Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 5

Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 5
Translation & Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


A person engaged in such pure devotional service neither desires anything for sense gratification, nor laments for any loss, nor hates anything, nor enjoys anything on his personal account, nor becomes very enthusiastic in material activity.


According to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, there are six impediments to the discharge of devotional service, and also six activities favorable to progress in devotional service.

The first impediment is atyāhāra, overeating or accumulating more wealth than we need. When we give free rein to the senses in an effort to enjoy to the highest degree, we become degraded. A devotee should therefore eat only enough to maintain his body and soul together; he should not allow his tongue unrestricted license to eat anything and everything it likes. The Bhagavad-gītā and the great ācāryas, or spiritual masters, have prescribed certain foods for human beings, and one who eats these foods eats in the mode of goodness. These foods include grains, fruits, vegetables, milk products, and sugar—and nothing more. A devotee does not eat extravagantly; he simply eats what he offers to the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. He is interested in kṛṣṇa-prasādam (food offered to the Lord) and not in satisfying his tongue. Therefore he does not desire anything extraordinary to eat.
Similarly, a devotee does not wish to accumulate a large bank balance: he simply earns as much as he requires. This is called yāvad-artha or yuktāhāra. In the material world everyone is very active in earning more and more money and in increasing eating and sleeping and gratifying the senses; such is the mission of most people’s lives. But these activities should be absent from the life of a devotee.


On My Behalf

“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.



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:


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.


Ritvik Defined

Ritvik Defined — By Narasimha Das
November 13, 1998 VNN2498

Srila Prabhupada never created any special status for “officiating acaryas.” Their function as ritivks is to assure that Srila Prabhupada requirements are met before a student is formally accepted for initiation in ISKCON. Like all senior initiated disciples, they are meant to be teachers by their practical example. They have accepted an added responsibility, an added burden on behalf of Srila Prabhupada. Their burden is to assure that Srila Prabhupada’s standards for initiation are preserved in ISKCON. (Srila Prabhupada’s July 9th directive sent to every leader in ISKCON mentions three times that all devotees are Srila Prabhupada’s disciples and that the deputed ritviks offer initiation on behalf of Srila Prabhupada. This same instruction was repeated by Srila Prabhupada several times additionally after July 9th in letters, documents, and instructions.) Ritviks are the priests authorized by the spiritual master or his institution to accept students on behalf of ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada made this perfectly clear. This understanding of the procedure Prabhupada prescribed is consistent with references to ritviks mentioned in Srila Prabhupada’s books.

EDITORIAL, Nov 13 (VNN) — Currently the term “ritvik” is used to refer to 1.) devotees of a particular camp, 2.) the ideas and convictions of “ritvik” devotees, and 3.) the “officiating acarya” who initiates on behalf of the spiritual master. I will try to offer guidelines for understanding the word “ritvik” according to Srila Prabhupada and the current usage among devotees.


Whenever an Acarya comes…

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Forth Canto, Chapter 28, Text 48

uttiṣṭhottiṣṭha rājarṣe
imām udadhi-mekhalām
dasyubhyaḥ kṣatra-bandhubhyo
bibhyatīṁ pātum arhasi


uttiṣṭha—please get up; uttiṣṭha—please get up; rāja-ṛṣe—O saintly king; imām—this earth; udadhi—by the ocean; mekhalām—surrounded; dasyubhyaḥ—from the rogues; kṣatra-bandhubhyaḥ—from the unclean kings; bibhyatīm—very much afraid; pātum—to protect; arhasi—you ought.


O best of kings, please get up! Get up! Just see this world surrounded by water and infested with rogues and so-called kings. This world is very much afraid, and it is your duty to protect her.


Whenever an ācārya comes, following the superior orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His representative, he establishes the principles of religion, as enunciated in Bhagavad-gītā. Religion means abiding by the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Religious principles begin from the time one surrenders to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is the ācārya’s duty to spread a bona fide religious system and induce everyone to bow down before the Supreme Lord. One executes the religious principles by rendering devotional service, specifically the nine items like hearing, chanting and remembering. Unfortunately, when the ācārya disappears, rogues and nondevotees take advantage and immediately begin to introduce unauthorized principles in the name of so-called svāmīs, yogīs, philanthropists, welfare workers and so on. Actually, human life is meant for executing the orders of the Supreme Lord, and this is stated in Bhagavad-gītā (9.34):

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
ātmānaṁ mat-parāyaṇaḥ

“Engage your mind always in thinking of Me and become My devotee. Offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.”

