Letters Srila Prabhupada and disciples at initiation ceremony

Published on March 27th, 2017 | by Madhudvisa dasa | Full size image

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Initiation

“I’ve just looked at your web page and I would like to ask you a question. I know that you said that you have nothing to do with Iskcon but I have been visiting the temple for a while now but I have never really been told any thing about initiation. Is there any specific time that you can be initiated, I am already practicing the 4 renunciations.”

Dear Erin

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

One first needs to know what initiation is, what a bona fide guru is, what are his qualities and what are the requirements of a disciple. Otherwise there is a big chance that you will select [or be encouraged to select by the temple authorities] someone as your guru who is not qualified to take you back home, back to Godhead. There is a big history of unqualified gurus in ISKCON so there is a real danger that you may select someone who even himself is not a pure devotee. So how could such a person help you to become a pure devotee?

It is recommended in the Hari-Bhakti-Vilas that one should study under and live with his intended spiritual master for at least 12 months to make sure that he is actually qualified to take you back home, back to Godhead. And the spiritual master has to test you also to see if you are qualified as a disciple.

Accepting a guru means accepting someone as your master and becoming his servant. You have to find someone who you truly believe is greater than you and who you can truly surrender to. And that person has to be himself a pure devotee who is really greatly advanced in Krishna consciousness.

In reality such great souls are very rare. It is a great fortune to meet a bona fide spiritual master as they are so very rare. We have the great fortune of associating with Srila Prabhupada through his Vani [instructions]. There are two ways of associating with a spiritual master. One is by Vapu [physical presence] and the other is Vani [by following his instructions]. Of the two following the vani is much more important. So we should take advantage of Srila Prabhupada’s vani. We should read all his books, listen to all his classes, watch all the Prabhupada videos, read all his letters, etc. 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.

It is a very bad idea to rush into being initiated just because you want to be “properly initiated.” First things first. You have to find a proper guru. That should be your main interest. And the only way you can find a proper guru is if you have the knowledge and understand what are the qualities of a bona fide guru, and the only way you can know that is by hearing from Srila Prabhupada.

So at this point I think your main business should be reading Prabhupada’s books and hearing from Prabhupada. To make this easy we distribute all Prabhupada’s Vani. We have all Prabhupada’s books, letters, conversations and transcripts of his morning walks, classes, conversations, etc on “The Complete Works of Srila Prabhupada” folio infobase and online at http://prabhupadabooks.com we have all the audio recordings ever made of Srila Prabhupada and all the video and film footage of Srila Prabhupada on DVD. You can get more information about all this at http://krishnastore.com

So my humble suggestion is that you should take it easy and not be in a rush to be initiated just for the sake of initiation. First you have to find a qualified guru, someone you can completely surrender to. If you can not completely surrender to someone it is a great mistake to accept him as your spiritual master.

Hope it is of some help.

Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

Your servant

Madhudvisa dasa

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45 Responses to Initiation

  1. Vivek says:

    This is to madhusiva dasa what ever you told that there are very less who is a bonafied spiritual master that is wrong in the temple all are bonafied spiritual masters who ever is a brahmachari in safron I just asked simply iam having a councellor who is guiding me and Krishna consciousness cannot be developed in a day it requires lot of practise

  2. T S Venkatesh says:

    Extremely very good information of about selecting a realised guru

  3. Sasidharan says:

    Hare Krishna!

    Dear Madhudvisa prabhu, I need some help over here prabhu. There is so much resistance about my chanting in my home. I was chanting without their knowing but when it came to light they were furious.They began shouting at me and they will just abandon me just like that.I am 23 yrs lost the job,already pressurized. They r telling that it will brainwash you.It will lead to your spiritual life.This is not the time for this.But I can’t live without chanting for 2 days.I am totally disgusted with material life.

    They r complaining that u r not at all taking care of us,u r always in some other dimension.At this age, u should earn a lot of money.They r telling that these things are after 50 yrs only.

    My mother is going to very extent that she is begging me not to chant.She is saying she has lot of health problems but I am not taking care of her properly.

    My mind is full of confusion prabhu.Can u show some light on this prabhu?

    Another thing I wanted to ask,I have heard from Madhu Pandit Dasa that daily if u chant even Krishna will help you in taking decisions in material life. I have also heard from u if u chant more and more then Krishna will tell u what to do.Is this true? I am jobless now.Even if I go to another job,I will be doing with half-interest only.

    Can u say something on this prabhu because sitting at home without any association is tormenting me like anything?

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      Yes. Materialists become very upset when they see someone becoming Krishna conscious. There is a English saying, “Misery loves company.” So they are miserable and when they see someone becoming happy by chanting Hare Krishna they can not bear it and what to stop him from chanting Hare Krishna.

