Thursday, 16 June 2016



Prabhupada:So-called gurus, they are so-called gurus. They are not gurus. That is already explained. If one does not speak what Krsna speaks, he is not guru. If you accept so-called guru, that is your misfortune. What can be done?
Pusta Krsna: Some of them will say some things that Krsna says, but they’ll take from other places also. What is the position of such persons?
Prabhupada: He’s MOST DANGEROUS. He’s MOST DANGEROUS. He is OPPORTUNIST. HE’S FINDING OUT CUSTOMER, SOMETHING HERE… ACCORDING TO THE CUSTOMER HE IS GIVING SOMETHING, AS THE CUSTOMERS WILL BE PLEASED. SO HE IS NOT GURU. He’s a servant. He wants to serve the so-called disciples so that he may be satisfied and pay him something. He’s servant. He’s not guru. Guru is the master. You cannot disobey guru. But if you become a servant, you want to please the disciple by flattering him to get his money, then you are not guru, you are servant. Just like a servant pleases the master. He’s not guru. He’s servant. So our position should be servant, yes, but servant of the Supreme. So guru means heavy. You cannot utilize him for satisfying your whims. That is not guru.



Antya 5.71
One is forbidden to accept the guru, or spiritual master, as an ordinary human being (gurusu nara-matih). When Ramananda Raya spoke to Pradyumna Misra, Pradyumna Misra could understand that Ramananda Raya was not an ordinary human being. A spiritually advanced person who acts with authority, as the spiritual master, speaks as the Supreme Personality of Godhead DICTATES FROM WITHIN. Thus it is not he that is personally speaking. WHEN A PURE DEVOTEE OR SPIRITUAL MASTER SPEAKS, WHAT HE SAYS SHOULD BE ACCEPTED AS HAVING BEEN DIRECTLY SPOKEN BY THE SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD IN THE PARAMPARA SYSTEM.



Bali-mardana: In other words, when you decide that someone is to be in charge of a particular temple does Krsna tell you that this person should be in charge.
Interviewer: Or do you by judging him say this person is qualified.
Ramesvara: Because intelligence, our philosophy is that intelligence comes from Krsna. So if I have some…
Interviewer: And your philosophy is that your daily necessities come from Krsna as well.
Ramesvara: Yes, try to understand. Suppose my intelligence sees that this person is qualified, that means Krsna has told me.
Interviewer: Does that apply then to other kinds of decisions and other kinds of activities as well?

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Inner Meanings of Krishna’s Pastimes

            This list of obstacles or anarthas to Vraja-bhajana, that are indicated in the inner meanings of the pastimes of Lord Krishna, come from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Caitanya Siksastakam. The demons manifesting in Vraja Gokula on earth have symbolic significance. They are not found in the spiritual world. There they appear only as rumors or impressions, not actual threats to their pastimes.

            By reading these namittika (occasional) lilas or pastimes of killing the twenty demons mentioned in the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the sadhakaor spiritual practitioner, purifies his heart of all the impediments, obstacles, anarthas and aparadhas, or offenses. Then one becomes eligible to read, reflect upon and taste the asta-kaliya-lilas of Radha-Krishna.

            Until one reaches the platform of bhava-bhakti, it is necessary to cultivate devotion by meditating on both the naimittika and asta-kaliya lilas. By reading and remembering the asta-kaliya lilas Bhavanasara Sangraha, Krsnahnika Kaumudi), one gets a taste of the loving mood of madhura-rasa. By understanding and appreciating the naimittika lilas, a devotee will destroy all the obstacles to tasting the bhakti rasawithin Radha Krishna’s eternal pastimes. With a sincere desire to become purified of all material contaminations, one should read all the below- mentioned pastimes from the tenth canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. With all humility, one should pray to Krishna and Balarama to remove the impurities within oneself personified by the demons whom they killed.

            The demons killed by Krishna in the tenth canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam represent anarthas(impurities or obstacles) preventing a devotee from attaining pure love for Radha and Krishna. These undesirable impurities and demoniac qualities must be completely uprooted from the core of one’s heart. Only cent percent pure devotees of Krishna can live eternally in Vrindavana blissfully serving the Divine Couple.

            If a devotee cries out humbly and sincerely to Lord Sri Krishna to remove these demoniac qualities which are represented by the demons killed by Lord Krishna, then Sri Krishna Himself will remove those evils. But the devotees must personally work to drive out the anarthas represented by the demons killed by Lord Balarama. This is a mystery of Vraja-bhajana. The aspirant must personally remove these strong impediments with his best care and efforts and by obtaining the mercy of Krishna. If the devotee’s humility becomes very deep and intense, Krishna will be merciful. In that case, the feeling of Lord Balarama will arise in his mind and quickly destroy these demoniac qualities. Then one will gradually improve his cultivation of bhajana, meaning the hearing, chanting and meditating on the pastimes of Lord Krishna.




