29 Nov 2014
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Hansadutta das, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, Ritvik Initiation, Spiritual Master
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Ama das, Atmavidya das, Durgama das, Gobhata das, hamsadutta prabhu, Hrimati dasi, Jnanavigraha das, Kamaksi dasi, letter to hamsadutta, Nikhilananda das, Premchand das, Ram Mohan das, Ramgati das, Revantinandana Swami, Santimati dasi, Srila Prabhupada, Tirthada das, Uktal das, Vaidyanath das
I read this letter today, by Srila Prabhupada to Hamsadutta Prabhu, written in 1973, putting in practice, the process of ritvik initiation (although we did not have a name for it then, it was simply how it was done); “…Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated April 7, 1973 and am pleased to accept the following boys and girls as my initiated disciples.
I am also enclosing Gayatri Mantras for the 14 disciples and 10 sacred threads duly chanted upon by me for the men disciples. You show them how to count on the fingers, and let them hear the mantra chanted by me on the tape through the right ear.”
What I find interesting is how devotees today will decry and belittle the Ritvik Process of initiation, but this was how the initiations were performed in the early days of our movement. The majority of disciples, initiated by Srila Prabhupada when he was personally present, received initiation exactly as it was described in above letter. We almost all recieved Ritvik initiation from Srila Prabhupada. I know I did.
Anyway, food for thought.
15 May 2014
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Acyutanananda das, Conversation with Srila Prabhupada, Diksha, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Acyutananda das, guru mukha padma vakya, liberated, more than guru, prabhupada, room conversation, spiritual master, Yasomatinandana dasa
The following is a very famous room conversation that took place in 1976. It contains some very important lessons.
Acyutānanda: What prompts the soul to misuse his independence or improperly use…?
Prabhupāda: Because he has got little independence. Yathecchasi tathā, he has got this.
Acyutānanda: Why do some misuse it and some never misuse it?
Prabhupāda: That depends on him. If one is determined that “I shall only act according to the advice of my Guru Mahārāja,” then he’s perfect. One has to submit like Arjuna said, śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam [Bg. 2.7]. Otherwise he’ll argue….
Devotee: Even nitya-siddha has guru.
Yaśomatīnandana: Even the liberated soul, nitya-siddha.
Prabhupāda: Liberated soul never says that “I am liberated.” As soon as he says “liberated,” he’s a rascal. A liberated soul will never say that “I am liberated.” That is liberated. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He is God—guru more mūrkha dekhi’ karila śāsan [Cc. Ādi 7.71]. “My Guru Mahārāja saw Me a fool number one, and he has chastised Me.” He’s God. This is the example. If one remains always a servant ever-lastingly of guru, then he is liberated. And as soon as he thinks that he is liberated, he’s a rascal. That is the teaching of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Guru more mūrkha dekhi’. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is mūrkha? Why He’s posing Himself that mūrkha? “I am fool number one.” That means that is liberation. You must be ready always to be chastised by guru. Then he’s liberated. And as soon as he thinks that “I am beyond this chastisement, I am liberated,” he’s a rascal. Why Caitanya Mahāprabhu says guru more mūrkha dekhi’ karila śāsan? This is sahajiyā-vāda. He is thinking, “Oh I have become liberated. I don’t require any direction of my guru. I’m liberated.” Then he’s rascal. Why this Gauḍīya Maṭha failed? Because they tried to become more than guru. He, before passing away, he gave all direction and never said that “This man should be the next ācārya.” But these people, just after his passing away they began to fight, who shall be ācārya. That is the failure. They never thought, “Why Guru Mahārāja gave us instruction so many things, why he did not say that this man should be ācārya?” They wanted to create artificially somebody ācārya and everything failed. They did not consider even with common sense that if Guru Mahārāja wanted to appoint somebody as ācārya, why did he not say? He said so many things, and this point he missed? The real point? And they insist upon it. They declared some unfit person to become ācārya. Then another man came, then another, ācārya, another ācārya. So better remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by Guru Mahārāja. That is perfection. And as soon as he learns the Guru Mahārāja is dead, “Now I am so advanced that I can kill my guru and I become guru.” Then he’s finished. (from room conversation August 16, 1976)
Full Conversation More
25 Mar 2014
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Hencefoward, ISKCON, Iskcon Bangalore, Krishna Consciousness
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, dikska, dikska questions, GBC, guru and disciple, Harinama diksa, harinama dikska question paper, Iskcon, ISKCON Bangalore, July 9th Letter, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada
Sometime back, we published the “Harinama Diksha Reference Material and Study Guide“. Today we share with you the “Harinama Dikska Question Paper”. This was put out by the devotees at ISKCON Bangalore, and is very interesting. I won’t say anymore about it now, other than to say it is worth taking a few minutes to ‘take the test’, by answering the few basic questions.
