Previous Acaryas text

Srila Prabhupada Speaks to Today’s Devotees


Section 1 – “Otherwise we can be misled by bogus philosophies.” Srila Prabhupada on the importance of developing good discrimination.

Section 2 – “The real preaching is selling books” Quotes on Book Distribution.

Section 3 – “Every line is perfect” Quotes about changing Srila Prabhupada’s books and thinking that the spiritual master’s statements are the result of mundane conditioning.

Section 4 – “What will happen when I am not here, shall everything be spoiled by GBC?” Premonitions? Warnings by Srila Prabhupada about what could happen in his mission, many of which have already come to pass.

Section 5 – “What is the use of producing some rascal guru?” Quotes that zero in on the deviations going on in institutional “Krishna consciousness.” Included are quotes reflecting on the contradiction of institutional “gurus,” who are supposed to be brahmanas, submitting to serve a board of directors through loyalty oaths or otherwise.

Section 6 – “Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is useless.” Descriptions of further deviations of Krishna consciousness that were not desired by Srila Prabhupada, many of which have now entered among his followers.

Section 7 – “If you do not find a guru, that means Krishna is not yet pleased” Quotes that describe the fate, position and recommended course for those who have accepted “initiation” from a so-called guru who later became an embarrassment.

Section 8 – “Then we have to go to a physical spiritual master” Quotes concerning accepting “initiation” from a spiritual master who is not physically manifest or departed, as well as the need for Srila Prabhupada’s disciples to become gurus. Also includes quotes on the importance of the physical spiritual master chastising and correcting the faults of disciples, things that can’t happen if he is no longer manifest.

Section 9– “A kanistha-adhikari can never become a guru.” Quotes on the qualifications of the genuine spiritual master.

Section 10 – “rascal cannot be guru, and guru is not rascal.” Quotations relevant to false gurus.

Section 11 – “Then they will both go to hell.” Dire consequences for those who would mislead others in the name of Krishna consciousness and those that follow such misleaders.

Section 12 – “Otherwise what is the meaning of free will?” Quotations that conclusively establish that the origin of the living entity (jiva) is in the spiritual world.

Section 13 – “or the book bhagavat” Quotes which establish that, in the absence of a bona fide spiritual master, one can make advancement to the higher levels of devotional service by the mercy of the book bhagavat. This is not to say that one should therefore avoid seeking out a genuine initiation from a bona fide spiritual master.

Section 14 – “they are very competent to harm our natural progress.” Quotes concerning Srila Prabhupada’s godbrothers.

Section 15 – “So there is no difference between siksa-guru and diksa-guru . .” The bona fide diksa guru and siksa guru are both guru, not conditioned souls.

Section 16 – “But a thief should be called a thief.” Quotes on speaking the plain truth and the dangers of ignoring contradiction.

Section 17 “When my disciples will be sahajiya, it will be more dangerous.” Quotes on Sahajiyas.

Section 18“Due to sectarianism a person cannot accept anyone outside of their own group as a Vaishnava” Quotes on sectarianism, mostly by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

Section 1 – “Otherwise we can be misled by bogus philosophies.”

Srila Prabhupada on the importance of developing good discrimination.

“Fortunate means everyone has got his discretion. So one who has the fortune to discriminate, then he can understand Krishna very easily.” Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.15, London, July 30, 1971

“No, judgment is there everywhere. Unless there is judgment, how you can discriminate, ‘This is spiritual; this is material?’ Judgment must be there for intelligent person. Otherwise how you can distinguish? We are distinguishing every moment, ‘This is good. This is bad’ in the relative world. So there is judgment.” Room Conversation with Yoga Student, March 14, 1975, Iran

“Therefore, he did not have very good intelligence, and how can an unintelligent person be delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead?” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.65

“The first requirement is that one become educated in spiritual life. Spiritual life is not something one can understand by a few minutes’ talk.” Science of Self Realization, Ch. 2, “Choosing a Spiritual Master-Saints & Swindlers”

“We should not give up our reason and discriminatory power just to be gentle. One must have good discriminatory power to judge a thing on its merit. We should not follow the mild nature of a woman and thereby accept that which is not genuine.”  Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.7.42

“Mundane manufactured sound has no potency, and as such, seemingly transcendental sound received from an unauthorized person also has no potency. One should be qualified enough to discern such transcendental potency, and either by discriminating or by fortunate chance if one is able to receive the transcendental sound from the bona fide spiritual master, his path of liberation is guaranteed.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.8

“Innocence is no excuse of law. If you say that somebody misled me to go to the left side in the court that does not mean that you will be saved from the fine. So, you have to become such intelligent person that you may not be misled by others.” Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.6.6-9, San Francisco, March, 1968

“siddhanta baliya citte na kara alasa iha haite krsna lage sudrdha manasa .
‘A sincere student should not neglect the discussion of such conclusions, considering them controversial, for such discussions strengthen the mind. Thus one’s mind becomes attached to Sri Krsna.’ [Adi 2.117] You should be always alert in understanding the sastric conclusions that will help you, otherwise we can be misled by bogus philosophies.” Letter to: Ayodhyapati, Vrindavana, 22 September, 1976

“A devotee should have intelligence to know who is deviating. Surrender by your intelligence but don’t surrender your intelligence.” Letter to Bali Mardana, 1974

e amrta kara pana, yara sama nahi ana,
citte kari’ sudrḍha visvasa
na pada’ kutarka-garte, amedhya karkasa avarte,
yate padile haya sarva-nasa
“The readers should relish this wonderful nectar because nothing compares to it. Keeping their faith firmly fixed within their minds, they should be careful not to fall into the pit of false arguments or the whirlpools of unfortunate situations. If one falls into such positions, he is finished.” Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya lila, 25.279

“Imitation devotees, who wish to advertise themselves as elevated Vaiṣṇavas and who therefore imitate the previous ācāryas but do not follow them in principle, are condemned in the words of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.3.24) as stone-hearted. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has commented on their stone-hearted condition as follows: bahir aśru-pulakayoḥ sator api yad dhṛdayaṁ na vikriyeta tad aśma-sāram iti kaniṣṭhādhikāriṇām eva aśru-pulakādi-mattve ‘pi aśma-sāra-hṛdayatayā nindaiṣā. ‘Those who shed tears by practice but whose hearts have not changed are to be known as stone-hearted devotees of the lowest grade. Their imitation crying, induced by artificial practice, is always condemned.’ The desired change of heart referred to above is visible in reluctance to do anything not congenial to the devotional way. To create such a change of heart, conclusive discussion about Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His potencies is absolutely necessary.” Purport, Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi Lila 2.117

“So if one is actually interested to make his life perfect, then we should accept the standard knowledge instead of manufacturing now different ways. No. Here is standard knowledge, Bhagavad-gita, the sastra. Sadhu-sastra-guru-vakya tinete kariya aikya. Yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya vartate kama-karatah [Bg. 16.23]. If you do not follow the standard knowledge of perfect sastra, then Krsna says, na siddhim savapnoti. He never gets siddhi. Here it is said, siddhaye. Manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. Siddhaye, to become perfect. So unless we follow the injunction of the sastra, then there is no possibility of siddhi. Na siddhim savapnoti na sukham na param gatim. Neither perfection, neither happiness in this life, and what to speak of next life? These things are not possible if we do not follow standard knowledge. So for the standard knowledge, manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye. And those who have taken the standard knowledge, yatatam api siddhanam [Bg. 7.3].” Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 7.1-3, Ahmedabad, December 14, 1972

“Svarupa-jnana–or intrinsic knowledge concerning the sadhaka, the sadhana, and sadhya–is non different from the svarupa of suddha bhakti. When such svarupa-jnana has not yet arisen in a sadhaka–but the desire to cross over the ocean of material existence has arisen within him–then the symptoms of bhakti visible in him at that time are merely bhaktyabhasa. This bhaktyabhasa transforms into suddha-bhakti when one obtains svarupa-jnana. Even for Vaisnavas duly initiated into a genuine sampradaya, the vastu-prabha–the illumination of one’s identity arising from the mantra received upon initiation by his diksa guru–does not appear until he receives the enlightenment of his svarupa-jnana by the mercy of siksa guru. Due to ignorance of svarupa-jnana, svarupa-suddha-bhakti remains covered. Hence, only bhaktyabhasa is visible.

“Unfortunately, in present day society, in the name of suddha-bhakti, various types of mixed devotion–such as karma-misra, jnana-misra, and yoga-misra, as well as various polluted and imaginary conceptions–are spreading like germs of plague. People in general consider these polluted and mixed conceptions to be bhakti. They respect them as such and thus are deprived of suddha-bhakti. These polluted and mixed conceptions are our greatest enemies. Some people say that there is no value in bhakti: that God is only imaginary sentiment, that man has merely created the image of God through imagination, and that bhakti is a diseased state, unable to benefit us in any way.

“These types of opponents cannot harm us much, because we easily recognize them and avoid them. However, those who propagate bhagavad-bhakti as the highest dharma–yet behave against the principles of suddha-bhakti–can be especially harmful to us. In the name of bhakti, they instruct us against the actual principles of bhakti. This ultimately lead us to a path that is diametrically opposed to bhagavad-bhakti. Therefore, with great endeavor, our previous acaryas have defined the svarupa or intrinsic nature of bhakti, repeatedly cautioning us to keep away from polluted and mixed concepts.” Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, Bhakti Viveka Tattva

“I have instructed everything in my books.” Letter to Dina Dayala, Mayapur, February 25, 1976

Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda, when you are not present with us, how is it possible to receive instructions, for example, on questions that may arise?
Prabhupāda: Well, the questions are… Answers are there in my books.
Devotee: Other than that, for example, that we would ask you in…
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Devotee: Do you direct us also through the heart? Besides the Paramātmā?
Prabhupāda: If your heart is pure. Everything depends on purity. – Morning Walk, Los Angeles, May 13, 1973

Reporter: What will happen to the movement in the United States when you die?
Prabhupada: I will never die.
Devotees: Jaya! Hari bol! (laughter)
Prabhupada: I shall live for my books, and you will utilize. – Press Conference, July 16, 1975, San Francisco

“So I preferred to come to Vṛndāvana. If death takes place, let it take here. So there is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavor. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn’t matter. As Kṛṣṇa is living eternally, similarly, living being also lives eternally. But kīrtir yasya sa jīvati: ‘One who has done service to the Lord lives forever.’” Arrival Speech, May 17, 1977, Vrndavana

Section 2 – “The real preaching is selling books”

Quotes on Book Distribution.

“There is no comparison. There is no literature throughout the universe like Srimad Bhagavatam. There is no comparison. There is no competition. Every word is for the good of the human society. Every word, each and every word. Therefore we stress so much in the book distribution. Somehow or other, if the book goes in one’s hand, he’ll be benefited. At least he will see, ‘Oh, I have taken so much price. Let me see what is there.’ If he reads one sloka, his life will be successful. If he reads one sloka, one word. This is such nice things. Therefore we are stressing so much, ‘Please distribute book, distribute book, distribute book.’ A greater mrdanga. We are chanting, playing our mrdanga. It is heard within this room or little more. But this mrdanga will go home to home, country to country, community to community, this mrdanga.” Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.16.8, Los Angeles, 5 January 1974

“This, our book distribution , is the most important task in our society. Therefore I am giving so much stress and I am working so hard on this. Because this is my life and soul according to the order of my Guru Maharaja. And by his grace it is to some extent successful. And I took it seriously. I take it seriously still now. That is my life and soul. I never tried in India to construct big temples or even in your country we didn’t. I never tried. But I was selling personally books. That is the history.” Room Conversation, Bombay, 31 December 1976

“Yes, we are fighting impersonalism and voidism with pure devotional service. Impersonalism and voidism kills the natural aptitude of devotion which is lying dormant in everyone’s heart. Therefore we are printing books like our Krsna book so that people may know it that the supreme absolute truth is a person. The perfection of every living creature is to render transcendental loving service to that Supreme Person and thereby go back home, back to Godhead. Krishna has said in Bhagavad-gita that ‘whoever explains my transcendental glories to others is most dear to me in this world and never will there be one more dear to me than he.’” Letter to Bhagavan, 24 November 1970

“Although I am practically on the path of death, still i cannot forget about my publications. I wish that if i live or die you should take very serious care for my publications.” Letter to Hayagriva, 10 June 1967

“You are trying for the new Temple, but our main business is Sankirtana and distribution of literature. If Krsna gives us a better place, that is all right. Otherwise, we can remain at any place never mind hell or heaven; but we shall be only very cautious about propagating our Sankirtana movement.” Letter to Madhudvisa, 26 March 1970

“The real preaching is selling books. You should know the tactic how to sell without irritating. What your lecture will do for three minutes, but if he reads one page his life may be turned. We don’t want to irritate anyone, however. If he goes away by your aggressive tactics, then you are nonsense and it is your failure. Neither you could sell a book, neither he would remain. But if he buys a book that is the real successful preaching.” Letter to Bali-Mardana, 30 September 1972

“As soon as I see such increased book distribution figures, I take that to mean that all other programs are successful.” Letter to Jagadisa, 3 January 1973

“The Sankirtana devotees are very very dear to Krsna. Because you are doing the field work of book distribution, Krishna has immediately recognized them as true servants. Just like during war time, a farm boy or ordinary clerk who goes to fight for his country on the front immediately becomes a national hero for his sincere effort. So Krsna immediately recognizes a preacher of Krishna consciousness who takes all risks to deliver his message.” Letter to Uttamasloka, 11 December 1975

“If you simply push on this one activity of distributing my books, your all success will be there. I have hatched this “transcendental plot” for getting money by selling my books, and if we stick only to this plan, and use our brain for selling books, there will easily be sufficient money.” Letter to Lalita Kumar, 15 November 1971

“Many fanatic spiritual movements have come and gone, but without the flawless philosophy of Krishna, they cannot stand. Therefore I want especially that my books and literature should be distributed profusely. This is our substance, real philosophical information, not some weak sentiments. So try for this, to give all men this Krishna philosophy, and many real devotees will come with us back to Home, back to Godhead.” Letter to Lalita Kumar, 27 November 1971

“Be assured that there is no more direct way to preach than to distribute Krsna conscious books. Whoever gets a book is benefited. If he reads the book he is benefitted still more, or if he gives the book to someone else for reading, both he and the other person is benefited. Even if one does not read the book but simply holds if and sees it, he is benefited. If he simply gives small donation towards the work of Krsna consciousness he is benefited. And anyone who distributes these transcendental literatures, he is also benefited. Therefore sankirtana is the prime benediction for the age” Letter to German Disciples, 6 May 1977

“I can see that there is very good potency at the present moment for spreading this movement as was desired by my Guru Maharaja, and I am simply trying my best to carry out his desire. And if some of my students adopt this attitude, without any other motivation, surely Krsna will fulfill our desire. So push on with book publication and distribution, and I am very glad that you are now distributing to schools and libraries.” Letter to Bhagavan, 22 September 1970

“Actually producing and distributing books is our most important engagement, all other engagements culminate in this one end — distribution of books.” Letter to Tamala Krsna, Bhaktivedanta Manor, 27 July 1973

“There is no doubt about it, to distribute books is our most important activity. The temple is a place not for eating and sleeping, but as a base from which we send out our soldiers to fight with maya. Fight with maya means to drop thousand and millions of books into the lap of the conditioned souls. Just like during war time the Bombs are raining from the sky like anything.” Letter to Ramesvara, Bhaktivedanta Manor, 3 August 1973

“Our main business is to distribute my books and people will come gradually. Everything should be done for that purpose.” Letter to Ramesvara, 7 November, 1976

“Anywhere, this is our main program. Print books as many as possible and distribute. This is our main program. All other programs are secondary. So with this aim in view, work all together.” Room Conversation, January 9, 1977, Bombay

“Regarding printing our books and literatures, I may inform you in this connection that I saw one bulletin of ‘Indian Railways’ in which it was specifically advised that every railway servant should see to it that the wheels of the carriages or vehicles must be moving always, which means that the railway is going nicely. Similarly all of us should see that our literatures are profusely distributed. That means that our missionary work is going on nicely. Otherwise we are simply sleeping and eating.” Letter to Karandhara,  Nairobi, 9 October, 1971

Ramesvara: Everyone is now wearing these “Double It” buttons. The whole movement is simply thinking of doubling book distribution, doubling it.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is our real mission. Yare dekha tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa. That’s all. – Discussions, June 2, 1977, Vrndavana

“We don’t approve that go in a solitary place and chanting. My Guru maharaja did not approve! This is all nonsense. You cannot chant. Sir you’ll sleep only and think of all nonsense. You must be engaged for preaching work!” Morning walk, Los Angeles, December 14, 1973

“So-called transcendental meditation, go to the Himalaya and go to the forest. We are not interested in all this nonsense. Our only business is to spread Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, door to door, town to town, city to city. We are not going to seclusion. Prahlada Maharaja said, ‘This is professional bluff: “I am going to the Himalaya. I am going to the forest.”’ Prahlada Maharaja condemns that ‘These are professional bluffs.’ Or they may be sincere, but still, they are trying for their own salvation. Prahlada Maharaja said, ‘I am not interested in that sal… I am interested for everyone’s salvation. Everyone must go back to home, back to…’ That is Vaisnava, not that ‘For my own salvation I go to Himalaya or in the forest and transcendental meditation, nonsense…’ We are not interested in those things. (laughs)” Morning Walk, February 3, 1976, Mayapura

“I am very glad to hear how the book distribution is increasing more and more. This is our greatest weapon. The more the books are distributed, the more the ignorance of the age of Kali will be smashed. The world is feeling the weight of this Hare Krishna movement, especially in your country. We have to increase this book distribution work more and more to firmly establish this movement, which is the only hope for the suffering living entities.” Letter to Balavanta, Vrindaban, 23 November 1976

Section 3 – “Every line is perfect”

Quotes about changing Srila Prabhupada’s books and thinking that the spiritual master’s statements are the result of mundane conditioning.

