Mukunda das Prabhu


Clearing two seeds of apasiddhanta
By Mukunda das Prabhu

1. Guru does not have to be a realized soul

2. The Ritvik System of post samadhi initiation was ordered by Srila Prabhupada .

I have decided there is no better way to answer these two points of controversy than to post Srila Prabhupadas own words on both subjects , though I have inquired and heard from several realized Vaishnavas on the matter Srila Prabhupada is a mutually accepted authority on the subject hence to give the best forum for discussion without the argument that one person accepts one Vaishnava but not another, for this reason we will use only Srila Prabhupadas direct words.

AGAIN I am asking for direct quotes from Srila Prabhupada (our Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja) . If you wish to explain the quote please be prepared to back it directly from Srila Prabhupada.

I am not doubting the veracity of devotees statements but because they are found to be sometimes in contradiction to each other or just the fact that as conditioned souls we have the four defects and hence may not be absolute in our understanding. (of course unless you are a realized soul) but even if you are we are using a mutually recognized authority of Srila Prabhupada.

The first in reverse order is the use of ritvik vad ,or theory of post samadhi initiations by Srila Prabhupada. I will give one quote without expanded explanation and my request is to show any hard evidence such as a recording . that shows something different. The following is the transcript of the May 28th 1977 conversation discussing initiation after Srila Prabhupadas samadhi.
this was the basis of the later letters and communications .

Satsvarupa: “Then our next question concerns initiations in the future, particularly at that time when you’re no longer with us. We want to know how first and second initiations would be conducted.”

Prabhupada: “Yes; I shall recommend some of you. After this is settled up, I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating acharyas.”

Tamala Krsna: “Is that called ritvik-acharya?”

Prabhupada: “Ritvik yes.”

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

Prabhupada: He’s guru. He’s guru.

Satsvarupa: But he does it on your behalf.

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

Satsvarupa: So they may also be considered your disciples.

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

Tamala Krsna: No, he’s asking that these ritvik-acaryas, they’re officiating, giving diksa. Their… The people who they give diksa to, whose disciple are they?

Prabhupada: They’re his disciple.

Tamala Krsna: They’re his disciple.

Prabhupada: Who is initiating. He is grand disciple.

Satsvarupa: Yes.

Tamala Krsna: That’s clear.

Satsvarupa: Then we have a question concer…

Prabhupada: When I order, “You become guru,” he becomes regular guru. That’s all. He becomes disciple of my disciple. That’s it. (End of transcript)

Now without developing a long argument for why ritvik vad is not what Srila Prabhupada ordered, ( don’t mind giving plenty of reasons if required) I have shown that Srila Prabhupada himself described what was meant by Ritvik :

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

So “IN MY PRESENCE ” is key as this is also the sastric definition of ritvik. Now any preceding or subsequent letters , or writings on the subject must be defined by the understanding Srila Prabhupada gave of the term ritvik . At this point those who espouse post samadhi ritvik must show direct evidence that Srila Prabhupada gave a definition to support their idea,as conditioned souls to extrapolate a meaning or to assume this or that is both harmful and disingenuous, so please provide a recording of Srila Prabhupada giving a definition different indicating post samadhi ritvik initiation.


The same holds true here I will only use direct statements of Srila Prabhupada. This was essentially the basis of the emergence of ritvik vad the acceptance of the idea which is still being promoted of the idea Guru does not have to be a realized soul . The fall downs and other by-products such as crisis of faith , institutional isolation from other Sadhus approved by Srila Prabhupada etc. gave rise to the search for an answer hence ritvik vad. But as seen below there is no substitute for following the simple and timeless formula of finding and taking shelter of a realized Vaishnava.