The main business of human society is to think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead at all times, to become His devotees, to worship the Supreme Lord and to bow down before Him. The ācārya, the authorized representative of the Supreme Lord, establishes these principles, but when he disappears, things once again become disordered. The perfect disciples of the ācārya try to relieve the situation by sincerely following the instructions of the spiritual master. At the present moment practically the entire world is afraid of rogues and nondevotees; therefore this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is started to save the world from irreligious principles. Everyone should cooperate with this movement in order to bring about actual peace and happiness in the world.

Ritvik Initiation Simply Explained

Ritvik Initiation simply explained

There was a very simple and straight foward method which most of the early members of the Hare Krishna Society (ISKCON) were initiated, as explained in the following letter…

Letter to Kirtananda Swami
Los Angeles
7 January, 1974

Dear Kirtanananda Maharaja,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge your requests for initiations of devotees at New Vrindaban, contained in your letter of December 30, 1973.

Upon your recommendation I am glad to accept the disciples for first initiation, and their spiritual names are as follows:

Susan Burchell—Madanalasa dasi
Jim Newsham—Jayanta dasa
Evelyn Newsham—Candrarekhika dasi
Sandra Chiefa—Kunjari dasi
Haynes Busby—Hari-dhama dasa

You may chant on their beads and instruct them seriously to always chant at least 16 rounds daily and obey the regulative principles. Only in this way is spiritual advancement possible.

Your recommendations for second initiation, Taru das, Radhanath das and Parambrahma das are accepted by me and their sacred threads and gayatri mantras are enclosed. See that they hear the mantra from the tape I have made, and have them hear it in their right ear. Give them further instructions on standards of a Brahman. Thank you for the daksina check for one hundred dollars.

Go on developing New Vrindaban: next month I am coming there. Is my apartment completed?

Your ever well-wisher,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Simple Living, High Thinking

Plain Living, High Thinking
By Srila Prabhupada

The following conversation between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Kirtanananda Swami , and Kulashekara dasa took place in New Vrindaban in June of 1976.

[Srila Prabhupada holds up a flower.] See the minute fibers in this flower. Can anyone manufacture this in a factory — such small fibers? And how brilliant the color is! If you study only one flower, you become God conscious. There is a machine that you call “nature,” and from this machine everything is coming. But who has built this machine?


Rama Navami – The Appearance Day of Lord Rama

Rama Navami – the birthday of Lord Rama
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Rama Navami (Devanāgarī: राम नवमी) also known as Sri Rama Navami ( IAST SriRāma-navamī ). Sri Ram Navami is a great festival in India, celebrating the birth of Lord Rama to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya of Ayodhya. Rama is the 7th incarnation of the Dashavatara of Vishnu. The festival falls in the Shukla Paksha on the Navami, the ninth day of the month of Chaitra in the Hindu calendar. Thus it is also known as Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami, and marks the end of the nine-day Chaitra-Navratri celebrations.


Srila Prabhupada: Already successful – No successor required

Srila Prabhupada: Already successful – No successor required


Guest: Are you planning to choose a successor?
Srila Prabhupada: It is already successful.
Guest: But there must be somebody you know, needed to handle the thing.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. That we are creating. We are creating these devotees who will handle.
Hanuman: One thing he’s saying, this gentlemen, and I would like to know, is your successor named or your successor will…
Srila Prabhupada: My success is always there.
(SP Room conversation, 12/2/75 Mexico)

Reporter: Are you training a successor?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, my Guru Maharaja is there.
(SP Press conference, 16/7/75, San Francisco)

“I am the Spiritual Master of this institution, and all the members of the Society, they’re supposed to be my disciples. They follow the rules and regulations which I ask them to follow, and they are initiated by me spiritually.” Radio interview, March 12, 1968, San Francisco)


“After 80 years, no one can be expected to live long. My life is almost ended. So you have to carry on, and these books will do everything.” (SP Room conversation, 18/2/76)

Reporter: Who will succeed you when you die?
Srila Prabhupada: I will never die!
Devotees: Jaya! Haribol!
Srila Prabhupada: I will live forever from my books and you will utilise.
(Interview, Berkley, 17/7/75)


