D) By Accepting that Lord Caitanya’s Personal Associates Are Eternally Transcendental, One Is Promoted to Lord Krishna’s Abode.
One is promoted to the transcendental abode of Lord Krishna, Sri Goloka Dhama, simply by accepting that Lord Caitanya’s confidential associates are nitya-siddlias, eternally perfect persons, whose births and pastimes in this world are completely transcendental and meant for the benefit of all conditioned souls in the universe.
sri caitanya-krpa-bharau bhuvi bhuvo bharavahantakarau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau:
“Thus they are engaged in missionary activities meant to deliver all the conditioned souls in the material universe…” (Sri Sri Sad-gosvamy-astaka, Prayers to the Six Gosvamis, by Srinivasa Acarya)
“The nitya-siddha never forgets his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead… By the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the nitya-siddlia remains within this material world like an ordinary man, but the only business of the nitya-siddlia is to broadcast the glories of the Lord… All nitya-siddlws within this material world may appear to toil like ordinary men, but they never forget their position as servants of the Lord.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 5.113, Purport)
“… the conditioned soul is tightly tied by the ropes of illusion. A man bound by the hands and feet cannot free himself—he must be helped by a person who is unbound. Because the bound cannot help the bound, the rescuer must be liberated. Therefore, only Lord Krishna, or His bona fide representative the spiritual master, can release the conditioned soul. Without such superior help, one cannot be freed from the bondage of material nature.” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is 7.14, Purport)
“A nitya-siddlia is one who was never contaminated by the material nature… Nitya-siddlws never came into contact with the material nature. All the associates of Lord Caitanya are nitya-siddlws, or eternally perfect… We should understand that as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Krishna Himself, is transcendental, similarly His personal associates are also nitya-siddha, or eternally transcendental… Simply by accepting that the associates of Lord Caitanya are eternally free, one is immediately promoted to the transcendental abode of Lord Krishna.” (Narottama dasa Thakura’s Savarana-sri-gaura-mahima, Purport)
“By the grace of Lord Sri Krishna, we had the chance of being born in a Vaisnava family, and in our childhood we imitated the worship of Lord Krishna by imitating our father… Our spiritual master, who also took his birth in a Vaisnava family, got all inspirations from his great Vaisnava father, Thakura Bhaktivinoda… There is always symmetry between the early lives of all great devotees of the Lord… Such maha-bhagavatas are called nitya-siddhas, souls liberated from birth.” (Sriniad-Bhagavatam 2.3.15, Purport)
E) Everyone Should Accept Srila Prabhupada as Spiritual Master.
As the Vedas underscore, acaryavan puruso veda: to get a bona fide understanding of Lord and His instructions in the scriptures, spiritual seekers must follow a bona fide acarya or spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada affirms this foundational spiritual principle and casts aside the notion that material space and time can somehow prevent followers of the spiritual master from associating with him in the here and now.
“Sri Jiva Gosvami advises that one not accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary or customary social and ecclesiastical conventions. One should simply try to find a genuinely qualified spiritual master for actual advancement in spiritual understanding.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi 1.35, Purport)
“One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorized by his predecessor spiritual master. This is called diksa-vidhana. Lord Krishna states in Bhagavad-gita, vyapasrita: one should accept a spiritual master. By this process the entire world can be converted to Krishna consciousness.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.8.54, Purport)
“… acaryavan puruso veda: one who follows the disciplic succession of acaryas knows things as they are.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.22.24, Purport, citing Chandogya Upanisad 6.14.2)
“… the Christians are following Christ, a great personality. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. You follow some mahajana, a great personality…. You follow an acarya. Like the Christians— they follow Christ, an acarya. The Muhammadans—they follow an acarya, Muhammad. That is good. You must follow some acarya…. Evam parampara-praptam.” (Conversation, May 20, 1975, Melbourne)
“Regarding the parampara system: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. We have to pick up the prominent acarya and follow from him.” (Letter, April 12,1968)
“This is called guru-parampara, disciplic succession…. This is the perfect process of knowledge. You approach the perfect person and get knowledge, and that is your perfect experience…. We are getting knowledge from Krishna, the most perfect. Or you get knowledge from Jesus Christ. That is also perfect, because the source is perfect.” (Conversation, June 19,1974, Germany)
“Actually, one who is guided by Jesus Christ will certainly get liberation.” (Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers, Chapter 9)
“… one has to associate with liberated persons not directly, physically, but by understanding, through philosophy and logic…” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.31.48, Purport)
“These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads-he is hearing.” (Letter, October 19, 1974)
Disciple: “I feel so far away from you, you know, when you’re not here.”
