• Hare Krishna!

    Please Accept My Humble Obeisances.

    It is established that everyone who seeks spiritual knowledge and enlightenment must accept a genuine teacher. Even if one has already attained enlightenment in a previous life and is automatically born with such knowledge, proper etiquette dictates that one approaches a spiritual master. Such a master must be in an authorized sampradaya, or line of disciplic succession of other spiritual masters from whom he has received knowledge. In this way, the unique transcendental message flows through the disciplic succession in a continuous, pure and non-contaminated form. This is the mystery of receiving pure spiritual knowledge through a genuine line of masters.

    The sampradaya of which we are a part is the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya, which descends from Lord Krishna and then Lord Brahma, through Madhvacharya, and through Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (Gaudiya), the great sage, scholar and incarnation of Lord Krishna who appeared only 500 years ago. He appeared with His eternal associates to relish and display the loving sentiments of devotion for Lord Krishna. His mission was not merely to teach the way of devotion to God, especially through the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, but much deeper than that. He revealed to the world what is rarely obtained and what had never before been given--love of Lord Krishna as practiced by the most intimate inhabitants of the spiritual world in Goloka Vrindavana. Lord Caitanya exhibited this love and instructed His associates, like the Six Gosvamis of Vrindavana, to write volumes of devotional scriptures about the nature of this devotional love for Lord Krishna.

    The deepest level of this love is to understand how to meditate on becoming a maidservant of Srimati Radharani. She is the topmost devotee of Lord Krishna, and His feminine expansion as the personification of Lord Krishna's pleasure potency, the hladini-shakti. She is the enchanter of Lord Krishna Himself. Just as Sri Krishna captivates all the living entities by His beauty and loving characteristics, Srimati Radharani similarly captivates Lord Krishna by Her love and charming qualities. Srimati Radharani's love for Lord Krishna is so condensed and sweet that Sri Krishna is so maddened by it that He accepts the form of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who descends in the mood of Radharani, in order to more thoroughly understand and relish the love Srimati Radharani has for Him. Therefore, the goal of a devotee of Lord Caitanya, following in the footsteps of His associates, is to meditate on becoming a maidservant of Srimati Radharani to assist Her in giving that love to Lord Krishna.

    Out of so many spiritual processes for realizing one's spiritual nature, this is the most intimate of all spiritual loving sentiments. You will find none more sublime than this. However, it is not easily understandable, and you cannot comprehend it by the standard materialistic methods. In order to understand the transcendental science of the loving affairs of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna and Their associates, one must learn it from those who are descendants from that supreme spiritual realm. This is the unique character of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya. It provides a seeker with the knowledge and books from those who have personal experience of such spiritual realms and divine consciousness.

    The most recent representative of our sampradaya is His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada was the disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, the disciple of Gaurkishora das Babaji and son of Bhaktivinoda Thakur. Bhaktivinoda took shelter and instructions from Jagannatha das Babaji. From there the line of masters and disciples goes back to Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura, then to Narottama das Thakura, Krishna dasa Kaviraj, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and Jiva Gosvami. Then it continues to Sri Rupa Gosvami, along with Svarupa Damodara and Sanatana Gosvami. Then we arrive at Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the most recent incarnation of God who descended to distribute love of God to all conditioned souls.

    Lord Caitanya taught by example that everyone should accept a spiritual master, and He took initiation from Ishvara Puri. From Ishvara Puri, our line of spiritual masters goes back through Madhavendra Puri, then to Lakshmipati, Vyasa Tirtha, Brahmanya Tirtha, Purushottama, Jayadharma, Rajendra, Vidyanidhi, Dayanidhi, Jnansindhu, Jaya Tirtha, Akshobya, Madhava, Nrihari, Padmanabha, Madhvacharya, Srila Vyasadeva, Narada Muni, Lord Brahma, and Lord Sri Krishna.

