Chaste to the Original

Chaste to the Original
By Vyasasan das

I also believe that to retain the true potency of the Hare Krishna Movement, we all need to be reading and distributing the same Bhagavad-gita, and offer obeisances to the same spiritual master, just as we all chant the same Mahamantra and worship the same Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my humble obeisances, and kindly forgive my offences.

vande ham sri-guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaishnavams cha

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and unto the feet of all Vaishnavas.”

I am writing to you Srila Prabhupada, because letters addressed to your Divine Grace must by necessity, be truthful. You can read the mind of your disciples, therefore submissive, honest inquiry, is required. Also I write to you because in our ISKCON society today, being truthful, is often viewed as being offensive.

Today in this letter I wish to address some of the controversy that is taking place amongst the devotees over the changes to your books. Some devotees feel that your original writing, prior to your departure from our material vision, has more potency than the changed books that are being printed today by the BBTI. Some devotees, such as myself, feel strongly about only reading and distributing your original books. That the changes made to your books were unnecessary and unfounded. And furthermore, were not authorized by you.


Particularly At That Time When You’re No Longer With Us

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)


The Appearance of Sukadeva Gosvami

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1:”Creation”
SB 1.19: The Appearance of Sukadeva Gosvami

The great sage Śukadeva Gosvāmī was certainly inspired by Lord Kṛṣṇa to appear voluntarily before Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the great devotee of the Lord, just to give him the teachings of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. One can achieve the nucleus of the devotional service of the Lord by the mercy of the spiritual master and the Personality of Godhead. The spiritual master is the manifested representative of the Lord to help one achieve ultimate success. One who is not authorized by the Lord cannot become a spiritual master. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī is an authorized spiritual master, and thus he was inspired by the Lord to appear before Mahārāja Parīkṣit and instruct him in the teachings of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Simply by such questioning and hearing, one can achieve the highest perfectional stage of life.

Text 37
You are the spiritual master of great saints and devotees. I am therefore begging you to show the way of perfection for all persons, and especially for one who is about to die.

Unless one is perfectly anxious to inquire about the way of perfection, there is no necessity of approaching a spiritual master. A spiritual master is not a kind of decoration for a householder. Generally a fashionable materialist engages a so-called spiritual master without any profit. The pseudo- spiritual master flatters the so-called disciple, and thereby both the master and his ward go to hell without a doubt. Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the right type of disciple because he puts forward questions vital to the interest of all men, particularly for the dying men. The question put forward by Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the basic principle of the complete thesis of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Now let us see how intelligently the great master replies.

Text 38
Please let me know what a man should hear, chant, remember and worship, and also what he should not do. Please explain all this to me.

Text 40
Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said: The King thus spoke and questioned the sage, using sweet language. Then the great and powerful personality, the son of Vyāsadeva, who knew the principles of religion, began his reply.


Krishna, The Flower-bearing Spring (Chapter 16)

The Hare Krishna Explosion
by Hayagriva das

Part III: New Vrindaban, 1968-1969
Chapter 16

Krishna, The Flower-bearing Spring

I return to West Virginia in time for a major snowstorm. Aghasura Road becomes a shimmering white path through a fantasy land of icicles. In the little farmhouse, nucleus of our transcendental village, it is impossible to keep warm. Cold air somehow seeps through the old floorboards and cuts through cracks. We stoke the woodfire in the steel oil drum. At night, the oil drum glows crimson, like a self-contained galaxy in the dark blue cold of space.

We are spared the worst northwest winds sweeping down from the Arctic and Canada, and across the plains from northern Ohio, for our wise pioneers built the little house on the eastern side of Govardhan Hill. Still, the sun rises late, reluctantly. We sit two hours in the predawn darkness, chanting aratik mantras, reading Bhagavad-gita, and stoking the fire. There are always logs to cut, brambles to break, firewood to haul in to dry before burning.

