Who will be the leader after you depart?
Was Srila Prabhupada ever asked about who would be the leader or leaders of the movement after His eventual departure?
Conversation with Srila Prabhupada, Vrndavana, November 2, 1977:
Srila Prabhupada: Accha. You can go. They will talk with something.
Tamala Krsna: You want us to go outside, Srila Prabhupada?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.
Sri Narayana: ( Hindi )
Sri Bajaj: ( Hindi ) Excuse me. We are just talking alone with him. ( break ).
Srila Prabhupada: ..after you, who will take the leadership?” And ” Everyone will take, all my disciples. If you want, you can take also. ( laughter ) But if you follow. They are prepared to follow. They are prepared to sacrifice everything, so they’ll take the leadership. I may, one, go away, but there will be hundreds, and they’ll preach. If you want, you can also become a leader. We have no such thing, that ‘Here is leader.’ Anyone who follows the previous leadership, he is a leader. ‘ Indian,’ we have no such distinction, ‘ Indian’, ‘ European’ Brahmananda: They wanted an Indian to be the leader?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, ( laughs ) “Everyone, all my disciples, they are leaders. As purely as they follow, they become leader. if you want to follow, you can become a leader. You are Indian. But you don’t want.” I told them that.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, they probably wanted to propose somebody who would take over our movement. Srila Prabhupada: Yes, leaders. All nonsense. Leader means one who has become first class disciple. He is leader. Evam parampara praptam… One who is perfectly following… Our instruction is ara na kariha mane asa.You know this? What is that ? Guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete kariya alkya, ara na kariha mane asa. Who is leader? A leader, to become leader, is not very difficult, provided one is prepared to follow the instructions of a bona fide guru..
Back to Godhead magazine-Volume 13 # 1 and 2. December 1977- page 35. 3rd column.
When asked who would him as the leader of the Krsna Consciousness movement, Srila Prabhupada replied:
All of my disciples will take the legacy. If you want, you can also take it. Sacrifice everything- I-One-may soon pass away. But they are hundreds, and this movement will increase. It’s not that I’ll give an order: ‘Here is the next leader,’. Anyone who follows the previous leadership is a leader. I don’t make make any distinction between Indian and European. All my disciples are leaders… as much as they follow purely. If you want to follow, the you can also lead. But you don’t want to follow. ‘Leader’ means one who is a first class disciple. Evam parampara praptam. One who is perfectly following. Our instnlction is, guru mukha padma-vakya. Do you know this? ara na kariha mane asa. [‘My only desire is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from the lotus mouth of my spiritual master’]. To become a leader is not very difficult, provided one is prepared to follow the instructions of the bona fide guru. ”
— Srila Prabhupada dispels any illusion of any so-called choice or prior appointment of a leader or leaders. All My disciples, they are leaders…” ” Yes, leaders. All nonsense. Leader means one who has become a first class disciple. He is leader..
— It is significant to note that if Srila Prabhupada had already chosen or appointed one or several Diksa-Gurus or successor Acaryas, (as subsequently alleged by the GBC, after His Divine Grace’s departure ), why did Srila Pra bhupada not clearly specify such an alleged prior appointment here in this conversation on the 2nd of November, just twelve days before His departure?
Conclusion: Srila Prabhupada gave no specific order that His I I Rtvvik representatives were to become DiksaGurus [initiating spiritual masters] immediately upon His departure. Since there was no list of names regarding initiations prior to or subsequent to the letter of 9 th of July 1977, it must be concluded that his chosen Rttvik representatives were to continue initiating Srila Prabhupada’s disciples on His behalf after His departure.