19 Nov 2016
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Founder-Acarya, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, ISKCON History, Ritvik Initiation
Tags: A. C. Bhakthvedanta Swami Prabhupada, Acarya, Approaching a Bona Fide Guru, Correcting ISKCON's Guru System, diksa guru, guru, guru and disciple, IA77, initiations, initiations in Iskcon, ISKCON history, Krishna, Srila Prabhupada Krishna Consciousness Movement, The Hare Krishna Movement
Initiations After 1977 Position Paper
The following link is a Position Paper PDF on “Initiations After 1977” that you can open or save to your computer. This is a short 54 page booklet which describes Srila Prabhupada’s final instructions on initiations after his departure based on his instructions with śāstric and historical references. I have only had a chance to briefly preview it, but it appears to be well put together and backed up with many quotes and references.
Excerpted from “Initiations After 1977”
The instructions of Śrīla Prabhupāda are the thread that holds the beautiful pearl necklace of our movement. If they are disobeyed, the thread would snap and the necklace would be lost. That is exactly what happened especially with regards to
initiations after Śrīla Prabhupāda’s departure.
The scope of this book is
1. To study Śrīla Prabhupāda’s final instructions on how initiations should takeplace after his departure;
2. To fortify the authenticity of his instructions with śāstric and historical references;
3. To present śāstric references that explain the root cause of all problems within our worldwide Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, its effects and how to solve it.
This book is entirely based on the official documents of Śrīla Prabhupāda and supported by scriptural quotations from Śrīla Prabhupāda’s translations of Bhagavadgītā, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and other related literature. We have just attempted to compile it in order to serve his mission and the devotees who are true to his mission.
“The main business of human society is to think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead at all times, to become His devotees, to worship the Supreme Lord and to bow down before Him. The ācārya, the authorized representative of the Supreme Lord, establishes these principles, but when he disappears, things once again become disordered. The perfect disciples of the ācārya try to relieve the situation by sincerely following the instructions of the spiritual master.” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.28.48, Purport)
03 May 2016
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada His Movement & You, The Hare Krishna Movement
Tags: A. C. Bhakthvedanta Swami Prabhupada, guru, Krishna consciousness movement, spiritual master, spiritual master of the hare krishna movement, Srila Prabhupada
click on image to enlarge
“I will always be the spiritual master for the entire Krishna consciousness movement; for anyone in this age willing to follow the principles I have given for the benefit of everyone.”
Srila Prabhupada’s Conversation 1975, Ookala, Hawaii
13 Apr 2016
in Devotee's, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Nrsimhananda das
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Acharya of Iskcon, approved gurus, diksa guru, diska, diska guru, GBC resolutions, gurus in is, gurus in iskcon, history of diska guru in ISKCON, Iskcon, ISKCON history, ISKCON members, Nrsimhananda das, Siksa guru, Srila Prabhupada, suspended gurus
The other day I got a new phone, a smart phone. I wanted to see how smart it was, so I asked it a Question. “Who is Srila Prabhupada” and I was very surprised when it started talking, with authority. It also brought up a Google page with links to various articles. One of the links brought me to this very informative composition on the history of ISKCON. Although I was aware of most of the history, still to see it all written in one place was something. Thank you to Nrsimhananda Prabhu, who did a fine job of putting it all together. We share it with all of you.
History of Diksa Guru in ISKCON 1978-2014
by Nrsimhananda dasa
This is a history of GBC resolutions, gurus approved, gurus suspended, and other key events in ISKCON as specifically related to diksa and siksa gurus. Although compiled carefully over many years, and in consultation with many ISKCON members, some historians and some former members, there are undoubtedly a lot of errors and omissions in this document due to a lack of information. There are especially errors in terms of the specific years that some persons were approved or disapproved to act as diksa guru in ISKCON. Such errors are due to a lack of record-keeping on the part of any official ISKCON body. This is intended to be a public document, for the view of anyone interested in ISKCON history; it is not an internal document.