The predawn hours are the coldest. We stand wrapped in blankets before the little altar as Kirtanananda offers incense, camphor, ghee, water, handkerchief, flower, peacock fan, and yak-tail whisk to the Radha Krishna and Jagannatha Deities.

“When making aratik offerings,” he writes Prabhupada, “is it proper to meditate on the different parts of the Lord’s body?”

Prabhupada writes back no. “The Lord is actually there with you,” he replies. “And you are seeing all of His bodily features, so there’s no need to meditate that way. Food should be offered before aratik…”

Of course, this means getting up earlier to cook. We take turns tending the fire. I don’t thaw out until I’m in my office in Columbus.


ISKCON that Srila Prabhupada built

ISKCON that Srila Prabhupada built

In 1965, at the age of seventy, a simple Indian sannyasi, a pure devotee of Lord Sri Krishna, boarded the cargo ship, Jaladuta, to sail to America. Neither did he have the money to set out on such a journey, nor did he know what to expect at his destination. However one thing he was sure of. His mission. As instructed by his guru, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddantha Saraswathi Thakura, an acharya in the line of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1534), this stalwart disciple was taking a gigantic step to present to the world the message of Bhagavad-gita and other Vedic scriptures. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (reverentially called Srila Prabhupada) thus embarked on his monumental and historic service to God and mankind.

In July 1966, Srila Prabhupada stablished the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in New York city. During the next 10 years, he relentlessly worked towards his mission. He traveled around the globe 14 times and established 108 Krishna temples, authored over 70 books and guided a worldwide movement of over 10,000 Krishna devotees from all continents of the world.

When Srila Prabhupada departed from this material world on November 14, 1977, the world lost a glorious soul, a genuine spiritual leader of modern days.

ISKCON after the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada

Just before his passing away, Srila Prabhupada was confronted with several issues of the institution he had founded. One of them was: who would be the acharya or guru of ISKCON after his time. Who will initiate (give diksha) to the new entrants to ISKCON?


Initiation Ceremony at ISKCON Bangalore

Initiation Ceremony at ISKCON Bangalore
By Agrani Krishna Dasa

June 8 2011, Bangalore, India — Amongst the tension and tussle in Bangalore after the Hon’ble High Court’s verdict, May 29th was a memorable day for 37 devotees in the temple here. On the auspicious appearance day of Srila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura, 37 devotees took shelter under the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and accepted him as their spiritual master. I was one among the 37 devotees who took diksha from Srila Prabhupada on that day.


The Worship of Srimati Tulasi Devi

The Worship of Srimati Tulasi Devi

Tulasi is auspicious in all respects. Simply by seeing, simply by touching, simply by remembering, simply by praying to, simply by bowing before, simply by hearing about or simply by sowing this tree, there is always auspiciousness. Anyone who comes in touch with the tulasi tree in the above-mentioned ways lives eternally in the Vaikuntha world.

The Nectar of Devotion 1970 Edition
Chapter 11 Aspects of Transcendental Service
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

In the Skanda Purāṇa there is a statement eulogizing the tulasī tree as follows: “Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the tulasī tree, which can immediately vanquish volumes of sinful activities. Simply by seeing or touching this tree one can become relieved from all distresses and diseases. Simply by offering obeisances to and pouring water on the tulasī tree, one can become freed from the fear of being sent to the court of Yamarāj [the King of death, who punishes the sinful]. If someone sows a tulasī tree somewhere, certainly he becomes devoted to Lord Kṛṣṇa. And when the tulasī leaves are offered in devotion at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, there is the full development of love of Godhead.”

In India every Hindu, even those not belonging to the Vaiṣṇava group, take special care of the tulasī tree. Even in great cities where it is very difficult to keep a tulasī tree, people are to be found very carefully keeping this plant. They water it and offer obeisances to it, because worship of the tulasī tree is very important in devotional service.

