Srila Prabhupada, His Movement & You


Wishing They could be Disciples of Prabhupada

From Prataparudra das
15 October 1994

Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I have been talking to you quite a bit on the phone lately, so I risk repeating myself a lot. The most pertinent point of interest is the Nama Hatta. As I told you, the concepts presented in it are not very popular with Sevananda, formerly Dharmaraja, and it appears that he speaks for the Tripurari Swami’s
whole math, if not for the Gaudiya Vaishnava Society in general.

From what I have read in the Nama Hatta and what you have told me, it doesn’t seem that the rittvik concept is very popular in ISKCON, either. Your realization is that Prabhupada intended all of you (“guru-acharyas“) to be merely rittvik priests, initiating devotees on his behalf, but never replacing him in any way. This sounds fair to me, and I certainly know of no evidence to the contrary.

If all existing Vaishnava “gurus” were to step down to the level of merely initiating devotees on Prabhupada’s behalf, and if that act of humility were sufficient to skyrocket Lord Chaitanya’s movement to immense world popularity, I would say that your entire realisation was not only well-intentioned, but highly effective. What actually will happen remains to be seen.

As I told you, many devotees may take the position that, “Well, now that Hansadutta has disgraced himself and has no standing, he simply wants to drag all his god-brothers down with him.” I don’t believe that this is the case. I support you, Hansadutta, in your effort to clarify Prabhupada’s desires for his movement and his devotees. “Purity is the force.” Therefore, to the extent that all living Vaishnavas understand Prabhupada’s desires, Lord Chaitanya’s Sankirtan movement will flourish accordingly, to the betterment of all living entities on earth.

You have always been a revolutionary, and I support you in your efforts to further transcendental realization for all beings. Please call me when you expect to visit this area. It will be a great blessing to share your association for the first time in many years. Please also give my blessings to your wonderful wife, Lakshmi devi dasi, and to all your children, whose names I don’t even know. Hare Krishna, Hare Rama!

Your humble and worthless servant,
Prataparudra das


From Nitai Gouranga das
15 November 1994

Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:

Please accept my humble obeisances, kindly forgive my offenses, and yes, all glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I just read the latest Nama Hatta newsletter, which I received as a gift from Yashodanandan Prabhu a few days ago while I enjoyed his generous hospitality. He was interested to hear about my visit to six temples in Europe this fall, and he mentioned how he would not be able to do this, as he is “too well known,” like yourself.

Although I look very young, I joined Srila Prabhupada’s movement twenty years ago, when Bhakta das was president at the San Francisco temple. I haven’t always been able to associate with ISKCON devotees, so am not well known at all outside California.

When I arrived at the European temples in September, I was able to perform experiments in how devotees are treated, based upon their “initiation status.”

First, in Paris I said I was a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, but never met His Divine Grace in person. [Of course, I was initiated in December, 1979, not January, 1980, as your list reports, with yourself officiating. You may recall I could not even remember your name during the ceremony, as I had been praying to Srila Prabhupada for six years—1974-79—already up to that moment.] Since all Californians consider me a Hansadutta disciple, I’ve never been respected by ISKCON rank and file. Well, introducing myself as a Prabhupada disciple, the sudden honour and respect I was given amazed me. I have never been treated so well! The bhaktas looked up to me, the disciples of ISKCON gurus envied me, and my “god-brothers” (rare) were kind.

When directly asked by a god-brother about the details of my initiation, I did lie to him about the date, and he could tell I was lying, so the experiment had to stop in Paris.

Next, in London, Soho Street, I presented myself as Prabhupada’s disciple, initiated under the rittvik system while Prabhupada was still visible to the material eye. It was painful to see the envy in the eyes of those initiated after Prabhupada’s disappearance, and they would say things to me like, “You are so fortunate to be connected with Prabhupada” and “It is so wonderful that you can serve Prabhupada directly.” I would say to them that they were already more directly serving Prabhupada than I ever did, but still they seemed to me to be despairing. I also refused to say who conducted the ceremonial fire sacrifice, “because it doesn’t matter; it was approved.”

