SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOK DISRIBUTION: INITIATING THE WORLD WITH THE HOLY NAME.


SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOK DISRIBUTION: INITIATING THE WORLD WITH THE HOLY NAME.

This series of Quotes was taken from http://www.prabhupada.org.uk/diksa.htm The author is unknown. Some editing was done by me -V

Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental books are his loud chanting of the holy name. Such loud chanting is giving the people of the world Harinama diksa.

Regarding Sankirtana and book distribution, book distribution is also chanting. Anyone who reads the books that is also chanting and hearing. Why distinguish between chanting and book distribution? These books I have recorded and chanted, and they are transcribed. It is spoken kirtanas. So book distribution is also chanting. These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing. Book distribution must not be neglected. (S.P.L. to Rupanuga dasa, 19th October, 1974)

When a devotee is perfectly qualified in chanting the transcendental vibration of the holy name, he is quite fit to become a spiritual master and to deliver all the people of the world. The chanting of the holy name is so powerful that it gradually establishes its supremacy above everything in the world. The devotee who chants it becomes transcendentally situated in ecstasy and sometimes laughs, cries and dances in his ecstasy. Sometimes the unintelligent put hindrances in the path of chanting this maha-mantra, but one who is situated on the platform of love of Godhead chants the holy name loudly for all concerned. As a result everyone becomes initiated in the chanting of the holy names–Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. (T.L.C. Chapter 18)

BOOK DISTRIBUTION

In this article we will be examining book distribution through the eyes of sadhu, sastra and guru. In doing so we shall understand a little more deeply the purpose of distributing Srila Prabhupada’a original and authorized books, and there importance to the unity of Srila Prabhupada’s society. The quotes we have presented analyse what is actually happening when a conditioned soul receives one of Srila Prabhupada books, and clearly defines that souls relationship to Srila Prabhupada. Before we present these quotes let us hear from Srila Prabhupada on the importance of distributing his books.

Please try to popularize this book throughout England as much as possible. Because if these books are read, there is no doubt that many sincere souls shall be attracted and will join you in your work for Krishna. So please try for selling these books, it shall be considered as the greatest service. (S.P.L. to Gurudasa 1/12/68)

One Krishna book sold means we go forward one step in our Krishna Consciousness. We should always remember this. (S.P.L. to Visnujana Maharaja 4th April 1971)

But in my heart I want that KRSNA book in small or large form, should be distributed in every home who are English-speaking people. (S.P.L. to Karandhara May 17th 1971)

I am glad to hear that you are distributing nicely books and magazines. The more we sell books, the more we advance in KC, and the more we help others to have solid information how they may take advantage of their human form of life and achieve the supreme perfection. So I want that you should now increase very greatly this selling of books and literatures. (S.P.L. to Kulasekhara 20/1/72)

I am very glad to hear all the good news, especially that you want to sell books more and more. That is the best preaching work; each book sold means there is some practical effect of preaching, there is some tangible progress. So try to sell books as many as possible in your country, and in this way, so long you remain active but not for your personal sense-gratification, so long you remain active only satisfying Krishna’s senses, then this movement will be successful without any doubt. As soon as someone wants to satisfy his own senses, then he fails at everything. (S.P.L. to Kuruksetra 23/11/12)

Actually producing and distributing books is our most important engagement, all other engagements culminate in this one end–distribution of books.(S.P.L. to Tamala Krsna 27th July 1973)

I understand from Karandhara that you are one of the most staunch supporters and workers for distributing our books and I assure you that it is the highest service to my Guru Maharaja. Thank you very much. (S.P.L. to Trai dasa 8/12/73)

So I am always emphasizing book distribution. It is the better kirtana. It is better than chanting. Of course chanting should not stop, but book distribution is the best kirtana. (S.P.L. to Srutadeva dasa 24/10/74)

I am especially pleased at how you are distributing our books, particularly to the schools and universities. This program is so important and should be increased more and more. We want to flood the world over with our books. So go on in this way and Krishna will surely bless you. (S.P.L. to Sri Govinda 21/1/71)

Actually this book production is most important, and you have pleased me very much. Just go on and flood the whole world with these Krsna books. (S.P.L. to Bali-mardana 8/873)

So I am very pleased with your activities. Now continue and increase. Everyone will want our books. We will always have customers. This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy. (S.P.L. to Ghanasyama 20/11/75)

Your report of the book distribution there is very encouraging. Make program to distribute our books all over the world. Our books are being appreciated by learned circles, so we should take advantage. Whatever progress we have made, it is simply to distributing these books. So go on, and do not divert your mind for a moment from this. (S.P.L. to Ramesvara dasa 11/10/74)

