His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
the Hare Krsna movement)
His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
the Hare Krsna movement)
A Pure Devotee, Just Like Krsna, Is Non-different From His Body
by Purujit Dasa
There is a group of devotees who claim that you cannot accept Srila Prabhupada as your spiritual master posthumously and claim that if one does that he is a blasphemer for jumping over some gurus who most ridiculously claim to be Srila Prabhupada’s successors. To answer such a nonsense, let us first of all understand that the very term "posthumously" used in connection with the ever-liberated acarya is itself a pure blasphemy. The word posthumous literally means "after death". Death is definetely a reality for us conditioned souls, but a pure devotee such as Srila Prabhupada is not subjected to death as his body and soul are non-different. Prabhupada writes:
For the ordinary living being in material existence there is a division or distinction between the body and the owner of the body. In spiritual existence, however, there is no such distinction, for the body is the owner himself and the owner is the body itself. In spiritual existence, everything must be spiritual. Therefore there is no distinction between the body and its owner.
It is just like prisoners in a prison house. They have to beat the bricks and when a psychologist comes to the prison to try to help them, they think he is also a prisoner and they think he should also beat the bricks. This their lack of intelligence. Similarly, when a liberated soul comes to the material world in order to preach to the conditioned souls to give up their nonsense and come back to Krsna, they also think he is conditioned. Therefore they will hardly listen to his instructions and there is no question of spiritual advancement. Prabhupada gives this analogy:
Prabhupada: Just like a man has gone to jail, he's giving education to the prisoners, "My dear brother prisoners, this life is not good, you become honest, don't come to the jail." So other prisoners, they are working hard, they are hammering on the bricks, they think that "This man is not hammering on the bricks, he's talking only."
Interviewer: I didn't gather that.
Bali-mardana: In the prison the people are, their work is, say, to hammer on bricks. So when, if someone comes into the jail and tells the prisoners, "You shouldn't be doing this, actually you should become honest and go out of the jail and be free." Now if the persons in the jail... Because... They will then become envious that "this person, instead of working hard like us, he's simply talking." They cannot understand the benefit that he's giving them and they become envious, that "Because he's not working like us he is nonsense."
(Interview with Religious Editor Of the Associated Press -- July 16, 1976, New York)
There are so many warnings in the sastra to avoid such misconception. Only a complete fool can still talk like this and thus commit offenses at the feet of Srila Prabhupada and thus destroy his chance to ever understand the philosophy of Krsna consciousness. Guru's body is spiritual, therefore eternal. He never dies. His so-called death is simply a pastime to show us how we ourselves are supposed to live and leave our bodies. But he himself is not subjected to maya, because he is ever-liberated even in this life. For example in the Caitanya Caritamrta Antya lila ch.5 there is a story of a poet who came to Lord Caitanya to recite a poem who wrote for Him. The secretary of Lord Caitanya Svarupa Damodara first of all hears the poem if it is philosophically correct and when the poet recites it, Svarupa Damodara severly chastises him because the poet wrote that Lord Jagannatha's body and soul are different. In one of the purports Srila Prabhupada comments:
"There is a distinction between the body and soul of the materially existing living being, but because Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Jagannatha do not possess material bodies, there is no distinction between Their bodies and souls. On the spiritual platform, body and soul are identical; there is no distinction between them. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam:
etad isanam isasya
prakrti-stho 'pi tad-gunaih
na yujyate sadatma-sthair
yatha buddhis tad-asraya
"This is the divinity of the Personality of Godhead. He is not affected by the qualities of material nature, even though He is in contact with them. Similarly, the devotees who have taken shelter of the Lord cannot be influenced by the material qualities." (Bhag. 1.11.38) His Lordship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is unaffected by the influence of the three modes of material nature. Indeed, His devotees are also unpolluted by the influence of the external energy because they engage in the service of His Lordship. Even the very body of a devotee becomes spiritualized, just as an iron rod put into fire becomes as qualified as fire because it becomes red hot and will immediately burn anything it touches. Therefore the poet from Bengal committed a great offense by treating Lord Jagannatha's body and Lord Jagannatha, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as two different entities, material and spiritual, as if the Lord were an ordinary living being."