click on following link
14 Dec 2013
in Diksha, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Hencefoward, Krsnacandra das, Ritvik Representative of the Acharya
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, disciple, gayatri, guru, hencefoward, initiated disciple of srila prabhupada, initiated disciples book, Initiation, ISKCON Bangalore, July 9th Letter, Krishna consciousness, Madhu Pandit Das, ritvik, rtvik representative of the acharya, Srila Prabhupada, The Hare Krishna Movement
The following is an article, I have wanted to include for some time now, which was written by Krsnacandra Prabhu and posted on his page Prabhupadvision.com. In light of our recent post entitled Sri Madhu Pandit’s Official Reply to the EC we feel it is timely, and of utmost importance to our society that we understand the issues. Although our page is not intended as a political forum, it is a tool in the mission of our spiritual master, for the propagation of The Hare Krishna Movement or Krishna Consciousness.
Now that Śrīla Prabhupāda has named these representatives Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendations for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their Temple.
After considering the recommendation, these representatives many accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of a second initiation, by chanting on the Gāyatrī thread just as Śrīla Prabhupāda had done.
The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Śrīla Prabhupāda, to be included in Divine Grace’s “Initiated Disciples” book. (from July 9th letter)
The Rtvik Representative Of The Acharya
by Kṛṣṇacandra Dāsa – Vṛndāvan:
Shortly after His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Śrīla Prabhupāda entered into his Samādhi līlā in 1977; 11 of his senior disciples and members of the GBC who held the official position of representatives of His Divine Grace in 1st and 2nd spiritual initiations [as per July 9th Document], without authority and without an order by His Divine Grace announced themselves to be pure devotees of the Lord and forcibly seized the titles, roles and functions of acharyas and Initiating Spiritual Masters of ISKCON.
14 Aug 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Dhira Govinda das, Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Siksa, Srila Prabhupada, The Prominent Link
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Dhira Govinda das, disciplic succession, guru disciple relationship, guru tattva, guru-disciple, Iskcon, knowledge, murti, Parampara, self realization, spiritual knowledge, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, The Hare Krishna Movement, transcendental knowledge
Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link
by Dhira Govinda dasa
Many members of Srila Prabhupada’s movement who did not receive formal initiation from him experience Srila Prabhupada as the primary giver of direct transcendental knowledge. This empirical reality forms the basis of recognizing Srila Prabhupada as the prominent link to the parampara. Such a conception is supported by sastric descriptions of the essence of the initiation process, and by the delineation of the parampara described by Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.
This paper presents a framework for understanding Srila Prabhupada’s position that is derived from a comprehension of Srila Prabhupada’s direct and personal relationship with the members of his movement. The central idea is that Srila Prabhupada is the prominent link to the parampara by virtue of being the prime deliverer of transcendental knowledge. We present these ideas in a mood of open-minded discussion and ask that the reader approach the material with a fresh perspective and a willingness to reexamine the issues.