    It is understood that you cannot give such loving devotion to others unless you have it yourself. However, as we shall see in the descriptions that follow, we do not have spiritual masters in our line who merely have an intense devotion to Lord Krishna and Srimati Radharani. Many of these masters have descended into the material realm to explicitly describe their direct view of these pastimes from their own experience in the spiritual world, and their books are filled with such descriptions. They are already perfected or descended masters who have come to awaken and guide us back to their own areas of intimate service to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

    Providing short descriptions of the spiritual qualities of the great personalities in this sampradaya, we will see how fortunate we are to have come in contact with them since many have been identified as having direct spiritual relationships with Lord Krishna and Srimati Radharani in the form of either manjaris or sakhis. A sakhi is one who expands and facilitates the conjugal love of Lord Krishna and His enjoyment among the gopis, the maidservants. The gopis in general bring Radha and Krishna together and give Them assurance to enjoy spiritual pastimes. That is the transcendental pleasure of the gopis. The gopis never act for their own personal satisfaction. They are simply pleased by engaging others in the service of the Lord. The sakhis of Srimati Radharani, headed by Lalita and Vishaka, are unlimited in number. They are in the same age group of Radharani, and, thus, they sometimes deal directly with Lord Krishna. The sakhis help provide a variety of facilities for the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. Occasionally, Radharani makes arrangements for the sakhis to have direct association with Lord Krishna.

    There are five kinds of sakhis, known as sakhis, nitya-sakhis, prana-sakhis, priya-sakhis, and parama-prestha-sakhis. The regular sakhis are more affectionate toward Sri Krishna, while the nitya-sakhis are more affectionate toward Srimati Radharani. Others are equally affectionate toward Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, while sometimes they are more affectionate toward Srimati Radharani.

    The manjaris are the direct maidservants of Srimati Radharani. They are younger, innocent girls, not more than thirteen years old, and the exclusive maidservants of Radharani. The manjaris are thus allowed to personally serve in the inner areas of the groves (kunjas) of Vrindavana, where the sakhis have no access. Therefore, they witness the intimate loving pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna and relish the highest levels of devotional bliss. As Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami writes in his Vraja Vilas Stava (text 31):

    "I take shelter of Sri Rupa Manjari and the other very dear maidservants of the great queen of Vrindavana, Srimati Radhika, who please her by offering Her betel, massaging Her feet, offering Her water, and arranging for Her rendezvous with Krishna. Because these maidservants can enter the area where the Divine Couple enjoy their most confidential pastimes without feeling shy, they are even more dear to Radhika than the sakhis such as Lalita, who themselves are more dear to Her than life itself. In other words, the manjaris, headed by Sri Rupa Manjari, can freely enter those kunjas where even the prana-prestha sakhis hesitate to enter."

    Starting with Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, among his numerous preaching activities, he wrote over 80 volumes of authoritative translations, commentaries and summary studies of the religious texts of India, such as the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and others. Many of these volumes have been translated into numerous languages around the world. Due to his efforts, this sampradaya became a global movement, and he was given credit for being the senapati bhakta (great devotee commander) who was predicted by Srila Bhaktivinoda and Lord Caitanya Himself who would come and preach in different countries and flood the world with the chanting of Hare Krishna. Thus, he was especially empowered to deliver this message and took the mission of the previous acharyas and Lord Caitanya to spread love of God to all souls. It was through Srila Prabhupada that we, especially those of us in the West, now have access to this Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya, which is one of the few, if not only, genuine lines of disciplic succession broadcasting the intimate pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna in the company of Their confidential maidservant associates in the spiritual realm of Vrindavana. Hardly anywhere else can you learn such privileged information about the spiritual world.

    Srila Prabhupada has offered the path to the divine pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna by providing the knowledge as well as methods of meditation and service through which we can learn and absorb ourselves in the ways of the residents and damsels of Vraja. In this way, he has given us everything we need, even more than we can hope to understand in this lifetime. Few people, no matter how spiritual they may be, have any idea of this level of spiritual taste or relations, known as madhurya-rasa. This is what Lord Caitanya came to give 500 years ago, and which is still being offered by the efforts and mercy of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and his genuine followers. Even now, the mantras that are offered to the brahminical initiates include the Gopla mantra and the Kama-gayatri, which are specifically meant to promote being absorbed in the loving sentiments and mood of the cowherd damsel servants of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. This most transcendental loving emotion is being passed down through the disciplic succession.

