Honoring our Godbrothers and Godsisters

new_vrindavan__1972

(Click photo to see a larger image of Srila Prabhupada and disciples, New Vrindavan, 1972.)

Honoring our Godbrothers and Godsisters
by Padmapani dasa

“Regarding serving your godbrothers, this is a very good practice. The Spiritual Master is never without His followers, so to serve the Spiritual Master also means to be the servant of His disciples. When you want to serve the king, you must also serve his minister, secretary, and everyone who serves him. And to serve his servants may please him more than to serve the king personally. So the Spiritual Master is not alone. He is always with His entourage. We are not impersonalists. We take care of every part of the whole, as much as one should take care of his hat as well as his shoes. Both are equally important for the upkeep of the body. I hope that you will understand this rightly.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 23, 1969)

“Relationship between Godbrothers must be very genuine and pleasing. Otherwise, the future of our institution will not be very hopeful.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 1, 1969)

“We are never alone in Krsna consciousness; you have got so many wonderful brothers and sisters who are really your family, and besides that the spiritual master is always in his instructions, and Krsna is there within your heart, so you need not feel you are ever alone.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 11, 1972)

“Your appreciation for the service of your God-brothers is very much laudable. This is actually a devotee’s business that everyone should appreciate the value of other devotees. Nobody should criticize anyone. Because everyone is engaged in the service of the Lord, according to one’s capacity, and the thing is, Krishna wants to see how much one is sincere in rendering Him service. Materially we may think that his service is greater than his, that is our material vision. Actually on the spiritual platform, the service rendered by a calf to Krishna and service rendered by Radharani and Her Associates, to Krishna, there is no difference. Krishna is so kind and liberal that everyone’s service, when it is sincerely offered to Krishna, He accepts.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 19, 1968)

“If somebody worships a devotee, that worshipment is more valuable than worshiping Krishna. Krishna says like that. So this is a process… Vaisnava process is parampara process. So today this nice girl is going to be initiated. She must learn this science, this very nice science, and you all Godbrothers and sisters will help her. Anyone who is trying to be Krishna conscious, he should be given or she should be given all kinds of facilities.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Montreal, August 15, 1968)

“Godbrothers are not meant for being servants. Without the spiritual master’s order, nobody can utilize the service of a godbrother as one’s personal servant. We address each other as prabhu, so how can we engage our godbrother as servant?” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 23, 1974)

“Everyone should remember that we are serving Krishna, and everyone should remember, ‘The other person is serving Krishna. And because he is serving Krishna, he is not my servant; he is my master.’ That should be always in view. Therefore we address, ‘prabhu’: ‘You are my master.’ We never address, ‘You are my servant.’ We are trained up to say my brother, that ‘prabhu,’ ‘such and such prabhu.’ Prabhu means master. Nobody think himself that he is master. He should always think that everyone is his master because he’s serving the master. This is our philosophy.” (Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Vrindavan, November 24, 1976)

“But one thing is you must stop this fighting between brothers. Otherwise the whole program will be spoiled.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 8, 1969)

“Yes, you wait there for me and be engaged as you are doing, chanting, reading, etc. Nobody is your enemy, rest assured. All of your godbrothers are as good as you are.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 15, 1972)

“One of the symptoms of a devotee is that he is kind, so if our Godbrother becomes ill it is our duty to help him get the proper medicine and treatment so that he can recover.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 5, 1974)

“So there is no question of ill treating of our own Godbrothers simply because they are sick, nor should you allow such neglect to go on. So long we have this material body there will be sickness, but we have to remain on the transcendental platform nevertheless.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 5, 1974)

“If you have any specific grievance, please let me know, but don’t be disturbed by any sort of disagreement with your God-brothers and sisters. Each and every living entity is an individual soul and as such disagreement is quite possible in our dealings with one another but we have to consider the central point of interest.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 15, 1968)

“Please go on cooperating between your godbrothers. I’m always with you never mind if I am physically absent. Please convey my blessings to all the boys and girls and tell them that I’m very eager to return.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 16, 1967)

“Affection for God-brothers is nice, it is a good sign. Affection for God-brothers as well as for all other living entities, even they are not God-brothers, these signs are seen in the advanced devotees.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, July 29, 1968)

“Take assistance from your godbrothers and godsisters there, and engage yourself purely in the business of Krishna Consciousness. This will bring all success to you. You can be certain of this.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 14, 1969)

“Please convey my blessings to your godbrothers and godsisters with you. I hope that this will meet all of you in good health.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 21, 1969)

Devotee: “Srila Prabhupada?”

Prabhupada: “Huh?”

Devotee: “Also this morning you said that we should try to only love Krishna.”

Prabhupada: “Yes.”

Devotee: “And nothing else.”

Prabhupada: “Yes.”

Devotee: “But if we love our Godbrothers, is that also loving Krishna?”

Prabhupada: “Oh, yes. Because they are of Krishna. What are your Godbrothers? They are Krishna’s servant. So if you do not love your Godbrothers, that means you reject your part of Krishna.”

Devotee: “So also our children, like that?”

Prabhupada: “Eh? Eh?”

Devotee: “Also…”

Prabhupada: “Yes, if you love children for making them Krishna conscious, then it is loving Krishna.”

