Dipikapedia

The online Encyclopedia of guru-tattva

SRILA PRABHUPADA QUOTES ON GURU-TATTVA

a public service for followers of Srila Prabhupada 

Everyone is invited to send in quotes, see contact at bottom of page

[updated- The pure devotee is equipoised, 23 more quotes added on topic of "presence of guru is immaterial"]

Companion Dipikapedia website:  discussions 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

QUOTES FOR CURRENT GURU SYSTEM-

THE GIVEN ORDER FOR SIKSA (INSTRUCTING) GURUS :

THE MANY KINDS OF SIKSA GURUS-

THE PERMANENTLY LIBERATED DIKSA GURU

LESS THAN UTTAMA GURUS WHO TAKE DISCIPLES

DIKSA GURU MUST BE QUALIFIED-

DIKSA GURU MUST BE ORDERED-

STATEMENTS MADE BY SRILA PRABHUPADA IN 1977-

WHO IS THE DISCIPLE A DISCIPLE OF?

SRILA PRABHUPADA’S WILL-

THE DEFINITION OF DIKSA

WHAT IS REAL INITIATION?

THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF DIKSA-GURU IS IMMATERIAL

THE QUALITIES OF A PURE DEVOTEE  

THE PURE DEVOTEE OF LORD KRISHNA IS ALWAYS PEACEFUL, KIND TO OTHERS, TOLERANT AND EQUIPOISED

THE PURE DEVOTEE IS NEVER IN ILLUSION

THE PURE DEVOTEE NEVER FALLS DOWN  

THE PURE DEVOTEE IS ALWAYS LIBERATED

LORD KRISHNA CONSIDERS HIS DEVOTEES GREATER THAN HIMSELF

WE SHOULD COOPERATE AND PUSH ON THIS MOVEMENT 

ONE MUST FOLLOW THE MAHAJANAS

SIKSA GURUS TRANSMIT THE PARAMPARA

SRILA PRABHUPADA'S USAGE OF THE TERM "RITVIK"

THE COMPANION DIPIKAPEDIA WEBSITE FOR DISCUSSIONS, PHILOSOPHICAL EXPOSITIONS


 

QUOTES USED BY ABSOLUTE GURU ADVOCATES-

“But as a matter of etiquette it is the custom that during the lifetime of your Spiritual master you bring the prospective disciples to him, and in his absence or disappearance  you can accept disciples without any limitation. This is the law of  disciplic succession. I want to see my disciples become bonafide Spiritual Master and spread Krishna consciousness very widely, that will make me and Krishna very happy. (Letter: December 2, 1975) Exposition on this point

"So we have got this message from Krsna, from Caitanya Mahaprabhu, from the six Gosvamis, later on, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura. And we are trying our bit also to distribute this knowledge. Now, tenth, eleventh, twelfth... My Guru Maharaja is tenth from Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I am eleventh, you are the twelfth. So distribute this knowledge. Arrival Lecture Los Angeles, May 18, 1972

 More later…

 THE GIVEN ORDER FOR SIKSA (INSTRUCTING) GURUS :

 "The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing." (SP Letter to Madhudvisa, 4/8/75)

"Sometimes a diksa guru is not present always. Therefore one can take learning, instruction, from an advanced devotee. That is called the siksa guru."

(SP Bg. Lecture, 4/7/74, Honolulu)

 "Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Sri Krsna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land." (Cc Madhya 7:128)

"It is best not to accept any disciples. One has to become purified at home by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and preaching the principles enunciated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus one can become a spiritual master and be freed from the contamination of material life." (Cc Madhya 7:130, purport)

THE MANY KINDS OF SIKSA GURUS-

1. The Guru to show the path-

 Patha-pradarsaka-guru means "the guru, or the spiritual master, who shows the way." Such a guru is sometimes called siksa-guru.=> SB 4.12.32

 2. Father is Guru of children-

 "But you must make your children immortal. That is the injunction. You have become guru." >Bhagavad-gita 2.15 -- London, August 21, 1973

 3. Simply speak of Krsna and you are guru-

 "This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission. He says, "You become a spiritual master." "How? I have no qualification." "No. You just accept my order?" "So what is your order, sir?" Yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna'-upadesa: [Cc. Madhya 7.128] "You simply speak the instruction of Krsna whoever you meet. Then you become a spiritual master." > Bhagavad-gita 4.15 -- Bombay, April 4, 1974

 4. Anyone who knows Krsna is Guru-

 "Anyone who knows Krsna, he can become guru, not others. So that is the statement of the sastras." > Bhagavad-gita 7.1 -- Ahmedabad, December 4, 1970

 5. Even a coolie can be guru, any man can be guru, it's not difficult at all-

"The instruction is there; you simply repeat and let them hear -- you become guru. It is not difficult at all. So that is our preaching. We do not want to become alone guru, but we want to preach in such a way that every, the chief man, or any man, he can become guru in his surroundings. Anyone can do that. Even a coolie, he can also, he has got family, he has got friends, so even though he is illiterate, he can hear the instruction of Krsna, and he can preach the same. This we want." > Bhagavad-gita 7.1 -- Bombay, December 20, 1975

 6. The "best not to accept any disciple" guru-

 One has to learn humility and meekness at home, following the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and in that way one's life will be spiritually successful. 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. One has to become purified at home by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and preaching the principles enunciated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus one can become a spiritual master and be freed from the contamination of material life. > Madhya 7.13

 7. Monitor guru-

 # 13. [in Easy Journey] He must not take on unlimited disciples. This means that  a candidate who has successfully followed the first twelve items can also become a spiritual master himself, just as a student becomes a monitor in class with a limited number of disciples. Easy Journey To Other Planets 1: Antimaterial Worlds

8/3/73 lecture-

Just like a peon has brought a money order for you, thousand dollars. So he's giving you. So you cannot say, "Oh, here is a peon. He's a poor man. How he can give me one thousand dollars?" He's not giving; the money is sent by somebody else. He's simply handing you. Therefore Caitanya

Mahaprabhu says, amara ajnaya guru haya tara sarva-desa, tara ei desa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. He's asking everyone to become a spiritual master. So how everyone can become a spiritual master? A spiritual master must have sufficient knowledge, so many other qualifications. No. Even without any qualifications, one can become a spiritual master. How? Now the process is, Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, amara ajnaya: "On My order." That is the crucial point. One does not become spiritual master by his own whims. That is not spiritual master. He must be ordered by superior authority.

Then he's spiritual master. Amara ajnaya. Just like in our case. Our superior authority, our spiritual master, he ordered me that "You just try to preach this gospel, whatever you have learned from me, in English." So we have tried it. That's all. It is not that I am very much qualified. The only qualification is that I have tried to execute the order of superior authority. That's all. This is the secret of success.

vyavasayatmika-buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana

bahu-sakha hy anantas ca buddhir avyavasayinam

[Bg. 2.41]

Bahu-sakha hy anantas ca. Vyavasayatmika-buddhih, niscayatmika-buddhih.