    Even Srila Prabhupada's godbrother, Srila Bhaktiprajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja, who gave him sannyasa initiation in 1959, has been recognized as Vinoda Manjari in his spiritual identity. Since all acharyas in our sampradaya from Srila Madhavendra Puri have the same mood as their initiating masters, it is, therefore, evident that Srila Prabhupada, as a follower of Rupa Gosvami, is also in the same madhurya-rasa, or mood of a loving maidservant of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

    Therefore, this most beneficial line of spiritual teachers has appeared to allow us to take shelter of them through their instructions and books. Since the Lord has bestowed upon us this rare human birth and the gift of bonafide parampara, it is our moral and spiritual obligation to imbibe their bonafide precepts into our daily lives without getting distracted and with complete faith and complete surrender. 

    Your Servant,

    Mathura Vasi Devi Dasi.

  • Sevak

    Hare Krsna

    Why only His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada ?  --> It is never so

    When ever the words like "only", "one and only" etc come it is exclusivity. Something like "Jesus is the only saviour", "Either Jesus or Hell". "Accept Islam or die"  --> These are misleading.

    Vedic philosophy/culture/system is not exclusivistic. It is inclusivistic. Even bhakti is inclusivistic. 

    aabhira-shumbhaa yavanaah khasaadayah
    ye 'nye ca paapaa yad-apaashrayaashrayaah
    shudhyanti tasmai prabhavishnave namah

    Kiraata, Huna, AAndhra, Pulinda, Pulkasha, AAbhira, SHumbha, Yavana, members of the Khasa races and even others addicted to sinful acts can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him. (SB 2.4.18)

    SB clearly says anyone can follow Bhakti. Vedic culture accepts all 4000 types of human beings and guides each member to make gradual progress towards Supreme absolute truth. Varnashrama system is part of vedic culture. 

    So this verse states that anyone can accept Bhakti, anyone can practice Bhakti. Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu respectfully subscribed to this. Srila Prabhupada established this by his compassion upon (those who were previously) hippies. 

    Bhakti, devotional service is not exclusive it is open for all living entities. Anyone can start bhakti.

    • Sevak

      But that doesn't anything say about why only Srila prahupada --> We come to this in a while

      Once devotional service begins, its a HUGE change for the jiva. Because until or before Bhakti, everything was material , materialistic or material energy. Once there is even a small spark of bhakti or devotional service it all changes because Bhakti/vaishnavism is domain of Internal energy. This change cannot be seen externally. Because..... it is INTERNAL energy remember, means it is internal.

      Once Bhakti begins how the jiva makes progress or advancement in his/her devotional service is an affair between jiva and internal energy. Devotees, guru, chanting, deity everything we do in Bhakti comes under the domain of internal energy. But it is all within the injunctions of the scriptures. Material energy still can have a role to play. When the jiva makes great advancement in Bhakti the internal energy may chose the jiva to assist in the activities of internal energy. Jiva out of gratitude obliges. 

      Whom the internal energy chooses, why it chooses that particular jiva cannot be ascertained by ordinary persons.

      There have been examples of this

      • Sevak

        Example 1 Ramanujacarya was chosen as acarya after departure of Yamunacarya

        Yamunacarya(Acarya of Sri Vaishnava sampradaya) had left his body at Srirangam just before Ramanuja arrived. All the disciples were weeping as they carried his body to be placed in samadhi. Ramanuja said, “I have accepted Yamunacarya as my Gurudeva. I want to see his face.” Yamunacarya’s disciples stopped and lifted the cloth from his body. Ramanuja could see that three of Yamunacarya’s fingers were folded while the rest of his fingers were straight. So he said, “Did Yamunacarya usually keep his fingers closed like this?”. They said, “No, no we have never seen him like this.”

        So then Ramanuja understanding the inner heart of Yamunacarya, he said, “I will take 3 vows on this day: One is I vow to spread the message of pure devotional service by my example, by my words throughout all of the land.” When he said that, one of the fingers opened and became straight.

