siksa. He never took diksa From anyone other than Vipina Bihari. Do not confuse the two. His diksa from whom he received the mantra was Vipina Bihari. Some 18 years later He met his siksa guru Jagannatha Das. He did not take diksa a second time. You cannot invent that the did. It is simply not true.
Vipramukhya. . . You will, in fact, note that Bhaktivinoda Thakura rarely ever discussed his spiritual master. He accepted siksa from Jagannatha dasa Babaji, but in reality he was initiated by Vipina Bihari Goswami. However, as his spiritual master was attached to caste brahminism, Bhaktivinoda Thakura became disappointed and preferred to associate with Jagannatha dasa Babaji.
Puru. . . Yes associate. But not retake of diksa. This association is siksa. And what does this mean? That the siksa from Jagnnath was more importrant than the diksa from Vipina. Similarly the siksa from Srila Prabhupada is more important than the diksa from you or anyone else. Finished. You post Sri Guru Ashraya, Sri Krsna Bhajanmrta and tell Umapati to say he is sorry.
Vipramukhya. . . Srila Bhaktisiddhanta wanted his father to make that connection with Jagannatha dasa Babaji formalized by taking re-initiation, although Bhaktivinoda Thakura never did accept it.
Puru. . . He never took "re-initiation." He accepted him as his parama siksa guru. You don't understand what initiation is. The siksa does not necessarily offer diska or the sampradaya mantra. Stop concocting. You re read Gaura Kesava and start listening to me, him , Kundali and give up listening to Ravindra. He doesn't understand this any better than you do.
[**Note to the readers: How does VS know what BSST was thinking?????]
Vipramukhya. . . However, in the Harinama Cintamani, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura discusses the topic of re-initiation if the guru becomes fallen. He says there that the disciple should again accept another guru, after some time.
Puru. . . Yes accept another siska guru. Not two diksa ceremonies or gurus.. Look in Cc. (Adi lila l.35) There is only one diksa guru. Ask Gaura Kesava for the exact sloka . You are confusing accepting a siksa guru with taking diksa from one. Accepting does not=initiation. Where do you a third initiate get such misunderstanding from? Give me the danda and you take my family.
[***Note to the readers. .I challenge VS to show me where in the Harinama Cintamani the word "re-initiation appears-he never did]
Puru. . . Also the point can be made that if guru fell he wasnít really guru and there may not be any real diksa at all. If at first you donít succeed try try again. Find guru wherever you can and accept him and reject anyone who is not helping you to advance in Krsna conscsiousness. Rember this disucssion is based on the premise the gbc has anything to say in the matter if the first place. A slant I since have rejected. Srila Rupa Goswami is our authority not the gbc.
(My letter to Vipramukhya continues)
Puru. . . you are attached to the GBC, and status quo and do not Want to allow your godbrothers re entry into the preaching mission. We understand it all too well, becaues we have been exclude. You give me and Gaura Kesava and Kundali that debate and we will not only defeat ritvik, we will bring them back to ISKCON. You can't do this because of your vested interest to keep things as they are. We are all part of the preaching mission and we demand to have it back. You cannot take it from us anyway. I can preach to anyone. I don't need your temple. I have plenty of Deities 25 feet from this computer. I can cook, I can clean, I can write. I have my mantra, I have my god brothers . What do you have? The Institution but no understanding what it means to really preach. Gaudiya Math Part#2. Marble floors and no books. ISKCON of today, empty temples and Fanatical grand disciples., and of course plenty of Hindu congregational members with check books, but WHERE ARE ALL OF YOUR GODBROTHERS., WHERE ARE ALL OF YOUR GODBROTHERS, WHERE ARE ALL OF YOUR GODBROTHERS?????
(Vipramukhya qutoes my remark:
Puru. . . The reason I do not accept them (gbc) today on this matter, or your understanding, for that matter, is that you have not been able to explain guru tattva adequately. You cannot defeat ritvik . I have asked for shastric references from many of the GBC. They cannot help me even though I asked many of them to do so.
Vipramukhya. . . I don't understand this statement. Please explain it. Are you saying that you are becoming convinced of Ritvik philosophy or simply that I've not been active enough in helping you defeat ritvik philosophy?
Puru. . . You are really confused aren't you. Ritvik is useless. Ritvik is a misunderstanding of the qualification required for offering diksa. They think you have to be uttama. Uttama doesn't even preach. But this is Too difficult to do on cyberspace. You come, and I can spell it all out For you. In the meantime re read all the UK forum, Sri Guru Ashraya and SKB (Sri Krsna Bhajanamrta) and then I will discuss ritvik with you. No sense in discussing Calculus when you can't add. Learn the basics first. Then we discuss.These Are the points of ritvik you and the GBC cannot defeat.
