ISKCON Devotees Forbidden To Understand Srila Prabhupada?
BY MADHUDVISA DASA January 23, 1999 VNN2901
EDITORIAL, Jan 23 (VNN) — “Here is the remedy for eliminating all inauspicious things within the heart which are considered to be obstacles in the path of self-realization.
The remedy is the association of the Bhagavatas. There are two types of Bhagavatas, namely the book Bhagavata and the devotee Bhagavata. Both the Bhagavatas are competent remedies, and both of them or either of them can be good enough to eliminate the obstacles. A devotee Bhagavata is as good as the book Bhagavata because the devotee Bhagavata leads his life in terms of the book Bhagavata and the book Bhagavata is full of information about the Personality of Godhead and His pure devotees, who are also Bhagavatas.
Bhagavata book and person are identical.” (SB 1.2.18 P)
The “Ministry for the Protection of ISKCON” have presented a paper to counteract Krishna Kanta’s “Final Order” called “Prabhupada’s Order”. They have given many quotes from Srila Prabhupada to show he wants his disciples to become qualified gurus, however, in the process of doing this they also attempt to establish Srila Prabhupada is no longer available, he is not a living guru and ISKCON devotees must not try to understand Srila Prabhupada or his books directly. They must see everything through their GBC approved “living guru.”
Unfortunately ISKCON have not given us a very representative selection of quotes from Srila Prabhupada on the guru issue and in many cases they have trimmed the quotes to remove sections which don’t agree with their philosophy. It’s not a very honest presentation at all. The most shocking aspect of the paper is this statement:
“Here Srila Prabhupada specifically mentions the issue of surrendering to the current link in the chain of disciplic succession. He instructs his disciples that, ‘even if you read some books, you cannot understand unless you understand it from me. This is called parampara’. He clearly explains the principal of parampara, and even explicitly states that simply to read books is not enough (a corner stone of ritvik-theory), but rather THE DISCIPLE MUST UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING THROUGH HIS OWN SPIRITUAL MASTER, AND NOT ATTEMPT TO INDEPENDENTLY UNDERSTAND THE PREVIOUS ACHARYAS.”
It’s important to note the author considers Srila Prabhupada a “previous acharya” and the “bona fide” ISKCON gurus the “current acharyas”. So it’s a very heavy statement indeed–An ISKCON devotee must not attempt to independently understand Srila Prabhupada or his books!
It’s already general ISKCON policy to preach that hearing Srila Prabhupada’s classes is not very useful, they say it’s far better to hear classes from a “living guru.” ISKCON don’t consider Srila Prabhupada is a “living guru,” however, Srila Prabhupada had no intention of dying.
Reporter: Who will succeed you when you die? Srila Prabhupada: I will never die! Devotees: Jaya! Haribol! Srila Prabhupada: I WILL LIVE FOREVER FROM MY BOOKS AND YOU WILL UTILIZE.
(Interview, Berkeley, 1975)
Of course reading books is not enough, one has to surrender to a pure devotee spiritual master and follow his orders. Otherwise it’s simply scholarly study and one can never understand Krishna consciousness in this way. [However even if someone touches one of Srila Prabhupada’s books there’s great benefit, so a scholar will be greatly benefit by studying Srila Prabhupada’s books. They are not at all ordinary books.]
The Prabhupadanugas know, and ISKCON devotees used to know, that Srila Prabhupada is living in his books. Srila Prabhupada’s books are absolutely non-different from Srila Prabhupada and they contain all the potencies of Srila Prabhupada in full. Reading Srila Prabhupada’s books is DIRECT personal association with Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. Therefore if one reads Srila Prabhupada’s books and actually follows the instructions [vani] contained in those books he will become a completely Krishna conscious person.
“I am glad to note the publishing work you are doing, and I look forward to receiving the books printed. I am pleased that you are personally seeing to the translation how it is done. Actually these books are the foundation stone of our movement. Whatever we are is resting on these books, so far reading them and distributing them. This should be our only motto.” (74-10-31 Letter: Hrdayananda)
Srila Prabhupada, a real living bona fide guru is right there in his books.
They are not ordinary books. Anyone can take the advantage of personal association with Srila Prabhupada by reading his books and that is in no way inferior to physical association with Srila Prabhupada.