If one has got unflinching faith in Krsna and guru, guru-krsna-krpaya... [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. We have to receive mercy both from the spiritual master and Krsna. We cannot jump over to Krsna. That is another nonsense. We must approach Krsna through guru. That is parampara system. Krsna is not so cheap thing that you can jump over. Somebody says, "Oh, why shall I accept guru? I can approach Krsna directly." No. Krsna does not accept

such... Mad-bhaktah pujabhyadhikah. Krsna says that "First of all you become devotee of My devotee." Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasa-dasanudasah: "I am the servant of the servant of the servant of Krsna [Cc. Madhya 13.80]." This is called parampara system. You have to learn how to become servant of the servant of Krsna. The more you become in the lower position -- servant, servant, servant, servant, servant, hundreds times servant, servant -- then more you are advanced. Here in this material world everyone is trying to be master of the master. Just opposite. And the spiritual world, the endeavor is to become servant's servant. This is the secret.    >>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 2.2 -- London, August 3, 1973

 

THE PERMANENTLY LIBERATED DIKSA GURU- 

8. The spiritual master is always the confidential associate of Srimati Radharani or a manifested representation of Srila Nityananda Prabhu-

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. > Adi 1.47

 9. Only such a person who is maha-bhagavata is diksa guru-

 When one has attained the topmost position of maha-bhagavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru. - Madhya 24.330

10. Not unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari-

One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master. >>> Ref. VedaBase => NoI: verse 5

So we see the list from 1 – 7 [above] are gurus who are not required to have high qualifications, they are siksa gurus in the temporary liberation status. Srila Prabhupada orders us all to be such gurus, and "any man [woman] can be guru."

 The list of  8-10  however, are descriptions of the full diksa maha-bhagavata guru, who is uttama, fully liberated, permanently liberated, and personally ordered to be diksa guru by Srila Prabhupada.

There is no difference between the siksa and diksa guru in that they both give the same message, still #'s 1 -7 show that siksa guru may be less than liberated while delivering the perfect message, but 8-9 shows that the diksa guru is always liberated. 

Prabhupada: Guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. We have to acquire this energy through the mercy of guru and Krsna. So Krsna is within as caitya-guru, and when we are serious He comes out as the spiritual master. Siksa-guru, diksa-guru. So there is no difference between siksa-guru and diksa-guru and Krsna. Krsna manifests Himself externally as siksa-guru and diksa-guru. Go on.  > The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, October 29, 1972

LESS THAN UTTAMA GURUS WHO TAKE DISCIPLES

The kanistha-adhikari or the madhyama-adhikari devotee can accept disciples, according to Srila Prabhupada, but with unpromising results-

“A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance.”  >>> Ref. VedaBase => NoI: verse 5

Note- Srila Prabhupada says “they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance.”

Also- There are those who become guru by their own initiative, the next quote, but Srila Prabhupada says “His is not a very high grade of devotional service” … and “his devotional service becomes slackened.”

“The spiritual master must never be carried away by an accumulation of wealth or a large number of followers. A bona fide spiritual master will never become like that. But sometimes, if a spiritual master is not properly authorized and only on his own initiative becomes a spiritual master, he may be carried away by an accumulation of wealth and large numbers of disciples. His is not a very high grade of devotional service. If a person is carried away by such achievements, then his devotional service becomes slackened. One should therefore strictly adhere to the principles of disciplic succession.”  >>> Ref. VedaBase => NoD 14: Devotional Qualifications

Note- Srila Prabhupada then says “One should therefore strictly adhere to the principles of disciplic succession.” The principles are that the guru candidate should be ordered to be guru, by his guru, after reaching sufficient qualification. 

 

DIKSA GURU MUST BE QUALIFIED-

One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master. >>> Ref. VedaBase => NoI: verse 5

When one has attained the topmost position of maha-bhagavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru. - Madhya 24.330

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. > Adi 1.47

"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. The first-class devotee is the spiritual master for all kinds of people. It is said, gurur nirnam. The word nirnam means "of all human beings." The guru is not limited to a particular group. It is stated in the Upadesamrita of Rüpa Gosvami that a guru is a gosvami, a controller of the senses and the mind. Such a guru can accept disciples from all over the world. This is the test of the guru." CC, Madhya 24.330P  

One who defies the authority of guru, cannot become siksa guru or anything else-

Prabhupada: (Ignoring question) Because that is offense. Guror avajna. First offense is guror avajna, defying the authority of guru. This is the first offense. So one who is offensive, how he can make advance in chanting? He cannot make. Then everything is finished in the beginning. Guror avajna. Everything is there. If one is disobeying the spiritual master, he cannot remain in the pure status of life. He cannot be siksa-guru or anything else. He is finished, immediately. Guror avajna    > Bhagavad-gita 17.1-3  -- Honolulu, July 4, 1974

"Therefore you must follow the regulative principles. As soon as you become a rascal_'Now I have become advanced. I don't require to chant sixteen rounds. I can do whatever I like,' then he has gone to hell. Upstart, immediately he becomes a paramahamsa? He is rascal. He was given the path of becoming paramahamsa. One is admitted in the school, he must learn, and one day he will become M.A. But simply by entering in the school, if he says, 'I am an M.A.,' that is rascaldom. One has to try very rigidly then he'll become paramahamsa. Therefore amongst the devotees, there are three grades: kanistha adhikari, madhyama adhikari, and uttama-adhikari. So if the kanistha-adhikari thinks that 'I have become uttama adhikari,' then he's rascal. He's a rascal. If he wants to imitate the uttama-adhikari, then he's a rascal." (Morning walk, 4 February 1976)

Guru must be powerful-

“This is risky because when a spiritual master accepts a disciple, he naturally accepts the disciple's sinful activities and their reactions. Unless he is very powerful, he cannot assimilate all the sinful reactions of his disciples and has to suffer the consequences. Therefore one is generally forbidden to accept many disciples.”  > Madhya 22.118

 

DIKSA GURU MUST BE ORDERED-

"Vallabha Bhatta wanted to be initiated by Gadadhara Pandita, but Gadadhara Pandita refused, saying, "The work of acting as a spiritual master is not possible for me. "I am completely dependent. My Lord is Gauracandra, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I cannot do anything independently, without His order." (CC, Antya 7:150-151)  

"An actual guru always remains the servant of his own guru and the predecessor acaryas. Attempting to become a guru without one's own guru's order is a materialistic ambition. Accepting followers and circumventing one's own guru is offensive."  >>> Ref. VedaBase => MGM 22-11: A Lost Son Visits Home

"On the whole, you may know that he is not a liberated person, and therefore, he cannot initiate any person to Krsna Consciousness. It requires special spiritual benediction from higher authorities."  (SP Letter to Janardana, 26/4/68)

 "One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorised by his predecessor spiritual master. This is called diksa -vidhana."    (S.B. 4.8.54, purport)

"Indian man: When did you become spiritual the leader of Krsna Consciousness?

Srila Prabhupada: What is that?

Brahmananda: He is asking when did you become the spiritual leader of Krsna Consciousness?

Srila Prabhupada: When my Guru Maharaja ordered me. This is the guru parampara.

Indian man: Did it...

