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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Krishna Consciousness is for Everyone

…In order for his movement to be successful, Srila Prabhupada emphasized that there is no room for politics in Krsna consciousness: “Politics means planning for one’s own happiness. That is politics. So in our society there should be no diplomacy, no politics. Everyone should be eager how to do good for others. That is Vaisnava.”

Krishna Consciousness is for Everyone
By Sriman Padmapani Prabhu

Oftentimes those who are practicing Krsna consciousness are challenged that merely tending to spiritual life can’t possibly solve one’s problems in the real world. How can chanting Hare Krsna help someone who is constantly worried about putting food on their dinner table? So-called spiritual solutions seem vague and impractical. However, if we make the effort to study Srila Prabhupada’s teachings in full, we soon discover that he was always down-to-earth along with being committed to living and preaching a godly life.

In early 1974, Srila Prabhupada instructed his leading disciples to start organizing his movement according to the principles of varnasrama-dharma: “Everywhere, wherever we have got our centers, a varnasrama college should be established to train all divisions: one class brahmana, one class ksatriya, one class vaisya, and one class sudra” (Srila Prabhupada, Vrindavan, March, 1974). These four divisions of society are described in the 18th chapter of the Bhagavad-gita where Lord Krsna states that such divisions are naturally “in accordance with the modes of nature” (B.G. 18.41). In the varnasrama system, the brahmanas are the priests, the ksatriyas are the administrators, the vaisyas are the producers of food and the sudras are the workers. By co-operating together, these four parts of the social body are able to maintain a healthy and well functioning society. On the basis of Vedic scripture, Srila Prabhupada guaranteed that there would be no scarcity if the principles of varnasrama were properly established in human society. “Come and join us,” he said. “We shall give you food, shelter, everything. This is Krsna consciousness.”

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The Perfect Gentleman

Srila Prabhupada The Perfect Gentleman
By Sriman Padmapani Prabhu

“…we know that as soon as one understands how to deal with God, he will automatically deal very nicely with others.”

“Although there may be some difficulties within our society, these things are not very important. What is important is that we should simply fix our mind on Krishna’s Lotus Feet. This is His instruction in the Bhagavad-gita. So we associate with one another so that we can assist each other in hearing and chanting about Krishna. That is the purpose of our Society.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, November 22, 1974)

On July 29, 1971, Srila Prabhupada was interviewed on television at the University of Gainesville in Florida (which His Divine Grace described as “a remote corner of the world, thousands of miles from the birthplace of Lord Caitanya”).

At one point, Srila Prabhupada was asked the following question:

Interviewer: How would I recognize a true follower of the Krsna consciousness movement by his behavior? What would his traits be? What would his outward expressions be?

Srila Prabhupada: He’d be a very perfect gentleman, that’s all. You could not find any fault in him.

What’s particularly striking about his reply is that Srila Prabhupada never mentioned any external symptoms such as dress, title, social position, or even what religious or spiritual practices one followed. His evidence was the result — or fruit — of spiritual advancement. As he often said, “You can judge a thing by its result.”

Earlier in the conversation, Srila Prabhupada informed the interviewer that, “We are not concerned with how one man deals with another man.” Rather surprised, the interviewer asked, “Isn’t that part of your Krsna consciousness movement?” Srila Prabhupada replied, “No, this is not important because we know that as soon as one understands how to deal with God, he will automatically deal very nicely with others.”

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