Today as we are celebrating the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu we are further reminded of the great senapati bhakta Srila Prabhupada who Lord Caitanya foretold would take the sankirtana movement everywhere.
…Lord Caitanya foretold the coming of an empowered devotee who would take the sankirtana process everywhere: “I want to flood the whole world with the chanting of the holy names. I will personally preach and flood India with harinama sankirtana, chanting of the holy names. And My senapati bhakta (great devotee commander) will come, preach in different countries and flood the world with the chanting of Hare Krishna.” This means that, though Sri Caitanya came to establish and spread the process of congregational chanting of Krishna’s names in India, there would be one great devotee who would appear and spread it throughout the world.
Today we honor not only Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu but his empowered devotee as well with this nice biography written by Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandananda dasa).
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
by Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana dasa)
In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, in a conversation with Ganga Devi, Lord Krishna describes that after 5,000 years of Kali-yuga have passed, His mantra upasaka, the great sage and worshiper of Krishna’s holy names, will appear and spread the chanting of Krishna’s names (in the form of the Hare Krishna mantra) not only in India but throughout the world. Lord Krishna explains that by the chanting of His holy names the world will become spiritualized and everyone will be hari-bhaktas, engaged in the process of devotion to the Supreme. The purified devotees will visit the holy places and holy rivers of India and will purify them. They will also purify those with whom they come in contact. Thus, Sri Krishna predicted the appearance of a powerful devotee who would spread the chanting of His names worldwide.
This morning I was reading from the Fourth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, wherein Narada Muni was discussing about material intelligence…
The great sage Nārada continued: The word pramadā mentioned in this regard refers to material intelligence, or ignorance. It is to be understood as such. When one takes shelter of this kind of intelligence, he identifies himself with the material body. Influenced by the material consciousness of “I” and “mine,” he begins to enjoy and suffer through his senses. Thus the living entity is entrapped. (SB4.29.5)
…and in the purport Srila Prabhupada explains
“…in material existence the living entity falsely claims things to be his. He thinks, “I am the monarch of all I survey.” This is ignorance. Actually, nothing belongs to him. Even the body and the senses do not belong to him, for they are given to him by the grace of the Lord to satisfy his different propensities through the material energy. Nothing actually belongs to the living entity, but he becomes mad after everything, claiming, “This is mine. This is mine. This is mine.” Janasya moho ’yam ahaṁ mameti [SB 5.5.8]. This is called illusion. Nothing belongs to the living entity, but he claims that everything belongs to him. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommends that this false intelligence be purified (ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]). When the mirror of intelligence is polished, the real activities of the living entity begin. This means that when a person comes to the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, his real intelligence acts. At that time he knows that everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa and nothing belongs to him. As long as one thinks that everything belongs to him, he is in material consciousness, and when he knows perfectly that everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa, he is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” (from purport to SB4.29.5)
While I was reading this, the last song ever recorded by the Beatles, “I Me Mine” kept playing in my head. We have also included the song lyrics at bottom of post.
“Although my Guru Maharaja ordered me to accomplish this mission, I am not worthy or fit to do it. I am very fallen and insignificant. Therefore, O Lord, now I am begging for Your mercy so that I may become worthy, for You are the wisest and most experienced of all.” (Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krishna, on board the ship Jaladuta, September 13, 1965)
“It is all Krishna’s Grace that He has sent such a nice assistants to me, for executing the mission of my Spiritual Master. Personally, I am nonentity; I have come here on the order of my Spiritual Master, and He has kindly sent you all boys to assist me. So whatever is being done, there is no credit for me, but all the credit goes to my Spiritual Master, because He has arranged everything, and I am simply to abide by His order.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 16, 1968)
“I am just trying to disseminate this message of my Spiritual Master and if there’s any credit for this service, everything goes to Him.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 14, 1969)
…Regarding the government injunction, that is the worst situation of this age. The so called democratic government means some of the sudras, rascals without any knowledge of the highest aim of life. By hook and crook they get some votes and get the responsible chair in government. Naturally they can whimsically enact any law which is against the interest of the people in general. According to the Vedic literature, the government’s first duty is to see whether people are following the rules and regulations of varnasrama dharma. That is explained in Bhagavad-gita also. Without coming to the system of Varnasrama dharma there is no question of human society. (Letter to: Madhudvisa Kenya 15 September, 1971)
Prabhupāda: (laughs) That’s all. This kind of election is rascal election. It has no meaning. Therefore the public must know whom to elect and how to elect. That should be our propaganda. Because nowadays it is democratic government, teach people how to select the real leader. Real leader means who does not commit mistake, who is not illusioned, who does not cheat and who has no imperfect senses, who has, or, other words, one who has got perfect senses. So if you say, “How it is possible for the conditioned soul?” “Yes, it is possible if you follow the perfect.” Just like we are doing. We are following Kṛṣṇa. He does not commit mistake, He is not illusioned, His senses are not imperfect, and He does not cheat. We are following. Therefore, although we are imperfect, because we are following the perfect, our proposition is perfect. A child may be illiterate, but when he’s taught, “Write A like this,” and he follows that, he becomes literate. This is the policy. (Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk Conversation December 12, 1973, Los Angeles)
Today we honor the disappearance day of His Dive Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada with a half day fast and are celebrating your disappearance with remembrances and prayers.