19 Jul 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, July 9th Letter, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, Siksa, Spiritual Master
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavan dasa Adhikari, Bhavananda Gosvami, Hamsaduta Swami, Harikesa Swami, Hrdayananda Gosvami, Jayapataka Swami, Jayatirtha dasa Adhikari, July 9th Letter, Kirtanananda Swami, May 28th conversation, Ramesvara Swami, Satsvarupa dasa Gosvami, Tamala Krsna Gosvami, to all gbc's and temple presidents
This is the last written instruction we have on initiations. It is a very important letter that all members of ISKCON should be familiar with, regardless of your position. It was adressed to All G.B.C., and Temple Presidents. This is where the first eleven names originated, and how initiations were to be carried out. This letter was based on the equally important May 28th Conversation between the GBC and Srila Prabhupada, as regards to how initiations in the future, will go on, particularly at that time when Srila Prabhupada is no longer with us.
It is essential for devotees to understand that all ISKCON members are first and foremost followers of Srila Prabhupada and that it is by his blessings that we advance in Krishna consciousness. The eternal spiritual master is a resident of Vaikuntha and is our ever well-wisher. It is he who is preparing a place for us in the spiritual world.
Very important history!
The full text is as follows: More
19 Jul 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Parampara System, Quotes by Srila Prabhupada, Rakshana das, Siksa, Vidura das
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, bona fide spiritual master, Guru Issue, Initiation, Iskcon, prabhupada, prabhupadanugas, Rakshana das, Sampradaya sun, spiritual master, transparent medium, Vidhura das, Vraja Vilasa
As always in our ISKCON Society, since the departure of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, there is an ongoing discussion, debate, and, or, argument on the guru issue. No doubt finding a qualified spiritual master is of utmost importance as is outlined in Easy Journey to Other Planets:
1. The serious candidate must accept a bona fide spiritual master in order to be trained scientifically. Because the senses are material, it is not at all possible to realize the Transcendence by them. Therefore the senses have to be spiritualized by the prescribed method under the direction of the spiritual master.
2. When the student has chosen a bona fide spiritual master, he must take the proper initiation from him. This marks the beginning of spiritual training.
3. The candidate must be prepared to satisfy the spiritual master in every way. A bona fide spiritual master who is fully cognizant of the methods of spiritual science, learned in the spiritual scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gītā, Vedānta, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Upaniṣads, and who is also a realized soul who has made a tangible connection with the Supreme Lord, is the transparent medium by which the willing candidate is led to the path of the Vaikuṇṭhas. The spiritual master must be satisfied in all respects, because simply by his good wishes a candidate can make wonderful progress along the path.
Recently I have been following on the Sampradaya Sun a slew of posts by Vraja Vilasa Prabhu:
Which were in response to the article by Rakshana Prabhu (which we also posted here):
The Transmission of Transcendental Sound
Followed by his reply:
Surround Sound and the Big Mrdanga
Then of course there was a rebuttal post by Vidura Prabhu in response to Vraja Vilasa Prabhu’s; “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right”, which was not posted on the Sampradaya Sun, but rather by the Prabhupanuga pages and which we (for the sake of disclosure) will post here. This is a very nice assortment of quotes, for instance…
“Krishna and his representative are the same. Similarly, the spiritual master can be present wherever the disciple wants. A spiritual master is the principle, not the body.” (Letter to Malati, 28/5/68)
14 May 2013
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, ISKCON, Iskcon Bangalore, Madhu Pandit das, Siksa
Tags: 1st and 2nd initiation, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bangalore Group, diksa, diksa disciples, disciple, guru, guru disciple, initiates, ISKCON Bangalore, ISKCON Mumbi, officiating Acarya, ritvik, Satsvarupa, siksa, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Synopsis of the System of Initiation, Tamala Krsna
Creating the Post of Officiating Acarya
In the ensuing struggle between the Devotees of ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbi, it is this authors hope that both sides will try to work towards a brotherly reconciliation. Wherein both sides can find the common ground, which is faith in, and obedience to the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada’s intentions with regard to how initiations should be conducted in his physical absence was clearly stated in the May 28th, 1977 discussion with the GBC:
Satsvarūpa: …Then our next question concerns initiations in the future, particularly at that time when you’re no longer with us. We want to know how first and second initiation would be conducted.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I shall recommend some of you. After this is settled up, I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating ācāryas.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Is that called ṛtvik-ācārya?