(Note: most GBC resolutions are here in a summary form; some are in the exact wording).
09 Feb 2016
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Quotes by Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada Conversations, Srila Prabhupada vani
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, bona fide spiritual master, disciple, disciplic succession, discipline in devotional service, Guru & Disciple, His Divine Grace, krsna consciousness, quotes by Srila Prabhupada, spiritual master and disciple, Srila Prabhupada
The following is an article that was sent to me through email sometime back. I just recently got a chance to read it in full. There are many very good quotes by Srila Prabhupada, on the matter of accepting a bona fide spiritual master. I did some slight editing (highlighting) but all the notes and comments are by the author.
Srila Prabhupada’s Diksa
by Vidura Mahatma dasa
In order to attain the highest perfection of life one must approach a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession from Lord Krishna Himself. The self-realized spiritual master is able to present the real conclusions of Krishna’s instructions in a way that can be understood and executed as applicable to this day and age. This is the special purpose and great need of accepting a bona fide spiritual master. The rare opportunity to approach a bona fide, self-realized spiritual master coming in the authorized chain of disciplic succession is available to everyone today and is indeed intended for everyone [in every town and village] to take advantage of, owing to the mercy of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Readers will find this composition instrumental in ascertaining the philosophical basis of taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada – the current approachable link in the disciplic succession – by adhering to the principles and instructions given in his books. The execution of Srila Prabhupada’s discipline will surely elevate one to the perfectional stage of life leading back home, back to Godhead.
27 Jun 2015
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Hencefoward, July 9th Letter
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Acharya, disciples, diska, guru disciple, Initiation, initiation system in Iskcon, initiations ceremonies, Iskcon, officiating acharyas, ritvik, ritvik representatives, Satsvarupa das Goswami, Srila Prabhupoada, Tamal Krishna Goswami
There is an ongoing debate on how initiations were to go on after Srila Prabhupada’s physical disappearance. Many devotees don’t like to talk about it or think about it, so conditioned are we to accept the status quo. But I think it is important not to turn a blind eye on the issue of initiation, and how it was meant to go on, as initiation (accepting a spiritual master), is a very important step in progressing in spiritual life. Success in spiritual life is in following the instructions of the spiritual master. So for the sake of keeping the very important issue alive we present the following post that we saw recently on the Prabhupada News website.
It is widely known that Srila Prabhupada instituted a ritvik or representative (proxy) initiation system throughout ISKCON as early as 1971 in order to meet the growing need to initiate his disciples worldwide. However what is not widely known is that he instructed his disciples to continue initiating new disciples on his behalf even after his physical disappearance.
He called those disciples who performed the initiation ceremonies ritvik representatives of the acharya (officiating acharyas). Below are quotes directly from Srila Prabhupada for the evidence of these instructions as well as explanations, philosophical insights, and historical background.
29 Nov 2014
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Hansadutta das, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, Ritvik Initiation, Spiritual Master
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Ama das, Atmavidya das, Durgama das, Gobhata das, hamsadutta prabhu, Hrimati dasi, Jnanavigraha das, Kamaksi dasi, letter to hamsadutta, Nikhilananda das, Premchand das, Ram Mohan das, Ramgati das, Revantinandana Swami, Santimati dasi, Srila Prabhupada, Tirthada das, Uktal das, Vaidyanath das
I read this letter today, by Srila Prabhupada to Hamsadutta Prabhu, written in 1973, putting in practice, the process of ritvik initiation (although we did not have a name for it then, it was simply how it was done); “…Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated April 7, 1973 and am pleased to accept the following boys and girls as my initiated disciples.
I am also enclosing Gayatri Mantras for the 14 disciples and 10 sacred threads duly chanted upon by me for the men disciples. You show them how to count on the fingers, and let them hear the mantra chanted by me on the tape through the right ear.”
