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.
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.
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
02 Apr 2012
in Guru & Disciple, ISKCON, Remembering Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada
Tags: Founder Acarya, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, GBC, GBC Resolution #309, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Iskcon, Srila Prabhupada, teachings of His Divine Grace
Here is a new GBC resolution I found interesting…
GBC Resolution #309
ISKCON GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION SOCIETY
Registration Number S/74662 under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961
P.O. Shree Mayapur Dham, Dist. Nadia, West Bengal 741313
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
SRI MAYAPUR DHAM, FEBRUARY 10 – 21, 2012
309. Founder-Acarya on ISKCON Guru Websites
Whereas the proliferation of official and unofficial websites of ISKCON gurus currently do not, in large part, prominently feature the personality and teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness on the introduction page as well as on many other pages;
And whereas it is necessary to establish guidelines for such websites so that as far as possible visitors are made aware that whatever inspiration the devotees are receiving from the guru is due to the great mercy of Srila Prabhupada:
ISKCON gurus shall be responsible for ensuring that their own official websites adhere to the following guidelines:
1. They prominently feature a picture of Srila Prabhupada on the introductory page
2. They credit him as the “Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness”
3. They contain a brief summary of his accomplishments and provide authorized website links to his teachings
The Guru Services Committee will compile a suggested comprehensive template for use in guru websites.
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?
13 Jan 2012
in Devotee's, Guru & Disciple, Prahlada-Nrsimha das, Srila Prabhupada
Tags: GBC, Iskcon, Prabhavisnu das, prabhupada, Prahlada-Nrsimbha, Rupanuga das, Sannyasi, Srila Prabhupada
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
This is an older post that appeared sometime back on the Sampradaya Sun, but in light of all the discussion on the plight of the ex-GBC/sannyasi/guru; Prabhavisnu Prabhu, we thought it important to remind our readers again of the unique position of Srila Prabhupada. As Prahlada-Nrsimbha reminds us in the following article…”Let us — members of ISKCON, friends of ISKCON, “fringes”, haters of ISKCON, whoever, everyone, just love Srila Prabhupada and fly the one flag of Srila Prabhupada over our heads, and all of us be united under Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet!”
Fly the One Flag of Srila Prabhupada
By Prahlada-Nrsimha Prabhu
Aug 23, 2011 — USA (SUN)
Dear Rupanuga Prabhu I respect and admire you greatly! I just read your recent article, entitled “The World Acarya”. It is so inspiring to me how you honor Srila Prabhupada very nicely, concluding by saying: “…in due time, people will understand the true meaning of “Prabhupada” – the Master (Prabhu) at whose lotus feet (pada) all others pay their obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada…”
It gives my heart great happiness to see others recognize the unique position of Srila Prabhupada and acknowledge that we (at best) sit at his feet in his shadow as a speck of insignificant dust in comparison to Srila Prabhupada.
I feel now (and since 1977) in ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada is greatly minimized. I have seen that devotees initiated since 1977, the devotee that gives the name and chants on the beads of the newly initiated disciple is given more importance then Srila Prabhupada.
I more often than not meet devotees that have been initiated by devotees in ISKCON and they know the mood and standpoint on various subjects of the devotee that has preformed their initiation ceremony (and/or their local GBC or temple president) and they can even quote him on so many subjects. But when I quote Srila Prabhupada on these subjects they have no idea that Srila Prabhupada said this. They only know what their own GBC or initiator or temple president said.
01 Oct 2011
in Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, Siksa
Tags: GBC, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, initiator guru, instructor guru, Iskcon, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, Madhudvisa Swami
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
“This is the function of the GBC, to see that one may not be taken away by maya. The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This is what I want.” (Letter to Madhudvisa Swami, August, 4, 1975)
for entire letter…
12 Sep 2011
in Devotee's, Diksha, Iskcon Bangalore, Siksa
Tags: Bangalore devotees, GBC, ISKCON Bangalore, Iskcon Times, Madhu Pandit Das, Radhapran das, Srila Prabhupada
At this critical juncture of the tussle between ISKCON Mumbai and ISKCON Bangalore, I together with the devotees here in Malaysia, pledge support for His Grace Madhu Pandit Prabhu and the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore. Knowing only too well the many similar tribulations experienced in Malaysia over the last decade, it is obvious that the same demeaning tactics magnified manifold are at work to disrepute the good work accomplished by the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore.
