From time to time I receive questions about the Hare Krsna Movement (ISKCON) from people who are considering getting involved in it but are concerned about some of the things they have heard. Following is my honest attempt to explain this situation in a balanced way.
To begin with, the Hare Krsna ("Krishna") Movement is part of a larger sect known as Gaudiya (i.e. Bengali) Vaisnavism ("Vaishnavism"), which is a sect of Vaisnavism (worshipers of Lord Vishnu), which is a sect of the Sanatana Dharma (commonly known as "Hinduism"), which is the third largest and oldest extant religion on earth. Hinduism was already ancient when Abraham was a baby!
I mention this because one common question is whether or not the Hare Krsna Movement is a "cult." As a general statement a "cult" is any religion that one does not approve of! I've even had people insist that Islam is a cult! No, these are religions and religious sects not cults. I've been directly and indirectly involved with ISKCON and other groups within Gaudiya Vaisnavism for many many years and I can assure you that despite the abuses I'll get into below, Gaudiya Vaisnavism is merely a sect of the world's third largest and oldest religion. Like other religions it has some disappointing "baggage." SOME individuals in this sect made some serious mistakes years ago, mistakes that our Guru Maharaja, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (Prabhupada) would have condemned in the strongest possible terms. In many ways it is different than what many people are used to but then, "Bible believing Christianity" seems odd to Indian Vaisnavas as well.
Despite common misconceptions, in Hindu dharma (teaching) there is but One God. This One God is utterly beyond human conception and description. For this reason the Deity is conceived of in myriad ways including in various forms that may appear to the uninformed as polytheism. For instance on the top of this page you will a murti (image) of Lord Nrsimhadev. He is a popular avatar (manifested form) of Lord Visnu who is featured in the story of God rescuing the young Pralada Maharaja from his demonic father. I share this inspirational story here. The feats of such Avatars are actually accounts of Divine intervention into the affairs of humanity. Most of the Vedic accounts took place during the age prior to our or even earlier. These ancient histories directly and indirectly impacted the development of later religions like Zoroastrianism, Judaism and so on.
God is One.
Prayers to Lord Nrsinghadeva
An ancient teaching is
Ekam Sat: Vipra Bahudha Vadante:
"Truth is one; sages call it by various names."
And again as we read in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.9.1:
"Then Vidaghdha, son of Shakala, asked him, "How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
Yajnavalkya, ascertaining the number through a group of mantras known as the Nivid, replied, "As many as are mentioned in the Nivid of the gods: three hundred and three, and three thousand and three."
"Very good," said the son of Shakala, "and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
"One and a half."
"Very good, and how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?"
So the question is: Who is the One God?
Is there a Supreme Personality of Godhead Who is the Source of all?
The Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) is an incredibly diverse religion. It teaches that although God is utterly transcendent, the One (Ek) may best be thought of in one of three primary forms (Trimurti):
AsBrahma: God the Creator
As Vishnu/Narayana: God the Sustainer
As Siva/Rudra/Mahadeva: God the Transformer/Destroyer.
As taught by the ancient Vedic Scriptures and pundits. Hindus honor all three forms but often lean toward one more than the others.
Vaisnavas worship the One God primarily as Lord Vishnu and His avatars and expansions.
"Gaudiya Vaisnavas" embrace the form of Vaisnavism preached by Lord Caitanya ("Chaytanya") Mahaprabhu. He is generally accepted as an avatar or incarnation of Sri Krsna. He lived in Bengal (1486 - 1534) and is celebrated in the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta written by Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami. The best English translation and commentary on this work is that of my Guru Maharaja, His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami (Srila Prabhupada). It is available here: http://vedabase.net/cc Lord Caitanya was a "combined incarnation" of Sri Krsna and His Consort Srimati Radharani. He taught that the highest Way to God is through bhakti yoga (devotion) to Sri Krsna.
Sri Krsna was born in Bengal sometime prior to circa 5561 B.C.E. according to Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Gaudiya Vaisnavas, including the Hare Krsna Movement, believe that the original and highest God is Sri Krsna and that even Lord Visnu ("Vishnu") manifests from Him. Sri Krsna performed many wonderful pasttimes before our current age began and spoke the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, the creme of all literature. His life is chronicled in many places including the Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavatam, also translated by Srila Prabhupada.
