Compiled quotes from Srila Prabhupada on bona fide devotional service and more

 

The quotes from Srila Prabhupada in this compilation have been categorized within the following seven headings:

 

TRUTHFULNESS

COMPROMISE

MUST BE GUIDED BY A BONA FIDE GURU

CHANTING IS EFFECTIVE UNDER A BONA FIDE GURU

ADDITION AND DEVIATION

HELLISHLY IMPLICATED

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE VANI, NOT THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE

 

 

 

 

TRUTHFULNESS

 

Truthfulness demands that the facts be presented as they are for the benefit of others

Bg 10.4-5 P        The Opulence of the Absolute

Satyam, truthfulness, means that facts should be presented as they are for the benefit of others. Facts should not be misrepresented. According to social conventions, it is said that one can speak the truth only when it is palatable to others. But that is not truthfulness. The truth should be spoken in a straight and forward way, so that others will understand actually what the facts are. If a man is a thief and if people are warned that he is a thief, that is truth. Although sometimes the truth is unpalatable, one should not refrain from speaking it. Truthfulness demands that the facts be presented as they are for the benefit of others. That is the definition of truth.

 

If a brahmana is not truthful, all his claims as a brahmana at once become null and void

Sb 1.17.41 p       punishment and reward of kali

The brahmanas are the religious preceptors for all other castes, and the sannyasis are the spiritual masters for all the castes and orders of society. So also are the king and the public leaders who are responsible for the material welfare of all people. The progressive religionists and those who are responsible human beings or those who do not want to spoil their valuable human lives should refrain from all the principles of irreligiosity, especially illicit connection with women. If a brahmana is not truthful, all his claims as a brahmana at once become null and void. If a sannyasi is illicitly connected with women, all his claims as a sannyasi at once become false.

 

do not expect that our preaching will be appeal to everyone. It will be useful for the devotees, for the innocent. Not for the atheist.

700430IP.LA                  Lectures

One who is disinclined to understand what is this chanting, you should not bother yourself to convince him. That’s all. Just like in hospital, especially in, in the warfield, there are many wounded soldiers are coming. But the doctors see that the soldier which has got the chance of living, take care more for them. And the soldier which is immediately going to die, they do not take care much. Because it is useless; he’ll not live. Similarly the atheist, the atheist will have to suffer. They’ll have to meet God in the form of death in so many ways. So by suffering, suffering, suffering, suffering, suffering, when a day will come that he’ll understand God, at that time, preaching to him is better. So you do not expect that our preaching will be appeal to everyone. It will be useful for the devotees, for the innocent. Not for the atheist.

 

 

740615rc.par              Conversations

Yogesvara: “Is there some, any qualities, in the sense that some people have more receptivity towards the divine than other people?”

Prabhupada: yes. That i explained, sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. Those who are in sattva-guna, they can understand easily. Those who are in rajo-guna, they have got difficulty. And those who are in tamo-guna, they cannot. (French)

 

 

Bg 18.32 T  Conclusion–The Perfection of Renunciation

adharmam dharmam iti ya

manyate tamasavrta

sarvarthan viparitams ca

buddhih sa partha tamasi

 

SYNONYMS

adharmam–irreligion; dharmam–religion; iti–thus; ya–which; manyate–thinks; tamasa–by illusion; avrta–covered; sarva-arthan–all things; viparitan–the wrong direction; ca–also; buddhih–intelligence; sa–that; partha–O son of Prtha; tamasi–the mode of ignorance.

 

TRANSLATION

That understanding which considers irreligion to be religion and religion to be irreligion, under the spell of illusion and darkness, and strives always in the wrong direction, o partha, is in the mode of ignorance.

 

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COMPROMISE

 

“A person who knows things as they are and still does not bear witness becomes involved in sinful activities.” (CC Madhya 5.90)

 

“But one who tolerates mischievous activity, he is also culprit. If you are mischievous, you are criminal. But if you tolerate mischievous activities that is also criminal.” (Conv, May 3, 1973)

 

they cannot remain impartial

“Brahmanas, the topmost section of human society, are mostly devotees. They are generally unaware of the happenings within the material world because they are always busy in their activities for spiritual advancement. Nonetheless, when there is a calamity in human society, they cannot remain impartial. If they do not do something to relieve the distressed condition of human society, it is said that due to such neglect their spiritual knowledge diminishes.” (SB 4.14.41 Purport)

 

if we become hodgepodge and mix with hodgepodge and do hodgepodge, there is no progress

So our business is to accept a bona fide spiritual master, being guided by him, to follow the rules and regulations. Then advancement is sure. There is no doubt about it. And if we become hodgepodge and mix with hodgepodge and do hodgepodge, there is no progress. Srila Prabhupada Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.2.24-25 —Gorakhpur, February 13, 1971

 

a poor fund of knowledge established on the basis of material logic

 Adi 8.15 : PURPORT :

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvati Ṭhākura comments in this connection that people in general, in their narrow-minded conception of life, create many different types of humanitarian activities, but the humanitarian activities inaugurated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are different.For logicians who want to accept only that which is  proven through logic and argument, it is a fact that without logic and reason there can be no question of accepting the Absolute Truth. Unfortunately, when such logicians take to this path without the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they remain on the platform of logic and argument and do not advance in spiritual life. However, if one is intelligent enough to apply his arguments and logic to the subtle understanding of the fundamental spiritual substance, he will be able to know that a poor fund of knowledge established on the basis of material logic cannot help one understand the Absolute Truth, which is beyond the reach of imperfect senses. The Mahābhārata therefore says: acintyāḥ khalu ye bhāvā na tāṁs tarkeṇa yojayet. (Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma-parva 5.22) How can that which is beyond the imagination or sensory speculation of mundane creatures be approached simply by logic? Logic and argument are very poor in spiritual strength and always imperfect when applied to spiritual understanding. By putting forward mundane logic one frequently comes to the wrong conclusion regarding the Absolute Truth, and as a result of such a conclusion one may fall down to accept a body like that of a jackal

 

 

If you make compromise, then you associate with him. Then gradually you’ll also go down

Paramahaṁsa: That means sometimes we might have to compromise in certain ways.

Prabhupāda: Why compromise? You don’t compromise. Then you associate with him. If you make compromise, then you associate with him. Then gradually you’ll also go down. When we, when we see some person, we do not associate with him, but we give him chance to associate with me. Why you should make compromise? What is the reason? If you know something positively, why should you make compromise? When people come to talk with me, see me, I don’t make any compromise. Do I make any compromise? June 11 1974 Paris

 

 

he accepts something bogus, which has no meaning, without any reference to the śāstras

Then again, mandāḥ: all rascals. Mandāḥ,third class; no first-class men. Practically no brahminical qualification. All śūdra qualification. Therefore mandāḥ. Sumanda-mata yaḥ. And if one comes forward to be spiritually enlightened, he accepts something bogus, which has no meaning, without any reference to the śāstras. Therefore mandāḥ  sumanda-matayaḥ. They have got a opinion,and that is going on. You may have any opinion. That is all right. This foolishness is going on in this age. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayaḥ. M anda-bhāgyāḥ, and most unfortunate. Everyone is practically unfortunate. (Hyderabad Nov 23 1972)

 

better to become a sweeper in the street

That is the test. As soon as he has become Krsna conscious, he has fully surrendered to Krsna. Immediately he becomes the greatest mahatma. Sa mahatma sudurlabhah. A mahatma like me, because, simply by changing dress… That is another thing. Because sometimes this dress gives us good opportunity for easy livelihood. That is another thing. But those who take this dress for begging and for fulfilling the hungry belly, that is…, that mahatma is different thing. He is not mahatma; he is duratma. My guru maharaja used to say that if one is inclined to collect money by showing deity, it is better to become a sweeper in the street. It is better to become a sweeper in the street, because he’s earning his livelihood honestly. And this man who is keeping a temple and doing all nonsense, simply by showing deity, collecting some money, this class of men, they’re most sinful. You cannot do so. You cannot take other’s money. You’ll be debtor. Therefore gradually, because this class of men are developed at the present moment, they have become… In Vrndavana there are so many temples, they have become, made a business by showing temple, collecting money. This is not good. There must be… Temple means people should come, people should learn the science of God. That is temple. Not that to make a business of temple. Therefore everything is, not only in India, all over the world, the churches also, they’re dwindled. Now, Europe and America, so many churches are for sale. We have purchased so many churches because people have no more interest. There is no education. Temple means spiritual educational shelter. People should come, they should learn what is spiritual life, what is God, what is my relationship with. That is temple. Otherwise, if you simply came… Therefore two processes should be followed: pancaratriki viddhi and bhagavata-viddhi. We follow both. Bhagavata-viddhi is the philosophical side of religion, and pancaratriki viddhi is the worshiping side of temple–how to worship Deity, how to dress, how to decorate, how to offer respect. Mad-yaji. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji. Temple worship is mad-yaji, worshiping the Deity. So this is the test, this is the test. (720308BG.CAL      Lectures)

 

distortion and compromise with mundane knowledge

“Although previously there were attempts to distribute the knowledge of Bhagavad-gītā, these attempts involved distortion and compromise with mundane knowledge. But now the Kṛṣṇaconsciousness movement, without mundane compromises, is distributing Bhagavad-gītā as it is, and people are deriving the benefits of awakening to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and becoming devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the proper distribution of knowledge has begun by which not only will the whole world benefit, but India’s glory will be magnified in human society.” (SB 10.2.19 purport)

 


Compromise and flattery have no effect where strong words are required
To cut something, a sharp instrument is required; and to cut the mind from its attachments, sharp words are often required. The sādhu or teacher shows no mercy in using sharp words to sever the student’s mind from material attractions. By speaking the truth uncompromisingly, he is able to sever the bondage. for example, at the very beginning of Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa speaks sharply to Arjuna by telling him that although he speaks like a learned man, he is actually fool number one. If we actually want detachment from this material world, we should be prepared to accept such cutting words from the spiritual master. Compromise and flattery have no effect where strong words are required.