1. Brahma–vimohana-lila,

Chapter 13, taking the cowherd boys


Attachment to awe and reverence instead of Krishna’s sweetness

2. Trinavarta Demon–Chapter 7


Attachment to false arguments

3. Putana–Ch. 6


Accepting arguments as your guru

4. The Forest Fire–Ch. 17 & 19


Pointless of them, not accepting proper instructions

5. Liberation of the yamala-arjuna trees–Ch. 10


Due to wealth and high birth

6. Trinavarta Demon–Ch. 7


With atheists believing in chemical or Godless evolution

7. Trinavarta Demon–Ch. 7


With proud people

8. Trinavarta Demon–Ch. 7


With dry logicians
9. Vyomasura–Ch. 37


Giving up association with false, deceitful devotees

10. Putana Demoness–Ch. 6


To enjoyment and salvation

11. Forest fire–Ch. 17 & 19

Battles & Conflict

Fighting mental enemies or looking for fight with others due to ego

12. Trinavarta Demon–Ch. 7

Buddhist philosophy

Trapped in the whirlwind of

13. Bakasura–Ch. 11

Cheating propensity

Tendency to disobey the instructions of guru & Krishna due to material attachment

14. Aghasura–Ch. 12


Lack of it for others

15. Kaliya–Ch. 16


Illegal, dishonest, bent out of shape

16. Liberation of the yamala-arjuna trees–Ch. 10


In any form by the actions of one’s body, mind or words

17. Kaliya–Ch. 16

Cruelty & unkindness

Due to envy of other living entities

18. Bakasura–Ch. 11


Skilled at deceiving people

19. Liberation of the yamala-arjuna trees–Ch. 10


Indulging in sex, alcohol and drugs

20. Liberation of the yamala-arjuna trees–Ch. 10


To drinking alcohol

21. Stopping Indra-puja–Ch. 24 & 25


Attachment to worshipping different demigods for fruits even after initiation

22. Brahma-vimohana-lila–Ch. 13, taking the cowherd boys


Illusions about the Absolute Truth and position of Krishna

23. Sankhachuda–Ch. 34


Destroying the desire for name and fame

24. Sankhachuda–Ch. 34

      Vyomasura–Ch. 37


Prematurely leaving Vaidhi-bhakti (regulated service) to practice Raganuga-bhakti (spontaneous service); but if one doesn’t attain spiritual attachment to Krishna, he then cultivates perverted material attachments, becoming only a show-bottle devotee.

25. Forest fire–Ch. 17 & 19


Against the opinion of others

26. Pralambasura–Ch. 18


For position, worship and money

27. Vatsasura–Ch. 11


Performing bad activities due to greed

28. Sakatasura–Ch. 7


Bad–Both old & new; a load bearing down on one’s Bhakti (devotion)

29. Aghasura–Ch. 12


Toward others; a tendency to harass them

30. Liberation of the yamala-arjuna trees–Ch. 10


Toward others because of pride in one’s birth and money

31. Forest fire–Ch. 17 & 19


Inner hatred towards other communities and groups

32. Pralambasura–Ch.18


Desire for honor

33. Dhenukasura–Ch. 15

Holy Name

Ignorance about the oneness of Krishna, the person, and His holy name

34. Bakasura–Ch. 11


In behavior–pretending to have higher standards

35. Dhenukasura–Ch. 15


About one’s relationship with Krishna

36. Pralambasura–Ch. 18

Illicit or Unnecessary Sex

Removing the desire for sexual pleasure and attachment to it

37. Keshi Demon–Ch. 37


Freedom from the illusion of thinking “I am a great devotee or acharya.”

38. Aghasura–Ch. 12


Inability to tolerate ideas or behavior different from yours

39. Releasing Nanda Maharaja from Varuna–Ch.28


Destroying the idea, “I can increase my bliss by intoxication.”

40. Dhenukasura–Ch. 15


Loss of knowledge concerning one’s spiritual identity

41. Ritualistic Brahmins–Ch. 23


(rituals for fruitive results)

Becoming indifferent to bhakti due to absorption in karma-kandiya activities

42. Sakatasura–Ch. 37


Due to bad habits or attachment to the mode of ignorance

43. Vyomasura–Ch. 37


Tendency to speak falsehood

44. Trinavarta–Ch. 7


Attachment to material logic

45. Pralambasura–Ch. 18


An external show of devotion while maintaining lust for opposite sex

46. Vidyadhara liberated–Ch. 34

Mayavada philosophy

Letting the truth of bhakti be swallowed by impersonalistic philosophy

47. Dhenukasura–Ch. 15


Ass-like neophyte mentality which can’t appreciate books or previous acharyas and forbids others to read them

48. Vatsasura–Ch. 11


(that’s immature)

Performing sinful activities due to an immature mind

49. Sakatasura–Ch. 7


Carrying the load of misconceptions and bad philosophies

50. Vatsasura–Ch. 11,


Strong spirit to enjoy and tendency to perform illicit or unnecesssary activities

51. Keshi Demon–Ch. 37


Due to pride, one thinks that he is a great devotee and therefore offensively lords over others