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Los Angeles, January 11, 1974)

“I have asked you all to address your Godbrothers as prabhu. This prabhu means boss. If everyone of us thinks of his fellow worker as boss there is no question of misunderstanding. The mistake is that being addressed as boss or prabhu one thinks himself as exactly Prabhu or the boss. One should not forget himself as humble servant even though one is addressed as prabhu. The spiritual master is offered respects as they are offered to the Supreme Lord. Unfortunately if the spiritual master thinks that he has become the Supreme Lord then he is doomed. A bona fide spiritual master always think of himself as the servant of the Lord. One should never forget to be humble in dealings. If everyone of us would conduct our business in that spirit of prabhu and servant then there is very little chance of being misunderstood. Sometimes misunderstanding may take place but it should be adjusted in a spirit of service attitude to the prabhu.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 28, 1967)

“We cannot change the original rules and regulation, but there is variety. We are not impersonalist. Every person has got to serve the Lord in a particular way, and that is allowed. The central point is Krishna. So although there are parties, if the central point is Krishna, so there is no dissension. It is a competition, that ‘My Godbrother, my Godsister, is serving such a way. She is so well versed in this art. Why not try myself to do something?’ This is variety. That is not this ordinary party strife if we make Krishna the center.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Dallas, March 4, 1975)

“Everyone is envious. If his neighbor, if his brother, if his friend becomes more prosperous than himself, he becomes envious. This is material nature. Similarly, in our Krishna consciousness movement, if we become envious, ‘Oh, my Godbrother, oh, he has become so popular. He is making so much progress. So put some impediments towards his progressive path,’ this is also material. The Vaikuntha consciousness is that if your neighbor, if your brother is prosperous or progressive, then one should think, ‘Oh, he’s so nice that he has served God so nicely. God is so pleased upon him that he is making so nice progress.’ That is Vaikuntha consciousness. And material consciousness is that ‘Oh, he has advanced so much. Oh, let me check him.’ This is material. That is going on. The whole world, enviousness.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, July 7, 1972)

“It would not be possible for me to preach all over the world except for your cooperation, you and your Godbrothers and sisters who are maintaining centers all over the world.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 9, 1974)

“A qualified disciple increases the importance of the Spiritual Master. So I find in you some good qualities. You think yourself as very humble but you appreciate the services of your God-brothers and I am very much pleased on your such behavior.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 15, 1968)

“I am so much grateful to you for being such a strong soldier in pushing on this movement. Please continue in this way and give example to your Godbrothers and sisters. Please offer my blessings to all the L.A. Prabhus.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 13, 1970)

“Material nature means dissension and disagreement, especially in this Kali yuga. But, for this Krsna consciousness movement its success will depend on agreement, even though there are varieties of engagements. In the material world there are varieties, but there is no agreement. In the spiritual world there are varieties, but there is agreement. That is the difference. The materialist without being able to adjust the varieties and the disagreements makes everything zero. They cannot come into agreement with varieties, but if we keep Krsna in the center, then there will be agreement in varieties. This is called unity in diversity.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 18, 1973)

“My point is that even if somebody does not go in one line with the rest of the godbrothers, he can remain separately, but it does not mean that he may disobey the principles that I have laid down. So long as one follows the principles, he continues to be my disciple.”

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 7, 1975)

“Whether you live in temple or outside temple, the rules and regulation and the process must be followed. Then you are successful. It doesn’t matter that you have to live in the temple. If he does not agree with other godbrothers, friends, he can live separately. But he must follow the rules and regulation. That is wanted.” (Srila Prabhupada, Morning walk, February 3, 1975)

“Each and every one of you is very important assistant for me, so do not try to leave us, but try to adjust things as far as possible, but my last request to you both is that if you find such difficulty to live with your God-brothers, you can live with me.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 18, 1968)

“I can understand that previously there must have been some quarrel amongst you and that sometimes happens amongst god-brothers. Whatever is done is done; the main thing is we must not carry grudges or continue to quarrel amongst one another.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 25, 1973)

“You write to say, ‘I really miss Swamiji and my God-brothers’ association so much.’ But I may remind you that I am always with you. And so wherever I am there, and you are there, all your God-brothers are there. Please remember always the humble teachings that you have received from me, and that will make you always associated with me, and with your other God-brothers.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 24, 1968)

“I understand that your God-brothers are as your younger dependent brothers; kindly treat them as your younger dependent brothers and try to advance them in Krishna Consciousness as good as you can.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 21, 1968)

“I have heard how the new devotees are all executing their devotional services very enthusiastically and with sincerity and humility. Yes, I have asked them to take instruction from you, one of their elder Godsisters. Whatever you have learned — you are one of the old students — whatever you have gathered by experience, you must hand them over to the new students. This is called parampara.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 6, 1970)

“On the whole I am very pleased with your management. The Ekadasi program is very nice. Krishna is giving you good sense and intelligence. Take care of your god-brothers and god-sisters very carefully.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 19, 1970)

“We have so much work to do, we cannot lose our solidarity. Do not cause a crack there with any fighting spirit or competition. Whenever I hear complaints or disturbances in our centers my mind becomes too much disturbed and I cannot properly translate my books. So please spare me from such disturbance by cooperating all together Godbrothers and Godsisters.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 7, 1974)

“During the festival hundreds of devotees from countries all around the world all very much appreciated that these transcendental spots, Mayapur and Vrindaban are place of spiritual inspiration for all devotees of ISKCON. They are the best places in the world to come and chant Hare Krishna and prepare for going Back to Home, Back to Godhead. So you can help by your contribution so that all your Godbrothers and Godsisters can come and find shelter here. As for yourself and your child, these places are for you also.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 3, 1974)

“With Blessings for all your God-brothers and sisters, I am

Your ever well-wisher,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami”

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 12, 1967)

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