Philosophy 101

The Official, Authorized Philosophy Of The Krishna Consciousness Movement.

siddhantabook

Based on the teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

by the Prabhupadanugas of the Hare Krishna Society (HKS)

 

Introduction

The Krishna consciousness movement is a global congregation based on the instructions of the Vedic scriptures, the world’s most ancient and complete books on spiritual science. Specifically, we follow the teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, whose activities and symptoms prove that he is the predicted great personality (shakti-avesa-avatar) who establishes the mission of God, or Krishna, worldwide. We recognize and accept that Srila Prabhupada is a pure representative of Lord Krishna and the current link in the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya. Everyone can attain full perfection by following Srila Prabhupada.

In numerous letters and instructions to his disciples and others, Srila Prabhupada urged, “Please study all of my books very thoroughly.” (Letter, December 1974) He often warned his disciples, “When the waves of maya attack, your little sentiment for Krishna may not save you. All my disciples must be thoroughly trained in the philosophy of Krishna consciousness.” (Letter, May 1972) Thus, Srila Prabhupada worked tirelessly, night and day, to carefully translate, explain and publish the most important Vaisnava scriptures, such as Srimad-Bhagavatam, Srimad Bhagavad-gita, and Sri Bhakti-rasamrita Sindhu (Nectar of Devotion).

Several of Srila Prabhupada’s sincere disciples have worked together to create this document, a collection of essential truths, or tattvas, which are like effulgent jewels gathered from Srila Prabhupada’s books, conversations and lectures. By his preaching, Srila Prabhupada churned the ocean of transcendental nectar for the benefit of every living being in the universe, particularly his sincere discples. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the most munificent avatar of Lord Krishna, insisted that His devotees chant the glories of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna constantly and live purely, without material attachments. Without carefully understanding and appreciating the importance of thenitya-siddha devotees of Lord Caitanya, no one can successfully follow the transcendental sadhana and mood of service that leads irrevocably to Lord Caitanya’s fabulous benediction of pure Krishna consciousness, prema-bhakti. Without the blessings of a great Vaisnava like Srila Prabhupada, no one can advance to the higher stages of Krishna consciousness. All sastras and all great authorities confirm this principle as fundamental and everlasting.

To glorify Srila Prabhupada and the great teachers of Krishna consciousness and to defend their mission, we, the disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, offer this collection of essential truths for Their pleasure. Without understanding all these spiritual facts very carefully, according to guru, sastra andsadhu, the infallible Vedic authority, no one can preach or practice pure Krishna consciousness. This collection of gems should be kept intact as a complete work and serious disciples will rejoice in understanding this document in its entirety. This transcendental document regarding the Supreme Lord, His empowered devotees, and devotional service will benefit every living being in the universe, even without their immediate knowledge. By Lord Nityananda’s divine grace, this brief but concise treatise of Krishna consciousness may help many generations of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples remain pure devotees of the Supreme Lords, Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu.

Note: All book references contained in this document are derived from Srila Prabhupada’s authorized and approved, pre-1977 editions.]

Purposes Of Srila Prabhupada’s Hare Krishna Society

a) To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate the people in the techniques of spiritual life, in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.

b) To propagate a consciousness of Krishna, as it is revealed in the Bhagavad-gita andSrimad-Bhagavatam.

c) To bring the members of the Society together with one another and nearer to Krishna, the prime entity, and thus to develop the idea, within the members, and humanity at large, that each soul is part and parcel of the quality of Godhead (Krishna).

d) To teach and encourage sankirtana, congregational chanting of the holy name of God, as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

e) To erect for the members and for society at large a holy place of transcendental pastimes, dedicated to the Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

f) To bring the members closer together for the purpose of teaching a simpler and more natural way of life.

g) With a view towards achieving the aforementioned purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books, and other writings.

Basic Convictions Of Srila Prabhupada’s Hare Krishna Society

Srila Prahupada listed the following as basic convictions of the Krishna Consciousness Movement:

1. The Absolute Truth is contained in all the great scriptures of the world. However, the oldest known revealed scriptures in existence are the Vedic literatures, most notablyBhagavad-gita, which is the literal record of God’s words.

2. God, or Krishna, is eternal, all-knowing, omnipresent, all-powerful, and all-attractive, the seed-giving father of man and all living entities. He is the sustaining energy of all life, nature, and the cosmic situation.

3. Man is actually not his body but spirit soul, part and parcel of God, and therefore eternal.

4. That all men are brothers can be practiced only when we realize God as our common father.

5. All our actions should be performed as a sacrifice to the Supreme Lord: “All that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is 9.27)

6. The food that sustains us should always be offered to the Lord before eating. In this way He becomes the offering, and such eating purifies us.

7. We can, by sincere cultivation of bona fide spiritual science, attain to the stage of pure, unendingly blissful consciousness, free from anxiety, in this very lifetime.

8. The recommended means to attain the mature stage of love of God in the present age of Kali, or quarrel, is to chant the holy name of the Lord. The easiest method for most people is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Philosophical Conclusions (Siddhanta) Of The Hare Krishna Society

To help fulfill the aims of Lord Caitanya’s mission and preserve the spiritual science taught by the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, we here reaffirm the worldwide association (sanga) of Srila Prabhupada’s bona fide disciples, based on our clear understanding of the following conclusions:

A) Sri Krishna Is The Supreme Personality Of Godhead

Great authorities (mahajanas) like Sukadeva Gosvami, Narada Muni, Srila Vyasadeva, and Lord Brahma, all great teachers in the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, and all essential Vedic scriptures confirm that Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the original source and maintainer of everyone, including all avatars of God. These facts are realized and taught by pure devotees of the Supreme Lord.

ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam

“All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krishna, as above mentioned, is the original Personality of Godhead. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.28)

ekale isvara krsna, ara sabha bhrtya

“Lord Krishna alone is the supreme controller, and all others are His servants.”  
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 5.142)

aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate

“I [Lord Krishna] am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me.” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is 10.8)

isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda vigrahah
anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam

“Krishna is the cause of all causes. He is the primal cause, and He is the very form of eternal being, knowledge, and bliss.” (Brahma-samhita 5.1)

B) Sri Krishna Caitanya Is Lord Krishna’s Most Munificent Avatar

Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1534) is the avatar of Godhead for the Age of Kali, and He is recognized by great devotees of the Supreme Lord as the most munificent incarnation of God (namo maha-vadanyaya).  Sri Krishna Caitanya is identical to Lord Krishna.  He descends to liberally grant to the fallen conditioned souls of this age pure love of Godhead (prema-bhakti) by propagating sankirtana, especially through public chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

“Lord Caitanya is the original teacher of life’s prime necessities.  He is the most munificent bestower of love of Krishna.  He is the complete reservoir of all mercies and good fortune.  As confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, Mahabharata, and the Upanisads, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna Himself, and He is worshipable by everyone in this age of disagreement.  Everyone can join in His sankirtana movement.” 
(Introduction to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta)

yada pasyah pasyate rukma-varnam,
kartaram isam purusam brahma yonim

“One who sees that golden-colored Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord, the supreme actor, who is the source of the Supreme Brahman, is liberated.” (Mundaka Upanisad 3.1.3) [See Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi-lila 2.22 Purport]

atha vaham dharadhame, bhutva mad-bhakta-rupa-dhrk
mayayam ca bhavisyami, kalau sankirtanagame

“Sometimes I personally appear on the surface of the world in the garb of a devotee. Specifically, I appear as the son of Saci in Kali-yuga to start the sankirtana movement.” (Brahma-yamala-tantra) [See Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila 2.22, Purport]

ya eva bhagavan krsno, radhika-prana-vallabhah
srsty adau sa jagam-natho, gaura asin mahesvari

“The Supreme Person, Sri Krishna Himself, who is the life of Sri Radharani and is the Lord of the universe in creation, maintenance, and annihilation, appears as Gaura, O Mahesvari.” (Ananta-samhita)  [See Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila 2.22 Purport]

“When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared, He ushered in the era for the sankirtanamovement. It is also said that for ten thousand years this era will continue. This means that simply by accepting the sankirtana movement and chanting the maha-mantra, the fallen souls of this Kali-yuga will be delivered. After the battle of Kuruksetra, at which Bhagavad-gita was spoken, Kali-yuga continues for 432,000 years, of which only 5,000 years have passed. Thus, there is still a balance of 427,000 years to come. Of these 427,000 years, the 10,000 years of the sankirtana movement inaugurated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago provide the opportunity for the fallen souls of Kali-yuga to take to the Krishna consciousness movement, chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, and thus be delivered from the clutches of material existence and return home, back to Godhead.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.5.23, Purport)

C) Srila Prabhupada Is An Eternal Associate Of Lord Caitanya

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977) is a nitya-siddhaVaisnava (eternally liberated devotee of Krishna) sent by Lord Caitanya and Krishna to revive the mission of nama-sankirtana and save the world from the dangerous atheistic doctrines of impersonalism (nirvisesa) and voidism (sunyavada). All his activities are eternal and purely transcendental. In fact, the Vedic literature, Lord Caitanya, and predecessor acaryas have predicted this great personality, Srila Prabhupada, who preaches Krishna consciousness all over the world. Having fulfilled these predictions by founding the global Krishna conscious-ness movement and Hare Krishna Society single-handedly, he is worshiped by all bona fide Gaudiya Vaisnavas with the name “Srila Prabhupada” (the master at whose feet all others bow). Srila Prabhupada’s form (vapu) and instructions (vani) offer the full mercy of Lord Caitanyato all conditioned souls for the duration of Lord Caitanya’s ten-thousand year Golden Age.

“In the Vedic literatures it is recommended that in Kali-yuga people engage in glorifying the Lord by chanting the holy name of Krishna (kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet)…” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.12.34, Purport)

“Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet:
simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, one can be freed from the contamination of Kali-yuga and, in his original spiritual body, can return home, back to Godhead… When Krishna appeared, He gave His orders, and when Krishna Himself appeared as a devotee, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He showed us the path by which to cross the ocean of Kali-yuga. That is the path of the Hare Krishna movement.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.5.23, Purport)

“The Kali-santarana Upanisad states, ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare–these sixteen names composed of thirty-two syllables are the only means to counteract the evil effects of Kali-yuga. In all the Vedas it is seen that to cross the ocean of nescience, there is no alternative to the chanting of the holy name.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 7.76, Purport)

“So, my dear boys and girls, about six years ago I came to your country single-handed, with this pair of cymbals. Now you are so many chanting Hare Krishna. That is my success. It was the prediction of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu: prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama, sarvatra pracara hoibe mora nama. Lord Caitanya desired that ‘In all the towns–in as many towns and villages as there are on the surface of the globe–My name will be broadcast.’ He is Krishna Himself—svayam krsna, krsna caitanya-namine—simply changing His name as Krishna Caitanya. So His prediction will never go in vain. That’s a fact. So my plan was that ‘I shall go to America… If I can convince the younger generation of  America, they will take it up.’ If you kindly take this Krishna consciousness movement seriously, your country will be saved, and the whole world will be saved.” (Lecture, May 18, 1972, Los Angeles)

“He [Bhaktivinoda Thakura] sent his first book in 1896. Bhaktivinoda Thakura was the origin of this movement. But he simply thought of it. And he was expecting some others willing to take up the work. Well, somebody says that I am the same man. And I was born in 1896.” (Conversation, March 13, 1975, Tehran)

“Thakura Bhaktivinoda… in 1896 he sent Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message to McGill University. That book you have seen. The letter was there… Now, after so many years, a servant of that disciplic succession has come here again to preach. So these things are significant.” (Lecture, March 18, 1967, San Francisco)