What I find interesting is how devotees today will decry and belittle the Ritvik Process of initiation, but this was how the initiations were performed in the early days of our movement. The majority of disciples, initiated by Srila Prabhupada when he was personally present, received initiation exactly as it was described in above letter. We almost all recieved Ritvik initiation from Srila Prabhupada. I know I did.
Anyway, food for thought.
25 Mar 2014
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Hencefoward, ISKCON, Iskcon Bangalore, Krishna Consciousness
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, dikska, dikska questions, GBC, guru and disciple, Harinama diksa, harinama dikska question paper, Iskcon, ISKCON Bangalore, July 9th Letter, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada
Sometime back, we published the “Harinama Diksha Reference Material and Study Guide“. Today we share with you the “Harinama Dikska Question Paper”. This was put out by the devotees at ISKCON Bangalore, and is very interesting. I won’t say anymore about it now, other than to say it is worth taking a few minutes to ‘take the test’, by answering the few basic questions.
click on following link
19 Jul 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, July 9th Letter, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, Siksa, Spiritual Master
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavan dasa Adhikari, Bhavananda Gosvami, Hamsaduta Swami, Harikesa Swami, Hrdayananda Gosvami, Jayapataka Swami, Jayatirtha dasa Adhikari, July 9th Letter, Kirtanananda Swami, May 28th conversation, Ramesvara Swami, Satsvarupa dasa Gosvami, Tamala Krsna Gosvami, to all gbc's and temple presidents
This is the last written instruction we have on initiations. It is a very important letter that all members of ISKCON should be familiar with, regardless of your position. It was adressed to All G.B.C., and Temple Presidents. This is where the first eleven names originated, and how initiations were to be carried out. This letter was based on the equally important May 28th Conversation between the GBC and Srila Prabhupada, as regards to how initiations in the future, will go on, particularly at that time when Srila Prabhupada is no longer with us.
It is essential for devotees to understand that all ISKCON members are first and foremost followers of Srila Prabhupada and that it is by his blessings that we advance in Krishna consciousness. The eternal spiritual master is a resident of Vaikuntha and is our ever well-wisher. It is he who is preparing a place for us in the spiritual world.
Very important history!
The full text is as follows: More
19 Jul 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, Parampara System, Quotes by Srila Prabhupada, Rakshana das, Siksa, Vidura das
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, bona fide spiritual master, Guru Issue, Initiation, Iskcon, prabhupada, prabhupadanugas, Rakshana das, Sampradaya sun, spiritual master, transparent medium, Vidhura das, Vraja Vilasa
As always in our ISKCON Society, since the departure of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, there is an ongoing discussion, debate, and, or, argument on the guru issue. No doubt finding a qualified spiritual master is of utmost importance as is outlined in Easy Journey to Other Planets:
1. The serious candidate must accept a bona fide spiritual master in order to be trained scientifically. Because the senses are material, it is not at all possible to realize the Transcendence by them. Therefore the senses have to be spiritualized by the prescribed method under the direction of the spiritual master.
2. When the student has chosen a bona fide spiritual master, he must take the proper initiation from him. This marks the beginning of spiritual training.
3. The candidate must be prepared to satisfy the spiritual master in every way. A bona fide spiritual master who is fully cognizant of the methods of spiritual science, learned in the spiritual scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gītā, Vedānta, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Upaniṣads, and who is also a realized soul who has made a tangible connection with the Supreme Lord, is the transparent medium by which the willing candidate is led to the path of the Vaikuṇṭhas. The spiritual master must be satisfied in all respects, because simply by his good wishes a candidate can make wonderful progress along the path.