Interviewer: What happens when that inevitable time comes a successor is needed?
Ramesvara: He is asking about the future, who will guide the Movement in the future.
Srila Prabhupada: They will guide, I am training them.
Interviewer: Will there be one spiritual leader though?
Srila Prabhupada: No. I am training GBC, 18 all over the world.
(SP Interview, 10/6/76, Los Angeles)

“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, 4/8/1975)

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Kṛṣṇa Consciousness: The Perfection of Mercy

Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6

Kṛṣṇa Consciousness: The Perfection of Mercy

Prahlāda Mahārāja now gives his conclusion: “My dear friends, because the Supreme Lord is present everywhere and because we are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, our duty is to be merciful to all living entities.” When a person is in a lower position, we have a duty to help him. For example, because a small child is helpless, he is dependent on the mercy of the parent: “Mother, I want this.” “Yes, my dear child.” We should be compassionate to all living entities and should show them mercy.

How can we show our mercy to everyone? There are millions and millions of poor people, so how can we show them all mercy? Are we able to supply clothing and food to all the needy persons of the world? That is not possible. How, then, can we be merciful to every living entity? By giving them Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is how Prahlāda Mahārāja is showing his class friends real mercy. They were all fools, devoid of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and therefore he was showing them how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. This is the highest mercy. If you want to show any mercy at all to the living entities, then enlighten them in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as Prahlāda Mahārāja did. Otherwise, it is materially beyond your power to show mercy.


Officiating Acharya’s

The War is Over
Editorial (VNN) – by Locanananda Das

There is a popular ideology that claims that Srila Prabhupad should still be considered the diksa guru in ISKCON. It is commendable that devotees who espouse this ideology want to see Krishna’s pure devotee unlimitedly and perpetually glorified. That goal can be accomplished by following the system of “officiating acharyas” that he factually authorized. An “officiating acharya” simply teaches by example how to follow in the footsteps of the great preceptor and founder acharya of ISKCON and then engages everyone in the service of expanding the sankirtan movement.

When Srila Prabhupad was asked how initiations would be performed after he was no longer physically present, his response was clear and powerful. He had been contemplating this question for ten years, and his main concern was to guarantee the continuity and future growth of his movement. His reply was “I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating acharya.” This was the term he wanted to introduce to describe the role of his disciples who would initiate new devotees as members of ISKCON after he had concluded his manifest pastimes.


Sampradaya Acarya

Sampradaya Acarya
By Sriman Rochan Prabhu 2003

The Sampradaya Acaryas who form the foundation of our parampara teach that the process of becoming Krsna conscious is not sentimental, but is instead an exact science for achieving the perfection of self-realization. As such, all aspects of this divine process are meticulously explained, clearly defined, and systematically presented. Adjustments needed to comply with time, place and circumstance can only be implemented by a maha-bhagavata Acarya ambassador of the past parampara Acaryas.


A Scientific Method for Evaluating Editorial Changes to Srila Prabhupada’s Books

A Scientific Method for Evaluating Editorial Changes to Srila Prabhupada’s Books
By: Sriman Rupanuga Prabhu

“Our editing is to correct grammatical and spelling errors only, without interpolation of style or philosophy.” (Letter to Rupanuga, 2/17/70)

Previous evaluations of the editorial changes focused on descriptions of the changes and references to pre-publication drafts rather than a factual quantification and comparative philosophical analysis. This article presents a scientific evaluation of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is and the Teachings of Lord Caitanya. The results demonstrate if the revised editions followed Srila Prabhupada’s editorial policy and if they are genuine, authentic revisions that preserve the original content, philosophy and style.


A Day in the Life of Jayananda Thakur

A Day in the Life of Jayananda Thakur
Chapter One
By Sriman Vishoka Prabhu

As promised, we are posting some of the new book on Jayananda Thakur, entitled “A Day in the Life of Jayananda Thakur”, which has yet to be published, and is beautifully written by Vishoka Prabhu. He has kindly offered to let us post some of the new book before it arrives at the printers, and hopefully it will be nearing completion soon. The following is the first part of Chapter One. We will include the rest of the chapter in a later post, so stay tuned for more Jayananda Nectar.

Chapter One
4:00 am, summer of 1975, Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple, Valentia Street, San Francisco.

Jayananda’s dream-

Amidst a kaleidoscope of swirling colors and loud kirtan, Lord Jagannatha’s beautiful face smiles benevolently at His many devotees … as He sits upon His royal throne, situated within the majestic and colorful decor of His opulent carriage. Srila Prabhupada rides upon Lady Subhadra’s cart, while Jayananda dances jubilantly within the grand procession of enthusiastically chanting and dancing devotees.


