…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 marks the annual celebration of Lord Krishna’s lifting Govardhana Hill to protect the residents of Vrindavana from the wrath of Indra. Typically devotees prepare varieties of foodstuff with grain and ghee (like rice, dhal, halva, pakora, puri etc.) and all kinds of milk preparations (such as sweet rice, rabri, sweetballs, sandesha, rasagulla and laddu). The food is stacked like a small mountain and offered to the Lord. Then it is distributed to everyone.
Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krishna and Balarama, along with Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities: water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.18)
Devotees also worship the cows on the day of Govardhana Puja. Krishna is known as Gopala – the protector of cows. There is also a prayer in Vishnu Purana (1.19.65) that states: namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca. Here Krishna is described as the well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas. The cows are decorated and fed well. Keeping the cows in front, devotees circumambulate the Govardhana Hill.
There is a misconception that the Krsna consciousness movement represents Hinduism. Krsna consciousness is in no way a faith or religion that seeks to defeat other faiths or religions. Rather, it is an essential cultural movement for the entire human society and does not consider any particular sectarian faith. This cultural movement is especially meant to educate people in how they can love God.
Question: Can One See God from Different Angles of Vision such as Christian, Hinduism, Islam, etc.??………
Prabhupada: If you see God, Krsna, from the Hindu angle of vision, if you see God from Christian angle of vision, then you cannot see God. That is not seeing God. You have to become free from all these designation. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught us, “I am not a Brahmin. I am not a ksatriya. I am not a vaisya. I am not a sudra. I am not a sannyasi. I am not a grhastha. I am not a brahmacari.” Then “What You are?” Because within these eight categories you are living. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu says “I don’t belong to all these categories.” “Then what You are, Sir?” “I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of Krsna, the maintainer of the gopis.” So unless you come to this stage, free from all designation, you cannot serve Krsna. Krsna accepts service from the devotee. Krsna is not beggar, that He has come to your place and asking some food from you. No. But Krsna accepts your food provided you are a devotee. That is Krsna. (The Nectar of Devotion – October 18, 1972, Vrndavana)
Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed His disciples to write books on the science of Kṛṣṇa, a task which His followers have continued to carry out down to the present day. The elaborations and expositions on the philosophy taught by Lord Caitanya are, in fact, the most voluminous, exacting, and consistent, due to the system of disciplic succession. Although Lord Caitanya was widely renowned as a scholar in His youth, He left only eight verses, called Śikṣāṣṭaka. These eight verses clearly reveal His mission and precepts. These supremely valuable prayers are translated herein.
Today we honor the Appearance of Lord Vamandeva, who, as some of you know, appeared as the fifteenth incarnation of Krsna. Lord Vāmanadeva assumed the form of a dwarf-brāhmaṇa [Vāmana] and visited the arena of sacrifice arranged by Mahārāja Bali. The following is a brief summary from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam, 8th Canto, Chapter 18.
Today also marks the Appearance of Srila Jiva Goswami, and there is a brief instruction given by him on understanding God at bottom of post.
Lord Vāmanadeva appeared in this world from the womb of Aditi completely equipped with conchshell, disc, club and lotus. His bodily hue was blackish, and He was dressed in yellow garments. Lord Viṣṇu appeared at an auspicious moment on Śravaṇa-dvādaśī when the Abhijit star had arisen. At that time, in all the three worlds (including the higher planetary system, outer space and this earth), all the demigods, the cows, the brāhmaṇas and even the seasons were happy because of God’s appearance. Therefore this auspicious day is called Vijayā.
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.
Today, here in the Western half of the World, we are celebrating Janmastami: the appearance day of Lord Sri Krishna. So let us take advantage of this auspicious day and hear, chant, and remember the pastimes of the Lord. Hare Krishna!
The following is Lord Krishna’s Appearance Day Lecture given by Srila Prabhupada on August 16, 1968, Montreal Canada.