1.Worship of diksa guru on the altar of the temple of the founder -acarya
2.The idea of how can a bona fide spiritual master fall , then he was not bona fide in the first place, and only Srila Prabhupada is pure enough to offer diksa initiation
3.The appointment tapes and confusion from guess who again?, TKG over henceforward.
Puru. . . You guys (GBC & Ritvik proponents) will be arguing this forever. The apple and the bird. You don't know that one ask me. There is no end to it. The only way to resolve the issue is in the shastra. That is why his Divine Grace did not spell all this out in detail He did not have to. It is explained in the Hari Bhakta Vilas. SP wanted us to have the brain to go to the shastra for the answers. If we cannot do that then we should not pretend to be a guru of any kind and take any disciples at all. Guru ,Sadhu and shastra.If you are not in line with them all then it doesn't matter what the GBC says about you, you are not a bonafide anything.
Vipramukhya. . . The main philosophical work of the Ritvik philosophy is in the paper "The Final Order," which is full of flaws, though to a layman it may sound logical. I am presently helping to organize two or three responses to this paper to address the main points.
Puru. . . I can defeat that paper from Sri Guru Ashraya and SKB and Gaura Kesva can do it better. Send him a copy and he will do it for you and you can stop worrying about it.
This is from one of my letters to two godbrothers:
Puru. . . they (the GBC) believe or misunderstand: "re-initiation"=shelter or siksa."
Puru. . .The 3 rtivik points I could never deal with when I went up against Gauridas Pandit and other ritviks on the vnn forum. . The pictures on the altar was the worst one. How do we put a photo of an advanced devotee but still conditioned soul, who is not the antecedent acarya (see Pradyumna's letter) up in line with the parampara?. Where is Vipina's picture? If his is not there then theirs can go too.
Puru. . . So glaring is their error, that they are even ready to misinterpret His Divine Grace Srila Bahktisiddhanta Sarasvati and say so on line. This will send them to hell for sure, unless we can correct them. That is why I offered each time to take his danda and give him siska in return. When I think he is ready to carry it again I will return it.
(back to my letter to Gauridas Pandit).
Puru. . . So there are some other differences in our position, but on this one we agree so I feel compelled to let you know and concede defeat on this point. I will not accept that we can avoid other responsibility if we initiate disciples. We cannot have sex-connection and not take responsibility for the resulting pregnancy. If we offer diksa then we must take on the burdon of raising the child, instructing and guiding the disciple according to the siksa we ourselves receive from His Divine Grace. I am sure you agree on this part of it, perhaps not the detail.
These points we can certainly discuss in more detail later. Once again I would ask you to forward this to the others until you offer me their addresses.
Gaurida Pandit wrote:
Dear Puru Prabhu, PAMHO AGT SRILA PRABHUPADA!!!
Thanks for the E-mail invitation for a debate on the guru issue. I am hoping for this but it must be done with the GBC body itself. No matter what conclusions we come up with what good would it do if it were not implemented by the GBC?
Puru. . . I am doing whatever I can to push for this prabhuji. It is very much like talking about auto safety to automobile manufacturers. I will not stop , though, and I am fired up like anything to preach to any and everyone of them in this effort. You will see that I went head on one on one with the author of the GBC Home page,and in so many words told him he should become my siksa disciple and offer all of his disciples to me as well for siksa direction. He has not responded yet. When I get his reply I will gladly send on the transcript of the whole conversation and offer it to you and the others as well.
Gauridas Pandit. . . It would be a great service to Srila Prabhupada if you could convince the GBC to accept a debate or discussion on the guru issue. This was a GBC resolution that has never been fulfilled! (Made Jan. 1990 in San Diego)
Puru. . . I agree. I was not aware of this resolution. Can you please send me a full copy. It would help me in my effort to push them to confront the issue head on instead of hiding out in their board room in Mayapura. (Puru)
Gaudrias Pandit. . . Another point is that it is not what we say but what Srila Prabhupada said that will settle the matter. This is the evidence we can use to solve this ongoing problem.
Puru. . . I am not saying anything prabhu. Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami, and Srila Prabhupada himself in his many purports and vani instructions are the speakers here. If I offer any observation and it cannot be supported by the shastra and Their vani then you can reject it out of hand. Otherwise I would humbly suggest you might consider that it makes for a better basis for action than anyone's opinion.
Gauridas Pandit. . . I have forwarded your mail to the approriate parties for their responses.
