Spiritual Master / Guru Srila Prabhupada on Morning Walk with Devotees By Lake

Published on July 31st, 2015 | by Madhudvisa dasa | Full size image


The Importance of Having a Qualified Guru

It may sound strange but the biggest danger to your spiritual advancement is if you accept as your guru a person who is incapable of guiding you back home, back to Godhead.

It is Kali-yuga and this age is called the age of quarrel and the age of hypocrisy. Almost everyone is cheating and almost everyone is presenting themselves as something which they are actually not. This is the age of the cheaters and the cheated. Practically every guru is a cheater and practically every so-called disciple wants to be cheated.

Most so-called spiritual seekers are not really prepared to surrender to Krishna or to surrender to Krishna’s pure devotee and make the mission of Krishna’s pure devotee their own mission in life. No they have their own program. And they want a guru who they can give some money to and guru will give them some blessings and assure them that everything they are doing is OK and they really don’t have to change much in their lives at all. So they want to be cheated. They want a guru who will reassure them that it is OK to stay in illusion, it is OK to stay in maya, as long as they give the cheating guru some money, everything is fine…

This is the way of guru in Kali-yuga. Practically you can guarantee that any person you meet who is claiming to be a guru and claiming to be able to guide you back home, back to Godhead is cheating. In Kali-yuga it is safe to assume that anyone who is claiming to be a guru is bogus and is unable to actually help you reach the ultimate goal–shelter at Krishna’s lotus feet.

The real guru is so rare. And in Kali-yuga cheating gurus are so common. That is why we are so incredibly fortunate to have Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada is 100% certain to be a pure devotee of Krishna and 100% qualified to guide us back home, back to Godhead. Therefore we should take this rare opportunity of associating with a pure devotee of Krishna in this human form of life and make our life a success by accepting Srila Prabhupada as our spiritual master and actually surrendering to him and serving him and by his mercy we can easily cross over this ocean of miseries which is this material world.

As I have already said in Kali-yuga it is safe to assume all gurus are bogus unless there is real proof to the contrary. And this is equally true even for ISKCON gurus. So you have to be very careful, they will say “Krishna, Krishna, Prabhupada said…” and take your money and not be able to give you Krishna at all… It is kali-yuga and the cheaters are everywhere.

Srila Prabhupada had a very special facility that no previous acarya in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition had. He had the ability to record the transcendental vibrations coming from his lotus lips and and he had access to book printing, publishing, and distribution systems that were not available to the previous acharyas.

In this way, in Srila Prabhupada’s books and in his recorded lectures, conversations, etc, he has been able to make the transcendental sound vibrations coming from his lotus mouth eternal.

What is the basis of associating with a spiritual master and accepting a spiritual master? It is simply to hear the transcendental sound vibrations from his lotus lips and to accept these instructions and to make these instructions one’s life and soul.

So now Srila Prabhupada is even more available to his prospective disciples and his current disciples then he ever was in his physical presence through his books and his recorded classes and conversations.

Some of the cheating gurus of kali-yuga are really very sincere and become gurus for all the right reasons. The problem is because they really do not know they are not qualified to liberate others–only a liberated soul can help others to also become liberated soul.

So in a genuine way these devotees take up the position of guru but because they are not themselves pure devotees they can not guide their disciples in such a way that they can give up all their sinful activities and become properly situated as pure devotees in Krishna consciousness. Because these “sincere” gurus are unable to save their disciples and they have taken the responsibility to save them, they suffer so much bad karma. So ultimately they fall down and so do their disciples.

It is something like if someone has very good intentions and sees a drowning man in the ocean and out of real love and concern for the drowning man he jumps into the ocean to save this man–not even considering that he can not swim himself. So it is a very nice sentiment. But he will drown himself and he will not be able to save the drowning man–both of them will drown. So from this very nicely motivated action only disaster is the result.

The would-be lifesaver should have taken the time to consider the situation and instead of trying to save the drowning man himself admitted his inability to swim and found someone who can really swim and save the drowning man. If he can find some qualified lifesaver and connect him to the drowning man then he will save the drowning man and he will not drown himself.

We need to take a “reality check” and see the extraordinary qualifications of Srila Prabhupada and also see our very limited qualifications. And we can take the position of representatives of Srila Prabhupada. Just like the devotees did when Srila Prabhupada was physically present on the planet.

At that time the preachers in ISKCON were not trying to get disciples for themselves. They were acting as representatives of Srila Prabhupada, preaching the philosophy and encouraging the people who heard them to read Srila Prabhupada’s books and develop a relationship with Srila Prabhupada.

Once we are hearing from Prabhupada by reading his books and/or listening to his recorded classes and conversations we are personally associating with Srila Prabhupada in a very personal and individual way. Prabhupada has the potency to guide us, to answer our questions and ultimately to initiate us into Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtan Movement.

Of course for the practical running of Srila Prabhupada’s world-wide preaching movement there is a need for qualified preachers to push the movement on all over the world. And this was the case in Srila Prabhupada’s physical presence. Srila Prabhupada put responsible disciples in positions like Temple President, GBC and Sannyas and all these devotes had very responsible positions in ISKCON and all were acting as gurus to some extent for the devotees under their responsibility.

But it was very clear that everyone in ISKCON is Prabhupada’s disciple and we are all godbrothers. Of course some are senior godbrothers and some a junior godbrothers but we are all one big family of disciples of Srila Prabhupada sitting together at Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet.

This mood and system needs to be reestablished in ISKCON so ISKCON can once again become the dynamic preaching mission it once was, spreading Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtan Movement of Pure Love of God all over the world and engulfing the whole world in s tsunami of pure love of God…

In the meantime be very careful not to accept a conditioned soul as your spiritual master. Only a liberated soul, a pure devotee of Krishna, can guide you back home back to Godhead.

And remember accepting the wrong guru is the greatest stumbling block in spiritual advancement.

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176 Responses to The Importance of Having a Qualified Guru

  1. Srinivas acarya das says:

    Dear Madhudvisa prabhu, please accept my humble obeisances,
    all glories to Srila Prabhupada,

    i would like to express my heartfell gratitude for the service you took upon yourself since a long time already, i am very impressed and finally happy that sincere devotees of Srila Prabhupada are endeavoring so hard in order to keep Srila Prabhupada’ s legacy especially through his books safe and As It Is!!

    one day i came upon the version of small BG As It Is, old edition, printed by Krishna Books, (at that time i knew nothing of the issue of Jayadvaita Swami changing the books)
    so i look on the purports and i found out: “wait a minute i never read such puport!!”, then i compared with one of the new edition currently available in any Iskcon mandir and then i saw changes that have occured, totally affecting the meaning or potency of Srila Prabhupada’ s very diligently choosen words (Krsna’ s words whispered to Srila Prabhupada in fact!!).

    So, i am becoming a new man in Krsna Consciousness and this is also due to your selfless service to Srila Prabhupada that’ s why i have to express my gratitude!

    So far, i already completed the complete reading of S.B from Jayadvaita Swami’ s rendered edition, but i am now more eager than ever to actually re-read it all from Srila Prabhupada’ s original authorised version!!

    indoubtedly, this shows difficult time ahead, but Sri guru and Gauranga are always present wherever their surrendered servant act for them.

    Hare Krsna,
    your insignificant servant,
    srinivas acarya das.

  2. Neeraja says:

    Hare Krishna thank you very much

  3. UDAYA says:







    • Yes. But not just accept Prabhupada in mind, but read his books and accept and follow the instructions you find Srila Prabhupada giving you as your read his books. We actually have to surrender to Srila Prabhupada, we have to make his orders our mission in life. So Krishna consciousness is a practical thing. We have to actually use our mind, intelligence, money, words, everything, in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.

  4. Aman says:

    Madhudvisa Prabhu, is reading books like Ramcharitmanas and listening to Rama Katha and Shrimadbhagavad on TV apart from reading and listening to Srila Prabhupada helpful in developing Krishna consciousness? I do this because I can’t afford Srila Prabhupada’s books and only read them online. I also chant 16 rounds of Hare Krishna mahamantra and read your articles.

    • Hare Krishna Aman

      The problem is the typical books read by Hindus now and the Rama Katha and Srimadbhagavatam TV are all totally contaminated with the philosophy of the Mayavadis. So you should just read Srila Prabhupada’s books and listen to his classes and learn Krishna consciousness from Srila Prabhupada. In that way you can actually become Krishna conscious.

      Hearing the Mayavadi philosophy is poison and once you have heard the Mayavadi philosophy it is very difficult to understand Krishna consciousness.

      So just get Srila Prabhupada’s books and read them. They are not very expensive. Just order them from KrishnaStore.com and read them.

      Srila Prabhupada went to so much effort to write his books for us. The least we can do is read all of his books.

      So you have to give up all these other things and just read Prabhupada’s books and hear Prabhupada’s classes. At least until you clearly understand what Krishna consciousness is from Srila Prabhupada. Otherwise you will never be able to understand it. You will be lost in the world of Mayavada philosophy.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  5. Aruna Kumar Nayak says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa Prabhu,

    How we know, who is the Real guru and who is wrong Guru ?

    • It is a little difficult. Because neophyte devotee can not distinguish between demon and devotee. One has to be on the platform of madhyama-adhikari to be able to distinguish who is qualified guru and who is demon. So you need to read Srila Prabhupada’s books, chant Hare Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds a day and strictly follow the four regulative principles, until you are elevated to the platform of a madhyama-adhikari devotee, then you will be able to tell who is bona fide guru and who is demon.

      At the moment it is safest to assume that all who are presenting themselves as bona fide gurus are demons and avoid them…….

      There are signs of an actual bona fide guru. He performs wonderful activities. Look at Srila Prabhupada. See all the extraordinary things he did. Bona fide guru is like Prabhupada. He does extraordinary things…

  6. Rahulkumar says:

    very nice Prabhuji…HARI BOL…

  7. Nicole Poirier says:

    Hare Krishna,

    An acquaintance of mine wants me to take Scientology courses. Would you kindly tell me who you really think this person was; L. Ron Hubbard, the Founder of Scientology. Hare Bol!

    Your servant in Krishna consciousness,

    Nicole Poirier
    56 yrs old, retired from Federal Government
    Ottawa, Ontario Canada

    • L. Ron Hubbard was a science fiction author. That is a fact. And he wrote some science fiction book and turned that into a religion and he made a lot of money from it by fooling idiots to give him huge amounts of money in return for his imaginary science fiction religion. It is completely bogus. Completely speculation. Something invented in the imagination of his mind. True spiritual knowledge is not developed in someone’s imagination. True spiritual knowledge is handed down from the Supreme Lord to us through a bona fide disciplic succession. There is nothing new. There is no new knowledge. So if one is claiming to teach spiritual knowledge one has to see who is his teacher? And he has to see if his teacher is bona fide, and if he is following his teacher. As soon as someone speculates himself and changes the knowledge or adds to it the actual knowledge is lost.

      So this Scientology is just rubbish. It is a scam. It is very expensive. It is a way of getting foolish people to give them thousands and thousands of dollars. That’s all. Its a scam.

      Chant Hare Krishna [its free…] and be happy!

  8. Russell says:

    So what you are saying is Srila Prabhupada is the only guru required and all we need to do is read his books and listen to his recordings to go back to Godhead?

    • You have to also follow the instructions you find Srila Prabhupada giving you as you read his books. Nothing happens in Krishna consciousness unless you surrender to a bona fide spiritual master. So you have to surrender to Srila Prabhupada and serve him. Dedicate your life to following his instructions. This surrender is essential. Reading and listening to recording is pointless unless you come to the point of surrender…

  9. Doran says:

    Dear Madhudvisa dasa:

    I have been reading your excellent newsletter, reading Srila Praphupada’s books, and listen to his talks on YouTube every night. But I’m a beginner, so please bear with me.

    I corresponded with a devotee briefly, who told me that I ought to keep reading and, if possible, visit a temple. There is an Iskcon temple in my area (Phoenix, AZ). Now, I have been reading the long discussion following your article, and what I am gathering is that I would be better off taking Srila Prabhupada as my guru and not bothering with ISKCON. Is that correct? But then, I wonder how it could be that Prabhupada put so much energy into founding ISKCON and nurturing it only to see it go totally off the rails following his death, to the extent that it is no longer even worth associating with.

    Thanks for reading.


    • Hare Krishna Doran

      This is normal, what has happened to ISKCON. Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual master often spoke on this problem with the religious organizations. As soon as the empowered acharya leaves there is nothing that can stop the “Putanas taking over the pulpits” is his words. It means that the empowered acharya establishes a big preaching organization and while he is physically present he is able to direct it properly and it is working very nicely. But as soon as he disappears it is taken over by demons who use it for their own purposes.

      Krishna consciousness is a dynamic personal relationship between the bona fide spritual master and his surrendered disciples. It can not be institutionalized. Attempts to do this will always fail.

      You do not understand what Srila Prabhupada put his energy into. What Prabhupada put his energy into was writing, publishing and distributing his transcendental books. It is Prabhupada’s books that are important, not ISKCON. ISKCON have rejected Srila Prabhupada except for keeping him as some sort of ceremonial figurehead for the organization. But they do not follow his instructions. The do not accept his authority.

      Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON to distribute his books primarily. Everything in Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON was centered around distributing his books. Almost everyone in Prabhupada’s ISKCON was a book distributor. But now ISKCON has practically given up distributing Srila Prabhupada’s book. They have only one day a year, they call it ‘World Enlightenment Day’ and on that one day they encourage a few devotees to go out and distribute a few books. And they have changed the books. They ban Prabhupada’s original books and are busy rewriting everything and changing the philosophy and printing books that as the years go by get further and further away from Srila Prabhupada’s actual books.

      So yes. If you actually are interested in advancing in spritual life then you need to keep away from ISKCON. They will poison you with so many wrong and dangerous ideas and you will never be able to understand Krishna consciousness or Srila Prabhupada’s mission if you associate with them.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Sandra says:

        Dear Madhudvisa Prabhu,

        I am as new to Krsna consciousness as Doran, and I had the same thoughts. Thank you for your enlightening answer to his question!

        So, accepting Srila Prabhupada as your spiritual master and making his instructions in his books your very life and soul is sufficient to realize one’s eternal relationship with Krishna, to develop Krsna-prema due to Krsna’s mercy, and go back home, back to Sri Krishna Himself. To read the pre-1978 original books and follow them to a T. In this way a diksa-guru wouldn’t be necessary, have I understood this correctly? It’s an extremely important subject and I need to be absolutely sure.

        I am quite addicted to Srila Prabhupada’s books. As you write in your article above (which I got via newsletter), I can read for hours on end and I become happier and happier.

        I have one additional question though: In Prabhupada’s very first recorded interview (at least it’s the very first in Vanipedia, http://vanisource.org/wiki/680201_-_Interview_-_Los_Angeles ) Srila Prabhupada says almost at the very end: “Yes, when one is initiated, I give him a name which means remembrance of Kṛṣṇa.” So, how would I receive a spiritual name when there is no initiating diksa-guru and I seek direct shelter at Srila Prabhupada’s feet themselves? Isn’t such a name important, to further cleanse your own mind and the minds of your family, your friends, etc when they have to use the spiritual name? Who can choose such a name for me?

        I’ve read about how ISKCON Bangalore practises this, the one single temple that initiates on behalf of Srila Prabhupada. Regarding spiritual names, there’s been two statements. One is from 2001, from your website, http://krishna.org/iskcon-accepts-one-ritvik-temple-and-irm-disintegrates/ — quote “When the Temple President considers a devotee to be ready for initiation he writes a letter recommending the devotee to Srila Prabhupada. Then the devotee goes before Srila Prabhupada and prays: “Dear Srila Prabhupada currently your ritvik representatives are not doing their service so I am asking you to please accept me as your disciple and inspire me to select a spiritual name.”

        The other is from 2015, from ISKCON Bangalore: https://www.iskconbangalore.org/news/initiation-as-srila-prabhupadas-disciples/ — quote “Then they were given spiritual names by the Temple President.” (third paragraph from the bottom)

        The first quote seems to indicate that I can select a name myself, after humbly approaching Srila Prabhupada and asking for inspiration… would you agree or what are your thoughs on this?

        Thanks for reading!

        • Hare Krishna Sandra

          We have to be accepted as disciples of the bona fide spiritual master. It is a two way thing. Not that we can just imagine that we are disciples of Srila Prabhupada.

          The vast majority of ritvik devotees do not actually surrender to Srila Prabhupada. They do not even do the basic things like chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, strictly follow the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication and they hardly ever read Srila Prabhupada’s books.

          Now if you are actually addicted to reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and if you really practice what you read in your day-to-day life and if you are really chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and you are really strictly following the four regulative principles then that is very good and Srila Prabhupada will guide you and will make some arrangement for you to get initiated at the right time.

          But it is not very important. Real initiation happens when we actually surrender to Srila Prabhupada, as you have quoted, make his orders our life and soul. So it does not actually matter about formal initiation.

          The point is to do some practical devotional service for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada. Go out and distribute his original books for example. Do something practical to help the people of the world discover Krishna consciousness.

          Instead of bothering your brain about how to get initiated bother your brain about how to get the karmis to buy Srila Prabhupada’s original books from you. Then you will be doing some practical service and that will be good for you and good for whoever you meet and it will please Srila Prabhupada which is the main thing.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  10. Cello says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa Dasa, Please accept my humble obeisance’s. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
    I am going along quite nicely thank you. Off course there are plenty of challenges. I am not sure if I would be sitting here today contemplating your sincere words, had it not been for the fact that I read “your ever well wisher”
    So can you please clarify for me. If I am surrenderd to Srila Prabhupada and accept him as my guru and off course follow his instructions. If I follow Krisnas instruction to the letter. Particularly B.G 11.55. Then do I need to be initiated at all?
    Please forgive me if this question seems ignorant.

    • Yes, of course initiation is essential. Spiritual life begins with surrender. So initiation is the sign of surrendering to the bona fide spiritual master. So to advance in Krishna consciousness you have to have a bona fide spiritual master and you have to be his completely surrendered servant. If you are surrendered to Srila Prabhupada and accept him as your spiritual master then as long as he accepts you as his disciple then where is the question of not being initiated? Initiation means to begin. The actual initiation is not some formal fire sacrifice. No. It is the point where the disciple actually surrenders to the bona fide spiritual master and makes the orders of his spiritual master his life and soul.

