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
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
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.
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.
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
22 Jul 2012
in Guru & Disciple, Quotes by Srila Prabhupada, Siksa
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, disciple, guru, quotes by Srila Prabhupada, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, vani, vaniseva, what we have heard from the Spiritual Master that is living
…”What we have heard from the Spiritual Master, that is living.”
We’re always feeling your presence very strongly, Srila Prabhupada, simply by your teachings and your instructions. We’re always meditating on your instructions.
Thank you. That is the real presence. Physical presence is not important.
“But always remember that I am always with you. As you are always thinking of me, I am always thinking of you also. Although physically we are not together, we are not separated spiritually. So we should be concerned only with this spiritual connection.”
Does the Guru have to be physically present?
Quotes by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
“Physical presence is immaterial. Presence of the transcendental sound received from the Spiritual Master should be the guidance of life. That will make our spiritual life successful. If you feel very strongly about my absence you may place my pictures on my sitting places and this will be source of inspiration for you.”
(SP Letter to Brahmananda and other students, 19/1/67)
“But always remember that I am always with you. As you are always thinking of me, I am always thinking of you also. Although physically we are not together, we are not separated spiritually. So we should be concerned only with this spiritual connection.”
(SP Letter to Gaurasundara, 13/11/69)
“So we should associate by vibration, and not by the physical presence. That is real association.”
(SP Lectures SB, 18/08/68)
23 May 2012
in Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Gaura-kisora, Guru & Disciple, Siksa
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhaktivinode Thakur, Dayananda, Dayananda dasa, diksa, diksa guru, Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, Gaura-kisora, letter by Srila Prabhupada, siksa, Siksa guru, Thakur Bhaktivinode
…So far as your second question, Thakura Bhaktivinode was not official Spiritual Master of Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was already renounced order, Paramahamsa, but Thakura Bhaktivinode, while He was even playing the part of a householder, was treated by Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja as Preceptor, on account of His highly elevated spiritual understanding, and thus He was always treating Him as His Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master is divided into two parts; namely, siksa guru and diksa guru. So officially Bhaktivinode Thakura was like siksa guru of Gaura Kisora das Babaji Maharaja.
Letter to: Dayananda
1 May, 1969
My Dear Dayananda,
Please accept my blessings. Just yesterday morning I was thinking of you that I did not hear from Dayananda for so many days, and immediately I got your nice letter dated April 25, 1969. You are such a nice soul that you are always thinking of Krishna and becoming more and more purified in Krishna Consciousness. As stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Second Chapter, Twenty-Seventh Verse, Krishna is sitting in everyone’s heart and He is purifying one who is Krishna Conscious. The symptoms of advancement in Krishna Consciousness is gradually feeling detached to materialistic way of life. Although you are young man, you have got your nice young wife and child, and by Krishna’s Grace, everything is all right so far as your family is concerned, still you are feeling detached. That is very nice. But when your wife and child all are cooperating in your Krishna Consciousness, there is no hampering in your progress. So keep yourself always in Krishna Consciousness with your family members, raise your children to that standard, and employ your energy for serving Krishna. Then, even though you are in family life, you are as good as sannyasi.
22 Mar 2012
in Diksha, Guru & Disciple, July 9th Letter, Siksa
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, guru, His Divine Grace, initiated disciples, initiations, ISKCON Bangalore, ISKCON Mumbai, July 9th Letter, representative of the acarya, rittik initiation, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada
Some of our readers may or my not be familiar with the famous July 9th Letter; which was Srila Prabhupada’s final instruction on initiation. This is also the main point of contention in the Battle over ISKCON Bangalore. ISKCON Bangalore’s position is that Srila Prabhupada is the Founder-Acarya of ISKCON, and will continue to give diksha (initition) through the process of Rittik initiation, and guide all devotees in ISKCON to the abode of Lord Sri Krishna. Whereas ISKCON Mumbai’s position is that since Srila Prabhupada is no longer physically present, one should take diksa (initiation) from one of the present ISKCON gurus.
I applaud the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore in their Struggle for Truth, and their courageous stand for honesty and justice.
July 9th Letter Text More
24 Feb 2012
in Devotee's, Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Siksa, Vyasasan das
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, disciple, guru, Gurus and Godbrothers, Iskcon, Krsna, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, The Hare Krishna Movement, Vyasasan das
Gurus and Godbrothers
By Vyasasan das
Dear Srila Prabhupada,
Please accept my most humble obeisances, and kindly forgive my offences. In my last letter to you, which I titled “Return to the Hare Krishna Movement”, I was addressing some of the changes I witnessed to your movement since my return in 2006. I expressed some of my disappointments and concerns, and yet I still have faith in this mission of yours.