So that is the real preaching, selling books. Who can speak better than the books? At least whoever buys, he will look over. If you have to sell books, do it by hook or by crook. The real preaching is selling books. You should know the tactic how to sell without irritating. What your lecture will do for three minutes, but if he reads one page his life may be turned. (S.P.L. to Bali Marden 30th September 1972)

The results show that there is no limit to our book distribution. Our books are qualified to be distributed unlimitedly. (S.P.L. to Ramesvara dasa 18/1/76)

The word kriyasu, meaning “by manual labor” or “by work,” is important in this verse. One should engage in practical service to the Lord. In our Krsna consciousness movement, all our activities are concentrated upon distributing Krsna literature. This is very important. One may approach any person and induce him to read Krsna literature so that in the future he also may become a devotee. Such activities are recommended in this verse. Kriyasu yas tvac-caranaravindayoh. Such activities will always remind the devotees of the Lord’s lotus feet. By fully concentrating on distributing books for Krsna, one is fully absorbed in Krsna. This is samadhi. (S.B 10.2.37)

These books are the life of human society. Others may be disturbed, but they cannot disturb this Srimad-Bhagavatam. Let any man come, but here they cannot touch. We are putting these books for deliberation before the topmost thinkers of human society. Therefore, I have to see that in all languages all of our books are published. If we strain, and if he takes one book home, some day people will come to understand what valuable knowledge they have received. It is transcendental literature. Nobody can challenge it. It is done so nicely, without any spot, the spotless Purana. Please continue like this to print books in all the languages for the benefit of suffering, misdirected humanity. (S.P.L. to Puranjana, 4th May, 1976)

Please print as many books as possible, this is my real pleasure. By printing these books of our Krsna Conscious philosophy in so many different languages we can actually inject our movement into the masses of persons all over the world, especially there in the western countries and we can literally turn whole nations into Krsna Conscious nations. (S.P.L. to Hrdayananda Maharaja, 21st December, 1974)

Anyway, print books, distribute profusely, and that will be the best preaching work. What will your three minutes’ preaching do?–but if they buy one book, it may turn their life. (S.P.L. to Bhagavan 5th November, 1972)

Yes, that is a good proposal, print many many books in African language and distribute widely, that is real preaching work. If you sell a book to someone, that is better than your speaking to them–what will your three minutes’ preaching do? But if they read a book it may turn their life. (S.P.L. to Brahmananda, 3rd November, 1972)

Any devotee who has been fortunate enough to be an instrument in the hands of Srila Prabhupada, by distributing one of his books to a conditioned soul, will testify to a special taste in such a loving exchange. Let us try to understand such an exchange through the eyes of sastra.

TRANSLATION
According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Krsna. By the mercy of both Krsna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.

PURPORT
When we speak of brahmanda, we refer to the whole universe, or to the cluster of many millions of universes. In all universes, there are innumerable planets and innumerable living entities upon those planets in the air and in the water. There are millions and trillions of living entities everywhere, and they are engaged by maya in suffering and enjoying the results of their fruitive activity life after life. This is the position of the materially conditioned living entities. Out of many of these living entities, if one is actually fortunate (bhagyavan), he comes in contact with a bona fide spiritual master by Krsna’s mercy. Krsna is situated in everyone’s heart, and if one desires something, Krsna fulfils one’s desire. If the living entity by chance or fortune comes in contact with the Krsna consciousness movement and wishes to associate with that movement, Krsna, who is situated in everyone’s heart, gives him the chance to meet a bona fide spiritual master. This is called guru-krsna-prasada. Krsna is prepared to bestow His mercy upon all living entities, and as soon as a living entity desires the Lord’s mercy, the Lord immediately gives him an opportunity to meet a bona fide spiritual master. Such a person is fortified by both Krsna and the spiritual master. He is helped from within by Krsna and from without by the spiritual master. Both are prepared to help the sincere living being become free from this material bondage.
(C.C. Mad. 19.151.)

SRILA PRABHUPADA IS THE INITIATOR

Srila Prabhupada says “as soon as a living entity desires the Lords mercy, the Lord immediately gives him an opportunity to meet a bona-fide spiritual master.”

There is no difference between the spiritual master’s instructions and the spiritual master himself.
(C.C. Adi. 1.35)

The words of Srila Prabhupada are non-different than himself. Everyone who receives one of his books has received the mercy of the Lord, by meeting His bona-fide representative, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

TRANSLATION
Since one cannot visually experience the presence of the Supersoul, He appears before us as a liberated devotee. Such a spiritual master is no one other than Krsna Himself.

