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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Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day

Back to Godhead - Volume 01, Number 68 - 1974

His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda’s Disappearance Day, Lecture
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Los Angeles, December 13, 1973

Prabhupāda:

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhūtale śrīmate bhaktisiddhānta sarasvatīti nāmine

Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura passed away from this material world on 31st December, 1936. So almost forty years past. So there are two phases, prakaṭa and aprakaṭa, appearance and disappearance. So we have nothing to lament on account of disappearance because Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa’s devotee… Not only devotees, even the nondevotees, nobody disappears. Nobody disappears because every living entity… As Kṛṣṇa is eternal… It is confirmed in the Vedic literature, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām. The description of the Supreme Lord is that He is also nitya, eternal, and the living entities are also eternal. But He is the chief eternal. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām. So qualitatively, there is no difference between Kṛṣṇa and the living entities. And quantitatively, there is difference. What is the difference between nitya, the singular number nitya, and the plural number nitya? The plural number nitya is subordinate, eternal servants of the singular number nitya. Just like if you want to serve somebody, so the master is also exactly like you. He has got two hands, two legs, or the same sentiments. He also eats. Everything is same there. But the difference is the master and the servant. That’s all. Otherwise, equal in every respect. More

Summer Sessions With Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada at Airport

As a young devotee/book distributor, we were always anxious to see the new Back to Godhead Magazines “Hot off the Press”, and distribute them to the public. This was one article written by Visakha devi dasi that I fondly remember. Whenever I got tired out on book distribution, I would think of Srila Prabhupada’s rigorous schedule, and it would inspire me to continue on. Srila Prabhupada was tireless in his preaching and generous in giving others his divine association.

Summer Sessions With Srila Prabhupada
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1975, Vol. 10, No 10
Article by Visakha devi dasi

In five cities and on a transcontinental jet, His Divine Grace spends a typical month at his favorite pastime—teaching Krsna Consciousness.

He’s probably logged as much flight time in the past ten years as any other traveling emissary. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has gone around the world twelve times visiting his ISKCON centers, lecturing and insuring a high standard of spiritual life among his disciples. The author traveled with him this past summer as he shuttled from West to East coast and back again, holding informal meetings and having dialogues with those who came to ask questions no one else could answer.

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The Supreme Occupation

wooden toolbox

For some reason I woke up this morning thinking about this very important verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam;

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati

The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.

I was trying to recall the two occupational paths; the path of sense enjoyment, and the path of renunciation, and the sanskrit words for them. I remembered that the verse and purport was in the first canto, chapter two, so I looked it up and there was the two words my mind was searching for;

“The Vedas prescribe two different types of occupation for the human being. One is called the pravṛtti-mārga, or the path of sense enjoyment, and the other is called the nivṛtti-mārga, or the path of renunciation.”

Both good words for your vaisnava vocabulary. But anyway, as I was searching this verse, I realized just how important this particular verse was. Srila Prabhupada lectured on this verse 13 times. And in one Lecture given by His Divine Grace in Montreal, August 3rd, 1968, Srila Prabhupada begins by saying…

“The real aim of life is how to get satisfaction, full, complete satisfaction. And that satisfaction, complete satisfaction, can be achieved only by prosecution of devotional service. There is no other method. If you want to be happy, free from all cares and anxieties, then you have to engage yourself in devotional servece of the Lord. That will make you free from all material miseries. We are all seeking after that position, how to become completely happy. Our whole struggle for existence…Anyone, in any place, any country, they are all struggling how to become happy. This happiness of the mind, atma, is only possible when we are engaged in Krsna consciousness. That is the only remedy. There is no other alternative.” (Srimad Bhagavatam Lecture Aug. 3, 1968)

I guess this was what I needed to hear this morning before leaving for work.

Full text and purport More

Śrīla Prabhupāda Praṇati

Prabhupada's Vyasasana

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Śrīla Prabhupāda Praṇati

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine

namah–obeisances; om–address;visnu-padaya–unto him who is at the feet of Lord Visnu;krsna-presthaya–who is very dear to Lord Krsna;bhu-tale–on the earth;srimate–all beautiful;bhaktivedanta-svamin–A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami;iti–thus;namine–who is named

I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, who is very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.

namas te sārasvate deve gaura-vāṇī-pracāriṇe
nirviśeṣa-śūnyavādi-pāścātya-deśa-tāriṇe

namah–obeisances;te–unto you;sarasvate deve-servant of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami;gaura-vani–the message of Lord Caitanya;pracarine–who are preaching;nirvisesa–impersonalism;sunyavadi–voidism;pascatya–Western;desa–countries;
tarine–who are delivering

Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvatī Gosvāmī. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.