      Yes. It is true, if you chant Hare Krishna more and read Srila Prabhupada’s books more Prabhupada will answer your questions as you read his books and Krishna from within your heart will give you inspiration what to do.

      We have no connection actually with these family members. It is only the body that has a connection with the family members. So if they become an obstacle in our attempts to become Krishna conscious we can leave the family.

      I don’t know where you are but you talk of Madhu Pandit so if you are in Bangalore you could talk to him and just join his temple there and do some service in the association of the devotees. Wouldn’t do any harm, as long as you can ignore all the politics and materialistic devotees every temple attracts, and would give you a break from the family.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Bikram sharma says:

        Hare Krishna,
        I am from Bhutan and would like to know if you know any associates from Bhutan or true devotes? Soon i will be going nalanda university in Bihar for my further studies so which temple should I visit for association? What is the meaning of vaisnava and is Krishna consciousness a vaisnavism? And how shaivism sees the relationship between Krishna and shiva?
        Thankyou

        • I have no idea. But just get Srila Prabhupada’s books and read them. You can do that anywhere, and you will be associating with the best true devotees personally as you read Prabhupada’s books.

  4. P Satyanarayana says:

    30 March 017
    Hare Krishna. I believe ‘Initiation’ means ‘Orientation’ you mentioned, in selectiang a spiritual guru, to properly guide and correct a disciple where necessary in maintaining right method of devotion to Krishna and succeed the aimed goals of aadhyamic life. Your analysis of ‘guru’ are well defined guidance to a lay or new disciple. Hare Krishna.

  5. Nilesh Dalal says:

    Hare Krsna!
    There is an immense need for such correct guidance in the world today and the need to re-introduce or educate the innocent jivas the distinction of Srila Prabhupada’s Original unchanged books to the tainted, adulterated and modified books distributed in ISKCON today.
    Please keep up the good work and hope to meet in person similar jivas to reinvigorate us to continue to bring Srila Prabhuapada back in the fore front.

  6. Rathje Vierth says:

    Hare Krishna

    Initiation – my big problem !

    I have been in constant touch with ISKCON since the 70´s.
    Among the first people who came to the first temple in Stockholm.
    Following the temple president,reading all the books, playing puppet show and decorating the temple ( ” oh, he did the indian bow ! ” ) – together with my kids.
    harinama, book distribution, everything.
    i thought our temple president was really qualified – and i still do.
    When Prabhupada had left us, one devotee from USA was sent to be ” guru for this part of the world ” .
    He soon called my dear temple president a ” demon “.
    Some of my friends – who came later than me – were initiated by him.
    ( ” If you happen to see this so called temple president, cry VISHNU VISHNU VISHNU and run away “, he told my friends )
    But i could not, of course – with my deep love already developed for our temple president.
    I had to stop going to the temple .
    But i still got my books and my love.

    Some years later, our ” guru for this part of the world ” left the movement.
    Just like that.
    My beloved temple president ( now called a ” demon ” )
    had meanwhile founded a successful institute for hypnosis.
    But i am not very much interested in hypnosis
    ( – is not the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra hypnosis enough ? )
    I myself became a ” cultural activator ” ( my own invention, which the government accepted ) in Stockholm´s biggest hospital.
    Trying to ” preach ” as good as i could.

    I never visited the temple again, even when our ” guru for this part of the world ”
    had left the movement. But i am in touch with some devotees every day – through Facebook for example.
    My love for Krishna FEELS even stronger than before.
    I am 73 years old now and retired after 20 years or so
    as a ” cultural activator ” on his own.
    If successful i don´t know, but anyway appreciated by others.

    Please, Krishna, send me my Initiating Guru.

    Hari Bol !
    Rathje

    • Hare Krishna Rathje

      Yes Prabhu, you are a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and you have been saved, by Krishna’s mercy, from the terrible disaster that would have been caused to your spiritual life by accepting a bogus unqualified ISKCON so-called guru…

      They have done the greatest disservice to the world. Presenting so many unqualified men as acharyas, bona fide spiritual masters, representatives of Srila Prabhupada, when they were nothing more than kanistha adhikary, neophyte devotees, at best, and often they are just outright demons totally envious of Krishna and Krishna’s devotees…

      So Srila Prabhupada and Krishna have saved you. You can use the remaining years of your life completely in the service of Srila Prabhupada and the more you read Srila Prabhupada’s books, the more you chant Hare Krishna, the more you surrender to the instructions you find Srila Prabhupada giving you as you read his books, the more you will advance in Krishna consciousness, and the more clearly you will hear the instructions from Krishna within your heart.