        He said, “I vow to write a vaisnava commentary of the Vedanta Sutra of the name Sri Bhasya, which refutes Shankaracarya’s arguments and establishes pure devotional service and eternal servitude to the Lord as Supreme.”  When he spoke that the second finger opened.

        He said, “Due to great gratitude and appreciation for Parasara Muni the father of Vedavyasa and the exponent of so many instructions and the glories of Narayana from the Vishnu Purana, I will name one disciple after him.”  At that time the third finger opened.

        When everyone saw this, they could understand that Ramanuja really was being empowered by Yamunacarya to take over his mission.  Note this happened after departure of Yamunacarya and was accepted by all disciples.

        • Sevak

          Example 2 Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates empowering Rupa Gosvami 

          Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu, “You should both show Your mercy wholeheartedly to Rupa Gosvami. May Rüpa Gosvami, by Your mercy, become so powerful that he will be able to describe the transcendental mellows of devotional service.” CC Antya Lila 1.56-57

          Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, “Rüpa Gosvami met Me at Prayaga. Knowing him to be a suitable person, I naturally bestowed My mercy upon him. CC Antya lila 1.89

          Rupa gosvami became prominent reviver of vaishnavism in Vrindavan. He wrote sacred literature establishing the principles and practices of Sadhana bhakti. 

          Example 3 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur(SBSST) instructs an unknown person 

          Abhay Charan babu reluctantly visits Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur at Ultadanga, Kolkata. Abhay and Naren, having both been raised in Vaisnava families, immediately offered prostrated obeisances at the sight of the revered sannyasi(SBSST)

          While the two young men were still rising and preparing to sit, before any preliminary formalities of conversation had begun, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta immediately said to them, "You are educated young men. Why don't you preach Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's message throughout the whole world?"

          Abhay could hardly believe what he had just heard. They had not even exchanged views, yet this sädhu was telling them what they should do.

          In summary the process of bhakti/ devotional service is in domain of internal energy. Disciplic succession or vaishnava parampara is not material, materialistic or part of material world, it is directly under the control of internal energy. Succession in parampara is not like inheritance of property or contractual transfer of power or winning an election by popular majority voting. Parampara system is a transcendental system in transcendental realm far from material domain, but in material world. 

          Note : Acaryas can also be understood to have descended from spiritual world.

          • Sevak

            How does the disciplic succession or parampara continue ?

            Onus of continuity of disciplic succession is with the owner of parampara – Internal energy. Lord and his associates are infinitely more concerned with propagation of KC than all ordinary souls put together. Nothing material can stop parampara. No influential persons, corporates, governments, cartels, laws, constitutions, wars, poverty, crimes, wealth, societies, devotees, saints, technology, natural disaster, demigods, chaos, aliens, cosmic events can stop this. It has its own way of acting and it will go on !

            How can we know ?

            We cannot. When in 1922  SBSST instructed SP, who knew that he would do so much. Srila Prabhupada himself was shocked when SBSST said and accepts that he didn’t know all of this would happen. But it happens because it is divine and transcendental. The influence can be understood by the result. The world can understand it by the after effect of the divine influence.

            What can we do ?

            Those who are sincere and fortunate can accept and render service unto their respective spiritual master. It is not necessary that all pure devotees have to become acaryas. There were so many pure devotees during time of SBSST, but internal energy chose few. The acaryas themselves don’t go around proclaiming that they have won the recent election and now empowered to do magic. They are very humble yet bold, respectful but courageous, powerful but self-controlled. 

            • Sevak

              There must have been multiple associates or disciples with Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. Why only HDG Srila Prabhupada?

              Anyone who claims only Srila Prabhupada and nobody else is trying to mislead. The spiritual master of an individual is upto the individual. No entity can say this person cannot be a spiritual master. But it does not mean anyone can become spiritual master. What can be said is such and such are characteristics of bonafide spiritual master. Based on this understanding individual can accept spiritual master. Also spiritual master has to accept the disciple. It is two way.

              Srila Prabhupada is pure devotee, acarya, disciple, spiritual master.

              Nobody can claim Srila Prabhupada is only devotee or only pure devotee, only acarya, only disciple of SBSST

              Hare Krsna

This reply was deleted.