PURPORT
It is not possible for a conditioned soul to directly meet Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if one becomes a sincere devotee and seriously engages in devotional service, Lord Krsna sends an instructing spiritual master to show him favour and invoke his dormant propensity for serving the Supreme. The preceptor appears before the external senses of the fortunate conditioned soul, and at the same time the devotee is guided from within by the caittya-guru, Krsna, who is seated as the spiritual master within the heart of the living entity. (C.C. Adi 1.58)

In the text to the above verse such a representative is described as siksa guru. Srila Prabhupada elaborates on this in the purport “Lord Krsna sends an instructing spiritual master to show him favour and invoke his dormant propensity for serving the Supreme. The perceptor appears before the external senses of the fortunate conditioned soul”

A conditioned soul has six senses including the mind, the perceptor can appear to any of these senses. He appears to give instructions and so appears predominantly to the sense of hearing. The picture of such a liberated devotee is also absolute and thus non-different than himself. Thus Srila Prabhupada can also appear to the external senses of a conditioned soul in the form of his picture, which he had placed on all his books.

There is no difference between me and my picture. (S.P.L. Jadurani, 4th September, 1972)

The minute a conditioned soul contacts Srila Prabhupada in the form of his vani, he begins his eternal bond with him from that day.

The eternal bond between disciple and spiritual master begins from the first day he hears. Just like my spiritual master. In 1922 he said in our first meeting, you are educated boys, why don’t you preach this cult. That was the beginning, now it is coming to fact. Therefore the relationship began from that day. (S.P.L. to Jadurani, 4th September, 1972)

How that relationship develops is described as follows.

The influence of a pure devotee is such that if someone comes to associate with him with a little faith, one gets the chance of hearing about the Lord from authoritative scriptures like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. Thus, by the mercy of the Lord, who is situated in everyone’s heart, one gradually develops his faith in the descriptions of such authoritative scriptures. This is the first stage of association with pure devotees. In the second stage, after one becomes a little advanced and mature, he automatically offers to follow the principles of devotional service under the guidance of the pure devotee and accepts him as the spiritual master. (N.O.D. Chapter 19)

One develops faith in Srila Prabhupada, automatically offers to follow the principles of devotional service and accepts Srila Prabhupada as diksa guru. This development is confirmed as follows.

It is the duty of the siksa-guru or diksa-guru to instruct the disciple in the right way, and it depends on the disciple to execute the process. According to sastric injunctions, there is no difference between siksa-guru and diksa-guru, and generally the siksa-guru later on becomes the diksa-guru. (S.B. 4.12.32)

Generally a spiritual master who constantly instructs a disciple in spiritual science becomes his initiating spiritual master later on. (C.C. Adi, 1.35)

This acceptance of Srila Prabhupada as the initiating spiritual master after hearing from him about the Lord, is the bona-fide process for accepting a guru.

Devotional service entails being initiated by a bona fide spiritual master and following his instruction in regard to hearing about the Lord. Such a bona fide spiritual master is accepted by regularly hearing from him about the Lord. (S.B. 3.5.42)

My guru maharaja, my spiritual master, used to say that you have to select a spiritual master not by seeing but by your ear, but by hearing. And you don’t select a spiritual master who has got a very good hair or beard or some very beautiful feature, “Oh, he is a very good, nice looking.” No. You must hear. Tad viddhi pranipatena. Sruti. The whole process is sruti. The Vedas are called sruti. The ear has to aural reception. (B.G. 4.24.34 Lecture, N.Y. 2nd August, 1966)

With this in mind we can understand Srila Prabhupada’s intense mood while begging us “please distribute book, distribute book, distribute book.”

There is no comparison. There is no competition. Every word is for the good of the human society. Every word, each and every word. Therefore we stress so much in the book distribution. Somehow or other, if the book goes in one hand, he will be benefited. At least he will see, “Oh, they have taken so much price. Let me see what is there. If he reads one sloka, his life will be successful. If one sloka, one word. This is such nice things. Therefore we are stressing so much, “Please distribute book, distribute book, distribute book.” A greater mrdanga. We are chanting, playing our mrdanga. It is heard within this room or little more. But this mrdanga will go home to home, country to country, community to community, this mrdanga. (S.B. Lec. 1.16.8., Los Angeles 5th January, 1974)

Out of the nine items of devotional service, book distribution falls in the category of sravanam kirtanam.