Perfection of Yoga Chapter 4

 

There is no question of liking or disliking the truth
We must therefore save ourselves and our fellow man in the right way. There is no question of liking or disliking the truth. It is there. If we want to be saved from repeated birth and death, we must take to the devotional service of the Lord. There can be no compromise, for this is a matter of necessity. (Isopanisad mantra 14)

You must call the spade a spade

So when you become actually preacher of God consciousness, you cannot make any compromise. You must call the spade a spade. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja. Prahlāda Mahārāja is one of the mahājanas. Out of the twelve mahājanas, he’s one of them. Because he was very bold. He was not afraid of his demonic father. He chastised him in so many ways. But he was never afraid. (end) Lecture sb/1/2/5/vrndavana/october/16/1972

 

If you don’t like, that is your option. But we cannot make any compromise

We speak from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, we speak from Bhagavad-gītā, and present them as it is, without any adulteration. This is our position. If you like, then you make progress. If you don’t like, that is your option. But we cannot make any compromise. We must present the śāstra as it is.

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/classes/sb/1/2/19/calcutta/september/27/1974

 

We are very safe because we don’t manufacture. We simply repeat, parrotlike

There is no need of manufacturing. We are very safe because we don’t manufacture. We simply repeat, parrotlike, what Kṛṣṇa has said. That’s all, finished. Kṛṣṇa says, sarvadharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “Let aside everything. Just become My devotee, surrendered soul.” So we are preaching that. We don’t make compromise. Therefore, all people are against me. Because “This man simply says, ‘Kṛṣṇa.’ ” But I cannot say anything more. That’s all (classes/sb/1/15/51/los_angeles/december/28/1973)

 

“If one is practically a devotee of Lord, he doesn’t care even personalities like Vidhi.”

So. In spiritual matter, everything spoken frankly, no compromise. Just like we say, “You are not a Kṛṣṇa conscious person. Then you are a rascal. That’s all.” You may be the president. That doesn’t matter. But because you are not Kṛṣṇa conscious, you are rascal. There is no compromise, “Oh, here is a big man. How he is speaking.” We see everywhere. So many scientists come. I say, “You are rascal. You are demon.” (laughter) I say it. And they tolerate. I prove that he is a rascal. I prove that he is a rascal, he is a demon. Then he tolerates, “Yes.” We have got sufficient strength to prove, any materialistic man, to prove that he is a rascal. That is possible. Vidhi-mahendrādiś ca kīṭāyate: “If one is practically a devotee of Lord, he doesn’t care even personalities like Vidhi.” Vidhi means Lord BrahmāVidhi-mahendrādiś ca kīṭāyate. Kīṭāyate means such great personalities are taken by perfect devotee as ordinary insect. As ordinary insect has no value, similarly, anyone, however great he may be in this material world, if he is not God conscious, he is no better than the insect.  https://prabhupadabooks.com/classes/sb/1/16/3/los_angeles/december/31/1973

 

So long as one is engaged in devotional service, he is immune to the reactions of his past sinful activities, but if he chooses to give up this devotional service, then he has to undergo all these reactions. letter 71-11-12

 

if one has a motive for personal sense gratification, his devotional service is manifested differently

In pure devotional service, the only motive should be to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is not actually a motive; that is the pure condition of the living entity. In the conditioned stage, when one engages in devotional service, he should follow the instruction of the bona fide spiritual master in full surrender. The spiritual master is the manifested representation of the Supreme Lord because he receives and presents the instructions of the Lord, as they are, by disciplic succession. It is described in Bhagavad-gītā that the teachings therein should be received by disciplic succession, otherwise there is adulteration. To act under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master with a motive to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pure devotional service. But if one has a motive for personal sense gratification, his devotional service is manifested differently. Such a man may be violent, proud, envious and angry, and his interests are separate from the Lord’s. (SB 3.29.8 purport)

 

There are many karmis in the dress of devotees, but the supreme personality of godhead can detect their purpose. The karmis want to use the property of the lord for their selfish sense gratification, but a devotee endeavors to use the lord’s property for god’s service. SB 8.9.28 purport

 

As soon as personal motivation comes in it is not possible for one to understand our Krishna Consciousness philosophy.

In my books, I have tried to explain clearly this simultaneously one and different philosophy acinta beda beda tattva propounded by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But sometimes it happens that this philosophy is given a self-interested interpretationAs soon as personal motivation comes in it is not possible for one to understand our Krishna Consciousness philosophy.  Srila Prabhupada letter, September 21, 1970

 

 

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MUST BE GUIDED BY A BONA FIDE GURU

 

One should approach a guru who can extinguish the blazing fire of this material world – One cannot become happy by accepting a false guru

TEXT 13

ekadāsat-prasaṅgān nikṛta-matir vyudaka-srotaḥ-skhalanavad ubhayato ’pi duḥkhadaṁ pākhaṇḍam abhiyāti.

SYNONYMS

ekadā—sometimes; asat-prasaṅgāt—by association of nondevotees who are against the Vedic principles and who manufacture different paths of religion; nikṛta-matiḥ—whose intelligence has been brought to the abominable status of defying the authority of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vyudaka-srotaḥ—into rivers without sufficient water; skhalana-vat—like jumping; ubhayataḥ—from both sides; api—although; duḥkha-dam—giving distress; pākhaṇḍam—the atheistic path; abhiyāti—he approaches.

TRANSLATION

Sometimes, to mitigate distresses in this forest of the material world, the conditioned soul receives cheap blessings from atheists. He then loses all intelligence in their association. This is exactly like jumping in a shallow river. As a result one simply breaks his head. He is not able to mitigate his sufferings from the heat, and in both ways he suffers. The misguided conditioned soul also approaches so-called sādhus and svāmīs who preach against the principles of the Vedas. He does not receive benefit from them, either in the present or in the future.

PURPORT

Cheaters are always there to manufacture their own way of spiritual realization. To get some material benefit, the conditioned soul approaches these pseudo sannyāsīs and yogīs for cheap blessings, but he does not receive any benefit from them, either spiritual or material. In this age there are many cheaters who show some jugglery and magic. They even create gold to amaze their followers, and their followers accept them as God. This type of cheating is very prominent in Kali-yuga. Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura describes the real guru in this way.

saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka-

trāṇāya kāruṇya-ghanāghanatvam

prāptasya kalyāṇa-guṇārṇavasya

vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam

One should approach a guru who can extinguish the blazing fire of this material world, the struggle for existence. people want to be cheated. and therefore they go to yogīs and svāmīs who play tricks, but tricks do not mitigate the miseries of material life. If being able to manufacture gold is a criterion for becoming God, then why not accept Kṛṣṇa, the proprietor of the entire universe, wherein there are countless tons of gold? As mentioned before, the color of gold is compared to the will-O’-the-wisp or yellow stool; therefore one should not be allured by gold-manufacturing gurus but should sincerely approach a devotee like Jaḍa Bharata. Jaḍa Bharata instructed Rahūgaṇa Mahārāja so well that the King was relieved from the bodily conception. One cannot become happy by accepting a false guru. A guru should be accepted as advised in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.3.21). Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam: One should approach a bona fide guru to inquire about the highest benefit of life. Such a guru is described as follows: śābde pare ca niṣṇātam. Such a guru does not manufacture gold or juggle words. He is well versed in the conclusions of Vedic knowledge (vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]). He is freed from all material contamination and is fully engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service. If one is able to obtain the dust of the lotus feet of such a guru, his life becomes successful. Otherwise he is baffled both in this life and in the next.

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/sb/5/14/13

 

 

one cannot get free from the path of material existence unless one receives shelter at the lotus feet of a pure devotee

TRANSLATION

When the conditioned soul accepts the shelter of the creeper of fruitive activity, he may be elevated by his pious activities to higher planetary systems and thus gain liberation from hellish conditions, but unfortunately he cannot remain there. After reaping the results of his pious activities, he has to return to the lower planetary systems. In this way he perpetually goes up and comes down.

PURPORT

In this regard Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says:

brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva

guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja

(Cc. Madhya 19.151)

Even if one wanders for many millions of years, from the time of creation until the time of annihilation, one cannot get free from the path of material existence unless one receives shelter at the lotus feet of a pure devotee. As a monkey takes shelter of the branch of a banyan tree and thinks he is enjoying, the conditioned soul, not knowing the real interest of his life, takes shelter of the path of karma-kāṇḍa, fruitive activities. Sometimes he is elevated to the heavenly planets by such activities, and sometimes he again descends to earth. This is described by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as brahmāṇḍa bhramite. However, if by Kṛṣṇa’s grace one is fortunate enough to come under the shelter of the guru, by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa he receives lessons on how to execute devotional service to the Supreme Lord. In this way he receives a clue of how to get out of his continuous struggle up and down within the material world. Therefore the Vedic injunction is that one should approach a spiritual master. The Vedas declare: tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU

tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet

samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham

“To understand these things properly, one must humbly approach, with firewood in hand, a spiritual master who is learned in the Vedas and firmly devoted to the Absolute Truth.”

[Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12]

1.2.12]. Similarly in Bhagavad-gītā (4.34) the Supreme Personality of Godhead advises:

tad viddhi praṇipātena

paripraśnena sevayā

upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ

jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.” Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.3.21) gives similar advice:

tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta

jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam

śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ

brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam

“Any person who seriously desires to achieve real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of his spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters.” Similarly, Viśvanātha Cakravartī, a great Vaiṣṇava, also advises, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ: ”By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the mercy of Kṛṣṇa.” This is the same advice given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu (guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja). This is essential. One must come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and therefore one must take shelter of a pure devotee. Thus one can become free from the clutches of matter.

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/sb/5/14/41

 

one’s guide must be a spiritual master who is actually an unalloyed devotee. 

“… This is the way to advance in spiritual science. One must accept the words of an ācārya, a bona fide spiritual master, to clear the path for spiritual advancement. This is the secret of success. However, one’s guide must be a spiritual master who is actually an unalloyed devotee strictly following the instructions of the previous ācārya without deviation. Whatever the spiritual master says must be accepted by the disciple. Only then is success certain. This is the Vedic system…”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Original unrevised edition – Madhya-lila 10.17

 

 

controlled by the ācārya

TRANSLATION

While living one may be proud of one’s body, thinking oneself a very big man, minister, president or even demigod, but whatever one may be, after death this body will turn either into worms, into stool or into ashes. If one kills poor animals to satisfy the temporary whims of this body, one does not know that he will suffer in his next birth, for such a sinful miscreant must go to hell and suffer the results of his actions.

