His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(founder of the Hare Krsna movement)
His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(founder of the Hare Krsna movement)
by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
In order to avoid contradiction, botheration and unfavorable situations created by materialistic persons, a great saintly person like Jada Bharata or Utkala remains silent. The less intelligent consider such saintly persons to be mad, deaf or dumb. Factually, an advanced devotee avoids speaking with persons who are not in devotional life, but to those who are in devotional life he speaks in friendship, and he speaks to the innocent for their enlightenment. For all practical purposes, the whole world is full of nondevotees, and so one kind of very advanced devotee is called bhajananandi.
There are two kinds of devotees. One is called gosthanandi and the other bhajananandi. The word bhajananandi refers to the devotee who does not move, but remains in one place. Such a devotee is always engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. He chants the maha-mantra as taught by many acaryas and sometimes goes out for preaching work.
Yamuna: What is adhut? What is the (indistinct) adhu?
Prabhupada: Dut? Avadhuta. Paramahamsa. Paramahamsa stage, the highest stage of perfection... They are not under any rules and regulations, paramahamsa.
Yamuna: How does such a person engage?
Prabhupada: That's a long history. You'll find in the Bhagavad-gita, sthita-prajnasya. Sthita-prajna. So there are many symptoms. On the whole, avadhuta or paramahamsa is not subjected to any rules and regulations. They are so elevated. That is not to be imitated. That is a post, position, very exalted, perfectional stage, spiritual advancement. So if you want to know the symptoms, that is in the Bhagavad-gita. There is a list. But one thing you can simply know, a paramahamsa is a stage who is above all rules and regulations. That's all.
Hamsaduta: (indistinct) disturbed.
Prabhupada: Another nonsense. That's all.
Revatinandana: So if he continues to follow these rules and regulations...
Prabhupada: He doesn't follow. He doesn't follow. I can... I understand from his behavior.
Revatinandana: But generally they do follow in the sense that they generally...
Prabhupada: No, no. Paramahamsa...
Revatinandana: For setting example for others?
Prabhupada: Yes. Paramahamsa, they do not come in the society because people may imitate and they fall down. Therefore they are aloof. Just like Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. He was aloof, bhajananandi. But one who will act as preacher or spiritual master, even if he is paramahamsa, he should live ordinary so that his disciples may follow. He comes to second stage. Paramahamsa is the first stage, and preacher is in the second stage, and neophytes are in the third stage. So the neophyte should try to come to second stage. Isvare tad-adhinesu balisesu dvisatsu. They have got discrimination: Isvara, Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tad-adhina, the devotees; balisa, innocent; and dvisat, those who are atheists, envious of... As soon as they hear that here is something going on, talking about God, they become immediately envious. We have increased the number of this kind of men. There is someone interested in God. They simply challenge. They are called dvisat. So a preacher should avoid them. But the paramahamsa, he does not avoid. So there are so many things. So we haven't got to imitate the activities of... A paramahamsa is a position, exalted position. They are very rare to be visible because they do not care to come in the society. So, and if you want to know about the paramahamsa, the sthita-prajna description in the Bhagavad-gita, I think, in the Twelfth Chapter, you can know it.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.34-39 -- Surat, December 19, 1970
There are gosthy-anandi and bhajananandi. Bhajananandi is interested for his own welfare, or they think it that he is not competent enough to preach; therefore he does not go for preaching work. Sva-vimukti-kama: "Let me look after my own affairs." "Oil your own machine."
Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.44 -- Delhi, March 26, 1976
Who says you are a bhajananandi. Don't be a bhajananadi. As soon as you become a bhajananandi you'll be spoiled. You'll be spoiled as Nitai has spoiled himself. You have an intense desire to preach, so do that.
So far as your engagement is concerned, you are already engaged as pujari, so do that and whenever you get time preach Bhagavad-gita.
