Radha Damodara Traveling Sankirtan Party

My good friend over at the Prabhupada Connection recently posted an article I had written some years ago. Seeing it again inspired me to post it here as well. Many thanks to Padmapani Prabhu for his years of dedicated service to Srila Prabhupada and the community of devotees.

Radha Damodara Traveling Sankirtan Party

by Vyasasan das

First let me begin by offering my respectful obesiences to all the Vaisnava devotees of the Lord, who are so merciful to the fallen conditioned souls that they put themselves in perilous and austere conditions of life voluntarily, in order to help others. And as always, let me offer my most humble obeisances to my beloved spiritual master A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, haven taken shelter at his Lotus feet.

I had the great fortune to be a part of the Historic RDTSKP in the years 1975-1976. What great and extraordinary personalities did I encounter in that time of my life. There was the legendary Vishnujana Swami who could bring the Hare Krishna revelers to a state of ecstasy with his vibrant and enthusiastic chanting.  And his speaking was like honey dripping from the vine, so sweet and relishable. Then there was the remarkable Jayananda Thakur, so devoted to Srila Prabhupada’s mission that most of us never saw him sleeping. He woke me in the morning by touching my feet or shaking my leg and shouting jiv jagojiv jagogauracanda bole, “wake up sleeping soul, wake up sleeping soul, Lord Gauranga is calling!  How long will you sleep in the lap of the witch called Maya?” Jayananda taught me what it meant to be a disciple of Srila Prabhupada by his enthusiastic and never ending service. Whether he was taking out the trash, or making 500 Simply Wonderful sweet balls for the festival, he was caught up in a world of joy and devotion. And of course there was Tamal Krishna Goswami, so powerful a personality, you just couldn’t ‘say no to Tamal’. And my dear friend ‘the rascal’ Gurudas Swami, who tricked me into shaving up and traveling on the bus for the next year by promising to introduce me to George Harrison “the Beatle”. But I love him dearly because through his cunning trickery, I instead got to meet His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. And Gurudas was a gifted storyteller, and could entertain devotees and guests alike for hours with his gifts of “Prabhupada Katha”.

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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

Srila Prabhupada

srila-prabhupada-103

Srila Prabhupada

At various times people have called him a scholar, a philosopher, a cultural ambassador, a prolific author, a religious leader, a spiritual teacher, a social critic, and a holy man. In truth, he was all these things and more.

Over five hundred years ago, Lord Sri Krishna appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadvipa, a village in West Bengal. The purpose of His appearance was to inaugurate the Sankirtana Movement, the Yuga Dharma for this age of Kali. He declared that the chanting of His holy names would spread beyond the shores of India to every town and village in the world. He predicted that His commander-in-chief would appear to accomplish this mission.

Yes… Srila Prabhupada appeared to fulfill this prophecy.

On September 01, 1896, the day after Janmashtami (the auspicious appearance day of Lord Sri Krishna) in a little house in the Tollygunge suburb of Calcutta, a male child was born. His father, Gour Mohan De, and his mother Rajani, named him Abhay Charan (one who is fearless – having taken shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna).

An astrologer prepared the horoscope for the baby and revealed: When this child reaches the age of seventy, he will cross the ocean, become a great teacher of religion and establish 108 Krishna temples.

And this is exactly what happened.

Srila Prabhupada set out to America in 1965 and established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness at the age of sixty-nine. He travelled around the world fourteen times, established more than 100 temples of Krishna and initiated more than 10000 disciples into Krishna consciousness.

A Brief Biography of Srila Prabhupada

If you are interested in knowing more you can download the following e-books from this site by clicking on the following links:

Srila Prabhupada – A Brief Life Sketch
srila-prabhupada

The Jaladuta Diary of Srila Prabhupada
jaladuta-diary

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Prabhupadanugas

Scan74a

click on image to enlarge

Perhaps it was Krsna who directed me to the last chapter of Śrīla Prabhupāda-līlāmṛta, by Satsvarūpa dāsa Goswāmī. The famous book chronicling The life of our Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In this last chapter entitled, “The Final Lesson”, last sentence of this voluminious book, Satsvarūpa dāsa Goswāmī concludes with this statement:

“Our hope is that by hearing about Śrīla Prabhupāda the reader will become himself a Prabhupādānuga, a follower of Śrīla Prabhupāda. We can wish no better fortune upon anyone.”

Update:
this came as a comment…

This is probably the best thing Satsvarupa Maharaja ever wrote. When a devotee decides to join the Hare Krishna movement as a full-time member, they are announcing to the world their acceptance of Srila Prabhupada as the empowered representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By mature realization they will come to recognize Srila Prabhupada as their eternal spiritual master. These lifetime servants of the spiritual master are called Prabhupadanugas.

