04/27/98 - 1768
Adis Ad Hominems Dont Add Up
USA (VNN) - by Krishnakant
This is in response to Adikartas response to our article Respecting
the Order of the Guru which has been prominently posted on CHAKRA
for over a week. In his article Adikarta prabhu commits the classic
logical fallacy of argumentum ad hominem, by insulting and denigrating
proponents of Srila Prabhupadas final order on initiation, rather
than defeating them through philosophical argument, (which is,
after all, the proper Vaisnava procedure). Thus not only is his
article hopelessly irrelevant to the current discussion, it also
betrays a disturbing and unreasonable unwillingness to comply
with a direct order from his own spiritual master.
Excerpts from Adikarta prabhus paper shall be numbered:
1) An Answer to Krishna Kant by Adi Karta Dasa.
Response to the reply of Krishnakant to my previous
paper entitled "Respecting the Guru Principle."
From the title the reader might be excused for believing that
they are about to read an answer and response to my previous
rebuttal of Adikarta prabhus original paper. This impression
is strengthened by the following:
2) This letter is an open response for the benefit of those who
may be bewildered by the clever word jugglery of Krishnakant.
Had Adikarta actually fulfilled this early promise we would have
been as interested as anyone to know precisely how we are bewildering
people with clever word jugglery since it is certainly not our
intention to do so. As a conditioned soul I am certainly not beyond
the four defects and am thus grateful when more senior devotees
such as Adikarta take the time and trouble to correct any misconceptions
I might have, (based, of course, on Srila Prabhupadas teachings
and institutional directives). Indeed we have been waiting patiently
since October 1996 for such guidance from the GBC, which they
promised would be immediately forthcoming on receipt of The Final
A little further into his article and our hopes in this regards
are quickly dashed:
3) Arguing all the specific points in Krishnakant's paper is
a waste of time. I could, but he will simple counter argue and
we could go on with this for many lifetimes.
How then can Adikarta call his paper a response? In doing so
he is misleading his CHAKRA readership, (an experience they must
be growing accustomed to by now). Instead of responding point
for point in a gentlemanly way, he simply asserts that anyone
who is sincere would never accept anything that is written by
myself and that if they do, then they must want to be cheated:
4) I can't be bothered because if anyone accepts his arguments,
all I can say is, You want to be cheated, here he is. I really
do not believe that Krishna would let a sincere, humble devotee
without grudges accept someone who displays such a puffed-up mentality
as his siksa guru.
His I cannot be bothered attitude is very surprising as he later
accuses us of not having any compassion. What about all those
poor devotees who need saving from all our nasty word jugglery?
Is Adikarta saying he cant be bothered to save them because they
all want to be cheated? If so is that not a rather sanctimonious
and arrogant position in itself? If he cant be bothered then
why did he start the ball rolling by attacking our position in
the first place? Some might conclude that he is actually incapable
of countering Srila Prabhupadas final order, and so instead rather
petulantly pretends that it is all beneath him now.
The rest of his article continues in the same vein. He does not
answer a SINGLE philosophical point. In fact he does not offer
any philosophy at all in his article. Instead he simply argues
that we MUST be wrong because we are puffed up. We MUST be wrong
because how can all the GBC be wrong?:
5) How is it that he and his fellow advocates are privy to the
truth, and others, who really love Prabhupada and have proved
their love by serving him faithfully, for probably as long as
Krishnakant has been alive, are all wrong? It just doesn't make
He then tells us to leave and start our own movement. Whats interesting
is that this approach was EXACTLY the tactic used to enforce the
zonal acarya system. We MUST be right because we are Srila Prabhupadas
most senior disciples. You are just envious snakes. And if you
do not like it just get out. No philosophy, no evidence, no debate.
If we are wrong then why not demonstrate this through reasoned
When Adikarta Prabhu does try and venture into an area that isnt
just offering fallacious argumentum ad hominem attacks (trying
to discredit a persons philosophy by discrediting THEM), he makes
still more mistakes. For instance he states:
6) ... Why not let Srila Prabhupada initiate, without at all
considering Srila Prabhupada's own desire, which by all accounts
was that his disciples become gurus in their own right, as shown
by numerous quotes in my previous paper.
If anyone wishes to check back to Adikartas original article
they will find just ONE quote that in any way relates to the issue
of Srila Prabhupadas disciples becoming diksa gurus, and this
was comprehensively answered in our response. It is clearly misleading
to describe ONE quote as numerous. The word numerous means-
consisting of many units or parts, not just ONE unit or part.
This error is particularly embarrassing for him since he later
accuses me of having poor math:
7) It seems that his math is about as good as his understanding.
He earlier had boldly claimed:
8)Contrary to Srila Prabhupada's clear instructions to his disciples
to become guru, he has somehow decided that his and his associates'
paper "The Final Order," is the ultimate sastra on the whole topic.
The only thing The Final Order does is ask to see these numerous
clear instructions to become guru (please see http://www.webcom.com/btp).
The same instructions that Adikarta prabhu could not be bothered
to produce. The same instructions which miraculously became numerous
when only ONE irrelevant one was offered in his original article.
