Message of His Divine Grace
His Divine Grace Sree Sreemad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Moharaj the celebrated Acharya (Spiritual Head) of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas spoke the following few lines as His Message just a few days (23rd December, 1936) before His passing away from this mortal world."I have most probably given many people troubles in the mind. Some of them might have thought about me that I am their enemy because I was obliged to speak the plain truth for service and devotion towards the Absolute Godhead. I have given them all those troubles only for the reason that they may turn their face towards the Personality of Godhead without any desire for gain and with unalloyed devotion. I hope some day or other they may understand me rightly."
"I advise all to preach the teachings of Rupa-Raghunath (disciples of Lord Chaitanya) with all energy and resources. Our ultimate goal shall be to become the dust of the lotus feet of Sree Sree Rupa and Raghunath Goswamins. You should all work conjointly under the guidance of your spiritual master with a view to serve the Absolute Knowledge, the Personality of Godhead. You should live somehow or other without any quarrel in this mortal world only for the service of Godhead. Do not please give up the service of Godhead in spite of all dangers, all criticisms and all discomforts. Do not be disappointed for most people in the world do not serve the Personality of Godhead; do not give up your own service which is your everything and all, neither reject the process of chanting and hearing of the transcendental Holy Name of Godhead. You should always chant the transcendental Name of Godhead with patience and forbearance like a tree and humbleness like a straw."
"We wish that this mass of our body of flesh and blood may be sacrificed at the altar of preaching the Samkirtan Movement (congregational chanting of the Holy Name of Godhead) propagated by Lord Chaitanya. We are not desirous of becoming a hero of work or a reformer of religion, but our reality may be identified with the dust of the Lotus Feet of Sree Rupa and Raghunath for that is our everything. The flow of the transcendental tide of the attraction of devotion will never be blocked, and you with your all energy shall devote yourself for fulfilling the desire of Sreela Bhakti Vinode Thakur. There are many amongst you who are well qualified and able workers. We have no other desire whatsoever."
"There are certainly many difficulties while we are in this mortal world but it is not our business simply to be overwhelmed with those difficulties or to try to overcome them only. We must know even during the duration of our present life, as to what we shall gain after overcoming all those difficulties of life and what shall be the mode of our permanent existence. We must make an adjustment of all things that evoke our love and hatred and for those that we want and do not want. Attachment and detachment of this mortal world will engage us more and more as we become farther and farthest from the Lotus Feet of Sree Krishna. When we are able to transcend the position of attachments and detachments of this mortal world and be attracted with the Holy Name of Godhead, it is then only we can understand the import of the transcendental service of Sree Krishna the Personality of Godhead. At the first instance the subject Krishna is startling and perplexing to us. Every one who is called by the name 'man' is more or less struggling knowingly or unknowingly to eliminate those invading elements what are baffling our conception of eternal need. It is our only duty to enter into the kingdom of eternal need."
"We have no love or hatred for any one in this world. All arrangements made in this world are but temporary. There is, therefore, unavoidable necessity for that ultimate need for every one in this world. You should attain the transcendental loving service of the objective, being situated in concerted action for that one aim. Let there be a constant flow of the ideas and thoughts as conceived by Rupa Goswami and His followers. We shall not at any time show our slightest dejection for the seven tongued "Samkirtan" movement. If we have undaunted faith in it we shall then only achieve all perfections. You should all therefore preach with fearlessness and with utmost energy the message of Rupa and Raghunath under the guidance of the followers of Sree Rupa."
(Translated into English from Bengali.)
Message of Thakur Bhakti Vinode
"There is no other way out of this great ocean of Nescience except the unalloyed mercy of the Absolute Godhead. Living entity although superior in nature in comparison to the nature of matter, he is by association dependant and weaker than the material nature.
The Absolute Godhead is the creator of all entities, He is the maintainer and deliverer of all entities. The innumerable living entities are infinitesimals and Godhead is Infinite. The infinitesimal living entity is therefore subordinate to the Infinite and as such he is transcendentally the eternal servitor of the Absolute Godhead. The Supreme Spirit Godhead is the ultimate rest of all entities. This material world is a construction of the material energy and the material existence of the living entity is a sort of punishment just like a prisoner. The punishment is due to forgetfulness of Godhead by the living entity. And therefore there is no deliverance of the living entities from the clutches of Nescience save and except by the revival of his sense of Godhead. Those who have forgotten the relation of Godhead are only the prisoners of this Material world and those who have not forgotten Him are the liberated souls.