Srila Prabhupada: Try to understand. Don't go very speedily. A guru can become guru when he is ordered by his guru. That's all. Otherwise nobody can become guru. "  

(SP Bg. Lecture, 28/10/75)

"Guru cannot be self-made. No. There is no such single instance throughout the whole Vedic literature. And nowadays, so many rascals, they are becoming guru without any authority. That is not guru. You must be authorised. Evam parampara-praptam imam ra... As soon as the parampara is...kalena yogo nasta parantapa, immediately finished. The spiritual potency finished. You can dress like a guru, you can talk big, big words, but it will never be effective." (Lecture, February 27th 1977, Mayapur, India)

 "Self-made guru cannot be guru. He must be authorized by the bona fide guru. Then he's guru. This is the fact...Similarly, bona fide guru means he must be authorized by the superior guru." (SP NOD Lecture, October 31. 1972)

"Therefore guru must be authorized person, not that bhumi-phala-guru. No. I am guru," no. You cannot become guru unless you are agent to draw out the mercy water from the ocean of mercy of Krsna. That is guru. And therefore a guru is not an ordinary person. He is the representative, bona fide representative of Krsna." (SB Lecture,November 30, 1976)

"The schoolmasters in the modern days are paid agents for giving some information, but the spiritual master is not a paid agent. Nor can he impart instruction without being authorized." (SB:2.9.43, purport)

"A Guru can be Guru when he is ordered by his Guru.  That's all.  Otherwise nobody can become Guru." (SP Bg.  Lecture, 28th October 1975)          

Conversely, a student does not become spiritual master on his own initiative

The spiritual master must never be carried away by an accumulation of wealth or a large number of followers. A bona fide spiritual master will never become like that. But sometimes, if a spiritual master is not properly authorized and only on his own initiative becomes a spiritual master, he may be carried away by an accumulation of wealth and large numbers of disciples. >> Ref. VedaBase => NoD 14:

The reason why the GM failed is because they UNAUTHORISEDLY selected an Acarya to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta:

“Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively.  He did not instruct a particular man to become the next acarya.  But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of acarya, and they split into two factions over who the next acarya would be.  Consequently, both factions were asara, or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master.” (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, 12.8, purport) 

“Why this Gaudiya Matha failed?  Because they tried to become more than guru. […] They declared some unfit person to become acarya.  Then another man came, then another, acarya, another acarya.”  (Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, 16/8/76)

Srila Prabhupada: "He, [Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, founder of the Gaudiya Matha] before passing away, he gave them all direction - and he NEVER said that this man should be the next [guru] acharya. But these people, just after he passed away, they began to fight, 'Who shall be the next acharya? "That is the failure. They never thought, 'guru maharaja gave us instruction on so many things, why did he not say, "This man should be the next acharya?"' They wanted to create somebody ARTIFICIALLY as acharya and EVERYTHING FAILED. "They did not even consider common sense - that if guru maharaja had wanted to APPOINT somebody as acharya, why he did not say? He said so many things and this point he missed? The main point? And they insisted on it. They declared, 'Come on unfit persons to become acharya,' then another man comes, then another, then another. So better to remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by guru maharaja. So that is perfection. And as soon as it was announced that, 'Guru maharaja is dead, now I am so advanced that I can kill my guru and become [guru]'." (CONV 8/15/76)

“Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp.”  (Srila Prabhupada Letter To Rupanuga, 28/4/74)

 

STATEMENTS MADE BY SRILA PRABHUPADA IN 1977-

The 5/28/77 conversation-

Satsvarupa: By the votes of the present GBC. 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.
Prabhupada: Yes. I shall recommend some of you. After this is settled up, I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating acaryas.
Tamala Krsna Is that called ritvik-acarya?
Prabhupada: Ritvik, yes.
Satsvarupa: Then what is the relationship of that person who gives the initiation and the...
Prabhupada: He's guru. He's guru.
Satsvarupa: But he does it on your behalf.

Srila Prabhupada: "Yes. That is formality. Because in my presence one should not become guru, so on my behalf. On my order, amara ajnaya guru hana, be actually guru. But on my order."

Satsvarupa Maharaja: "So they maybe considered your disciples?"

Srila Prabhupada: "Yes, they are disciples but consider... who..."

Tamala Krsna Maharaja: "No. He is asking that these ritvik- acaryas, they are officiating, giving diksa, their - the people who they give diksa to - whose disciples are they?"

Srila Prabhupada: "They are his disciples."

Tamala Krsna Maharaja: "They are his disciples."

Srila Prabhupada: "Who is initiating...His grand-disciple..."

Satsvarupa Maharaja: "Then we have a question concerning..."

Srila Prabhupada: "When I order you become guru, he becomes regular guru. That's all. He becomes disciple of my disciple. Just see." - May 28th – 77.

July 9th letter
07/09/1977.
Letter to All G.B.C., All Temple Presidents
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 "ritvik-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 PRABHUPADA, 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.  

Srila Prabhupada’s letter of July 31st 1977 to Hansadutta Maharaja, he says “Make your own field and continue to become ritvik and act on my behalf.”

Room conversation JULY 19TH, 1977, Vrndavan (taped), Srila Prabhupada says to Tamal, “Make your own field and continue to be ritvik and act on my charge.”

more quotes will be added later.....

WHO IS THE DISCIPLE A DISCIPLE OF?

 The new disciple is to be considered His Initiated or Diksa disciple…

 Prabhupada: Yes, I am the spiritual master of this institution, and all the members of the society, they're supposed to be my disciples. They follow the rules and regulations which I ask them to follow, and they are initiated by me spiritually. So therefore the spiritual master is called guru. KGO Radio Interview March 12, 1968, San Francisco

“…a successor director or directors may be appointed by the remaining directors, provided the new director is my initiated disciple…” from Srila Prabhupada’s last Will and Testament.

"After considering the recommendation, these representatives may accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada.." from the  7/9/77 letter to the whole society.

 SRILA PRABHUPADA’S WILL-

PRABHUPADA'S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

“The system of management will continue as it is now and there is no need of any change. Each new executive director for the ISKCON properties must be my initiated disciple." 

"In the event of death or failure to act for any reason of any of the said directors, a successor director or directors may be appointed by the remaining directors, provided the new director is my initiated disciple following strictly all the rules and regulations of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness as detailed in my books, and provided that there are never less than three (3) or more than five (5) executive directors acting at one time."

note-  According to Srila Prabhupada's will, all executive directors must be initiated disciples of Srila Prabhupada. They are the only one's to be able to manage any temple or property. "Each temple will be an ISKCON property and will be managed by three executive directors. The system of management will continue as it is now and there is no need of any change." (Srila Prabhupada's will)

One must only accept one initiating spiritual master.

C.C. Adi Lila 1.35 Purport. "...A devotee must have only one initiating spiritual master because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one is always forbidden. There is no limit, however, to the number of instructing spiritual masters one may accept. ..."

 

THE DEFINITION OF DIKSA

Note- First one must know what is the definition of "diksa" as that is why we become a disciple of the diksa-guru or one who gives diksa (bonafide spiritual master).

"Diksa is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as diksa." (Bhakti-sandarbha 283; C.C. Madhya 15:108 purport)

"Diksa actually means initiating the disciple with transcendental knowledge by which all material contamination is destroyed." Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 4:111 purport)

"The spiritual master can be compared to the lower kindling stick, the disciple to the upper kindling stick, and the instruction given by the guru to the third stick placed in between. The transcendental knowledge communicated from guru to disciple is compared to the fire arising from the contact of these, which burns the darkness of ignorance to ashes, bringing great happiness both to guru and disciple." (SB 11.10.12)

When a person is serious about accepting diksa, he must be prepared to practice austerity, celibacy and control of the mind and body. If one is so prepared and is desirous of receiving spiritual enlightenment (divyam jnanam), he is fit for being initiated. Divyam jnanam is technically called tad-vijnana, or knowledge about the Supreme. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet: when one is interested in the transcendental subject matter of the Absolute Truth, he should be initiated. Such a person should approach a spiritual master in order to take diksa. Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.3.21) also prescribes: tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam. "When one is actually interested in the transcendental science of the Absolute Truth, he should approach a spiritual master."

