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)
18 Sep 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, Haridasa Thakura, Krsna Consciousness
Tags: 300 thousand names, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, disciples, dog-eaters, Haridasa Thakur, Lord Caitanya, Moslem family, namacarya, namachara, Spiritual Life, Thakur Haridasa
After the passing away of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, the Lord Himself took his body on His lap, and He danced with it in great ecstasy. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 10.46)
Today being the Disappearance of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, we honor him with this short post. We have selected a verse from the Bhagavad-gita 6.44 wherein Srila Prabhupada mentions in the purport;
…Lord Caitanya, accepted Ṭhākur Haridāsa as one of His most important disciples. …he was elevated to the post of nāmācārya by Lord Caitanya due to his rigidly attended principle of chanting three hundred thousand holy names of the Lord daily: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
Full Text and Purport More
27 Jun 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Brahmananda das, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, The Hare Krishna Movement
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura, bogi yogis, disciples, George Harrison, guru, Indian sanyasis, sannyasis, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada's disciples, The Hare Krishna Movement, The Hare Krsna Explosion
This is Part 3, or the conclusion, of the very informative article by Sriman Brahmananda Prabhu as it appeared in Back to Godhead Magazine in 1975, which gives not only some of the History of Lord Caitanya’s Mission, but on the preaching of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Gaudiya Vaisnavism, and the Hare Krishna Movement here in the West.
How the Teachings of Lord Caitanya Came to the Western World (Part 3)
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine
Vol.10, No. 1, 1975
by His Holiness Brahmananda Swami
After the disappearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, his son, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, a great scholar and pure devotee, continued to expand the mission of Lord Caitanya. He wrote many books and established printing presses and sixty-four temples dedicated to preaching the message of Krsna consciousness.
The following is the third of three articles depicting the pioneering efforts of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, and those who have followed them in spreading the benediction of Krsna consciousness throughout the world.)
12 May 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Acyutanananda das, Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas
Tags: 26 second Avenue, Acyutananda, Acyutananda Swami, Brahmananda Swami, Bruce, Chuck Barnett, disciples, India, initiated disciples of Srila Prabhupada, sannyasa, Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas, Sriman Acyutananda, Tompkins Square Park, Vaisnava songs
It was my good fortune to finally meet one of my singing mentors, and God-brother, the legendary Acyutananda das, at the Festival of Inspiration held annually at the New Vrindavan farm community in West Virginia. He was a very likable character and willingly signed my 1974 copy of the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas. He opened the Festival of Inspiration with a Question and Answer session, answering all kinds of questions on the “Early Days”, “India”, “Life with Srila Prabhupada”, “Spiritual Life” etc., etc. with his own blend of sarcastic humor, wit, and intellectual powers. It was quite enjoyable and enlightening. He is a very ‘real’, unpretentious fellow, and as I said very likable.
In honor of our visit with him we are posting the Foreword from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acarays, wherein Srila Prabhupada is giving his thanks and blessings:
…I confer all my blessings upon Acyutananda Swami for his genuine attempt to advance in Krishna consciousness. I hope he will attempt to advance more and more and never be hampered my maya. We should always remember the danger of maya’s influence and endeavor to save ourselves from her great power. We must therefore always merge in the transcendental mellow of kirtana-rasa, for kirtana-rasa is the safest situation within this material world. Hare Krishna.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
25 Dec 2012
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bob Cohen, Guru & Disciple, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada Conversations
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bob Cohen, Christ, disciple, disciples, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Krishna, perfect questions perfect answers, spiritual master, young American Peace Corps worker
Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.
…The spiritual master has to take the responsibility for all the sinful activities of his disciples…He takes responsibility for all the fallen souls. That idea is also in the Bible. Jesus Christ took all the sinful reactions of the people and sacrificed his life. That is the responsibility of a spiritual master.