PURPORT

In this verse the three words kṛmi-vid-bhasma are significant. After death, the body may become kṛmi, which means “worms,” for if the body is disposed of without cremation, it may be eaten by worms; or else it may be eaten by animals like hogs and vultures and be turned into stool. Those who are more civilized burn the dead body, and thus it becomes ashes (bhasma-saṁjñitam). Yet although the body will be turned into worms, stool or ashes, foolish persons, just to maintain it, commit many sinful activities. This is certainly regrettable. The human form of body is actually meant for jīvasya tattva jijñāsā, enlightenment in knowledge of spiritual values. Therefore, one must seek shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta: one must approach a guru. Who is a guru? Śābde pare ca niṣṇātam (Bhāg. 11.3.21): a guru is one who has full transcendental knowledge. Unless one approaches a spiritual master, one remains in ignorance. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 6.14.2):one has full knowledge about life when one is ācāryavān, controlled by the ācārya. But when one is conducted by rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa, one does not care about anything; instead, one acts like an ordinary foolish animal, risking his life (mṛtyu-saṁsāra-vartmani) and therefore continuing to go through suffering after suffering. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (Bhāg. 7.5.31). Such a foolish person does not know how to elevate himself in this body. Instead, he indulges in sinful activities and goes deeper and deeper into hellish life.

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/sb/10/10/10

 

 

suppose if you accept a wrong person as spiritual master, and if you, if he guides you wrongly, then your whole life is spoiled

“Now, to take such guidance means the spiritual master should also be a very perfect man. Otherwise, how can he guide? .. Therefore one has to select a spiritual master whose order, carrying, you’ll not commit a mistake. You see? Now, suppose if you accept a wrong person as spiritual master, and if you, if he guides you wrongly, then your whole life is spoiled. So one has to accept a spiritual master whose guidance will make his life perfect. That is the relation between spiritual master and disciple. It is not a formality. It is a great responsibility both for the disciple and for the spiritual master.”

Lectures : Bhagavad-gita 2.7-11 — New York, March 2, 1966

 

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. Sun is open to everyone. Our Krsna consciousness movement–Krsna is open to everyone. But if you are fortunate, you come to the light. If you are unfortunate, do not. That is your choice. (Conversations   371869/530501)

 

We must be very careful. We must know our position, whether I am sincerely following the principles of devotional service. Then Kṛṣṇa will accept

May 6 1973 LA--That’s the fact. That is the fact. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā: yo me bhaktyā prayacchati.Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]. Kṛṣṇa says that “A little flower, little water, little fruit, that’s all, if somebody offers Me with devotion and love, then I eat.”Kṛṣṇa is not hungry. Kṛṣṇa is not hungry. He is self-satisfied, pūrṇa. But if His devotee offers Him something with love and affection, then He accepts.So do not think that “We have made such nice, sumptuous plate for Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa must eat.” No. There is no such thing, “must.” You cannot make Kṛṣṇa must. That is not possible. So Kṛṣṇa will see how much you have love for Him. Then He will accept. Otherwise He’ll reject…Therefore, it is forbidden, those who are nondevotee, those who are not initiated, those who are not chanting regularly, their offering to Kṛṣṇa will not be accepted. We must be very careful. We must know our position, whether I am sincerely following the principles of devotional service. Then Kṛṣṇa will accept. Yo me bhaktyāprayacchati. The real thing is bhakti. So either you offer Kṛṣṇa prayers or you offer foodstuff, everything must be along with bhakti, devotion, love. Then Kṛṣṇa will accept.

 

Not that we can dovetail anything – we are in the training period

Lectures Los Angeles, May 6, 1973 : 730506SB.LA :

So that is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We are trying to dovetail everything in connection with Kṛṣṇa. Make Kṛṣṇa center, and all your activities will be spiritual. That is distinction. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. As soon as anything is done for Kṛṣṇa, the bhakti… So the beginning you cannot do so, that anything you can dovetail. No. In the beginning you have to learn first of all how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. You are, we are in the training period. We are in the training period. We should not imitate: “Oh, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja was ordered to speak lies, so let us go on speaking all lies.” No, not that. You cannot do so. First of all, be trained up. For being trained up, you have to follow the regulative principles, the orders of spiritual master. In this way, sevonmukhe hi jihvādau [Brs. 1.2.234]. When your all parts of your limbs will be engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanam [Cc. Madhya 19.170], in this way when you are actually advanced, then whatever you do in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is good. 

 

we cannot manufacture that “This is Kṛṣṇa’s desire.” No. You have to get it confirmed from the transparent medium, spiritual master

London, August 1, 1973 : 730801BG.LON : So you can violate the laws on the order of Kṛṣṇa. You cannot do. This is surrender. When Kṛṣṇa says that “You do this,” although it is wrong, you have to do it. There is no consideration.Just like in fight, the commander says to the soldiers, “Do this.” His duty is to do that. He should not think at that time what is right or wrong. Just like Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, he was advised by Kṛṣṇa that “Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, you go to Droṇācārya and inform him that ‘Your son is dead.’ ” It was a false information. Because Droṇācārya would not die if he is not affected with some lamentation. So Kṛṣṇa asked Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira that “You go because you are recognized truthful, Dharmarāja. So when you will say, this is also false, he will believe.” But Yudhiṣṭhira hesitated, “How can I tell lie?” He disobeyed the order of Kṛṣṇa, and he wanted to become very truthful. For this reason he had to see hell. So in the mundane consideration there are so many things, right and wrong. So long you are on the mundane platform, you have to obey all these right and wrong. But in the spiritual platform, when it is ordered by Kṛṣṇa… He is above all this duality. He is Absolute. So even if He says to do something wrong… Because He cannot say anything which is wrong. God is all-good. If you discriminate God’s order from the mundaneplatform, then you will be misguided. Anyone who has got firm and fixed up faith that whatever God does, whatever God orders, even from mundane calculation it may be wrong, that is right… That is absolute understanding. So those who are in the spiritual platform, for them, there is no such consideration, which is right and which is wrong. Their only consideration is whether Kṛṣṇa is pleased. That’s all. If Kṛṣṇa is pleased by inducing me to do something wrong, I will not hesitate to do it. I will do it because it is Kṛṣṇa’s order. Tasmin tuṣṭe jagat tuṣṭam. My principle should be, “If Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, then everything is all right.” But while we are in the mundane platform, we should not concoct the idea that “Kṛṣṇa is pleased; let me do that.” No. That you, cannot do. You have to follow the rules and regulations. But if you think that it is… You cannot think; neither you can manufacture. So either you should hear from Kṛṣṇa directly or… That is not possible because we are not in touch with Kṛṣṇa at the present moment. We are trying to see Kṛṣṇa through the transparent medium of spiritual master. So we cannot manufacture that “This is Kṛṣṇa’s desire.” No. You have to get it confirmed from the transparent medium, spiritual master. These are the principles

 

You cannot concoct, “Oh, I am doing for satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa.” No, that is not possible. It must be accepted by the representative of Kṛṣṇa

Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya, everyone has got a specific duty. So one has to see that by his specific duty, entrusted with or discharging that duty, whether Kṛṣṇa is being satisfied. That’s all. Therefore one has to accept a bona fidespiritual master to know whether Kṛṣṇa is being satisfied by his work. Who will certify? You cannot concoct, “Oh, I am doing for satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa.” No, that is not possible. It must be accepted by the representative of Kṛṣṇa, “Yes, by your work, Kṛṣṇa is satisfied.” Then it is all right… (March 27, 1968, San Francisco : 680327mw.sf)

 

At present it has become a fashion to reject the standard system and present something bogus

The Lord does not manufacture a new system of yoga. Sometimes it is claimed that someone has become an incarnation of God and is expounding a new theological aspect of the Absolute Truth. But here we find that although Kapila Muni is the Lord Himself and is capable of manufacturing a new doctrine for His mother, He nevertheless says, “I shall just explain the ancient system which I once explained to the great sages because they were also anxious to hear about it.” When we have a superexcellent process already present in Vedic scriptures, there is no need to concoct a new system, to mislead the innocent public. At present it has become a fashion to reject the standard system and present something bogus in the name of a newly invented process of yoga. (SB 3.25.14 : purport)

 

The Supreme Lord is not obtained by means of expert explanations, vast intelligence or even much learning. He is obtained only by one whom He Himself chooses. To such a person, He manifests His own form. Mundaka Upanishad 3.2.3

 

 

A representative is one who can exactly present the viewpoint of Śrī Vyāsadeva. […] One must learn the transcendental subject by submissive aural reception from the right sources.

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.5:

TRANSLATION

One day, after finishing their morning duties by burning a sacrificial fire and offering a seat of esteem to Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī, the great sages made inquiries, with great respect, about the following matters.

PURPORT

Morning is the best time to hold spiritual services. The great sages offered the speaker of the Bhāgavatam an elevated seat of respect called the vyāsāsana, or the seat of Śrī Vyāsadeva. Śrī Vyāsadeva is the original spiritual preceptor for all men. And all other preceptors are considered to be his representatives. A representative is one who can exactly present the viewpoint of Śrī Vyāsadeva. Śrī Vyāsadeva impregnated the message of Bhāgavatam unto Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī heard it from him (Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī). All bona fide representatives of Śrī Vyāsadeva in the chain of disciplic succession are to be understood to be gosvāmīs. These gosvāmīs restrain all their senses, and they stick to the path made by the previous ācāryas. The gosvāmīs do not deliver lectures on the Bhāgavatam capriciously. Rather, they execute their services most carefully, following their predecessors who delivered the spiritual message unbroken to them.

Those who listen to the Bhāgavatam may put questions to the speaker in order to elicit the clear meaning, but this should not be done in a challenging spirit. One must submit questions with a great regard for the speaker and the subject matter. This is also the way recommended in Bhagavad-gītā. One must learn the transcendental subject by submissive aural reception from the right sources. Therefore these sages addressed the speaker Sūta Gosvāmī with great respect.

 

 

Only one who has properly grasped the transcendental knowledge from the right source by submissive hearing can properly explain the subject.

Srmad Bhagavatam 1.1.5:

TRANSLATION

The sages said: Respected Sūta Gosvāmī, you are completely free from all vice. You are well versed in all the scriptures famous for religious life, and in the Purāṇas and the histories as well, for you have gone through them under proper guidance and have also explained them.