“Soon there will appear a personality who will preach the holy name all over the world.”  (Prediction of Bhaktivinoda Thakura in the nineteenth century, as cited inSongs of the Vaisnava Acaryas, Introduction, Prabhupada-approved 1974 edition)

“Without being empowered by the direct potency of Lord Krishna to fulfill His desire and without being specifically favored by the Lord, no human being can become the spiritual master of the whole world… Only an empowered personality can distribute the holy name of the Lord and enjoin all fallen souls to worship Krishna. By distributing the holy name of the Lord, he cleanses the hearts of the most fallen people; therefore he extinguishes the blazing fire of the material world. Not only that, he broadcasts the shining brightness of Krishna’s effulgence throughout the world. Such an acarya or spiritual master should be considered non-different from Krishna–that is, he should be considered the incarnation of Lord Krishna’s potency. Such a personality is krsna-lingita-vigraha–that is, he is always embraced by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. Such a person is… the guru or spiritual master for the entire world, a devotee on the topmost platform, the maha-bhagavata stage.” (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Anubhasya, cited in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta,Madhya-lila 25.9, 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.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam2.3.15, Purport)

“The Krishna consciousness movement is spreading to enlighten people about their real position, their original relationship with Krishna. One requires Krishna’s special power in order to be able to do this… The Lord empowers a special devotee to teach people their constitutional position.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 19.114, Purport)

D) Lord Caitanya’s Eternally Perfect Associates Come To Aid His Mission

Everyone can be promoted to the transcendental abode of Lord Krishna, Sri Goloka, by understanding that Lord Caitanya is non-different than Sri-Sri Radha-Krishna and His confidential associates are nitya-siddhas, or 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-siddharemains within this material world like an ordinary man, but the only business of thenitya-siddha is to broadcast the glories of the Lord. All nitya-siddhas 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-lila 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-siddha is one who was never contaminated by the material nature… Nitya-siddhas never came into contact with the material nature. All the associates of Lord Caitanya are nitya-siddhas, 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.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam2.3.15, 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 fideacarya 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-lila 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 anacarya, 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, 196)

“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 Bhagavad-gita or Bhagavata, 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-lila24.330, Purport, citing Padma Purana)

F) The Bona Fide Spiritual Master Is Never Limited By MaterialConditions

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 murti [statue] of Your Divine Grace has been installed, and they [your disciples] are offering prasadam[foodstuffs]… So is it the same [Lord Krishna accepts offerings through His statue or picture] that the prasadam is accepted by the guru?”
Srila Prabhupada: “Yes. Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair, ‘The guru is non-different 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-Bhagavatam3.22.19, 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)

G)Srila Prabhupada’s Words Are Above Defects

All rituals, procedures and names established by Srila Prabhupada are transcendentally pure and perfect. (See “Sadhana,” next section) Srila Prabhupada never made mistakes as do all ordinary men. Everything Srila Prabhupada has said and done is pure and perfect, totally devoid of the four defects of conditional life–namely illusion, cheating, imperfect senses and the tendency to commit mistakes.

“It is recommended that one honor the spiritual master as being on an equal status with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair. This is enjoined in every scripture. Acaryam mam vijaniyat. One should consider the acarya to be as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In spite of all these instructions, if one considers the spiritual master an ordinary human being, one is doomed. His study of the Vedas and his austerities and penances for enlightenment are all useless, like the bathing of an elephant. An elephant bathes in a lake quite thoroughly, but as soon as it comes on the shore it takes some dust from the ground and strews it over its body. Thus there is no meaning to the elephant’s bath.”  (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.15.26, Purport)

bhrama pramada vipralipsa karanapatava
arsa-vijna-vakye nahi dosa ei saba

“Mistakes, illusions, cheating, and defective perception do not occur in the sayings of the authoritative sages.”  (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 2.86)

H) Srila Prabhupada’s Preaching Is Empowered And Complete

Srila Prabhupada’s activities perfectly convey the complete siddhanta (scripturally authorized conclusions) of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya originating from Lord Krishna Himself. Srila Prabhupada is the acarya-vigraha, the best example of the perfect teacher. His preaching exhibits the full manifestation of guru-tattva and guru-puja, the essence of the bona fide guru and worship of the bona fide guru. By studying and following Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, everyone can achieve the highest stages of Krishna consciousness. Srila Prabhupada’s books are perfect and complete and require no editing or change.

“Whatever is to be learned of the teachings of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura can be learned from our books. There is no need whatsoever for any outside instruction.” (Letter, December 25, 1973)

“Everyone can become a first-class preacher. Simply cram the purports of my books. The references are there. The philosophy is there. Everything is there.” (Letter, September 19, 1974)

“Simply read my books and repeat what I have written. Then our preaching will be perfect.” (Letter, April 4, 1975)

“One should not partially study a book just to pose oneself as a great scholar by being able to refer to scriptures. In our Krishna consciousness movement we have therefore limited our study of Vedic literatures to Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta, and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. These four works are sufficient for preaching purposes. They are adequate for the understanding of the philosophy and the spreading of missionary activities all over the world. If one studies a particular book, he must do so thoroughly. That is the principle. By thoroughly studying a limited number of books, one can understand the philosophy.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta,Madhya-lila 22.118, Purport)

I) Srila Prabhupada Lives Eternally As The Spiritual Master Of The Universe

To obtain the full blessings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all previous acaryas, we must accept Srila Prabhupada as acarya-vigraha or sad-guru, the eternal spiritual master and follow his instructions. Srila Prabhupada is the current, living link of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya. Therefore, his worship is established as fundamental sadhana for all Hare Krishna Vaisnavas in this age. (See “Sadhana,” the following section)

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.”
Reporter: “Are you training a successor?”
Srila Prabhupada: “Yes, my Guru Maharaja is there.”
(Interview, July 16, 1975, Berkeley)


 