Perfect Questions Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
February 29, 1972, evening
28 Oct 2012
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Disciplic succession, Gaudiya Math, Guru & Disciple, Rupanuga das, Spiritual Master
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhaktivinode Thakur, disciples, Gaudiya Math, generals who could not be defeated, guru, Lord Caitianya Mahaprabhu, Rupanuga das, sankirtan, spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, Srila Prabhupada, viraha astaka
…whatever Krsna Consciousness exists outside of India is due to the humble efforts of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who openly challenged the scientific voidism and sectarian impersonalism dominating the world. Like Bhaktivinode Thakur and Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur, his predecessors in bringing Lord Caitanya’s causeless mercy of Harinama out of India, His Divine Grace remains undefeated, and is prepared to commission any and all of his followers to carry on the tradition of victory.
…The Generals who could not be defeated have already provided the strategy, weapons, and knowledge, the spiritual strength, to guarantee ultimate victory. The Parampara Acaryas have chosen Srila Prabhupada-vani to lead the mission into this 21st Century…
Therefore, the wise shall accept the infallible guidance and protection of Srila Prabhupada and to best capacity help deliver, by His Divine Grace, the inconceivable benediction of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
The Generals Who Could Not Be Defeated
by Sriman Rupanuga das
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada once remarked to his disciples, “You must become a general like me. I cannot be defeated.” Srila Prabhupada was commissioned by another undefeated general, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur, who against all opposition established the legitimacy and influence of the Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta in India. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta met resistance from every quarter: professional gurus, prakrta-sahajiyas, caste goswamis, ecumenists, eclecticists, et al., but anyone who dared to sally forth and meet his challenge was ultimately trounced.
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.
23 Aug 2012
in Quotes by Srila Prabhupada, Remembering Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada, Srimad Bhagavatam
Tags: disciples, Krishna consciousness, pure devotees, Remembering Srila Prabhupada, SB 3.22.21, smile of Krishna conscious person, Spiritual world, Srila Prabhupada, Srimad Bhagavatam, thoughts of Krsna
“That is the way of Krishna consciousness. Pure devotees are so absorbed in thought of Krishna that they have no other engagement; although they may seem to think or act otherwise, they are always thinking of Krishna. The smile of such a Krishna conscious person is so attractive that simply by smiling he wins so many admirers, disciples and followers.” (from purport to Srimad Bhagavatam, 3.22.21)
Full text and purport More
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.
26 Oct 2011
in Devotee's, Kirtananda Swami, Letters by Srila Prabhupada
Tags: Bhaktipada, disciples, Gerald Ham, Hare Krishna leader, Hare Krishna Movement, Keith Ham, Kirtanananda Swami, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada
Former Hare Krishna leader Kirtanananda Swami dies at 74
"Your ever well wisher"
Kirtananda Swami, former American Hare Krishna leader, died Monday in a hospital near Mumbai, India. According to his brother, Gerald Ham, he died of kidney failure at age 74.
Kirtananda Swami, was born September 6, 1937 New York. Given the name Keith Gordon Ham, he was the youngest child of a Baptist minister, Kirtananda was among the first Hare Krishna devotees in the United States. In 1968 he founded what eventually became the largest Hare Krishna community in the country. Despite having been excommunicated in 1987 by the leadership of the Hare Krishna movement, he presided over that community until 1994.
In a letter written to Janardana in 1968, Srila Prabhupada has this to say about Kirtananda Swami and to all those he has accepted as disciples…
Regarding Kirtanananda’s letter, I may inform you that I always think of him and pray to Krishna for his good sense. That is my duty. Anyone who comes to me for my help or wants advance in Krishna Consciousness, and whom I initiate and accept as my disciple, I must pray for him and his welfare always. So Kirtanananda personally served me, especially during my illness, which I always remember. But because somehow or other he has misunderstood our activities that does not mean that I am no longer his well wisher. I write at the end of my letters to my disciples, “Your ever well-wisher”, and as such, I cannot become otherwise than being ever well-wisher of my disciples, even though he may leave me. So I was praying to Krishna that He may save Kirtanananda from his misunderstanding and if ever he chanted Hare Krishna at least once in sincere heart, I am sure Krishna would not allow him to go out of his influence. Therefore, I believe that he can never forget the Form of Krishna, neither he can deny His Personality. It is good news that he is trying to establish a new Vrindaban, which I suggested through Hayagriva Brahmacari, and if he is successful, in his attempt, certainly it will be considered a great benediction upon him by Lord Krishna. When I offered him Sannyas, I expected such great achievements through him and if Krishna desires, he will come out successful in his great attempt. Yes, I expressed my desire to go there through Hayagriva Brahmacari, and if I am invited, to go there, by Kirtanananda Swami, it will be my great pleasure to see the place and enjoy his company.
