This appendix is comprised of quotes and partial transcripts from Srila Prabhupada’s letters and recordings, including his important final order regarding the system for initiations in his global mission [known at that time as the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)]. ISKCON was perfectly organized by Srila Prabhupada for establishing the mission of Krishna consciousness worldwide by the same formula perpetually. Original audio of Srila Prabhupada’s conversations and copies of His letters, final will, and directives can be obtained by contacting the Hare Krishna Society “Prabhupada Center” in Los Angeles, California. [Note: Srila Prabhupada’s final will, July, 1977, states that current and future trustees of ISKCON properties must be “my initiated disciple.” ]
A partial list of temples, centers and friends of the Hare Krishna Society is at the end of this section.
Letter, January 4th, 1973
My dear R-, Please accept my blessings.
Just now I have received some more request for giving first initiation … and now I am receiving weekly not less than ten to fifteen such requests from new students. So it is becoming very expensive to send so many sets of beads such long distance, and it has become a little bothersome for me also. So I think now you may be appointed by me to give first initiations to new disciples by chanting on their beads on my behalf. In America K- is doing that. So now if there are two of you, that will give me great relief. K-will chant on the beads for new devotees in America, Canada, like that. You can chant on the beads for the European continent new disciples. They shall, of course, still be considered as my disciples, not that they become your disciples, but you will be empowered by me to chant their beads and that is the same effect of binding master and disciple as if I were personally chanting. They may continue to send to me their letters of request, along with the President’s recommendation, and I shall give them name and it will be entered by my Secretary in our record, only I will send my letter of reply to you and you will purchase beads there and chant them and send, along with my letter to the new initiates. Is that all right?
I shall continue to deal with the matter of second initiations. The sacred threads do not require so much postage to send airmail.
Conversation, Vrindavana, May 28th, 1977:
Devotee 1: “Then our next questions concerns initiations in the future, particularly at a time when you are no longer with us. We want to know how first and second initiation would be conducted.”
Srila Prabhupada: “Yes. I shall recommend some of you. After this is settled up, I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating acaryas.”
Devotee 2: “Is that called ritvik-acarya?”
Srila Prabhupada: “Ritvik, yes.”
Conversation, Vrindavana, July 7th, 1977:
Prabhupada’s Secretary: “Srila Prabhupada, we are receiving a number of letters now, and these are people who want to get initiated. So up to now, since you’re becoming ill, we asked them to wait.”
Srila Prabhupada: “The local men, the senior sannyasis can do that.”
Secretary: “That’s what we were doing. Formally, the local GBC (or) sannyasis were chanting on their beads, and they were writing to Your Divine Grace; and you were giving a spiritual name. So should that process be resumed, or should we… I mean, one thing is that it is said that the spiritual master takes on the… you know, he takes on the… he has to cleanse the disciple by… (taking the weight of the initiates’ sinful reactions). So we don’t want that you should have to uh…your health is not so good, so that’s why we have been asking everybody to wait some more time.”
Srila Prabhupada: “No. The senior sannyasis… You can give a list of names. I will mark who will… You can do. K- can do. And our S- can do. So these three, you can give, begin.”
Secretary: “So supposing someone is in America, should they simply write directly to K- or S-?”
Srila Prabhupada: “Nearby. J- can give. B-. He can also do. H-. Five or six men, you decide, who is nearest.”
Secretary: “Who is nearest. So persons wouldn’t have to write to Your Divine Grace. They could write directly to that person?”
Srila Prabhupada: “Hm (Yes).”
Secretary: “Actually they are initiating that person on Your Divine Grace’s behalf. They who are initiated are still your (disciples)…
Srila Prabhupada: “Hm (Yes). Second initiation. We shall think over second initiation.”
Secretary: “Some devotees are writing you now for second initiation… they should…”
Srila Prabhupada: “They can be second initiated.”
Secretary: “By writing you?
Srila Prabhupada: “No. These men.” [He refers to the men he has designated for acting as His deputies (ritviks) in the matter of initiating new disciples.]
Srila Prabhupada’s Final Order on Initiations, July 9th, 1977:
(By Srila Prabhupada’s order. His secretary sent this directive to all ISKCON temples. The original letter was dictated, reviewed and signed by Srila Prabhupada.)
To All GBC 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 Vrinda-vana, 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:
(List of eleven names.)
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 recommendations for first and second initiation to whichever of these representatives are nearest their Temple. After considering the recommendations, these representatives may accept the devotees 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 Prabhupada; the above eleven senior devotees acting as His representative. After the Temple Presidents receive a letter from these representatives, giving a spiritual name or the thread, he can perform the fire yajna in the temple as was being done before. The name of the 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.
Letter, July 11th, 1977
(From a letter sent on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, by His secretary.)
“A letter has been sent to all the Temple Presidents and GBC [the July 9th directive on initiations], which you should be receiving soon, describing the process of initiation to be followed in the FUTURE. Srila Prabhupada has appointed thus far eleven representatives who will initiate new devotees on HIS BEHALF. You can wait for this letter to arrive (the original has been sent to R- for duplicating) and then all the persons whom you recommended in your previous letters can be initiated.”
Letter (Dictation), July 31st, 1977
(A quote from Srila Prabhupada, from a letter sent on His behalf.)
Srila Prabhupada: “Now you have a very good field. Now organize it and it will be a great credit. No one will disturb you there. Make your own field and continue to be ritvik and act on my behalf.”
Conversation, Vrindavana, October 18th, 1977
Srila Prabhupada: “Hare Krishna. One Bengali gentlemen has come from New York?”
Secretary: “Yes. Mr. Sukamal Roy Chowdury.”
Srila Prabhupada: “So I have deputed some of you to initiate. Hm?”
Secretary: “Yes. Actually… Yes, Srila Prabhupada.”
Srila Prabhupada: “So, I think J- can do if he likes. I have already deputed. Tell him.”
Srila Prabhupada: “So some deputies, J-‘s name was there?”
Secretary: “It is already on there, Srila Prabhupada. His name is on that list.”
Srila Prabhupada: “So I depute him to do this at Mayapur. And you may go with him. I stop for the time being. Is that all right?”
Secretary: “It is clear.”
Srila Prabhupada: “You have got the list of names?”
Srila Prabhupada: “And if by Krishna’s grace I recover from this condition, then I shall begin again, or I may not. Pressed in this condition, to initiate is not good.”