It was interesting to see which of my older God brothers was still practicing their Krsna Consciousness within the framework of ISKCON, who had remained and who had left. I read one very sad statistic the other day on the Internet, and am sorry to report that 95% of your initiated disciples are no longer practicing their KRSNA Consciousness within the structure of ISKCON. I was very alarmed by this, because it indicates to me there is a fatal flaw in the way the society is being managed.
This is not to say that they are not still practicing their Krsna Consciousness, for “once a devotee always a devotee”, or as is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.19, a person who has once relished the taste of the lotus feet of the Lord can do nothing but remember that ecstasy again and again, but sadly most are not practicing their faith within the structure of ISKCON.
12 Feb 2012
in Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Locanananda das, Siksa
Tags: GBC, guru and disciple, initation, interview with Locananda das, Iskcon, July 9th Letter, Locanananda das, officiating acaryas, rittik, ritvik, Srila Prabhupada
And the most definitive direction on this subject is found in the purport of the Srimad Bhagavatam: “One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorized by his predecessor spiritual master. This is called diksha-vidhana.” (SB 4.8.54)
Interview with Sriman Locanananda Prabhu
Interviewer: The issue of initiations in ISKCON has divided devotees for several decades and appears to have evolved into a schism. What is your personal perspective on this issue?
Locanananda dasa: When I was President of the Amsterdam temple in 1977, I received a copy of the Summary Report of the GBC meetings held in Vrndavana that year from the 27th through the 29th of May. In that report, two of the three questions Srila Prabhupada answered on May 28th were included, but the answer to the question about future initiations was not. A few weeks later, I received a copy of the July 9th letter explaining the new initiation protocols. It didn’t seem as if much had changed. Initiations would resume despite Srila Prabhupada’s ongoing illness. The letter also addressed the selection of “rittik” representatives of the acarya and referred to the May 28th meeting with Srila Prabhupada, but there was no detailed explanation as to how the two were connected. We were really left in the dark for years as to what instructions Srila Prabhupada had actually given the GBC as a mandate for future initiations.
Interviewer: Would you say it was a cover-up and hijacking of the movement?
26 Jan 2012
in Devotee's, Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Gurukrpa das, Siksa
Tags: Bhakta dasa, disciple, guru and disciple, Gurukrpa, Initiation, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Tamal Krishna Goswami, The Hare Krishna Movement
This is an older post that originally surfaced on the Sampradaya Sun some years ago, however, for those of you who have not seen this recorded interview, or those of you who like to hear and remember some of the truth that transpired after the departure of Srila Prabhupada in 1977, we again share this important recollection from a senior member of The Hare Krishna Movement.
Gurukrpa: What Really Happened in 1977-78
By Bhakta dasa
Feb 04, INDIA (SUN)
Dear Prabhus: Gurukrpa is here with me and on his behalf I am writing here.
Question: What happened the final months of Srila Prabhupada’s appearance in connection with the process of initiating new devotees?
Gurukrpa: Nothing happened. In the beginning Srila Prabhupada did the diksa, the yajna and the name giving. As the numbers increased, he authorized GBC, and senior sannyasis to pick names and chant on the beads, etc. In 1977 during the months of May, June, July 1977 I was in Vrindaban with Srila Prabhupada, giving him his massage in his bed between 1 AM and mangala aratik. During the day, many letters would arrive. Satsvarupa Swami was the secretary and we decided that only letters that would give joy to Srila Prabhupada would be read. Like numbers of books sold, etc. A maximum of five letters daily were read to Srila Prabhupada.
After some weeks like this, there were stacks and stacks of letters, all relating to initiation. Hundreds of people were panicking that Srila Prabhupada would leave the planet before they were given initiation. At this time, this situation was brought before Srila Prabhupada in his room by Satsvarupa, Tamal, myself, and maybe some others.
Up until this time it was a very simple matter that we were doing the initiations, but we first had to ask permission. Srila Prabhupada NEVER refused any recommendation from his senior men. And personally, I would sometimes argue with some GBC that they were giving it too easily.
At this meeting, Srila Prabhupada basically said, “From here on, if you feel they are ready, then you may give the initiation on my behalf.” I understood this for what it was, simply extending the authority a little further than it had been. Tamal Krsna Swami, began to say, “But who will do it?. Which devotees will do this?” Srila Prabhupada said, “The nearest one will do it. Whoever is closest.” Tamal said, “Can Bhavananda do? Can Jayapataka do?” Thus these eleven names came out.
10 Jan 2012
in Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Iskcon Bangalore, Siksa
Tags: guru and disciple, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, ISKCON Bangalore, ISKCON Mumbi, Madhu Pandit Das, News from Iskcon Bangalore, officiating Acarya, rittvik, Srila Prabhupada Founder Acharya of ISKCON
Iskcon Bangalore Temple
Apex Court Dismisses ISKCON Mumbai’s Appeal
By: Bharatarshabha Dasa, Bangalore.
