Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Disciplic Succession occurs in the Ritvik System

Bhakta Mark – New York: In approximately 1972, the Founder-Acarya of Iskcon, HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, began using a Ritvik system for formal initiations. He gradually expanded upon its intricacy and formally recognized it as policy for his society in an official document written on July 9, 1977.
When asked by his GBC leaders in May of 1977 to clarify how formal initiations would be conducted after his disappearance, he confirmed that the ritvik system would continue, and that there should be no change in management. Thus he clearly ordered the continuance of the ritvik system of formal initiations after his disappearance before formalizing the policy in July.
The most used argument against the ritvik system is that it breaks the very law of disciplic succession enunciated by Srila Prabhupada in a letter to an individual disciple, as follows.
“But as a matter of etiquette it is the custom that during the lifetime of your spiritual master you bring the prospective disciples to him, and in his absence or disappearance you can accept disciples without any limitation. This is the law of disciplic succession.” (2nd December, 1975, Letter to Tusta Krishna Swami)
First, by no means does this letter define disciplic succession. It only points out a law regarding “the etiquette and custom” of accepting disciples.
Accordingly, this argument is easily defeated because the Founder Acarya has the right to make adjustments to formal customs according to time, place and circumstance. And he did just that by his own spoken word, and recorded by his pen. In addition, the truth is that his disciples who instruct newcomers play the role of Siksa Guru because the newcomers accept discipline from them and in doing so become disciples of those instructors, but that does not make that instructor the newcomers formal Initiating Spiritual master. The reasons for keeping this distinction will be addressed further on, but the main point is that the ritvik system provides no factual contradiction to the essence of even the customary law of disciplic succession.
This fact of Siksa discipleship also takes care of the oft cited contradiction that Srila Prabhupada said his disciples should become Gurus, and that new initiates would be considered his Grand-disciples. More on that later.
Among the many lesser and weaker arguments like the one above, there is one of some substance offered by those who are against following this order.
They believe that following the ritvik system will break the parampara, or the chain of disciplic succession, because a newcomer will not have a Diksa guru who they can be a disciple of and interact with in the sense of personal face to face encounters on the bodily platform, which is needed in the beginning stages of spiritual practice to realistically address the material sensibilities of a neophyte who is not yet purified of such bodily attachments.
They argue that if a newcomer considers that a person they cannot interact with in such a manner is their Diksa Guru, they will escape a certain level of accountability, being unable to be tested or chastised by that absentee Guru.
This argument does not take into account the following factors.
Disciplic succession, in its essence, is the successful transmission, from one person to another, of transcendental knowledge of the Lord and HIS philosophical conclusions.
“Regarding the disciplic succession coming from Arjuna, disciplic succession does not always mean that one has to be initiated officially. Disciplic succession means to accept the disciplic conclusion. Arjuna was a disciple of Krishna and Brahma was also a disciple of Krishna.
Thus there is no disagreement between the conclusions of Brahma and Arjuna. Vyasadeva is in the disciplic succession of Brahma. The teachings to Arjuna was recorded by Vyasadeva verbatim. So according to the axiomatic truth, things equal to one another are equal to each other.
We are not exactly directly from Vyasadeva, but our Gurudeva is a representative of Vyasadeva. Because Vyasadeva and Arjuna are of equal status, being students of Krishna, therefore we are in the disciplic succession of Arjuna. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another….” from letter to Dinesh, 10/31/69
So this transmission of knowledge first begins when a person accepts some instruction which will somehow prepare and enable them to later submissively receive the disciplic conclusions given by an acarya, and even later realize and apply those conclusions practically in their life.
Diksa is a process which begins when one hears, accepts, and follows a spiritual instruction (siksa). The process further proceeds through distinct stages, during which one is incrementally instructed about more conclusive knowledge, gradually realizes the knowledge in practice, and then later comes to Love Krsna fully and irrevocably.
Somewhere within the time-frame of that Diksa process, one receives FORMAL DIKSA INITIATION by a person who is QUALIFIED to do so by being AUTHORIZED to do so.
At that point one officially gains a “Diksa Guru”, even though the devotee who originally gave the instruction that initiated one’s Diksa process, and thus spiritual life, may not be their official Diksa guru.
Srila Prabhupada gave instructions to his disciples by which they would become qualified to instruct others as Siksa gurus. Indeed such Siksa Gurus may even be the first to “spiritually” initiate, or start the process of Diksa in a newcomer. Such an instructor may also be technically QUALIFIED to perform an initiation ceremony.
But are they AUTHORIZED by the Founder of the Matha/Asrama/Society to be considered the official “initiating spiritual master” of that newcomer? In the case of the Iskcon Society, the answer is NO, according to the preponderance of evidence.
In Iskcon such instructors only have AUTHORIZATION to appeal to the regional Ritvik Representative of the Acarya on behalf of the newcomer. This is one of the two “checks and balances” that Srila Prabhupada instituted among his brahmana class, the other being the Direction of Management for the GBC.
The regional ritvik is AUTHORIZED to accept the local instructors recommendation for formal initiation on behalf of the Founder Acarya, whose ORDER was that he remain the OFFICIAL initiating spiritual master of the society.
This was an adjustment the Founder/Acarya made to the formalities in his Asrama, according to time, place, and circumstance, as is within his right to do so as a liberated Acarya.
This order has no bearing on the reality that the local brahmanical instructor (usually a temple president or secretary) may at some point become just as qualified at guiding a newcomer through the process of Diksa, all the way to the advanced level, as the Founder-Acarya himself. The Founder-Acarya certainly trained them in the hope they would become so qualified, and said so himself.
Yet simultaneously this Ritvik provision provides that certain safeguards remain in place for Iskcon. Safeguards which if followed will reduce the temptations otherwise available to a neophyte instructor. Those safeguards being that no Brahmana instructor will receive the level of worship and Guru puja as the founder-acarya.
He will be required to run every recommendation for initiation through an elder brahmana in the region, ensuring a higher probability of accountability.
And of course, this system makes it near impossible for any instructing Guru to make a hard and fast claim on a new man by saying “I am your Diksa Guru and there can be only one, thus I deserve a certain level of respect and you will do so or be rejected”. And also less likely that instructor can justify an additional standard of financial remuneration (daksine) from the newcomer.
This Ritvik system most importantly serves to assure any newcomer that they are officially a disciple of the Founder/Acarya and have a eternal link to his Grace, and will especially encourage them to diligently compare the Siksa they receive to the Siksa of the Founder/Acarya.
Thats it. Simple. The continuation of the Ritvik system that began and evolved since the early 70′s was a direct order. It does not hinder the successive transmission of transcendental knowledge from a local instructor to the new disciple. Such an instructor can call the newcomer his disciple and a Grand-disciple of the Founder Acarya if that makes you him feel technically correct, because the word “disciple” is still there in relation to the Founder-acarya and formally he IS an initiated disciple of the founder, thus fulfilling the requirement in paragraph 3 of his last will and testament.
“The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This I want.”
RC 5/28/77
Satsvarūpa Mahārāja: Then our next question concerns initiations in the future, particularly at that time when you are no longer with us. We want to know how first and second initiations will be conducted.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. I shall recommend some of you. After this is settled up. I shall recommend some of you to act as officiating ācārya.
Tamāla Krsna Mahārāja: Is that called rtvik-ācārya?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: rtvik. Yes.
June 4, 1977: Last Will and Testament- Para.#3
…The executive directors who have herein been designated are appointed for life. In the event of the DEATH or failure to act for any reason of any said directors (my comments: the event which can obviously happen after the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada) a SUCCESSOR DIRECTOR OR DIRECTORS may be appointed by the remaining directors provided the new director is MY INITIATED DISCIPLE following strictly all the rules and regulations of the International Society For Krishna Consciousness as detailed in MY BOOKS…
July 9th 1977: letter to temples officially recognizes Ritvik system.
Letter to Sri Galim, November 20, 1971
“To answer your last point, one who teaches can be treated as Spiritual Master. It is not that after we become initiated we become perfect. No. It requires teaching. So if we take instruction from them, all senior god brothers may be treated as guru, there is no harm. Actually, you have only one Spiritual Master, who initiates you, just as you have only one father. But every Vaishnava should be treated as prabhu, master, higher than me, and in this sense, if I learn from him, he may be regarded as guru. It is not that I disobey my real Spiritual Master and call someone else as Spiritual Master. That is wrong. It is only that I can call Spiritual Master someone who is teaching me purely what my initiating Spiritual Master has taught. Do you get the sense?”
So as we see, the continuance of the ritvik system never created a real contradiction. But doubts have arisen anyway because certain neophytes have been too motivated by personal ambition to see they are creating a tempest in a teapot while in reality these doubts are reconciled as easily as crossing the ocean of water contained in the indentation of the hoof print of a calf.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Guror ajna

 Yashodanandana Dasa (Los Angeles, California)
Dependence on the mercy of the spiritual master
“You always have my blessings; the father always wishes that the son may be more successful than himself. This is the spiritual conception. If one is doing well, then the materialistic persons become envious and try to check his progress. This was actually so with Prahlada Maharaja, he was only 5 years old, he was preaching Krishna consciousness to his school friends, and the father Hiranyakashipu became so envious that he attempted to kill his 5 year old son in so many ways. Krishna consciousness is just the opposite, if someone is doing well then the attitude of the devotee is to give him all facility to go on and improve more and more. Yes we are running on the mercy of the spiritual master, to understand this point is to get mercy more and more. Yasya prasadat bhagavata prasada.
Letter to Yogeshchandra, Vrindaban, December 7, 1975
Maryada- vyatikrama
One should not impertinently surpass a greater personality.
“Although one may be well versed in the transcendental science, one should be careful about the offense of maryada-vyatikrama, or impertinently surpassing a greater personality. According to scriptural injunction one should be very careful of transgressing the law of maryada-vyatikrama because by so doing one loses his duration of life, his opulence, fame and piety and the blessings of all the world. To be well versed in the transcendental science necessitates awareness of the techniques of spiritual
science. Uddhava, being well aware of all these technicalities of transcendental science, advised Vidura to approach Maitreya Rishi to receive transcendental knowledge. Vidura wanted to accept Uddhava as his spiritual master, but Uddhava did not accept the post because Vidura was as old as Uddhava’s father and therefore Uddhava could not accept him as his disciple, especially when Maitreya was present nearby. The rule is that in the presence of a higher personality one should not be very eager to impart instructions, even if one is competent and well versed.
- Srimad Bhagavatam 3.4.26, purport
Seeing senior god brothers as a spiritual master.
Only one initiating spiritual master.
One who is purely teaching what my spiritual master taught.
“To answer your last point, one who teaches can be treated as Spiritual Master. It is not that after we become initiated we become perfect. No. It requires teaching. So if we take instruction from them, all senior god brothers may be treated as guru, there is no harm. Actually, you have only one Spiritual Master, who initiates you, just as you have only one father. But every Vaishnava should be treated as prabhu, master, higher than me, and in this sense, if I learn from him, he may be regarded as guru. It is not that I disobey my real Spiritual Master and call someone else as Spiritual Master. That is wrong. It is only that I can call Spiritual Master someone who is teaching me purely what my initiating Spiritual Master has taught. Do you get the sense?”
-  Letters of Srila Prabhupada, to Sri Galim, November 20, 1971
Service of pure devotee.
First condition of devotional service.
Way of pure disciplic succession.
“There is a common saying that one should first love the dog of the beloved before one shows any loving sentiments for the beloved. The stage of pure devotion is attained by sincerely serving a pure devotee of the Lord. The first condition of devotional service to the Lord is therefore to be a servant of a pure devotee, and this condition is fulfilled by the statement ‘reception of the dust of the lotus feet of a pure devotee who has also served another pure devotee.’ That is the way of pure disciplic succession, ordevotional parampara.”
- Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.23, purport
“Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then continued speaking to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya: ‘Consider this point. The servant of the spiritual master is always respectable for Me.’”
- Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya-lila 10.142
“… [Prahlada] considered his teachers, spiritual masters and older God brothers to be as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead….”
- Srimad Bhagavatam 7.4.32, cited in Spiritual Master and the Disciple, Chapter 4

Srila Prabhupada on gaps in parampara

 Compiled by Yashodanandana Dasa (Los Angeles, California)

Time gap is inevitable
..  Regarding your third question—"Why are there apparent time-gaps in the line of disciplic succession as listed in the Bhagavad-gita? Is Arjuna an instructor Spiritual Master and not an initiator Spiritual Master and therefore not listed?'' The time gap mentioned by you is inevitable, because the disciplic succession sometimes becomes disconnected, as we find from the Bhagavad-gita. This is the influence of material energy, and to link it up again, it takes some time.That some time may appear to our calculation a big gap, but in relation with the eternal time, it is not even an instant. So this big gap or small gap of time is relative. Just like our 24 hours and Brahma's 24 hours, there is much difference. Our 24 hours is not even a fraction of his second...."
- Letter to Rupanuga, March 14, 1969, Hawaii
We have to pick up the prominent acharya
Regarding parampara system: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. Just like we belong to the Brahma Sampradaya, so we accept it from Krishna to Brahma, Brahma to Narada, Narada to Vyasadeva, Vyasadeva to Madhva, and between Vyasadeva and Madhva there is a big gap. But it is sometimes said that Vyasadeva is still living, and Madhva was fortunate enough to meet him directly. In a similar way, we find in the Bhagavad-gita that the Gita was taught to the sun god, some millions of years ago, but Krishna has mentioned only three names in this parampara system—namely, Vivasvan, Manu, and Ikshvaku; and so these gaps do not hamper from understanding the parampara system. We have to pick up the prominent acharya, and follow from him. There are many branches also from the parampara system, and it is not possible to record all the branches and sub-branches in the disciplic succession. We have to pick up from the authority of the acharya in whatever sampradaya we belong to. Hoping you are all three well, and please keep me informed.
- Letter to Dayananda, April 12, 1968, San Francisco 
Not the one has to be
"Narada was the Spiritual Master of Vyasadeva, and Arjuna was Vyasadeva's disciple, not as initiated disciple but there was some blood relation between them. So there is connection in this way, and it is not possible to list all such relationships in the short description given in Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Another point is that disciplic succession does not mean one has to be directly a disciple of a particular person. The conclusions which we have tried to explain in our Bhagavad-gita As It Is is the same as those conclusions of Arjuna. Arjuna accepted Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and we also accept the same truth under the disciplic succession of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another. This is an axiomatic truth. So there is no difference of opinion of understanding Krishna between ourselves and Arjuna. Another example is that a tree has many branches, and you will find one leaf here and another leaf there. But if you take this leaf and the other leaf and you press them both, you will see that the taste is the same. The taste is the conclusion, and from the taste you can understand that both leaves are from the same tree..."
- Letter to Kirtanananda, January 25, 1969, Los Angeles
Accept the disciplic conclusion
Please accept my blessings. I beg to thank you for your letter dated October 21, 1969 along with a contribution of $25. I have already acknowledged receipt of your new record. Regarding the disciplic succession coming from Arjuna, disciplic succession does not always mean that one has to be initiated officially. Disciplic succession means to accept the disciplic conclusion. Arjuna was a disciple of Krishna and Brahma was also a disciple of Krishna. Thus there is no disagreement between the conclusions of Brahma and Arjuna. Vyasadeva is in the disciplic succession of Brahma. The teachings to Arjuna was recorded by Vyasadeva verbatim. So according to the axiomatic truth, things equal to one another are equal to each other. We are not exactly directly from Vyasadeva, but our Gurudeva is a representative of Vyasadeva. Because Vyasadeva and Arjuna are of equal status, being students of Krishna, therefore we are in the disciplic succession of Arjuna. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another....
- Letter to Dinesh, October 31, 1969, Tittenhurst

Nomenclature or Substance?

Sattvic Dāsa [ACBSP] – Calcutta: Dear Maharaja and Prabhus. Dear devotees of the Lord. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. I write this with a straw in my mouth. It’s been 35 years since the departure of our beloved Spiritual Master His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

What happened to his Institution? Our God-brothers in the position of GBC had a very important role to play in the preservation and expansion of ISKCON. They had been given the responsibility to be the “Watch dogs”, to be the one who would bark the loudest if any transgression had taken place. Why have they failed?

Since Srila Prabhupada’s departure we have witnessed the gradual disintegration and corruption of this wonderful society, a society that is meant to unfold the prediction of ten thousand years of spiritual awakening in human society.

Spiritual life begins with a submissive attitude of inquiry and service to the Spiritual Master.

The Spiritual Master is the via-media between the conditioned soul and Sri Krishna the Absolute Truth. The Spiritual Master ensures that the disciple is finally delivered from the clutches of repeated births and deaths in this material world. Srila Prabhupada taught us that The Spiritual Master is free from the defects of human nature (committing mistakes, propensity to cheat, imperfect senses and subject to illusion). Why then there have been so many downfalls? Why have the GBC not protected the most important institution in Vedic society? Why have they allowed conditioned souls with all of the above mentioned imperfections to sit on the most exalted seat, the Vyasasana, the seat of Sri Vyasadeva?

It’s obvious that a great mistake has been made, a mistake that has destroyed the faith of countless devotees not only in Srila Prabhupada and his society but also their faith in Sri Krishna. A great disservice has been done.

So many devotees service has been destroyed; so many good devotees have been thrown out of their father’s house by unscrupulous and callous leaders. Why?

When the GBC met Srila Prabhupada in Vrindavana in 1977 they very aware that His Divine Grace could have left the world any time soon giving his poor health. They asked him many questions. One very important question was regarding initiations “specifically at the time when he was no longer with us”.

Srila Prabhupada spoke about Officiating Acharyas and he also spoke about that there could be “regular gurus” had his order being received.

The only regular Guru we know is Srila Prabhupada or someone on his level of realization and purity. A self-realized soul free from the above mentioned human defects. And then we have the officiating Acharyas or those who were supposed to initiate on his behalf.

That they were to initiate on his behalf before his physical departure is not an issue. Everyone agrees with that. Our GBC’s only choices then were only really two, continue to initiate on his behalf or accept that the initiator Spiritual Master was a “regular” one, a Vaisnava on the topmost level of spiritual realization, a resident of Goloka Vrindavana, an intimate associate of Sri Sri Radha Krishna.

In fact there was an attempt to fool all of us into believing that the original 11 Acharyas were indeed on that platform. Those who objected were ruthlessly removed, persecuted, beaten and even murdered by the power that be.

In 1987 there was an attempt to reform and a meeting was convened in Sridham Mayapur where a 50 men committee was established to review the guru issue and find a solution to the problem. However the greatest hoax in human history was conceived by distributing the poison of Guru ambition to all thereby disintegrating the very fabric of Vaisnava culture.

Subsequently laws were concocted to contain the ongoing degradation thereby deepening their involvement in the greatest aparadha ever committed.

We want answers, we deserve answers. Our duty is to speak the truth. If we don’t know it then we cannot concoct one to suit our interests. What is the truth? Thousands of devotees have taken initiation again and again because they had faith in the leadership of ISKCON, believing that is what Srila Prabhupada established. That faith has been betrayed. This is a great sin.

Are the GBC ready to stand by their commitment and vouch that those who are in the position of Spiritual Master are indeed “regular” gurus taking the responsibility of delivering the disciples back home back to Godhead? If not the next question is who delivers the disciples from the clutches of material nature? Who takes the responsibility of taking them back to the spiritual Kingdom?

I know the answer and I am at peace with it. But what about all the devotees who have been told lies after lies? What about them finally getting some straight answers?

If Srila Prabhupada is accepted as the deliverer guru as rumors are spreading that that is indeed accepted by many of the GBC then the answer is self evident. Srila Prabhupada is the Spiritual Master and they are his disciples. I am not attached to nomenclature even though the word ritvik has been spoken by Srila Prabhupada. The fact is however that if Srila Prabhupada is the dispenser of Divya Jnana and the remover of the sinful reactions then he is the Diksha guru. Diksha means just that.

The next question is what is the role of those who gives the name and performs the fire sacrifice? They can’t certainly be gurus for they simply perform the formality of initiation.

What is their position then? I know the answer of this question also. However over the years the word ritvik has been so demonized that the simple hearing of that word creates a sense of disgust.

I am interested in substance not names or positions. Srila Prabhupada is the Spiritual Master of all members of ISKCON as everyone is following his discipline, his instructions. You call others any name you want but their role is only to fulfill the formality of initiation. Why then so much pomp and worship? This deviation has created the problem in the first place.

Let us come together. This is my humble prayer. Let us discuss once again how to reunite this family of Vaisnavas. Let us not leave any stone unturned.

Dear Godbrothers do not be swayed by ignorance and remain attached to a false concept of life. Haven’t we learned enough from past history? How many more good souls have to fall from their perceived positions before we wake up? Let the society of Vaisnavas, present and future freely worship Srila Prabhupada as their Spiritual Master their deliverer, their Via-media to transcendence. This is my humble prayer.

Your insignificant servant

Sattvic Dasa

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Vedic knowledge is received through the parampara system of pure devotees

To those of you ...who don't accept Srila Prabhupada’s ritvik/diksha initiation system… You just have to give up your big egos and believe in the words/instructions of your spiritual master. For once in your lives admit that there may be some one that is smarter than you (Srila Prabhupada). This system is the ONLY way that Iskcon could have survived as a united cohesive preaching unit. But since the philosophical deviations of the GBC/leaders and the subsequent introduction of the bogus 2/3 voted in kanistha zonal guru system, Iskcon has degraded into something that wasn't part of Srila Prabhupada’s vision for it. As a result we have the Iskcon we have today ...
Guru or the spiritual master means pure devotee.
- Lecture, Bhagavad-gita, Los Angeles, November 25, 1968
So if you can approach such PURE DEVOTEE... As it is stated in the Brahma-samhita, adurlabham atma-bhaktau. This is atma-bhaktau, a PURE DEVOTEE. He can deliver you Krishna. “Take Krishna. Here is Krishna.” Krishna-prema...
- Lecture, Bhagavad-gita 4.5, Bombay, March 25, 1974
The sravana-kirtana is the beginning of Krishna conscious life. One who is very fortunate, he’s in meeting, he meets somebody who is a PURE DEVOTEE and accepts him as his spiritual master. Therefore here it is stated, mayy asakta-manah partha yogam yunjan mad-asrayah. One has to take shelter of a bonafide spiritual master...... And if he cultivates this Krishna consciousness under the direction of a spiritual master, asraye lana bhaje, Krishna tare nahi tyaje.(?) Krishna does not reject him. Krishna accepts him. Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura says, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ’pi.
- Lecture, Bhagavad-gita 7.1-2, Bombay, March 28, 1971
So guru is helping from inside and from outside. Antar-bahih. So Krishna is so kind. Therefore Krishna manifests Himself as spiritual master. Therefore Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura says, saksad-dhari, saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastraih. Manifestation of empowered. One who IS PURE DEVOTEE, he's EMPOWERED BY KRISHNA to act as spiritual master. Therefore spiritual master should be accepted: saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktah.
- Lecture, Bhagavad-gita 7.9 Vrindavan, August 15, 1974
Revati-nandana: ........ Sometimes this question comes up, with the devotees especially, that it says the devotee makes advancement when the spiritual master is pleased. Right? So sometimes the spiritual master is far, far away. He may be in Los Angeles. Somebody is coming to Hamburg temple. He thinks, “How will the spiritual master be pleased?”
Srila Prabhupada: Just follow his order. Spiritual master is along with you by his words. Just like my spiritual master is not physically present, but I am associating with him by his words.
Revati-nandana: And Krishna knows that; therefore we make advancement. He is sitting in our heart. He knows what we’re doing. So He sees, “He’s serving My pure devotee,” immediately there is advancement.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Spiritual master..., Krishna is not limited. It is not material. You can associate with Krishna and the spiritual master in any circumstance, provided you want two things. Just like we can associate with Krishna immediately if we take Bhagavad-gita as it is. He is not different from Bhagavad-gita. Nama-rupe kali-kale Krishna-avatara. Krishna is incarnated in His name in this age. You associate with Krishna’s name, immediately associate with Krishna.
Dhananjaya: And His devotees.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. [break]
- Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.1.2 , London, August 18, 1971
This word mad-asrayah is very important, because you cannot increase your attachment for Krishna without being mad-asrayah. Mad-asrayah means to be directly under the direction of Krishna or to be directly under the direction of somebody who has taken shelter of Krishna. Therefore He recommends mad-asrayah. You cannot execute the yoga system, devotional service, bhakti-yoga, without being under the control of somebody who is under the control of Krishna. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has recommended therefore, yad upasrayasraya. One has to take shelter of a pure devotee; then he becomes purified. Yad upasraya. Upasraya means to take shelter of a pure devotee.
- Lecture, Sanand, December 27, 1975
Kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah ye ’nye ca papah. “Even there are still more low-grade, sinful society,” ye ’nye ca papa yad-apasrayasrayah, “if he takes the shelter of a pure devotee, sudhyanti, becomes purified.” Becomes purified. How? Sudhyanti? Because prabhavisnave namah. Lord Vishnu has got so exalted power that through His devotee He can purify anyone. Never mind, even one happens to be chandala, and what to speak of others. Kim punar brahmanah punya bhakta rajarsayas tatha [Bg. 9.33]. If they can be delivered, then what to speak those who are brahmanas.
- Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.7.28-29 Vrindavan, September 25, 1976
These are mentioned, papa-yoni. And less than them, if there are still papa-yoni, sudhyanti yad-apasrayasrayah, if such persons take shelter of a pure devotee, he’s sudhyanti. This is the shastric injunction. He becomes purified because the pure devotee knows how to purify the papa-yoni. He knows.
- Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.8.25, Vrindavan, October 5, 1974
Therefore nobody can understand Krishna without being trained up by a self-realized devotee. If a... If one takes the shelter of Krishna’s representative, devotee, then it doesn’t matter what he is. Kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah, ye ’nye ca papa yad-apasrayasrayah. If he has taken shelter of a pure devotee—never mind he’s a kirata, huna, andhra, pulinda, pulkasa—he is sudhyanti.
- Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.8.44 Mayapur, October 24, 1974
Shastra says that you should approach to a bhagavata, a devotee who is living in Vrndavana, pure devotee, and surrender unto him.
- Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam, 2.1.1, Vrindavan, March 16, 1974
Only by the grace of the divine personalities, THE PURE DEVOTEES OF THE LORD, can one attain pure devotion, which is the highest perfection of human life. ONLY A PURE DEVOTEE OF THE LORD can show one the right way of progressive life.
- Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam, 2.3 11-12, Los Angeles May 29, 1972
Therefore Chaitanya Mahaprabhu recommended to study Srimad-Bhagavatam from bhagavatam. Bhagavata para giya bhagavata sthane. Bhagavata means the grantha-bhagavata, book bhagavata... Bhagavata means about Krishna. Bhagavan is Krishna. And anything in relationship with Krishna is called Bhagavata. So the devotee is also in relationship with Krishna. He is also called bhagavata. Maha-bhagavata. Those who are highly advanced, or first-class devotees, they are called maha-bhagavata. So this Bhagavatam, it is the essence of the Vedic knowledge and when it is received through the parampara system of pure devotee, then it becomes still more sweet than before. That is the purport.
- Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam,  2.9.1, Tokyo, April 20, 1972
A Vaishnava never commits any sinful activities, and whatever he had done in the past, that is also finished. This is said by Krishna. Or in other words, if you devoutly engage yourself in the service of the Lord, then certainly you are freed from all reaction of sinful activities.
So how it is possible? Yatha Krishnarpita-pranah. Pranah, pranair arthair dhiya vaca. Prana, prana means life. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krishna, such person. How this dedication of life to Krishna’s service can be made possible? That is also stated here: tat-purusa-nisevaya. You have to take shelter of a person who is a devotee of Krishna, and you have to serve. That means you HAVE TO ACCEPT A DEVOTEE,A TRUE DEVOTEE, A PURE DEVOTEE AS YOUR GUIDE. THAT IS OUR PROCESS. Rupa Gosvami says in the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, “The first process is, first step is adau gurvasrayam to accept guru.Accept guru MEANS KRISHNA REPRESENTITIVE. One who is NOT KRISHNA’S representative, HE CANNOT BECOME GURU. Guru DOES NOT MEAN ANY NONSENSE CAN BECOME GURU. NO. ONLY TAT-PURUSA. Tat-purusa means a person who has accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead as everything. TAT-PURUSA-NISEVAYA. THAT MEANS VAISHNAVA, PURE DEVOTEE.(!!!!!!!!!!!!)
- Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam, 6.1.16 Denver, June 29, 1975
Any question?
Devotee (1): Does one have to be a pure devotee to be a...? The twelve authorities, are they all pure devotees?
Srila Prabhupada: Why do you ask this question? YOU HAVE NO SENSE. WITHOUT PURE DEVOTEE, WHO THEY BECAME AUTHORITY? You are ask the question, “Is Mr. Rockefeller a rich man?” Your question is like that. He is known a very rich man, and he has foundation. If you ask, “Is he a rich man?” is that very intelligent question? UNLESS PURE DEVOTEE, HOW  THEY ARE AUTHORIZED?
- Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam, 63,18-19, Gorakhpur, December 2, 1971
Therefore one has to take shelter of a PURE DEVOTEE. That is the only solution. He says, naisam matis tavad urukramangrhim. The beginning was that “They are not interested in Krishna consciousness.” Then how to become Krishna conscious if that is the solution? Then Prahlada Maharaja says, naisam matis tavad: “So long one does not approach a pure devotee,” mahiyasam niskincananam, “great personalities, who has no more any material interest,” niskincana, “and takes the dust of his lotus feet on the head...” Naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim: “So long one does not approach such personality, there is no possibility of becoming Krishna conscious.” Naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim. As soon as one approaches the pure devotee and takes the dust of his lotus feet and puts it on his head, immediately, anartha apagamah, he’ll be freed from all this nonsense. That means he’ll forget this idea that “Materially we can advance.” This is the process. So we have to approach a niskincana, who has nothing to do with this material world. His only ambition is to serve more Krishna. And if somebody approaches him and takes the dust of his lotus feet, then he can understand. Mahiyasam pada-rajo-’bhisekam niskincananam na vrnita yavat.
- Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.23-24, Vrindavan, March 31, 1976
But Pancharatrika-vidhi offers facility even persons who are lower than these striya, shudra, vaishya. Kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah, ye ’nye ca papa. And less than that, ye ’nye ca papa yad-apasrayasrayah... A devotee, a pure devotee of the Lord, and if these persons take shelter of a pure devotee of the Lord, then sudhyanti—they become purified by following the INJUNCTION OF THE SPIRITUAL MASTER. He knows how to deal with them, how to elevate them to the brahminical position. So that is not artificial. Shastra says, Bhagavata says, “Yes. By such expert management these kirata-hunandhra, lower than the shudras, sudhyanti...” Sudhyanti.
- Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam, 7.6.7, Vrindavan, September 12, 1975

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Srila Prabhupada on Child Abuse


    "Now the thing is, children should not be beaten at all, that I have told. They should simply be shown the stick strongly. So if one cannot manage in that way then he is not fit as teacher. If a child is trained properly in Krishna Consciousness, he will never go away. That means he must have two things, love and education. So if there is beating of child, that will be difficult for him to accept in loving spirit, and when he is old enough he may want to go away—that is the danger. So why these things are going on - marching and chanting japa, insufficient milk, too strict enforcement of time schedules, hitting the small children? Why these things are being imposed? Why they are inventing these such new things like marching and japa like military? What can I do from such a distant place? They should run and play when they are small children, not forced to chant japa, that is not the way."  (Srila Prabhupada on child abuse)

There have been so many issues, but we should remember that a society that mistreats their children is a sick society. These children are going to be the hope of our society but not if their remembrances are so full of abuse, mistreatment, hate, etc. Srila Prabhupada wanted a society in which everyone could live except our children????.

Myself, I joined at 15, so I understand their suffering. My best friends are some of these gurukulis, how they have suffered. Let protect our kids. Srila Prabhupada will be so happy.

Yours in the service of the Vaisnavas,

Priya Sakhi dd

One can associate with Krsna and Srila Prabhupada in any circumstance

Revati-nandana: ........ Sometimes this question comes up, with the devotees especially, that it says the devotee makes advancement when the spiritual master is pleased. Right? So sometimes the spiritual master is far, far away. He may be in Los Angeles. Somebody is coming to Hamburg temple. He thinks, “How will the spiritual master be pleased?” 
Srila Prabhupada: Just follow his order. Spiritual master is along with you by his words. Just like my spiritual master is not physically present, but I am associating with him by his words. 
Revati-nandana: And Krsna knows that; therefore we make advancement. He is sitting in our heart. He knows what we’re doing. So He sees, “He’s serving My pure devotee,” immediately there is advancement. 
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Spiritual master..., Krsna is not limited. It is not material. You can associate with Krsna and the spiritual master in any circumstance, provided you want two things. Just like we can associate with Krsna immediately if we take Bhagavad-gita as it is. He is not different from Bhagavad-gita. Nama-rupe kali-kale krsna-avatara. Krsna is incarnated in His name in this age. You associate with Krsna’s name, immediately associate with Krsna. 
Dhananjaya: And his devotees. 
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. [break]  SB 1.1.2 8/18/71 


Unless pure devotee, how they are authorized?

Devotee (1): Does one have to be a pure devotee to be a...? The twelve authorities, are they all pure devotees?
Prabhupāda: Why do you ask this question? You have no sense. Without pure devotee, how they became authority? You are ask the question, "Is Mr. Rockefeller a rich man?" Your question is like that. He is known a very rich man, and he has foundation. If you ask, "Is he a rich man?" is that very intelligent question? Unless pure devotee, how they are authorized?
Lecture on SB 6.3.18-19 -- Gorakhpur, February 12, 1971
Srila Prabhupada is clearly saying unless one is a pure devotee he can never be authorized.So Srila Prabhupada never authorized the initial 11 to become  regular gurus.As none of them was a pure devotee.History has shown us how mostly all fell down and till today the gurus are falling down one by one.So by this it is clear they never were pure devotee as pure devotee never falls down under any circumstance.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-Lila 22.71


When Guru Resigns?

Narottam Dāsa – France: Please forgive any offence I may commit in this letter. I am not so active member of ISKCON since I was joined in Bhagavān time in early eighties. He was my guru but I left some years after he left. After many years I am still chanting and I follow the principles but my saddhana is not too strong, so please forgive my thoughts are not clear.
I have been reading the pages of this website with much pleasure to see so many devotees fighting for our Prabhupāda. You know how long I have been waiting for change in our society and I can feel this change is happening now. No longer do GBC men have power over our mind and intelligence. Bhagavān was a great leader and we worshiped him as good as Prabhupāda but then he left us. Can you imagine what that did to us? We had no shelter but Prabhupāda.
When I see back to that time is see what was happening with our leaders I am more clear that they were not Krishna conscious at all this was big act on their part and we all got caught up in wake of Prabhupāda and we gave our hearts and souls to these big men. We also gave all the money we collected to them.
You cannot imagine the power these men had on our minds and hearts we gave them everything and they took everything we gave them. They had money and gold rings and big expensive cars and gold watches everything they wanted and we were living like beggars. Only now I see this clearly they were big sannyāsī gurus and they had power money woman and we had nothing. Not prabhujis that I wanted what they had I wanted to please Krisha and guru by my renouncing everything I could.
Prabhus as disciples of these gurus we did all the work and we gave them the credit. As I have read here on this site for first time devotees talking like this. We did the work we made others into devotees got them chanting on their beads gave them their first beads. We cooked for them at Sunday feasts we gave out papers on the streets, we sold stickers and ran from police and we went out on Harinama and sang and dancedand sometimes we were beaten. We gave all the money and built the temples. We made the devotees and gave them to our guru for official initiation. We arrange fire sacrifice we arrange temple room and feast the guru comes and gives initiation and gets the donations and credit then leaves. The guru takes this all and we give them all the credit and none to Prabhupāda but when this guru resigns he takes the money and the credit still and we cannot say anything for we will be called demons? Why is our ISKCON like this?
Even now I have no money and live simple life. But how they live is not right. They must be big example for us to follow but how can we follow them when they have so much money and live such highflying lifestyle.
I see the new gurus live the same highflyer lifestyle of our gurus and when I see they also leave or falldown and made to leave then I see nothing changed in this time. Nothing.
Now I read about Prabhavisnu prabhu how he has had big exposure in this website and I wonder what happened to all his money? He must have had much money he collected from his disciples? Harikesa also made big profit from his time in ISKCON. Now look at him.
To me this guru is business it is a job for them. They apply for position and if the company agrees then they get job and hold on as long as they can cheating people taking their money and getting them to work free of charge. Now I see they are paying their worker wages as well and so everyone shares the profit. I see now I was sales representative for my guru. I did the sales and made money, I recruited more sales reps who my guru employed as sales representatives just like me. We believed he supported us he was going to take us to Krishna, he was the guru mentioned in the Bhagavad Gītā he was the representative of Lord Krishna.
But then one day we woke up and found that he had walked away from us leaving us without a boss.
Prabhavisnu did the same thing one day his disciples woke and found out that their guru or boss had resigned from his position and now they had no job to go to. There is no difference between a corporate boss and our guru bosses when they resign or are fired they are given huge pay off or retirement package. People must ask what happened to all the money that Prabhavisnu had in his bank accounts? Does he still have that money that he was given for his job in ISKCON? If the GBC took it away what happened to this money?
What makes me mad angry is that it has taken so long for me to wake up and come to my senses. How in māyā I was for all those years.
I pray with all my heart that the disciples of the gurus wake up sooner than I did and find that it is only Prabhupāda who can take them back to Godhead and so do not get cheated by the bosses of the business ISKCON or FISKCON that everyone is now calling them.
You know after all these years I never left ISKCON and Prabhupāda. The man that I thought was a guru my guru left me as all these gurus will leave you and you will find out hard way that there is only Prabhupāda.
Your servant
Narottam Dāsa

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Pure devotee cannot fall down

 “It should be understood that a madhyama-adhikari, a second-class devotee, is fully convinced of Krishna consciousness but cannot support his convictions with sastric reference. A neophyte may fall down by associating with nondevotees because he is not firmly convinced and strongly situated. The second-class devotee, even though he cannot support his position with sastric reference, can gradually become a first-class devotee by studying the sastras and associating with a first-class devotee. However, if the second-class devotee does not advance himself by associating with a first-class devotee, he makes no progress. THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY THAT A FIRST-CLASS DEVOTEE WILL FALL DOWN, EVEN THOUGH HE MAY MIX WITH NONDEVOTEES TO PREACH. Conviction and faith gradually increase to make one anuttama-adhikari, a first-class devotee.”
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-Lila 22.71

Hear from a pure devotee Srila Prabhupada

For a conditioned soul, therefore, it is very important to hear from the mouth of a pure devotee, who is fully surrendered to the lotus feet of the Lord without any material desire, speculative knowledge or contamination of the modes of material nature. Every one of us is kuyogi because we have engaged in the service of this material world, forgetting our eternal relationship with the Lord as His eternal loving servants.
It is our duty to rise from the kuyoga platform to become suyogis, perfect mystics.

The process of hearing from a pure devotee is recommended in all Vedic scriptures, especially by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One may stay in his position of life—it does not matter what it is—but if one hears from the mouth of a pure devotee, he gradually comes to the understanding of his relationship with the Lord and thus engages in His loving service, and his life becomes completely perfect.
Therefore, this process of hearing from the mouth of a pure devotee is very important for making progress in the line of spiritual understanding.
SB 4.20.25 purport, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

Friday, 20 January 2012

GBC Russia: Srila Prabhupada is the diksha guru of ISKCON

GBC EC Russian Announcement on Prabhavishnu Das declares Srila Prabhupada – Preeminent Diksa Guru of ISKCON
By Krishnachandra Dasa
Jan 20 2012 | Sri Vrindavan Dham — The website that the GBC Executive officially announced Prabhavishnu Swami’s resignation is Krishna.ru [http://www.krishna.ru/] is the official ISKCON website for Russia. If you refer to Paragraph 4 you will note a very interesting claim by the GBC Executive Body…

Paragraph 4 – Russian Version:
That said, we wish to extend all compassion, help, and support to Prabhavishnu Prabhu’s siksa and diksa disciples. Please know that you are not without shelter. As ISKCON’s founder-acarya and preeminent diksa-guru, Srila Prabhupada is freely giving each of you the opportunity to develop pure love of God. That has not changed.
His mercy and shelter are there for you in every situation, his teachings still apply to you, and serving him in his mission is still the gateway to pure bhakti.
You also have the shelter of the holy name. Please always keep your hearts open to the spiritual protection and blessings you have been given.

Even though the Russian version differs quite drastically from the original version that was sent out on PAMHO and on the Official ISKCON website of Dandavats I wonder if the GBC EC approved this version. If they did then one would have to wonder what they meant by this statement?
“As ISKCON’s founder-acarya and preeminent diksa-guru, Srila Prabhupada is freely giving each of you the opportunity to develop pure love of God. That has not changed.”

If this is true then what has changed in the GBC that the Russian Community is given this instruction when the rest of ISKCON is given the understanding that Srila Prabhupada is only the preeminent siksa guru of ISKCON?
Again if this is true what does ‘preeminent diksa guru mean? Does it mean that Srila Prabhupada is also assessable to devotees as their diksa guru or initiating spiritual master?
What kind of system would this be? Oh you can take your pic either have a suddha bhakta as your guru or a kannistha or less a mleccha guru whatever your desire after all it is your choice is it not? It would more accurately read Founder Acharya and Diksa Guru! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
There is a problem when the GBC EC makes announcements and they are translated /edited or changed according to the target readers. It must be very confusing for the Russian devotional community if there is no continuity with regards to their official announcements and the rest of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
However should we take this GBC EC announcement as an official statement by the GBC EC then what does this mean? Have they finally accepted that their Rubber Stamped Guru’s system is unbona fide and afforded Srila Prabhupada his rightful place in the Society that he established.
These are important statements that I am sure will soon be addressed by the GBC EC.
I have sent an email to the GBC EC regarding this matter and will post their reply…If and when they do.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Prabhupada: “Yes, I am the spiritual master of this institution"

Prabhupada: “Yes, I am the spiritual master of this institution, and all the members of the society, they’re supposed to be my disciples .
They follow the rules and regulations which I ask them to follow, and they are initiated by me spiritually. So therefore the spiritual master is called guru. That is Sanskrit language.” ( Srila Prabhupada’s KGO Radio Interview, 1968 )
Srila Prabhupada: “This is the function of the GBC, to see that one may not be taken away by maya.
The GBC should all be the instructor gurus. I am the initiator guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing . This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This is what I want.” (to Madhudvisa 4 Aug, 1975) 
Srila Prabhupada: Don’t be allured by cheap disciples. Go on steadfastly to render service first. If you immediately become guru, then the service activities will be stopped; and as there are so many cheap gurus and cheap disciples, without any substantial knowledge, and manufacturing new sampradayas, and with service activities stopped, and all spiritual progress choked up. (SPL (VI 1987) 68.8.17)
Srila Prabhupada: We haven’t got to manufacture. To manufacture ideas is troublesome. Why should we take the trouble? And as soon as you want to manufacture something to my…., that is DANGEROUS. …That you are singing every day, “what our guru has said, that is our life and soul.” …As soon as this POISON will come -suppress guru and I become Brahman- everything FINISHED. Spiritual life is finished. Gaudiya Matha finished, …VIOLATED the orders of Guru Maharaja.
…And as soon as you manufacture, fall down. This manufacturing idea is very, very dangerous in spiritual life. …Our mission is to serve bhakta visesa and live with devotees. NOT THAT YOU TAKE THE PLACE OF GURU. THAT IS NONSENSE, VERY DANGEROUS. Then everything will be spoiled. As soon as you become AMBITIOUS to TAKE THE PLACE of GURU-gurusuh nara matih. That is MATERIAL DISEASE.
Srila Prabhupada: “I am practically seeing that as soon as they, our students, begin to learn a little Sanskrit, they immediately feel they have become more than their guru. Then the policy is to kill their guru and become guru themselves“. “As soon as he learns that Guru Maharaj is dead, now I am so advanced I can kill guru and become guru. Then he is finished.” (Srila Prabhupada 1976).
“If you concoct, ‘I am more intelligent than my Guru,’ ‘I can make additions and alterations,’ then you are finished.” — Srila Prabhupada lecture July 12, 1975 Philadelphia Pa.
As soon as this poison will come – “Suppress guru and I become Brahman” – everything finished. Spiritual life is finished. Gaudiya Matha finished, that…, violated the orders of Guru Maharaja.” [April 20, 1977, Bombay]
“In this verse, the royal road to hell is described. The demoniac want to make a show of religion and advancement in spiritual science, although they do not follow the principles. They are always arrogant or proud in possessing some type of education or so much wealth. They desire to be worshiped by others, and demand respectability, although they do not command respect. Over trifles they become very angry and speak harshly, not gently. They do not know what should be done and what should not be done. They do everything whimsically, according to their own desire, and they do not recognize any authority. These demoniac qualities are taken on by them from the beginning of their bodies in the wombs of their mothers, and as they grow they manifest all these inauspicious qualities.”[Bg 16.4 : PURPORT]
“Leaders who have fallen into ignorance and who mislead people by directing them to the path of destruction [as described in the previous verse] are, in effect, boarding a stone boat, and so too are those who blindly follow them. A stone boat would be unable to float and would sink in the water with its passengers. Similarly, those who mislead people go to hell, and their followers go with them.”[SB 6.7.14]
“There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaishnavas in this Krishna Consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. A false acarya may try to override a vaishnava by a high-court decision, (2/3 hand vote) but Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that he is nothing but a disciple of Kali-yuga.”
“Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, Kali-cela. He indicates that there are other Vaishnavas, pseudo-Vaishnavas, with tilaka on their nose and kunti beads around their neck. Such a pseudo-Vaishnava associates with money and women and is jealous of successful Vaishnavas. Although passing for a Vaishnava, his only business is earning money in the dress of a Vaishnava”. (CC.Madhy., Ch.1, Text 218 / 220, purport)
Srila Prabhupada: “I wish that each and every branch shall keep their separate identity and cooperate keeping the acharya in the center. On this principle we can open any number of branches all over the world. The Rama Krishna mission works on this principle and thus as an organization they have done wonderfully.” (letter 11th Feb. 1967)
GBC does not mean to control a center. GBC means to see that the activities of a center go on nicely. I do not know why Tamala is exercising his absolute authority. That is not the business of GBC. The president, treasurer and secretary are responsible for managing the center. GBC is to see that things are going nicely but not to exert absolute authority. That is not in the power of GBC. Tamala should not do like that. (Letter to: Giriraja — London 12 August, 1971)

The GBC men cannot impose anything on the men of a center without consulting all of the GBC members first. A GBC member cannot go beyond the jurisdiction of his power. We are in the experimental stage but in the next meeting of the GBC members they should form a constitution how the GBC members manage the whole affair. But it is a fact that the local president is not under the control of the GBC. Yes, for improvement of situations such as this I must be informed of everything.” (Letter to: Giriraja — London 12 August, 1971)
Srila Prabhupada: He [Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja] never recommended anyone to be acharya of the Gaudiya Math…. If Guru Maharaja could have seen someone who was qualified at that time to be acharya, he would have mentioned. Because on the night before he passed away he talked of so many things, but never mentioned an acharya. Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp. (Srila Prabhupada, letter to Rupanuga das, April 28, 1974)

Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on the sannyasa asrama

Srila Prabhupada: “… it is worse than suicide to deliberately indulge in sex life, especially in the renounced order of life. Sex life in the renounced order of life is the most perverted form of religious life, and such a misguided person can only be saved if, by chance, he meets a pure devotee.” (SB 2.6.20: PURPORT)
“Anyone who is steady in his determination for the advanced stage of spiritual realization and CAN EQUALLY TOLERATE THE ONSLAUGHTS OF DISTRESS AND HAPPINESS IS CERTAINLY A PERSON ELIGIBLE FOR LIBERATION. In the varnasrama institution, THE FOURTH STAGE OF LIFE, NAMELY THE RENOUNCED ORDER (SANNYASA), IS A PAINSTAKING SITUATION. BUT ONE WHO IS SERIOUS ABOUT MAKING HIS LIFE PERFECT SURELY ADOPTS THE SANNYASA ORDER OF LIFE IN SPITE OF ALL DIFFICULTIES. The difficulties usually arise from having to sever family relationships, to give up the connection of wife and children. But if anyone is able to tolerate such difficulties, surely his path to spiritual realization is complete. ” (Bhagavad-gita 2.15) 

Sannyasa Asrama

By Mahesh Raja

Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on the sannyasa asrama, in five parts.

yam hi na vyathayanty ete / purusam purusarsabha
sama-duhkha-sukham dhiram / so ‘mrtatvaya kalpate

O best among men [Arjuna], the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation. (Bhagavad-gita 2.15)
Anyone who is steady in his determination for the advanced stage of spiritual realization and CAN EQUALLY TOLERATE THE ONSLAUGHTS OF DISTRESS AND HAPPINESS IS CERTAINLY A PERSON ELIGIBLE FOR LIBERATION. In the varnasrama institution, THE FOURTH STAGE OF LIFE, NAMELY THE RENOUNCED ORDER (SANNYASA), IS A PAINSTAKING SITUATION. BUT ONE WHO IS SERIOUS ABOUT MAKING HIS LIFE PERFECT SURELY ADOPTS THE SANNYASA ORDER OF LIFE IN SPITE OF ALL DIFFICULTIES. The difficulties usually arise from having to sever family relationships, to give up the connection of wife and children. But if anyone is able to tolerate such difficulties, surely his path to spiritual realization is complete.
Bhagavad-gita 16.1-3:
IN THE VARNASRAMA INSTITUTION THE SANNYASI, OR THE PERSON IN THE RENOUNCED ORDER OF LIFE, IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE HEAD OR THE SPIRITUAL MASTER OF ALL THE SOCIAL STATUSES AND ORDERS. A brahmana is considered to be the spiritual master of the three other sections of a society, namely, the ksatriyas, the vaisyas and the sudras, but a sannyasi, who is on the top of the institution, is considered to be the spiritual master of the brahmanas also. For a sannyasi, the first qualification should be fearlessness. BECAUSE A SANNYASI HAS TO BE ALONE WITHOUT ANY SUPPORT OR GUARANTEE OF SUPPORT, HE HAS SIMPLY TO DEPEND ON THE MERCY OF THE SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD. IF HE THINKS, “AFTER I LEAVE MY CONNECTIONS, WHO WILL PROTECT ME?” HE SHOULD NOT ACCEPT THE RENOUNCED ORDER OF LIFE. One must be fully convinced that Krsna or the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His localized aspect as Paramatma is always within, that He is seeing everything and that He always knows what one intends to do. One must thus have firm conviction that Krsna as Paramatma will take care of a soul surrendered to Him. “I shall never be alone,” one should think. “Even if I live in the darkest regions of a forest I shall be accompanied by Krsna, and He will give me all protection.” That conviction is called abhayam, without fear. This state of mind is necessary for a person in the renounced order of life. Then he has to purify his existence. There are so many rules and regulations to be followed in the renounced order of life.
MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, A SANNYASI IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN TO HAVE ANY INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH A WOMAN. HE IS EVEN FORBIDDEN TO TALK WITH A WOMAN IN A SECLUDED PLACE. Lord Caitanya was an ideal sannyasi, and when He was at Puri His feminine devotees could not even come near to offer their respects. THEY WERE ADVISED TO BOW DOWN FROM A DISTANT PLACE. THIS IS NOT A SIGN OF HATRED FOR WOMEN AS A CLASS, BUT IT IS A STRICTURE IMPOSED ON THE SANNYASI NOT TO HAVE CLOSE CONNECTIONS WITH WOMEN. One has to follow the rules and regulations of a particular status of life in order to purify his existence. For a sannyasi, intimate relations with women and possession of wealth for sense gratification are strictly forbidden. The ideal sannyasi was Lord Caitanya Himself, and we can learn from His life that He was very strict in regards to women. Although He is considered to be the most liberal incarnation of Godhead, accepting the most fallen conditioned souls, He strictly followed the rules and regulations of the sannyasa order of life in connection with association with woman. One of His personal associates, namely Chota Haridasa, was personally associated with Lord Caitanya along with His other confidential personal associates, but somehow or other this Chota Haridasa looked lustily on a young woman, and Lord Caitanya was so strict that He at once rejected him from the society of His personal associates. Lord Caitanya said, “FOR A SANNYASI OR ANYONE WHO IS ASPIRING TO GET OUT OF THE CLUTCHES OF MATERIAL NATURE AND TRYING TO ELEVATE HIMSELF TO THE SPIRITUAL NATURE AND GO BACK HOME, BACK TO GODHEAD, FOR HIM, LOOKING TOWARD MATERIAL POSSESSIONS AND WOMEN FOR SENSE GRATIFICATION–NOT EVEN ENJOYING THEM, BUT JUST LOOKING TOWARD THEM WITH SUCH A PROPENSITY–IS SO CONDEMNED THAT HE HAD BETTER COMMIT SUICIDE BEFORE EXPERIENCING SUCH ILLICIT DESIRES.” SO THESE ARE THE PROCESSES FOR PURIFICATION.
Bhagavad-gita 16.1-3:
As far as simplicity is concerned, not only should a particular order of life follow this principle, but every member, be he in the brahmacari asrama, or grhastha asrama, or vanaprastha asrama or sannyasa asrama. ONE MUST LIVE VERY SIMPLY.
Srimad-Bhagavatam Introduction:
While He was contemplating accepting the sannyasa order, it so happened that Kesava Bharati, a sannyasi of the Mayavadi school and resident of Katwa (in Bengal), visited Navadvipa and was invited to dine with the Lord. When Kesava Bharati came to His house, the Lord asked him to award Him the sannyasa order of life. THIS WAS A MATTER OF FORMALITY. THE SANNYASA ORDER IS TO BE ACCEPTED FROM ANOTHER SANNYASI. ALTHOUGH THE LORD WAS INDEPENDENT IN ALL RESPECTS, STILL, TO KEEP UP THE FORMALITIES OF THE SASTRAS, HE ACCEPTED THE SANNYASA ORDER FROM KESAVA BHARATI, ALTHOUGH KESAVA BHARATI WAS NOT IN THE VAISNAVA-SAMPRADAYA (SCHOOL).
Lecture on Caitanya-caritamrta, 02-06-67, San Francisco:
So Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Prakasananda Sarasvati, they are now together. Now there will be discussion. Now Prakasananda Sarasvati, he (is) asking Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “I think Your name is Sri Krsna Caitanya, and You are disciple, You have accepted this renounced order of life from Kesava Bharati.” AS I’VE EXPLAINED TO YOU, THAT THERE ARE TEN DIFFERENT NAMES IN THE SANKARA SAMPRADAYA OF THE SANNYASIS, AND THERE ARE 108 NAMES AMONGST THE VAISNAVA SANNYASA. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu, although He was initiated by Vaisnava, He took sannyasa, He accepted sannyasa, from Bharati, who belongs to the Sankara sampradaya, Sankara sect. THE RULE IS THAT IF ONE HAS TO ACCEPT RENOUNCED ORDER OF LIFE, THERE IS CEREMONY; AS THERE IS CEREMONY OF INITIATION, THERE IS CEREMONY OF ACCEPTING THIS RENOUNCED ORDER OF LIFE. AND THAT CEREMONY MUST BE PERFORMED BY ANOTHER BONA FIDE, I MEAN TO…, SANNYASI, RENOUNCED ORDER. IT IS NOT THAT YOU TAKE YOUR CLOTH AND GET IT COLORED AND ONE DAY YOU BECOME A SANNYASI. NO. THERE ARE CEREMONIES.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.13:
Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.1.27 P:
THE PARAMAHAMSA STAGE IS THE TOPMOST POSITION IN RENOUNCED LIFE. IN SANNYASA, THE RENOUNCED ORDER, THERE ARE FOUR STAGES–KUTICAKA, BAHUDAKA, PARIVRAJAKACARYA AND PARAMAHAMSA. According to the Vedic system, when one accepts the renounced order, he stays outside his village in a cottage, and his necessities, especially his food, are supplied from home. This is called the kuticaka stage. When a sannyasi advances further, he no longer accepts anything from home: instead, he collects his necessities, especially his food, from many places. This system is called madhukari, which literally means “the profession of the bumblebees.” AS BUMBLEBEES COLLECT HONEY FROM MANY FLOWERS, A LITTLE FROM EACH, SO A SANNYASI SHOULD BEG FROM DOOR TO DOOR BUT NOT ACCEPT VERY MUCH FOOD FROM ANY PARTICULAR HOUSE; HE SHOULD COLLECT A LITTLE BIT FROM EVERY HOUSE. THIS IS CALLED THE BAHUDAKA STAGE. When a sannyasi is still more experienced, he travels all over the world to preach the glories of Lord Vasudeva. He is then known as parivrajakacarya. The sannyasi reaches the paramahamsa stage when he finishes his preaching work and sits down in one place, strictly for the sake of advancing in spiritual life. AN ACTUAL PARAMAHAMSA IS ONE WHO COMPLETELY CONTROLS HIS SENSES AND ENGAGES IN THE UNALLOYED SERVICE OF THE LORD.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.4.13 P:
The paramahamsa stage of existence is the highest perfectional stage of spiritual values. ACCORDING TO SRIMATI KUNTIDEVI, THE LORD IS FACTUALLY UNDERSTOOD BY THE PARAMAHAMSAS ONLY. As there is gradual realization of the transcendence from impersonal Brahman to localized Paramatma to the Personality of Godhead, Purusottama, Lord Krsna, similarly there is gradual promotion of one’s situation in the spiritual life of sannyasa. Kuticaka, bahudaka, parivrajakacarya and paramahamsa are gradual progressive stages in the renounced order of life, sannyasa, and Queen Kuntidevi, the mother of the Pandavas, has spoken about them in her prayers for Lord Krsna (Canto One, Chapter Eight). THE PARAMAHAMSAS ARE GENERALLY FOUND AMONG BOTH THE IMPERSONALISTS AND THE DEVOTEES, BUT ACCORDING TO SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM (AS CLEARLY STATED BY KUNTIDEVI), PURE BHAKTI-YOGA IS UNDERSTOOD BY THE PARAMAHAMSAS, AND KUNTIDEVI HAS ESPECIALLY MENTIONED THAT THE LORD DESCENDS (PARITRANAYA SADHUNAM) ESPECIALLY TO AWARD BHAKTI-YOGA TO THE PARAMAHAMSAS. SO ULTIMATELY THE PARAMAHAMSAS, IN THE TRUE SENSE OF THE TERM, ARE UNALLOYED DEVOTEES OF THE LORD. Srila Jiva Gosvami has directly accepted that the highest destination is bhakti-yoga, by which one accepts the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Those who accept the path of bhakti-yoga are the factual paramahamsas.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.22.19 P:
After fulfilling his responsibility to produce a nice child, one should take sannyasa and engage in the perfectional paramahamsa stage. paramahamsa refers to the most highly elevated perfectional stage of life. There are four stages within sannyasa life, and paramahamsa is the highest order. The Srimad-Bhagavatam is called the paramahamsa-samhita, the treatise for the highest class of human beings. THE PARAMAHAMSA IS FREE FROM ENVY. IN OTHER STAGES, EVEN IN THE HOUSEHOLDER STAGE OF LIFE, THERE IS COMPETITION AND ENVY, BUT SINCE THE ACTIVITIES OF THE HUMAN BEING IN THE PARAMAHAMSA STAGE ARE COMPLETELY ENGAGED IN KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS, OR DEVOTIONAL SERVICE, THERE IS NO SCOPE FOR ENVY.
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya lila 5.142-143:
The mystery of the sannyasa-danda (staff) of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has been explained by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the order of sannyasa from a Mayavadi sannyasi. The Mayavadi sannyasis generally carry one staff, or danda. Taking advantage of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s absence, Srila Nityananda Prabhu broke the staff into three parts and threw it into the river now known as the Danda-bhanga-nadi. In the sannyasa order there are four divisions–kuticaka, bahudaka, hamsa and paramahamsa. ONLY WHEN THE SANNYASI REMAINS ON THE KUTICAKA AND BAHUDAKA PLATFORMS CAN HE CARRY A STAFF. HOWEVER, WHEN ONE IS ELEVATED TO THE STATUS OF HAMSA OR PARAMAHAMSA, AFTER TOURING AND PREACHING THE BHAKTI CULT, HE MUST GIVE UP THE SANNYASA STAFF.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.24.35 Purport:
In this age of Kali-yuga sannyasa is prohibited because persons in this age are all sudras and cannot follow the rules and regulations of sannyasa life. It is very commonly found that so-called sannyasis are addicted to nonsense–even to having private relationships with women. This is the abominable situation in this age. ALTHOUGH THEY DRESS THEMSELVES AS SANNYASIS, THEY STILL CANNOT FREE THEMSELVES FROM THE FOUR PRINCIPLES OF SINFUL LIFE, NAMELY ILLICIT SEX LIFE, MEAT-EATING, INTOXICATION AND GAMBLING. SINCE THEY ARE NOT FREED FROM THESE FOUR PRINCIPLES, THEY ARE CHEATING THE PUBLIC BY POSING AS SVAMIS.
IN KALI-YUGA THE INJUNCTION IS THAT NO ONE SHOULD ACCEPT SANNYASA. OF COURSE, THOSE WHO ACTUALLY FOLLOW THE RULES AND REGULATIONS MUST TAKE SANNYASA. Generally, however, people are unable to accept sannyasa life, and therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu stressed, kalau nasty eva nasty eva na-sty eva gatir anyatha. In this age there is no other alternative, no other alternative, no other alternative than to chant the holy name of the Lord: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. THE MAIN PURPOSE OF SANNYASA LIFE IS TO BE IN CONSTANT COMPANIONSHIP WITH THE SUPREME LORD, EITHER BY THINKING OF HIM WITHIN THE HEART OR HEARING OF HIM THROUGH AURAL RECEPTION. IN THIS AGE, HEARING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THINKING BECAUSE ONE’S THINKING MAY BE DISTURBED BY MENTAL AGITATION, BUT IF ONE CONCENTRATES ON HEARING, HE WILL BE FORCED TO ASSOCIATE WITH THE SOUND VIBRATION OF KRSNA. Krsna and the sound vibration “Krsna” are nondifferent, so if one loudly vibrates Hare Krsna, he will be able to think of Krsna immediately. This process of chanting is the best process of self-realization in this age; therefore Lord Caitanya preached it so nicely for the benefit of all humanity.
Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi lila 15.14:
It is sometimes said that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not approve of the acceptance of the sannyasa order in this Kali-yuga because in the sastra it is said:
asvamedham gavalambham / sannyasam pala-paitrkam
devarena sutotpattim / kalau panca vivarjayet

“In this Kali-yuga the performance of the asvamedha-yajna or gomedha-yajna, sacrifices in which a horse or cow is offered, should be avoided, as should the acceptance of sannyasa, the renounced order of life.” (Brahma-vaivarta Purana, Krsna-janma-khanda 185.180)
Nevertheless we see that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself accepted sannyasa and approved of the sannyasa of His elder brother, Visvarupa. It is clearly said here, bhala haila,—-visvarupa sannyasa karila pitr-kula, matr-kula,—-dui uddharila. THEREFORE, SHOULD IT BE THOUGHT THAT SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU MADE STATEMENTS THAT ARE CONTRADICTORY? NO, ACTUALLY HE DID NOT. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT ONE ACCEPT SANNYASA TO DEDICATE HIS LIFE FOR THE SERVICE OF THE LORD, AND EVERYONE MUST TAKE THAT KIND OF SANNYASA, FOR BY ACCEPTING SUCH SANNYASA ONE RENDERS THE BEST SERVICE TO BOTH HIS PATERNAL AND MATERNAL FAMILIES. But one should not accept the sannyasa order of the Mayavada school, which has practically no meaning. WE FIND MANY MAYAVADI SANNYASIS SIMPLY LOITERING IN THE STREET THINKING THEMSELVES BRAHMAN OR NARAYANA AND SPENDING ALL DAY AND NIGHT BEGGING SO THEY CAN FILL THEIR HUNGRY BELLIES. MAYAVADI SANNYASIS HAVE BECOME SO DEGRADED THAT THERE IS A SECTION OF THEM WHO EAT EVERYTHING, JUST LIKE HOGS AND DOGS. IT IS SUCH DEGRADED SANNYASA THAT IS PROHIBITED IN THIS AGE. Actually, Srila Sankaracarya’s principles for the acceptance of sannyasa were very strict, but later the so-called Mayavadi sannyasis became degraded because of their false philosophy, which propounds that by accepting sannyasa one becomes Narayana. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu rejected that kind of sannyasa. But the acceptance of sannyasa is one of the items of the varnasrama-dharma. How then can it be rejected?
Room Conversation, 09-05-76, Vrindavan:
…SANNYASI SHOULD GO ON PREACHING, PREACHING, PREACHING, PREACHING. Practically, I was sitting here in Vrndavana, in Radha-Damodara temple. So at the age of seventy years, nobody goes out. At least from Vrndavana nobody goes at the age of seventy years. But Krsna asked me. I thought that I must go, Guru Maharaja wanted it, Caitanya Mahaprabhu… Let me try. SO IF I HAD NOT GONE THEN THIS INSTITUTION WOULD NOT HAVE DEVELOPED. SO THIS IS PRACTICAL. Mahatah nirvicaranam.(?) Mahatma, they must move. So when there is absolute necessity they may stay. OTHERWISE, THEY MUST MOVE. MOVE ON, MOVE ON, MOVE ON, MOVE ON, MOVE ON. NO STAYING. THAT IS PRINCIPLE. NO STAYING. I am this old age, I cannot move… My… I… So many… Still I am traveling all over the world. I am simply interested that whatever I have done, it may not be vanquished in my absence. Let me go and encourage them. Otherwise, I have no capacity to move now. But still I am moving. Only for this purpose. Girinam grhna-cetasam.(?) So a sannyasi must move. A SANNYASI MUST NOT STAY ANYWHERE MORE THAN THREE DAYS. THAT IS THE PRINCIPLE. So he was moving, but his moving is creating disturbances here. Therefore I have stopped. And besides that, a temple is nirguna. A SANNYASI IS FORBIDDEN TO STAY ANYWHERE ELSE, BUT IN A TEMPLE HE CAN STAY FOR MORE THAN THREE DAYS PROVIDED THERE IS BUSINESS. OTHERWISE, THERE IS NO NECESSITY. SO THIS IS THE EXCLUSION
Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam, 05-26-74, Rome:
Yam pravrajantam. Pravrajantam means to leave home in renounced order of life. That is called pravrajantam. Therefore a sannyasi is called parivrajakacarya. A SANNYASI IS SUPPOSED TO BE WANDERING WITHOUT ANY SHELTER. THAT IS CALLED PRAVRAJYA. So Sukadeva Gosvami, he remained sixteen years within the womb of his mother. He did not come out. HE WAS HEARING HIS FATHER WITHIN THE WOMB. SO THIS IS CALLED PARAMAHAMSA. SO A PARAMAHAMSA DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY REFORMATORY PROCESS, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALREADY REFORMED.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.19.23 Purport:
At the present moment, however, many so-called sannyasis or mendicants have no understanding of God consciousness. Such sannyasa was introduced by Indra because of his jealousy of Maharaja Prthu, and what he introduced is again appearing in the age of Kali. PRACTICALLY NONE OF THE SANNYASIS IN THIS AGE ARE BONA FIDE.
Light of the Bhagavata, 32:
In Kali-yuga, however, the entire system has gone topsy-turvy. The student lives in luxury at the expense of the father or the father-in-law. When the educated, indulgent student becomes a householder by the strength of university degrees, he requires money by all means for all kinds of bodily comfort, and therefore he cannot spare even a penny for the so-called vanaprasthas and sannyasis. THE VANAPRASTHAS AND SANNYASIS NOWADAYS ARE THOSE WHO WERE UNSUCCESSFUL IN FAMILY LIFE. THUS THE SO-CALLED SANNYASIS TRY TO CONSTRUCT ANOTHER HOME IN THE NAME OF THE SANNYASA-ASRAMA AND GLIDE DOWN INTO ALL SORTS OF LUXURY AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS. SO ALL THESE VARNAS AND ASRAMAS HAVE NOW BECOME SO MANY TRANSCENDENTAL FRAUDS.
But that does not mean that there is no reality in them. One should not conclude that there is no good money simply because one has met with counterfeit coins. The sannyasa-asrama is meant for complete freedom from all anxieties, and it is meant for uplifting the fallen souls, who are merged in materialism. BUT UNLESS THE SANNYASI IS FREED FROM ALL CARES AND ANXIETIES, LIKE A WHITE CLOUD, IT IS DIFFICULT FOR HIM TO DO ANYTHING GOOD FOR SOCIETY.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.24.34 Purport:
Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya lila 12.113:
“Have I taken sannyasa for such happiness? Accepting this oil would bring My ruination, and all of you would laugh.
Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya lila 12.113 Purport:
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu declared Himself a strict sannyasi. A SANNYASI IS NOT SUPPOSED TO TAKE HELP FROM ANYONE. Retaining a masseur to give Him massages would indicate His DEPENDENCE ON OTHERS. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to follow very strictly the principle of not accepting anyone’s help for His bodily comfort.
Note: Now we see many big temples ruled by **boards**, Temple Presidents and sannyasis etc. (many secret inside dealings) in “equal?” salaries deal? Janmastami etc., Hindu jackpots for big pay shareout among members? THIS is what it means to become darkened if you take money for YOURSELF. It affects the mind and you become materialist also.
Lecture on Bhagavad-gita, 08-05-73, London:
Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said that visayira anna khaile malina haya mana. SUCH GREAT PERSONALITIES BECAME DARKENED BECAUSE THEY TOOK MONEY FROM THEM, ANNA. IF I AM PROVIDED BY SOMEBODY WHO IS TOO MUCH MATERIALIST, THEN THAT WILL AFFECT ME. I WILL BECOME ALSO MATERIALIST. I will also become materialist. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu has warned that “Those who are visayi, those who are not devotees, do not accept anything from them because it will make your mind unclean.” So therefore a brahmana and a Vaisnava, they do not accept directly money. They accept bhiksa. Bhiksa. Bhiksa you can… Just like here it is said bhaiksyam. Sreyo bhoktum bhaiksyam apiha loke. When you ask somebody… STILL, BHIKSA IS ALSO SOMETIMES PROHIBITED FROM A PERSON WHO IS TOO MUCH MATERIALIST. But bhiksa is allowed for sannyasis, for brahmana.
10-16-75 Letter to Jayatirtha:
The local management has to be done by temple president, GBC should see whether management is going on nicely, and if there are any discrepancies that will be discussed at the GBC meeting in Mayapur. That is the process. SANNYASIS ARE MEANT FOR PREACHING ONLY. THAT IS THE PRINCIPLE. BUT, CONTRARY TO THE PRINCIPLE IF THINGS ARE BEING EMBEZZLED THEN HOW CAN I SAVE THEM. How one man can manage the whole world affairs? This is my concern.
07-29-72 Letter to Hrdayananda:
Note: It has become a fashion to travel the world at the exploits of temple funds which could be used for distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books—this sense gratification is NOT called Parivrajakacarya. Also Srila Prabhupada just added “swami” to the former names, but nowadays they CHANGE their former names.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.6.13 Purport:
It is the DUTY OF A MENDICANT (PARIVRAJAKACARYA) TO EXPERIENCE ALL VARIETIES OF GOD’S CREATION BY TRAVELING ALONE THROUGH ALL FORESTS, HILLS, TOWNS, VILLAGES, ETC., TO GAIN FAITH IN GOD AND STRENGTH OF MIND AS WELL AS TO ENLIGHTEN THE INHABITANTS WITH THE MESSAGE OF GOD. A SANNYASI IS DUTY-BOUND TO TAKE ALL THESE RISKS WITHOUT FEAR, and the most typical sannyasi of the present age is Lord Caitanya, who traveled in the same manner through the central Indian jungles, enlightening even the tigers, bears, snakes, deer, elephants and many other jungle animals. In this age of Kali, sannyasa is forbidden for ordinary men. ONE WHO CHANGES HIS DRESS TO MAKE PROPAGANDA IS A DIFFERENT MAN FROM THE ORIGINAL IDEAL SANNYASI. One should, however, take the vow to stop social intercourse completely and devote life exclusively to the service of the Lord. THE CHANGE OF DRESS IS ONLY A FORMALITY. LORD CAITANYA DID NOT ACCEPT THE NAME OF A SANNYASI, AND IN THIS AGE OF KALI THE SO-CALLED SANNYASIS SHOULD NOT CHANGE THEIR FORMER NAMES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LORD CAITANYA. In this age, devotional service of hearing and repeating the holy glories of the Lord is strongly recommended, and one who takes the vow of renunciation of family life need not imitate the parivrajakacarya like Narada or Lord Caitanya, BUT MAY SIT DOWN AT SOME HOLY PLACE AND DEVOTE HIS WHOLE TIME AND ENERGY TO HEAR AND REPEATEDLY CHANT THE HOLY SCRIPTURES LEFT BY THE GREAT ACARYAS LIKE THE SIX GOSVAMIS OF VRNDAVANA.
Lecture on Bhagavad-gita, 08-03-73, London:
Anasritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah. Do not take shelter of your result of your activities. You must take it as duty. He is sannyasi. Anasritam karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah, sa sannyasi. He’s actually sannyasi. A SANNYASI DOES NOT BECOME SIMPLY BY CHANGING DRESS. NO. SANNYASI MEANS HE’S TO WORK FOR KRSNA. WITHOUT TAKING SHELTER OF THE RESULT. It doesn’t matter. “Krsna has ordered, and Krsna’s representative has ordered. Therefore I have to do it.” Karyam karma karoti yah. sa sannyasi.
Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10-23-68, Montreal:
Well, brahmacari means he has gone out of home. Brahmacari does not remain at home. He goes to the spiritual master’s home. So there is no question of giving wife’s charge to a brahmacari. He is not at home. Do you follow? Yes. The elderly children mean those who are married also, those who are in grhastha life, for him, not for the brahmacari or sannyasi. Just try to understand. A brahmacari and sannyasi does not remain at home. THE BRAHMACARI GOES TO THE SPIRITUAL MASTER’S HOME AND THE SANNYASI, HE IS A TRAVELER FROM ONE COUNTRY TO ANOTHER, PREACHING. SO THEY ARE NOT AT HOME. So if they are not at home, who is taking charge? To give charge means the elderly son who is a married man, who is living at home, the charge is given of the mother to him. Is that all right?
Lecture on Bhagavad-gita, 08-24-66, New York:
This is very nice point. Try to understand. The sannyasi… Just like we are sannyasi. According to our Vedic system, we are allowed to beg alms from the householders. The social system, the varnasrama institution, is so made that the brahmacari, vanaprastha, and the sannyasi, and the grhastha… Grhastha means the householder. NOW, THE BRAHMACARI WILL BEG FROM THE HOUSEHOLDER, THE VANAPRASTHA WILL BEG FROM THE HOUSEHOLDER, AND THE SANNYASI ALSO BEG FROM THE HOUSEHOLDER. SO HOUSEHOLDER IS THE ONLY EARNING MEMBER WHO WILL FEED ALL THESE THREE DIFFERENT STATUS OF SOCIAL ORDERS. BUT IN THE KALI-YUGA, IN THIS AGE, SOME UNSCRUPULOUS PERSONS, THEY ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS DRESS BECAUSE THIS DRESS IS NOT VERY COSTLY. Any kind of cotton cloth, you take, two paisa worth from, or two cent worth, and color, and you get it orange-colored and put on. Because in this age nobody is inquiring whether he is actually a sannyasi or not, simply by dress… Of course, the dress is the badge.
Airport Reception, 09-11-69, London:
Lecture on Bhagavad-gita, 12-20-68, Los Angeles:
SAT NYASA, SANNYASA. THIS IS THE COMBINATION. SAT MEANS THE SUPREME, THE EVER-EXISTING, AND NYASA MEANS RENUNCIATION. That means one who has renounced EVERYTHING FOR SERVING THE SUPREME, he is real sannyasa. He may take this dress or not, that doesn’t matter. Anyone who has sacrificed his life for service of the Supreme Lord, he’s a sannyasi. That will be explained in the Fifth Chapter.
Those who are sudras, they should not be allowed to take sannyasa. Only those who are QUALIFIED BRAHMANAS, they’ll be allowed to take sannyasa.
Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10-21-74, Mayapur:
Ata saba hari ara varnasrama-dharma, niskincana haya laya krsnaika sarana.(?) This is the… Varnasrama-dharma, that is material. VARNASRAMA IS PLANNED FOR MATERIAL LIFE IN A SYSTEMATIC WAY SO THAT, IN DUE COURSE OF TIME, ONE MAY GIVE UP THE FAMILY RELATIONSHIP AND TAKE SANNYASA AND COMPLETELY DEVOTE FOR KRSNA’S SERVICE. THIS IS THE PLAN OF VARNASRAMA-DHARMA. Varnasrama-dharma is not meant for planning something, and you remain in the family. No. The Varnasrama… Varna means brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah. Guna, not everyone is qualified in the same way. Therefore you… The acarya will pick up that “They are meant for becoming brahmanas. They are meant for ksatriyas.” Or for coming from ksatriya family, or the brahmana family… So first of all, these varnas, then asrama. THE BRAHMANA, ONE WHO IS QUALIFIED AS A BRAHMANA, HE HAS TO OBSERVE THE FOUR ASRAMAS, A BRAHMANA: THE BRAHMACARI-ASRAMA, THE GRHASTHA-ASRAMA, THE VANAPRASTHA-ASRAMA AND SANNYASA-ASRAMA. THE KSATRIYA, THEY’LL HAVE TO OBSERVE THREE ASRAMAS: BRAHMACARI, GRHASTHA AND VANAPRASTHA. AND THE VAISYAS, TWO ASRAMAS: BRAHMACARI AND GRHASTHA. AND SUDRA, ONLY ONE ASRAMA, ONLY GRHASTHA. A SUDRA IS NEVER OFFERED SANNYASA. A… ONLY THE BRAHMANA IS OFFERED.
04-30-70 Letter to Jayapataka:
REGARDING YOUR QUESTIONS HOW TO OFFER RESPECTS TO SANNYASIS. EVERY SANNYASI, EVEN IF YOU SEE A MAYAVADI SANNYASI, OFFER HIM YOUR RESPECTS–THERE WILL BE NO HARM. As you have observed we shall follow Lord Caitanya’s instruction that we give all due respects to others regarding their position, but there is no need of always associating with each of them. EVEN IF ONE IS VAISNAVA, BUT NOT OF GOOD CHARACTER, WE CAN GIVE HIM THE VAISNAVA RESPECT, BUT WE CANNOT ASSOCIATE WITH HIM.
Lecture on Caitanya-caritamrta, 02-03-67, San Francisco:
saba namaskari’ gela pada-praksalane
pada praksalana kari vasila sei sthane