PURPORT

A gosvāmī, or the bona fide representative of Śrī Vyāsadeva, must be free from all kinds of vices. The four major vices of Kali-yuga are (1) illicit connection with women, (2) animal slaughter, (3) intoxication, (4) speculative gambling of all sorts. A gosvāmī must be free from all these vices before he can dare sit on the vyāsāsana. No one should be allowed to sit on the vyāsāsana who is not spotless in character and who is not freed from the above-mentioned vices. He not only should be freed from all such vices, but must also be well versed in all revealed scriptures or in the Vedas. The Purāṇas are also parts of the Vedas. And histories like the Mahābhārata or Rāmāyaṇa are also parts of the Vedas. The ācārya or the gosvāmī must be well acquainted with all these literatures. To hear and explain them is more important than reading them. One can assimilate the knowledge of the revealed scriptures only by hearing and explaining. Hearing is called śravaṇa, and explaining is called kīrtana. The two processes of śravaṇa and kīrtana are of primary importance to progressive spiritual life. Only one who has properly grasped the transcendental knowledge from the right source by submissive hearing can properly explain the subject.

 

 

The audience must be very sincere and eager to hear. And the speaker must be in the line of disciplic succession from the recognized ācārya.

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.13:

TRANSLATION

O Sūta Gosvāmī, we are eager to learn about the Personality of Godhead and His incarnations. Please explain to us those teachings imparted by previous masters [ācāryas], for one is uplifted both by speaking them and by hearing them.

PURPORT

The conditions for hearing the transcendental message of the Absolute Truth are set forth herein. The first condition is that the audience must be very sincere and eager to hear. And the speaker must be in the line of disciplic succession from the recognized ācārya. The transcendental message of the Absolute is not understandable by those who are materially absorbed. Under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master, one becomes gradually purified. Therefore, one must be in the chain of disciplic succession and learn the spiritual art of submissive hearing. In the case of Sūta Gosvāmī and the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya, all these conditions are fulfilled because Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī is in the line of Śrīla Vyāsadeva, and the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya are all sincere souls who are anxious to learn the truth. Thus the transcendental topics of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s superhuman activities, His incarnation, His birth, appearance or disappearance, His forms, His names and so on are all easily understandable because all requirements are fulfilled. Such discourses help all men on the path of spiritual realization.

 

No learned man should be willing to hear a person who does not represent the original acarya.

“No learned man should be willing to hear a person who does not represent the original acarya. So the speaker and the audience were bona fide in this meeting where Bhagavatam was being recited for the second time. That should be the standard of recitation of Bhagavatam, so that the real purpose can be served without difficulty. Unless this situation is created, Bhagavatam recitation for extraneous purposes is useless labor both for the speaker and for the audience.” (SB 1.4.1 purport)

 

sincere regard for the real ācārya

As it is said in the Padma Purāṇa:

sampradāya-vihīnā ye

mantrās te niṣphalā matāḥ

“Unless you are initiated by a bona fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession, the mantra that you might have received is without any effect.”

On the other hand, one who has received the transcendental knowledge by aural reception from the bona fide preceptor in the disciplic chain, and who has sincere regard for the real ācārya, must needs be enlightened with the revealed knowledge of the Vedas.

The Science of Self Realization > SSR

 

one has to accept a bona fide spiritual master to know whether Kṛṣṇa is being satisfied by his work.

Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya, everyone has got a specific duty. So one has to see that by his specific duty, entrusted with or discharging that duty, whether Kṛṣṇa is being satisfied. That’s all. Therefore one has to accept a bona fide spiritual master to know whether Kṛṣṇa is being satisfied by his work. Who will certify? You cannot concoct, “Oh, I am doing for satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa.” No, that is not possible. It must be accepted by the representative of Kṛṣṇa, “Yes, by your work, Kṛṣṇa is satisfied.” Then it is all right… March 27, 1968, San Francisco

 

In the beginning one must accept a bona fide spiritual master.

This is the first principle of devotional service–adau gurv-asrayam. In the beginning one must accept a bona fide spiritual master, and if a devotee follows strictly the direction of the spiritual master, as dhruva maharaja followed the instruction of narada muni, then it is not difficult for him to achieve the favor of the lord. Sb 4.12.42 purport

 

One who knows the truth, you have to hear from him.

We have to hear from the tattvavit, not from the so-called scholars and politicians. No. One who knows the truth, you have to hear from him. And if you stick to that principle, then you understand everything very clearly. Srila Prabhupada Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture, SB 1.2.11, Vrindavana, Uttara Pradesh, India, October 22, 1972

 

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CHANTING IS EFFECTIVE UNDER A BONA FIDE GURU

 

Our primary movement is that everyone may take advantage of this movement and simply chant wherever possible.

“So anyway, my appeal to you, American people, that you are considered to be the leader of all nations of the world. You should take this Krishna conscious movement very seriously. It is good for you. It is good for the whole world. It is individually, collectively, without any consideration of caste, creed, or color. Everyone can chant Hare Krishna, anyone and everyone, at home, on the street. There is no expenditure. Suppose while walking if you chant Hare Krishna, there is no loss, there is no expenditure, but you see how much you are profited by chanting Hare Krishna. This is practical. We don’t say that ‘You come to our temple and give us some subscription. Become our member.’ That is a secondary question. Our primary movement is that everyone may take advantage of this movement and simply chant wherever possible, at home, at work, on the street, anywhere. There is no regulation where you have to chant and how you have to chant. It is spontaneous. Simply chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. There are only three words there: Hare, Krishna, and Rama, but they are adjusted in a different position. There are sixteen words. So it is not very difficult. You can make an experiment. The children also may take pleasure. We have got our records. If you play those records and chant with it, you will find a transcendental pleasure in you. These are facts. So our request to you, that you take this movement a little seriously, and you will be happy by grace of Krishna.”
Srila Prabhupada Lecture at a School, Montreal, June 11, 1968

 

…at the time of death, when the boar attacked him, he said, “Haram.” So, it acted ha rāma.

Srila Prabhupāda: A wild boar. So, when the boar attacked him the Musselmans, when they do not like they say, “Haram. Haram.” Condemn means haram. So, when the boar attacked him he said haram. “Haram!” But it acted, ha rāma, and he got salvation. Do you follow what I say? A Mussulman said, ‘ha ram. Ha ram He condemned. It is abominable. That is the meaning of Urdu, haram. But at the time of death, when the boar attacked him, he said, “Haram.” So, it acted ha rāma. Ha, he rāma. It acted, chanting the name of Rāma, Hare Rāma. He meant something else, but it acted as beneficial as chanting He rāma. So therefore, this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, either you chant seriously, or those who are criticizing us, jokingly, the effect will be same. So anyway, let them chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Do you follow? Even they do not take it seriously, if they imitate, joke, still they’ll be benefited. [06. Audio Transcripts, 1966—1977, In Chronological Order / 1971 / August / Room Conversation — August 15, 1971, London / 710815RC.LON]

 

…spiritual potency because of that person’s offenseless utterance

namera aksara-sabera ei ta’ svabhava
vyavahita haile na chade apana-prabhava

SYNONYMS

namera–of the holy name; aksara–letters; sabera–of all; ei–this; ta’–certainly; sva-bhava–the characteristic; vyavahita haile–even when improperly uttered; na–do not; chade–give up; apana-prabhava–their own spiritual influence.

TRANSLATION

“The letters of the holy name have so much spiritual potency that they act even when uttered improperly.

PURPORT

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura states that the word vyavahita (“improperly uttered”)  is not used here to refer to the mundane vibration of the letters of alphabet. Such negligent utterance for the sense gratification of materialistic person is not a vibration of transcendental sound. Utterance of the holy name while one engages in sense gratification is an impediment on the path toward achieving ecstatic love for Krsna. On the other hand, if one who is eager for devotional service utters the holy name even partially or improperly, the holy name, who is identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, exhibits its spiritual potency because of that person’s offenseless utterance. Thus, one is relieved from all unwanted practices, and one gradually awakens his dormant love for Krsna.  Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Antya-Lila 3.59 The Glories of Srila Haridasa Thakura

 

seemingly transcendental sound received from an unauthorized person also has no potency

One has to receive the transcendental sound from the right source, accept it as a reality and prosecute the direction without hesitation. The secret of success is to receive the sound from the right source of a bona fide spiritual master. Mundane manufactured sound has no potency and as such seemingly transcendental sound received from an unauthorized person also has no potency. One should be qualified enough to discern such transcendental potency, and either by discriminating or by fortunate chance if one is able to receive the transcendental sound from the bona fide spiritual master, his path of liberation is guaranteed. The disciple, however, must be ready to execute the order of the bona fide spiritual master as Lord Brahma executed the instruction of his spiritual master, the Lord Himself. Following the order of the bona fide spiritual master is the only duty of the disciple, and this completely faithful execution of the order of the bona fide spiritual master is the secret of success.

SB 2.9.8 purport
harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

Translation:
In this age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name…

 

If one actually wants to derive the effects of chanting, one must strictly follow the great ācāryas.

The Pañca-tattva is a very important factor in understanding Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. There are sahajiyās who, not knowing the importance of the Pañca-tattva, concoct their own slogans, such as bhaja nitāi gaura, rādhe śyāma, japa hare kṛṣṇa hare rāma or śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda hare kṛṣṇa hare rāma śrī-rādhe govinda. Such chants may be good poetry, but they cannot help us to go forward in devotional service. In such chants there are also many discrepancies, which need not be discussed here. Strictly speaking, when chanting the names of the Pañca-tattva, one should fully offer his obeisances: śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda. By such chanting one is blessed with the competency to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra without offense. When chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one should also chant it fully: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. One should not foolishly adopt any of the slogan sconcocted by imaginative devotees. If one actually wants to derive the effects of chanting, one must strictly follow the great ācāryas. This is confirmed in the Mahābhārata: mahā-jano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. “The real path of progress is that which is traversed by great ācāryas and authorities.” Cc Adi 7.168 : PURPORT

 

Anyone can chant, but they must know it, that “If I chant in the proper process, then it will be effective.”

Rāmeśvara: ‘Cause sometimes when we interview these people who are chanting, they speak from their own realization, and it is not exactly the version of Śukadeva Gosvāmī, it is not…, but it is their own realization, whatever little bit they have realized.

Srila PrabhupādaNo, no. They may chant, but they must understand that the chanting process, that will be more effective. That they must know. Chanting is open. Anyone can chant, but they must know it, that “If I chant in the proper process, then it will be effective.”