Prabhupāda: Ṛtvik, yes.
Satsvarūpa: Then what is the relationship of that person who gives the initiation and the…
Prabhupāda: He’s guru. He’s guru.
Satsvarūpa: But he does it on your behalf.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is formality. Because in my presence one should not become guru, so on my behalf, on my order… Āmāra ājñāya guru hañā [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. Be actually guru, but by my order.
Satsvarūpa: So they may also be considered your disciples.
Prabhupāda: Yes, they are disciples. Why consider? Who?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, he’s asking that these ṛtvik-ācāryas, they’re officiating, giving dīkṣā. Their… The people who they give dīkṣā to, whose disciple are they?
Prabhupāda: They’re his disciple.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They’re his disciple.
Prabhupāda: Who is initiating. He is grand-disciple.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s clear.
So it is plain to see that those giving diksa would be acting as officiating acaryas, and those receiving diksa from them would be their disciples. It is the duty of the GBC to create the post of Officiating Acarya so that we may all be properly connected to the disciplic succession.
“Who is Initiating” refers to the Officiating Acarya who is giving diksa, and those who receive diksa are his initiated disciples and Srila Prabhupada’s grand-disciples.
That’s clear. (However that instruction was never followed).
The GBC must create the post of “Officiating Acarya”, and all the ISKCON gurus would be considered as such, as it should have been since the time of the famous July 9th Letter. This I think, would be the beginning of the much needed reconcililation, and cure many of the ills of our society.
The following is the Synopsis of the System of Initiation as applicable to the ISKCON Bangalore group of temples and could be incorporated into mainstream ISKCON very easily.
The Post of Officiating Acarya More
07 May 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Prabhupadanugas, Remembering Srila Prabhupada, Satsvarupa das Goswami, Spiritual Master, The Hare Krishna Movement
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhakti Caru Swami, buddha, Buddhists, Christ, Christians, devotees, Founder Acarya, Iskcon, prabhupadanuga, prabhupadanugas, Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta, The Final Lesson
click on image to enlarge
Perhaps it was Krsna who directed me to the last chapter of Śrīla Prabhupāda-līlāmṛta, by Satsvarūpa dāsa Goswāmī. The famous book chronicling The life of our Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In this last chapter entitled, “The Final Lesson”, last sentence of this voluminious book, Satsvarūpa dāsa Goswāmī concludes with this statement:
“Our hope is that by hearing about Śrīla Prabhupāda the reader will become himself a Prabhupādānuga, a follower of Śrīla Prabhupāda. We can wish no better fortune upon anyone.”
this came as a comment…
This is probably the best thing Satsvarupa Maharaja ever wrote.
When a devotee decides to join the Hare Krishna movement as a full-time member, they are announcing to the world their acceptance of Srila Prabhupada as the empowered representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By mature realization they will come to recognize Srila Prabhupada as their eternal spiritual master. These lifetime servants of the spiritual master are called Prabhupadanugas.