Now, just see the behavior of Lord Caitanya. Although He was not in agreement with the other party, still, because they were sannyasis, renounced order of life, Caitanya Mahaprabhu offered His respect by bowing down before them. It is the duty of everyone, not only between the sannyasi and sannyasi. IT IS THE CUSTOM OF VEDIC SYSTEM. AS SOON AS ONE WOULD SEE A SANNYASI, AT ONCE HE SHOULD OFFER HIS RESPECT. IF HE DOES NOT OFFER HIS RESPECT, THEN IT IS ENJOINED THAT HE SHOULD FAST ONE DAY AS PUNISHMENT. HE SHOULD NOT EAT. “OH, I SAW A SANNYASI, BUT I DID NOT OFFER MY RESPECT. THEREFORE THE PENANCE SHOULD BE THAT I SHOULD FAST ONE DAY.” THIS IS THE INJUNCTION. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu, although He was God Himself, but His behavior and His etiquette was excellent. At once He saw the sannyasis, He offered His respect. Pada praksalana kari vasila sei sthane. AND IT IS THE SYSTEM THAT WHEN ONE COMES FROM OUTSIDE, HE HAS TO WASH HIS FEET BEFORE HE ENTERS ROOM, ESPECIALLY FOR THE SANNYASIS. So He washed His feet and sat down outside where the other sannyasis were sitting, a little off, just the place where He washed His feet.
10-28-70 Letter to Rupanuga:
I’ve sent the sannyasis letters requesting them to preach from different centers. I’m glad that Subala das Swami has gone to Amsterdam. Similarly the other three may go to other places. WHY THEY ARE TOGETHER? SANNYAS MEANS THEY SHOULD TRAVEL EXTENSIVELY, CREATE NEW CENTERS AND NEW DEVOTEES–THAT IS SANNYASA BUSINESS. ALSO THEY CAN CREATE LIFE MEMBERS.
11-13-70 Letter to Rupanuga:
Regarding the Sannyasis, they should be INDEPENDENT. Why they should take help from you? They are strong men, so they should manage on their OWN strength. THAT is the TEST OF THEIR EFFECTIVE PREACHING WORK.
Note: To distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books awards fearlessness — ‘Abhay’ means without fear.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.21.31:
TO AWARD FEARLESSNESS TO THE COMMON MAN IS THE GREATEST ACT OF CHARITY. A sannyasi, or one who is in the renounced order of life, should WANDER from door to door, from village to village, from town to town and from country to country, all over the world AS FAR AS HE IS ABLE TO TRAVEL, AND ENLIGHTEN THE HOUSEHOLDERS ABOUT KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.19.12 Purport:
The word PAKHANDA used in this verse is sometimes pronounced PASANDA. Both of these words indicate an imposter who presents himself as a very religious person but in actuality is sinful. Indra took up the saffron-colored dress as a way of cheating others. THIS SAFFRON DRESS HAS BEEN MISUSED BY MANY IMPOSTERS WHO PRESENT THEMSELVES AS LIBERATED PERSONS OR INCARNATIONS OF GOD. IN THIS WAY PEOPLE ARE CHEATED. As we have mentioned many times, the conditioned soul has a tendency to cheat; therefore this quality is also visible in a person like King Indra. It is understood that even King Indra is not liberated from the clutches of material contamination. Thus the words amuktam iva, meaning “as if he were liberated,” are used. The saffron dress worn by a sannyasi announces to the world that he HAS RENOUNCED ALL WORLDLY AFFAIRS and is simply engaged in the SERVICE OF THE LORD. Such a devotee is actually a sannyasi, or liberated person. In Bhagavad-gita (6.1) it is said:
anasritah karma-phalam / karyam karma karoti yah
sa sannyasi ca yogi ca / na niragnir na cakriyah

“One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic, not he who lights no fire and performs no work.”
Note: We now see some are so eager to live in luxury at motels, private homes, luxury mobile homes etc., exploiting the devotees and temples.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.24.42 Purport:
Here the words anagnir aniketanah are very significant. A SANNYASI SHOULD BE COMPLETELY DETACHED FROM FIRE AND ANY RESIDENTIAL QUARTERS. A grhastha has a relationship with fire, either for offering sacrifices or for cooking, but a sannyasi is freed from these two responsibilities. He does not have to cook or offer fire for sacrifice because he is always engaged in Krsna consciousness; therefore he has already accomplished all ritualistic performances of religion. ANIKETANAH MEANS “WITHOUT LODGING.” HE SHOULD NOT HAVE HIS OWN HOUSE, BUT SHOULD DEPEND COMPLETELY ON THE SUPREME LORD FOR HIS FOOD AND LODGING. HE SHOULD TRAVEL.
(C) Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.