“The eternal bond between disciple and spiritual master begins from the first day he hears. Just like my spiritual master. In 1922 he said in our first meeting, you are educated boys, why don’t you preach this cult. That was the beginning, now it is coming to fact. Therefore the relationship began from that day. (Letter Jadurani, 4th Sep 1972)
Srila Prabhupada said his books are also kirtan, recorded kirtan, so when one reads Srila Prabhupada’s books he hears that recorded kirtan and if he is a little fortunate and sincere his relationship with Srila Prabhupada begins from that day.
“Regarding Sankirtana and book distribution, book distribution is also chanting. Anyone who reads the books that is also chanting and hearing. Why distinguish between chanting and book distribution? THESE BOOKS I HAVE RECORDED AND CHANTED, AND THEY ARE TRANSCRIBED. IT IS SPOKEN KIRTANAS. SO BOOK DISTRIBUTION IS ALSO CHANTING. THESE ARE NOT ORDINARY BOOKS. IT IS RECORDED CHANTING. ANYONE WHO READS, HE IS HEARING. Book distribution must not be neglected. If things deteriorate that is another thing, but it is not the fault of book distribution.” (letter Rupanuga 19th Oct 1974)
“Anyhow, print books, distribute profusely, and that will be the best preaching work. What will your three minutes preaching do? But if they buy one book it may turn their life.” (Letter to Bhagavan 5th November 1972)
We all know how anxious Srila Prabhupada is to see his books printed and distributed in huge quantities and to see the devotees and the general public reading the books…
“After 80 years, no one can expect to live long. My life is almost ended.
So you have to carry on, and THESE BOOKS WILL DO EVERYTHING.” (Room Conversation 18th Feb 1976)
We have seen the distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s books by ISKCON drop to almost nothing compared to the 1977 book distribution figures, and at the same time we have seen the BBT editors make thousands and thousands of unauthorized changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books thus destroying the authority of the books.
“So, when you change, then the authority is lost. Just like in our society, sometimes they do something nonsense and they say, ‘Prabhupada said.’ (laughter) They are doing that. We know that. It is deteriorated like that.
Therefore Krsna said, sa kaleneha mahata yogo nastah kaunteya: ‘And in due course of time, this yoga was lost. Therefore I am repeating the same thing, old philosophy to you.’ So it requires like that.” (750509rc.per Conversations)
Now we see ISKCON saying EVEN IF YOU READ SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOKS YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND. THE DISCIPLE MUST UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING THROUGH HIS OWN SPIRITUAL MASTER, AND NOT ATTEMPT TO INDEPENDENTLY UNDERSTAND SRILA PRABHUPADA!!!
“Thank you again and again for distributing my books with great enthusiasm.
Now, try to double this enthusiasm. Anyone who even touches one of our books gets such great benefit. Give them to everyone. Because you are all very sincere and working very hard, Krishna is giving you all facilities.” (75-02-16 Letter: Dina Bandhu)
It is gradually becoming clear why the BBT are making so many unauthorized changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books, why the temples are neglecting to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books, why the ISKCON devotees are not reading Srila Prabhupada’s books very seriously and why so many devotees in ISKCON are writing their own books and trying to get the devotees to read them instead of Srila Prabhupada’s… It would appear they don’t want to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books nor do they want the ISKCON devotees to read them!
“We are not going to be able to print the books you have suggested. There is no need for such books. Instead of writing simply read my books. That will be better for you. Whatever free time you have engage in reading my books. Otherwise, an idle mind is a devil’s workshop.” ( 77-04-13 Letter: Nalinikanta)
“You have mentioned that you want to write a book, but instead of writing books, you should read and explain my books to others. Reading and writing are the same, sravanam kirtanam vishnoh .” ( 74-08-09 Letter: Sukadeva)
” Regarding your writing, this is very much wanted, but I think that it is better if you write articles, not books. Write articles that can be printed in our Back to Godhead magazine. That will be very nice. Also, be very sure that you always maintain a high spiritual standard by following all of the rules and regulations very carefully. Chant 16 rounds minimum daily and study my books deeply.” ( 75-05-26.Dam Letter: Damodara)
ISKCON have classified Srila Prabhupada as a “previous acarya” and preach it is offensive to “jump over” the current “acaryas” and try to understand Srila Prabhupada. They have even suggested in this paper that one can not understand Srila Prabhupada’s books except via a GBC appointed “bona fide” guru!!