For entire letter
02 Oct 2011
in Back to Godhead, Quotes by Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada
Tags: Back to Godhead Magazine, BTG 1978, disciples, final instructions, Srila Prabhupada Speaks out
Srila Prabhupada Speaks Out
His Final Instructions
Remembering Srila Prabhupada
Back to Godhead Magazine
Volume 13, Number 102, 1978
During his last months, Srila Prabhupada was not very active physically, and he spoke relatively little. Yet when he did speak, his words were full of spiritual strength. These excerpts from Srila Prabhupada’s last statements reveal the mind of the pure devotee and universal teacher. And they show that Srila Prabhupada is indeed a transcendental personality, whose devotion to Lord Krsna and to the mission of spreading love of Krsna is undying.
“There is nothing new to be said. Whatever I had to say, I have already said in my books. Now you must all try to understand it and continue with your endeavors. Whether I am present or not present doesn’t matter. Just as Krsna is living eternally, the living being also lives eternally. But especially… kirtir yasya sa jivati: ‘One who has done service to the Lord lives forever.’ You have been taught to serve Krsna, and with Krsna we’ll live eternally. Our life is eternal. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire: the disappearance of this temporary body doesn’t matter. The body is meant for disappearance. So, live forever by serving Krsna. Thank you very much.”
31 Jul 2011
in Devotee's, Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Madhudvisa das, Siksa, The Hare Krishna Movement
Tags: acharyas, disciples, Evidence and Clarification, Iskcon, Madhuvisa dasa, prabhupada, ritvik, Rocan dasa, Sampradaya sun, Srila Prabhupada, Tamal Krishna Goswami
Srila Prabhupada is the Only Spiritual Master for ISKCON
Srila Prabhupada created ISKCON for his disciples and it is really only going to work for his disciples. There is no history of a group of gurus living together and having all their disciples together. Even the Goswamis in Vrindavan, they were coming together for kirtans but they all had their own separate temples and disciples.
A short while back I read an interesting article written by Madhuvisa Prabhu, and posted by Rochan Prabhu on his site Sampradaya Sun. The article was entitled Evidence and Clarification. We are posting some of it here.
“…But as far as the facts are concerned it is certainly a fact that Prabhupada established a ritvik initiation system in ISKCON in the early 70’s where he would appoint representatives to perform the fire yajnas for his disciples on his behalf. And it is a fact that he gave these “ritviks” more power as the years went on, and in the July 9th letter, he gave them complete power to accept disciples on his behalf and chant on their beads and give them a name, without having any physical involvement in the matter at all.
It is also a provable fact that Srila Prabhuapda did not consider that any of his disciples were qualified for the position of acharya. And therefore it is very reasonable to say that Srila Prabhupada did not appoint any successor acharyas. I was just listening to one of the 1977 conversation tapes a couple of days ago and Srila Prabhupada told Tamal that the problem is among his disciples there is no strong man. He said they are all like children and among all Ramesvara may be the best. The same thing is there in other places where Prabhupada is clearly stating that his disciples are immature and not qualified for the post of acharya.
So it is a fact that the system Srila Prabhupada used in ISKCON to accept disciples in him physical presence was ritvik, 100% ritvik in the later years. And we can say it is a fact that he did not appoint any successor acharyas. Even Tamal confirms this in his Topanga Canyon talks. He says clearly that Prabhupada only appointed ritviks.
