Definition of rtvik:
In Srimad-Bhagavatam (8.16.53), Srila Prabhupada defines “ritvik” (rtvijah) as “the priests recommended by the spiritual master”.
Aindra Prabhu is famous for his lifelong dedication for the 24-Hour Kirtan here in Vrndavana. His closest friends are and were Prabhupada disciples that follow ISKCONs rtvik system of initiation like Jayapataka Swami is offering now to aspiring devotees.
But was he also a Prabhupadanuga rtvik ?
Following a email exchange with his close friend and work partner Krsnacandra Prabhu:
“I heard him (Aindra Dasa Q&A) saying that it’s nice to follow the previous Acharyas but stressed then the importance of sadhu sanga. That we can take from sadhus siksa and also diksa. So he believed in the living guru theory!? What he was thinking about the rtvik order of his spiritual master!?”
Reply by Krsnacandra Dasa:
“I had not personally brought up the guru issue with him… but I know he didn’t believe anyone around was qualified to be a diksa guru… and he didn’t see that role for himself.
A good friend of mine brought it up with him once and they entered into an extended dialogue about it… it was clear to my friend that Aindra didn’t accept the ‘Representative of the Acarya’ initiation system… which was a shame but probably because he had not ‘yet’ spent enough time researching it.”
Indeed he thinks we need “to be place on the feet of a guru”, he also confirms it here (comments after reading 10th Canto Srimad Bhagavatam):
But what Prabhupada said about the “Living -Guru”-Theory?
Srila Prabhupada lecture ~ Seattle Oct. 2, 1968
Madhudvisa: Is there any way for a Christian to, without the help of a spiritual master, to reach the spiritual sky through believing in the words of Jesus Christ and trying to follow his teachings?
Srila Prabhupada: I don’t follow.
Tamal Krsna: Can a Christian in this age, without a spiritual master, but by reading the Bible and following Jesus’s words, reach the…
Srila Prabhupada: When you read Bible, you follow spiritual master. How can you say without? As soon as you read Bible, that means you are following the instruction of Lord Jesus Christ, that means you are following spiritual master. So where is the opportunity of being without spiritual master?
Madhudvisa: I was referring to a living spiritual master.
Srila Prabhupada: Spiritual master is not the question of… Spiritual master is eternal. Spiritual master is eternal. So your question is without spiritual master. Without spiritual master you cannot be, at any stage of your life. You may accept this spiritual master or that spiritual master. That is a different thing. But you have to accept. As you say that “by reading Bible,” when you read Bible that means you are following the spiritual master represented by some priest or some clergyman in the line of Lord Jesus Christ. So any case, you have to follow a spiritual master. There cannot be the question without spiritual master. Is that clear?
Madhudvisa: I mean like we couldn’t understand the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita without your help, without your presentation.
Srila Prabhupada: Similarly you have to understand Bible with the help of the priest in the church
Check out the next article about Aindra Dasa: