Srila Prabhupada is the Only Spiritual Master for ISKCON

Srila Prabhupada is the Only Spiritual Master for ISKCON

Srila Prabhupada created ISKCON for his disciples and it is really only going to work for his disciples. There is no history of a group of gurus living together and having all their disciples together. Even the Goswamis in Vrindavan, they were coming together for kirtans but they all had their own separate temples and disciples.

A short while back I read an interesting article written by Madhuvisa Prabhu, and posted by Rochan Prabhu on his site Sampradaya Sun. The article was entitled Evidence and Clarification. We are posting some of it here.

“…But as far as the facts are concerned it is certainly a fact that Prabhupada established a ritvik initiation system in ISKCON in the early 70’s where he would appoint representatives to perform the fire yajnas for his disciples on his behalf. And it is a fact that he gave these “ritviks” more power as the years went on, and in the July 9th letter, he gave them complete power to accept disciples on his behalf and chant on their beads and give them a name, without having any physical involvement in the matter at all.

It is also a provable fact that Srila Prabhuapda did not consider that any of his disciples were qualified for the position of acharya. And therefore it is very reasonable to say that Srila Prabhupada did not appoint any successor acharyas. I was just listening to one of the 1977 conversation tapes a couple of days ago and Srila Prabhupada told Tamal that the problem is among his disciples there is no strong man. He said they are all like children and among all Ramesvara may be the best. The same thing is there in other places where Prabhupada is clearly stating that his disciples are immature and not qualified for the post of acharya.

So it is a fact that the system Srila Prabhupada used in ISKCON to accept disciples in him physical presence was ritvik, 100% ritvik in the later years. And we can say it is a fact that he did not appoint any successor acharyas. Even Tamal confirms this in his Topanga Canyon talks. He says clearly that Prabhupada only appointed ritviks.


Transcendental Knowledge

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition; Transcendental Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4, Text 1

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave ‘bravīt

śrī bhagavān uvāca—the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; imam—this; vivasvate—unto the sun-god; yogam—the science of one’s relationship to the Supreme; proktavān—instructed; aham—I; avyayam—imperishable; vivasvān—Vivasvān (the sun-god’s name); manave—unto the father of mankind (of the name Vaivasvata); prāha—told; manuḥ—the father of mankind; ikṣvākave—unto King Ikṣvāku; abravīt—said.

The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku.

Herein we find the history of the Bhagavad-gītā traced from a remote time when it was delivered to the royal order, the kings of all planets. This science is especially meant for the protection of the inhabitants and therefore the royal order should understand it in order to be able to rule the citizens and protect them from the material bondage to lust. Human life is meant for cultivation of spiritual knowledge, in eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the executive heads of all states and all planets are obliged to impart this lesson to the citizens by education, culture and devotion. In other words, the executive heads of all states are intended to spread the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that the people may take advantage of this great science and pursue a successful path, utilizing the opportunity of the human form of life.



Ratha Yatra – Significance of Ratha Yatra

The word “Yatra” means pligrimage or Holy procession. Devotees and believers consider the yatra as most auspicious occasion in their lives.

The festival of yatra is considered very auspicious. Even a glimpse of Lord Jagannatha on the chariot is regarded as auspicious and the person who gets it is considered as fortunate. It is said that pulling the cart is enough to confer the results of hundreds and thousands of pious deeds or penances. In the Kathopanishada, the concept of the chariot is explained as follows:

Atmanam rathinam viddhi sareeram rathamevatu
Buddhim tu saarathim viddhi marah pragrahameva cha.

“Those who are fortunate to see the deities of the Srimandira in the Gundicha Temple, the final destination of the procession of the chariots, derive the benefits of a thousand horse sacrifices, an immensely pious deed.”

Thus, one can know how significant and meaningful ratha yatra is. We request our readers to participate in this famous festival and receive mercy of the the most merciful Lordships, Sri Sri Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra.

Basic Cooking Ingredients

The Hare Krsna Cookbook
Chapter One

Basic Cooking Ingredients

In the Vedic scriptures it is stated that the Supreme Lord has provided ample varieties of food-stuffs for all living creatures and that one should take only that which is allotted to him by the Lord, not more. For Humanity the Lord has set aside simple foods such as grains, vegetables, fruit and milk products and He has requested that we offer Him such pure and nourishing foods. In this way, there are hundred and thousands of palatable dishes that may be prepared and then offered to Lord Krishna.

Listed below are some of the ingredients most commonly used in preparing Krsna prasadam.

white flour (unbleached if available)
whole mung beans *
chick-pea flour, somtimes called besan or gram flour *
whole chick-peas
yellow split peas
split, cleaned urad dahl *
split, claned mung dahl *
powdered milk
almonds (raw and shelled)
walnuts (raw and shelled)
peanuts (raw and shelled)
white rice flour *

Most of these ingredients are readily abailable from regular grocery stores. The items marked was asterisks would more likely be found at Chinese food stores or Indian specialty stores.

Note; There are of course many more key ingredients, but it is our humble attempt to present “The Hare Krsna Cookbook” the way it was written back in 1973. Next post will be on Spices, which are the jewels of cooking for Krsna.

The First Stages of Devotion

Nectar of Devotion
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Two

We should always try to mold the activities of our lives in such a way that we will constantly remember Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Whether one concentrates his mind on the four-handed form of Viṣṇu or on the form of two-handed Kṛṣṇa, it is the same. The Padma Purāṇa recommends: somehow or other always think of Viṣṇu, without forgetting Him under any circumstances. Actually this is the most basic of all regulative principles. For, when there is an order from a superior about doing something, there is simultaneously a prohibition. When the order is that one should always remember Kṛṣṇa, the prohibition is that one should never forget Him. Within this simple order and prohibition, all regulative principles are found complete.

The First Stages of Devotion

The three categories of devotional service which Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī describes in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu are listed as devotional service in practice, devotional service in ecstasy and devotional service in pure love of Godhead. There are many subheadings in each of these categories. Generally it is understood that in the category of devotional service in practice there are two different qualities, devotional service in ecstasy has four qualities, and devotional service in pure love of Godhead has six qualities. These qualities will be explained by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī later on.

In this connection, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī suggests that the person eligible for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or devotional service, can be classified by his particular taste. He says that devotional service is a continual process from one’s previous life. No one can take to devotional service unless he has had some previous connection with it. For example, suppose in this life I practice devotional service to some extent. Even though it is not one-hundred-percent perfectly performed, whatever I have done will not be lost. In my next life, from the very point where I stop in this life, I shall begin again. In this way there is always a continuity. But even if there is no continuity, if only by chance a person takes interest in a pure devotee’s instruction, he can be accepted and can advance in devotional service. Anyway, for persons who have a natural taste for understanding books like Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, devotional service is easier than for those who are simply accustomed to mental speculation and argumentative processes.


Paramhansa in the Hills (Chapter 18)

The Hare Krishna Explosion
by Hayagriva das

Part III: New Vrindaban, 1968-1969
Chapter 18

Paramhansa in the Hills

When we arrive at the foot of Aghasura Road, the devotees are waiting beside the powerwagon. The air is vibrant with the humming of bees and fragrant with the sweet aroma of white locust flowers.

The devotees offer obeisances as soon as the Lincoln turns down the driveway. They fall face down on the grass and gravel.

“Oh, there are many waiting here,” Prabhupada says, stepping out of the car. “Jai Sri Krishna!”

Little Dwarkadish, six years old, timidly obeys his mother and garlands Prabhupada with gardenias and red roses.

“Oh, thank you, Mr. D.D.D.,” Prabhupada says. “D.D.D.” is his nickname for Dwarkadish-das, who has just arrived with his mother from the Los Angeles temple. Present also are other recent arrivals: John and Susan, students from Ohio University, where Prabhupada lectured; Patita-pavana and Uddhava, two brothers from New York; Rupanuga and his five-year-old son Ekendra; and Nara-narayana, the carpenter who’s been helping Vamandev repair the farmhouse.

“So, where do we go from here?” Prabhupada asks.

“It’s two miles up that road, Prabhupada,” Ranandhir says, pointing at the muddy Aghasura winding its way down the creek through locust and maple.

“And we go in this?” Prabhupada asks, looking at the old powerwagon.

“It’s as strong as a tank, Prabhupada, “ Kirtanananda says, getting inside and starting it. The engine roars and smokes as he revs it up.

“Why not walk?” Prabhupada suggests.

We protest that the two-mile trek would be too hard on Prabhupada. Driving the power-wagon over Mr. Thompson’s property is quicker and easier.

Paramananda calls me aside to inform me that he couldn’t contact Mr. Thompson.

“He wasn’t in last night or this morning,” he says. “I guess it’s all right to drive over. He’s never refused.”

“Well, it’s an emergency,” I say.

Purushottam and Devananda load Prabhupada’s luggage in the back of the powerwagon. Prabhupada curiously asks about the vehicle’s model as he gets in. To cushion the jolts, we’ve placed clean pillows over the bare springs of the seat. Shama-dasi has even garlanded the dashboard.

Once Prabhupada is securely seated, Kirtanananda starts driving up the gravel road to Mr. Thompson’s farm. The powerwagon shudders and lurches forward. Hrishikesh, Paramananda, Ranandhir and I jump in back. The other devotees run behind in a hurried procession.


Ritvik Supported In Other Letters

Ritvik Supported In Other Letters
By: Kurma Das

July 11 2011, Australia — For those of us following Rocana Dasa’s most recent dressing down of the July 9th letter, here are three other letters which clearly support the objectives of the July 9th letter and which describe the word RITTVIK two times

Kirtanananda Swami July 11th 1977
“A letter has been sent to all temple presidents and GBC which you should be receiving soon, describing the process of Initiation to be followed in the future. Srila Prabhupada has appointed thus far eleven representatives who will initiate new devotees on his behalf. You can wait for the letter to arrive ( The original has been sent to Rameswara Maharaja for duplicating ) and then all of the persons whom you recommended in your previous letters can be initiated .”

Hansadutta Swami July 10th 1977
“You are a suitable person and you can give initiation to those that are ready for it. I have selected you among eleven men as ‘Rittvik representative of the Acharya, to give initiations, both first and second initiation, on my behalf.’ A newsletter is being sent to all temple presidents and GBC in this regard, listing the eleven representatives selected by His Divine Grace. Those who are initiated are the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and anyone whom you deem fit and initiate in this way, you should send their names to be included in Srila Prabhupada’s ‘Initiated disciples’ book.”

Hansadutta Swami July 31st 1977
“You have written to Srila Prabhupada saying you do not know why he has chosen you to be a recipient of his Mercy. His Divine Grace immediately replied, ‘It is because you are my sincere servant. You have given up attachment to a beautiful and qualified wife and that is a great benediction. You are a real preacher. Therefore I like you. (Then laughing) Sometimes you become obstinate, but that is true of any intelligent man. Now you have got a very good field. Now organize it and it will be a great credit. No one will disturb you there. MAKE YOUR OWN FIELD AND CONTINUE TO BE RITTVIK AND ACT ON MY BEHALF.’”

Kurma (not the chef)

Comment on Srila Prabhupada’s Ritvik Initiation System

Pandu on 17. December 2008 at 2:41 am said:
Srila Prabhupada’s Ritvik Initiation System

Some time back I was reading and article on the Prabhupadanuga News and I ran across this comment posted by Pandu Prabhu. I thought it relevant today, so I am posting it. It is some good information on the word “ritvik”. Also enclosed at end of post is the link to original article.

Since Srila Prabhupada himself Coined the term “Ritvik”, it is very offensive to Srila Prabhupada, to denounce this term. The attempt of certain persons to degrade the transcendental Vedic term “rtvijah” or “ritvik” to a derogatory word is one more example of offenses that have entered Iskcon due to our neglect of Srila Prabhupada’s advice.

In Vedic culture, a ritvik is an exalted priest. Such priests were often endowed with siddhis and respected as gurus, yet they never pretended to be as good as Lord Hari. By the order of the Acarya, the rtvijah recites the mantras that request the presence of Lord Visnu in the fire of Vedic sacrifice (agni-hotra), and he then makes offerings to the Supreme Lord according to Vedic sastra. The rtvijah performs an exalted function. He is a pure brahmin or Vaisnava who is never concerned about the political correctness or convenience of his stance.

Srila Prabhupada’s Ritvik statements can be found in his Supporting Instructions as well as in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

“…continue to become ritvik and act on my charge.” (July 19th)
“…continue to become ritvik and act on my behalf.” (July 31th)
“…the process for initiation to be followed in the future.” (July 11th)

Srila Prabhupada to Hansadutta: “You are a suitable person and you can give initiation to those who are ready for it. I have selected you among eleven men as “rittvik” or representative of the acharya, to give initiations, both first and second initiation, on my behalf.”
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. I shall recommend some of you. After this is settled up I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating acarya(s).

Tamal Krishna: Is that called ritvik acarya?

Srila Prabhupada: “ritvik. Yes”.

In these documents we find words such as “ritvik”, “continue” and “future” which, along with the word “henceforward”, all point to the permanency of the ritvik system. There is no statement from Srila Prabhupada that even hints that this system was to terminate on his departure.

SB 9.1.15 adhvaryuna–by the rtvik priest;
SB 4.5.7 rtvijah–the priests;
SB 4.5.18 rtvijah–the priests
SB 4.6.52 rtvijam–of the priests;
SB 4.7.16 rtvik–the priests;
SB 4.7.27 rtvijah–the priests;
SB 4.7.45 rtvijah–the priests;
SB 4.7.56 rtvigbhih–with the priests;
SB 4.13.26 rtvijah–the priests;

In Srimad-Bhagavatam (8.16.53), Srila Prabhupada defines “ritvik” (rtvijah) as “the priests recommended by the spiritual master”. In this instance ritviks are defined as the deputed priests of the spiritual master. They preside over a Vedic ritual meant for the worship of Lord Visnu (visnu-aradhana). The initiation ritual observed in ISKCON is a standard Vedic ceremony, and it may be performed by ritviks, who officiate on behalf of the Acarya.

This understanding and practice was clearly established by Srila Prabhupada personally, and there should be no controversy regarding the definition or function of the ritvik priest. The new initiates offer dakshina and service to the mission of the guru, and the priests may also receive some token honor or reward for their services, according to Vedic custom. (In ISKCON Srila Prabhupada would either receive the guru dakshina personally and use it for a global ISKCON project or for his traveling expenses, or he would give money to the BBT or some other important or needy branch of his preaching mission. He never said that priests representing ISKCON should receive money or expensive gifts for their services. Nor did he say they should assume positions of absolute authority and accept worship as gurus.)

Tamal Krishna Goswami on Rittvik Initiation

Tamal Krishna Goswami on Rittvik Initiation
In 1979-1980, Tamal Krishna Goswami (GBC guru-acharya ) confessed that Srila Prabhupada never appointed any successor guru-acharyas:

Tamal Krishna Goswami: …Actually, Prabhupada never appointed any gurus. He did not appoint eleven gurus. He appointed eleven rittviks [officiating priests]. He never appointed them as gurus . Myself and the other GBCs have done the greatest disservice to this movement for the last three years, because we interpreted the appointment of rittviks as the appointment of gurus….

[What Srila Prabhupada said was], “All right, I will appoint so many,” and he named them. He made it very clear that they [new members] were still to be his disciples. At that point it was very clear in my mind that they were his disciples….

Now I understand that what he did was very clear. He was physically incapable of performing the function of initiating physically; therefore he appointed officiating priests to initiate on his behalf. He appointed eleven and he said very clearly, “Whoever is nearest, he can initiate.”

This is a very important point, because when it comes to initiating, it is not “whoever is nearest.” It is wherever your heart goes–to whom you can repose your faith in.

But when it is officiating, it’s “whoever is nearest,” and he was very clear… “Whoever is nearest will check you out. Then, on my behalf, they will initiate….”

If it had been more than that [officiating priests], you can bet your bottom dollar that Prabhupada would have spoken for days and hours and weeks on end about how to set up this thing with the gurus…. But he did not, because he already said it a million times. He said, “My Guru Maharaja did not appoint anyone. It is by qualification.” We made a great mistake….

You cannot show me anything on tape or in writing where Prabhupada says, “I appoint these eleven as gurus .” It does not exist, because he never appointed any gurus. This is a myth.–

1979-1980, Topanga Canyon, California, (Spoken in Topanga Canyon and subsequently published in ISKCON Journal, Vol. I, No. 1)

Letter to Hansadutta from Tamal Krishna Goswami, dated 10 July 1977

Letter to Hansadutta from Tamal Krishna Goswami
July 10th, 1977

My Dear Hansadutta Maharaja:

Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. Srila Prabhupada has received your letters dated July 4th and July 5th, 1977 respectively, and has instructed me to reply them.

Srila Prabhupada was very pleased to hear how you have organized everything in Ceylon, and that so many people are now taking interest seriously is proof of the effectiveness of your preaching. His Divine Grace said, “You are a suitable person and you can give initiation to those who are ready for it. I have selected you among eleven men as “rittvik” or representative of the acharya, to give initiations, both first and second initiation, on my behalf.” A newsletter is being sent to all Temple Presidents and GBC in this regard, listing the eleven representatives selected by His Divine Grace. Those who are initiated are the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and anyone who you deem fit and initiate in this way, you should send their names to be included in Srila Prabhupada’s “Initiated Disciples” book. In this way the Temple Presidents will send their recommendations for initiation direct to the nearest representative who will give a spiritual name or chant on the Gayatri thread just as Srila Prabhupada has been doing.
Srila Prabhupada smiled very broadly when he heard of the successful program organized by the local people in which 2000 persons attended. When he heard that you have introduced a full feasting program on Sundays, he said, “You are a good cook, so teach others now how to cook just as I taught you.”

Regarding the printing going slowly, His Divine Grace stated, “Never mind. Go surely. It doesn’t matter slowly.” I inquired from Pradyumna Prabhu about the Sinhalese translation which you mentioned. He said that “On Chanting Hare Krishna Mantra” was translated into Sinhalese, and that translation is in his trunk in Bombay. We will try to get it to you as soon as possible. I do not know if Gopal Krishna has any Tamil manuscript, but if he does, when I see him in about ten days, I will tell him to send it to you. You may also write him directly. Pradyumna says it will be faster just to get a new translationÑit is only one page.

Srila Prabhupada was very glad to know that you would try to bring some Ceylonese devotees to Mayapur and said, “Oh, that is very good!” He did not know whether the story about Bhaktisiddhanta’s disciples seeing a man eating a rat was true or not. Regarding the exact position of Sri Lanka, this is the opinion of some people. Srila Prabhupada advised that we not discuss this matter publicly at this time. Prabhupada also recommended that from Hari Sauri you take ghee. He said that you could have one fifth of whatever Hari Sarui sends to India. Regarding whether you should use the name Swami or Goswami, Srila Prabhupada said, “Stick to one. Swami is better.”

Your servant,
Tamal Krishna Goswami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada

Mung Bean Dahl

We are going to begin a new series with recipies from the “Original” Hare KRSNA Cookbook, and will weekly post recipies from that wonderful book that most all of the early devotees learned to cook, for Lord Krishna from. The Hare KRSNA Cookbook was compiled by Krsna devi dasi and Sama devi dasi. We are eternaly grateful to these nice devotees, for they have helped us all on our path of devotional service (bhakti yoga).

Mung Bean Dahl

1cup mung beans
6 cups water
1/2 t. finely chopped fresh ginger
1 large fresh sliced tomato
3 T. ghee
1 t. salt
1 t. tumeric
1/2 t. cumin seed
1 t. red pepper

Wash beans and put into a saucepan with water. Add tomato, ginger, tumeric and salt. Bring to a boil. Turn to a low boil and cook until the beans are soft and broken up. Spice with Basic Massala

Making a Basic Massala
Heat 3 T. ghee. Add 1/2 t. cumin seed. Brown cumin seed and add 1 t. crushed red chilis. Cook untill brown and fragrent.

Association with the Spiritual Master; Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada is our Spiritual Master, the Bona Fide Uttama-Adhikari, the current link to the Disciplic succession, the all merciful, all compassionate Diksa Guru, impartially distributing Sri Caitanya’s mercy. And Initiating the general population into the cult of Devotional Service to Lord Krsna.

Our relationship with Srila Prabhupada is a spiritual relationship, it is not based on whether or not we were physically present simultaneously. Spiritual inspiration comes from within the heart, wherein the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His Paramatma feature, is always sitting with all His devotees and associates. The Spiritual Master is the external manifestation of the Supersoul and is simultaneously manifest within the heart of the sincere disciple seated with the Supersoul and accompanying the disciple everywhere.

The disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master.

“In the absence of physical presentation of the Spiritual Master, the vaniseva is more important. My Spiritual Master Saraswati Goswami, may appear to be physically not present but still I try to serve His Instruction, I never feel separated from Him” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, August 22, 1970)


Thiruvananthapuram; Lost City of Gold

The Opulence of the Absolute

Know that all beautiful, glorious, and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.

Any glorious or beautiful existence should be understood to be but a fragmental manifestation of Kṛṣṇa’s opulence, whether it be in the spiritual or material world. Anything extraordinarily opulent should be considered to represent Kṛṣṇa’s opulence.(Bhagavad-gita As It Is 10.41)

Temple of boom in Thiruvananthapuram: Rs 1 lakh crore and counting

Ananthakrishnan G, TNN Jul 4, 2011, 01.27am IST
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Call it the mother of all treasure hunts. The stock-taking by a panel of experts at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple has catapulted the shrine located in Thiruvananthapuram to the country’s richest, with reports claiming that the value of recoveries may have touched close to Rs 1 lakh crore, more than Kerala public debt of Rs 70,969 crore.