Yasoda-nandana: Sometimes they appeal that “We can make better English,” so they change like that, just like in the case of Isopanisad. There are over a hundred changes. So where is the need? Your words are sufficient. The potency is there. When they change, it is something else.
Svarupa Damodara: That’s actually a very dangerous mentality.
Yasoda-nandana: What is it going to be in five years? It’s going to be a different book.
Prabhupada: So you… What you are going… It is very serious situation. You write one letter that “Why you have made so many changes?” And whom to write? Who will care? All rascals are there. Write to Satsvarupa that “This is the position. They are doing anything and everything at their whim.” The next printing should be again to the original way. So you bring this to Satsvarupa. They cannot change anything… So on the whole, these dangerous things are going on. How to check it? – Conversation, “Rascal Editors,”  June 22, 1977, Vrndavana

Srila Prabhupada: The system is: whatever authority has done, even there is mistake, it should be accepted.
Radha-vallabha: Oh.
Prabhupada: Asa-praya(?) That is ha… He should not become more learned than the authority. That is very bad habit.
Radha-vallabha: He was always wondering how he should think. So I’ll tell him that. He thinks, “If I think I see a mistake, what should I think?” I’ll tell him what you just said.
Prabhupada: He cannot see mistake. He is mistake. (laughter) – Room Conversation, February 27, 1977, Mayapur

Radha-vallabha: Well, now that this system of no corrections anywhere, that makes it very simple. Then he can’t do anything. I don’t think he wants to, either. It makes it more simple for him. It makes him very uncomfortable.
Prabhupada: No corrections. He can write that synonym, that’s all, according to the translation. Who is writing the synonym?
Radha-vallabha: Jagannätha.
Prabhupada: That’s all right. According to the translation. Not that he becomes a greater scholar than my Guru Maharaja. – Room Conversation, February 27, 1977, Mayapura

“So you bring this to Satsvarupa. They cannot change anything.” Conversation, June 22, 1977, Vrndavana

“Of all the varied instructions I received, what stands out the most is when Srila Prabhupada told me: ‘My greatest anxiety is that in the future [after his disappearance] they will make changes to my books. That will ruin the entire Krsna Consciousness Movement.’ That is directly from my diary.

“Of all the changes, what Srila Prabhupada expressed to me as his greatest anxiety was what I call ‘politically correct’ changes, made by editors and trustees 50 or 100 years from now or even later, when society’s social dictates make trustees and editors think they need to add or delete or try to clarify his words to fit the times. Many times, Srila Prabhupada said how carefully he chooses every word so that his books will be timeless and be considered the lawbooks for humanity for the 10,000-year golden age within this Kali Yuga.” Ramesvara dasa, 2021 letter to BBTI

Prabhupāda: Oh, he has dared to change yours also?
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Oh, yes. They change so many things in our article. And it was on the telephone. I was speaking to him in Atlanta from Los Angeles. And I told him that “This article should not be printed because they have made so many changes.” And I didn’t like that. Then they answered that “It has already been offset, and BBT policy is always to be rushing. It’s always BBT policy.” Then I told him that “If you sacrifice quality on the strength of rushing, then it is your business, but that’s not my way, so please don’t print it.” But in any case, they have printed anyway that article. And we all had a bad reaction.
Prabhupāda: So you bring this to Satsvarūpa. They cannot change anything.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: So we stopped writing article for Back to Godhead since then because…
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Now, I think, with Satsvarūpa there, you won’t have that problem of changing like that. He wrote a letter saying that one of his first things is that he will not change what is given there unless… He will not make changes.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: No, if they consult us, even with changing, that’s all right. But they just edit here and there and cut it out, certain things. They’re changing the whole meaning. And that makes sometimes nonsense instead of making sense.
Prabhupāda: So on the whole, these dangerous things are going on. How to check it?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: There has to be strong philosophical leaders who can check this, like Satsvarūpa and Jayādvaita.
Prabhupāda: Hm.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They have to also be included in the decisions of the BBT. It can’t simply be that managers make decisions.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Without their sanction, there will be… Let them… These all rascals…
Svarūpa Dāmodara: One time in that article they made a change. Saying that, the whole Vaiṣṇava philosophy became Māyāvādī in that scientific article. So I told them that “You are better than…, a better (indistinct).” It all become Māyāvādī, so it became all mad. That is why I strongly told them that “This shouldn’t be the way. If you want to change, you have to consult with those who are writers.”
Prabhupāda: So they are doing very freely and dangerously. And this rascal is always after change, Rādhā-vallabha. He’s a great rascal. (pause) Read. – Conversation, “Rascal Editors,” and Morning Talk,
June 22, 1977, Vrindavan

“I will have to see personally what the mistakes in the synonyms are and also how you intend to correct them. I was not satisfied with the corrections that were made before. I saw some changes which I did not approve. Nitai may correct whatever mistakes are there, but the corrected material must be sent to me for final approval. So, reprinting the volumes will have to wait until the mistakes are corrected and approved by me.” Letter to Radhavallabha, January 5, 1976, Nellore

“I am glad that you are not omitting anything, but just making grammatical correction, and phrasing for force and clarity, and adding Pradyumna’s transliteration, that is very nice.” Letter to Hayagriva, Los Angeles, 18 November, 1968

“So if these other writers can do like me and spread Krishna Consciousness all over the world by becoming big Vedic scholars, then they can do. If one is too big, there is no mistake. Arsapreyaya means there may be discrepancies but it is all right. Just like Shakespeare, sometimes there are odd usages of language, but he is accepted as authority. I have explained all these things in my Preface to First Canto.” Letter to Mandali Bhadra, Jaipur, 20 January, 1972

Prabhupāda: We have to edit in such a way, present our literature in such a way that it will be gospel truth.
Devotee: Oh!
Prabhupāda: Authorized. That people will refer to our books. So we have to very cautiously print our literatures. It is not ordinary literature, fiction, or something, story. Just like Bhagavad-gītā and Bhāgavata. They are not ordinary. literature. Without any four defects of human frailties. Bhrama, pramāda, vipralipsa, also… We are following those literatures. So our writing should be so authorized that in future one may not find any fault, contradiction. – Conversation with the GBC, May 25, 1972, Los Angeles

“Sometimes I become surprised how I have written this. Although I am the writer, still sometimes I am surprised how these things have come. Such vivid description. Where is such literature throughout the whole world? It is all Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Every line is perfect.” Conversation, Vrindavan, June 28, 1977

arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhir
visnor va vaisnavanam kali-mala-mathane pada-tirthe ‘mbu-buddhih
sri-visnor namni mantre sakala-kalusa-he sabda-samanya-buddhir
visnau sarvesvarese tad-itara-sama-dhir yasya va naraki sah
“One who thinks the Deity in the temple to be made of wood or stone, who thinks of the spiritual master in the disciplic succession as an ordinary man, who thinks the Vaisnava in the Acyuta-gotra to belong to a certain caste or creed or who thinks of caranamrta or Ganges water as ordinary water is taken to be a resident of hell.” Padma Purana

“Unless you cent percent agree with the spiritual master’s opinion or philosophy, there is no need of accepting a spiritual master. There is no need.” Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 2.8-12, Los Angeles, November 27, 1968

Disciple: …Śrīla Prabhupāda, what are the qualifications of a perfect leader?
Prabhupāda: No mistake, no illusion, no cheating, no imperfection. Anyone who commits mistake, he’s illusioned, he’s a cheater and imperfect—he cannot lead. . .If you think your leader is mistaken, then you are mistaken. (laughter) – Morning Walk, March 16, 1976, Mayapura

“…if one considers the spiritual master an ordinary human being, one is doomed. His study of the Vedas and his austerities and penances for enlightenment are all useless, like the bathing of an elephant.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.26

“It is also an offense to consider an empowered Vaishnava an object of disciplinary action. It is offensive to try to give him advice or to correct him…The spiritual master must not be subjected to the advice of a disciple, nor should a spiritual master be obliged to take instructions from those who are not his disciples. This is the sum and substance of Śrīla Rūpa Goswami’s advice in this sixth verse.” Purport, Nectar of Instruction, text 6

“Just like there is electric powerhouse, and there is a plug. That plug is connected with the electric powerhouse, and if you push your wire in the plug, you also get electricity. Similarly, as it is stated in the beginning of this chapter, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (Bg 4.2). If you take shelter of the paramparā system…. The same example. If you take the shelter of the plug which is connected with the powerhouse, you get immediately electricity. Similarly, if you take shelter of a person who is coming in the paramparā system…” Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.5, Bombay, March 25, 1974

Section 4 – “What will happen when I am not here, shall everything be spoiled by GBC?”

Premonitions? Warnings by Srila Prabhupada about what could happen in his mission, many of which have already come to pass.

“If every time someone feels something they call for changing everything, then all that I have done will very quickly be lost.” Letter to Hamsaduta, Sydney, 2 April, 1972

Satsvarupa: Srila Prabhupada, sometimes you say only a very small percentage can take to Krishna consciousness.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.
Satsvarupa: But yesterday morning in your lecture you were saying it can expand to ten thousand, million, or ten million.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, if you take the proper way it can be increased.
Satsvarupa: Is that just up to our preaching?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. That will depend on your purified preaching activities. If you again become materially victimized, then you cannot do it. If you remain on the spiritual platform, if you try, then it will increase. Anandambudhi-vardhanam. It will increase. As soon as there is any contemplation of sense gratification, then the spirit will be lost. Then instead of Christianity, it will be “Churchianity,” officially going to the church, doing nothing, and gradually nobody will go. – Morning Walk, April 7, 1975, Mayapur

“Unfortunately, when the acarya disappears, rogues and nondevotees take advantage and immediately begin to introduce unauthorized principles ……The acarya, the authorized representative of the Supreme Lord, establishes these principles, but when he disappears, things once again become disordered.”  Purport, Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.48

Srila Prabhupada: There was a movement, Moral Rearmament Movement, started from America.
Hamsaduta: What was the name of it?
Srila Prabhupada: MRA, MRA, Moral Rearmament Movement. Do you know, anyone of you?
Hamsaduta: No. Do you, Satsvarupa? No.
Srila Prabhupada: So it was going on for some years, then collapsed. The movement was started by some priest or gentleman, and it was supported by President Eisenhower. It was patronized by him. So their principle was that, Christian principle, that “You do whatever you… Simply confess. Simply confess.” (break) So that man came to India also with his party, just like I travel. (break)
Now, what about our movement? It will stay or it will also go like that?
Satsvarupa: (earnestly) It will stay.
Srila Prabhupada: Huh?
Satsvarupa: (earnestly) It will stay, we already have another generation coming up in Gurukula.
Srila Prabhupada: (softly) Hare Krishna.(break)
Satsvarupa: (soberly) The big danger, you say, is faction.
Srila Prabhupada: Hummm. (silence)(break) – Morning Walk, June 19, 1974, Germany

Pushta-Krishna: So then the first point is to educate people who they are serving, they are working for.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. First of all, there must be a class of men, ideal men, brain; people will follow them. My request is therefore that you should become ideal men. If we fight… Now there is fighting amongst ourself. That is very disappointment to me. The same politics, intrigues. The nature is so strong that brain becomes, what is called? Fag brain? Brain becomes deranged.
Pushta-Krishna: I remember on a walk in Vrindavana, Your Divine Grace said that there should be no politics in our society because a Vaishnava means one who wants to help others become happy.
Srila Prabhupada: Now politics is coming in. As soon as we are getting money, the politics coming. That is a great concern. – Room Conversation, May 31, 1974, Geneva

“What will happen when I am not here, shall everything be spoiled by GBC? So for the time being, let the GBC activities be suspended until I thoroughly revise the whole procedure.” Letter, April 11th, 1972

“I am training some of my experienced disciples how to manage after my departure. So if instead of taking the training, if in my lifetime you people say I am the Lord of all I survey, that is dangerous conspiracy.” Letter, October 8th, 1974

“We will establish hundreds of temples, and they will all be very opulent. But if we do not follow the instruction of the Spiritual Master, they will just be showbottle. Do you know what showbottle means? It means colored water in a bottle which looks just like medicine, but which, when you take it, does not work.” Room conversation, NY, July, 1970

“So don’t spoil the movement by manufacturing ideas. Don’t do that. Go on in the standard way, keep yourself pure; then movement is sure to be successful. But if you want to spoil it by whimsical, then what can be done? It will be spoiled. If you manufacture whims and disagree and fight amongst yourself, then it will be another edition of these so-called movements. It will lose the spiritual strength. Always remember it. You cannot…. Now, actually, people are surprised: ‘What this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra has got power that it is changing so quickly?’ And on the other hand, it is to be admitted, unless it has got power, how it is changing? So we have to keep that power. Don’t make it an ordinary musical vibration. It is a different thing, spiritual. Although it seems like musical vibration, but it is spiritual, completely. Mantrauśadhi-vaśa. Even, by mantra, the snakes can be charmed. So mantra is not ordinary sound vibration. So we have to keep the mantra in potency, potent, by offenseless chanting, by remaining pure. If you pollute the mantra, then it will lose its effect.” Room Conversation, April 27, 1976, Auckland, New Zealand

“However, don’t create any awkward situation that may be criticized. Caesar’s wife must be above criticism. Up to now as I have got respectable situation, I wish that all my disciples will have similar respectable position in society. That will keep my name good. Like father like son.” Letter to Caityaguru, 7/11/76

“And I am surprised that none of the GBC members detected the defects in the procedure. It was detected only when it came to me. What will happen when I am not here, shall everything be spoiled by GBC?” Letter to Hamsadutta, 4/11/72

“We have worked very hard and established a great institution, but if we think for our personal benefit then it will become ruined. This is my only concern.” Letter to Cyavana, 11/1/74

“After all, we are criticizing false cast brahmanas, if we ourselves are bogus brahmanas then our position is very bad.” Letter to Sudama, Rome, 26 May, 1974

“If Guru Maharaja could have seen someone who was qualified at that time to be acarya he would have mentioned. Because on the night before he passed away he talked of so many things, but never mentioned an acarya. His idea was acarya was not to be nominated amongst the governing body. He said openly you make a GBC and conduct the mission. So his idea was amongst the members of GBC who would come out successful and self effulgent acarya would be automatically selected. So Sridhara Maharaja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one acarya and later it proved a failure. The result is now everyone is claiming to be acarya even though they may be kanistha adhikari with no ability to preach. In some of the camps the acarya is being changed three times a year. Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp.” Letter to Rupanuga, April 28, 1974

Ganesha: Srila Prabhupada, if the knowledge was handed down by the saintly kings, evam parampara-praptam, how is it that the knowledge was lost?
Srila Prabhupada: When it was not handed down. Simply understood by speculation. Or if it is not handed down as it is. They might have made some changes. Or they did not hand it down. Suppose I handed it down to you, but if you do not do that, then it is lost. Now the Krishna consciousness movement is going on in my presence. Now after my departure, if you do not do this, then it is lost. If you go on as you are doing now, then it will go on. But if you stop… – Room Conversation with Carol Cameron, May 9, 1975, Perth

“So Vidura was Yamarāja. Not only he was Yamarāja, ordinary, but he is one of the great authorities. There are twelve authorities mentioned in the śāstra. One of them is Yamarāja. Balir vaiyāsakir vayam. This is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Yamarāja is one of the GBC of Krishna. Yes. As we have got twelve GBC’s, similarly Krishna has got GBC’s. Now,
svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ prahlādo janako bhīṣmo balir vaiyāsakir vayam (SB 6.3.20)
That twelve men are authorized to preach Krishna consciousness. So we have to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (Cc. Madhya 17.186) Therefore we have created these GBC. So they should be very responsible men. Otherwise, they will be punished. They will be punished to become a śūdra. Although Yamarāja is a GBC, but he made a little mistake. He was punished to become a śūdra. So those who are GBC’s, they should be very, very careful to administer the business of ISKCON. Otherwise they will be punished. As the post is very great, similarly, the punishment is also very great. That is the difficulty. You can see from this example, Vidura. He was immediately punished. He did little mistake at Maṇḍūka… Because the ṛṣis, the munis, they will curse. Dealing is very… Even Yamarāja is not taking.” Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.13.15, Geneva, June 4, 1974

“All these things are nonsense inventions. Such inventing spirit will ruin            our this movement……Gradually the Krishna Consciousness idea will evaporate: another change, another change, every day another change. Stop all this.” Letter to Sudama, Vrindaban, 5 November, 1972

“So you make your society so strong that you be not cheated, and others may not cheat. Then it will be first-class. And if you make another society of cheaters and cheated, there is no profit.” Morning Walk, June 14, 1974, Paris

“One thing, if we are not very careful to always stick to the point of regulative principles and purest standards of high living, then everything will spoil very quickly and the whole show will be a farce.” Letter to Revatinandana, Sydney, 2 April, 1972

Section 5 – “What is the use of producing some rascal guru?”