…Rāmeśvara: Just like this Alice Coltrane. She has done her small part. She made this record album with Govinda Jaya Jaya and Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Srila Prabhupāda: That is… That will be a good thing. But when he (she) does it properly it will be more effective, because there is… If one does not chant in the process, then gradually it degradesThe offense will increase. There is chance.  Feb 25 19787 Mayapur

 

One must receive all kinds of mantras from a bona fide spiritual master; otherwise the mantras will not be fruitful. This is also indicated in Bhagavad-gita (4.34):

 

tad viddhi pranipatena

pariprasnena sevaya

upadeksyanti te jnanam

jnaninas tattva-darsinah

 

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.” All mantras should be received through the authorized guru, and the disciple must satisfy the guru in all respects, after surrendering at his lotus feet. In the Padma Purana it is also said, sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah. There are four sampradayas, or disciplic successions, namely the Brahma-sampradaya, the Rudra-sampradaya, the Sri sampradaya and the Kumara-sampradaya. If one wants to advance in spiritual power, one must receive his mantras from one of these bona fide sampradayas; otherwise he will never successfully advance in spiritual life. SB 6.8.42 P         The Narayana-kavaca Shield

 

 

Srila Prabhupada; We have Daily we understand what is guru. Guru-mukha-padma-vākya, citette kariyā aikya, āra nā kariya mane āśā **. This is that. This is wanted. If you have got real guru and if you follow him, then your life is successful. There is no doubt. April 13 1976 Bombay lecture

 

The Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (2.6) quotes the following injunction from the Viṣṇu-yāmala:

adīkṣitasya vāmoru

kṛtaṁ sarvaṁ nirarthakam

paśu-yonim avāpnoti

dīkṣā-virahito janaḥ

 

“Unless one is initiated by a bona fide spiritual master, all his devotional activities are useless. A person who is not properly initiated can descend again into the animal species.” Madhya 15.108 purport

 

Sisyas te ‘ham sadhi mam prapannam: “Now, Krsna, I accept You as my guru. Not as friend.” Because friendly talking is useless waste of time. He accepted Him as guru. When guru speaks, you cannot argue. That is not the process. You should accept a guru who is infallible. Otherwise it is useless. He accepted guru Krsna because Krsna is infallible. If we accept guru, a bogus guru, then it is no benefit. Guru means Krsna’s representative. Not that everyone can be guru. Srila Prabhupada lecture, Vrindavana, Uttara Pradesh, India, October 3, 1976

 

Srila Prabhupada; This is religion. Adau gurvasrayam. If you do not get a qualified guru, then everything is bogus. If you, by good fortune, if you get the association of a guru, qualified hamsa, paramahamsa…  Paramahamsa guru means sannyasi’s last stage is paramahamsa. Kuticaka, bahudaka, parivrajakacarya, and paramahamsa, these are the different stages. …The Gosvamis practiced this madhupuri in Vrndavana. They lived, but they would take little only from the house. This is called bahudaka. Then when he has practiced more, he travels all over the world, parivrajakacarya.  And when he is fully experienced, then, in spiritual life and everything, then he is paramahamsa. So, one must find out a guru who is paramahamsa. Neither kuticaka, nor bahudaka, nor parivrajakacarya. Paramahamsa. …. Then our strong desire to enjoy this material world in different way, that will be slackened. That is wanted. Thank you very much.Srila Prabhupada lecture, Vrindavana, Uttara Pradesh, India, November 1, 1976

 

Devotee (3): In regard to worshiping arca-vigraha form, you have explained that if one receives a mantra from a spiritual master who is not bona fide, that mantra has no effectSo, I would like to ask if one is worshiping a Deity and his spiritual master is not bona fide, so that Deity cannot be considered the Supreme Lord?

Srila PrabhupadaWell, first of all, thing is if the spiritual master is not bona fide, how his mantra can be bona fide? Your statement is contradictory. If you say the spiritual master is not bona fide, then how his mantra becomes bona fide? If he is bona fide, then his mantra is bona fide.

 

Devotee (3): Then why is he giving instruction to worship the Deity? If the spiritual master is not bona fide, then is the Deity also not bona fide?

Srila Prabhupada: I do not follow. What does he say?

Tamala Krsna: His idea is that if one receives a mantra from a spiritual master, if the spiritual master is not bona fide…

Srila PrabhupadaThen there is no question of mantra. There is no question of worshiping Deity. These are all bogus things. If you are not…

Srila Prabhupada lecture, Surat, Gujarat, India, December 13, 1970

 

 

“If you become disobedient to guru, then your business is finished.” (Lecture 10/8/74)

 

“If one is disobeying the spiritual master, he cannot remain in the pure status of life. He cannot be a siksa-guru or anything else. He is finished, immediately.”

 

A siksa-guru who instructs against the instructions of spiritual, he is not a siksa-guru. He is a demon. Siksa guru does not mean he is speaking something against the teachings of the diksa-guru. He is not a siksa-guru. He is rascal.” “Because that is offense. Guror avajna. First offense is guror avajna, defying the authority of guru. This is the first offense. So, one who is offensive, how he can make advance in chanting? He cannot make. Then everything is finished in the beginning.”   Srila Prabhupada lecture, April 7, 1974

 

 

In the Padma Purāṇa, the characteristics of the guru, the bona fide spiritual master, have been described:

Maha-bhagavata-srestho

brahmano vai gurur nrnam

sarvesam eva lokanam

asau pujyo yatha harih

 

maha-kula-prasuto ‘pi

sarva-yajnesu diksittah

sahasra-sakhadhyayi ca

na guruh syad avaisnavah

 

The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. The first-class devotee is the spiritual master for all kinds of people. […] When one has attained the topmost position of Maha-Bhagavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru.

Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya-Lila 24.330 purport

 

Hearing from authority for actual progress

TRANSLATION

The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedānta-śruti.

PURPORT

The Absolute Truth is realized in full by the process of devotional service to the Lord, Vāsudeva, or the Personality of Godhead, who is the full-fledged Absolute Truth. Brahman is His transcendental bodily effulgence, and Paramātmā is His partial representation. As such, Brahman or Paramātmā realization of the Absolute Truth is but a partial realization. There are four different types of human beings-the karmīs, the jñānīs, the yogīs and the devotees. The karmīs are materialistic, whereas the other three are transcendental. The first-class transcendentalists are the devotees who have realized the Supreme Person. The second-class transcendentalists are those who have partially realized the plenary portion of the absolute person. And the third-class transcendentalists are those who have barely realized the spiritual focus of the absolute person. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā and other Vedic literatures, the Supreme Person is realized by devotional service, which is backed by full knowledge and detachment from material association. We have already discussed the point that devotional service is followed by knowledge and detachment from material association. As Brahman and Paramātmā realization are imperfect realizations of the Absolute Truth, so the means of realizing Brahman and Paramātmā, i.e., the paths of jñāna and yoga, are also imperfect means of realizing the Absolute Truth. Devotional service, which is based on the foreground of full knowledge combined with detachment from material association and which is fixed by the aural reception of the Vedānta-śruti, is the only perfect method by which the seriously inquisitive student can realize the Absolute Truth. Devotional service is not, therefore, meant for the less intelligent class of transcendentalist. There are three classes of devotees, namely first, second, and third class. The third-class devotees, or the neophytes, who have no knowledge and are not detached from material association, but who are simply attracted by the preliminary process of worshiping the Deity in the temple, are called material devotees. Material devotees are more attached to material benefit than transcendental profit. Therefore, one has to make definite progress from the position of material devotional service to the second-class devotional position. In the second-class position, the devotee can see four principles in the devotional line, namely the Personality of Godhead, His devotees, the ignorant and the envious. One has to raise himself at least to the stage of a second-class devotee and thus become eligible to know the Absolute Truth.

A third-class devotee, therefore, has to receive the instructions of devotional service from the authoritative sources of Bhāgavata. The number one Bhāgavata is the established personality of devotee, and the other Bhāgavatam is the message of Godhead. The third-class devotee therefore has to go to the personality of devotee in order to learn the instructions of devotional service. Such a personality of devotee is not a professional man who earns his livelihood by the business of BhāgavatamSuch a devotee must be a representative of Śukadeva Gosvāmī, like Sūta Gosvāmī, and must preach the cult of devotional service for the all-around benefit of all people. A neophyte devotee has very little taste for hearing from the authorities.

A sincere devotee must, therefore, be prepared to hear the Vedic literature like the Upaniṣads, Vedānta and other literatures left by the previous authorities or Gosvāmīs, for the benefit of his progress. Without hearing such literatures, one cannot make actual progress. And without hearing and following the instructions, the show of devotional service becomes worthless and therefore a sort of disturbance in the path of devotional service. Unless, therefore, devotional service is established on the principles of śruti, smṛti, purāṇa or pañcarātra authorities, the make-show of devotional service should at once be rejected. An unauthorized devotee should never be recognized as a pure devotee. By assimilation of such messages from the Vedic literatures, one can see the all-pervading localized aspect of the Personality of Godhead within his own self constantly. This is called samādhi.

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.12 purport

 

Srila Prabhupada: “…You have learned something about Kṛṣṇa consciousness, now you rightly distribute them, then you will increase your group. But if you want to manufacture something of your own concoction, that will not act. That will not… That will be gramophone. No. Thank you very much. (end) Srila Prabhupada Srimad-Bhagavatam class, SB 1.5.28, Los Angeles, California, USA, December 6, 1973

 

 

 

Back to top

 

ADDITION AND DEVIATION

 

his lecture anywhere now will bear no spiritual sequence

2.Oct 6 1967 letter

Kirtanananda may be eager to address in the Harvard university but recently he has lost his link on account of disobedience. You sing every day morning that by the mercy of the Spiritual master one can please the Lord and one who has not pleased the spiritual master cannot have any access in the realm of Krishna Consciousness. Very recently Kirtanananda has developed a different consciousness of Maya which is called misuse of one’s minute independence offered by Krishna. By misuse of one’s independence one at once becomes a victim of Maya and thus he loses all importance in Krishna Consciousness. So it is my definite opinion that his lecture anywhere now will bear no spiritual sequence. He must rectify his mistake before he can play in our Society any important role. By lips he says that he is a surrendered soul but by action he is thinking differently.

 

 

If he is actually engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, under the direction of spiritual master

Plotinus discussions – Hayagriva

 So even if he is…, are in this material body, if you are engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, that is liberation. Hitvā anyathā rūpaṁ sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ. When we give up  our otherwise life… “Otherwise life” means to be engaged in māyā’s service—as the head of the family, head of the community, head or member of this and… We have designated in so many ways. So that is our conditional life. And the same service, when we render to Kṛṣṇa cent percent, we are liberated. Sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ. That is mukti. … Bhakti means the activities of liberated life. One may understand or not understand; if he is actually engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, under the direction of spiritual master, he is liberated. But if he voluntarily accepts again māyā’s service, then he is become conditioned. This is the secret. 

