Srila Prabhupada’s Disciple

prabhupada with disciples
By Mahesh Raja dasa
One who is accepting discipline from Srila Prabhupada is Srila Prabhupada’s disciple.


Even the most basic discipline, 16 rounds of Hare Krishna Mantra and four Regulative Principles are coming FROM Srila Prabhupada. Common sense — if you ARE being disciplined BY Srila Prabhupada then it follows you ARE Srila Prabhupada’s disciple. How can it be otherwise?
The MEANING of the word “disciple”
Srila Prabhupada’s Morning Walk, March 8, 1976 in Mayapur:

Prabhupada: “Discipline… Disciple means discipline. The word discipline comes from disciple, or disciple comes from discipline. So unless there is discipline, there is no question of disciple. This discipline must… That should be uniform. Otherwise, sisya… sisya, the word sisya, it comes from the root, verb, sas-dhatu. sas. sas means ruling. From this word, sasana. Sasana means government. sastra. sashtra means weapon, and sastra, scripture, and sisya… These things have come from the one root sas-dhatu. So sas-dhatu means ruling under discipline. There is another English word, that “Obedience is the first law of discipline,” or something. They say, “Obedience is the first law of discipline”? So I am right? “Obedience is…”? That is the…
Tamala Krsna: Yes, that’s more or less what it is.
Prabhupada: No, what is the word, exact. There is an English word. “Obedience is the first law of discipline.” So unless there is obedience, there cannot be any discipline. And unless there is discipline, there is no question of disciple. DISCIPLE MEANS ONE WHO FOLLOWS DISCIPLINE.”
Discipline comes from Srila Prabhupada. We are actually being disciplined by Srila Prabhupada. It is Srila Prabhupada who has given us the regulative principles of no meat, fish or eggs; no intoxication (including tea and coffee), no illicit sex, and no gambling. It is Srila Prabhupada who has made it a regulative principle for us to chant sixteen rounds on the beads HARE KRSNA HARE KRSNA KRSNA KRSNA HARE HARE /HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE.
Srila Prabhupada’s books contain all the instructions, the guidance required for us to get ourselves out of the clutches of the modes of material nature. In fact, Srila Prabhupada is personally present as his books.
Caitanya-caritamra, Adi 1, Text 35:
“There is NO DIFFERENCE between the spiritual masters instructions and the spiritual master himself.”
Since the instructions of the spiritual master and the spiritual master are not different, one can be the disciple of Srila Prabhupada by following his discipline and can be considered Srila Prabhupada’s disciple. Another point is he can be considered both direct disciple and not direct simultaneously, because Srila Prabhupada is still present in his instruction form (his books). The following example will illustrate the point.
Srila Krsnadasa kaviraja is the example of both direct and not direct disciple simultaneously. (THE PHILOSOPHY OF SIMULTANEOUS ONENESS AND DIFFERENCE).
Caitanya-caritamra, Adi 1:
“A direct disciple of Srila Rupa Gosvami was Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. The author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, stands as the DIRECT DISCIPLE of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. The direct disciple of Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami was Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, who accepted Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti as his servitor. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura accepted Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji, who initiated Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who in turn initiated Srila Gaurakishore dasa Babaji, the spiritual master of Om Visnupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, the divine master of our humble self. Since we belong to this chain of disciplic succession from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, this edition of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta will contain nothing newly manufactured by our tiny brains, but only remnants of food originally eaten by the Lord Himself.”
Caitanya-caritamra, Antya 19.102:
Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami was not actually a direct disciple of Srila Rupa Gosvami, but he FOLLOWED THE INSTRUCTIONS given by Srila Rupa Gosvami in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. He therefore ACTED ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS of Rupa Gosvami and prayed in every chapter for his mercy.
Who is Srila Prabhupada’s Disciple?
Srila Prabhupada’s Morning Walk, June 13, 1976, Detroit:

Prabhupada: “Who is my disciple? First of all let him FOLLOW STRICTLY THE DISCIPLINED RULES.
Devotee (2): As long as one is following, then he is…
Prabhupada: Then he is all right.”
Srila Prabhupada Letter to Bhaktijana, September 21, 1972:
“You do not require to worry as I shall never leave you, you are my disciple and I am your spiritual master, so there is no question, AS LONG AS you follow my instructions, that I shall ever leave you. Just remember under all circumstances to chant sixteen rounds of japa daily, offer your prasadam to Krsna, and do all of the things which you already know, as you are senior disciple. These things will protect you under all conditions, without any doubt.”
Srila Prabhupada Letter to Madhudvisa, November 7, 1975:
“SO LONG AS one follows the principles, he continues to be my disciple.”
Srila Prabhupada Letter to Tusta Krsna, November 9, 1975:
“SO LONG AS one continues to follow the rules and regulations, he continues to be my disciple wherever he may be.”
Srila Prabhupada Letter, July 9, 1969:
“Out of the ten kinds of offenses, the number one offense is to disobey the orders of the Spiritual Master. The instructions given to the disciple by the Spiritual Master at the time of initiation should be strictly followed. That will make one advance to the spiritual path. But if one deliberately defies such instructions, then his advancement is hampered from the very beginning. THIS DEFYING MEANS TO DISCONNECT THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SPIRITUAL MASTER. AND ANYONE WHO DEFIES AND THEREFORE DISCONNECTS THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SPIRITUAL MASTER can hardly expect the assistance of the Spiritual Master life after life.”
Srila Prabhupada Letter to Cidananda, November 25, 1973:
“Please always try to REMEMBER ME BY MY TEACHINGS AND WE SHALL ALWAYS BE TOGETHER. Just like I have written in the first publications of Srimad-Bhagavatam, “The spiritual Master lives forever by His divine instruction and the disciple lives with him.”, because I have always served my Guru Maharaja and followed His teachings I am now even never separated from Him. Sometimes Maya may come and try to interfere but we must not falter, we must always follow the chalked out path layed down by the great acharya’s and in the end you will see.”
Who is NOT Srila Prabhupada’s disciple?
Initiation does not bear any meaning
Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 11, 1970:
“Regarding your question of an initiated person falling prey to the maya, the answer is that so long we are in this material world, there is always chance of being spoiled by Maya, so we must stick with vow to the Lotus Feet of Krishna. An initiated devotee is given the chance for becoming free from the entanglement of karma wheel. Initiated means beginning, not perfection. The Spiritual Master’s business is to guide him to the perfectional point. But if one does not strictly follow the guidance of a bonafide Spiritual Master HIS INITIATION DOES NOT BEAR ANY MEANING. The initiation performance is an agreement by the disciples to abide by the order of the Spiritual Master. Therefore, if the Spiritual Master is bonafide and the disciple is serious to abide by His order, then the success is sure.”
Otherwise they are NOT my disciples

Srila Prabhupada Letter to Raja Laksmi, February 17, 1976:
“My advise is always chant 16 rounds minimum and follow the four regulative principles. All of my disciples must agree on this point OTHERWISE THEY ARE NOT MY DISCIPLES.”
Against the principle
Srila Prabhupada Letter to Dhrstaketu, July 17, 1976:
“Unless absolutely necessary, one should keep head shaven and not allow the hair to grow long. If absolutely necessary, one can dress like an American gentleman, with short hair, but long hair is prohibited. The reason that one with long hair is not my disciple is because he is AGAINST THE PRINCIPLE. Unless absolutely necessary one should keep hair short, and if necessary one can dress like an American gentleman with short hair. It is not expected that everyone will join. For that reason we can’t compromise. The tendency is there to be hippy. When the acaryas are seen with beard, that is during Caturmasya, July-September. If observed strictly there is not simply a beard. There are so many rules and regulations. One can’t eat a variety of foods. Only kitri prepared and poured on the floor, and then licked up. There are so many other rules also. THAT IS NOT ALWAYS THAT THEY KEPT BEARD.”
There are many so-called Prabhupada disciples – but only in name. They in fact decline to follow Srila Prabhupada’s discipline hence they are Srila Prabhupada disciples in name only. They show superficial lip service to Srila Prabhupada.
Disciple in name only
Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, New York, July 10, 1976:

Prabhupada: And the Bon Maharaja is his follower. HE’S IN NAME a disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, BUT HE’S A SERVANT OF Vivekananda.
Tamala Krsna: He’s very similar to him.
Prabhupada: He’s a great appreciator of Vivekananda. He has put in his curriculum Vivekananda philosophy, Gandhi philosophy. Rascal, what philosophy they have got?
Krsna Book, Chapter 64 – The Story of King Nrga:
At this time, Lord Krsna was present among His relatives who were members of the ksatriya class. To teach them through the exemplary character of King Nrga, He said, “Even though a ksatriya king may be as powerful as fire, it is not possible for him to usurp the property of a brahmana and utilize it for his own purpose. If this is so, how can ordinary kings, who falsely think of themselves as the most powerful beings within the material world, usurp a brahmana’s property? I do not think that taking poison is as dangerous as taking a brahmana’s property. For ordinary poison there is treatment–one can be relieved from its effects; but if one drinks the poison of taking a brahmana’s property, there is no remedy for the mistake. THE PERFECT EXAMPLE IS KING NRGA. HE WAS VERY POWERFUL AND VERY PIOUS, BUT DUE TO THE SMALL MISTAKE OF UNKNOWINGLY USURPING A BRAHMANA’S COW, HE WAS CONDEMNED TO THE ABOMINABLE LIFE OF A LIZARD. Ordinary poison affects only those who drink it, and ordinary fire can be extinguished simply by pouring water on it; BUT THE ARANI FIRE IGNITED BY THE SPIRITUAL POTENCY OF A BRAHMANA CAN BURN TO ASHES THE WHOLE FAMILY OF A PERSON WHO PROVOKES SUCH A BRAHMANA.” (Formerly, the brahmanas used to ignite the fire of sacrifice not with matches or any other external fire but with their powerful mantras, called arani.) “IF SOMEONE EVEN TOUCHES A BRAHMANA’S PROPERTY, HE IS RUINED FOR THREE GENERATIONS. HOWEVER, IF A BRAHMANA’S PROPERTY IS FORCIBLY TAKEN AWAY, THE TAKER’S FAMILY FOR TEN GENERATIONS BEFORE HIM AND TEN GENERATIONS AFTER HIM WILL BECOME SUBJECT TO RUINATION. On the other hand, if someone becomes a Vaisnava, or devotee of the Lord, ten generations of his family before his birth and ten generations after will become liberated.”
Lord Krsna continued: “If some foolish king who is puffed up by his wealth, prestige and power wants to usurp a brahmana’s property, it should be understood that such a king is clearing his path to hell; he does not know how much he has to suffer for such unwise action. If someone takes away the property of a very liberal brahmana who is encumbered by a large dependent family, then such a usurper is put into the hell known as Kumbhipaka; not only is he put into this hell, but his family members also have to accept such a miserable condition of life. A PERSON WHO TAKES AWAY PROPERTY WHICH HAS EITHER BEEN AWARDED TO A BRAHMANA OR GIVEN AWAY BY HIM IS CONDEMNED TO LIVE FOR AT LEAST 60,000 YEARS AS MISERABLY AS AN INSECT IN STOOL. THEREFORE I INSTRUCT YOU, ALL MY BOYS AND RELATIVES PRESENT HERE, DO NOT, EVEN BY MISTAKE, TAKE THE POSSESSION OF A BRAHMANA AND THEREBY POLLUTE YOUR WHOLE FAMILY. IF SOMEONE EVEN WISHES TO POSSESS SUCH PROPERTY, LET ALONE ATTEMPTS TO TAKE IT AWAY BY FORCE, THE DURATION OF HIS LIFE WILL BE REDUCED. HE WILL BE DEFEATED BY HIS ENEMIES, AND AFTER BEING BEREFT OF HIS ROYAL POSITION, WHEN HE GIVES UP HIS BODY HE WILL BECOME A SERPENT. A SERPENT GIVES TROUBLE TO ALL OTHER LIVING ENTITIES. My dear boys and relatives, I therefore advise you that even if a brahmana becomes angry with you and calls you by ill names or curses you, still you should not retaliate. On the contrary, you should smile, tolerate him and offer your respects to the brahmana. You know very well that even I Myself offer My obeisances to the brahmanas with great respect three times daily. You should therefore follow My instruction and example. I shall not forgive anyone who does not follow them, and I shall punish him. You should learn from the example of King Nrga that even if someone unknowingly usurps the property of a brahmana, he is put into a miserable condition of life.”
