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.
13 Sep 2014
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Ananda devi dasi, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Sankirtan, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada vani, The Hare Krishna Movement
Tags: Ananda devi dasi, disciples, guru, sankirtan movement, SB 3.25.21, Spiritual Life, spiritual master, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami, The Words of the Spiritual Master, vani, vapu
click on image to enlarge
“The Words of the Spiritual Master”
by Ananda devi dasi
“Believing in the words of His Spiritual Master, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the Sankirtana movement, just as the present Krishna Consciousness movement was started with belief in the words of our Spiritual Master. He wanted to preach, we believed in his words and tried somehow or other to fulfill them, and now this movement has become successful all over the world. Therefore faith in the words of the Spiritual Master and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the secret of success. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu never disobeyed the orders of His Spiritual Master and stopped propagating the Sankirtana movement.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami, at the time of his passing away, ordered all his disciples to work conjointly to preach the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world. Later, however, some self-interested, foolish disciples disobeyed his orders. Each one wanted to become head of the mission, and they fought in the courts, neglecting the orders of their Spiritual Master, and the entire mission was defeated. We are not proud of this, however the truth must be explained. We believed in the words of our Spiritual Master and started in a humble way-in a helpless way – but due to the spiritual force of the Supreme Authority, this movement has become successful.” (From the Chaitanya Charitamrita written and presented by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Srila Prabhupada Cc Adi 7.95-96)
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
02 May 2014
in Bhakti Caru Swami, Devotee's, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Hansadutta das
Tags: Bhakti Charu Swami, Correcting ISKCON's Guru System, guru, Guru Issue, guru system, hansadutta das, inside namahatta, ISKCON's guru system, prabhupada's system for future initiations in ISKCON, spiritual master and disciple, Srila Prabhupada
My good friend and Godbrother Hansadutta Prabhu, has asked me to post this nice paper written by H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami on “Correcting ISKCON’s Guru System”, and his reply. Both the article and response have been alive in cyberspace for some time now, but the the Truth bears repeating.
Response to Bhakti Caru Swami
by Hansadutta das
[Hansadutta’s response was also posted at ISKCON Bangalore’s website]
Dear Bhakti Caru Maharaja,
Please accept my most humble obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada. It’s been some years since we met and associated in person (Mayapur 2003, later in Berkeley, California temple). I think of you often with fond memories. Sometimes you asked me how “The Guru problem might be solved.” We would discuss, but nothing came of it. Now you have publicly posed the issue, so I feel I should make some comments that might shed some light on the matter. Please allow me to go thru your presentation and make some comments.
29 Apr 2014
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Guru & Disciple, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, My Dear Sons and Daughters
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhu, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, My Dear Sons and Daughters, Srila Prabhupada letters
I was reading some of the letters that Srila Prabhupada had written addressed to “My Dear Sons and Daughters”, and was moved by how affectionate and personal these letters are. So I put together this post of some of these letters. How fortunate are all the devotees who in Srila Prabhupada’s words; “So you have now got the golden opportunity of this human form of life, and it is not by chance that you have met your spiritual master…” We are meeting him again each day through his vani, his words.
My Dear Sons and Daughters,
…I can understand that you are all very eligible candidates for going back to Home, back to Godhead. And the process is simple. Simply follow the regulative principles with determination, and you will become free from all attachment to maya, by Krishna’s Grace. The example is when the sun is in the sky, there is no question of darkness. Similarly, when Hare Krishna Mantra is vibrating on your tongue and you are hearing attentively, then your consciousness becomes clear or Krishna Consciousness, and there is no question of maya or hazy consciousness. Just as when the light and the darkness come together, the darkness cannot stand before the light, so maya cannot remain in the presence of Krishna. Always remember therefore to chant Hare Krishna, and that will save you in all circumstances without any doubt.
Hoping this will meet you all in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
…Now my request to you all is that you very seriously stick to the principles of devotional service, observing strictly the four basic restrictions, and without fail always chant at least 16 rounds on your beads daily, and be happy.