      Mostly it is a farce. Most so-called disciples of Srila Prabhupada never actually surrender to Srila Prabhupada. You find all these ‘disciples’ of Srila Prabhupada who have not even read all of his books for example. So many take it cheaply. But Krishna consciousness can not be taken cheaply. It is very serious and has to be taken very seriously. So if you do really surrender to Srila Prabhupada then you have a bona fide spiritual master and that surrender is initiation.

  11. P.Sarada says:

    I want to read the Books of Sri. Prabhupada, but I am not able to buy the books giving the cost in Pounds or rupees because the cost of these books are very high according to me. Hence reading the books of Sri. Prabhupada is as difficult as to see or speak to God according to me. But I am sure that one man can do all things when the right time comes and so I hope that I can read these books when the right time comes.

    Regretting the inconvenience caused


  12. Krishna says:

    I loved this article.

  13. Apeksha says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu!
    There are so many people on the internet and also in real life who speak badly about the Krishna consciousness movement. Some of then even go to heights of speaking ignorantly and horribly of Srila Prabhupada and that I cannot handle.
    I couldn’t help but get angry and I had to retort back! But there’s no point in it because such people won’t change their ideas just because I said they were wrong.
    Should I just ignore such people, walk away and stay to myself?

    • Yes. It is best to ignore the envious demons. But there are plenty of innocent souls out there who will be happy to hear you speak about Krishna. Find them and talk to them about Krishna.

  14. Ronald S. Reddy says:

    Dear Prabhu

    Thank you for your enlightening & educational emails. In response to the above subject, how do I find a qualified guru?

    • Read Srila Prabhupada’s books. From that you will be able to understand what are the qualifications of a bona fide guru and how you can recognize one. If you are not educated about the qualities and nature of a bona fide spiritual master then you will not be able to select one.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  15. P.surekha reddy says:

    Please send me a news letter

  16. Seema says:

    Hare Krishna!

    I want to know that if someone is not capable of understanding Krishna Consciousness due to his or her ignorance and conditioned life and if a devotee prays to Prabhupada and Kanhaji to bestow mercy on them to show them the path of Krishna Consciousness, will the prayer be accepted by God.

    • Hare Krishna Seema

      You do not understand. We are independent living entities. And Krishna does not force anyone to surrender to Him, to love Him. You can not force someone to love you. That would be rape, not love.

      So Krishna does not force anyone.

      Everyone is capable of understanding Krishna consciousness. Ignorance can be eradicated by knowledge. It is up to the devotees to preach and to engage the people in chanting Hare Krishna and to give them Krishna prasadam. It is only through the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna that someone can get the mercy of Krishna.

      Not that we should pray to Krishna, “Please preach to him…” No we should become pure devotees of Krishna and preach to him ourselves and in that we we can become puppets in the hands of Krishna. That is the way Krishna works. Through us. So we have to be prepared to work for Krishna. We have to be prepared to let Krishna work through us…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  17. John says:

    Madhuvisa dasa – you have made it very clear that Prabhupada is living in his books, and he is the only spiritual master/guru we need. Why does official ISKCON today say we need to be initiated to a “living” guru within the organization?

    • It is politics. They want to control people and they use the ‘living gurus’ to control the people. But they make it very clear their living gurus do not have to be pure devotees of Krishna. So it is crazy. Only a fool could accept such insanity.

  18. Kamala says:

    hare krishna .how one can know and reach to a qualified guru.

  19. Lee Kwoon Fai says:

    Dear Sir/Guru, Hare Krsna,
    I am so sorry, but slight out of topic,
    Where can I purchase videos such as these https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ECrTI0P43Q
    (Vedic Tour of our Universe and Beyond)

    Which is based more on Bhagavatam? Any kind advise on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
    Hare Krsna!

  20. claude says:

    Thanks for the article prabhu.Hare Krsna.Just to clarify-are you saying that just by reading Prabhupada’s books and listening to all available lectures etc…Is this sufficient.Many times S.P. states that one must take guidance from a spiritual master in order to know the science of krsna con.I understand this to mean a live guru-so it becomes practical.
    I am just confused on this point.Can you kindly clarify further??
    Asking this with humble respect.Hare Krsna.

  21. Geethu baskar says:

    kindly send me daily subscribe to krishna connect…

    • Kindly READ SRILA PRABHUPADA’s BOOKS DAILY. They are much better than my emails….

      • Rudra Pandit das says:

        Hare Krishna,All Glory To His Grace Srila Prabhupada. I have read the posts and the author Madhudvisa dasa is very good in explaining the process by which one needs a spiritual master Starting as young as is possible is a good point. as we age we get set in our ways(1973,I joined ISKCON at 16. At 18 was initiated directly by Srila Prabhupada lived in the temple7 years.) Those looking for a qualified guru see how he acts, lives, teaches, follows every rule Srila Prabhupada set forth will by very hard to find indeed .Read his books ,chant every day and follow the rules set forth in his teachings and find a qualified Guru,

  22. Dr. Vinod Kumar says:

    Hare Krishna

    Prabhuji The article The Importance of Having a Qualified Guru is very intresting . This create awareness among people to select guru after keeping all these thing in miind which you describe in this article. It is one of the best article as per my knowledge , i read recently from Hare krishna movement.

  23. gustavo says:

    Thanks, Visa, i m reading Srila Prabhupada by Dasa Goswani who describe Prabhupada that a realy guru and will save us if we chanting Hare Krisna.

  24. Diogenes says:

    Hare Krishna,

    Thank you for the wonderful article. However it leaves me with an important question. How is a neophyte supposed to know the difference. I choose to wait until I get to India to take my initiation, but now I kknow even less how to go about it.

    Do you think it would be possible for you to point me in the right direction that I may get somewhere in India and take my initiation from a qualified guru in the proper manner?

    Hare Krishna


    • A neophyte can not tell the difference between a bogus cheating guru and a qualified guru. He is not capable of telling the difference. This is why it is very dangerous to remain a neophyte devotee. There are so many bogus cheating devotees and their victims are these neophyte devotees.

      So we need to become elevated to at least the platform of Madhyam-adhikry. Then we will be able to differentiate between the bogus gurus and the bona fide guru.

      Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee, a bona fide guru, and Prabhupada is living in his books. If you just take the time and effort to read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books as you read Prabhupada’s books you will find that he is instructing you. If you follow Prabhupada’s instructions and apply them in your practical life as you read his books then gradually you will advance to the platform of Madhyam-adhikary and will be able to differentiate between the bogus cheating gurus and the real guru.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  25. Diogenes says:

    This matter of false gurus has recently been brought to my attention. I must say I was shocked to learn of such a thing. I am still quite the neophyte of Krishnaism. I’ve yet to take steps towards initiation because it doesn’t seem feasible to make such a lifestyle change in such a sinful place like America. Instead, I plan to retire to India where I can submerge myself in in Krishna’s shelter. But with this new information I know even less how to go about it.

    So what about us newbies? What are we to do with this? How do we proceed in the proper manner?

    Someone qualified must answer these questions, or what are we to do? Is chanting alone for the rest of ones life enough? Maybe. I don’t know. But if it were, I don’t think this article would have been written would it?

    Please help, Prabhu!

    • Hare Krishna

      There is no question of putting off Krishna conscious until after we retire. The thing is if one is to become Krishna conscious that requires education and training. And that education and training is best done when we are young. Once we become old we are already set in our ways and it is very difficult to change an old man. So it is very unlikely that we will become Krishna conscious if we put it off until when we retire.

      We have to become Krishna conscious now. It does not matter where we are living. In Kali-yuga every place, even India, is a very sinful place. India is now practically just as sinful as the US. Maybe even worse in some ways. So you can not find anywhere a very conducive place for spiritual life in Kali-yuga. But the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra will counteract the difficult effects of the Kali-yuga. So we need to constantly chant:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      There is no question of thinking about taking initiation until you find a qualified guru. That is a great danger. The most disastrous thing for any person who wants to advance in spiritual life is if he accepts a person as his spiritual master who does not have the strength and purity required to deliver him back home back to Godhead. The responsibility of the Guru and the responsibilities of the disciple are very, very heavy. It is a very serious thing.

      The guru is not an ordinary man. The guru is a very special thing. But unfortunately many demonic men are attracted to the position of guru and they imitate the guru and attract many neophyte disciples but they have no strength to take these many disciples back home back to Godhead. Instead the result is the guru and all his disciples end up burning in Hell. It is a very sad state of affairs indeed.

      So we have to be very careful to take shelter of Srila Prabhupada and associate with him by reading his books. If we actually carefully read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books and follow the instructions we find Srila Prabhupada giving us as we read his books we will never go wrong.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  26. Rathje Vierth says:

    Thank you for all your wonderful reminders.
    I was fortunate enough to meet Srila Prabupada, and everything was just perfect here in Stockholm.
    When Srila Prabhupada had left this world, i was about to get initiated.
    Unfortunately,the person Prabhupada had decided to have as His successor in Northern Europe,
    did not agree with my good friends,who had founded our temple in Stockholm – at all ;
    he threw them out.
    So there was a big crisis, which nowadays is getting better.
    Was this new person – who later resigned as ISKCON-guru – a qualified guru ?
    Even though we had loved our Krishna-temple,we suddenly had to run away to save our souls.
    Anyway :
    Than of course Prabhupada´s books etc.,are Prabhupada for us.
    I did never actually feel any change after i had left temple life.
    In some ways,it was even very strengthening.
    WHEN i finally will get initiated, i´m sure i will be very very careful:
    parampara is very nice, but maybe not always enough anyway ?
    Upanishad means something like “sitting next to”.
    So initiating guru must be someone we disciples sit next to and listen to
    and KNOW – and Guru KNOWS us;
    do you agree ?
    I am 70 years old now.

    Thank you again for your wonderful reminders,
    i appreciate them greatly.
    Hare Krsna


    • Hare Krishna Rathje

      Srila Prabhupada is your real guru and his is living in his books and he is always ready to talk to you, to guide you, to answer all your questions. All you have to do is to pick up his books and read them. Prabhupada is living in his books. The more you read Prabhupada’s books and chant Hare Krishna the more you will realize this.

      As far as the the 11 gurus that took over ISKCON after Srila Prabhupada left our material vision they were never appointed by Srila Prabhupada as acaryas. They were only appointed as ritvik priests and Srila Prabhupada only gave them the authority to accept disciples on his behalf. But unfortunately they were not satisfied with this. They wanted to be acaryas like Prabhupada, they wanted to be worshiped like Prabhupada. But they were not pure deovtees of Krishna. They were not qualified. So they created such a disaster in ISKCON and such a disaster in the lives of the devotees who they fooled into thinking they were pure devotees and when it became obvious they were only cheating that destroyed the lives of most of their disciples. And destroying the lives of so many devotees also destroyed their own lives. So ISKCON since Prabhupada’s disappearance has been a big disaster. And still now the situation is very difficult.

      So I suggest you spend your time sitting next to Srila Prabhupada and gradually you will see that Srila Prabhupada is still with us. He is living in his books and his letters and his other recorded vani like his classes, conversations, morning walks, etc. So if we just take full advantage of Srila Prabhupada in the form of his transcendental Vani then we can be constantly in touch with a a pure devotee of Krishna. And that is all we need to become pure devotees of Krishna. Of course we have to surrender to Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and follow them as we hear them from him as we read his books. Krishna consciousness is not theoretical knowledge. It is a practical way to live our lives. So we have to put Krishna consciousness into practice in our lives. And that will be our success.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Chris Bramley says:

        This is for sure the best advice, reading Srila Prabupad’s books. You gave me this advice a couple of years OK when I was also searching for a Guru. I am on my 3rd reading of the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. Every new read brings a new depth of understanding. I am completely satisfied with reading and chanting 16 rounds, with the odd visit to a temple. For the rest of my life I can keep reading, how exciting it is to know that this will lead me to new levels of realization.

        Thankyou again for the wise advice.

  27. vanshika says:

    Hare Krishna, Radhe Radhe prabhu
    my mum is a radhaswami Dikshit and is given some words to chant by sitting with her back straight and eyes closed. She used to that for hours and could also feel good and could also take better decisions then she did before. She once told me that “once i closed my ears with my mum’s help and did that dhayana again and i could first hear the voice of mridangamthen then manjeera and in the last murli from inside”.
    so, what is this? That Radhaswami dikshits are given some particular words to chant and they are able to hear all this?
    my mum also told me that her guru has the divine vision, he can see the past and the future of his students.
    I don’t know about ISKCON dikshits cus i never had conversations with them but i think you’ll tell me that. As my mum told me a lot about Radhaswami dikshits .
    Hare Krishna, Radhe Radhe prabhu
    Thanku prabhu.

    • Just forget all this stuff and read Srila Prabhupada’s books and chant Hare Krishna. The Hindu hodge-podge is useless. It is such a mixed up bunch of some bona fide but a lot of bogus things that the Indians have become completely confused in all matters spiritual. So I know it is difficult but you have to forget all this so-called spiritual nonsense you have learned growing up in India and just surrender to Srila Prabhupada and read his books with an open mind. It is said that one approaching a bona fide spiritual master has to make his mind a clean slate. You know in the schools they have blackboards and they write on them with chalk. So our mind is like that and there is so much rubbish written in our minds. We have to clean out all this rubbish and make it a ‘clean slate’ and simply hear the absolute truth submissively from Srila Prabhupada.

      If you do this quickly all the spiritual subject matters will become clear to you and you will make rapid advancement in spiritual life.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy.

      Madhudvisa dasa

  28. madhudvisa says:

    Guru is not to be treated as mother. Guru is sakshad-hari. The disciple must treat the guru as Krishna directly. He is your master and you are his servant.

    Disciple is called sisya, servant. You are the servant of your guru and he is your master. This is the guru-disciple relationship.

    Of course if the person you have accepted as guru is not actually saksad-hari, directly Krishna, then you have chosen a bogus guru and it is useless. Better to give up such bogus gurus and find a bona fide guru like His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

    Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

    Madhudvisa dasa

  29. Pushpa says:

    Hare Krishna,
    You are right about to find a real guru in this kalyug is difficult. I think everybody should accept Shri Prabhupada as his or her guru and follow his preaching, like the Bhil prince Aklavya who wanted Dronacharya as his guru and he made a statue of Dronacharya and put faith in it and become a archer as good as Arjna. I do not have any guru but I find my guru in Krishna since childhood because my family is vaishnav and we worship Bal Krishna since childhood,
    Hare Krishna.

  30. Magesh says:

    Is Self Confidence a False Ego?


    • Hare Krishna Magesh

      Our concept of ‘self’ as the material body is false ego. So if you are thinking you are an Indian man for example then that is your ‘false ego’. False ego means false identity. You are identifying with your material body when in actual fact you are not the material body, you are the spirit soul within the body. So false ego is identifying with the material body and real ego is identifying with the spirit soul.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

    • Ishan das says:

      There are two kinds of self-confidence.

      One self-confidence is based upon a false sense of self. The man who identifies with his material body and mind may make so many plans and have confidence of success. But when he dies all of plans will be finished. Therefore although he is confident, he is a confident fool.

      The man who is rewarded with self-realization, the understanding that he is not this body and mind is also confident. All of his doubts are removed by Krishna’s grace. He knows that he is eternal and that he is returning to the spiritual realm to live with Krishna.

      Confidence is like money or like fire. You can use money to do good or you can use money to go to hell. You can use fire to cook food or you can burn down your house.

      We should use our confidence to understand firmly that Krishna wants our love and that when we agree to open our hearts to Krishna and cultivate our love for Him, He will reveal Himself to us. This confidence is required. Otherwise our confidence will not serve us. We will grow old, diseased and die in this material world life after life.

      Please consider.

  31. Harish Rana says:

    Hare Krsna Prabhu !

    Yes you can defintiely find a spiritual master in Iskcon who is the living emblem of Srila Prabhupada insturctions, there are numerous such exalted spiritual masters.

    wish you nice KC life.

    Hari Bol !

    your servant


  32. Anonymous says:

    PAMHO !AGTSP!Hare krishna Prabhu!

    What you are saying Prabhu is that I should forget about getting some or any form of initiation in this very lifetime?
    And here I was thinking sooner or later I will eventually find a guru and get myself initiated within Srila Prabhupada’s Branch of the big tree which is the Krishna Conciousness Movement!
    What to do now?
    Please advise!

    • You have to be initiated by a pure devotee of Krisha otherwise you can never hope to become a pure devotee of Krishna yourself. And pure devotees of Krishna, bona fide spiritual masters, are very, very rare. As you have seen so far at least it seems that all the ISKCON gurus are bogus and do not have the potency at all to take their disciples back home back to Godhead. So they are cheaters and they water down the process and make it very easy and attract cheating disciples who really do not surrender at all and the whole bunch of cheating ISKCON Gurus and cheated disciples all go to hell. You don’t want to become part of this disaster.

      Instead open your eyes and realize that Prabhupada did not die, he continues to live in the form of transcendental sound and in the form of his transcendental books and if you are actually serious, if you are actually prepared to surrender to Srila Prabhupada, he is more than happy to accept you as his disciple.

      Of course most do not want a real guru, they don’t want to give us sense gratification, they don’t want to serve Srila Prabhupada and Krishna 24 hours and do nothing for themselves. So they don’t want Prabhupada. They want a cheating guru.

      So that is the way it is, and that is the way it will always be. Most want cheating gurus so ISKCON is providing so many cheating gurus and there is a good market for this. But they are all going to hell.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  33. vikas birha says:

    do we need to fine right guru in iskcon…or not…?
    plzzz telll me

    • Hare Krishna Vikas

      There is no “right guru” in ISKCON except Srila Prabhupada.

      The bogus guru system ISKCON has set up guarantees that no bona-fide guru could ever accept the position of guru in ISKCON.

      There are no actual gurus in ISKCON. All are representatives of the GBC, all are surrendered servants of the GBC who are a bunch of mundane conditioned souls who have constantly made mistakes all throughout their history. Real guru, bona-fide guru is surrendered to his bona-fide guru and Krishna, and he is completely independent and fearless. He can speak whatever he considers his disciple needs to hear. But in ISKCON ‘gurus’ can not do this. So all ISKCON gurus are completely bogus and can not help you in coming to Krishna consciousness. You can know that for sure.