“I am very glad to hear how the book distribution is increasing more and more. This is our greatest weapon. The more the books are distributed, the more the ignorance of the Age of Kali will be smashed. The world is feeling the weight of this Hare Krishna Movement, especially in your country. We have to increase this book distribution work more and more to firmly establish this Movement, which is the only hope for the suffering living entities.” (76-11-23 Letter: Balavanta)
Srila Prabhupada’s introduction to the main quote ISKCON use to support their philosophy is given below:
“Now Arjuna said that science was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If we read Bhagavad-gita, then we must follow the person of Arjuna, because Arjuna directly heard Bhagavad-gita from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And he says that this science, gitam bhagavata. So why there should be interpretation? Because the person who heard directly from Bhagavan, the Supreme Per…, he said that this is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So one who is hearing directly, he’s saying something, but you are saying something. You have no right. This is called parampara system. The person who heard Bhagavad-gita directly from Krsna, whatever he says, that is to be accepted. You cannot interpret. This is the parampara system.”
This is Srila Prabhupada’s introduction to the quote and it is necessary to read this to understand the rest of the quote, however ISKCON have not included this section in their paper. The whole thing is about directly hearing–“the person who has heard Bhagavad-gita directly from Krsna, whatever he says, that is to be accepted.” Srila Prabhupada says we must follow Arjuna’s understanding of the Bhagavad-gita from Krishna because Arjuna has directly heard it from Krishna. So if we can follow Arjuna why can’t we follow Srila Prabhupada? In any case we can ALL directly hear from Srila Prabhupada!
It’s not that only a few authorized ISKCON gurus can hear Srila Prabhupada and we can’t! We can all hear Srila Prabhupada’s recorded classes and that hearing is identical to sitting in the original class. There’s no difference at all. Otherwise why was Srila Prabhupada so anxious that all his classes be recorded?
Through modern technology the pure transcendental sound vibrations emanating from the lips of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are available for us to hear even now. This has NEVER been possible for any previous acarya so Srila Prabhupada is unique and so vividly present with us now, we just have to take advantage of Srila Prabhupada’s personal association.
“Just like this tape recorder is working. How it is working? The electric energy is there. By the electric energy the machine is so nicely working that when it is replayed exactly I am speaking. So energy is working. I am speaking, my speaking energy is acting, electric energy is helping. This machine energy is accepting and a nice thing is coming.” (681020rc.sea)
Even from a technical point of view what one hears from the tape is IDENTICAL to what one hears in the actual class. The devotees originally heard Srila Prabhupada’s classes through a microphone/amplifier/speakers.
The same sound vibration converted to electronic waves was fed to the tape recorder as to the amplifier and when the tapes are played back we hear exactly the same thing as the devotees originally heard through the loud-speakers… So we can all hear directly from Srila Prabhupada…
“I am so pleased that you are feeling for me and listening to my old tapes with pleasure. As you are remembering our old meeting days on the second avenue, when I first started my lectures there, similarly I also remember the incidents and speak to so many friends and disciples. So our meeting was Krishna’s desire. Apparently it was accidental but actually it was Krishna’s plan. So we should always remember this plan of Krishna and must continue to work jointly for advancement of Krishna Consciousness movement in this part of the world. I shall always pray to Krishna to give you more and more strength and confidence in this great responsibility and I shall pray for your long life to execute this mission.” (68-11-18 Letter: Hayagriva)
“I am very encouraged to learn that you have your own radio show for one hour every Sunday morning. Here in Los Angeles I have so many tapes of my singing prayers, chanting new tunes of Hare Krishna, playing mrdanga, and purports to prayers. So if you think that some of these tapes will be nice for your program, I will have copies made of some of them and have them sent to you.” (69-08-02 Letter: Gaurasundara)
Below is the main quote ISKCON use to support their philosophy: EVEN IF YOU READ SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOKS YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND. THE DISCIPLE MUST UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING THROUGH HIS OWN SPIRITUAL MASTER, AND NOT ATTEMPT TO INDEPENDENTLY UNDERSTAND SRILA PRABHUPADA!
