“I am the Spiritual Master of this institution, and all the members of the Society, they’re supposed to be my disciples. They follow the rules and regulations which I ask them to follow, and they are initiated by me spiritually.” (Radio interview, March 12, 1968, San Francisco)
“This is the function of the GBC, to see that one may not be taken away by maya. The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This is what I want.” (Letter to Madhudvisa, 4/8/1975)
Guest: Are you planning to choose a successor?
Srila Prabhupada: It is already successful.
Guest: But there must be somebody you know, needed to handle the thing.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. That we are creating. We are creating these devotees who will handle.
Hanuman: One thing he’s saying, this gentlemen, and I would like to know, is your successor named or your successor will…
Srila Prabhupada: My success is always there. Yes. Just like the sun is there always. It may come before your vision or not— the sun is there. But if you are fortunate, you come before the sun. Otherwise, you remain in darkness. The sun is open to everyone. Our Krishna consciousness movement, Krishna, is open to everyone. But if you are fortunate, you come to the light. If you are unfortunate, you do not. That is your choice.” (Conversation, February 12,1975, Mexico City)
Reporter: What will happen to the movement in the United States when you die?
Prabhupāda: I will never die.
Devotees: Jaya! Hari bol! (laughter)
Prabhupāda: I shall live for my books, and you will utilize.
Reporter: Are you training a successor?
Prabhupāda: Yes, my Guru Mahārāja is there.
Press conference, 16/7/75, San Francisco
Interviewer: What happens when that inevitable time comes a successor is needed?
Ramesvara: He is asking about the future, who will guide the Movement in the future.
Srila Prabhupada: They will guide, I am training them.
Interviewer: Will there be one spiritual leader though?
Srila Prabhupada: No. I am training GBC, 18 all over the world.
Interview, 10/6/76, Los Angeles
“Only Lord Caitanya can take my place. He will take care of the Movement.” (Room conversation, 2/11/77)
Devotee: Prabhupāda, when you leave this material world, will there be another spiritual master after you? Another pure soul?
Prabhupāda: Then that spiritual master is Krsna Himself. There is no need of education. Everyone is free. Everyone is full knowledge. There is no need of spiritual master. (750522 Morning Walk – Melbourne, Australia)
“After 80 years, no one can be expected to live long. My life is almost ended. So you have to carry on, and these books will do everything.” (Room conversation, 18/2/76)
“So there is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavor. Whether I am present or not present it doesn’t matter.” (Arrival conversation, 17/5/77, Vrindavan)
Disciple: You are the real acarya for this age, Srila Prabhupada. (October 3,1977, Vrndavana)
Note: Srila Prabhupada’s response to this comment was silence. He would have objected had the comment been bogus or improper: “It is characteristic of advanced Vaisnavas… that they think themselves ordinary human beings. This is not an artificial exhibition of humility; a Vaisnava sincerely thinks this way and therefore never admits his exalted position.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.24.26, Purport)