Guest: “Are you planning to choose a successor?”
Srila Prabhupada: “It is already successful. A genuine thing is always a success.”
Disciple: “One thing he’s saying, this gentleman–and I would like to know: Is your successor named?”
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. The sun is open to everyone. Our Krishna consciousness movement–Krishna is open to everyone. But if you are fortunate, you come to the light. If you are unfortunate, you do not. That is your choice.” (Conversation, February 12, 1975, Mexico City)


 

Srila Prabhupada: “Only Lord Caitanya can take my place. He will take care of the movement.” (Conversation, November 2, 1977, Vrndavana)

Disciple: “You are the real acarya for this age, Srila Prabhupada.” (October 3, 1977, Vrndavana)

Please Note: Srila Prabhupada’s response to this comment is silence. He would have objected had the comment been bogus or improper. Please note: “It is characteristic of advanced Vaisnavas… that they think themselves ordinary human beings.  This is not an artificial exhibition of humility; a Vaisnava sincerely thinks this way and therefore never admits his exalted position.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.24.26, Purport)


J) The Disciplic Succession Relies On Genuine Disciples

The disciplic succession or guru-parampara is continued by the spiritual master’s genuine disciples. In other words, the disciplic succession relies on disciples who follow the orders, the conclusions, the siddhanta of the sampradaya-acarya. The disciplic succession never relies on ecclesiastical arrangements for authorizing “gurus” or for initiating new generations of disciples. Srila Prabhupada never told his disciples to initiate their own disciples in his mission, and thus he never offered any instructions in this regard. Rather, he carefully trained genuine disciples, like Sriman Jayananda Prabhu, to preach the pure siddhanta of Krishna consciousness, as humble messengers of Lord Caitanya’s mission and humble servants of the Spiritual Master.

“I am the initiator guru, 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.”
(Letter, August 4, 1975)


Srila Prabhupada: “Only Lord Caitanya can take my place. He will take care of the movement.” 
(Conversation, November 2, 1977, Vrndavana)


Reporter: “Have you chosen a successor?”
Srila Prabhupada: “My success is always there. Yes. Just like the sun is always there.”
(Conversation, February 12, 1975, Mexico City)


“One should not try to be an artificially advanced devotee, thinking, ‘I am a first-class devotee.’ Such thinking should be avoided. It is best not to accept any disciples.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 7.130, Purport)


“One who thinks he is guru becomes goru [cow].”
(Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, essay)


“If everyone just initiates, then there will only be a contradictory result. As long as it goes on, there will be only failure.”
(From Phalguna Krishna Pancami, Srila Prabhupada’s 1961 poem honoring the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura)

K) Srila Prabhupada Formally Initiates Disciples Through Deputed Priests

At least as early as 1970, Srila Prabhupada personally established in his mission a system whereby he has continued formally initiating new disciples (many of whom he had never physically met) throughritvija, deputed priests. This system should always be followed in institutions established by Srila Prabhupada and in institutions representing the mission of Srila Prabhupada and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
(See Appendix: Conversations, May 28, July 7, 1977, Letter, July 9, 1977.)

“My Dear [Disciple 1], Please accept my blessings. Just now I have received some more requests for giving first initiation… and now I am receiving weekly not less than ten to fifteen such requests from new students. So it is becoming very expensive to send so many sets of beads such a long distance, and it has become a little bothersome for me also, so I think now you may be appointed by me to give first initiations to new disciples by chanting on their beads on my behalf. In America [Disciple 2] is doing that. So now if there are two of you, that will give me great relief. [Disciple 2] will chant on the beads for new devotees in America, Canada, like that; you can chant on the beads for the European continent, new disciples. They shall, of course, still be considered as my disciples, not that they shall become your disciples, but you will be empowered by me to chant their beads and that is the same effect of binding master and disciple as if I were personally chanting.”
(Letter, January 4, 1973)


Disciple 1: “Then our next question concerns initiations in the future, particularly at that time when you’re no longer with us. We want to know how first and second initiation would be conducted.”
Srila Prabhupada: “Yes. I shall recommend some of you… I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating acaryas.”
Disciple 2: “Is that called ritvik-acarya?”
Srila Prabhupada: “Ritvik. Yes.”
(Conversation, May 28, 1977, Vrndavana)


Srila Prabhupada: “Hare Krishna. One Bengali gentleman has come from New York?… So I have deputed some of you to initiate… I have already deputed… So. Deputies… [Disciple 1]’s name was there?”
Disciple 2: “It is already there, Srila Prabhupada. His name was already on that list [of deputies in the July 9 directive, stating Srila Prabhupada’s authorized system for initiations ‘henceforward’].”
Srila Prabhupada: “So I depute him to do this… This initiation. I have deputed my disciples. Is it clear or not?”
Disciple 3: “It’s clear… We will explain to the Bengali gentleman, just as you have described to us, so that he’ll be satisfied with this arrangement.” (Conversation, October 18, 1977, Vrndavana)


L) Persons Following Srila Prabhupada’s Instructions Are His Disciples

Persons initiated according to the sadhana established by Srila Prabhupada and fixed in following his instructions are bona fide students or disciples of Srila Prabhupada. (See “Sadhana,” next section.)


“Sisya means [one] who accepts the ruling of his spiritual master, and disciple means also the same thing–[one] who becomes disciplined by the spiritual master.” (Lecture, September 12, 1969, London)


Srila Prabhupada: “Who is my disciple? First of all, let him follow strictly the disciplined rules.”
Disciple: “As long as one is following, then he is…”
Srila Prabhupada: “Then he is all right.”
(Conversation, June 13, 1976, Detroit)


“He lives forever by his divine instructions, and the follower lives with him.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, Dedication, 1962)


 

M) Genuine Disciples Teach all, “Become Srila Prabhupada’s Disciples, Accept Srila Prabhupada As Your Eternal Guide.”

