Tuesday, April 26, 2011

ISKCON drifting into ritvik? by Martin Raghavendu (ys pd)

Martin A. Raghavendu Lewis
According to the GBC in a "Statement" on February 28, 2011 Re: the case of Umapati Dasa, "ISKCON will not recognize initiations given by Umapati Dasa after February 2010. Devotees initiated prior to this date are accepted as duly initiated... members of ISKCON." So if an Iskcon guru is in a position of being completely removed from the post of guru, the GBC now considers that the initiations that he gave while in good standing are empowered by the GBC to make one a "duly initiated members of ISKCON." If this is not a form of Rtvik then I don't know what is? During Srila Prabhupada's manifest lila a "member of Iskcon" was someone who was his active disciple or an active aspiring disciple (not yet initiated). By active I mean one who is attempting to follow the regulative principles, attempting to chant their rounds and attempting to perform devotional service. So at that time the essential factor in being one of the "members" of Iskcon was discipleship in relation to the Acarya, guru and divine person, Srila Prabhupada. Now according to the GBC, membership status in Iskcon is completely separate from discipleship in relation to a person who is an initiating guru; Rather the key element has become discipleship in relation to Iskcon which is governed by the GBC. I have said for years that Iskcon has actually become "Soft Rtvik", but now it appears to be moving at least to the position of "Medium Rtvik." I would define the Rtvik Movement as Hard Rtvik. Yet considering the GBC's Statement Re: Umapati Dasa I am wondering about what is the real difference between the now Medium Rtvik stance of the GBC and the Hard Rtvik position of the Rtvik Movement?
Well, here you go. The GBC is essentially saying that an Iskcon guru in good standing or deceased is a “regular guru” whereas a guru who is deemed officially fallen was retroactively a defacto Rtvik priest. But unto whom was disciple being linked to by the retroactive defacto Rtvik Priest? Was it the GBC? But the collect GBC body is not a guru? In its ideal state the GBC would represent Srila Prabhupada and in its ideal state the Society (Iskcon) would be Srila Prabhupada's body. Therefore the only logical conclusion is that the officially fallen guru (deemed so by the GBC) was retroactively a Rtvik for Srila Prabhupada, ACCORDING TO THE GBC. So it is obvious that the GBC is moving for better or worse to some kind of Rtvik conclusion. So why are Iskcon loyalists like Yuga Avatar so hostile to the ideas put forth by persons such as Satvatas Dasa? The Iskcon loyalists accept the GBC not only as the supreme managing authority in Iskcon but as some kind of collective manifestation of Srila Prabhupada. So if the GBC goes completely Rtvik they will follow. So the Rtvik idea is no longer the cause of the conflict, but rather the apparent fact that the GBC does not presently accept the Hard Rtivk position. The GBC may be coming closer and closer to a true Rtvik position but at present there is what amounts to a two tier, absurd system where Iskcon gurus in good standing are “regular gurus” accepting guru puja etc, and officially fallen gurus are defacto retroactive Rtviks. If the members of Iskcon are not too dumbed down there is always the chance that they will see how the GBC's position is drifting towards true Rtvik for Iskcon. I wouldn't hold my breath.

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