In Praise of Srila Prabhupada.
  • June 2004
    It is not our business to change, simply to receive the knowledge from Srila Prabhupada and distribute the same knowledge, without adding or subtracting anything, to the people we meet. Madhudvisa dasa (04-02-04)

    The spiritual master is the person whose mercy extinguishes the forest fire of the material world. He is the one who has the potency of awakening the dormant spark of Krishna consciousness within our hearts. He is the one who knows the art of engaging his disciples in pure devotional service. He is the one who can fan that little spark and make it into a blazing fire.

    In my case that Spiritual Master is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He has been guiding me at every step for the past 18 years. He is the one who convinced me that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that so-called pleasure in the material world is simply an interaction of the senses with their objects and is on the bodily platform and can never give us satisfaction. He is the one who convinced me that I am not this material body, but that I am the eternal spiritual soul within the body. He let me know that I am covered now by the gross and subtle material bodies and he also showed me how I can uncover my original Krishna consciousness by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, following the regulative principles and engaging in devotional service. He has convinced me that my eternal occupation is to be engaged in the devotional service of Krishna.

    There is no question whatsoever that Srila Prabhupada picked me up from drowning in the ocean of the material energy and gave me a glimpse of the spiritual world and has given me everything I need to make my journey back home, back to Godhead. And at every step he is inspiring me, he is encouraging me and when I go astray he is bringing me back onto the right path.

    Of course I also owe a great debt to many devotees who are my siksa gurus and who have helped me in so many ways. But Srila Prabhupada stands supreme, miles above anyone else. He is the guiding light in an otherwise very dark world.

    I can never repay the debt to my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, however I can try to surrender to him and serve him and follow his instructions.

    I can not think of anything more offensive, or more insulting to Srila Prabhupada than to say he is not my guru and I am still looking for a guru.

    Prabhupada has already saved me, he has already initiated me into the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and at every moment over the past eighteen years he is guiding me, answering my questions and giving me more and more inspiration to serve Krishna. So I will never reject my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

    Until ISKCON realizes that Srila Prabhupada is not dead, that he is very much alive in his books and in the hearts of his sincere followers, that he is still preaching, and still initiating new people into Krishna consciousness, there will only be chaos.

    "He reasons ill that Vaisnavas die when thou art living still in sound. The Vaisnava dies to live, and living spreads the holy name around."
    Some of ISKCON's Blind Spots

    1. Prabhupada is not dead

    2. Srila Prabhupada is a nitya-siddha, pure unalloyed devotee of Krishna. He was a pure devotee from birth. To claim that people like Bhavananda, Harikesh, Bhagavan, Hansadutta, Jayatirtha, Ramesvara, etc... are "non different" from Prabhupada is insanity.

    3. Prabhupada is not a conditioned soul nor does he have the defects of a conditioned soul (the tendency to cheat, imperfect senses, makes mistakes & illusioned)

    4. Prabhupada has a very special, unique position as the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON

    5. Only a pure, unalloyed uttama-adhikari can write Vaisnava literature

    6. The original books of Srila Prabhupada have an amazing degree of authority unmatched by any spiritual or religious movement. Prabhupada himself read and relished those books on a daily basis and gave all his classes from them. He never instructed or authorized anyone to change them. Rather on principle he was against change, calling it the "American Disease"

    7. Prabhupada was asked who should continue the Bhagavatam translation & he said it is not simply A-B-C, it needs a realized soul, and he did not think any of his disciples were qualified to do that

    8. Prabhupada has already given us the "ISKCON Law Book." It is called "Nectar of Devotion"

    9. Before reading books we should see the qualities of the author. Is he a pure devotee of Krishna?

    10. It is better not to read too many books. If we are simply study Srila Prabhupada's books over and over again everything will be revealed to us. There is no need to read any other books

    11. It is offensive for a disciple to present his own version of books already translated by his spiritual master. The clear example is given in Caitanya-caritamrta, Krsnadasa Kaviraja did not extensively describe the pastimes already described by Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakur.

    12. Energy put into writing, publishing and distributing new books means that energy can not be put into distributing Prabhupadas books.

    13. Almost every bookstore in the world carries various versions of the Bhagavad-gita. Almost none of them carry Prabhupada's gita. We are not doing a very good job of distributing Prabhupada's books...

    14. In Loi Bazzar, Vrindavana, one can find practically every book published in the Gaudiya Vaisnava field except for Srila Prabhupada's books. Why? The store owners complain of the ISKCON mafia who make it impossible for them to distribute Srila Prabhupada's books...