Those who mould their lives in such a way that they can always think of the lotus feet of the spiritual master will live with him eternally. Because of Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental position, there is no separation in time or space between us. He is present in our lives and is guiding us back to Godhead through his written and spoken word. By his unlimited blessings we continue to move forward in Krishna consciousness and surely we will one day reach the ultimate goal of love of Godhead. The more we advance toward that goal, the more we will understand the greatness of Srila Prabhupada’s compassion upon us and his concern for the conditioned souls of this world who are all part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna. (Locanananda das)
Sometimes the ISKCON devotees refer to Prabhupadanugas as some splinter group, not belonging to the mainstream devotees. But in fact we can plainly see from some of the writing of the senior members of our society that becoming a follower of Śrīla Prabhupāda is exactly what is needed. For instance in Bhakti Curu Swami’s, Disappearance Day offering to Srila Prabhupada, given June 16, 2010, he states:
…everyday, in all the temples of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada is worshipped by everyone. Then why do we hesitate to tell a new comer who is searching for a guru that Srila Prabhupada, the best guru the world has ever seen, is still here, and one can surrender unto him and go back to Godhead very easily? When we have such a great good fortune, why do we not take full advantage of it? It is only when we do so that the glorious days of ISKCON will come back again and we will witness Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan movement starting to spread in leaps and bounds all over the world.
If we really love ISKCON and if we sincerely want the Krsna Consciousness movement to spread all over the world in every town and village, then let us broadcast all over the world that Srila Prabhupada is still with us and that anyone who wants to receive his mercy can approach him and establish his eternal relationship with him.
Full Chapter of the “The Final Lesson” More
06 May 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Diksha, Nectar of Instruction, Reference Material, Rupa Goswami, Siksa, Upadesamrta
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Always thinking of Krsna, association with vaisnavas, devotee, diska, kanistha-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari, Nectar of Instruction, serving Krsna, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Rupa Goswami, uttama-adhikari, vaisnava
Continuing with our series on the Nectar of Iststuction (Upadeśāmṛta), we are posting Text 5, the very important instructions given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī on vaisnava association, and on accepting spiritual initiation. Srila Prabhupada explains very nicely in his purport to this verse the importance of accepting an Uttama-adhikārī Vaiṣṇava as a Spiritual Master.
…In this verse Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī advises the devotee to be intelligent enough to distinguish between the kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, madhyama-adhikārī and uttama-adhikārī. The devotee should also know his own position and should not try to imitate a devotee situated on a higher platform. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has given some practical hints to the effect that an uttama-adhikārī Vaiṣṇava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaiṣṇavism. One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikārī. A neophyte Vaiṣṇava or a Vaiṣṇava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikārī as a spiritual master.
For a Free pdf download of entire book follow link at bottom of post More
23 Mar 2013
in Bhakti Yoga, Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Iskcon Bangalore, Reference Material
Tags: astanga-yoga, bhakti, bhoga, bona fide disciple, bona fide spiritual masted, chanting, deity worship, demigod worship, devotional service, dharma, disciple spiritual master guru, free pdf download, ISKCON Bangalore, Krishna, Prasadam, reference material on spiritual life, vapu and vani
Some time back I found this nice download of reference material and study guide for aspiring devotees. I printed it out, which took 80 pieces of paper, punched holes, and put it in a ring folder. It is arranged very professionally, and is broken down into eight basic areas of study.
1) Spiritual Master
3) Deity Worship
4) Devotional Service
6) Demigod Worship
8) General Information
For a free pdf download to view or save follow link; Harinam_Diksha_Reference_Material_for_Written_Test_new
19 Dec 2012
in Book Changes, Diksha, Remembering Srila Prabhupada, Rupanuga das, Siksa, Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, confidential servants of God, devotee, guru, literary incarnation of God, Prabhupada Direct, Rupanuga das, Siksa guru, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada vani
click on image to enlarge
I like reading the articles written by Sriman Rupanuga Prabhu, as he has a very good appreciation for the potency and attributes of Srila Prabhupada. So we took the liberty of posting another one here to share with our readers.
…The conclusion is that in the same way Lord Krsna is identical with His words in the Gita, even though He spoke them long ago, Srila Prabhupada is actually present in his purports, even though he is no longer physically present. And those purports are as much sastra as the verses they explain. Those books are as good as Deities in the temple. They are not the playthings of editors, but the literary incarnations of God and His most confidential servants. Therefore, they must be approached with all respect and reverence.
