Srila Prabhupada: “So there are two phases, prakata and aprakata, appearance and disappearance. So we have nothing to lament on account of disappearance because Krsna and Krsna's devotee... Not only devotees, even the nondevotees, nobody disappears." (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s Disappearance Day - LA, Dec 13/73)
For the devotee of Krishna, appearance and disappearance is the same thing. Every soul is eternal, but the great devotees are sat-cid-ananda before, during, and after their earthy pastimes. They are full of knowledge and bliss before they appear, they have the same consciousness while in an earthy body, and after they leave that body, they are still in prema consciousness. Ordinary souls are in ignorance before and after the occupancy of a material body, but this is not the case for Vaisnavas. Most of us don’t know where we were before birth, and don’t know what exactly will happen after death. But for the acharya, and the faithful devotee, death is like easily walking through a door into Vaikuntha.
Srila Prabhupada and the previous acharyas are always approachable by sincere souls:
Srila Prabhupada: “Vaisnava is always thinking himself helpless, helpless. And begging help from the previous acarya.” Bhagavad-gita 1.20 and- “The whole process is that we should always pray for the mercy of the superior acaryas and keep company with pure devotees. Then it will be easier for us to advance in Krsna consciousness and receive the mercy of Lord Caitanya and Lord Krsna.” (purport of song by Narottama dasa Thakura) Even though great acharyas disappear, sometimes they give special re-appearance in personal forms:
O.B.L. Kapoor: "Prabhupada used to practice sadhana there. Even after their disappearance, the siddha (perfected) souls have a double personality, so to say. In one form they live in Golok Vrindavan, celestial Vrindavan. In another form they live in this world, in the form they used to live before as a sadhaka. Sometimes they also give darsan to their disciples. Nobody has gone anywhere else. Everybody is here. All the great souls are still here. If your heart is pure, you can have their darsan. Nobody has gone anywhere, everybody is here. It has been recorded that Jiva and Rupa Goswamis have given darsan to several devotees." (Prabhupada at Radha-Damodara 11)
Great acharyas appear to Srila Prabhupada, in dream and in vision:
Gopal Ghosh: "That is where Prabhupada got the idea for ISKCON. It is where Prabhupada did his own personal bhajan. and there many times he told me that Rupa and Jiva Goswamis appeared to him in dreams. (PRD 11: "My Eternal Residence")
A disciple and former personal servant of Srila Prabhupada said that Srila Rupa Gosvami once appeared to Srila Prabhupada while he was staying at the Radha-Damodara temple in Vrndavana. Before coming to America in 1965, Srila Prabhupada lived here as a renounced sannyasi chanting Hari Nama, praying to Radha-Damodara and the Gosvamis, and translating the Srimad Bhagavatam into English. One day while honoring maha-prasadam, Srila Prabhupada was looking out of the window at the samadhi of Sri Rupa Gosvami. Suddenly, Sri Rupa Gosvami appeared before Srila Prabhupada and spoke these most encouraging words:
"Maharaja, don't worry about anything. Go ahead and travel to the West and preach. Just preach the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the chanting of Hare Krishna. You'll be successful. I guarantee because I will be right with you all the time." (GVSV: Darsana Stories)
One of the most famous and amazing re-appearance darshans of past acharyas, ever recorded in the written documents of Vaisnava history, was at the Kheturi festival organized by Narottam Das Thakur, in the early 1500’s.
This is accepted by Gaudiya Vaishnavas as an objective fact for a number of reasons, not least of which may be the miraculous occurrence that has been documented by all biographers of the period: Mahaprabhu and all His associates, many of whom had left the mortal world more than fifty years earlier, personally appeared at the Kheturi festival and danced at the height of Narottam's blessed kirtan. Thousands of attending devotees bore witness to this sacred event. The author of Bhakti-ratnakara incredulously asks, "Who can describe the incomparable happiness of the devotees when in the midst of the kirtan the munificent Shri Chaitanya and His associates descended for the pleasure of His devotees? Like a flash of lightning in the middle of a mass of beautiful clouds, Shri Chaitanya Himself appeared within the multitude of His followers." According to the Prema-vilas, Mahaprabhu appeared with Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Adwaita, Gadadhar, Shrivas Thakur, Haridas Thakur, Swarup Damodar, Rupa-Sanatan, and many others. Who, indeed, can imagine the heightened bhava as Jahnava saw her departed husband in the midst of the kirtan? Who can imagine the feeling of Adwaita Acharya's sons when they saw their father singing and dancing as if he were a young man? How did Shrivas Thakur's brothers stop themselves from crying when they saw Shrivas himself dancing in front of Mahaprabhu, just as they remembered him? In fact, they could not control themselves and were carried away by the ecstasy of being reunited with the Lord and His associates. By experiencing Vipralambha-bhava (intense separation) they were all to experience sambhoga, or divine union. (VS > The Lord Descends)
Why and how the great acharyas are sent directly from the spiritual world:
Gaudiya Vaisnavas therefore worship Srila Gurudeva (the spiritual master) in the light of his being the servitor of the Personality of Godhead. In all the ancient literatures of devotional service and in the more recent songs of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and other unalloyed Vaisnavas, the spiritual master is always considered either one of the confidential associates of Srimati Radharani or a manifested representation of Srila Nityananda Prabhu. (CC Adi 1.47P)