In the Skanda Purāṇa there is another statement about tulasī, as follows: “Tulasī is auspicious in all respects. Simply by seeing, simply by touching, simply by remembering, simply by praying to, simply by bowing before, simply by hearing about or simply by sowing this tree, there is always auspiciousness. Anyone who comes in touch with the tulasī tree in the above-mentioned ways lives eternally in the Vaikuṇṭha world.”

The secret of success in Spiritual Life is Following the Orders of the Spiritual Master

What Happened to the Hare Krishna’s?
By Sriman Madhuvisa Prabhu
Chapter 6

Problems From India

A pure Vaisnava is very happy to see a person elevated in devotional service. Unfortunately, there are many so-called Vaisnavas who become envious to see someone actually recognized by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It is a fact that no one can preach Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message without receiving the special mercy of the Lord. This is known to every Viasnava, yet there are some envious people who cannot tolerate the expansion of this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. They find fault with a pure devotee preacher and do not praise him for the excellent service he renders in fulfilling Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission.

The success of Srila Prabhupada’s preaching and his increasing number of temples and disciples all over the world caused some of his godbrothers (other disciples of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual master) in India to become envious of him and his society.

Some of Srila Prabhupada’s godbrothers did not approve of his preaching work in the West. Srila Prabhupada had only a relatively small amount of direct association with his spiritual master and spent very little time living in the Gaudiya Math temples (his spiritual masters preaching mission).

He sometimes spoke on the Srimad Bhagavatam in the Gaudiya Math and helped with raising funds, but basically he was considered a householder and businessman. No one within the Gaudiya Math ever imagined Prabhupada would go to America to preach and spread the mission of Krishna consciousness all over the world. However Prabhupada’s ISKCON had made their tiny preaching attempts in India look insignificant.

Srila Prabhupada’s godbrothers had more personal association with Srila Bhaktsiddhanta than him and some of them had been sannyasis (renounced) for many years. If anyone was to be a world preacher surely it would be one of these advanced, renounced sannyasis who had received so much personal training from Srila Bhaktsiddhanta. In the Gaudiya Math way of things Srila Prabhupada really didn’t have much importance and no one would have considered him even a candidate as a world preacher.

The real difficulty for the Gaudiya Math began when they disobeyed the orders of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta. He instructed them that after he left his body they should make a Governing Body and conjointly manage the preaching mission in that way. He didn’t want an acarya appointed in his place as he could not see anyone qualified. But after Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s disappearance his disciples decided to reject his instructions and elect an acarya. It was a disaster and the result was the disintegration of the Gaudiya Math and the end of the preaching. Srila Prabhupada saw all this going on and criticized his godbrothers for going against Srila Bhaktsiddhanta’s instructions but he kept aloof from it. He preached independently and went about working and planning how to execute the order of his spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada was the only disciple of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta who sincerely took his instructions in regard to preaching in the Western countries to heart and was determined to follow them. He received the blessings and mercy of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta, Lord Caitanya and Krishna and was empowered by them to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. But his godbrothers were far from happy.


When a Vaiṣṇava sees that another Vaiṣṇava is a recipient of the Lord’s mercy, he becomes very happy!

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Madhya 1: The Later Pastimes of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

The spiritual master initiates the disciple to deliver him, and if the disciple executes the order of the spiritual master and does not offend other Vaiṣṇavas, his path is clear.

“There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaisnavas in this Krsna consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. There is no need to serve a jealous person who is in the dress of a Vaisnava.”

One should neglect an envious person. A preacher’s duty is to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, make friendships with Vaiṣṇavas, show mercy to the innocent and reject or neglect those who are envious or jealous.

TEXT 218

dui jane prabhura kṛpā dekhi’ bhakta-gaṇe
‘hari’ ‘hari’ bale sabe ānandita-mane


dui jane—unto the two persons; prabhura—of the Lord; kṛpā—the mercy; dekhi’-seeing; bhakta-gaṇe—all the devotees; hari hari—the holy name of the Lord; bale—chant; sabe—all; ānandita—cheerful; mane—in the mind.