The primary aim of missionary work done by Srila Prabhupada’s bona fide disciples is to help everyone hear from, worship and serve Srila Prabhupada and in this way learn the complete science of Krishna consciousness. This is the only sure way for everyone to participate in the sankirtana mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and attain perfection in this life.

“…devotional service to the Lord is so powerful that it can cleanse the hearts of the people in general, by the devotional service of the pure, empowered devotee. A true representative of the Lord like Narada, Sukadeva Gosvami, Lord Caitanya, the six Gosvamis, and later Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, etc., can deliver all people by their empowered devotional service.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.8.5, Purport)


“Knowledge should be taken from the perfect person–because if you take knowledge from a person who is defective, your knowledge has no value. You must take knowledge from the perfect.” (Lecture, April 12, 1974, Bombay)


“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.”
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is 4.34)


“By the mercy of the spiritual master, one receives the mercy of Krishna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, no one can make any advancement.”
(Sri Sri Gurv-astaka, Verse 8, by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura)

“The path of spiritual realization is undoubtedly difficult. The Lord therefore advises us to approach a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself.”
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is 4.34, Purport)

“The spiritual master is the mercy representative of the Lord. Therefore, a person burning in the flames of material existence may receive the rains of mercy of the Lord through the transparent medium of the self-realized spiritual master. The spiritual master, by his words, can penetrate into the heart of the suffering person and inject knowledge transcendental, which alone can extinguish the fire of material existence.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.7.22, Purport)

N) Srila Prabhupada Is Worshiped On The Same Level As Lord Krishna

Because Srila Prabhupada is the most confidential and empowered servitor of the Lord, all learned devotees or Gaudiya Vaisnavas in this age worship Srila Prabhupada on the same level as Krishna Himself.  All Hare Krishna temples conduct daily worship of Srila Prabhupada, both at mangala-arati while worshipping the Deity and again separately during the daily guru-puja program, as per the principles of sadhanaordained by Srila Prabhupada. 
(See “Sadhana.”)

saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair,
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih:

“The spiritual master is to be honored as much as the Supreme Lord, because he is the most confidential servant of the Lord.  This is acknowledged in all revealed scriptures and followed by all authorities.”
(Sri Sri Gurv-astaka, Verse 7).

“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)

O) Srila Prabhupada Blesses The Krishna Consciousness Movement

Srila Prabhupada and our predecessor acaryas–particularly Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati–have encouraged and blessed the Krishna consciousness movement, the worldwide sanga of Lord Caitanya’s devotees which now gathers under the banner of the Hare Krishna Society.

To continue the pure transcendental tradition of this movement which Srila Prabhupada incorporated in 1966 but which various corporate leaders have misrepresented since 1977, the newly incorporated Hare Krishna Society preaches Lord Caitanya’s mission around the globe, following the explicit instructions and personal example of the self-effulgent acarya, our Founder-Acarya, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is sad-guru and jagat-guru, the eternal guru for all his bona fide followers and the guru for all the world.

mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes:

“One can attain the path of liberation from material bondage only by rendering service to highly advanced spiritual personalities.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.2)

naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim,
sprsaty anarthapagamo yad-arthah
mahiyasam pada-rajo-‘bhisekam, 
niskincananam na vrnita yavat:

“Unless they smear on their bodies the dust of the lotus feet of a Vaisnava completely freed from material contamination, persons very much inclined toward materialistic life cannot be attached to the lotus feet of the Lord, who is glorified for His uncommon activities.  Only by becoming Krishna conscious and taking shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord in this way can one be freed from material contamination.” 
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.32)

“A person who cannot keep his faith in the words of his spiritual master but acts independently never receives the authority to chant the holy name of the Lord.

It is said in the Vedas (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.23):

yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha-deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
prakasante mahatmanah

‘Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.’  This Vedic injunction is very important, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu supported it by His personal behavior.  Believing in the words of His spiritual master, He introduced the sankirtanamovement, just as the present Krishna consciousness movement was started with belief in the words of our spiritual master.  He wanted to preach, we believed in his words and tried somehow or other to fulfill them, and now this movement has become successful all over the world.  Therefore faith in the words of the spiritual master and in the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the secret of success.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu never disobeyed the orders of His spiritual master and stopped propagating the sankirtana movement. Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, at the time of his passing away, ordered all his disciples to work conjointly to preach the mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world.  Later, however, some self-interested, foolish disciples disobeyed his orders.  Each one of them wanted to become head of the mission, and they fought in the courts, neglecting the order of the spiritual master, and the entire mission was defeated.  We are not proud of this; however, the truth must be explained.  We believed in the words of our spiritual master and started in a humble way–in a helpless way–but due to the spiritual force of the order of the supreme authority, this movement has become successful.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi 7.95-96, Purport)

“No one should think that this Krishna consciousness movement is a new movement.  As confirmed by Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, it is a very, very old movement, for it has been passing down from one Manu to another… Krishna consciousness, based on the nine principles of devotional service (sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam, arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam), will never be stopped.  It will go on without distinction of caste, creed, color, or country.  No one can check it.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.31)

Srila Prabhupada’s Authorized Principles Of Spiritual Practice (Sadhana)
“Sruti-smrti-puranadi-pancaratra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kal-pate:

Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like theUpanisads, Puranas, and Narada-pancaratra is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.” 
(A verse from Skanda Purana, cited by Srila Rupa Gosvami in Part 1, Chapter 2, Text 101 of his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, 1.2.101, presented by which Srila Prabhupada presents as he summary study Nectar of Devotion)

 

The following principles of spiritual practice have been established by Srila Prabhupada and are recognized, accepted, and followed by the bona fide disciples of Srila Prabhupada.  Disciples fixed in following this sadhana are true representatives of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  Deviation from these principles causes schisms, fall-down from the path of pure Krishna consciousness, and disturbance in human society.