Sravanam kirtanam is the beginning–to chant and hear. Book distribution is under this category of sravanam kirtanam. (S.P.L. to Satsvarupa, 19th January, 1975)

Regarding Sankirtana and book distribution, book distribution is also chanting. Anyone who reads the books that is also chanting and hearing. Why distinguish between chanting and book distribution? These books I have recorded and chanted, and they are transcribed. It is spoken kirtanas. So book distribution is also chanting. These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing. Book distribution must not be neglected. If things deteriorate that is another thing, but it is not the fault of book distribution. (S.P.L. to Rupanuga dasa, 19th October, 1974)

So more specifically book distribution falls into the category of the loud chanting of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, and the hearing of the people of the world. The effects of such loud chanting on the conditioned souls of the world is described as follows.

When a devotee is perfectly qualified in chanting the transcendental vibration of the holy name, he is quite fit to become a spiritual master and to deliver all the people of the world. The chanting of the holy name is so powerful that it gradually establishes its supremacy above everything in the world. The devotee who chants it becomes transcendentally situated in ecstasy and sometimes laughs, cries and dances in his ecstasy. Sometimes the unintelligent put hindrances in the path of chanting this maha-mantra, but one who is situated on the platform of love of Godhead chants the holy name loudly for all concerned. As a result, everyone becomes initiated in the chanting of the holy names–Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. (T.L.C. Chapter 18)

Such vedanta-vadis, or the bhakti-vedantas, are impartial in distributing the transcendental knowledge of devotional service. To them no one is enemy or friend; no one is educated or uneducated. No one is especially favourable, and no one is unfavourable. The bhakti-vedantas see that the people in general are wasting time in false sensuous things. Their business is to get the ignorant mass of people to re-establish their lost relationship with the Personality of Godhead. By such endeavour, even the most forgotten soul is roused up to the sense of spiritual life, and thus being initiated by the bhakti-vedantas, the people in general gradually progress on the path of transcendental realization. (S.B. 1.5.24)

Srila Prabhupada’s endeavour to get the mass of people to re-establish their lost relationship with the Lord, is through the mass distribution of his books.

I wish that all of our Krishna Consciousness literature’s may be available to men of all languages throughout the world, so whatever assistance you can give in this connection is always appreciated. (S.P.L. to Sivananda, 22nd July, 1969)

He wants that every conditioned soul throughout the world may have the opportunity of his association. This is described very nicely in this (S.B. 1.5.24) purport. “Bhaktivedantas are impartial in distributing the transcendental knowledge of devotional service. To them no one is enemy or friend, no one is educated or uneducated. No one is especially favourable and no one is unfavourable…. thus being initiated by the Bhaktivedantas, the people in general gradually progress on the path of transcendental realization.”

Following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Krsna consciousness movement is distributing the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and inducing people all over the world to chant. We are giving people an immense treasury of transcendental literature, translated into all the important languages of the world, and by the grace of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu this literature is selling profusely, and people are chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra with great delight. This is the preaching process of the Caitanya cult. Since the Lord wanted this cult preached all over the world, the International Society of Krishna Consciousness is acting in a humble way so that the vision of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu may be fulfilled all over the world, especially in the western countries. (C.C. Adi 16.19)

Srila Prabhupada’s book‘s are selling profusely and inducing people all over the world to chant with great delight, thus fulfilling the vision of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that his name would be heard all over the world.

Srila Rupa Gosvami has described Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as maha-vadanya- avatara, the most munificent incarnation. Although Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not physically present now, simply by chanting His holy name (sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda) people throughout the world are becoming devotees. This is due to the ecstatic chanting of the holy name of the Lord. It is said that a pure devotee can see the Lord every moment, and because of this he is empowered by the Lord. This is confirmed in Brahma-samhita: premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrda yesu vilokayanti. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared five hundred years ago, but it cannot be said that now the potency of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra is less powerful than it was in His presence. By hearing Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu through the parampara system, one can be purified. Therefore in this verse it is said: tathapi tanra darsana-sravana-prabhave. It is not that everyone is able to see Krsna or Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu physically, but if one hears about Him through books like Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and through the parampara system of pure Vaisnavas, there is no difficulty in becoming a pure Vaisnava, free from mundane desires and personal motivations. (C.C. Mad. 17.51)

Srila Prabhupada says “Although Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not physically present now, simply by chanting his holy name people throughout the world are becoming devotees. This is due to the ecstatic chanting of the holy name of the Lord. It is said that a pure devotee can see the Lord at every moment and because of this he is empowered by the Lord……if one hears about him through books like Sri Caitanya Caritamrta and through the parampara system of pure Vaisnavas, there is no difficulty becoming a pure Vaisnava.free from mundane desires and personal motivations.” By receiving the books of Srila Prabhupada the people of the world are hearing His ecstatic chanting of the holy name, and thus being initiated the people are becoming devotees of the Lord. Srila Prabhupada, the empowered devotee of the Lord is described more clearly as follows.