One should not accept a spiritual master without following his instructions. Nor should one accept a spiritual master just to make a fashionable show of spiritual life. One must be jijnasu, very much inquisitive to learn from the bona fide spiritual master. The inquiries one makes should strictly pertain to transcendental science (jijnasuh sreya uttamam). The word uttamam refers to that which is above material knowledge. Tama means "the darkness of this material world," and ut means "transcendental." (Nectar of Instruction verse 5 purport)

"The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedänta-sruti." (SB 1.2.12)  

WHAT IS REAL INITIATION?

"So anyway, from 1922 to 1933 practically I was not initiated, but I got the impression of preaching Caitanya Mahaprabhu's cult. That I was thinking. And that was the initiation by my Guru Maharaja."
(SP Lecture, 10/12/76, Hyderabad)

"Initiation is a formality. If you are serious, that is real initiation. My touch is simply a formality. It is your determination, that is initiation."
(BTG, Search for the Divine)

"...disciplic succession does not always mean that one has to be initiated officially. Disciplic succession means to accept the disciplic conclusion."
(SP Letter to Dinesh, 31/10/69)

"The chanting of Hare Krsna is our main business, that is real initiation. And as you are all following my instruction, in that matter, the initiator is already there." 
   (SP Letter to Tamal Krsna, 19/8/68)

"Well, initiation or no initiation, first thing is knowledge... knowledge. Initiation is formality. Just like you go to a school for knowledge, and admission is formality. That is not very important thing."  
(SP Interview, 16/10/76, Chandigarh)

THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF DIKSA-GURU IS IMMATERIAL

"Physical presence is immaterial. Presence of the transcendental sound
received from the Spiritual Master should be the guidance of life.
That will make our spiritual life successful. If you feel very
strongly about my absence you may place my pictures on my sitting
places and this will be source of inspiration for you."

(Letter to Brahmananda and other students, 19/1/67)

"It is sometimes misunderstood that if one has to associate with
persons engaged in devotional service, he will not be able to solve
the economic problem. To answer this argument, it is described here
that one has to associate with liberated persons not directly,
physically, but by understanding, through philosophy and logic, the
problems of life."    (SB 3.31.48. purport)

"But always remember that I am always with you. As you are always
thinking of me, I am always thinking of you also. Although physically
we are not together, we are not separated spiritually
. So we should be
concerned only with this spiritual connection."

(Letter to Gaurasundara, 13/11/69)

"So we should associate by vibration, and not by the physical
presence. That is real association
."   (Lectures SB, 68/08/18)

"There are two conceptions, the physical conception and the
vibrational conception. The physical conception is temporary. The
vibrational conception is eternal
.[...] When we feel separation from
Krsna or the Spiritual Master, we should just try to remember their
words or instructions, and we will no longer feel that separation.
Such association with Krsna and the Spiritual Master should be
association by vibration not physical presence
. That is real association."   

(Elevation to Krsna Consciousness,(BBT 1973), Page 57)

"Although according to material vision His Divine Grace Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarsavati Thakura Prabhupada passed away from this
material world on the last day of December 1936, I still consider his
Divine Grace to be always present with me by his vani, his words.

There are two ways of association - by vani and by vapuh. Vani means
words and vapuh means physical presence. Physical presence is
sometimes appreciable and sometimes not, but Vani continues to exist
eternally.
Therefore, one must take advantage of the Vani, not the
physical presence."     (CC, Antya 5 Conclusion)

"Therefore we should take advantage of the Vani, not the physical
presence."   (Letter to Suci Devi Dasi, 4/11/75)

"I shall remain your personal guidance, physically present or not
physically present,
as I am getting guidance from my Guru Maharaja."

(Room Conversation, Vrindavan, 14/7/77)

"I am always with you. Never mind if I am physically absent."   (Letter to Jayananda, 16/9/67)


Paramananda: "We're always feeling your presence very strongly, Srila
Prabhupada, simply by your teachings and your instructions. We're
always meditating on your instructions."

Srila Prabhupada: "Thank you. That is the real presence. Physical
presence is not important.
"  (Room Conversation, Vrndavana, 6/10/77)

"You write that you have desire to avail of my association again, but
why do you forget that you are always in association with me? When you are helping my missionary activities I am always thinking of you, and you are always thinking of me . That is real association. Just like I
am always thinking of my Guru Maharaja at every moment, although he is not physically present, and because I am trying to serve him to my
best capacity, I am sure he is helping me by his spiritual blessings.
So there are two kinds of association: physical and preceptorial.
Physical association is not so important as preceptorial association."

(Letter to Govinda Dasi, 18/8/69)

"Anyone who has developed unflinching faith in the Lord and the
Spiritual Master can understand the revealed scripture unfolding
before him'. So continue your present aptitude and you will be
successful in your spiritual progress. I am sure that even if I am not
physically present before you, still you will be able to execute all
spiritual duties in the matter of Krsna Consciousness
, if you follow
the above principles." (Letter to Subala, 29/9/67)

"So 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."  (General lectures, 69/01/13)

Devotee: "...so sometimes the Spiritual Master is far away. He may be
in Los Angeles. Somebody is coming to Hamburg Temple. He thinks 'How will the Spiritual Master be pleased?'"

Srila Prabhupada: "Just follow his order, Spiritual Master is along
with you by his words.
Just like my Spiritual Master is not physically
present, but I am associating with him by his words."   (SB Lectures, 71/08/18)

"Just like I am working, so my Guru Maharaja is there, Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati. Physically he may not be, but in every action he is there.
To serve master's word is more important than to serve physically."

(Room Conversation, Vrindavan, 2/5/77)

"So that is called prakata, physically present. And there is another
phrase, which is called aprakata, not physically present. But that
does not mean, Krsna is dead or God is dead. That does not mean,
prakata or aprakata, physically present or not present, it does not
matter
."  (Lectures SB 73/12/11)

"So, spiritually, there is no question of separation, even physically
we may be in far distant place."  (Letter to Syama Dasi, 30/08/68)

"I went to your country for spreading this information of Krsna
Consciousness and you are helping me in my mission, although I am not physically present there but spiritually I am always with you."

(Letter to Nandarani, Krsna Devi and Subala, 3/10/67)

"We are not separated actually. There are two - Vani or Vapuh - so
Vapu is physical presence and Vani is presence by the vibration, but
they are all the same."    (Letter to Hamsadutta, 22/6/70)

"So in the absence of physical presentation of the spiritual master,
the Vaniseva is more important. My Spiritual Master Sarsavati Goswami, may appear to be physically not present, but still because I try to serve his instruction, I never feel separated from him."   (Letter to Karandhara, 22/8/70)

"I also do not feel separation from my Guru Maharaja. When I am
engaged in his service, his pictures give me sufficient strength. To
serve master's word is more important
than to serve him physically."

(Letter to Syamasundara, 19/7/70)

Paramahamsa: "My question is, a pure devotee, when he comments on
Bhagavad Gita, someone who never sees him physically, but he just
comes in contact with the commentary, explanation, is this the same
thing?"

Srila Prabhupada: "Yes. You can associate with Krsna by reading
Bhagavad-Gita
. And these saintly persons, they have given their
explanations, comments. So where is the difficulty?"