The next quote follows on from the paragraph we have already quoted above where Srila Prabhupada says we have to understand Bhagavad-gita as Arjuna did. He sees no problem in understanding what Arjuna says in the Bhagavad-gita. What follows is an analogy used to describe that we have to understand Bhagavad-gita as Arjuna did as he heard it directly form Krishna, but ISKCON have picked up a quote from the middle and taken it completely out of context. (ISKCON’s quote is in capitals)
“So if you want to understand Bhagavad-gita, then we must understand in the same way as the person who directly heard from. THIS IS CALLED PARAMPARA SYSTEM. SUPPOSE I HAVE HEARD SOMETHING FROM MY SPIRITUAL MASTER, SO I SPEAK TO YOU THE SAME THING. SO THIS IS PARAMPARA SYSTEM. YOU CANNOT IMAGINE WHAT MY SPIRITUAL MASTER SAID. OR EVEN IF YOU READ SOME BOOKS, YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND IT FROM ME. THIS IS CALLED PARAMPARA SYSTEM. YOU CANNOT JUMP OVER TO THE SUPERIOR GURU, NEGLECTING THE NEXT ACARYA, IMMEDIATE NEXT ACARYA. Just like our, this Gau…, Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s cult; we cannot understand Caitanya Mahaprabhu directly. It is not possible. We have to understand through the Gosvamis. Therefore you’ll find in the Caitanya-caritamrta and at the end of every chapter, the writer says,
sri-rupa-ragunatha-pade yara asa caitanya-caritamrta kahe krsna-dasa
“This is the process. He does not say that “I’ve understood Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu directly.” No. That is not understanding. That is foolishness.
You cannot understand what is Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore repeatedly he says, rupa-ragunatha-pade… “I am that Krsna dasa, Kaviraja, who is always under the subordination of the Gosvamis.” This is parampara system.
Similarly, Narottama dasa Thakura also says, ei chay gosai jar mui tar das, “I am servant of that person who has accepted this six Gosvamis as his master. I am not going to be servant of any other person who does not accept the way and means of…” Therefore we say or we offer our prayer to our spiritual master, rupanuga-varaya te, rupanuga-varaya te, because he follows Rupa Gosvami, therefore we accept, spiritual master.
Not that one has become more than Rupa Gosvami or more than… No. Tandera carana-sebi-bhakta-sane vas. This is the parampara system.” (731208SB.LA)
After explaining all of this Srila Prabhupada further clarifies in the next paragraph that physical presence is not required! But, of course, ISKCON have not let us know that…
“Now here, the same thing is repeated: Arjuna, who directly heard from Krsna. Sometimes some people say that ‘Arjuna heard directly from Krsna, but we don’t find Krsna in our presence, so how can I accept?’ IT IS NOT A QUESTION OF DIRECT PRESENCE, BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO IDEA OF THE ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE. Krsna’s words, Bhagavad-gita, is not different from Krsna. It’s not different from Krsna. WHEN YOU HEAR BHAGAVAD-GITA, YOU ARE DIRECTLY HEARING FROM KRSNA, BECAUSE KRSNA IS NOT DIFFERENT. Krsna is absolute.
Krsna, Krsna’s name, Krsna’s form, Krsna’s quality, Krsna’s instruction, everything Krsna’s, they’re all Krsna. They’re all Krsna. This has to be understood. They’re not different from Krsna. Therefore Krsna’s form here, He’s Krsna. He’s not a statue. “He’s a marble statue.” No. He’s Krsna. He has appeared before you because you cannot see Krsna. You can see stone, wood; therefore He has appeared in that form. You think that it is stone and wood, but He’s not stone and wood; He’s Krsna. This is called Absolute Truth. Similarly, Krsna’s words are also not different from Krsna. When Krsna’s words are there in the Bhagavad-gita, it’s Krsna.”
So ISKCON’s selective quoting from Srila Prabhupada’s words is very misleading. They have not let us know, “IT IS NOT A QUESTION OF DIRECT PRESENCE, BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO IDEA OF THE ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE.” It’s a most mischievous presentation indeed. And they do this over and over and over again in their paper.
To give another example of the same point the authors of ISKCON’s paper go on to quote:
“And again in answering a question from an Indian lady at his lecture: Indian lady: How does one contact the spiritual master? Through a book can you contact the spiritual master? Prabhupada: No, you have to associate.
Syamasundara: “Can you associate through a book?” she asked.