And prominent acharyas are manjaris- In their pure spiritual forms as maidservant manjaris, the six Goswamis plus Lokanatha and Krishna das Kaviraj Goswamis comprise the inner circle of manjaris. Since Lord Chaitanya's time, all the Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas, in their spiritual manjari forms, serve Lalita, Visakha, and Radha-Shyamasundar under the direction of Sri Rupa Manjari (Rupa Goswami). The spiritual forms of the prominent Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas are listed here: 1. Rupa Goswami - Rupa Manjari, 2. Jiva Goswami - Vilas Manjari, 3. Sanatana Goswami - Labanga Manjari, 4. Raghunatha das Goswami - Rati, Rasa Manjari, 5. Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami - Raga Manjari, 6. Gopala Bhatta Goswami - Guna, Ananga Manjari, 7. Krishna das Kaviraj - Kasturi Manjari 8. Lokanath Goswami - Manjulali Manjari, 9. Narottama das Thakur - Camak Manjari, 10. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur - Vinoda Manjari, 11. Jagannath das Babaji - Rasika Manjari, 12. Bhaktivinoda Thakur -Kamala Manjari, 13. Gaurakisor das Babaji - Guna Manjari, 14. Bhaktisiddhanta - Nayana Manjari. In the Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Srila Prabhupada describes the manjaris:
"It is very difficult to express the manjaris' dealings with Krishna because they have no desire to mix with Krishna or enjoy Him personally. Rather, they are always ready to help Radharani associate with Krishna. Their affection for Krishna and Radharani is so pure that they are simply satisfied when Radha and Krishna are together. Indeed their transcendental pleasure is in seeing Radha and Krishna united. The actual form of Radharani is just like a creeper embracing the tree of Krishna, and the damsels of Vraja, the associates of Radharani, are just like the leaves and flowers of that creeper." (TLC p. 331)
At the present time, the spiritual form of Srila Prabhupada is unknown, but from his activities, writings, and lectures we can understand that he is a very dear and confidential associate of Sri Rupa Goswami. (PRD 6: Sannyasa Years at Radha-Damodara)
We do not know for certain what Srila Prabhupada’s eternal spiritual identity is, but we can know for certain that Srila Prabhupada is a confidential associate of Srila Rupa Gosvami, and serves him in a similar way like the other prominent acharyas, who are manjaris. Srila Prabhupada said in later years that he “received great inspiration from Rupa Goswami, and that the plans for the Krishna consciousness movement were formulated during his years at Radha-Damodara.” He gave us a hint of his Swarupa identity with Lord Krishna in his poem “Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Lord Krishna,” written on board the Jaladuta when he crossed the ocean – “O dear friend, in Your company I will experience great joy once again. In the early morning I will wander about the cowherd pastures and fields. Running and frolicking in the many forests of Vraja, I will roll on the ground in spiritual ecstasy. Oh when will that day be mine?” (JD 8.1: Prayer unto the Lotus Feet of Krsna) Lord Krishna sends His representative from the spiritual world:
Krsna is the father of all living entities. He is not happy that all these souls in the material world are rotting like hogs. Therefore He sends His representatives. In the case of Lord Jesus Christ, Krsna sent His son. Lord Jesus claimed to be the son of God. Everyone is a son of God, but this son was an especially favorite son, and he was sent to a particular place to reclaim the conditioned souls back home, back to Godhead. (SC 10: The Next Life: It's Up to Us)
Srila Prabhupada confirms that Lord Krishna personally sends His special and confidential servants to this material world to reclaim the conditioned souls and bring them back to Godhead. Most all of the great acharyas in our parampara are eternal associates of Lord Krishna, personally sent to this earth by Him, as seen in the above information that the recent acharyas are maidservant manjaris to the six Gosvamis and Krishna dasa Kaviraja in their original manjari forms, under the direction of Sri Rupa Manjari.
Lord Caitanya sends his great devotee, Srila Prabhupada:
Lochan Das Thakur, in his Chaitanya Mangal, predicted that a sena-pati, or a "great general," would come and accomplish this mission. This was Srila Prabhupada. Also, Bhaktivinode Thakur, in an article entitled "Nityananda Suryodoy," which was published in the 1800s, in his Sajjana-toshani magazine -- he predicted that soon a time is coming when the chanting of Krishna's name will be heard in England, France, Russia, Germany, and America. Srila Prabhupada brought this to fruition. There is also one document from the fifteenth century. It is called the Bhagavat Mahatmya. In this book, Narada, the great sage, has a conversation with bhakti personified. In the course of this conversation, bhakti says, idam sthanam parityajya videsham gamyate maya. Literally, this means: "I will leave this country, India, and go abroad!" The same text informs us that this personified bhakti will go to South India and then leave to go abroad after staying in Vrindavan. This is exactly what Prabhupada did. (OS 6: Chapter Six)
Here we have sastra authority that Srila Prabhupada was directly sent to this world by Lord Caitanya, and Srila Prabhupada was Lord Caitanya’s sena-pati great general. Also, in the Brahma-vivarta Purana, Lord Vishnu told Mother Ganges to not worry about the many sins of Kali-Yuga, because He will send His devotee to spread the sankritan movement all over the world. Srila Prabhupada told his disciples, “never was there a time when I did not know Krishna.”
A disciple writes:
You yourself once declared to some disciples, "never was there a time when I did not know Krsna." Who can estimate your glories, and what fool would dare to compare himself to you? You have descended to fulfill the prophecy of Lord Caitanya that this chanting of Hare Krsna would resound in every town and village in the world. You have delivered to this world in its darkest hour over fifty large books on the science of God, which are the framework for ISKCON and the law books for mankind for the next ten thousand years. (Vyasa puja 1984, Vancouver)
We should press upon all new devotees the extreme importance of never entertaining the thought that the great acharyas in our parampara are like ordinary human beings. Such an offensive mentality is described as naraka, or hellish. And we should never even slightly think that Srila Prabhupada was just another guru, but we should be firm in conviction, from sastra, that he is the sena-pati great general of Lord Caitanya’s sankirtan movement, sent by Lord Caitanya Himself, that he is jagat guru of the world, and he was sent to the western world by bhakti personified, as said in the Bhagavat Mahatmya. It is the duty of all devotees who follow in Srila Prabhupada’s legacy to inform everyone of Srila Prabhupada’s exalted status of founder-acharya and Lord Caitanya’s sena-pati great general guru for everyone in his movement.