Recently I have been following on the Sampradaya Sun a slew of posts by Vraja Vilasa Prabhu:
Which were in response to the article by Rakshana Prabhu (which we also posted here):
The Transmission of Transcendental Sound
Followed by his reply:
Surround Sound and the Big Mrdanga
Then of course there was a rebuttal post by Vidura Prabhu in response to Vraja Vilasa Prabhu’s; “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right”, which was not posted on the Sampradaya Sun, but rather by the Prabhupanuga pages and which we (for the sake of disclosure) will post here. This is a very nice assortment of quotes, for instance…
“Krishna and his representative are the same. Similarly, the spiritual master can be present wherever the disciple wants. A spiritual master is the principle, not the body.” (Letter to Malati, 28/5/68)
14 May 2013
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, guru-tattva, ISKCON, Iskcon Bangalore, Madhu Pandit das, Siksa
Tags: 1st and 2nd initiation, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bangalore Group, diksa, diksa disciples, disciple, guru, guru disciple, initiates, ISKCON Bangalore, ISKCON Mumbi, officiating Acarya, ritvik, Satsvarupa, siksa, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Synopsis of the System of Initiation, Tamala Krsna
Creating the Post of Officiating Acarya
In the ensuing struggle between the Devotees of ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbi, it is this authors hope that both sides will try to work towards a brotherly reconciliation. Wherein both sides can find the common ground, which is faith in, and obedience to the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada’s intentions with regard to how initiations should be conducted in his physical absence was clearly stated in the May 28th, 1977 discussion with the GBC:
Satsvarūpa: …Then our next question concerns initiations in the future, particularly at that time when you’re no longer with us. We want to know how first and second initiation would be conducted.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I shall recommend some of you. After this is settled up, I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating ācāryas.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Is that called ṛtvik-ācārya?
Prabhupāda: Ṛtvik, yes.
Satsvarūpa: Then what is the relationship of that person who gives the initiation and the…
Prabhupāda: He’s guru. He’s guru.
Satsvarūpa: But he does it on your behalf.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is formality. Because in my presence one should not become guru, so on my behalf, on my order… Āmāra ājñāya guru hañā [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. Be actually guru, but by my order.
Satsvarūpa: So they may also be considered your disciples.
Prabhupāda: Yes, they are disciples. Why consider? Who?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, he’s asking that these ṛtvik-ācāryas, they’re officiating, giving dīkṣā. Their… The people who they give dīkṣā to, whose disciple are they?
Prabhupāda: They’re his disciple.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They’re his disciple.
Prabhupāda: Who is initiating. He is grand-disciple.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s clear.
So it is plain to see that those giving diksa would be acting as officiating acaryas, and those receiving diksa from them would be their disciples. It is the duty of the GBC to create the post of Officiating Acarya so that we may all be properly connected to the disciplic succession.
“Who is Initiating” refers to the Officiating Acarya who is giving diksa, and those who receive diksa are his initiated disciples and Srila Prabhupada’s grand-disciples.
That’s clear. (However that instruction was never followed).
The GBC must create the post of “Officiating Acarya”, and all the ISKCON gurus would be considered as such, as it should have been since the time of the famous July 9th Letter. This I think, would be the beginning of the much needed reconcililation, and cure many of the ills of our society.
The following is the Synopsis of the System of Initiation as applicable to the ISKCON Bangalore group of temples and could be incorporated into mainstream ISKCON very easily.
The Post of Officiating Acarya More
07 May 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Prabhupadanugas, Remembering Srila Prabhupada, Satsvarupa das Goswami, Spiritual Master, The Hare Krishna Movement
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhakti Caru Swami, buddha, Buddhists, Christ, Christians, devotees, Founder Acarya, Iskcon, prabhupadanuga, prabhupadanugas, Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta, The Final Lesson
click on image to enlarge
Perhaps it was Krsna who directed me to the last chapter of Śrīla Prabhupāda-līlāmṛta, by Satsvarūpa dāsa Goswāmī. The famous book chronicling The life of our Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In this last chapter entitled, “The Final Lesson”, last sentence of this voluminious book, Satsvarūpa dāsa Goswāmī concludes with this statement:
“Our hope is that by hearing about Śrīla Prabhupāda the reader will become himself a Prabhupādānuga, a follower of Śrīla Prabhupāda. We can wish no better fortune upon anyone.”
this came as a comment…
This is probably the best thing Satsvarupa Maharaja ever wrote.