 

 

“Unless one is under the shelter of a realized spiritual master, his understanding of the Supreme is simply foolishness.” TLC 18

 

 

knowledge received from the bona fide spiritual master is not cheating

SB 3.24.12 purport-

Brahmā praises Kardama because he carried out the orders of the spiritual master in toto and without cheating. A conditioned soul in the material world has the disqualification of cheating. He has four disqualifications: he is sure to commit mistakes, he is sure to be illusioned, he is prone to cheat others, and his senses are imperfect. But if one carries out the order of the spiritual master by disciplic succession, or the paramparā system, he overcomes the four defects. Therefore, knowledge received from the bona fide spiritual master is not cheating. Any other knowledge which is manufactured by the conditioned soul is cheating only.

 

many karmīs in the dress of devotees

Madhya 19.157 : PURPORT “… It is also said,phalena paricīyate one’s success or defeat in any activity is understood by its result. There are many karmīs in the dress of devotees, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead can detect their purpose.The karmīs want to use the property of the Lord for their selfish sense gratification, but a devotee endeavors to use the Lord’s property for God’s service. Therefore a devotee is always distinct from the karmīs,although the karmīs may dress like devotees….A karmī,however, although externally working like a devotee, is entangled in his nondevotional activity, and thus he suffers the tribulations of material existence. Thus from the results achieved by the karmīs and devotees, one can understand the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who acts differently for the karmīs and jñānīs than for the devotees

 

A mundane person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava

SB 8.9.28 : PURPORT -An actual Vaiṣnava is very pleased to accept another Vaiṣṇava who is bestowing the Lord’s mercy.A mundane person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava should not be respected but rejected. This is enjoined in the śāstra(upekṣā). The word upekṣā means neglect. One should neglect an envious person. A preacher’s duty is to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, make friendships with Vaiṣṇavas, show mercy to the innocent and reject or neglect those who are envious or jealous.There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaiṣṇavas in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected.There is no need to serve a jealous person who is in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava. When Narottama dāsaṬhākura say chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava sevā nistāra payeche kebā, he is indicating an actual Vaiṣṇava, not an enviousor jealous person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava.

 

 

if we create, concoct ideas against the instruction of guru, then we are doomed, hell

Prabhupāda: So this is the process. That is the… You sing every day. Guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya **. That is the process. Wherever you live, if you follow strictly the instruction of guru, then you remain perfect. But if we create, concoct ideas against the instruction of guru, then we are doomed, hell. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi **. There is no more shelter, finished. Yasya prasādāt. If guru thinks that “This person, I wanted to take him back to home, back to Godhead. Now he is going against me. He is not following,” aprasādāt, he is displeased, then everything is finished.

Bali Mardana: Vaiṣṇavāparādha.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (1): Śrīla Prabhupāda, where does someone derive his authority…

Prabhupāda: The guru is authority.

Devotee (1): No, I know, but for his actions other than just following the four regulative principles and chanting sixteen rounds. He does so many other things during the day. Where does he derive his authority if he’s not, let’s say, living in the temple?

Prabhupāda: I do not follow. The authority is guru. You have accepted.

Bali Mardana: For everything.

Jayatīrtha: Say I have some outside job, I’m living outside, but I’m not giving 50% of my income. So then that work that I’m doing, is it actually under the authority of the guru?

Prabhupāda: Then you are not following the instruction of guru. That is plain fact.

Jayatīrtha: So that means that whole activity during the day, working, that means I am not following the instruction of the guru. It’s unauthorized activity.

Prabhupāda: Yes. If you don’t follow the instruction of guru, then you are fallen down immediately. That is the way. Otherwise why you sing, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo **. It is my duty to satisfy guru. Otherwise I am nowhere. So if you prefer to be nowhere, then you disobey as you like. But if you want to be steady in your position, then you have to follow strictly the instruction of guru.

Devotee (1): We can understand all of your instructions simply by reading your books.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Anyway, follow the instruction. That is required. Follow the instruction. Wherever you remain, it doesn’t matter. You are secure. Follow the instruction. Then you are secure anywhere. It doesn’t matter. Just like I told you that I saw my Guru Mahārāja not more than ten days in my life, but I followed his instruction. I was a gṛhastha, I never lived with the Maṭha, in the temple. It is practical. So many Godbrothers recommended that “He should be in charge in this Bombay temple, this, that, that…” Guru Mahārāja said, “Yes, better he lives outside. That is good, and he will do what is needed in due course of time.”

Devotees: Jaya! Haribol!

Prabhupāda: He said like that. I could not understand at that time what does he expect. Of course, I knew that he wanted me to preach.

Yaśodānandana: I think you have done this in grand style.

Devotees: Jaya, Prabhupāda! Haribol!

Prabhupāda: Yes, done grand style because I strictly follow the instruction of my Guru Mahārāja, that’s all. Otherwise I have no strength. I have not played any magic. Did I? Any gold manufacturing? (laughter) Still, I have got better disciples than the gold-manufacturing guru.

Yaśodānandana: Before you came, many gurus came, but they did not make any pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: How they can? He is not pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. How he can do? Kṛṣṇa-śakti vinā nāhe nāma pracāra: “Without being empowered by Kṛṣṇa nobody can turn a person to become devotee of Kṛṣṇa.” It is not… Artificially, you cannot make. He may make show of gold manufacturing, but he cannot make a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible.

Jayatīrtha: So the purpose of having the Society is to show the devotees how they can always be twenty-four hours engaged according to your instruction.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is helping one another. If I am deficient, by seeing your example I shall correct myself. This is the idea, not that a fool’s paradise: all fools and join together. Not like that. There should be ideal life, at least the leaders, the president, the GBC. They will show the example, and they will follow. Then it is beneficial. And all of them are fools? Then it is fool’s paradise. At least, in the blind association, at least if one man has got eyes, then he can lead all the blind men. But if all of them are blind, then it is fool’s paradise. So somehow or other, we have got now a position. People likes us. So we should not spoil by personal sense gratification. That is my request. If we can maintain this institution rigidly according to the order, then many people will be benefited. By seeing our behavior, by character, they will become. Apani ācāri prabhu jīveri śikṣāya. The leader should be ideal.

Devotee (1): We should dedicate our lives to preaching this message of Lord Caitanya.

Prabhupāda: Yes, preaching, preaching, you will become perfect preacher. Preach only what you have heard from Kṛṣṇa and guru, that’s all. Don’t add and subtract. Then you are secure. And if you add some concoction just like somebody says that “I may do whatever I like independently. If I chant, then everything is all right,” this is nonsense addition. It is not the fact. That is the danger. Some inexperienced man, he introduces some concoction. Sometimes they say, “Prabhupāda said it.” More misleading. Yes. (end)

Morning Walk — February 3, 1975, Hawaii

 

Missing the point

Srila Prabhupada states:    “A well-known Bengali saying goes, “After reading the whole Ramayana, you want to know whose father Sita is ” This question is ludicrous, since Sita is Lord Rama’s wife, and thus such a query will naturally invite quips and laughter.”N98:RTW 4.1  The Fundamental Question Evades the Erudite Scholar.

Srila Prabhupada: “We beg mercy from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. That is the way of worship in this age. You cannot approach Krsna. Then it will be sudurlabhah. Manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye, yatatam api siddhanam. If you try to approach Krsna… Actually we are seeing that. The Bhagavad-gita is being read by so many scholars, so many theosophists and theist, but they do not understand Krsna. You will find it practically. So many big, big scholar, so many men, they say, “I read Bhagavad-gita thrice in a day.” And ask him about Krsna–he does not know anything. You will find it practically. He will be very proud of reading Bhagavad-gita. The politicians, they take photograph, taking a Bhagavad-gita in his hand, but ask him about Krsna–he does not know anything. Sat khanda ramayana pare ‘Sita kahar baba’: “He has read all the Ramayana, and he is asking, ‘Well, can you say me who father is sita?’ ” he does not know who whether Sita is mother or father.

So this is the position. Because he does not know who is guru and how to learn Bhagavad-gita, therefore he is frustrated. Srila Prabhupada lecture, Bombay, India – December 27, 1974 Lectures

 

Nothing new should be added. New things means their brain is not clear

“One thing I received one letter from gurukula regarding the Krsna Bowl contests, and I want you to know that nothing new should be added. Whatever I have introduced should remain. Nothing new should be added. New things means their brain is not clear. Carefully manage things what I have established.” (SPL to Rupanuga dasa, 4th September, 1974)

 

keeping the Acarya in the centre

I wish that each and every Branch shall keep their independent identity and cooperate keeping the Acarya in the centre. On this principle we can open any number of Branches all over the world. The Ramakrishna mission works on this principle and thus as organization they have done wonderfully. Feb 11 1967 SF

 

disciplic succession does not mean one has to be directly a disciple of a particular person

Jan 25 1969 letter
Another point is that disciplic succession does not mean one has to be directly a disciple of a particular person. The conclusions which we have tried to explain in our Bhagavad-gita As It Is is the same as those conclusions of ArjunaArjuna accepted Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and we also accept the same truth under the disciplic succession of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another. This is an axiomatic truth. So there is no difference of opinion of understanding Krishna between ourselves and Arjuna. Another example is that a tree has many branches, and you will find one leaf here and another leaf there. But if you take this leaf and the other leaf and you press them both, you will see that the taste is the same. The taste is the conclusion, and from the taste you can understand that both leaves are from the same tree.

 

Disciplic succession means to accept the disciplic conclusion.

69-10-31–My Dear Dinesh, …

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.

 

 

TRANSLATION

Some of the disciples strictly accepted the orders of the ācārya, and others deviated, independently concocting their own opinions under the spell of daivī-māyā.

PURPORT

This verse describes the beginning of a schism. When disciples do not stick to the principle of accepting the order of their spiritual master, immediately there are two opinions. Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is useless. One cannot infiltrate materially concocted ideas into spiritual advancement. That is deviation. There is no scope for adjusting spiritual advancement to material ideas.

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/cc/adi/12/9

 

 

persons who deviate from the strict order of the spiritual master are useless

TRANSLATION

The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless.

PURPORT

Here is the opinion of Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī. Persons who strictly follow the orders of the spiritual master are useful in executing the will of the Supreme, whereas persons who deviate from the strict order of the spiritual master are useless.

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/cc/adi/12/10

 

Yaśomatīnandana: Sometimes they even say that “You have your guru and I have my guru. It’s all the same thing.”