    15. Most school, college, university & public libraries have none of Srila Prabhupada's books. Why? Because there is no library distribution program.

    16. We Are the Sankirtana Movement. Our business is to perform sankirtana.

    17. Our business is to chant Hare Krishna & distribute Srila Prabhupada's books. All other activities should support these activities

    18. Prabhupada is living in his books.

    19. Reading Prabhupada's books is direct, personal association with Srila Prabhupada

    20. The only way to make spiritual advancement is by pleasing the Spiritual Master [in ISKCON that means pleasing Srila Prabhupada]

    21. Devotees of Krishna have a service mentality and are always looking for a chance to serve Srila Prabhupada, Krishna & the other devotees.

    22. It is not maya to talk about book distribution in the Bhagavatam class, rather book distribution is the only way this Krishna consciousness movement can be spread all over the world

    23. The Srimad-Bhagavatam is capable of creating a revolution in the world's misdirected civilization. But we do not distribute the Srimad-Bhagavatam to the general public...

    24. There are envious persons and outright demons in positions of power in ISKCON. According to Srila Prabhupada they should be neglected, not respected

    25. A place where pure devotional service is performed becomes like Vaikuntha and anyone who comes into that atmosphere can not help be moved & effected by it. If there is no Viakuntha atmosphere there is some problem with the devotional service being performed in that place

    26. Devotees are joyful people who are always looking for an opportunity to fan the little spark of Krishna consciousness in others, even in other devotees

    27. Devotees see the good qualities in others, not their faults

    28. Devotees develop all of the 26 qualities of a devotee in their character

    29. Devotees enjoy talking among themselves about Krishna

    30. One who speaks differently from his spiritual master is not a spiritual master, he is not even a disciple

    31. One who does not accept the discipline of Srila Prabhupada, at least chanting a minimum of 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily & following strictly the four regulative principles, is not a "Prabhupada Disciple"

    32. It is dangerous for our spiritual lives if we hear from "devotees" who are not seriously following the process of Saddhana bhakti as taught to us by Srila Prabhupada.

    33. It is not our business to change the philosophy to suit the public. The public is in maya and have to be purified. We have to change the public so they appreciate the philosophy.

    34. Prabhupada has given us the simple process that will change the public so they will accept the philosophy. It is distributing Srila Prabhupada's original books, performing sankirtana [congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra], prassadam distribution and preaching the philosophy which is found in Srila Prabhupada's books.

    35. The process of speaking the Bhagavatam is to simply repeat what we have heard in the disciplic succession without any speculation. It is a great science and seems, to a large extent, to be lost now

    36. Devotees of Krishna have a great deal of attachment to chanting the Hare Krishna maha mantra. They want to chant Hare Krishna 24 hours a day

    37. Krishna consciousness is an ever-increasing ocean of transcendental bliss!

    38. A devotee's concept of pleasure is to be engaged in the service of Krishna & Srila Prabhupada 24 hours a day

    39. Devotees of Krishna do not want to let even a second pass without some connection with service to Krishna & Prabhupada & the devotees. They want to be engaged in service, always, 24 hours a day.

    40. The Deity is not a stone. He is Krishna and He will reciprocate with us to the degree we surrender to Him.

    41. The Deity should be worshipped with great opulence and cleanliness & according to the process given to us by Srila Prabhupada

    42. The process of Deity worship should not be changed at all & nothing new should be added

    43. Krishna only accepts an offering if it is made with love and devotion

    44. We can not offer anything to Krishna cooked by non devotees

    45. If we eat anything cooked by a non-devotee our mind will become wicked

    46. Devotees do not like to associate with non-devotees. They would prefer to be locked in a cage with a tiger to associating with a non-devotee

    47. Krishna consciousness is not a sectarian movement

    48. We are not Hindus

    49. If we particularly preach to Hindus and most of the people who come to our temples are Hindus people will consider ISKCON as a Hindu organization

    50. If we are considered "Hindu" non-Hindus will not be interested to come and ISKCON will completely fail to fulfill Srila Prabhupada's mission

    51. Prabhupada's godbrothers have no potency whatsoever to help us advance in Krishna consciousness, rather they may provide many obstacles to our advancement.

    52. If one accepts a conditioned soul as his guru he will remain a conditioned soul. The bound can not liberate the bound. The rescuer must be liberated...

    53. All of these blind-spots, along with thousands of others not mentioned can be removed by Srila Prabhupada. Simply we have to realize that Srila Prabhupada is not dead, he is living wit us still, we simply have to take advantage of his association & instructions.

    Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!