Puru. . . Thank you so much for doing this prabhu. I am hopeful this matter will be resolved to everyone's satisfaction,and you can also send on this letter to them as well.
Gauridas Padnit. . . Keep the faith! yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada. Gauridasa Pandita Dasa
Puru. . . My faith is strong. I know the Six Goswamis of Vrndavan and Srila Prabhupada are working through many of their sincere followers of to set the ISKCON movement back on track.
Your in the service of Srila Prabhupada Puru Das Adhikari
Subject: Letter to Yasodanandana #2 Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 18:39:10 +0000 From: "Ralph H. Somershein" Organization: The Bhaktivedanta Memorial Museum & Library
Dear Yasodanandana, Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. I am not afraid of anything except Vaisanva Aparadha. As long as this does not happen then let all who are willing to first perform Harinama com and debate. Our glove is down, My challenge is there. The GBC will most likely not accept, but who cares. I am convinced that Gaura Kesava Das, Kundali Prabhu and myself can convince every last one of you to rejoin the ISKCON that we will re-design on the strict basis of guru, sadhu and shastra. Whatever the outcome of this tape or that tape researched I am disinterested.The Final order is to become Krsna Conscious. That is all. I am interested in debating this issue with the four of you, yourself, Krsna Kanta, Kamsa Hanta and Pandit and any other responsible Vaisnava on the basis of scripture In this forum there will be certain guidelines. Here they are:
If we can meet this summer at New Vrdnavan if you are all willing to come and they will host the event.these are the rules.
1. No diatribes allowed. 2. If you start the sentence with I think it is unacceptable. 3. What is your proof from guru? 4. What is your proof from sadhu? 5. What is your prof from shastra? 6. Only gentlemanly behavior accepted. 7. No duplicity allowed 8. Straightforward satyam, truthfulness (See Bg. 10.,4-5) How's that? No proof, no talk. Keep silent and listen. 9.Attacking the idea is permitted, but not the speaker of the idea.
Please take care to observe (9) in any future letters to me. The translator of Sri Krsna Bhajanamrta is a sannyasa godbrother who has not been part of any improper behavior, as far as I know. It was not translated by Jayapataka as I was earlier misinformed. You can refrain from criticizing him as well.
If you continue to act in an ungentlemanly fashion I will rescind my offer to you to debate and invite all the others instead. You can speak with_____and be satisfied associating with each other. I will have none of your generalized self righteous value judgements. Do you understand that?
I have not read "Tradition of Debate" I will access at as soon as I have time and reply to you. Please send me your address. . . .
I will not restrict anyone from participation if they can follow These 9 guidelines. If you can convince ______ to behave like a gentleman and show him by example then let him come. I can summarily defeat your philosphical position. without your participation to defend it, if need be. You can inform everyone on your list of names, as I do not have all of their addresses.
I can forward to them our shastric source and you can offer them your paper as well.
To participate in any discussions full attendance of the morning sadhana program will be required, as well as clerly visible chanting of minimum 16 rounds of japa mala. We take prasadam together like gentlemen. We love each other as godbrothers and devotees. We emulate the Pandava, Kaurava armies who were gentlemen with each other before and after the battle.
We will have one moderator of our choice, one of yours, and one from the GBC if they dain to attend. I am not particularly concerned if they attend or not. I am more concerned that you, my dear godbrothers have been excluded from the preaching mission, as have myself, Kundali and Gaura Kesava Prabhu. We have lots of company.
Ritvik is not the answer to this dilemma. We will convince you and if we do not ,then you can open your own ritvik temples and start your own Movement and stop wasting everyone's time criticizing. Please respond to the 9 rules and suggest any you might have yourself.
The VNN forum is an unacceptable location. Chakra is an unacceptable location. Only a truly neutral forum and that is why I suggest New Vrdnavan. There is ample facility, and even Kamsa hanta has property there. We can discuss logistical details later. I am personally moving there to live this summer. Gaura Kesava prabhu will have to fly from hawaii and Kundali from Vrdnavan. Funding their tickets is at present a dilemma also. This we can discuss. New Vrdnavan will also have to agree to host the event. If not there we can find somewhere else.In the spirit of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Digbijai Kesvava Kashmiri let us meet this summer and solve this issue for once and for all.
We have no word from Radhanath Swami yet, or Jayadvaita Swami both of whom I have invited to participate. Jayadvaita Swami as a debator and Radhanath Swami S as our choice for our moderator. Say another bad word about anyone and the whole thing is off.
Awaiting your reply. Bring your shastra, your paper, your selves. Your Servant, Puru Das Adhikari
Aka "Ralph H. Somershein" Organization :The Bhaktivedanta Memorial Museum & Library
N.B. I could not answer many of the ritvik's points on VNN forum to my satisfaction before. Now I am confident you willl be more satisfied with my reply.