      Read Srila Prabhupada’s books and accept Srila Prabhupada as your guru.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • geetha says:

        Hare krishna Hare Rama,
        I daily read your message, it is give me some energy and relief tension in my work also I have not a “Guru” and my life is going normally, have more problems and sometimes I more struggle for take decisions, but all that time I do only one thing say Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Amme Narayana, Devi Narayana, Lakshmi Narayana Badre Narayana, even the time of bathing, I always think “God show me the right way, and I read books like Ramayanam, Bhagavath Geetha etc.. these books and ‘messages send by you and others are my “Guru”
        Thank ‘u’ and say sorry anything write wrongly the above.
        “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”

  34. Amit says:

    Hare krishna Pravuji Iwant a proper guru who guide me properly. so please tell me how i will choose my guru.

    • Choose His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He is a proper guru and it is very, very, very rare to find a proper guru, particularly in this age of Kali-yuga…

  35. Amit says:

    I want a proper and perfect guru from ISKCON Mayapur who guide me properly in the path of spiritual life.so how will i choose my guru.

    • You won’t find any ‘proper and perfect’ gurus at ISKCON Mayapur. If there was any ‘proper and perfect’ guru in ISKCON they would have driven him out by now. ISKCON gurus are simply servants of the GBC who are a group of mundane politicians who have taken over Srila Prabhupada’s movement for their own purposes. So to be an ISKCON guru one must surrender to and serve the GBC, which is very different from surrendering to and serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna… So I can guarantee you will not find a ‘proper and perfect’ guru at ISKCON Mayapur.

      But you will find your ‘proper and perfect’ guru if you read the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Prabhupada is living in sound and we have to take full advantage of that…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  36. Aparna says:

    Respected Madhudvisa Prabhu,

    Hare Krishna!

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    Prabhu, I am receiving and reading your article regularly. I am with this movement for last 3 months, I want to know how can I know about the bonafide spiritual master, how to accept a guru, and how to approach a spiritual master to be my diksa guru. Kindly guide me.
    Thanks a lot.
    Hari Bol!

    • Hare Krishna Aparna

      First you have to find a pure devotee of Krishna. So you have to know what a pure devotee of Krishna is and how to identify one. If you do not know this you will be cheated by a bogus guru who will simply take advantage of your foolishness and cheat you as happens almost always these days when people are looking for a spiritual master. There are so many bogus cheating spiritual masters and the foolish seekers end up accepting one of the cheaters rather than the real thing.

      So you have to read Srila Prabhupada’s books and surrender to the process of saddhana-bhakti that he is teaching there and follow his instructions by chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, strictly follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and READ SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOKS!!!

      Prabhupada is a bona fide spiritual master, he is the standard. You should take full advantage of Srila Prabhupada’s association and teachings…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

    • ishan das says:

      Hare Krishna Aparna,

      I was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1968.

      Vaishnavism in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not sentimental like so many other less informed paths. Actually all religions talk of “love of God”, but we do not find this anywhere. Even I have read recently the the pope who is the head of the great Catholic religion, he has resigned from his post because of difficulties with others in high positions in the church.

      So this is all nonsense. We cannot take a guru who has been appointed by some executive board because they think he will represent them in achieving their ambitions for institutional growth, and think that such a so-called guru can help us to advance in spiritual life.

      Such gurus are regualrly being appointed and regularly falling down, disqualified. This is simply because they are themselves neophytes who have been appointed by neophytes. In other words it is a hoax or charade.

      We have one fable or story in the west called “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Once a charleton tayler was making some clothing for the emperor, taking measurements etc. Finally he dressed the emperor in the make believe clothing (which did not exist). The emperor was actually naked. But everyone was saying “Oh, very nice clothing, very nice.” So the emperor went out to parade in public and the whole populace came to see the emperor in his new clothing. Because people are like sheep, in general, although he was naked , everyone was saying, “Oh, very nice! Lovely clothing.” Then one person who was innocent said that actually the emperor is naked, and soon every began to agree.

      That is the way with the stram of modern day gurus. They are posturing as guru, but they have no qualification. According to vaishnava philosophy, THE REAL GURU MUST BE A FIRST CLASS PURE DEVOTEE WHO HAS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH KRISHNA, FACE TO FACE, ON THE INNER PLANE OF THE SPIRITUAL WORLD, even while he is moving about in this world, playing the role of a second class devotee. This is because the first class devotee cannot preach, because by Krishna’s grace he sees everyone as more advanced than himself. So the first class who is on intimate terms with Krishna will sometimes agree to play the role of second class for the purpose of preaching.

      The next thing to understand is that no one can advance beyond the level of one’s spiritual master. If the spiritual master is not intimate associate of Krishna, his disciple will never reach that goal, because ONE ONLY COMES TO KNOW kRISHNA PERSONALLY BY THE GRACE OF THE SPIRITUAL MASTER WHO MAKES THE CONNECTION FOR US. Therefore what is the use of a show bottle guru? If he does not know Krishna how can he introduce us to Krishna within the apiritual dimension?

      So joining Krishna consciousnes is not like joining some Sunday church organization. It is a very serious business. But your question is a most intelligent and serious question. Actually I do not know where you will find such a glorious personality walking on this planet today. But before you accept someone as your guru you should know what you are looking for – a direct connection to Krishna. You do not want to participate in a farce – like saying, oh yes, very nice new clothing the emperor is wearing, when he is actually naked like the dogs and hogs.

      In the meantime, you can associate with Srila Prabhupada for wonderful transcendental guidance by reaing his wonderful books, and by following the standards that he has set. If those practices are going on in some temple you can take part of course, and constantly pray for Srila Prabhupada’s blessings, until such a divine personality enters your life.

      It will not be the kind of person that if no one told you he was guru, you would simply pass him by. When Srila Prabhupada entered any room, anywhere, his very presence was overwhelming and people who had never seen or heard of him would approach him for spiritual guidance, initiation, etc. When such a person enters your life, certainly you should consider approaching him for initiation. Otherwise why play such a foolish game? Why be part of a mockery that will only disappoint you sooner or later?

      Every great church, mosque, temple was begun by very great personalities who were sent by Krishna t teach according to time and circumstance. But today they are headed by people who want to resign when there are administrative difficulties. This is the material world. There are cheaters everywhere, even within so-called spiritual organizations. The real acharyas always point out these things and usually their lives are in danger, whether it be Haridas Thakkur, Christ, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati……

      So continue with your Krishna consciousness developement, taking Srila Prabhupada as your guru, until you meet such a great soul in person.

  37. Aparna says:

    Respected Madhudvisa Prabhu,

    Hare Krishna!

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    Prabhu, I am receiving and reading your article regularly. I am with this movement for last 3 months, I want to know how can I know about the bonafide spiritual master, how to accept a guru, and how to approach a spiritual master to be my diksa guru. Kindly guide me.
    Thanks a lot.
    Hari Bol!

    • Hare Krishna Aparna

      If you just try to accept a guru without knowing what are the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master then you will end up being cheated by one of the unlimited number of bogus cheating gurus.

      These days, in Kali-yuga, almost all the people presenting themselves as gurus in ISKCON and outside ISKCON are bogus cheating gurus who want you to accept them as your guru for some personal benefit. They have no potency and no power to deliver Krishna consciousness to you and take you with them back home, back to Godhead.

      So Prabhu, you have to become somewhat advanced in Krishna consciousness first. It is not possible for a neophyte devotee to understand who is a bona-fide guru and who is not. So they generally get cheated and fooled into accepting bogus gurus and in this way their spiritual life is destroyed.

      There is no more effective way of destroying your spiritual life than accepting someone as your guru who does not have the potency and power to take you back home, back to Godhead. Because once you surrender to one guru and find that he has cheated you that will destroy your faith and destroy your ability to surrender. And Krishna consciousness can only be achieved by surrender to the bona fide spiritual master. So these bogus gurus are doing such a horrible thing to their disciples. They are destroying their disciples because once they have cheated them they will be unable to surrender to anyone else and without surrender to the bona fide spiritual master there is no Krishna consciousness.

      So Prabhu, please read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books and follow all the instructions you find Srila Prabhupada giving you as you read his books. That way you will make very solid and real advancement in Krishna consciousness under the guidance of Srila Prabhupada who is really a bona-fide spiritual master, a pure devotee of Krishna, an uttama-adhakri, a devotee on the topmost platform.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  38. Gunjal says:

    Hare krishna Prabhu ji,

    Please accept my humble obeisances

    As per Txt-34, Chapter 4 of Bhagavad Gita, it is writtern that ” satisfaction of the self-realized spritual master is the secret of advancement in spritual life. inquiries and submission constitute the proper confirmation for spritual understanding.

    ques 1: what does inquiries mean here? does it mean “inquiry about spritual life ” or ” inquiries about problems that we face in day to day life”?

    ques 2: it is also writtern “blind following & absurd inquiries are condemned” on the one hand, it is advised to surrender fully & at the same time it is said that there should not be blind following. these two statement are not clear to me…kindly enlighten me Prabhu ji…

    Hare Krishna

    chant Hare Krishna and be happy


    • Hare Krishna Gunjal

      Inquiry means inquiry about spiritual life. Day-to-day problems will vanish or become insignificant once we become Krishna conscious so it is not important to inquire about them from the spiritual master. If we surrender to him and follow him these day-to-day problems will be automatically solved. They are caused by a lack of Krishna consciousness. So the solution is to become Krishna conscious.

      As far as following the orders of the spiritual master we must follow his order but the point being made here is we should take advantage of the knowledge the spiritual master is giving us by reading his books and hearing from him so we understand the philosophy of Krishna consciousness and understand why we are following the orders he gives. So in the process of surrender and submission and inquiries from the spiritual master one should come to understand why he is following… And ‘absurd inquiries’, we should not bother the spiritual master with stupid questions…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  39. kapil saxena says:

    suppose I started reading all books of Srila Prabhupada’s books available to my resources and also started chanting the 16 rounds of mala and offering prasad and maintaining all four regulative principal and even not officially initiated as disciple from ISKCON? today I have found myself in the afore mentioned condition for the last 3 month I am in this condition and not initiated officially? please guide

    • Hare Krishna Kapil

      Formal initiation is not important. What is important is that you accept Srila Prabhupada as your spiritual master and surrender to him and serve him by following the instructions you find he will give you as you read his books. That is all you have to do. You will be automatically initiated by Srila Prabhupada as he sees you are surrendering to him and hearing from him [by reading his books] and following his instructions.

      There is absolutely no advantage by getting formal initiation from some ‘guru’ who is not a pure devotee of Krishna. That will very seriously harm your natural advancement in Krishna consciousness. So just go on reading Prabhupada’s books and following Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and chanting Hare Krishna…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  40. sajal roy says:

    Though I obey my Greatest God SRIKRISHNA also as lifetime Guru, without taking Guru in remaining life, can it done? I become confused as selecting Guru &when.?

    • No. Krishna says you must accept a guru. But nowadays practically all the so-called gurus are bogus. So the answer is to read Srila Prabhupada’s books and accept Srila Prabhupada as your guru. You not only need a guru but you need a guru who is a pure devotee of Krishna, otherwise it is useless…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  41. Diluckshini says:

    Hare Krsna Prabhu!

    All glories to Srila Prabhupada!!!!

    I always thought that those not supporting the bogus guru system were supporting the Ritvik System. When i read articles by the Ritvik Supporters, i was reading that Srila Prabhupada is meant to be the only guru for the next 9500 years. But i now i am hearing it is a hoax. This is confusing me greatly….

    I don’t know whether i am properly surrendered but with all my heart and soul i want to be surrendered to Srila Prabhupada and Krsna. i am chanting 16 rounds and following the four regulative principles..I did wake up at 4am before but now i am not..fell a victim of maya…and i have to get back into it immediately…

    But now that i have accepted Srila Prabhupada as my guru, i am confused about a surrendered disciple of Srila Prabhupada becoming a bona-fide guru..How will our relationship be with the new guru be if we are surrendering to Srila Prabhupada…? Will the new guru tell us to follow Srila Prabhupada, or will they bring us together to serve under Srila Prabhupada…now my mind will wait for this new person and i am worried i might not concentrate of Srila Prabhupada..i am voicing my mind so that i will continue to concentrate on Srila Prabhupada.

    I was getting comfortable with thinking that people can get initiated for the next 9500 years from ritviks who perform the ceremony on behalf of Srila Prabhupada and now i am just confused…

    Also, how can i live in a way that i dedicate 24 hours of my life to Srila Prabhupada’s service and the Lotus Feet of Sri Krsna the supreme personality of Godhead. I am currently studying university. I have decided to commit to more rounds of chanting (32), but when i study, i am not so interested by the topics as they are not transcedental…. I am studying because i have to, but i comfort myself knowing that when i get the money i can use half of it for Krsna’s service…but now that i am not distributing Srila Prabhupada books, or prasadam or inviting people for Kirtan i just feel like a waste of space with no real purpose and don’t see the fruits of my studying so it is demotivating…I TRY to dedicate everything i do for Krsna but i still feel like i am not serving Krsna enough?

    Can i set up an altar at home…i have read that it is a risk to take up deity worship..and they are lots and rules and regulations..I want to take up the rules and regulations but i live in such a material atmosphere that i am not sure whether despite my desire to do so, i can carry out these rules and regulations..so i decided maybe when i am 50 i can retire from everything and serve Krsna 24 hours a day..is this an ok idea…but i still want to serve Krsna as much as i can now, despite my studying, so what can i do?

    Sorry for any offenses, and thank you for being a true representative of Srila Prabhupada. Thank you very much.

    Aspiring servant,

    • Diluckshini says:

      My sincerest obeisances up to you!!!

    • Hare Krishna Diluckshini

      Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

      Actually the answers to all your questions are in Srila Prabhupada’s books but you do not have time to read them. That is the great pity of life in the Kali-yuga. Instead you are studying from the karmis in an education system which is scientifically designed to drive out any conception of God consciousness and establish materialism and sense gratification as the central points of life.

      The reality is that it is Prabhupada’s mission to create at least one qualified guru who can push on the mission that he pushed on on behalf of his bona fide guru. You may notice that ISKCON has not made any advancement since Srila Prabhupada left our material vision and neither have the ritviks. This happens, after the disappearance of the Acharya there is chaos. And we are seeing that now in ISKCON. Realistically the only bona fide guru now is Prabhupada. So at least I have taken shelter of Srila Prabhupada and by his mercy accepted him as my spiritual master and I have the answers to all my questions and whenever I get a new question Prabhupada is always there for me with the answer.

      But we have to surrender to Srila Prabhupada and really follow his instructions and that is not a very easy thing. Krishna consciousness is really going against everything that we are being taught and conditioned to do in the material world. So my advice to you is to get back into very strictly following the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and really strictly chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily [every ‘devotee’ says “I’m chanting 16 rounds a day Prabhu…” but in reality not so many of them really are… We have to really actually chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and really strictly follow the four regulative principles and really read Srila Prabhupada’s books for a least 1-2 hours a day.

      We say we are disciples of Srila Prabhupada but what does that mean if we are not even reading Prabhupada’s books every day?

      So there is no need to stress on this ritvik or that, the point is to become a pure devotee of Krishna. And if you get up before 4 in the morning you have got at least 4 hours when you can chant Hare Krishna and read Prabhupada’s books and then you can go and do your study if you must but you have to realize that the study is a secondary thing, your real business is to become Krishna consious and for that studying Prabhupada’s books is essential…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  42. Matthew Yegge says:

    All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

    Thank you Madhudvisa dasa for this great article. I was never initiated but, 30 years ago a bogus guru (ISKCON) really damaged my spiritul life. Until I read this article I didn’t really understand what had happened to me. This bogus guru had actually led me away from reading Srila Prabhupad’s book.

    Then I tried to return 15 years ago and took the same route so I met another bogus ISKCON guru, only this time I ran the other way quickly, unfortunately because I was so dense I didn’t understand what was really going on with ISKCON, so again my spirituality suffered.

    Finally, there was no choice for me I had to return and this time I vowed I would just read books and chant and keep the regulative principles and practice the best I could and find good association when I was able (hope I can recognize good association, I obviously haven’t in the past).

    I’m sure all these bogus gurus were and are sincere, that’s what hooked me in and did the damage, I trusted them and it was beyond terrible what happened and how low we all fell, I don’t even want to think about. I am so happy today that we have what we do have with all these books and dvds.

    Thanks to everyone that makes this great work happen.

    All glories to Srila Prabhupad

    Hari Bol!


  43. kajal solanki says:

    hare Krishna,
    i really am in need of a bonafide spiritual master for myself.. but because of insufficient time.. i am unable to go to ISKON and search for a guru… is there anything which could be done at home.. through the internet… ??

  44. Chris says:

    Dear Madhudvisa, all Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    Thankyou for providing this facility and sharing your wisdom. This is such a help for me to have independent unbiased wisdom.

    In reference to your response to Erin, September 12, 2002 by Madhudvisa dasa Filed under Guru, Letters

    …..’That is Prabhupada’s gift to us. Prabhupada is still with us and still quite capable of initiating us if we really surrender to him’.

    Is this really true? Can he still initiate us if we fully surrender to him and his teaching. This would be a dream come true for me and I could ‘rest in peace’ for the rest of my material life. I have been searching and seaching Vedic texts and Prabhupada’s books including Prabhupada Lilamrta for an indication of this, but the ‘best’ I could get was ‘serving Prabhupada in separation’.

    Prabhupad keeps reinforcing in all his writings that we must accept a bonafide Guru to ‘advance’ in devotional service, and that we can only come to Krishna thru the realised master.

    So what to do…… please advise me… all glories to you.


    • Accept Prabhupada, he is a bona fide guru…. If you can not understand this then you can not accept him. What can I say… I have explained all these points unlimitedly and if you still don’t get it what can I do?

      • Chris says:

        Thankyou for your response.

        Yes I understand that Srila Prabhupada is a bona fide guru.

        However my question is; can we be intiated by him when he has left this world? And therefore become a direct disciple of Srila Prabhupada?

        Many thanks,

  45. venkatesh says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    I would humbly request you to kindly let me know the real ISKCON branch to follow in Bangalore, since their are many branches(groups).I would like to know which is the official group to get associate with.I need to seriously practice Krishna conciousness.

    Kindly help me in this regard.

    Hare Krishna !!!

    With Regards,

  46. ajay pandita says:

    With due regards Sir,
    As I am being a human being but at the same time i want to free myself from all the bounds.
    As I not know u, your way of life. Why i belive u.
    who i acess what u say is right.
    what u do is as per gita ji.
    what u say is saying of krishan
    what u do is with any benifit.

    first answer my qustions sir.