"The conditioned souls who are bound up by the material energy can get rid of prison life by the mercy of Godhead if he prays for it by penance and service. Great Sages and Messiahs of the world have devised various ways and means for this self-realisation of the living entity and all such means can be grouped into three different channels namely good work, knowledge and devotion.
"There are many sub-divisions within good works such as the system of four castes of four orders of life, sacrifice, austerity, charity, penance and various such things. And there are scriptures wherein the respective results of all the above mentioned good works are illustrated and explained. If those results are again analysed and scrutinised, we can understand that higher station of life such as one in the Heaven, opulence in this material world, power, deliverance from miseries and diseases or attainment of higher standard of services are the net results of the above good works. And by separating the one of higher standard of services, we can only understand all other results as one of material world. As such all the results pertaining to the material energy which can be attained by the performances of good works, are but temporary and subject to exhaustion. In order of mundane time and space, created by the Material Energy, everything is limited by the laws of Nature. So all these limited acquisitions cannot help us in our attempt to get rid of the conditional life on the contrary the temporary good results of these good works bind us more strongly within the limits of material energy.
The ultimate end of attaining higher status of life is to obtain sufficient time for culture and performances of higher duties. The system of the four castes and four orders of life as introduced by the religion of the Hindus, is designed to mould up the character of the respective performers for higher duties and thus to give them ample chance for cultivating spiritual knowledge. If therefore any one who even after obtaining higher standard of life as well as sufficient leisure, does not culture this higher duties namely the cultivation of spiritual knowledge and philosophy, then according to the opinion of Bhagvats, the labour and energy lost in this direction is spent up for nothing. And in most cases it has been found that those who have obtained sufficient rest and comfort after performances of hard labour, have mostly squandered away the valuable time and energy thus obtained in different occupations other than spiritual culture. This fact proves conclusively that good works cannot give any one the ultimate goodness that is freedom from the bondage of conditioned life.
"Cultivation of higher spiritual knowledge which discerns the matter from spirit does not also help us in the achievement of the highest goal. By this culture of spiritual life one can realise only one's self, as distinguished from gross matter, and can also understand that the spirit soul is above matter as ignorance of this fact makes him bound to undergo the rigours of conditioned life. This self-realisation may help one for attaining the marginal position between material and spiritual existence but this does not mean actual spiritual life and its spiritual activities without which the spirit soul cannot obtain the highest bliss. This marginal state of life may be called the life of self-satisfaction as distinguished from the life of self-realisation which means engagement in the transcendental activities of the spiritual world. Self-satisfaction without this self-realisation (attachment for spiritual activities) does not bear any substantial fruit.
"The quality of spiritual activity is so much attractive that it attracts even the most self-satisfied spiritualists and thus engages them in the spiritual activities as distinguished from the material activities.
"Thus the result of good works, when it gives sufficient leisure for the cultivation of spiritual activities and spiritual knowledge it is then and then only that good works or cultivation of spiritual knowledge can be accepted as means to the ultimate goal. Therefore devotional activities only can lead us to the spiritual activities and nothing else. Good works or spiritual knowledge under the guidance of devotional activities can be helpful for spiritual activities but devotional activities even without the help of good works or spiritual knowledge can alone help us in the attainment of spiritual life.
"The Personality of Godhead Sree Krishna informed Uddhava that neither good works even without any desire for fruitive action, nor spiritual knowledge, nor the system of caste and creed nor the studies of scriptures, nor penances, nor even renunciation can satisfy Him, as do the devotional activities themselves.
(Translated into English from Bengali.)
Message of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
"In the latter days of my Guru Maharaja he was very disgusted. Actually, he left this world earlier, otherwise he would have continued to live for more years. Still he requested his disciples to form a strong Governing body for preaching the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He never recommended anyone to be acarya of the Gaudiya Math. But Sridhara Maharaja is responsible for disobeying this order of Guru Maharaja, and he and others who are already dead unnecessarily thought that there must be one acarya. If Guru Maharaja could have seen someone who was qualified at that time to be acarya he would have mentioned. Because on the night before he passed away he talked of so many things, but never mentioned an acarya. His idea was acarya was not to be nominated amongst the governing body. He said openly you make a GBC and conduct the mission. So his idea was amongst the members of GBC who would come out successful and self effulgent acarya would be automatically selected. So Sridhara Maharaja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one acarya and later it proved a failure. The result is now everyone is claiming to be acarya even though they may be kanistha adhikari with no ability to preach. In some of the camps the acarya is being changed three times a year. Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp.
