Rittvik is not a quick fix. Just buying a telephone is not enough. One must actually open an account with the telephone company and be connected to the telephone central; otherwise the telephone is nothing but a dead weight. Similarly, to declare or accept the rittvik conclusions physically, mentally or intellectually is not enough. The rittvik representative must actually be connected to the Acharya; otherwise, he will be as much of a dead weight as the unconnected telephone.
How do we know that a particular person is actually a qualified representative of the Acharya? This is really the most important question. How do we know if a particular telephone is dead or alive, whether connected to the telephone central or not connected? Anyone can pick it up and by dialing the appropriate number be in communion with anyone else who also has a connection with the telephone central, even the President of the United States.
The equation is “Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another.” This is the litmus test. If someone claims to be a Rittvik representative of the Acharya, then “things (Rittvik representative) equal to the same thing (Srila Prabhupada, the Sampradaya Acharya and devotees) are equal to one another” (Rittvik representative and devotees). So there must be actual love and trust amongst the Rittvik representatives and their supporters or followers; otherwise there is something wrong. Love and trust is possible only if there is actual love and trust for the Acharya, Srila Prabhupada, in the center. The spokes of a wheel are not connected to one another directly, but connected to the hub of the wheel. The leaves, flowers and fruits of a tree are all connected through the root of the tree. Similarly, rittvik philosophy without actually being connected to Srila Prabhupada will be nothing more than a mechanical or external adjustment without the inner spiritual substance, which we find lacking in the present ISKCON Guru system. You can’t make someone love and trust Prabhupada—not by any mechanical, tactical, logical or philosophical arrangement. Therefore quarreling or fighting with those who are not in agreement with Srila Prabhupada’s order to “act as Rittvik representative of the Acharya” is not the solution. The solution is to act as Rittvik representative of the Acharya, and by demonstrating, by example, the sincere souls will naturally gravitate towards and be truly connected to Srila Prabhupada, leaving dead connections (dead telephones) aside. If your telephone is connected, people will use it; if your telephone is not connected, how can they use it?
So by quarreling, organizing and having meetings we may get some abstract idea of rittvik conception, but unless there is actual practical application in the field, we will remain a dead body, like a telephone not actually connected to the telephone central.
Doctors differ, and still they are doctors. Similarly, devotees, rishis, sages, gurus, holy men and Rittviks differ, but in the person of the Sampradaya Acharya, Srila Prabhupada, all differences are resolved. When the sages, sadhus, rishis etc. were called together by Maharaja Parikshit, who wanted to be instructed in preparation for his impending death, there were differences of opinion as to what the King should do. However, when Sukhadeva arrived there, all the rishis, sadhus, yogis and even his own father, Srila Vyasadeva, stood up to show him respect, and he was accepted as the most perfect devotee, and all deferred to him. Thus the Bhagavatam was spoken.
Similarly, in the arena of differing sadhus, yogis, devotees, religionists, etc., Srila Prabhupada appeared in this world. He spoke Srimad-Bhagavatam and other essential Vaishnava literatures, and all spiritualists—at least Vaishnavas—deferred to him. That is why everyone, regardless of how big or small a devotee, guru, sadhu, yogi, rishi or Rittvik must always carry himself very deliberately, keeping Srila Prabhupada, the Sampradaya Acharya, in the center. Then real “unity in diversity” will actually work.
Thus the arrangement of Rittvik representative is completely in keeping with the principle of guru parampara and is in no way a concoction or somehow an inferior arrangement for receiving initiation into Krishna consciousness. In fact, we accept Srila Vyasadeva as still living on this plane. Therefore, every guru, every acharya would technically be a Rittvik representative of the Great Acharya Srila Vyasadeva. The Vyasa-puja day is the day the representative of Vyasa is honored by the disciples, and that representative, the Guru Acharya, sits on the seat of Vyasa.
So under all circumstances, every devotee is a representative of the Acharya, and thus our line is a Rittvik line. Specifically, one who accepts the responsibility of initiating new disciples is therefore referred to as the Rittvik representative of the Acharya. He is definitely a guru, but his job description, “Rittvik representative of the Acharya”, helps us to remember the actual relationship and principle of the guru parampara. Everything depends on transparency. “Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another.”