In this age of Kali, real religious propaganda should induce people to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. This is possible for someone who is especially empowered by Krsna. No one can do this without being especially favoured by Krsna. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura comments in this regard in his Anubhasya, wherein he quotes a verse from Narayana-samhita:

“In Dvapara-yuga, devotees of Lord Visnu and Krsna rendered devotional service according to the principles of pancaratrika in this age of Kali, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshipped simply by the chanting of His holy names.’, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura then comments: “Without being empowered by the direct potency of Lord Krsna to fulfil His desire and without being specifically favoured by he Lord, no human being can become the spiritual master of the whole world. He certainly cannot succeed by mental concoction, which is not meant for devotees or religious people. Only an empowered personality can distribute the holy name of the Lord and enjoin all fallen souls to worship Krsna. By distributing the holy name of the Lord, he cleanses the hearts of the most fallen people; therefore he extinguishes the blazing fire of the material world. Not only that, he broadcasts the shining brightness of Krsna’s effulgence throughout the world. Such an acarya, or spiritual master, should be considered non-different from Krsna–that is, he should be considered the incarnation of Lord Krsna’s potency. Such a personality is krsnalingita-vigraha–that is, he is always embraced by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Such a person is above the considerations of the varnasrama institution. He is the guru or spiritual master for the entire world, a devotee on the topmost platform, the maha-bhagavata stage, and a paramahamsa-thakura, a spiritual form only fit to be addressed as paramahamsa or thakura.” (C.C. Mad 25.9)

Only Srila Prabhupada, an empowered personality, can distribute the holy name of the Lord and enjoined all fallen souls to worship Krsna. This process is described in the sastra as follows.

It is the spiritual master who delivers the disciple from the clutches of maya by initiating him into the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. in this way a sleeping human being can revive his consciousness by chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. In other words, the spiritual master awakens the sleeping living entity to his original consciousness so that he can worship Lord Visnu. This is the purpose of diksa, or initiation. Initiation means receiving the pure knowledge of spiritual consciousness. (C.C. Mad 9.61)

This initiation or awakening to pure consciousness performed by Srila Prabhupada’s loud chanting (book distribution), should be given to all fallen souls.

Devotional service begins with sravana kirtana, hearing and chanting. When a man is sleeping, he can be awakened by sound vibration; therefore every conditioned soul should be given the chance to hear the Hare Krsna mantra chanted by a pure Vaisnava. One who hears the Hare Krsna mantra thus vibrated is awakened to spiritual consciousness, or Krsna consciousness. (C.C. Mad. 22-105)

Srila Prabhupada is distributing the holy name and cleansing the hearts of the most fallen, therefore he is extinguishing the blazing fire of the material world.

So what is the guru? Guru has received the karunya. Karunya means just like the cloud has received water from the sea, similarly, a guru, spiritual master, receives the cloud of mercy from the ocean of kindness of Krsna. Ghanaghanatvam. And it is only the cloud that can extinguish the forest fire, samsara. No other watering system will be helpful. If there is fire in the forest, your fire brigade or buckets of water will not help. It is impossible. Neither you can go there; neither you can render any service by your fire brigade and bucket. Then how the fire can be extinguished? Now, ghanaghanatvam. If there is cloud in the sky and if there is rainfall, then the expansive forest fire can immediately be extinguished. So that cloud is supposed to be the spiritual master. He pours water. He pours water. Sravana-kirtana-jale karaye secana. What is that water? The water is this sravana-kirtana. Bhava-maha-davagni, the fire, the forest fire of material existence, is blazing continually. So you have to extinguish it by the rainfall from cloud, and that rainfall means sravana-kirtana. Sravana means hearing, and kirtana means chanting. This is the only way. Sravana-kirtana-jale karaye secana. (S.B. Lecture 3.26.39, Bombay, 14th January, 1975)

So Srila Prabhupada is the cloud of mercy and his loud chanting (book distribution) is the rainfall, which is the only way to extinguish the blazing fire of material existence. This is confirmed as follows.

The spiritual master, by his words, can penetrate into the heart of the suffering person and inject knowledge transcendental, which alone can extinguish the fire of material existence. (S.B. 1.7.22)

Srila Prabhupada is delivering all fallen souls through his transcendental sound vibration. This is the purpose of initiation, the deliverance of the disciple from the material existence.