Without spiritual master you cannot be
Madhudvisa: I was referring to a living spiritual master.
Prabhupada: Spiritual master is not the question of... Spiritual master is eternal. Spiritual master is eternal. So your question is without spiritual master. Without 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. … So any case, you have to follow a spiritual master. There cannot be the question without spiritual master. Is that clear? (Lecture - Seattle, October 2, 1968)
Vaikunthanatha dasa was once in anxiety about the fate of jiva souls who happened to get a book, but lived too far from the temples and devotees, and he asked Srila Prabhupada what was the fate of such people. Srila Prabhupada answered, “when they read the book, and accept it, then they are already initiated.” This shows how any sincere soul, in any remote corner of the world, can never be without a spiritual master, no matter what the situation is. Their sincerity will get them a book, and Srila Prabhupada’s book will initiate them into spiritual life, providing they are sincere. The definitive meaning of the word ‘initiate’ is to start something [spiritual life] into motion. We tend to think it means only the process of a fire yagna, but it is actually the initiation of divya-jnana, or transcendental spiritual knowledge injected into the heart by the pure devotee representative of Lord Krishna, and the fire yagna is an official and usually necessary procedure. In the above cases though, it is said by Srila Prabhupada that initiation is already there for sincere people who cannot come to the temple.
Srila Prabhupada and the great acharyas can bless unlimited souls in countless ways.
Mahanidhi Swami writes his book, 'Gaudiya Vaisnava Samadhis in Vrndavana':
“The author believes that at any time, at any place, and in unlimited ways a nitya-siddha mahabhagavata Vaisnava, who has entered Radha-Krishna's nitya-Vraja-lila, can bless, inspire, and instruct a sincere and faithful spiritual aspirant. The Supreme Lord Krishna invests His krpa-sakti (mercy potency) within His devotee. Without the devotee no one can receive the mercy of God. As rays of light expand from the radiant sun, the Lord's mercy expands as a living vibration from the heart of pure devotee who is saturated with love of God. The mercy vibrates in their hearts, in their thoughts, words, actions, in their bodies and in their bones. Therefore, one's consciousness becomes purified by any contact with a pure Vaisnava.” (GVSV: Differences in Potency)
This eloquent passage impresses upon us the fact that Srila Prabhupada is blessing countless jiva souls every day by his words and books and his pictures and murtis. We see this often in our temple in New Vrindavan, where so many people come and see the murti form of Srila Prabhupada sitting on his Vyasana. They are blessed by his murti, his books, and devotees telling them the pastimes of Srila Prabhupada. The continual blessing to countless souls by Srila Prabhupada is going on all over the world, every minute of the day.
Great acharyas continue to be saviors in the movement of which they are the founder-acharya.
There are many gurus, guru is one, yet the great acharya, such as Srila Prabhupada, continue to give more spiritual enlightenment than other gurus, because Srila Prabhupada left so many books and recorded conversations. And he left us so many stories of his life, which unlimited souls will read about, or hear from the continuing disciples of his movement. This is the same with other great acharyas, like the six Gosvamis, and Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhva, and so on.
Lokanatha Swami has explained that “some or maybe all of the problems that arose in our movement after Srila Prabhupada left have their origin in our not properly understanding this position of founder-acharya.” There is a scripture from the Sri-sampradaya called Prappanamrta Tapana explains that a founder-acarya is know by five symptoms: first, he is udharika, which means that he is the savior of everyone. The Prappanamrta Tapana goes on to explain that those who come after the founder-acarya in the disciplic succession, who act as spiritual masters, are upakarika, his helpers. They are never to be equated, even after hundreds of generations, with the founder-acarya. Establishing a relationship with a spiritual master in the line of Srila Prabhupada first of all means establishing a relationship with him as founder-acarya. Ramanuja and Madhva continue to be udharika acharya for their movements, and so it is proper for Srila Prabhupada to be udharika, or continuing savior for his movement. Several gurus of our society agree with this, and they feel themselves to be upakarikas, or helper gurus for Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada also reinforces this concept with the terminology he used for different kinds of guru, such as monitor gurus, officiating acharyas, and ritvik-acharyas and deputy gurus.
Great acharyas are just as powerful after disappearance:
The great acharya perpetually gives the essential spiritual inspiration to the new spiritual aspirants, and becomes their ultimate spiritual shelter, and this is the case in the Madhva and Ramanua lines, and in Srila Prabhupada’s movement as well. Some devotees say that the great acharya cannot be the perpetual savior of his institution for generations to come, but the act of saving souls is the function of the guru who injects divya-jnana, or transcendental knowledge into the heart of the disciple. This is how some people are initiated and saved, as Srila Prabhupada explained above, even though they cannot come to the temple. There is the prerogative of the great acharya of his time, that he adjusts to time and circumstance. Just like we don’t know what happened in the previous Kali-yugas. We don’t know how the situation was adjusted in the previous Kali-yuga by that prominent acharya at that time. We do know the symptoms of Kali through Srila Prabhupada’s books, that there will be many pretender gurus and swamis and bogus incarnations of god appearing in Kali to take advantage of the weak conditioned souls. So we don’t know the necessity of adjustment to the times that a great acharya will make. If a great acharya in the dark age of Kali wants to continue a line of representatives, helper gurus to represent himself as the main guru who gives transcendental knowledge to all disciples, this is his power of attorney from Krishna to make such adjustments.