Prabhupāda: Yes, and a thief has also a guru. Then that guru is also the same thing. (Hindi) Here guru means tasmād gurum prapadyeta jijñāsur śreya uttaman[SB 11.3.21]. (Hindi) Nāpnuvanti mahātmānam saṁsiddhiṁ paramaṁ gataḥ.

SP conv Nov 14, 1975

 

“This verse describes the beginning of a schism. When disciples do not stick to the principle of accepting the order of their spiritual master, immediately there are two opinions. Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is useless. One cannot infiltrate materially concocted ideas into spiritual advancement. That is deviation. There is no scope for adjusting spiritual advancement to material ideas.” (CC Adi 12.9 Purport)

 

“Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja comments in this connection, “One can become perfectly successful in the mission of his life if he acts exactly according to the words he hears from the mouth of his spiritual master.” This acceptance of the words of the spiritual master is called śrauta-vākya, which indicates that the disciple must carry out the spiritual master’s instructions without deviation. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura remarks in this connection that a disciple must accept the words of his spiritual master as his life and soul. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu here confirms this by saying that since His spiritual master ordered Him only to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, He always chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra according to this direction (‘kṛṣṇa-mantra’ japa sadā,-ei mantra-sāra).” C.C. ADI 7.72

 

Philadelphia, July 12, 1975 : 750712SB.PHI : Prabhupāda: Yes. This is the order. Guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya **. Now citta means consciousness or heart. “I shall do this only, bas. My Guru Mahārāja told me; I shall do this.” Cittete koriyā aikya, ār nā koriho mane āśā. So it is not my pride, but I can say, for your instruction, I did it. Therefore whatever little success you see than my all my Godbrothers, it is due to this. I have no capacity, but I took it, the words of my guru, as life and soul. So this is fact. Guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya **.Everyone should do that. But if he makes addition, alteration, then he is finished. No addition, alteration. Youhave to approach guru—guru means the faithful servant of God, Kṛṣṇa—and take his word how to serve Him. Then you are successful. If you concoct, “I am very intelligent than my guru, and I can make addition or alteration,” then you are finished.

 

Everywhere the followers make the whole thing bungled.

Dr. Patel: These Christians, during the Christmas, they buy a turkey one month before…

Srila Prabhupāda: But that is not the injunction of Christ. They have made it.

Dr. Patel: No, no. That cannot be injunction of a saint like that.

Srila Prabhupāda: No. He says, “Thou shall not kill,” general order.

Dr. Patel: Christ was a great bhāgavatabhakta.

Srila Prabhupāda: Hm?

Dr. Patel: He was a bhakta.

Srila Prabhupāda: Yes. I said in many lectures that Christianism means Vaisnavism. Where is the Christian?

Dr. Patel: Vaiṣṇavism. Totally Vaisnavism.

Srila Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.

Dr. Patel: Christianity it is really Vaisnavism, but they, unfortunately… The church…

Srila Prabhupāda: Mohamedanism… Mohammedanism…

Dr. Patel: The church has spoiled it.

Srila Prabhupāda: Eh?

Dr. Patel: Church has defaced it.

Srila Prabhupāda: Yes. Everywhere.

Dr. Patel: It is the church, Christian church, which has defaced Christism.

Srila PrabhupādaHare KrsnaEverywhere the followers make the whole thing bungled. Hm. Go on. [break].  Srila Prabhupada morning walk conversation – Bombay, Maharasthra, India – May 1, 1974

 

 

EA 29-4 Fourth octet The essential purport neglected

Those disciples who were irresolute in performing devotional service according to your instructions have now divided your mission in many factions. It appears that the tigress of ambition for material names and fame has appeared and personally provoked this upheaval.

 

 

Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp.

But Sridhara Maharaja is responsible for disobeying this order of Guru Maharaja, and he and others who are already dead unnecessarily thought that there must be one acarya. If Guru Maharaja could have seen someone who was qualified at that time to be acarya he would have mentioned. Because on the night before he passed away he talked of so many things, but never mentioned an acarya. His idea was acarya was not to be nominated amongst the governing body. He said openly you make a GBC and conduct the mission. So his idea was amongst the members of GBC who would come out successful and self effulgent acarya would be automatically selected. So Sridhara Maharaja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one acarya and later it proved a failure. The result is now everyone is claiming to be acarya even though they may be kanistha adhikari with no ability to preach. In some of the camps the acarya is being changed three times a year. Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp. Actually amongst my Godbrothers no one is qualified to become acarya. So it is better not to mix with my Godbrothers very intimately because instead of inspiring our students and disciples they may sometimes pollute them. This attempt was made previously by them, especially Madhava Maharaja and Tirtha Maharaja and Bon Maharaja but somehow or other I saved the situation. This is going on. We shall be very careful about them and not mix with them. This is my instruction to you all. They cannot help us in our movement, but they are very competent to harm our natural progress. So we must be very careful about them.  (Letter to Rupanuga April 28 1974)

 

All my disciples should avoid all of my God brothers.

“All my disciples should avoid all of my God brothers. They should not have any dealings with them nor even correspondence, nor should we give them any of my books, nor should we purchase any of their books, neither should you visit any of their temples. Please avoid them.” SP letter 9th November, 1975

 

may 27 1977 Vrndavana

Prabhupāda: This Nitāi, as soon as he mixed with some pseudo devotee, fell down. Rascal. He’s searching after guru. And where is now?

Rāmeśvara: In America.

Prabhupāda: What does he do?

Rāmeśvara: Some karmī job to get money.

Prabhupāda: Just see. (laughs) And he’s asking my blessings for a guru. He’s a fanatic. [break] …know that story, punar muṣako bhava. (laughter)

 

 

“When our men become sahajiya they will become more dangerous”—SP

 

to judge who is actually his disciple, to divide the useful from the useless, one must measure the activities of such disciples in executing the will of the spiritual master.

This example given by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī is very appropriate. In the case of the Gauḍīya Maṭha members, one can apply a similar process. There are many disciples of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, but to judge who is actually his disciple, to divide the useful from the useless, one must measure the activities of such disciples in executing the will of the spiritual master. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura tried his best to spread the cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to countries outside India. When he was present he patronized the disciples to go outside India to preach the cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but they were unsuccessful because within their minds they were not actually serious about preaching His cult in foreign countries; they simply wanted to take credit for having gone to foreign lands and utilize this recognition in India by advertising themselves as repatriated preachers. Many svāmīs have adopted this hypocritical means of preaching for the last eighty years or more, but no one could preach the real cult of Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world. They merely came back to India falsely advertising that they had converted all the foreigners to the ideas of Vedānta or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and then they collected funds in India and lived satisfied lives of material comfort. As one fans paddy to separate the real paddy from useless straw, by accepting the criterion recommended by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī one can very easily understand who is a genuine world-preacher and who is useless.

 

The one who serves the message of the guru really worships him.

PKP                  PHALGUNA KRISHNA PANCAMI

  1. Now even, my godbrothers, you return here to the order of our master, and together we engage in his puja.
  2. But simply a festival of flowers and fruits does not constitute worship. The one who serves the message of the guru really worships him.
  3. The service of the message is the real meaning of the Vedas. Don’t be proud, brothers, come back to this.

 

Change of heart comes from accepting order of guru without argument

751017mw.joḥ

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: What is the sign that someone is actually having change in heart?

Prabhupāda: By his action. [break] …kasipu tried to make Prahlāda atheist. He failed. And Prahlāda tried to make his father theist. He failed. Don’t you see?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So unless one agrees you cannot turn him. It is not possible. Five-years’-old boy, staunch devotee, and the powerful Hiraṇyakaśipu, father, who is threatening with his life and so many ways he tried that “You become atheist, godless. Otherwise I shall kill you.” He did not agree. And similarly, the son also solicited the father that “You have got so much power by the grace of God. Why you are becoming atheist?” Both of them could not turn to their side. Prahlāda remained Prahlāda, and Hiraṇyakaśipu remained Hiraṇyakaśipu. [break] …can expect that without agreeing, conceding, one can be reformed. No, that is not possible. Impossible.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Not simply by rubber stamp.

Prabhupāda: No, that is not possible. He must agree, “Yes.” Therefore guru is required. Guru means, accept guru means, “Whatever you say, I will accept.” That is guruOtherwise friendly talk. Friendly talk will not do. To accept guru means “Now I accept you, guru, my instructor, without any argument,” and that is acceptance. “Whatever you say, I shall do.” That is agreement. Then he can be reformed. Śiṣyas te ‘ha śādhi  prapannam: “I surrender unto you. I become your disciple. Now you train me.” Then he can be reformed. Otherwise not possible. [break]

 

Guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete koriya aikya, ara na koriho mane asa. Don’t think of any nonsense. Simply execute what your guru has said. That is success.” Srila Prabhupada Room conversation, January 28, 1977

 

Without carrying out the order of the spiritual master, they manufactured something and the whole thing was lost.

Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, āmāra ājñāya guru hañā [Cc. Madhya 7.128], “You become a spiritual master under My order.” So if you carry out the order of Caitanya MahāprabhuKṛṣṇa, then you become guru. Āmāra ājñāya guru hañā. Unfortunately, we do not wish to carry out order of the ācāryas. We manufacture our own ways. We have got practical experience how a great institution was lost by whimsical ways. Without carrying out the order of the spiritual master, they manufactured something and the whole thing was lost. Therefore Viśvanātha CakravartīṬhākura stresses very much on the words of the spiritual master. Vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kurunandana [Bg. 2.41]. If you stick to the order of spiritual master, then, without caring for your own convenience or inconvenience, then you become perfect.

 

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy 
arthāḥ
prakāśante 
mahātmanaḥ
[ŚU 6.23]

 

This is the confirmation of all authorities. We have to carry out very faithfully the order of the bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa. Then our life is successful. Then we can understand Kṛṣṇa in truth. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11]. We have to hear from the tattvavit, not from the so-called scholars and politicians. No. One who knows the truth, you have to hear from him. And if you stick to that principle, then you understand everything very clearly. Srila Prabhupada Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture, SB 1.2.11, Vrindavana, Uttara Pradesh, India, October 22, 1972

we cannot manufacture that “This is Kṛṣṇa’s desire.” No. You have to get it confirmed from the transparent medium, spiritual master.