The spiritual master initiates the disciple to deliver him, and if the disciple executes the order of the spiritual master and does not offend other Vaisnavas, his path is clear. (C.C. Mad, 1.218)

It is the spiritual master who delivers the disciple from the clutches of maya by initiating him into the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra.
(C.C. Mad, 9.61)

By the association of sadhu sanga the fortunate soul receives a process of spiritual activities, that is called bhajana kriya. And if there is actually association of spiritually self-realized persons, then he will give you some process of spiritual activities. That is called bhajana-kriya. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah atha bhajana-kriya tato anartha-nivrttih syat. And as you are more and more engaged in spiritual activities, so, proportionately, your material activities and affection for material activities will diminish. Counteraction. When you engage in the spiritual activities, your material activities diminishes. (B.G. Lec, 2.58-59, New York, 7th April, 1966)

If we follow this process that is our initiation. By engaging in these spiritual activities our material activities diminish (anartha nirrtti). Thus devotees who haven’t received formal initiation, but have been chanting and following the four regulative principles, are freeing themselves from gross and subtle anartha’s. They have clearly received initiation from Srila Prabhupada, who is actually giving everyone this process (Bhajana Kriya) in his transcendental books.

Let us return to the Nectar of Devotion (page 150) “he automatically offers to follow the principles of devotional service under the guidance of the pure devotee and accepts him as the spiritual master.” Srila Prabhupada describes how we can receive his guidance in the following lecture.

And the process is very simple. The process is very simple. We are recommending the followers of Krsna consciousness… Just now I received one letter from Jaipur. They wanted my guidance. The guidance is not very difficult. It is very simple thing. First of all try to become sinless: no illicit sex life, no intoxication, no meat-eating, no gambling. Observe these four regulative principles and chant Hare Krsna mantra as far as possible, at least sixteen rounds. Then see how your life changes. (S.B. Lecture 1.2.8, 22nd April, 1974)

His guidance would amount to that process of spiritual activities described as Bhajana kriya (initiation), in the previous lecture (2.58.59 B.G. N.Y.) Srila Prabhupada’s guidance to everyone is that process by which we awaken our transcendental knowledge, and vanquish all material contamination caused by our previous sinful activities. This is described in the sastra as follows.

Diksa is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as diksa. (C.C. Mad., 15-108)

Diksa actualy means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination. (C.C. Mad., 4-111)

In the earlier lecture (S.B. 1.2.8) Srila Prabhupada says “observe these four regulative principles and chant Hare Krsna mantra as far as possible, at least sixteen rounds. Then see how your life changes.” Again confirmation, that if we follow his guidance that is our initiation (Bhajana kriya) and as a result our life will change, or we will become free from material contamination (anartha nivritih).

If by chance one is fortunate enough to receive Srila Prabhupada’s association through his transcendental books, the sastra advises.
As far as the time of diksa (initiation) is concerned, everything depends on the position of the guru. As soon as a bona fide guru is received by chance or by a program, one should immediately take the opportunity to receive initiation. in the book called Tattva-sagara, it is stated:

“If, by chance, one gets a sad-guru, it doesn’t matter whether one is in the temple or the forest. If the sad-guru, the bona fide spiritual master, agrees, one can be initiated immediately, without waiting for a suitable time or place.” (C.C. Mad., 24.331)

We should take the opportunity to receive initiation regardless of where we are situated. If Srila Prabhupada agrees to accept us we should take his shelter.

Reporter: If I wanted to be initiated into your society, what would I have to do?

Srila Prabhupada: First of all, you’d have to give up illicit sex life.

Reporter: Does that include all sex life? What is illicit sex life?

Srila Prabhupada: Illicit sex is sex outside of marriage. Animals have sex with no restrictions, but in human society there are restrictions. In every country and in every religion, there is some system of restricting sex life. You would also have to give up all intoxicants, including tea, cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana–anything that intoxicates.

Reporter: Anything else?

Srila Prabhupada: You’d also have to give up eating meat, eggs, and fish. And you’d have to give up gambling as well. Unless you gave up these four sinful activities, you could not be initiated.

Reporter: Does “surrender” mean that someone would have to leave his family?

Srila Prabhupada: No.

Reporter: But suppose I were to become an initiate. Wouldn’t I have to come and live in the temple?

Srila Prabhupada: Not necessarily.

Reporter: I can stay at home?

Srila Prabhupada: Oh, yes.

Reporter: What about work? Would I have to give up my job?

Srila Prabhupada: No, you’d simply have to give up your bad habits and chant the Hare Krsna mantra on these beads–that’s all. (S.S.R. “Choosing a spiritual master”)

“You’d simply have to give up your bad habits and chant Hare Krsna mantra on these beads – That’s All.” That’s what Srila Prabhupada asks of us if we want to become his initiated disciples.