Quotes that zero in on the deviations going on in institutional “Krishna consciousness.” Included are quotes reflecting on the contradiction of institutional “gurus,” who are supposed to be brahmanas, submitting to serve a board of directors through loyalty oaths or otherwise.

“It is imperative that a serious person accept a bona fide spiritual master in terms of the sastric injunctions. Sri Jiva Goswami advises that one not accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary or customary social and ecclesiastical conventions. One should simply try to find a genuinely qualified spiritual master for actual advancement in spiritual understanding.” Purport, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 1.35

“Mundane votes have no jurisdiction to elect a Vaisnava acarya. A Vaisnava acarya is self effulgent, and there is no need for any court judgement. A false acarya may try to override a Vaisnava by a High Court decision, but Bhaktivinode Thakura says that he is nothing but a disciple of Kali Yuga.” Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 1.220, Purport 

“Our present system has institutionalized a process of senior devotees voting or offering no-objection to prospective gurus. But we do not find that this institutionalized blessing seeking process is mentioned by guru, sadhu or sastra as the way that one is authorized to become a guru.” ISKCON Sastric Advisory Committee, Balancing the roles of the GBC and the disciple in Guru selection 

Prabhupada: So many complaints.
Tamala Krsna: Therefore, change is good.
Prabhupada: No, you become guru, but you must be qualified first of all. Then you become.
Tamala Krsna: Oh, that kind of complaint was there.
Prabhupada: Did you know that?
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, I heard that, yeah.
Prabhupada: What is the use of producing some rascal guru?
Tamala Krsna: Well, I have studied myself and all of your disciples, and it’s clear fact that we are all conditioned souls, so we cannot be guru. Maybe one day it may be possible…
Prabhupada: Hm.
Tamala Krsna: …but not now.
Prabhupada: Yes. I shall choose some guru. I shall say, “Now you become acarya. You become authorized.” I am waiting for that. You become all acarya. I retire completely. But the training must be complete.
Tamala Krsna: The process of purification must be there.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes, must be there. Caitanya Mahaprabhu wants that. Amara ajnaya guru hana [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. “You become guru.” (laughs) But be qualified. Little thing, strictly follower…
Tamala Krsna: Not rubber stamp.
Prabhupada: Then you’ll not be effective. You can cheat, but it will not be effective. Just see our Gaudiya Matha. Everyone wanted to become guru, and a small temple and “guru.” What kind of guru? No publication, no preaching, simply bring some foodstuff… My Guru Maharaja used to say, “Joint mess,” a place for eating and sleeping. Amar amar ara takana (?)(Bengali): “Joint mess.” He said this. – Room Conversation, April 22, 1977, Bombay

“I wish that each and every Branch shall keep their independent identity and cooperate keeping the Acarya in the centre. On this principle we can open any number of Branches all over the world. The Ramakrishna mission works on this principle and thus as organization they have done wonderfully.” Letter to Kirtanananda, San Francisco 11 February, 1967

“GBC members are simply to see that things are going on. Other centers have got president, secretary, etc. and they are managing separately. That is the formula. So how is it that the GBC are the final authority? They are simply to examine that things are going on nicely, that is all.” Letter, July 9th, 1971

“GBC does not mean to control a center. GBC means to see that the activities of a center go on nicely. I do not know why Tamala is exercising his absolute authority. That is not the business of GBC. […]
GBC is to see that things are going nicely but not to exert absolute authority. That is not in the power of GBC. Tamala should not do like that […] A GBC member cannot go beyond the jurisdiction of his power.” Letter, August 12th, 1971

“GBC men should not dictate very much, simply supervise and see that the standards are maintained.” Letter, February 14th, 1972

“I made the GBC to give me relief, but if you do like this, then where is the relief.? It is anxiety for me. This is the difficulty, that as soon as one gets power, he becomes whimsical and spoils everything. What can I do?” Letter to Hamsadutta, 9/12/74

“Now has the GBC become more than Guru Maharaja? As if simply GBC is meant for looking after pounds, shilling, pence. The GBC does not look after spiritual life. That is a defect.” Letter, November 10th, 1975

“Self-deceived persons sometimes accept leaders or spiritual masters from a priestly order that has been officially appointed by the codes of material life. In this way, they are deceived by official priests. Sometimes people accept as maha-janas those who have been designated by Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura as dhanga-vipras (imposter brahmanas). Such imposters imitate the characteristics of Srila Haridasa Thakura, and they envy Haridasa Thakura, who was certainly a mahajana. They make great artificial endeavors, advertising themselves as great devotees of the Lord or as mystic hypnotists knowledgeable in witchcraft, hypnotism and miracles. . . . One who tries to imitate the mahajanas just to become an imitative spiritual master is certainly far away from following in the footsteps of the mahajanas. Sometimes people cannot actually understand how a mahajana follows other mahajanas. In this way people are inclined to fall from devotional service.” Purport, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 17.185

Quotes reflecting on the contradiction of institutional “gurus,” who are supposed to be brahmanas, submitting to serve the GBC through loyalty oaths or otherwise:

“And servant, when one becomes servant, he has to execute anything which the masters order. Suppose one is serving some big man, he says that ‘You do this. I want.’ Now, to satisfy him one has to act according to his desire, which he may not like. Suppose one says that ‘You go and tell this lie. It is required by me.’ Now, because I am in service… Even great personalities like Bhīṣma, such a great personality, he could not join with the Pāṇḍava’s party, because he became a servant of the Kurus. So servitude is such a thing. A servant means a dog’s qualification. In the Bhāgavata it is stated that… Because the higher caste… The caste system, higher means the brāhmaṇas, the kṣatriyas and the vaiśyas, they will never become servant of anyone. Therefore they are higher. The śūdras, they accept service of others. So that was the stricture. And in the śāstra the brāhmaṇas and the kṣatriyas, the higher castes, and the vaiśyas, they would never serve. Now there is injunction in the Bhāgavata: if a brāhmaṇa is in trouble he can become…, he can take the profession of a vaiśya, but never take the profession of a dog. That never serve. Because as soon as one becomes servant, his independence is lost. So our independence… We can keep only our independence when we become servant of God, because there is no injustice.” Lecture on Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya 22.14-19; New York, January 10, 1967

“Therefore, after education you’ll have to write application, ‘My dear sir, I am such and such qualified dog. (laughter) If you’ll kindly give me some service.’ And the tail is like this. (laughter) You see? Just imagine. If by education he becomes independent … Just like Vedic culture. The brahmanas, the ksatriya, the vaisyas, they are independent. The sudras are compared with the dogs because they cannot live without a master. Brahmana, he will not accept anyone’s service. That is real brahmana.” Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.18-19, Los Angeles, June 13, 1972

“And at the present moment the dog is happy only when he has got a good master. Otherwise dog is not happy. A street dog, he cannot eat. He has no eating. He has no place. He is lean and thin. You have seen. But he has got a good master, he is very stout, fatty, and very expert in barking. (laughter) So this is dog’s qualification. He is very faithful. So at the present moment people are like that. They are being educated, but technologist or computer expert or this, that, so many… The father spends so much money. He becomes an expert. But if he does not get a good master to employ him, he is useless. He is useless. His technological knowledge will be useless if he does not get a master. So therefore the modern education system is to create dogs. He will never be happy unless he gets a good master.” Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.3, Los Angeles, December 15, 1973

“Perfection of human life is attained when one can understand that he is not the product of matter but is in fact spirit. And as soon as one understands that he has nothing to do with matter, he at once ceases his material hankerings and becomes enlivened as a spiritual being. This attainment of success is possible when one is above the modes of passion and ignorance, or, in other words, when one is actually a brāhmaṇa by qualification. A brāhmaṇa is the symbol of sattva-guṇa, or the mode of goodness. And others, who are not in the mode of goodness, are either kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, śūdras or less than the śūdras. The brahminical stage is the highest stage of human life because of its good qualities. So one cannot be a devotee unless one at least qualifies as a brāhmaṇa. The devotee is already a brāhmaṇa by action. But that is not the end of it. As referred to above, such a brāhmaṇa has to become a Vaiṣṇava in fact to be actually in the transcendental stage. A pure Vaiṣṇava is a liberated soul and is transcendental even to the position of a brāhmaṇa. In the material stage even a brāhmaṇa is also a conditioned soul because although in the brahminical stage the conception of Brahman or transcendence is realized, scientific knowledge of the Supreme Lord is lacking.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.20

“yathā kañcanataṁ yati
kaṁsyaṁ rasa-vidhānataḥ
tathā dīkṣā-vidhānena
dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇam [Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 2.12]
As by chemical process the bell metal can be turned into gold by adding with the mercury… This is a chemical process. If you can add in the bell metal proportionately mercury, then it will turn into gold. Here is the process given in the śāstra. If you are able to do it, you can do it, turn gold some of these bell metals. So the example is given that as the bell metal, base metal, can be turned into gold by chemical process, similarly, by dīkṣā-vidhānena, by proper initiation by the bona fide spiritual master, everyone can be turned into dvija, twice-born. Dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇam. Nṛṇam means all men. It is not…, there is no discrimination, that only the Hindus, only the Indians, or only the so-called brāhmaṇas can be turned. Everyone can be turned. That is the injunction. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to do that, trying everyone to become a bona fide brāhmaṇa. Without becoming a brāhmaṇa you cannot become Vaiṣṇava. So this reformatory process is recommended in the śāstras.” Answers to a Questionnaire from Bhavan’s Journal, New Vrindavan, July 1, 1976

“So knowledge means without any mistake. Anything without any mistake, that is perpetually right. And anything based on mistaken idea, that will change. You have to correct the mistake. The so-called modern scientist, they are simply correcting their mistake. Therefore they have no real knowledge. Nobody can have real knowledge, because we are imperfect. Our senses are imperfect. That is our defect in the conditioned life. We have got four defects: we commit mistake, we become illusioned, our senses are imperfect and we cheat. Because our knowledge is imperfect, still, we take the position of teacher; therefore we are cheater—not teacher, but cheater. So the teacher society nowadays is the cheater society. And this modern world is a society of the cheater and the cheated. That’s all. Somebody is cheating and somebody is being cheated. This is going on.” Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.15.44, Los Angeles 12/22/1973

“The church that has the best chance of survival in this damned world is that of atheism under the convenient guise of theism. The churches have always proved the staunchest upholders of the grossest form of worldliness, from which even the worst of non-ecclesiastical criminals are found to recoil. . . . The idea of an organized church, in an intelligible form, indeed marks the close of the living spiritual movement. The great ecclesiastical establishments are the dikes and the dams to retain the current that cannot be held by any such contrivances. They, indeed, indicate a desire on the part of the masses to exploit a spiritual movement for their own purpose. They also unmistakably indicate the end of the absolute and unconventional guidance of the bona fide spiritual teacher. . . . Those are, therefore, greatly mistaken who are disposed to look forward to the amelioration of the worldly state–in any worldly sense–from the worldly success of any really spiritual movement. It is these worldly expectants who become the patrons of the mischievous race of the pseudo-teachers of religion, the Putanas, whose congenial function is to stifle the theistic disposition at the very moment of its suspected appearance. But the real theistic disposition can never be stifled by the efforts of those Putanas. The Putanas have power only over the atheist. It is a thankless, but salutary, task which they perform for the benefit of their unwilling victims.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada, Putana (Organized Religion), The Harmonist, January 1932 edition

“Nowhere in authentic scriptures is it said that one will ultimately reach the same goal by doing anything or worshiping anyone. Such foolish theories are offered by self-made ‘spiritual masters’ who have no connection with the parampara, the bona fide system of disciplic succession.” Purport, Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 13

“When one has attained the topmost position of maha-bhagavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshipped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru.” Purport, Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya, 24.330

“If you miss one point, there is a mistake in your calculation. Regardless of what you add or subtract after that, the mistake is already in the calculation, and everything that follows will also be faulty. We cannot simply accept that part of the scripture we like, and reject what we don’t like, and still expect to get the result. For example, a hen lays eggs with its back part and eats with its beak. A farmer may consider, ‘The front part of the hen is very expensive because I have to feed it. Better to cut it off.’ But if the head is missing there will be no eggs anymore, because the body is dead.” Conversation with Father Emmanuel, Schloss Rettershof, Germany, June 22, 1974

Reporter: But the bad gurus…
Srila Prabhupada: And what is a “bad” guru?
Reporter: A bad guru just wants some money or some fame.
Srila Prabhupada: Well, if he is bad, how can he become a guru? [Laughter.] How can iron become gold? Actually, a guru cannot be bad, for if someone is bad, he cannot be a guru. – The Science of Self Realization, Chapter Two, Choosing a Spiritual Master – “Saints and Swindlers”

Srila Prabhupada: …So therefore the conclusion is guru is necessary and guru is he who is representative of Krishna. Otherwise he’s bogus.
Pushta-Krishna: What about the so-called gurus that take a little bit here and a little bit there?
Srila Prabhupada: So-called gurus, they are so-called gurus. They are not gurus. That is already explained. If one does not speak what Krishna speaks, he is not guru. If you accept so-called guru, that is your misfortune. What can be done?
Some of them will say some things that Krishna says, but they’ll take from other places also. What is the position of such persons?
Srila Prabhupada: He’s most dangerous. He’s most dangerous. He is opportunist. He’s finding out customer, something here… According to the customer he is giving something, as the customers will be pleased. So he is not guru. – Answers to a Questionnaire from Bhavan’s Journal, June 28, 1976, Vrindavana

sabde brahmani vede veda-tatparya-jnapake sastra-antare ca nisnatam nipunam anyatha sisyasya samsayacchedabhave vaimanasye ca sati kasyacit sraddha-saitilyam api sambhavet pare brahmani ca nisnatam aparoksa-anubhava-samartham anyatha tat-kriya samyak-phalavati na syat
sabde brahmani – in spiritual sound; vede – in the Vedic literature; veda-tatparya-jnapake – in imparting the import of Vedic knowledge; sastra-antare ca nisnatam – deeply versed in the inner meaning of the scriptures; nipunam – expert; anyatha – otherwise; sisyasya – of the disciple; samsayacchedabhave – in the absence of dissipating doubts; vaimanasya – of dejection; ca – and; sati -there is; kasyacit – the disciple (the someone); sraddha-saitilyam – dimunition of faith; api – certainly; sambhavet – takes place; pare brahmani ca nisnatam – and deeply versed in the Supreme Absolute Truth; aparoksa-anubhava-samartham – fully possessing the ecstacy of direct spititual perception; anyatha – otherwise; tat-krpa – that mercy (he gives); samyak-phalavati – complete fruition; na syat – does not (produce)
The guru must be expert in spiritual sound, in the Vedic knowledge, in the inner meaning of the scriptures, and in imparting the import of the Vedic literatures. Otherwise, in the absence of having his doubts dissipated, dejection and diminution of faith certainly takes place within the disciple. The guru must be full in the ecstasy of direct spiritual perception of, and well-versed in, the Supreme Absolute Truth. Otherwise, the mercy he gives does not produce the disciple’s complete perfection. – Commentary to verse 11.3.21 of the Srimad Bhagavatam by Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura

“Such theories are manufactured by show-bottle spiritualists who are trying to gather more followers. If there are restrictions, rules and regulations, people will not become attracted. Therefore those who want followers in the name of religion, just to have a show only, don’t restrict the lives of their students, nor their own lives. But that method is not approved by the Vedas.” Purport, Bhagavad-Gita 16.1-3

“Without understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead in this (the correct) way, one only creates a disturbance. In this age of Kali, so many gurus have sprung up, and …..they are creating a great disturbance in the world in regard to understanding the Absolute Truth.” Purport, Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.12.10

“Bhakti-lata-bija means ‘the seed of devotional service.’ Everything has an original cause, or seed. For any idea, program, plan or device, there is first of all the contemplation of the plan, and that is called bija, or the seed. The methods, rules and regulations by which one is perfectly trained in devotional service constitute the bhakti-lata-bija , or seed of devotional service. This bhakti-lata-bija is received from the spiritual master by the grace of Krishna. Other seeds are called anyabhilasa-bija, karma-bija and jnana-bija. If one is not fortunate enough to receive the bhakti-lata-bija from the spiritual master, he instead cultivates the seeds of karma-bija, jnana-bija, or political and social or philanthropic bija. However, bhakti-lata-bija is different from these other bijas. Bhakti-lata-bija can be received only through the mercy of the spiritual master. Therefore one has to satisfy the spiritual master to get bhakti-lata-bija (yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadau). Bhakti-lata-bija is the origin of devotional service. Unless one satisfies the spiritual master, he gets the bija, or root cause, of karma, jnana and yoga without the benefit of devotional service. However, one who is faithful to his spiritual master gets the bhakti-lata-bija. This bhakti-lata-bija is received when one is initiated by the bona fide spiritual master.”  Purport, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya Lila 19.152

“The presentation of this knowledge in a systematic and scientific manner will bring about universal sublime peace. Yet . . . unauthorized cults have mushroomed into prominence and are fast expanding their illegitimate fold with naïve disciples. What one fails to comprehend is how the leaders of these cults . . . can suddenly rise to the position of spiritual master themselves. The subject matter that needs to be promulgated among the people is not some cheap, sentimental concoction meant to deceive them.” Renunciation Through Wisdom, page 117

“Except for the association of pure devotees, any association is called kaitava, cheating.” Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Original Edition, Ch.15 paragraph 28

