I have been reading through some of the many letters written by Srila Prabhupada to his disciples. It is interesting to me how he deals with every disciple in such a personal and intimate way. How he gently instructs on behavior, while at the same time presenting the philosophy of Krishna consciousness,in such a clear, and matter of fact way.
Letter to Hamsaduta
February 09, 1969
My Dear Hamsaduta,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of January 30, 1969, and I have noted the contents carefully. I am pleased to note that you are seeing into obtaining a dictaphone for helping me in preparing so many Krishna Consciousness literatures. The maker of my present dictaphone is Grundig, and it is an Embassy de Jur, Sterorette. This model was purchased by Hayagriva in New York for $190 by cash payment, but it can be had by installment payment at a higher price. So you may do the needful in this matter.
Regarding the Panca-tattva picture, it is simply a pose of Lord Caitanya and some of His associates receiving service from Their devotees and chanting Hare Krishna. Panca-tattva is described as Krishna in five expansions, namely Krishna Himself in the role of a devotee; His Incarnation in the role of a devotee; His energy in the role of a devotee; His expansion in the role of a devotee; and His two energies (internal and marginal) in the role of devotees. So the external energy is not there. Therefore the whole manifestation is transcendental. There are three energies, namely internal, external, and marginal. Although all of the energies are connected with Krishna, the external energy is differentiated. Just like darkness is another part of light, and therefore darkness can not stand before the light, but it stands somewhere by the side of the light. Without light, there is no existence of darkness, but darkness cannot be found in the light. Similarly, there is no darkness or activities of the external energy in the Pastimes of Lord Caitanya.
…Almost every Vaisnava and aspiring Vaisnava in the Western world is indebted to Srila Prabhupada, who made the ultimate sacrifice for us all. No matter our personal doubts, at least we can afford him the respect and love that he so rightly earned and so richly deserves in a public forum read by people all over the world.
Respecting Srila Prabhupada
by Padmapani Prabhu
As disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, we all have an eternal debt to Srila Prabhupada for his unprecedented sacrifice in freely distributing the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world.
At great personal inconvenience, Srila Prabhupada left the peaceful and holy village of Vrindavan at the advanced age of 69 to travel by steamship across the Atlantic Ocean, suffering two heart attacks en route to New York City and arriving with less than seven dollars in his pocket and with no help from anyone except his beloved Lord Sri Krsna. Almost immediately upon his arrival after more than 30 days at sea — traveling by freighter and not by plane or luxury cruiser — Prabhupada began his preaching work as ordered by his spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Rather than focus on the wealthy or privileged class of society, Srila Prabhupada — an educated and scholarly master of the Vedic literatures — chose to humbly deliver his message to the poorest of the poor in the Bowery and later in the Lower East Side of New York City. In spite of his exalted position as an authorized representative of the highly esteemed Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Sampradaya in direct disciplic succession from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna, Srila Prabhupada always remained humble and respectful to everyone — especially to those whom he endeavored so hard to help with his personal instructions, encouragement and unlimited patience:
“I am very poor and I have nothing to return for your loving service, but I can simply pray to Krishna for your gradual advancement in Krishna Consciousness. I think that is the best blessing which we can have in this material existence.” (Srila Prabhupada letter, October 21, 1968)
Please accept my humble obeisances, and kindly forgive my offences.
Today your disappearance is being observed by the offering of prayers and remembrances.
With your arrival on the shores of America, you brought with you the shining lamp of knowledge, and the Supreme Absolute Truth. You appeared on the shores of America the way the sun appears on the Eastern Horizon. Slowly revealing itself at first, then dominating the sky with its blazing effulgence. Illuminating the entire world with its golden light.
Where there is light there is no darkness. And wherever your words are being sung and repeated, there is a glimmer of hope for the materially conditioned souls of this world.
It is from you only, Srila Prabhupada, that I know anything at all about Krishna or the spiritual world. By your grace only, the knowledge is revealed, and you become revealed to your disciples and listeners. Anyone who submissively hears from you, either by reading your books, or hearing your lectures, can attain the highest perfectional platform of spiritual realization.
Just as there is the sun and the sunshine, so there is Krishna, and Krishna’s pure representative. When we feel the sunshine, we know the sun is there, and when we hear from you, we know that Krishna is there.
Today we are celebrating Vyasa-puja, the appearance day of our beloved spiritual master His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
The above 1080p HD video biography, is the original authorized biography of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness or the Hare Krishna Movement.
It was produced by Yadubara dasa and his wife Vishakha devi dasi in the 1980’s using film footage they shot and collected from other film makers during the time Srila Prabhupada was physically present with us in the 1960’s and the 1970’s.