Materialistic persons who are not inclined to give up their sinful activities like illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and meat-eating sometimes want to become our disciples, but, unlike professional spiritual masters who accept disciples regardless of their condition, Vaisnavas do not accept such cheap disciples. One must at least agree to abide by the rules and regulations for a disciple before a Vaisnava acarya can accept him. (C.C. Adi., 12.50)

My advise is always chant 16 rounds minimum and follow the four regulative principles. All of my disciples must agree on this point otherwise they are not my disciples. Let one live anywhere, but stick to the principles. Disagreements will continue in this material world. So one may live in a suitable place, but one must follow these five principles. My disciples must follow these principles living either in heaven or hell. (Raja-Lakami-desi, 17th February, 1976)

TRANSLATION
“The hunter then said, `My dear sir, whatever you say I shall do.’ Narada immediately ordered him, `First of all, break your bow. Then I shall tell you what is to be done.’

PURPORT
This is the process of initiation. The disciple must admit that he will no longer commit sinful activity–namely illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication. He promises to execute the order of the spiritual master. Then the spiritual master takes care of him and elevates him to spiritual emancipation. (C.C. Mad., 24.256)

The same is confirmed in all these quotes, and in the last Srila Prabhupada promises to take care of us and take us back to Godhead if we follow his guidance, such guidance is his causless mercy. “unless he’s a sadhu he cannot be guru…..Initiation means to accept the mercy of sadhu and spiritual master if you don’t accept there is no other way.” (C.C. Lecture) Who can deny the availability of Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, if we take such mercy that is our initiation. There is no other way.

If you have understood this Krsna philosophy and if you have decided that you will take Krsna consciousness seriously and preach the philosophy to others. That is your initiation, my touch is simply a formality. It is your determination that is initiation. (B.T.G. Article “Search for the Divine”)

Srila Prabhupada says his touch is a formality, our determination to follow the process is our real initiation.

The chanting Hare Krishna is our main business, that is real initiation. And as you are all following my instruction, in that matter, the initiator is already there. Now the next initiation will be performed as a ceremony officially, of course that ceremony has value because the name, Holy Name, will be delivered to the student from the disciplic succession, it has got value, but in spite of that, as you are going on chanting, please go on with this business sincerely and Krishna willing, I may be coming to you very soon. (S.P.L. Tamel Krsna, 19th September, 1968)

Srila Prabhupada says that chanting Hare Krsna is the real initiation, and that because devotees were following his instructions in that matter (16 rounds, 4 regulations), he was already there as the initiator. In other words the initiation was already there and he had accepted them as his disciples. He then goes on to say the next initiation will be performed as a ceremony officially.

For 10,000 years, millions and millions of conditioned souls will be receiving Srila Prabhupada’s association through his transcendental books, If they accept and agree to follow his instructions in regards to chanting the holy names, he will be with them all as the initiator and will accept them as disciples. The next initiation as an official ceremony must be performed on his behalf due to his physical absence, as acceptance of two diksa guru’s is always forbidden in the sastra.

A devotee must have only one initiating spiritual master because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one is always forbidden (C.C. Adi., 1.35)

Due to illness and increasing demand for formal initiation, Srila Prabhupada established a system where ritvik priests accepted devotees as his initiated disciples by giving spiritual names. This system was in full operation, without Srila Prabhupada being physically involved for months before his departure in November, and should continue for the rest of the present golden age (10,000 years)

A disciple means one who is always following the orders of the spiritual master. So I instruct my disciples to refrain from four prohibitions, namely no eating of meat, fish or eggs, no illicit sex life, no taking of intoxication, including tea, coffee, cigarettes, etc., and no gambling. Besides that my students must chant sixteen rounds of japa-mala of Hare Krsna mantra daily. So if you are able to follow these principles without fail, then you are as good as my disciple. And after you have practised these things for a few months’ time, then we can see to your formal initiation.
(S.P.L. to Suresh Chandra, 11th August, 1972)

In this letter there is more confirmation that anyone following his instructions in regards to chanting the holy name, is as good as his disciple, even without formal initiation.

The eternal bond between disciple and spiritual master begins from the first day he hears. Just like my spiritual master. In 1922 he said in our first meeting, you are educated boys, why don’t you preach this cult. That was the beginning, now it is coming to fact. Therefore the relationship began from that day. (S.P.L. to Jadurani, 4th September, 1972)

Srila Prabhupada says the relationship between the spiritual master and disciple begins from the first day the disciple hears from the guru, and he cites his own meeting with Srila Bhaktisiddanta Maharaja in 1922 as an example.

So anyway, from 1922 to 1933 practically I was not initiated but got the impression of preaching Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s cult. That I was thinking. And that was the initiation by my guru maharaja. Then officially I was initiated in 1933 because in 1923 I left Calcutta. (Lecture, Diss. day Srila Bhaktisiddanta Hyderabad, 10th December, 1976)

He describes such a meeting as the initiation by his Guru Maharaja. This is confirmed as follows.