“Milk is undoubtedly very good and nourishing, but when it is touched by the mouth of a snake it is no longer nourishing; rather, it becomes a source of death. Similarly, those who are not strictly in the Vaishnava discipline should not make a business of this Bhagavatam and become a cause of spiritual death for so many hearers.” Purport, Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.41

“In Srimad-Bhagavatam, a distinction between real religion and pretentious religion has been clearly made. According to this original and genuine commentation on the Vedanta-sutra, there are numerous pretentious faiths that pass as religion but neglect the real essence of religion. The real religion of a living being is his natural inborn quality, whereas pretentious religion is a form of nescience that artificially covers a living entity’s pure consciousness under certain unfavorable conditions. Real religion lies dormant when artificial religion dominates from the mental plane.” Purport, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 1.91

“The third offence is disregard of the Spiritual Master. The devotee must receive the transcendental Name of the Lord from the transcendental lips of a bonafide spiritual master who is cent percent devotee of the Lord and nothing more or nothing less and then begin chanting the transcendental Name of the Lord by constant repetition. Such spiritual master as above mentioned is known as the Guru from whom either initiation is taken or the one from whom spiritual instruction is received. One should have unflinching faith in such self realised transcendental spiritual master. The bonafides of such spiritual master can however be known, by their activities only which are always evident in respect of everything being done for and on behalf of the Lord. The self-realised spiritual master never deviates from the rulings of Shastras (Law Books) and he always does in practice what he speaks in theory. Those who however manufacture spiritual lessons from their own fertile brain, without having undergone any spiritual training from a bonafide spiritual master, cannot be counted as a spiritual master. Disrespect for such bonafide spiritual master and respect for the pseudo-spiritual master both are offences of the third order.” Back To Godhead, February 1944, “The Science of Congregational Chanting of the Name of the Lord”

“While distorting the meaning of the Bhagavad-gita (Bg 4.11) verse: ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham, persons who do not follow Vedic principles, who commit mistakes, who are duplicitous, intoxicated, short-sighted, habituated to cheating others, and expert in material knowledge exhibit a type of foolishness that simply results in distortion and change of the actual meaning. They are indifferent to understanding the meaning of the word prapanna, or surrender, and consider proud non-Vaisnava living entities who are devoid of surrender on the same platform as surrendered Vaisnavas. They are fully engaged in activities that are detrimental to the neophytes of this world who are ignorant of scriptural conclusions; in other words, they ruin them. Only those devotees who are nonduplicitous, surrendered worshipers of the Lord are qualified to serve the Lord, and the Lord also reciprocates by awarding His own rare, loving devotional service to such liberated souls.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Commentary, Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi 17.25, English translation by Bhumipati dasa

“Romaharsana Suta had been given the chance to become a perfect brahmana, but because of his ill behavior in his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his low birth was immediately remembered…. The idea is that any man may be given the chance to become a brahmana, but if he improperly uses the position of a brahmana without actual realization, then his elevation to the brahminical position is not valid.
…. As stated in the Bhagavad-Gita, a person who is actually a brahmana and is very learned must automatically become very gentle also. But although Romaharsana Suta was very learned and had been given the chance to become a brahmana, he had not become gentle. From this we can understand that when one is puffed up by material acquisitions, he cannot acquire the gentle behavior befitting a brahmana. The learning of such a person is as good as a valuable jewel decorating the hood of a serpent. Despite the valuable jewel on the hood, a serpent is still a serpent and is as fearful as an ordinary serpent. If a person does not become meek and humble, all his studies of the Vedas and Puranas and his vast knowledge in the sastras are simply outward dress, like the costume of a theatrical artist dancing on the stage.” Krishna Book, Ch. 78

“Thus the intermediate Vaishnava considers himself Krishna-dasa, Krishna’s servant. He therefore preaches Krishna consciousness to innocent neophytes and stresses the importance of chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. An intermediate devotee can identify the nondevotee or motivated devotee. The motivated devotee or the nondevotee are on the material platform, and they are called prakrita. The intermediate devotee does not mix with such materialistic people.” Purport, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 16.72

Section 6 – “Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is useless.”

Descriptions of further deviations of Krishna consciousness that were not desired by Srila Prabhupada, many of which have now entered among his followers.

“So in the beginning, if you take to Krishna consciousness, there will be so many disturbances by the maya. Maya will test you how far you are fixed up. She will test you. She is also agent of Krishna. She does not allow anyone who is meant for disturbing Krishna. Therefore she tests very rigidly whether you are…, you have taken Krishna consciousness to disturb Krishna, or you are actually serious.” Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.20, New York, April 12, 1973

“Regarding your points about taxation, corporate status, etc., I have heard from Jayatirtha you want to make big plan for centralization of management, taxes, monies, corporate status, bookkeeping, credit, like that. I do not at all approve of such plan. Do not centralize anything. Each temple must remain independent and self-sufficient. That was my plan from the very beginning, why you are thinking otherwise? Once before you wanted to do something centralizing with your GBC meeting, and if I did not interfere the whole thing would have been killed. Do not think in this way of big corporation, big credits, centralization—these are all nonsense proposals. Only thing I wanted was that books printing and distribution should be centralized, therefore I appointed you and Bali Mardan to do it. Otherwise, management, everything, should be done locally by local men. Accounts must be kept, things must be in order and lawfully done, but that should be each temple’s concern, not yours. Krishna Consciousness Movement is for training men to be independently thoughtful and competent in all types of departments of knowledge and action, not for making bureaucracy. Once there is bureaucracy the whole thing will be spoiled. There must be always individual striving and work and responsibility, competitive spirit, not that one shall dominate and distribute benefits to the others and they do nothing but beg from you and you provide. No.” Letter to Karandhara, 12/22/72

“The idea is that one cannot set his imperfect reason above the authority of the Vedas. The orders of the Vedas must be obeyed as they stand, without any mundane reasoning. The so-called followers of the Vedic injunctions make their own interpretations of the Vedic injunctions, and thus they establish different parties and sects of the Vedic religion.” Introduction to Srimad-Bhagavatam

Some of the disciples strictly accepted the orders of the acarya, and others deviated, independently concocting their own opinions under the spell of daivi-maya.
This verse describes the beginning of a schism. When disciples do not stick to the principle of accepting the order of their spiritual master, immediately there are two opinions. Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is useless. One cannot infiltrate materially concocted ideas into spiritual advancement. That is deviation. There is no scope for adjusting spiritual advancement to material ideas. – Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 12.9

“In the parampara system, the instructions taken from the bona fide spiritual master must also be based on revealed Vedic scriptures. One who is in the line of disciplic succession cannot manufacture his own way of behavior. There are many so-called followers of the Vaishnava cult in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu who do not scrupulously follow the conclusions of the sastras, and therefore they are considered to be apa-sampradaya, which means ‘outside  of the sampradaya.’” Purport, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 7.48

“But if we don’t carry out the orders of God, this is cheating religion. That is not religion. That is condemned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. That cheating religion are kicked out from the Srimad-Bhagavatam. So any religious system which has no conception of God and does everything, every year changes by resolution of the priests, (saying) that ‘Now this is all right,’ against religious principles: that is a farce. That is not religion.” Discussions with Hayagriva dasa, Philosophy of Pascal

“The first thing, I warn Acyutananda, do not try to initiate. You are not in a proper position now to initiate anyone… Don’t be allured by such Maya. I am training you all to become future Spiritual Masters, but do not be in a hurry… You don’t be attracted by such cheap disciples immediately. One has to rise gradually by service… These services are most important. Don’t be allured by cheap disciples. Go on steadfastly to render service first. If you immediately become Guru, then the service activities will be stopped; and as there are many cheap gurus and cheap disciples, without any substantial knowledge, and manufacturing new sampradayas, and with service activities stopped, and all spiritual progress stopped up.” Letter to Acyutananda, 8/21/68

“The spiritual master must never be carried away by an accumulation of wealth or a large number of followers. A bona fide spiritual master will never become like that. But sometimes, if a spiritual master is not properly authorized, and only on his own initiative becomes a spiritual master, he may be carried away by an accumulation of wealth and large numbers of disciples. His is not a very high grade of devotional service. If a person is carried away by such achievements, then his devotional service becomes slackened. One should, therefore, strictly adhere to the principles of disciplic succession.” Nectar of Devotion, p116, 1970 version, Devotional Qualifications

“And without hearing and following the instructions, the show of devotional service becomes worthless and therefore a sort of disturbance in the path of devotional service. Unless, therefore, devotional service is established on the principles of sruti, smriti, purana or pancharatra authorities, the makeshow of devotional service should at once be rejected. An unauthorized devotee should never be recognized as a pure devotee.” Purport, Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.12

“Therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami has said,
pancharatra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir
utpatayaiva kalpate
If one is not in awareness of the conclusion of Vedas, conclusion of the smriti, conclusion of the Puranas, and pancaratra-vidhi, Narada-pancaratra, simply disturbance, simply a disturbance, manufacturing.” Class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.6, Vrindavana, September 5, 1976

“There are many pseudo worshipers who become religionists only for the sake of name and fame. Such pseudo religionists do not wish to get out of this universe and reach the spiritual sky. They only want to maintain the status quo in the material world under the garb of worshipping the Lord.” Purport, Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 12

“What Krishna said, the disciplic succession will say the same thing. But they are speaking differently. So therefore we don’t take them as bona fide. They are not bona fide.” Room Conversation with Sanskrit Professor, August 13, 1973, Paris

“When the aim of life, i.e., realization of the Absolute Truth, is missed by too much attachment for indriya-priti, or sense gratification, as already discussed hereinbefore, the institution of the varnashrama is utilized by selfish men to pose an artificial predominance over the weaker section.” Purport, Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.13

“A devotee is neither foolish nor passionate. The harmful, foolish and passionate cannot be devotees of the Lord, however they may advertise themselves as devotees by outward dress.” Purport, Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.19

“A bona fide spiritual master is in the disciplic succession from time eternal, and he does not deviate at all from the instructions of the Supreme Lord as they were imparted millions of years ago to the sun-god, from whom the instructions of Bhagavad-gita have come down to the earthly kingdom. One should, therefore, follow the path of Bhagavad-gita as it is expressed in the Gita itself and beware of self-interested people after personal aggrandizement who deviate others from the actual path.” Purport, Bhagavad-Gita 4.43

“There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaishnavas in this Krishna consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. There is no need to serve a jealous person who is in the dress of a Vaishnava.” Purport, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya Lila 1.218

“So God is great. We have to understand how great He is. Not that simply sophistically, ‘God is great, and I do everything. God cannot see. Let me commit all kinds of sin.’ But God is great; He will see. ‘No, no, God cannot see. I can cheat God, although He is great.’ That is our philosophy. ‘God is great, but I am so great that I can cheat God.’ That is Hiraṇyakaśipu’s philosophy.” Class on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.3.22, Los Angeles, September 27, 1972

“Just like if you want to be secretary of a very big man, so you must have necessary qualification. Not that any, any man can become secretary of a big man. So when one becomes devotee, it is the statement of sastra: yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana… Akincana-bhakti. Akincana-bhakti means without any motive. That is akincana-bhakti. ‘I’ll become devotee because I’ll get this opportunity to exploit Krsna.’ That is not devotion. When one shall be ready to be exploited by Krsna, then he’s a devotee. Not that with a motive, that ‘I shall become a devotee and exploit Krsna and Krsna consciousness movement and aggravate my position as sense gratifier.’ No, that is not devotion.” Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.10.4, Mayapura, June 19, 1973

“Materialistic asuras sometimes make a show of religion, but their ultimate aim is material prosperity. The Bhagavad-gita (16.17-18) rebukes such men by calling them atma-sambhavita, meaning that they are considered great only on the strength of deception and are empowered by the votes of the ignorant and by their own material wealth.” Purport, Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 3

“If a so-called spiritual master accepts a disciple for his personal benefit or for material gain, the relationship between the spiritual master and the disciple turns into a material affair, and the spiritual master becomes like a smarta-guru. There are many caste gosvamis who professionally create some disciples who do not care for them or their instructions. Such spiritual masters are satisfied simply to get some material benefits from their disciples. Such a relationship is condemned by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who calls such spiritual masters and disciples a society of cheaters and cheated. They are also called baulas or prakrta-sahajiyas. Their aim is to make the connection between the spiritual master and the disciple into a very cheap thing. They are not serious in wanting to understand spiritual life.” Purport, Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita, Madhya 24.330

“Real law means there is no change. Just like day and night, it is coming. The fortnight, the dark period and the light period, it is coming for millions and millions and time immemorial. The same law is going, going on. You cannot change. So as soon as you change, that means it is imperfect.” Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.15 in Los Angeles, September 20, 1972

“Don’t do this. Keep the old system strong, and if necessary repair it. Don’t change from this to that. That is your American disease. This is very serious that you always want to change everything.” Letter to Bhakta dasa, Nov 24, 1974

“There is no change. Therefore sastra means it is for all the time, not that sastra was meant in the past for something else, and now something else. That is not the fact. That is, means, sastra, that it does not change. The time, place and atmosphere, according to that, everything is the same.” Class on  Bhagavad-gita, Feb 7, 1975)

“That is the trouble with you westerners, always changing. No changes should be made without first consulting with my GBC representative. So, the children should immediately be allowed to chant on their japa beads.”Letter to Yadunandana, May 14, 1975

“So Bhagavad-gita, the lessons of Bhagavad-gita, cannot be changed by the whims of rascals. This is not possible. Aham avyayam. Imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam. Avyayam. This yoga is avyayam, not that with the change of time, the meaning would be changed. That is not possible. The meaning would remain the same thing. The millions of years ago Krsna said, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. That does not mean that the meaning has changed. ‘Because it has become old, now I can change.’”  Class on Srimad-Bhagavatam, Jan 9, 1975

“First the student must be able to repeat exactly the words of the guru and then after some time he may be qualified to apply the principles he has learned word-for-word to personal situations. It is not that we are a dry philosophy of dogmas and slogans. No. The language of Krishna Consciousness is ever-fresh and we can explain everything by it, just like my Guru Maharaja once lectured for three months on one verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam. But every precaution must be taken to preserve our basic guiding principles as they are and not change them because we want to hear something new.” Letter to Bhakta dasa, Nov 20, 1971

“I am not much fond of the idea of changing things to accommodate the public–better to change the public to accommodate us. Therefore I suggest wherever there is Sanskrit used there should also be English spelling in brackets. In this way, the public will become accustomed to Sanskrit language so that in future we may use only Sanskrit and they will understand.” Letter to  Bali-mardana Dec 28, 1971

“It is not that we should change to accommodate the public, but that we shoud change the public to accommodate us.” Letter to Yogesvara, Dec 28, 1971

“You mentioned in your letter that you had read many other Bhagavad-gitas before you read mine and that none of them revealed as much to you as Bhagavad-gita As It Is. The reason is because we do not change the actual meaning of the gita at all. Many other commentators due to poor fund of knowledge tamper with the lines of Bhagavad-gita and twist the meaning for their personal motives, but we do not do like that. We present it exactly as it is; without any additions or subtractions. That is perfect in every way and therefore it is actually having a tremendous effect all over the world. The original words of Lord Krishna have unrivalled potency and anyone who is fortunate enough to hear those words and tries to apply them to his life becomes perfect.” Letter to Mr. Dennany, Mar 14, 1975

“How he is realized soul? If he is speaking something wrong, how he is realized soul? Against the sastra. That is not realized soul. Yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya vartate kama-karatah, na siddhim avapnoti. Sastra reference must be there.” Morning Walk, April 5, 1974, Bombay

“One should give up the association of dharmadvajis, the hypocritically devout, with special care. Those who accept the external signs of dharma but do not actually follow dharma are called dharmadvajis. There are two types of dharmadvajis—the hypocrites and the fools, or the cheaters and the cheated. Such hypocrisy in jnana-kanda and karma-kanda is also condemned. In devotional service this hypocrisy ruins everything. Better associate with sense enjoyers, for in this whole world there is no worse association than the dharmadvaji. The deceitful dharmadvajis accept the signs of dharma with a desire to cheat the world, and to fulfill their crooked desires they cheat the foolish by helping them in their rascaldom.” Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sri Bhaktyaloka, Six Faults that Destroy Bhakti, Jana Sanga

“It is to be understood that those who artificially imitate the transcendental activities of the maha-bhagavata Vaisnava with the desire to accumulate mundane fame as a devotee have no attitude of service to the lotus feet of the Lord. Although in order to gratify their own material senses they proudly accept the dress of devotees, their artificial external exhibition of devotional symptoms is simply meant to cheat people. Pure devotion to Krsna is present wherever the symptoms of dharma-dhvajis, vaidalavratis, and baka-vratis are absent, and pride, duplicity, and extraneous motives are present wherever such faults are found.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Commentary, Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi 16.229, English translation by Bhumipati dasa

“Āstikyam: they must believe in the Vedic injunctions, āstikya. That is called āstikya. The atheist and, and theist; the theist believe in the Vedic injunction. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. That is theist. Not that ‘I believe in God.’ They must believe in the injunction of the Vedas; what is said in the Vedas, one must believe. That is called theist. As we have given several times the example, the Vedas says that cow dung is pure. One who believes in that, he is theist. And one who does not believe in the words of the Vedas, they want to change, they want to misinterpret, interpolate, they are atheists. Bhagavad-gītā, anyone misinterpreting, giving wrong interpretation, or according to his concocted interpre…, they are atheists. Theist, he’ll believe all the words of Bhagavad-gītā as it is, as Arjuna believed, sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye yad vadasi keśava [Bg. 10.14], ‘My dear Kṛṣṇa, whatever You are speaking, without any malinterpretation, without any change of word, I believe in it.’ This is theist understanding. Not like the so-called rascal scholars, ‘It is not like this. It is not like that. I think it is like this.’ These are all rascaldom.” Class on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.24, Vrindavana, Nov. 4, 1972

Section 7 – “If you do not find a guru, that means Krishna is not yet pleased”

Quotes that describe the fate, position and recommended course for those who have accepted “initiation” from a so-called guru who later became an embarrassment.