      So we are in a good position. We are guided by Srila Prabhupada though his books and by Krishna from within our hearts. Of course maya is always trying to guide [misguide..] us as well. So it is our choice, do we accept the guidance of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna or do we accept the guidance of maya?

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Your servant

      Madhudvisa dasa

    • Mahasrnga dasa says:

      Who was the Temple President guru? There are many types of gurus: diksa, siksa, vartmapadarsaka, etc. Prabhupada fits all the qualifications of a “bona-fide” guru who can still speak to you through his books, tapes, lectures, kirtans and pictures.

  7. Damien says:

    Hare Krishna, Madhudvisa dasa! So, if a person takes Sri Prabhupada as a bona-fide guru completely, how would that person be eventually initiated?

    Just asking…

    Damien

    • Initiation ceremony is only a formality. Actual initiation happens when a devotee really surrenders to and is accepted by a bona fide spiritual master. So many sit in on initiation ceremonies with bogus gurus who have no power to initiate or even with Srila Prabhupada but don’t surrender to him.

      The disciple has to actually surrender and accept the bona fide spiritual master as his master. He has to become a servant of the bona fide spiritual master and make the orders of his spiritual master his mission in life. We can not take Srila Prabhupada as our spiritual master, we can surrender to Srila Prabhupada, and if Srila Prabhupada likes he may accept us as his disciples. The power is not in our hands, the power and the mercy is in the hands of the bona fide spiritual master.

      The point is mostly we don’t surrender. That is the problem, without surrender there is no Krishna consciousness. Bona fide spiritual master is very rare and bona fide disciple is very rare also. Bona fide disciple goes on to become the bona fide spiritual master.

      So don’t worry, read Srila Prabhupada’s books. Chant the Hare Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds every day, strictly follow the four regulative principles: no illict sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication and surrender to Srila Prabhupada, dedicate your life to distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books to the fallen conditioned souls for example. Do some practical actual service for Srila Prabhupada.

      In the ‘old days’ when we met a devotee we would offer our obeisances and say ‘what is your service Prabhu?’. And devotees would always have some service they were engaged in full-time serving Srila Prabhupada. The idea is we have to be engaged in serving Krishna 24 hours a day. The idle mind is the devil’s workshop. So Srila Prabhupada is very expert at keeping his disciples constantly engaged in serving Krishna 24 hours a day. So if we are disciples of Srila Prabhupada then we must be engaged in serving him and Krishna 24 hours a day. Otherwise what does it mean to be a disciple of Srila Prabhupada?

      And we may not like the service actually. It may not be very comfortable for us. But we do it because that is what Srila Prabhupada wants us to do.

      For a devotee the pleasure of his spiritual master and the pleasure of Krishna is his pleasure. So if we are to be accepted as disciples of Srila Prabhupada we have to do some piratical service so Srila Prabhupada will notice that we are doing something practical to serve him.

      • Mahasrnga dasa says:

        The infamous 11 used the argument that “how would one know if he was accepted by Srila Prabhupada since ‘he was no longer here’, so you must accept one of us”. However, His Divine Grace never-ever rejected someone who promised to chant 16 round and follow the 4 regulated principles.
        Mahasrnga dasa

        • Hare Krishna Mahasrnga Prabhu

          Actual what you say is not, strictly speaking, correct. Srila Prabhupada established a very clear system as to how initiations would go on in ISKCON. He established his representatives, the Temple Presidents, and interested students would come to the temples and devotees would preach to them and gradually they would decide to join the temple. Then for a period of six to twelve months they were trained in the science of Krishna consciousness under the guidance of the Temple President and the temple devotees.

          So when the Temple President considered the aspiring devotee was qualified to accept initiation from Srila Prabhupada he would write a litter to Prabhupada recommending the students be accepted by Srila Prabhupada for first initiation.

          So Prabhupada agreed to accept his disciples on the recommendation of the temple president who would vouch for them, confirming to Srila Prabhupada that they were strictly following the four regulative principles, chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and fully engaged in devotional service under the direction of the temple authorities.

          Krishna consciousness is a science. And like any other science it has to be learned. There is a process of training. And that training has be be undertaken by prospective disciples of Srila Prabhupada. So there has to be temples where the prospective disciples can go to and live in and be trained under the direction of the representatives of Srila Prabhupada.

          Except for a few rare exceptions, mostly Indians who were already Krishna conscious, this is the only way a devotee could get accepted by Srila Prabhupada in his physical presence.