Srila Prabhupada on Initiation [compilation of quotes]

Quotes from Srila Prabhupada on Initiation
From Books, Conversations, Lectures & Letters
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Please be happy in separation. I am separated from my Guru Maharaja since 1936 but I am always with him so long I work according to his direction. So we should all work together for satisfying Lord Krishna and in that way the feelings of separation will transform into transcendental bliss.
Prabhupada’s Initiation


Soul Struck (Chapter 10)

The Hare Krishna Explosion
by Hayagriva das

Part II: San Francisco, 1967
Chapter 10

Soul Struck

During April and May, tourism and hippy fantasy soar to rare heights in the Haight-Ashbury. Like a Mardi Gras carnival, the celebration is cresting, rushing toward some indefinite Ash Wednesday.

Kirtans are wild and uninhibited. We often chant at the Fillmore and Avalon ballrooms, during intermissions between rock groups. A “Summer of Love” festival is organized, and we chant at be-in’s in Golden Gate Park, at the YMCA and Psychedelic Shop, and with hippy sun worshipers at Morning Star Ranch.

The spring passes so quickly, perhaps because its days are filled with long hours of sunshine and festivity. Youths from all sections of the nation roam and lounge throughout the park, barefoot and dungareed, leisurely creating what they hope is a new community of love and peace, a world where no one is over thirty, where there is no violence, ignorance or death. And they chant Hare Krishna because they see ISKCON as an exotic flower in the hippy bouquet, something even further removed from twentieth century America, from the political activists and their endless strife. Generally, activists and Negroes shun us, considering us on far-out trips, dabbling in the cultures of undeveloped nations.

But what do they know of Krishna? Or of Swamiji? What do any of us really know?



Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for the survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.

-Albert Einstein

Process of Devotional Service

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
Madhya-lila Ch. 6, Text 241-242

TEXT 241

bhakti-sādhana-śreṣṭha śunite haila mana
prabhu upadeśa kaila nāma-saṅkīrtana


Then the Bhaṭṭācārya asked Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “Which item is most important in the execution of devotional service?” The Lord replied that the most important item was the chanting of the holy name of the Lord.


There are nine items to be executed in devotional service. These are enumerated in the following verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.5.23):

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam

Hearing the glories of the Lord, chanting, remembering, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering worship in the temple, offering prayers, becoming a servant of the Lord, becoming the Lord’s friend, and sarvātma-nivedana, offering oneself fully at the lotus feet of the Lord-these are the nine devotional processes. In The Nectar of Devotion, When Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya asked the Lord which item was most important, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately answered that the most important item is the chanting of the holy names of the Lord-Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. He then quoted the following verse from the Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa (Thirty-eighth Chapter, verse 126) to confirm His statement.


Radha Kunda

Radha Kunda

“The holy place known as Mathura is spiritually superior to Vaikuntha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathura-puri is the transcendental forest of Vrndavana because of Krishna’s rasa-lila pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vrndavana is Govardhana Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Sri Krishna and was the site of His various loving pastimes. And, above all, the superexcellent Sri Radha-kunda stands supreme, for it is overflooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Sri Krishna. Where, then, is that intelligent person who is unwilling to serve this divine Radha-kunda, which is situated at the foot of Govardhana Hill?”


Bhakti Caru Swami’s Disappearance Day offering to Srila Prabhupada 2010

Disappearance Day offering to Srila Prabhupada
June 16, 2010
By Bhakti Caru Swami

Why do we hesitate to tell a new comer who is searching for a guru that Srila Prabhupada, the best guru the world has ever seen, is still here, and one can surrender unto him and go back to Godhead very easily? When we have such a great good fortune, why do we not take full advantage of it?

…Prabhupada did not say anything and then in a very soft voice he told me, “Didn’t I teach you that the spirit soul is eternal and he never dies?”

That one statement gave me a profound realization: how could the person who taught me that the spirit soul never dies ever die himself? He will always be with us, although some day he may disappear from our mundane vision.

But today, when I look back, I can see that soon after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance we took it for granted that Srila Prabhupada is not here any more – like any other mortal, as he left his body, he is no more. I very strongly feel that this is the greatest mistake we have made. And as a result, ISKCON today is in such a critical condition. Now that we assembled here to celebrate Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance pastime, once and for all let us recognize that Srila Prabhupada has not gone away.


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