52. Vidyadhara Liberated–Ch. 34


Other than bhakti, those which try to diminish or destroy bhakti

53. Trinavarta Demon–Ch. 7


Pride in scholarship and material learning

54. Keshi Demon–Ch. 37


Pride caused by money and worldly attachments

55. Vyomasura–Ch. 37


Thinking you are more expert in bhakti than other devotees

56. Forest fire–Ch. 17 & 19

Religious practices

Disregard for religious practices of others

57. Sakatasura–Ch. 7

Religious principles

Not understanding the purpose of religious principles; merely carrying the burden of following them due to attachment

58. Forest fire–Ch. 17 & 19


Disagreement with other sampradayas and maths

59. Forest fire–Ch. 17 & 19


Due to sectarianism, you can’t accept anyone outside your group as a Vaishnava

60. Brahma-vimohana lila–Ch. 13, taking the cowherd boys


Unnecessary doubts regarding the path of bhakti

61. Liberation of the yamala-arjuna trees–Ch. 10

Shameful behavior

Breaking of the four religious principles

62. Liberation of the yamala-arjuna trees–Ch. 10


Loose speech; speaking offensively due to one’s birth or money

63. Sankhachuda–Ch. 34

Sense gratification

Desiring to attain sense gratification through bhakti

64. Aristasura–Ch. 36


Negligence or disregard for pure bhakti

65. Vyomasura–Ch. 37


Stealing other’s property

66. Ritualistic Brahmins–Ch. 23


Due to pride and attachment to Varnashrama (social divisions), one neglects Krishna bhakti

67. Sakatasura–Ch. 7

      Kaliya Demon–Ch. 16


Pride in one’s own appearance or achievements

68. Aghasura–Ch. 12


Tendency of the mind to commit violence to others

69. Sankhachuda–Ch. 34


Destroying the desire to unnecessarily associate with women

70. Ritualistic Brahmins–Ch. 23



Attachment to Vedic homas and yajnas (rituals), and thus becoming indifferent to bhakti

            References from Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam which exhibits the removal of the above mentioned anarthas or faults and negative qualities that may reside within us.

            Chapter Six: Explains the story of how the demoness Putana came into the village where the baby Lord Krishna lived and assumed a beautiful form and then tried to kill Him by offering her breast milk to Him after she had put poison on her breast. But Krishna sucked the life air out of her and killed her. Nonetheless, Krishna had accepted her like a mother and she attained liberation, as did all the demons killed by Lord Krishna.

            Chapter Seven: Describes how the Trinavarta demon took the shape of a vast whirlwind and lifted Lord Krishna way up into the sky in order to try to kill Him. But Lord Krishna became so heavy that He brought down the demon so hard the Trinavarta was killed.

            Chapter Ten: This chapter relates how Mother Yashoda tried to tie a rope around Lord Krishna after many attempts, and once Krishna allowed her to do so, she attached one end to a stone. Lord Krishna nonetheless crawled between two yamala-arjuna trees, which had been the demigods Nalakuvera and Manigriva who had been cursed by Narada Muni to stand as trees because of their bad behavior with women. Then when Lord Krishna dragged the stone between the trees, it became stuck until the trees came crashing down, releasing the two demigods from their predicament.

            Chapter Eleven: This relates that during the childhood pastimes of Lord Krishna and His brother Balarama with Their friends, they were attacked by the demon Vatsasura who was in the shape of a calf and entered into the group of other calves in an attempt to get to Lord Krishna, but Krishna caught the demon and twirled him around with great speed until the demon died before he could do anything. Another demon, Bakasura, who had assumed the form of a huge duck with a sharp beak also came there. He was able to devour Lord Krishna who then became like fire in the demon’s throat who then disgorged Him unharmed. The demon again attacked Krishna with his sharp beak, and Krishna took the two halves of the beak in His two arms and split the demon in two, killing the demon.

            Chapter Twelve: This chapter describes how the demon Aghasura, the younger brother of Putana and Bakasura, who assumed the form of a great python, expanded to the length of eight miles and grew as high as a mountain. He lay on the road with his mouth wide open, and Krishna’s friends playfully entered into the demon, being curious about the giant form and feeling confident in Krishna’s protection. Finally, Krishna also entered into the mouth of the demon in order to protect His friends, and then expanded His own body to such an extent that the demon suffocated and died, and then brought all of His friends back to life and out of the demon.

            Chapter Thirteen: Here is the story of how Lord Brahma tried to test the potency of Lord Krishna by taking away all of the cows and cowherd boy friends of Lord Krishna. But after keeping them for a year, Brahma returned to find that the cows and boys were still there, only to realize that they were all expansions of Lord Krishna Himself. Then Lord Brahma realized the potency of Lord Krishna and offered the Lord many prayers.