          Srila Prabhupada does not accept cheap disciples. He never accepted disciples on the principle you mistakenly state: “His Divine Grace never-ever rejected someone who promised to chant 16 round and follow the 4 regulated principles.” This is nonsense. Srila Prabhupada never accepted anyone as a disciple on his own promise that he would chant 16 rounds and follow the four regulative principles. This means nothing. Everyone will promise to chant 16 rounds and everyone will promise to follow the four regulative principles… Someone’s promise these days means nothing.

          So Srila Prabhupada did not initiate on the basis of their promise alone. No. He required a recommendation from the Temple President and he only, with a few very rare exceptions in special circumstances, initiated disciples who were living and serving full-time in his temples. So it was only if his trusted disciple, one of his temple presidents, was able to vouch for the new devotee that he had been observing this new devotee living in his temple for at least the past 6 months and this new devotee was actually fixed up and had really been chanting 16 rounds, attending Mangal Aroti and the morning program, going out on book distribution and with the sankirtan party every day, and was strictly following the regulative principles, then he would agree to initiate.

          So Srila Prabhupada never initiated anyone on some whimsical promise they made to follow the principles. No. Prabhupada requires actual proof and a testimony from one of his trusted Temple Presidents that this new devotee HAS ACTUALLY BEEN chanting at least 16 rounds and HAS ACTUALLY BEEN strictly following the regulative principles and HAS ACTUALLY BEEN serving nicely under the direction of the temple authorities.

          Over time things become so watered down and I guess devotees just forget actually, that Krishna consciousness is a serious thing, to become Krishna consciousness one has to be trained. So there has to be the trainer and there has to be the students. Without the trainer how can the students learn it??

          So that is the problem today. No one wants to train any students in Krishna consciousness so in reality practically no one can learn it.

          It is possible to get the training directly from Srila Prabhupada but the problem is most people are not prepared to accept it. It is not the way, even in Prabhupada’s presence, his trainers, the devotees and the Temple President, are required to train the new devotees.

          I would never have been able to become Krishna conscious just by reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and I suspect if you remember back carefully yourself to the time when you joined the Hare Krishna movement, you probably would not have been able to become Krishna conscious either, just by reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.

          Actually when I first read Prabhupada’s books I could appreciate that there was something very wonderful there, in the books. But Prabhupada was an ancient sadhu in some far away country and of course he could do and say all these wonderful things. But I knew, while they are nice ideas, it would be impossible for me. No illicit sex. Hardly. No intoxication. You know. Nice idea but not practical.

          It was 1986 and there was still some life in the ISKCON temples at that time, particularly I was in Perth, which is in Western Australia, which is quite isolated from the rest of Australia actually and the world. So the devotees in Perth at that time were wonderful and it was only when I met them and saw other young Australians, just like me, had very seriously taken to Krishna consciousness, were getting out bed before 4:00 AM every morning and were joyfully chanting Hare Krishna and dancing, that I slowly thought that if it is possible for them then maybe I can do it as well.

          So I joined ISKCON and submitted to the training process that was still intact at least it was at Bhaktivedanta Manor in the UK where I spent a few months on perhaps one of the best bhakta programs any ISKCON temple ever had. And over the years I was trained in so many ways directly and personally by so many of Srila Prabhupada’s direct disciples and disciples of his disciples.

          Of course everything is in Prabhupada’s books. And in theory someone could become Krishna conscious just by reading Prabhupada’s books. But I have never met such a person. In reality most of us need personal training and guidance by sincere disciples of Srila Prabhupada.

          That is of course the duty of all of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, to teach the young people the science of Krishna consciousness. So now Prabhupada’s disciples are not doing this so the young people are not learning Krishna consciousness.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Mahasrnga dasa says:

            Hare Krsna Madhudvisa prabhu,
            PAMHO. AGTSP.
            I know exactly how the system of initiation worked while Srila Prabhupada’s Vapu was here.
            Is there anyone you know of who was observed by the Temple authorities, who recommended them for initiation to Srila Prabhupada and promised Prabhupada that he would follow the rules and that Prabhupada rejected.
            And please don’t be your argumentative self trying to come off ‘superior and ‘all knowing’, just understand the point.
            Your servant in service to Srila Prabhupada.
            Mahasrnga dasa’

          • Hare Krishna Mahasrnga Prabhu

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

            Srila Prabhupada clearly established the ritvik system of initiations in his physical presence. He started using priests to initiate on his behalf in the early 70s. And on the Gayatri mantra tape he recorded for using in these ritvik initiations he clearly instructs his new disciple that ‘the priest will show you how to count the mantras on your fingers.’ So even in the early 70s Prabhupada was referring to these devotees who gave initiation on his behalf as priests.