(Morning Walk, Paris 11/6/74)

"As far as my blessing is concerned, it does not require my physical presence. If you are chanting Hare Krsna there, and following my instructions, reading the books, taking only Krsna prasadam etc., then there is no question of your not receiving the blessings of Lord Caitanya, whose mission I am humbly trying to push on." (Srila Prabhupada letter to Bala Krsna, 30/6/74)  

THE QUALITIES OF A PURE DEVOTEE

In other words, a Vaisnava who is incessantly thinking of the form of Lord Krsna is to be known as a pure Vaisnava. NOD - The Lord's Extraordinary Mercy

That pure spiritual conception makes him immune to all contamination of material association. The pure devotee never forgets the touch of the Lord in all circumstances. SB 3.9.33

A pure devotee always engages in the service of the Lord, taking shelter of His lotus feet, and therefore he has a direct connection with the saffron mercy-particles that are strewn over the lotus feet of the Lord. Although when a pure devotee speaks the articulation of his voice may resemble the sound of this material sky, the voice is spiritually very powerful because it touches the particles of saffron dust on the lotus feet of the Lord. As soon as a sleeping living entity hears the powerful voice emanating from the mouth of a pure devotee, he immediately remembers his eternal relationship with the Lord, although up until that moment he had forgotten everything.   SB 4.20.25

A pure devotee does not pray to the Lord for liberation from this material bondage. Actually, the pure devotee never thinks that he is fit for liberation. Considering his past life and his mischievous activities, he thinks that he is fit to be sent to the lowest region of hell.  SB 3.25.39,40

The pure devotee never hankers after any kind of material prosperity. The karmis, however, or jnanis or yogis endeavor always for their own personal happiness.  SB 4.9.36

However, a pure devotee never aspires for any kind of material happiness. The pure devotee is consequently transferred directly to Vaikunthaloka, which is described here as param.   SB 4.30.2

The pure devotee never attempts to reach the Supreme Lord directly. The most important way to worship the Lord is to go through the disciplic succession of devotees.  SB 4.30.3

A pure devotee never wants to see the Lord unnecessarily. The Lord is engaged in various activities, and the pure devotee does not want to see Him whimsically, for his own sense gratification.   SB 5.3.15

A pure devotee never desires to gain material opportunities by rendering transcendental loving service to the Lord.  SB 6.11.25

A pure devotee never asks Lord Visnu for any material profit. Instead he serves Lord Visnu without material desires and is therefore ultimately transferred to the spiritual kingdom.  SB 6.16.29

A pure devotee never begs the Lord for material happiness in the shape of riches, followers, a good wife or even mukti.  SB 6.18.75

A pure devotee never complains against the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A vivid example is Prahlada Maharaja.  SB 8.22.8

A pure devotee never asks for any kind of material or spiritual benediction from the Lord; his only prayer is that he may not forget the lotus feet of the Lord in any condition of life.  KB 69: The Great Sage Narada Visits the Different Homes of Lord Krsna

 

THE PURE DEVOTEE OF LORD KRISHNA IS ALWAYS PEACEFUL, KIND TO OTHERS, TOLERANT AND EQUIPOISED

A pure devotee is never disturbed in any circumstances. Nor is he envious of anyone. Nor does a devotee become his enemy's enemy; he thinks, "This person is acting as my enemy due to my own past misdeeds. So it is better to suffer than to protest." In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.8) it is stated: tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam. Whenever a devotee is in distress or has fallen into difficulty, he thinks that it is the Lord's mercy upon him. He thinks, "Thanks to my past misdeeds I should suffer far, far greater than I am suffering now. So it is by the mercy of the Supreme Lord that I am not getting all the punishment I am due. I am just getting a little, by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Therefore he is always calm, quiet and patient, despite many distressful conditions. Bg 12.13-14

Whenever and wherever there are peaceful, equipoised devotees who are well behaved and decorated with all good qualities, that place and the dynasties there, even if condemned, are purified" (SB 7.10.18-19)

A devotee is also always kind to everyone, even to his enemy. Nirmama means that a devotee does not attach much importance to the pains and trouble pertaining to the body because he knows perfectly well that he is not the material body. He does not identify with the body; therefore he is freed from the conception of false ego and is equipoised in happiness and distress. He is tolerant, and he is satisfied with whatever comes by the grace of the Supreme Lord.  Bg 12.13-14

Because of his transcendental intelligence, the pure devotee is equipoised in his vision and sees himself to be uncontaminated by matter. He does not see anything as superior or inferior, and he feels himself elevated to the transcendental platform of being equal in qualities with the Supreme Person.  SB 3.32.25

A devotee is equipoised. He sees everyone on the same transcendental platform. A devotee knows that although a conditioned soul has a particular type of body according to his past fruitive activities, factually everyone is part of the Supreme Lord. A devotee sees all living entities with spiritual vision and does not discriminate on the platform of the bodily concept of life. Such qualities develop only in the association of devotees. Without the association of devotees, one cannot advance in Krsna consciousness. Therefore, we have established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.    SB 4.12.37

One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equipoised in honor and dishonor, heat and cold, happiness and distress, fame and infamy, who is always free from contamination, always silent and satisfied with anything, who doesn't care for any residence, who is fixed in knowledge and engaged in devotional service, is very dear to Me.   From Bhagavad-gita chapter 12

 

THE PURE DEVOTEE IS NEVER IN ILLUSION

The function of illusion is to separate one from Lord Krsna, but the brief and occasional appearance of duality in the behavior or mentality of a pure devotee never separates him from the Lord. It does not constitute actual illusion, for it lacks the essential function of illusion, namely, the separation of one from Lord Krsna. > SB 11.18.37  

Under no circumstances can the words of persons bewildered by the illusory energy of the Lord deviate the intelligence of those who are completely surrendered souls.   > SB 3.2.10

One cannot become the Lord's pure devotee without taking the dust of a great devotee on his head (pada-rajo-'bhisekam). A pure devotee is niskincana; he has no material desire to enjoy the material world. One has to take shelter of such a pure devotee in order to attain his qualities. The pure devotee is always free from the clutches of maya and her influence.  > SB 5.3.14

For that matter any pure devotee, never identifies with these social and spiritual divisions of life, for a devotee is always transcendental to these different gradations of society.  Adi 7.33

A pure devotee never thinks himself great; he always thinks that other devotees are greater than himself. NOD- Attracting Krsna

Out of humility a pure devotee never thinks he is elevated. He always thinks he is in the lowest status of spiritual life. NBS 1

THE PURE DEVOTEE NEVER FALLS DOWN

One has to take shelter of such a pure devotee in order to attain his qualities. The pure devotee is always free from the clutches of maya and her influence.   SB 5.3.14

There is no possibility that a first-class devotee will fall down, even though he may mix with nondevotees to preach. >Madhya 22.71

A Spiritual Master is always liberated. In any condition of His life He should not be mistaken as ordinary human being. -- Letter to: Tamala Krsna, Los Angeles 21 June, 1970

God is always God, guru is always guru. As a matter of etiquette, God is the worshipable God, and guru is the worshiper God (sevaka-bhagavan).   SSR

Srila Prabhupada: Well, if he is bad, how can he become a guru? [Laughter.] How can iron become gold? Actually, a guru cannot be bad, for if someone is bad, he cannot be a guru. You cannot say "bad guru." That is a contradiction. SSR

"Prabhupada was not pleased. He told me, ‘You should know that the spiritual master never falls down.'"  RDV  

 

