Disciple Never Becomes Equal to Guru

srila prabhupada and krishna
The following conversation between Srila Prabhupada and Mr. Malhotra  recorded in Poona, December 22, 1976, is a good instruction on our relationship between guru and disciple.  
Prabhupada: Not equal; representative. Not equal. I send one representative of this man, and he may be very expert, doing very good business, still he cannot be equal with me. He is acting as my representative, that’s another thing. But not that he has become the original proprietor.
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Disciple Never Becomes Equal to Guru
 
 
Prabhupada: These my disciples, they are part and parcel of me. Whole mission is going on with their cooperation. But if he says that “I am equal to my Guru Mahārāja,” then that is offense.

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The Disciplic Succession

Lord Caitanya chanting

click on image to enlarge

When someone heard the chanting of the holy name from the mouth of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and someone else heard this chanting from that second person, and someone again heard this chanting from the third person, everyone in all countries became a Vaiṣṇava through such disciplic succession. Thus everyone chanted the holy name of Kṛṣṇa and Hari, and they danced, cried and smiled. (Madhya-lila 17. 48-49)

The transcendental power or potency of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is herein explained. First, the holy name is vibrated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When someone hears from Him directly, he is purified. When another person hears from that person, he also is purified. In this way the purification process is advanced among pure devotees. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and no one can claim His potency. Nonetheless, if one is a pure devotee, hundreds and thousands of men can be purified by his vibration. This potency is within every living being, provided he chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra offenselessly and without material motives. When a pure devotee chants offenselessly, another person will become a Vaiṣṇava, and from him another Vaiṣṇava will emerge. This is the paramparā system. (Purport)

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Srila Prabhupada’s Diksa

Bury Place Vyasasana

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.

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The Cause of All Causes

Narada and Lord Brahma

As we continue to update one of our other sites Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by posting a chapter at a time, of that great literary work by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, we will continue to share the progress with our readers here at The Hare Krishna Movement.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: Canto 2: “The Cosmic Manifestation”
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Two, Chapter 5

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Fathers Day

Rocking chair clapping

Here in the West people are celebrating Fathers day. So today we honor our our Father with some quotes on Father.

…To accept Kṛṣṇa as father means “My father is there. I have no anxiety.” (Morning Walk — April 26, 1976, Melbourne)

…I am your Spiritual Father, and Krishna is your Spiritual Husband. A girl can never forget either her father or her husband.
(Letter to Jadurani — Stinson Beach, Calif 8 July, 1967)

…The Lord is very kind to the living entities because they are His sons. Lord Kṛṣṇa declares in Bhagavad-gītā, “sarva-yoniṣu…ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā.” “I am the father of all.”

You are the father of this complete cosmic manifestation, the worshipable chief, the spiritual master. No one is equal to You, nor can anyone be one with You. Within the three worlds, You are immeasurable.

You are the Supreme Lord, to be worshiped by every living being. Thus I fall down to offer You my respects and ask Your mercy. Please tolerate the wrongs that I may have done to You and bear with me as a father with his son, or a friend with his friend, or a lover with his beloved. (Bg 11. 43-44)

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Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link

prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link
by Dhira Govinda dasa

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 had posted the following article some time back and had read some of his book “Srila Prabhupada; The Prominent Link”, but had not meet him yet. But I found him to be a very nice devotee of good character. Just to give his voice a broader rang we decided to post his book Srila Prabhupada The Prominent Link as well as the Prominent Link Supplementary Articles Click on either of the above links to read or save the pdf files.

Many members of Srila Prabhupada’s movement who did not receive formal initiation from him experience Srila Prabhupada as the primary giver of direct transcendental knowledge. This empirical reality forms the basis of recognizing Srila Prabhupada as the prominent link to the parampara. Such a conception is supported by sastric descriptions of the essence of the initiation process, and by the delineation of the parampara described by Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.

Introduction

This paper presents a framework for understanding Srila Prabhupada’s position that is derived from a comprehension of Srila Prabhupada’s direct and personal relationship with the members of his movement. The central idea is that Srila Prabhupada is the prominent link to the parampara by virtue of being the prime deliverer of transcendental knowledge. We present these ideas in a mood of open-minded discussion and ask that the reader approach the material with a fresh perspective and a willingness to reexamine the issues.

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Respecting Srila Prabhupada

Drawing of Srila Prabhupada

From time to time I like to visit the web site The Prabhupada Connection just to drink in the nectar. If you haven’t visited this site yet, I recommend that you visit the underlined link above and bookmark it to your favorites.
The site was created by Padmapani Prabhu who is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, and is well loved by the devotee community. The following is some nectar I found in the Editorial Notes category.

Respecting Srila Prabhupada
by Padmapani dasa

As disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, we all have an eternal debt to Srila Prabhupada for his unprecedented sacrifice in freely distributing the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world.