Without this evidence Adikarta prabhu can argue for as long as
he likes as to why the ritviks MUST be wrong because they are
all arrogant, puffed up, do not really love Srila Prabhupada etc
etc; but he will not have a legitimate case, and will thus fail
to convince the intelligent class of men. He further agues that:
9) ... Krishnakant and his followers don't really care about
what Prabhupada wants, all they care about is to prove that they
are right and therefore they read everything as a confirmation
of their own convictions, inevitably seeing their opposing party
as totally wrong and misguided, even though far more senior in
terms of years and devotional service.
But we are the only ones who are bringing what Prabhupada wants
to the table. The Final Order deals specifically with what Srila
Prabhupada wanted for the purpose of performing initiations
(quoted from the opening line of the July 9th letter) in ISKCON.
Where is Adikartas evidence to counteract Srila Prabhupadas
final directive on initiation within ISKCON?
Adikarta is the one who needs to demonstrate what Prabhupada
wanted, (if he can be bothered to do so). Instead the response
is similar to the previous occasion CHAKRA posted a so-called
response (which was exposed in our article Chakras Champions
Evade Combat, please see http//:www.webcom.cpm/btp) i.e. just
an attack on the authors character and no attempt to deal with
the actual PHILOSOPHY or points made. Unfortunately Adi Karta
prabhu needs to understand that the zonal acarya years are now
over. Attacking a devotees character will no longer serve as
a substitute for well argued and reasoned philosophy and evidence.
I accept that I have many faults and am extremely lowly in every
way, but this is all the more reason to provide me and others
like me with proper philosophy and evidence. If you just insult
us we will not be convinced. At least give some philosophy and
evidence along with the insults.
10) My first point was that who initiates is not the main criterion
because out of 5,000 direct disciples of Srila Prabhupada, only
about 1,000 are still active in Krsna consciousness, whereas the
number of those initiated by followers of Srila Prabhupada and
still active is much higher.
If someone can explain to me what the above statement means I
would be very grateful. I say again if it does not really matter
who initiates then why not follow the July 9th letter and let
Srila Prabhupada initiate?
The following is a brief summary of some of the other faults in
A) Once again Adikarta makes the absurd suggestion that the ritvik
system is really Krishnas Trick. Once more he fails to explain
why The Supreme Lord would deliberately mislead His own devotees
via a directive from His own pure representative.
B) Adikarta disputes our estimation that 95% of Srila Prabhupadas
disciples were driven out. This figure was admittedly an approximation
based on the figures that Srila Prabhupada had ten thousand followers
(including five thousand initiated) at the time of his departure,
and that only 500 currently remain active (thus giving a figure
of 5% remaining). It is generally acknowledged that the bulk of
those who left did so during the zonal acharya system. Of course
Adikarta was very happy during these years and never in any way
opposed a system that everyone now recognises as completely bogus.
Those who did oppose this system were systematically abused, bullied
and even shot. Adikarta himself says that only 1000 disciples
out of 5,000 are now active, which means that even by his own
glossy estimation 80% have left. He may believe that these devotees
were not driven out, but others feel differently:
ISKCON gurus have opposed, oppressed and driven out many sincere
Godbrothers and Godsisters. (Jayadvaita Swami Maharaja, Where
the ritvik people are right 1996).
Ironically Adikarta tries to drive us out of ISKCON even in his
11) Finally to Krishnakant and his associates I would say, if
you really are right, fine, go ahead and start your own movement.
Thus Adikarta is continuing a long tradition of driving away devotees
who may well be right, but who are not prepared to toe the party
C). Adikarta asks how many books ritvik sympathisers are distributing?
There are several points to be made here:
1. The BBTI refuses to supply known ritvik centres.
2. Ritvik centres DO distribute books when they can get hold of
them. If he likes we shall arrange a visit for him to observe
this for himself.
2. Many ISKCON gurus do not personally go out and distribute books,
is Adikarta saying they are all off too?
3. This same argument was used to support the zonal acharya system.
Bhagavan used to intimidate his detractors by boasting about how
he was keeping the BBT healthy. Maybe Adikarta learnt this form
of fallacious argument from Bhagavan since he served unquestioningly
in his zone for many years.
D). Adikarta rather unconvincingly claims:
From the bottom of my heart, though, I do sympathise with all
of them (ritviks).
This after he has just said he cant be bothered because we
all want to be cheated. This is a clear contradiction. If he really
does sympathise why wont he take the time to show us the error
of our ways, instead of just dismissing us all as people who want
to be cheated.
E). He says if we are right then we should start our own movement.
Another contradiction. If we were right we would have to try and
reform ISKCON not abandon it, since we say ISKCON is the most
important society on this planet (opening page of the Final Order
- please see http://www.webcom.com/btp) and that it needs reforming.
Thus he is asking us to do the exact opposite of what we should
do if we are right. How silly!
F). Adikarta also accuses us of disturbing the faith of those
who are expanding Srila Prabhupadas mission. How is it that
by simply presenting Srila Prabhupadas instructions to devotees
we are disturbing their faith?
G). Having told us to stop disturbing the faith of those who
are expanding Srila Prabhupadas preaching mission, he then
ends by telling us that the very same people will be untouched
by our words. So why is he writing this article ?
We really feel that CHAKRA needs to seriously revue its editorial
policy since it constantly posts items which are nothing but nonsense
from start to finish.
NEWS DESK | WORLD | TOP