Characteristics of the Bona Fide Guru

bona fide spiritual master Srila Prabhupada

Recently there has been some discussion on the internet about Jayadvaita Swami’s remarks on kirtana standards in his Kirtan Seminar lectures. I cannot repeat here, what he said on the YouTube Lecture, finding it offensive and not worthy of repeating. Rather than dwell on the negetive statements of Jayadvaita Swami, we thought it better to repeat the words of the bona fide spiritual master Srila Prabhupada, who so nicely describes the characteristics of the “Bona Fide Guru” in the pages of the Sri Caitanya-caritmrta.

…The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. The first-class devotee is the spiritual master for all kinds of people. It is said: gurur nṛṇām. The word nṛṇām means “of all human beings.” The guru is not limited to a particular group. It is stated in the Upadeśāmṛta of Rūpa Gosvāmī that a guru is a gosvāmī, a controller of the senses and the mind. Such a guru can accept disciples from all over the world. Pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt. This is the test of the guru.

…When one has attained the topmost position of mahā-bhāgavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru. (purport Madhya 24.330)

Full text and purport More

An Eternal Relationship

Bahulavan and Srila Prabhupada (9)

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An Eternal Relationship
Prabhupada’s Fourth Visit to New Vrindaban
(written by Madhava Smullen, archival aesearch by Chaitanya Mangala)

Thank you to Madhava Smullen and Caitanya Mangala prabhus. They are trying to re-create the history on New Vrindaban. The fact that they have focused their writing around the time frame of Srila Prabhupada’s visit there makes it noteworthy.

June 21st, 1976 was a normal day at the Pittsburgh International airport until a group of Krishna devotees from New Vrindaban, dressed in an odd combination of dhotis or saris with large rubber farm boots, appeared. Commuters stared open-mouthed as the fifty-strong crew exploded into a cacophonous burst of chanting, mridanga drums, and gongs in front of the arrival gate.


The Guru Is A Pure Devotee!

Guru Is a pure devotee Prabhupada

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The following is a very nice post written by Madhudvisa Prabhu, it is heavy, but is backed up by scripture and quotes by Srila Prabhupada himself. It was worth my time reading, and thus I share it with all of you. Hare Krishna!

The Guru Is A Pure Devotee!
by Madhudvisa dasa

During Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence there was no confusion in ISKCON over the qualifications and qualities of a bona fide guru. Srila Prabhupada was personally present and he exhibited all the qualities perfectly and all the devotees understood the spiritual master was a pure devotee. That’s what Srila Prabhupada demonstrated by his personal actions, that’s what he wrote in his books, that’s what he preached in his classes and that’s what the devotees understood and accepted. The spiritual master is a transparent via-medium to Krishna. His words are non-different from Krishna’s, hearing him is just as good as hearing Krishna personally. And his words are absolute and perfect because he is not presenting his own ideas, he is simply repeating what Krishna and the previous acaryas have said in a way suitable for the understanding of the audience. He’s not changing the message, adulterating it or adding in any ideas of his own, he’s presenting Krishna’s words and Krishna’s philosophy AS IT IS.


Prabhupada (Free PDF Download)


The following PDF file entitled “Prabhupada” is a very nice little pamphlet describing Srila Prabhupada’s Journey to the West, the society he formed, his teachings, ect. It is very nice and you can click on the following link to view it or save it to your comuputer.

click of the following link to veiw or save pdf file Prabhupada

Saints and Swindlers

Bury Place Room Conversation Photo by Gurudas

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Saints and Swindlers
London Times Interview with Srila Prabhupada
Excerpted from the Science of Self Realization

Every day the number of people interested in practicing yoga and meditation increases by the thousands. Unfortunately, a person looking for a suitable guide is likely to encounter a bewildering array of magicians, self-styled gurus, and self-proclaimed gods. In an interview with the London Times, Śrīla Prabhupāda explains how a sincere seeker can tell the difference between a counterfeit and genuine spiritual guide.


Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link

Srila Prabhupada the Prominent Link

Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link

Recently I had the good fortune to meet one of my God brothers, Dhira Govinda Prabhu. It was on the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. I had heard of him, and in the past, had posted some of his writings, and had read his book “Srila Prabhupada; The Prominent Link”, but had not yet meet him. I found him to be a very nice devotee of good character. And just to give his voice a broader range we decided to post his book Srila Prabhupada The Prominent Link as well as the Prominent Link Supplementary Articles here.

Click on either of the above underlined links to read or save the pdf files.


Bringing People to Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada on Vyasasana

Recently I was staying at a friends house, and in the room where I was spending the night there was one book by Giriraj Swami entitled “Watering the Seed”. I happened to open it and began reading from the Preface:

…from that first meeting with Srila Prabhupada, my whole life’s purpose became to bring people to meet Srila Prabhupada. And I was able to do that for many years. But when he passed away, I wondered ‘what will be my service now?’. My whole service had been to bring people to Srila Prabhupada.

Now I understand that Srila Prabhupada is always present, and that by speaking of him, hearing about him, remembering him, and, most significantly, by studying his books and following his instructions, we can experience his presence. So I can continue doing what I was doing when he was personally present-introducing soul’s to Srila Prabhupada-and that is what I feel most natural doing. Because I know that somehow or other, if someone comes in touch with Srila Prabhupada, his life will become successful. (Watering the Seed, Preface)

Now, I am always encouraged when I hear my Godbrothers speaking in this way, because this is how I have always felt, and continue to feel. That my main purpose, as a disciple, is to bring people to Srila Prabhupada, and there-by bringing them to Krishna.

Bhakti-latā / Devotional Creeper

Srila Prabhupada preaching to disciples

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“…If one thinks that there are many pseudo devotees or nondevotees in the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Society, one can keep direct company with the spiritual master, and if there is any doubt, one should consult the spiritual master. However, unless one follows the spiritual master’s instructions and the regulative principles governing chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord, one cannot become a pure devotee. By one’s mental concoctions, one falls down… (CC Madhya 19.157 purport)

Full verse and purport More

The Bhagavata Dharma Discourses

bhagavata dharma discourses at new vrindavan

This is the first in the series of Lectures given at New Vrindavan Farm Community in September of 1972. These lectures are commonly known as the the “Bhāgavata Dharma Discourses”

Devotee (1): Does anyone have any questions? Please ask. Raise your hand please. Especially a guest. If you have any questions please inquire. Yes?

Guest: Who is our mother?

Devotee (1): The question was, who is our mother?

Prabhupāda: Material nature is our mother. God is our father, and material nature is our mother. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Just like the father gives the seed of the child within the womb of the mother. Similarly God impregnates this material nature with the living entities, and after that they come out in different forms. So material nature is our mother, and God is our father.

Guest: What happens to us immediately after our material body dies, in other words…

Prabhupāda: You do not die, your body changes. So you accept another body…

Full lecture More

The Secret of Success in Spiritual Life

Srila Prabhupada, Secret of Success in Spiritual Life

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“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)


Captain of the Ship

Srila Prabhupada murti

This morning I saw this image of Srila Prabhupada’s murti while I was surfing on Sampradaya Sun. I like it very much and just wanted to include it here on our page.

…When one wants to cross a large ocean, he requires a strong boat. It is said that this human form of life is a good boat by which one can cross the ocean of nescience. In the human form of life one can obtain the guidance of a good navigator, the spiritual master. One also gets a favorable wind by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, and that wind is the instructions of Kṛṣṇa. The human body is the boat, the instructions of Lord Kṛṣṇa are the favorable winds, and the spiritual master is the navigator. The spiritual master knows well how to adjust the sails to catch the winds favorably and steer the boat to its destination. If, however, one does not take advantage of this opportunity, one wastes the human form of life. Wasting time and life in this way is the same as committing suicide.