It has been a common practice among Srila Prabhupada’s Godbrothers to steal Srila Prabhupada’s disciples by trickery. Sridhara Maharaja and Puri Maharaja are also known to have re-initiated Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. Narayana Maharaja is also a culprit in this deplorable un-Vaisnava, offensive, insulting conduct. This act proves they are conditioned souls.
From the letter below one can see that history repeats itself; because they are conditioned souls they ventured to initiate Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. Thus, they were caught out as Srila Prabhupada clearly says of the action: “SO IT IS DELIBERATE TRANSGRESSION OF VAISNAVA ETIQUETTES AND OTHERWISE A DELIBERATE INSULT TO ME. I DO NOT KNOW WHY HE HAS DONE LIKE THIS BUT NO VAISNAVA WILL APPROVE OF THIS OFFENSIVE ACTION.”
Srila Prabhupada Letter to Mukunda, March 26, 1968:
“In meantime, I have also received one letter which is very depressing from Hrsikesa. I understand that he has been induced by Bon Maharaja to be initiated by him for giving him shelter, and this foolish boy has accepted his inducement. This isn’t very happy news, and I have replied Hrsikesa’s letter in the following words, which please take note, and in the future, we shall be very cautious about them. “My Dear Hrsikesa, Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of March 14, 1968, and I am greatly surprised. I AM GREATLY SURPRISED FOR BON MAHARAJA’S INITIATING YOU IN SPITE OF HIS KNOWING THAT YOU ARE ALREADY INITIATED BY ME. SO IT IS DELIBERATE TRANSGRESSION OF VAISNAVA ETIQUETTES AND OTHERWISE A DELIBERATE INSULT TO ME. I DO NOT KNOW WHY HE HAS DONE LIKE THIS BUT NO VAISNAVA WILL APPROVE OF THIS OFFENSIVE ACTION. I very much appreciate your acknowledgement of my service unto you and you will always have my blessings, BUT YOU MUST KNOW THAT YOU HAVE COMMITTEE. A GREAT BLUNDER. I do not wish to discuss on this point more elaborately now, but if you are desirous to know further about it, I shall be glad to give you more enlightenment. Mukunda is not here. He has gone to L.A. Hope you are well.” If Hrsikesa writes you letter I think you may avoid reply. I DO NOT APPROVE BOTH HRSIKESA’S AND BON MAHARAJA’S THIS OFFENSIVE ACTION. Hoping you are both well.”
In venturing to initiate Srila Prabhupada’s disciples —they could not even have understood the philosophy properly. As It is clearly stated: A DEVOTEE MUST HAVE ONLY ONE INITIATING SPIRITUAL MASTER BECAUSE IN THE SCRIPTURES ACCEPTANCE OF MORE THAN ONE IS ALWAYS FORBIDDEN. For them to Initiate Srila Prabhupada’s disciples they would be falling into a trap of REJECTING Srila Prabhupada as the Initiating Guru—DIRECT INSULT-committed BOTH by the so-called disciple of Srila Prabhupada and their conditioned soul “gurus”.
Caitanya-caritamra, Adi 1.35:
The Spiritual Masters
“The expert spiritual master knows well how to engage his disciple’s energy in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, and thus he engages a devotee in a specific devotional service according to his special tendency. A DEVOTEE MUST HAVE ONLY ONE INITIATING SPIRITUAL MASTER BECAUSE IN THE SCRIPTURES ACCEPTANCE OF MORE THAN ONE IS ALWAYS FORBIDDEN.”




