Souls Sometimes Re-appear
Can devotees appear, disappear and then re-appear? Well, in a way, all souls are re-appearing again and again by the process of reincarnation. This report is very different from that, it’s about the re-appearance of great saints who once walked this earth, and who are not obliged or forced to reincarnate into a material body again, but sometimes re-appear in their devotee form. It’s about life after the disappearance of the soul from a material body, and the difference between great acharyas and ordinary souls in this regard. It is about how and why great acharyas appear, and after disappearance, they sometimes they give special re-appearances, and are always giving mercy to the conditioned souls. Evidence is taken from the VedaBase, and some scientific evidence is taken from Sadaputa dasa’s writings.
and disappearance are the same
On Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s disappearance day, 12/13/73, Srila Prabhupada said-
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.
Prabhupada and the previous acharyas are always approachable by sincere
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
Here, we see that Srila Prabhupada advises us to pray to the “superior acharyas” and beg for their help, or mercy. Praying for help from personalities who previously walked on this planet assumes that they are there within the range of our petition, they can hear us, they can reciprocate to our requests, and help us and bless us. Such personalities are great acharyas, and they are still living gurus, whether in material bodies, or out of material bodies. They are still on this planet, as seen in the next quote.
though great acharyas disappear, sometimes they give special
re-appearance in personal forms-
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." > Ref.
VedaBase => Prabhupada at Radha-Damodara 11
Here is it said, “Nobody has gone anywhere.” This is the statement of O.B.L. Kapoor, Srila Prabhupada’s godbrother, a long time Brijabasi. All the great acharyas are still here, still today, in Vrndavan India. It stands to reason, that since Lord Krishna is still here in His supreme abode, the earthy abode of Vrndavan, which is non-different from the original Goloka, then all His confidential associates are also with Him. Lord Krishna is never alone, He is always in the company of His eternal confidantes. Srila Prabhupada is still there too, with his Lord Krishna and Srila Rupa Gosvami and all the great acharyas. They are all in their sadhaka forms, in their beautiful forms as they appeared as devotees here on this earth. If we had a pure heart, then we could see them, (of course, nobody would believe us.) I once saw a painting of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Rupa Gosvami here in a room of our temple here in New Vrindavan, which depicted a transcendental meeting of our Srila Prabhupada and Srila Rupa Gosvami, and here are some accounts, which verify this transcendental meeting.
acharyas appear to Srila Prabhupada, in dream and in vision-
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:
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
So we see that Jiva and Rupa Gosvamis have given darshan to several devotees, and Rupa Gosvami gave his personal darshan to Srila Prabhupada, and conferred upon him spoken words of blessings and assurance of success in his mission. Srila Prabhupada didn’t mention this to us, but Lord Krishna arranged that this be told, in order to glorify His devotee, Srila Prabhupada. We can be assured from Srila Prabhupada’s recommendation above, that if we sincerely pray to the previous acharyas, then they will surely hear and bless us. We have heard accounts of many devotees, old and young, who’ve had Srila Prabhupada’s darshan in either dream or visions.
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-
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. >>Ref. VedaBase,
VS > The Lord Descends
and how the great acharyas are sent directly from the spiritual world
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. > Adi 1.47P
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.
the Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Srila Prabhupada describes the manjaris:
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)
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.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => PRD 6: Sannyasa Years at
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
Krishna sends His representative from the spiritual world-
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. >>> Ref. VedaBase => SC
10: The Next Life: It's Up to Us.
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
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. >>> Ref. VedaBase => 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-
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.>>> Ref. VedaBase => 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.
spiritual master you cannot be
I was referring to a living spiritual master.
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?
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Lecture -- Seattle, October 2,
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.
Prabhupada and the great acharyas can bless unlimited souls in countless
Mahanidhi Swami writes his book, “Gaudiya Vaisnava Samadhis in Vrndavana” –
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.
acharyas continue to be saviors in the movement of which they are the
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.
acharyas are just as powerful after disappearance-
It is common in our world to think that the material body and senses are superior to the senses one gets after death. We tend to think, those who at least believe that the soul survives death, that people die and then enter into inertness and a state of incommunicado with humanity.
Sadaputa in his “MAYA: The World As Virtual Reality” gives research evidence from Ring and Cooper, of how people blind from birth, had NDE, or near death experiences, and had strong visual experiences, though they never had the experience of sight their whole life, and therefore had no reference to what it was like. In the book, the report of Ring and Cooper argues, “that ‘seeing’ by the blind in NDEs is really something even more remarkable, a kind of direct perception that may involve a combination of sensory modes (e.g. visual and tactile) while transcending the limitations of any of them.” Sadaputa comments that “a careful study of NDE testimony indicates that subjects were seeing in an omni-directional fashion, not limited either by location or by the limited visual field of physical eye balls.” The following quote illustrates this-
was hovering over a stretcher in one of the emergency rooms at the
hospital. I glanced down at the stretcher, knew the body wrapped in
blankets was mine, and really didn’t care. The room was much more
interesting than my body. And what a neat perspective. I could see
everything. And I do mean everything! I could see the top of the light
on the ceiling, and the underside of the stretcher. I could see the
tiles on the ceiling and the tiles on the floor, simultaneously. Three
hundred sixty degree spherical vision. And not just spherical. Detailed!
I could see every single hair and the follicle out of which it grew on
the nurse standing beside the stretcher. At the time I knew exactly how
many hairs there were to look at.” (Ring and Cooper report)
It is here seen that even ordinary people have superior perception after leaving their earthly body. It stands to reason that the acharyas have the same Krishna Consciousness before and during and after their earthly bodies. They are not limited by a material body and it’s brain. They are fully cognizant of our situation, they are receptive to our petitions of prayer. They may interact with us through giving of blessings, by appearing in our dreams, and in extremely fortunate cases, they may appear in a visible form. There are reports of visions of Srila Prabhupada to some devotees. For the great acharya, even the material brain does not limit his perception, because he was always above the modes and the material machine of the body, before, during and after his earthly body incarnation. But for the devotee still advancing on the path of bhakti, the material brain does limit his superior consciousness, because he is still a servant of material patterns of his brain, and is not yet fully liberated from the 3 modes of nature, even while trying to transcend these things.
acharyas always give siksa to countless jivas-
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.
Devotees sometimes speak of the “living guru” and what they mean by that phrase is the guru who is presently incarnate in an earthly body. Yes, this is traditional, that we approach the guru who is presently incarnate. There are distinct advantages to that, which is the communication of mouth to ear. Yet we see that in this age of Kali, most living gurus are simply communicating the message of their founder acharya, which categorizes them as upakarika gurus, or helping gurus. It is their task to repeat the message of the founder acharya without adding or subtracting. They can certainly add personal insights and wit to the teachings, and Srila Prabhupada encourages us to do this, but they are basically saying the same thing as their founder acharya. This is seen in the Ramanuja and Madhva lines, as well as in our Iskcon.
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." > Ref. VedaBase -Years at Radha-Damodara.
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. Hare Krishna, your servant, Vishoka dasa
Srila Prabhupada quotes on tattva