“One cannot deny the order of a spiritual master. Therefore one has to select a spiritual master whose order, carrying, you’ll not commit a mistake. You see? Now, suppose if you accept a wrong person as spiritual master, and if you, if he guides you wrongly, then your whole life is spoiled. So one has to accept a spiritual master whose guidance will make his life perfect. That is the relation between spiritual master and disciple. It is not a formality. It is a great responsibility both for the disciple and for the spiritual master.” Lecture on Bhagavad-Gita 2.7-11, New York, March 2, 1966

ekadasat-prasangan nikrta-matir vyudaka-srotah-skhalanavad ubhayato ’pi duhkhadam pakhanḍam abhiyati
Sometimes, to mitigate distresses in this forest of the material world, the conditioned soul receives cheap blessings from atheists. He then loses all intelligence in their association. This is exactly like jumping in a shallow river. As a result one simply breaks his head. He is not able to mitigate his sufferings from the heat, and in both ways he suffers. The misguided conditioned soul also approaches so-called sadhus and svamis who preach against the principles of the Vedas. He does not receive benefit from them, either in the present or in the future. – Srimad Bhagavatam 5.14.13

Devotee: What is the best way to deal with skepticism?
Srila Prabhupāda: Skepticism, rascalism. (laughter) We are not going to deal with rascalism. We are going to deal with sense. Skepticism means they do not believe in anything. Everything is false. They are so disappointed, they think everything is false. We are not going to deal with such men. What is the use? Is not that skepticism? What is that skepticism?
Devotee: Disappointment.
Srila Prabhupāda:  That’s all. So why one should be disappointed? We say that “You come to the spiritual platform. You will be happy.” We want to deliver him from the platform of disappointment. Sometimes one, being very disappointed, he commits suicide. But will anybody recommend that, that “You are so disappointed. Now you commit suicide”? Nobody will do so. So similarly, the skepticism is disappointed. We say, “Why you are disappointed? You come to the spiritual platform, and you will be happy.” That is our version. So we are not going to accept his philosophy, skepticism, but we want to deliver him from this fallen condition. That is our mission. He is in false conception, that disappointment. Why? Our Vedic literature says, ānandamayo ‘bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). The living entity, the spirit soul, is by nature happy. There is no question of disappointment. You see Kṛṣṇa’s picture anywhere, how they are happy. The gopīs are happy, the cowherd boys are happy, Kṛṣṇa is happy. Simply happiness. Where is disappointment? – Arrival Lecture, Philadelphia, July 11, 1975

Reporter: Don’t you feel that people are suspicious because of their experience with fake gurus? If you went to a quack dentist and he broke your tooth, you might be suspicious about going to another dentist.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, naturally, if you are cheated, you become suspicious. But this does not mean that if you are cheated once, you will always be cheated. You should find someone genuine. But to come to Krishna consciousness, you must be either very fortunate or well aware of this science. From the Bhagavad-gita we understand that the genuine seekers are very few: manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye. Out of many millions of people, there may be only one who is interested in spiritual life. Generally, people are interested in eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. So how can we expect to find many followers? It is not difficult to notice that people have lost their spiritual interest. And almost all those who are actually interested are being cheated by so-called spiritualists. You cannot judge a movement simply by the number of its followers. If one man is genuine, then the movement is successful. It is not a question of quantity, but quality.
Reporter: I wondered how many people you think might have been taken in by fake gurus.
Srila Prabhupada: Practically everyone. [Laughter.] There is no question of counting. Everyone.
Reporter: This would mean thousands of people, wouldn’t it?
Srila Prabhupada: Millions. Millions have been cheated, because they want to be cheated. God is omniscient. He can understand your desires. He is within your heart, and if you want to be cheated, God sends you a cheater.
Reporter: ls it possible for everyone to attain the perfectional stage you spoke of previously?
Srila Prabhupada: Within a second. Anyone can attain perfection within a second-providing he is willing. The difficulty is that no one is willing. In the Bhagavad-gita (18.66) Krishna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: “Simply surrender unto Me.” But who is going to surrender to God? Everyone says, “Oh, why should I surrender to God? I will be independent.” If you simply surrender, it is a second’s business. That’s all. But no one is willing, and that is the difficulty.
Reporter: When you say that lots of people want to be cheated, do you mean that lots of people want to carry on with their worldly pleasures and at the same time, by chanting a mantra or by holding a flower, achieve spiritual life as well? Is this what you mean by wanting to be cheated?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, this is like a patient thinking, “I shall continue with my disease, and at the same time I shall become healthy.” It is contradictory. The first requirement is that one become educated in spiritual life. Spiritual life is not something one can understand by a few minutes’ talk. There are many philosophy and theology books, but people are not interested in them. That is the difficulty. For instance, the Srimad-Bhagavatam is a very long work, and if you try to read this book, it may take many days just to understand one line of it. The Bhagavatam describes God, the Absolute Truth, but people are not interested. And if, by chance, someone becomes a little interested in spiritual life, he wants something immediate and cheap. Therefore, he is cheated. – Science of Self Realization, Ch. 2, “Choosing a Spiritual Master-Saints & Swindlers”

“When actually you want Krishna seriously–you do not know who is guru–then Krishna will give you a guru. Just like Dhruva Maharaja. He was advised by his mother that ‘If you go to the forest you can see God.’ So he went there. But when he was very serious, then Krishna sent him Narada Muni. So if you are actually serious about Krishna, then Krishna will send you some of His representative and he will take charge of you. That is the process. If you do not find a guru, that means Krishna is not yet pleased, ….. you are not serious.” Conversation with Bajaj and Bhusan (at their home), September 11, 1972, Arlington, Texas

“Because we want something sublime and yet want it cheaply, we put ourselves in a position to be cheated. This means that we actually want to be cheated. If we want something valuable, we must pay for it. We cannot expect to walk into a jewelry store and demand the most valuable jewel for a mere ten cents. No, we must pay a great deal. Similarly, if we want perfection in yoga, we have to pay by abstaining from sex. Perfection in yoga is not something childish, and Bhagavadgītā instructs us that if we try to make yoga into something childish, we will be cheated. There are many cheaters awaiting us, waiting to take our money, giving us nothing, and then leaving. But according to Śrī Krishna’s authoritative statement in Bhagavad-gītā, one must be ‘completely free from sex life.’ Being free from sex, one should ‘meditate upon Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life.’ This is real meditation.” Path of Perfection, page 44

“The bonafide teacher should be available sooner or later to the real seeker of the Truth. The bonafide Acarya is not recognizable by the hypocrites and atheists who do not really want to serve Godhead. So long therefore, as the bonafide teacher does not manifest his appearance to the pure cognitive essence of the seeker of the Absolute Truth it is necessary for the candidate for spiritual enlightenment to concentrate on self-examination to be able to avoid harboring any lurking traces of insincerity. The words of the sadhu are also available, by his causeless mercy, for bearing the efforts of such candidates, for finding out their own insincerity.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada, Putana (Organized Religion), The Harmonist, January 1932 edition

“The crux of the matter lies not in the external nature of the ceremony of initiation as it appears to us, because that is bound to be unintelligible to us (being an affair of the other world) but in the conviction of the necessity and the successful choice of a really good Preceptor. We can attain to the conviction of the necessity and the successful choice of a really good Preceptor by the exercise of our unbiased reason in the light of our ordinary experience. When once this conviction has been truly formed, Sri Krishna Himself helps us in finding the really good Preceptor through the revealed Shastras. In the second, He Himself sends to us the good Preceptor himself at the moment when we are at all likely to benefit by his instructions. The good Preceptor also comes to us when we reject him. In such cases, also, it is certainly Krishna Who sends him to us for no reason whatsoever.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Initiation Into Spiritual Life

“Yes, Of course, to search out a guru is very nice. But if you want a cheap guru, or if you want to be cheated, then you will find many cheating gurus. But if you are sincere, you will find a sincere guru. Because people want everything very cheaply, they are cheated.” Science of Self Realization, Ch. 2, “Choosing a Spiritual Master-Saints & Swindlers”

teṣāṁ kupatha-deṣṭṟṇāṁ
patatāṁ tamasi hy adhaḥ
ye śraddadhyur vacas te vai
majjanty aśma-plavā iva
“Leaders who have fallen into ignorance and who mislead people by directing them to the path of destruction [as described in the previous verse] are, in effect, boarding a stone boat, and so too are those who blindly follow them. A stone boat would be unable to float and would sink in the water with its passengers. Similarly, those who mislead people go to hell, and their followers go with them.” Srimad Bhagavatam 6.7.14
As stated in the Vedic literature (SB 11.20.17):
nṛ-deham ādyaṁ sulabhaṁ sudurlabham
plavaṁ sukalpaṁ guru-karṇa-dhāram
We, the conditioned souls, have fallen in the ocean of nescience, but the human body fortunately provides us a good opportunity to cross the ocean because the human body is like a very good boat. When directed by a spiritual master acting as the captain, the boat can very easily cross the ocean. Furthermore, the boat is helped across by favorable winds, which are the instructions of Vedic knowledge. If one does not take advantage of all these facilities to cross the ocean of nescience, he is certainly committing suicide. One who boards a boat made of stone is doomed. To be elevated to the stage of perfection, humanity must first give up false leaders who present boats of stone. All of human society is in such a dangerous position that to be rescued it must abide by the standard instructions of the Vedas. The cream of these instructions appears in the form of Bhagavad-gītā. One should not take shelter of any other instructions, for Bhagavad-gītā gives direct instructions on how to fulfill the aim of human life. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa therefore says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: (BG 18.66) “Give up all other processes of religion and simply surrender to Me.” Even if one does not accept Lord Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His instructions are so exalted and beneficial for humanity that if one follows His instructions one will be saved. Otherwise one will be cheated by unauthorized meditation and gymnastic methods of yoga. Thus one will board a boat of stone, which will sink and drown all its passengers. Unfortunately, although the American people are extremely eager to get out of materialistic chaos, they are sometimes found to patronize the makers of stone boats. That will not help them. They must take the proper boat offered by Kṛṣṇa in the form of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Then they will be easily saved. In this regard Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura comments: aśmamayaḥ plavo yeṣāṁ te yathā majjantaṁ plavam anumajjanti tatheti rāja-nīty-upadeṣṭṛṣu sva-sabhyeṣu kopo vyañjitaḥ. If society is guided by political diplomacy, with one nation maneuvering against another, it will certainly sink like a stone boat. Political maneuvering and diplomacy will not save human society. People must take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness to understand the aim of life, to understand God, and to fulfill the human mission.

The Hari-bhakti-vilasa (2.6) quotes the following injunction from the Vishnu-yamala:
adiksitasya vamoru
kritam sarvam nirarthakam
pasu-yonim avapnoti
diksa-virahito janah
“Unless one is initiated by a bona fide spiritual master, all his devotional activities are useless. A person who is not properly initiated can descend again into the animal species.” Purport, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya Lila 15.108

Section 8 – “Then we have to go to a physical spiritual master”

Quotes concerning accepting “initiation” from a spiritual master who is not physically manifest or departed, as well as the need for Srila Prabhupada’s disciples to become gurus. Also includes quotes on the importance of the physical spiritual master chastising and correcting the faults of disciples, things that can’t happen if he is no longer manifest.

“Because Krishna is situated in everyone’s heart. Actually, He is the spiritual master, caitya-guru. So in order to help us, He comes out as physical spiritual master. And therefore saksad-dharitvena sama… Spiritual master is representative of Krishna. Krishna sends some sincere devotee to act on His behalf, and therefore he is spiritual master.” Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.4, Rome, May 28, 1974

“Krishna is the first spiritual master, and when we become more interested, then we have to go to a physical spiritual master. That is enjoined in the next verse.
tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadekshyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah” Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.34, New York, August 14, 1966

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, the best friend is the spiritual master because he saves from the blazing fire of confusion. That is best friend.
O’Grady: The problem is to find this friend. The problem is to find this spiritual master.
Srila Prabhupada: No, there is no problem. The problem is if you are sincere. Yes. That is stated. Because actually you have got problems, but God is within your heart. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrid-dese arjuna tistahati. God is not far away. God is within your heart. So if you are sincere, then God will give you spiritual master. If He knows that now you are sincere, then He will give you a spiritual master.
O’Grady: O.K. Thank you. That I know.
Srila Prabhupada: Therefore God is called caittya-guru, the spiritual master within the heart. And the physical spiritual master is God’s mercy. If God sees that you are sincere, He will give you a spiritual master who can give you protection. He will help you from within and without, without in the physical form of spiritual master, and within as the spiritual master within the heart. – Room Conversation with Irish Poet, Desmond O’Grady, May 23, 1974, Rome

“Anyone following the order of Lord Caitanya under the guidance of His bona fide representative, can become a spiritual master, and I wish that in my absence all my disciples become the bona fide spiritual master to spread Krishna Consciousness throughout the whole world.” Letter to Madhusudana from Navadvipa on November 2, 1967

“Sometimes in autumn the falls come down from the top of the hill to supply clean water, and sometimes they stop. Similarly, sometimes great saintly persons distribute clear knowledge, and sometimes they are silent.” Krishna Book Ch. 20, Description of Autumn

Madhudvisa: His question was that can you take initiation by accepting the spiritual master in your heart without actually taking…
Srila Prabhupada: These are bogus proposition. It has no meaning. (laughter) It has no meaning. If you think within yourself, “I am eating,” will you be satisfied? You starve and simply think, “I have eaten everything.” (laughter) Is that very practical proposal? You must eat. We don’t say all these bogus proposition. All right. Thank you very much. – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.1, Melbourne, May 21, 1975

“One should accept a thing as genuine by studying the words of saintly people, the spiritual master and sastra. The actual center is sastra, the revealed scripture. If a spiritual master does not speak according to revealed scripture, he is not to be accepted. Similarly, if a saintly person does not speak according to the sastra, he is not a saintly person. Sastra is the center for all.” Purport, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 20.352

“Actually everyone one of you my disciples are good, and my task is to find out the fault in you. Yes, just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His spiritual master simply found Him to be a great fool number one. He said that the Lord was unfit to read Vedanta and should just chant Hare Krsna.” Letter to Hamsaduta, Bombay, 12 October, 1973

“Therefore, in the first chastisement, Krishna was accepted as spiritual master. A spiritual master has the right to chastise. Father, spiritual master, they are advised to chastise. Putram ca sisyam ca tadayen na tu lalayet. So father and teacher is advised by Canakya Pandita that ‘You should always chastise your son and disciple. Chastise.’ Tadayet. Tadayet means ‘Simply chastise. Always find out mistake.’ Don’t be angry, but it is the business of the teacher and the father simply to find out your mistakes, not to find out your good things.” Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.4, Japan, April 22, 1972

“Next January there will be an examination on this Bhagavad-gita. Papers will be sent by me to all centers, and those securing the minimum passing grade will be given the title as Bhakti-sastri. Similarly, another examination will be held on Lord Caitanya’s Appearance Day in February, 1970 and it will be upon Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. Those passing will get the title of Bhakti-vaibhava. Another examination will be held sometimes in 1971 on the four books, Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, and Nectar of Devotion. One who will pass this examination will be awarded with the title of Bhaktivedanta. I want that all of my spiritual sons and daughters will inherit this title of Bhaktivedanta, so that the family transcendental diploma will continue through the generations. Those possessing the title of Bhaktivedanta will be allowed to initiate disciples. Maybe by 1975, all of my disciples will be allowed to initiate and increase the numbers of the generations. That is my program. So we should not simply publish these books for reading by outsiders, but our students must be well versed in all of our books so that we can be prepared to defeat all opposing parties in the matter of self- realization.” Letter to Hamsaduta, 68-12-03

“I know you are working hard and sincerely. I have no business to criticize you but as head of the institution or your spiritual master, it is my duty to find out your faults. Even Caitanya Mahaprabhu presented himself as faulty before his spiritual master. To remain faulty before the spiritual master is a good qualification so he is subjected to rectification. But if one thinks he is all perfect then there is no scope for rectification. Don’t be sorry when I find fault. That is my primary duty. Canakya pandita says one must find fault with disciples and sons, it is good for them.” Letter to Bhavananda , Jayapataka, Hyderabad, 20 April, 1974

Srila Prabhupada: So a disciple is always in deficiency before his spiritual master. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, guru more murkha dekhi karila sasana. “My spiritual master saw Me a fool number one. Therefore he has chastised Me.” So disciple should be always ready to be chastised. …….In the moral instruction, Canakya Pandita gives this instruction, that lalane bahavo dosas tadane bahavo gunah: ” If you chastise your son or disciple, he’ll improve, and if you say, ” Oh, you are all right,” then he’ll degrade. Tasmat putran ca sisyah ca tadayet na tu lalayet. Therefore you always chastise your son and disciple. Never …” what is called?
Jayadvaita: Flatter.
Srila Prabhupada: No. – Morning Walk, April 8, 1975, Mayapur