THE PURE DEVOTEE IS ALWAYS LIBERATED

Although working for the liberation of conditioned souls, the messenger of the Supreme Lord remains untouched by the material energy. Generally ever-liberated personalities live in the spiritual world as associates of Lord Krsna, and they are known as krsna-parisada, associates of the Lord. Their only business is enjoying Lord Krsna's company, and even though such eternally liberated persons come within this material world to serve the Lord's purpose, they enjoy Lord Krsna's company without stoppage. The ever-liberated person who works on Krsna's behalf enjoys Lord Krsna's company through his engagement.    Madhya 22.14–15

A pure devotee of the Lord does not live on any planet of the material sky, nor does he feel any contact with material elements. His so-called material body does not exist, being surcharged with the spiritual current of the Lord's identical interest, and thus he is permanently freed from all contaminations of the sum total of the mahat-tattva. He is always in the spiritual sky, which he attains by being transcendental to the sevenfold material covering by the effect of his devotional service. The conditioned souls are within the coverings, whereas the liberated soul is far beyond the cover.   SB 1.13.56

The specific qualification for becoming the representative of the Lord is to be unaffected by the material modes of nature. The highest qualification of a person in the material world is to be a brahmana. But since a brahmana is in the mode of goodness, to be a brahmana is not sufficient for becoming a representative of the Lord. One has to transcend the mode of goodness also and be situated in unalloyed goodness, unaffected by any of the qualities of material nature. This stage of transcendental qualification is called suddha-sattva, or vasudeva, and in this stage the science of God can be realized. As the Lord is not affected by the modes of material nature, so a pure devotee of the Lord is also not affected by the modes of nature. That is the primary qualification for being one with the Lord. A person who is able to attain this transcendental qualification is called jivan-mukta, or liberated, even though he is apparently in material conditions. This liberation is achieved by one who constantly engages in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.    SB 3.4.31

This is the divinity of the Personality of Godhead: He is not affected by the qualities of material nature, even though He is in contact with them. Similarly, the devotees who have taken shelter of the Lord do not become influenced by the material qualities.   SB 1.11.38

The Personality of Godhead and His liberated devotees like Narada appear in the material world by the same process. As it is said in the Bhagavad-gita, the birth and activities of the Lord are all transcendental. Therefore, according to authorized opinion, the birth of Narada as the son of Brahma is also a transcendental pastime. His appearance and disappearance are practically on the same level as that of the Lord. The Lord and His devotees are therefore simultaneously one and different as spiritual entities. They belong to the same category of transcendence.   SB 1.6.30

From authoritative sources it can be discerned that associates of Lord Visnu who descend from Vaikuntha do not actually fall. They come with the purpose of fulfilling the desire of the Lord, and their descent to this material world is comparable to that of the Lord. The Lord comes to this material world through the agency of His internal potency, and similarly, when a devotee or associate of the Lord descends to this material world, he does so through the action of the spiritual energy. Any pastime conducted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is an arrangement by yogamaya, not mahamaya.   SB 7.1.35

Srila Prabhupada - Although I had immense opportunities to indulge in the four principles of sinful life because I was connected with a very aristocratic family, Krsna always saved me, and throughout my whole life I do not know what is illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating or gambling. So far my present life is concerned, I do not remember any part of my life when I was forgetful of Krsna.     Letter to: Tamala Krsna  --  Los Angeles 21 June, 1970

A Spiritual Master is always liberated. In any condition of His life He should not be mistaken as ordinary human being. This position of a Spiritual Master is achieved by three processes. One is called sadhana siddha. That means one who is liberated by executing the regulative principle of devotional service. Another is krpa siddha, one who is liberated by the mercy of Krsna or His devotee. And another is nitya siddha who is never forgetful of Krsna throughout his whole life. Letter to: Tamala Krsna  --  Los Angeles 21 June, 1970

The kitten feels comfort in the mouth of the mother, whereas when the rat is carried in the mouth of the cat, the rat feels the blows of death. Similarly, those who are sadhavah, or devotees engaged in Krsna consciousness in the transcendental service of the Lord, do not feel the contamination of material miseries, whereas those who are not devotees in Krsna consciousness actually feel the miseries of material existence.   SB 3.25.24

 

LORD KRISHNA CONSIDERS HIS DEVOTEES GREATER THAN HIMSELF-

Lord Krishna considers His devotees greater than Himself. In this connection the scriptures provide an abundance of evidence. - Cc Adi 6.101  

Nobody can be better devotee than Radharani. So as soon as Radha’s name is there, Krishna is more pleased. So that is the way. So if we glorify the devotees, the character of the devotees, before the Lord, He’s more pleased than to glorify Himself, He directly. -Lecture - SB 7.9.11-13, Hawaii, March 24, 1969:

Worshiping My devotees is better than worshiping Me directly. - SB 11.19.21

“‘My dear Devi, although the Vedas recommend worship of demigods, the worship of Lord Vishnu is topmost. However, above the worship of Lord Vishnu is the rendering of service to Vaisnavas, who are related to Lord Vishnu.’

Purport: ... There are recommendations in the Vedas for the worship of various demigods as well as Lord Vishnu. In this quotation from the Padma Purana, Lord Siva answers a question posed to him by goddess Durga. This verse is also included in the Laghu-bhagavatamrita (2.4), by Srila Rupa Gosvami. The words vishnor aradhanam refer to the worship of Lord Vishnu, or Krishna. Thus the supreme form of worship is the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. It is further concluded that the worshiper of Lord Vishnu renders better service by worshiping the devotee of Lord Krishna. There are different types of devotees—those in santa-rasa, dasya-rasa, sakhya-rasa, vatsalya-rasa and madhurya-rasa. Although all the rasas are on the transcendental platform, madhurya-rasa is the supreme transcendental mellow. Consequently it is concluded that the worship of devotees engaged in the Lord’s service in madhurya-rasa is the supreme spiritual activity. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His followers mainly worship Lord Krishna in madhurya-rasa. Other Vaishnava acaryas recommended worship up to vatsalya-rasa. ... Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in this Age of Kali to exhibit the super-excellence of madhurya-rasa, a gift never previously bestowed by any acarya or incarnation. Consequently Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is accepted as the most magnanimous incarnation. It is He only who distributed love of Krishna while exhibiting the superexcellence of loving Krishna in the conjugal rasa.  - CC Madhya 11.31 p  

“My dear Partha, one who claims to be My devotee is not so. Only a person who claims to be a devotee of My devotee is actually My devotee.”  - CC Madhya 11.28, Lord Caitanya quoting the Adi Purana.

That same Supreme Personality of Godhead has declared in the Vedas and Srimad Bhagavatam, “Worship of My devotees is superior to worship of Me. - CB Adi Khanda 1.8

"If anyone worships his spiritual master first and then Me, he certainly achieves perfection. Otherwise, his worship remains fruitless." - HBV 4.344, quoting Smriti  Maharnava, spoken by Lord Krishna

Those who worship the Supreme Lord but are indifferent to the worship of His devotees are eligible for punishment by the lord of death, Yamaraj: if many people who worship the Supreme Lord remain indifferent to the worship of His devotees and as a result are eligible for punishment by Yamaraji.   - CB Madya 3.169-170 p

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has pointed out that the original cause of offending the Lord and falling down from one's position is one's not learning how to properly worship a bona fide spiritual master. One who is trained to offer respectful obeisances and worship to the bona fide spiritual master automatically offers proper worship to the Supreme Lord.