    • Hare Krishna Ajay

      Without faith there is no possibility of advancement in spiritual life. And the faith has to be in the right person, a pure devotee of Krishna. Otherwise if you have faith in someone and they are not a pure devotee of Krishna then despite all good intentions on their part they will misdirect you.

      I am not saying I have any qualifications. I am telling you that Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna and I am recommending that you read his books and chant Hare Krishna and follow the four regulative principles (no illicit sex life, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication). If you are prepared to do this then you will discover the reality of Krishna for yourself. Otherwise Krishna will remain always hidden to you.

      So it is up to you. Somehow you have to get some faith in Srila Prabhupada and surrender to him and follow his instructions, and only then will you start to feel some transcendental spiritual advancement, and only then will you really know that Krishna is the the Supreme Personality of Godhead and it is our duty and natural constitutional position to serve Him. And you will know that by serving Krishna you experience such wonderful pleasure that there there is nothing to compare it with.

      But if you can not somehow develop some faith in Srila Prabhupada you are stuck in the material world forever, getting old getting sick and dying and taking birth again, getting old, getting sick and dying, and again… eternally..

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  47. Yogesh Dewang says:

    Dear Sir,

    According to you,in this age of Kalayuga ,it is rare to find a real and truthful spiritual master.Then,now in this erratic circumstances,how a normal person will get a real spiritual master to become a liberated soul.

    Whether it is possible that,in absence of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhuapda physically on this planet,His books,lectures and videos can fulfill his absence.

    Is it possible practically ,If I surrender to Srila Prabhupada and accept him as my spiritual master by reading ,hearing ,chanting and by following his diretions,then I will become liberated soul.By doing so,whether I can advance myself spiritually.

    Please respond to my queries.

    With Regards

    Hare Krishna

    Your Servant

    Yogesh Dewang

    • Hare Krishna Yogesh

      Yes Prabhu, there is no question. Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna and if you actually surrender to him and hear from him by reading his books and hearing his classes and if you follow his instructions you can certainly advance yourself spiritually and become a liberated soul.

      What is important about your relationship with your spiritual master is hearing from him and following his instructions. And there is absolutely no obstacle for us to hear from Srila Prabhupada or for us to follow his instructions. There are two ways of associating with a spiritual master. One is vapu, physical presence, and the other is vani or associating with him by following his instructions. Of the two the vani (associating with him by following his instructions) is far more important than the vapu or being in his physical presence.

      A large percentage of Srila Prabhupada’s initiated disciples when he was present on the planet actually never met him physically. Prabhupada established the ritvik system in ISKCON even when he was physically present because he was preaching all over the world and accepting disciples all over the world and it was not possible for him to be physically present in his 100+ temples all over the world at the same time. So even in Prabhupada’s physical presence the main way the majority of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples associated with him and served him was by reading his books and following his instructions.

      So you can know it for certain that physical presence has nothing whatsoever to do with the power of Srila Prabhupada to transmit the knowledge of Krishna consciousness to his disciples.

      It is not according to me that it is rare to find a bona fide guru in Kali-yuga. Nothing I am saying is according to me, I am simply repeating what Prabhupada has said and he is simply repeating what he has head in the disciplic succession. That is the process. There is no value in me presenting any opinion of my own. That is useless. Brahmananda brahmate bhagavayan knoa jiva guru krsna prasadi paya bhakta lata bija. “The living entities are wandering from universe to universe and only very rarely does one get the chance of associating with a bona fide spritiual master from whom he can get the ‘bhakti lata bija’ or the seed of the plant of bhakti.” So it is not according to me, it is according to sastra. And you can also see for yourself the rarity of pure devotional service.

      So there is no question at all, if you surrender to Srila Prabhupada, read his books and strictly follow all the instructions he gives you through his books you can advance very nicely in spiritual life and you can certainly become a pure devotee of Krishna and be liberated yourself and get the power also to help others to become free from the clutches of the material energy and enable them to develop pure love for Krishna and you can guide them back home back to Godhead. So, in other words, you can become a bona fide spiritual master by surrendering to Srila Prabhupada and serving him. It is not difficult but at the same time it is very, very, very rare. Because we don’t actually want to surrender. It is very rare to find anyone who actually surrenders to Srila Prabhupada. But if one really did surrender and really did submissively hear from him, and really did serve him and really did follow his instructions he would become a pure devotee of Krishna for sure.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  48. vishva says:

    I believe that The GURU is the one who can get you out from this ocean of the attraction…

    I am looking for Guru since long time met several people in hindu..climing that throse are guru but you know the truth as you have mentioned in article.

    For $ & RS people cheating every1.

    Now could you please tell me where I will find true guru..some people says The Guru will find you …becasue they always looking for needy true person.
    But I havent come accross yet.

    Is that right without Guru just chanting hare krishna will help us to go back godhead heaven…in the land of krishna?

    Or its compulsory to find right Guru becuase dont take me wrong but now a days in Adelaide I been to ISCON temple but really dirty politics going on..believe me it’s totally heart breaking to watch those tricks.

    Thanks for letting me to share my feelings and question.

    Hare krishna!

    • Hare Krishna Vish

      The problem is generally even if we find the right guru we can’t recognize him. I am writing here every day that Prabhupada is the guru, Prabhupada is a liberated soul, a pure devotee of Krishna, Prabhupada is living in his books and other recorded vani and we can take advantage of his association by reading his books. And every day people like you are writing wondering where to find a real guru….

      Prabhupada is a real guru and you can find him in his books. I do not know how to explain this so people will understand.

      One thing for sure is you will not find a bona fide guru in today’s ISKCON. They have completely perverted the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and they will tell you “Prabhupada is dead and you need a living guru.” And they will tell you that anyone can be a guru, he does not have to be a pure devotee or anything like that, he just has to be approved by the GBC. And if you ask them how can someone who is not a pure devotee of Krishna help me to become a pure devotee of Krishna they will get very angry and throw you out of the temple. So you need to stay very clear of ISKCON for your spiritual health.

      My suggestion is that you seriously read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books aloud so you can hear what you are reading also. Really we become Krishna conscious by hearing, through our ears. Krishna consciousness is not a function of the mind and the intelligence. It is awakened by hearing the words of a pure devotee of Krishna. So you can hear from Srila Prabhupada at http://www.Krishna.tv and you can also hear from Srila Prabhupada by reading his books.

      Today there are so many cheating gurus. Practically they are all cheating. So the only way you can avoid being cheated is if you have the actual knowledge what a real guru is and you can get that knowledge from Srila Prabhupada by reading his books…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  49. Nenad says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    Sri Prabhupada is the only guru and NOBODY ELSE!!!
    NO MORE LIES!!!!!

  50. Aparesh says:

    Hare Krishna
    Real Guru possess both theoretical and practical knowledge about supreme personality i.e.Lord Krishna. It is His mercy otherwise no one can dominate in the spiritual world and can’t make disciples. We are to be really careful of course before initiation.
    Chant and let chant Hare Krishna

  51. Hare Krishna, In my younger days we had weekly satsang in our house. Many saints of a high order did satsang in our house but at that time I did not have the urge to call anyone my guru.Now in the prime of my life I am desperately searching for a guru but there is no one in sight.They say the guru will come when the seeker is ready.How long have I got to wait, I have become impatient.Pranam swamiji

    • Hare Krishna Divya

      The problem is you can not see a real guru when you come across him. Prabhupada is a real guru and you don’t have to wait at all. You can get his books and DVDs and audio recordings at http://www.KrishnaStore.com and immediately take advantage of his pure instructions and benefit from them.

      So my suggestion is you take shelter of Srila Prabhupada as your guru and that will solve all your problems.

      If you are looking for some other guru that will be very difficult because real guru is very, very rare…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  52. hare Krsna prabhuji. pamho, dandvat pranaam. i m very grateful to you for your priceless mails. every mail has a deep concern for the spiritual upliftment for all those who are trying to make even a small endeavour in their path to progress ahead in spiritual life. all your mails strengthen us to become more focussed in our goal.may we continue to grow steadily under your sincere shelter,all glories to you. thank you very much. your humble servant.

  53. surya says:

    What is the real qualities of guru and How to recognize?

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      This requires study and following the process of saddhana-bhakti that Srila Prabhupada has given us in his books.

      I can not write a one paragraph answer to this question. It is not possible. It is like you are asking me to explain in one paragraph “How can I become a medical doctor” and expect me to give you all the information so you can immediately become a medical doctor in a short comment on the internet. It is not possible. If you want to be a doctor you have to first qualify yourself so you can be accepted by the medical college then you have to study for many years under the qualified professors and hear from them and study all the authorized medical text books and take the exams and pass the exams. Then gradually after a lot of work and study you may be awarded the qualification of ‘Medical Doctor’.

      You have to study Prabhupada’s books. You have to follow Prabhupada’s instructions in your life, you need to surrender to and serve Srila Prabhupada, and if he is pleased with your service he can reveal this knowledge to you.

      Real guru is really a simple thing but the neophyte devotees do not have the power to differentiate a real guru from a bogus pretender. That is the neophyte devotee. He has no ability to see who is a rascal and who is a bona fide guru. That is why bogus gurus get so many followers. Because the neophyte devotees do not have the power to tell the difference between a bogus guru and a real guru. That ability only comes when one reaches the platform of Madhyama-adhikari. So if we want to understand who is real guru and who is cheater then we have to advance to this platform by Srila Prabhupada’s mercy and that–like become a medical doctor–is a process, and you have to follow that process.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  54. seva das says:

    pamho madhudviss prabhu agtACBSP thank you for let me know the truth as it is regarding the bogus hoax of the next 9500 years as SRILA PRABHUPADA as the only diksa guru but as you says we can’t see so many pure devotees around at the moment and although SRILA PRABHUPADA is still present through HIS divine books spiritual advancement is been all the time difficulty especially in kali yuga therefore we are still learning from SRILA PRABHUPADA how to become qualified gurus as our beloved acharya wish us too but as you know is a very slow process to become a pure guru as SRILA PRABHUPADA that’s why i says a vaisnava family background could help me a lot to go beyond the samsara in this life actually all my sadhana bhakti is in vani from SRILA PRABHUPADA and SRIMAD BHAGAVAD GITA, our beloved acharya done the sankirtan revolution through the vani of SRI GAURANGA and SRILA BHAKTISIDDHANTA therefore i don’t think that the physical guru is needed unless he is pure then i will accept him as SRILA PRABHUPADA i wish you a happy SRI KRSNA JANMASTHAMI thank you for your sanga and blessing your servant seva das haribol

  55. seva das says:

    pamho madhudvisa prabhu agtACBSP i can understand through your newsletter that we are properly situated with HDG ACBSP now is very sad to be witness of the guru hoax in iskcon especially for you who knows SRILA PRABHUPADA better then us by doing the best to replace SRILA PRABHUPADA as the only bona fide diksa guru in iskcon for the next 9500, as you says SRILA PRABHUPADA is making pure devotees through the next generations with HIS divine books because as you know a vaisnava family background is helping a lot to become a nistha bhakta faster i can see through the history of iskcon since SRILA PRABHUPADA departure how difficult is to make spiritual progress for people born in western countries in this life,i try my best to close the samsara by serving guru sadhu and sastra at least i get a better life if i fail thank you for your sanga and blessing agtys dandavats daso smi seva das haribol

    • Hare Krishna Seva Prabhu

      This idea that Prabhupada is the only guru for the next 10,000 years is a bogus hoax invented by some ritviks Prabhu.

      Prabhupada wants his disciples to become qualified gurus. But that qualification is a little rare. It is really simple. It is just surrender. But none of us want to surrender. That is the material disease, that is why we are in the material world.

      Historically we see bona fide guru is very, very rare. So we can not expect that there will be many. But the guru principle will go on.

      You note that how difficult it has become for people to make spiritual advancement since Srila Prabhupada disappeared from our material vision, actually it is not difficult, Prabhupada is still with us in his books and other recorded vani, but people do seem to find it difficult to follow this. And in the ocean of bogus philosophy from ISKCON and the lack of any good association and good leadership the vast majority of the devotees are simply lost in the ocean of material darkness.

      So for preaching actually guru is required. Now, without any physically present qualified guru, basically the preaching has stopped. Everyone has a different idea. Even in ISKCON all the “gurus” have different ideas. There is no standard, there is no authority, no leadership. Everything is lost.

      And this is predicted–after the disappearance of the acharya there will be disaster and confusion. It is always happening. It happened with the Gaudiya Math after Bhaktsiddhanta disappeared. And it happened with ISKCON after Prabhupada disappeared. So it is up the sincere followers of Srila Prabhupada to save the situation. As Prabhupada saved the situation for his guru maharaja we have to save the situation for Prabhupada. Which means we have to become qualified gurus. Otherwise how will we know how to save the situation?

      It is not possible without some “living guru” actually. Individually we may be able to become Krishna conscious by reading Prabhupada’s books but for any organized preaching there has to be an authority and there has to be a leader. And it is OK to say “Prabhupada is the leader, Prabhupada is the authority”–which is true of course–but the problem comes because everyone has a different idea, a different interpretation of what Prabhupada wants, what Prabhupada preached. There is no agreement. So physically present guru is required actually for any organized preaching. Otherwise everyone has their own different idea and can not work together and nothing can be organized.

      ISKCON is already finished. That chapter is over. ISKCON, like the Gaudiya Matha before them, have become something completely different from what Srila Prabhupada desired. And really there is no going back. Prabhupada did not try to “fix” the Gaudiya Math, no can the Gaudiya Matha be fixed. So we should not bother trying to “fix” ISKCON, nor can ISKCON be fixed.

      We need to surrender to Srila Prabhupada and accept Srila Prabhupada’s orders as our life and soul and be guided by Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and just do what Krishna wants us to do.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  56. Thank you very much Madudvisa dasa. The other day my mother also told me the same thing. You wrote something about the “reality check”. What is this? and how can one perform it? Please tell me?

    • Hare Krishna Vinay

      “Reality check” is an English saying. It means what it says. In regard to the so many bogus gurus that abound at the current time to do a “reality check” on them you need to find out what are actually the qualities of a real bona fide guru. And if you do this you can see that in reality most of these so-called gurus are not qualified gurus at all.

      They are all gurus in a sense because guru means teacher. And they are all teaching something. But the problem is they are generally not simply passing on the message that is coming down in the pure disciplic succession from Krishna. Many of these Indian gurus do not even have any connection to a bona fide disciplic succession. These days someone will come and speak some philosophy and not even have any authorized connection to any disciplic succession and fools will accept them as a bona fide guru. But the idea of bona fide guru is he is a representative, a messenger, passing on an authoritative message that he has received from his bona fide guru in the disciplic succession.

      And so many of these “gurus” do not even have any bona fide disciplic succession for the messages to descend through from Krishna.

      And many other so-called gurus are not following even the very basic regulative principles. A bona fide guru has to have transcended the three modes of material nature. He has to have come to the platform beyond sense gratification. He needs to be actually goswami, “master of the senses”, not godasa “servant of the senses”.

      We see so many so-called big gurus. Here in Vrindavana they are building a huge marble palace for Krpalu but he is sleeping with his female disciples. So he is still very much a servant of his senses yet he has hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. These followers need to do the “reality check”. A bona fide spiritual master is beyond the platform of sense gratification. He is a master of his senses, swami, goswami… So if we see the “swami” sleeping with his disciples he is no swami, he is no guru. He is a conditioned soul bound tightly by the three gunas, the ropes of the modes of passion, ignorance and goodness. So while one is tightly bound by these ropes he can not help anyone else. First the rescuerer must liberate himself, then he may be able to help others to reach the platform of liberation.

      So Prabhu I hope that helps a bit to clear up what “reality check” means.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Your servant

      Madhudvisa dasa

  57. lopa says:

    hare krishna!
    Please accept my humble obeisances.

    is chanting, following the 4 basic rules & associating with devotees enough to progress krishna consciousness or is it necessary to get formal initiation(diksha) from a living guru?

    why dont we hold japa beads between thumb and index finger? what is the reason of not holding japa mala with index finger?
    please enlighten.

    hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
    hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

    hari bol!

    • Hare Krishna Lopa

      Chanting Hare Krishna (at least 16 rounds a day), associating with devotees and following the four regulative principles is the beginning of Krishna consciousness. Of course you have to also hear from a pure devotee of Krishna so you need to read Srila Prabhupada’s books otherwise without the philosophical understanding as to why you are doing these things it will be difficult to maintain.

      But the real point of Krishna consciousness is that it is devotional service. It means we have to use our energy, our mind, our intelligence, or senses, our money in the service of Krishna under the direction of Krishna’s pure devotee.

      To get this direction of course a living guru is required, otherwise how can you get the directions what to do, how to serve Krishna?

      If you are able to realize that Srila Prabhupada is still living and if you are able to receive directions from him and guidance from him and also chastisement from him when necessary then Prabhupada can be your living guru.

      But bona fide guru is not very easy to get. It is only possible very rarely. Brahmananda brahmanate bhagavan kona bhagavayn jiva guru krsna prasada paya bhakti lata bhika. “Only very rarely does one get the chance to associate with a bona fide spiritual master. He has to wander from one body to another, one universe to another, and only occasionally one fortunate soul gets the chance to associate with a bona fide spiritual master.”

      So bona fide spiritual master is very rare and it is also very rare to find someone who is prepared to surrender to a bona fide spiritual master. Mostly people want to be cheated. They don’t want to surrender to Krishna, they don’t want to give up sense gratification, they don’t want to serve Krishna. So they get cheating gurus who tell them the things they want to hear and everyone, cheating gurus and cheating disciples–goes to Hell.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  58. Syamaleeladevi dasi says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

    Please accept my dandavats at your lotus feet. All Glories unto you.

    I would like to reveal what all I have gone through after my association with Srila Prabhupada.


    I started visiting ISKCON in 1998 and started chanting Hare Krishna Maha Mantra 16 rounds sincerely by the causeless mercy of Srila Prabhupada. One day during Julan Yatra festival I was sitting next to the dias and was feeling very low and bad that my chanting is not going on well and I was feeling bad about myself at that time I heard His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada’s voice and He told me chant like this and said you chant “HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE AND IN YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND YOU CHANT O ENERGY OF THE LORD SRIMATI RADHA RANI O SUPREME LORD SRI KRISHNA O RESERVOIR OF ALL PLEASURES KINDLY ENGAGE ME IN YOUR LOVING DEVOTIONAL SERVICE” like that. And I started chanting like that and tears started flowing from my eyes continuously till the Guru Arati got over and I tried to wipe and control my tears but it did not stop at all.