            And it is clearly obvious that as the years went on Srila Prabhupada empowered these ritvik priests to perform more and more. In the beginning he would chant on the beads and send them. After some time that become inconvenient so he got the priests to chant on the beads on his behalf. He got his disciples to select the names also for many of the initiations he personally performed. So in this way gradually he was moving away physically from the initiation process but still continuing to accept the disciples as his initiated disciples.

            Finally, with the July 9th letter, Prabhupada deputed all the physical functions of the initiation to the ritvik priests, which was not really very much, because by this time the priests were doing almost everything anyhow.

            So that was the situation when Srila Prabhupada left his body. The system on initiation in ISKCON was everyone was getting initiation from Srila Prabhupada through one of the ritvik priests he appointed. First it was generally the temple presidents, then it was the 11 named ritivk representatives of the acharya in the July 9th letter. And things should have continued in this way after Srila Prabhupada left his body.

            But Prabhupada did not stress this point too much. I get the distinct feeling that he knew exactly what his disciples would do after he left his body no matter what he told them do to. The point is they did not follow Prabhupada’s instructions nor did they continue the system of initiations that Srila Prabhupada had established and developed in ISKCON starting from the early 70’s and developing into a full ritvik system at the time he left his body.

            As far as your direct question. No. Srila Prabhupada accepted the recommendation of his Temple Presidents and I am not aware of any time that he refused to accept a recommendation from his trusted representatives.

            At that time of course all the Temple Presidents were directly selected by Srila Prabhupada and were personally authorized by him. There are many cases, however, of wrong recommendations. Cases when Temple Presidents put someone forward for initiation and vouched for him that he was following the four regulative principles, chanting at least 16 rounds and had been for 12 months and was serving nicely in the temple, etc, but actually he wasn’t. And there are some letters from Srila Prabhupada where he mentions these wrong recommendations.

            But Prabhupada initiated the people who his trusted Temple Presidents recommended to him for initiation.

            The big problem now is who is the trusted representative of Srila Prabhupada. That has been a great perplexity for the ritvik people. You know Krishna Kant concluded that ritvik was only possible in ISKCON because only the GBC could appoint ritviks. And ISKCON Bangalore more or less agreed with this and so they claim the ISKCON GBC is bogus and have made their own imitation ISKCON GBC and that is the way they empower ritviks.

            You know how it is now. Some devotee just imagines he is a representative of Srila Prabhupada. We have great souls like Kapindra Swami preaching that he is the only bonafide representative of Srila Prabhupada, etc.

            So it is not the same thing actually. If you declare that you are Prabhupada’s representative and you have magically become empowered to initiate on Prabhupada’s behalf… It is not like that, representative has to be appointed.

            So the point is Prabhupada established a ritvik system, but it was not continued by ISKCON, now it is broken unfortunately…

            Devotees can not just imagine they are ritvik representatives of the acharya… That is bogus.

            Point is Prabhupada’s disciples have to become pure devotees, then they can initiate. That order is clearly there. The initiation is only the beginning. It is the beginning of the training process. But the ritviks, with the exception of ISKCON Bangalore, are not able to provide the traning process, and of course they do not have anyone who is a ritvik representative of Srila Prabhupada to perform the initiations.

            So the point is both you and I have been intimately involved in this ritvik movement for many, many years. I remember we were there at New Talavan when there was that big ritvik festival at Bhakta Mike’s house. And I have spent a lot of time living with Kapindra Swami, I have stayed with Puranjana and Yasodanandana, and spent so much time with Hansadutta Prabhu, etc, etc. And of course I was in UK when Krishna Kant wrote the “Final Order” and got one of the first copies ‘hot of the presses’. I have spent time with the ritvik Swami Jayadvaja, lived in the ritvik Long Island Temple, etc, etc, etc. But somehow it never took off.

            It seems that no two ritviks can agree with each other… I have seen so many ritvik temples open and then soon after close.

            And, generally speaking, the ritviks are not distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books. They used to complain, “Oh the books are changed…” But now we have printed all of Prabhupada’s original books. But still they are not distribution them. ISKCON Bangalore do something in this regard, but we are distributing so many books, but the ritviks are not the ones buying them.

            So my point is up to now the ritvik movement has failed miserably. And it has been a long time. Final Order was about 1996 and that was just copied from Rupa Vilasa Prabhu, etc, from the Vedic Village Review, which was going on earlier in the 90’s. So we have had well over twenty years of ritvikism now. But no practical results to speak of? Even you are living at the ISKCON temple, not the ritvik temple?