From - Thu Mar 12 00:41:03 1998 From: "Ralph H. Somershein" Organization: The Bhaktivedanta Memorial Museum & Library Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 08:56:01 -0800
Dear Yasodanandana Prabhus,
Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Yasodanandana. . . Dear Puru dasa, pammho. agtSP. _____________ dasa has read to me your reply to our proposal for a debate over the phone. I shall reply to your answer in more detail as soon as possible. The letter just sent to you did not use many quotes because we are talking about papers which have already been produced and which contain our quotes.
Puru. . . So thank you for sending on my reply. I assume he has no email if you had to phone him. Never matter. I am not interested in any paper written by anyone that does not make reference to guru sadhu and shastra. Otherwise it is just good toilet paper, which is useless, since we use water. So then we can burn it and at lest get some heat out of it in the winter. Gaura Kesava's paper (Sri Guru Ashraya) is filled with quotes from Srila Prabhupada's purports which you say you accept. So read his paper if you will and then we can discuss on the basis of what you see from Srila Prabhupada's direct words.
Yasodanandana. . . We* are sorry if you think we are offending Narahari Thakura. He wrote a paper at a particular time and place, and whether or not his paper applies now is to be established by the current acharya Srila Prabhupada.
*Note from Puru. . . Yasodanandana is writing for the collective ritvik camp, therefore he uses the third person pronoun we instead of first.
Puru. . . Now if you state things clearly like this there is no question of offense, just your misunderstanding. Vedic literature is applicable for time immemorial. Where do you get this speculation that an eternal associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu speaks for 500 years ago and what he said is no longer applicable? What is your shastra for that idea? If you started this sentence with I think or it is our opinion that, then I am sorry. Your opinion is asara as far as I am concerned.
Don't go into court with your opinion. Quote the law. Quote the sloka that says Srila Narahari wrote for then and not now. Give me the verse and find it in Srila Prabhupada's books which is all you accept, or retract the remark and be prepared to allow discussion of this shastra.
Don't play the "overstepping" the acarya game with me. I don't do that. Srila Prabhupada in his books clearly tells us to go to other Vedic literature he did not have time to translate. You will pardon me for observing that you two are pretty selective about what parts of Srila Prabhuapada's vani you will accept. If you won't accept the information in Sri Krsna Bhajanmrta then that is your loss. Just keep rejecting everything that contradicts your spurious ritvik philosophy and use Srila Prabhupada as an excuse. Hang yourself. Go right ahead.
Yasodanandana. . . As you know the Goswamis gave siddha deha diksha, and this is bona fide, but not for us at this time and place.
Puru. . . What does this have to do with the validity of Sri Krsna Bhajanamrta? Good thing for you we are not before a judge. He would accept my evidence and throw yours out. Stick to the vanih you say you accept. Show me from Srila Prabhupada's books where he says tha Srila Narahari's work is only meant for a time gone by. Otherwise take it back and stop speculating. And don't quote some indirect reference about oversteppng the acarya. That is not the issue here. Be specific or retract and be prepared to be defeated on the basis of guru, sadhu and shastra. You claim to accept guru, but reject the other two. Not acceptable. Not in our sampradaya anyway. Our gur told us to accept all three. If you want your own sampradaya then that is fine by me, but we cannot discuss if you are going to try and make my evidence inadmissable in court. This game is uselss. I don't accept this tactic. You can't intimidate or bully me anymore than the gbc and their lackies can. Don't try. It won't work. A direct quote from Srila Prabhupada to disqualify Sri Krsna Bhajanamrta for present day application or you have to hear from it.
Yasodanandana. . . We are not criticizing NT by not accepting his statements which were given at a period of time, and for reasons that may have applied for his preaching to that point in time. We are merely saying that right now we have to accept the words of the current acharya, and not speculate on previous writings and potentially spurious translations.
Puru. . . I told you to watch it. You can't say the translation is spurious. Spurious is a very nasty word. It is insulting. You do not even know who did the translation unless you read the cover page. Webster says
spurious- having the appearance of being genuine, but without being so. like in appearance but morphologically false or pathologically false, illegitimate, bastard.
You take this word back or I will not speak with you ever again and forget any debate. Aparadha is not allowed. If you won't accept someone elseís translation because he is not Srila Prabhupada then say it like that, but later for your obnoxious adjectives. Don't tell me it is my opinion I think you are being offensive to the translator. Stop making such value judgements. Do you read Sanskrit ? Have you examined the original text and compared it with your own Sanskrit work? How do you come to this conclusion?