Srila Prabhupada’s books and recordings are a consistent and constant source of revelation for anyone who follows him. If one is able to follow Srila Prabhupada’s instructions to chant 16 rounds, follow the four regulative principles, systematically study his teachings and then help others do the same, that person will undoubtedly remember Lord Krsna at the time of death. Such a bhakta may be unable to discover a guru fully qualified to give diksa and specific name. Those who factually meet the standards required by Srila Prabhupada to become a genuine spiritual master may be few and far between. But by honestly and seriously accepting Srila Prabhupada as siksa guru, anyone can obtain freedom from the material conception of life, be inspired to action in Krsna consciousness, and learn to think of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krsna always.
15 Nov 2012
in Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Quotes by Srila Prabhupada, Vidura das
Tags: A.C. Bhaktiveanta Swami Prabhupada, disciple, disciplined rules, guru, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada vani, Vidura das
Śrīla Prabhupāda vāṇī
Submitted by Vidura das
Srila Prabhupada: Who is my disciple? First of all let him follow strictly the disciplined rules.
Disciple: As long as they are following, then he is…
Srila Prabhupada: Then he is all right.
(Morning Walk — June 13, 1976, Detroit)
12 Nov 2012
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Locanananda das
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, disciple, future initiations, guru, Initiation, initiation system, Iskcon, Locanananda das, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada
click on image to enlarge
…What Srila Prabhupada arranged in ISKCON was a very safe and very clear path for the new adherent to advance in Krishna consciousness and in the end to reach the ultimate goal of going back to Godhead. The process of sadhana bhakti with morning and evening classes, kirtana and Deity worship coupled with training in preaching and daily Sankirtana activity was the path to purification and the awakening of our dormant love for Krishna. Simple, yet sublime!
As far as acceptance of a spiritual master, in our day it was a foregone conclusion that the initiated disciple was agreeing to worship Srila Prabhupada as good as God and that the spiritual master was promising to deliver the disciple from the cycle of birth and death.
Presently, people are still being attracted to join this movement by coming into contact with Srila Prabhupada’s books, by association with good devotees who represent him with transparency, and by developing a taste for chanting the Holy Name and honoring Krishna prasadam. They agree to abide by the principles established by Srila Prabhupada for all generations of ISKCON devotees — past, present and future. They read and distribute his books, offer obeisances to him when entering the temple, worship his murti, and focus on cultivating a personal relationship with him. In other words, someone who joins our movement today is doing so as a follower of Srila Prabhupada and is accepting His Divine Grace as their eternal spiritual master. It is he who is taking them back to the spiritual world. How could someone who is not a resident of the spiritual world do so?
This is a continuation from our previous posts, The Spiritual Master some time ago, and the further discussion in The Spiritual Master (Part 2)
And The Spiritual Master (Part 3) This is a fascinating account by Sriman Locanananda Prabhu revealing his insights into the ‘guru issue’ in our ISKCON society today, from his own personal understanding, and his realizations of the instructions given by Srila Prabhupada shortly before his untimely departure. Our obeisances to him for sharing his personal recollections and realizations. This new The Spiritual Master (Part 4) is exploring the same theme although from a different source.
05 Nov 2012
in Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Locanananda das, Siksa, Spiritual Master
Tags: devotees, diksa, diksa guru, GBC, Goloka, guru, Guru Issue, initiating spiritual master, Iskcon, Locanananda dasa, officiating acaryas, ritvik, ritvik initiation system, siska, spiritual master A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada
This is a continuation from our previous posts, The Spiritual Master some time ago, and the further discussion in The Spiritual Master (Part 2) This is a fascinating account by Sriman Locanananda Prabhu revealing his insights into the ‘guru issue’ in our ISKCON society today, from his own personal understanding, and his realizations of the instructions given by Srila Prabhupada shortly before his untimely departure. Our obeisances to him for sharing his personal recollections and realizations. [Note: some of the other comments were edited out so as not to distract from Locanananda Prabhu’s train of thought. You can follow the entire stream of comments by going to Prabhupada News As I stated, this is a fascinating account, however, this does not necessarily reflect our views on the ‘guru issue’. But Locanananda Prabhu makes a very well stated argument, and we are in complete agreement with his assessment that “success in spiritual life, means following the instructions of the spiritual master”.