Sad-guru, which is what Srila Prabhupada translated as “bonafide spiritual master”,
means one on the platform of eternity, sat, and therefore it means self-realized. All
preachers are gurus, as they deliver the Lord’s message under the guidance of the
Acaryas. But to deliver another conditioned soul is not possible for a conditioned soul:
“Actually a bonafide spiritual master is never a conditioned soul.” (Letter 6.10.69). I have
compiled a few more quotes for clarification:

He must be self-realized:
“Unless one is under the shelter of a self-realized guru, his understanding of the
Supreme is simply foolishness.” (Teachings of Lord Caitanya, p.201)

“The qualification of the guru is that he must have realized the conclusion of the
scriptures.” (SB 11.3.21)

“To become Krishna conscious one must take shelter of a realized soul… a self-realized
spiritual master, a niskincana.” (SB 7.5.32)

“A serious devotee must first approach a spiritual master who is not only well versed in

the Vedic literature but is also a great devotee with factual realization of the Lord.” (SB

“One must approach a self-realized Krishna conscious person and touch his feet.” (SB

“Unless one is self-realized and knows what his relationship is with the Supersoul, he
cannot become a bona fide spiritual master.” (SB 3.28.2)

“The word ‘tattva-darshi’ refers to one has perfectly realized the Supreme Personality of
Godhead.” (SB 5.15.4)

He must be a pure devotee:
“No one can get out of this struggle for existence without accepting a pure devotee of the
Lord.” (SB 5.14.1)

“This confidential knowledge is extremely difficult to understand, yet it’s very easy if one
takes shelter of a pure devotee.” (SB 7.6.27)

“One cannot be in a transcendental position unless one serves very faithfully a pure
Vaisnava.” (CC Antya 7.53)

“One’s guide must be a spiritual master who is an unalloyed devotee strictly following
the instructions of the previous acarya.” (CC Madhya 10.17)

“One has to hear from a pure devotee.” (SB 4 20.25)

“If one desires liberation from the clutches of maya, one must associate with a pure
devotee mahatma.” (SB 5.5.2)

“Unless one is properly trained by a mahatma or unalloyed devotee of the Lord, there is
no possibility of one’s understanding Krishna and His devotional service.” (SB 7.5.30)

He must be liberated:
“The specific qualification for becoming the representative of the Lord is to be unaffected
by the modes of nature…. Since a brahmana is in the mode of goodness, to be a
brahmana is not sufficient for becoming a representative of the Lord.” (SB 3.4.31)

“In the clutches of maya no one can be an authoritative instructor.” (Gita 2.13)

“The bona fide guru is freed from all material contamination.” (SBg 5.14.13)

He must be as good as Krishna:
“Help can only be given by a spiritual master like Krishna.” (Gita 2.8)

“He is on the level of Krishna…. Krishna is worshipable God and the spiritual master is

worshipper God.” (Letter 9.26 69)

He must be Krishna’s confidential associate:
“He is always considered either one of the associates of Radharani, or a manifested
representation of Srila Nityananda Prabhu.” (CC Adi 1.46)

“When a devotee is fully surrendered at the lotus feet of Krishna, Krishna accepts him as
one of His confidential associates.” (CC Madhya 22.102)

“A bonafide guru is a most faithful and confidential servant of the Lord.” (CC Adi

He sees Krishna:
“In the suddha-sattva or vasudeva state, the Lord is revealed without any covering….
Krishna is revealed in the heart of a devotee…. In pure Krishna Consciousness, the Lord
is revealed…. When the senses are purified by the discharge of pure devotional service,
the pure senses can see Krishna without covering…. By the bhakti-yoga process, one can
clearly see the face of the Lord.” (SB 4.3.23)

“In the suddha sattva state one can always see Krishna eye to eye by dint of pure
affection for the Lord”.(SB 1.2.19)

“The spiritual master has actually seen Krishna, therefore he can explain Him properly.”
(SB 5.12.11)

He must be a paramahamsa:
(SB 5.5.10)

He must be a mahabhagavata;
“There are three classes of devotees… the first class devotee is also called a
mahabhagavata… only he is eligible to occupy the post of guru.” (CC Madhya 24.330)
Sri Guru-Tattva by Swami BV Suddhadvaiti 76

“Uttama-adhikari delivers others from material existence.” (CC Madhya 22.65)

More symptoms of an uttama adhikari are given in the Bhagavatam:
1 12.17; 1.18 16; 4.22.16; 7.4.37; 11.2 45-55;

Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 8.273; 16.74; 17.32; 24.330;

Upadesamrita 5; Perfect Questions Perfect Answers p 55; Isopanisad 6; Madhurya

He must be a resident of Krishnaloka:
(Letter 6 10.69)

With the aspiration of Guru Vaishnava seva , and begging forgiveness of any perceived offence, none is intended.

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