Since the material world is constantly changing, Krishna often sends His representative to make adjustments according to time and circumstance. This is seen with all the great acharyas, even with Jesus Christ, they all did some amazing adjustment to the climate of the times they were in. And since such great acharyas are always naturally humble, they never declare themselves to be founder acharya, but people can easily see their position through their extraordinary activities. Srila Prabhupada says in this account, “It is a fact that no one can preach Caitanya Mahaprabhu's message without receiving the special mercy of the Lord. This is known to every Vaisnava.” [Madhya 14.21] And often the contemporaries of the great acharya will deny his true status, just like in the Gaudiya Matha, Srila Prabhupada was not accepted as the next acharya by most of his godbrothers. But his success and activities prove, without at doubt, his true self-effulgence, and the confirms the fact that Lord Caitanya Himself sent His great devotee Srila Prabhupada to push on this sankirtan movement.
When a reporter once queried Prabhupada about his successor, Srila Prabhupada, sounding like the personification of the voice of eternity, boomed forth, "I shall never die. I will live forever in my books."
So, the conclusion is that Srila Prabhupada is perpetually available to all the conditioned souls in this movement, in the form of his murti and his books and audio CD’s and tapes, and he is still the living guru, present in his personal sadhaka form in Vrndavan, and he is the prominent acharya of his movement being the perpetual savior for all devotees in his movement, being the prime giver of spiritual knowledge into the hearts of all devotees who join his movement, just as Ramanuja and Madhva are still the savior gurus of their perspective movements. Many of our gurus here in Iskcon agree with this concept, and they feel themselves to be upakarika or helper gurus of Srila Prabhupada, and that he is taking all of us back to Godhead.
Here is an excerpt from Krishna Book by Srila Prabhupada about the Govardhan Puja:
The proper prescribed duty of the brahmanas is the study of the Vedas; the proper duty of the royal order, the kshatriyas, is engagement in protecting the citizens; the proper duty of the vaisya community is agriculture, trade and protection of the cows; and the proper duty of the sudras is service to the higher classes, namely the brahmanas, kshatriyas and vaisyas. We belong to the vaisya community, and our proper duty is to farm, to trade with the agricultural produce, to protect cows or to take to banking.
Krishna identified Himself with the vaisya community because Nanda Maharaja was protecting many cows and Krishna was taking care of them. He enumerated four kinds of business engagements for the vaisya community, namely agriculture, trade, protection of cows and banking. Although the vaisyas can take to any of these occupations, the men of Vrindavana were engaged primarily in the protection of cows.
Krishna further explained to His father, “This cosmic manifestation is going on under the influence of three modes of material nature—goodness, passion and ignorance. These three modes are the causes of creation, maintenance and destruction. The cloud is caused by the action of the mode of passion; therefore it is the mode of passion which causes the rainfall. And after the rainfall, the living entities derive the result—success in agricultural work. What, then, has Indra to do in this affair? Even if you do not please Indra, what can he do? We do not derive any special benefit from Indra. Even if he is there, he pours water on the ocean also, where there is no need of water. So he is pouring water on the ocean or on the land; it does not depend on our worshiping him. As far as we are concerned, we do not need to go to another city or village or foreign country. There are palatial buildings in the cities, but we are satisfied living in this forest of Vrindavana. Our specific relationship is with Govardhana Hill and Vrindavana forest and nothing more. I therefore request you, My dear father, to begin a sacrifice which will satisfy the local brahmanas and Govardhana Hill, and let us have nothing to do with Indra.”
After hearing this statement by Krishna, Nanda Maharaja replied, “My dear boy, since You are asking, I shall arrange for a separate sacrifice for the local brahmanas and Govardhana Hill. But for the present let me execute this sacrifice known as Indra-yajna.”But Krishna replied, “My dear father, don’t delay. The sacrifice you propose for Govardhana and the local brahmanas will take much time. Better take the arrangement and paraphernalia you have already made for the Indra-yajna and immediately engage them to satisfy Govardhana Hill and the local brahmanas.”
Maharaja Nanda finally relented. The cowherd men then inquired from Krishna how He wanted the yajna performed, and Krishna gave them the following directions. “Prepare very nice foods of all descriptions from the grains and ghee collected for the yajna. Prepare rice, dhal, then halava, pakora, puri and all kinds of milk preparations, such as sweet rice, rabri, sweetballs, sandesa, rasagulla and laddu, and invite the learned brahmanas who can chant the Vedic hymns and offer oblations to the fire. The brahmanas should be given all kinds of grains in charity. Then decorate all the cows and feed them well. After performing this, give money in charity to the brahmanas. As far as the lower animals are concerned, such as the dogs, and the lower grades of people, such as the candalas, or the fifth class of men, who are considered untouchable, they also may be given sumptuous prasadam. After nice grasses have been given to the cows, the sacrifice known as Govardhana-puja may immediately begin. This sacrifice will very much satisfy Me.”
In this statement, Lord Krishna practically described the whole economy of the vaisya community. In all communities in human society—including the brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaisyas, sudras, candalas, etc.— and in the animal kingdom—including the cows, dogs, goats, etc.—everyone has his part to play. Each is to work in cooperation for the total benefit of all society, which includes not only animate objects but also inanimate objects like hills and land. The vaisya community is specifically responsible for the economic improvement of the society by producing grains, by giving protection to the cows, by transporting food when needed, and by banking and finance.
