M O V I N G F O R W A R D
Ritvik-vadis like to stress one thing. A guru must be an uttama-adhikari. “Prabhupada said,” they say. In addition, as soon as they can whip out a “Prabhupada said”, and bludgeon their opponent with it, all thinking is supposed to stop on the spot. Any thought of who, why, when, and where “Prabhupada said” is not a consideration. To consider those questions may even be interpreted as a lack of faith in Srila Prabhupada or in sastra. The ritvik-vadis take a similar approach with the guru issue. Just whip out a “Prabhupada said”, and you are the hands down winner in any debate. The fact that you do not understand what he meant is of no importance. Prabhupada said guru must be an uttama-adhikari; since no one is an uttama-adhikari, we cannot have gurus. This is their logic. Do they understand the meaning of uttama-adhikari?
An interesting twist on this particular “Prabhupada said”, but not from the ritvik point of view, is that whoever is a guru, must unavoidably be an uttama-adhikari. This you will also find in the ISKCON system of rubberstamping gurus, and presenting to a potential disciple, that here are Vaisnavas who are bona fide gurus. In this scenario, the neophyte disciple, by accepting a particular person as guru, automatically qualifies that person as an uttama-adhikari. The logic runs thus,
“Because Prabhupada said the guru must be an uttama-adhikari, and I have decided to accept the GBC conclusion that here is a man who is a bona fide guru, and I have then accepted that this person is my guru, therefore he must be an uttama-adhikari, paramahamsa, maha-bhagavata, pure devotee of Krishna”.
In a sense, we have the neophyte deciding who is an uttama-adhikari. One does not become an uttama-adhikari first; rather, by accepting a disciple, one is immediately an uttama-adhikari; such a sublime and unscientific process.
This particular understanding of uttama-adhikari is not part of ritvik-vada. Their version is that Prabhupada himself was an uttama-adhikari, but now, alas, no one is an uttama-adhikari. Therefore, anyone serving as guru is a cheater. Since no one is qualified as an uttama-adhikari, we should forget about having gurus, and we should do the next best thing: ritvik-gurus.