1) Offering Obeisances To Srila Prabhupada

When devotees offer pranamas (obeisances) to Srila Prabhupada, they should do this clearly and audibly, with the following two prayers, or pranama mantras:

nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
nirvisesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desa-tarine

“One should not offer obeisances silently to the spiritual master; or in other words, one should recite aloud the prayers to the spiritual master while offering obeisances.” 
(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 8)

2) Standard Mantras For Kirtanas

All kirtanas should begin with the above-mentioned pranama mantras to Srila Prabhupada, which may be followed by chanting “Jaya Prabhupada.”

The prema-dhvani (respectful obeisances at the end of kirtana) should be recited starting with pranamas to Srila Prabhupada and the predecessor acaryas, and continuing with the other standard, authorized pranamas taught by Srila Prabhupada.

3) Qualifications For Performing Deity Worship

Deity worship in temples of the Hare Krishna Society must be performed exclusively bypujaris who are Srila Prabhupada’s initiated disciples.

By his order, Srila Prabhupada’s disciples and students must chant at least sixteen rounds of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra on beads daily and must follow the four regulative principles of Vaisnava life–that is, no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, and no intoxication.  The highest standard recommended by Srila Prabhupada is for disciples to rise by 4 a.m.  The principle is to rise early for mangala-arati.

4) Worshiping The Authorized Disciplic Succession

Guru-parampara-puja (worship of the authorized disciplic succession) is essential in Krishna conscious sadhana. Offerings should be directed first toward the picture of Srila Prabhupada and should proceed (moving rightward from the picture of Srila Prabhupada) to pictures of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji, the six Gosvamis, and the Panca-tattva–that is, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita, Sri Gadadhara, and Sri Srivasa Thakura. In other words, on the altar with Srila Prabhupada’s picture may be only pictures of bona fide predecessor Vaisnava acaryas of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya.

maha-bhagavata-srestho brahmano vai guru nrnam
sarvesam eva lokanam asau pujyo yatha harih:

“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)

5) Authorized Paintings And Photographs

Only authorized paintings and photographs–that is, pictures of bona fide acaryas and also of Deities and Their pastimes–shall be placed on the temple altar or walls. Srila Prabhupada instructs that the disappearance day of Sriman Jayananda Prabhu may be honored with ceremonies (puspa-abhiseka) and feasting, feasting, as are the disappearance days of other bona fide, recognized Vaisnava saints.

6) Only Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasasana In Temples And Centers

As with Srila Prabhupada’s daily guru-puja, Srila Prabhupada’s vyasa-asana is a permanent feature in all Hare Krishna temples and centers.  A modest floor seat (asana) shall be provided for speakers or those giving class on the authorized sastra, the authorized and approved pre-1978 editions of Srila Prabhupada’s un-revised, original books.

7) Worship Approved By Srila Prabhupada

Only Srila Prabhupada’s guru-puja and the worship of authorized Deities and predecessor Vaisnava acaryas, as mentioned above, will take place in the temple or any other place of Krishna conscious worship.

8) Authorized Festivals

All Hare Krishna temples must conduct ceremonies for proper observance of Srila Prabhupada’s avirbhava-mahotsava (appearance festival) and tirobhava-mahotsava(disappearance festival).  These auspicious days should be celebrated in a grand way, as far as possible.  Similarly, the appearance and disappearance observances of the authorized predecessor Vaisnava acaryas, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Prabhu, other members of the Sri Panca-tattva and parsadas(associates of Sriman Mahaprabhu), Lord Sri Krishna, Srimati Radharani, Sri Ramacandra, Sri Varaha, Sri Narasimha, Sri Vamana, and other avatars and bona fide, recognized Vaisnava saints should be celebrated with devotion and enthusiasm.

9) How To Offer Food

Offering of food, or bhoga, to the Deity shall be done by using the following mantras:

nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine:

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.”

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine 
nirvisesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desatarine:

“Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvati Gosvami.  You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with voidism and impersonalism.”

namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te
krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne gaura-tvise namah:

“O most munificent incarnation!  You are Krishna Himself appearing as Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  You have assumed the golden color of Srimati Radharani, and You are widely distributing pure love of Krishna.  We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.” 
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila19.53)

namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca
jagad-dhitaya krsnaya govindaya namo namah:

“I offer my respectful obeisances to the Supreme Absolute Truth, Krishna, who is the well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas as well as the living entities in general.  I offer my repeated obeisances to Govinda, who is the pleasure reservoir for all the senses.” 
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 13.77, citing Visnu Purana 1.19.65)

“You may say the prayer to the spiritual master three times, and also the namo brahmanya prayer three times, when offering prasadam.  That is very nice, to say the mantra three times.  Also, you may, after offering to the spiritual master, offer to Lord Caitanya by saying the prayer namo maha-vadanyaya three times, and then offer to Krishna thrice.”  (Letter, March 26, 1968)

10) Books Authorized By Srila Prabhupada

For personal study, readings, classes, and public distribution, we accept only the authorized and approved pre-1978 editions of Srila Prabhupada’s books.  We do not accept the unauthorized changes made to Srila Prabhupada’s books by various editors.  

“I have given you the process of disciplic succession… So in the parampara system, in that disciplic succession, you will find no change. The original word is there.  That is the thing… If you want the real thing, then you have to take the old, the oldest.  You cannot change anything.” 
(Lecture, December 1, 1966, New York)

“In my books the philosophy of Krishna consciousness is explained fully, so if there is anything which you do not understand, then you simply have to read again and again.  By reading daily, the knowledge will be revealed to you, and by this process, your spiritual life will develop.” 
(Letter, November 22, 1974)

11) Unauthorized Successor Acaryas Or Diksa-Gurus

Srila Prabhupada did not practice a system of nominating or appointing successoracaryas or diksa-gurus.  Nor did Srila Prabhupada authorize any person, any group, or any organization to nominate or appoint successor acaryas or diksa-gurus. Nor did Srila Prabhupada indicate that one may appoint himself as diksa-guru or acarya simply by adopting the role or status.  Such ideas are insidious concoctions, unsubstantiated anywhere in Srila Prabhupada’s teachings or directives for sadhana.