So I was at that time a fool, but I opined like this. And I accepted him as my spiritual master immediately. Not officially, but in my heart. That was in 1922. (General Lecture, 1973)

Any conditioned soul who is hearing from Srila Prabhupada after receiving his books and is accepting him in their heart as their spiritual master, that acceptance is their initiation. Srila Prabhupada was well aware that due to his books, such acceptance would take place in the hearts of sincere souls for 10,000 years. This is why he wanted the ritvik system to continue in his physical absence. The acarya Srila Prabhupada never deviates from the principles of sadhu, sastra and guru. Through this system all his disciples could formalize this acceptance and receive a spiritual name.

TRANSLATION
“My dear Sakara Mallika, from this day your names will be changed to Srila Rupa and Srila Sanatana. Now please abandon your humility, for My heart is breaking to see you so humble.

PURPORT
Actually this is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s initiation of Dabira Khasa and Sakara Mallika. They approached the Lord with all humility, and the Lord accepted them as old servants, as eternal servants, and He changed their names. It is to be understood from this that it is essential for a disciple to change his name after initiation. (C.C. Mad., 1.208)

In summary book distribution or more specifically Srila Prabhupada’s loud chanting is giving all fallen souls his association. If they take this association seriously and follow his guidance, that is their initiation into the chanting of the holy name. To formalise such an initiation and thus give his disciples a spiritual name, he appointed eleven disciples (officiating acarya’s) to conduct these initiation rites.

These initial eleven were placed in different locations of the world, and were to be added to accordingly, to meet increasing demands in those locations for formal initiations, due to the effects of the loud chanting of the Jagad Guru His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

That is Vaisnava behaviour. Vaisnavas, they are the best friend of the society, best friend, Vaisnava. Patitanam pavanebhyoh vaisnavebhyo namo namah. The Vaisnava is always thinking how to deliver these fallen souls who are so much captivated with this false philosophy of hedonism–”Eat, drink, be merry and enjoy.” This is called hedonism. So they are always thinking how to deliver them. Advaita Prabhu did it. Therefore He is Isvara. Prahlada Maharaja did it. Any Vaisnava who is actually feeling for the poor, conditioned souls, he must make arrangement for delivering these rascals from the death knell of ignorance. (C.C. Adi. lila, Lecture 1.12.75)

Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental books are, very clearly, his arrangement for delivering the fallen souls of the world from the death knell of ignorance. Such is the potency of the Maha Bhagavata devotee Srila Prabhupada!

But now in your temple alone you are distributing so many, so this is very, very encouraging to me. It is the perfect form of preaching. Follow the line laid down by Prahlada Maharaja and try to take every one back to home, back to Godhead. And this is done by distributing our literature. I am so much pleased upon each and every one of you for helping me this way to push on this great movement.” (S.P.L. to Vamanadeva 3/12/72)

Srila Prabhupada in the form of his books (instructions) is taking everyone back to home, back to Godhead. This is the purpose of initiating a disciple, to deliver him.

The spiritual master initiates the disciple to deliver him, and if the disciple executes the order of the spiritual master and does not offend other Vaisnavas, his path is clear. (C.C. Mad, 1.218)

It is the spiritual master who delivers the disciple from the clutches of maya by initiating him into the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. (C.C. Mad, 9.61)

If one is expert in Vedic literature and has full faith in the Supreme Lord, then he is an uttama-adhikari, a first-class Vaisnava, a topmost Vaisnava who can deliver the whole world and turn everyone to Krsna consciousness. (C.C. Mad., 22.65)

This example of Dhruva Maharaja’s closing the holes of his personal body and thereby closing the breathing holes of the total universe clearly indicates that a devotee, by his personal devotional service, can influence all the people of the whole world to become devotees of the Lord. If there is only one pure devotee in pure Krsna consciousness, he can change the total consciousness of the world into Krsna consciousness. This is not very difficult to understand if we study the behaviour of Dhruva Maharaja. (S.B. 4.8.80)

Srila Prabhupada is the initiating acarya for the golden age, the Jagad Guru. He is living still in sound and is most definitely spreading the holy name all around. All glories to you Srila Prabhupada!

After 80 years, no one can expect to live long. My life is almost ended. So you have to carry on, and these books will do everything. (Room conversation, 18th February 1976)

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One Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ramananda
    Dec 14, 2011 @ 19:24:18

    A wonderful compendium.

    Jaya Srila Prabhupada.

    Hare Krishna.

    Reply

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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