The Self-Serving Rationalizations of “ISKCON” and Rittvik

April, 2017

by Kailäsa Candra däsa

In the name of persuasion, “ISKCON” employed (and certainly still employs) argumentum ad hominem, argumentum ad baculum, and reductio ad absurdum as weapons for spreading its movement, along with its untenable propositions. Imitating its elder brother—but mostly in a different way–Rittvik attempts to bamboozle people into joining its factions by only what appears to be persuasive tactics.

While one Left Coast rittvik specializes in argumentum ad hominem, on the whole, Rittvik polemicists are masters at bad logic, with most of that centering around reductio ad absurdum. Rittvik promulgates the absurd proposition that you can be genuinely and institutionally initiated by a non-manifest spiritual master. This is anti-Vedic, and none of the Vaiñënava lines still functioning today has ever employed such an unauthorized concoction.

ISKCON” and Rittvik

The fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation, on the other hand, without specifically stating it, pushes a process which alleges that you can be genuinely initiated into Vaiñëavism via institutional gurus. If one of them falls down, you are strongly encouraged to become re-initiated by another one. In the interim, the unfortunate newcomer is considered by the cult to still be initiated, but how can that be?

Indeed, one of my former associates—when it became clear to him that his guru never was genuine and that he, therefore, was never really initiated–was directly told by a governing body commissioner that he was initiated by ISKCON! This is as deviant an apa-siddhanta as the Rittvik apa-siddhanta, but it is also different from it. You can never become genuinely initiated by an institution or a society, even if its departed guru had previously stated, in some kind of limited sense of the identification, that it was his body and non-different from him.

Ironically, since mid-November of 1977, all the new people coming to that movement actually have been initiated—in the imitative sense of the term–by the deviant institution via the “ISKCON” béja. That’s all the institution’s so-called gurus were ever empowered to transmit to them. No newcomer has ever received the bhakti-latä-béja from anyone in that organization since that time, but all the new people since then have received the seed of institutional deviation from that wayward society via its G.B.C.-approved institutional “gurus.”

Ultimately, this is a most convoluted and complex topic. For now, clearly know it for a fact that you cannot be genuinely initiated by an institution. The person of the guru is the transparent via medium, not the institution or corporate structure that he has or had created for proselytizing purposes and expanding his outreach. You can only be truly initiated by becoming a disciple of an advanced, manifest guru, one who approves you for initiation. The madyama-adhikäré is an advanced devotee, and the uttama-adhikäré is an extremely advanced devotee.

The emergence of Rittvik in late 1989 forced the mis-leaders of “ISKCON” to cease pushing their new people to accept re-initiation. Many of their institutional gurus—even the majority of the original eleven pretender mahäbhägavats—had been exposed as fakes. Many of the disillusioned disciples then accepted re-initiation from another institutional guru, but he often also egregiously fell down—although, in point of fact, all of the institutional gurus of “ISKCON” were always fallen.

Some of the newcomers took more than one such re-initiation, and many of them were thus prone to opt for the Rittvik alternative when it came down the pike. As such, “ISKCON” was indirectly pressured to tactically accept the idea that these unfortunates were still initiated, even though their so-called initiating spiritual master was no longer affiliated with the cult or, in a number of cases, not even a Vaiñëava anymore. Thus, the concoction emerged and gained traction—although it had already been promulgated, on a limited basis, by the mid-Eighties—that all the new people were ultimately initiated by ISKCON! On the plea that the ISKCON institution was in all ways non-different from Prabhupäda, most of those leaders and followers were unable to see that this awkward adaptation was actually nothing more than an obtuse variation of Rittvik.

That is what we must now realize: “ISKCON” and Rittvik have some deep-rooted, bogus beliefs in common. One of them is the Myth of the Final Order: The wrong idea that Prabhupäda must have created—and, therefore, did create–an institutionalized initiation paradigm before he departed physical manifestation. That is why a decrepit form of priestcraft has been all-pervading for decades in both “ISKCON” and Rittvik.

Questions and Answers

Q: Is there a main point of contention that would first have to be resolved so that “ISKCON” and Rittvik, both being Prabhupäda-centered, could respect each other’s movements and thus, in some way, work together?