            Chapter Fifteen: Relates how Lord Krishna and Balarama and Their friends wanted to go to the forest of Talavana to enjoy the tasty fruits there, but were afraid to go for fear of the demon Dhenuka who lived there. So Krishna and His friends went anyway. Then Lord Balarama started to shake the trees to bring down the fruits, and also attracted the demon Dhenuka who attacked Balarama, who grabbed the demon’s hind leg and swung him around and threw him into the top of a tree, thus killing him. Then Dhenuka’s friends also attacked, who were also killed by Krishna and Balarama before they could do any harm to Krishna or His friends, who then continued to enjoy the tasty fruits.

            Chapter Sixteen: This relates the story of how the great serpent Kaliya was living in a lake connected with the Yamuna River in the land of Vrindavana, Krishna’s town. The serpent’s presence poisoned the river. So to purify the water again, Krishna jumped from a tree into the water, playing in it which angered the great demon. When the demon appeared, he quickly grabbed Lord Krishna, greatly upsetting all of the residents of Vrindavana who stood on the shore watching. Krishna then expanded Himself so much that the serpent had to relinquish his grip. Krishna then danced on the numerous hoods of the serpent and gradually tired him out until he vomited blood from his mouths. Understanding the power of Krishna as the unlimited Lord Narayana, Kaliya surrendered his position. Krishna then released the serpent and instructed him to leave the Yamuna and return to Ramanaka Island, which some consider to be Fiji.

            Chapter Seventeen: This chapter relates the history of the Kaliya serpent, but also how a forest fire surrounded the residents of Vrindavana who went to Krishna for protection, and who then swallowed the whole fire to relieve the distress of the people.

            Chapter Eighteen: This chapter gives the story of how Lord Balarama killed the demon of Pralamba who entered the group of cowherd boys as one of the boys and then tried to carry Balarama away by placing Him on his shoulders and carrying Balarama away with him. But Balarama became very heavy, forcing the demon to assume his true and huge form whose head reached the clouds. But Balarama struck the demon’s head so hard that it was shattered and the demon fell to the ground.

            Chapter Nineteen: This chapter explains how Lord Krishna saved the cows and cowherd boys by swallowing another fire that had occurred in the Munjaranya Forest.

            Chapter Twenty-three: In this chapter Lord Krishna asked His friends the cowherd boys, who had said they were hungry, to ask for food from a group of Brahmins who were performing a ritual nearby. But the Brahmins were not interested to help them, thinking that Krishna was an ordinary human. Then Krishna told the boys, as friends of Lord Krishna, to ask the wives of the Brahmins for food. The wives, who had heard of Lord Krishna’s superior qualities, were quick to help and provide food. Thus, they were more fortunate than their husbands, who soon returned home and realized the mistake they made by not offering service to Krishna, while their simple wives had more easily cut the bondage to material existence by their attachment to Lord Krishna.

            Chapter Twenty-four & Twenty-five: These chapters relate the famous story of how Lord Krishna stopped the worship of Lord Indra and replaced it with the worship of Govardhan Hill, which is an expansion of Lord Krishna. Then, when Indra saw this, his pride was affected and he brought incessant rain clouds and storms, forcing everyone to take shelter under Govardhan Hill, which Lord Krishna easily held up for seven days with the little finger of his left hand. When Indra saw this he realized the potency of Lord Krishna and came to humbly offer many prayers to Lord Krishna.

            Chapter Twenty-eight: This chapter tells the story of how Lord Krishna’s father, Nanda Maharaja, mistook the time for taking his early morning bath on the special eleventh day of the lunar month, and bathed at what is considered a forbidden time. A servant of Varuna, the demigod of the ocean, saw this and forcibly took Nanda to Varuna himself. Lord Krishna understood what had happened and went to see Varuna who worshiped Him with great festivity and asked that Lord Krishna forgive his foolish servant for taking Nanda Maharaj. Nanda was amazed to see this influence of his son and told the other residents of Vrindavana, who all thought Krishna must be the Supreme Lord. Then they wanted to see His supreme abode, so Krishna made arrangements that they could have that vision.

            Chapter Thirty-four: This relates how Nanda Maharaja was rescued by Krishna from being swallowed by a huge serpent while he was sleeping. Lord Krishna touched the serpent with His foot and the demigod within was immediately released from his reptilian body. He then offered his homage to Lord Krishna after explaining how he had been cursed to take the form of a serpent. Later, during the Dola-purnima festival in the forest, while everyone was involved in merry-making, a servant of Kubera boldly came forward and began abducting the gopis. The girls began to cry out for Lord Krishna who, with Balarama, began to chase after this Sankhachuda. Though he left the girls aside and ran for his life, Krishna swiftly caught up to give him a blow which removed the jewel he was wearing along with his head. Krishna then brought the jewel back for Lord Balarama.

            Chapter Thirty-six: This chapter describes the killing of the Aristasura demon and how he assumed the form of a huge bull with sharp horns in its attempt to kill Krishna and Balarama. When the bull approached the village, everyone was afraid. When the bull charged toward Lord Krishna, He grabbed him by the horns and threw him away. But the bull still wanted to attack. So Krishna threw him to the ground and thrashed him like a pile of wet clothing, which forced the demon to give up his life.