… the next step is to find a way to convince others of Srila Prabhupada’s actual intention in laying out a ritvik initiation system. It was not to end the parampara with himself as the last guru in our line. It was not to push aside what he himself referred to as the “law of disciplic succession.” It was to introduce a method by which millions of souls throughout the world could be initiated into the society of vaisnavas and attain the mercy of Krishna and the previous acaryas on their journey back to Godhead.
…everyone is taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada and receiving transcendental knowledge, but they are receiving so much more. By his grace, we will be able to enter the spiritual abode and interact with Krishna face to face. Without pleasing Srila Prabhupada, one cannot even make one iota of spiritual advancement.
…Srila Prabhupada had his reasons for introducing the title “officiating acarya” instead of “diksa guru” or “initiating spiritual master,” to designate the giver of diksa when he would no longer be present. Why devotees cannot accept Srila Prabhupada’s terminology is beyond my comprehension. As far as Srila Prabhupada’s present position, we can learn from a letter written to Brahmananda on Nov. 15, 1969 where he said,
“So far as I am concerned, in relationship with my disciples who are so kindly cooperating with me in the matter of my rendering service to my spiritual master, for them I am always ready to come back from Goloka Vrindaban, if they are not delivered along with me.”
The point made here is that one should think that upon his disappearance from our visual perception, the spiritual master has returned to Goloka Vrindaban. What he has left behind is the legacy of the temples he established, the Deities he installed and the body of instructions he imparted. By his inconceivable mercy, Srila Prabhupada, while residing in the abode of Krishna, continues to bestow his blessings upon us. As disciples, we should make every attempt to end the cycle of birth and death by preparing ourselves through the purificatory process of devotional service to go back to Godhead so as not to oblige the spiritual master to come back to this world to deliver us.
02 Nov 2012
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Hansadutta das
Tags: conditioned, disciplic succession, discipline, guru, Hansadutta dasa, liberated, living guru, rittvik, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada
click on image to enlarge
…Srila Prabhupada said he wanted all his students to become qualified gurus and often said it was simple: all one had to do was repeat what he had heard from his guru. When Srila Prabhupada was preparing to leave this world, he said, “Act as rittvik representative of the Acharya.” But no one follows this; therefore, how are they guru?! They do not repeat or follow this last important directive, but attempt to discredit Srila Prabhupada’s own order, saying, “There is no precedent. It was never done before.” They quote Srila Prabhupada to contradict Srila Prabhupada. They quote His Holiness Narayana Maharaja to contradict Srila Prabhupada. Why? A disciple’s duty is to find evidence to support his guru’s order—not to be over intelligent, quoting authorities to contradict his spiritual master’s orders.
Disciple’s Role to Support the Order of the Acharya
by Hansadutta Dasa
Srila Prabhupada said, “I don’t say I am liberated. I am conditioned. But because I am following the instructions of Bhaktisiddhanta, I am liberated. This is the distinction between conditioned and liberated: when one is under the direction of a liberated person.”
So Srila Prabhupada’s direction was: “Act as representative of the Acharya, act as rittvik.” We should follow that order and be liberated and thus continue the disciplic succession. The rittvik is also a living guru.