Then, in the Bhaktivedanta Manor, where, as everywhere I resided full time for three days or more, I introduced myself as what I actually am: a disciple of Srila Prabhupada who never ostensibly met His Divine Grace and was initiated soon after his disappearance by a GBC-approved person, whose name I would only reveal to confidants, so as not to cause trouble or alarm. The result was a mixture of respect and suspicion. Neither the bhaktas nor the initiates knew what to do, but the old-time Prabhupada disciples not in positions of importance were very kind to me.

At the Dublin temple, I introduced myself as a “disciple of Srila Prabhupada, but I never met him. If you want to know the details, just ask.” Here I was treated at first with cold suspicion (although provided for kindly, as an uninvited guest), and I soon found out I had been labeled a dangerous “rittvik“, who should not be spoken to! When I challenged the authority who called me “that” and told him my true story, he admitted that yes, I was Prabhupada’s disciple. I told him I wasn’t going to talk about it to the bhaktas—which is true. I never took sides, although I would correct erroneous and exaggerated stories if I heard them. Believe me, the rittvik question was hanging over every temple like an ominous, dark cloud, dark with rain.

At the Hare Krishna Island I was treated just like a long-lost relative. I introduced myself as a Prabhupada disciple initiated after his disappearance, and was encouraged especially by a gentle old-time Prabhupada disciple who oversees the repairs to great damage caused by an ISKCON guru still in power, whose activities were insane.

After a short visit to the Belfast temple, I returned to Soho Street, London for a week, during which gentle Radha Madhava Brahmachari engaged me in service and treated me as his own brother. But then, he knew me in California.

In conclusion, I was treated differently by those concerned with politics than those concerned with Prabhupada. That is just my opinion, and I must also add that I was fed, housed and clothed for more than 33 days and nights at six ISKCON temples, though I arrived dirty, poor and unknown. Certainly I am in debt to all the devotees who supported my existence in Europe, no matter where they stand on the issues.

It was simply sad to see plenty of bhaktas and new initiates looking upon me as having something they could never be allowed to grab onto: PRABHUPADA’S MERCY DIRECTLY.

Therefore, with this letter, let me publicly take a stand in support of the rittvik system of becoming disciples of Srila Prabhupada simply because it provides relief to those really thirsty for Prabhupada’s mercy. Those against it all have, it seems, something to lose. Those for it, something to share. I hope this letter finds you well.

One fallen, conditioned soul,
Nitai Gouranga das

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22 Responses to Srila Prabhupada, His Movement & You