The principle method of worshiping Lord Sri Krsna is the chanting of His Holy Names as a mantra:
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Such chanting is referred as Mantra Yoga:
'man' = mind
'tra' == to free
yoga = to link
Mantra Yoga is therefore the technique of 'linking' [with God] by 'freeing the mind' from material miseries through repetition of the sacred sound vibrations of God's Names. This is accomplished by calling on God and requesting His mercy:
'Hare' is the Name of God that directly invokes the energy of the Lord
'Krsna' is the Name of God Who alone is the Possessor of every quality in the universe and beyond (i.e. in material -- saguna -- and spiritual -- nirguna realities). Sri Krsna possesses all qualities in unlimited quantity and the Maha Mantra seeks to glorify Him as such.
'Rama' is the Name of God that means He is the Reservoir of Pleasure and by chanting this Name one enters into this pleasure and joy in divinely spiritual communion.
There are of course many other mantras but this is the "maha" (or highest) mantra of them all according to the Gaudiya Vaisnavas.
Through the master-disciple relationship (known as parampara) this knowledge is passed down through the generations. The principle scripture of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas is the Srimad Bhagavad Gita.
The parampara through which the Hare Krsna Movement descended is as follows:
The International Society for Krsna Consciousness (ISKCON: the Hare Krsna Movement) lays claim to its legitimacy through Srila Prabhupada, who descended from a long succession of spiritual teachers and disciples (parampara).
There are four major disciplic successions (sampradayas):
Rudra-Sampradaya: of Vallabhacharya
Lakshmi-Sampradaya: of Ramanuja
Kumara-Sampradaya: of Nimbarka
And the Brahma/Madhva Sampradaya: of Madhvacharya (as Dvaita or Dualism) and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (who taught "Achintya Bheda Abheda" -- "inconceivable oneness and difference." I believe Achintya Bheda Abheda and Achintya Bheda Abheda Tattva are two of the most profound philosophical realizations of all time. I discuss them here in some depth.)
Srila Prabhupada belonged to the Brahma/Madhva Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya that traces its origins back to Lord Krsna Himself about 5000 years ago. Srila Prabhupada was the final authorized spiritual master of his branch because, as I discuss below, the movement he founded to carry on his teachings betrayed him.
There are many other Gaudiya Matha sects besides ISKCON but Srila Prabhupada did not authorize his followers to take part in any of them. Srila Prabhupada's original ISKCON Movement and his Gurudeva's Gaudiya Matha belonged to the branch of Vaisnavism founded by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the 16th century.
Following are the most prominent acaryas (masters) in Srila Prabhupada's lineage since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
The Six Goswamis of Vrindavana
Srila Rupa Goswami
Srila Sanatana Goswami
Gopal Bhatta Goswami
Ragunatha dasa Goswami
Ragunatha Batta Goswami
Krsnadasa Kaviraj Goswami
Narottama Dasa Thakura
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura
Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana
Jagannatha Dasa Babaji
Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji
Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura
And A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
No authorized guru exists in ISKCON to carry on this line from this point.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was a disciple of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, the son of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in the lineage coming down from Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
"Srila Prabhupada came to America in 1965 on the steamship Jaladuta with little money, a pair of hand cymbals, and a small trunk of his books, without knowing anyone. With enormous odds, Srila Prabhupada thought, "I am an old man, I cannot do very much. But what I can do, let me do in this New York City, which is the biggest of all cities in the world." He maintained himself by selling just enough books to get by, and staying here and there. Prabhupada wrote, “Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of ignorance and passion. Absorbed in material life they think themselves very happy and satisfied. Therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vasudeva. I do not know how they will be able to understand it.” Humbly considering himself to be the most insignificant servant of his spiritual master, Prabhupada pushed on with great determination to try to do just some little thing before the time he would die..."
"...Srila Prabhupada left this world in 1977, he wrote 51 volumes of books with translations in 28 languages, especially Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, so anyone can take advantage of this knowledge. He established 108 temples in most major cities around the world, and touched so many people who can also teach this philosophy that this genuine spiritual knowledge will continue to spread and be available for the next 10,000 years, throughout the length of this Golden Age in Kali-yuga...."
Without ANY reservation or hesitation I strongly recommend Srila Prabhupada's books etc.
