(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
It seems that I have so many images of Srila Prabhupada, I decided to share some of them this morning. I must have gone through a hundred or more photos and just picked out some of the ones of Srila Prabhupada on his morning walks, with his disciples. Some of these are truly beautiful. I do not know much about where they came from or who took them (other than they came to me on a disk given to me as a gift), but I think the photographer is Tejiyas das.
Memories of an Indian Holy Town
by Howard Wheeler (Hayagriva dasa)
“This transcendental land of Vrindaban is populated by goddesses of fortune, who manifest as milkmaids and love Krishna above everything. The trees here fulfill all desires, and the waters of immortality flow through land made of philosopher’s stone. Here, all speech is song, all walking is dancing, and the flute is the Lord’s constant companion. Cows flood the land with abundant milk, and everything is self-luminous, like the sun. Since every moment in Vrindaban is spent in loving service to Krishna, there is no past, present, or future.” -Brahma Samhita (as excerpted from the book Vrindaban Days by Hayagriva das)
It is with great pleasure that we share with you this travel journal by Hayagriva Prabhu as a free PDF download which you can veiw or save by clicking on the underlined link below;
Recently I had the good fortune to meet one of my God brothers, Dhira Govinda Prabhu. It was on the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. I had heard of him, and in the past, had posted some of his writings, and had read his book “Srila Prabhupada; The Prominent Link”, but had not yet meet him. I found him to be a very nice devotee of good character. And just to give his voice a broader range we decided to post his book Srila Prabhupada The Prominent Link as well as the Prominent Link Supplementary Articles here.
Click on either of the above underlined links to read or save the pdf files.
This morning I happened upon the above picture of Srila Prabhupada, and my mind immediately thought of the following two verses from the Bhagavad-gita:
O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible. (Bg 9. 13)
Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion. (Bg 9.14)
…In this verse the description of mahātmā is clearly given. The first sign of the mahātmā is that he is already situated in the divine nature…The mahātmā does not divert his attention to anything outside Kṛṣṇa because he knows perfectly well that Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. There is no doubt about it. Such a mahātmā, or great soul, develops through association with other mahātmās, pure devotees.
…The mahātmā cannot be manufactured by rubber-stamping an ordinary man. His symptoms are described here: a mahātmā is always engaged in chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. He has no other business. He is always engaged in the glorification of the Lord. In other words, he is not an impersonalist. When the question of glorification is there, one has to glorify the Supreme Lord, praising His holy name, His eternal form, His transcendental qualities and His uncommon pastimes. One has to glorify all these things; therefore a mahātmā is attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (from purports)
I find that for me personally, thinking about Srila Prabhupada is one of the best forms of meditation, is good for my Krishna consciousness, and makes me feel very fortunate to be a part of The Hare Krishna Movement.
Recently I was staying at a friends house, and in the room where I was spending the night there was one book by Giriraj Swami entitled “Watering the Seed”. I happened to open it and began reading from the Preface:
…from that first meeting with Srila Prabhupada, my whole life’s purpose became to bring people to meet Srila Prabhupada. And I was able to do that for many years. But when he passed away, I wondered ‘what will be my service now?’. My whole service had been to bring people to Srila Prabhupada.
Now I understand that Srila Prabhupada is always present, and that by speaking of him, hearing about him, remembering him, and, most significantly, by studying his books and following his instructions, we can experience his presence. So I can continue doing what I was doing when he was personally present-introducing soul’s to Srila Prabhupada-and that is what I feel most natural doing. Because I know that somehow or other, if someone comes in touch with Srila Prabhupada, his life will become successful. (Watering the Seed, Preface)
Now, I am always encouraged when I hear my Godbrothers speaking in this way, because this is how I have always felt, and continue to feel. That my main purpose, as a disciple, is to bring people to Srila Prabhupada, and there-by bringing them to Krishna.