Prabhupada: Yes, through books, and also personal. Because when you make a spiritual master you have got personal touch. Not that in air you make a spiritual master. You make a spiritual master concrete. So as soon as you make a spiritual master, you should be inquisitive.
London, September 23, 1969
However ISKCON fail to let us know about the women’s next question and Srila Prabhupada’s answer:
Indian lady: Can the death of a spiritual master take to us, or I can get… Is that spiritual master still guiding after the death? Prabhupada: YES, YES. JUST LIKE KRSNA IS GUIDING US, SIMILARLY, SPIRITUAL MASTER WILL GUIDE. We are being guided by Krsna, by the Bhagavad-gita.
Although Krsna is not physically present, so- called… Krsna is present always. BUT EVEN IF WE SAY THAT KRSNA IS NOT PHYSICALLY PRESENT AS HE WAS PRESENT BEFORE ARJUNA, STILL HIS BOOK, BHAGAVAD-GITA IS THERE. AND THAT BOOK BHAGAVAD-GITA IS NONDIFFERENT FROM KRSNA. KRSNA AND KRSNA’S TEACHING, THE SAME, ABSOLUTE. That is Absolute Truth. Krsna and Krsna’s… Here form, the same. It is not that we are making show of offering Krsna some food.
No, we are offering directly to Krsna and He’s eating. Krsna being absolute, He can perform through anything provided we are sincere and serious. All right. (end)
So Krsna may not be physically present, but His book, Bhagavad-gita, is there. And that is non-different from Krsna. Similarly Srila Prabhupada may not be physically present, however his books, letters, conversations, classes, morning works, bhajans, press interviews, etc., etc., are there and they are the same, absolute. It is the vani, the instruction of Srila Prabhupada and there is no difference between the vani [instruction] and vapu [physical presence].
“Although according to material vision His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada 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 vani, his words. There are two ways of association–by vani and by vapu. Vani means words, and vapu means physical presence. Physical presence is sometimes appreciable and sometimes not, but vani continues to exist eternally. Therefore we must take advantage of the vani, not the physical presence. Bhagavad-gita, for example, is the vani of Lord Krsna. Although Krsna was personally present five thousand years ago and is no longer physically present from the materialistic point of view, Bhagavad-gita continues.” (Concluding Words from Caitanya-caritamrta)
There are so many examples of partial quotes taken out of context and presented by ISKCON in their paper to give an impression which differs from the one Srila Prabhupada originally intended. There are a few examples below:
In this example you can see Srila Prabhupada talks about TWO qualifications required for becoming a spiritual master, however the editors of ISKCON’s paper have only included one of them and have carefully edited the other one out!! [ISKCON’s quote is in capital letters]
“In the Kathopanisad also it is said that tad-vijnanartham gurum eva abhigacchet: “IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND THE TRANSCENDENTAL SCIENCE, THEN YOU HAVE TO APPROACH A SPIRITUAL MASTER.” AND WHO IS A SPIRITUAL MASTER? Oh, nowadays everyone wants to be spiritual master. Oh, that is also mentioned, who is spiritual master. Samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham: “You have to approach a spiritual master who is srotriyam and brahma-nistham.” Srotriyam means who has come down from the disciplic succession, or from the Supreme. Just like we have understood in the Fourth Chapter, in the beginning of the Fourth Chapter, evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh. There is a parampara; there is disciplic succession.
So ONE WHO IS COMING INTO THAT DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION AND BY COMING FROM THAT DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION, HE IS FIRMLY CONVERSANT IN THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH, HE IS GURU. Two qualifications. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena.”
So it is a very dishonest presentation indeed. From reading ISKCON’s edited quote one gets the idea that simply by coming in the disciplic succession one is automatically “firmly conversant in the absolute truth. He is guru.” But they have completely edited out the other necessary qualification, brahma-nistham…
“SO THERE IS NO BAR FOR ANYONE, THAT ONE CANNOT BECOME THE SPIRITUAL MASTER. EVERYONE CAN BECOME THE SPIRITUAL MASTER, PROVIDED HE KNOWS THE SCIENCE OF KRSNA. And that is very reasonable. If you do not this, do not know the subject matter, how can you be a teacher? Eh? A teacher means he knows the thing. He knows the science. So only qualification of the spiritual master, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, kiba sudra, kiba vipra, nyasi kene naya, yei krsna-tattva-vetta: ‘Anyone who knows the science of Krsna…’ This is the science of Krsna, this Bhagavad-gita. If anyone knows perfectly, then he becomes the spiritual master. (660817BG.NY Lectures)
Here ISKCON have not changed the meaning, however they have changed the emphasis of what Srila Prabhupada is saying. Srila Prabhupada does say “Everyone can become the spiritual master,” however he adds a warning, “If you do not do this, do not know the subject matter, how can you be a teacher? Er? A teacher means he knows the thing. He knows the science”.