In my opinion His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami was one of the holiest and most enlightened saints to ever live on this planet. We were not worthy of his presence or his wisdom. He brought a spiritually transcendent message of Light into the darkened West that could have saved us, but instead his efforts were betrayed by his own disciples. The world is a darker place because of it.
And then Darkness covered the earth...
His Divine Grace, Jagat Guru, Uttama Adhikari, Acarya Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada left his body on November 14, 1977 at the age of 81 in the holy city of Sri Vrindavan, India.
The remainder of this page will look at how he passed and what became of the Movement in a general sense.
Almost immediately after Srila Prabhupada "left his body" (a true Vaisnava never "dies") MANY scandals, abuses and accusations -- MANY OF THEM I CAN PERSONALLY ATTEST WERE TRUE -- shook ISKCON to its foundations. The GBC (Governing Body Commission) lost a lot of court battles and paid huge amounts of money in fines and reparations. Even before Srila Prabhupada left his body these problem were cropping up but without him... Darkness descended.
Perhaps the most disturbing of these charges were the accusations that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned and murdered by key members of ISKCON's GBC. According to some evidence there was a purported Bavarian Illuminati connection in his murder as well. It is certainly true that had ISKCON succeeded in fulfilling Srila Prabhupada's Vision of bringing in a Golden Age of God Consciousness the New World Order Elite would have been directly threatened.
Srila Prabhupada's Devotee George Harrison My Sweet Lord
But the Golden Age of Lord Caitanya was sabotaged by the GBC.
While Prabhupada was physically alive throngs of people routinely gathered to join in the chanting whenever the devotees would show up. It was pure joy to take part in these gathering and when a harinam party was head in the distance many people hurried to watch and join in.
The Hare Krishna Mantra performed by George Harrison and London Radha-Krishna Temple devotees was featured four times on England's most popular television program, Top of the Pops, after rising to the Top 10 throughout England, Europe, and parts of Asia
But after Srila Prabhupada left, Harinam Sankirtana (going out into the public to chant and share the faith) became at times a dangerous undertaking and often as not was met with verbal abuse or the devotees were simply ignored and thought of as kooks and cultists. The Joy had faded.
And with just cause.
The devotees became confused and frightened. What should or could they do? The Eleven were demanding to be worshiped, some even claimed themselves to be superior to Srila Prabhupada! All the while they living as hypocrites, as bogi yogis. How could the sincere devotees serve Sri Guru and Sri Sri Gauranga (Lord Caitanya) when the Movement itself had become corrupt? With everything that was going wrong rumors were whirling and paranoia replaced the peace and calm of Bhakti Yoga. Most of the devotees began to leave the Movement while others joined in the apostasy, at least for a while. The following videos offer some insight into Sri Guru Deva's disappearance.
MUCH more could and has been said of the various implemented "Bogi Yogi scams, of the abuses and so on, but I don't want to go too deeply into these topics here. The videos are what they are.
Be aware that much of the subject matter contained in these videos are not suitable for children.
Srila Prabhupada Departs: Understanding the Death of a Vaisnava
Here a devotee reads from Srila Prabhupada's books about what happens when a Vaisnava leaves his body.
This is sound teaching to prepare us to watch what follows.
Srila Prabhupada will never abandon his sincere devotees.
Srila Prabhupada Departs: His Passing Here we witness the final few moments of Gurudeva's life.
The editor of the above two videos believes Srila Prabhupada was murdered. This certainty comes through on the videos, but that certainty aside, the one just above this (Srila Prabhupada Departs: His Passing) offers rare footage of the passing a true saint.
While most Hindus are cremated those who are deemed Mahatmas (great souls) are often buried.
These Vedic burials are NOT what Westerners are used to!
Parents should watch this first and decide whether or not it is appropriate for their kids.
Srila Prabhupada's Internment
Night kirtan and offerings in Prabhupada Samadhi Mandir
Now for the allegations that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned. Later on this page I will demonstrate that his doctors did not accept this now common accusation. They maintain to this day that his death was due to microangiopathy, high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetic nephropathy (severe kidney damage).
Srila Prabhupada: "Someone has poisoned me."
The GBC likes to point out that Prabhupada is quoted as saying, "Someone said someone is trying to kill me" but here you will see and hear for yourself that he said both. Prabhupada said someone was trying to kill him and it was confirmed by others. Srila Prabhupada was convinced that one or more of his disciples was poisoning him. He was so certain that toward the end he only allowed his sister to cook for him. There is no serious question that at the very least Srila Prabhupada was convinced that his life was jeopardy and that certain of his disciples were orchestrating the murder.
