July 9th Letter & May 28th Conversation

July 9th Letter

This is the last written instruction we have on initiations. It is a very important letter that all members of ISKCON should be familiar with, regardless of your position. It was adressed to All G.B.C., and Temple Presidents. This is where the first eleven names originated, and how initiations were to be carried out. This letter was based on the equally important May 28th Conversation between the GBC and Srila Prabhupada, as regards to how initiations in the future, will go on, particularly at that time when Srila Prabhupada is no longer with us.

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.

Very important history!

The full text is as follows:

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Disappearance Day of Jayananda das Brahmacari

Today marks the disappearance day of my dear friend and Godbrother, Jayananda das. Srila Prabhupada wanted us to honor his memory. In a letter he wrote shortly after Jayananda’s passing, Srila wrote:

    Letter: Ramesvara  

     77-05-11.Ram       318337/530501

   Jayananda’s death is glorious. It is very good that he had stated, what is the use of such a useless body, better to give it up. He has left his body very wonderfully, and he has been transferred to Vaikuntha. I have already sent a condolence letter for publication in Back To Godhead. Everyone should follow the example of Jayananda. I am very proud that I had such a nice disciple.  If possible Jayananda’s picture should be hung in the ratha of Lord Jagannatha, and in all of our temples a day may be set aside for holding a festival in his honor, just as we do on the disappearance day of the other great Vaisnavas.

We should remember him and his service to Srila Prabhupada. He was an inspiration to all he met.

Vani Seva

Srila Prabhupada with cartals

The following article compiled by Ananda devi dasi, has always been one of my favorites. She has captured the essence of the relationship between the disciple and spiritual master in a very scholarly or academic way.

Vani Seva
by Ananda devi dasi
May 12 2009, UK

In Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.47 we read: “The disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of Vani. Physical presence is called Vapuh. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master.”

Srila Prabhupada makes it crystal clear that after the disappearance of the Spiritual Master, the disciple follows the instructions of the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master left His instructions in the form of Books, verbal instructions, letters, tapes, videos, all these are instructions from the Spiritual Master,Vani.

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Remembering Srila Prabhupada

Last week a friend of mine shared this photo with me. It was a picture I had never seen before, one taken a long time ago in Potomac Maryland, 1976. This was the first time I ever met His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

I was told that I could go on a morning walk with Srila Prabhupada, so I tagged along. I remember the morning very clearly. I never took my eyes of Srila Prabhupada the entire time I was in his presence. I don’t remember a thing he said because I was just so in awe of his person.

Seeing him reminded me of a book I read before I joined the Hare Krishna Movement, “Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse. When young Siddhartha meet the illustrious Gautama Buddha and could recognize by his every movement and gesture that this was an enlightened being, so was my impression of Srila Prabhupada on that morning walk.

My insignificant self is looking over his shoulder, on the right in this picture. -Vyasasan das

Acaryopasanam

Founder-Acarya

Here is a new word for your Vaisnava Vocabulary; Acaryopasanam. I ran across this word the other day while reading and had to go to Vani Quotes to get a better understanding of the word. The following is some of data which came from the researched words: “acaryopasana” and “acaryopasanam”. Interesting that I have heard or read this word many times and never bothered to look it up.

Acaryopasanam: one must approach the acarya for real knowledge. SB 7.15.56, Purport:

In Bhagavad-gita, Thirteenth Chapter, it is clearly stated that one should execute devotional service and advance on the path of spiritual knowledge by accepting the acarya. Acaryopasanam: one should worship an acarya, a spiritual master who knows things as they are. The spiritual master must be in the disciplic succession from Krsna. The predecessors of the spiritual master are his spiritual master, his grand spiritual master, his great-grand spiritual master and so on, who form the disciplic succession of acaryas. SB 3.29.17, Purport:

Don’t follow rascals and fools. Then it will be useless waste of time. Follow the great ācāryas. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. One who is ācāryavān, who has accepted ācārya, he knows. Lecture on SB 1.2.19 — Calcutta, September 27, 1974:

Ācāryopāsanā. We have to worship the ācāryas. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā, for making advancement in spiritual life, ācāryopāsanā. Lecture — San Francisco, June 28, 19

Ācāryopāsanam. Ācārya upāsanā is one of the process of making progress. Lecture — Bhuvanesvara, January 21, 1977:

much more

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In memory of Hansadutta das (1941-2020)

It has come to our attention that our dear God-brother and friend, Hansadutta Prabhu, has left his body yesterday. This news came to us this morning by email from Yasodanandan das

Hare Krishna
Dear Yasodanandan prabhu, obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I’m sad to inform you that Hansadutta has passed. He left his body earlier today. He had been to hospital a few times with pancreatitis, but then in March doctors discovered a mass in his pancreas and diagnosed cancer. He was unable to eat, so for over three weeks had nothing at all to eat, and refused all medication, but remarkably didn’t feel pain. His family brought him to their home and gave him hospice care, and there he spent his last days murmuring the holy names and listening to Srila Prabhupada’s lectures and bhajans. A eulogy has been published at bhaktivedantas.com and namhatta.com.