If you cannot do better than this then you will lose this debate before it even takes place, and we can all save the plane fare.
Why should I accept your opinon any more than the opinon of the gbc about guru tattva? Don't play poker with Bat Masterson. Don't quote from anything except guru, sadhu and shastra.
Yasodanandana. . . Otherwise, the Gaudiya Matha says that mixing women in the temple is wrong because this is forbidden in shastra. The current view of shastra has to be established by the current acaharya.
Puru. . . What do you two do with Jaiva Dharma, burn it? What do you do with the Sandharba's rip them up. You have to follow all the orders of the spiritual master, not just the ones you find convenient. Krishna Consciousness is not cafateria religion. Pick what you like and leave the rest. Stop this or I will start treating you the way I did two of ISKCON's diksa gurus who tried to argue with me irrationally. This is a big mistake prabhus. Don't even go there, I warn you.
Yasodanandana. . . The current view of shastra has to be established by the current acaharya.
Puru. . . I want proof of this remark. Where is this said in Srila Prahupada's books. You make it sound as though Srila Prabhupada was teaching something different. This is why you are so confused. Guru, sadhu and shastra prabhu, never contradict themselves. Only your limited vision makes it appear to.
Here you go again. Apples and oranges. What does the Gaudiya Math's policy on matajis have to do with Srila Narahar Sakra Thakura? Really.
Yasodanandana . . . We wanted you to know that we accept Srila Prabhupada as our shastra.
Puru. . . Srila Prabhupada is your guru. What do you do with the Bhagavad gita? Burn it along with Hari Bhakta Vilasa and the works of the other Goswamis?
Yasodanandana. . . If he says, and he does say ---repeatedly: "gurusuh narah matih naraka sah" one who thinks the acharya is (fallen or) an ordinary man is a resident of narakah, hell, then that is what we accept. That is the understanding propagated by the current acharya.
Puru. . . Fine, so have you read Pradyumna's letter where he clearly says that Srila Prabhupad made a clear distinction between an acharya and a disciple who gives diksa? Are you going to reject Pradyumna's letter (which is attached) just like the gbc did because its purport is inconvenient and doesn't support ritvik?. You and the gbc are birds of a feather. You deserve each other. Let's look in Adi lila 1.8 from the purport This isand pay attention please. Yasodanandana has a strong penchant for Gaudiya Math history. So ISKCON history seems to run parallel. Let us examine this remark:
So hear what your spiritual master has to say,
Srila Prabhupada. . . "He (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur) did not instruct a particular man to become the next acarya. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of acarya, and they split into two factions over who the next acarya would be. Consequently both factions were asara, or useless." (Cc. Adi lila Ch. 12.8)
Puru. . . So the gbc is useless. You stay that way too and I will ignore you both and go out on Sankirtana and distribute prasadam and Srila Prabhupada's books and you and the gbc just love each other to death.
Yasodananadana. . . He also warned us not to jump over the current acharya and try to realize the writings of the previous acharyas.
Puru. . . Another unsubstantiated accusation with no proof anyone has done or said to do this. Maybe when I go read the rules of debate you should to learn about the rules of evidence. Ask a lawyer.
Yasodanandana. . . By our saying that siddha deha initiation is wrong for the current timedoes not mean that we reject the Goswamis. Just wanted you to know that for now,
Thanks, Your servants, and Yasodananda dasa
Puru. . . Thanks to you too prabhus. We love you both despite all the yelling and screaming. Brahmanas fight with their intelligence. I look forward to going out on harinama Sankirtan with you both in Pittsburgh the day before any discussion in New Vrndavan.
Your Servant, Puru Das Adhikari
From - Sat Mar 14 15:51:36 1998 Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 10:23:28 -0500 From: kundali dasa Subject: Re: Proposed debate Content-Length: 2220
Kundali is underlined, other writers are indicated.
Dear Puru dasa, pammho. agtsp.