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The Parampara System

Srila Prabhupada

..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)

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Stealing the Garments of the Unmarried Gopī Girls

Krishna stealing the cloths of the Gopis

…The unmarried gopīs used to prepare the deity of goddess Durgā and worship it with candana pulp, garlands, incense lamps and all kinds of presentations-fruits, grains and twigs of plants. After worshiping, it is the custom to pray for some benediction. The unmarried girls used to pray with great devotion to goddess Kātyāyanī, addressing her as follows: “O supreme eternal energy of the Personality of Godhead, O supreme mystic power, O supreme controller of this material world, O goddess, please be kind to us and arrange for our marriage with the son of Nanda Mahārāja, Kṛṣṇa.”

…Early in the morning, the gopīs used to go to the bank of the Yamunā to take bath. They would assemble together, capturing each other’s hands, and loudly sing of the wonderful pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. It is an old system among Indian girls and women that when they take bath in the river they place their garments on the bank and dip into the water completely naked. The portion of the river where the girls and women take bath was strictly prohibited to any male member, and this is still the system. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, knowing the minds of the unmarried young gopīs, benedicted them with their desired objective. They had prayed for Kṛṣṇa to become their husband, and Kṛṣṇa wanted to fulfill their desires.

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Sri Krsna Caitanya Prabhu

Pancha-Tattva

For Gaura Purnima, or the Appearance Celebration of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we are pleased to post one of our favorite songs from the “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas”, along with a purport by Srila Prabhupada, to honor this auspicious event.

…”My dear Lord, please be merciful to me, because who can be more merciful than Your Lordship within these three worlds?” Actually, this is a fact. Not only Narottama Dasa Thakura but Rupa Gosvami also prayed to Lord Caitanya in this way. At the time of the first meeting of Lord Caitanya and Rupa Gosvami at Prayaga (Allahabad), Srila Rupa Gosvami said, “My dear Lord, You are the most munificent of all incarnations, because You are distributing love of Krsna, Krsna consciousness.” When Krsna was personally present He simply asked us to surrender, but He did not distribute Himself so easily. He made conditions–“First of all you surrender.” But this incarnation, Lord Caitanya, although Krsna Himself, makes no such condition. He simply distributes: “Take love of Krsna.” Therefore Lord Caitanya is approved as the most munificent incarnation…(From Purport to song)

Full Song with Translation and Purport More

Transcendental Knowledge is Received by Hearing/Reading Srila Prabhupada’s Books

Srila Prabhupada Translating

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)

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The Disciplic Succession

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.

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Disciple’s Role to Support the Order of the Acharya

click on image to enlarge

…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.

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Guru-Disciple Relationship

The bona fide guru will simply present what the supreme guru, God, says in bona fide scripture. A guru cannot change the message of the disciplic succession.

The guru’s business is to bring his disciples from darkness to light.

The guru’s business is to see that no human being suffers in this material world. No one can claim that he is not suffering. That is not possible. In this material world, there are three kinds of suffering; adhyatmika, adhibhautika, and adhidaivika. These are miseries arising from the material body and mind, from other living entities and from the forces of nature. We may suffer mental anguish, or we may suffer from other living entities-from ants or mosquitoes or flies-or we may suffer due to some superior power. There may be no rain, or there may be flood. There may be excessive heat or excessive cold. So many types of suffering are imposed by nature. Thus there are three types of miseries within the material world, and everyone is suffering from one, two, or three of them. No one can say that he is completely free from suffering.

Guru-Disciple Relationship

The Guru – Guide to the Spiritual World
from the Bhakta Handbook

On hearing the word guru, we tend to envision a caricature like image: a bizarre-looking old fellow with a long, stringy beard and flowing robes, meditating on distant, esoteric truths. Or we think of a cosmic con man cashing in on young seekers’ spiritual gullibility. But what really is a guru? What does he know that we don’t? How does he enlighten us?

In a talk given in England in 1973, Srila Prabhupada provides some enlightening answers.

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Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra

Dhrtarastra inquires from Sanjaya

We are posting the First Chapter of the Original Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Macmillian Edition complete with the corresponding pictures.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 1: Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 1

dhṛtarāṣṭra uvāca
dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre
samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva
kim akurvata sañjaya

dhṛtarāṣṭraḥ—King Dhṛtarāṣṭra; uvāca—said; dharma-kṣetre—in the place of pilgrimage; kuru-kṣetre—in the place named Kurukṣetra; samavetāḥ—assembled; yuyatsavaḥ—desiring to fight; māmakāḥ—my party (sons); pāṇḍavāḥ—the sons of Pāṇḍu; ca—and; eva-certainly; kim—what; akurvata—did they do; sañjaya—O Sañjaya.