With one more “secret” vault yet to be opened, the figure in all likelihood will go up further. But sources said the figures could only be speculation as it wasn’t possible to determine the antique value of the precious gems and jewellery. “These are antique pieces and it’s not possible to determine their prices,” said historian and former director of Indian Council of Historical Research M G S Narayanan. In other words, the worth of the treasure could be intimidatingly higher.


Dispute Between ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbai/Letter by Sriman Madhu Pandit Prabhu

Letter from President, ISKCON Bangalore Society

Dear Patrons,

This communication is aimed at bringing into focus the core issue behind the current dispute between ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbai. As a patron of ISKCON Bangalore Society, we believe you should be informed about the factual position of both disputing parties and be reassured about the safe guard of your interest in your relationship with ISKCON Bangalore.

From the time His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, reverentially addressed as Srila Prabhupada, founded ISKCON in New York in 1966, ISKCON grew into a large, transnational organization spanning many countries, having 108 centers and more than 10,000 members, in a matter of 10 years. This was due to the immense spiritual stature and vision of our Founder Acharya, Srila Prabhupada.

While the growth of the organization was impressive, in 1977, just prior to Srila Prabhupada’s leaving this world, it was still a young organization and most of the members and devotees, mainly westerners, had not developed the required spiritual stature, knowledge, realization, immense purity
and gravity that is required to occupy the post of his spiritual successor, as an “Acharya”.

Keeping this in mind, Srila Prabhupada appointed 11 disciples to act as Representatives of Acharya (and not as Acharyas) or ritviks. He issued an institutional directive that these ritviks would also officiate during the initiation ceremony of devotees who would join the movement. It was amply
clear that these individuals would be his representatives only, and would not replace him as the Spiritual Master or Acharya of ISKCON. In other words, Srila Prabhupada was to remain, for all time, the Founder and only Acharya or Diksha guru of ISKCON.


Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles

Ganesha (Sanskrit: गणेश; IAST: Gaṇeśa) also spelled Ganesa or Ganesh, also known as Ganapati (Sanskrit: गणपति;IAST: gaṇapati), Vinayaka (Sanskrit: विनायक; IAST: Vināyaka), and Pillaiyar (Tamil: பிள்ளையார்), is one of the deities best-known and most widely worshipped in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India and Nepal. Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains, Buddhists, and beyond India.

Ganesha is Vighneshvara or Vighnaraja, the Lord of Obstacles, both of a material and spiritual order. He is popularly worshipped as a remover of obstacles, though traditionally he also places obstacles in the path of those who need to be checked. [pasted from;]

Ganesa: Remover of Obstacles
By Satyaraja Dasa
from; Back to Godhead Magazine

The joyous elephant-faced deity known as Ganesa is revered by one billion Hindus worldwide, and though his worship has little place in the modern-day Hare Krsna movement, his personality and pastimes are part of ISKCON’s heritage.

Ganesa is often seen as the creator and remover of obstacles, as the guardian at entrances, and as a spiritually potent figure who can avert all evil influences. In popular Hindu lore he is thus the god to be worshiped first, before all religious ceremonies, public and private. Things tend to start off with Ganesa, and this is reflected even in common idiomatic phrases. For example, in Maharashtra when a dedication or inauguration is to be performed, a Marathi speaker may refer to the occasion as Sri ganesa karane (“doing the Sri Ganesa”). Another such expression is ganapatice kele (“to conceive a child”). Similar phrases are found in other Indian languages.


You Hear from the Authority, Krishna

You Hear from the Authority, Krishna

Excerpt from lecture on Bhagavad-gita 2.13
Pittsburgh, September 8, 1972
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

So we request simply people that you accept this authoritative knowledge and try to assimilate it by your intelligence.