            Chapter Thirty-seven: This chapter gives the stories of the killing of the demons of Keshi and Vyoma. On the order of King Kamsa, who really wanted to kill Krishna, the Keshi demon assumed the form of a huge horse and went to Vraja. When Krishna saw the demon, He challenged the demon to come near. The demon tried to kill Krishna with his front legs, but Krishna seized them and whirled the demon around and threw him one hundred bow-lengths away where he lay unconscious. But when he regained consciousness, the demon again attacked again with his mouth open. Krishna thrust his arm into the demon’s mouth and expanded it until the demon gave up his life. The demigods showered flowers on Lord Krishna, who showed no pride in merely doing the needful.

            Later, the powerful magician Vyoma, another demon also sent by King Kamsa to kill Krishna, entered the area where Krishna and the cowherd boys were playing games. He abducted several of the boys and kept them in a nearby mountain cave. After he took almost all of the boys, Krishna saw what the demon was doing and went after him. He then grabbed him and thrashed him until he gave up his life, and then rescued all of his cowherd friends and returned to the village of Gokula.

            These are accepted as the stories of Lord Krishna’s pastimes, and also indicate various negative qualities that need to be eradicated from our consciousness if we are to enter into the pastimes of Lord Krishna through our meditation, or through the process of bhakti-yoga by which we can, one day, directly enter the spiritual abode of Lord Krishna.

Artificial and Genuine Svarūpa Siddhi

by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda

Śrī Śrī Guru Gaurāṅgau Jayataḥ

Śrī Gauḍīya Maṭha, Kolkata
17 November 1930

Best of virtuous women,

I became aware of the news through your letter dated the 28th that you went to Vṛndāvana and, from the Vaiṣṇavas there, heard about meditating upon the aṣṭakalīya-līlā (divine eightfold daily pastimes) of Their Lordships Śrī Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. While there can be no doubt about the fact that this topic is highly venerated, those who conceive of this subject matter while their consciousness is riddled with anarthas do not conceive what it truly is.

All those esoteric truths that are revealed solely through one’s advancing practice of chanting the holy names are to be considered the introduction to one’s svarūpa, one’s true spiritual identity. When one becomes free from anarthas, or the unwanted desires of the heart, one’s svarūpa manifests. When one’s svarūpa awakens, one’s perception is automatically admitted into eternal subject matters.

This is not something that can be deceitfully taught to or determined for someone else. In contrast, the revelations one has while submerged in chanting the holy names with a sincere heart should be humbly presented to sādhu and guru (the saintly persons and the spiritual master) so that one’s conception may be refined and approved. This is the genuine process for receiving the eleven aspects of one’s eternal spiritual identity, or svarūpa.

In many places, undiscriminating gurus artificially impose these “revelations” on unqualified sādhakas (practicing devotees). This process cannot be considered a true depiction of svarūpa-siddhi. Those who attain svarūpa-siddhi, or realization of their eternal spiritual form and identity, come to realize their eternal identity of their own accord (svataḥ-siddha); śrī gurudeva merely assists them in making progress in realizing these topics on the path of bhajana (direct, loving devotional-service). I have nothing more to say on this subject. While the sādhaka progresses on the path of perfection, his heart becomes disposed toward service and free from duplicity. All these subjects naturally manifest in such a heart.

With eternal blessings,
Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Srila Prabhupada WILL accept new disciples

