Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You

Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You
By Sriman Hansadutta Prabhu

The recent proliferation of gurus, both within and without ISKCON, appears to be like the proliferation of ambitious kings who were eventually annihilated by Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra 5,000 years ago.

How to Recognize the Acharya

The pioneer in any field always gets the greatest credit, because it is he only who opens the door to a new world, a new thought, a new horizon-like Columbus, who innocently chanced upon America, the New World, while searching for India. Columbus opened the door for a whole migration of humanity from Europe and all the world to eventually form the New World, or the United States of America, the most powerful nation on Earth.

So everyone after Columbus, however great he may be, owes his regards to Columbus for opening the door to the New World, and Columbus is never obliged to any late-comers or new-comers. Like Columbus, Prabhupada set out from India and opened the door to the spiritual world for the whole world, and every transcendentalist thereafter is obliged to Prabhupada. Prabhupada is never obliged to those coming after him, however great they may appear as individuals. Neither is he obliged to his contemporaries. That is the unique position of Prabhupada as the acharya of the entire Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya.

With this view in mind, everyone should see their way clear for uniting harmoniously under the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada, the acharya of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya, for preaching the great mission of Krishna consciousness all over the world as Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati envisioned it. Any individual or group obstinately remaining stuck up in their petty, egocentric conception of preaching Krishna consciousness is surely doomed to fail.

Here we wish to present some shastric evidence in support of the afore-mentioned conclusions. The following excerpts courtesy of Atma Tattva dasa:

The Founder-acharya is distinguished from all other acharyas, and his qualities and activities are outlined in the shastras:

tabhyas sarvajana trata sarvasrestatamo dhruvan
dina abhaya pradanartham visadikritya bhutale

Among all acharyas, certainly he who is the deliverer of all people, who appears in this world for the purpose of removing the fears of the fallen souls (dina-abhaya ) is the most perfect.

gitacaryokta tatvartha caramartha prakasanam
rsiproktapramananam krtva vyakhyanamuttamam

He sheds light on the ultimate meaning of the philosophical conclusions spoken by Krishna, who is the speaker of Bhagavad-gita. He also gives perfect purports to the evidences given by the rishis.

divyaprabandhan lokebhya sarakopadibhi paryantam
arthopadesa yaryanta1n vardhayaitva ca sasvatah

He propagates everywhere the meanings and purports of the songs of the previous acharyas.

natharyadi gurunam ca satakopadi yoginam
ahrtya vyasa sutranam artham lokahitaya ca
sribhasyadi mahagrantham vidhaya karunarnaya
nirjitya sarvasamayan vadena sataso’subhan

He, the ocean of mercy, contributes great books for the welfare of the people that explain the meaning of Vedanta strictly in line with the previous Vaishnava acharyas and devotees. In this way he conquers all, defeating hundreds of different kinds of inauspicious philosophies by his arguments.

ityadibhir yatisresta karye lokahite rata
nathadidesike tebhya pradhano bhavati dhruvam

Because of engaging in the welfare of the people of the world, that perfect and topmost mendicant is certainly the most important Founder acharya (pradhana ). ( Prapannamrita Tarpana 62.47-53)

Just as Vyasadeva is recognized as acharya because he presented the Vedic literatures, so Prabhupada is recognized as acharya because of his making the Vedic literatures accessible to every man all over the world, and no one since has been able to contribute anything so significant. Rather, everyone is borrowing from him-his books are the standard.

Srila Prabhupada translated and wrote purports to the four essential Vaishnava literatures, namely to 18,000 verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam, 700 verses of Bhagavad-gita, 17 volumes of Chaitanya-charitamrita and the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu. He not only published these books and others; he also created a monthly magazine (Back to Godhead ). He also recruited thousands of young disciples in every country of the world, whom he engaged in distributing these literatures by the millions. Prabhupada wrote 7,000 letters (printed in five volumes) and gave lectures and personal darshans, a collection of which has been published recently by the Bhaktivedanta Archives, comprising another 42 volumes of books.

Srila Prabhupada initiated a whole new movement in the field of art, producing thousands of paintings, sculptures, music and dance performances.

Srila Prabhupada built temples in Bombay, Vrindaban and Mayapur, with comfortable and stylish hotel and guest houses for each place. His disciples opened and continue to maintain hundreds of temples worldwide.

Srila Prabhupada inspired the New Vrindaban-type farm communities all over the world. He started Gurukulas for teaching Krishna consciousness to children.

Srila Prabhupada taught a whole generation a new way of life from how to eat, how to dress, how to bathe and toilet, how to live as a gentleman in this world and how ultimately to leave this world for the next world, to go back to home, back to Godhead. NO OTHER PERSON ON THIS PLANET HAS PREACHED WORLDWIDE SO EXTENSIVELY. THEREFORE HE IS THE BRAHMA SAMPRADAYA ACHARYA. What Vyasadeva is to the Vedic age, Srila Prabhupada is to the modern age and for ages to come, because everyone is taking advantage of his books, temples and devotees to preach Krishna consciousness all over the world.

Who is Representing Srila Prabhupada?