Yasodanandana. . . Srila Prabhupada says that anyone who think the acharya can be viewed as an ordinary man is a resident of hell (narakah.) He cites this verse repeatedly: "gurusu narah matih naraka sah." (check the folio if you are indoubt) He also says that there is !no question of a bad guru (SSR).Question: do you accept these words andthis conclusion or not? (These are Yasodanandanaís remarks to me ifrom an earlier letter)
Kundali. . . Who said anything about him being an ordinary man? They don't have realization even about this point. They are lost in the ozone. It is hopeless to talk these men who use silly putty brain substance. Your answer is quite right. The point is that the acarya is not an ordinary man because he follows the previous acaryas. He is not a speculator, he is coming in parampara. He knows the science of Krsna and is teaching this without manufacturing anything. =
Puru. . . So this also means we can't take him out of the context of the parampara
Kundali. . . Where does Prabhupada teach that the acarya can do any darn thing he wants. Impossible. He is acarya because he agrees with guru, sadhu and sastra. These people are lost
(Not certain who said this, could be me) The disciples of the acarya are trained to be acarya themselves, or else what is the point??? So they are not ordinary men either be me)
Kundali. . . But the rit-twits manufacture their idea of parampara in which they have reduced responsibility, being perfectly helpless. Only the super hero guru can deliver them, poor helpless bumpkins that they are. And they can't deliver anybody, therefore they concoct rit-twit philosophy. But they they contradict their trip by preaching it. So the assume the role of guru anyway. A better program would be to simply shut up and leave those who are not baffled to go on serving the parampara. But they are too misearable for that.
Actually, these people have painted themselves into a philosophcial corner with extremely slow-drying paint. They are stuck. It is. Intelligence is baffled. And it is all owing to their offences. This paint may not dry for lifetimes
Personally, I don't want to see any more of their babble. Thank you. Please don't pass any of it on to me.
From - Fri Mar 13 11:09:21 1998 Message-ID: Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 11:09:21 +0000 From: "Ralph H. Somershein" Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: The Bhaktivedanta Memorial Museum & Library X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.01 (Win95; I) MIME-Version: 1.0 Subject: Ritvik is a spurious philosophical position Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Mozilla-Status: 0001 Content-Length: 13970
Subject: What is wrong with Yasodanandana Prabhu and the other ritivks? :
Puru. . . Dear Kundali Prbhu, PAMHO.AGTSP. What is Yasodanandana and the ritvikís real problem anyway?
Kundali das. . . Their real problem? Well, I think it is quite complex, main problem is that they feel left out of Sri Guru's mission. But that is just a point of view, being left out or being included. If you have a singular purpose to distinguish reality from illusion and to teach it fearlessly to whoever will listen, then you are never ever left out. That is my experience. I never feel left out at all. Rather, I feel free of the GBC. But they feel left out, because they identify with the group, the institution, rather than the parampara.
That is the root of their problem. As long as the group is not acknowledging them they feel unworthy, victimized, neglected, "thinged". All this can change in a moment as soon as they forget aboutthem affirming them as persons and just decides to be the people they are and live with their own integrity; and preach. But they cannot, because they are confused about philosophy, for starters.
What is Yasodanandana'a problem. He wants to crucify us both because we were once mistaken and now have understood better. He is one sick camper himself. So arrogant and high and mighty. Let him keep his self righteousness. I answered him, now you do the same.
. . the following was written by Puru to Yasodanandana
Puru. . .Dear Yasodanandana Prabhu, PAMHO AGTSP. Thank you for your astute letter. I will re read it carefully (please resend as it was lost to the computasura demon)and try to absorb your understanding of the siddhanta. The information about the Gauidya math is very informative. We could also read about similar events in almost any other political history of any country in the world. This interests me less than the tattva and how we must apply it.
Kundali Das. . . Right. Why waste time on the GM. They are not our problem. But it is true that we may learn some useful things from their history and some practical things from their example. That is there. I didn't see his original letter so this is not a response to him, just a general observation.
Puru. . . If Narahari can discuss the guru falling down they why do you doubt it is possible?
Kundali Das. . . Because he is one of those blokes who does not have any realization about guru, but quotes verses or SP references not comprehending what it means on the practical basis. He has CDS: Cornstarch Deficiency Syndrome. But then a lot of devotees, particularly the ritvik wallahs have a problem with realization. (Kundali)
Puru. . . (written to Yasodanandana) Please do not connect my name with any reference that justifies the misbehavior of fallen or falling ISKCON diksa gurus. I never sanctioned their activity nor would I ever endorse it.
Kundali Das. . . This move is a typical knee-jerk stupid reaction from other rabid ritviks. As soon as you disagree with them, they think you support iskcon. The idea that another position exists never enters their tiny brain. The idea that there is sastra does not occur to them. The have the same problem as iskcon, guru, guru and guru. Not guru, sastra, sadhu. (Kundali)
Puru. . . To say that they were once bona fide is to affirm their diksa status from Srila Prabhupada. You want to say they were never bonafide, fine, but leave my name out of it.
Kundali Das . . . Again, this ritvik logic is based on their assumption of a fantastic idea of guru. Immature understanding. They all have it, Yasodanandan, Gauridas, the whole lot.)
Puru. . . Gaura Kesava mentions something about guru's falling down in Sri Guru Ashraya. The real point is that if they were connected to the parampara they could offer the mantra, even their character was or became less than perfect?