Anyone who follows the directions of Srila Prabhupada (as in his order of July 9th),
can now and into the future be accepted by Srila Prabhupada himself, as one of his disciples
In his recent article on the Sampradaya Sun, titled “Automatic?,” Mahavidya Prabhu argues that the supporters of Srila Prabhupada’s rtvik order are denying him his right to reject aspiring disciples. I’ve appreciated Mahavidya’s writing on many occasions,but that accusation is wrong.
There is no need for Srila Prabhupada to accept (or reject) individual disciples now, because historical record shows that he chose to distance himself from that role and delegate it to rtviks instead. This can be shown clearly in four events in 1977:
1. April 22, Tamal Krsna Gosvami tells Srila Prabhupada that he does not think any of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples are qualified at the level of guru, and Srila Prabupada agrees, telling TKG that he is waiting for someone to become qualified. This contradicts any earlier evidence someone may put forward saying that he had authorized gurus. As of April 22, 1977, he had not.
Conspicuously absent is any mention by Srila Prabhupada of how he supposedly authorized everyone to be initiating guru with a private letter to Tusta Krsna swami several years earlier.
2. On May 28, Satsvarupa das Gosvami formally asked Srila Prabhupada how initiations were to continue after his disappearance, and he immediately replied, “Officiating acarya… Rtvik, yes.” As if unsatisfied with this, his disciples brought the conversation around to discussion of gurus, and Srila Prabhupada emphasized it would be upon his order, an order that apparently was never given.
3. Srila Prabhupada signed a document dated July 9, 1977, indicating that the rtviks listed therein were to act on his behalf in accepting disciples, which would then be Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. (TKG mentioned on at Topanga Canyon on Dec. 3, 1980, that Srila Prabhupada told him more rtviks could be added.) With this document, Srila Prabhupada materiallyremoved himself from the decision-making process in accepting disciples, having already clearly established his standard of 16 rounds, 4 regs, etc. Nowhere in this document is there any termination clause or any other contradiction of Srila Prabhupada’s prior expressed choice to employ the rtvik method for accepting disciples in ISKCON after his disappearance.
4. That Srila Prabhupada dismissed himself from the decision of accepting disciples was confirmed on October 18, when the desire of one man to become his disciple was presented to Srila Prabhupada, and Srila Prabhupada referred five times to the “deputies” he had made to go to instead. Reading the conversation gives me the impression that he was a little annoyed at being bothered to verbally accept a disciple when he had already delegated that role.
Leaving aside other supporting evidence for the sake of time and space, these four events clearly illustrate the relevant decision that Srila Prabhupada actually made, to continue accepting disciples after his disappearance via the rtvik method he instituted. Therefore it is far better to focus on honoring Srila Prabhupada’s expressed order rather than worrying that someone might wrongly accept a disciple on his behalf and force Srila Prabhupada to save another soul and deliver another devotee to Krishna against his will. Yeah, it sounds ridiculous. Have we forgotten Srila Prabhupada’s mercy?
The way Mahavidya presented it, one unaware might think Srila Prabhupada was big on rejecting his aspiring disciples. We know he accepted several thousand, including some who were just passing through and many whom he never met. How many did he reject? Mahavidya acts as if he knows of one but yet calls him a disciple, so that suggests Srila Prabhupada accepted him too. I would like to know what, if any, evidence anyone has to suggest that Srila Prabhupada would reject an aspiring disciple who would meet the criteria for initiation that he established for ISKCON. In the absence of such evidence, I find it extremely mislead for anyone to stand in the way of aspiring disciples wanting to take shelter at Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet.
Some, including Mahavidya Prabhu recently if I recall correctly, have presented an argument they seem to find very clever, that if we can be initiated as Srila Prabhupada’s disciples even now, then that means we could just as well be initiated as disciples of any past acarya. They say, devoid of logic, that the rtvik system is invalid because I could become the godbrother of Krishna’s spiritual master, for example. This again ignores the fact that Srila Prabhupada created a worldwide institution and a rtvik method within that institution for accepting disciples in his absence, and he said this was the method to be used after his disappearance. The previous acaryas came in a different time, place, and circumstance, and did not do that. History shows that Srila Prabhupada did.
Others present the idea that somehow a guru cannot accept disciples after his disappearance. I’m not sure whether they think this is a limitation on Krishna’s abilities, on the guru’s, or both.
Considering that an ordinary rich person can give his material wealth after his disappearance to someone he has never met but who meets certain qualifications, I find it impossible to believe that on the spiritual platform a guru cannot give his spiritual wealth in an equivalent situation. Materially, it happens every day. Someone has loads of money and establishes a foundation, with funding, trustees, criteria for awards, etc., and money is given as designated, even after the founder’s death. Srila Prabhupada’s establishment of the rtvik system in ISKCON during his manifest pastimes provides a similar infrastructure, making that system possible even now.
Given that Srila Prabhupada provided the means for accepting disciples after his disappearance, directly said to utilize the rtvik method after his disappearance, widely promulgated a written order following that, referred to the same in laterconversations and letters, and never subsequently contradicting this order… if the “walks like a duck, quacks like a duck” logic is good for anything, then rtvik system is undoubtedly what Srila Prabhupada wanted to do.
Therefore one should accept the decisions Srila Prabhupada made rather than falsely accusing others of stealing from Srila Prabhupada a decision that he formally delegated. Hare Krishna
One question for Krsna dasa: Since, according to you, we can’t have Srila Prabhupada as our guru, then WHO are we supposed to take shelter of? Who is your guru, Krsna dasa?
Second question: Where did Srila Prabhupada ever authorize or order anyone to become diksa gurus? He only authorize them to become ritviks. So, unless you can present evidence to the contrary, I will stick with the system of initiation that Srila Prabhupada DID IN FACT establish, the ritvik system.
Good luck finding such evidence, because according to Tamal Krishna, it does not exist:
You cannot show me anything on tape or in writing where Prabhupada says: “I appoint these eleven as gurus.” It does not exist because he never appointed any gurus. This is a myth.” – (Tamal Krishna Goswami, December 3, 1980)

Four objections to the ritvik system that has been put
forth in this article. Here are some answers to such objections.