  1. I shall be including sections of this very intelligent, but flawed, commentary in an upcoming article that will be posted on one of our websites. As I told you in 1988, I would read the book that you gave me. I have read, more than once, both of your books, as well as this article. You are close. The quote from Vaikunthanatha, as potent as it appears to be, is still evidence not conclusive proof. Indeed, and somewhat ironically, you have prominently posted in another section of your website, that famous letter you received from His Divine Grace wherein he said that his movement may have gurus given the title of Bhaktivedanta (for their advanced learning and realization in the supreme science) by 1975. This was not realized, however, as we all know. Instead, eleven men–yourself one of them–went, in your own words to me back in the Eighties “way too far.” Nevertheless, misuse of a great science does not render it useless. The rittvik process (and I spell this word exactly as you do, so we have something in common there) in relation to Srila Prabhupada ended on November 15, 1977; the last genuinely initiated disciple of Prabhupada was Mahapurana das, an African-American devotee, at (again, somewhat ironically, although Nityananda prabhu was already in Mississippi by that time) the New Orleans yatra just hours before Prabhupada departed us in manifest form. The real issue here is not rittvik; the real issue is “regular guru, that’s all.” What did that mean? I ask this rhetorically, as I am confident that I know what it means. Similarly, as was revealed in your presence at Topanga Canyon in early December of 1980, the eleven men named on July 9-10, 1977 where not to create any kind of exclusive monopoly based upon their having been given the renewal of the service of rittvik, which had been suspended for a period of time before that summer. I think that you would agree that close is not good enough here. We may put together the pieces of the puzzle in a different chronological order–and that is to be expected–but, when it is finished, all the pieces fit together in one way and one way only. There is one perfect way, and we both agree that the vitiated GBC has not established, nor does it represent, that way. Yet, there arguments have some power to them, especially in terms of pragmatic considerations–Western pragmatism, that is. Indeed, I pick up no dearth of pragmatism in your presentations both in your books and on your website. The issue is not pragmatism itself, as Prabhupada was very results oriented. The issue is the difference between Western pragmatism and Vedic or Vaishnava pragmatism. There is one essential difference between them, and a hint of what that is can be found in Nityananda prabhu’s favorite slogan: Satyam eva jayate.
    One other thing to keep in mind. Kindly do not misread anything personal into this, because it is not intended for any specific initiated devotee (1966-1977) of Prabhupada. We both agree that the GBCs of Prabhupada and his guru deviated in egregious ways. What was the ultimate result thirty years after the first such deviation? Or, rather, how did Lord Chaitanya choose to rectify that situation? It wasn’t via any kind of rittvik arrangement, was it.
    So, I am being stimulated to some extent by what I am reading on your website and in reviewing your books (I have both of them) once again. In due course, it should produce an article that goes into detail on all of these spiritual raw nerve topics. Obviously, I had very little association with His Divine Grace in comparison to your good self; I was only alone with him once for about four minutes. So, you are very blessed, and I admire your spiritual good fortune. It empowers you to carry on, no doubt. Still, you and I have another thing in common that is certainly rare amongst Prabhupada’s actually initiated disciples, viz., neither of us was preached to before coming to the temple and deciding to surrender. I have read your historical account, it was impressive, and I could relate to it. Mine was different, obviously, but the principle was the same. As such, we each stand for something and push something independent of mass opinion and negativity of the enforced conformity. Your version of rittvik–and there are quite a number of them–is different from the others, and that is to be expected, also.
    Once I produce the above-mentioned article (for the first time, I am seriously considering employing the A & A format in doing so), would you like me to notify you of its posting along with a hyperlink? I shall not be offended if you answer this specific query in the negative nor shall I be offended if I do not hear from you at all. We are all meant to reach the stage of sthita-prajna, in which it is certain that His Divine Grace would order us to become diksa-guru, not rittvik. Until then, we are meant to preach to newcomers, stress Prabhupada as their siksa-guru, and keep them in the process at the level of sadhu-sanga. It is an impetus to get very sincere and serious and reach the stage of mahimni sve mahiyate, i.e., drsta evatmanisvare. If we could not or cannot reach even this stage, which is prior to bhava, then what was the meaning of Srila Prabhupada coming here in the first place and training us to become gurus? And he certainly wanted this, as you well know, and as evidenced, if not indeed proved, by his letter to you in 1975.
    Hoping that this meets you and your good wife in good health and cheerful mood, I beg to remain . . .
    Your eternal servant,
    KAILASA CANDRA DASA

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  3. Suvarna says:

    Thank you for this book Hansadutta Prabhu. Very wonderful writing. I am very grateful. Thank you. Your servant Suvarna

  4. Suvarna says:

    is this book available to purchase?

  5. I have no motre copies for saler, you can download the whole text from Nama Hatta, or write to daschan@streamyx.com…… perhaps they have a copy,
    Thank you nfor appriociating my realizations. I do not write for money, or noteriety. I have written according to my experience and heart felt love for Prabhupada

    Your humble servant,
    I shaould have done better,
    But I fell. failed and am very repentant about that, and still working to get up and do the right thing.

    • tarunkrishna das says:

      Haribol ji, may i say Hansdutta ji at least you have said you made mistakes , been open about what went wrong for you, not many from that time have or ever will,..so bless you ji ,..haribol

    • Nilesh Dalal says:

      Hare Krishna prabhuji,
      Please consider to reprint your book not for fame or for glory but to help other innocent jivas from following the bogus gurus. I just discovered your website. But there are others where this message has to be reached. Please help to redirect Prabhupada’s vision in it’s true direction. Senior true devotees like yourself is our only link to the truth.
      Hari Bol.

