IRM: Bhakti Charu Swami’s Ritvik Initiations

Back To Prabhupada Magazine, Issue 32 — Following his humiliating exposure in the book 100 Contradictions: The life and teachings of His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami (see some reader reaction below), Bhakti Charu Swami (“BCS”) has adopted the IRM’s position with even more vigour.
On 22/7/2011, BCS conducted an initiation ceremony at the ISKCON temple in Wiesbaden, Germany. Below we compare the initiation ceremony he conducted with how a ritvik initiation ceremony on behalf of Srila Prabhupada would be conducted. All the information and quotes provided regarding the BCS ceremony is taken from a transcript of the initiation ceremony, which can be checked here: [also archived at www.iskconirm. com/docs/webpages/bcs22juIy2011.htmdownload as PDF (200 KB) ]. Quotes from BCS will appear in tinted panels below.
Initiation rituals
BCS initiation
a) BCS states that initiation is being given on behalf of Srila Prabhupada:
“And I am giving you initiation on behalf of ISKCON, on behalf of Prabhupada. [...] On behalf of Srila Prabhupada I give you your spiritual name, Parama Karuna Dasa, [...] So, your name on behalf of Srila Prabhupada I am giving as Nama Chintamani dasi,”
b) No mention is made of making any vow to BCS, and BCS speaks of only making a commitment to Srila Prabhupada, but never to himself:
“And your commitment to Srila Prabhupada will be shown by how sincerely you are practising the process.”
c) The ceremony consisted of chanting of Brahma-samhita, lecture about initiation and surrender, acamana (preparation for fire sacrifice), fire sacrifice, explanation of and making vows for chanting 16 rounds, giving of spiritual names, and explanation of avoiding the ten offenses while chanting.
Ritvik initiation
The initiate would go through the same procedure above and become initiated by Srila Prabhupada.
One can verify this by checking the Bhaktivedanta Vedabase – for example “Lecture and initiation, Seattle, 20 October, 1968“.
In most initiations, especially in later years, the ceremony was not conducted by Srila Prabhupada personally, but by a representative such as a temple president, just as BCS is doing here. In this latter case the spiritual name would be first received via a letter from Srila Prabhupada, or after July 9, 1977, from one of the 11 appointed ritvik priests, who would accept the disciple and give the spiritual name on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, just as BCS has done here.
Role in life of initiate
BCS initiation
“You want to take initiation from me, but how often we will meet? I think I came to Germany after four years? The Prabhupada installation was? Five years, okay, yes, five years. So, if I come after five years, what will you do for those five years?
The question naturally arises, then Maharaja, why are you giving initiation? [...] I agreed with one confidence. That ISKCON is there to take care of you. [...] And you stay fixed up in ISKCON. Because, you see, you will hardly have my association. What is going to happen to your spiritual life, if you are simply depending upon me?”
Ritvik initiation
As above, when one got initiated on behalf of Srila Prabhupada via his representative during Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence, the initiate may or may not see or take guidance from that representative, but rather would depend on the physical association of all the other devotees in ISKCON.

“Actually what attracted you to spiritual life is Srila Prabhupada. The devotees you met, they are Prabhupada’s devotees, ISKCON devotees means Prabhupada’s devotees. The books that you read are Prabhupada’s books. You are being sheltered by Prabhupada’s arrangement, in the form of ISKCON. [...] The point is: Always try to remember that Srila Prabhupada is your main spiritual shelter.” [...] And read Prabhupada’s books every day. Why is reading Srila Prabhupada’s books so important? When you read Prabhupada’s books, Prabhupada is guiding you. And Prabhupada’s vani is manifest in his books. Did you ever try this? You have any difficulty, you are in a difficult situation and you just opened Prabhupada’s books to direct you as if Prabhupada is directing you, giving you the answer. Prabhupada is still here in the form of his vani. Prabhupada’s vani is manifest in the form of his books.”
Ritvik initiation
As above, those initiated by Srila Prabhupada during his physical presence, whether via a representative or not, would have had their main association with Srila Prabhupada via his books, since, most of his disciples never met him.
Relationship with initiate
BCS initiation
BCS states he is not acting as the diksa guru, who connects the disciple to Krishna, but is connecting the initiate to Srila Prabhupada.

“And then you decided to accept me as your Guru. Then what is my duty as your Guru? To connect you to Srila Prabhupada. [...] And Guru’s business is meant to be your transparent via medium. And generally the Guru acts as a transparent via medium between the disciple and Krishna. But here I am acting as a transparent via medium between you all and Srila Prabhupada.”