From this statement we learn also that although the cats and dogs, which have now become so important, are not to be neglected, cow protection is actually more important than protection of cats and dogs. Another hint we get from this statement is that the candalas, or the untouchables, are also not to be neglected by the higher classes and should be given necessary protection. Everyone is important, but some are directly responsible for the advancement of human society and some are only indirectly responsible. However, when Krishna consciousness is there, then everyone’s total benefit is taken care of.
The sacrifice known as Govardhana-puja is observed in the Krishna consciousness movement. Lord Caitanya has recommended that since Krishna is worshipable, so His land—Vrindavana and Govardhana Hill—is also worshipable. To confirm this statement, Lord Krishna said that Govardhana-puja is as good as worship of Him. From that day, Govardhana-puja has been going on and is known as Annakuta. In all the temples of Vrindavana or outside of Vrindavana, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are very sumptuously distributed to the general population. Sometimes the food is thrown to the crowds, and they enjoy collecting it off the ground. From this we can understand that prasadam offered to Krishna never becomes polluted or contaminated, even if it is thrown on the ground. The people, therefore, collect it and eat with great satisfaction.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, therefore advised the cowherd men to stop the Indra-yajna and begin the Govardhana-puja in order to chastise Indra, who was very much puffed up at being the supreme controller of the heavenly planets. The honest and simple cowherd men, headed by Nanda Maharaja, accepted Krishna’s proposal and executed in detail everything He advised. They performed Govardhana worship and circumambulation of the hill. (Following the inauguration of Govardhana-puja, people in Vrindavana still dress nicely and assemble near Govardhana Hill to offer worship and circumambulate the hill, leading their cows all around.) According to the instruction of Lord Krishna, Nanda Maharaja and the cowherd men called in learned brahmanas and began to worship Govardhana Hill by chanting Vedic hymns and offering prasadam. The inhabitants of Vrindavana assembled together, decorated their cows and gave them grass. Keeping the cows in front, they began to circumambulate Govardhana Hill. The gopis dressed themselves very luxuriantly and sat in bull-driven carts, chanting the glories of Krishna’s pastimes. Assembled there to act as priests for Govardhana-puja, the brahmanas offered their blessings to the cowherd men and their wives, the gopis.
When everything was complete, Krishna assumed a great transcendental form and declared to the inhabitants of Vrindavana that He was Himself Govardhana Hill in order to convince the devotees that Govardhana Hill and Krishna Himself are identical. Then Krishna began to eat all the food offered there. The identity of Krishna and Govardhana Hill is still honored, and great devotees take rocks from Govardhana Hill and worship them exactly as they worship the Deity of Krishna in the temples. The followers of the Krishna consciousness movement may therefore collect small rocks or pebbles from Govardhana Hill and worship them at home, because this worship is as good as Deity worship. The form of Krishna who began to eat the offerings was separately constituted, and Krishna Himself, along with the other inhabitants of Vrindavana, offered obeisances to the Deity as well as Govardhana Hill. In offering obeisances to the huge form of Krishna and Govardhana Hill, Krishna declared, “Just see how Govardhana Hill has assumed this huge form and is favoring us by accepting all the offerings.” Krishna also declared at that meeting, “One who neglects the worship of Govardhana-puja, as I am personally conducting it, will not be happy. There are many snakes on Govardhana Hill, and persons neglecting the prescribed duty of Govardhana-puja will be bitten by these snakes and killed. In order to assure the good fortune of the cows and themselves, all people of Vrindavana near Govardhana must worship the hill, as prescribed by Me.” Thus performing the Govardhana-puja sacrifice, all the inhabitants of Vrindavana followed the instructions of Krishna, the son of Vasudeva, and afterwards they returned to their respective homes.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Twenty-fourth Chapter of Krishna, “Worshiping Govardhana Hill.”
"Yes, this Govardhana puja is a bona
fide procedure, but such things cannot be held in your country. It requires
good space to decorate the imitation hill of rice. So when we offer such hill
of rice, there must be other things also -- a hill of capatis and other things.
It is a huge affair. In India practically in all the Visnu temples this is
observed and they spend huge amounts for this purpose and they distribute
prasadam to thousands and everyone gathers to take even a little portion of it.
If you can introduce this Govardhana puja, I have no objection, but it requires
hard labor, good management and much money also. But the process is bona fide." (Letter to: Damodara -- Nairobi, Kenya 3
Lord Krishna, as the teacher of human society, personally showed by His acts that the mercantile community, or the vaisyas, should herd cows and bulls and thus give protection to the valuable animals. According to smriti regulation, the cow is the mother and the bull the father of the human being. The cow is the mother because just as one sucks the breast of one’s mother, human society takes cow’s milk. Similarly, the bull is the father of human society because the father earns for the children just as the bull tills the ground to produce food grains. Human society will kill its spirit of life by killing the father and the mother. It is mentioned herein that the beautiful cows and bulls were of various checkered colors—red, black, green, yellow, ash, etc. And because of their colors and healthy smiling features, the atmosphere was enlivening. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srimad Bhagavatam 3:2:29. purport.)