(CC Antya 5.119)
Please note Prabhupada says here "His devotees are ALSO unpolluted by the influence of the external energy" and later on "even the very body of a devotee become spiritualized". Here are more statements from Srila Prabhupada on this topic:
ONLY A KARMI AND APHARADI (OFFENDER) THINKS THE BODY OF GURU IS MATERIAL (LIVING/DEAD)
"Karmīs may consider the body of a devotee material, but factually it is not, for a devotee has no conception of material enjoyment. If one thinks that the body of a pure devotee is material, he is an offender, for that is a vaiṣṇava-aparādha."
(CC Antya 4.194)
"The body of a karmi is called material because the karmi, being too absorbed in material activities, is always eager to enjoy material facilities, but the body of a devotee who tries his best to work very hard for the satisfaction of Krsna by fully engaging in the Lord's service must be accepted as transcendental. Whereas karmis are interested only in the personal satisfaction of their senses, devotees work for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. Therefore one who cannot distinguish between devotion and ordinary karma may mistakenly consider the body of a pure devotee material. One who knows does not commit such a mistake. Nondevotees who consider devotional activities and ordinary material activities to be on the same level are offenders to the chanting of the transcendental holy name of the Lord. A pure devotee knows that a devotee's body, being always transcendental, is just suitable for rendering service to the Lord."
(CC Antya 4.173)
"Karmis may consider the body of a devotee material, but factually it is not, for a devotee has no conception of material enjoyment. If one thinks that the body of a pure devotee is material, he is an offender, for that is a vaisnava-aparadha.)
(CC Antya 4.191-194)
GURU'S BODY IS NOT AFFECTED BY DEATH
"The spiritual master, or ācārya, is always situated in the spiritual status of life. Birth, death, old age and disease do not affect him. According to the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, therefore, after the disappearance of an ācārya, his body is never burnt to ashes, for it is a spiritual body. The spiritual body is always unaffected by material conditions."
TO THINK THAT GURU'S BODY IS SUBJECTED TO DEATH IS DENIED BY SASTRA
"Gurusu means those who are acaryas, to accept their body as ordinary man’s body, this is denied in the sastras."
(Lecture Excerpt – Los Angeles, January 13, 1969)
The moment a disciple thinks his spiritual master is an ordinary man, he cannot hear from him with submission. Why should he hear from someone who is conditioned by material nature and therefore prone to make mistakes? Srila Prabhupada makes this point very clearly in the beginning of his purports to the Bhagavadgita As It Is:
"If Arjuna is on the same level with Krsna, and Krsna is not superior to Arjuna, then their relationship of instructor and instructed becomes meaningless. If both of them are deluded by the illusory energy (maya), then there is no need of one being the instructor and the other the instructed. Such instruction would be useless because, in the clutches of maya, no one can be an authoritative instructor."
This is not just what Srila Prabhupada says, but also the sastra. In Padma Purana there is the following sloka:
arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhir
visnor va vaisnavanam kali-mala-mathane pada-tirthe 'mbu-buddhih
sri-visnor namni mantre sakala-kalusa-he sabde-samanya buddhir
visnau sarvesvarese tad-itara-sama-dhir yasya va naraki sah
"That person who considers the Deity of the Supreme Lord to be dead matter made out of stone, wood or metal; or the spiritual master, who is an eternal associate of the Supreme Lord, to be an ordinary man who is prone to die or the Vaisnava to be coming from some caste; or the water which washes the feet of the pure devotee or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to be ordinary water, although such water has the potency to destroy all evils of the age of Kali; or to consider the holy name of the Supreme Lord or mantras dedicated to Him which are able to destroy all sin to be ordinary sounds; or to consider the Supreme Lord of all, Lord Visnu, to be equal with other demigods, is considered to possess a hellish mentality. A person who thinks in this way is certainly a resident of hell."
So immediately when someone pulls out this "living guru" card he proves himself to be an offender and there is no need to hear any more of his gibberish nonsense arguments. If there is a successor guru to Srila Prabhupada, he should prove himself by preaching. Srila Prabhupada wrote so many books. He didn't establish his position as a guru by saying: Well, my guru Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati is dead, so you have to accept me, because he's dead, you see? He can't guide you now, so you have to accept me. This what these people are saying. They will all rot in hell according to Padma Purana. It is even pointless to discuss with them. Their whole understanding of Krsna consciousness is perverted.