Pledge of Support for ISKCON Bangalore
By: Radhapran Dasa, Malaysia
It gives me much grief to see what appears to be a concerted effort by the ISKCON GBC to smear the good name of His Grace Madhu Pandit Prabhu whom I have had the fortune to know personally since 1999. His association has been a stark contrast to that of the thuggish bogus gurus whom I have had the misfortune of encountering in my early association with ISKCON.
Having understood and accepted the authentic position of Srila Prabhupada as the sole diksha guru for ISKCON through contact with other like-minded devotees and evidence related to Srila Prabhupada’s books on Guru tattva and the principal documents pertaining to the process of initiation such as the May 28th conversation, July 9th letter and the Official Will, my team of devotees initially faced an uphill task of disengaging ourselves from the deviation-ridden GBC-led setup in Malaysia. We have faced both direct harassment and indirect plots to undermine our existence since 1999.
10 Sep 2011
in Iskcon Bangalore
Tags: battle over Iskcon Bangalore, GBC, ISKCON Bangalore, Iskcon temples, Madhu Pandit Das, Madhudvisa das, ritvik
Madhu Pandit Prabhu and the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore are intelligent devotees and are dedicated to Srila Prabhupada. I think there is no one who would disagree with this. On any metric you want to take, the ISKCON Bangalore Group is very successful in following the instructions of Srila Prabhupada. They have huge book distribution, prasadam distribution, a wonderful standard of Deity worship, very dynamic preaching programs, very good management, sincere devotees completely dedicated to strictly following the four regulative principles, chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, rising before four every morning to attend the Mangal Aroti and being fully engaged 24 hours a day in serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.
So why is it that ISKCON is so intent on getting control over the ISKCON Bangalore Group, even though they know it is not possible really, unless the temple devotees are on their side? And the temple devotees are not on their side — they are Prabhupada men and ISKCON says: “Prabhupada is dead — you need a living guru.” So there is no way they are going to agree with ISKCON/GBC.
It’s All About the Money
By Sriman Madhudvisa Prabhu
Sep 09, 2011 Austrailia (SUN)
ISKCON claims they are trying to eject Mahu Pandit Prabhu from ISKCON Bangalore because of a philosophical deviation, but we have examples in the past where ISKCON temples have separated themselves from ISKCON and have followed a path different from the one chalked out by the GBC.
11 Jul 2011
in Devotee's, Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Hansadutta das, Srila Prabhupada His Movement & You, Tamal Krishna Goswami
Tags: GBC, Hansadutta Maharaja, His Divine Grace, initiated disciples book, July 10th, July 9th Letter, representative of the acharya, rittvik, spiritual name, Srila Prabhupada, Tamal Krishna Goswami, Temple Presidents, to give initiations
Letter to Hansadutta from Tamal Krishna Goswami
July 10th, 1977
My Dear Hansadutta Maharaja:
Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. Srila Prabhupada has received your letters dated July 4th and July 5th, 1977 respectively, and has instructed me to reply them.
Srila Prabhupada was very pleased to hear how you have organized everything in Ceylon, and that so many people are now taking interest seriously is proof of the effectiveness of your preaching. His Divine Grace said, “You are a suitable person and you can give initiation to those who are ready for it. I have selected you among eleven men as “rittvik” or representative of the acharya, to give initiations, both first and second initiation, on my behalf.” A newsletter is being sent to all Temple Presidents and GBC in this regard, listing the eleven representatives selected by His Divine Grace. Those who are initiated are the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and anyone who you deem fit and initiate in this way, you should send their names to be included in Srila Prabhupada’s “Initiated Disciples” book. In this way the Temple Presidents will send their recommendations for initiation direct to the nearest representative who will give a spiritual name or chant on the Gayatri thread just as Srila Prabhupada has been doing.
Srila Prabhupada smiled very broadly when he heard of the successful program organized by the local people in which 2000 persons attended. When he heard that you have introduced a full feasting program on Sundays, he said, “You are a good cook, so teach others now how to cook just as I taught you.”