pita-mata mari’ khao——eba kon dharma kon bale kara tumi e-mata vikarma
TRANSLATION Since the bull and cow are your father and mother, how can you kill and eat them? What kind of religious principle is this? On what strength are you so daring that you commit such sinful activities? PURPORT Everyone can understand that we drink the milk of cows and take the help of bulls in producing agricultural products. Therefore, since our real father gives us food grains and our mother gives us milk with which to live, the cow and bull are considered our father and mother. According to Vedic civilization, there are seven mothers, of which the cow is one. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu challenged the Muslim Kazi, “What kind of religious principle do you follow by killing your father and mother to eat them?” In any civilized human society, no one would dare kill his father and mother for the purpose of eating them. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu challenged the system of Muslim religion as patricide and matricide. In the Christian religion also, a principal commandment is “Thou shalt not kill.” Nevertheless, Christians violate this rule; they are very expert in killing and in opening slaughterhouses. In our Krishna consciousness movement, our first provision is that no one should be allowed to eat any kind of flesh. It does not matter whether it is cows’ flesh or goats’ flesh, but we especially stress the prohibition against cows’ flesh because according to sastra the cow is our mother. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Sri Chaitanya Charitamrta Adi-lila 17:154)
"According to the Vedic social system, as soon as one takes birth he becomes indebted to so many persons. We are indebted to the rishis, or great sages, because we derive knowledge from their transcendental writings, such as the Srimad-Bhagavatam, compiled by Srila Vyasadeva. The authors of the scripture know past, present, and future, and we are urged to take advantage of such invaluable knowledge. Thus we are indebted to the sages. We are also indebted to the demigods, for they manage the affairs of the universe, supplying it with every essential—sunshine from the sun-god, Surya; moonshine from the moon-god, Candra; air from Vayu; and so on. Each element is controlled by a particular demigod. We are also indebted to ordinary living entities from whom we take service. For example, we take milk from the cow. According to Vedic understanding, the cow is considered one of our mothers because we drink her milk, just as at birth we drink our mother’s milk. The Srimad-Bhagavatam lists seven mothers: our own mother, the wife of our teacher or spiritual master, the wife of a brahmana, the wife of the king, the nurse, the cow, and the earth. We are indebted to all seven of these mothers, and also to our father, brothers, friends, relatives, and forefathers." (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Second Chance book - chapter 17 "The Moment of Truth")
"Similarly, this Bhagavad-gita is the essence of all Vedic literature, just like milk is the essence of the blood. Blood... The milk is nothing, but it is cow’s blood transformed. Just like mother’s milk. The mother’s milk, wherefrom it comes? It comes from the blood, but transformed in such a way that it becomes nutritious to the child, tasteful to the child. Similarly, cow’s milk also, a most nutritious and valuable food. So it is compared that this Bhagavad-gita is the milk of the cow of Vedic literature. And the milkman is Krishna Himself. And the drinker of the milk is..., we are, Arjuna, through Arjuna. So these things are there." (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. 3rd June 1968. Bhagavad Gita lecture. Montreal)
"Personified dharma, he’s inquiring from the cow. He’s addressing cow, amba. Amba means mother. So cow is our mother. Why mother? Because from practical point of view, we drink milk. So how mother... How cow is not mother? She’s mother. We are taking her milk. There are seven mothers according to Vedic civilization:
Real mother, from whose womb we have come to this world, real mother, atma-mata. Then guroh patni, wife of the teacher or spiritual master, guroh patni. Brahmani, the wife of a brahmana. Atma-mata guroh patni brahmani raja-patnika, and the wife of the king, or the queen. She’s also mother. Dhenu, the cow. Cow is also mother. And dhatri means nurse. Nurse is also mother. Tatha prithvi, and the earth, the earth is also our mother. That we say in country, in the country which we take birth, we say desa-matrika. In Sanskrit it is called desa-matrika. That is also mother. Mother land, mother language. So this... So many mothers we have got, out of which, cow is also mother. Therefore she’s addressed as amba. Amba means mother. Still in Gujarat province, they call amba. And in U.P., United States, er, United Province, in India, they also call amba, or in a broken language they call amma. Still... That is from very long time, mother is... Amba-devi. There is a... From Amba-devi, there is a big temple of Mother Durga, Kali, in Bombay. So this Amba-devi was pronounced by the Englishmens as Bamba-devi, and from Bamba-devi it has come to “Bombay.” Actually, there is a big temple of Amba in Bombay. From that name, instead of Amba, they have become Bamba. Just like from Sindhu, they have called, they have designated the inhabitants of Sindhu-desa as “Hindu.” The Muhammadans, they pronounce s as h. So from “Sindhu,” it has come to “Hindu.” Otherwise, this “Hindu” name is not mentioned in any Vedic literature. It is given by the... This name is given by the other foreigners. Especially the Arabian countries, they used to call this nation, Bharata-varsha... Actually, Hindu is not a religion. Hindu is a name given by the foreigners. The religion is, of India, varnasrama-dharma, following the institution of four varnas and four asramas. That is varn... Or sanatana-dharma. Sanatana-dharma means eternal, eternal religion. Religion of human being is one. That is called sanatana. A living entity is described as sanatana. Mamaivamso jiva-bhuto jiva-loke sanatanah. In the Bhagavad-gita you’ll find sanatanah, and Krishna is also addressed in the Eleventh Chapter as sanatanas tvam. And there is another place, or spiritual world, which is also called sanatana. In the Bhagavad-gita you’ll find, paras tasmat tu bhavo ’nyo ’vyakto ’vyaktat sanatanah. So this sanatana term is very important. The living entity is sanatana and God is sanatana and the spiritual world is sanatana, and the process by which your lost relationship with God established and you go back to home back to Godhead, that is called sanatana-dharma. Sanatana-dharma. That is our eternal relationship with God." (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. 15th January 1974. Srimad Bhagavatam lecture SB 1:16:19. Hawaii)
This should be our programme to attract the general mass of people. If we go on preaching vigorously as we have been for another 25 year then all these other so called religions will disappear. After all what do they have to offer. In the Christian religion all we see is Christ's picture as he was crucified, so how people can be attracted to such thing? There is no science, philosophy, music, art, Prasadam, it is no wonder that the people are rejecting this nonsense. Not that Christ himself was nonsense, but those who are preaching in his name they are nonsense because they do not follow even the simplest of his orders. "Thou shalt not kill.'' I have met with so many Christians and when I ask them why Christians are killing they cannot answer. The first principle of spiritual life is non violence. They will say killing in this matter means actually murder, but accepting even this argument, it means that the society in which Christ was preaching were composed of murderers, so what kind of men they were, and practically we see it is a fact that because they murdered Lord Jesus Christ. At any rate there is nothing in the world that can compare with our movement of chanting and dancing. So chant, dance, and when you get tired take Prasadam, this
is our actual solid preaching work all over the world. (Letter to: Bhakta dasa - Bhaktivedanta Manor 3 August, 1973)
Devotees performed Sankirtan for around 3 hours outside Sri Radha Govind Dev Ji temple. Also distributed books there. This time few more students also joined devotees. More than 250 Books of Srila Prabhupada distributed and finally attended Shayan Arti.