So you can violate the laws on the order of Kṛṣṇa. You cannot do. This is surrender. When Kṛṣṇa says that “You do this,” although it is wrong, you have to do it. There is no consideration.Just like in fight, the commander says to the soldiers, “Do this.” His duty is to do that. He should not think at that time what is right or wrong. Just like Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, he was advised by Kṛṣṇa that “Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, you go to Droṇācārya and inform him that ‘Your son is dead.’ ” It was a false information. Because Droṇācārya would not die if he is not affected with some lamentation. So Kṛṣṇa asked Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira that “You go because you are recognized truthful, Dharmarāja. So when you will say, this is also false, he will believe.” But Yudhiṣṭhira hesitated, “How can I tell lie?” He disobeyed the order of Kṛṣṇa, and he wanted to become very truthful. For this reason he had to see hell. So in the mundane consideration there are so many things, right and wrong. So long you are on the mundane platform, you have to obey all these right and wrong. But in the spiritual platform, when it is ordered by Kṛṣṇa… He is above all this duality. He is Absolute. So even if He says to do something wrong… Because He cannot say anything which is wrong. God is all-good. If you discriminate God’s order from the mundane platform, then you will be misguided. Anyone who has got firm and fixed up faith that whatever God does, whatever God orders, even from mundane calculation it may be wrong, that is right… That is absolute understanding. So those who are in the spiritual platform, for them, there is no such consideration, which is right and which is wrong. Their only consideration is whether Kṛṣṇa is pleased. That’s all. If Kṛṣṇa is pleased by inducing me to do something wrong, I will not hesitate to do it. I will do it because it is Kṛṣṇa’s order. Tasmin tuṣṭe jagat tuṣṭam. My principle should be, “If Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, then everything is all right.” But while we are in the mundane platform, we should not concoct the idea that “Kṛṣṇa is pleased; let me do that.” No. That you, cannot do. You have to follow the rules and regulations. But if you think that it is… You cannot think; neither you can manufacture. So either you should hear from Kṛṣṇa directly or… That is not possible because we are not in touch with Kṛṣṇa at the present moment. We are trying to see Kṛṣṇa through the transparent medium of spiritual master. So we cannot manufacture that “This is Kṛṣṇa’s desire.” No. You have to get it confirmed from the transparent medium, spiritual master. These are the principles. London, August 1, 1973 : 730801BGSo

 

If you do whimsically, concoctedly, that will be failure. It will not be effective.

Prabhupāda: Therefore he is not to be preached. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra: [Cc. Ādi 9.41] “Go to do good to others. First of all you do good to yourself.” First of all you become really preacher. Then go to preach. Caitanya Mahāprabhu never sent neophyte to go to preach. For neophyte the preaching is not their business. For neophyte, one should stick to the worship of Deity in the temple. And those who have understood the philosophy, applied the philosophy in his life, he should go for preaching. Otherwise he’ll preach wrongly, like…. What is that? Charan das Babaji. And it will stop. He wanted to preach, but he did not know how to preach, and therefore, after his life, it is finished. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu does not say like that, that “You remain a rascal and go to preach.” No. Janma sārthaka kari. “Your first business is that you make your life perfect. Then go to preach. Perfect means you learn how to obey My orders.” That is perfection. Āmāra ājñāya. So if you are actually, perfectly carrying out the orders of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, then you are preaching. Otherwise you will do wrongly, mislead. Don’t do that. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ [SB 7.5.31]. If you remain blind, don’t try to lead other blind men. That is misleading. First of all open your eyes. Everything is there. Nobody can do anything whimsically. If you do whimsically, concoctedly, that will be failure. It will not be effective.  Room Conversation — May 2, 1976, Fiji : 760502rc.fij

 

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HELLISHLY IMPLICATED

 

A śikṣā-guru who instructs against the instruction of spiritual, he is not a śikṣā guru. He is a demon. 

  1. Honolulu july 4 1974-

Sudāmā: There also is the position of or some question is raised as to how to actually follow the authority. What is the authority between…?

Prabhupāda: Authority is your spiritual master. You do not know who is authority? Why this question is there? If one is initiated, then he accepted the authority. And if he does not follow the instruction of spiritual master, he is a rascal. He is defying the authority. That’s all.

Sudāmā: The question also is there: the authority is the spiritual master, but the via media to the spiritual master… The difference between, like we were discussing in the automobile of śikṣā and dīkṣā-guru.

Prabhupāda: Then so śikṣā and dīkṣā-guru… A śikṣā-guru who instructs against the instruction of spiritual, he is not a śikṣā guru. He is a demon. Śikṣā-guru, dīkṣā-guru means… Sometimes a dīkṣā-guru is not present always. Therefore one can take learning, instruction, from an advanced devotee. That is called the śikṣā-guru. Śikṣā-guru does not mean he is speaking something against the teachings of the dīkṣā-guru. He is not a śikṣā-guru. He is a rascal.

Because that is offense. Guror avajñā. First offense is guror avajñā, defying the authority of guru. This is the first offense. So one who is offensive, how he can make advance in chanting? He cannot make. Then everything is finished in the beginning. Guror avajñā. Everything is there. If one is disobeying the spiritual master, he cannot remain in the pure status of life. He cannot be śikṣā-guru or anything else. He is finished, immediately. Guror avajñā śruti-śāstra-nindanam, nāmno balād yasya hi… You do not study all these things. You become initiated. There are ten kinds of offenses. Do you have any regard for these things or not? You must avoid these ten kinds of offenses. The first offense is to disobey the orders of guru. That is first offense. So if you are offensive, how you can become advanced by chanting? That is also not possible.

 

both the master and his ward  go to hell without a doubt

SB 1.19.37  P    The Appearance of Sukadeva Gosvami    Unless  one is perfectly anxious to inquire about the way of perfection, there is no  necessity of approaching a spiritual master. A spiritual master is not a kind of  decoration for a householder. Generally a fashionable materialist engages a  so-called spiritual master without any profit. The pseudo spiritual  master flatters the so-called disciple, and thereby both the master and his ward  go to hell without a doubt.

 

both of them will to go to hell, like blind men  leading the blind

2.)72-12-14.Letter: Tusta  Krsna    As for your next question, can only a few pure devotees  deliver others, anyone, if he is a pure devotee he can deliver others, he can  become spiritual master. But unless he on that platform he should not  attempt it. Then both of them will to go to hell, like blind men  leading the blind.

 

those who mislead people go to hell, and their followers  go with them

3.)SB 6.7.14  Indra  Offends His Spiritual Master, Brhaspati.    Leaders who have fallen  into ignorance and who mislead people by directing them to the path of  destruction [as described in the previous verse] are, in effect, boarding a  stone boat, and so too are those who blindly follow them. A stone boat would be  unable to float and would sink in the water with its passengers.  Similarly, those who mislead people go to hell, and their followers  go with them.

 

 

the most dangerous elements in human society

4.)Isopanisad Mantra  12:

 They ignore the Vedic injunction ācāryopāsana-“One must  worship the ācārya“-and Kṛṣṇa’s  statement in the Bhagavad-gītā (4.2) evaṁ paramparā-prāptam, “This supreme  science of God is received through the disciplic succession.” Instead, to  mislead the people in general they themselves become so-called  ācāryas, but they do not even follow the principles of the  ācāryas.

These rogues are  the most dangerous elements in human society. Because there is no religious  government, they escape punishment by the law of the state. They cannot,  however, escape the law of the Supreme, who has clearly declared in the  Bhagavad-gītā that envious demons in  the garb of religious propagandists shall be thrown into the darkest regions of  hell (Bg. 16.19-20). Śrī Īśopaniṣad confirms that these pseudo religionists are heading toward the most obnoxious  place in the universe after the completion of their spiritual master business, which they conduct simply for sense  gratification.

 

unnecessary disturbance in society

SB 8.12.10 : PURPORT :

“Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upaniṣads, purāṇas and Nārada-pañcarātra is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.” (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.101) Those who are very advanced in knowledge and are situated in the mode of goodness follow the Vedic instructions of the śruti and smṛtiand other religious scriptures, including the pāñcarātrikī-vidhi. Without understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead in this way, one only creates a disturbanceIn this age of Kali, so many gurus have sprung up, and because they do not refer to the śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-pañcarātrika-vidhi

śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-
pañcarātra-vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir
utpātāyaiva kalpate

 

Acyutānanda: Some of the devotees, they said that it is for liberated souls. So they said, “Well, we are all liberated.”

Prabhupāda: Yes. Liberated for going to hell.

Aug 16 1976

 

 

If you can please your spiritual master, then you know that God, or Kṛṣṇa, is pleased. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyaprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi **. And if you cannot please your spiritual master, then you must know that you do not know your whereabouts. You do not know where you are going. Sept 25 1968

 

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TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE VANI, NOT THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE

 

“Although according to material vision His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda passed away from this material world on the last day of December, 1936, I still consider His Divine Grace to be always present with me by his vāṇī, his words. There are two ways of association-by vāṇī and by vapu. Vāṇī means words, and vapu means physical presence. Physical presence is sometimes appreciable and sometimes not, but vāṇī continues to exist eternally. Therefore we must take advantage of the vāṇī, not the physical presence.” (Cc. 1975 Concluding Words)

 

“…progress in spiritual life cannot be obstructed by any material condition. This is called ahaituky apratihatā. Reception of spiritual knowledge is never checked by any material condition.” (SB 7.7.1 purport)

 

“So now, by the grace of Kṛṣṇa and Caitanya Mahāprabhu and in the presence of my Guru Mahārāja, you are so nice boys and girls. So in front of Caitanya Mahāprabhu you are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and you are taking part in it very seriously. So my Guru Mahārāja will be very, very much pleased upon you and bless you with all benefits. So he wanted this, and he is not… It is not that he is dead and gone. That is not spiritual understanding. Even ordinary living being, he does not die. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. And what to speak of such exalted, authorized personality like Bhaktisiddhānta. He is seeing. […] Similarly, Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa’s representative, spiritual master, if you keep always intact, in link with the words and instruction of the superior authorities, then you are always fresh. This is spiritual understanding.” (Lecture: His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada’s Appearance Day, Lecture — Atlanta, March 2, 1975)

 

“So although a physical body is not present, the vibration should be accepted as the presence of the Spiritual Master, vibration. What we have heard from the Spiritual Master, that is living.” (SB Lecture, 13/01/69, Los Angeles)

 

“All Questions and answers are practically given in our books.”

(Srila Prabhupada Letter to disciple – Tokyo, Japan 16th, August, 1970)

 

The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am the initiator, 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 I want. Srila Prabhupada letter, August 4, 1975

 

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.” Srila Prabhupada Radio Interview, December 3, 1968

 

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