Our this Krishna consciousness movement is to propagate that “You hear from the authority, Krishna.” Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is accepted in the present age and in the past age. In the past age, great sages like Narada, Vyasa, Asita, Devala, very, very great stalwart scholars and sages, they accepted. In the Middle Age, say 1,500 years ago, all the acharyas like Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Nimbarka… Practically, Indian Vedic civilization, it is still existing on the authority of these acharyas. And it is recommended in the Bhagavad-gita: acharyopasanam. If you want to learn factually things, then you should approach ahcarya. Acharyavan purusho veda, “One who has accepted acharya, he knows things as they are.” Acharyavan purusho veda. So we are receiving knowledge through the acharyas. Krishna spoke to Arjuna, Arjuna spoke to Vyasadeva. Arjuna actually did not speak to Vyasadeva, but Vyasadeva heard it, Krishna speaking, and he noted down in his book Mahabharata. This Bhagavad-gita is found in Mahabharata. So we accept the authorities of Vyasa. And from Vyasa, Madhvacharya; from Madhvacharya, so many disciplic succession, up to Madhavendra Puri. Then Madhavendra Puri to Ishvara Puri; from Ishvara Puri to Lord Chaitanyadeva; from Lord Chaitanyadeva to six Gosvamis; from six Gosvamis to Krishnadasa Kaviraja; from him, Shrinivasa Acharya; from him, Vishvanatha Chakravarti; from him, Jagannatha dasa Babaji; then Gaura Kishora dasa Babaji; Bhaktivinoda Thakura; my spiritual master [Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur]. The same thing, we are preaching. That is Krishna consciousness movement. It is nothing new. It is coming down from the original speaker, Krishna, by disciplic succession. So we are reading this Bhagavad-gita. Not that I have manufactured some book and I am preaching. No. I am preaching Bhagavad-gita. The same Bhagavad-gita as it was first spoken forty millions of years ago to the sun-god and again it was repeated five thousand years ago to Arjuna. The same thing is coming down by disciplic succession, and the same thing is presented before you. There is no change.


Dispute Between ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbai

Communication to all stakeholders, regarding the current dispute between ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbai

This communication is aimed at bringing into focus the core issue behind the current dispute between Iskcon Bangalore and Iskcon Mumbai, As a customer, donor, supplier, banker, faculty, consultant, employee or any other stakeholder in ISKCON Bangalore society, we believe you should be informed about the factual position of both disputing parties and be reassured about the safe guard of your interest in your relationship with ISKCON Bangalore.

From the time, His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, reverentially addressed as Srila Prabhupada, founded ISKCON in New York in 1966, ISKCON grew into a large, transnational organization spanning many countries, having 108 centers and more than 10,000 members, in a matter of 10 years. This was due to the immense spiritual stature and vision of our Founder Acharya, Srila Prabhupada.

While the growth of the organization was impressive, in 1977, just prior to Srila Prabhupada’s leaving this world, it was a young organization and most of the members and devotees, mainly westerners, had not developed the required spiritual stature, knowledge, realization, immense purity and gravity that is required to occupy the post of his spiritual successor, as an “Acharya”.


Apex Court extends status quo until further orders

Press Note
Apex Court extends status quo until further orders

July 5, 2011, Honorable Justice Altmas Kabir and Justice Cyriac Joseph extended status quo which was granted by the vacation bench while hearing the special leave petition filed by ISKCON Bangalore. It may be recalled that city civil court had granted a permanent injunction restraining ISKCON Mumbai from interfering with the affairs of ISKCON Bangalore. ISKCON Mumbai had gone an appeal against the Civil Court verdict in the Honorable High Court of Karnataka. Honorable High Court had set aside the order of City Civil court and granted verdict in favor of ISKCON Mumbai.

ISKCON Bangalore had filed a special leave petition SLP(C) No. 151814 in the Honorable Supreme Court which granted an interim order and stated the following :

1. Issue notice.

2. Ms. B.Vijayalakshmi Menon, Advocate accepts notice.

3. In the meantime, counter affidavit may be filed.

4. The matter shall be listed for consideration/continuation of the interim orders immediately after reopening of the Court

5. In the meanwhile, the parties shall maintain status quo, as of today. However, the Bangalore Society with its present office bearers shall continue day-to-day management of the Society but would not take any major and policy decision create liabilities of any kind from the Bangalore Society.

The divisional bench of Justice Altmas Kabir and Justice Cyriac Joseph today heard petition in continuation after the vacation court’s interim order. During the hearing today the counsel of ISKCON Mumbai had requested Honorable Supreme Court to give them 6 weeks time to file the counter affidavit along with relevant documents. Counsel of ISKCON Bangalore requested that they be given 4 weeks time after filing of respondent(ISKCON Mumbai) to file its counter. The Honorable court accepted the request of both the parties and said “…having regard to the letter circulated by the respondent seeking further 6 weeks’ time, and further 4 weeks by the Petitioner, the same is granted and interim status quo passed on 6th June remains standing till further orders.”

Thanking you,

Yours in service of Lord Krishna,

Bharatharshabha Dasa,
Head – Communication & Public relations
ISKCON, Bangalore

Prabhupada Enjoys the Govindam Record Album

Prabhupada Enjoys the Govindam Record Album

The record is so nice that I am playing it at least once in a day and it is giving me transcendental pleasure with tears in my eyes. I am sure this record will be the first-class hit as already opined by the experts.