Those who mould their lives in such a way that they can always think of the lotus feet of the spiritual master will live with him eternally. Because of Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental position, there is no separation in time or space between us. He is present in our lives and is guiding us back to Godhead through his written and spoken word. By his unlimited blessings we continue to move forward in Krishna consciousness and surely we will one day reach the ultimate goal of love of Godhead. The more we advance toward that goal, the more we will understand the greatness of Srila Prabhupada’s compassion upon us and his concern for the conditioned souls of this world who are all part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna. (Locanananda das)

Sometimes the ISKCON devotees refer to Prabhupadanugas as some splinter group, not belonging to the mainstream devotees. But in fact we can plainly see from some of the writing of the senior members of our society that becoming a follower of Śrīla Prabhupāda is exactly what is needed. For instance in Bhakti Curu Swami’s, Disappearance Day offering to Srila Prabhupada, given June 16, 2010, he states:

…everyday, in all the temples of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada is worshipped by everyone. Then why do we hesitate to tell a new comer who is searching for a guru that Srila Prabhupada, the best guru the world has ever seen, is still here, and one can surrender unto him and go back to Godhead very easily? When we have such a great good fortune, why do we not take full advantage of it? It is only when we do so that the glorious days of ISKCON will come back again and we will witness Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtan movement starting to spread in leaps and bounds all over the world.

If we really love ISKCON and if we sincerely want the Krsna Consciousness movement to spread all over the world in every town and village, then let us broadcast all over the world that Srila Prabhupada is still with us and that anyone who wants to receive his mercy can approach him and establish his eternal relationship with him.

Sri-Guru-Carana-Padma

Sri-Guru-Carana-Padma
by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, is performed here by Acyutananda dasa.

Today marks the disappearance of His Dive Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. We honor it with a half day fast, prayers, memories, and the following song.

Sri-Guru-Carana-Padma
by Narottama dasa Thakura
From Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

śrī-guru-caraṇa-padma, kevala-bhakati-sadma,
bando muñi sāvadhāna mate
jāhāra prasāde bhāi, e bhava toriyā jāi,
kṛṣṇa-prāpti hoy jāhā ha’te

The lotus feet of our spiritual master are the only way by which we can attain pure devotional service. I bow to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his grace one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Krsna.

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Conversations with George Harrison

George-Harrison-and-Srila-Prabhupada

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Conversations with George Harrison
London, England – July 26, 1976

Srila Prabhupada: “Are you reading sometimes my books? Which one?”

George Harrison: “Mainly Krsna.”

Srila Prabhupada: “That is the main book.” [laughs)

George Harrison: “Mukunda gave me the new books, but there’s so much to read.”

Srila Prabhupada: “Philosophy.”

George Harrison: “I don’t know how anybody could have written it, it’s is difficult to read all that amount”

Srila Prabhupada: “Sometimes, they are surprised how one man can write so many books, but it is Krsna’ s grace. Otherwise, not possible. Human being, it is not possible.”

On Chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra

On Chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra

by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, 
Founder and Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

The transcendental vibration established by the chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is the sublime method for reviving our transcendental consciousness. As living spiritual souls, we are all originally Krishna Conscious entities, but due to our association with matter since time immemorial, our consciousness is now adulterated by the material atmosphere. The material atmosphere, in which we are now living, is called maya, or illusion. Maya means “that which is not.” And what is this illusion? The illusion is that we are all trying to be lords of material nature, while actually we are under the grip of her stringent laws. When a servant artificially tries to imitate the all-powerful master, he is said to be in illusion. 

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Srimad Bhagavatam Court Case Settled

I would like to offer my humble obeisances to Jitarati Prabhu, and all the devotees involved in printing and distributing this beautiful set of Srimad Bhagavatam’s. I am gladdened by the news that the court case was finally settled, and all parties involved, have agreed to work together for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada! -Vyasasan das

BBT Court Case Against Jitarati’s Bhagavatam-Set, Finally Settled
by Jitarrati das

www.iskcon-truth.com/bhagavatam-set/bbt-court-case-settled.html

BBT India and Jitarati Das court case amicably settled in Bombay High Court!

Justice Kathawala before whom the matter of printing the Srimad Bhagavatam 10 volumes by Jitarati Das came up on 16th May 2018, requested the parties to try to mediate and settle the matter out of court and come back to him.

BBT India represented by HH Gopal Krishna Goswami, HG Bhima Das and Ananda Tirtha Dasa mediated with Jitarati Das and has settled the matter. Both parties have resolved their differences and have agreed to work together for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada.

BBT India will print and make available the Srimad Bhagavatam in 10 volumes format (Nine Cantos and Krishna Book) WITHOUT 11th and 12th Canto. Jitarati Das has agreed to distribute the present printed sets outside of India by developing a new market outside of ISKCON circles.

This court settlement was recorded by the Justice and the suit is closed.

Jitarati Das

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Srila Prabhupada’s Trancendental Qualities

Srila Prabhupada’s Trancendental Qualities
by Ajitananda dasa

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who successfully distributed the message of Lord Krsna throughout the world, was not an ordinary conditioned soul, governed by the harsh laws of material nature. Although to the unenlightened he may have appeared to exhibit commonplace characteristics, it is evident through the careful study of his life and activities, that Srila Prabhupada perfectly displayed the twenty-six qualities of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna. We learn from Vedic literature that one who possesses these qualities is necessarily free from material bondage, and enjoys an eternal position in the intimate association of the Supreme Lord. Such a great soul is very rarely found within this material realm, and owing to his unparalleled purity and exalted status, he is worshipable by the entire world. Individually, and as a collective society of aspiring devotees, we must always strive to appreciate Srila Prabhupada’s divine qualities, teach this application to others, and perform all of our devotional activities for his satisfaction. This treatise is an imperfect but hopeful attempt to please Srila Prabhupada by illustrating, in a practical way, how he perfectly displayed the twenty-six qualities of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna.

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