When all of the devotees saw the mercy of the Lord upon the two brothers, they were very much gladdened, and they began to chant the holy name of the Lord, “Hari! Hari!”

Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā: unless one serves a Vaiṣṇava, he cannot be delivered. The spiritual master initiates the disciple to deliver him, and if the disciple executes the order of the spiritual master and does not offend other Vaiṣṇavas, his path is clear. Consequently Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu requested all the Vaiṣṇavas present to show mercy toward the two brothers, Rūpa and Sanātana, who had just been initiated by the Lord. When a Vaiṣṇava sees that another Vaiṣṇava is a recipient of the Lord’s mercy, he becomes very happy. Vaiṣṇavas are not envious. If a Vaiṣṇava, by the mercy of the Lord, is empowered by Him to distribute the Lord’s holy name all over the world, other Vaiṣṇavas become very joyful-that is, if they are truly Vaiṣṇavas. One who is envious of the success of a Vaiṣṇava is certainly not a Vaiṣṇava himself, but an ordinary mundane man. Envy and jealousy are manifested by mundane people, not by Vaiṣṇavas. Why should a Vaiṣṇava be envious of another Vaiṣṇava who is successful in spreading the holy name of the Lord? An actual Vaiṣṇava is very pleased to accept another Vaiṣṇava who is bestowing the Lord’s mercy. A mundane person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava should not be respected but rejected. This is enjoined in the śāstra (upekṣā). The word upekṣā means neglect. One should neglect an envious person. A preacher’s duty is to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, make friendships with Vaiṣṇavas, show mercy to the innocent and reject or neglect those who are envious or jealous. There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaiṣṇavas in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. There is no need to serve a jealous person who is in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava. When Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava sevā nistāra payeche kebā, he is indicating an actual Vaiṣṇava, not an envious or jealous person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava.

Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You

Srila Prabhupada, His Movement & You
By Sriman Hansadutta Prabhu

…that although garbage, debris and dead bodies are to be seen floating in the holy Ganges, it is understood that the Ganges never becomes impure or polluted on that account. So ISKCON may also have apparent undesirable and non-spiritual aspects, even demons amongst its members–still ISKCON should be accepted as pure always. As with the Ganges, we simply push the undesirable debris and garbage aside and take our bath, similarly, in ISKCON we may brush aside or avoid the apparent non-spiritual members and their effects and try to dip deep into the instructions of Srila Prabhupada (books, instructions, etc.).

ISKCON is Like the Great Holy River Ganges

Here I would like to humbly suggest a positive alternative for the future development of ISKCON, which necessitates an understanding of what ISKCON is. Everyone says, “ISKCON, ISKCON, ISKCON….” But what is ISKCON?–That is the question.

ISKCON is like the great holy river Ganges. The discrepancies we see there should be considered just like the foam or stool and dead bodies we see occasionally floating in the holy river Ganges. They never contaminate the river Ganges; rather, Ganges can absorb unlimited contamination and sins of unlimited sinful persons, and still it remains pure.

As the mighty Ganges flows down from Vaikuntha and Lord Shiva, through the Himalayan mountains, through the plains of India, ending finally at the Bay of Bengal and apparently enters the salt water ocean, but in fact does not merge into the salt water ocean but goes underwater and descends to other lower planets, returning eventually to Vaikuntha, so similarly, ISKCON flows down from Goloka Vrindavan through the mighty mountain peaks of the great acharyas, through His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his disciples who appear to be merged into the mainstream of the human society for preaching Krishna consciousness and who are all destined to go back to Godhead.

No one has any proprietorship over the Ganges. However sinful one may be, no one can throw him out of the Ganges. That would be ridiculous.