When a devotee decides to join the Hare Krishna movement as a full-time member, they are announcing to the world their acceptance of Srila Prabhupada as the empowered representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By mature realization they will come to recognize Srila Prabhupada as their eternal spiritual master. These lifetime servants of the spiritual master are called Prabhupadanugas.
Those who mould their lives in such a way that they can always think of the lotus feet of the spiritual master will live with him eternally. Because of Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental position, there is no separation in time or space between us. He is present in our lives and is guiding us back to Godhead through his written and spoken word. By his unlimited blessings we continue to move forward in Krishna consciousness and surely we will one day reach the ultimate goal of love of Godhead. The more we advance toward that goal, the more we will understand the greatness of Srila Prabhupada’s compassion upon us and his concern for the conditioned souls of this world who are all part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna. (Locanananda das)
Sometimes the ISKCON devotees refer to Prabhupadanugas as some splinter group, not belonging to the mainstream devotees. But in fact we can plainly see from some of the writing of the senior members of our society that becoming a follower of Śrīla Prabhupāda is exactly what is needed. For instance in Bhakti Curu Swami’s, Disappearance Day offering to Srila Prabhupada, given June 16, 2010, he states:
…everyday, in all the temples of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada is worshipped by everyone. Then why do we hesitate to tell a new comer who is searching for a guru that Srila Prabhupada, the best guru the world has ever seen, is still here, and one can surrender unto him and go back to Godhead very easily? When we have such a great good fortune, why do we not take full advantage of it? It is only when we do so that the glorious days of ISKCON will come back again and we will witness Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan movement starting to spread in leaps and bounds all over the world.
If we really love ISKCON and if we sincerely want the Krsna Consciousness movement to spread all over the world in every town and village, then let us broadcast all over the world that Srila Prabhupada is still with us and that anyone who wants to receive his mercy can approach him and establish his eternal relationship with him.
Full Chapter of the “The Final Lesson” More
15 Apr 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Letters by Srila Prabhupada, Parampara System
Tags: 68-04-12, Brahma sampradaya, Dayanda das, disciplic succession, guru and disciple, Madhava, Parampara, parampara system, Sampradaya Acarya, spiritual master, Vyasadeva
..Regarding parampara system: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. Just like we belong to the Brahma Sampradaya, so we accept it from Krishna to Brahma, Brahma to Narada, Narada to Vyasadeva, Vyasadeva to Madhva, and between Vyasadeva and Madhva there is a big gap. But it is sometimes said that Vyasadeva is still living, and Madhva was fortunate enough to meet him directly. In a similar way, we find in the Bhagavad-gita that the Gita was taught to the sungod, some millions of years ago, but Krishna has mentioned only three names in this parampara system—namely, Vivasvan, Manu, and Iksvaku; and so these gaps do not hamper from understanding the parampara system. We have to pick up the prominent acaryas, and follow from him. There are many branches also from the parampara system, and it is not possible to record all the branches and sub-branches in the disciplic succession. We have to pick up from the authority of the acharya in whatever sampradaya we belong to. (from letter to Dayananda: April 12, 1968)
Full letter More
18 Mar 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Quotes by Srila Prabhupada
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Accepting the Line of Disciplic Succession, disciplic succession, quotes by Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada's books, vani, vibration of transcendental sound
This is a nice post put together by Krishna Path entitled “Accepting the Line of Disciplic Succession”, with some slight editing (highlighting) done by us. What is particularly nice about it, are the Quotes at bottom stressing the importance of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.