Without the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master, even a so-called religious man will gradually become atheistic, offend the Lord by foolish speculation and fall into a hellish condition of life. SB 11.5.3 p

"One who performs worship of Lord Govinda but fails to worship His devotees should be understood to be not a devotee of the Lord but simply a victim of false pride." - Quoted in CB Madya 3.169-170 P and in SB 11.3.26 P

Srila Jiva Gosvami says in his Sat Sandarbha, Bhakti Sandarbha, Anuccheda 237, 8-17 -

"In the Vamana-kalpa, Lord Brahma explains: "One's mantra is identical with his spiritual master.  One's spiritual master is identical with Lord Hari.

"When the spiritual master is pleased, then Lord Hari is pleased." It is also said: "When Lord Hari is angry, one's spiritual master can protect him. When one's spiritual master is angry, no one can give protection. Therefore with all efforts one should strive to please his spiritual master." Therefore one should always serve his spiritual master. In  another place in the scriptures, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself declares: "First one should worship his spiritual master, and afterward worship Me.  One who does this attains perfection.  One who does not finds that all his efforts are in vain."

"In the Narada-pancaratra it is said: "With body, mind and words, one should worship his Vaisnava spiritual master who is as good as Lord Visnu, who teaches the science of Lord Visnu. One who knows the true meaning of the scriptures is a Vaisnava and one who teaches the true meaning of the verses in the scriptures is always to be worshipped. What more need be said?  He is a manifestation of Lord Visnu Himself."

"In the Padma Purana, Rsi Devadyuti prays: "For me devotion to my spiritual master it is more important than devotion to Lord Hari.  If I am devoted to my spiritual master, then Lord Hari will personally reveal Himself to me."

"In such a situation there is no need even to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead separate from the worship of one's spiritual master.

"This is explained in the pancaratra, where, in the course of describing the results of purascarana (religious ceremonies), it is said: "As an alchemist's touch turns copper into gold, so the spiritual master's touch makes his disciple transcendental like Lord Visnu Himself." This is also explained in Srimad Bhagavatam (10.80.34), where Lord Krsna declares: “I, the Soul of all beings, am not as satisfied by ritual worship, brahminical initiation or begetting good children, penances or self-discipline as I am by faithful service rendered to the spiritual master.”

"Srila Sridhara Svami, the original commentator on the Vedanta Sutra, comments: “This verse explains that no one is more to be worshipped than the spiritual master who gives transcendental knowledge. Therefore no duty is more important than the worship of him. In this verse the word "ijya" means "the ritual duties of a householder", "prajatih" means “begetting good children” or “the second birth by accepting the sacred thread” and describes the duties of a brahmacari. "Tapasa" describes the duties of a vanaprastha and “upasamena” describes the duties of a sannyasi.  "Aham" means "I”, the Supreme Personality of Godhead".  The Lord then declares: "I, the Soul of all beings, cannot be satisfied by these things in the same way as I am by faithful service rendered to the spiritual master." - Sat Sandarbha, Bhakti Sandarbha, Anuccheda 237, 8-17

"Worship of the guru has precedence over all others: Athau gurupuja: the worship of the guru has precedence over all others." - Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Lecture – “Assuming Responsibility of Being Guru”

“First guru-kripa, then krishna-kripa”: "To understand Vedic literature means one must have firm faith in Krishna and firm faith in guru, not that “My guru is not so learned, so let me capture Krishna directly.” That is useless. That is useless. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, guru-krishna-kripaya paya bhakti-lata-bija. One can get the seed of the plant or creeper of bhakti, how? Guru-krishna-kripa. By the mercy of guru and by the mercy of Krishna, not that krishna-kripa. First guru-kripa, then krishna-kripa." - Lecture, SB 1.15.27, New York, March 6, 1975

for more quotes of this nature, go to the Vyasa-puja page

WE SHOULD COOPERATE AND PUSH ON THIS MOVEMENT 

Whenever an acarya comes, following the superior orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His representative, he establishes the principles of religion, as enunciated in Bhagavad-gita. Religion means abiding by the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Religious principles begin from the time one surrenders to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is the acarya's duty to spread a bona fide religious system and induce everyone to bow down before the Supreme Lord. One executes the religious principles by rendering devotional service, specifically the nine items like hearing, chanting and remembering. Unfortunately, when the acarya disappears, rogues and nondevotees take advantage and immediately begin to introduce unauthorized principles in the name of so-called svamis, yogis, philanthropists, welfare workers and so on. Actually, human life is meant for executing the orders of the Supreme Lord, and this is stated in Bhagavad-gita (9.34):

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto  mad-yaji mam namaskuru

mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam atmanam mat-parayanah

"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me and become My devotee. Offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."

The main business of human society is to think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead at all times, to become His devotees, to worship the Supreme Lord and to bow down before Him. The acarya, the authorized representative of the Supreme Lord, establishes these principles, but when he disappears, things once again become disordered. The perfect disciples of the acarya try to relieve the situation by sincerely following the instructions of the spiritual master. At the present moment practically the entire world is afraid of rogues and nondevotees; therefore this Krsna consciousness movement is started to save the world from irreligious principles. Everyone should cooperate with this movement in order to bring about actual peace and happiness in the world.   SB 4.28.48

ONE MUST FOLLOW THE MAHAJANAS-

One should always follow the footprints of the standard Mahajan or the Acharyas recognized by all concerned.   Article by Srila Prabhupada - BTG  11/20/1958

One mahajana follows another mahajana, and by following the parampara system of mahajana activities one can become advanced in spiritual consciousness.   SB 8.18.28

Where, then, is the difficulty in finding a guru?

Lord Krsna directly instructed Arjuna. Arjuna is therefore tattva-darsi or guru. Arjuna accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead (param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan [Bg. 10.12]). Similarly, following in the footsteps of Sri Arjuna, who is a personal devotee of the Lord, one should accept the supremacy of Lord Krsna, as supported by Vyasa, Devala, Asita, Narada and later by the acaryas Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Nimbarka and Visnu Svami and still later by the greatest acarya, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Where, then, is the difficulty in finding a guru? If one is sincere he can find the guru and learn everything. One should take lessons from the guru and find out the goal of life. Maharaja Satyavrata, therefore, shows us the way of the mahajana. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186].   SB 8.24.53

If one does not follow in the footsteps of the real mahajanas, one's plans for happiness will be frustrated.   Madhya 17.185

 

SIKSA GURUS TRANSMIT THE PARAMPARA-

SP letter- "Just as an aerial message, is transmitted from one place to another, similarly, this Guru parampara system is working. My disciples are my agents, my representatives, so by hearing it from them, you are receiving it from me. And because you are a sincere soul, those who are hearing the Mantra from you are receiving it in disciplic succession, from Lord Caitanya and from Lord Krishna."    Letter to: Andrea Temple -  Los Angeles 6 March, 1968

"I have heard how the new devotees are all executing their devotional services very enthusiastically and with sincerity and humility. Yes, I have asked them to take instruction from you, one of their elder Godsisters. Whatever you have learned -- you are one of the old students -- whatever you have gathered by experience, you must hand them over to the new students. This is called parampara." >Letter to: Malati  --  Los Angeles 6 March, 1970