(Srila Prabhupada's Letter to Rupanuga 4/28/74)
Reporter (2): What will happen to the movement in the United States when you die?
Prabhupada: I WILL NEVER DIE.
Devotees: Jaya! Hari bol! (laughter)
Prabhupada: I SHALL LIVE From MY BOOKS, AND YOU WILL UTILIZE.
Reporter (2): Are you training a successor?
Prabhupada: Yes, my Guru Maharaja is there. Where is my photo of Guru Maharaja? I think... Here is.
reasons ill who tells that Vaishnavas die
When thou are living still in sound.
The Vaishnavas die to live
and living try to Spread a holy life around!
... is that spiritual master still guiding after death?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, yes. Just like Krsna is guiding us, similarly spiritual master will guide us. (General lectures, 69/09/23)
Devotee: Srila Prabhupada when you're not present with us , how is it possible to receive instructions? For example in questions that may arise...
Well the questions are answ... answers are there in my books.
(Morning Walk, Los Angeles, 13/5/73)
So utilise whatever time you find to make a thorough study of my books. Then all your questions will be answered. (Letter to Upendra, 7/1/76)
Every one of you must regularly read our books at least twice, in the morning and evening, and automatically all questions will be answered. ( Letter to Randhira, 24/01/70)
If I depart there is no cause for lamentation. I will always be with you through my books and orders. I will always remain with you in that way. (BTG 13:1-2, December 1977)
In my books the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is EXPLAINED FULLY so if there is anything which you do not understand, then you simply have to read again and again. By reading daily THE KNOWLEDGE WILL BE REVEALED TO YOU AND BY THIS PROCESS YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE WILL DEVELOP.
Note: This clearly indicates that Srila Prabhupada's books are understood through their own potency, and that there is therefore no need for a physically present guru to understand the books. Our Srimad Bhagavatam is unique because the verses of the Bhagavatam are directly complemented with the purports of Srila Prabhupada, who is the bonafide maha-bhagavata ; therefore, the book Bhagavata and the person Bhagavata are combined in Srila Prabhupada's Srimad Bhagavatam. Therefore, there is no need for a third party, "the so called current Iskcon links" to (mis)interpret what Srila Prabhupada "really means to say". sic
Prabhupada: So I cannot speak. I am feeling very weak. I was to go to other places like Chandigarh program, but I cancelled the program because the condition of my health is very deteriorating. So I preferred to come to Vrndavana. If death takes place, let it take here. So there is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavor. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn't matter.
I should be returning to Los Angeles the last week of November and I should be more than happy to see you there. Please always try to remember me by my teachings and we shall always be together. Just like I have written in the first publications of Srimad-Bhagavatam, "THE SPIRITUAL MASTER LIVES FOREVER BY HIS DIVINE INSTRUCTION AND THE DISCIPLE LIVES WITH HIM.", because I have always served my Guru Maharaja and followed His teachings I am now even never separated from Him. Sometimes Maya may come and try to interfere but we must not falter, we must always follow the chalked out path layed down by the great acharya's and in the end you will see.
Prabhupada: So there is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavor. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn't matter.
"I shall remain your personal guidance, physically present or not physically, as I am getting personal guidance from my guru maharaja" (Srila Prabhupada to Tamal Krishna, 14 July 1977)
Words From Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura
1. We are put to test and trial in this world. Only those who attend the kirtana of the devotees can succeed.
2. Every spot on earth where discourses on God are held is a place of pilgrimage.
3. Possession of objects not related to Krsna is our main malady.
4. Let me not desire anything but the highest good for my worst enemies.
5. As dalliance with the body in luxury increases, so wanes the spirit of service of the Lord.
6. Those favored by God find their paths set by thorns.
7. There is no peace or happiness in our worldly life. Circumstances create turmoil and annoyance.
8. Chant the mahamantra loudly and with attachment. This will drive away inertia, worldly evils and pests.
9. Be indifferent to bazaar gossip, stick firmly to your cherished goals, no lack or impediments of the world will ever stand in your way.
10. Pay due respects to the extroverts of the world, but do not be appreciative of their manners and conduct. They are to be shaken off from your mind.