“Yes. All of them will take over. These students, who are initiated from me, all of them will act as I am doing. Just like I have got many Godbrothers, they are all acting. Similarly, all these disciples which I am making, initiating, they are being trained to become future spiritual masters.” Conversation Detroit, 71-07-18

Devotee (2): Srila Prabhupada, is there any instance when you were chastised by your spiritual master?
Srila Prabhupada: Eh?
Devotee (2): Is there any instance when you were chastised by your spiritual master?
Srila Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
Devotee (2): Can you tell us?
Srila Prabhupada: I remember the moment was very valuable. Yes.
Devotee (2): Can you tell us the story?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. I think I have said that.
Satsvarupa: When you were speaking to one man…
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. He became very angry and chastised me.
Jagajivana: Srila Prabhupada, was this during a lecture by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta?
Srila Prabhupada: Eh?
Jagajivana: Was this during a lecture?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. I was not… One of my old brother, he, he wanted to speak something. So I leaned my… I immediately became… (laughter) So he chastised him more than me.
Devotee (2): When Lord Caitanya chastised someone more than Advaita acharya, Advaita felt that He had been neglected ’cause he had not received a greater chastisement.
Srila Prabhupada: He wanted to be chastised, so Caitanya fulfilled His desire. – Morning Walk, April 8, 1975, Mayapur

“Every one of us should become a spiritual master because the world is in blazing fire. So to understand the spiritual master… Spiritual master is not a new invention. It is simply following the orders of the spiritual master. So all my students present here who are feeling so much obliged… I am also obliged to them because they are helping me in this missionary work. At the same time, I shall request them all to become spiritual master. Every one of you should be spiritual master next. And what is their duty? Whatever you are hearing from me, whatever you are learning from me, you have to distribute the same in toto without any addition or alteration. Then all of you become the spiritual master. That is the science of becoming spiritual master. Spiritual master is not any… To become a spiritual master is not very wonderful thing. Simply one has to become sincere soul. That’s all. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh.” Lecture, Montreal, 68-08-17

“As already stated, Brahma is the original spiritual master for the universe, and since he was initiated by the Lord Himself, the message of Srimad-Bhagavatam is coming down by disciplic succession, and in order to receive the real message of Srimad-Bhagavatam one should approach the current link, or spiritual master, in the chain of disciplic succession.” Purport, Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.7

“Anywhere, either you are in this district or that district, it doesn’t matter. Either you are at home or outside home, it doesn’t matter. You become a guru. Everyone. ‘How shall I become guru? I have no qualification.’ Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, ‘You don’t require any qualification. You simply require one qualification, that you repeat the instruction of Bhagavad-gita. That’s all.’ Yare dekha tare kaha krsna-upadesa. That’s all. You become a guru. Don’t adulterate Krsna-upadesa like a rascal or nonsense. Present it as it is, Bhagavad-gita. Then you become a guru. You can become a guru in your family. You can guru your society, your nation, wherever you are. And if it is possible, you go outside and preach this mission of Bhagavad-gita. Therefore our movement’s name is Krsna consciousness. Whatever Krsna says, you accept and preach. You become guru.” Lecture Mayapura, 76-03-16

“Except for the association of pure devotees, any association is called kaitava, cheating.” Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Original Edition, Ch.15 paragraph 28

Section 9 – “A kanistha-adhikari can never become a guru.”

Quotes on the qualifications of the genuine spiritual master.

“One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte Vaishnava or a Vaishnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master.” Purport, The Nectar of Instruction, Text 5

“The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. …….When one has attained the topmost position of maha-bhagavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru.” Purport, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya Lila 24.330

vāco vegaṁ manasaḥ krodha-vegaṁ
jihvā-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ
sarvām apīmāṁ pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt
“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.” Upadesamrita 1

Rajen Babu: Isn’t the kanistha-adhikari qualified to give initiation into the mantra?
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati: Where is the kanistha-adhikari coming from? Who gave him the adhikara? A kanistha-adhikari can never become a guru.
Rajen Babu: Can a madhyama-adhikari give diksa?
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati: He can only perform the initial duties of diksa. It is the uttama-adhikari maha-bhagavata Vaisnava who is actually the diksa-guru. There are two types of Vaisnavas – the ragatmika and the raganuga. Those who are from the eternal realm offer service to Sri Krsna directly. These ragatmikas serve Sri Varshabhanavi and Her direct expansions. Those who perform direct service to the ragatmikas and take shelter in them through the performance of smarana are raganugas. These are spiritual gurus. – Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Q&A with Sriyukta Rajendranath Pal Chaudhuri Mahasaya, the famous Zamindar of Louhajang, August 8th 1934

“Another meaning of guna is rope; it is to be understood that the conditioned soul is tightly tied by the ropes of illusion. A man bound by the hands and feet cannot free himself – he must be helped by a person who is unbound. Because the bound cannot help the bound, the rescuer must be liberated. Therefore, only Lord Krsna, or His bona fide representative the spiritual master, can release the conditioned soul.” Purport, Bhagavad-gita 7.14

“In the Padma Purāṇa, the characteristics of the guru, the bona fide spiritual master, have been described:
mahā-bhāgavata-śreṣṭho brāhmaṇo vai gurur nṛṇām
sarveṣām eva lokānām asau pūjyo yathā hariḥ
mahā-kula-prasūto ‘pi sarva-yajñeṣu dīkṣitaḥ
sahasra-śākhādhyāyī ca na guruḥ syād avaiṣṇavaḥ
The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. The first-class devotee is the spiritual master for all kinds of people. It is said, gurur nṛṇām. The word nṛṇām means ‘of all human beings.’ The guru is not limited to a particular group. It is stated in the Upadeśāmṛta of Rūpa Gosvāmī that a guru is a gosvāmī, a controller of the senses and the mind. Such a guru can accept disciples from all over the world. Pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt. This is the test of the guru.” Purport, Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 24.330

“The following details outline a general practice by whichone can prepare himself for an easy journey to the Vaikuṇṭha (antimaterial) planets, where life is free from birth, old age, disease and death. General practice (positive functions):

  1. The serious candidate must accept a bona fide spiritual master in order to be trained scientifically. Because the senses are material, it is not at all possible to realize the Transcendence by them. Therefore the senses have to be spiritualized by the prescribed method under the direction of the spiritual master.
  2. When the student has chosen a bona fide spiritual master, he must take theproper initiation from him. This marks the beginning of spiritual training.
  3. The candidate must be prepared to satisfy the spiritual master in every way. A bona fide spiritual master who is fully cognizant of the methods of spiritual science, learned in the spiritual scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gītā, Vedānta, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Upaniṣads, and who is also a realized soul who hasmade a tangible connection with the Supreme Lord, is the transparent medium bywhich the willing candidate is led to the path of the Vaikuṇṭhas. The spiritual master must be satisfied in all respects, because simply by his good wishes acandidate can make wonderful progress along the path.
  4. The intelligent candidate places intelligent questions to the spiritual masterin order to clear his path of all uncertainties. The spiritual master shows the way,not whimsically, but in accordance with the principles of the authorities who have actually traversed the path. The names of these authorities are disclosed in the scriptures, and one has simply to follow them under the direction of the spiritual master. The spiritual master never deviates from the path of the authorities.
  5. The candidate should always try to follow in the footsteps of the great sages who have practiced the method and obtained success. This should be taken as a motto in life. One should not superficially imitate them, but should follow them sincerely in terms of the particular time and circumstances.
  6. The candidate must be prepared to change his habits in terms of the instructions contained in the books of authority, and for the satisfaction of theLord he must be prepared to sacrifice both sense gratification and sense abnegation, following the example of Arjuna.
  7. The candidate should live in a spiritual atmosphere.
  8. He must be satisfied with as much wealth as is sufficient for maintenance only. He should not try to amass more wealth than is necessary to sustain himself in a simple way.
  1. He must observe the fasting dates, such as the eleventh day of the growing and waning moon.
  2. He must show respect to the banyan tree, the cow, the learned brāhmaṇa and the devotee. These are the first stepping-stones toward the path of devotional service. Gradually one has to adopt other items, which are negative in character:
  1. One should avoid offenses in the discharge of devotional service and inchanting the holy names.
  2. He should avoid extensive association with nondevotees.
  3. He must not take on unlimited disciples. This means that a candidate who has successfully followed the first twelve items can also become a spiritual master himself, just as a student becomes a monitor in class with a limited number of disciples.” Easy Journey to Other Planets

Section 10 – “rascal cannot be guru, and guru is not rascal.”

Quotations relevant to false gurus.

“However, one should not imitate the behavior of an advanced devotee or maha-bhagavata without being self-realized, for by such imitation one will eventually become degraded….. The devotee should also know his own position and should not try to imitate a devotee situated on a higher platform.” Purport, Nectar of Instruction, Text 5

… who does not actually possess these qualities should not try to engage his followers and devotees in offering him glory for them, even though these qualities might be manifest in the future. If a man who does not factually possess the attributes of a great personality engages his followers in praising him with the expectation that such attributes will develop in the future, that sort of praise is actually an insult. Purport, Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.15.23

Reporter: But the bad gurus…
Srila Prabhupada: And what is a “bad” guru?
Reporter: A bad guru just wants some money or some fame.
Srila Prabhupada: Well, if he is bad, how can he become a guru? [Laughter.] How can iron become gold? Actually, a guru cannot be bad, for if someone is bad, he cannot be a guru. – The Science of Self Realization, Chapter Two, Choosing a Spiritual Master – “Saints and Swindlers

Dr. Patel: He is rascal guru.
Prabhupada: He is a rascal, not guru. Rascal cannot be guru. You cannot add this. Then they are the same, daridra-narayana. Narayana cannot be daridra; daridra cannot be Narayana. Similarly, rascal cannot be guru, and guru is not rascal. – Morning Walk, April 5, 1974, Bombay

“If a so-called spiritual master accepts a disciple for his personal benefit or for material gain, the relationship between the spiritual master and the disciple turns into a material affair, and the spiritual master becomes like a smarta-guru. There are many caste goswamis who professionally create some disciples who do not care for them or their instructions. Such spiritual masters are satisfied simply to get some material benefits from their disciples. Such a relationship is condemned by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who calls such spiritual masters and disciples a society of cheaters and cheated.” Purport, Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya Lila 24.330

“Those who imitate an uttama-adhikari by flaunting a sense of oneness or fellowship but who behave on the bodily platform are actually false philanthropists.” Purport, Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 6

“They take the dress of the renounced order of life and engage in all nonsense in that dress. Actually there are so many restrictions for one who has renounced this world. The demons, however, do not care for such restrictions.” Purport, Bhagavad-Gita 16.17

“The so-called acaryas of the age of Kali are more concerned with exploiting the resources of their followers than mitigating their miseries.” Purport, Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 3.98

“The devotee should give up the association of the devotee-pretender, understanding him to be a materialist. Towards those who are sincere, the devotee should offer service and respect. Meeting a true vaiṣṇava, the devotee should associate with him and serve him with his heart; to the ordinary vaiṣṇava-inclined people he should show respect. This respect is an external service. These vaiṣṇava-like people are of three types: those who fully accept the vaiṣṇava conclusions but are not practicing themselves; those who take up the vaiṣṇava signs and appearance, but are not real vaiṣṇavas, though they have respect for the vaiṣṇavas; those who are born in the families of great vaiṣṇavas, and wear the signs of a vaiṣṇava but are not real vaiṣṇavas. A true vaiṣṇava is measured by the degree of purity and depth of devotion, and his capacity to inspire others. A person attains the status of a real vaiṣṇava as soon as a little pure devotion appears in his heart. If a person respects and takes association of the non-vaiṣṇava in the same way that he respects the true vaiṣṇava or the ordinary vaiṣṇava, then his devotion will decrease. Thus, amongst those who wear the vaiṣṇava marks and appear to be vaiṣṇavas, certain ones should be avoided. These people should be satisfied with the respect due to all human beings, which is part of the secondary rules, but they should not be accepted or respected as real vaiṣṇavas. If they happen to become pure devotees, then they are also qualified for association with other pure devotees. False vaiṣṇavas are those who wear the vaiṣṇava marks for the purpose of cheating, those who identify themselves as followers of the vaiṣṇava ācāryas for the purpose of introducing advaita philosophy to the vaiṣṇavas, and those who advertise themselves as vaiṣṇavas to gain money, position or some other material enjoyment.” Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, Śrī Caitanya-śīkṣāmṛta 3.2

“Sri Vrndavana dasa Thakura Mahasaya is falling at the feet of all Vaisnavas and begging to be relieved of offenses to them. Those whose devotional service to Visnu has actually been awakened are constantly engaged in the service of the Lord and His devotees. No one should gather offenses by putting obstacles on the path of their execution of devotional service. This has clearly been reflected in the ideal life of the author. But if atheistic persons who are devoid of and averse to the devotional service of Lord Visnu try to unlawfully and proudly establish themselves as Vaisnavas or spiritual masters and ambitiously try to obtain respect from the devotees headed by Thakura Vrndavana dasa, then they become envious of the devotees and go to hell forever.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Commentary, Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata Madhya 6.177, English translation by Bhumipati dasa

Section 11 – “Then they will both go to hell.”

Dire consequences for those who would mislead others in the name of Krishna consciousness and those that follow such misleaders.

“One cannot deny the order of a spiritual master. Therefore one has to select a spiritual master whose order, carrying, you’ll not commit a mistake. You see? Now, suppose if you accept a wrong person as spiritual master, and if you, if he guides you wrongly, then your whole life is spoiled. So one has to accept a spiritual master whose guidance will make his life perfect. That is the relation between spiritual master and disciple. It is not a formality. It is a great responsibility both for the disciple and for the spiritual master.” Lecture on Bhagavad-Gita 2.7-11, New York, March 2, 1966

“The ignorant pseudo religionists and the manufacturers of so-called incarnations who directly violate the Vedic injunctions are liable to enter into the darkest region of the universe because they mislead those who follow them.” Purport, Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 12

“By a false display of religious sentiments, they present a show of devotional service while indulging in all sorts of immoral activities. In this way they pass as spiritual masters and devotees of God. Such violators of religious principles have no respect for the authoritative acharyas, the holy teachers in the strict disciplic succession……to mislead the people in general they themselves become so-called acharyas, but they do not even follow the principles of the acharyas.
“These rogues are the most dangerous elements in human society. Because there is no religious government, they escape punishment by the law of the state. They cannot, however, escape the law of the Supreme, who has clearly declared in the Bhagavad-Gita that envious demons in the garb of religious propagandists shall be thrown into the darkest regions of hell (Bg. 16.19-20). Sri Isopanisad confirms that these pseudo religionists are heading toward the most obnoxious place in the universe after the completion of their spiritual master business, which they conduct simply for sense gratification.” Purport, Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 12

“There are many renegades from the Brahma-sampradäya whose only business is to make men more forgetful of the Lord and thus entangle them more and more in material existence. Such persons are never dear to the Lord, and the Lord sends them deeper into the darkest region of matter so that such envious demons may not be able to know the Supreme Lord.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.19

“These foolish creatures do not know that they are nothing but play dolls in the hands of material nature and that at any moment material nature’s pitiless intrigues can crush to dust all their plans for godless activities.” Purport, Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 3.98

“As for your next question: ‘Can only a few pure devotees deliver others?’ Anyone, if he is pure devotee he can deliver others, he can become spiritual master. But unless he is on that platform he should not attempt it. Then they will both go to hell, like blind men leading the blind.” Letter to Tusta Krishna, 12/14/72

“…because of the instructions of a foolish guru one remains perpetually in material existence and suffers its tribulations.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 8.24.51

“Mundane manufactured sound has no potency, and as such, seemingly transcendental sound received from an unauthorized person also has no potency.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.8

“Thus mental absorbtion in social, political, pseudoreligious, national, and communal consciousness is cause for bondage.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.20

Section 12 – “Otherwise what is the meaning of free will?”

Quotations that conclusively establish that the origin of the living entity (jiva) is in the spiritual world.