Letter to: Purnaprajna — Hyderabad 11 December, 1976
It is stated in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa that one should not accept initiation from a person who is not in the brahminical order if there is a fit person in the brahminical order present. This instruction is meant for those who are overly dependent on the mundane social order and is suitable for those who want to remain in mundane life. If one understands the truth of Krsna consciousness and seriously desires to attain transcendental knowledge for the perfection of life, he can accept a spiritual master from any social status, provided the spiritual master is fully conversant with the science of Krsna. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also states that although one is situated as a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmacari, vanaprastha, grhastha or sannyasi, if he is conversant in the science of Krsna he can become a spiritual master as vartma-pradarsaka-guru, diksa-guru or siksa-guru. The spiritual master who first gives information about spiritual life is called the vartma-pradarsaka-guru, the spiritual master who initiates according to the regulations of the sastras is called the diksa-guru, and the spiritual master who gives instructions for elevation is called the siksa-guru. Factually the qualifications of a spiritual master depend on his knowledge of the science of Krsna. It does not matter whether he is a brahmana, ksatriya, sannyasi or sudra. This injunction given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not at all against the injunctions of the sastras. In the Padma Purana it is said:
na sudrah bhagavad-bhaktas
te 'pi bhagavatottamah
sarva-varnesu te sudra
ye na bhakta janardane
One who is actually advanced in spiritual knowledge of Krsna is never a sudra, even though he may have been born in a sudra family. However, even if a vipra, or brahmana, is very expert in the six brahminical activities (pathana, pathana, yajana, yajana, dana, pratigraha) and is also well versed in the Vedic hymns, he cannot become a spiritual master unless he is a Vaisnava. But if one is born in the family of candalas yet is well versed in Krsna consciousness, he can become a guru. These are the sastric injunctions, and strictly following these injunctions, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as a grhastha named Sri Visvambhara, was initiated by a sannyasi-guru named Isvara Puri. Similarly, Sri Nityananda Prabhu was initiated by Madhavendra Puri, a sannyasi. According to others, however, He was initiated by Laksmipati Tirtha. Advaita Acarya, although a grhastha, was initiated by Madhavendra Puri, and Sri Rasikananda, although born in a brahmana family, was initiated by Sri Syamananda Prabhu, who was not born in a caste brahmana family. There are many instances in which a born brahmana took initiation from a person who was not born in a brahmana family. The brahminical symptoms are explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.11.35), wherein it is stated:
yasya yal-laksanam proktam
yad anyatrapi drsyeta
tat tenaiva vinirdiset
If a person is born in a sudra family but has all the qualities of a spiritual master, he should be accepted not only as a brahmana but as a qualified spiritual master also. This is also the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura therefore introduced the sacred thread ceremony for all Vaisnavas according to the rules and regulations.
Sometimes a Vaisnava who is a bhajananandi does not take the savitra-samskara (sacred thread initiation), but this does not mean that this system should be used for preaching work. There are two kinds of Vaisnavas-bhajananandi and gosthy-anandi. A bhajananandi is not interested in preaching work, but a gosthy-anandi is interested in spreading Krsna consciousness to benefit the people and increase the number of Vaisnavas. A Vaisnava is understood to be above the position of a brahmana. As a preacher, he should be recognized as a brahmana; otherwise there may be a misunderstanding of his position as a Vaisnava. However, a Vaisnava brahmana is not selected on the basis of his birth but according to his qualities. Unfortunately, those who are unintelligent do not know the difference between a brahmana and a Vaisnava. They are under the impression that unless one is a brahmana he cannot be a spiritual master. For this reason only, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu makes the statement in this verse:
kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya
yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya
If one becomes a guru, he is automatically a brahmana. Sometimes a caste guru says that ye krsna-tattva-vetta, sei guru haya means that one who is not a brahmana may become a siksa-guru or a vartma-pradarsaka-guru but not an initiator guru. According to such caste gurus, birth and family ties are considered foremost. However, the hereditary consideration is not acceptable to Vaisnavas. The word guru is equally applicable to the vartma-pradarsaka-guru, siksa-guru and diksa-guru. Unless we accept the principle enunciated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, this Krsna consciousness movement cannot spread all over the world. According to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's intentions: prthivite ache yata nagaradi-grama sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's cult must be preached all over the world. This does not mean that people should take to His teachings and remain sudras or candalas. As soon as one is trained as a pure Vaisnava, he must be accepted as a bona fide brahmana. This is the essence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's instructions in this verse.
So far as your second question, Thakura Bhaktivinode was not official Spiritual Master of Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was already renounced order, Paramahamsa, but Thakura Bhaktivinode, while He was even playing the part of a householder, was treated by Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja as Preceptor, on account of His highly elevated spiritual understanding, and thus He was always treating Him as His Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master is divided into two parts; namely, siksa guru and diksa guru. So officially Bhaktivinode Thakura was like siksa guru of Gaura Kisora das Babaji Maharaja.
Letter to: Dayananda — Allston, Mass 1 May, 1969
Devotional service does not depend on material assessment. It is said in Srimad-Bhagavatam, "ahaituki apratihata''. Devotional service must be without any material ambition and there is no material impediment which can check advancement in devotional service. Srila Gaura Kisora das Babaji was unable to sign his name, and yet he became the spiritual master of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, the most erudite learned scholar of His time. We should begin our devotional service in whichever position we are. It isn't that we have to learn something extra for advancing in devotional service.