TRANSLATION

Dhṛtarāṣṭra said: O Sañjaya, after assembling in the place of pilgrimage at Kurukṣetra, what did my sons and the sons of Pāṇḍu do, being desirous to fight?

PURPORT

Bhagavad-gītā is the widely read theistic science summarized in the Gītā-māhātmya (Glorification of the Gītā). There it says that one should read Bhagavad-gītā very scrutinizingly with the help of a person who is a devotee of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and try to understand it without personally motivated interpretations. The example of clear understanding is there in the Bhagavad-gītā itself, in the way the teaching is understood by Arjuna, who heard the Gītā directly from the Lord. If someone is fortunate enough to understand Bhagavad-gītā in that line of disciplic succession, without motivated interpretation, then he surpasses all studies of Vedic wisdom, and all scriptures of the world. One will find in the Bhagavad-gītā all that is contained in other scriptures, but the reader will also find things which are not to be found elsewhere. That is the specific standard of the Gītā. It is the perfect theistic science because it is directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

The topics discussed by Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Sañjaya, as described in the Mahābhārata, form the basic principle for this great philosophy. It is understood that this philosophy evolved on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, which is a sacred place of pilgrimage from the immemorial time of the Vedic age. It was spoken by the Lord when He was present personally on this planet for the guidance of mankind.

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Book Changes

My heart laments with deep sorrow whenever I think of how the Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami are being changed, and re-edited. But I think Srila Prabhupada has said it best in his introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is;

Vedic knowledge is not a question of research. Our research work is imperfect because we are researching things with imperfect senses. We have to accept perfect knowledge which comes down, as is stated in Bhagavad-gītā, by the paramparā disciplic succession. We have to receive knowledge from the proper source in disciplic succession beginning with the supreme spiritual master, the Lord Himself, and handed down to a succession of spiritual masters. Arjuna, the student who took lessons from Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, accepts everything that He says without contradicting Him. One is not allowed to accept one portion of Bhagavad-gītā and not another. No. We must accept Bhagavad-gītā without interpretation, without deletion and without our own whimsical participation in the matter. The Gītā should be taken as the most perfect presentation of Vedic knowledge. Vedic knowledge is received from transcendental sources, and the first words were spoken by the Lord Himself. The words spoken by the Lord are different from words spoken by a person of the mundane world who is infected with four defects. A mundaner 1) is sure to commit mistakes, 2) is invariably illusioned, 3) has the tendency to cheat others and 4) is limited by imperfect senses. With these four imperfections, one cannot deliver perfect information of all-pervading knowledge.( From Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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Parampara: Knowledge Through Disciplic Succession

click on image to enlarge

At one time, Indra, the king of heaven, committed an offense at the feet of his spiritual master, and his spiritual master cursed him to take the birth of a hog. Thus the throne of the heavenly kingdom became empty as Indra went to earth to become a hog. Seeing the situation, Brahmā came to earth and addressed the hog: “My dear sir, you have become a hog on this planet earth. I have come to deliver you. Come with me at once.” But the hog replied:. “Oh I cannot go with you. I have so many responsibilities—my children, wife and this nice hog society.” Even though Brahmā promised to take him back to heaven, Indra, in the form of a hog, refused. This is called forgetfulness. Similarly, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa comes and says to us, “What are you doing in this material world? Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. Come to Me, and I’ll give you all protection.” But we say, “I don’t believe You Sir. I have more important business here.” This is the position of the conditioned soul—forgetfulness. This forgetfulness is quickly dissipated by following in the path of disciplic succession.

Raja-vidya: The King of Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 5

Parampara: Knowledge Through Disciplic Succession

śrī bhagavān uvāca
imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave ’bravīt

“The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku.” (Bg. 4.1)

Many ages ago Kṛṣṇa imparted the divine knowledge of Bhagavad-gītā to Vivasvān, the god of the sun. To the best of our knowledge, the sun is a very hot place, and we do not consider it possible for anyone to live there. It is not even possible to approach the sun very closely with these bodies. However, from the Vedic literatures we can understand that the sun is a planet just like this one but that everything there is composed of fire. Just as this planet is predominately composed of earth, there are other planets which are predominately composed of fire, water and air.

The living entities on these various planets acquire bodies composed of elements in accordance with the predominating element on the planet; therefore those beings who live on the sun have bodies which are composed of fire. Of all beings on the sun, the principal personality is a god by the name of Vivasvān. He is known as the sun-god (sūrya-nārāyaṇa). On all planets there are principal personalities, just as in the United States the chief person is the President. From the history called the Mahābhārata we understand that formerly there was only one king on this planet by the name of Mahārāja Bharata. He ruled some 5,000 years ago, and the planet was named after him. Subsequently the earth has become divided into so many different countries. In this way there is usually one and sometimes many controllers of the various planets in the universe.