FIRST OBJECTION: supporters of Srila Prabhupada’s rtvik order are denying him his right to reject aspiring disciples.
ANSWER: On July 7th, when setting up the ritvik system, Srila Prabhupada states that the ritviks could accept devotees as his disciples without consulting him. Thus, Srila Prabhupada was not involved in the process of screening, or approving new disciples. The ritviks had full authority and discretion. Srila Prabhupada’s physical involvement was not required.
Srila Prabhupada: So without waiting for me, wherever you consider it is right. That will depend on discretion.
Tamal Krishna: On discretion.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.
(Srila Prabhupada Room conversation, 7/7/77, Vrindavan)
Furthermore, the names given by the ritviks would be entered by Tamal Krishna Goswami into the “Initiated disciples” book. Thus, externally at least, Srila Prabhupada would not even have been aware of the disciple’s existence. Consequently, the process now would be the same as it was then, since the ritvik has full power of attorney.
SECOND OBJECTION: that if we can be initiated as Srila Prabhupada’s disciples even now, then that means we could just as well be initiated as disciples of any past acarya.
ANSWER: Two things prevent this from being a bona fide option:
1. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, and other previous acaryas, did not authorise a ritvik system to run “henceforward”.
2. We must approach the current link:
“…in order to receive the real message of Srimad-Bhagavatam one should approach the current link, or spiritual master, in the chain of disciplic succession.” (S.B. 2.9.7, purport)
It is self-evident that Srila Prabhupada is the sampradaya acarya who succeeded Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. Srila Prabhupada is therefore our current link, and is thus the correct person to approach for initiation.
THIRD OBJECTION: Others present the idea that somehow a guru cannot accept disciples after his disappearance.
ANSWER: There is nothing in the July 9th Final Order letter that says the instruction for ritviks was only meant for whilst Srila Prabhupada was physically present. In fact, the only information given supports the continuation of the ritvik system after Srila Prabhupada’s departure. It is significant to note that within the July 9th letter it is stated three times that those initiated would become Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. The GBC in presenting evidence for the current guru system have argued vigorously that Srila Prabhupada had already made it clear that, as far as he was concerned, it was an inviolable law that no one could initiate in his presence. Thus the necessity to state Srila Prabhupada’s ownership of future disciples must indicate that the instruction was intended to operate during a time period when the ownership could even have been an issue, namely after his departure.
For some years Srila Prabhupada had been using representatives to chant on beads, perform the fire yajna, give gayatri mantra etc. No one had ever questioned whom such new initiates belonged to. Right at the beginning of the July 9th letter it is emphatically stated that those appointed are “representatives” of Srila Prabhupada. The only innovation this letter contained then was the formalisation of the role of the representatives; hardly something which could be confused with a direct order for them to become fully-fledged diksa gurus. Srila Prabhupada’s emphasis on disciple ownership would therefore have been completely redundant were the system to operate only in his presence, especially since as long as he was present he could personally ensure that no one claimed false ownership of the disciples. As mentioned above, this point is hammered home three times in a letter which itself was quite short and to the point:
“So as soon as one thing is three times stressed, that means final.” (Srila Prabhupada Bg. Lecture, 27/11/68, Los Angeles)
The July 9th letter states that the names of newly initiated disciples were to be sent “to Srila Prabhupada” – Could this indicate that the system was only to run while Srila Prabhupada was physically present? Some devotees have argued that since we can no longer send these names to Srila Prabhupada, the ritvik system must therefore be invalid.
The first point to note is the stated purpose behind the names being sent to Srila Prabhupada, ie., so they could be included in his “Initiated Disciples” book. We know from the July 7th conversation (please see Appendices) that Srila Prabhupada had nothing to do with entering the new names into this book, it was done by his secretary. Further evidence that the names should be sent for inclusion in the book, and NOT specifically to Srila Prabhupada is given in the letter written to Hamsadutta, the very next day, where Tamala Krishna Goswami explains his new ritvik duties to him:
“…you should send their names to be included in Srila Prabhupada’s ‘Initiated Disciples’ book.” (Letter to Hamsadutta from Tamala Krishna Goswami, 10/7/77)
Their is no mention made here of needing to send the names to Srila Prabhupada. This procedure could easily have continued after Srila Prabhupada’s physical departure. Nowhere in the final order does it state that if the “Initiated Disciples” book becomes physically separated from Srila Prabhupada all initiations must be suspended.
The next point is that the procedure of sending the names of newly initiated disciples to Srila Prabhupada in any case relates to a post-initiation activity. The names could only be sent after the disciples had already been initiated. Thus an instruction concerning what is to be done after initiation cannot be used to amend or in any way interrupt pre-initiation, or indeed initiation procedures (the ritvik’s role being already fulfilled well before the actual initiation ceremony takes place). Whether or not names can be sent to Srila Prabhupada has no bearing on the system for initiation, since at the point where new names are ready to be sent, the initiation has already occurred.