Did the Illuminati Poison Srila Prabhupada? Hear the Whispered instructions
Frankly, the evidence seeking to incriminate the Bavarian Illuminati that I have seen is questionable at best. While living at the ISKCON farm community Mount Kailasa however I did encounter a group of German devotees of Hansadutta dasa who were engaged in many illegal activities at the farm community and elsewhere. Certain of these devotees -- who were in a position to know what they were talking about -- assured me that this allegation was true: i.e. that the Bavarian Illuminati had infiltrated certain ISKCON communities in Germany and the U.S. at the highest levels and were directing several German devotees to engage in various nefarious activities. This information came to me well after Srila Prabhupada's disappearance and I can not verify this information. But I believed them then and now.
A Reverse Speech Study - Part 1
A Reverse Speech Study - Part 2
This whole Reverse Speech Study issue is debatable of course. I'm including it as food for thought. Some people I respect are following this of thought. For information about Reverse Speech here is a good resource. I'm not saying yay or nay, but it is interesting.
There is substantial evidence supporting the charge that Srila Prabhupada was murdered but the matter has never been fully resolved either way to my knowledge. Many of Srila Prabhupada's disciples are appalled at the vary suggestion while others are determined to ferret out the truth and some have looked into and are convinced he died of his illness as his doctors maintain. At this late date it seems likely that the matter will never be satisfactorily resolved. Those who know the truth are getting old and while much is said in private little is said in public.
For more information on the allegations that Srila Prabhupada was poisoned this link may be helpful or google phrases like "prabhupada poisoned." There is a LOT of info out there!
What the Doctors say:
According to his doctors Srila Prabhupada's physical death occurred due to type 2 diabetes mellitus. This condition caused Guru Maharaja to have high blood pressure, peripheral neuropathy and heart problems, including myocardial infarction and stroke (as he reportedly experienced on the steamship Jaladuta on his original trip to America).
The fact that Srila Prabhupada suffered from diabetes was common knowledge among ISKCON devotees from at least 1969. Many doctors had diagnosed it and he himself was aware of it:
Gargamuni: My father, he also used to get swelling, but this was due to diabetes.
In later stages his condition progressed to diabetic nephropathy (severe kidney damage due to diabetes), which led to uremia (buildup of metabolic toxins which are normally excreted by the kidneys) causing gastrointestinal disturbances and loss of appetite. In the final stages the loss of appetite and poor digestion led to malnutrition, and ultimately total systemic collapse. This diagnosis has been confirmed by doctors Jacob and McIrving (who treated Prabhupada in his final months) as well as Prabhupada’s personal nurse Abhirama Das.
As I understand it it is true that Srila Prabhupada had an unusually high level of arsenic in his system however this is common in India where such contaminates occur in the general population (although the levels were higher than one would expect in Srila Prabhupada).
The VNN piece cited above seeks to present the case that it s understandable that people would be concerned by the reports of Srila Prabhupada's alleged poisoning, however the evidence, they maintain, does not support the allegation.
The editorial discusses certain classic symptoms of arsenic poisoning and points out the lack of evidence that these existed in Srila Prabhupada's case:
Clinical Symptoms of Arsenicosis
The clinical features of arsenic poisoning include multi-organ failure and other non-specific systemic indications, which sometimes lead to incorrect or delayed diagnosis. However, there are specific symptoms peculiar to arsenicosis. Bansal et al.1 report that prolonged sub-acute poisoning usually causes neuropathy (peripheral nervous system damage), with characteristic skin changes such as hyperkeratosis (thickening of skin) of palms and soles, hyperpigmentation or raindrop shaped depigmentation over the skin of the trunk and Mees’ lines over the nails. Shin2 documents gastrointestinal upset, multi-organ failure, dermatological lesions and Mees’ lines as common findings and Dipankar Das3 et al. report arsenical skin lesions as the most commonly observed symptom in a study of over 175,000 people drinking arsenic contaminated water in West Bengal, India.
Therefore, while arsenic poisoning causes multi-system damage that imitates many other diseases, the dermatological features (keratosis of palms and soles, raindrop pigmentation), polyneuropathy, and Mees’ lines are more specific to arsenicosis and shall be dealt with in more detail, with specific reference to the clinical features displayed by Srila Prabhupada.