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Disappearance of Gaura-kisora Dasa Babaji

Gaura-kisora dasa babaji

Today is the disappearance day of Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji,who was the spiritual master of Srila Bhktisiddhanta Goswami, intimate student of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, and is an acharya in our line of disciplic succession, so we honor today him with this short sketch.

namo gaura-kisoraya sakshad-vairagya-murtaye
vipralambha-rasambhode padambujaya te namah

I offer my respectful obeisances unto Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja [the spiritual master of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati], who is renunciation personified. He is always merged in a feeling of separation and intense love of Krishna.

In 1897 Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji came to Mayapur Navadwipa Dhama from Sri Vrndavana Dhama, where he was given the exalted title “Bhajananandi”. Seeing the transcendental behavior of Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur used him as an example of nirapeksa (indifference), the symptom of an advanced renunciate.

Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji lived a life of humility and poverty, true attributes of a Vaisnava. He never accepted material goods from anyone, wearing discarded loincloths from corpses left on the bank of the Ganges. He begged for rice, soaking it in river water, and adding only salt and chilies. Accepting no favors, he remained fully detached from all possessions.

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Srila Prabhupada speaks out on false Gurus

Srila Prabhupada speaks out on false Gurus

The principle of accepting a spiritual master is essential. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Our Srila Prabhupada is the qualified, self-realized, spiritual master and is directly in line with the disciplic succession. And one can take shelter of him by simply reading his books and following his instructions, and make rapid advancement in spiritual life.

We should be very careful before accepting a Guru

“The sastras enjoin that before we take a guru we study him carefully to find out whether we can surrender to him. We should not accept a guru suddenly, out of fanaticism. That is very dangerous.”
(The Science of Self Realization, chapter 2, ‘Choosing a Spiritual Master’)

Ambition to be Guru is very dangerous

“Our mission is to serve (…). Not that you take the place of the guru. That is nonsense, very dangerous. Then everything will be spoiled. As soon as you become ambitious to take the place of guru-gurusu nara-matih . That is the material disease.”
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, April 20, 1977)

“That is the difficulty. Everyone sees that “Some way or other, I become guru. Then so many persons will offer me respect. Somehow or other, create some situation. Then I become guru.” This is going on. Not bona fide guru. (…) They will drink, they will hunt after woman and have some attractive singing or dancing and become guru. What is meaning of guru, they do not know. Somehow or other become popular and become guru. This is going on.”
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, May 2nd, 1976)

One who is disobedient to the order of the Guru cannot be a Guru

“If you become disobedient to guru, then your business is finished.”
(Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad-Bhagavatam Lecture, August 10th, 1974)

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Srila Prabhupada is the Diksa Guru for ISKCON

Vani Seva
By Ananda devi dasi
May 12 2009, UK

“In the absence of physical presentation of the Spiritual Master, the vaniseva is more important. My Spiritual Master Saraswati Goswami, may appear to be physically not present but still I try to serve His Instruction, I never feel separated from Him” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, August 22, 1970)

After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada His instructions remained the same, they didn’t change. Therefore Srila Prabhupada is the Diksa Guru and His ISKCON-specific instructions and the process of Diksa remains the same. A disciple who has had no chance of serving the Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada, when He was in His Vapuh, can still follow His Vani, instructions, and fully benefit from this association and advance in devotional service.

The Officiating Acarya process is not a replacement system for the Disciplic Succession, nor is it an initiating system, either. Srila Prabhupada is the Initiator Guru whether there is an Officiating Acarya system in place or not, whether or not the July 9th Letter is implemented or not. Devotees that join ISKCON can only be initiated by Srila Prabhupada because He is the Diksa Guru for ISKCON, period.

In Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.47 we read:

“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. 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.”

Srila Prabhupada makes it crystal clear that after the disappearance of the Spiritual Master, the disciple follows the instructions of the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master left His instructions in the form of Books, verbal instructions, letters, tapes, videos, all these are instructions from the Spiritual Master,Vani.

After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada His instructions remained the same, they didn’t change. Therefore Srila Prabhupada is the Diksa Guru and His ISKCON-specific instructions and the process of Diksa remains the same. A disciple who has had no chance of serving the Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada, when He was in His Vapuh, can still follow His Vani, instructions, and fully benefit from this association and advance in devotional service.

In Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.35 we read:

“It is imperative that one accepts a spiritual master if he at all desires to gain the favor of the Lord. The service of the Spiritual Master is essential. If there is no chance to serve the spiritual master directly, a devotee should serve Him by remembering His instructions. There is no difference between the spiritual masters instructions and the spiritual master Himself. In His absence,therefore,His words of direction should be the pride of the disciple.”

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