    • dhaval moradiya says:

      hare krishna
      i want to purchasse of this book …

  6. Martin says:

    Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    For many years I have been searching for the audio of the so-called appointment tape of May 28, 1977. Do you have the audio file, and if so, could you please email it to me or post it to YouTube? I have read the transcript and understand that Srila Prabhupada appointed ritviks, but I would like to hear the audio for myself.

  7. William Regular says:

    Hare Krishna!!
    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!!

    Thank you very much for your profound realizations. i really felt indebted.. it gives me more light since you personally advice me to read first before i come to visit any ISKCON temple. i will write you someday in regards of this book.
    Again, thank you very much Hansadutta Prabhu

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  9. Lou says:

    Dear Hansadutta Das,
    I remember you in Berkely in 1976 or so. I used to frequent the temple there often. I have not been to an ISKCON temple since then although I occasionally try to keep up on ISKCON news. I am a devotee of Avatar Meher Baba. I have no qualifications to judge but the letter you’ve shared seems to clearly spell out Srila Prabhupada’s wishes. It makes it very clear: “The newly initiated devotees are disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada …” It is truly a shame that ISKCON has been divided all these years and I pray your efforts are helpful. Congratulations on your honesty and sincere work.

  10. Probir saha says:

    Jay radha!! I love “krishna” but i love you too.,’prabhupada’

  11. Vishnujana says:

    Hansadutta please accept my humble obeisances as a older Godbrother. I would like to talk to you about the ritvik system and where do you stand with post 1977 ISKCON. I would also like to know if you yourself know about the poisoning of our Spiritual Master A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada by your Godbrothers (perhaps you were aware but did not do anything) as well as your Godbrothers and the heinous acts they have done such as kirtananda and bhakti thirtha and many others. Please write back to me as soon as possible. If you truly following Srila Prabhupada you would allow for us to start a conversation to help this poor lost soul find some happiness. You are one of the last Ritvik Representative of Srila Prabhupada who was chosen by HIM. do not let this go to waste. Rise up Hansadutta and fight for Srila Prabhupada if you are sincere. Do not become clouded by illusion like arjuna at the battle of kurusetra with his family members. Just because they are your Godbrothers does not make it right to let them destroy Prabhupada ISKCON and take so many to hell with them. there are many scattered sects of the ritvik camp around the world with some truly devoted to Prabhupada and others for some materialistic purposes. Are we to let our faith become like the christian faith which is scattered from protestant to catholic to coptic orthodox to Pentecostal? Why do you sit and do nothing? Become a true ritvik and defend Prabhupada order and stop this second poisoning which is being done to Prabhupada Books. They are new devotees that are coming in this movement and many are lost because of the so many ritvik camps as well that they do not want to associate with ISKCON example my self and few friends. All I ask of you from my self is to write back to me so we may talk with my friends on your place and what we can do. Hare Krsna Jai Prabhupada.

    • Vishnujana says:

      Srila Prabhupada: Keu bole je keu poison kore diyeche. Hoy to tai.
      Translation: Someone says that I’ve been poisoned. It’s possible.

      Balaram Mishra (?): Hmm?

      Kaviraja: Kya farma rahe hain?
      Translation: What is he saying?

      Srila Prabhupada: Koi bolta hai je koi mujhko poison kiya gaya hai.
      Translation: Someone says that someone has given poison.

      Kaviraja: Kisko?
      Translation: To whom?

      Srila Prabhupada: Mujhko.
      Translation: To me.

      Kaviraja: Kaun bolta hai?
      Translation: Who said?

      Srila Prabhupada: Ye sab friends.
      Translation: These all friends.

      Bhakticharu: Ke boleche, Srila Prabhupada?
      Translation: Who said, Srila Prabhupada?

      Srila Prabhupada: Ke boleche.
      Translation: They all say.

      Tamal Krishna: Krishna das?

      Kaviraja: Ao ko kaun poison dega? Kis liye dega?
      Translation: Who would give you poison? Why would anyone do that?