"The sixteenth vilasa discusses duties to be observed in the month of Karttika (October-November), or the Damodara month, or Urja, when lamps are offered in the Deity room or above the temple." (Chaitanya Charitamrita. Madhya 1.35) "The Damodara month is coming, and it will begin on the 18th of this October. So from that day, we'll observe Damodara-vrata for one month. From 18th to 17th November. The duty will be that in the evening you'll offer candle, a small candle, all of you, just before the Deity, not within the room, outside the room, and chant the Damodarastaka, namamisvaram. That is already printed in our song book. So this will be Damodara-vrata. That Damodara is explained here." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.31 - Mayapura, October 11, 1974)
Tamala Krsna: The materialistic people say that... When they see someone in the detached position, they say, "He is impoverished." They are so confused that they conclude the opposite.
Tamala Krsna: Impoverished means they are poor.
Prabhupada: Then what is the poor? What you are rich? You are whole day working day and night, and we are not working, getting our prasadam. I am poverty-stricken, or you are poverty-stricken? You rascal, whole day you are working...
Brahmananda: For a dry biscuit.
Prabhupada: ...like an ass, and we are getting, sitting, chanting Hare Krsna and getting our food. So you are poverty-stricken or I am poverty-stricken?
Tamala Krsna: A poverty-stricken man has to work very hard.
Laksmi-narayana: But they will say, "Well..."
Prabhupada: They will say... First of all you see. You try to understand that this rascal is working day and night twenty-four hours for getting his food, and we are simply chanting Hare Krsna and getting our food. So he is poverty-stricken or I am poverty-stricken?
Brahmananda: That means we're the rich men.
Prabhupada: I am rich man.
Brahmananda: Rich man doesn't have to work, and everything comes.
Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet. Recently when all of the GBC members were with His Divine Grace in Vrndavana, Srila Prabhupada indicated that soon He would appoint some of His senior disciples to act as "rittik"-representative of the acarya, for the purpose of performing initiations, both first initiation and second initiation. His Divine Grace has so far given a list of eleven disciples who will act in that capacity:
• His Holiness Kirtanananda Swami
• His Holiness Satsvarupa dasa Gosvami
• His Holiness Jayapataka Swami
• His Holiness Tamala Krsna Gosvami
• His Holiness Hrdayananda Gosvami
• His Holiness Bhavananda Gosvami
• His Holiness Hamsaduta Swami
• His Holiness Ramesvara Swami
• His Holiness Harikesa Swami
• His Grace Bhagavan dasa Adhikari
• His Grace Jayatirtha dasa Adhikari
In the past Temple Presidents have written to Srila Prabhupada recommending a particular devotee’s initiation. Now that Srila Prabhupada has named these representatives, Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendation for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their temple.
After considering the recommendation, these representatives may accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of second initiation, by chanting on the Gayatri thread, just as Srila Prabhupada has done. The newly initiated devotees are disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, the above eleven senior devotees acting as His representative. After the Temple President receives a letter from these representatives giving the spiritual name or the thread, he can perform the fire yajna in the temple as was being done before. The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Srila Prabhupada, to be included in His Divine Grace’s "Initiated Disciples" book.
Hoping this finds you all well.
Your servant, Tamala Krsna Gosvami
Secretary to Srila Prabhupada
Approved: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
[Srila Prabhupada's signature appears on the original]
Srila Prabhupada’s specific instructions for carrying out initiations in Iskcon after his physical disappearance as asked directly of him by his Governing Board Commissioners on May 28, 1977 was that he would soon recommend some of his disciples to act as officiating acaryas or ritviks representatives. In the following week on June 4, 1977 he wrote in his will that Iskcon directors would have to be his duly initiated disciples. This also confirms his no change “henceforward” order sent to all GBCs and temple presidents the following month (July 9, 1977) proclaiming his 11 chosen ritvik representatives that would initiate future disciples on his behalf even after his physical disappearance. These three seperate instructions are Srila Prabhupada’s actual replies to the direct question from his GBC disciples in charge of ISKCON management on how they should carry on initiations. Over the next 4 months until his physical disappearance, Srila Prabhupada never changed these orders either written or spoken.