The last point is that if sending the names to Srila Prabhupada were a vital part of the ceremony, then even before Srila Prabhupada’s departure, the system would have been invalid, or at least run the constant risk of being so. It was generally understood that Srila Prabhupada was ready to leave at any time, thus the danger of not having anywhere to send the names was present from day one of the order being issued. In other words, taking the possible scenario that Srila Prabhupada leaves the planet the day after a disciple has been initiated through the ritvik system, according to the above proposition, the disciple would not actually have been initiated simply because of the speed by which mail is delivered. We find no mention in Srila Prabhupada’s books that the transcendental process of diksa, which may take many lifetimes to complete, can be obstructed by the vicissitudes of the postal service. Certainly there would be nothing preventing the names of new initiates being entered into His Divine Grace’s “Initiated Disciples” book even now. This book could then be offered to Srila Prabhupada at a fitting time.
FOURTH OBJECTION: It is absolutely clear that Srila Prabhupada wanted the disciplic succession to continue and not terminate with him.
ANSWER: The disciplic succession, or guru parampara, is eternal; there is no question of it stopping. According to Srila Prabhupada, the Sankirtan Movement, (and hence ISKCON), will only exist for the next 9,500 years. Compared with eternity 9,500 years is nothing, a mere blip in cosmic time. This would appear to be the time period during which Srila Prabhupada shall remain the “current link” within ISKCON, unless he or Krishna countermands the July 9th order, or some external circumstance renders the order impossible to follow (such as total thermo-nuclear annihilation).
Previous acaryas have remained current for long periods of time, thousands (Srila Vyasadeva) or even millions of years (see quote below). We see no reason why the duration of Srila Prabhupada’s reign as “current link”, even if it extends right till the end of the Sankirtan Movement, should pose any particular problem.
Regarding Parampara System: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps [...] 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 hamperfrom understanding the parampara system. We have to pick up the prominent acaryas, and follow from him [...] We have to pick up from the authority of the acarya in whatever sampradaya we belong to.” (Srila Prabhupada Letter to Dayananda, 12/4/68)
Gaps in the Disciplic Succession: Regarding your third question—”Why are there apparent time‐gaps in the line of disciplic succession as listed in the Bhagavad‐gita? Is Arjuna an instructor Spiritual Master and not an initiator Spiritual Master and therefore not listed?” The time gap mentioned by you is inevitable, because the disciplic succession sometimes becomes disconnected, as we find from the Bhagavad‐gita. This is the influence of material energy, and to link it up again, it takes some time. That some time may appear to our calculation a big gap, but in relation with the eternal time, it is not even as instant. So this big gap or small gap of time is relative. Just like our 24 hours and Brahma’s 24 hours, there is much difference. Our 24 hours is not even a fraction of his second….” (Srila Prabhupada Letter to Rupanuga Hawaii 14 March, 1969)
Disciplic Succession does not always mean that one has to be initiated officially
Regarding the disciplic succession coming from Arjuna, disciplic succession does not always mean that one has to be initiated officially. Disciplic succession means to accept the disciplic conclusion. Arjuna was a disciple of Krishna and Brahma was also a disciple of Krishna. Thus there is no disagreement between the conclusions of Brahma and Arjuna. Vyasadeva is in the disciplic succession of Brahma. The teachings to Arjuna was recorded by Vyasadeva verbatim. So according to the axiomatic truth, things equal to one another are equal to each other. We are not exactly directly from Vyasadeva, but our Gurudeva is a representative of Vyasadeva. Because Vyasadeva and Arjuna are of equal status, being students of Krishna, therefore we are in the disciplic succession of Arjuna. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another. (Srila Prabhupada letter to Dinesh Tittenhurst 31 October, 1969)
The July 9th order is significant since it means thatSrila Prabhupada shall be the Prominent Acarya, at least for members of ISKCON, for as long as the Society exists. Only the direct intervention of Srila Prabhupada or Krishna can revoke the final order (such intervention needing to be at least as clear and unequivocal as a signed directive sent to the entire Society). Thus until some counter-instruction is given, the science of devotional service shall continue to be transmitted directly by Srila Prabhupada to successive generations of his disciples. Since this is a common phenomenon in our disciplic succession, there is no cause for alarm. The succession can only be considered “ended” if this science of devotional service is lost. On such occasions, Lord Krishna Himself usually descends to re-establish the principles of religion. As long as Srila Prabhupada’s books are in circulation, this “science” shall remain vigorously intact, and perfectly accessible.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Prabhupadanugas Sunnyvale Janmashtami celebration

Hare Krishna,

We had wonderful Sri Krishna Janmashtami celebrations on Sunday, August 17th and we would like to thank you all for making it a grand success. We would like to especially thank all the wonderful volunteers who made this festival possible. Their tireless service before, during and after the festival must have surely attracted Sri Sri Krishna Balarama's mercy upon them.

Following are some of the festival highlights:
  1. At least 5,500 - 6,000 plates of prasadam feast was served through the day!
  2. Hundreds of devotees participated in Grand Abhisheka of Sri Sri Radha Gokula Krishna.
  3. Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Gokula Krishna went around the temple in a pallaki along with lots of devotees singing and dancing.
  4. Thousands of devotees got a chance to swing the Jhulan of Sri Sri Radha Gokula Krishna until mid-night.
  5. Grand mid-night Arati was performed to the delight of the hugely enthusiastic assembled devotees pervading the entire temple hall.
  6. Lots of children had fun in the Kids Mela.
We would love to hear from you and get your feedback on the Festival so that we can make it even better next year. Please take few moments and fill the feedback form:

Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Darshan & highlights on Janmashtami day:

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