The Greatest Danger to Our Movement
Compiled by Damaghosa dasa, Seattle USA
I have gathered the following which are very potent quotes from Srila Prabhupada which should act as warnings to us all. When something goes wrong with your car and the red lights start flashing, you know it is time to stop and carefully check things out. Similarly, Srila Prabhupada has given us all warning signs for the sincere and serious devotees to watch out for in our devotional lives. These instructions by Srila Prabhupada act as beacons for us to check out individually and as a whole whether our movement is on the right track or not.
- Do not create your own process for worshipping Deities
“The greatest danger to our movement will come when we manufacture and create our own process for worshiping the Deities. So don’t ask any more new questions, whatever is going on, follow it just to the exact standard as I have given you, that’s all…”
Srila Prabhupada in a letter to Dhruvananda, Bombay 4 January, 1973
Srila Prabhupada in a letter to Dhruvananda, Bombay 4 January, 1973
- Do not bring personal motivation
“In my books I have tried to explain clearly this simultaneously one and different philosophy acinta beda beda tattva propounded by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. But sometimes it happens that this philosophy is given a self-interested interpretation. As soon as personal motivation comes in it is not possible for one to understand our Krishna Consciousness philosophy.”
Srila Prabhupada in a letter to Isana and Vibhavati 21 September, 1970, Calcutta
- Bhoga offering order
“Yes, it is nice that you are worshipping Lord Chaitanya along with Radha Krishna. That is alright. Lord Chaitanya should be placed to the right side of Krishna. There is nothing special for His worship, but you may continue as you are doing now. The order of worshipping is first Spiritual Master, and then Lord Chaitanya, then Radha Krishna (as in the mantras or vande aham prayer).Your confidence to do whatever you are instructed by the Spiritual Master is very encouraging. Yes, this is the method of the Vedic injunction, staunch faith in Spiritual Master and Krishna makes one perfect in spiritual understanding.“
Srila Prabhupada in letter to Himavati April 1, 1970 Los Angeles
- Offering goes through Spiritual Master
“Regarding your question about offering Prasadam, whatever is offered to the Deity actually it goes through the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master offers to Lord Chaitanya, and Lord Chaitanya offers it to Krishna. Then Radha Krishna eats, or Jagannatha eats, then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu eats, then the Spiritual Master eats, and it becomes Mahaprasadam. So when you offer something, you think like that and chant the Gayatri mantra, and then everything is complete. At last, ring the bell, take out the plate and wipe the place where the plate was kept.”
– Letter to Arundhati, 16 June, 1969, New Vrindaban
- Slight change will spoil
“One who understands and appreciates the disciplic succession is certainly advanced, and we should always be very careful to give full respect to those who have so carefully handled this Divine Fruit of transcendental knowledge before us. Even a slight change will spoil it. That is why I have always been so careful to give you only those things which I have heard from my Guru Maharaja.”
– Letter to: Devotee & Hamsaduta, Vrindavana, India August 1967
- No outside instruction
“…Whatever is to be learned of the teachings of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura can be learned from our [i.e., Srila Prabhupada’s books] books. There is no need whatsoever for any outside instruction.”
– Srila Prabhupada in a letter dated December 25, 1973
- Do not mix with Gaudiya Math
Therefore amongst my God brothers no one is qualified to become acharya. So it is better not to mix with my God brothers very intimately, because instead of inspiring our students they may sometimes pollute them. This attempt was made by them previously, especially Madhava Maharaja and Tirtha Maharaja and Bon Maharaja, but somehow I saved the situation. This is going on. We shall be careful about them and not mix with them. This is my instruction to you all. They cannot help us in our movement, but they are very competent to harm our natural progress. So we must be very careful about them.”
– Srila Prabhupada in a letter dated April 28, 1974
- Avoid my God brothers
“All my disciples should avoid all of my God brothers. They should not have any dealings with them nor even correspondence, nor should we give them any of my books, nor should we purchase any of their books, neither should you visit any of their temples. Please avoid them.”
Srila Prabhupada in a letter dated 9th November, 1975
- Our sahajiyas more dangerous
Srila Prabhupada: Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, he said that “When our men will be sahajiyā, oh, they’ll be more dangerous.” So our men are becoming, some of them, sahajiyās. This very word he said, that “When our men will be sahajiyās he’ll be more dangerous.”
Devotee: Without any proper realization, on the basis of being able to read Sanskrit, they delve into all kinds of books, and then they pick fault—”Oh, this rule is not being followed. This is wrong. This is wrong.”
Devotee: We don’t chant sixty-four rounds, so that is very bad. We’ll never make any progress.
Srila Prabhupada: Sahajiyā Conversations : 1977 Conversations : January, 1977 : Room Conversation — January 24, 1977, Bhuvanesvara : 770124r2.bhu :
- Do not manufacture
Prabhupada: Therefore you have got Spiritual Master. Why he is there? Therefore you have to accept Spiritual Master who will give you direction. You cannot do it. If you manufacture your own…, then go to hell. Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau, tasyaite kathita hy arthah. Krishna is there; guru is there. Why should you manufacture your own way? If you are sincere, Krishna will dictate from within. Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam. Find out this verse. Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam, buddhi-yogam dadami tam…. Krsna is ready to give you instruction. The Spiritual Master is ready. Why should you do at your whims, and do something wrong and go to hell? Yes?