Jan 9, 2012, Monday
The Supreme Court of India today dismissed an appeal filed by ISKCON Mumbai, seeking to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa, President of ISKCON Bangalore. The Supreme Court Bench consisting of Honorable Justice HL Dattu and Honorable Justice Chandramouli KR Prasad today gave this judgment on the appeal filed by ISKCON Mumbai challenging the verdict of the High Court which had opined that no contempt was committed by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa. While pronouncing the verdict one of the Honorable Judges said that Supreme Court is not a forum meant of settling scores and ISKCON Mumbai’s petition attempts to settle some scores with Madhu Pandit Dasa.
22 Dec 2011
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Siksa
Tags: disciple, guru, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Initiation, Nov. 14th 1977, rules and regulations, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada Spiritually Present
Physically Departed / Spiritually Present
“Yes, I am the Spiritual Master of this institution, and all members of the society, they’re supposed to be my disciples. They follow the rules and regulations which I ask them to follow, and they are initiated by me spiritually.”
Srila Prabhupada left this world on November 14th 1977 in Krishna’s holy land of Vrindavan. He had been translating his books and instructing his disciples to the very last, and left in the most auspicious circumstances, surrounded by his disciples chanting the maha-mantra.
He left behind a massive legacy of teachings in the form of numerous books, audio and video taped lectures and conversations, as well as a worldwide Movement. He said he had given everything necessary to go back home, back to Godhead, we just had to read his books, chant and follow his instructions. He taught that there was no difference to serving him when he was physically present, to doing so when he was absent. He would remain spiritually present in his books and instructions:
13 Dec 2011
in Book Distribution, Diksha, Quotes by Srila Prabhupada, Sankirtan, Siksa
Tags: Book Distribution, books by Srila Prabhupada, Chanting the holy name, guru, Harinama diksa, kirtan, Krsna, sankirtan, spiritual master, spoken kirtans
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)
22 Nov 2011
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Quotes by Srila Prabhupada, Siksa
Tags: disciples, guru, guru tattva, Harinam das, Iskcon, July 9th Letter, officiating acharyas, ritvik, ritvik acarya, Srila Prabhupada Quotes, Srila Prabhupadas Will
Blessings from Srila Prabhupada
This is an older article, and rather long, but is full with information, quotes, and insightful analysis, on the most important issues, facing our society, concerning guru tattva, and following the instructions of Srila Prabhupada. Many good quotes and a highly recomended read!
Srila Prabhupada Guru Tattva
By Sriman Harinam Prabhu
June 12, 2006
It is widely known that Srila Prabhupada instituted a ritvik or representative (proxy) initiation system throughout ISKCON as early as 1971 in order to meet the growing need to initiate his disciples worldwide. However what is not widely known is that he instructed his disciples to continue initiating new disciples on his behalf even after his physical disappearance.
He called those disciples who performed the initiation ceremonies ritvik representatives of the acharya (officiating acharyas). Below are quotes directly from Srila Prabhupada for the evidence of these intructions as well as explanations, philosophical insights, and historical background.
17 Nov 2011
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Hansadutta das, Siksa, Srila Prabhupada His Movement & You
Tags: diksha, guru, guru and disciple, Guru Parampara, hansadutta das, Initiation, liberated, servant of guru, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada His Movement and You
If one remains always a servant everlastingly 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 Chaitanya Mahaprabhu…. 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 this Gaudiya Math failed? Because they tried to become more than guru. He [Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura], before passing away, he gave them all direction and never said that “This man should be the next acharya .” But these people, just after his passing away, they began to fight, who shall be acharya . That is the failure. They never thought, “Why Guru Maharaja gave us instruction so many things, why he did not say that this man should be acharya? ” They wanted to create artificially somebody acharya, and everything failed. They did not consider even with common sense that if Guru Maharaja wanted to appoint somebody as acharya, 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 acharya . Then another man came, then another, acharya, another acharya . So better remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by Guru Maharaja. That is perfection. –Srila Prabhupada, August 16, 1976, Bombay ( Conversations with Srila Prabhupada, Vol. 26, p. 59-60)
By Sriman Hansadutta Prabhu
These are some last minute thoughts in continuing the first edition of Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You.
During Tamal’s conversation at Topanga Canyon, Tamal Krishna Goswami admitted that “you cannot show me anywhere where Srila Prabhupada appointed gurus. He only appointed rittviks…. This appointment is a myth….”
Certainly Prabhupada made gurus! But seeing their immaturity, he qualified them as rittvik representatives of the Acharya. One certainly must have a guru, but to understand the calibre of one’s guru, the standard for judgment of measure is there in the person of the Acharya, Srila Prabhupada. Otherwise, why did Prabhupada say, “Ramanuja Acharya is there, Madhva Acharya is there, and their commentaries are there. You follow the Acharya; don’t follow any rascal”