Then he stresses it again and finally, for a third time he says, “If anyone knows PERFECTLY, then he becomes the spiritual master…” So Srila Prabhupada is stressing so many times one can only be a spiritual master if he knows the science of Krishna perfectly but ISKCON have put the stress on “Everyone can become the spiritual master.”
“Lord Caitanya says that ‘EVERY ONE OF YOU BECOME THE SPIRITUAL MASTER, EVERY ONE OF YOU. WHY ONE, TWO? EVERY ONE OF YOU’ ‘OH, SPIRITUAL MASTER IS VERY DIFFICULT JOB.’ NO. NO DIFFICULT JOB. CAITANYA MAHA… AMARA AJNAYA: ‘JUST TRY TO CARRY OUT MY ORDER. THAT’S ALL. THEN YOU BECOME SPIRITUAL MASTER.’ And if you interpolate, if you put something nonsense, rubbish, to show your so-called rascal’s education, then it is spoiled. Immediately spoiled. And if you present as it is, then it is pure.” (690509BG.COL Lectures)
Once again we see Srila Prabhupada stating that “Everyone can become the spiritual master,” but he goes on to qualify the statement that if we interpolate, put some nonsense, rubbish to show our so-called rascal’s education, then it is spoiled. But ISKCON have made it sound rather cheap by putting the stress on “Just try to carry out My order. That’s all. Then you become spiritual master…” So without the qualification the message is different.
“Everything is there. Satam prasangan. FROM A BONA FIDE SPIRITUAL MASTER YOU RECEIVE KNOWLEDGE, BECAUSE HE WILL PRESENT AS HE HAS RECEIVED FROM HIS SPIRITUAL MASTER. HE’LL NOT ADULTERATE OR MANUFACTURE SOMETHING. THAT IS THE BONA FIDE SPIRITUAL MASTER AND THAT IS VERY EASY. TO BECOME SPIRITUAL MASTER IS NOT VERY DIFFICULT THING. YOU’LL HAVE TO BECOME SPIRITUAL MASTER.
YOU, ALL MY DISCIPLES, EVERYONE SHOULD BECOME SPIRITUAL MASTER. IT IS NOT DIFFICULT. IT IS DIFFICULT WHEN YOU MANUFACTURE SOMETHING. BUT IF YOU SIMPLY PRESENT WHATEVER YOU HAVE HEARD FROM YOUR SPIRITUAL MASTER, IT IS VERY EASY. If you want to become overintelligent, to present something, to interpret something, whatever over you have heard from spiritual master you can make some further addition, alteration, then you’ll spoil whole thing.
Then you’ll spoil whole thing. Don’t make addition or alteration. Simply present as it is. Therefore, we have begun Bhagavad-gita As It Is. DON’T TRY TO BECOME OVER SPIRITUAL MASTER. THEN YOU’LL SPOIL. REMAIN ALWAYS A SERVANT OF YOUR SPIRITUAL MASTER AND PRESENT THE THING AS YOU HAVE HEARD.
YOU’LL BE SPIRITUAL MASTER. THAT IS SECRET. YOU SHOULD KNOW IT. DON’T TRY TO BECOME OVERINTELLIGENT, THAT WILL SPOIL. Evam parampara praptam imam rajarsayo viduh. This is the… (730822VP.LON Lectures)
Once again ISKCON have quoted the “its easy to become a spiritual master section but have edited out many of the qualifying statements…
Nowadays ISKCON have their “New, Revised and Enlarged” versions of Srila Prabhupada’s books containing so many additions and alterations… they have “improved” on Srila Prabhupada’s work in so many ways, so how can they quote Srila Prabhupada saying: “If you want to become overintelligent, to present something, to interpret something, whatever over you have heard from spiritual master you can make some further addition, alteration, then you’ll spoil whole thing. Then you’ll spoil whole thing. Don’t make addition or alteration. Simply present as it is…”
“REGARDING YOUR QUESTION ABOUT THE DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION COMING DOWN FROM ARJUNA, IT IS JUST LIKE I HAVE GOT MY DISCIPLES, SO IN THE FUTURE THESE MANY DISCIPLES MAY HAVE MANY BRANCHES OF DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION. So in one line of disciples we may not see another name coming from a different line.
