Disconnected Spokes of the Wheel
Others have said, “The hippies have made Prabhupada successful.” Meaning to say, without the hippies becoming his followers, Srila Prabhupada would have remained an insignificant and unknown and therefore forgotten in the oblivion of time. But Srila Gaura Kishore dasa Babaji had no hippie followers, nor did he publish any books, and still he is remembered as a great Vaishnava devotee of the Lord. The fact is Srila Prabhupada was, is and will be worshipped as the great Acharya of the Golden Age, regardless of circumstances past, present or future.
Another set of ingrates say, “Prabhupada’s last directive (July 9th, 1977) for continuing the disciplic succession by appointing rittvik representatives of the Acharya to initiate on his behalf was never done before and therefore it is not in our tradition. They dismiss Srila Prabhupada’s instruction in favor of their ambition to be guru-acharyas—which has resulted in chaos, confusion and disintegration of Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON movement.
Whatever we know of Vaishnava tradition, we know it only because Srila Prabhupada taught us. However, now some ungrateful disciples have become more intelligent than Srila Prabhupada, suggesting that he was unaware of Vaishnava tradition. So we must now accept the impudent, ungrateful disciples as higher authorities than Srila Prabhupada, the Sampradaya Acharya, author of more than 150 books, founder of more than 100 temples, farm communities and guest houses and over five thousand disciples world-wide? Srila Prabhupada needs to be corrected by his over-intelligent, ungrateful disciples?
Others point out that ISKCON is having great success over in Russia and Europe, and therefore no one should criticize. That is like a man infected with gangrene in his legs insisting that he is quite well because his hands and head are free from infection.
In 1961, Srila Prabhupada pointed out the consequence of neglecting the arrangement made by his spiritual master:
“If everyone just initiates, then there will only be a contradictory result. As long as it goes on, there will be only failure.”
And in 1969, Srila Prabhupada wrote to one of his god-brothers:
I have also read specifically your articles on the matter of acharyas, wherein on the 14th paragraph I see the acharya shall be entitled to nominate in writing his successive acharya. But we do not find any record where our Srila Prabhupada nominated any acharya after him. Different persons have interpreted on this point, and every one of our god-brothers are acting as acharya, so this is a controversial point which I do not wish to enter into while we are proposing for co-operation.
After Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance, the leading disciples attempted to enjoy the wealth and prestige of the post of guru-acharya. When their activities of gross sense gratification were detected by the rank and file devotees, the so-called acharyas adopted a show of renunciation, giving up the opulent worship, Vyasasans and personal pranams. However, on close examination, we find this renunciation to be the typical bhoga-tyaga, or enjoyment and renunciation syndrome of the conditioned soul.
The positive devotional service with full submission and surrender to Srila Prabhupada as the Sampradaya Acharya remains missing from their life. Thus, without worshipping Srila Prabhupada as hub of the wheel of the Gaudiya Sampradaya, the devotees world-wide, who are like the spokes of the great wheel, remain dangling and ineffective for practical preaching work as a world-wide mission envisioned by Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada said, “I want that each and every center should remain independent, keeping the Acharya in the center.” In this statement, clearly he was referring to himself as that Acharya. Keep Srila Prabhupada as the Sampradaya Acharya. The wheel needs a hub, then many spokes can carry the weight. Without a hub (Sampradaya Acharya), the whole thing is useless.