23 Oct 2012
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Locanananda das, Spiritual Master
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, diksa, disciples, GBC, guru, initiations, Iskcon, July 9th Letter, Locanananda dasa, May 28th conversation, officiating acaryas, ritvik acarya, SB 1.13.15, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, The Hare Krishna Movement, Vidura
click on image to enlarge
This is a continuation from our previous post, The Spiritual Master a few days ago. This is a fascinating account by Sriman Locanananda Prabhu revealing his insights into the ‘guru issue’ in our ISKCON society today, from his own personal understanding, and his realizations of the instructions given by Srila Prabhupada shortly before his untimely departure. Our obeisances to him for sharing his personal recollections and realizations. [Note: some of the other comments were edited out so as not to distract from Locanananda Prabhu’s train of thought. You can follow the entire stream of comments by going to Prabhupada News
…Because the focus of every devotee’s efforts is to please Srila Prabhupada knowing him to be Krishna’s pure representative, we can understand that the officiating acarya’s function is to formalize the disciple’s connection with Srila Prabhupada and the disciplic succession by the giving of diksa.
… According to this correct understanding, the officiating acarya is not particularly empowered to take those he initiates back to Godhead. But if he is capable of acting as the transparent via medium to the founder acarya, he is certainly to be honored and shown great respect. However, so that Srila Prabhupada remains the central figure and worshipable spiritual master within the Hare Krishna movement, no other spiritual personality should become his competitor by exacting worship from disciples. It is the responsibility of the GBC to preserve this unique role as exclusively the position of Srila Prabhupada.
18 Oct 2012
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Locanananda das, Siksa, Spiritual Master
Tags: devotional service, diksa, disciple, Founder Acarya, grand disciples, guru, Krishna's empowered emissary, Krishna's pure devotee, ritvik acarya, ritvik system of initiation, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada
This is excerpted comment by Locanananda Prabhu at Prabhupada News on an article posted there by one of Srila Prabhupada’s personal servants, Gauridasa Pandita dasa, about the Ritvik order. Very nice comment.
The Spiritual Master
by Locanananda dasa
Srila Prabhupada is the eternal spiritual master of his followers and of all generations of followers still to come. His Divine Grace likened initiation to the admissions procedure at school. He said it was more or less a formality. He surely never wanted this initiation issue to divide his followers into different camps.
The essence of the process of devotional service is to surrender to the spiritual master. A disciple accepts the discipline taught by Krishna’s pure representative. He does not manufacture his own way. In that sense, followers are disciples, and Srila Prabhupada will deliver them to Krishna.
05 Aug 2012
in Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, Siksa, Srila Prabhupada
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, diksha, disciple, GBC, initiator guru, instructor guru, siksa, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Sudarshan das
click on image to enlarge
Submitted by Sudarshan Das
“GBC must see that no one is taken away by maya. They should be instructor gurus. I am the initiator guru, and you should be instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title – you must actually come to this platform. This I want.
Full letter More
11 Jun 2012
in Chanting Hare Krishna, Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Hare Krishna Maha Mantra
Tags: chanting Hare Krishna, guru disciple, initiation ceromony, Krsna, krsna consciousness, lecture on initiation, Madhudvisa, Revatinandana, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Srimati dasi, ten offences to be advoided while chanting the maha-mantra, ten offenses, Vilasa-vigraha, yoga process
…Madhudviṣa: Śrīla Prabhupāda? Should I read the ten offenses?
Madhudviṣa: We have them here.
Prabhupāda: Just see. Go on reading. Yes, you read.
Madhudviṣa: “The ten offenses to avoid while chanting the mahā-mantra. Number one: Blaspheming the Lord’s devotee.”
Prabhupāda: Now just try to understand. Any devotee of Lord should not be blasphemed. It doesn’t matter in any country. Just like Lord Jesus Christ, he is a great devotee. And even Muhammad, he’s also a devotee. It is not that because we are devotee and they are not devotee. Don’t think like that. Anyone who is preaching the glories of God, he is a devotee. He should not be blasphemed. You should be careful. Then?
Madhudviṣa: “Number two: Considering the Lord and other demigods on the same level or assuming there are many Gods.”…
Lecture on Initiation and the Ten Offences to be Advoided While Chanting the Maha-mantra
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Seattle, October 20, 1968