Regarding the printing going slowly, His Divine Grace stated, “Never mind. Go surely. It doesn’t matter slowly.” I inquired from Pradyumna Prabhu about the Sinhalese translation which you mentioned. He said that “On Chanting Hare Krishna Mantra” was translated into Sinhalese, and that translation is in his trunk in Bombay. We will try to get it to you as soon as possible. I do not know if Gopal Krishna has any Tamil manuscript, but if he does, when I see him in about ten days, I will tell him to send it to you. You may also write him directly. Pradyumna says it will be faster just to get a new translationÑit is only one page.
Srila Prabhupada was very glad to know that you would try to bring some Ceylonese devotees to Mayapur and said, “Oh, that is very good!” He did not know whether the story about Bhaktisiddhanta’s disciples seeing a man eating a rat was true or not. Regarding the exact position of Sri Lanka, this is the opinion of some people. Srila Prabhupada advised that we not discuss this matter publicly at this time. Prabhupada also recommended that from Hari Sauri you take ghee. He said that you could have one fifth of whatever Hari Sarui sends to India. Regarding whether you should use the name Swami or Goswami, Srila Prabhupada said, “Stick to one. Swami is better.”
Tamal Krishna Goswami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada
14 Jun 2011
in Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Iskcon Bangalore, The Struggle for Truth
Tags: GBC, guru mukha padma vakya, Initiation, May 28th 1977, May 28th room conversation, officiating acharya, ritvik, ritvik-acharya, Tamal Krishna Goswami
Particularly at that time when you’re no longer with us…
Struggle For Truth
It is a matter of undisputed evidence that several of the GBC members approached Srila Prabhupada on May 28th 1977 with a set of questions to be asked to him. One such question was, how first and second initiation would go on particularly when he was no longer with us. Srila Prabhupada’s immediate reply was, “I will appoint some of you to act as Officiating Acharya.” And to this HH Tamal Krishna Maharaj said, “Rtvik Acharya?” and Srila Prabhupada said, “Rtvik, yes”. This is Guru Mukha Padma Vakya.
A great misunderstanding has been perpetrated in ISKCON that the parampara will be lost if we had a rtvik system and in order to maintain parampara we must have living initiating gurus. But Srila Prabhupada says differently on when parampara is lost or stopped:
Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, if the knowledge was handed down by the saintly kings, evam parampara-praptam, how is it that the knowledge was lost?
Prabhupada: “When it was not handed down. Simply understood by speculation. Or if it is not handed down as it is. They might have made some changes. Or they did not hand it down. Suppose I handed it down to you, but if you do not do that, then it is lost. Now the Krishna consciousness movement is going on in my presence. Now after my departure, if you do not do this, then it is lost. If you go on as you are doing now, then it will go on.” (Room conversations, May 9th , 1975, Perth)
03 Jun 2011
in Iskcon Bangalore
Tags: appointed successor, battle over Iskcon Bangalore, GBC, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON Mumbi, Madhu Pandit, Rohith Kaushik, Sun
Winning a Battle Only to Lose a War
By; Rohith Kaushik
Jun 02, 2011 — UK (SUN) —
It’s time to realize that we as ‘ISKCON’ — The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, meaning every single one of us wherever in the world we may be — as a whole, are now being looked down upon as a bunch of people that ultimately get as low as anyone else when it comes to money and land. The so-called ‘spiritualists’ who once advised people to be materially detached are themselves fighting over a mere 7 acres of mortal land! What do you think the reaction of the next person we preach to in Bangalore is going to be?
There is a new episode in the Bangalore drama unfolding every day, ever since the High Court has pronounced its verdict. Local news channels are relishing every bit of the sensationalism ISKCON has managed to create. Everyone from beggars to politicians are talking about ISKCON and its “scandals”. People are obviously making a mockery of everything we’ve stood for.
Before anyone starts to feel happy or sad about the Bangalore situation, we must all take a step backwards and see for ourselves if this whole endeavor was worth anything all. Did ‘we’ – meaning Srila Prabhupada’s followers – ultimately in the process of professing the highest knowledge available – win over our enemies, namely Kali, the Mayavadis and the likes? I think not! It’s quite the contrary.
