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Letter to all GBCs and TPs: July 9, 1977

Dear Prabhus, on May 28th, 1977, Srila Prabhupada was approached by a group of ISKCON GBC men, and was asked the following question:

“Then our next question concerns initiations in the future, particularly at that time when you are no longer with us. We want to know how first and second initiation would be conducted.”

Exactly 6 weeks later, Srila Prabhupada gave his answer in the form of a formal letter (see below), signed by him, and addressed to all temple presidents and GBC men. Certain self-motivated rascals say that this letter only applies until Srila Prabhupada’s physical departure, but this idea makes no sense whatsoever. If this were true, then what was the need for such a letter? Rtvik initiations (intitiations by an officiating priest on Srila Prabhupada’s behalf) had already been going on for years. Yet, everyone regarded this letter as very important new information (See “Hansadutta Dasa on Future Initiations within ISKCON, Part One” - http://pratyatosa.com/?P=3m).

Your Servant, Pratyatosa Dasa

Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vrindaban July 9th 1977

To All G.B.C., and Temple Presidents

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. Recently when all of the GBC members were with His Divine Grace in Vrndavana, Srila Prabhupada indicated that soon He would appoint some of His senior disciples to act as "ritvik" - representative of the acarya, for the purpose of performing initiations, both first initiation and second initiation. His Divine Grace has so far given a list of eleven disciples who will act in that capacity:

His Holiness Kirtanananda Swami
His Holiness Satsvarupa dasa Gosvami
His Holiness Jayapataka Swami
His Holiness Tamala Krsna Gosvami
His Holiness Hrdayananda Gosvami
His Holiness Bhavananda Gosvami
His Holiness Hamsaduta Swami
His Holiness Ramesvara Swami
His Holiness Harikesa Swami
His Grace Bhagavan dasa Adhikari
His Grace Jayatirtha dasa Adhikari

In the past Temple Presidents have written to Srila Prabhupada recommending a particular devotee's initiation. Now that Srila Prabhupada has named these representatives, Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendation for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their temple. After considering the recommendation, these representatives may accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of second initiation, by chanting on the Gayatri thread, just as Srila Prabhupada has done. The newly initiated devotees are disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, the above eleven senior devotees acting as His representative. After the Temple President receives a letter from these representatives giving the spiritual name or the thread, he can perform the fire yajna in the temple as was being done before. The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Srila Prabhupada, to be included in His Divine Grace's "Initiated Disciples" book.

Hoping this finds you all well.

Your servant,
Tamala Krsna Gosvami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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