Letter to: Jitadusana — Vrindaban 20 November, 1976
So everything is going on. Either Christian, Mohammedan or Hindu, so-called. All of them have become rascal. That's all. This is Kali-yuga. Mandah sumanda-matayah. They have created their own imaginary religious principle, and therefore they are condemned. They do not know. Adanta-gobhir visatam tamisram punah punas carvita-carvananam [SB 7.5.30]. The life, the aim of life is to realize God. This is human life. But they are so much embarrassed with this uncontrollable senses that they are going to the darkest region of material existence. Adanta-gobhih. Adanta means uncontrolled. They cannot control the senses. They have become so unfortunate that simple thing, little effort, little austerity, to control the senses. The yoga process means to control the senses. Yoga does not mean that you show some magic. The magic, magician also can show magic. We have seen one magician, he created immediately so much coins—tung tung tung tung. Next moment it is all finished. So the life, they're missing the aim of life. Mandah sumanda-matayah. Why? Manda-bhagyah. They are unfortunate. So you take it for granted. We are trying, even our Krsna consciousness mission, we are trying to awaken. Still they are so unfortunate they cannot give up sense gratification. So unfortunate. Condemned, unfortunate. Repeatedly we are spending our gallons of blood—"Don't do this"—still they are doing. Cannot give up even sleeping. So condemned. Kali-yuga. Mandah sumanda-matayah.
So it is very difficult with these rascals. Very, very difficult. Therefore my Guru Maharaja's Guru Maharaja, Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, they were not preaching. They were disgusted that "I have no power to reform these rascals. Better don't bother. Let them go to hell. At least... Let them."
Bhagavad-gita 2.17 -- London, August 23, 1973
And you will be surprised that my Guru Maharaja's spiritual master was Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. He was completely illiterate. He did not know how to sign, and my spiritual master was the most learned man of his age. He accepted that guru who was completely illiterate. But when he would speak, that Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, he would speak with all Vedic references. And you will find in the Veda that
yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
So the spiritual knowledge becomes revealed. It is not subjected to any material acquisition. It is not subjected to any material acquisition of knowledge. It becomes revealed. How? Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau. One who has a staunch faith in the Supreme Lord and staunch faith in the personality of his spiritual master, bona fide, then he gets all the things revealed in himself. Spiritual things are not just like material things.
Bhagavad-gita 4.24-34 -- New York, August 12, 1966
So nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe. For Krsna's... Therefore you'll find in India, there are many very big, big, costly temples, not personal house. You'll never find all over India. You go and see. They have spent lots of money for temple. That was the Oriental civilization. Even the Muhammadans, they would construct very costly mosque, but they would live in huts. That was the intention. One... When... Whenever one is a little bit rich, he'll find out how to spend it for Krsna, not for his sense gratification. Just like this Madana-mohana temple was constructed by a big merchant. He approached Sanatana Gosvami: "Sir, what can I do for you? I want to serve you." So Sanatana Gosvami said, "My Madana-mohana... I am living underneath the tree, and my Madana-mohana is hanging. So if you can, you can construct a temple for Madana-mohana." Similarly, Maharaja Mansingh approached Rupa Gosvami. They never constructed big, big temple for their own living purpose, but Krsna's purpose. That is the way. For Krsna, we must have everything very gorgeous and first class, but not for me. That is akincana. Personally we should not possess anything, simply for Krsna.
So that attitude should be maintained because here it is said, tvam akincana-gocaram [SB 1.8.26]. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu also, he said that niskincanasya. Here it is called akincana. And the same thing in different way, niskincana. Akincana."A" means negation, and "na" means negation. Niskincana. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that niskincanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya. Bhagavad-bhajana, to advance in spiritual life, to be engaged in Krsna's devotional service, that is the aim of life. That is the purpose of human form of life. So for him, he should always remain niskincana. Niskincanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya. So therefore Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji, he remained niskincana. And his disciple, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, he also remained niskincana although he possessed so many temples, because nothing was for his personal..., but for Krsna.