We have taken our disagreements from a spiritual platform right down to the street in front of the common man, where the point of our disagreement is well beyond their capability to even comprehend. The general public in this age of Kaliyuga are not intelligent enough to figure out how passionate the two parties are about their beliefs and devotion to Krishna and their respective Gurus. The public is probably happy deep down somewhere to know that even such exalted spiritualists are ultimately no different from themselves – they’re also after what everyone else is – Money! How comforting… And of course, who doesn’t like to talk about some new sensational gossip.
01 Jun 2011
in Diksha, Guru & Disciple, July 9th Letter, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, Siksa, Srila Prabhupada His Movement & You
Tags: BBT document, Brahma Sampradaya Acharya, Founder Acarya, GBC, hansadutta das, July 9th Letter, last will & testament, Prabhupada's behalf, ritvik, ritvik gurus, ritvik initiations, Temple Presidents
The endless controversy over whether Prabhupada appointed gurus, acharyas or rittvik deputies can be satisfactorily concluded by pointing out that Prabhupada left written instructions. Srila Prabhupada left a last will and testament. He left a BBT document regarding the continued publication of his books. He left a GBC document outlining how the movement is to be managed. And he wrote a letter on July 9, l977, appointing ll senior devotees as rittvik gurus, officiating deputies, to continue the process of initiating new members on behalf of ” the Founder- acarya ” Srila Prabhupada . All the men named in that letter already had been doing these rittvik initiations on Prabhupada’s bellalf for a number of years. Therefore, there was no need for Prabhupada to write an official letter in this regard, save and except to make it clear that these senior disciples should perpetuate the rittvik responsibilities they were already performing in the future, as in the absence of Srila Prabhupada, which at that time was apparently very near at hand.
Letter to all GBC and Temple Presidents
from Srila Prabhupada, dated July 9th, 1977 (see photocopy above):
To All G.B.C. and Temple Presidents
July 9th, 1977
Dear Maharajas and Prabhus:
Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. Recently, when all of the GBC members were with His Divine Grace in Vrindavana, Srila Prabhupada indicated that soon He would appoint some of His senior disciples to act as “rittvik”-representative of the acharya, for the purpose of performing initiations, both first initiation and second initiation. HisDivine Grace has so far given a list of eleven disciples who will act in that capacity:
His Holiness Kirtanananda Swami
His Holiness Satsvarupa das Goswami
His Holiness Jayapataka Swami
His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami
His Holiness Hrdayananda Goswami
His Holiness Bhavananda Goswami
His Holiness Hamsadutta Swami
His Holiness Ramesvara Swami
His Holiness Harikesa Swami
His Grace Bhagavan das Adhikari
His Grace Jayatirtha das Adhikari
In the past Temple Presidents have written to Srila Prabhupada recommending a particular devotee’s initiation. Now that Srila Prabhupada has named these representatives, Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendation for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their temple. After considering the recommendation, these representatives may accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of second initiation, by chanting on the Gayatri thread, just as Srila Prabhupada has done. The newly initiated devotees are disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the above eleven senior devotees acting as His representative. After the Temple President receives a letter from these representatives giving the spiritual name or the thread, he can perform the fire yajna in the temple as was being done before. The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Srila Prabhupada, to be included in His Divine Grace’s “Initiated Disciples” book.
Hoping this finds you all well.
Tamal Krishna Goswami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada
Approved: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
[ Srila Prabhupada's signature appears on the original.]
29 May 2011
in Madhudvisa das, Srila Prabhupada, What Happened to the Hare Krishna's?
Tags: dependent on Krishna, determination, devotion, GBC, Governing Body Commision, intelligence, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Iskcon, Madhuvisa dasa, purity, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada
What Happened to the Hare Krishna’s?
By Sriman Madhuvisa Prabhu
Srila Prabhupada – A Transcendental Manager
The success of ISKCON (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness) was a direct result of Srila Prabhupada’s devotion, determination, purity and intelligence, however, he was a soul completely surrendered to Krishna. He depended completely on Krishna. So ISKCON succeeded because Srila Prabhupada was totally dedicated to the order of his spiritual master and Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada was the force behind ISKCON but the thousands of young boys and girls who surrendered to him and accepted him as their spiritual master were the Krishna conscious soldiers fighting maya (illusion) on her own territory. Srila Prabhupada was always unlimitedly grateful to his disciples for helping him fulfill his spiritual master’s orders. He even sometimes said, “My spiritual master has sent you all to teach me how to be Krishna conscious.”