The Hare Krishna Explosion


The joyful history of a dynamic transcendental movement
Excerpted from the Back to Godhead Magazine 1969 Vol. 1, Number 26

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare vibrates from a walkup temple on New York’s Lower East Side, from the sidewalks of Haight Ashbury, from Golden Gate Park, from a London flat, from student quarters in Hamburg and Amsterdam, from a storefront in Santa Fe, an exbowling alley in Montreal, a sprawling university campus in Ohio, from Old Vrindaban in India to New Vrindaban in the West Virginia mountains, and from Boston and Buffalo to Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver and across the Pacific to Hawaii.

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. The voices chanting the magic vibrations are invariably young. The chanting, accompanied by khartals (small hand cymbals), tambourines and drums, is often loud and frenetic. The dancing is vigorous. The middle-aged and elderly usually stand in doorways or look through windows, watching in amazement, unaware that they are witnessing a process of spiritual realization that has been practiced on this planet for thousands of years. They do not understand. No one really understands. The chanting just spreads. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna …

The Hare Krishna Explosion
By Hayagriva dasa

Hayagriva dasa


The Guru Issue


My good friend and Godbrother Hansadutta Prabhu, has asked me to post this nice paper written by H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami on “Correcting ISKCON’s Guru System”, and his reply. Both the article and response have been alive in cyberspace for some time now, but the the Truth bears repeating.

Response to Bhakti Caru Swami
by Hansadutta das
[Hansadutta’s response was also posted at ISKCON Bangalore’s website]

Dear Bhakti Caru Maharaja,

Please accept my most humble obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada. It’s been some years since we met and associated in person (Mayapur 2003, later in Berkeley, California temple). I think of you often with fond memories. Sometimes you asked me how “The Guru problem might be solved.” We would discuss, but nothing came of it. Now you have publicly posed the issue, so I feel I should make some comments that might shed some light on the matter. Please allow me to go thru your presentation and make some comments.


The Rtvik Representative Of The Acharya

Hencefoward poster 1

The following is an article, I have wanted to include for some time now, which was written by Krsnacandra Prabhu and posted on his page In light of our recent post entitled Sri Madhu Pandit’s Official Reply to the EC we feel it is timely, and of utmost importance to our society that we understand the issues. Although our page is not intended as a political forum, it is a tool in the mission of our spiritual master, for the propagation of The Hare Krishna Movement or Krishna Consciousness.

Now that Śrīla Prabhupāda has named these representatives Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendations for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their Temple.

After considering the recommendation, these representatives many accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of a second initiation, by chanting on the Gāyatrī thread just as Śrīla Prabhupāda had done.

The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Śrīla Prabhupāda, to be included in Divine Grace’s “Initiated Disciples” book. (from July 9th letter)

The Rtvik Representative Of The Acharya
by Kṛṣṇacandra Dāsa – Vṛndāvan:

Shortly after His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Śrīla Prabhupāda entered into his Samādhi līlā in 1977; 11 of his senior disciples and members of the GBC who held the official position of representatives of His Divine Grace in 1st and 2nd spiritual initiations [as per July 9th Document], without authority and without an order by His Divine Grace announced themselves to be pure devotees of the Lord and forcibly seized the titles, roles and functions of acharyas and Initiating Spiritual Masters of ISKCON.


Belief in the Words of Our Spiritual Master

Srila Prabhupada on morning walk

“I firmly believe in these words of My spiritual master, and therefore I always chant the holy name of the Lord, alone and in the association of devotees. That holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes causes Me to chant and dance, and therefore I chant and dance. Please do not think that I intentionally do it. I do it automatically. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.95-96)

A person who cannot keep his faith in the words of his spiritual master but acts independently never receives the authority to chant the holy name of the Lord. (from purport)

This is one of my favorite verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, and the purport here is one of the most important lessons in spiritual life. Namely, success in spiritual life is faith in the words of the spiritual master and following his instructions. Thereby receiving his blessings. If one receives the blessings of his spiritual master he can chant the holy name of the lord constantly.

