Brahmananda das Departs

Back to Godhead - Volume 10, Number 12 - 1975

Brahmananda das Departs

We are sad to report the departure of Sriman Brahmananda Prabhu, on of the very first disciples of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He was well loved by many.

The following is a report from the Sampradaya Sun News and a letter that arrived in my mailbox this morning from Aprakrita Dasa, reporting the news.

Jun 07, 2015 — CANADA (SUN) — We have received news of the departure of Brahmananda das (ACBSP), who left his body in Vrindavan-dham earlier today. Brahmananda Prabhu (Bruce Scharf) joined Srila Prabhupada in New York in September 1966, as one of Prabhupada’s first disciples in New York. He was ISKCON’s first temple president.

Brahmananda was involved in nearly all aspects of Srila Prabhupada’s early preaching mission, from Ratha yatra to harinam and book sankirtan, and publishing the first issues of Back to Godhead magazine. He also arranged many lectures and meetings for Srila Prabhupada.

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How the Teachings of Lord Caitanya Came to the Western World (Part 2)

Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

This is Part 2 of the very informative article by Sriman Brahmananda Prabhu as it appeared in Back to Godhead Magazine in 1974, which gives not only some of the History of Lord Caitanya’s Mission, but on the preaching of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, Gaudiya Vaisnavism, and the Hare Krishna Movement here in the West.

How the Teachings of Lord Caitanya Came to the Western World
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine
Vol.1, No. 68, 1974
Part 2
by His Holiness Brahmananda Svami

[Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krsna Himself in the form of His own pure devotee, appeared 500 years ago in Bengal, India, to teach—by His own example—how one can become fully Krsna conscious. The teachings of Lord Caitanya were recorded and transmitted by many faithful disciples, but they were virtually unknown in the West until 1896, when Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, a great spiritual master in the disciplic line from Lord Caitanya, published a short book entitled Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu—His Life and Precepts and sent copies to the Western world. The following is the second of three articles depicting the pioneering efforts of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and those who have followed him, in spreading the great benediction of Krsna consciousness to the West.]

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How the Teachings of Lord Caitanya Came to the Western World

BTG_Year-1974_Volume-01_Number-63_Page_01

This is a very informative article which gives not only some of the History of Lord Caitanya’s Mission, but on the preaching of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Gaudiya Vaisnavism, and the Hare Krishna Movement here in the West.

How the Teachings of Lord Caitanya Came to the Western World
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine
Vol.1, No. 66, 1974
Part 1
by His Holiness Brahmananda Swami

“He reasons ill who tells that Vaisnavas die When thou art living still in Sound! The Vaisnavas die to live and living try To spread a holy life around!”—verse by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura on the tomb of the great saint Thakura Haridasa at Puri, India

In Calcutta in 1896, the teachings of Lord Caitanya began their journey to the West. In Bengali-speaking Calcutta on August 20th of that year, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura published a small English treatise entitled Lord Caitanya—His Life and Precepts. Seventyone years later, in 1967, in Montreal, Canada, a graduate student came across a copy of this book while browsing through the rare-book collection of the McGill University library. The book was a wonderful find for him because he was a dedicated follower of Lord Caitanya’s, having been convinced of Lord Caitanya’s teachings by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, whom he had accepted as his spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada was born in Calcutta on September 1, 1896, only a few days after Lord Caitanya-His Life and Precepts was published. Thus by a transcendental arrangement this significant book and he who would fulfill the purpose of the book appeared together.

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Vrndavana—Land of No Return Part 2

Vrndavana—Land of No Return
By His Holiness Brahmananda Swami
Originally Published in Back to Godhead 1975 Vol. 10, No. 11

Part 2

I once visited Vrndavana, India with His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. As I accompanied him on his daily walk one morning we suddenly came upon a particularly beautiful spot. The cool sands were thick with foliage; the tall trees full of singing birds. As the sun brightened the clear morning sky, peacocks filled the air with their peculiar call.

Srila Prabhupada looked over his shoulder and said to me, “So, Brahmananda, this is Vrndavana. How do you like it?”
“It’s wonderful, Srila Prabhupada,” was all I could reply. I felt that he was actually revealing the glories of Vrndavana to me even though I had no particular spiritual qualification.

Vrndavana is the place where the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna appeared five thousand years ago. Lord Krsna descended there from His own spiritual planet, Goloka Vrndavana to attract us by displaying His supernatural pastimes. Srila Prabhupada has explained that when Krsna descends to the material world, this same Vrndavana descends with Him just as an entourage accompanies an important personage. Because when Krsna comes His land also comes, Vrndavana is not considered to exist in the material world. Therefore devotees take shelter of the Vrndavana in India, for it is considered to be a replica of the original Goloka Vrndavana.

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Vrndavana—Land of No Return (Part 1)

Because Vrndavana is the eternal and entirely spiritual abode of the Lord, it is nondifferent from Him. At Vrndavana, one will find unlimited wealth, strength, fame, wisdom, beauty and renunciation—all the six opulences possessed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan Sri Krsna. Indeed Vrndavana is Krsna, and, to go there is to perceive God Himself.

Vrndavana—Land of No Return (Part 1)
By His Holiness Brahmananda Swami
Back to Godhead Magazine 1975 Volume 10 Number 9

From the beginning of time, man has yearned for the perfect home—a paradise, a Shangri-la, a Walden—where he could live eternally in peace and happiness. Such a place cannot be found anywhere in the material world, however, for the material world is by its very nature temporary and frustrating. To end our weary searching, we must go beyond this world of duality, beyond the boundaries of space and time, into the spiritual realm.

Vrndavana, India, is that sought-after eternal resting place because it is at Vrndavana that Lord Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, descended to this planet five thousand years ago. The Lord’s appearance and activities are not mundane; they are completely transcendental. Just as a king may travel with all his retinue, set up camp, and conduct his affairs of state in the same style as if he were in his palace, Lord Krsna brought with Him all His transcendental associates and paraphernalia and created on earth an exact replica of the spiritual world, known as Goloka Vrndavana.

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I am always thinking of You. From, Letters, Conversations, Lectures, and Walks.

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I am always thinking of you (Srila Prabhupada)

Prabhupada: 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. (770517ar.vrn Conversations)

“I shall remain your personal guidance, physically present or not physically, as I am getting personal guidance from my guru maharaja” (Srila Prabhupada to Tamal Krishna, 14 July 1977)

You write that you have desire to avail of my association again, but why do you forget that you are always in association with me? When you are helping my missionary activities I am always thinking of you, and you are always thinking of me . That is real association. Just like I am always thinking of my Guru Maharaja at every moment, although he is not physically present, and because I am trying to serve him to my best capacity, I am sure he is helping me by his spiritual blessings. So there are two kinds of association: physical and preceptorial. Physical association is not so important as preceptorial association. (SP Letter to Govinda Dasi, 18/8/69)

But always remember that I am always with you. As you are always thinking of me, I am always thinking of you also. Although physically we are not together, we are not separated spiritually. So we should be concerned only with this spiritual connection. (SP Letter to Gaurasundara, 13/11/69)

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. (Letter to: Sivananda dasa. Montreal , 24 August, 1968)

“However, 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. This is called the association of vani (words). Physical presence is called vapuh. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master.” (SB 4.28.47 purport) 

Associate with Srila Prabhupada through his Vani

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