Los Angeles 8 March, 1970
My Dear Syamasundara.,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 3 March, 1970, along with the “Govindam” record. The record is so nice that I am playing it at least once in a day and it is giving me transcendental pleasure with tears in my eyes. I am sure this record will be the first-class “hit” as already opined by the experts.

Certainly this has has come out so successful because of George’s sincere effort in Krsna Consciousness. I am so pleased that he is advancing towards perfectional stage of Krsna Consciousness; and your association will greatly help. Try to convince him to avoid the four principles of sinful life and chant Hare Krsna mantra as much as possible, then he will find everything is successful in his life.

I think on account of this record, many people, at least from different parts of Europe, will come to see our Temple. Many tourists also may come there. So you do not take it as gloomy, but you should welcome them in our Temple. Regularly try to sell our books and magazines to them. So far taking away the shoes is concerned, you can make the following arrangement: just after the entrance door, arrange for a movable railing so that anyone willing to enter the Temple room, but who does not like to take of his shoes, may be allowed to enter th room, but who does not like to take of his shoes, may be allowed to enter the door but stand near the railing and see the Deity from that place. Anyone willing to go inside the railing boundary must have to get out of his shoes. And exactly by the side of the Altar another railing may be fixed up. This railing should stand between the Vyasasana and the Altar.

So anyone who may come must be well received, informed about our activities, and when we publish a little pamphlet which is in preparation, it may also be distributed to each and every one of the visitors.
I have not heard anything from you about the small leaflet to be prepared for putting along with the “Govindam” records. Are you preparing it or not? or do you think it is necessary or not?
The next song you may record isJaya Jagadisa Hare:

Kesava dhrta dasabidha rupa
Jaya Jagadisa Hare

And we shall make a children’s book with ten pictures of Krsna’s different appearances (Dasavatara.) and a short story or explanation for each. Now we have just received part of the manuscript of an abridged version of KRSNA especially meant for children.
Hope this will meet you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Pasted from

The Spiritual Master

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Only out of His immense compassion does the Personality of Godhead reveal Himself as the spiritual master. Therefore in the dealings of an ācārya there are no activities but those of transcendental loving service to the Lord. He is the Supreme Personality of Servitor Godhead. It is worthwhile to take shelter of such a steady devotee, who is called āśraya-vigraha, or the manifestation or form of the Lord of whom one must take shelter.

Ādi-līlā Chapter One Text 46

ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān
nāvamanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhyāsūyeta
sarva-deva-mayo guruḥ


ācāryam—the spiritual master; mām—Myself; vijānīyāt—one should know; na avamanyeta—one should never disrespect; karhicit—at any time; na—never; martya-buddhyā—with the idea of his being an ordinary man; asūyeta—one should be envious; sarva-deva—of all demigods; mayaḥ—representative; guruḥ—the spiritual master.


“One should know the ācārya as Myself and never disrespect him in any way. One should not envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods.”


This is a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.17.27) spoken by Lord Kṛṣṇa when He was questioned by Uddhava regarding the four social and spiritual orders of society. He was specifically instructing how a brahmacārī should behave under the care of a spiritual master. A spiritual master is not an enjoyer of facilities offered by his disciples. He is like a parent. Without the attentive service of his parents, a child cannot grow to manhood; similarly, without the care of the spiritual master one cannot rise to the plane of transcendental service.

The spiritual master is also called ācārya, or a transcendental professor of spiritual science. The Manu-saṁhitā (2.140) explains the duties of an ācārya, describing that a bona fide spiritual master accepts charge of disciples, teaches them the Vedic knowledge with all its intricacies, and gives them their second birth. The ceremony performed to initiate a disciple into the study of spiritual science is called upanīti, or the function that brings one nearer to the spiritual master. One who cannot be brought nearer to a spiritual master cannot have a sacred thread, and thus he is indicated to be a śūdra. The sacred thread on the body of a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya is a symbol of initiation by the spiritual master; it is worth nothing if worn merely to boast of high parentage. The duty of the spiritual master is to initiate a disciple with the sacred thread ceremony, and after this saṁskāra, or purificatory process, the spiritual master actually begins to teach the disciple about the Vedas. A person born a śūdra is not barred from such spiritual initiation, provided he is approved by the spiritual master, who is duly authorized to award a disciple the right to be a brāhmaṇa if he finds him perfectly qualified. In the Vāyu Purāṇa an ācārya is defined as one who knows the import of all Vedic literature, explains the purpose of the Vedas, abides by their rules and regulations, and teaches his disciples to act in the same way.


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