Srila Prabhupada didn’t want to control everything himself. He wanted to encourage his disciples to take responsibility and use their intelligence in devising ways to spread Krishna consciousness. He wanted his disciples to become competent in all areas of practical work and management as well as being learned in the philosophy and expert preachers. He didn’t like centralization or bureaucracy. His management program was always for independent and self-supporting centres not in any way dependant on any other centre. The only exceptions to this independent and self-supporting model were his Indian projects where he made Bombay the head office and he personally managed everything from there. He also centralized the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust as it would have been unworkable to have every temple printing books. There had to be some central body to coordinate book publication.
…I have heard from Jayatirtha you want to make big plans for centralization of management, taxes, monies, corporate status, book-keeping, credit, like that. I do not approve of such a plan. Do not centralize anything. Each temple must remain independent and self-sufficient. That was my plan from the very beginning, why you are thinking otherwise? Once before you wanted to do something centralizing with your GBC meeting, and if I did not interfere the whole thing would have been killed. Do not think in this way of big corporation, big credits, centralization – these are all nonsense proposals. Only thing I wanted was that books printing and distribution should be centralized, therefore I appointed you and Bali Mardana to do it. Otherwise, management, everything, should be done locally by local men. Accounts must be kept, things must be in order and lawfully done, but this should be each temple’s concern, not yours. (to Karandhara 22 Dec, 1972)
Srila Prabhupada wanted a confederation of independent ISKCON centres each managed by a Temple President, Secretary and Treasurer. His mood was that each Temple President should develop the preaching in his area at his own creative rate.
The formula for ISKCON organization is very simple and can be understood by everyone. The world is divided into 12 zones. For each zone there is one zonal secretary. His duty is to see that the spiritual principles are being upheld very nicely in all the temples of his zone. Otherwise each temple shall be independent and self-supporting. Let every temple president work according to his own capacity to improve the Krishna consciousness of his centre. So far the practical management is concerned, that is required, but not that we shall become too much absorbed in fancy organization. Our business is spiritual life, so whatever organization needs to be done, the presidents may handle and take advice and assistance from the GBC representative. In this way let the Society’s work go on and everyone increase their service at their own creative rate.
…We request that everyone take these formulas to heart and execute them very conscientiously. In this way we shall certainly be successful in pushing on this movement. (Signed by Srila Prabhupada & Karandhara dasa 22 Apr, 1972)
07 May 2011
in Devotee's, Jayananda Thakur
Tags: GBC, Iskcon, Jayananda, Krishna-Mangala das, Mayapur, memorial for Jayananda Prabhu, Srila Prabhupada, Vishoka das
Memorial to be Built for Jayananda Prabhu in Mayapur
By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 9 Apr 2011
ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission has accepted a proposal from Vishoka Dasa of New Vrindaban, West Virginia, and Krishna-Mangala Dasa of Russia that they establish a memorial for Jayananda Prabhu—considered a modern-day saint by members of ISKCON—although he passed away as far back as 1977.
“The GBC Body hereby thanks Vishoka Das and Krishna Mangala Das for their kind endeavors in this regard and offers its blessing for the successful completion of the project,” stated Resolution 303 in the official GBC minutes of this year’s meetings in Mayapur, India.
Jayananda’s Memorial, or Samadhi, will be located at the ISKCON Jagannath temple in Rajapur, near Mayapur. “As Jayananda prabhu’s service to Lord Jagannatha is universally recognized, the GBC felt that it would both be an extra honor and most appropriate for his Samadhi memorial to be located at the Jagannatha Mandir,” read the GBC report.
Jayananda’s Samadhi will be around seven feet tall, and constructed from marble. Early renderings of the design, by a professional devotee designer, show it to be a smaller version of the samadhis of Vaishnava Acharyas such as Rupa and Sanatan Goswamis, with a curved roof and latticed windows.