So one may question that "Your Guru Maharaja was sitting on the ground in a municipal lavatory..." Because he did not like that "Anybody should disturb me," he was sitting by the side of municipal lavatory. Because so many people will come for darsana and asirvada, he did not like it. He did not like to be disturbed by these asirvada. You see? They will not take any spiritual instruction. They are thinking that "Here is a saintly person, and he'll bless me. So I have got now one thousand. I'll take ten thousand." That's all. Therefore they come. They do not come to take any spiritual instruction. Therefore it is botheration. It is botheration. So Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja did not like this botheration. He was sitting by the side of a municipal lavatory so that "These rascal will not come out of the bad smell and will not disturb me." You see? So Maharaja Mahindranandi, he was one of the... He had organized one sankirtana festival. So he came to Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja and to invite him. So after many requests, Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja said, "Maharaja, you have got many tenants. You are Maharaja. Why you are trying to make me your tenant? Because you are rich man, you also want... As your tenants carries your order, so you also want me. So why you are...?" "No, sir, no. You are my lord. Whatever you say, I shall carry out." "Will you carry out?" "Why not?" So he said that "Don't go home. Sit down here. Chant Hare Krsna." He fled away. (laughter) You see. So he was very humorous also, Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji, that "If you are so obedient, then I ask you, 'Don't go home. Better give up your dress and chant Hare Krsna here.' "
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.26 -- Mayapura, October 6, 1974
So Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was a great scholar. There is no doubt of it. But in spite of His becoming a great scholar, He is presenting Himself as a great fool. He says, "My Guru Maharaja saw Me a great..." Even one is very great scholar, he has to abide by the decision of his spiritual master. Even one is very great scholar, and if his spiritual master says that "You are a great fool," he should accept it. This is called full surrender. For example, I'll give you a practical... My Guru Maharaja was very great scholar, and his Guru Maharaja, from literary point of view, he could not even sign his name, Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. And Bhaktivinoda Thakura asked Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura to accept Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja as his, as his spiritual master, that "You go and take your initiation from Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja." So he thought that "I am a great scholar, and I am son of a magistrate, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and great Vaisnava. He'll be very much pleased to accept me." Of course, he was very much pleased. But in the beginning he refused. He refused. Because... Of course, that is only show. He was not proud. Just to teach us. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati explained that "I was little proud. So I was thrice refused by Guru Maharaja," although he was the only disciple. So the scholarship is not a qualification of becoming devotee. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teaching. Scholarship may help, but it is not necessary. Real necessary is that one should be humble and meek and follow the instruction of the spiritual master. This is real qualification.
trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
[Cc. Adi 17.31]
Because bhakti does not depend on any material qualification. Bhakti is different subject matter. Aprakrta. Adhoksaja. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6].
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 7.91-2 -- Vrndavana, March 13, 1974
There are four Sampradayas from the beginning of the creation. One is called Brahma Sampradaya, and is coming down by disciplic succession from Brahma; another Sampradaya is coming down from Laksmi, called Sri Sampradaya; another is coming down from the Kumaras, they are known as Nimbarka Sampradaya; another Sampradaya is coming from Lord Siva, Rudra Sampradaya or Visnu Svami. These are four bona fide Sampradayas that are accepted by the bona fide spiritualists. The Impersonalist Sampradaya is not original neither the Impersonalist Sampradaya or party can help us. At the present moment there are so many Sampradayas, but we have to test them about their method of disciplic understanding. Anyway, all the four Sampradayas above mentioned, they are after worshiping the Supreme Lord Visnu, in His different Expansions, and some of them are in favor of worshiping Radha Krishna. In the later age the Brahma Sampradaya was handed down though Madhva Acarya; in this Madhva Acarya disciplic succession came Isvara Puri. This Isvara Puri was accepted as Spiritual Master of Lord Caitanya. Therefore, we being in disciplic succession of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we are known as the Madhva Sampradaya. And because Lord Caitanya appeared in Bengal, which country is called Gaudadesa, our Sampradaya party is known as Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya. But all these Sampradayas are non-different from one another because they believe and worship the Supreme Lord. Any other Sampradaya who are Impersonalist or voidist or nondevotee, they are rejected by us.
My Guru Maharaja was in the 10th generation from Lord Caitanya. We are 11th from Lord Caitanya. The disciplic succession is as follows: 1. Sri Krishna, 2. Brahma, 3. Narada, 4. Vyasa, 5. Madhva, 6. Padmanabha, 7. Nrihari, 8. Madhava, 9. Akshobhya, 10. Jayatirtha, 11. Jnanasindhu, 12. Purusottama, 13. Vidyanidhi, 14. Rajendra, 15. Jayadharma, 16. Purusottama, 17. Vyasatirtha, 18. Laksmipati, 19. Madhavendra Puri, 20. Isvara Puri (Advaita, Nityananda) 21. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, 22. (Svarupa, Sanatana) Rupa, 23.(Jiva) Raghunath, 24. Krishna dasa, 25. Narottama, 26. Visvanatha, 27. (Baladeva.) Jagannatha, 28. (Bhaktivinode) Gaura-kisora, 29. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Sri Barshabhanavidayitadas, 30. Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta.
Letter to: Upendra — Los Angeles 13 February, 1968