The Disappearance of a Vaisnava was explained very nicely by Srila Prabhupada is a lecture given on the disappearance day lecture of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada on Dec. 13, 1973 in Los Angeles:
“So spiritually, appearance and disappearance, there is no difference. Just like in material point of view, if a person takes birth… Suppose you get a son born, you become very happy. The same son, when passes away, you become very unhappy. This is material. But spiritually, there is no such difference, appearance or disappearance. So although this is the disappearance day of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, so there is nothing to be lamented. Although we feel separation, that feeling is there, but spiritually, there is no difference between appearance and disappearance.”
For today’s post we are going back in time…to the first issue of Back to Godhead Magazine after Srila Prabhu’s departure.
During his last months, Srila Prabhupada was not very active physically, and he spoke relatively little. Yet when he did speak, his words were full of spiritual strength. These excerpts from Srila Prabhupada’s last statements reveal the mind of the pure devotee and universal teacher. And they show that Srila Prabhupada is indeed a transcendental personality, whose devotion to Lord Krsna and to the mission of spreading love of Krsna is undying.
“I cannot speak. I am feeling weak. I wanted to travel to Chandigarh and other places, but I changed my program because my health is deteriorating. I decided to come here to Vrndavana (the land of Lord Krsna). If death takes place, let it take place here.”
“There is nothing new to be said. Whatever I had to say, I have already said in my books. Now you must all try to understand it and continue with your endeavors. Whether I am present or not present doesn’t matter. Just as Krsna is living eternally, the living being also lives eternally. But especially… kirtir yasya sa jivati: ‘One who has done service to the Lord lives forever.’ You have been taught to serve Krsna, and with Krsna we’ll live eternally. Our life is eternal. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire: the disappearance of this temporary body doesn’t matter. The body is meant for disappearance. So, live forever by serving Krsna. Thank you very much.”
(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)
“Don’t feel yourself to be alone because Krishna is always with you. Krishna is always with every living entity as Supersoul, and to His devotee especially He talks and gives instructions how to attain the perfectional stage of meeting Him. So don’t feel alone. Always chant whenever possible, read our books, and there will be no great difficulty.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 3, 1969)
“Please don’t feel lonely. Krishna is always with you and I shall pray for you and to Krishna also that you may make progress more and more in this faithful discharge of duties in Krishna Consciousness.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 30, 1968)
“Regarding your question: Is it not true that by service I am with you? It is very correct. You are not only in connection with me, but you are connected with the whole posterity, up to Krishna. It is so nice thing. By service only, we are connected. As it is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, ‘Sevon mukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adhah.’ So the presence of Krishna is always everywhere, but it is simply manifested by your service. That is the technique. ‘Sabhung Kalidumbrum’ everywhere Brahma is present. Just like everywhere there is electricity. It is the technical art that brings out electric power from everywhere. So by service, you are not only in touch with me, but my Predecessors, the Acaryas, up to Krishna.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 19, 1968)
(Muni Maharaja, Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami)
Today marks Srila Prabhupada’s acceptance of Sannyasa. Thanks to Prabhupada Connect for so nicely putting together this list list of quotes by Srila Prabhupada on Sannyasa, which we have re-posted here.
Srila Prabhupada’s Sannyasa Initiation
Srila Prabhupada accepted the order of sannyasa from Sri Srimad Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Maharaja on September 17, 1959 at the Kesavaji Math in Mathura. Included below are some relevant quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s lectures and letters.
“When I was householder, several times there was indication given by my Guru Maharaja that I should give up family life and become a sannyasi and preach this Krishna consciousness movement. In several way there was hints from my spiritual master, but still, I was not willing. I was thinking, ‘If I go away, then my family, my sons, my daughters, they will suffer.’ But actually, I have left my family connection in 1950. Actually ’54, but introductory in ’50. For the last twenty years. But they are living; I am living. They are not dying in my absence, and I am not suffering without being in my family. On the other hand, by Krishna’s grace, I have got better family members. I have got nice children in a foreign country. They are taking so much care of me, I could not expect such care from my own children.
So this is God’s grace. We should depend on Krishna. If Krishna is kind, wherever we go, everyone will be pleased, everyone will be kind. And if Krishna is unpleased, even in your family life you’ll not be comfortable. Therefore, according to the Vedic system, at a certain age, it is indicated that one should retire from family life.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Tittenhurst, London, September 12, 1969)
“The Krishna consciousness movement is not that we are asking everyone to become a sannyasi like me, and give up everything. No. That is not our program. You act as a brahmaṇa, as a ksatriya or a vaisya or a sudra. It doesn’t matter. But you try to satisfy Krishna. That is the program.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, December 30, 1972)
My friend Padmapani Prabhu (the webmaster for Prabhupada Connect has been coming out with so many beautiful posts of late…we share another one with you here. Please visit his site if you get the chance.
