Why 16108 ?
Because Lord Sri Krishna married 16,108 wives!


RTVIK - Basic Points & Questions

To the point - brief and basic (see Rtvik Explained for more details):

Not everyone has the time to read pages of details but want to know the basics first. Here they are:

Current GBC says that an on-going Rtvik system is bogus.

However, on examination we find they make this statement on their own. ie - without any shastric support. (They have commissioned a sub-committee to research the Vedas and came up empty, finding no specific shastric support for their view).

The GBC claim the basis for their view is that 1) no other past acharya ever set up an on-going Rtvik system and 2) it is 'traditional' that the disciples become guru after disappearance of their guru, that is the way of the disciplic succession.

As to # 1 above, that no past acharya ever set up such an on-going Rtvik system (thus they say it is non-traditional and therefore bogus) - My response to this is that one must also realize that no past acharya ever set up such a far-reaching and complete Rtvik system as the system that Srila Prabhupad set up, even during their physical lifetimes. To understand this we need to understand the system SP setup. Prior to the July9th, 1977 letter SP had set up a rtvik system that required very little input from him to function. For example, it was possible that a new devotee could join in one part of thworld, say South America, who never physically saw SP, who after 6 months of following the program the local TP / GBC would recommend them for initiation. They would send that new candidate's name to SP. SP would always "Automatically" accept their recommendation and authorize the initiation. At this point either SP chant on their beads and give their names, OR, as Srila Prabhupad had setup and authorized, the local GBC/Rtvik could chant on the beads, give tghe spiritual name and perform the fire sacrifice. Thus, the 'only' physical involvment by SP was that he would (always automatically) give his pre-approval for the initiation.

First of all, let it be fully understood that the above system that was well established by SP was totally unique. As far as I know, no other past acharya had ever established or authorized such a far-reaching and complete Rtvik system. Generally Rtvik, in the Vedas, refers to a priest who performs an actual fire sacrifice on behalf of the priest incharge of the overall ceremony. Srila Prabhupad, however, set up a very far-reaching and complete system of rtvik initiations that we can find no past acharya had ever set up. Thus, the view of the GBC that an on-going Rtvik is bogus simply because there is no history of any other past acharya ever establishing such a system is unfounded. Following this logic, then, one would have to reject the entire Rtvik system that Srila Prabhupad set up, period.

On July 9th, 1977, SP wrote his now famous letter that made one final and very important change to the above In that letter he stated that from then on he was eliminating the need for requesting his pre-approval of the rtvik initiations. He stated that from then on when a new devotee is recommended for initiation that the local Rtvik can go ahead and preform the initiation - entirely - without any longer any direct physical involvement by SP. On the basis of the July 9th , 1977 letter the rtvik system that SP had long set up and established was now able to go on functioning without any need of any physical involvment by SP himself.

This is totally unique.

As far as #2 above, that it is tradition that the diciples themselves become guru on disappearance of their guru, I do not say that none of SP's disciples can become regular guru. I encourage them to do so, if they feel they are qualified to do so. But, become actual 'Regular Guru" (see Become Regular Guru)

My first point is simply this, that the on-going Rtvik system is no more bogus then the system SP set up and authorized in 1977.

Second point. The GBC actually accept that the full and complete Rtvik system SP set up and authorized by the July 7th letter is bonafide. That they accept. But, they claim that the same system has become so bogus after SP left our material vision that to even consider it is still bonafide makes one a fallen deviant, one so vilified that many new devotees outright say that those who support an ongoing rtvik system should be murdered. The rtviks have been run out, demonized and beaten. Yet, I ask on question - Yes, the GBC accept that the process WAS bonafide, then what changed?

What changed that made the previous system accepted as bonafide to now be seen as totally bogus?

I will give the only answer to that so as to make another point. The only thing that changed is that SP's body is no longer warm and breathing or visible to us. That is the ONLY thing that changed. Thus, since the GBC say that the process WAS bonafide before his disappearnce, but has become bogus on his disappearance, then the GBC view is that the rtvik system that SP set up was empowered solely by the physical body of SP. By guru VAPU. Such a position is not at all upheld by shastra. It is a bogus foundation.

Whereas those who advocate that the on-going Rtvik system remains bonafide say that the foundation and empowerment of the process was, and remains the Eternal Instructions of the spiritual master. The process in 1977 and today is bonafide because it is founded on the eternal instructions of SP.

Please read my other articles for more explanation and other points.




Last modified January 19, 2007