Honoring our Godbrothers and Godsisters

new_vrindavan__1972

(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)

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Bringing People to Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada on Vyasasana

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.

Follow the Instruction, Not the Body

Follow the Instruction, not the Body.
Quotes by Srila Prabhupada from books, letters and lectures

“So far as personal association with Guru is concerned, I was only with Guru Maharaj 4 or 5 times, but I have never left his association, not even for a moment. Because I am following his instruction, I have never felt any separation. There are some of my Godbrothers here in India, who had constant personal association with Guru Maharaja, but who are neglecting his orders. This is just like the bug who is sitting on the lap of the king. He may be very puffed up by his position but all he can succeed in doing is biting the king. Personal association is not so important as association through serving.”
(SP Letter to Satyadhana, 20/2/72) 

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Impossible is a Word Found in the Fool’s Dictionary

…”I have no personal qualification, but I simply try to satisfy my guru, that’s all. My Guru Maharaja asked me that, ‘If you get some money, you print books.’ So there was a private meeting, talking. Some of my important Godbrothers also were there–it was in Radha-kunda. So Guru Maharaja was speaking to me that, ‘Since we have got this Baghbazar marble temple, there has been so much dissension. And everyone thinking who will occupy this room or that room. I wish therefore to sell this temple and the marble and print some books.’ Yes, so I took up this from his mouth, that he is very fond of books. And he told me personally, ‘If you get some money, print books.’ Therefore I am stressing on this point–Where is book? Where is book? So kindly help me. That is my request. Print as many books as possible in as many languages as possible, and distribute throughout the whole world. Then the Krishna consciousness movement will automatically increase.”

The next morning, while walking on Venice Beach, Srila Prabhupada delivered an extraordinary ultimatum. Surrounded by devotees, he walked along, poking the sand softly with his cane. “These seventeen volumes unpublished,” he began, “are a great problem for our movement.”

“Yes, Prabhupada,” Ramesvara responded, attentive and concerned. The other devotees also nodded, commiserating. Something must be done.

“Yes,” Prabhupada continued, “they must be published immediately.”

“Yes, Prabhupada,” Ramesvara replied obediently.

“So I think they can be printed in two months,” Srila Prabhupada said conclusively.

Ramesvara wasn’t sure he had heard correctly. The Press had only just opened. The artists didn’t even have the lights in their room. Two months was illogical, impossible. Now was the moment to tell Srila Prabhupada the plan for increased production. Ramesvara stepped closer.

“Srila Prabhupada,” he began, “we’ve been meeting about this, and now that the Press is finally here and established, I think we can increase production four times. We think that now we can go from producing one book every four months to producing one of your books every month.” Now both Ramesvara and Radhavallabha were walking together beside Srila Prabhupada, with Tamala Krishna Goswami and Brahmananda Swami walking on his other side.

“One book every month,” Srila Prabhupada said, as if thinking out loud and considering it. “That means over one year. It is not fast enough.” The other devotees looked over at Ramesvara and Radhavallabha, who glanced at each other.

“You have to do all the books in two months’ time,” Srila Prabhupada said again. They had clearly heard it this time, and the two managers were stunned in disbelief.

“Srila Prabhupada,” Ramesvara said, “I think that’s impossible. Maybe we can go faster . . .”

Srila Prabhupada suddenly stopped walking. Planting his cane firmly in the sand, he turned to Ramesvara and said, without anger but very gravely, “Impossible is a word found in the fool’s dictionary.”

Suddenly Ramesvara realized his spiritual life was on the line. To say “impossible” now would mean he had no faith in Krishna’s representative, no faith in the power of God. He must throw away his material estimations and rational common sense.

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The Real Final Order


The Real Final Order
10/25/1998 – 2410
Editorial (VNN) – by Sriman Locanananda Prabhu 
Submitted on the disappearance day of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

During what Srila Prabhupada thought might be his final days, he summoned his GBC representatives from all over the world to come to his bedside in May of 1977. He was about to pronounce his final instruction concerning how the movement should be expanded after he was no longer physically present to oversee things. When he was specifically asked how initiations would be performed in the future, he replied that he would recommend some of his GBC men to act as officiating acharyas in his absence. This was a momentous pronouncement. He was going to create the post of officiating acharya by naming some of his disciples to initiate on his behalf. They would actually be gurus, but would act as representatives of the acharya in initiating members into Srila Prabhupada’s movement after His Divine Grace had left this world. Although everyone present said that this instruction was understood, in the twenty-one years since this revelation, not a single ISKCON guru has called himself an “officiating acharya”. This has produced a contrary result.

To resolve the conflict and ongoing debate between the proponents of “ritvik” initiation and ISKCON’s official interpretation of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, we must find a common denominator upon which both parties can agree. That one camp is ready to excommunicate or overthrow the other is causing a massive headache in the minds of peaceful devotees everywhere. With the greatest urgency, the fracture in our movement must be healed before it becomes a permanent schism. To avoid causing further embarrassment to our spiritual master, and to protect innocent devotees and well-wishers of the Krishna consciousness movement from the devastating effect of our fratricidal follies, all followers of Srila Prabhupada should stop their sabre rattling and calmly consider how to resolve their differences.

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Forever Grateful to Srila Prabhupada


Forever Grateful to Srila Prabhupada
By Sriman Padmapani Prabhu

Thinking back to the late sixties and early seventies, I fondly remember how the Hare Krsna mantra had already infiltrated contemporary culture due to Srila Prabhupada’s extraordinary efforts to spread the holy names throughout the world. A number of famous musicians and artists had begun to discover the chanting and were promoting it in their records and books.

For example, the Broadway musical “Hair” was a big hit and the accompanying record — which included the chanting of Hare Krsna — became a popular staple on the radio. George Harrison recorded the song “My Sweet Lord” with the melodious chanting of Krsna’s names in the background, and prior to that, the words “Hare Krsna” could be found on one of the Beatles’ albums. Poet Allen Ginsberg, a self-styled leader of the new counterculture, had visited India and picked up the mantra there. He subsequently wrote about the chanting in at least one or more of his poetry books. After meeting Prabhupada at 26 Second Avenue in the Lower East Side of New York, Ginsberg increased his dedication to the holy names and often chanted them during “be-ins” and poetry readings. When John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their famous “bed-in” at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal in 1969, the devotees were there singing Hare Krsna during the recording of “Give Peace a Chance.” The “Radha Krsna Temple” album produced by George Harrison in 1970 in co-operation with the London devotees could be found in record stores throughout Europe and North America. Such was the widespread influence of Srila Prabhupada’s dynamic preaching efforts even though he had only been in the western world for a short period of time. Srila Prabhupada was already expertly fulfilling the order of his spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaj.

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Same solution as desired by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura

Same solution as desired by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
Pradyumna Prabhu (ACBSP): 7 August, 1978

Dear Satsvarupa Maharaj,

Please accept my most humble obeisances.

Maharaj, I am writing you this letter with GREAT anxiety in my heart and after days and days and long nights of thought and careful consideration.

I have been staying in Vrndavan for some time and have not visited any other center recently except Delhi. Therefore, my information I have about what is happening at our other centers comes only from devotees visiting here, occasional letters, newsletters and our society’s magazine and other publications. But the news I hear from these sources is very alarming and therefore I am writing you in some anxiety.

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