03 Jun 2011
in Advaita Acarya, Advaita Acharya, Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Siksa, Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta
Tags: A.C. B, Adi lila, Advaita Acarya, disciples, Gaudiya Matha, guru, haktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, litigation, missionary activities, spiritual master, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless. (Adi 12.10)
…the followers of Advaita Ācārya divided into two parties. Such disagreement among the disciples of one ācārya is also found among the members of the Gauḍīya Maṭha. In the beginning, during the presence of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Paramahaṁsa Parivrājakācārya Aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, all the disciples worked in agreement; but just after his disappearance, they disagreed. One party strictly followed the instructions of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, but another group created their own concoction about executing his desires. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular man to become the next ācārya. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of ācārya, and they split into two factions over who the next ācārya would be. Consequently, both factions were asāra, or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master. Despite the spiritual master’s order to form a governing body and execute the missionary activities of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, the two unauthorized factions began litigation that is still going on after forty years with no decision. (Adi 12.8 purport)
29 Apr 2011
in Dhira Govinda das, Diksha, Dusyanta das, Rama das, Siksa, Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada, The Prominent Link
Tags: current link, devotees, Dhira Govinda das, disciples, Dusyanta das, GBC, Hare Krishna Movement, Iskcon, link, prominent link, Rama das, SAC, Sampradaya Acarya, spiritual master and disciple, Srila Prabhupada, Srimad Bhagavatam
Recently there was a nice article on the Sampradaya Sun posted by Sriman Dhira Govinda Prabhu on the Current and Direct Link, for continuance of the disciplic succession in ISKCON, and two nice spin off articles. Enclosed are two of the recent articles submitted by readers.
BY: DUSYANTA DAS
Apr 27, 2011 — UK (SUN) — In Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.7 is where the quote is found concerning the word “link”. In the purport, Srila Prabhupada identifies this phenomena thus: “…in order to receive the real message of Srimad Bhagavatam one should approach the current link, or Spiritual master, in the chain of disciplic succession.”
The definition of “current” is explained clearly from the Collins English dictionary thus:
“most recent, commonly known, practiced or accepted, widespread, circulating and valid at present”. Which all seems to fit very easily into the idea that Srila Prabhupada is the Spiritual Master, the current link that is illustrated here in the purport of SB 2.9.7.
The application of this phenomena, the “current link” is hinging on the word in the sentence “approach”. Which is either a verb or noun. The verb “approach” is defined as “to come near, to go to someone with a request or offer, to set about doing something.” The noun “approach” is defined as “a way or road to a place, a method of doing something.”
If we follow the premise that Srila Prabhupada uses the term “immediate acarya” as synonymous with the term “current link”, then we come up with the definitions lending the validity to a direct relationship with Him without intermediaries and regardless of physical presence. Immediate definition as “without intervening medium, closest or most direct in effect of relationship.”
The point in approaching a spiritual master or current link in disciplic succession is to take initiation from him.
26 Mar 2011
in Srila Prabhupada Conversations
Tags: bhagavad-gita, disciples, eternal relationship with God, materialistic persons, spiritual movemnt, Swamiji
This exchange between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and reporters took place at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Reporter: Swamiji, what special message would you have for people who don’t know anything about your movement and would like to know something about it?
Srila Prabhupada: It is a little difficult to understand this movement, because it is a spiritual movement. Unfortunately, people have practically no information about what spirit is and what a spiritual movement is. They can simply understand that the body is there — but the body is a machine, and the driver of the machine is the spirit soul. So we are beginning our movement from this platform. People are very much engrossed with the machine only, but they have no information about who is driving the machine. That is what we are teaching.
Reporter: Swamiji, your movement has received much attention because many of your followers dress in what, for the West, is an odd fashion. Why have you asked your followers to dress in this fashion and play drums on the streets?
Srila Prabhupada: This is our preaching method — somehow or other to draw people’s attention, so that they may have the opportunity to revive their eternal relationship with God.
05 Mar 2011
in Devotee's, Pradyuma das
Tags: Acaryas, devotee, disciples, Godbrothers, guru, Initiation, Iskcon, Pradyumna das, Satsvarupa Maharaj, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, successor, Vrindavan
Same solution as desired by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
Pradyumna Prabhu (ACBSP): 7 August, 1978
Dear Satsvarupa Maharaj,
Please accept my most humble obeisances.
Maharaj, I am writing you this letter with GREAT anxiety in my heart and after days and days and long nights of thought and careful consideration.
I have been staying in Vrndavan for some time and have not visited any other center recently except Delhi. Therefore, my information I have about what is happening at our other centers comes only from devotees visiting here, occasional letters, newsletters and our society’s magazine and other publications. But the news I hear from these sources is very alarming and therefore I am writing you in some anxiety.