“Caitanya Mahaprabhu–He is God.  Guru more murkha dekhi’ karila sasan:
‘My Guru Maharaja saw Me as fool number one, and he has chastised Me.’  He’s God.  This is the example.  If one remains a servant everlastingly of the guru, then he is liberated.  And as soon as he thinks that he is liberated, he’s a rascal.  That is the teaching of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  Guru more murkha dekhi’.  Caitanya Mahaprabhu ismurkha? Why is it He’s posing Himself as that murkha?–‘I am fool number one.’  That means that is liberation.  You must be ready always to be chastised by the guru.  Then one is liberated.  And as soon as he thinks that ‘I am beyond this chastisement–I am liberated,’ he’s a rascal.  Why does Caitanya Mahaprabhu say guru more murkha dekhi’ karila sasan?  This is sahajiya-vada– thinking, ‘Oh, I have become liberated.  I don’t require any direction of my guru.  I’m liberated.’  Then he’s a rascal.  Why did this Gaudiya Matha fail?  Because they tried to become more than the guru.  He–before passing away–he gave all direction and never said that ‘This man should be the nextacarya.’ But these people–just after his passing away, they began to fight: ‘Who shall be acarya?’  That is the failure.  They never thought, ‘Why–Guru Maharaja gave us instruction on so many things–why did he not say that this man should be acarya?’  They wanted to create artificially somebody as acarya, and everything failed.  They did not consider even with common sense–that ‘If Guru Maharaja wanted to appoint somebody as acarya, why did he not say?  He said so many things, and this point he missed? The real point?’  And they insisted upon it.  They declared some unfit person to become acarya.  Then another man came. And then another—‘Acarya!’ Another—‘Acarya!’  So better remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by Guru Maharaja.  That is perfection.  And as soon as he learns that Guru Maharaja is dead, ‘Now I am so advanced that I can kill my guru and I become guru.’  Then he’s finished.”
(Conversation, August 16, 1976, Bombay)

Srila Prabhupada: “Only Lord Caitanya can take my place. He will take care of the movement.” 
(Conversation, November 2, 1977, Vrndavana)

Guest: “When did you become the spiritual leader of Krishna consciousness?”
Srila Prabhupada: “When my Guru Maharaja ordered me.  This is the guru-parampara.  Try to understand.  Don’t go very speedily.  A guru can become a guru when he’s ordered by his guru.  That’s all.  Otherwise, nobody can become guru.” 
(Conversation, October 28, 1975, Nairobi)

12) Disobedient, Unauthorized Ideas About Initiation

Persons posing as gurus often propagate the following deviations:

a) Vaisnava gurus or acaryas may be authorized by ecclesiastical arrangements (acarya boards, two-thirds-majority votes, and so forth) or appointed from among immature devotees.
b) Vaisnava gurus are self-made or nominated by their friends and followers.
c) Vaisnava gurus are ordinary men who sometimes make common mistakes, and even great devotees (mahajanas) sometimes become degraded under the Lord’s external maya-sakti.
d) The bona fide spiritual master may sometimes become a demon.
e) Sadhana-bhaktas, neophyte Vaisnavas, may accept special instructions and specialsiddha-pranali “initiation” from an unauthorized, self-styled guru if he claims to be augmenting the teachings of the bona fide Vaisnava acarya.
f) Neophyte Vaisnavas, although sincerely engaged in the service of the bona fideacarya, require “re-initiation” by an ecclesiastical “guru” when their former ecclesiastical “guru” deviates.
h) A student of Krishna consciousness may accept initiation, diksa, from
more than one guru.
i) Vaisnava acaryas die or become “posthumous,” like all mortal men, and
thus become inaccessible or ineffective in the matter of initiating and guiding
new disciples.
j) Some of the instructions of the Vaisnava acarya automatically become
irrelevant after his disappearance.

The idea of “reinitiating” devotees who have already earnestly begun serving Srila Prabhupada, having received the bhakti-lata-bija or seed of devotion, is against Vaisnava principles.  Sincere students reject all these unauthorized ideas and never accept imitators as substitutes for the genuine Vaisnava acarya.

There is no possiblity that a first-class devotee will fall down…”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 22.71, Purport)

“A devotee must have only one initiating spiritual master, because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one is always forbidden.”

(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.35, Purport)

“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-lila 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)

13) Srila Prabhupada’s Authorized System for Initiations

Srila Prabhupada has ordained and implemented a system for initiations in his mission using deputed priests of the acarya, who offer formal initiation on behalf of Srila Prabhupada.  This system has been in place and functioning since at least 1970, seven years before Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance.  Via numerous spoken and written directives, Srila Prabhupada has clearly delineated his intention to continue initiating disciples in his Hare Krishna Society by this system “henceforward.”  Srila Prabhupada’s sincere followers accept his system without speculation, following the infallible authority of sadhu-sastra-guru. (See conversations, May 28 and July 7, 1977, Vrndavana; Srila Prabhupada’s last directive on initiations, July 9, 1977.)

“My dear [Disciple 1], Please accept my blessings.  Just now I have received some more requests for giving first initiation …, and now I am receiving weekly not less than ten to fifteen such requests from new students.  So it is becoming very expensive to send so many sets of beads such a long distance, and it has become a little bothersome for me also, so I think now you may be appointed by me to give first initiations to new disciples by chanting on their beads on my behalf.  In America [Disciple 2] is doing that.  So now if there are two of you, that will give me great relief.  [Disciple 2] will chant on the beads for new devotees in America, Canada, like that; you can chant on the beads for the European continent, new disciples.  They shall, of course, still be considered as my disciples, not that they shall become your disciples, but you will be empowered by me to chant their beads and that is the same effect of binding master and disciple as if I were personally chanting.” (Letter, January 4, 1973)

Srila Prabhupada: “Hare Krishna.  One Bengali gentleman has come from New York?… So I have deputed some of you to initiate.… I have already deputed… So. Deputies… [Disciple 1]’s name was there?” 

