Ritvikism - The 14th Sahajiya Sampradaya
  • May 2004
    This is very interesting read
    by great disciple of Prabhupada:


    INDIA, Nov 21 (VNN) -- A brief conversation with Swami B.G. Narasingha

    Devotee: Have you read Srila Prabhupada's "Final Order".

    Narasingha Maharaja: Yes.

    Devotee: Then how can you say that the ritviks are the 14th sahajiya sampradaya?

    Narasingha Maharaja: Actually the ritviks are not a sampradaya. By saying so I am simply using the word loosely. Ritvik conception is in the apa-sampradaya category or the anti-party section. Apa-sampradaya means to preach against the principles and practices of pure devotional service and sahajiya means to imitate the real process of pure devotional service. In this way the ritviks have become sahajiya-apa-sampradaya because their process eliminates the real thing and tries to establish an illusory standard under false pretenses. In the same way one could consider the ritviks as mayavadis. Mayavada means the philosophy of illusion.

    There is no actual mayavada philosophy mentioned in the scriptures nor is there any ritvik system mentioned in the scriptures. So to establish either of these two conclusions is illusory.

    It is a symptom of Kali-Yuga that many concocted methods of devotional service will emerge but these will not be accepted by the intelligent class of men.

    (Srila Prabhupada: "The next symptom of the age of Kali is that principles of religion, which are spotless white, like the white lotus flower, will be attacked by the uncultured sudra population of the age......They will declare themselves as adherents of no religious principles and many "isms" and cults will spring up in Kali Yuga only to kill the spotless bull of religion." (c) 1991 by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust)

    Instructions regarding the actual science of Krishna consciousness and the process of pure devotional service have been passed down from guru to disciple in the parampara from the most ancient times until the present day. When we are in connection of the parampara system we do not feel the necessity for concocted methods of devotional service because all our anticipations are met by Krishna, Guru and Vaishnava.

    Devotee: That's true but there are no pure devotees present and therefore seeing the situation Srila Prabhupada has introduced a new system of parampara.

    Narasingha Maharaja: What you say is all concoction. Have you seen all the devotees of Krishna and Mahaprabhu present on this planet? No. But you condemn everyone to your own level of consciousness. Like Duryodhana - he could not see any qualified person anywhere. Whereas Yudhisthira saw that everyone was more qualified than himself. Persons with the mentality of Duryodhana can never understand who is a pure Vaishnava - while persons like Yudhisthira always find the company of pure devotees.

    The fact is that there are pure Vaishnavas on this planet (always have been - always will be) but you have not taken the time to search them out. Secondly what you have said about Srila Prabhupada not seeing any qualified person is also not true. He did not see a disciple fit to become the head of his ISKCON society and therefore he requested everyone to work in cooperation with each other (with a GBC at the head). He said, "Together I have some hope that you will do something." But he did not say that his disciples were unfit to carry on the parampara.

    One who introduces new systems, not authorized by the sastra and previous acharyas only creates a disturbance in society.

    sruti-smrti-puranadi,pancaratra-vidhim vina
    aikantiki harer bhaktir, utpatayaiva kalpate

    "Devotional service to the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literature like the Upanisads, Puranas, Narada-Pancaratra, etc., is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society."

    Srila Prabhupada never created or concocted new systems. He simply said, "Do as I am doing".

    Devotee: Actually Srila Prabhupada was the first sannyasi to perform the marriage function ceremony for his disciples so that is at least one example of his starting a new system.

    Narasingha Maharaja: That is a foolish argument. Performing marriage or not performing marriage ceremonies has nothing to do with the parampara or the process of pure devotional service. That simply comes within 'ways and means' to spread Krishna consciousness - it is not a valid example of what we are talking about.

    Devotee: Nonetheless, I think it is safe to say that since none of Srila Prabhupada's disciples are pure devotees that no one should initiate.

    Narasingha Maharaja: This is another one of your concocted statements. Show me even one place where Srila Prabhupada has said that his disciples or none of his disciples are pure devotees. You cannot.