The Mayapur Samadhi Committee will work with Vishoka and Krishna-Mangala on the project, which funds are still being raised for.
“Jayananda is a great inspiration to ISKCON—devotees still read books about him and log onto websites about him, to get an example of how to be better devotees and servants of Srila Prabhupada,” says Vishoka Dasa, whose book, The Beautiful Life of Jayananda Thakur: Remembering an American Saint was published in 2001.
29 Apr 2011
in Diksha, Siksa
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.
24 Apr 2011
in Devotee's, Diksha, Guru & Disciple, Locanananda das, Siksa
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Final Order, GBC, Godbrothers, gurus, Initiation, Iskcon, Locanananda das, officiating acharyas, ritvik, Srila Prabhupadas instructions
The Real Final Order
10/25/1998 – 2410
Editorial (VNN) – by Sriman Locanananda Prabhu
Submitted on the disappearance day of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
During what Srila Prabhupada thought might be his final days, he summoned his GBC representatives from all over the world to come to his bedside in May of 1977. He was about to pronounce his final instruction concerning how the movement should be expanded after he was no longer physically present to oversee things. When he was specifically asked how initiations would be performed in the future, he replied that he would recommend some of his GBC men to act as officiating acharyas in his absence. This was a momentous pronouncement. He was going to create the post of officiating acharya by naming some of his disciples to initiate on his behalf. They would actually be gurus, but would act as representatives of the acharya in initiating members into Srila Prabhupada’s movement after His Divine Grace had left this world. Although everyone present said that this instruction was understood, in the twenty-one years since this revelation, not a single ISKCON guru has called himself an “officiating acharya”. This has produced a contrary result.
To resolve the conflict and ongoing debate between the proponents of “ritvik” initiation and ISKCON’s official interpretation of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, we must find a common denominator upon which both parties can agree. That one camp is ready to excommunicate or overthrow the other is causing a massive headache in the minds of peaceful devotees everywhere. With the greatest urgency, the fracture in our movement must be healed before it becomes a permanent schism. To avoid causing further embarrassment to our spiritual master, and to protect innocent devotees and well-wishers of the Krishna consciousness movement from the devastating effect of our fratricidal follies, all followers of Srila Prabhupada should stop their sabre rattling and calmly consider how to resolve their differences.
14 Apr 2011
in Devotee's, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Gauridas Pandit das, Guru & Disciple, Siksa
Tags: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Gauridasa Pandita, GBC, guru, Initiation, Iskcon, officiating acharyas, On My Behalf, ritvik, ritvik-acharya, Sri Vrindavan Dhama, Srila Prabhupada's Initiation System, Temple Property Trust
“So I cannot speak. I am feeling weak. I was to go to other places like Chandigarh, but I canceled the program because the condition of my health is very deteriorating. So I preferred to come to Vrindavan. If death takes place, let it take here. So there is nothing new to be said. 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. As Krsna is living eternally, similarly, the living being also lives eternally.
On My Behalf
Srila Prabhupada’s Initiation System
by Sriman Gauridasa Pandita Prabhu
Srila Prabhupada arrived in Sri Vrindavan Dhama on May 17th 1977 to prepare to ‘leave his body.’ He made all of the arrangements for the future of his movement. He formed his Will, the Temple Property Trusts, he gave instructions for the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and the GBC and he established his initiation system for the future of ISKCON.
Due to some unseen good fortune I got the opportunity to serve Srila Prabhupada, at that time. Actually, I began to personally serve him in Bombay as one of his guards and then went with him to Hrsikesh to ‘regain his failing health’ on the advice of one of the life members, Mahadevia Kartikeya.
Things were like heaven in Hrsikesh serving Srila Prabhupada.
We were staying in a two story house right on the bank of the Holy Ganges River. We had the best Jalebi maker (Vedic sweets) in the world, according to Srila Prabhupada, right across the street. We used to have fruit, yogurt and hot Jalebis for breakfast. Srila Prabhupada said that hot Jalebis could cure the common cold.
I used to enjoy taking Japa Walks in the Himalayan Mountains. The forests are lush, filled with singing birds, and wandering devotees. Some Shivite’s live in the cave’s and only leave to bath in the Ganga. They eat only what is offered to them.