So there is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavor. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn’t matter. (Arrival Speech – May 17, 1977, Vrndavana)
So although a physical body is not present, the vibration should be accepted as the presence of the spiritual master, vibration. What we have heard from the spiritual master, that is living. (Lecture Excerpt – Los Angeles, January 13, 1969)
So utilize whatever time you find to make a thorough study of my books. Then all your questions will be answered. (Letter to: Upendra – Nellore 7 January, 1976)
08 Mar 2013
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Disciplic succession, Isvara Puri, Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta
Tags: disciple of madhavendra puri, Hare Krsna Maha-mantra, Isvara Puri, Lord Caitanya, Madhavendra Puri, spiritual master, spiritual master of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Caitanya-caritmrta, usvara-puri gosani fare
Today is the the Disappearance of Śrī Īśvara Purī who was the spiritual master of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Even though Lord Caitanya, the Supreme Godhead, did not need a spiritual master, He accepted Śrī Īśvara Purī as His guru to establish the importance of accepting a spiritual master. In honor of his disappearance we are posting one verse from the Sri Caitanya-caritmrta describing the service he rendered to his spiritual master Śrīla Mādhavendra Purī.
…”At the last stage of his life Śrī Mādhavendra Purī became an invalid and was completely unable to move, and Īśvara Purī so completely engaged himself in his service that he personally cleaned up his stool and urine. Always chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and reminding Śrī Mādhavendra Purī about the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the last stage of his life, Īśvara Purī gave the best service among his disciples. Thus Mādhavendra Purī, being very pleased with him, blessed him, saying, ‘My dear boy, I can only pray to Kṛṣṇa that He will be pleased with you.’ Thus Īśvara Purī, by the grace of his spiritual master, Śrī Mādhavendra Purī, became a great devotee in the ocean of love of Godhead.”
12 Nov 2012
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Locanananda das
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, disciple, future initiations, guru, Initiation, initiation system, Iskcon, Locanananda das, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada
click on image to enlarge
…What Srila Prabhupada arranged in ISKCON was a very safe and very clear path for the new adherent to advance in Krishna consciousness and in the end to reach the ultimate goal of going back to Godhead. The process of sadhana bhakti with morning and evening classes, kirtana and Deity worship coupled with training in preaching and daily Sankirtana activity was the path to purification and the awakening of our dormant love for Krishna. Simple, yet sublime!
As far as acceptance of a spiritual master, in our day it was a foregone conclusion that the initiated disciple was agreeing to worship Srila Prabhupada as good as God and that the spiritual master was promising to deliver the disciple from the cycle of birth and death.
Presently, people are still being attracted to join this movement by coming into contact with Srila Prabhupada’s books, by association with good devotees who represent him with transparency, and by developing a taste for chanting the Holy Name and honoring Krishna prasadam. They agree to abide by the principles established by Srila Prabhupada for all generations of ISKCON devotees — past, present and future. They read and distribute his books, offer obeisances to him when entering the temple, worship his murti, and focus on cultivating a personal relationship with him. In other words, someone who joins our movement today is doing so as a follower of Srila Prabhupada and is accepting His Divine Grace as their eternal spiritual master. It is he who is taking them back to the spiritual world. How could someone who is not a resident of the spiritual world do so?
This is a continuation from our previous posts, The Spiritual Master some time ago, and the further discussion in The Spiritual Master (Part 2)
And The Spiritual Master (Part 3) This is a fascinating account by Sriman Locanananda Prabhu revealing his insights into the ‘guru issue’ in our ISKCON society today, from his own personal understanding, and his realizations of the instructions given by Srila Prabhupada shortly before his untimely departure. Our obeisances to him for sharing his personal recollections and realizations. This new The Spiritual Master (Part 4) is exploring the same theme although from a different source.