Kundali Das. . . Jiva Gosvami talks about it. BVT talks about it. It is only in the idealistic imagination ofthe ritviks, who have disempowered themselves and projected Prabhupada into something fantastic, that the guru is something in fact unattainable even by them. They read and quote, but without realization. And because they have none, they assume no one else has realization either. Same logic as the hollowheads. "Duh, my head is hollow, therefore all heads must be hollow too. Duh!" (Kundali)
Puru. . . Vaisnava prayascita also clearly offers anyone who has fallen The opporunity to re connect himself without an additional diksa samskara)
Kundali Das. . . This is all over their head.
Puru. . . Let us not speculate on Narahari's meaning, and I do not believe that I have misundersood this point. If someone took diksa from a non-Vaisnava or asuric guru at the time of his initiation that is another matter. Then he was not initiated at all into the parampara line. (Puru to Yasodanandana)
Kundali Das. . . You see, their idea is that it is all in the person of the guru, and the guru has to be this amazing entity. They need to believe this, because deep down, they consider themselves zero. Powerless. They are still tormented by sense desires and can't believe that anyone else is not as tortured as they are. So posit that the guru is something beyond the beyond. And then argue for that. This allows them to remain small, helpless, powerless. And this they believe is the message of Srila Prabhpada. Actually they are quite lost)
Yasodanandana. . . Correct me if I'm wrong. Wasn't Kundali dasa one of the persons who helped the GBC with their idea that "the sum total of the demigods"sometimes becomes a sexual pervert who needs reform and correction? And that the voters of these perverts should also vote in more "sum totals"? (remarks from Yasodanandana)
Kundali Das. . . This is simply garbage. Not even worthy of this much of a response. I never accepted Zonal Acarya from 1978 itself. Trivikrama and Atreya Rsi know this. Similarly, I never accepted the subsequent guru procedure of iskcon since the so-called last reform. Philosophically I never accepted. Practically I tolerated until I felt spiritually strong to address these issues and this I'm doing for years, but rationally, with logic, reason, philosophy. And I will not waste my time debating philosophy with Yasodanandana and others.)
Puru. . .So I haven't got the slightest idea of this point, and I will cc this letter to Kundali and he can answer you himself.)
Kundali Das. . . Arey, baba, I got better things to do with my time. Sorry. But them there is the facts
Puru. . . As far as the guru being the sub total of all the demigods. . . That does not mean anything to this disucssion. Please keep to the real point. (Puru to Yasodanandana)
Kundali Das. . . He is clueless as to what this means
Puru. . . (to Yasodanandana)That does not mean anything to this disucssion. Please keep to the real point. (Puru)
Kundali das. . . This is a common problem with a lot of devotees. They cannot focus on the point. This brings up another one of my theories. That under the hood a lot of devotees carry an anti-logic device. Or maybe they have a periphery homing device which scrambles the signal from their proper logic device. I really don't know. Either way the result is the same. they can't stick to the point, even if you stick the point in their eye. (Kundali)
Puru. . . Who can offer diksa? What are his qualifications? Who can judge or rubber stamp? No one. Only the faith of the disciple and the behavior of the preceptor who is qualified is of any real importance.(Puru)
Kundali Das. . . The ritviks think they have guru figured out, and the institutionalized iskcon wallahs thing they have it, but neither follows sastra and both assume it is their call to say who can and who can't be guru. And both are wrong. Plain and simple. Both are clueless.)
Puru. . .Please state your position clearly with regard to guru tattva. (Puru asking Yasodanandana)
Kundali Das. . . How is he going to do that? His position is unclear no matter what it is and unless it is based on sastra, but he does not understand that either.
Puru. . . (written to Yasodanandana) So these remarks were some of Kundali Prabhus responce to my cc to him of my letter to you. Please stop wasting our time.
If you will not discuss properly and hear what we have to say from guru, sadhu and shastra then we will not offer it to you.
Unless you can learn to discriminate between the gbc and other Sincere god brothers who have similar concerns as yourself, but chose to be something other than one half of the asara (Adi lila 12.9-11) couple then any further discussion is useless.
If you really want to see this guru issue settled then you must open your mind to the information in Srila Prabhupada's Purports. Here are a few places you can read. Look at these sections of your shastra and then if you want to discuss on this basis we can continue, otherwise just forget it and forget us.