    On the contrary Srila Prabhupada many times stated the qualifications to become a pure devotee and insisted that this was the only business of his disciples. He did not say, "None of my disciples are pure devotee." He actually stated many times just the opposite. First we should know what pure devotional service is.

    anyabhilasita sunyam, jnana-karmady-anavrtam
    anukulyena krsnanu, silanam bhaktir uttama

    "First class devotional service must be devoid of all material desires, knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy, and frutive action. The devotee must constantly serve Krishna favorably, as Krishna desires." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11)

    Devotee: Yes. But...

    Narasingha Maharaja: But what? Do you believe in Srila Prabhupada and what he says or do you think he spoke nonsense? What is your position?

    Srila Prabhupada has stated on many occasions that his disciples were pure devotees to the extent that they follow his instruction. The key is there - in your hand - simply follow his instruction. In 1975 Srila Prabhupada commented that he wanted disciples who would follow his instructions and become pure devotees. He said that he would have been satisfied if even one of his disciples had become a pure devotee but that he was fortunate because Krishna had sent many pure devotees to become his disciples.

    (Srila Prabhupada: "I want one student who follows my instruction. I don't want millions. Ekas candras tamo hanti na ca tara-sahasrasa. If there is one moon in the sky, that is sufficient for illumination. There is no need of millions of stars. So my position is that I want to see that at least one disciple has become pure devotee.

    Of course, I have got many sincere and pure devotees. That is my good luck. But I would have been satisfied if I could find out one only." (c)
    1991 by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust)

    Devotee: But the final order of Srila Prabhupada is there.

    Narasingha Maharaja: Yes, the final order is there, the first order is there and the second order is there. All the orders are there and all these orders are the same, "Become pure devotee."

    If not even a single disciple (as you are proposing) becomes pure devotee then the mission of the spiritual master is a failure. If no disciple has become a pure devotee then people will begin to rumor that the spiritual masters teachings have no potency or that he has no mercy to bless his disciples etc. So when you say that no disciple of Srila Prabhupada is qualified to become Guru then in effect you are saying that Srila Prabhupada and his mission have failed. It is intolerable to hear such nonsense - I can not agree.

    Devotee: They can become siksa-guru but not diksa-guru.

    Narasingha Maharaja: Where do you find such statements in the authorized sastra. You are simply speaking but without any sastric context. And what you say is only confused logic. The siksa guru is categorically in a higher position than the diksa-guru in that he is the manifestation of Sri Govindadeva the Lord of abhideya-tattva. The diksa-guru is the manifestation of Madan Mohanji the Lord of sambandha-tattva.

    In Caitanya Caritamrta the position of diksa and siksa-gurus are mentioned. Categorically it is such but to make discrimination between different gurus is an offense. Both are equal manifestations of Krishna. If one is a pure devotee according to the measure of the sastra then he is fit to become either siksa or diksa-guru or both.

    Devotee: But so many, what you are calling pure devotees, have fallen down - a pure devotee can not fall down.

    Narasingha Maharaja: Oh. This is very interesting point that you are making. On one hand you say that a pure devotee can not fall down but on the other hand, yourself and other ritvik proponents, are of the opinion that all living entities in the mundane world have fallen from eternal lila with Krishna in Goloka or Vaikuntha - is it not?

    Devotee: Yes. But...

    Narasingha Maharaja: So in the spiritual world were these fallen souls pure devotees or not? If they are not pure devotees then how can they be with Krishna in eternal lila. Therefore by your own admission a pure devotee can fall down - is it not?

    Devotee: Well....

    Narasingha Maharaja: Why many of Srila Prabhupada's disciples have fallen down you do not know. Despite spending hours together discussing and gloating over their fall down you still do not know why they have fallen. You do not know the secrets of devotional service. How can a faithful disciple fall from Krishna consciousness - especially after having rendered so much valuable and intimate service to the spiritual master? You should stop to consider. You should consult the senior Vaishnavas and the scripture and you will come to know that such disciples can fall down only due to nama-aparadha and particularly Vaishnava-aparadha.