Full text and purport More

With All the Humility at My Command

Srila Prabhupada

Personally, I have no hope for any direct service for the coming crores of births of the sojourn of my life, but I am confident that some day or other I shall be delivered from this mire of delusion in which I am at present so deeply sunk. Therefore let me with all my earnestness pray at the lotus feet of my divine master to allow me to suffer the lot for which I am destined due to my past misdoings, but to let me have this power of recollection: that I am nothing but a tiny servant of the Almighty Absolute Godhead, realized through the unflinching mercy of my divine master. Let me therefore bow down at his lotus feet with all the humility at my command. -Abhay Charan Das 1936

The following speech was delivered in 1936 Bombay by the pure devotee who three decades later will become the world-renowned spiritual master of The Hare Krishna Movement. Abhay Charan das who latter becomes His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada glorifies his own spiritual master Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Goswami Maharaja with this Appearance day (Vyasa-puja) homage. Thus we learn the time-honored meaning of spiritual master, disciple and their relationship.

With All the Humility at My Command
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


The Most Blessed Event; Sri Vyasa-puja

Srila Prabhupada

The Most Blessed Event: Sri Vyasa-puja
by Vyasasan das

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

On this most blessed and auspicious day, the celebration of your appearance; Sri Vyasa-puja

Please let me offer my respectful obeisances:

om ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

I offer my respectful obeisances unto you, for you have opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the torchlight of knowledge.

It is impossible to guarantee the authenticity of the emotions of a conditioned soul such as myself, but I think that I can honestly say, that in this lifetime, I have never loved anyone more than I love you.

And what is this love?

This love is simply the realization that in this life you are my dear most friend, my ever well wisher, my teacher and spiritual master, and above all my constant companion.

Yes my constant companion.

People, friends, family, loved ones have come and gone throughout the course of my life, but you have remained the one constant in my entire adult life.


Faith in the Words of the Spiritual Master

Founder-Acarya ISKCON

This is another nice verse from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, on the importance of following strictly the instructions of the spiritual master, and thereby receiving his blessings and mercy. Allowing us to taste the nectar of the Holy Name.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta 1975
By His Diine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Adi-lila 7. Texts 95-96

ei tāṅra vākye āmi dṛḍha viśvāsa dhari’
nirantara kṛṣṇa-nāma saṅkīrtana kari
sei kṛṣṇa-nāma kabhu gāoyāya, nācāya
gāhi, nāci nāhi āmi āpana-icchāya

ei—this; tāṅra—his (My spiritual master’s); vākye—in the words of; āmi—I; dṛḍha—firm; viśvāsa—faith; dhari’-depend; nirantara—always; kṛṣṇa-nāma—the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa; saṅkīrtana—chanting; kari—continue; sei—that; kṛṣṇa-nāma—the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa; kabhu—sometimes; gāoyāya—causes Me to chant; nācāya—causes Me to dance; gāhi—by chanting; nāci—dancing; nāhi—not; āmi—Myself; āpana—own; icchāya—will.


“I firmly believe in these words of My spiritual master, and therefore I always chant the holy name of the Lord, alone and in the association of devotees. That holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes causes Me to chant and dance, and therefore I chant and dance. Please do not think that I intentionally do it. I do it automatically.


A person who cannot keep his faith in the words of his spiritual master but acts independently never receives the authority to chant the holy name of the Lord. It is said in the Vedas (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23):

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.”

This Vedic injunction is very important, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu supported it by His personal behavior. Believing in the words of His spiritual master, He introduced the saṅkīrtana movement, just as the present Kṛṣṇa 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 in the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the secret of success. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu never disobeyed the orders of His spiritual master and stopped propagating the saṅkīrtana movement.


Respecting Srila Prabhupada

Drawing of Srila Prabhupada

From time to time I like to visit the web site The Prabhupada Connection just to drink in the nectar. If you haven’t visited this site yet, I recommend that you visit the underlined link above and bookmark it to your favorites.
The site was created by Padmapani Prabhu who is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, and is well loved by the devotee community. The following is some nectar I found in the Editorial Notes category.

Respecting Srila Prabhupada
by Padmapani dasa

As disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, we all have an eternal debt to Srila Prabhupada for his unprecedented sacrifice in freely distributing the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world.


How the Teachings of Lord Caitanya Came to the Western World (Part 3)

Lord Caitanya's Sankirtan Party

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.)


Previous Older Entries

108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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