Srila Prabhupada’s Sannyasa Initiation

Srila Prabhupada's Sannyasa initiation

(Muni Maharaja, Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami)

Today marks Srila Prabhupada’s acceptance of Sannyasa. Thanks to Prabhupada Connect for so nicely putting together this list list of quotes by Srila Prabhupada on Sannyasa, which we have re-posted here.

Srila Prabhupada’s Sannyasa Initiation

Srila Prabhupada accepted the order of sannyasa from Sri Srimad Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Maharaja on September 17, 1959 at the Kesavaji Math in Mathura. Included below are some relevant quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s lectures and letters.

“When I was householder, several times there was indication given by my Guru Maharaja that I should give up family life and become a sannyasi and preach this Krishna consciousness movement. In several way there was hints from my spiritual master, but still, I was not willing. I was thinking, ‘If I go away, then my family, my sons, my daughters, they will suffer.’ But actually, I have left my family connection in 1950. Actually ’54, but introductory in ’50. For the last twenty years. But they are living; I am living. They are not dying in my absence, and I am not suffering without being in my family. On the other hand, by Krishna’s grace, I have got better family members. I have got nice children in a foreign country. They are taking so much care of me, I could not expect such care from my own children.

So this is God’s grace. We should depend on Krishna. If Krishna is kind, wherever we go, everyone will be pleased, everyone will be kind. And if Krishna is unpleased, even in your family life you’ll not be comfortable. Therefore, according to the Vedic system, at a certain age, it is indicated that one should retire from family life.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Tittenhurst, London, September 12, 1969)

“The Krishna consciousness movement is not that we are asking everyone to become a sannyasi like me, and give up everything. No. That is not our program. You act as a brahmaṇa, as a ksatriya or a vaisya or a sudra. It doesn’t matter. But you try to satisfy Krishna. That is the program.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, December 30, 1972)

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Krishna Conscious Children and the Gṛhastha Ashram

Srila Prabhupada with children

My wife read me following letter this morning, that she saw on FaceBook. It is a letter written by Srila Prabhupada in 1971 to his female disciple Indira devi dasi, and is explaining how to practice household life (gṛhastha ashram) in Krishna consciousness.

My Dear Indira,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter. So far your son leaving you, his parents, at 5 years, that is not necessary. Especially our Krishna Conscious children; they are already living in a asrama. The children of our devotees may live with their parents perpetually because you are all living in the temple and already engaged in devotional service. Other instructions are for those not engaged in Krishna Consciousness. Any family engaged in Krishna’s service is living not in this material world. Such a home is considered as Vaikuntha. That is the verdict of Bhaktivinode Thakura.

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The Singing Sadhu

Acyutananda das

It was my good fortune to finally meet one of my singing mentors, and God-brother, the legendary Acyutananda das, at the Festival of Inspiration held annually at the New Vrindavan farm community in West Virginia. He was a very likable character and willingly signed my 1974 copy of the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas. He opened the Festival of Inspiration with a Question and Answer session, answering all kinds of questions on the “Early Days”, “India”, “Life with Srila Prabhupada”, “Spiritual Life” etc., etc. with his own blend of sarcastic humor, wit, and intellectual powers. It was quite enjoyable and enlightening. He is a very ‘real’, unpretentious fellow, and as I said very likable.

In honor of our visit with him we are posting the Foreword from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acarays, wherein Srila Prabhupada is giving his thanks and blessings:

…I confer all my blessings upon Acyutananda Swami for his genuine attempt to advance in Krishna consciousness. I hope he will attempt to advance more and more and never be hampered my maya. We should always remember the danger of maya’s influence and endeavor to save ourselves from her great power. We must therefore always merge in the transcendental mellow of kirtana-rasa, for kirtana-rasa is the safest situation within this material world. Hare Krishna.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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Srila Prabhupada at Radha Damodar Temple

Srila Prabhupada at Radha Damodar Temple

“I eternally reside in my rooms at the Radha Damodara Temple” [Srila Prabhupada]

His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the foremost preacher of Krsna Consciousness in the world, first came to live in Radha Damodar Temple in 1959 after accepting the sannyasa order of life. The sevaite of the temple, Sri Gaurachanda Goswami, approached Srila Prabhupada and invited him to come and live there since it was the eternal home of Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Jiva Goswami.

Srila Prabhupada took two rooms, one that acted as a kitchen, the other as a study where he would write.

In the early morning at Radha Damodar Temple, Srila Prabhupada would write and chant japa. He would then circumambulate the samadhis of Jiva Goswami and Rupa Goswami. At 10:00 he would go and take darsana of the other temples of Vrndavana, purchase vegetables and return by 11:00 to cook. Using a kerosene burner and a three-tiered cooker, he would prepare rice, dahl, potatoes, chapattis and subji. He would eat once a day and take some hot milk at night. In the afternoon he would rest for 15 minutes and resume his writing after honoring Radha Damodar Raj bhoga prasadam.

From his kitchen he would gaze out of the small window into the courtyard where Rupa Goswami’s samadhi mandir is situated. He later said that he received great inspiration from Rupa Goswami and that his plans for spreading Krsna Consciouness were formulated during his years at the Radha Damodar Temple.

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