If you practice these basic principles successfully, not forgetting your duty even for a moment, automatically your love for Krishna will come out and you will keep yourselves always enthusiastic to serve Krishna. So you have now got the golden opportunity of this human form of life, and it is not by chance that you have met your spiritual master, so if you are intelligent you will conclude that, whatever else I may do, I must accomplish the supreme goal of my life in this very lifetime and go back to home, back to Godhead…
Hoping this meets you all in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
…Now it is your duty that you always must keep yourselves fit in Krishna’s service. The formula is very simple and if you will follow undeviatingly then your rapid advancement in Krishna Consciousness is certain. All of you must chant at least 16 rounds of beads daily and without fail. That is first and foremost. And follow all the rules and regulations of devotional life rigidly. Read all our books, attend classes and aratis, go on street Sankirtana, and always be thinking of Krishna. That is the point. Somehow or other always be thinking of Krishna. Then you will be happy and your going back to home, back to Godhead will be certain…
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
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
19 Feb 2014
in Bhagavad-gita, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Guru & Disciple, Spiritual Master
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Acarya, as it is, bhagavad-gita, Bhaktisiddhanta, family of yogis, Gosvami Maharaja, goswami families, spiritual impetus, spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Srila Prahupada, transcendentalists, wisdom, yogis
Today marks the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja, the spiritual master of our Srila Prabhupada. We honor his appearance day with a half day fast, and this short post.
Or he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Verily, such a birth is rare in this world.
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is 6.42)
Birth in a family of yogīs or transcendentalists—those with great wisdom—is praised herein because the child born in such a family receives spiritual impetus from the very beginning of his life. It is especially the case in the ācārya or gosvāmī families. Such families are very learned and devoted by tradition and training, and thus they become spiritual masters. (From purport)
full text and purport More
28 Dec 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Letters by Srila Prabhupada
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, devotional service, guru disciple, kripa siddha, leberated person, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, Mukunda das, New Vrindavan 1969, nitya siddha, Prabhupada Letters, sadhan siddha, spiritual master
In this letter to Mukunda dasa, Srila Prabhupada answers many relevant questions about the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master.
My Dear Mukunda,
Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your letter of June 3, 1969, and I have noted the contents carefully.
…The answer to your Istagosthi questions are as follows: Unless one is a resident of Krishna Loka, one cannot be a Spiritual Master. That is the first proposition. A layman cannot be a Spiritual Master, and if he becomes so then he will simply create disturbance. And who is a liberated person? One who knows Krishna.
…Your next question, whether the Spiritual Master was formerly a conditioned soul, actually a bona fide Spiritual Master is never a conditioned soul. There are three kinds of liberated persons. They are called 1) sadhan siddha, 2) kripa siddha, and 3) nitya siddha. Sadhan siddha means one who has attained perfection by executing the regulative principles of devotional service. Kripa siddha means one who has attained perfection by the special mercy of Krishna and the Spiritual Master, and nitya siddha means one who was never contaminated. The symptoms of nitya siddha is that from the beginning of his life he is attached to Krishna, and he is never tired of rendering service to Krishna. So we have to know what is what by these symptoms.
…You are correct when you say that when the Spiritual Master speaks it should be taken that Krishna is speaking. That is a fact. A Spiritual Master must be liberated. It does not matter if he has come from Krishna Loka or he is liberated from here. But he must be liberated. The science of how one is liberated is explained above, but when one is liberated, there is no need of distinction whether he has come directly from Krishna Loka or from the material world. But in the broader sense everyone comes from Krishna Loka. When one forgets Krishna he is conditioned, when one remembers Krishna he is liberated. I hope this will clear up these points. I hope this will meet you in good health.
Full Letter More
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.
16 Oct 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Teachings of Lord Kapila
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Approaching a Bona Fide Guru, bona fide guru, books of His Divine Grace, books of Srila Prabhupada, dvaipayana-sakhas tv evam, guru and disciple, guru tattva, oral tradition, Son of Devahuti, spiritual knowledge, spiritual master, tad viddhi pranipatena, Teachings of Lord Kapila
The following is chapter four in our series on the Teaching of Lord Kapila entitled “Approaching a Bona Fide Guru”. This is a nice chapter for anyone who is serious about receiving spiritual knowledge, and interested to know the process. We are fortunate in this age to have the books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to guide us. Human knowledge was originally preserved through oral tradition, but today we have this knowledge preserved in the books of His Divine Grace.
Any person who seriously desires to achieve real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master… (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.3.21)
…A bona fide guru does not impart some self-styled, concocted knowledge; his knowledge is standard and received from the paramparā system. He is also firmly fixed in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (brahma-niṣṭham). These are his two qualifications: he must have heard the Vedic knowledge through the disciplic succession, and he must be established in service to the Supreme Lord.
Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Approaching a Bona Fide Guru
11 Oct 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Spiritual Master, Vyas-puja
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Abhay Charan das, appearance day homage, disciple, guru, guru disciple, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Vyasa Puja
Personally, I have no hope for any direct service for the coming crores of births of the sojourn of my life, but I am confident that some day or other I shall be delivered from this mire of delusion in which I am at present so deeply sunk. Therefore let me with all my earnestness pray at the lotus feet of my divine master to allow me to suffer the lot for which I am destined due to my past misdoings, but to let me have this power of recollection: that I am nothing but a tiny servant of the Almighty Absolute Godhead, realized through the unflinching mercy of my divine master. Let me therefore bow down at his lotus feet with all the humility at my command. -Abhay Charan Das 1936
The following speech was delivered in 1936 Bombay by the pure devotee who three decades later will become the world-renowned spiritual master of The Hare Krishna Movement. Abhay Charan das who latter becomes His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada glorifies his own spiritual master Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Goswami Maharaja with this Appearance day (Vyasa-puja) homage. Thus we learn the time-honored meaning of spiritual master, disciple and their relationship.
With All the Humility at My Command
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
26 Sep 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Lectures
Tags: a perfect guru, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada varnasrama-dharma, audio link, brahmacari, class on the srimad bhagavatam, guru what is guru, hindu dharma, hinduism, human civilization, Indus region, prabhupada vani, Sanatana-kharma, Sanskrit, SB 7.12.2, Srila Prabhupada lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam lecture, Vaisnavas, Vedas
This is a very nice lecture given by Srila Prabhupada in Bombay April, 1976 and is a very good description of what is a guru. We have also included a link to the audio file so that you can listen to the lecture at the same time you are reading it. This is our first audio link that we have posted from this site, as an experiment.
In this lecture Srila Prabhupada begins “So the first training, how to create a brahmacari… This is human civilization…So we must come to the platform of varnasrama-dharma, not “Hindu dharma”. As he’s stated many times, the term “Hindu” is not a name that you find in the Vedas or in Sanskrit. Rather, it was a name given by the Muslims, who were referring to the people of the Indus region. The religion of the Vaisnavas is Sanatana-dharma, not Hinduism.
Also a very nice definition of what it means to be a guru is described; “A perfect guru is one who is speaking on behalf of Krsna – not on his own behalf.” “If you want to have a perfect guru, then you have to see whether he is speaking on behalf of Krsna or on his own behalf. One who speaks on his own behalf, manufactures, he is not guru. He’s a rascal. One who speaks on behalf of Krsna, he is guru.”
Class on the Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.12.02
Bombay, April 13, 1976
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
to Listen to Lecture
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
15 Apr 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, Parampara System
Tags: 68-04-12, Brahma sampradaya, Dayanda das, disciplic succession, guru and disciple, Madhava, Parampara, parampara system, Sampradaya Acarya, spiritual master, Vyasadeva
..Regarding parampara system: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. Just like we belong to the Brahma Sampradaya, so we accept it from Krishna to Brahma, Brahma to Narada, Narada to Vyasadeva, Vyasadeva to Madhva, and between Vyasadeva and Madhva there is a big gap. But it is sometimes said that Vyasadeva is still living, and Madhva was fortunate enough to meet him directly. In a similar way, we find in the Bhagavad-gita that the Gita was taught to the sungod, some millions of years ago, but Krishna has mentioned only three names in this parampara system—namely, Vivasvan, Manu, and Iksvaku; and so these gaps do not hamper from understanding the parampara system. We have to pick up the prominent acaryas, and follow from him. There are many branches also from the parampara system, and it is not possible to record all the branches and sub-branches in the disciplic succession. We have to pick up from the authority of the acharya in whatever sampradaya we belong to. (from letter to Dayananda: April 12, 1968)
Full letter 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
18 Mar 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Quotes by Srila Prabhupada
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Accepting the Line of Disciplic Succession, disciplic succession, quotes by Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada's books, vani, vibration of transcendental sound
This is a nice post put together by Krishna Path entitled “Accepting the Line of Disciplic Succession”, with some slight editing (highlighting) done by us. What is particularly nice about it, are the Quotes at bottom stressing the importance of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.
So there is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavor. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn’t matter. (Arrival Speech – May 17, 1977, Vrndavana)
So although a physical body is not present, the vibration should be accepted as the presence of the spiritual master, vibration. What we have heard from the spiritual master, that is living. (Lecture Excerpt – Los Angeles, January 13, 1969)
So utilize whatever time you find to make a thorough study of my books. Then all your questions will be answered. (Letter to: Upendra – Nellore 7 January, 1976)