Sri Caitanya Caritamrta: Madhya lila-Volume 9
Ch. 24.257 re/ the source of our income
Ch. 24.277 re/The qualification of a Vaisnava
Ch. 24.280 re/Income Ch. 24.252 re/ taking instruction from the disciplic succession
Ch. 24.325 re/A brahmana's activity
The issue of guru is also connected to the disciple by how strictly he is adhering to the instruction of his own spiritual master. If you are not living like brahmanas then we cannot accept you as such.
Srila Prabhupada told me that I was a qualified brahmana. He told me this when he gave me diksa in 1971. I am only worthy of this consideration if I actually live that way. Rise early, worship the deity, perform mangala arati, chant japa 16 rounds minimum, worship the founder-acarya, study Srimad Bhagavatam, offer foodstuffs to the Deity through Him and take the prasadam remanants. Then spend the rest of my day serving His lotus feet and telling any and everyone I meet about the glories of the Holy Name and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Bhagava Sri Krsna. Perform Hari Nama Sankirtan. Associate with devotees and give up all nonsense. In the evening perform Sundara arati, and study Bhgavad Gita as It is. Discuss topics of Krsna Consciousness. Read Srila Prabhupada's books. Write yourself. Every day, and not diatribe but something that will help the conditioned souls and yourself make progress on the path Back to Home, Back to Godhead.
If you do not do these things how can you ever understand guru-tattva? This understanding is not intellectural, but it is realized by mercy, guru-krpa. "Yasya prasada bhagavata prasada, yasya prasada na gata ki tu topi. . ."
Now let me offer you some other references about what an uttama actually is. He is not necessarily a Maha Bhagvata Mahajan like Narada, Vyas, The Six Goswamis, and the predecessor acaryas.
Get your Nectar of Instruction out and turn to these pages:
Read Verse 5 and the entire Puport:
If you study this part of the Upadesamrta carefully then you must come to the conclusion that spending all of your valuble time criticising the gbc is diverting you from your real duty to Srila Prabhupada, which is to become and uttama yourself and make disciples.
So if many of the godbrothers offering diksa are kanistha, or madhyama,or uttama then not to worry. The siksa from the uttama is there. Their disciples can surpass their guru if they are sincere and deliver him.
That is why less than an uttama can still offer diksa* and the sampradaya mantra, and why the disciple must be on the same level. What matter what level he is on anyway if the disciple has faith in him. You cannot affect this. The gbc cannot legislate it either.
If the issue of siksa diksa was understood properly then devotees in ISKCON could approach god brothers with greater realization than their diska guru and get benefit. This does not mean going to the Gaudiya Math for anything. It means going to the parampara and from whoever truly represents it, whether that person is Srila Sridhar Maharaj, Srila Narayan Maharaj, Gaura Kesava Das, Kundali Das, Prabhupada Das, Locanananda Das, Mahabhuddi Das, Sruta Kirti das, Tulsi Das or even myself Puru Das, or any of your god brothers who are following His Divine Grace and making becoming Krsna Conscious the goal of their life.
Stop wallowing in the mud of sense gratification of so much fault finding and chant you rounds sincerely and study these books with the correct goal in mind. Not to take back an institution but to get back your own saddhana and to water your own bhakti lata bhija, that you did received when you accepted diksa from Srila Prabhupada.
I hope this letter finds you in good health. if you are serious we can have sat sanga and try to please Srila Prabhupada. Otherwise just write to the gbc and spamm the internet and continue fighting with them not me.
"One should not accept a spiritual master without following his instructions. Nor should one accept a spiritual master just to make a fashionable show of spiritual life." NOI p. 52
So you accept your shastra or I don't want you association. your servant Puru Das Adhikari
N.B. Please offer me email addresses of any of the above mentioned godbrothers so I can write to them Do this and we can start some kind of a meaningful dialogue, otherwise: Haribol and Chant Hare Krsna.
(They never sent me one address and continue to quote me out of context)
Prabhus as far as I am concerned the debate already happenend, itís over and no one won. The losers were those who refused then and refuse now to follow guru, sadhu and shastra. You decide for yourselves. Your servant, Puru Das adhikari
N.B. Very interesting to note that only after the IRG has filed law suits is chakra open to any public discussion of guru tattva on their website. I wonder if legal threats have anything to do with its editor changing his position on somewhat open discussions. Looks like a vain attempt to offer a dying man a band aide, or a last minute bribe. What else can you expect from Vipramkihya and chakra?
+ In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami advises the devotee to be intelligent enough to distinguish between the kanistha-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari and uttama-adhikari. The devotee should also know his own position and should not try to imitate a devotee situated on a higher platform. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given some practical hints to the effect that an uttama-adhikari Vaisnava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaisnavism. One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master. (Nectar of Instruction Text 5 Purport)
[Originally published 06/26/99 on VNN]