14 Apr 2011
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Siksa
Tags: Founder Acarya, GBC, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna Society, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Iskcon, July 9th Letter, krishnaconsciousnessmovement.com, Krsna consciousness movement, prabhupadanugas, Will
I, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna consciousness, Settlor of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, and disciple of Om Visnupada 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja Prabhupada, presently residing at Sri Krsna-Balarama Mandir in Vrndavana, make this my last will:
ANALYSIS OF SRILA PRABHUPADA’S LAST WILL AND JULY 9TH LETTER
Pasted from; http://www.krishnaconsciousnessmovement.com/analysis.html
by the Prabhupadanugas
Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
We would like to present two papers signed and approved by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. The will of His Divine Grace and his last instructions for continuing the process of initiation. We ask only that you read the following statements of Srila Prabhupada with an open heart. Instead of analyzing his words to fit today’s circumstances, try to take these instructions just as they have been written. Without reading between the lines, try simply to accept his words. Rather than imagining esoteric meanings try to understand his commands, as they are. Srila Prabhupada often said that Krishna Consciousness is a simple process. The instructions that he gave us were always straightforward and clear. His language was never obscure or lacking in explanation. If something was important he always gave us a clear cut presentation. Before reading these last instructions of Srila Prabhupada’s, try to take to heart the following explanation from Caitanya Caritamrita on the nature of direct and indirect meanings. In it, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Lord Chaitanya, clearly explain the difference between a true understanding and an imaginary interpretation.
17 Feb 2011
in Letters by Srila Prabhupada
Tags: bhakta-visesa, devotees, diksa, GBC, Governing Body Commission, guru, Letters, siksa, Srila Prabhupada, Umapati das
The following is excerpts from letters written by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami about the duty and fuction of the GBC (Governing Body Commision)
In a July 9, 1971 letter to Umapati Das, Srila Prabhupada wrote:
“GBC members are simply to see that things are going on. Other centers have got president, secretary, etc. and they are managing separately. That is the formula. So how is it that the GBC are the final authority? They are simply to examine that things are going on nicely, that is all.”
“GBC men should not dictate very much, simply supervise and see that the standards are maintained.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 14th, 1972)
“What will happen when I am not here, shall everything be spoiled by GBC? So for the time being, let the GBC activities be suspended until I thoroughly revise the whole procedure.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 11th, 1972)
“I made the GBC to give me relief, but if you do like this, then where is the relief. It is anxiety for me. This is the difficulty, that as soon as one gets power, he becomes whimsical and spoils everything.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 12th, 1974 )
“I am training some of my experienced disciples how to manage after my departure. So if instead of taking the training, if in my lifetime you people say I am the Lord of all I survey, that is dangerous conspiracy.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 8th, 1974)
“But the difficulty is that our GBC men are falling victim to maya. Today I trust this GBC and tomorrow he will fall down. That is the difficulty. If the GBC men are so flickering then what to speak of the others. Unless this problem is solved whatever we may resolve it will not be very useful. “
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 16th, 1974)
“The GBC should all be the instructor (siksa) gurus. I am the initiator (diksa) guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This I want.”(Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 4th, 1975)
“The GBC (Governing Body Commission) has been established by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to represent Him in carrying out the responsibility of managing the International Society for Krishna Consciousness of which He is the Founder-Acarya and supreme authority. The GBC accepts as its life and soul His divine instructions and recognizes that it is completely dependent on His mercy in all respects. The GBC has no other function or purpose other than to execute the instructions so kindly given by His Divine Grace and preserve and spread his Teachings to the world in their pure form.”;(GBC Resolution No.1, 1975)
“Now has the GBC become more than Guru Maharaja? As if simply GBC is meant for looking after pounds, shilling, pence. The GBC does not look after spiritual life. That is a defect.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 10th, 1975)
“It is now evident that some of our top men are very much ambitious and there has been so many fall-downs.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 27th, 1975)
“Our mission is to serve bhakta-visesa and live with devotees. Not that you take the place of the guru. That is nonsense, very dangerous. Then everything will be spoiled. As soon as you become ambitious to take the place of guru—gurusu nara-matih. That is the material disease.”( Srila Prabhupada Conversation, April 20th, 1977)