According to Guru Deva's Doctors:
Dr. McIrving, who treated Srila Prabhupada in 1977, made the following diagnosis of his condition:
1. Due to diabetes, he suffered swelling which affected the flow in his urinary tract over many years 2. He had since birth a slightly restricted urethra which further reduced the urinary flow. 3. The combination of these two factors had put constant and harmful back pressure on his kidneys, which along with a general deterioration due to age had inflicted serious renal damage.
Dr. Karl Jacob also confirms the diagnoses:
Srila Prabhupada’s chronic diabetes, which was never medically properly treated, was bound to lead to other serious consequent diseases which had to increasingly manifest in his body: such as premature aging and degradation of blood vessels, microangiopathy, high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetic nephropathy (severe kidney damage)…In addition his urethra was constricted which put a constant back pressure on the kidneys, increasing the renal insufficiency and inducing further damage.
So... What caused Srila Prabhupada to leave his body? We may never know for sure.
Our Guru Maharaja (Srila Prabhupada) left clear instructions on how the Movement was to be maintained/managed after his departure. The GBC (the Governing Body Commission) however -- along with at first 11 men (now numbering over a hundred) -- directly disobeyed his instructions and instituted the very system of leadership Prabhupada had specifically forbidden. The original eleven were appointed by Srila Prabhupada to act as ritviks (to initiate Srila Prabhupada's disciples in his name) however these men, along with the GBC, created the "Zonal Acarya" system that began the apostasy the GBC continues to follows. For more information on the abuses of the original Eleven Bogi Yogis see my: A Note of Accusation From a "long time friend". ISKCON still operates under this unauthorized system and so, according to Srila Prabhupada's own words they are no longer his authorized representatives. Those of the eleven, like Hansadutta dasa who are now representing themselves as Ritvik Acaryas are seeking to initiate but at this late date their authority to do so is questionable at best. If their previous actions and ongoing failure to implement Srila Prabhupada's instructions have disqualified them, then our branch of the Brahma/Madhva Gaudiya math ended with Srila Prabhupada as he left no authorized successors.
BUT Prabhupada lives on in his books and through them he will always be ready to assist those who sincerely wish to take up this Path.
Because of the many abuses and the absence of the previous spiritual atmosphere that so permeated the early days of the Movement, the vast majority of Srila Prabhupada's disciples long ago left the Movement. Some joined other mathas, some converted to other religions, some held to Srila Prabhupada without the association of temples and sanga, and most just drifted off into the greater materialistic society. Today there are very few "Prabhupada devotees" left in ISKCON. The majority of current members joined after Prabhupada's disappearance and many know little or nothing about these issues I am sharing here. Others know the truth of these of things but become angry when they are brought up. They'd rather bury these issues along with Srila Prabhupada and move on. In my opinion unless ISKCON restores integrity to its foundation the Movement will die. The GBC needs to come clean and confess its many wrong doings. They need to formally apologize to all of Srila Prabhupada's disciples as well as to their current deceived followers. They need to strip all of their diksha (initiating) gurus of their illegitimate authority and embrace the ritvik system ordered by Srila Prabhupada.
But I'm not holding my breath.
AFTER Prabhupada left, there were accusations of child and adult sexual abuses, of weapons running and drug sales, of ordered prostitution, of rape, incest, pedophilia and even murders (including of my friend Solocana dasa who was murdered, in part because he wrote a revealing book exposing "The Guru Business." You can read this book for free here.
Today things have calmed down quite a bit. The ISKCON GBC remains in a state of disobedience to Srila Prabhupada's final instructions but they have developed a system that restored the peace for the most part and some of their temples are doing fairly well all things considered. Sunday programs, festivals and so on are usually nice to attend and Srila Prabhupada's presence can still be felt in many of them. He is so merciful.
The majority of ISKCON's "initiating gurus" who have been appointed by the GBC have fallen into various sins and scandals etc. and frankly it is doubtful if ANY ISKCON guru meets even the minimum qualifications for that post as established by Srila Prabhupada and Gaudiya Vaisnava standards. There are now a few accepted ritvik acaryas in ISKCON who are initiating "Prabhupada disciples" and at least two "Ritvik Temples" while Some 22 of 26 ISKCON temple presidents in India are said to have passed resolutions to adopt the Ritvik system of initiations. So who knows, maybe ISKCON will one day return to Srila Prabhupada.