The recent proliferation of gurus, both within and without ISKCON, appears to be like the proliferation of ambitious kings who were eventually annihilated by Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra 5,000 years ago. Kings who are not subordinate to an enlightened emperor will fight with oneanother for wealth, women and personal aggrandizement. Gurus also will fight with one another for wealth, women and prestige, if they do not submit themselves as deputies of the prominent sampradaya acharya, namely Srila Prabhupada.

The acharya is the topmost authority over all gurus in the Gaudiya Vaishnava line or school. Vyasadeva, Madhvacharya and Lord Chaitanya are such acharyas. Today that acharya is Prabhupada, without whom none of the present and future gurus would/will have any standing. It is therefore absolutely necessary for every preacher and guru, regardless of which camp he rules over, to act as the humble representative of Srila Prabhupada, the world acharya of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya. Failure on anyone’s part to do so will result in creating unwanted factions, thereby causing dissension in the world community of Krishna devotees.

In Easy Journey to Other Planets, Srila Prabhupada outlined 20 favorable practices for a disciple, and Number 13 reads:

He must not take on unlimited disciples. This means that a candidate who has successfully followed the first twelve items can also become a spiritual master himself, just as a student becomes a monitor in class with a limited number of disciples.

“Monitor” means on behalf of the teacher. A disciple is always under the authority of his spiritual master, living or absent. If the disciple is not initiating on behalf of his spiritual master and in fact on behalf of the whole disciple line of spiritual masters, for whom is he doing the initiation?? For himself? Are the initiates his property, his personal servant, his fans (fanatics)–just as movie stars and pop stars have fans? Or is the “monitor spiritual master” initiating his disciples directly on behalf of Krishna, thereby jumping over not only his spiritual master (Srila Prabhupadaerial ), but all spiritual masters in the disciplic succession?

All preaching endeavours can be harmonized by uniting in one front under the authority and blessings of the present acharya, Srila Prabhupada. What the emperor is to provincial princes and kings throughout the world, the acharya is to the many gurus, uniting their effort as one school or sampradaya worldwide. By serving the sampradaya acharya, all devotees can harmoniously serve Krishna as one family, although the individual devotees may be under different gurus in different parts of the world. There may be many commanders in the field, each conducting a campaign on a different enemy front, but all of them are subordinate to the commander-in-chief, who directs each commander accordingly.
It is the failure of ISKCON leaders and Gaudiya Math leaders to properly understand the significance and function of the sampradaya acharya, which continues to create an undesirable proliferation of self-motivated gurus who do not serve the acharya and thus do not serve Krishna, but in fact utilize the name, fame of the acharya and Krishna to attract followers whom they exploit for wealth and prestige in the guise of guru.

Of course, everyone will say, “We have Prabhupada in the centre,” and that is a fact, but what is the underlying motive for such Prabhupada-centred show of devotion? Duryodhana and Arjuna both had Krishna in the centre, but Duryodhana was envious of Krishna and was interested only to use the assets of Krishna. Arjuna, on the other hand, was interested simply to love and serve Krishna. He was not interested in Krishna’s assets. Similarly, we hear everyone say, “Srila Prabhupada in the centre,” but what we see is that everyone uses the assets (books, temples, devotees, name and fame) of Prabhupada, but each serves only his personal ambition to occupy Prabhupada’s post of guru-acharya, instead of using Prabhupada’s assets to serve Prabhupada. This is the pivot of the whole problem.

The guru is Krishna Himself, and all should serve him. One who claims to be a guru disqualifies himself, because by such claim he impudently announces that he is God or Krishna. This is the mystery of the acharya. We can recognize the acharya in that person who presents to the world the conclusive Truth, setting aside all doubts, and who stands out amongst all other men as a living example. “By their fruits you shall know them.”

When Parikshit Maharaja was cursed to die, he called all the rishis, yogis, mystics, learned scholars and devotees to inquire what he should do to prepare for death. Every one of them offered so many conflicting opinions. However, when Sukadeva Goswami arrived, all parties submitted themselves to him (even Vyasadeva, his father). Sukadeva Goswami was accepted as the topmost transcendentalist. Thus there was harmony, and he spoke Srimad-Bhagavatam for the whole world. Similarly, before the appearance of Srila Prabhupada, there were so many contending camps, even in the Gaudiya Math institution. Srila Prabhupada, like Sukadeva Goswami, presented the Bhagavatam, dispelling all contention, confusion and pretense.

Now that Srila Prabhupada is gone, again so many gurus, camps and contenders have come forward, seeking to step into Srila Prabhupada’s shoes. In response to a question to Srila Prabhupada re Ramakrishna Swami, Srila Prabhupada replied that maybe Ramakrishna was Krishna, but we can know it for certain that Bhagavad-gita is Krishna, so why take risk? Similarly, we know it for certain that Prabhupada is nitya-siddha, so why take risk in taking shelter of conditioned souls posturing as pure devotees? Let us therefore accept Prabhupada as the sampradaya acharya and re-establish a united Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya. What is the harm in that?

Pasted from; http://www.bhaktivedantas.com

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