06 Nov 2012
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Disciplic succession, Spiritual Master
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Brahma, Brahma sampradaya, disciplic succession, evam parampara-praptam, Krsna, Madhva sampradaya, Madhva-Gaudiya-Sampradaya, Narada, sampradayas, Vyasa
The Disciplic Succession
Those who are followers of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and read from his books with faith and conviction, are receiving Transcendental Knowledge Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ. (Bhagavad-gīta, 4.2; see below for full verse and purport) through this disciplic succession:
1) Kṛṣṇa, 2) Brahmā, 3) Nārada; 4) Vyāsa, 5) Madhva, 6) Padmanābha, 7) Nṛhari, 8) Mādhava, 9) Akṣobhya, 10) Jayatīrtha, 11) Jñānasindhu, 12) Dayānidhi, 13) Vidyānidhi, 14) Rājendra, 15) Jayadharma, 16) Puruṣottama, 17) Brahmaṇyatīrtha, 18) Vyāsatīrtha, 19) Lakṣmīpati, 20) Mādhavendra Purī, 21) Īśvara Purī, (Nityānanda, Advaita), 22) Lord Caitanya, 23) Rūpa (Svarūpa, Sanātana), 24) Raghunātha, Jīva, 25) Kṛṣṇadāsa, 26) Narottama, 27) Viśvanātha, 28) (Baladeva) Jagannātha, 29) Bhaktivinode, 30) Gaurakiśora, 31) Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, 32) His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.
…We have to accept Kṛṣṇa through the disciplic succession. There are four sampradāyas, disciplic successions. One comes from Lord Brahmā (the Brahma-sampradāya), and another comes from Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, (the Śrī-sampradāya). There are also the Kumāra-sampradāya and the Rudra-sampradāya. At the present moment, the Brahmā sampradāya is represented by the Madhva-sampradāya, and we belong to the Madhva-Gauḍīya-sampradāya. Our original sampradāya stems from Madhvācārya. In that sampradāya there was Mādhavendra Purī, and Mādhavendra Purī’s disciple was Śrī Īśvara Purī. Śrī Īśvara Purī’s disciple was Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Thus we are coming in the disciplic succession from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and therefore our sampradāya is called the Madhva-Gauḍīya-sampradāya. It is not that we have manufactured a sampradāya; rather, our sampradāya stems from Lord Brahmā.
02 Nov 2012
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Hansadutta das
Tags: conditioned, disciplic succession, discipline, guru, Hansadutta dasa, liberated, living guru, rittvik, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada
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…Srila Prabhupada said he wanted all his students to become qualified gurus and often said it was simple: all one had to do was repeat what he had heard from his guru. When Srila Prabhupada was preparing to leave this world, he said, “Act as rittvik representative of the Acharya.” But no one follows this; therefore, how are they guru?! They do not repeat or follow this last important directive, but attempt to discredit Srila Prabhupada’s own order, saying, “There is no precedent. It was never done before.” They quote Srila Prabhupada to contradict Srila Prabhupada. They quote His Holiness Narayana Maharaja to contradict Srila Prabhupada. Why? A disciple’s duty is to find evidence to support his guru’s order—not to be over intelligent, quoting authorities to contradict his spiritual master’s orders.
Disciple’s Role to Support the Order of the Acharya
by Hansadutta Dasa
Srila Prabhupada said, “I don’t say I am liberated. I am conditioned. But because I am following the instructions of Bhaktisiddhanta, I am liberated. This is the distinction between conditioned and liberated: when one is under the direction of a liberated person.”
So Srila Prabhupada’s direction was: “Act as representative of the Acharya, act as rittvik.” We should follow that order and be liberated and thus continue the disciplic succession. The rittvik is also a living guru.
