When I clicked on the About Srila Prabhupada link, the following essay appeared, we share it with you here today.
About Śrīla Prabhupāda
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
It is very difficult to write about His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda for several reasons. First is the challenge how to properly honor and represent such a personality who exhibited unprecedented greatness by his humility and dedication to the order of his spiritual predecessor. Second, how to condense into a short historical and introductory narrative his mission, his mood, his struggles, and his kindness and endearing humanness. And last, how to present his mission and the organization he formed to perpetuate it while recognizing that it has deviated from his mood and standards since the time of his passing. This last challenge is the most difficult for our hearts to face, having ourselves dedicated many years of hard work to building and supporting the organization, and having those efforts discounted, minimized, and in fact, betrayed by later management. We have observed persons who would have otherwise studied Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books been too affected by the misdeeds of the organization to enter into the wisdom upon which it had been founded, not being able to separate the pure spiritual essence from the superficial structure. We have also suffered the embarrassment of being “lumped in” with something that has become a mere shadow of the original intent and purity. We are bound out of our love for Śrīla Prabhupāda to keep his teachings alive and to create community in which those who are sincere in their spiritual quest may find support and solace in a kind and genuine way if they desire. That all being said, here is our humble effort to introduce to you our spiritual preceptor.
Whatever we say we say to everyone. It doesn’t matter what is his age. Krishna Consciousness teaching does not depend on the age. It is the eternal platform of the soul. This is the meaning of transcendental; that is is beyond any consideration of material qualifications such as age or intelligence. Just like thunder in the sky does not need any explanation to any old person or to a young child, similarly, the transcendental sound vibration of Hare Krishna and preaching of Bhagavad-gita philosophy will act on everyone, regardless of whether or not they are understanding at first. When preaching you only repeat what you have heard from the disciplic succession and this will act. (Prabhupada letter to Prahladananda 5th October, 1969)
“Therefore, Krishna Consciousness is also a sort of fight; but not with rifles. Our weapon is kartals. In this age there is no need of fighting with rifles because the population is so poor that they are already killed by so many disturbances. They are short lived, poor in knowledge, slack in advancement of spiritual life, unfortunate, and embarrassed by so many miserable conditions of life; like war, famine pestilence, poverty and so on. So to kill these persons by rifle is like bringing a cannon for killing a mosquito. So Lord Chaitanya introduced this fighting principle of Sankirtan Movement to reclaim all the fallen souls, who consist of so-called philosophers, half-educated scientists, misguided educationists and a miscreant society. If you can consolidate a party of soldiers as described by you, chanting Hare Krishna Mantra and claiming everyone of them to Krishna Consciousness, that will be a glorious task, and you have all of my good wishes for you for this purpose.”
(Srila Prabhupada letter to disciple, August 3, 1969)
“Consider this example: when the sun is in the sky, there is no question of darkness. Similarly, when the Hare Krsna mantra is vibrating on your tongue and you are hearing attentively, then your consciousness becomes Krsna consciousness, or clear consciousness, and there is no question of maya, or hazy consciousness. Just as when light and darkness come together the darkness cannot stand before the light, maya cannot remain in the presence of Krsna.
“In Bhagavad-gita, Krsna says to offer Him at least a leaf or a flower. It is not that Krsna needs a flower or leaf. He is full. He does not need you. But He wants you to come to Him in love. Therefore Krsna says, ‘Just stop all your nonsense and surrender to Me.’ “
“People are thinking that if they get a car and an apartment, everything will be all right. But the problems are still there. Still they must undergo death, old age, and diseaseóso how is everything taken care of? They are thinking in terms of this spot life. They do not know that they are eternal. There are so many kinds of bodies, and they don’t know which kind they will have to take in their next life. But if they take to Krsna consciousness, all problems are solved.”
Remembrance of Kṛṣṇa is not possible for the impure soul who has not practiced Kṛṣṇa consciousness in devotional service. To remember Kṛṣṇa one should chant the mahāmantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, incessantly, following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya, being more tolerant than the tree, humbler than the grass and offering all respect to others without requiring respect in return. In such a way one will be able to depart from the body successfully remembering Kṛṣṇa and so attain the supreme goal. (Prabhupada purport Bg As it is 8:5)
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. (Prabhupada letter to Harer Nama 28th May, 1968)
Who can deliver the Conditioned Soul and who is Eligible to occupy the post of guru ?
Srila Prabhupada…“No demigod can perform this act of delivering the conditioned souls, because the demigods themselves are conditioned. A conditioned soul cannot deliver another conditioned soul. Only Kṛṣṇa or His bona fide representative can deliver him.”
(NOD – 1970 Edition : Further Consideration of Devotional Principles)
Srila Prabhupada...”When one has attained the topmost position of mahä-bhägavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition : Cc. Madhya 24:330: The Sixty-One Explanations of the Atmarama Verse : Srila Prabhupada’s PURPORT)
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)