A: The main point of contention is non-recognition of the legitimacy of each others’ initiations. However, this will almost certainly not be reversed. Indeed, your author has heard through the grapevine, some time ago, that a representative from “ISKCON” unofficially broached the idea of mutual recognition of initiations to a prominent Rittvik leader. According to this rumor, that rittvik did not accept it.

That would be the right move for the rittviks, because, if there was mutual recognition of initiations between these two deviant groups, all the benefit would soon flow to the camp of “ISKCON.” “ISKCON” does not actually have any manifest gurus, but if someone seeking initiation was told that there was a bona fide option to select either a manifest guru or a guru no longer physically manifest, he would almost always go with one who is also available on all planes.

However, this is a secondary consideration. The real contention between the gurus of “ISKCON” and the so-called rittvik-äcäryas is their mutual personal contempt for one another. There is very deeply rooted animosity amongst the prominent personalities performing initiations in these factions, and this disdain and disrespect will not go away. The past never leaves it imprint on these fellows. Our prediction is that “ISKCON” and the rittviks will not be able to work together.

Q: Even though you point out that “ISKCON” and Rittvik could never actually align in the same movement, since both the fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation and Rittvik are Prabhupäda-centered, are they nevertheless natural allies against Neo-Mutt?

A: They are not natural allies. Rittvik is obviously inimical to Neo-Mutt, but “ISKCON” is not completely inimical. Both Neo-Mutt and “ISKCON” expand their organizations via physically manifest initiating gurus, so-called. This means that, in one important area, they both have more in common than they do with Rittvik. That both “ISKCON” and Rittvik superficially appear to be Prabhupäda-centered should not be overblown. Just after Rittvik first surfaced in late 1989, “ISKCON” came out with a magazine called the “Vaiñëava Journal.” The articles in it clearly demonstrated an outreach for some kind of unity with Neo-Mutt. Both “ISKCON” and Neo-Mutt share contempt of Rittvik, so there will be no alliance between “ISKCON” and Rittvik against Neo-Mutt.

Q: The fabricated, so-called “ISKCON” confederation is more powerful, has more centers, and is more widespread than Neo-Mutt and Rittvik. Since the leaders of both of them are disgruntled former members of the so-called “ISKCON”, could they ever join forces against “ISKCON”?

A: They both make propaganda against “ISKCON” in their camps, but there will be no alliance between them. They both ultimately fear the size and international influence of “ISKCON”, particularly if some kind of one-world government religion were ever to emerge, but they have too many points of contention to ever join forces. Their leaders are all malcontents and disgruntled former members of “ISKCON”, but that connection with the confederation was given up a long time ago. They each would lose many if not most of their followers if any kind of compromise developed between them, and that alone—what to speak of the contempt Neo-Mutt has for Rittvik—is enough to prevent any alliance.

Q: From a long-term historical perspective, both in the past and in the present, which of these three deviant movements—namely, “ISKCON”, Neo-Mutt, and Rittvik—is the most dangerous?

A: Short-term, the most dangerous movement is the one that attracts you in some way or in which you still have some interest. If you understand just how bogus all of them are, then they can only be dangerous to you in limited circumstances, such as if you live in close proximity to them and/or have friends or family connected with any of them. These circumstances make you susceptible to that particular influence–at least, indirectly. If you do not mingle with any of them, if you do not live in close proximity, and if your circle of association is not connected to any of them, none of them is dangerous to you in the short term.

Long-term, none of them is dangerous relative to the current set-up of a world divided into hundreds of nation-states. Some of these nation-states are representative democracies, and none of those three cults have gained any real influence in those nations, particularly when a conservative, nationalist, or populist government is ruling one of them. None of the totalitarian nation-states has ever adopted anything resembling Krishna consciousness, and at least one of those has actually driven “ISKCON” out. Most of them never even had any adherents of these cults to drive out in the first place, and this is especially the case with the theocracies.

Now, if some kind of one-world government were to emerge after an unprecedented crisis, then there could be an issue with one of these groups becoming extremely dangerous. It would not be Rittvik, however, because Rittvik is far too centrifugal for any one-world religious paradigm to ever even consider or attempt to encompass.

A one-world government could not ignore religion. It could adopt either a repressive one-world religion, or it could adopt many different–but centrally approved and controlled–religions. If it was a one-world religion, then either “ISKCON” or Neo-Mutt would first have to become the controlling influence behind those elites who actually rule the military, political, social, financial spheres—often called the powers that be. That would involve tremendous compromises, but “ISKCON” has a propensity for that, especially in relation to the Hindu-hodgepodge.