• He would appoint some of His senior disciples to act as ritvik - representative of the acarya. • The above eleven senior devotees acting as His (Prabhupadas) representative. • The newly initiated devotees are disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. • The name of a newly initiated disciple should be included in His Divine Grace's "Initiated Disciples" book. • "...the process for initiation to be followed in the future." (July 11th) • "...continue to become ritvik and act on my charge." (July 19th) • "...continue to become ritvik and act on my behalf." (July 31th)
Sripada Madhvacarya took his birth at Udupi, which is situated in
the South Kanarada district of South India, just west of Sahyadri. This
is the chief city of the South Kanarada province and is near the city of
Mangalore, which is situated to the south of Udupi. In the city of
Udupi is a place called Pajaka-ksetra, where Madhvacarya took his birth
in a Sivalli-brahmana dynasty as the son of Madhyageha Bhatta, in the
year 1040 Sakabda (A.D. 1119). According to some, he was born in the
year 1160 Sakabda (A.D. 1239). In his childhood
Madhvacarya was known as Vasudeva, and there are some wonderful stories
surrounding him. It is said that once when his father had piled up many
debts, Madhvacarya converted tamarind seeds into actual coins to pay
them off. When he was five years old, he was offered the sacred thread. A
demon named Maniman lived near his abode in the form of a snake, and at
the age of five Madhvacarya killed that snake with the toe of his left
foot. When his mother was very much disturbed, he would appear before
her in one jump. He was a great scholar even in childhood, and although
his father did not agree, he accepted sannyasa at the age of twelve.
Upon receiving sannyasa from Acyuta Preksa, he received the name
Purnaprajna Tirtha. After traveling all over India, he finally discussed
scriptures with Vidyasankara, the exalted leader of Srngeri-matha.
Vidyasankara was actually diminished in the presence of Madhvacarya.
Accompanied by Satya Tirtha, Madhvacarya went to Badarikasrama. It was
there that he met Vyasadeva and explained his commentary on the
Bhagavad-gita before him. Thus he became a great scholar by studying
By the time he came to the Ananda-matha from
Badarikasrama, Madhvacarya had finished his commentary on the
Bhagavad-gita. His companion Satya Tirtha wrote down the entire
commentary. When Madhvacarya returned from Badarikasrama, he went to
Ganjama, which is on the bank of the river Godavari. There he met with
two learned scholars named Sobhana Bhatta and Svami Sastri. Later these
scholars became known in the disciplic succession of Madhvacarya as
Padmanabha Tirtha and Narahari Tirtha. When he returned to Udupi, he
would sometimes bathe in the ocean. On such an occasion he composed a
prayer in five chapters. Once, while sitting beside the sea engrossed in
meditation upon Lord Sri Krsna, he saw that a large boat containing
goods for Dvaraka was in danger. He gave some signs by which the boat
could approach the shore, and it was saved. The owners of the boat
wanted to give him a present, and at the time Madhvacarya agreed to take
some gopi-candana. He received a big lump of gopi-candana, and as it
was being brought to him, it broke apart and revealed a large Deity of
Lord Krsna. The Deity had a stick in one hand and a lump of food in the
other. As soon as Madhvacarya received the Deity of Krsna in this way,
he composed a prayer. The Deity was so heavy that not even thirty people
could lift it. Madhvacarya personally brought this Deity to Udupi.
Madhvacarya had eight disciples, all of whom took sannyasa from him and
became directors of his eight monasteries. Worship of the Lord Krsna
Deity is still going on at Udupi according to the plans Madhvacarya
established. Madhvacarya then for the second time visited
Badarikasrama. While he was passing through Maharashtra, the local king
was digging a big lake for the public benefit. As Madhvacarya passed
through that area with his disciples, he was also obliged to help in the
excavation. After some time, when Madhvacarya visited the king, he
engaged the king in that work and departed with his disciples. Often
in the province of Ganga-pradesa there were fights between Hindus and
Muslims. The Hindus were on one bank of the river, and the Muslims on
the other. Due to the community tension, no boat was available for
crossing the river. The Muslim soldiers were always stopping passengers
on the other side, but Madhvacarya did not care for these soldiers. He
crossed the river anyway, and when he met the soldiers on the other
side, he was brought before the king. The Muslim king was so pleased
with him that he wanted to give him a kingdom and some money, but
Madhvacarya refused. While walking on the road, he was attacked by some
dacoits, but by his bodily strength he killed them all. When his
companion Satya Tirtha was attacked by a tiger, Madhvacarya separated
them by virtue of his great strength. When he met Vyasadeva, he received
from him the salagrama-sila known as Astamurti. After this, he
summarized the Mahabharata. Madhvacarya's devotion to the Lord
and his erudite scholarship became known throughout India. Consequently
the owners of the Srngeri-matha, established by Sankaracarya, became a
little perturbed. At that time the followers of Sankaracarya were afraid
of Madhvacarya's rising power, and they began to tease Madhvacarya's
disciples in many ways. There was even an attempt to prove that the
disciplic succession of Madhvacarya was not in line with Vedic
principles. A person named Pundarika Puri, a follower of the Mayavada
philosophy of Sankaracarya, came before Madhvacarya to discuss the
sastras. It is said that all of Madhvacarya's books were taken away, but
later they were found with the help of King Jayasimha, ruler of Kumla.
In discussion, Pundarika Puri was defeated by Madhvacarya. A great
personality named Trivikramacarya, who was a resident of Visnumangala,
became Madhvacarya's disciple, and his son later became Narayanacarya,
the composer of Sri Madhva-vijaya. After the death of Trivikramacarya,
the younger brother of Narayanacarya took sannyasa and later became
known as Visnu Tirtha. It was reputed that there was no limit
to the bodily strength of Purnaprajna, Madhvacarya. There was a person
named Kadanjari who was famed for possessing the strength of thirty men.
Madhvacarya placed the big toe of his foot upon the ground and asked
the man to separate it from the ground, but the great strong man could
not do so even after great effort. Srila Madhvacarya passed from this
material world at the age of eighty while writing a commentary on the
Aitareya Upanisad. For further information about Madhvacarya, one should
read Madhva-vijaya, by Narayanacarya.