Vyasasana decorations by Lokadrsti devi dasi

Sri-Guru-Carana-Padma

Sri-Guru-Carana-Padma
By Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, is performed here by Acyutananda dasa.

Sri-Guru-Carana-Padma
by Narottama dasa Thakura
From Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

śrī-guru-caraṇa-padma, kevala-bhakati-sadma,
bando muñi sāvadhāna mate
jāhāra prasāde bhāi, e bhava toriyā jāi,
kṛṣṇa-prāpti hoy jāhā ha’te

The lotus feet of our spiritual master are the only way by which we can attain pure devotional service. I bow to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his grace one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Krsna.

guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koribo aikya,
ār nā koriho mane āśā
śrī-guru-caraṇe rati, ei se uttama-gati,
je prasāde pūre sarva āśā

My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth. Attachment to his lotus feet is the perfection that fulfills all desires.

cakṣu-dān dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei,
divya jñān hṛde prokāśito
prema-bhakti jāhā hoite, avidyā vināśa jāte,
vede gāy jāhāra carito

He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth. From him ecstatic prema emanates; by him ignorance is destroyed. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.

śrī-guru karuṇā-sindhu, adhama janāra bandhu,
lokanāth lokera jīvana
hā hā prabhu koro doyā, deho more pada-chāyā,
ebe jaśa ghuṣuk tribhuvana

Our spiritual master is the ocean of mercy, the friend of the poor, and the lord and master of the devotees. O master! Be merciful unto me. Give me the shade of your lotus feet. Your fame is spread all over the three worlds.

Srila Prabhupada

“By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Kṛṣṇa. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master.”

Dedication to
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Founder-Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

tvaṁ naḥ sandarśito dhātrā
dustaraṁ nistitīrṣatām
kaliṁ sattva-haraṁ puṁsāṁ
karṇa-dhāra ivārṇavam

“We think that we have met Your Goodness by the will of providence, just so that we may accept you as captain of the ship for those who desire to cross the difficult ocean of Kali, which deteriorates all the good qualities of a human being.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.22)

On the order of his spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda began translating and writing Vedic literature in the English language to bring the message of Lord Kṛṣṇa to the Western countries. After decades of struggle in India, he came to the West and started the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Later on he created the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, to publish his writings and recordings of his lectures, conversations, etc. The VedaBase has been created so that this great treasurehouse of knowledge may be preserved and propagated and so that all may take advantage of the wisdom and association of the pure devotee of Lord Krishna.

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Matchless Gifts; Summer 1966

…Srila Prabhupada was lecturing from the Bhagavad-gita…then, incredibly, midway through the lecture, an old white-haired begrizzled Bowery bum entered the storefront and walked right through the middle of the room, past all of us who sat in shocked silence, and on up towards Srila Prabhupada, who sat beneath the back windows. I didn’t know what he was about to do, but I noticed that he was carrying a package of paper handtowels and a couple of rolls of toilet paper. He didn’t say a word, but walked right past Srila Prabhupada and carefully placed the hand-towels by the sink and the toilet paper on the floor under the sink. Then, clearing his throat and saying something incoherent, he turned around and walked out. No one knew what to say and no one knew whether or not Srila Prabhupada had been insulted.

“Just see,” Srila Prabhupada suddenly said. “He has just begun his devotional service. That is the process. Whatever we have—it doesn’t matter what—we must offer it for Krsna’s service.”

Sleepers Awake!
New York: Summer 1966
By Hayagriva das

Excerpted from ‘Back To Godhead’ Magazine
1970-1973 Vol.1, No. 46

When I first met my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I felt that there was never a time when I did not know him. I never tire of telling of my first meeting with him on the streets of Lower East Side New York. At the time, I was hurrying from my Mott Street apartment, which had become a refuge for psychedeliacs, to a much quieter apartment on Fifth Street where I hoped to get some peace. I was walking down Houston Street and across Bowery, past the rushing traffic and stumbling derelicts, and after crossing Bowery, just before Second Avenue, I saw His Divine Grace jauntily strolling down the sidewalk, his head high in the air, his hand in a beadbag. He struck me like a famous actor in a very familiar movie. He seemed ageless, though later I found out that he was seventy years old. He was wearing the traditional saffron colored robes of a sannyasi, the renounced order, and quaint white shoes with points. Coming down Houston Street, he looked like the genie that popped out of Aladdin’s lamp. I was fresh from a trip to India, and His Divine Grace reminded me of the many holy men I had recently seen walking the dirt roads of Hardwar and Rishikesh and bathing in the Ganges. I had gone to India to look for a guru but had returned disappointed. It was on this bright July morning, when I was least expecting it, that Sri Krsna, out of His infinite mercy, sent guru to me. The old Vedic adage—by the grace of Krsna you get guru, and by the grace of guru you get Krsna—was justified. Afterwards, Srila Prabhupada (as we were later to call him) often told me, “If you are sincere, you don’t have to search out your guru. Krsna will send him.” So amid the hot clang and clamor of Houston and Bowery, guru had found me out.

