It is essential for devotees to understand that all ISKCON members are first and foremost followers of Srila Prabhupada and that it is by his blessings that we advance in Krishna consciousness. The eternal spiritual master is a resident of Vaikuntha and is our ever well-wisher. It is he who is preparing a place for us in the spiritual world.
Nearly Everyone Is Ritvik Bhaktisiddhanta Dasa – Vrndavan:
Has everyone forgotten what happened in the past? In the early ‘70’s Srila Prabhupada started his own ritvik system, surprise! At some point it became too much to chant on everyone’s beads and give the new spiritual names so what to do? He appointed some of his senior men to cover these details so he could go on with his writing and management of a world organization.
My wife and I were initiated in 1975 in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada had left the day before to go to San Francisco, by this time he deputed his personal secretary and Sanskrit scholar to look up the names; and then he would approve or disapprove.
During the fire sacrifice it was Hridayananda Maharaja that was standing next to the Vyasasana and handed out the beads and asked for the four regulative principles. Each time a new name was given there was a loud HARIBOL and everyone applauded.
What is this Hare Krsna? Hare means the energy of the Lord, and Krsna means the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So it is a prayer. There are three words only: Hare, Krsna and Rama, three words. That has been arranged in sixteen words: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. So our movement is that we request you to take up these sixteen words- not sixteen words, three words, Hare, Krsna, Rama. But is is arranged in such a way that there are sixteen words. So anyone can take it by heart, these three words, and chant it. It is universal.
Srila Prabhupada says, ”Anyone who comes to me for my help or wants advance in Krishna Consciousness, and whom I initiate and accept as my disciple, I must pray for him and his welfare always… I write at the end of my letters to my disciples, “Your ever well-wisher”, and as such, I cannot become otherwise than being ever well-wisher of my disciples, even though he may leave me.” ( Letter to: Janardana — New York 26 April, 1968)
Srila Prabhupada: “Regarding your 2 question, For offering prasadam simply prayers to the Spiritual Master is sufficient. The process is that everything is offered to the Spiritual Master, and the Spiritual Master is supposed to offer the same foodstuff to the Lord. When a thing is offered to the Spiritual Master, he immediately offers to the Lord. That is the system, and as we come by parampara system, it is our duty to go through the right channel—namely, first the Spiritual Master, then Lord Caitanya, and then Krishna. So when we chant prayers, we do this, Bande ham Sri Guru . . . and gradually to the Goswamis, then to Lord Caitanya, and then to Radha Krishna. That is the praying system. But offering the prasadam to present everything before the Spiritual Master whose picture is also in the altar, means that the Spiritual Master will take care of offering the foodstuff to the Lord. Therefore simply by chanting the prayer to the Spiritual Master, everything will be complete.”
Srila Prabhupada’s Letter to: Harer Nama — Allston, Mass 28 May, 1968
Sometimes I become surprised how I have written this. Although I am the writer, still sometimes I am surprised how these things have come. Such vivid description. Where is such literature throughout the whole world? It is all Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Every line is perfect. (Prabhupada Talk About Varṇāśrama, S.B. 2.1.1-5 June 28th 1977, Vṛndāvana)
“When a diamond is set in a golden ring, it looks very nice. The gold is glorified, and at the same time the diamond is glorified. The Lord and the living entity eternally glitter, and when a living entity becomes inclined to the service of the Supreme Lord he looks like gold. The Lord is a diamond, and so this combination is very nice. Living entities in a pure state are called devotees. The Supreme Lord becomes the devotee of His devotees.” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is 9.29, Purport)
This morning as I was driving up our lane, I saw a hawk flying past me with a live squirrel in his talons. And I thought, ‘how fragile is this life’. One moment the squirrel was out collecting nuts to store in his home for the winter, and the next moment, he is being carried away to his sure death. I was reminded of the famous quote “Life takes Life”, and of how all of ours lives, hang in the balance.
There is a famous Quote from the Srimad Bhagavatam:
“Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was asked by Yamarāja, “What is the most wonderful thing in this world? Can you explain?” So Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira answered, “Yes. The most wonderful thing is that at every moment one can see that his friends, his fathers, and his relatives have died, but he is thinking, ‘I shall live forever.’”” (The Science of Self Realization)
This is the great illusion (maya)
So today, I am moved to post a chapter from the book “Beyond Birth & Death” by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Chapter One entitled “We Are Not These Bodies”.
Also for a Free PDF download of entire book click the link at bottom of post.
We are seeing everyday in the News, reports of flooding, tornadoes, forest fires, and other natural disasters. There is talk of climate change and global warming. You can blame gas emissions, fossil fuels like coal, over population, and problematic land-use practices etc. But in addition to the above mentioned causes, it can be blamed on an increase of sinful activity in our society. Animal slaughter, promiscuous sex, gambling, and intoxication. This is the opinion of great sages and Vedic scholars.
“When natural disturbances occur on a planet, one should understand that a demon must have taken birth there. In the present age the number of demoniac people is increasing; therefore natural disturbances are also increasing. There is no doubt about this, as we can understand from the statements of the Bhāgavatam.” – Srila Prabhupada purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 3.17.4
The next purport continues the theme:
“When there are natural disturbances like blowing cyclones, too much heat or snowfall, and uprooting of trees by hurricanes, it is to be understood that the demoniac population is increasing and so the natural disturbance is also taking place. There are many countries on the globe, even at the present moment, where all these disturbances are current. This is true all over the world. There is insufficient sunshine, and there are always clouds in the sky, snowfall and severe cold. These assure that such places are inhabited by demoniac people who are accustomed to all kinds of forbidden, sinful activity.”
The following is an older post dealing with the threefold miseries.
This is perhaps my favorite cover of Back to Godhead Magazine. Always loved this picture of Krishna & Arjuna.
The following is a nice compilation of 108 quotes, taken from Srila Prabhupada’s books, lectures, letters, and conversations, on the importance of the 1972 Original Authorized Edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
This collection of quotes was compiled by Yasoda nandana Prabhu as his Vyasa-puja offering.