Regarding parampara system: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. Just like we belong to the Brahma Sampradaya, so we accept it from Krishna to Brahma, Brahma to Narada, Narada to Vyasadeva, Vyasadeva to Madhva, and between Vyasadeva and Madhva there is a big gap. But it is sometimes said that Vyasadeva is still living, and Madhva was fortunate enough to meet him directly. In a similar way, we find in the Bhagavad-gita that the Gita was taught to the sungod, some millions of years ago, but Krishna has mentioned only three names in this parampara system -- namely, Vivasvan, Manu, and Iksvaku; and so these gaps do not hamper from understanding the parampara system. We have to pick up the prominent acaryas, and follow from him. There are many branches also from the parampara system, and it is not possible to record all the branches and sub-branches in the disciplic succession. We have to pick up from the authority of the acharya in whatever sampradaya we belong to.  > Letter to: Dayananda  --  San Francisco 12 April, 1968

You cannot be without a 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. As you say that "by reading Bible," when you read Bible that means you are following the spiritual master represented by some priest or some clergyman in the line of Lord Jesus Christ. 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

These original teachings and the founder-acarya of the sampradaya should be worshiped with all respect. One should be loyal to his conclusions and instructions, not taking teachings from others. One should take as siksa guru only a person who is following faithfully the teachings of that founder-acarya.”  Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, HC: Chapter 6

Note- Usually we only give quotes from Srila Prabhupada, but this is a very powerful quote from Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur and valuable instruction to all new devotees of Iskcon, to always remain loyal to Srila Prabhupada’s original teachings, and to only accept siksa from gurus who are following faithfully the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.

  

Srila Prabhupada’s usage of the term “ritvik.”

Srila Prabhupada and Tamal Krishna and other GBC’s and Vaisnavas used the term “ritvik” frequently. The word “ritvik” is also found in many passages in the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Here are about 16 instances of the use of the term “ritvik” as used by Srila Prabhupada and the GBC, and other Vaisnavas, and many times in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

1. As said in the 7/9 letter- "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..." [7/9 letter]

This Vrindavana meeting referred to is the 5/28 meeting - when all of the GBCs were with SP in Vrindavana and asked him about "initiations in the future, particularly at that time when you are no longer with us".

2.  May 28 conversation: "Officiating acarya". "Ritvik. Yes"

3.  July 10th - (TKG quotes SP in letter to Hamsadutta): "I have selected you among eleven men as “rittvik” or representative of the acharya, to give initiations, both first and second initiation, on my behalf.”

4.  July 12th- (TKG to Sucandra and Avinas Chandra cc-ed to HARIKESA): "[handwritten] P.S. Information on the process for conducting initiations is co[ntained] in a letter already sent to Ramesvara for xeroxing. Prab[hupada] has name 11 persons, inclu[ding] yourself, to act as 'rittik', H[is] representatives for initiating."  - THIS IS ON FOLIO

5.  July 19th: "Make your own field and continue to become ritvik and act on my charge"

6.  J31 (TKG quotes SP in letter to Hamsadutta): "Make your own field and continue to become ritvik and act on my behalf.'"

7.  Srimad-Bhagavatam:

Ritvik :                  4.6.1 / 4.7.16 / 5.3.2 / 5.3.3 / 5.4.17 / 7.3.20 / 8.20.22 / 9.1.15 .

Rtvijah :                4.5.7 / 4.5.18 / 4.7.27 / 4.7.45 / 4.13.26 / 4.19.27 / 4.19.29 / 5.3.4 / 5.3.15 / 5.3.18 / 5.7.5 8.16.53 / 8.18.21 /8.18.22 / 9.4.23 / 9.6.3 .

Rtvijam :              4.6.52 / 4.21.5 / 8.23.13 / 9.13.1 .

Rtvigbhyah :     8.16.55 .

Rtvigbhih :          4.7.56 / 9.13.3 .

 

8. The following statements by TKG, in his Topanga Canyon admission, show that Srila Prabhupada said there would be more ritviks added later in the future-

"Later on there was a piled up list of people to get initiated, and it was jammed up. I said, 'Srila Prabhupada, you once mentioned about ritviks. […] Srila Prabhupada said, 'All right, I will appoint so many...' and he started to name them. He made it very clear that they are his disciples. [….] I asked him two questions, one: 'What about Brahmananda Swami?'. I asked him this because I happened to have an affection for Brahmananda Swami. [...]  Srila Prabhupada said, 'No, not unless he is qualified'. […]Before I got ready to type the letter, I asked him, two: 'Srila Prabhupada is this all or do you want to add more?'. He said, 'As is necessary, others may be added.'"  (TKG, December 3rd 1980)

This statement from Srila Prabhupada, as recorded by TKG, of more ritviks being added in the future is strongly supported by other written documents as well:

"His Divine Grace has so far given a list of eleven disciples who will act in that capacity" (J9 letter)

9. "Srila Prabhupada has appointed thus far eleven representatives who will initiate new devotees on His behalf."  (TKG's letter to Kirtanananda, July 11, 1977)

10. "Srila Prabhupada's initial list of disciples appointed to perform initiations for His Divine Grace. This initial list is also being sent to all centers." (Ramesvara's letter to GBC, July 21st, 1977)

Other statements of the term ‘ritvik’ made by Tamal and others-

11. Some of the original 11 gurus have said that Srila Prabhupada ordered ritviks only, and for the future. Tamal Krishna Gosvami confessed this at a Topanga Canyon meeting, saying “Actually Prabhupada never appointed any gurus. He appointed eleven ritviks. He never appointed them gurus.”

12. Hamsadutta told a room full  of devotees, "I'm sorry I did this to you. Srila Prabhupada didn't order me to be a guru, he only made me an officiating priest." Also devotees tell that Ramesvara and Kirtanananda both said they were ordered ritvik only.

Other instances where the term ‘ritvik’ is used by elder Vaisnavas, and senior disciples:

13. HH BV Puri Maharaja recollected a conversation (memories#26) Where Srila Prabhupada declared to him that He had appointed 11 Ritviks.

HH BV Puri Maharaja said,"You should have appointed only one.....when You are gone, they will not be satisfied as Ritviks, and will declare themselves as "regular" Gurus, and they will fight.".....Srila Prabhupada replied..."What can I do....IT IS UP TO KRISHNA!" [here Srila Prabhupada agrees with HH BV Puri Maharaja, about the ritvik system intending to be after “when you are gone.”]

14. Bhaktisiddhanta dasa was in a room with Srila Prabhupada and Tamal-Krsna, 1977, and the explanations of the order [ritviks for the future] was given by Srila Prabhupada himself to Tamal, and Bhaktisiddhanta dasa witnessed the whole conversation. He said that neither did Tamal understand, nor would he accept this adjustment made by the spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada.

15. There is the documented evidence of the diary of Yasodanandana das, with its original entries made directly after conversations with TKG. This diary quotes the secretary, Tamal, to say, (after departure) "they’ll be ritviks, its all on tape."

16. Another diary entry records how Gauridas Pandit das heard Srila Prabhupada say, "Tomorrow I will I will announce some ritvik acharyas who will initiate disciples on my behalf when I leave the planet."

Thus we see that Srila Prabhupada and other Vaisnavas used the term ‘ritvik’ many times, at least 16 times by our count on record, and so it is simply amazing how the GBC has banned this term, ‘ritvik,’ somehow thinking this prohibition pleases Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada and their many godbrothers, and the Vaisnavas, even though our founder acharya, Srila Prabhupada, used it several times, some say he used it to implement a system of initiations after “he is no longer with us.”

 

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