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Kṛṣṇa, the Reservoir of Pleasure

Kṛṣṇa, the Reservoir of Pleasure
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Kṛṣṇa—this sound is transcendental. Kṛṣṇa means the highest pleasure. All of us, every living being, seeks pleasure. But we do not know how to seek pleasure perfectly. With a materialistic concept of life, we are frustrated at every step in satisfying our pleasure because we have no information regarding the real level on which to have real pleasure. For the last few weeks we have been learning that we are not this body; we are consciousness. Not exactly consciousness, for consciousness is actually the symptom of our real identity: we are pure soul, now merged within this material body. Modern material science lays no stress on this; therefore the scientists are sometimes misled in their understanding of spirit soul. But spirit soul is a fact, which anyone can understand by the presence of consciousness. Any child can understand that consciousness is the symptom of the spirit soul.

Now the whole process we are trying to learn from the Bhagavad-gītā (The Song of God) is how to bring ourselves to this level of consciousness. And if we act from the level of consciousness, then we may not be pushed again into the level of this bodily conception; and, if we can continue on that level, if we can continue to act in pure consciousness, then, at the end of this body we shall be free from material contamination, our spiritual life will be revived, and the ultimate result will be that in our next life, after leaving this body, we shall have our full, eternal spiritual life. Spirit, as we have already discussed, is described as eternal.

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July 9th Letter

Some of our readers may or my not be familiar with the famous July 9th Letter; which was Srila Prabhupada’s final instruction on initiation. This is also the main point of contention in the Battle over ISKCON Bangalore. ISKCON Bangalore’s position is that Srila Prabhupada is the Founder-Acarya of ISKCON, and will continue to give diksha (initition) through the process of Rittik initiation, and guide all devotees in ISKCON to the abode of Lord Sri Krishna. Whereas ISKCON Mumbai’s position is that since Srila Prabhupada is no longer physically present, one should take diksa (initiation) from one of the present ISKCON gurus.

I applaud the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore in their Struggle for Truth, and their courageous stand for honesty and justice.

July 9th Letter Text More

Lifting of Govardhana Hill

Lifting Govardhana Hill


Today is the celebration of Govardhana-puja, so let us remember the Wonderful activies of Krishna which surpass the activies of all men.

Without understanding the intricacies of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and without knowing His uncommon spiritual opulences, the innocent cowherd boys and men of Vṛndāvana began to discuss the wonderful activities of Kṛṣṇa which surpass the activities of all men.

One of them said, “My dear friends, considering His wonderful activities, how is it possible that such an uncommon boy would come and live with us in Vṛndāvana? It is really not possible. Just imagine! He is now only seven years old! How was it possible for Him to lift Govardhana Hill in one hand and hold it up just like the king of elephants holds a lotus flower? To lift a lotus flower is a most insignificant thing for an elephant, and similarly Kṛṣṇa lifted Govardhana Hill without exertion.

KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead – 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vol. 1, Chapter 26

Devastating Rainfall in Vṛndāvana

When Indra understood that the sacrifice offered by the cowherd men in Vṛndāvana was stopped by Kṛṣṇa, he became angry, and he vented his anger upon the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, who were headed by Nanda Mahārāja, although Indra knew perfectly well that Kṛṣṇa was personally protecting them. As the director of different kinds of clouds, Indra called for the sāṁvartaka. This cloud is invited when there is a need to devastate the whole cosmic manifestation. The sāṁvartaka was ordered by Indra to go over Vṛndāvana and inundate the whole area with an extensive flood. Demonically, Indra thought himself to be the all-powerful supreme personality. When demons become very powerful, they defy the supreme controller, Personality of Godhead. Indra, though not a demon, was puffed up by his material position, and he wanted to challenge the supreme controller. He thought himself, at least for the time being, as powerful as Kṛṣṇa. Indra said, “Just see the impudence of the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana! They are simply inhabitants of the forest, but being infatuated with their friend Kṛṣṇa, who is nothing but an ordinary human being, they have dared to defy the demigods.”