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Your servant

            Madhudvisa dasa

  8. Dr. V.K. Saxena says:

    I have been doing Sri Krishna UPASNA, without a proper guru for over 30 years now. The intensity of this Upasna has increased several folds during the past 6-7 years. I feel several changes in my thinking process and heart. Upasna has completely detached me from Maya and all worldly matters.
    Do I need a Guru at this stage ??

    • Hare Krishna Dr. Saxena

      Spiritual activities that are not guided by a bona fide spiritual master have no value.

      Everyone needs a bona fide guru. Even Krishna accepted a guru when He appeared personally in the world.

      So we can not make any spiritual advancement without the guidance of a bona fide guru.

      So I am suggesting to you that Srila Prabhupada is a bona fide, pure devotee, guru. You please get his books and read them and follow the instructions you find Prabhupada giving you as you read his books. Then if you surrender to Srila Prabhupada’s instructions in this way, you will have your bona fide guru and will be able to make rapid advancement towards the ultimate goal that is going back home, back to Godhead at the end of this material body.

      • Damien says:

        Hare Krishna, Madhudvisa dasa…You said that Krishna also need a guru. So, who is Krishna’s guru’s guru…and all the way to which initial guru???

      • Damien says:

        Hare Krishna again, Madhudvisa dasa! Would Krishna send a person back to earth to take up another human body to tie up some loose ends or help somebody in need, especially after that person goes back to Godhead at the end of his material body?

        I am taking up Krishna Consciousness path in hope that I will go back to Godhead and not ever go through the cycle of rebirth and death again. What guaranty would a person have that when he goes back to Godhead, he would STAY there for sure…permanently? I don’t want to find out that having chanted a billion rounds of the japa beads and at the end I get sent back to earth to be re-born again. I really don’t want that to happen…

        • Hare Krishna Damien

          It is up to you. If you only desire Krishna at the time of death then you will go back home back to Godhead. If you have some material desires still then you will come back in the material world to try to fulfill those desires. So it is in your hands. If you become Krishna conscious actually you will not come back to the material world, but if you still have material desires you will come back.

          As far as once going to the spiritual world Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita that once one has returned to the spiritual world he does not fall down again. So don’t worry. Once you go back home, back to Godhead, you don’t have to come back to the material world again.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Damien says:

            HK, prabhu…I don’t intend to be back here on earth. I will do my best, and chant my way all the way until I see Krishna face to face.

            BTW, please tell me how do I change my photo on Krishna.org??

          • Hare Krishna Damien

            Yes. Do it. Chant Hare Krishna until you see Krishna face to face. And then of course you will keep chanting Hare Krishna, you won’t want to stop.

            As far as the image that is not set on Krishna.org that is coming from:

            http://gravatar.com

            So just go there and change your image there and it will automatically change on krishna.org also.

        • Mahasrnga dasa says:

          If Srila Prabhupada wants me to come back to this material world to help with his mission, I certainly wouldn’t mind. After millions of births one or two more doesn’t seem like a big deal to me, I’m happy to have found the correct path, the perfect spiritual master and confident of his mercy. Lord Krsna doesn’t make mistakes so I’m sure I’ll get exactly what I deserve.

          • Damien says:

            HK, mahasrnga! I will refuse to be sent back to the earth. I don’t want to be back. The Terminator said, “I’ll be back!”…but I won’t!

          • Hare Krishna Damien

            Yes. You are quite right to have this opinion. And you don’t have to come back if you don’t what to. But you will gradually discover as you engage in Krishna consciousness more and more that you can become transcendentally situated even while in this material body. And as you start serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna more and more you will relish the very sweet transcendental taste of devotional service. And gradually you will transcend the material world altogether. Even though your body is in the material world your consciousness is with Krishna. But you have to experience these things for yourself in due course of time.

            Actually, a devotee’s pleasure is in pleasing Krishna. He is not concerned for any comfort or discomfort on his own account. If something is very disturbing to the devotee but is pleasing to Krishna the devotee accepts that disturbing thing as great bliss, because Krishna is pleased by it. And this is not an artificial thing. A devotee actually comes to the point of feeling Krishna’s pleasure as his happiness. So once we reach that platform we do not care actually where we are. We only care about serving Krishna, pleasing Krishna. So in that case if Krishna wants us to serve Him in the material world we are very happy to serve Krishna in the material world.

