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Final Order

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Dear devotees,

Srila Prabhupada said we should keep the Acarya in the center.

Therefore we should try to understand what Srila Prabhupada's desire was on this issue and remain loyal to that.

On May 28th 1977 Srila Prabhupada was asked by Satsvarupa representing the GBC: Then our next question concerns initiation in the future, particularly at the time when you are no longer with us. We want to know to know how first and second initiation would be conducted.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating acaryas.

Tamal Krsna: Is that called rtvik-acarya?

Srila Prabhupada: Ritvik, yes.

Satsvarupa: Then what is the relationship of that person who gives the initiation and the....

Srila Prabhupada: He's guru, He's guru.

My comment: He is guru! Why? Because he will conduct the fire sacrifice and give the name and chant on the beads. But consider that he is a guru that must remain loyal to Srila Prabhupada's institution and work cooperatively with it under the managerial authority of the GBC. If a guru wants his disciple to join him from some temple he has to get the permisson of the local temple authorities. This is not the traditional guru disciple relationship but it is what Srila Prabhupada wanted. Otherwise how will the institution remain united?

Satsvarupa: But he does it on your behalf.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. That is formality. Because in my presence one should not become guru, so on my behalf, on my order...Amara ajnaya guru hana. Be actually guru, but by my order.

My comment: Here Srila Prabhupada is saying two things. One is that he will appoint some of his leading disciples to act as riviks, like it had been done before, to initiate disciple on behalf of His Divine Grace. Then he is also saying that when I order they can become actually guru. The FINAL ORDER is not given yet.

Satsvarupa: So they may also be considered your disciples.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, they are disciples. Why consider? Who?

Tamal Krsna: No, he's asking that these ritvik acaryas, they are officiating, giving diksa. Their...The people who they give diksa to, whose disciples are they?

Srila Prabhupada: They're his disciples.

Tamal Krsna: They're his disciples.

Srila Prabhupada: Who is intitiating. He is granddisciple.

Satsvarupa: Yes.

Tamal Krsna: That's clear.

Satsvarupa: The we have a question concer....

Srila Prabhupada: When I order, "You become guru," he becomes regular guru. That's all. He becomes disciple of my disciple. That's it.

My comment: Remember this exchange takes place after Srila Prabhupada has called all the GBC to come to be with him, and these question are being presented in a formal way by the GBC spokesperson. It is not just a casual conversation.

The next important conversation on this issue takes place on July 7' 1977.

Tamala Krsna: Srila Prabhupada? We're receiving a number of letters now, and these are people who want to get initiated. So up until now, since your becoming ill, we asked them to wait.

Prabhupada: The local, men, senior sannyasi can do that.

Tamala Krsna: That's what we were doing... I mean, formerly we were... The local GBC, sannyasis were chanting on their beads, and they were writing to Your Divine Grace, and you were giving a spiritual name. So should that process be resumed, or should we...? I mean one thing is that it's said that the spiritual master takes on the... You know, he takes on the... He has to clean se the disciple by... So we don't want that you should have to... Yourhealth is not so good, so that should not be... That's why we've been asking everybody to wait. I just want to know if we should continue to wait some more time.

Prabhupada: No, the senior sannyasis...

Tamal Krsna: So they should continue to...

Prabhupada: You can give me a list of sannyasis. I will mark who will...

Tamal Krsna: Okay.

Prabhupada: You can do. Kirtanananda can do. And our Satsvarupa can do. So these three, you can give, begin.

Tamal Krsna: So supposing someone is in America, should they simply write directly to Kirtanananda or Satsvarupa?

Prabhupada: Nearby. Jayatirtha can give.

Tamal Krsna: Jayatirtha.

Prabhupada: Bhavanan..., er, Bhagavan. And he can do also. Harikesa.

Tamal Krsna: Harikesa Maharja.

Prabhupada: And... Five, six men, you divide who is nearest.

Tamal Krsna: Who is nearest. So persons wouldn't have to write to Your Divine Grace. They could write directly to that person?

Prabhupada: Hm.

Tamal Krsna: Actually they are initiating the person on Your Divine Grace's behalf. Those persons who are initiated are still your...

Prabhupada: Second initiation we shall think over, second initiation.

Tamal Krsna: This is for first initiation, okay. And for second initiation, for the time being they should...

Prabhupada: No, they have to wait. Second initiation, that should be given...