If we accept the holy river Ganges as being analogous to the flow of transcendental teachings coming down from the spiritual world to the material world via the disciplic succession (Brahma, Narada, Vyasa, Madhvacharya, Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Bhaktisiddhanta and Srila Prabhupada), then some of the incongruities which we as devotees sometimes experience in ISKCON may be resolved in a realistic way.


“We are not against ISKCON”

“We are not against ISKCON”
By: Madhu Pandit Dasa (ACBSP)
PR Log (Press Release) – Apr 28, 2010 –

We are against the corrupt leadership of ISKCON

So, therefore in this temple we only sell Prabhupada’s original Bhagavad Gita As It Is. Now compare it with what is happening in other ISKCONs. They are selling the other Bhagavad Gita. So these are the mistakes happening there. We are not against ISKCON, we are against spiritually corrupt ISKCON leadership.

We are not against ISCKON, how can we be against ISKCON? ISKCON is Prabhupada’s. How can we be against ISKCON? We are not against ISKCON. We are against the corrupt leadership of ISKCON. People misunderstand. We are not trying to separate from ISKCON. So, the organization is not bad, the leadership is bad. Why? Evidence we are giving. They have got the courage to make 5000 changes, number 1 and 2, what are the key things I mentioned?

Prabhupada’s kripa means his vani, his sound, that is what is what is coming, the rain from the spiritual world, which is going to shower on everybody and change their lives. So the vani has to be received with great faith as a spiritual master by the disciple. Now today, you walk into ISKCON, first there is MacMillan gita. And then there is, next they ask, if you have a tilak they ask, whose disciple are you? Before Prabhupad left, let’s say in 1976, you walk into an ISKCON temple, will anybody ask you: whose disciple are you?

Only Prabhupada. Now they ask whose disciple are you? Innocent people are misled. Now, when Prabhupada is available, Prabhupada’s vani is available and Prabhupada has not authorized anybody to take up that position to be an acharya, how can they become acharyas? So, it is self made acharya. Self made acharya doesn’t work.

Acharya has to be authorized. Like Shukadeva Goswami was concluded as being authorized based on the fact that how can Shukadeva Goswami arrive in our midst of all the places? It is definitely inspired and sent by lord Krishna.

That is what is this verse is saying. Similarly, we also have read Chaitanya Charitamrita, without Krishna’s mercy it’s not possible to spread the holy name all around the world. Therefore Srila Prabhupada is authorized by Krishna as the acharya.


The Nectar of Instruction

…anger can be controlled. We cannot stop anger altogether, but if we simply become angry with those who blaspheme the Lord or the devotees of the Lord, we control our anger in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu became angry with the miscreant brothers Jagāi and Mādhāi, who blasphemed and struck Nityānanda Prabhu. In His Śikṣāṣṭaka Lord Caitanya wrote, tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā: “One should be humbler than the grass and more tolerant than the tree.” One may then ask why the Lord exhibited His anger. The point is that one should be ready to tolerate all insults to one’s own self, but when Kṛṣṇa or His pure devotee is blasphemed, a genuine devotee becomes angry and acts like fire against the offenders.

The Nectar Of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A.; C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Text One


ISKCON Bangalore files a complaint to Commissioner of Police

ISKCON Bangalore files a complaint to Commissioner of Police

June 4th 2011, Bangalore.
To: The Commissioner of Police,
Infantry Road, Bangalore city.

Dear Sir,

Sub: ISKCON Mumbai representatives planning to visit ISKCON Bangalore Temple once again on Sunday, June 5th, 2011

As you are aware, on Friday, June 3rd the representatives of ISKCON Mumbai visited the ISKCON temple in Rajajinagar and tried to forcibly enter the temple. We have informed the representatives of ISKCON Mumbai that they should act within the framework of law and initiate the legal process for any change and not just walk in. Despite this they made an attempt on Friday afternoon and it has resulted in media carrying news in bad taste.