11. A devotee feels the presence of God everywhere, but one averse to the Lord denies His existence anywhere.
12. You cannot appreciate transcendental matters with the reasoning of the world. It is sheer nonsense to decry them with the measuring stick of your intellect.
13. To recite the name of Sri Krsna is bhakti.
14. Life is for the glorification of topics on Hari. If that is stopped, then what need is there to carry on life.
15. Physical illness with Hari-bhajana is preferred to physical fitness without Hari-bhajana.
16. Our span of life on earth is short. Our life will be crowned with success if the body wears out with constant discourses on Hari.
17. We are here on earth not to work as artisans for making big buildings with wood and stone but to work only as messengers for the teachings of Sri Caitanya Deva.
18. A sycophant is neither a guru or a preacher.
19. To transform the adverse desires of the jivas is the supreme duty of the most merciful. To rescue one person from the stronghold of Mahamaya is an act of superb benevolence, far superior to opening innumerable hospitals.
20. Unless we are devoted to God, secularism shall not leave us.
21. Look within. Amend yourself, rather than pry into the frailities of others.
22. In this world of Maya, averse to the Lord, full of trials and tribulations, only patience, humility and respect for others are our friends for Hari-bhajana.
23. The Lord, Gaurasundara, puts His devotees in various difficulties and associations to test their patience and strength of mind. Success depends on their good fortune.
24. When faults in others misguide and delude you - have patience, introspect, find faults in yourself. Know that others cannot harm you unless you harm yourself.
25. I wish that every selfless, tender-hearted person of Gaudiya Math will be prepared to shed two hundred gallons of blood for the nourishmentof the spiritual corpus of every individual of this world.
Killing the Demons within the Heart
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Sri Caitanya Siksamrita describes the demons Krishna killed in His Vrndavana pastimes and the anarthas (unwanted things) with which they may be associated.
Putana (the witch) - the pseudo guru.
Sakatasura (the cart demon) - carrying the burden of a cart-load of old and new bad habits, lethargy and vanity.
Trinavarta (the whirlwind demon) - false pride which comes from material scholarship, which leads to bogus philosophies.
Deliverance of Nalakuvara and Manigriva (breaking the twin arjuna trees) - Arrogant pride which comes from puffed-up prestige, which is rooted in a madness for wealth.
Vatsasura (the calf demon) - a childish type of mentality which gives rise to a type of greediness which results in a wicked type of mischievousness.
Bakasura (stork demon) - Cunning duplicity, deceptiveness and false types of behavior.
Aghasura (the snake demon) - Cruelty and violence.
Brahma-vimohana Pastime (Lord Brahma steals the cowherd boys and calves) - mundane activities and speculative scholasticism.
Dhenukasura (the ass demon) - gross materialistic intelligence, ignorance of spiritual knowledge.
Kaliya (chastising the Kaliya serpent) - brutality and treachery.
Extinguishing the Forest Fire - inter-communal discord among Vaishnavas.
Pralambasura (killing the Pralamba demon) - lusty inclinations; desire for personal gain and honor.
Second Forest Fire - disturbance of religious principles and interference with religious people by those who are atheist.
Brahmanas Performing Sacrifice - indifference toward Krishna caused by pride because of one's status (position) in varnasrama.
Overcoming the Pride of Indra - demigod worship, and the tendency to think "I am Supreme."
Nanda Maharaja Captured by Varuna - thinking that spiritual life can be enhanced by intoxication.
Nanda Maharaja Swallowed by Vidyadhara (the snake) - rescuing the truth of Krishna consciousness from being swallowed by the impersonalists.
Sankhacuda (killing the conch-shell demon and getting the jewel that was stolen by him) - proneness toward acquiring name and fame, and desire for sensuous enjoyment, under the plea of devotion.
Aristasura (the bull demon) - pride arising from indulging in false religions invented by cheaters which causes neglect of devotional service (bhakti).
Kesi (the horse demon) - The feeling that "I am a great devotee and spiritual master."
Vyomasura (the demon in the sky) - associating with thieves and other rascals, and with people who put themselves forward as avataras.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura says: "The devotee who worships the holy name should
first petition the Lord for the strength to cast out all these unfavorable tendencies
and should pray thus before Lord Hari on a daily basis. By doing this regularly,
the devotee's heart will eventually become purified. Sri Krishna has killed
a number of demons which may arise in the kingdom of the heart, so in order
to destroy these problems, a devotee must cry very humbly before the Lord and
admit defeat then the Lord will nullify all contaminations."