“This Krishna consciousness movement is not something new, something that we have introduced or manufactured. It is authorized on the Vedic principles, authorized by acaryas like Caitanya Mahaprabhu and others. And the method is very simple; there is no loss. We are not charging anything, we are not asking for fees and giving the people some secret mantra and promising them that they will become God. No. This is open for everyone — children, women, girls, boys, old people — everyone can chant and see the results.” (Science of Self-Realization, Chapter 5)
George Harrison Interview: Hare Krishna Mantra–There’s Nothing Higher (1982)
This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series The Beatles and Hare Krishna
George: It’s really the same sort of thing as meditation, but I think it has a quicker effect. I mean, even if you put your beads down, you can still say the mantra or sing it without actually keeping track on your beads. One of the main differences between silent meditation and chanting is that silent meditation is rather dependent on concentration, but when you chant, it’s more of a direct connection with God.
I saw this photo and post yesterday on the Prabhupada Connect web page. It was such a special photo that I thought we should share it with you all here as well.
“The Lord is seated in the heart of all living beings, and thus, He knows very well the movements of all individual persons. As soon as the Lord finds that a particular soul is very eager to go back to Godhead, the Lord at once sends His bona fide representative. The sincere devotee is thus assured by the Lord of going back to Godhead. The conclusion is that to get the assistance and help of a bona fide spiritual master means to receive the direct help of the Lord Himself.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.19.36, Purport)
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.
First of all, let me offer my humble, respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. Sometime in the year 1935 when His Divine Grace was staying at Rādhā-kuṇḍa, I went to see him from Bombay. At that time, he gave me many important instructions in regard to constructing temples and publishing books. He personally told me that publishing books is more important than constructing temples. Of course, those same instructions remained within my mind for many years. In 1944 I began publishing my Back to Godhead, and when I retired from family life in 1958 I began publishing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in Delhi. When three parts of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam had been published in India, I then started for the United States of America on the thirteenth of August, 1965.
I am continuously trying to publish books, as suggested by my spiritual master. Now, in this year, 1976, I have completed the Seventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and a summary of the Tenth Canto has already been published as Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Still, the Eighth Canto, Ninth Canto, Tenth Canto, Eleventh Canto and Twelfth Canto are yet to be published. On this occasion, therefore, I am praying to my spiritual master to give me strength to finish this work. I am neither a great scholar nor a great devotee; I am simply a humble servant of my spiritual master, and to the best of my ability I am trying to please him by publishing these books, with the cooperation of my disciples in America. Fortunately, scholars all over the world are appreciating these publications. Let us cooperatively publish more and more volumes of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam just to please His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
from Summary to the 8th Canto, Chapter 1
I have always enjoyed going back in time and re-reading the old Back to Godhead Magazines. This one was from 1974 and chronicles the arrival of Srila Prabhupada.
The Arrival of a Pure Devotee
by Visakha-devi dasi
New York: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder and spiritual master of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), stopped here for a few days recently as part of his continuing tour of ISKCON centers around the world. At JFK International Airport, as more than one hundred disciples royally greeted him and curious reporters thronged around him, Srila Prabhupada explained, in clear language and with fixed conviction, the Krsna conscious philosophy of a God-centered society in which “everything animate and inanimate is recognized to be controlled and owned by the Lord.”
“Will this solve the energy crisis?” one reporter asked. “Yes, why not?” Srila Prabhupada immediately responded. “The only lack in the world today is the lack of God consciousness.”
“When you are typing, you should know that it is as good as chanting, because the work is also on the matter of Krishna. Chanting on the beads and chanting on the typewriter Composer machine are both transcendental sounds of Krishna. Krishna’s Name, His Fame, His Qualities– all of them are on the absolute platform, and therefore there is no difference between one and another. So do not be misled that you are typing and not chanting.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, 16th June, 1969)
The following is a collection of quotes by Srila Prabhupada on the subject of reading his books. This is just an excerpt from a larger file entitled “A Spiritual Approach” by Vidura Mahatma dasa, which can be found at the end of this post.
The importance of Srila Prabhupada’s books upon humanity can not be over stressed! Thus it is with pleasure we repeat some of these quotes on hearing through reading.
“These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing.” (Letter 19/10/74)
This link appeared in my mailbox this morning from; Krishna Store.com I am always glad to promote Srila Prabhupada, encourage others to listen to his lectures and read his books, as well as help other devotees in spreading this message. So it is with pleasure we share with you the above link, and hope you will visit Krishna Store.
A beautiful 8 DVD-ROM Boxed Set containing over 1,200 hours of Prabhupada’s lectures, classes, morning walks, room conversations, and discussions with more than 100 hours of kirtans and bhajans in high quality 128 Kb/sec MP3 Format.
The following PDF file entitled “Prabhupada” is a very nice little pamphlet describing Srila Prabhupada’s Journey to the West, the society he formed, his teachings, ect. It is very nice and you can click on the following link to view it or save it to your comuputer.
click of the following link to veiw or save pdf file Prabhupada