Again the devotees of ISKCON Mumbai are attempting to come to the temple on Sunday, June 5th between 7 am and 11 am. We have received SMS messages that describe their plans for Sunday.

We have also obtained the legal opinion of a retired High Court judge, Justice Sri Jagannath Shetty, on the matter of Supervisory Committee constituted by ISKCON Mumbai and the same is enclosed for your perusal. The Honourable Judge has stated that the action of ISKCON Mumbai in setting up the Supervisory Committee is in utter violation of the High Court order. He says it is not only illegal, but also unjust.

Under these circumstances, we request you to provide us police protection to the temple on Hare Krishna Hill especially on Sunday, June 5th, 2011.

We also request you to provide protection to prevent ISKCON Mumbai representatives from storming in to the temple illegally and unjustly.

Thanking you,
Yours in the service of humanity,
Chanchalapathi Das,
Vice President,
ISKCON Bangalore.

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Bangalore: Mumbai Team Makes Vain Bid to Enter ISKCON Temple in City

The battle of ISKCONs took an ugly turn on Friday as devotees of the Bangalore unit prevented the Mumbai bureau representatives from entering its premises.

Foiled in their attempt to enter the temple, the Mumbai team left, declaring its intent to take legal recourse to gain control of the property. Apparently, the Mumbai team wanted to surprise the Bangalore ISKCON authorities as it landed without prior information in four cars.

Madhupandit Das objected to the Mumbai ISKCON attempts to gain control of the city unit as the matter was still pending before the Supreme Court.

Bangalore: Mumbai Team Makes Vain Bid to Enter ISKCON Temple in City
Bangalore, Jun 3 (PTI):

 An attempt by a team from Mumbai ISKCON to enter the Bangalore unit temple was prevented by those managing it.

Several activists owing allegiance ISKCON temple in the city blocked the entry of the Mumbai team headed by Varada Krishnadas, which came here in the aftermath of the state high court order which ruled that the city property was part of the Mumbai ISKCON.

Madhupandit Das, President of the Bangalore ISKCON, maintained he had approached the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order and till the apex court delivered its orders, Mumbai ISKCON cannot interfere in its working.

Passing orders on the property dispute between Mumbai ISKCON and the Bangalore branch, the court had last week given six week time for appealing against the verdict.

A tense situation prevailed at the entrance of ISKCON temple complex at Mahalakshmi Layout where hundreds of activists of the Bangalore unit resisted Mumbai team attempts to enter it.

The arguments between the two groups led to traffic blockade on the road, which has become a narrow in the wake of the on-going works for Metro Rail.
Police intervened and brought the situation under control. The Mumbai team returned following protests.

Madhupandit Das objected to the Mumbai ISKCON attempts to gain control of the city unit as the matter was still pending before the Supreme Court.

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Fisticuffs and abuse near Iskcon temple
TNN | Jun 3, 2011, 11.56pm IST

BANGALORE: It was an unprecedented and shameful street fight, and lasted a good half-hour, as temple members scuffled in front of the Iskcon temple, shattering its peace with loud shouts and foul language. 

To the two groups — members of Bangalore Iskcon and the supervisory committee from Iskcon Mumbai– it did not matter that it is a sacred space for lakhs of Bangaloreans. 

Problems began after the supervisory committee appointed by Iskcon Mumbai decided to enter the temple premises for an inspection, in the background of the property dispute between Iskcon Bangalore and Mumbai. Hearing the news, the Bangalore members gathered at the gate and locked it. Loudspeakers fixed along the walls aired bhajans. Vehicles and visitors were checked before anyone was allowed inside the temple, which was turned into a fortress. 

When the convoy of the supervisory committee arrived, a truck used for the Akshaya Patra programme, parked by the gate, was moved to cover the gate and prevent the car from entering. The Bangalore members surrounded the car and jammed the doors to prevent them from disembarking. A scuffle began after they managed to get out of the car. Dayaram Das, committee president, tried to walk into the temple and was stopped near the barricades. 