There absolutely were serious abuses done from the late seventies into the late eighties but ISKCON has, to my knowledge, grown beyond those dark days. If the temple is a member of ISKCON proper you should be able to attend services there without any fear of forced attendance, "brainwashing" etc. Be mindful however that blind obedience to ANY spiritual group or teacher is never a good idea.
There are also now other Gaudiya math groups operating in the West that many people have gone to such as the Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math founded by Srila Prabhupada eldest godbrother His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj and now led by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Bibudha Bodhayan Maharaja.
I received second initiation from His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Bibudha Bodhayan Maharaja and in my humble opinion he is teaching the same truth as Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. It should be acknowledged however it should be noted that Prabhupada discouraged his disciples from going to the other Gaudiya maths. A few excerpts taken my friend Solocana dasa's Blog: Srila Prabhupada speaks about Gaudiya Math. Solocana dasa was a close associate and direct servant of Srila Prabhupada. He did much of the original type setting etc. on many of the books:
Regarding Bhakti Puri, Tirtha Maharaja, they are my God-brothers and should be shown respect. But you should not have any intimate connection with them as they have gone against the orders of my Guru Maharaja.
Letter to Pradyumna Feb 17 1968
Regarding the Gaudiya Math, our position has nothing to do with them. They cannot do anything and if somebody does something, they will be envious. That is the nature of third class men.
Letter to Yamuna Nov. 18, 1970
Finally, here Srila Prabhupada talks about what happened to the Gaudiya Math but he could just as easily been speaking about ISKCON:
You are right about Sridhara Maharaja's genuineness. (1) But in my opinion he is the best of the lot. He is my old friend, at least he executes the regulative principles of devotional service. I do not wish to discuss about activities of my Godbrothers but it is a fact they have no life for preaching work. All are satisfied with a place for residence in the name of a temple, they engage disciples to get foodstuff by transcendental devices and eat and sleep. They have no idea or brain how to broadcast the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. My Guru Maharaja used to lament many times for this reason and he thought if one man at least had understood the principle of preaching then his mission would achieve success. In the latter days of my Guru Maharaja he was very disgusted. Actually, he left this world earlier, otherwise he would have continued to live for more years. Still he requested his disciples to form a strong Governing body for preaching the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He never recommended anyone to be acarya of the Gaudiya Math. 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 4/28/74
Chanting From The Lips of NONdevotees SHOULD BE AVOIDED
My best advice for those who wish to follow the Path advised by His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is to follow the instructions of Srila Prabhupada:
Read HIS books. Follow HIS instructions in HIS books (especially in his translations and commentaries of the "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" and "Srimad Bhagavatam"), tapes and letters. You can access his writings for free on the Internet.
The good news is...
Srila Prabhupada Lives On!
Chant Hare Krsna and Be Happy!
The good news is...
Srila Prabhupada Lives On!
Chant Hare Krsna and Be Happy!
A Nice Prabhupada Guru Puja
Sri Guru Charana Padma
sri-guru-charana-padma kevala-bhakati-sadma bando mui savadhana mate jahara prasade bhai e bhava toriya jai krishna-prapti hoy jaha hoite
guru-mukha-padma-vakya chittete koriya aikya ar na koriho mane asha sri-guru-charane rati ei se uttama-gati je prasade pure sarve asha
chakhu-dan dilo jei janme janme prabhu sei divya-gyan hride prokashito prema-bhakti jaha hoite avidya vinasha jate vede gay jahara charito
sri-guru karuna-sindhu adhama janara bandhu lokanath lokera jivana ha ha prabhu koro doya deho more pada-chhaya ebe jasa ghushuk tribhuvana
The lotus feet of our spiritual master are the only way by which we can attain pure devotional service. I bow to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his grace one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Krsna.
My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth. Attachment to his lotus feet is the perfection that fulfills all desires.
He opens my darkened eyes and fills my heart with transcendental knowledge. He is my Lord birth after birth. From him ecstatic prema emanates; by him ignorance is destroyed. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character.
Our spiritual master is the ocean of mercy, the friend of the poor, and the lord and master of the devotees. O master! Be merciful unto me. Give me the shade of your lotus feet. Your fame is spread all over the three worlds.