Nearly Everyone Is Ritvik


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.

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Vyasa-puja; The Most Blessed Event

The Most Blessed Event: Sri Vyasa-Puja
by Vyasasan das

Dear Srila Prabhupada

On this most auspicious day, please accept my humble obeisance’s, and kindly forgive my offences. Although I am and insignificant disciple of your Divine Grace, and full of faults, still I am constantly awaiting your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon me. I have never given up my faith, or my love, nor the hope that someday I may be a worthy disciple. As you know my daily prayers always include the words “please forgive my offences”, as I am always feeling myself unworthy to be receiving your mercy. Srila Prabhupada you have been the one constant in my entire adult life, my best friend and ever well wisher. And I remain chaste to you, my lord and master, unconditionally.

Today I was reading from the Letters books, and there was one letter dated November 12th, 1968 addressed to Malati that is the basis for my offering today. In this letter you said;

“Yes, we should always think of ourselves as the most fallen, the most ignorant and it is simply by the mercy of Lord Caitanya that we have even the opportunity to serve Krsna. We have no qualification of our own; it is simply by the merciful glance of this most munificent appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that we have been given the chance to serve Radha and Krsna”

Due to your great humility, you give the credit to Lord Sri Caitanya, but I think it is simply by your mercy that we have received the benediction of Sri Caitanya. It was you who brought a trunk of Srimad Bhagavatams to the West, to open our eyes with the torchlight of knowledge. And it was you who first brought this Chanting of the Hare Krishna Mantra to Tomkins Square Park and due to your beautiful and pure chanting of the Holy Names of God caused the young Bramananda das to dance under the Hare Krishna Tree. It was you who turned the most fallen and most ignorant western hippies into vaisnava scholars and priests. It was simply by your munificent appearance and merciful glance, that the most fallen in this age were given the chance to know Lord Caitanya, and thus were given the chance to serve Radha and Krsna.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, a great acarya in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has written, “By the mercy of the spiritual master, one receives the benediction of Krsna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement” Therefore, without your help, no one can become free from the cycle of repeated birth and death.

So on this Most Blessed day, Your Appearance day celebration, Please accept my humble obeisance’s again and again, kindly forgive my offences, and continue to guide me as my captain with your books,as maps, to steer me through the rough waters of this dangerous age of Kali

Begging to remain your eternal servant
Vyasasan das

Topanga Canyon Pyramid House Talks


This is an older conversation that took place many years ago at the Pyramid House with some of the senior devotees to discuss Srila Prabhupada’s finial instructions on initiation. Very interesting!

Topanga Canyon Pyramid House Talks
Tamal Krishna talks about Srila Prabhupadas Ritvik instruction

In late 1980 Tamal Krishna Goswami and Hansadutta Swami were travelling around ISKCON, having been suspended as gurus and GBC’s by the GBC body for activities unacceptable to them, such as demanding that his godbrothers must approach Srila Prabhupada through him. They had been relieved of their zones. TKG called for an open discussion at Nrsinghananda’s Pyramid House in Topanga Canyon, CA. on December 3, 1980. Hansadutta, Dhira Krishna, Kirtiraja, Jayadwaita and others were present, and the talk was recorded. Below are some of the interesting statements made therein, where Tamal Krishna frankly admits, that Srila Prabhupada never appointed any gurus.”

Tamal Krsna Goswami: Actually, Prabhupada never appointed any gurus. He didn’t appoint eleven gurus. He appointed eleven ritviks. He never appointed them gurus. Myself and the other GBC have done the greatest disservice to this movement the last three years (32 now) because we interpreted the appointment of ritviks as the appointment of gurus.

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The Rtvik Representative Of The Acharya

Hencefoward poster 1

The specific word “henceforward” has only one meaning, viz. “from now onwards” or “from this time forward”. This is both according to Srila Prabhupada’s own previous usage of the word and the meaning ascribed to it by the English Language. Unlike other words, the word henceforward is unambiguous since it only possesses one dictionary definition.

The following is an article, I have wanted to include for some time now, which was written by Krsnacandra Prabhu and posted on his page Prabhupadavision,com. In light of our recent post entitled Sri Madhu Pandit’s Official Reply to the EC we feel it is timely, and of utmost importance to our society that we understand the issues. Although our page is not intended as a political forum, it is a tool in the mission of our spiritual master, for the propagation of The Hare Krishna Movement or Krishna Consciousness.

Now that Śrīla Prabhupāda has named these representatives Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendations for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their Temple. After considering the recommendation, these representatives many accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of a second initiation, by chanting on the Gāyatrī thread just as Śrīla Prabhupāda had done.

The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Śrīla Prabhupāda, to be included in Divine Grace’s “Initiated Disciples” book. (from July 9th letter)

The Rtvik Representative Of The Acharya
by Kṛṣṇacandra Dāsa – Vṛndāvan:

Shortly after His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Śrīla Prabhupāda entered into his Samādhi līlā in 1977; 11 of his senior disciples and members of the GBC who held the official position of representatives of His Divine Grace in 1st and 2nd spiritual initiations [as per July 9th Document], without authority and without an order by His Divine Grace announced themselves to be pure devotees of the Lord and forcibly seized the titles, roles and functions of acharyas and Initiating Spiritual Masters of ISKCON.

Several months prior to Śrīla Prabhupāda’s departure he signed a document to formalize the initiation process and granted some of his disciples to act on his behalf as representatives in the initiation process for his ISKCON society. This document is known as the July 9th Document.

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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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