Associating with His Holiness Visnujana Swami for my first year in Krsna Consciousness was amazing. Chanting with him all day every day was nonstop bliss. He used to say we should be so busy in Krsna Consciousness that we have no time for Maya.
I used to make the flower garlands for Sri Sri Radha Damodar which included picking the flowers wherever we were. Since I was serving Sri Sri Radha Damodar in this way Their pure devotee Visnujana Swami showed me favor. Most devotees that joined our party got shipped out to other buses. I got to stay a whole year.
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.
This is a little History on the purchasing of the Bhaktivedanta Manor in 1973 by George Harrison who was working with Dhananjaya Prabhu to secure a preaching center in Watford, just outside of London England.
Dhananjaya Dasa: By the end of 1972, nothing had happened. Prabhupada wrote to me, “Better to take the upper hand and begin very energetically attempting to get some place. Expending energy for Krishna, that is appreciated and not the actual result of our energy. But if there is lack of energy being devoted for some purpose, then everything will be delayed and possibly stopped. Better to seize the iron while the fire is hot, that my Guru Maharaj used to tell me.”
Prabhupada presumed that the iron was getting a little cold. Then in January of 1973, in a freezing cold, miserable British winter, we got information about a property called Piggot’s Manor in Letchmore Heath, 17 miles from central London. This was the one and only time I didn’t go as a devotee, with a shaved head, dhoti, tilak and kurta, but went disguised with trousers, coat and hat. The previous property George and I had looked at was an amazing health spa outside of the city of Oxford with an indoor heated swimming pool, a beautiful conservatory, saunas and mud baths and more than a hundred acres of land. The asking price was 330,000 pounds. After George saw that property he said, This is a bit rich for you people, isn’t it? You’re supposed to be renunciates. Even I would have a hard time remaining Krishna conscious in this environment.”
Then we got the details on the Manor, which was being sold for 220,000 pounds,10,000 pounds cheaper than the previous property.
Today marks the disappearance day of my dear friend and God Brother, Jayananda das Thakur.
My Dear Jayānanda
Please accept my blessings.
I am feeling very intensely your separation. In 1967 you joined me in San Francisco. You were driving my car and chanting Hare Krishna. You were the first man to give me some contribution ($5000) for printing my Bhagavad-gītā. After that, you have rendered very favorable service to Krishna in different ways. I so hope at the time of your death you were remembering Krishna and as such, you have been promoted to the eternal association of Krishna. If not, if you had any tinge of material desire, you have gone to the celestial kingdom to live with the demigods for many thousands of years and enjoy the most opulent life of material existence. From there you can promote yourself to the spiritual world. But even if one fails to promote himself to the spiritual world, at that time he comes down again on the surface of this globe and takes birth in a big family like a yogis’ or a brāhmaṇas’ or an aristocratic family, where there is again chance of reviving Krishna Consciousness. But as you were hearing Krishna-kirtana, I am sure that you were directly promoted to Kṛṣṇa-loka .(Srila Prabhupada Letter to: Jayānanda — Bombay 5 May, 1977)
Years ago I remember reading this article in Back to Godhead Magazine, and thinking what a brave young man this was. Years later I meet Dhruva das and was very impressed with him, he was very genuine and devote. For some reason, I always remembered this article and planed to revisit again someday.
A young Krsna devotee sets off on a dangerous journey to ancient temples of his lifelong deity.
by Dhruva Dasa
In 1980 I was born to devotee parents in the large Hare Krsna community of New Vrindavan, West Virginia. From my infancy my parents brought me to the temple each day. Gradually, as a young child I grew attached to the large, fierce-looking deity of Krsna’s form as Lord Nrsimhadeva (Narasimha) and His foremost devotee, the boy-saint Prahlada. When I was six, Prahlada’s age, the priest allowed me to assist him in the temple worship of Lord Nrsimhadeva. Although the Lord looked frightening, I always felt protected when I stood before Him.
When I was sixteen my family visited India. I fell in love with the spiritual atmosphere there and decided to return as soon as possible. By the time I turned eighteen I had decided to make the journey on my own. I worked hard to save for the trip and agonized over my itinerary. India is so big—where should I go?
One day I visited the Hare Krsna temple in Miami. As I glanced over a large stack of old issues of Back to Godhead, a stray breeze blew open the top one to a full-page photo of Lord Nrsimhadeva. The picture seemed to beckon me. Reading the accompanying article, I was amazed to learn about a young sannyasi, Indradyumna Swami, who had made an incredible journey to Ahovalam, a remote South Indian holy place said to be the very spot where Lord Nrsimhadeva dispatched the evil Hiranyakasipu. His article inspired me so much that I set my mind then and there on making the difficult pilgrimage to Ahovalam.