    Then on Lord Caitanya’s appearance day by Srila Prabhupada’s mercy Lord Nityananda made me dance for neary 4 hours continuosuly and I was feeling very light like flower and very blissful. I went and bow down before Srila Prabhpada and thanked Him for what all he has given to me and started chanting nicely. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    Then Harinama diksha was going on In the temple and I conveyed my experience of Srila Prabhupada giving Hari nama to me and the way Lord made me dance on Lord Gauranga’s appearance day to His Holiness Gopala Krishna Goswami Maharaja. He said still I have to take diksha from a living guru like that.

    Myself and my husband His Grace Sevarathi Prabhu were initiated on Radhastami day in 2002.

    Due to my personal problems as my son met with an accident, I had to rush to Bangalore. Even at that time I went to Srila Prabhupada and said Maharaja I do not know what exactly has happened to my son as he is injured in Bangalore and I am in Bombay like that. At that time Srila Prabhupada told me to take the flower from his hand (which is offered to Srila Prabhupada before Guru Arati in every ISKCON temple) and keep it in my bead bag and keep it on my son’s forehead whenever I see him. When we reached Bangalore, he was in the ICU and the doctor was not there. The nurses and the ward boys told that Doctor has given only 4 hours like that for his survival. But, I said Rake Krishna Marekhe and Mare Krishna Rakhe ke like that. If Supreme Lord Krishna wants to keep him in this body he will keep him other wise he will take him. It is the Supreme Lord’s will like that. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada as we were continuously reading BHAGAVAD GITA AS IT IS all the time and Srila Prabhuapda has given me immense strength to face any situation in life. I bow down billions of times at the Divine Lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada for His causeless mercy on this fallen, insignificant soul. Then the Doctor arrived at 7:30 pm in the evening and said You people have got your son very late and I have no hope of His survival like that. I repeated the same what I told above and in the meanwhile my brother in law had got a letter from a Neuro Surgeon from Manipal hospital in Bangalore and said that the Doctor has promissed that she will save hima and that we should take him there immediately. At that time when my son was brought on stretcher, Srila Prabhpada again reminded me to place the flower from my bead bag on my son’s head. Then my son who was unconscious and was in coma, screamed ma………………like that. I was moved and the doctor and all the crowd gathered in the hospital loudly made noice and said what a miracle like that. I said it is all by the causeless mercy of my Parama Gurudeva Srila Prabhupada like that. But, the materialistic people who are not connected to Srila Prabhupada can not understand that.

    Now, as I am initiated in Harinama from His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja, should I take Bramhan Diksha or I should continue my Bhajana as I am now. Please advise.

    Your servant, in the service of Srila Prabhupada
    Syamaleeladevi dasi

    • Hare Krishna Mother Syamaleedevi dasi

      Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

      It is a wonderful story. You are a disciple of Srila Prabhupada for sure, but Gopal Krishna Goswami has given you diksa, so there is no problem with this. There is no need to reject this diksa. He is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and he is preaching that you should read Prabhupada’s books and accept Srila Prabhupada as your principle siksa [instructing] guru. So that is all you need to do.

      Our Brahma-Madhava-Gaudiya samparadaya is a siksha sampradaya. It means that your principle guru, the guru who connects you to the param-para, is the guru who is your principle siksa guru.

      So if you find your are getting much more siksha from Srila Prabhupada and that is much more powerful and potent from what you are getting from Gopal Krishna Goswami, then your principle guru is Srila Prabhupada. But there is no need to demand a diksa initiation ceremony from Srila Prabhupada and there is no need to reject the diksa given by Gopal Krishna Goswami. Also if you feel qualified to take the Brahmin diksa and you need it for your service, you want to engage in Deity worship, etc, then you can take it from Goplal Krishna Goswami. Why not?

      The ISKCON gurus may not like it but they can not change the facts and the facts are that siksha guru and diksa guru are not different and Srila Prabhupada is, in the words of the GBC themselves, the “preeminent siksha guru for all ISKCON devotees.” So any ISKCON devotee may discover that Srila Prabhupada is their principle siksa guru and it is Srila Prabhupada who is linking them to the disciplic succession and who is delivering the science of Krishna consciousness to them…

      So you can just continue as you are serving Srila Prabhupada…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  59. Jai Shri Kirshna

    I am living in Pakistan, a muslim country where sanatan guru are not existing. I heard that if a person don’t have guru he should be called Nugra and sent to hell. His dan and prayers are useless.

    Kindly suggest how can i find the guru who show me the path to mokhsa.

  60. seva das says:

    pamho madhudvisa prabhu agtACSP thank you very much for help me through your newsletter is working belive me because i got a good news for you that’s: i’m follow all rule and regulations again by your mercy sastra and guru ah! regarding a qualified guru i got it that’s HDG ACBSP because i’m fed up of getting cheated by the guru hoax in iskcon i just keep going with my daily sadhan bhakti then when i get stronger by keeping following the 4 principles i will go to iskcon bangalore to serve SRILA PRABHUPADA under the instruction of HG madhu pandit i’m getting very serious nowadays against the war with maya sukaya to make sure i will be able to catch the attention of SRI SRI GURU GAURANGA in the way back home so thank you very much for making me aware about the importance of following krsna conscious seriously at least i’m not helpless anymore now as i used to be when i was still smoking ganja agtys ys seva das haribol

    • Hare Krishna Seva Prabhu

      Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

      I am very encouraged Prabhu to hear that you are succeeding in the war against maya. It really is a war and sometimes we really do have to fight to get out of bed before 4:00 am and to chant our 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra and to stick to following the four regulative principles.

      We need to find some practical service that will keep us engaged in serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna 24 hours a day. Something that will help push on the mission of Srila Prabhupada. Saddhana is necessary, but service is also necessary. We do the saddhana to give us strength to do the service. So there has to be some practical service…

      And we do not have to go any place to serve Krishna or Prabhupada. We can do it wherever we happen to be. If you feel strong enough you can sit out on the street with some kartals or a mrdanga and chant Hare Krishna and gradually people will gather and you can talk about Krishna and sell them Srila Prabhupada’s books…

      That is how it works. We should get the knowledge of Krishna consciousness and then get strong by following the process of saddhana bhakti and then try to distribute this knowledge of Krishna to others…

      Please keep chanting Hare Krishna Prabhu and always remain enthusiastic in spite of maya’s constant attacks. I am very happy to hear your good news!!

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • seva das says:

        pamho madhudvisa prabhu agtACBSP sorry about the delay in answer you i just been too busy with the war against maya is true i get stronger day after day by the saddhana bhakti because sri krsna wake me up every morning at 4 am without using any alarm clock thank you very much for your encouragement through your news letter i’m engaged in yajna tapa and dana service from many years i’m determinate to succeed against the war with maya sukaya but as you know my determination sometime slow down because i lose the battle with maya through raga dvesau,never mind i’m still progressing in krsna consciousness by the daily chanting and reading thank you to give me the chance to associating with you is helping a lot to get inspiration to keep going by hear that from a senior disciple of HDG ACBSP like you,i been serving your guru maharaj for years by doing as you says chanting and distribute krsna consciousness to other i use to be all the time in the brahmacari sankirtan party in italy india etc…now i’m doing that at home age concern 50 years i don’t want wait to get older to become krsna conscious but as you know that’s is not up to us i have not power to change my destiny i been trying in so many spiritual ways and now i understand through your long practice experience in krsna consciousness that we have not choice but surrender and let SRI SRI GURU GAURANGA to use us in THEIR service as THEY wish us too thank you very much for your blessing agtys dandavats daso smi seva das haribol

  61. sara T says:

    Hare Krishna,
    Madhudvisa dasa

    I am very fortunate to associate with Krishna’s devotees.
    Messenger and Guru are different in their capacity.
    Messengers get dictations from Ascended Masters and pass it to humanity.
    They are blessed by the Masters to have positions as Messengers.
    All the informations, that comes as dictations in the heartstream, are not from the Messenger it is from the Masters from heaven. Therefore the Messenger is not a Guru and they don’t claim themselves as Guru. Few Messengers are condemned by the Masters and are no longer Messengers.
    Most Messenger, they think Lord Krishna as a Master not as God. Their knowledge of Krishna is very limited.
    A bona fide Guru is rare to find. We are blessed by Lord Krishna to bring us to His Bona Fida Guru Sir Prabhupada and his devotee Madhudvisa dasa.
    Within few months, I have come to understand, my life and my mission. My sole mission is Lord Krishna and I want to live for His cause with His blessing.

    Hare Krishna and Be Happy,
    Sara tzeggai

    • Hare Krishna Sara

      Nice to hear from you but I think you are mixing up things you have heard from different sources which is not actually the process of disseminating transcendental knowledge.

      First you have to find a bona fide spiritual master and surrender to him, serve him, hear from him, offer obeisances to him, etc. Then if he is actually a pure devotee, actually in direct touch with Krishna, then hearing from him is not different from hearing from Krishna directly.

      Once you have surrendered to a bona fide guru, you are following all his instructions and orders, you are rendering service to him and you have heard from him extensively and read his books then by his blessings and by Krishna’s blessings you may become empowered to preach the same messages to people who will hear it from you. That is the bona fide guru. Bona fide guru can only speak what he has heard from his bona fide guru. Nothing more, nothing less.

      So first we need to surrender to Srila Prabhupada, follow his instructions, read his books, listen to his classes. Then when we are absolutely sure we are following properly and have grasped the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and are capable of explaining them without adding in our own ideas or other ideas from outside the param-para, then we can preach. Not that we read one or two chapters of the Bhagavad-gita then we can become a big preacher. It all depends on surrender and service. If we do not surrender to Srila Prabhupada and if we do not spend our time and energy serving him how can we be empowered to preach?

      In Krishna consciousness we do not use these concepts “Messagers, Ascended Masters, etc.,” you are taking these ideas from somewhere else and that is no good. There is no messenger in Krishna consciousness who is not a guru. These are all concocted ideas. A very important part of coming to Krishna consciousness is to become a “blank slate,” to realize that basically everything I know, everything I have been taught before, is nonsense. So we forget all that and start again. We surrender to Srila Prabhupada and hear from him the absolute truth and assimilate it after throwing out all the rubbish that used to fill up our mind and consciousness, then when we have really some practical realization through surrender and service and knowledge, then we can preach and then our preaching will be powerful.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  62. I want to thank you. I am in tears,as this was right on time. Presently, I am reading the Bhagavad Gita ( As It Is) by His Grace. I received it from an ashram I visited in North Carolina.

    I am so ready to follow Krishna that I physically ache for him. I want to go into ,not what I call study,but to get closer to Him. It is difficult to do this in the world as we know it,and you are correct in saying that it is hard to find a guru.

    People come to me because they see His light. I am exhausted of their energy,and just want Krishna now.

    How do I do this? Where do I go? I am so ready. Reading a website is not enough. I want to go into wherever it is that will give me peace as I study,meditate,and be a true devotee.

    Thank you.

    Rani Durga Ma

    • Hare Krishna Rani

      The secret is the association of a pure devotee of Krishna. Krishna is only known by His pure devotees. You know I write these things over and over again but many people don’t get it. Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna. He is living in his books. If you get them and read them and actually put Srila Prabhupada’s instructions into practice in your life then gradually all the darkness of maya and illusion will be replaced by the love for Krishna.

      And we have to be prepared to surrender to the basic things. Chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, strictly following the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication. And rising early in the morning before 4:00 AM and offering the mangal aroti to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya and Krishna. Prabhupada gives us whole process so we can transform our lives so twenty-four hours a day we can be engaged in the service of Krishna.

      Of course not many people want to be engaged in the service of Krishna twenty-four hours a day. So for those who don’t want to do this Krishna consciousness is not available. It will always be a mystery to them.

      Your feeling “where to go.” It is a very good feeling and it is the feeling of the devotees. You have become tired of the draining association of mundane people who come to you for “spiritual” blessings. But the mundane people are not interested actually in doing anything for Krishna. They want to get some benefits from Krishna for themselves, that is all. “Give me money. Give me a nice wife. Give me a good job. Make my sick family members well…” It is just “give me, give me, give me…” In contrast a devotee never asks Krishna for anything. His prayer is “Krishna please engage me in your service.” And a devotee naturally hankers after the association of other devotees. And you are looking for that, and I am looking for that also. But it is not very easy to find. While Srila Prabhupada was physically present ISKCON was providing this Sadhu-sanga of devotees engaged in pure devotional service with no desires other than serving Prabhupada and Krishna. Nowadays this not the case. It is very different. At the moment I am not aware of any place in the world where you can find this association of devotees engaged in pure devotional service 24 hours a day…

      So in reality we can keep hankering for this association but we have to ourselves become pure devotees of Krishna engaged in Krishna consciousness 24 hours a day and by our association and preaching encourage others to do it and gradually these associations of devotees engaged in pure devotional service 24 hours a day will manifest again.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  63. Ajoy Choudhury says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa Prabhuji,

    I would like to know about present day ISKCON. Is it not regulated and controlled by any central Headquarter. Can anyone open an ISKCON Temple anywhere ? It is certainly disheartening to know that many of the gurus in ISKCON are not self realized. I read HDG Praphupada’s Books and i find them very very enriching. Is that enough ? ISKCON devotees always tells me that I should take Diksha from an ISKCON guru. Please clarify.

    • Hare Krishna Ajoy

      I have nothing to do with ISKCON and if you have questions about that you have to ask them not me. I have no interest. If you have questions about the philosophy of Krishna consciousness or Prabhupada please ask them.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  64. Paul says:

    Dear Madhudvisa dasa;
    Your email was very insightful and at the same time disheartening. I have never had the blessing of coming into contact with a pure devotee but I have purchased Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is and Srimad Bhagavatam from you. Although I read the Bhagavatam everyday, I understand the necessity of having a spiritual master. How am I supposed to find one if most of them are unqualified?
    I absolutely under no circumstances want to commit an offense either directly or indirectly at the Lotus Feet of Krishna by accepting a false Devotee.
    Please tell me what am I supposed to do; any advice would be a blessing.
    Thank You!

    • Hare Krishna Paul

      It is a fact that most of the people presenting themselves as spiritual masters or spiritual guides in any way are bogus and will not be able to guide anyone back home, back to Godhead. There are two different sorts of cheaters, one sort who are in the “guru business” for some personal benefit. By being a guru they can get fame, profit, followers, adoration, etc. This is a very strong motivation for many. And there is the other sort who think they are liberated and really think they can help the people. But many of them are like the man who can not swim but jumps into the water to save the drowning man… They don’t have the potency to take many followers back home, back to Godhead.

      You are missing the main point here. The main point is we have a bona fide pure devotee guru already. His name is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. You already have hos Bhagavad-gita As It Is. I certainly hope it is the original edition not the “Revised and Enlarged” edition ISKCON is distributing. I really suggest you take advantage of my current offer of 16 of the most important original books from Srila Prabhupada for only $49. It is a ridiculously impossible price and shipping cost is also very low to anywhere in the world. And READ PRABHUPADA’S BOOKS. We say it all the time, “Prabhupada is living in his books.” but people don’t seem to get it…

      If you read Prabhupada’s books, I suggest read them aloud so you can hear it. Krishna consciousness actually is developed through hearing. It is not developed in brain by speculation. It is awakened by hearing. So if you get these 16 books and read them aloud and at the same time you are chanting at lest 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and strictly following the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling, no intoxication] then you will discover that Srila Prabhupada is living in his books.

      Anyhow unless you very seriously read all of Prabhupada’s books you will not be able to tell who is a bogus guru or who is a real guru. That is a very dangerous position to be in…

      You can get Prabhupada’s Books at:


      It is really a once in a lifetime sort of offer and this package of Prabhupada’s books is so powerful and so valuable… And I think you can sense from me that this is not a money making business on my part. I am not making any money on this. I would be just so happy if you get Prabhupada’s books and read them and then you will also be so happy and feel so relieved.

      As we start to make a little advancement in Krishna consciousness it is such a relief. We start to see the whole world from a different perspective and all our troubles and anxieties just disappear…

      It is very nice. So get Prabhupada’s books at:



      You will realize gradually that Srila Prabhupada is a living guru still.

      I understand your feelings completely. I joined ISKCON in 1986 because I was very attached to Srila Prabhupada through reading his books. But when I joined ISKCON I was surrounded by people who were telling me that Prabhupada is dead and Prabhupada has appointed 11 successors who are all pure devotees just like him and I had to select one of them as my guru. Everyone was telling me, “Prabhu that is what Prabhupada wants you to do. Surrender to one of these guys…”

      And I believed it. If you are in a group of many people and you are just one person and they are all saying the same thing to you over and over and over again, “Prabhu, Prabhupada is dead, you need a living guru…” Everyone is telling you, every day, every minute… Eventually you think “Prabhupada is dead I need a living guru…” It is a sort of brain washing actually… Anyhow it works. So I was trying to find a “living guru” for two year. But fortunately I had read all of Prabhupada’s books within that two years. That is everything, every single book. I was devouring Prabhupada’s books like nectar. Like a new bhakta eats sweet balls or halva. Prabhupada’s books were so sweet for me, and they still are now. So although I was looking for a “living guru” my whole life had become already transformed. I was chanting even 64 rounds a day while I was traveling all over the world looking for a “living guru” and I was really felling spiritually high on Krishna consciousness.

      At that time there were only 11 gurus. And the philosophy in ISKCON at that time was that is all there would be and these 11 men were paramahamsas, pure devotees, everything you know. And there were no other gurus. So you had to pick one of the 11. Already Jayatirtha had been killed by one of his disciples. He chopped his head off during one of their LSD kirtans or something. I don’t know. So the preaching was, just like when Mohini Murti was distributing the nectar to the demigods one demon, Rahu, dressed up as a demigod and sat in the line. So ISKCON was saying that Jayatirtha was just a demon who sat in the line and became an acharya in ISKCON but the other ten are pure devotees, uttama adhikaris, seeing Krishna at every moment…

      Anyhow to make a long story short I read in Prabhupada’s books that the disciple has to test his intending spiritual master to see if he is actually qualified to take him back home back to Godhead, and the spiritual master also has to test the disciple to see if he is qualified to be a disciple.