            Actually this is called Vipralamba seva. It means service in separation. And that is actually the most ecstatic type of service. It is the mood in which Radharani serves Krishna. You know Krishna and Radha spent Their childhood together in Vrindavan, but then at the age of 15 or so, Krishna had to leave Vrindavan to go to Mathura to kill Kamsa. Of course He assured Radharani and the gopis, ‘Do not worry, I am just going for a short time and I am coming back to Vrindavan immediately…” But somehow Krishna never came back to Vrindavan. And that was devastating for Radharani and the gopis. So they spent the rest of their lives thinking about Krishna, remembering Krishna’s pastimes during the time He was present with them in Vrindavan, and always expecting Krishna to return to Vrindavan at every moment, and always being so disappointed when Krishna did not return.

            These feelings of separation from Krishna that Radharani and the gopis were experiencing in the absence of Krishna were so deep and so ecstatic that Krishna Himself could not understand what deep feelings Radharani was experiencing for Him. So Krishna wanted to experience the feelings of separation from Him that Radharani was feeling. So Lord Krishna appeared as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the mood and complexion of Radharani. Radharani is golden in color and so is Lord Caitanya.

            So the point is that this vipralamba-seva, service in separation, is actually the most ecstatic, the highest service and produces the most intense and ecstatic feelings. That is why Krishna Himself wanted to experience what are these incredible feelings that His devotees experience in separation from Him.

            So this is all advanced stuff and I completely understand that you do not want to come back to the material world and you don’t have to. But you will realize all these things more and more as you advance in Krishna consciousness.

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

  9. William says:

    Thank you sir. It has been rewarding to read some of these materials. Being in transit so much, yet still it is not forgotten. Hare Krishna!

  10. Mahasrnga dasa says:

    I would add that Srila Prabhupada waited 11 years before taking formal initiation from Srila Bhaktisiddanta Maharaja so there is no hurry to rush into something that Iskcon has no understanding of. The GBC and leaders have refused to discuss this most important topic since TKG told them not to in 1990.

  11. Hayagriva Das says:

    Hare Krishna
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada
    Thank you so much for the website to start with. I have been very interested in KC since I have been 15. I am now 28 and finally decided to become a devotee to Krishna. I considers Srila Prabhupada as my guru, as well as following the 4 rules and doing my Japa. So in any case like this how does one become initiated by Srila Prabhupada? Does this just happen in your heart from studying all his books and lectures? Sorry for any ignorance or if this has already been talked about and I missed it or miss understood it.
    In your service,
    Hayagriva Das

    • Hare Krishna Hayagriva Prabhu

      We are in a rather difficult time as, even though Srila Prabhupada did establish a formal system so he could continue to accept disciples after his physical disappearance, ISKCON choose to go against this order of Srila Prabhupada and instead unauthorizedly appointed 11 new “acharyas” when Prabhupada disappeared from our material vision who were not at all qualified acharyas…. As everyone knows now the result was disastrous and everyone, even ISKCON, accepts this as a great mistake and now they admit that Srila Prabhupada did not appoint these men as acharyas, he only appointed them as ritvik priests who were empowered to accept disciples on his behalf.

      So even though this was a disaster ISKCON go on appointing new ‘gurus’ every year and every year so many of the ISKCON gurus show the world that they are not at all qualified for the position of guru, but are just conditioned souls like everyone else by falling down in so many embarrassing and devastating [for their disciples] ways…

      So anyhow the point is that at the moment there is no formal way of accepting initiation from Srila Prabhupada. But Srila Prabhupada is living in his books. And ‘living in his books’ means he is there with all his potency in full and you can get all the benefits of direct personal physical association with Srila Prabhupada by reading his books. So of course if you associate with Srila Prabhupada through his books, if you hear him submissively through his books, if you accept the instructions he gives you and make them your life and soul, if you follow the four regulative principles and chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily then Srila Prabhupada will initiate you through his books. But you have to keep on hearing from Srila Prabhupada regularly. Initiation only means the beginning, it is just the start. So after initiation you have to do so much service for Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and you will not know what service Srila Prabhupada wants you to do if you do not make a very serious program for studying all of his book. He wrote so many books so we, his disciples could read them and in this way become Krishna conscious. Nowadays hardly any of the so-called devotees seriously read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books. But if we actually want to become Krishna conscious then we have to read all of Prabhupada’s books many times actually. And the more we read the deeper we will go into the science of Krishna consciousness…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Alexis says:

        Where can I go to get ritvik initiation? I live in Florida and am only 19. I have no association with anyone here only through the internet with one or two godbrothers. I know that ” I should first follow the principles and etc” and I will completely but I want to be secure and have motivation to by a godbrother that is teaching the pure message of Srila Prabhupada and not their speculation. Ever since a young age I wanted to be a catholic priest and had a desire to serve God and the masses. every where I went they said I was blessed and my mission was to serve God to become a pastor, a priest etc. I want to get initiated (prefer 2nd initiation as well in a couple of years to be a brahmin) so I can fulfill the desire of Sri Sri Radha Krsna and Srila Prabhupada. Please can anyone guide me? Is there anyone in the Orlando Area?