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Letter to Hansadutta from Tamal Krishna Goswami, dated 10 July 1977

Letter to Hansadutta from Tamal Krishna Goswami
July 10th, 1977

My Dear Hansadutta Maharaja:

Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. Srila Prabhupada has received your letters dated July 4th and July 5th, 1977 respectively, and has instructed me to reply them.

Srila Prabhupada was very pleased to hear how you have organized everything in Ceylon, and that so many people are now taking interest seriously is proof of the effectiveness of your preaching. His Divine Grace said, “You are a suitable person and you can give initiation to those who are ready for it. I have selected you among eleven men as “rittvik” or representative of the acharya, to give initiations, both first and second initiation, on my behalf.” A newsletter is being sent to all Temple Presidents and GBC in this regard, listing the eleven representatives selected by His Divine Grace. Those who are initiated are the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and anyone who you deem fit and initiate in this way, you should send their names to be included in Srila Prabhupada’s “Initiated Disciples” book. In this way the Temple Presidents will send their recommendations for initiation direct to the nearest representative who will give a spiritual name or chant on the Gayatri thread just as Srila Prabhupada has been doing.
Srila Prabhupada smiled very broadly when he heard of the successful program organized by the local people in which 2000 persons attended. When he heard that you have introduced a full feasting program on Sundays, he said, “You are a good cook, so teach others now how to cook just as I taught you.”

Regarding the printing going slowly, His Divine Grace stated, “Never mind. Go surely. It doesn’t matter slowly.” I inquired from Pradyumna Prabhu about the Sinhalese translation which you mentioned. He said that “On Chanting Hare Krishna Mantra” was translated into Sinhalese, and that translation is in his trunk in Bombay. We will try to get it to you as soon as possible. I do not know if Gopal Krishna has any Tamil manuscript, but if he does, when I see him in about ten days, I will tell him to send it to you. You may also write him directly. Pradyumna says it will be faster just to get a new translationÑit is only one page.

Srila Prabhupada was very glad to know that you would try to bring some Ceylonese devotees to Mayapur and said, “Oh, that is very good!” He did not know whether the story about Bhaktisiddhanta’s disciples seeing a man eating a rat was true or not. Regarding the exact position of Sri Lanka, this is the opinion of some people. Srila Prabhupada advised that we not discuss this matter publicly at this time. Prabhupada also recommended that from Hari Sauri you take ghee. He said that you could have one fifth of whatever Hari Sarui sends to India. Regarding whether you should use the name Swami or Goswami, Srila Prabhupada said, “Stick to one. Swami is better.”

Your servant,
Tamal Krishna Goswami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada

Role Of The Rittvik Representatives Of The Acharya


Role Of The Rittvik Representatives Of The Acharya
By Sriman Hansadutta Prabhu — January 7, 1999 VNN2806

“You are a suitable person and you can give initiation to those that are ready for it. I have selected you among eleven men as ‘Rittvik representative of the Acharya, to give initiations, both first and second initiation, on my behalf.’ A newsletter is being sent to all temple presidents and GBC in this regard, listing the eleven representatives selected by His Divine Grace. Those who are initiated are the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and anyone whom you deem fit and initiate in this way, you should send their names to be included in Srila Prabhupada’s ‘Initiated disciples’ book.”

EDITORIAL, Jan 7 (VNN) — The discussions that took place on 28th May 1977 between Srila Prabhupada and some GBC regarding initiations in the future were not known to me till years after his disappearance. Srila Prabhupada would say many things on many subjects, but unless a particular policy was written in letter form, or some other legal document such discussions on different matters were not accepted as final. Prabhupada often said you can say anything, but do not put it in writing; writing makes it legal.

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Bhakti Caru Swami’s Disappearance Day offering to Srila Prabhupada 2010


Disappearance Day offering to Srila Prabhupada
June 16, 2010
By Bhakti Caru Swami

Why do we hesitate to tell a new comer who is searching for a guru that Srila Prabhupada, the best guru the world has ever seen, is still here, and one can surrender unto him and go back to Godhead very easily? When we have such a great good fortune, why do we not take full advantage of it?

…Prabhupada did not say anything and then in a very soft voice he told me, “Didn’t I teach you that the spirit soul is eternal and he never dies?”

That one statement gave me a profound realization: how could the person who taught me that the spirit soul never dies ever die himself? He will always be with us, although some day he may disappear from our mundane vision.

But today, when I look back, I can see that soon after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance we took it for granted that Srila Prabhupada is not here any more – like any other mortal, as he left his body, he is no more. I very strongly feel that this is the greatest mistake we have made. And as a result, ISKCON today is in such a critical condition. Now that we assembled here to celebrate Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance pastime, once and for all let us recognize that Srila Prabhupada has not gone away.

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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