Tamal Krsna: Should... Some devotees are writing you now for second initiation, and I'm writing them to wait a while because you're not well. So can I continue to tell them that?

Prabhupada: They can do second initiation.

Tamal Krsna: By writing you.

Prabhupada: No. These men.

Tamal Krsna: These men, they can also do second initiation. So there's no need for devotees to write to you for first and second initiation. They can write to the man nearest them. But all these persons are still your disciples. Anybody who gives initiation is doing so on your behalf.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamal Krsna: You know that book I'm maintaining of all of your disciples' names? Should I continue that?

Prabhupada: Hm.

Tamal Krsna: So if someone gives initiation, like Harikesa Maharaja, he should send the person's name to us here and I'll enter it in the book. Okay. Is there someone else in India that you want to do this?

Prabhupada: India, I am here. We shall see. In India, Jayapataka.

Tamal Krsna: Jayapataka Maharaja.

Prabhupada: You are also in India.

Tamal Krsna: Yes.

Prabhupada: You can note down these names.

Tamal Krsna: Yes, I have them.

Prabhupada: Who are they?

Tamal Krsna: Kirtanananda Maharaja, Satsvarupa Maharaja, Jayatirta Prabhu, Bhagavan Prabhu, Harikesa Maharaja, Jayapataka Maharaja and Tamala Krsna Maharaja.

Prabhupada: That's nice. Now you distribute.

My comment: Here Srila Prabhupada is telling his secretary Tamal Krsna Maharaja to inform the society that he has appointed these people to initiate on his behalf as ritviks. He did that the next day, but it is not his FINAL ORDER, that comes Oct 18 1977.

Tamal Krsna: Seven. There's seven names.

Prabhupada: For the time being, seven names, sufficient. You can make Ramesvara.

Tamal Krsna: Ramesvara Maharaja.

Prabhupada: And Hridayananda.

Tamal Krsna: Oh, yeah. South America.

Prabhupada: So without waiting for me, wherever you consider it is right... That will depend on discretion.

Tamal Krsna: On discretion.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamal Krsna: That's for first and second initiations.

The Next important conversation on this issue takes place on Oct. 18th 1977.

Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. One Bengali gentleman has come from New York?

Tamal Krsna: Yes. Mr. Sukamal Roy Chowdury.

Prabhupada: So I have deputed some of you to initiate. Hm?

Tamal Krsna: Yes. Actually... Yes, Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: So I think Jayapataka can do that if he likes. I have already deputed. Tell him.

Tamal Krsna: Yes.

Prabhupada: So, deputies, Jayapataka's name was there?

Bhagavan: It is already on there, Srila Prabhupada. His name was on that list.

Prabhupada: So I depute him to do this at Mayapura, and you may go with him. I stop for the time being. Is that all right?

My comment: From July 8th'77 until this point Srila Prabhupada has been initiating disciple via his ritvik representives. Now he wants to stop doing that.

Tamal Krsna: Stopped doing what, Srila Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: This initiation. I have deputed the, my disciples. Is it clear or not?

My comment: By now Srila Prabhupada is very ill. He has lost a tremendous amount of weight and has practically no strength even to shift himself in his bed. Now Srila Prabhupada is giving his FINAL ORDER. He wants his disciple who he has appointed to begin initiating their own disciples. Otherwise what can he mean when he says he is stopping this initiation but he still wants Mr. Sukamal Roy Chowdury to be initiated. It is simple for the simple. This is his FINAL ORDER on this subject.

Giriraja: It's clear.

Prabhupada: You have got the list of the names?

Tamal Krsna: Yes, Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: And if by Krsna's grace I recover from this condition, then I shall begin again, or I may not be pressed in this condition to initiate. It is not good.

My comment: Now he has stopped the system of having some of his leading disciples initiate on his behalf. The letter of July 8, written by his secretary, was NOT his FINAL ORDER as some are claiming. Here is his FINAL ORDER.

I was there in Vrndaban for this whole saga. Everyone knew there was a list of disciples who were to become gurus, if, and when, Srila Prabhupada left the planet. As a matter of fact it was years before anyone even doubted this clear system. Only when gurus starting falling down did the doubts come. Devotees then, and many still, couldn't bring themselves to believe that Srila Prabhupada would have left us with a system which led to so much abuse. Therefore the reaction has come about in the form of the ritvik movement. But it is in fact a most reactionary movement, not based on guru, sadhu, or shasta.

Your servant,
Trivikrama Swami