But this does not mean that person whose name does not appear was not in the disciplic succession. Narada was the Spiritual Master of Vyasadeva, and Arjuna was Vyasadeva’s disciple, not as initiated disciple but there was some blood relation between them. So there is connection in this way, and it is not possible to list all such relationships in the short description given in Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Another point is that disciplic succession does not mean one has to be directly a disciple of a particular person…”
Here we find a VERY IMPORTANT principle in the text discarded by ISKCON, “Another point is that disciplic succession does not mean one has to be directly a disciple of a particular person…”
I have not looked up many of the quotes in ISKCON’s paper as they have made it very difficult by not giving the proper references. They have just given the date. So unless one searches for the quote in Folio there’s no way of telling if it comes from a class, a morning walk, a letter, a private conversation with devotees, a press interview, etc. They have mixed up everything and given no indication whatsoever where any of their quotes come from, just a date…
So the paper is a very dishonest presentation indeed, particularly since they call their list of quotes a “Chronology of Srila Prabhupada’s Instructions” as if they were giving a general cross-section of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on the guru issue, however, as you can see from this article, they have not even honestly presented some of the quotes they have carefully selected.
They have selected quotes they can use to support their own ideas and carefully trimmed them to remove anything Srila Prabhupada says contrary to their ideas. It is a VERY dishonest paper indeed…
“These books are the life of human society. Others may be disturbed, but they cannot disturb this Srimad-Bhagavatam. Let any man come, but here they cannot touch. We are putting these books for deliberation before the topmost thinkers of human society. Therefore, I have to see that in all languages all of our books are published. If we strain, and if he takes one book home, some day people will come to understand what valuable knowledge they have received. It is transcendental literature. Nobody can challenge it. It is done so nicely, without any spot, the spotless Purana. Please continue like this to print books in all the languages for the benefit of suffering, misdirected humanity. (76-05-04 Letter: Puranjana)
Prabhupada: So I cannot speak. I am feeling very weak. I was to go to other places like Chandigarh program, but I cancelled the program because the condition of my health is very deteriorating. So I preferred to come to Vrndavana. If death takes place, let it take here. So there is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavor. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn’t matter. As Krsna is living eternally, similarly, living being also lives eternally. But kirtir yasya sa jivati: “One who has done service to the Lord lives forever.” So you have been taught to serve Krsna, and with Krsna we’ll live eternally. Our life is eternal. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire. A temporary disappearance of this body, it doesn’t matter. Body is meant for disappearance. Tatha dehantara-praptih. So live forever by serving Krsna. Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya! (offer obeisances) (770517ar.vrn)
“…But why we are bothering? Because we are servant of Krsna. Krsna wants that these rascals should be informed. These rascals should be raised from this status of ignorance. So that is our mission. Therefore we are going and pleading, ‘Sir, I am a beggar, I have come to beg from you that you kindly purchase one book and you read it.’ So sometimes they are doing.
After all, human being… So this is our… This is our business. We are stressing on pushing on these books because modern man, if he purchases one book, then at least he will see one line, ‘What these nonsense have written?’ So if he reads one line, if he is intelligent man, he will understand the value. That is sure. That is sure.” (750311BG.LON Lectures)
“Yes, have London pay BBT as much as possible. They owe a great amount.
Regarding record albums, it is something sentimental. They will purchase and hear for sometime and throw it and purchase another. A book purchased will remain, and once even one line is read, that will benefit the reader.” (74-09-07 Letter: Hamsaduta)
“The remedy is there. If you like, you can take it. If a man is suffering from some disease, the remedy is there, the physician is there, but if he does not take advantage, then that is his business. What can be done? This is very nice… Every Bhagavata, every line is so important.” (750309rc.lon Conversations)
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!