I hope you are well. — Your servant, Das Dasanudas devi dasi

Eulogy follows

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Gurukrpa: What Really Happened in 1977-78

This is an older post that originally surfaced on the Sampradaya Sun some years ago, however, for those of you who have not seen this recorded interview, or those of you who like to hear and remember some of the truth that transpired after the departure of Srila Prabhupada in 1977, we again share this important recollection from a senior member of The Hare Krishna Movement.

Gurukrpa: What Really Happened in 1977-78

By Bhakta dasa
Feb 04, INDIA (SUN)

Dear Prabhus: Gurukrpa is here with me and on his behalf I am writing here.

Question: What happened the final months of Srila Prabhupada’s appearance in connection with the process of initiating new devotees?

Gurukrpa: Nothing happened. In the beginning Srila Prabhupada did the diksa, the yajna and the name giving. As the numbers increased, he authorized GBC, and senior sannyasis to pick names and chant on the beads, etc. In 1977 during the months of May, June, July 1977 I was in Vrindaban with Srila Prabhupada, giving him his massage in his bed between 1 AM and mangala aratik. During the day, many letters would arrive. Satsvarupa Swami was the secretary and we decided that only letters that would give joy to Srila Prabhupada would be read. Like numbers of books sold, etc. A maximum of five letters daily were read to Srila Prabhupada.

After some weeks like this, there were stacks and stacks of letters, all relating to initiation. Hundreds of people were panicking that Srila Prabhupada would leave the planet before they were given initiation. At this time, this situation was brought before Srila Prabhupada in his room by Satsvarupa, Tamal, myself, and maybe some others.

Up until this time it was a very simple matter that we were doing the initiations, but we first had to ask permission. Srila Prabhupada NEVER refused any recommendation from his senior men. And personally, I would sometimes argue with some GBC that they were giving it too easily.

At this meeting, Srila Prabhupada basically said, “From here on, if you feel they are ready, then you may give the initiation on my behalf.” I understood this for what it was, simply extending the authority a little further than it had been. Tamal Krsna Swami, began to say, “But who will do it?. Which devotees will do this?” Srila Prabhupada said, “The nearest one will do it. Whoever is closest.” Tamal said, “Can Bhavananda do? Can Jayapataka do?” Thus these eleven names came out.

Question: Why were you not on the list of eleven?

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On My Behalf

“So I cannot speak. I am feeling weak. I was to go to other places like Chandigarh, but I canceled the program because the condition of my health is very deteriorating. So I preferred to come to Vrindavan. If death takes place, let it take here. So there is nothing new to be said. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavor. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn’t matter. As Krsna is living eternally, similarly, the living being also lives eternally.

On My Behalf
Srila Prabhupada’s Initiation System
by Sriman Gauridasa Pandita Prabhu

Srila Prabhupada arrived in Sri Vrindavan Dhama on May 17th 1977 to prepare to ‘leave his body.’ He made all of the arrangements for the future of his movement. He formed his Will, the Temple Property Trusts, he gave instructions for the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and the GBC and he established his initiation system for the future of ISKCON.

Due to some unseen good fortune I got the opportunity to serve Srila Prabhupada, at that time. Actually, I began to personally serve him in Bombay as one of his guards and then went with him to Hrsikesh to ‘regain his failing health’ on the advice of one of the life members, Mahadevia Kartikeya.

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Disappearance Day of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Today we honor the disappearance day of Srila Prabhupada.

om ajñāna-timirāndhasya
jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.

Dear Srila Prabhupada

On this most auspicious day, we are celebrating your disappearance, with remembrances and prayers.

There are so many days on the Vaisnava Calendar where we are celebrating some auspicious holiday or festival, but none of them are as important to me personally, as the two days when we honor your appearance and disappearance. There is no day more important to this insignificant disciple, then your appearance into my life.

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