Ritvik initiation
When one got initiated by Srila Prabhupada during his physical presence via his representative, this representative was not the diksa guru, since he did not connect one to Krishna. Rather, the representative merely helped the initiate to connect formally to Srila Prabhupada via the medium of the formal initiation ceremony. And as noted, this is how BCS has defined his relationship with the initiate (even though he has used the word “guru” for this).
If BCS had agreed to obey Srila Prabhupada’s orders, and become authorised by the GBC to become his ritvik representative, and carry out initiations according to the procedure given in Srila Prabhupada’s July 9, 1977 directive, he could have carried out the ceremony as he did here.
Conversely, someone wishing to become initiated by Srila Prabhupada could have participated in this ceremony, and think he was initiated as Srila Prabhupada’s disciple!
Hence, due to the efforts of the IRM, with the battle having been won philosophically, the ISKCON gurus are being forced to effectively concede defeat by reinventing themselves as glorified ritviks. However, they continue cheating by ensuring the benefits of being treated as diksa gurus stay intact.
This is all part and parcel of the evolution of ‘The Great Guru Hoax’, from Part 1 – labelled as acaryas – to Part 2 – labelled as “humbler” diksa gurus – to Part 3 – even acting and being labelled as ritviks. In this way the guru hoax has continued to mutate and survive, with each new version merely offering a different vehicle by which to achieve the same goal of controlling men, money and properties, with such control either remaining intact or merely changing hands.
BTP Interactive
Issue 32 – 2011 Back To Prabhupada
One hundred Contradictions one amazing book
“I am very happy that you are making good progress in your fight against the bogus gurus, keep up the great work! Your reward will be in Krishna Loka, as Srila Prabhupada is very pleased with you, I am sure of that.
Got #29 and 30 fine and dandy, with Bhakti Charu Swami expose. Now that is truly an amazing book. You outdid yourself! Keep up the good work, and we all thank you for your dedication. Your lowly servant,”
- Natha Das, British Columbia, Canada
“The book 100 Contradictions on BCS is a unique gem. No one can oppos/challenge what’s written. I wonder how many disciples of his will reject him as their diksa guru, after reading this book.
I know the hard work and time put in producing this excellent material. It is a collector’s item, which our future generations must read and broadcast, to expose ALL bogus gurus and crooks posing as religious people.”
- Jagannath Das, Durban, South Africa
“Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances …all glories to jagat guru Srila Prabhupada. I am in receipt of your magazine for past 3 years ….indeed a great work, the book about Bhakti Charu Swami was too good …at a press interview Prabhupada says ‘contradiction means rascal.’ So I suggest that a copy of the book 100 Contradictions should be sent to BCS informing him of this contradiction and he should be informed that he is a rascal and highly childish!…
Tell him that his spiritual master calls him a ‘rascal’because he made self contradictory statements …is he not ashamed? A copy of the book should be sent to all those innocent devotees who claim BCS is a bona fide acarya of our great parampara, and thus keep them informed about his rascaldom. These foolish so called gurus steal Prabhupada’s money, disciples, faith and position!
Please send me all the future issues of BTP and other such books…
This is greatest service to Srila Prabhupada. Thanks very much!”
- A. Aiyer, Kerala, India
“What revelations, if cultified members read 100 Contradictions, then surely these bogus gurus are doomed. Thank you very much for your wonderful articles and scholarly intelligence, you are a great inspiration to us all. Your fallen servant”
Kumra Das*, Melbourne, Australia
* Not the ISKCON chef
“I remember reading some of BCS’s contradictory statements in your publications. “Prabhupada is delivering you,” vs. “I am your guru.” etc etc etc. WHAT can be done??”
- Bob Roberts, Michigan, USA
Editor replies:

All we can do is what we are doing exposing this ridiculous state of affairs to everyone!
“Hello to all at IRM. Only to tell you of my happiness at receiving 100 Contradictions.”
- James Wilkinson, High Wycombe, England
“I have received and carefully read BTP 30 and the book 100 Contradictions. I can’t help but feel a little sad for Bhakti Charu Swami who I personally met some years ago. I recall that his lectures were nice and truthful. Hopefully this book will be an impetus not to make contradictory statements. Thanks again for keeping us informed. Hare Krishna”
- Richard House, Oklahoma, USA
Editor replies:

If BCS only made contradictory statements, that would not be so bad. Unfortunately, it’s his whole life and behaviour which are contradictory. And all this has arisen due to his desire to occupy Srila Prabhupada’s position. We can see that, as with so many other devotees, if he simply stayed in his correct position, then all this confusion and contradiction would easily be avoided.
“I received a copy of your book 100 Contradictions: The life and teachings of His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami. I find a lot of the information very interesting and would like to communicate with the editor or the compiler of this interesting and thought provoking book.”
- Sunil Mohan, Durban, South Africa
“The copy of 100 Contradictions sums it all up. It’s been over 36 years since I witnessed the unthinkable and disgraceful actions of the GBC. Thank you for your continued efforts to bring to light the truth about how Srila Prabhupada’s movement “ISKCON”has been hijacked. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to the devotees.”
- E. Johnson, Napa, California, USA
100 Contradictions: The life and teachings of His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami, available free of charge by writing to: – Ed.
Million dollars and a diamond
“Wish 1 had a $Million$ bucks to give you for your printing. Your Back To Prabhupada is worth much, much more. Thank you so much Krishnakant Prabhu for disseminating the Truth spoken by Srila Prabhupada. Without you, nobody would have caught is catching, will catch these imposters. Your appreciative and grateful reader and cheerleader”
- Ramai Devi Dasi, West Virginia, USA
“Hare Krishna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thank you for sending me the Back To Prabhupada issues, ‘Srila Prabhupada’s poison warning,’ ‘ISKCON leaders: In their own words”, and the great The Final Order. Srila Prabhupada is the pure, pure, pure Spiritual Diamond!!! I want to know more about The Spiritual Diamond, Srila Prabhupada. Your servant.”
- Mrs Jaya Sunuraj, London, UK