The committee members moved away to interact with the media, and Iskcon Bangalore members followed them. A restaurant nearby had to shut down as people came rushing. 


When all hell was breaking loose outside the temple, there were only three traffic policemen to handle more than 100 people and clear the road for traffic. A few meters away, in a small alley, a Karnataka Reserve Police Force unit and local police were stationed, but they did not intervene. 

An hour after the supervisory committee members were forced out of the temple, police teams arrived, including ACP CT Ajjappa. By this time, things had settled down. 

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Re-establishing the Lost Link

Re-establishing the Lost Link
By; Agrani Krishna Dasa
Jun 03, 2011 — INDIA (SUN) — 

A spiritual master, who is as good as Hari, has the same potency like that of the Lord. Just like how Krishna can be perceived through His photos and archa-vigraha form, a bona fide spiritual master can also be approached through his Deity and the photos. In fact, there is no difference between Prabhupada and his teachings as well. There are thousands of devotees all over the world who can stand as a testimony to this fact.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says that yare dekho tare kaho krishna-upadesa. Whomever you meet, you simply talk about Krishna, what He has taught in the Bhagavad-gita. This is the sum and substance of our preaching to the world. All the glorious Acaryas of our Sampradaya have been waiting for a day when this whole world will chant the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra. When will Gaura Nitai be worshipped in each and every house? This is the dream they have been waiting to be enlivened.

Srila Prabhupada descended into this material universe just to fulfill this dream of the acaryas. He was very much clear and focused only onto this. That is why Krishna unfolded the fortune which was needed for Srila Prabhupada to establish this preaching of Krishna Consciousness. It was as though Krishna Himself was personally helping Srila Prabhupada to preach His glories all over this planet, by removing all the hurdles to push on this movement. It is because Srila Prabhupada had only one thing to meditate in his mind – “I need to execute the order of my spiritual master.”

After a decade of massive preaching, Srila Prabhupada left this planet leaving behind us a treasure of Vedic knowledge, his lectures, his letters, and conversations to guide us in his “absence”. It is often Srila Prabhupada mentioned that he will live through his teachings and we would utilize the same.


The Expansions of Advaita Ācārya

The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless. (Adi 12.10)

…the followers of Advaita Ācārya divided into two parties. Such disagreement among the disciples of one ācārya is also found among the members of the Gauḍīya Maṭha. In the beginning, during the presence of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Paramahaṁsa Parivrājakācārya Aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, all the disciples worked in agreement; but just after his disappearance, they disagreed. One party strictly followed the instructions of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, but another group created their own concoction about executing his desires. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular man to become the next ācārya. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of ācārya, and they split into two factions over who the next ācārya would be. Consequently, both factions were asāra, or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master. Despite the spiritual master’s order to form a governing body and execute the missionary activities of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, the two unauthorized factions began litigation that is still going on after forty years with no decision. (Adi 12.8 purport)


Winning a Battle Only to Lose a War

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.


Krishna Smiles

Krishna Smiles
By Krishna’s Mercy

“When a devotee with all his heart and soul serves Krishna, dresses Him in nice garments and gives Him a flower, Krishna smiles. If you can get Krishna to smile upon you just once, your life’s goal is fulfilled.” (Srila Prabhupada, Teachings of Lord Kapila, Ch 7)

Shyamasundara, the original and ever existing form of the Personality of Godhead, has an inexhaustible reservoir of sweetness just ready to flow onto whoever is sincere enough to look at His wonderful face and body. The jivas, the conditioned living entities that are technically part of the marginal energy emanating from the Supreme Spirit, have exercised their freedom by turning their faces away from God. As nothing can be separated from the origin of everything, the material nature and all its miserable components are certainly non-different from the Supreme Lord, but since they are not part of His personal, internal energy, their association cannot bring anywhere near the level of satisfaction to the heart so desperately looking for eternal pleasure that one simple and sincere glance at the smiling face of the Personality of Godhead can. From the wonderful prescriptions provided by the sweetheart of a devotee and saint, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, we find an easy way to bring to our vision that enchanting smile, an image which subsequently paints a mental picture that won’t go away anytime soon. Indeed, Krishna’s smile is so beautiful that it will kill the pride of even the staunchest of atheists.