Srila Prabhupada: “Oh—that you should not think. There are two conceptions: the physical conception and the vibration conception. So the physical conception is temporary. The vibration conception is eternal. Just like we are enjoying or we are relishing the vibration of Krishna’s teachings. So by vibration He is present. As soon as we chant Hare Krishna or chant Bliagavad-gita or Bhagaimta, He is present immediately by His vibration. He’s absolute. Therefore, try to remember His words of instruction—you’ll not feel separation. You’ll feel that He is with you. So we should associate by the vibration, and not by the physical presence. That is real association.” (Questions and answers following a lecture, August 18, 1968, Montreal)
Disciple: Is there any way for a Christian to—without the help of a spiritual master-to reach the spiritual sky through believing in the words of Jesus Christ and trying to follow his teachings?
Srila Prabhupada: When you read the Bible, you follow the spiritual master. How can you say “without”? As soon as you read the Bible, that means you are following the instruction of Lord Jesus Christ—that means you are following the spiritual master. So where is the opportunity of being “without a spiritual master”?
Disciple: I.was referring to a living spiritual master.
Srila Prabhupada: The spiritual master is not the question of [“living”]… The spiritual master is eternal—the spiritual master is eternal. So your question is “without a spiritual master.” Without a spiritual master you cannot be—at any stage of your life. You may accept this spiritual master or that spiritual master. That is a different thing. But you have to accept. You say “by reading the Bible.” When you read the Bible, that means you are following the spiritual master, represented by some priest or some clergyman in the line of Lord Jesus Christ. So in any case, you have to follow a spiritual master. There cannot be the question “without a spiritual master.” Is that clear? (Questions and answers following a lecture, October 2, 1968, Seattle)
“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… When one has attained the topmost position of maha-bhagavata, he is to be accepted as 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 24.330, Purport, citing Padma Purana)
F) The Bona Fide Spiritual Master Is Never Limited By Material Conditions.
Wherever Lord Krishna’s devotees worship Him, Krishna is present. In the same way, wherever sincere followers worship Krishna’s great devotees, these Vaisnavas are present. Krishna’s great devotees live forever in their instructions (vani), in their form (vapu), and in the hearts of their sincere followers. Srila Prabhupada remains present in innumerable places simultaneously and accepts the worship of innumerable followers now and at all times, wherever his instructions are sincerely followed.
“Just like Krishna can be present simultaneously in millions of places, similarly the spiritual master also can be present wherever the disciple wants. A spiritual master is the principle, not the body. Just like a television can be seen in thousands of places by the principle of relay monitoring.” (Letter, May 28, 1968)
Disciple: “In some of our temples, such as Vrndavana, the statue [murti] of Your Divine Grace has been installed, and they [your disciples] are offering prasadam [food]… So is it the same [as Lord Krishna accepts offerings through His Deity form or picture] that the prasadam is accepted by the guru?”
Srila Prabhupada: “Yes. Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair. ‘The guru is nondifferent than Krishna.’ That is accepted by all the sastras… Kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya: ‘But the guru’s position is the most confidential servant.’ So the guru is the servant God, and Krishna is the master God. Both of them are God—servant God and master God.” (Conversation, October 27,1975, Nairobi)
Reporter: “What will happen to the movement in the United States when you die?”
Srila Prabhupada: “I will never die. I shall live from my books, and you will utilize.”
(Interview, July 16,1975, Berkeley, California)
“He reasons ill who tells that Vaisnavas die, when thou art living still in sound.” (From a poem by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.)
“About one hundred years ago, Thakura Bhaktivinoda also wanted to beget a child who could preach the philosophy and teachings of Lord Caitanya to the fullest extent. By his prayers to the Lord, he had as his child Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, who at the present moment is preaching the philosophy of Lord Caitanya throughout the entire world through his bona fide disciples.” (Srimad-Blwgavatam 3.22.19, Purport)
“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.” (Lecture, January 13,1969, Los Angeles)
“…the disciple and spiritual master are never separated, because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple, as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of vani (words).” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.47, Purport)
Disciple: “Srila Prabhupada, when you are not present with us, how is it possible to receive instructions—for example, on questions that may arise?”
Srila Prabhupada: “Well, the answers are there in my books.”
Disciple: “Other than that—for example, [questions] that we would ask you in [specific daily matters]. Do you direct us, also, through the heart? Besides the Paramatma?”
Srila Prabhupada: “If your heart is pure. Everything depends on purity.” (Conversation, May 13,1973, Los Angeles)