      Tamal Krishna: Who said that, Srila Prabhupada?

      Srila Prabhupada: I do not know, but it is said.

      Exchange 1 – Mixture of English, Hindi and Bengali (9/11/77)

      Jagadisha: Srila Prabhupada, can you tell us why you want to go on the parikrama? (travelling to visiting holy places)
      Prabhupada: …good paddy.
      Tamala Krsna: This seems like suicide, Srila Prabhupada, this program. It seems to some of us like it’s suicidal.
      Prabhupada: And this is also suicidal.
      Tamala Krsna: Hm. Prabhupada said, “And this is also suicide.” Now you have to choose which suicide.
      Prabhupada: The Ravana (A great demon) will kill and Rama (God) will kill. Better to be killed by Rama. Eh? That Marica–if he does not go to mislead Sita, he’ll be killed by Ravana; and if he goes to be killed by Rama, then it is better.
      [Room Con. Nov. 10, 1977, Vrndavana, India]

      Prabhupada: All right. You take Babaji Maharaja. That will be my going. (“devotees” laugh)
      Krsna dasa Babaji: Jaya. (laughter)
      Tamala Krsna: Yes, the bullock cart will go tomorrow
      Prabhupada: Yes.
      Tamala Krsna: To Govardhana.
      Prabhupada: Yes, other devotees can go. I cannot go.
      Tamala Krsna: No, they’ll go on your behalf, but you will go one day. That we promise you. (“devotees” laugh)
      “Devotee ?”: (under breath) Sati (other “devotees” laugh)
      Prabhupada: All right.
      Tamala Krsna: Our greatest pleasure will be to take you on tirtha-yatra, Srila Prabhupada. We wanted so much to go with you on that.
      Prabhupada: Thank you very much.

      (Vrindavana, India – 10th November 1977)
      http://www.prabhupada.org.uk/paul/08.mp3

      here is the conversation of his final days. You were there werent you? therefore if you knew of this publicly repent and work to fight against your “Godbrothers” and if you sincerely and honestly did not know then research and hear what they did to our Guru Maharaj and understand what you must do.
      http://www.prabhupada.org.uk/paul/prabhupada_poisoned.htm

  12. Krishna Tungal says:

    All Glories to Srila Prabhupada,
    Hare Krishna to all the devotees.

    What Vishnujana Prabhu said is 100000% true. Hansadutta Prabhu, you can do it, we all here to support you..

    HariBol….

    Your servant
    Krishna Tungal

    • Aaca says:

      Dear Jagaddharta Prabhu Thank you for your comments. I beelive that you are correct in your appraisal that we have underestimated world affairs as a causative influence. Srila Prabhupada has given us all the knowledge and perspective to understand the complexities of modern life and how we are entangled in the modes and more importantly how to get disentangled. Srila Prabhupada gives us the tools it is up to us how or when or if we employ them. He nor Krsna will do this as this is our duty to free ourselves. The Demon Kali has his agents both outside and inside of FISKCON. To have them inside ISKCON is impossible for inside ISKCON is where Srila Prabhupada’s vision lies illuminating the absolute truth. FISKCON adherents do not have this vision and so they will cheat us. It is only when we can understand this difference, that is between ISKCON and FISKCON that we can begin to free ourselves. Yes no one comes close to Srila Prabhupada! Nor are they meant to. He is the Acharya of ISKCON no one else. We have to all come together by aligning our visions to his and in order to do this we must understand our predicament within the Geopolitical sphere and to know where the Krsna Consciousness Movement is being compromised, where our own vision has been affected and obscured. Yours in the service of Srila PrabhupadaAdmin

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  16. Hansadutta Prabhu, you are in an excellent position to understand the ritvik issue because you were an ISKCON temple president, a member of the GBC body, a BBT trustee, an “appointed guru,” and a “zonal acharya.” Your booklet is what convinced me, even before “The Final Order” was published.

    Also, no ISKCON leader dares to debate with you. All that they ever do is resort to low-class name-calling!

  17. hansadutta das says:
    September 12, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I have no motre copies for saler

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