One comment

  • Hasti Gopala dasa

    Srila Prabhupada The Master Disciple

    Srila Prabhupada is the master disciple. He’s showing us by his example how to be a first class disciple. That example is continuing and the revelations will continue as we read his original books through out the rest of our lives. The perfection of life is to follow strictly the bona fide spiritual master and make his orders the life and soul of our disciplic position. By repeating without change his eternal message of how to love God, Krsna will be our perfection of life. He has told us this many times and he has masterfully followed it himself in the most perfect manner. Indeed he continues to do so.
    So as much as we follow purely we will become leaders but that following means to become as much as sincerely possible a master disciple.

    The carpentry master has with in himself the apprentice. The master may draw on the experience and knowledge of his apprenticeship but the apprentice cannot draw on the experience and knowledge of being a master carpenter. First we must become first class disciples of Srila Prabhupada…everyone. Then automatically leading others towards the same path of bhakti yoga will take it’s natural course.

    There is no question of becoming a bona fide spiritual master without first becoming a bona fide master disciple.

    Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati;
    422. How does a genuine disciple think? (p.338

    For the genuine devotee of a spiritual master, the genuine disciple, the spiritual master is his entire life, his ideal. His vow is to serve the spiritual master, and though he adores both Krishna and the spiritual master equally, he gives special preference to his spiritual master.

    A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

    All my disciples will take the legacy. If you want you can also take it. Sacrifice everything. I, one, may soon pass away. But they are hundreds, and this movement will increase.
    It is not that I give an order, ‘Here is the next leader.’ Anyone who follows the previous leadership is the leader….All of my disciples are leaders, AS MUCH AS THEY FOLLOW PURELY”

    From a conversation.

    710814rc.lon Conversations

    Prabhupada: Yesam tv anta-gatam papam. One who has finished sinful activities, he can be engaged in God consciousness. One who is engaged in sinful activities, he cannot. Devil citing scripture.

    A devil cannot cite scripture. Angel can cite scripture. And according to our acaryas, Sanatana Gosvami, he says that “Don’t hear scriptures from the devil.” Avaisnava-mukhodgirnam putam hari-kathamrtam sravanam naiva kartavyam.” If a devil’s preaching about God, don’t hear.” If you say, “God is pure, so let me hear about God. It doesn’t matter whether he is devil or angel. It doesn’t matter.” No. The argument is sarpocchistam payo yatha. Just like milk is very nourishing food, but if it is touched by the lips, by the tongue of a serpent, it becomes poison. Sarpocchistam payo yatha. You cannot bring the milk which is touched by the serpent’s tongue.
    So we should receive knowledge of God, message of God, from a person who is not a devil. Then it will be effective. Otherwise, it will act as poison. Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s principle is apani acari prabhu jiveri siksaya. He first of all behaves himself, and then he preaches. So if the preacher is sinful, how he can deliver other sinful men by his so-called preaching. That is not possible. He must be pure, he must be sinless. Then his preaching will be effective. But in all conditions, if we, with faith and love we chant the holy name of God, we shall become gradually purified. There is no, I mean to say, cause of anxiety. Anyone who will chant this holy name, he’ll be purified.

    Ys Hasti Gopala Dasa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.