      So I was thinking maybe Satsvarupa is my guru, because when you read Lilamrta it seems like Satsvarupa is Prabhupada’s favorite disciple and got all the mercy of Prabhupada…. So I went to Gita Nagari and met Satsvarupa and he was completely crazy. And read some of his completely crazy writing. At that time it was not so crazy. It got much more crazy later on. But anyhow I could understand he was a crazy man. And similarly I checked out Tamil Krishna Goswami who was very evil man, and Jayapataka Swami who at the time I thought was nice and sincere but did not have a very good grasp of the philosophy so he would not make a very good guru. I did not even consider Hridyananda because even from a distance he seemed so much like a mayavadi. I couldn’t related to him at all or find any real connection with him and Prabhupada. The ones I was checking out all had some sort of connection with Prabhupada and I am sure at some level were sincere followers of Prabhupada. But being a devotee doesn’t mean one is qualified as an acharya….

      But this time I was getting a bit desperate. I was still thinking, “I need a living guru.” And I was still chanting 64 rounds and reading Prabhupada’s books and following the principles and floating around the world on a spiritual cloud directed by Krishna… Looking for a “living guru…” But I could only choose from the 11 supposedly appointed by Prabhupada. And the only one that I hadn’t checked out and hadn’t miserably failed Prabhupada’s tests was Harikesa. So I went to Sweden with the idea of rendering service and inquiring submissively… But it turned out very badly and that is a long story. But it was very clear to me that Harikesa was an insane man. And you can not have an insane man as your guru. That would be a very bad thing…

      So then I was completely bewildered. I was still thinking “I need a living guru.” The ISKCON brainwashing was so good. So I was traveling down from Sweden through Europe and found myself in Galarati. It is in Italy. And ISKCON used to have a very nice temple there. A 3 story house with very beautiful Gaura Nitai Deities. So I was offering obeisances to these Gaura Nitai Deities and in my mind I was asking Them, “What to do? These 11 men that Prabhupada appointed are not anything like Prabhupada at all. How can I take initiation from any of them? What to do?” So when I stood up–I guess it must have been the day that the Pujari changes the brahmin threads on the Deities, so he just handed me a brahmin thread from the Deities. And at that moment for the fist time I realized, “I already have a guru! His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!” And immediately all my problems where solved. From that moment I stopped looking for a “living guru” and knew that I already had a living guru, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!

      So the point of this long story is I can understand why you are looking for a “living guru” but I suggest you get Prabhupada’s books and read them:


      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Alex says:

        Wow what an amazing story and beauty. I am glad Prabhupada revealed this to you. but the question arises what about initiation? I used to associate with people who taught that Prabhupada would be the guru for 10,000 years. Even though I cheered for it in my heart I knew it wouldnt be possible. the disciplic succession would be broken making Prabhupada this Christ Like figure which many people wouldnt have a problem with especially with their christian backround. What about brahmin initiation? Let us say I am following all the principles, and chanting 16 rounds reading hearing etc. and doing Deity Worship. what about the mantra and the brahmin thread to do deity worship? and the mula mantras? people say these things are only secondary but if u notice it is not and does play a big role into the whole thing. That is why many are looking for a living guru to be formally initiated to have their mantra or Brahmin thread and etc. Who will know it after all of Prabhupada disciples are gone and none are qualified to be gurus? Initiation is sort of a baptism, removing the sins of the past to now be pure to start your service to Krsna. People cant baptize themselves they need to be baptize by the clergy. I want to be a Brahmin but how can I? There is no one giving the ordination of the Brahmin. Ever since I was young I desired to be a priest. People said this child has a great blessing with him. He will preach around the world. He is God’s servant and other things. I am not saying this out of ego or pride because I am a sinner and know pride does not take my heart when it comes to that. I simply want to fullfill the desires of God from what he told me in church. Should I go back to Christianity and study to be priest there? to hide my beliefs in Krsna Consciousness to serve God?

        • Hare Krishna Alex

          The real preacher does not want to be a preacher. He is a simple humble servant of God and he preaches by his practical example of being a pure and humble servant of God. If you want to be a preacher it is probably better if you go back to be a Christian priest. If you want to be a servant of Srila Prabhupada and servant of Krishna and servant of the Vaisnavas then Krishna consciousness is for you…

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  65. chetna says:

    Jai shri krishna,

    I am a college student and I have read Bhagavad gita as it is completely. I am planning to start bhagavad gita classes as I am interested in developing krishna consciousness not only in myself but also in others. Is there any guidance I need to take from ISKON to take classes?

    • Hare Krishna Chetna

      Krishna consciousness is not only reading Bhagavad-gita. And Krishna consciousness can not be achieved simply by study. It is a practical thing. You have to live your life as Bhagavad-gita. And if you do that automatically by your association the people around you will become Krishna conscious.

      If you want to teach others then you first have to become perfect yourself. Otherwise if you are not perfect yourself your teachings to others will not be effective.

      You have to learn Krishna consciousness yourself first and perfect it in your life then you can teach others. In the meantime of course the best way to give others Krishna consciousness is to give them Prabhupada’s books and let them read Prabhupada’s books for themselves. Not that you are able to read Prabhupada’s books and understand them and others’ can’t. No. Everyone can read Prabhupada’s books and understand them. So we should be encouraging others like that. To chant Hare Krishna and read Prabhupada’s books. And let them understand Krishna consciousness from Srila Prabhupada directly.

      If you will start giving Bhagavad-gita classes yourself and you are not pure, if you are still having the desires for sex life and the desire to be famous, the desire for followers, the desire to enjoy beautiful women, the desire for worship…. It will be a disaster ultimately. Because like thousands and thousands of other Indians before you, you will take Krishna’s Gita and use it for your own purposes.

      Lord Caitanya’s instruction is that you first make your own life perfect then you teach others. So that perfection has to be there. Otherwise we have seen what happens.

      But Prabhupada has given us a nice program, if you follow that, then you can start having Bhagavad-gita classes. You can have a kirtan, get everyone to chant Hare Krishna, you can read a verse from the Bhagavad-gita and get everyone to chant it responsively so they are chanting the Sanskrit verse also, you can read Prabhupada’s purport so they can hear Prabhupada also, and then you can explain. As long as you are actually properly situated in devotional service, chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and strictly following the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling, no intoxication] and you doing this in a humble and submissive way, not feeling that you are qualified, but simply praying to Srila Prabhupada that “I am such a fool, please make my speaking suitable so these people can understand what you want them to understand.” This real humility, the mood of a servant has to be there. And if it is then you can speak and Krishna will empower you to speak and whatever you say that will be very powerful and will change the hearts of the audience….

      So you can do it, why not? And you don’t have to get permission from ISKCON or anyone. You can preach the messages of Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. Why not? But you have to become qualified first. It is a simple thing. But so many people do this Bhagavad-gita speaking and translating and commenting on without the proper qualifications and that has spoiled the whole thing.

      But if you do it properly and sincerely that will be very wonderful Prabhu!

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  66. Miroslav says:

    Hare Krishna!

    I can understand that Srila Prabhupada is pure devotee and self realized soul. I am reading his books and I am hearing his lectures.
    I deeply accept him as a really bona fide spiritual master. There is no doubt about it.
    But, I have a doubt. Is there any other bona fide spiritual master in ISKCON? If not, does it mean that Srila Prabhupada remain only diksa guru in ISKCON? Please clarify.

    • Hare Krishna Miroslav

      ISKCON has unfortunately gone against so many of the orders and instructions of Srila Prabhupada and has become very inimical to anyone who dares to consider that Srila Prabhupada is still living and can still accept disciples. So they are offenders actually to Krishna and Srila Prabhupada, Krishna’s pure devotee.

      It is amazing. People can’t see it. If you go to ISKCON and read Prabhupada’s books and become very attached to Srila Prabhupada and start worshiping Srila Prabhupada and feel a real transcendental relationship developing between yourself and Srila Prabhupada and you start to see all the qualities of a devotee gradually developing in yourself because of your service and surrender to and association with Srila Prabhupada, the ISKCON devotees will come up to you and say “Prabhupada is dead, you need a living guru.” And if you do not agree to surrender to one of their “living gurus” they will brand you as a “dirty stinking ritvik” and throw you out of the temple.

      And this policy is 100% supported and encouraged by all ISKCON gurus. They have to support this policy otherwise ISKCON will through them out.

      So Prabhu how can there be a bona fide guru in such an organization?

      It is not possible. If there was a bona fide guru available you would certainly not find him in ISKCON.

      Even from the practical point of view an actual bona fide guru would never agree to be an ISKCON guru. Because ISKCON gurus have to surrender to the GBC, who are just a group of conditioned souls. And in ISKCON all devotees have to surrender to the GBC and the temple president first and their guru is last. So in ISKCON guru really can not guide his disciples because he does not have authority over them. And the guru in ISKCON is not free to speak as he desires to speak. Before he opens his mouth he has to consider very carefully that what he says is not going to upset the GBC because if he upsets the GBC they will take away his guru ticket and take away all his disciples…

      So actually only the lowest sudra can work like this, surrendering to a mundane committee and agreeing to follow their every demand and proclamation, for the reward of the title of “guru…” They get the title in ISKCON “guru” but they don’t get any authority over their disciples.

      None of the higher classes in the vedic society can work like this. Only sudras can work like this. Brahmana is independent. He simply depends on Krishna and he is fearless and not dependent on anyone else so he can speak the absolute truth without any fear because he only depends on Krishna. The ksatriays have some land and levy taxes and in this way raise income and although they take advice from the brahmanas they are also independent. The vaishyas are cultivating the land or doing some business and they have their income from this. They take the protection of the ksatriyas and pay them taxes and also take the advice of the brahmanas but otherwise they are completely independent.

      It is only the sudras who are dependent on some other person for their livelihood. So only a sudra mentality person can accept the position of guru in ISKCON. Because to be guru in ISKCON he has to surrender his independence to the GBC, a bunch of mundane characters with no particular spiritual qualifications at all, so if he agrees to this he is a sudra, and a sudra can not be a guru.

      A guru has to be independent. He has to be able to speak the absolute truth with no fear and no cares. ISKCON guru can not do this. He always has to fear that he may upset the authorities and be thrown out of ISKCON, have is guru certificate revoked and have his disciples distributed among other ISKCON gurus “in good standing”.

      So the short answer is no. You will not find any bona fide gurus in ISKCON. It is not possible. No bona fide guru could ever preach under these circumstances.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  67. kalpesh says:

    How to accept srila prabhupada as our guru ? if prabhupada disciples are disqualified as per article. pls guide and clarify

    • Read Srila Prabhupada’s books Prabhu, listen to Prabhupada’s classes, watch the Prabhupada DVDs, read the letters from Srila Prabhupada, and follow the instructions very sincerely that Srila Prabhupada gives you in this way. You have to realize Prabhupada is living with us and is ready to instruct you in Krishna consciousness and answer all your questions. If you are only prepared to pick up his books and read them… He is living in his books.

      This is a realization that you have to come to and you can only come to this realization by actually associating with Srila Prabhupada through his transcendental vani [instructions] and you will actually realize that Prabhupada is living still in sound and he is really speaking to you.

      The article does not say that Prabhupada disciples are disqualified Prabhu. It says that practically all gurus you will find today inside or outside ISKCON are either completely bogus, having some material motivation for the “guru business” or they may be sincere souls trying to help their disciples go back to Godhead but like the would-be lifesaver who can not swim they do not have the power to take their disciples back home back to Godhead. They may be very sincere but like the lifesaver who can not swim they are not actually any help to you in the ultimate issue.

      The point I am making is the point Krishna makes very clearly in the Bhagavad-gita [tad-viddhi…]:

      Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.

      So Prabhu I do not know how much I have to stress it if you can not understand Krishna’s clear words. The spiritual master you need to approach is a self-realized soul who has seen the truth. ISKCON say Krishna is wrong here and you do not need a self-realized soul as your spiritual master and any ordinary devotee will do. So who should we believe Krishna or ISKCON? You can make your choice but I am going to stick with Krishna and Prabhupada Prabhu.

      Krishna also says “such a great soul is very rare…” ISKCON say “all ISKCON devotees should be gurus and have some disciples…”

      So my point is that we should take shelter of Srila Prabhupada who we are absolutely 100% sure is a pure devotee of Krishna and is a self-realized soul and has the potency to take any sincere soul who surrenders to him back home back to Godhead, rather than wasting our life by surrendering to some conditioned soul who is not self-realized, who has not seen the truth and who has no power to take us back home back to Godhead.

      It is simple for the simple but crooked people will never understand this point…

      The article is very clear Prabhu and really does not need any clarification, I think if you read it again carefully you will have a better understanding.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Prabhu ji

        Sorry to say but I agree and I do not agree with you on all your points. I am going to ISKCON but I have not found anyone opposed to Prabhupada as real guru. May be its happening in European coutnries but I have not found this to be true in India. I do believe and follow what you say that Prabhupada is real guru, I do read his books and hear his recordings and yes I can understand from his teachings and classes that he is the real guru in parampara. But I believe that gurus today even if they cannot take you out from this material world even if sincerely trying, still we will get association of a devotee in the form of a guru. I agree that we have to read Prabhupada books and follow Lord Krishna instructions along with doing 16 rounds and following the devotion principles.

        Hari Bol

        Your das

        Harish Rana

  68. gunamala dasi says:

    PAMHO Prabhu! I truly appreciate your efforts in trying to enlighten devotees
    on how they can advance in their spiritual life. I’m really saddened by what is happening in ISKCON now. Srila Prabhupada gave his life and soul to spread Lord Caitanya’s mission to the whole world with the hope that after he left this planet his senior disciples will continue what he has started. He gave clear directives on how to manage the then fast growing ISKCON but due to want of fame and glory most of those he expected to represent him and continue the work are the very same people who started whatever conflict we have in ISKCON today. I do not wish to particpate in any politics. I just want to assist in whatever small way i can to bring back the lost glory of Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON. Thank you and may you always get the blessings of Sri GURU and Gauranga! Haribol! Jai Srila Prabhupada!

  69. Rajendra says:

    Haribol Prabhu
    Was wondering about those devotees who are initiated in isckon by the so called guru,are chanting and rendering service,what will happen to them?

    • Hare Krishna Rajendra

      It is a good question. We can understand the future by understanding the past. So if there is anything that ISKCON has plenty of history of it is bogus gurus. So you can just look at what happened to ISKCON’s bogus gurus in the past and their disciples and that will give you a good idea what will happen to today’s ISKCON gurus and disciples. There is a saying “If you do the same thing you will get the same result.” So ISKCON are still doing the same thing, initially they appointed 11 bogus gurus after Srila Prabhupada left our material vision and although they looked good for a few years and it appeared that the Krishna consciousness movement was booming under their guidance it did not take long and because of their immaturity in sprititual life and the heaps of offenses they were making to Srila Prabhupada and their godbrothers then naturally the things that are described in the scriptures that will happen in this case happened to them.

      They started to loose their taste for Krishna consciousness and their material desires increased again and they again fell down to the material platform and because they lost their Krishna consciousness so there disciples who were following them also lost their Krishna consciousness.

      So everything is lost. Bogus gurus and bogus disciples.

      Ultimately these are cheating gurus and cheating disciples. The disciples should have read Srila Prabhupada’s books and known what are the qualities of a pure devotee of Krishna, what are the qualities of a bona fide spiritual master and should not have surrendered to someone who is not exhibiting all these qualities in full.

      You can not become a pure devotee of Krishna by surrendering to someone who is not a pure devotee of Krishna. It is just not possible. And that is what real devotees want, to be engaged in pure devotional service.

      Basically if you surrender to the wrong guru your spiritual life is spoiled. Because Krishna consciousness is dependent on surrendering to a bona fide guru but if you surrender to a bogus guru when you realize he is bogus that breaks your heart in such a way that practically speaking you can never surrender again. And if you can’t surrender in the right place then you can’t get Krishna consciousness.

      So that is the great crime of all these bogus gurus. They are destroying the spiritual lives of so many people….

      I joined ISKCON but I read Prabhupada’s books and could very clearly see what is the quality of a pure devotee of Krishna and what is the quality of a guru so I did not take initiation from a bogus guru but took initiation from Srila Prabhupada and was saved by his grace. That was twenty-five years ago but most of my friends in ISKCON from them fell into the trap of taking initiation from a bogus guru and most are now no longer practicing Krishna consciousness. There are so many very sad stories, so many suicides, so many dying from drug overdoses, or just dying with no association of Krishna and Prabhupada…

      What these bogus gurus have done is a tragedy of monumental proportions and I do not thing any of us have really come to realize the extent of this tragedy. And it continues. Every year another batch of ISKCON bogus gurus falls down and the GBC appoint another batch of bogus gurus to go out and trap the innocent conditioned souls with their “Prabhupada is dead, you need a living guru, surrender to me!” line…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Your servant

      Madhudvisa dasa

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  70. Uday says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
    Being Krishna bhakta, I belive that my Krishna is MY GURU and i perform mans seva on gurupurnima too. IS it not the correct way ?
    My next questation is , Being a devotee, generally Krishna helps me visit various religiou palces Like Gokul Mathura and Tirumala ? But for quite long time Krishna seems to be not calling me to any of HIS places specialy Tirumala. Pl guide me when will i be able to visit Tirumala ? I think you jut tell me and it will happean.

    • Hare Krishna Uday

      Actually if you are a devotee of Krishna then you have to follow Krishna’s instructions in the Bhagavad-gita. He is caitya-guru, the guru within the heart of everyone, but in our conditioned state we are not able to appreciate Krishna in this way. So Krishna instructs:

      Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.

      So if you are a Krishna bhakta you have to follow Krishna’s instructions and find a guru who can guide you in how you can practically serve Krishna. Otherwise you get into this difficult problem like you are in now, saying you are a devotee of Krishna but not knowing what to do. It means you need a bona fide guru, someone who is a pure devotee of Krishna, who can guide you in your devotional service to Krishna.

      Krishna likes it if you worship and serve His pure devotees. That is the secret. If you want to please Krishna you have to please Krishna’s pure devotee. That is the process Krishna recommends…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  71. Nirbhaya Kumar Gajendra says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji
    I am stay in Bhubaneswar now i am chanting in start 3 months but my family is not supported in charnting

  72. Sudarshan says:

    Hare Krishna,

    What you said is really true although have not experienced personally and thank you for the warning. Have just taken baby steps like leaving tea and coffee, no onion garlic( have bn following no non-veg and no illicit sex.). Am a life member and have got Prabhupada’s books and read them. Attend satsangs regularly. As his Divine grace has said its Guna-karma-vibhasaga. If you do not have a great guru in you chart, how will one get the right spiritual master? I just do 2 rounds of chanting as well but not completely focused. Please guide.

