First Lesson in Spirituality: Defining Spirit

September 2, 2012 |

English; Denver, Colorado, USA

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Is there only one way to follow Srila Prabhupada?

October 20, 2016 |

Question: Is there only one way to follow Srila Prabhupada?… Expand>

Question:

Is there only one way to follow Srila Prabhupada?

ANSWER by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami: 

Sridham Shyam Prabhu wrote an article which brought my attention to, in which he states that, as he understands, there are not many ways of following Śrīla Prabhupāda but there is one way to follow.

Now...in one sense it’s true. The proper way to follow Śrīla Prabhupāda is with all sincerity aspiring for pure devotional service, and following his instructions. On the other hand there is no stereotype, and Śrīla Prabhupāda gave different instructions to different devotees.

Sometimes on the same subject. For instance within his books, and repeatedly elsewhere, Śrīla Prabhupāda said that sannyāsi should be very strict in the matter of associating with women, which anyone in India up to the present day can understand, unless they are a follower of Osho, who are not much liked by Indian public.

Up to the present day the Indian public don’t like. They don’t mind to be cheated by swamis and sannyāsis, and spiritually, but they don’t like if they mix up with women...up to the present day. This Asaram Bapu Swami was finished not because of the murder cases in his āśram, but it came out about his womanizing. He is not actually a sannyāsi, but he is a holly man (supposed to be) and his illicit mixing with women is not at all appreciated. In South India this Paramahaṁsa Nityānanda was finished when it came about his womanizing, which in the West no one cares at all, but in India...

I’m just coming to the point now...

EXAMPLES
There is one Back to Godhead magazine published in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s presence, in which Sudama Swami...On the order of Śrīla Prabhupāda he led up the Vaikuṇṭha players, a drama troupe which had dance, and which was very much appreciated by Śrīla Prabhupāda, giving the teachings of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in drama form. And in that group there were women, which Śrīla Prabhupāda allow, but did not want in India. But, in the West he allowed it. Different culture. Sudama said to Śrīla Prabhupāda:“...all these women dancing...“, and Śrīla Prabhupāda said „That is your sannyās!“.

It’s right there in Back to Godhead magazine, so, he gave different...
Also, in two days in Vṛndāvan, to one sannyāsi Śrīla Prabhupāda told: „You leave Vṛndāvan! Don’t spend more than three days at any place. Sannyāsi should always be moving.“ The next day, to another sannyāsi he said: „Stay here, manage this project and never leave!“ So, to one he said „Sannyāsi always travels“, and to the other one sannyāsi „Stay here!“.

DIFFERENT EMPHASIS IN DEVOTIONAL SERVICE
So, there may be apparent contradictions. It’s not actually a contradiction, it’s specialized instruction according to service. So, one way to follow...Yes, we should know Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions and follow them, but we should know there is variety within that also. And, we see very exalted followers of Śrīla Prabhupāda who were...they are quite different in their emphasis in devotional service.
Two of most prominent preachers of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the modern world, Śrīla Prabhupāda’s disciples in the Western world, one is Vaisesika Dasa Prabhu who is a grihasta. Well, he is well known, of course. He very much promotes the distribution of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books. That’s his main focus.
Indradyumna Swami has been a sannyāsi for many years and he also promotes book distribution but within the ambit of his festive programs, which are his main preaching. Doing festivals with hāriṇams, and dances, lots of kīrtan and whole package.
So, their approach, or their life focus in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s service is very different. They are not doing exactly the same thing, but they are both undoubtedly pleasant to Śrīla Prabhupāda, and following him very much.

CONCLUSION
So, one way to follow Śrīla Prabhupāda...In one sense yes, but there may be others, there have to be, actually specializations. Different devotees have different approaches. So, what is the correct stand on this issue? 
I prefer not to take milk from „blood cows“, or sometimes devotees call it „blood milk“ because the cows are killed, but I’m not on a campaign against devotees who take that, because Śrīla Prabhupāda’s said we could take it. On the other hand, he also said we should establish our own farm communities.
So, that should be bonum.

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English; Gauragrama, Telangana, India

What Do You Think About Changes Made in Srila Prabhupada's Books?

May 2, 2012 |

Question: What do you think about the changes made in Srila Prabhupada’s books? It is said that the original Macmillian edition of Bhagavad-gita until 1972 was blessed and authorized by Srila Prabhupada and after that in subsequent new printings of BBT, the editors have changed more than 600 hundred words and meanings of Srila Prabhupada.… Expand>

Question:

What do you think about the changes made in Srila Prabhupada’s books? It is said that the original Macmillian edition of Bhagavad-gita until 1972 was blessed and authorized by Srila Prabhupada and after that in subsequent new printings of BBT, the editors have changed more than 600 hundred words and meanings of Srila Prabhupada. This is dangerous enough to destroy the movement in a philosophical way!!

Some disciples of Prabhupada, even when he was still alive, changed some translation of his books and Prabhupada became very angry!!

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English;

Prasadam Business

September 20, 2012 |

Question: One devotee in our community started a business with prasadam and developed a whole company. The prasadam is widely distributed in whole country in shops and devotees themselves sell it on farmers’ markets. The company is source of money for several families of devotees and presently it is main economical pillar of our community.… Expand>

Question:

One devotee in our community started a business with prasadam and developed a whole company. The prasadam is widely distributed in whole country in shops and devotees themselves sell it on farmers’ markets. The company is source of money for several families of devotees and presently it is main economical pillar of our community.

Although we produce large quantities of prasadam the process is not mechanized – everything is hand-made and offered to Krishna by initiated devotees. We use just pure natural and bonafide ingredients – no chemical stuff etc. We are very strict in this regard and do no compromises.

The company has professional image. It is not directly advertised that it is Hare Krishna company although we do not hide it in any way that we are devotees and the food we distribute is prasadam.

We are sometimes criticized by some devotees that it is questionable if the food we produce is really prasadam and that whole company has nothing to do with devotional service and it is simply karmic work. It is mainly because of the professional look of the company and because we produce big quantities of food packaged in the way the karmi food is packaged.

 

I would like to ask you what is the proper understanding of the topic of "prasadam business" and our situation.

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English;

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Gaudiya Matha and Householders

December 3, 2012 |

Question: I have been speaking w various devotees about the standard for grhasthas regarding initiation. I am sure you saw my post on the sannyasa conference. One devotee wrote back to me the following: An afterthought: It strikes me that in the Gaudiya Math during Bhaktisiddhanta's time, the math was strictly a place for brahmacaris and sannyasis. My guess:… Expand>

Question:

I have been speaking w various devotees about the standard for grhasthas regarding initiation. I am sure you saw my post on the sannyasa conference. One devotee wrote back to me the following:

 

An afterthought: It strikes me that in the Gaudiya Math during Bhaktisiddhanta's time, the math was strictly a place for brahmacaris and sannyasis. My guess: The presupposition seems to have been that householders were/are more clearly separated from the renunciants because of their marital engagements, including especially sexuality, which I don't know that Bhaktisiddhanta specified must be for procreation only among householder disciples (would be interesting to know if there is any info on this).

 

Do you have any info on the above?

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English;