– Srila Prabhupada in a Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam Hawaii 1974
- Danger of Bureaucracy
Srila Prabhupada: “Once there is bureaucracy the whole thing will be spoiled. There must always be individual striving, work and responsibility, competitive spirit, not that one shall dominate and distribute benefits to others and they do nothing but beg from you and you provide. No.”
– Srila Prabhupada in a letter dated December 22, 1972
- Danger of impurity
Srila Prabhupada: “As soon as there is a little impurity, the whole thing will deteriorate and go to hell. We shall not like to take the credit in that case, therefore I am praying simply that all of you, my advanced disciples, GBC men, Temple officers, will become sober-minded.”
– Srila Prabhupada in a letter dated December 29, 1972
- Danger of being whimsical
Srila Prabhupada: “I made the GBC to give me relief, but if you do like this, then where is the relief? It is ANXIETY for me. This is the difficulty, that as soon as one gets POWER he becomes whimsical and SPOILS everything. What can I do?”
– Srila Prabhupada in a letter dated September 12, 1974
- Rogues take advantage of acharya’s disappearance
Unfortunately, when the acharya disappears, rogues and nondevotees take advantage and immediately begin to introduce unauthorized principles in the name of so-called swamis, yogis, philanthropists, welfare workers and so on. The acharya, the authorized representative of the Supreme Lord, establishes these principles, but when he disappears, things once again become disordered. The perfect disciples of the acharya try to relieve the situation by sincerely following the instructions of the Spiritual Master.
– Srimad Bhagavatam, 4.28.48 Purport
- Jealous people in the dress of Vaishnava
“There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaishnavas in this Krishna Consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. A false acharya may try to override a Vaishnava by a high-court decision, (2/3 hand vote) but Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that he is nothing but a disciple of Kali-yuga.”
- Kali chela
“Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, Kali-chela. He indicates that there are other Vaishnavas, pseudo-Vaishnavas, with tilaka on their nose and kunti beads around their neck. Such a pseudo-Vaishnava associates with money and women and is jealous of successful Vaishnavas. Although passing for a Vaishnava, his only business is earning money in the dress of a Vaishnava”.
– Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya, Ch.1, Text 218 / 220, purport
- Misuse donations
Achyutananda: If a man says, “I am giving you this donation because it is a spiritual organization,” but if the money is misused, does that man benefit?
Srila Prabhupada: If money is misused, then both of them become implicated. If it is not used for Krishna, then both of them becomes under the laws of karma.
Srila Prabhupada, Conversations, March 14, 1976, Mayapur
Srila Prabhupada: That is the way of falsehood. If once you speak something false, then to protect that falsehood you have to take to so many other falsehoods. This is the way of falsehood.
– Srila Prabhupada, Conversations, June 2, 1975, Honolulu
- Too much lying
By pride, either artificial or real, the resultant action of austerity is spoiled; by too much affection for female association, cleanliness is spoiled; by too much addiction to intoxication, mercy is spoiled; and by too much lying propaganda, truthfulness is spoiled. The revival of Bhagavata-dharma can save human civilization from falling prey to evils of all description.
– Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.17.25
- Losing link
“Kirtanananda may be eager to address in the Harvard university but recently he has lost his link on account of disobedience. You sing every day morning that by the mercy of the Spiritual Master one can please the Lord and one who has not pleased the Spiritual Master cannot have any access in the realm of Krishna Consciousness. Very recently Kirtanananda has developed a different consciousness of Maya which is called misuse of one’s minute independence offered by Krishna.
By misuse of one’s independence one at once becomes a victim of Maya and thus he loses all importance in Krishna Consciousness. So it is my definite opinion that his lecture anywhere now will bear no spiritual sequence. He must rectify his mistake before he can play in our Society any important role. By lips he says that he is a surrendered soul but by action he is thinking differently.”
Letter to Satsvarupa, Friday, October 6, 1967, Delhi
- Bogus gurus and their followers go to Hell
Unless one is perfectly anxious to inquire about the way of perfection, there is no necessity of approaching a Spiritual Master. A Spiritual Master is not a kind of decoration for a householder. Generally a fashionable materialist engages a so-called Spiritual Master without any profit. The pseudo Spiritual Master flatters the so-called disciple, and thereby both the master and his ward go to hell without a doubt.
– Srimad Bhagavatam, Purport, 1.19.37
As for your next question, can only a few pure devotees deliver others, anyone, if he is a pure devotee he can deliver others, he can become Spiritual Master. But unless he is on that platform he should not attempt it. Then both of them will to go to hell, like blind men leading the blind.
– Srila Prabhupada in a letter to Tusta Krishna, December 14, 1972
Leaders who have fallen into ignorance and who mislead people by directing them to the path of destruction [as described in the previous verse] are, in effect, boarding a stone boat, and so too are those who blindly follow them. A stone boat would be unable to float and would sink in the water with its passengers. Similarly, those who mislead people go to hell, and their followers go with them.
– Srimad Bhagavatam, Purport, 6.7.14