    Hare krishna.


    • Hare Krishna Sudarshan

      You have to have knowledge, otherwise you will get cheated. There are so many bogus gurus out there ready to eat up innocent and ignorant souls like you. So to save yourself from them you have to destroy your ignorance with the torchlight of knowledge. You have to read Srila Prabhupada’s books Prabhu. Otherwise how will you know who is a qualified guru and who is a cheater? Without the knowledge you can not tell the difference and most likely you will get cheated.

      Srila Prabhupada tells the story of a man who wants to buy gold but he does not know what gold is or where it is available. He only knows it is very expensive. So he goes to a grocers store and asks to buy some gold. The grocer is very intelligent and can understand that this fool does not know actually what gold is or where gold is available from. So he takes some yellow thing and says “Yes, I have some gold, but it is very expensive…” So he takes all the mans money for this worthless yellow thing… He was only able to cheat the man because he was ignorant of what gold actually is and where the gold is available from.

      So it is the same with a search for a guru. Unless you know exactly what are the qualities of a bona fide guru any cheater will see you as an ignorant spiritual seeker and will cheat you for his own benefit.

      The thing is we have to take Krishna consciousness seriously. If you go to ISKCON they will tell you to chant one round a day and then you tell them you are chanting one round a day and they give you the idea you are making great advancement in spiritual life… While there is some advancement in chanting one round a day and it is a start for sure still the minimum requirement is chanting 16 rounds a day and strictly following the four regulative principles. We can not expect to lift the covering of ignorance and maya unless we do at least the minimum things. So if you have a little faith in Srila Prabhupada and Krishna then you need to make the effort and find the time every day in your life to chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, at least try to strictly follow the four regulative principles–in the beginning it may not be possible–but you have to try, and the more you chant Hare Krishna and the more your read Prabhupada’s books the stronger you will become and you will be able to strictly follow the four regulative principles for sure.

      You have to be firmly fixed in Krishna consciousness to see things clearly, you have to get the knowledge to destroy the darkness of ignorance, and that knowledge is in Prabhupada’s books–so you have to read them.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  73. Shyamsundar Das says:

    Hare Krshna Madhudvisa Prabhu,

    You have written a thought provoking article. Thanks very much.

    The analogy you used of drowning man and the saviour is very apt. If the saviour knows swimming and can save a drowning person, only he knows about his capabilities. The person who is drowning has no way to know about it unless he knows by experience that the saviour has saved people in the past. In that case he can be sure of the ‘right or bonafide saviour’. As an aspiring disciple, it is a tough question to answer about the capabilities of the Guru, especially when you get information of so many bogus gurus.

    Please answer, as to how can an aspiring disciple know for sure that the person he is trying to surrender to, can really save him or he also is one of the many cheaters. Guru will know for sure but how does a disciple know about the authenticity of his Guru.

    Thanks and Hare Krshna.
    Shyamsundar das

    • Hare Krishna Shyamasundar Prabhu

      I have already answered this question extensively in another post to a similar question asked by someone else so please read though and find it.

      The short-cut answer is if you can not tell if a guru is bona fide of bogus then you will most likely be cheated by a bogus guru and that will be a very great impediment in your spiritual progress.

      So you have to get knowledge, you have to find out what exactly are the qualities and qualifications of a bona fide guru… And you can get this knowledge by studying Srila Prabhupada’s books very seriously while you are chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and strictly following the four regulative principles. This is the way to destroy the darkness of ignorance and the only way you will be able to see things clearly and know what is the right path to take.

      As I wrote in this article there are so many cheaters and so many wanting to be cheated. Most “disciples” do not want a bona fide guru because as I said he will tell the disciple that he has to stop sense gratification and most people don’t want to do that…

      So the cheating goes on and on and on…

      But if you are serious then you have to surrender to Srila Prabhupada and follow the process he outlines in his books and it may take some time but you will come to the point where you know clearly who is a bona fide guru and who is bogus.

      It is not that one blindly accepts a guru based on watching some video on youtube or seeing him speak at a festival… There has to be testing. The prospective disciple has to test the guru to see if he is qualified to deliver him back home back to Godhead and the prospective guru has to test the disciple to see if he is a qualified disciple… All these things are described in Prabhupada’s books, if you don’t read them then you won’t know these things and there is a very good chance that a bogus guru will take advantage of your ignorance…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  74. Bhakta Arya says:

    And… what I am wondering about is: WHO IS the bona fide successor of Srila Prabhupada?, or, who is the next acarya in the disciplic line after Srila Prabhupada?

    Thank you and I hope I will have a clear answer on this for my spiritual progress.

    • Hare Krishna Bhakta Arya

      There is no successor to Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada is still with us, still living, still preaching and still initiating new disciples every day through his transcendental books.

      ISKCON tried to put up 11 bogus successors to Srila Prabhupada but that only lasted a few years until their true colors were exposed for the whole world to see. And since then they have made about 200 other so-called successors to Srila Prabhupada. At least 100 of them have already left in disgrace. So it is a joke actually. They try to put up replacements for Srila Prabhupada but the replacements do not have the qualities of pure devotees of Krishna, it is just a sham.

      So Prabhu you need to take advantage of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions directly by reading his books, listening to his classes, watching the video recordings of him… And put them into practice in your life and you will be very safely and solidly situated on the path back home back to Godhead.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  75. Bhakta Arya says:

    Harekrishna Madhudvisa Prabhu.
    All glories of Srila Prabhupada.

    My name is Arya, a bhakta. I have one question. The successor of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is Srila Prabhupada, everyone knows that, and he is the 32th acarya. The mission of Lord Caitanya will last for 10,000 years, and the disciplic succession will continue. So, there must be ONE bona fide successor of Srila Prabhupada who is a pure devotee as the next acarya in the line (the 33th acarya). As I have read, a successor must be appointed directly by the previous spiritual master, and a bona fide successor must be able to state confidently and without hesitation that he HAS BEEN appointed by the previous acarya to continue the mission. What is your view about this?

    Thank you very much.

    • Hare Krishna Bhakta Arya Prabhu

      The order from Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada for his disciples to go on to become qualified gurus and initiate disciples is an open one. Any one of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples can go on to become a bona fide acharya and become the next link in the disciplic succession. The order is there from Srila Prabhupada but the surrender is up to the disciple.

      The guru can not force the disciple to surrender. Also Srila Bhaktsiddhanta did not clearly appoint any successor. He suggested the Gaudiya Math go on under the management of a GBC and never mentioned anything about a successor acharya. His disciples chose to ignore these instructions and immediately Bhaktsiddhanta disappeared they appointed a bogus acharya and there were so many fights and ultimately everyone was claiming to be acharya and successor of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta and the preaching stopped and they were fighting in the courts with each other over the properties and assets of the Gaudiya Matha. It is a very similar situation to ISKCON today.

      Actually the successor to Srila Bhaktsiddhanta was, as we all know, Srila Prabhupada. But he was a grhastha and not at all an important person in the eyes of the “big” devotees in the Gaudiya Matha. They were all sannyasis and very much looked down on grhasthas, they were calling Prabhupada ‘pacha grhastha’ [a dirty grhastha…] So when Bhaktsiddhanta left no one knew who his successor was. Actually any intelligent follower of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta could have done what Prabhupada did if they had surrendered to Srila Bhaktsiddhanta and made the orders of Bhaktsiddhanta their life and soul.

      This order that Srila Bhaktsiddhanta gave to Prabhupada was not a personal order to only Prabhupada. Prabhupada received the order to spread the movement of Lord Caitanya in the English language all over the world in his first meeting with Srila Bhaktsiddhanta, and he was with a number of friends. They were all educated in the English language so Srila Bhaktsiddhanta instructed them all to “spread the movement of Lord Caitanya in the English language all over the world…” Everyone he met who was educated and had the capacity to do this he would instruct “Please spread the movement of Lord Caitanya in the English language all over the world…” So Srila Bhaktsiddhanta may have given this order to thousands of people. It is an open order. It is his desire, and he would have been very happy with and showered his blessing on any of his disciples who surrendered to this order and made it their life and soul…

      The point is it was only Srila Prabhupada who even tried to do this seriously. Some others went to England and came to the conclusion that it was impossible to spread the mission of Lord Caitanya to the melechas in the West. They just decided it was impossible and stopped trying.

      But Prabhupada accepted this mission of his spiritual master as his life and soul and worked for it with great difficulties. And in this way Srila Bhaktsiddhanta showered all his blessings on Srila Prabhupada and Prabhupada became the next link in the disciplic succession much to the horror of his “big” sannyasi godbrothers in the Gaudiya Matha.

      So at the moment there is no successor to Srila Prabhupada but any Prabhupada disciple has the potency to actually become the guru of the whole world. But that requires surrender to Srila Prabhupada and his mission and Prabhu that surrender is such a rare thing….

      So Prabhupada is continuing his mission, and he is quite capable of doing that, so you please read Srila Prabhupada’s books, chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and strictly follow the four regulative principles: no illicit sex life, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication. Without following these basic principles, chanting 16 rounds and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books there is no spiritual life at all–it is just imagination and mental speculation…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  76. Ishan das says:

    Dear Madhudvisa Prabhu,

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    Prabhu, I have read your article. The understanding that only one who knows Krishna personally, only such a person can introduce us directly to Krishna when he becomes satisfied with our sincerity – this makes perfect sense. And therefore, to accept anyone else as one’s spiritual master, or guru, makes no sense at all.

    After Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance, and the great hoax and farce of placing 3rd class kanistha devotees on opulent Vyasasanas, and offering them the topmost forms of worship – I could not continue to play the game, and soon left the association of ISKCON.

    Does ISKCON have a specific statement in which it makes clear assertions as to what is the qualification for being a spiritual master or guru in ISKCON? Or is it simply common unspoken understanding that any dick and harry can take that post, although still a conditioned soul, and that he can demand total surrender from his disciples, and that despite the fact that he does not know Krishna, he can deliver his disciple to Krishna? Is there some official statement, or written material circulated within ISKCON as a guideline for the new devotees who are seeking initiation?

    How many initiating gurus are there within ISKCON today? How does ISKCON relate to devotees who criticize the idea of gurus who are still conditioned souls? If no one speaks against this hoax from within ISKCON, does this mean that all of the senior devotees and sanyasis in ISKCON are simply endorsing this hoax? Does this mean that such persons have never really believed or understood who Srila prabhupada really is? If one does understand who Srila prabhupada really is, then to endorse such a hoax would be equal to committing spiritual suicide knowingly. How can they do such a thing? Can you help me to understand what these people are thinking by sticking to such a tactic? To my way of thinking, taking such a position is demonic. Can you share with me your point of view?

    Thank you, Prabhu. Hare Krishna! Ishan das

    • Hare Krishna Ishan Prabhu

      Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

      ISKCON strongly present the argument that there is no need for a guru to be a pure devotee or a liberated soul. As long as he accepts the GBC then he can be a guru. They have some rules and a waiting list system for sannyasis but I am not aware of any rules or required qualifications of waiting list system for gurus. As long as you have some aspiring disciples and you are one of the “old boys” in good standing with the GBC they will make you a guru overnight.

      A couple of years ago the GBC made a resolution that all ISKCON devotees should have some disciples. So according to them there is no special qualification at all required for guru–any devotee can be a guru in ISKCON as long as he is good friends with the GBC and has a few aspiring disciples…

      It is such a sham, such a disaster, such a crime…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Your servant

      Madhudvisa dasa

  77. Hiiravatii says:

    guy says:
    July 26, 2011 at 10:58 am
    i have heard that a guru is necessary for self realization where do i find one?

    Hare Krishna!

    A Guru is a must for self-realization because only a liberated soul can liberate a conditioned soul.A Guru must therefore a liberated soul.

    How to know that a Guru is a liberated soul? By observing His conduct, not his words. How is he doing with his disciples. THere are some few signs that you can see for yourself who is a bona fide Guru:

    1. When you approach him for answers to many many questions, even challenging and insulting questions, he will answer all with great patience, not because he wants to show his greatness but because he wants to liberate your mind.
    2. He will ask “How are you doing? Do you need any help from me? What can I do to help you?”

    It should also be noted that Krishna – The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the real Guru, his genuine devotees are his instruments to liberate you.YOu can only be liberated If Krishna wants to liberate you. So try to bind Krishna through the thread of supreme devotion and He will feel anxious to release you.Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

  78. Sudeep says:

    Hare Krishna.

    Received your mail and read your article. its good and true. hope to read more such good post from your side.



  79. aashish saxena says:

    Hare Krishna,
    prabhu ji guide me i m in darkness and want to come out in light plzzzzzz help me out…… Who is god ? christains said me that KRISHNA is nothing only jesus will listens ur pray and shall give u for what u have prayed to him…………. they said jesus the god not krishna……. my one uncle (mama) meditaite on the divine light on the heart as his master prescribed him and my uncle said only his master will merge our soul into god …. i tasted all religion like muslim,christians ,sikhs ……. as i m hindu but not satisfied and confused a lot …… sometimes i think to commit suicide becoz i dont want to lose my soul into the wrong hand and also bcoz of depression and confusion…… prabhu ji plzzzzzzzzzz help me

    • Hare Krishna Aasish

      There are so many rascals presenting their own ideas of spirituality so there is no wonder you are confused.

      You need a proper guide, a proper spiritual master. Someone who is already liberated and who can guide you how you can become liberated also.

      Such a qualified spiritual master is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

      You need to study his books that you can find at http://www.KrishnaStore.com and read online at http://www.PrabhupadaBooks.com

      It takes some time an effort on your part to actually understand and put into practice Krishna consciousness in your life. Unless you are prepared to spend some time and effort on studying this an on chanting Hare Krishna then you will not be able to understand.

      Practically everyone is trapped in this material world and is surrounded by so many bogus gurus and priests and other so-called spiritual mentors who themselves have no idea how to get out of this trap, what to speak of guiding others. Still they try to guide. But it is the case of blind men trying to guide other blind men. It will end in disaster.

      It requires a little tapasya, austerity. To advance in spiritual life we have to give up some things that we are attached to like illicit sex life, meat eating, gambling and intoxication and we have to be prepared to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily–it takes about two hours. Most people are not prepared to seriously accept this small austerity, chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and strictly following the four regulative principles. So they stay in darkness and join the ranks of the bogus spiritual guides…

      So it is up to you, if you really want to solve your problems you need to actually study Srila Prabhupada’s books seriously and put the instructions you find in the books into practice in your own life… Then you will be very happy…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  80. guy says:

    i have heard that a guru is necessary for self realization where do i find one?

  81. Debasish Bhattacharyya says:

    Revered Maharajji,


    I read your mails with profound interest and try to internalize.
    Presently, I am passing through a phase of repentation.

    I was working with a prestigious organization for years together and then committed a grave mistake which I was not supposed to keeping in mind my family background and profile.

    Soon after a year long wrong doing,I became restless to leave the job as it was not possible for me to continue thereafter in the same place. Despite pursuation and request by my seniors and colleague I left the job and joined similar kind of organization in a senior position.

    I could not continue their as I failed to adjust there. I was at home for a year and then joined a smaller organization with much lesser salary and prospect.

    By God’s grace I am very happy with my wife and a lone daughter; but what hurts me continuously is my mistake that I committed a few years back that led to my resignation from a prestigious organization.I feel dejected very often and ask myself about the need for meaningless life.

    I shall be grateful if you could please bless me with some advice.

    With Pranam,


    • Hare Krishna Debasish

      There is no importance in the long run in working for some prestigious organization. The real purpose of our life is spiritual and the success of our life is not measured by how prestigious the organization we work for is but it is judged by if we can remember Krishna at the time of death.

      Also we can not change the past so there is no point in lamenting over things that happened in the past. We may have made so many mistakes, we may have made so many bad decisions but we can not change that now.

      What we need to do is forget about the past and take stock of our current position and try and organize our life so we and our family can make spiritual advancement and ultimately remember Krishna at the time of death. Of course the regular family maintenance has to go on, but that is not the main thing, and it is not important to be working for a big prestigious company. We need to have enough money for shelter and food and we need to have some spare time to practice spiritual life.

      So my suggestion is stop worrying about the past and the bad decisions you may have made in the past and look to the future and try to make the future a bright one where you and your family are advancing nicely in Krishna consciousness and you all remember Krishna at the time of death and go back home, back to Godhead. That is the real and only solution to all of our problems. We can never be happy in the material world. Happiness is in the spiritual world with Krishna…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  82. amitesh says:

    respected madhudvisa!!! hare krishna!!!

    One question is there regarding we r not only body…….if ultimately each soul has to disperse in the supreme soul i.e. attain salvation, then why god has seperated them from himself??? why the world has been created???


    • Hare Krishna Amitesh

      You say: “each soul has to disperse in the supreme soul i.e. attain salvation,” this is an impersonal idea. It is not correct. Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita: mam… jiva bhuta sanatana, He says the living entities are eternally His parts and parcels. So the souls are like Krishna in most respects. The only difference between the individual souls and Krishna is that the souls are very small and Krishna is very great. But the quality is the same. It is like if you take one drop of water out of the ocean that drop has the same qualities as the ocean. The ocean is salty and so is the drop. But the drop is very small and the ocean is very great.

      So as Krishna is eternally the Supreme Personality of Godhead we are eternally individual spirit souls. There is no question of the souls “dispersing into the Supreme Soul” and this is not liberation. Liberation is of two kinds, the impersonal kind of liberation is the soul enters the brahmajoti, the impersonal effulgence of Krishna. It is something like the sun has sunshine surrounding it, so Krishna has the brahmajoti surrounding Him, and if a soul wants to “merge” into the existence of Krishna he can enter this brahmajoti. But actually he remains an individual spirit soul. He does not merge at all. It is like if a green bird flys into a green tree you can say the bird has merged into the tree, but this is a mistake. The bird is in the tree and the bird keeps his individual existence and the bird can again fly out of the tree when he wants to. So it is like that with the souls that enter into the brahmajoti, they keep their individuality and can also exit the brahmajoti when they want to.