If the one-world government opts for many different, yet centrally controlled and approved, religions—and these would then be State Religions–it would not allow conflicts amongst or between any of them while forcibly establishing that format; it would enforce harmony. This would mean that either Hinduism and Vaishnavism would have to agree to completely work within the same paradigm or Vaishnavism, if allowed to have an identity separately, would have to be unified. Again, major compromises would be mandated.

Rittvik would lose either way, because there are so many conflicting Rittvik camps and rittviks with different conceptions of what Rittvik means. A one-world government would first have to subjugate all or most of the nation-states of the world into subordination to its centripetal rule. Every sphere within the one-world government, such as the religious sphere within such a totalitarian world-state, would also be forced to accept a sub-paradigm from which there could be no dissent. Despite Rittvik sharing a major feature with Christianity, that would not be enough to prevent it from being completely crushed and wiped out.

Hanging by a Thread

“Five thousand years ago, it was detected by the Lord Himself that the disciplic succession was broken, and, therefore, He declared that the purpose of the Gétä appeared to be lost. . . When the paramparä system was lost, Arjuna was selected to rejuvenate it.”
Bhagavad-gétä, 4.2/10.14, purports

Over five thousand years ago, the people on earth were far more advanced in every aspect of human and spiritual life than we are now. There were many qualified brähmins around, as well. Nevertheless, Lord Kåñëa’s disciplic succession had been broken and lost, despite all of the advanced culture that was present during the Vedic era, one which demonstrated powerful systems of intelligence and government.

The fact is, as pessimistic as it seems, branches of disciplic succession sometimes are scattered and lost. An accessible God-realized spiritual master is not always incarnate at any given time. For the intelligent transcendentalist, Reality supersedes naive and unfounded optimism. False projections fostered by both “ISKCON” and Rittvik must be seen for what they are: Self-serving rationalizations not founded upon Vaiñëava history, not based upon any definitive statement from Prabhupäda, and not illuminating the actual situation.

Until the next uttama-adhikäré manifests in it, a branch or line of disciplic succession can only be kept alive by madhyama-adhikärés. At the current moment, Çréla Prabhupäda’s branch of the Brahma-Madhva-Gauòéya Vaiñëava sampradäya is hanging by a thread.

Here and there, His Divine Grace Çréla Prabhupäda made statements that could be interpreted to be optimistic or hopeful about the future of his movement. In the same vein, he sometimes made statements to the exact opposite effect. We have quoted many of these in previous articles and discourses. Most, if not all of those excerpts, were of a generic character, plain vanilla, and without any specification.

However, we now have specifics to work with, i.e., we have now seen and experienced, very specifically, just what the “good hands” people, allegedly Prabhupäda’s “best men,” did with and to his movement. In other words, first-hand experience trumps optimism concerning how things would turn out for the Western branch of the Hare Kåñëa movement after its very advanced founder departed.

Most rittviks contend that Prabhupäda had to have created a Rittvik dispensation, because there would be no more uttama-adhikärés after he departed. As has already been mentioned, rittviks reject madhyama-adhikärés as being fit to initiate newcomers with the bhakti-latä-béja. They think madhyams are automatically only rittviks. So, the Rittvik contention is a dispensation by default, although Soft Rittvik makes a concession that, if an uttama-adhikäré were to emerge in our disciplic succession, then there would no longer be a need for their system.

Yet, Hard Rittvik rejects this, adamantly maintaining that there are no more dékñä-gurus after Prabhupäda in his branch of disciplic succession. As a result, the Rittvik system of initiation continues throughout the remainder of the Golden Age. No more spiritual masters after the founder departs? Ever heard of something like that?

Perhaps in Sunday school?

Both “ISKCON” and Rittvik push systematic initiations that are bogus, effectively working to prevent the real system of guru and disciple—which is personal and beyond the oppression of any institutional delusions—from manifesting in any meaningful way. Both of them are cheating arrangements misleading the whole world, bringing it to an eventual state of radioactive barbarity. Each one of them is nothing more than cheap gurus and cheap disciples feeding off a sclerotic, institutional priestcraft.

OM TAT SAT

1 comment

1 Meena devi dasi { 03.30.17 at 14:09 }

Thank you for your clear presentations. I am in agreement with you. I look forward to your publications.

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