        • Formal initiation is not important. It is important to actually become a disciple of Srila Prabhupada. There is no need for formal initiation, nor is there any bona fide process of ‘ritvik initiation’ available.

          There is no such thing as initiation into Prabhupada’s movement unless you are prepared to surrender to the training process that Prabhupada established and that is currently not available. So just forget about this ‘ritvik initiation’ and become Krishna conscious. Become a devotee. Strictly follow the four regulative principles, chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, read all of Prabhupada’s books, surrender to Prabhupada. Serve Srila Prabhupada!! Distribute his books….

          • shane says:

            hi, i wanna ask is it an offense if a disciple for example had been initiated already by his GURU ( a pure devotee ) and after awhile he mets another guru and asked for another initiation? isnt it an offense?

          • Hare Krisha Shane

            Yes. That is an offense. If one is already initiated by a bona fide guru he can not take imitation again from a different guru. That is offensive to his original guru. And it is offensive for any other guru to initiate someone, knowing that he is already initiated by some other bona fide guru.

            There can only be one initiating guru. There can be many siksa [instructing] gurus, but only one diksa [initiating] guru.

            Of course if the first guru turns out to be bogus the disciple can and should reject such a bogus guru and that initiation really did not happen because a an unqualified guru can not actually initiate anyone into Krishna consciousness. So he can then be properly initiated by a bona fide guru.

            But if one has a bona fide guru he can not turn his back on that bona fide guru and take initiation from some different guru. That is offensive for both the disciple and the new guru…

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

          • Anna Martin says:

            Hare Krsna!
            Please accept my humble obeisances….
            All glories to Srila Prabhpada!!

            I wanted to say that you can still be initiated through the “ritvik” system. I am so thankful and excited to say that I will be initiated at the Krishna Balaram Mandir in New Westminster, Canada in August through Prabhupadas original way of initiation. He is outr living guru and I thank you so much for being a voice to that truth.

            Hari bol!!
            Anna (soon to have my “real” name!)

  12. Omody says:

    Blessings,
    Hare Krishna, Hare Rama….Praise Jesus-Yeshua !
    Who(m) is ythe present LIVING Bonafide master of the Lineage of Krishna Consciousness since Sri Prabhupada ????
    THX !
    Namaste,
    Omody

    • Prabhupada is the present LIVING bona fide spiritual master in the line of Krishna consciousness.

      So far there no other bona fide spiritual master has become manifest since Srila Prabhupada.

      A Vaisnava acharya rises like the sun. As in the morning the sun rises and dissipates the darkness, so it is with the appearance of the bona fide Vaisnava Acharya. You can not miss him. Just like when Srila Prabhupada appeared his sun-like effulgence spread all over the world and everyone could see and appreciate that some very special personality has appeared among us, so bona fide spiritual master is like that. So we have not seen that yet.

      But Srila Prabhupada is still with us, living in his instructions. So you simply need to take advantage of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions in his books and other recorded vani and he will be living with you and ready to help you in every way and answer all your questions.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • balagopaladasa says:

        About the initiation and necessity of associating with the guru and the way to approach a guru

        THere are many disciples during prabhupada time who have met prabhupad only one time and never seen reast of the life.
        even in our parampara also vyasa deva heard SB just when he was in the womb.
        As prabhupada himself said that his mercy will be flown to those who follows instructions and do sadhana perfectly.
        So we should not blindly follow the fake gurus of ISKCON and fall for them and as such bhakti becomes latre process then.so simply follow prabhupada and his teachings.

        i hope this will meet the question of personal association with the guru prabhu.

        • Hare Krishna Balagopal Prabhu

          You are very correct, except for one point: “There are many disciples during Prabhupada time who have met prabhupad only one time and never seen reast of the life.” What you have said is true of course, but there are many disciples of Prabhupada who accepted initiation from him in ISKCON but NEVER met him at all. Srila Prabhupada set up a system of accepting disciples through priests, ritviks. Initially he empowered all the temple presidents to perform the initiations for his disciples in their temples. So the system was the temple president would recommend a disciple to Srila Prabhupada by writing a letter to him and Prabhupada would write back saying that he accepted him as his disciple and then the temple president would perform the initiation ceremony.

          So in this way thousands of Prabhupada’s initiated disciples never saw Srila Prabhupada physically ever. Not even once…

        • Mahasrnga dasa says:

          Srila Sukadeva Goswami was in the womb not Srila Vyasadevl He was the father.


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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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