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
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