28 Oct 2012
in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Disciplic succession, Gaudiya Math, Guru & Disciple, Rupanuga das, Spiritual Master
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhaktivinode Thakur, disciples, Gaudiya Math, generals who could not be defeated, guru, Lord Caitianya Mahaprabhu, Rupanuga das, sankirtan, spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, Srila Prabhupada, viraha astaka
…whatever Krsna Consciousness exists outside of India is due to the humble efforts of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who openly challenged the scientific voidism and sectarian impersonalism dominating the world. Like Bhaktivinode Thakur and Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur, his predecessors in bringing Lord Caitanya’s causeless mercy of Harinama out of India, His Divine Grace remains undefeated, and is prepared to commission any and all of his followers to carry on the tradition of victory.
…The Generals who could not be defeated have already provided the strategy, weapons, and knowledge, the spiritual strength, to guarantee ultimate victory. The Parampara Acaryas have chosen Srila Prabhupada-vani to lead the mission into this 21st Century…
Therefore, the wise shall accept the infallible guidance and protection of Srila Prabhupada and to best capacity help deliver, by His Divine Grace, the inconceivable benediction of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
The Generals Who Could Not Be Defeated
by Sriman Rupanuga das
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada once remarked to his disciples, “You must become a general like me. I cannot be defeated.” Srila Prabhupada was commissioned by another undefeated general, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur, who against all opposition established the legitimacy and influence of the Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta in India. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta met resistance from every quarter: professional gurus, prakrta-sahajiyas, caste goswamis, ecumenists, eclecticists, et al., but anyone who dared to sally forth and meet his challenge was ultimately trounced.
23 Oct 2012
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Guru & Disciple, Locanananda das, Spiritual Master
Tags: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, diksa, disciples, GBC, guru, initiations, Iskcon, July 9th Letter, Locanananda dasa, May 28th conversation, officiating acaryas, ritvik acarya, SB 1.13.15, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, The Hare Krishna Movement, Vidura
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This is a continuation from our previous post, The Spiritual Master a few days ago. This is a fascinating account by Sriman Locanananda Prabhu revealing his insights into the ‘guru issue’ in our ISKCON society today, from his own personal understanding, and his realizations of the instructions given by Srila Prabhupada shortly before his untimely departure. Our obeisances to him for sharing his personal recollections and realizations. [Note: some of the other comments were edited out so as not to distract from Locanananda Prabhu’s train of thought. You can follow the entire stream of comments by going to Prabhupada News
…Because the focus of every devotee’s efforts is to please Srila Prabhupada knowing him to be Krishna’s pure representative, we can understand that the officiating acarya’s function is to formalize the disciple’s connection with Srila Prabhupada and the disciplic succession by the giving of diksa.
… According to this correct understanding, the officiating acarya is not particularly empowered to take those he initiates back to Godhead. But if he is capable of acting as the transparent via medium to the founder acarya, he is certainly to be honored and shown great respect. However, so that Srila Prabhupada remains the central figure and worshipable spiritual master within the Hare Krishna movement, no other spiritual personality should become his competitor by exacting worship from disciples. It is the responsibility of the GBC to preserve this unique role as exclusively the position of Srila Prabhupada.
18 Oct 2012
in Diksha, Disciplic succession, Locanananda das, Siksa, Spiritual Master
Tags: devotional service, diksa, disciple, Founder Acarya, grand disciples, guru, Krishna's empowered emissary, Krishna's pure devotee, ritvik acarya, ritvik system of initiation, spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada
This is excerpted comment by Locanananda Prabhu at Prabhupada News on an article posted there by one of Srila Prabhupada’s personal servants, Gauridasa Pandita dasa, about the Ritvik order. Very nice comment.
The Spiritual Master
by Locanananda dasa
Srila Prabhupada is the eternal spiritual master of his followers and of all generations of followers still to come. His Divine Grace likened initiation to the admissions procedure at school. He said it was more or less a formality. He surely never wanted this initiation issue to divide his followers into different camps.
The essence of the process of devotional service is to surrender to the spiritual master. A disciple accepts the discipline taught by Krishna’s pure representative. He does not manufacture his own way. In that sense, followers are disciples, and Srila Prabhupada will deliver them to Krishna.