The Doctor’s Prescription
From Hansadutta das
9 February 1995
Dear Nrsimha Guru:
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Thank you for your letter dated January 20, 1995. I’ve noted the contents carefully. I will not attempt to go into all the various points you raised in regard to Srila Prabhupada’s intention for the continuation of the guru parampara. I have heard all these arguments before. The bottom line is we either accept Srila Prabhupada as the Sampradaya Acharya or the person who has assimilated the Vedic wisdom perfectly under the guidance of a spiritual master, realised them and is presenting them to us, and thus we have only to accept his instructions without speculation or experiment.
We accept the prescription of the doctor without contention, because it is understood that the doctor is embodiment of the medical books, and he has studied and assimilated and practiced medicine under the appropriate authorities. So when he writes a prescription, we accept it without argument. Similarly, the chief justice of the high court is accepted as the embodiment of all the law books and precedents. Therefore, when the high court judge hands down a judgment or a conclusion, it must be accepted without argument. In fact, whatever the chief justice hands down as judgment becomes the law. Similarly, the acharyas set the precedents, and whatever they do, whatever they dictate, that becomes religion.
Lord Chaitanya was criticized because He was dancing and singing in public. It was never done before. He disregarded the rigid caste system of Hindu society and accepted everyone as a candidate for spiritual life. Similarly, Lord Jesus dismissed the Pharisees and departed from traditional Jewish law—for which he was crucified. Even Shankaracharya, who preached Mayavada philosophy throughout his whole life, in the last instant declared: Bhaja Govinda, bhaja Govinda, bhaja Govinda mudha-mate: “You fools! Just worship Govinda!” But his followers found these last words incongruous with his life’s teachings and dismissed them and remained Mayavadis, thus going to hell.
Although Srila Prabhupada published Srimad-Bhagavatam, Chaitanya-charitamrita, Bhagavad-gita, Nectar of Devotion and numerous other publications in which he repeatedly explained the qualifications and necessity of guru parampara, his last prescription or directive plainly indicates that he wanted his leading disciples to act as rittvik representatives of the acharya, initiating or continuing the guru parampara by initiating disciples on his behalf. This instruction is perfectly in keeping with the Vedic tradition, because the rittvik representative of the acharya is also a guru. But seeing their immaturity, Srila Prabhupada restricted their authority by stating clearly that they were to act as his representatives and that the disciples they initiate would be initiated on behalf of the acharya. In this way, Srila Prabhupada intelligently killed two birds with one stone. On the one hand there is a necessity to continue the disciplic succession by initiating new disciples. On the other hand, he saw no qualified guru-acharya in his leading students. He therefore authorized some of his leading disciples to act as gurus in the capacity of rittvik acharyas who would accept disciples on behalf of Srila Prabhupada.
The business of the disciple is to carry out the order of the spiritual master. It is not his business to speculate what the ramifications of carrying out such orders may or may not be. Just as Janmadagni ordered his son Parasurama to kill his mother, and without hesitation He killed her, pleasing his father. And in conclusion, everything came out in a glorious way. Therefore, “ours is not to wonder why; ours is but to do or die.” Without this determination in the disciple’s heart, there can be no tangible spiritual advancement. “One who has unflinching faith in the words of the spiritual master and Krishna—to him all the imports of Vedic wisdom are revealed.”
So the conclusion is we either accept Srila Prabhupada as the infallible and perfect Sampradaya Acharya and obey him unconditionally, or the other alternative is we become impudent by challenging and doubting his instructions and arrangements for the disciples. That means we become lost in an endless ocean of speculation and experiment. This is actually what has happened since Srila Prabhupada has disappeared. As you know, I am also guilty of the offense of neglecting the orders of the spiritual master. However, after a long, painful ordeal, I have regained my consciousness and am now acting as per Srila Prabhupada’s original instructions, to act as a rittvik representative of the acharya.
The confusion which we see spread throughout Srila Prabhupada’s mission can be immediately dissipated if we just resign ourselves to the simple directive he wrote on July 9, 1977 to his leading disciples to act as rittvik representative of the acharya. As soon as we depart from this, we must become bewildered and confused and frustrated at every turn. Recently we have seen Kirtanananda Swami fall on account of neglecting Srila Prabhupada’s authority. And while writing this letter, we are seeing the confusion and chaos spreading on account of Tamal Krishna Goswami, Giriraja Swami, Bhurijana Prabhu and other so-called leaders who have neglected the same order of Srila Prabhupada—”Act as rittvikrepresentative of the acharya.” What more evidence is required to bring you to this simple understanding? Worship Srila Prabhupada and be happy. I hope this letter finds you well.
Your humble servant,