      The other type of liberation is personal. That is when the soul enters the spiritual world, either the Vaikuntha planets or Krishna’s planet, and there they regain their original spiritual bodies and engage in pastimes with Krishna and His devotees there.

      So although it is said that Krishna expanded and the living entities are expansions of Krishna actually the living entities like Krishna are sanatana, eternal. So they also have no beginning and no end. Eternal means they are eternally individual living entities like Krishna. Krishna is the Supreme predominator, so naturally for Him to be complete then the predominated living entities must also exist.

      The material world is created by Krishna to give the rebellious living entities who do not want to serve Krishna a chance to ‘play god.’ Here the living entities are all trying to become the master, trying to become the most wealthy. Trying to imitate Krishna. But everything ends in frustration in the material world–it is designed like that. So that after many births in the material world a thoughtful person realizes that he can not be happy in the material world and he surrenders to Krishna and goes back home Back to Godhead…

      These are big questions and of course I can answer but unless you take to Krishna consciousness seriously and really study the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada it will all remain incomprehensible to you.

      Spiritual life is not something you can understand in theory. It is a practical thing. You have to practice it, then there is some chance of understanding. And how to practice it, that is described in Srila Prabhupada’s books. So make the time to study them.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  83. Hare Krishna.
    All Glories to our beloved Srila Prabhupada.
    to all the devotees of our master and friend Sri Prabhupada….
    love srila Prabhupada all the time.
    S.damodara das.

  84. xridol says:

    Hi, i’ve read your publishing….well ..lot’s of arguing positions..so who you consider to be bona fide/qualified Guru in ISKCON? I Don’t think Srila Prabhupada made mistake and did not left well qualified devotees that would be able to fulfill duties fo spirutal master….
    thank You

    • Hare Krishna

      Days before Srila Prabhupada left our material vision he said to Tamil Krishna Goswami, “The problem is among my disciples there is no strong man, they are all like children…” Prabhupada was only preaching in the West from 1965 till 1977, so a little more than 11 years. In this time his disciples did not advance to the point of being qualified to be acharyas. And that we have painfully seen over the years.

      The position of acharya is not a very simple one. Prabhupada made no mistake but his disciples made the mistake of not seriously following. And really that is expected. Not everyone is going to seriously follow. In fact hardly anyone is going to seriously follow… That is stated by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita: manusam sahasresu cascid yatt…. “Out of many thousands of men one is interested in spiritual life, out of thousands of them one may become liberated and out of so many liberated souls hardly one knows Me in truth.” So to be a qualified spiritual master one must know Krishna in truth and Krishna Himself says that “hardly one knows Me in truth.” So the real spiritual master is very, very, very rare.

      It is not up to Srila Prabhupada to “leave qualified devotees” it is up to the devotees to accept the mission of Srila Prabhupada as their life and soul and become qualified. Without this real surrender and without the blessings of the bona fide spiritual master and Krishna no one can become a qualified guru.

      These are all very basic points Prabhu which you should know and should have been clarified for you by reading this article.

      The point is there are many bogus gurus in ISKCON and that has been so clearly proven by the history. Out of the 11 so-called acharys that they claim Prabhupada appointed as his successors none are left actively functioning. All have either fallen away or died or been disabled by some means or another.

      ISKCON is a history of gurus falling, gurus exploiting their disciples in so many terrible ways I do not want to discuss here. So it is abundently proven by the history that at least most of the past ISKCON gurus have been bogus, it means they were conditioned souls, not liberated souls. And ISKCON are still doing the same thing. So it is said if you do the same thing you will get the same result. So in the past they created so many bogus gurus it is safe to assume that the gurus they are creating now with the same system will also be bogus.

      ISKCON has a bogus guru philosophy Prabhu. They say that the guru does not have to be liberated. They have no real qualifications for the gurus, they say conditioned souls can be gurus. This is a slap in the face of the vedic system. It is directly against Krishna’s very clear instructions in the Bhagavad-gita [tad viddhi pranipat…] “You must approach a bona fide guru, offer obeisances, render service, inquire submissively. Such a self-realized soul can give you real knowledge because he has seen the truth.”

      This is actually the Vedic system, that the guru is a self-realized soul who has seen the truth and you surrender to him and server him and he can reveal the truth to you. Now ISKCON gurus openly admit that they are not self-realized souls. And they ISKCON guru philosophy is that you do not need to be a self-realized soul to be a guru. So what is the point of surrendering to and serving a conditioned soul? There is no benefit in this at all because he is not self-realized and he has not seen the truth. So you are completely wasting your time.

      They are bogus gurus Prabhu. Guru has to be a self-realized soul who has seen the truth and this is such a basic point. Krishna consciousness 101. If you can not understand this basic point then really there is no hope for you. ISKCON reject this basic principle clearly instructed by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita so their guru system and their resulting gurus are completely bogus.

      Anyone who has eyes can see this. It is proven by the history and confirmed by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. What more do I need to say?

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Frank says:

        Hare Krishna,
        Great article,but there are no Gurus,let alone qualified Gurus around here-Woodstock Ny area. Hari Bol! If you know of any,please let me know

      • Prasanto says:

        In Samatan Dharma it is said if you are attached to one spiritual guru. You can’t take a second one.

        I took diksha from a spiritual guru long ago (about 10 years), but off late me and my wife are not getting the satisfaction we require. It seems there is a hole. Can you take a diksha from another guru. Is it necessary to have a satguru (guru who is alive) only or can we start following the teachings of a spiritual leader who is not alive.

        • Hare Krishna Prasanto

          The system is that one can accept one diksa guru [initiating guru] but he can have unlimited siksha [instructing] gurus. And it is also said that siksa guru and diksa guru are not different. So you can find and accept another guru and take siksha from him [instruction]. It is not necessary to take diksa again as long as your original guru is somewhat bona fide. The most important thing is actually the siksha [instruction], so if later on in your life you look back and see that for example you have started reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and have got so much valuable siksha from him and he has given you so much practical guidance for your life, you may see that the instruction and benefits you received from Srila Prabhupada far outweigh the benefits you got from your original guru, in that case Srila Prabhupada would be your primary guru.

          This Madhva-Gaudya-Sampradaya is siksha sampradaya. If we go back and look at the previous acharyas in many cases the guru who they accept as their primary guru and their link to the disciplic succession is not the guru who gave them diksha. It is another guru who they have taken siksha [instruction] from.

          And what is important about a guru is his siksha, his instructions, and his instructions continue to live after his physical disappearance and he continues to preach in the form of transcendental sound.

          So the physical presence of the guru is immaterial. If you have access to his siksa, his instructions, then you can associate with him, he can give you advice, he can give you knowledge, he can answer your questions and ultimately he can guide you back home, back to Godhead.

          There is no need to have a physically present guru if you have access to the siksha [instructions] of a bona fide guru…

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Lalita Stephens says:

            Dear Madhudvisa dasa, All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!!

            I wanted to comment on your article because it is a summary of the lessons I just learned in my spiritual life. I am a very stubborn and self-willed conditioned soul. I was introduced to the mercy of Krsna and Srila Prabhupada when I was 10 but didn’t come to the devotees seriously till age 42. I just received initiation last year through a ritvik (excuse my spelling) priest.

            It was very confusing and frustrating coming into the movement at this time. I would cry because Krsna consciousness is what I wanted. I had finally found the spiritual answer that was for me, and yet the Guru was not here! What was I to do? I also had a hard time understanding and accepting why the movement has so many gurus now. I remember devotees explaining everything to me, and being excited about my possible upcoming initiation, and telling me that a certain guru was coming to the temple…one of the” nicer” ones….or at least more tolerable.

            It took a few years of trying and meeting the right devotees, and thankfully I found the answer for me and received initiation. The dvds and cds of Srila Prabhupada plus his many books are my daily dose of association with my Guru. My attachment and love for him keeps growing and growing and, he is not on this planet physically.

            This is what my path has been, but I also accept that others need the many gurus in the movement now. Krsna Consciousness has sprung into many different groups just like organized religions, and it would be nice if we could all just get along and try to spread Srila Prabhupada’s message of love. In the “Light of the Bhagavata”, Srila Prabhupada writes,

            “In this age of a godless civilization, the sages of world recognized religious sects who believe in God must come out of their secluded places and preach the science of God, the Supreme Will, to the people in general. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and the members of the other sects that have convincing faith in the authority of God must not sit idly now and silently watch the rapid growth of a godless civiliztion. There is the supreme will of God, and no nation or society can live in peace and prosperity without acceptance of this vital truth.

            “The warning is already there, and responsible leaders of religious sects must meet together and form a common platform of a league of devotees of the Lord. There is no need for self-realized souls to live in a secluded place. Perfect self-realized souls, engaged in the service of the Lord, are unafraid of maya, just as law-abiding citizens of a state never fear the police. Such fearless devotees of God always speak scientifically about the existence of God, even at the risk of death. Such devotees of God feel compassion for the mass of people, who have completely forgotten the Supreme Lord and who engage in the false pursuit of happiness that ends in the sense pleasures enjoyed by the hogs and dogs.

            Let’s please our Spiritual Master and spread God-Consciousness! Maybe another pure devotee will come along and lead us again, but in the meantime, let’s all play nicely in the sandbox! Jai!

      • Oneness Gee says:

        Dear Prabhuji Madhudvisa dasa,
        Thank You very much for all You do in GOD consciousness, in spreading the messege of Bhakti/devotional service To The Fullness Of GODHEAD. I study the emails & lessons from You gladly & respectfully. The accepting of a Guru whom is not a pure devotee is very dangerous in this day of Kali-yuga & I appreciate Your explaining this in a very nice way.
        Oneness Gee

    • hg madhuvdvisa das is wrong to say “Srila Prabhupada had a very special facility that no previous acarya in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition had. He had the ability to record the transcendental vibrations coming from his lotus lips and and he had access to book printing, publishing, and distribution systems that were not available to the previous acharyas.”

      srila bhaktivinod thakur has written more then 100 books. srila vishvanath chakravorty had also written various books. srila roop goswami had written various books.

      • Hare Krishna Vijay

        You miss the point Prabhu. The previous acharyas had no way of recording the transcendental vibrations coming from their lotus mouths. There was no tape recorder… That technology was invented and made available for Srila Prabhupada and now we can sit down and hear Srila Prabhupada lecture on Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam. You can not hear any previous acharya lecture on Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam. You can not watch them on almost eighty hours of film and video footage, you can not listen to their conversations with their disciples, you can not hear them preaching to scientists, government officials, politicians, members of other religious communities, etc.

        The association that is possible for us now with Srila Prabhupada Prabhu is so direct and so dynamic and so personal. There is no way you can compare this with a few books written by the previous acharyas in a language and style that is quite foreign to us. With all due respects Prabhu if you can not see this you are blind…

        Even letters. Prabhupada managed the whole international Society for Krishna Consciousness by writing letters and we have those letters, almost 8,000 of them, and we can read and that is yet another way of personally associating with Srila Prabhupada…

        So that is why Srila Prabhupada is so different from any other acharya who proceeded him. With the help of modern technology Srila Prabhupada really did not die. He really is still living in sound in such a real and tangible way that was certainly not possible for any acharya who proceeded him.

        I would strongly recommend Prabhu that you please take advantage of Srila Prabhupada’s direct personal association by seriously studying all his books, listening to all his classes, conversations, morning walks, press conference, temple arrival address, watch and listen to the 80 hours+ of film and video we have of Srila Prabhupada, read his letters… And if you do this Prabhu you will have the practical realization that Srila Prabhupada did not die, he is still living with us in transcendental sound…

        But you have to take advantage of all these wonderful opportunities of associating with Srila Prabhupada, otherwise you will remain in the darkness of ignorance and there is nothing I can do about that. There is an English saying: “You can take a horse to water, but you can not make him drink.” So I have provided easy access to the Prabhupada vani, you can listen to and download the audio for free at http://www.Krishna.tv, you can watch the Prabhupada video for free at http://www.KrishnaTube.com, you can read all the works of Srila Prabhupada for free at http://www.PrabhupadaBooks.com and you can purchase the DVDs, CDs, books, etc at http://www.KrishnaStore.com So everything is available, it is up to you to “drink”

        Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

        Madhudvisa dasa

        • Ahinsra das says:

          Dear Madhudvisa,

          I appriciate your devotion to Prabhupada. But I humbly request you to delete the word “few” in your reply to Vijay Sakha with regard to books left by previous acharyas.

          As far as the language of books written by previous acaryas is concerned for millions of people in the world the English is as foreign as sanskrit for English speaking people. As far as the style of books left by previous acaryas is concerned this style will be foreign to us until we will be trained up to certain level by Prabhupada through his books.

          In this regard the following can be cited:

          prabhu lokanatha kabe sange lana jabe
          sri-rupera pada-padme more samarpibe
          “When will my master, Lokanatha Gosvami, place me at the lotus feet of Srila Rupa Gosvami?” Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, Prarthana 17

          “Actually going to Vrndavana involves taking shelter of the six Gosvamis by reading Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Vidagdha-madhava, Lalita-madhava and the other books that they have given. In this way one can understand the transcendental loving affairs between Radha and Krsna.” CC. Adi lila, Chapter 8, text 31, Purport

          “Only if I (Narottama das Thakura) become attached to the instructions given by the six Gosvamis, headed by Rupa Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, will it be possible for me to understand the conjugal love of Radha and Krsna.” CC. Adi lila, Chapter 7, text 17, Purport

          So it is better to delete the sentense alltogether as it doesn’t suit your intellectually and spiritually advanced position.

          At last I beg you to delete the word “blind” addressed to Vijay Sakha, for he did not say anything against Prabhupada and his books.

          Your humble servant,
          Ahinsra das

          • Hare Krishna Ahinsra Prabhu

            Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

            The reference to the “few” books left by the acharyas I intended to and think it is reasonably clear, that what I am saying is there are only very few books by the previous acharys that are actually available and accessible by us. The language is a big problem Prabhu. Many of the writings of the previous acharyas are in very elaborate Sanskrit and to be a Sanskrit scholar is a very long course of study so practically speaking these books are inaccessible to us. Of course there are translations but the translations can only be as good as the translator. And that is a big problem. You know there are thousands of the translations and commentaries on the Bhagavad-gita both in India and in the Western countries but people are only becoming devotees of Krishna by reading Srila Prabhuapda’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is, not by any other Gita translation. Why? Because Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna and he has actually put Krishna’s messages without any change in his Bhagavad-gita As It Is, on the other hand many translations and commentaries on the Gita are there by conditioned souls who have their own ideas and agendas in presenting the Bhagavad-gita. They mix their ideas with Krishna’s ideas and the result is their translations and commentaries have no potency at all.

            So this is not just a problem with translations of Bhagavad-gita, it is a problem with all translations of all Vedic texts. So even though there are many books by the previous acharys in this high-level Sanskrit, you can not read it and you can not find a bona fide translation, so it is inaccessible to you. Even the books by Jiva Goswami and Rupa Goswami and their contemperories, some are in Sanskrit, but many are in Bengali, but also this is very high-level philosophical Bengali mixed with a lot of Sanskrit words. Even the Bengalis will find it difficult to read and understand these books.

            So my point remains that there are very few books by the previous acharyas that we have access to. And there are so many questionable bogus commentaries and translations on these book so it is very easy to be mislead.

            I am saying if Vijay can not see this then he is blind. So I am not saying for sure he is blind. Because he can hopefully see what I am explaining here. But if he still can not see and he still thinks that access to Srila Prabhupada is the same as access to any of the previous acharyas then he is blind. And if he still things this he is blind.

            The whole point is Prabhupada is living with us in his recorded Vani. And that includes his books, his recorded lectures, conversations, morning walks, press conferences, interviews, his letters, all of the film and video we have of Prabhupada. This can not be compared with any previous acharya and if Vijay can not see this he is blind. That is my point.

            We are in uncharted waters here. This has never happened before in the Gaudiya sampradaya. An acharya has never been able to preserve the actual transcendental sound vibrations coming from his lotus lips to be heard and relished by his followers even after his physical disappearance.

            You can not hear any of the previous acharyas. But we have more than 1,100 hours of transcendental sound vibrations from the lotus lips of Srila Prabhupada that we can relish at our leisure. We have almost 100 books we can read from Srila Prabhupada in English. Plain, simple, clear easy to understand English.

            I do not accept your point Prabhu where you compare English to Sanskrit and say that many people find English incomprehensible. English is the world language Prabhu. In every country in the world English is taught to the students. Practically every educated person in the world can speak English. And anyhow Prabhupada’s books are translated into all the major languages of the world. So if they can not read the English they can get Prabhupada’s books in their own language.

            So you are also blind if you can not see this.

            Prabhupada is not like any of the previous acharys. Only Prabhupada has been able to preserve his teachings and the transcendental vibrations from his lotus mouth in such a living and vibrant way. So Prabhupada continues to live in sound and continues to spread the holy name around. He continues to live and continues to accept disciples, it will continue. Nothing can stop this.

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

            Madhudvisa dasa

    • Ahinsra das says:

      Dear Prabhuji,

      It is not proper to think that Prabhupada was supposed to make pure devotees within the term of his physical presence, otherwise he would be at fault. If he could not make a pure devotee within 12 years, there is nothing wrong with it, for he continue to teach and train his followers through his books. At the time of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s departure he said to his followers that you are not yet qualified to become an acarya. But it doesn’t mean that Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was at fault. It doesn’t depend on him alone, it depend on disciple and ultimately on Krishna as the supreme cause of all causes. In other words he has not finished yet his job. And there is no doubt that one day he will train up some fortunate one to the level of pure devotion. We have to try our best to be the one.

      Your humble servant,
      Ahinsra das

    • Ahinsra das says:

      Dear xridol,

      If Prabhupada did not made well qualified devotee within the term of his physical lifetime, it doesn’t mean that he was at fault, for he still continue to teach and train his followers. In other words he has not yet finished his job and therefore any judgement or conclusion made in this regard will be false. For example, someone may cook in the kitchen but has not finished cooking. We may enter the kitchen and see that there is no food to eat and conclude that the cook is unable to cook, or think that the food must be ready by now and eat the uncooked food, or vegetable skin. In this case we will become sick as followers of ISKCON who took kanishtha adhikaris (uncooked food), or materialists and mayavadis (eggplant and poteto skin) as pure devotees and ruined their spiritual life (stomack).

About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna."I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can.That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental!That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!

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