Disciple 2: “It is already there, Srila Prabhupada.  His name was already on that list [of deputies in the July 9 directive, stating Srila Prabhupada’s authorized system for initiations ‘henceforward’].” 

 Srila Prabhupada: “So I depute him to do this… This initiation.  I have deputed my disciples.  Is it clear or not?” 

 Disciple 3: “It’s clear… We will explain to the Bengali gentleman, just as you have described to us, so that he’ll be satisfied with this arrangement.”
(Conversation, October 18, 1977, Vrndavana)

14) “Knowledge Should Be Taken from the Perfect Person”

Only an uttama-adhikari, a topmost, perfect devotee, is qualified to deliver the student from the miseries of the material world and the cycle of birth and death.  Therefore, the sastras and acaryas recommend that serious students of Krishna consciousness accept only an uttama-adhikari as diksa-guru.  Students should not approach imperfect persons who are subject to fall-down.  Serious devotees should not accept initiation or “reinitiation” according to temporal ecclesiastical arrangements but should rather accept only the topmost devotee as diksa-guru, according to thesadhana prescribed by Srila Prabhupada.

“The whole world is in the blaze of material pangs, threefold miseries, and a person who is authorized to deliver people from those material pangs—he is called a spiritual master.” 
(Lecture, August 17, 1968, Montreal)

“… help can only be given by a spiritual master like Krishna.  Therefore, the conclusion is that a spiritual master who is one hundred percent Krishna conscious is the bona fide spiritual master, for he can solve the problems of life.” 
(Bhagavad-gita 2.8, Purport)

“Since one cannot visually experience the presence of the Supersoul, He appears before us as a liberated devotee.  Such a spiritual master is none other than Krishna Himself.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.58)

“A bona fide spiritual master is in the disciplic succession from time eternal, and he does not deviate at all from the instructions of the Supreme Lord…”
(Bhagavad-gita 4.42, Purport)

“The spiritual master is always considered either one of the confidential associates of Radharani or a manifested representation of Sri Nityananda.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.46, Purport)

“On the whole, the spiritual master is an agent of Krishna.  Either he is assistant to thegopis or assistant to the cowherd boys.  He is on the level of Krishna.  That is the verdict of all scriptures.  Krishna is worshipable God, and the spiritual master is worshiper God.” 
(Letter, September 26, 1969)

“… a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master.”
(Nectar of Instruction, Text 5, Purport)

“Knowledge should be taken from the perfect person–because if you take knowledge from a person who is defective, your knowledge has no value.  You must take knowledge from the perfect.”
(Lecture, April 12, 1974, Bombay)

15) Srila Prabhupada’s Original Teachings–More Than Sufficient

Srila Prabhupada’s bountiful vani or instructions in his original, un-revised writings and in his recordings are more than sufficient for the practice and propagation of Krishna consciousness.  Sincere students of Krishna consciousness strive to absorb their consciousness in Srila Prabhupada’s original books and recordings and to live by his eternal, divine instructions.

“Whatever is to be learned can be learned from our books.  There is no need whatsoever for outside instruction.”
(Letter, December 25, 1973)

16) Authorized vs. Unauthorized Association

In sum, the Hare Krishna Society, the bona fide Krishna consciousness movement, encourages and promotes the association of Vaisnavas, based upon recognizing and relishing Srila Prabhupada’s unique position as a nitya-siddha Vaisnava and sakty-avesa avatara and the Sampradaya Acarya and beloved guru for all his sincere followers.  As a matter of course, Krishna conscious devotees come together and preach on this basis, following Srila Prabhupada’s instruction, “Always keep theAcarya in the center.”

17) Following Srila Prabhupada’s Format For Various Functions

Members of the Hare Krishna Society naturally cooperate to arrange Vaisnava festivals on a regular basis and try to preach, according to individual capacity, following the format given by Srila Prabhupada, with the chanting of the Lord’s holy names, readings and classes from Srila Prabhupada’s original books, discussions based on his Bhaktivedanta Purports, and prasada offered and distributed in the way Srila Prabhupada has shown us.

18) Open Public Discussion Encouraged

Srila Prabhupada encourages istha-gosthi (public discussion) among devotees.  Members of the Hare Krishna Society agree to encourage and promote istha-gosthiamong ourselves and others, to discuss the proper conclusions of Vaisnavism and their practical application, based upon Srila Prabhupada’s teachings.

siddhanta baliya citte na kara alasa iha ha-ite krsne lage sudrdha manasa:

 “A sincere student should not neglect the discussion of such conclusions, considering them controversial, for such discussions strengthen the mind.  Thus one’s mind becomes attached to Sri Krishna.” 
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 2.117)

19) Serving Srila Prabhupada, Together

In conclusion, members of the Hare Krishna Society embrace the simple yet sublime Vaisnava principles of serving Srila Prabhupada–the Acarya–and working together to help him distribute the blessings of Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya all over the universe.

“No one can check the spread of the Krishna consciousness movement, because upon this movement is the benediction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 17.204, Purport)

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido, bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah 
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani, sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati: 

“The spiritually powerful message of Godhead can be properly discussed only in a society of devotees, and it is greatly pleasing to hear in that association.  If one hears from devotees, the way of transcendental experience quickly opens, and gradually one attains firm faith that in due course develops into attraction and devotion.” 
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.25)

“He lives forever by his divine instructions, and the follower lives with him.”
(Srila Prabhupada’s Dedication to his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1962)

Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam. 
All Glories to Sri Krishna Sankirtana!

Om Tat Sat.

Posted This 15 October 2002 on the auspicious appearance day of Sripada Madhvacarya and Sri Ramacandra Vijaya Utsava

www.harekrishnasociety.org