“As living spiritual souls we are all originally Krsna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter from time immemorial, our consciousness has now become polluted by the material atmosphere.” Purport, Hare Krishna maha mantra, Original Hare Krsna record album

“Regarding your questions about how and from where did the conditioned souls fall, your first question if someone has a relationship with Lord Krsna on Krsnaloka, does he ever fall down? The souls are endowed with minute independence as part of their nature and this minute independence may be utilized rightly or wrongly at any time, so there is always the chance of falling down by misuse of one’s independence. But those who are firmly fixed up in devotional service to Krsna are making proper use of their independence and so they do not fall down.
Regarding your second question, have the conditioned souls ever seen Krsna? Were they with the Lord before being conditioned by the desire to lord it over material nature? Yes, the conditioned souls are parts and parcels of the Lord and thus they were with Krsna before being conditioned. Just as the child must have seen his father because the father places the child in the womb of the mother, similarly each soul has seen Krsna or the Supreme Father. But at that time the conditioned souls are resting in the condition called susupti which is exactly deep sleep without dream, or anesthetized state, therefore they do not remember being with Krsna when they wake up in the material world and become engaged in material affairs. I hope this will satisfy your questions.” Letter to Jagadisha, LA, April 25, 1970

“As soon as we try to become Lord, immediately we are covered by Maya. Formerly, we were with Krsna in His lila or sport. But this covering of Maya may be of very, very, very, very long duration-therefore, many creations are coming and going. Due to this long period of time, it is sometimes said that we are ever-conditioned. But this long duration of time becomes very insignificant when one actually comes to Krsna consciousness.
“This Brahma-sayujya mukti is non-permanent. Every living entity wants pleasure, but brahma-sayujya is minus pleasure. There is eternal existence only. So when they do not find transcendental bliss they fall down to make a compromise with material bliss. Unless one develops full devotional service to Krsna, he goes up only to brahma-sayujya but falls down. But after millions and millions of years of keeping oneself away from the lila of the Lord, when one comes to Krsna consciousness, this period becomes insignificant, just like dreaming. Because he falls down from brahma sayujya, he thinks that may be his origin, but he does not remember that before that even, he was with Krsna.” The Origin of the Jiva: Brahmajyoti or Krishna Lila?, Australian conversation with Srila Prabhupada Transcribed as Nectar of the Month, BBT Report, January, 1982

“The conditioned living being has forgotten his eternal relationship with God and he has mistakenly accepted the temporary place of birth as all-in-all… The living entities are not without spiritual senses; every living being in his original, spiritual form has all the senses, which are now material, being covered by the body and mind. Activities of the material senses are perverted reflections of spiritual pastimes.” Purport, Sri Isopanisad 11

Svarupa Damodara: The spirit soul must necessarily have a body, either spiritual or material.
Prabhupada: He has got already spiritual body. Material body is his covering. It is unnatural. Real body is spiritual. Just like your coat, this is unnatural. But your real body is natural. Otherwise how transmigration is possible? I am accepting different unnatural bodies. Unnatural means to my constitution. My real constitutional body is servant of Krsna. So, so long I do not come to that position, I remain servant of nature and I get so many bodies. . . . . . . .
Paramahamsa: But ultimately if we come to Krsna, there’s no return. But nevertheless, Jagai, and…, the two gatekeepers, they returned?
Prabhupada: There is return, that is voluntary. Return there is.
Paramahamsa: If we want.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Paramahamsa: So we can come to the spiritual world and return?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Paramahamsa: Fall down?
Prabhupada: Yes. As soon as we try, “Oh, this material world is very nice,” “Yes,” Krsna says, “yes, you go.” Just like nobody is interested in Krsna consciousness. Do you think everyone is interested? So. They want to enjoy this material world. Otherwise what is the meaning of free will? Every living entity has got a little free will. And Krsna is so kind, He gives him opportunity, “All right, you enjoy like this.” Just like some of our students, Krsna conscious, sometimes go away, again come back. It is free will, not stereotyped. Just like one goes to the prisonhouse, not that government welcomes, “Come on. We have got prisonhouse. Come here, come here.” He goes out of his free will; again comes out, again goes. Like that. Krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare, nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare. The police is there. Just like the police car was there. We have nothing to do with it. But if you do anything criminal, immediately you will be arrested, under police custody. The maya may be there, but maya captures him who is not a devotee of Krsna. That’s all. Therefore, mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te: “Anyone who surrenders unto Me, maya does not interfere anymore.”
Paramahamsa: So our desire to enjoy, we achieve these bodies; and our desire to achieve Krsna brings us to our natural position.
Prabhupada: Yes. – Morning Walk At Cheviot Hills Golf Course, May 13, 1973, Los Angeles

“This attachment of the devotee to a particular form of the Lord is due to natural inclination. Each and every living entity is originally attached to a particular type of transcendental service because he is eternally the servitor of the Lord. Lord Caitanya says that the living entity is eternally the servitor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, therefore, every living entity has a particular type of service relationship with the Lord, eternally.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 3.9.11

“We have to learn how to act only for Krsna, how to love only Krsna. Then our life is successful. And the human life… Because we have also come down from Vaikuntha some millions and millions of years ago. Anadi karama-phale. Anadi means before the creation. We living entities, we are eternal.” Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 2.6, London, August 6, 1973

“These spirit souls and all spirit souls are coming from Vaikuntha, but in these material worlds, they are taking various grades of bodies.” Letter, July 9, 1970

“. . . if he is properly guided, then he is very easily sent back to home, back to Godhead wherefrom originally he fell down.” Letter, January 20, 1971

“. . . we may fall down from Vaikuntha at any moment . . . so even in the Vaikuntha, if I desire that ‘Why shall I serve Krsna? Why not become Krsna?’ I immediately fall down.” Lecture in Honolulu, July 4, 1974

“He is fallen already from Vaikuntha planet. He is fallen in this material world, and he is again trying to make progress.” Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.19, Los Angeles, June 15, 1972

“We are all originally situated on the platform of Krsna consciousness in our eternal personal relationship of love of Krsna.” Letter, November 17, 1970.

“(L)ittle independence, we can misuse that. Krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare: that misuse is the cause of our falldown.” Room conversation in Mayapur, February 19, 1976

“After all, the living entity falls down from the spiritual world. Just like Jaya-Vijaya. There is possibility . . .even if you are in Vaikuntha, you will fall down, what to speak of this material world.” Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 17.1-3, July 4, 1974

“Therefore, if we practice devotional service . . . we will be reinstated in our original, constitutional position and thus be saved.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.39

“Only the purified soul can attain the perfection of associating with the Personality of Godhead in complete bliss and satisfaction in his constitutional state. Whoever is able to renovate such devotional perfection is never again attracted by this material world, and he never returns.” Srimad Bhagavatam 2.2.31

“When the pure soul wants to give up the Lord’s service to enjoy the material world, Krsna certainly gives him a chance to enter the material world. As stated in the prema-vivarta: krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare. This is the reason the pure spirit soul falls down to the material world.” Srimad Bhagavatam 5.14, Chapter Summary

“karya-karana-kartrtve dravya jnana-kriyasrayah
badhnanti nityada muktam mayinam purusam gunah
karya -effect; karanam-cause; kartrtve-in activities; dravya-material; jnanam-knowledge; kriya-asrayah-manifested by such symptoms; badhnanti-conditions; niyada-eternally; muktam-transcendental; mayinam-affected by material energy; purusam-the living entity; gunah-the material modes.
Translation: These three modes of material nature, being further manifested as matter, knowledge and activities, put the eternally transcendental living entity under conditions  of cause and effect and make him responsible for such activities.
Purport: Because they are between the internal and external potencies, the eternally transcendental living entities are called marginal potency of the Lord. Factually, the living entities are not meant to be so conditioned by material energy, but due to their being affected by the false sense of lording it over the material energy, they come under the influence of such potency and thus become conditioned by the three modes of material nature. This external energy of the Lord covers up the pure knowledge of the living entity’s eternally existing with him, but the covering is so constant that it appears that the conditioned soul is eternally ignorant. Such is the wonderful action of maya, or external energy manifested as if materially produced.” Srimad Bhagavatam 2.5.19

“We are servant of Krsna. But somehow or other, we revolted. Still we are revolting. Although Krsna coming and canvassing, ‘Just surrender unto Me,’ but still we are revolting. This is our disease. Manah sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati. So if we want to be cured again and come to our original consciousness, Krsna consciousness, which is svacchatvam avikaritvam santatvam iti cetasah, then we have to take to this Krsna consciousness. That is the only way.” Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.23-4, Bombay, January 1, 1975

Bhaktijana: When the souls that were never conditioned at all…, do they also have the independence?
Prabhupada: Yes, but they have not misused. They know that “I am meant for Krsna’s service,” and they are happy in Krsna’s service.
Bhaktijana: Could they ever misuse it?
Prabhupada: Yes, they can misuse it also. That power is there. Yes?
Devotee: Well, I believe you once said that once a conditioned soul becomes perfected and gets out of the material world and he goes to Krsnaloka, there’s no possibility of falling back.
Prabhupada: No! There is possibility, but he does not come. Just like after putting your hand in the fire, you never put it again if you are really intelligent. So those who are going back to Godhead, they become intelligent. Why going back to Godhead? Just like we are in renounced order of life. So we have renounced our family life after thinking something. Now, if somebody comes, “Swamiji, you take thousand millions of dollars and marry again and become a family man,” I’ll never become, because I have got my bad experience. I’ll never become. . . . . . . .
Bhaktijana: Has my soul ever been liberated?
Prabhupada: That you know. I do not know.
Bhaktijana: If I was once liberated…
Prabhupada: You are liberated. You are liberated. Simply just a cloud has covered you. Drive away the cloud. There is no question that you were ever. You are ever-liberated. That, the sky is always spiritual, but it is sometimes overcrowded with cloud, this maya. This is called maya. Actually, you are not conditioned. You are thinking. Just like in the dream you are thinking that tiger is eating you. You were never eaten by tiger. There is no tiger. So we have to get out of this dream. Don’t you sometimes dream that tiger is eating you? Is there any tiger? You are simply thinking. So if you keep in Krsna consciousness, that nonsense thinking will go away. Therefore we have to keep ourself always in Krsna-thinking so that this dream will never come. If you are always awakened, then dream never comes. So keep yourself always awakened by Krsna consciousness. All right. Distribute prasadam. (end) – Lecture on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 7.108, San Francisco, February 18, 1967

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, you say in your books so many times that somehow or other we have fallen into this material world due to our enviousness or our independence.
Srila Prabhupada: Many. There are many reasons.
Devotee: I can’t seem to get a grasp on this at all. If we, in our original constitutional position as part and parcel of Krishna–and in that position, that, original position of full knowledge and full bliss–and being in our eternal nature . . . Now I have some experience of how strong this material energy is and how Maya works, somewhat. But, if I had known this and had this full knowledge, then I would have had this knowledge of how Maya works and . . . How I might fall?
Srila Prabhupada: You read the life of Jaya, Vijaya, Hiranyakasipu, Hiranyaksa? They were Krishna’s Doorkeepers. How they fell down? Did you read it? Did you read the life of Hiranyakasipu or Hiranyaksa?
Devotee: Yes, Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada: So how they did fall? They are from Vaikuntha. They are Krishna’s personal associates, keeping . . . the Doorkeepers. How did they fell down? Anyway, there is chance of falling down at any moment.
Devotee: Well, in His family, they wanted to enjoy the material world?
Srila Prabhupada: Whatever it may be, the falldown is there. So, because we are living entities, we are not as powerful as Krishna. Therefore, we may fall down from Vaikuntha at any moment. Iccha-dvesa samutthena sarge yanti parantapa. Find out this verse.
Pusta Krishna Swami: iccha-dvesa samutthena dvandva-mohena bharata sarva-bhutani sammoham sarge yanti parantapa: “O scion of Bharata, O conqueror of the foe, all living entities are born into delusion, overcome by the dualities of desire and hate.”
Srila Prabhupada: Purport?
Pusta Krishna Swami: “The real constitutional position of the living entity is that of subordination to the Supreme Lord, Who is pure knowledge. When one is deluded into separation from this pure knowledge, he becomes controlled by illusory energy and cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The illusory energy is manifested in the duality of desire and hate. Due to desire and hate, the ignorant person wants to become one with the Supreme Lord and envies Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Pure devotees, who are not so deluded or contaminated by desire and hate, can understand that Lord Sri Krishna appears by His internal potencies. But those who are deluded by duality and nescience think that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is created by material energies. This is their misfortune. Such deluded persons symptomatically dwell in dualities of dishonor and honor, misery and happiness, woman and man, good and bad, pleasure and pain, etc., thinking ‘This is my wife, this is my house; I am the master of this house, I am the husband of this wife.’ These are the dualities of delusion. Those who are so deluded by dualities are completely foolish and cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
Srila Prabhupada: So, even in the Vaikuntha, if I desire that–“Why shall I serve Krishna? Why not become Krishna?”–I immediately fall down. That is natural. A servant is serving the master, (but) sometimes he may think that, “If I could become the master.” They are thinking like that; they are trying to become God. That is delusion. You cannot become God. That is not possible. But he’s wrongly thinking.
Vipina Purandara prabhu: Why doesn’t Krishna protect us from that desire?
Srila Prabhupada: He’s protecting. He says, “You rascal, don’t desire. Surrender unto Me.” But you are rascal; you do not do this.
Vipina Purandara prabhu: Why doesn’t He save me from thinking like that?
Srila Prabhupada: That means you lose your independence.
Vipina Purandara: And no love.
Srila Prabhupada: That is force . . . In Bengali it is said, “If you catch one girl or boy, ‘You love me, you love me, you love me.'” Is it love? “You love me, otherwise I will kill you!” Is that love? So Krishna does not want to become a lover like that, on the point of revolver “You love me, otherwise I shall kill you!” That is not love; that is threatening. Love is reciprocal, voluntary, good exchange of feeling. Then there is love. Not by force; that is rape. . . Why one is called lover, another is called rape?
Vipina Purandara prabhu: But isn’t it by force anyway? If we don’t love Krishna, we suffer.
Srila Prabhupada: That is your business. You’ll suffer. But that Krishna does not force you. He says the real, “You love me, you’ll be happy. If you don’t love, you suffer.” But that is your business. – Excerpt from an Evening Darsana on July 8, 1976 in WashingtonD.C.

Acyutananda: So what made the soul take birth in the first place?
Prabhupada: In the first place?
Acyutananda: What is the first birth? What is the cause of the first birth.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is stated in the Prema-vivarta:
krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare
nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare
As soon as… We are eternal servant of Krsna. As soon as we want to become master, that is the beginning of our first birth in the material world. We have got independence. Because, Krsna says, mamaivamso jiva bhutah—we are part and parcel of Krsna—so Krsna has got full independence, but we are minute; therefore we have got minute independence. Our business is to serve Krsna, but as soon as we give up this idea, we want to become master. That is the beginning of our material birth. – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.2, Hyderabad, April 11, 1975

Acyutananda: …..But in the Gita, it says, “Once coming there, he never returns.”
Prabhupada: But if he likes, he can return.
Acyutananda: He can return.
Prabhupada: That independence has to be accepted, little independence. We can misuse that. Krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare. That misuse is the cause of our falldown.
Acyutananda: In Krsna book it says that there were some color fighting in Dvaraka. They were throwing color. And some men became lusty seeing the women. So is… Will that be the first part of their falldown, to be in Vaikuntha and think of personal lust with Krsna’s associates?
Prabhupada: Yes. (break) Whatever He likes, He’ll do. That is God. God is not meant for satisfying you. – Morning Walk, February 19, 1976, Mayapura

“However, because of contact with matter, the imprisoned soul loses the memory of his original spiritual form in Vaikuntha. . . material rasas are perverted reflections of the soul’s original spiritual rasas.” Srila Bhaktivinoda Takura, Prema-pradipa, p. 83

“It is the jivas who are the attendants in His Sports. They become attached to matter, having deviated from their own essential nature as the result of their desire for enjoyment. But when again the soul . . . gains true wisdom of the transcendental region of God . . . he begins to get back his pure essential nature . . .” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Sri Caitanya’s Teachings, p. 323

“Then, being bewildered and covered, he is fallen from advaya-vaikuntha.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Vivritti commentary on Srimad Bhagavatam, 11.2.48

“Unless, therefore, one is saved from the wrong conception of the body and the soul, there is no knowledge of Godhead. . .” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.7.42

“Existence in the impersonal brahma is also within the category of non-Krsna consciousness. Those who are in the brahman effulgence, they are also in the fallen condition. So there is no question of falling down from a fallen condition.” Letter, June 13, 1970

“How he is realized soul? If he is speaking something wrong, how he is realized soul? Against the sastra. That is not realized soul. Yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya vartate kama-karatah, na siddhim avapnoti. Sastra reference must be there.” Morning Walk, April 5, 1974, Bombay

Section 13 – “or the book bhagavat”

Quotes which establish that, in the absence of a bona fide spiritual master, one can make advancement to the higher levels of devotional service by the mercy of the book bhagavat. This is not to say that one should therefore avoid seeking out a genuine initiation from a bona fide spiritual master.

“Human reason fails to understand how by serving the devotee bhagavat or the book bhagavat one gets gradual promotion on the path of devotion. But, actually, these are facts . . .” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.18

“The sound of Srimad Bhagavatam is transcendental, and the resonance of Srimad Bhagavatam is as good as that of the Vedas. Thus the topic of the Srimad Bhagavatam is the science of both the Lord and the living entity. Regular reading or hearing of Srimad Bhagavatam is also performance of bhakti-yoga, and one can attain the highest perfection simply by the association of Srimad Bhagavatam. Both Sukadeva Gosvami and Maharaja Pariksit attained perfection through the medium of Srimad Bhagavatam. Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.4

“By sincere efforts to hear Srimad Bhagavatam one realizes his constitutional relationship with the Lord in the transcendental humor of servitude, friendship, paternal affection or conjugal love, and by such self-realization one becomes situated at once in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.8.5

“Persons who hear Srimad Bhagavatam regularly and are always taking the matter very seriously will have the Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna manifested in their hearts within a short time.” Srimad Bhagavatam 2.8.4

“The sound incarnation of Lord Krsna, the Supreme Soul [i.e. Srimad-Bhagavatam], enters into the heart of a self-realized devotee, sits on the lotus flower of his loving relationship, and thus cleanses the dust of material association, such as lust, anger and hankering. Thus it acts like autumnal rains upon pools of muddy water.” Srimad Bhagavatam 2.8.5

“By reading and hearing Srimad Bhagavatam as a scientific presentation, the conditioned souls will gradually be promoted to the higher status of transcendental knowledge after being freed from the illusory energy based on sense enjoyment.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.7.53

“As we have already explained, Srimad Bhagavatam is so scientifically presented that any sincere student of this great science will be able to understand the science of God simply by reading it with attention or simply by regularly hearing it from the bona fide speaker.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.7.52

Section 14 – “they are very competent to harm our natural progress.”