“Dear Krishna, You are the killer of all the fears of the inhabitants of Vrindavana. You are the supremely powerful hero, and we know that You can kill the unnecessary pride of Your devotee as well as the pride of women like us simply by Your beautiful smile.” (Songs of the gopis, Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 31)


Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You

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.

Your servant,

Tamal Krishna Goswami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada

Approved: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

[ Srila Prabhupada’s signature appears on the original.]


Seven Temples on Seven Hills (Chapter 15)

The Hare Krishna Explosion
by Hayagriva Prabhu

Part III: New Vrindaban, 1968-1969
Chapter 15

Seven Temples on Seven Hills

The Montreal temple is located in a large, grey Gothic building near McGill University. The ground floor is occupied by a commercial printing company. The upstairs bowling alley has been converted into a kirtan hall and living area for new devotees—Shivananda, Jayapataka, Hansadutta, Vaikunthanath. Now it is crowded. There has been a flurry of activity since Prabhupada’s arrival.

Kirtanananda and I visit Prabhupada in his nearby apartment. As always, it seems, Prabhupada is seated behind his footlocker, the familiar aromas of gardenias, incense and sandalwood about him. Goursundar and Govinda dasi scurry about, fretting that too many people are disturbing him. We pay our obeisances, and I offer Prabhupada yellow roses, which Govinda dasi arranges in vases.

“So how have you come?” Prabhupada asks.

“By plane from New York,” I say.

“Ah, very good. And in New York they are doing nicely?”

“Yes, Srila Prabhupada. Very nicely.”

“And what about New Vrindaban? That is doing nicely?”

“The owner has finally agreed on a long term lease,” I say, “but he wants the timber.”

“Oh, that cannot be. We must have all rights.”

“The coal rights were sold sixty-five years ago,” Kirtanananda says. “This is the case with all the properties in that area.”

“This means that if the government develops the coal industry, we may be asked to vacate,” Prabhupada says, concerned. “And no law can stop it.”

We admit that this is a point to consider.

“Yes,” he continues, “even if the government does not interfere, if some big industry moves into our vicinity, our New Vrindaban will fade away.”

I suddenly envision the little farmhouse and willow tree enveloped in a haze of smoke, the pastures invaded by steel drills abusing Mother Earth, giant smokestacks….

“New Vrindaban must be free from industrial contamination,” he says. “Industries like mining will ruin everything. Consider well the land’s future.”

“Most of the coal has already been mined through underground tunnels,” Kirtanananda says.

“Another important point,” Prabhupada goes on. “What happens to the property after ninety-nine years?”

I don’t know,” I say, not having really thought of this. “We won’t be around then.”

“But the Society will,” he says. “There must be an agreement that at the end of the lease, the property will go to us.”

This had been our oversight. Of course it must go to the Society! Great temples will be rising from the blackberries and pokeweed!

“We’ll try to get Foster to agree,” I say.

We then describe the property. As soon as Prabhupada understands where the main road is, he asks, “How do you get up to the farmhouse?”

“Well, that’s the big problem,” I admit. “It’s not really what you’d call easily accessible. But you could drive a jeep or horse and wagon up it. Otherwise, it’s a two mile walk.”

Prabhupada reflects on this a moment.

“Hm. Horse and buggy would be better,” he says at length. “You should avoid machines and become as self-sufficient as possible. And horses are pleasing to look at. They are the most beautiful of animals.”

Kirtanananda presents a quart of blackberry chutney and one of raspberry jam.


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