Quotes concerning Srila Prabhupada’s godbrothers.

“In meantime, I have also received one letter which is very depressing from Hrsikesa. I understand that he has been induced by Bon Maharaja to be initiated by him for giving him shelter, and this foolish boy has accepted his inducement. This isn’t very happy news, and I have replied Hrsikesa’s letter in the following words, which please take note, and in the future, we shall be very cautious about them. “My Dear Hrsikesa, Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of March 14, 1968, and I am greatly surprised. I am greatly surprised for Bon Maharaja’s initiating you in spite of his knowing that you are already initiated by me. So it is deliberate transgression of Vaishnava etiquettes and otherwise a deliberate insult to me. I do not know why he has done like this but no Vaishnava will approve of this offensive action. I very much appreciate your acknowledgement of my service unto you and you will always have my blessings, but you must know that you have committed a great blunder. I do not wish to discuss on this point more elaborately now, but if you are desirous to know further about it, I shall be glad to give you more enlightenment. Mukunda is not here. He has gone to L.A. Hope you are well.” If Hrsikesa writes you letter I think you may avoid reply. I do not approve both Hriskesa’s and Bon Maharaja’s this offensive action. Hoping you are both well.” Letter to Mukunda, March 26, 1968

“Regarding the action of Bon Maharaja: We shall discuss the matter when we meet. For the present, you may know that this gentleman is very much materially ambitious. He wants to utilize Krsna consciousness for his material name and fame. Sometimes he greatly offended our Guru Maharaja, and it so happened that at the last stage, practically Guru Maharaja rejected him. And the result, we can find that instead of becoming a great preacher of Krsna consciousness this gentleman has become artificially a head of a mundane institution. To become a very important man in the mundane estimation is not success in Krsna consciousness… On the whole, you may know that he is not a liberated person, and therefore, he cannot initiate any person to Krsna consciousness. It requires special spiritual benediction from higher authorities.” Letter to Janardana, 4/26/68

“You are right about Sridhara Maharaja’s genuineness. But in my opinion he is the best of the lot. He is my old friend, at least he executes the regulative principles of devotionl service. I do not wish to discuss about activities of my Godbrothers but it is a fact they have no life for preaching work. All are satisfied with a place for residence in the name of a temple, they engage disciples to get foodstuff by transcendental devices and eat and sleep. They have no idea or brain how to broacast the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. My Guru Maharaja used to lament many times for this reason and he thought if one man at least had understood the principle of preaching then his mission would achieve success. In the latter days of my Guru Maharaja he was very disgusted. Actually, he left this world earlier, otherwise he would have continued to live for more years. Still he requested his disciples to form a strong Governing body for preaching the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He never recommended anyone to be acarya of the Gaudiya Math. But Sridhara Maharaja is responsible for disobeying this order of Guru Maharaja, and he and others who are already dead unnecessarily thought that there must be one acarya. If Guru Maharaja could have seen someone who was qualified at that time to be acarya he would have mentioned. Because on the night before he passed away he talked of so many things, but never mentioned an acarya. His idea was acarya was not to be nominated amongst the governing body. He said openly you make a GBC and conduct the mission. So his idea was amongst the members of GBC who would come out successful and self effulgent acarya would be automatically selected. So Sridhara Maharaja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one acarya and later it proved a failure. The result is now everyone is claiming to be acarya even though they may be kanistha adhikari with no ability to preach. In some of the camps the acarya is being changed three times a year. Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp. Actually amonst my Godbrothers no one is qualified to become acarya. So it is better not to mix with my Godbrothers very intimately because instead of inspiring our students and disciples they may sometimes pollute them. This attempt was made previously by them, especially Madhava Maharaja and Tirtha Maharaja and Bon Maharaja but somehow or other I saved the situation. This is going on. We shall be very careful about them and not mix with them. This is my instruction to you all. They cannot help us in our movement, but they are very competent to harm our natural progress. So we must be very careful about them.” Letter to Rupanuga, April 28, 1974

“Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated September 3, 1975 with the enclosed statement about Van Maharaja. So I have now issued orders that all my disciples should avoid all of my godbrothers. They should not have any dealings with them nor even correspondence, nor should they give them any of my books or should they purchase any of their books, neither should you visit any of their temples. Please avoid them.” Letter to Visvakarma, November 09, 1975

“Regarding the Gaudiya Math books being circulated there, who is distributing? Who is sending these books? The Gaudiya Math does not sell our books, why we should sell their books. Who has introduced these books? Let me know. These books should not at all be circulated in our society. Bhakti Vilas Tirtha is very much antagonistic to our society and he has no clear conception of devotional service. He is contaminated. Anyway, who has introduced these books? You say that you would read only one book if that was all that I had written, so you teach others to do like that. You have very good determination.” Letter to Sukadeva, November 14, 1973

“You should not write anything to Madhava Maharaja’s camp. You may have talked many things with Mangala Niloy but why write him in black and white. The letter must not be sent. Their policy has been all along to suppress me and take credit for himself . Their proposal for cooperation is a myth. They haven’t done anything which is cooperative. You know in a recent article they managed to write is such a way that Madhava is doing the world movement and we are his subordinate. From the beginning that has been their mentality. So there is no possibility of cooperation with them. Rather you should avoid strictly meeting with them. They are not after preaching but material gain and reputation and adoration. Otherwise why they are non cooperating with me? So no cooperation is possible. Do not think or indulge in loose talks. Be careful always. Let us do the duty of propagation sincerely and seriously on our own principles. Krsna and Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura are our only hope and they and helping us. If anything thing has to be done it is to be talked on the higher level between Madhava Maharaja and myself, but I know his mentality is different and there is no possibility of cooperation.” Letter to Acyutananda, June 08, 1974

“So far as cooperating with my Godbrothers is concerned, that is not very urgent business. So far until now my Godbrothers have regularly not cooperated with me and by the grace of my spiritual master, things are still going ahead. So cooperation or non-cooperation, it is the desire of Bhaktivinode Thakura to preach the Caitanya cult all over the world and in 1875 he predicted that someone would come very soon who would individually preach this cult all over the world. So if his benediction is there and my Guru Maharaja’s blessings are there, we can go ahead without any impediment but all of us must be very sincere and serious.” Letter to Jayapataka, August 23, 1971

“Do not be depressed. All along my godbrothers  gave me only depression, repression, compression – but I continued strong in my duty.” Letter to Gurudasa, August 29, 1972

Prabhupada:Yes. If by the dress of sannyasi, you take some money and eat and sleep, then it is transcendental fraud. (SP laughs) (Hindi) Just like others are toiling, and we are getting money by some dress. That’s all. They are getting money by laboring hard, and we are getting money… In India, mostly the sannyasis, they do that. The priests also, they do that. This is our profession, just… My Guru Maharaja said that thakura dekhiye paya rasta karache, rastaye ‘yandiya jivika badram karam bhari (?). Instead of earning livelihood by showing the Deity in the temple, it is better to take the profession of a sweeper in the street and live honestly. He said like that. The sweeper is working hard toiling and getting some money and living. This is honest living. But just like in Vrndavana, all the Goswamis. They have got their Deity. People are coming, contributing. Typical example, Gauracanda Goswami. Thakura dekhiye paisa rasta. (?) All the sevaites, they are meant for… Our Kunja Babu also planned like that. He thought, “By cheating all the God-brothers, I have got now Caitanya Matha. And people will come to see Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s birthplace, and I will get good income. And it will be distributed amongst my brothers and sons and myself. That’s all.” That is his scheme.
Tamala Krsna: Perfect material plan.
Prabhupada: Yes. It is another way of earning money. And he was always after Guru Maharaja only for this purpose. Guru Maharaja took that “Oh, this man is helping me.” But he had no such plan, to help Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. He had the plan, “Keep Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati in front, earn money, and put it in my pocket.” That was his very beginning. He was taking money like anything. But he was a good manager. Other God-brothers complained, sannyasis. Guru Maharaja used to say that “Why you are complaining? You cannot reform him, your God-brother? And if I would have to keep expert manager like him, I would have to pay something. Suppose he is taking something, why do you grudge?” (Prabhupada laughing) He would say like that. So nobody could say anything. But after the demise, everything burst out. “Kunja Babu must be driven out.” That was the whole plan of Gaudiya Matha breakdown. The grudge was against Kunja Babu.
Tamala Krsna: Who is Kunja Babu?
Prabhupada: That Tirtha Maharaja. His name is Kunja Vihari Sar. So that was boiling in everyone’s heart. So as soon as Guru Maharaja passed away, so that burst out. And the whole plan was how to get out this Kunja Babu.
Tamala Krsna: Not how to preach.
Prabhupada: No. This was the cause of breakdown. This was suppressed by Guru Maharaja under his influence, but the rebellious was there during his lifetime. And it burst into… Therefore he advised that “You make a governing body and Kunja Babu should be allowed to remain manager.” This was directly spoken. He never asked anybody to become acarya. He asked that “You form a governing body of twelve men and go on preaching, and Kunja Babu may be allowed to remain manager during his lifetime.” He never said that Kunja Babu should be acarya. None, none of them were advised by Guru Maharaja to become acarya. His idea was “Let them manage; then whoever will be actual qualified for becoming acarya, they will elect. Why I should enforce upon them?” That was his plan. “Let them manage by strong governing body, as it is going on. Then acarya will come by his qualifications.” But they wanted that… Because at heart, they were, “After demise of Guru, I shall become acarya.” “I shall become acarya.” So all the acaryas began fight. One side, that Vasudeva Acarya and Sar Kunja Babu Acarya. And Paramananda, he thought that “Whoever will be powerful, I shall join them.” (laughing) He only thought. But Guru Maharaja never asked that these three men should be trustees. He wanted governing body. So the rebellion broke out immediately after his passing away. And then fight in the High Court. And Kunja Babu, he is very intelligent man. So from the very beginning he knew that “There will be fight after the demise of Guru Maharaja. So fight will be in the High Court. So at the expense of Guru Maharaja, let my brother and sons become attorneys and barrister so I will have not to pay all these things.” It was a planned thing. And that is being done. He was a clerk, it was not in his power to make his brother and sons attorneys and barristers. They were all made at the cost of Gaudiya Matha to fight with (indistinct) in favor of Tirtha Maharaja. These were the planned things. But I was a rotten grhastha. I did not join any one of them. (Prabhupada laughs) I was rotting in my household life. That’s all. But I was planning how to make, how to make this. That was my desire from the very beginning, since I heard it. But I was never with them, either this party or that party. And Guru Maharaja also recommended, apnader tasturi tublia thaki bhavan. Takhona (?). “When there will be need, he will do himself. There is no need of living with you. It is better to live apart from you.” When I was recommended by Goswami Maharaja to live in the Matha, that “He is so nice.” Sometimes he recommended. In Bombay, here in this Bombay. That house. Yes. He (Guru Maharaja) said “Yes, he is very expert. He can do. So it is better to live apart from you. And he will do everything when there is need.” He said. I could not understand. Although I was apart from them, a grhastha. In this Bombay I was doing business.” (people talking outside) Room Conversation, September 21, 1973, Bombay

“If you are serious to be an important assistant in our Society you should fully engage yourself in translation work, and do not mix yourself with my so-called God-brothers. As there are in Vrindaban some residents like monkeys and hogs, similarly there are many rascals in the name of Vaishnavas, be careful of them.” Letter to Niranjana, November 21, 1972

“Regarding the book list: “Lord Gauranga” by S.K. Ghose and Veder Panchaya by Bon Maharaja are useless and you may not get them. The other books and the Gaudiya paper are acceptable. If you have free use of Xerox machine you may make copies, of some of the smaller works. Regarding Bhakti Puri, Tirtha Maharaja, they are my God-brothers and should be shown respect. But you should not have any intimate connection with them as they have gone against the orders of my Guru Maharaja.” Letter to Pradyumna, February 17, 1968

Prabhupada:Daily night. And he was shocked. One of my Gaudiya Matha Godbrothers, big, he became the head of this Bhag Bazaar Gaudiya Matha. So his wife was debauched, and she was bringing new paramour, and the child protested.
Pusta Krsna: New?
Prabhupada: Paramour. And the boy, he was ten years or twelve years old, he could understand: “Who is this man?” So he protested and said, “I shall tell all these things to my father.” And he was killed.
Pusta Krsna: The boy was killed?
Prabhupada: By the mother.
Hari-sauri: She murdered him?
Prabhupada: Yes. Killed means given poison. And the father, that is, my Godbrother, seeing this, he also took poison. This is the end of Gaudiya Matha scandal. He was also one of the trustees. This Tirtha Maharaja was a trustee, and another Godbrother and this man. In the beginning, they were made trustees. In the beginning, Prabhupada was to undergo surgical operation. So he was a little nervous, that “I may die.” So he made a scrap paper, that “In case I die, these three disciples will be trustees of the Gaudiya Matha Institute.” That’s all. So this Kunja Babu kept this. There are many long histories. So one of the so-called trustees was this Vasudeva. So he died, his end was like this.
Pusta Krsna: His son was killed, isn’t it?
Prabhupada: His wife was a regular prostitute, and she killed her child, and on this shock, he took poison and died.
Pusta Krsna: He killed himself, oh.
Prabhupada: Naturally, he became shocked, that “This is my family life–the wife is prostitute and son is killed. What is the value of my life?” This was his spiritual realization. Just see. (laughs) And he was made the chief, and one of the supporter was Sridhara Maharaja.
Pusta Krsna: Vasudeva Sridhara?
Prabhupada: No, no. He was made chief. Guru Maharaja did not make him chief. But after his passing away, some of our Godbrothers voted him chief.
Pusta Krsna: Am I mis…? You had told me once, I’m not certain. Maybe I made a mistake. You said that Vasudeva, it was known fact that he was homosex?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Pusta Krsna: Vasudeva.
Prabhupada: He was homosex and sex, everything. Room Conversation, June 18, 1976, Toronto

Prabhupada: He cannot make any comment. These are facts. Two parties there were. One party, to use guru as their instrument for self-aggrandizement, and another party left guru. So both of them are offenders. This Kunja Babu, this Tirtha Maharaja’s party, he wanted to enjoy senses through guru. And the Bagh Bazaar party, they left.
Tamala Krsna: Vasudeva.
Prabhupada: So both of them are severe offenders.
Tamala Krsna: What about Sridhara Maharaja?
Prabhupada: Sridhara Maharaja belonged to the Bagh Bazaar party. And I was living aloof. My Guru Maharaja approved. He said, “It is better that he is aloof from them.”
Tamala Krsna: He could understand that his disciples were not…
Prabhupada: No, he was very sorry. At the last stage he was disgusted. Room Conversation, April 22, 1977, Bombay

Prabhupada: “At least historically it be proved. (break) …cause of envy of my Godbrothers. I was known. Although they knew that Prabhupada liked me very much, because I am grhastha, I was known as paca-grhastha. Paca-grhasta means a rotten grhastha. And now they say, “This grhastha has come out more than us? What is this?” (break) Sridhara Maharaja’s chief disciple…?
Bhavananda: Gaura.
Prabhupada: He always used to say to Sridhara Maharaja that “You are seeing Abhay Babu as grhastha, but he is more than many yogis.” He was telling.” Room Conversation, February 3, 1976, Mayapur

Bhavananda: People are attracted by the Westerners coming to the matha. So if we’re up at that matha, any of us, and then they say, “Just see.” They say in Bengali, “Just see. They are coming. To see our guru maharaja, they are coming.”
Prabhupada: That was the policy of Madhava Maharaja and Sridhara Maharaja, that “Although Bhaktivedanta Swami is propagating throughout, he is subordinate to us, under our instruction.” So all these three. Room Conversation, January 19, 1976, Mayapur

“2) Your so-called disciple, the jackal named Ananta Vasudeva, disobeyed your final instructions to keep the mission united, and thereby created a scandalous fiasco.
The result of this philosophical deviation is evident to this day as imitative sahajiyas are being worshiped as gurus in your temples.
3) Is there a single temple to be found where your instructions are still being followed? As it is said: “punar musiko bhava”- Everyone has “again become a mouse.”
4) The lion’s food has been stolen away by the deceptive tricks of the jackal Now caught in Maya’s mighty clutches everyone is reduced to wailing and weeping.” Viraha Astaka 1958

Section 15 – “So there is no difference between siksa-guru and diksa-guru . .”

The bona fide diksa guru and siksa guru are both guru, not conditioned souls.

“The initiating and instructing spiritual masters are equal and identical manifestations of Krsna, although they have different dealings.” Purport, Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 1.34

“Therefore, there is no difference between siksa-guru and diksa-guru . . .” Room conversation, Bhubanesva, Jan. 31, 1977

“According to sastric injunctions, there is no difference between siksa-guru and diksa-guru, and generally the siksa-guru later on becomes the diksa-guru.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 4.12.32

“There is no difference between the shelter-giving Supreme Lord and the initiating and instructing spiritual masters. If one foolishly discriminates between them, he commits an offense in the discharge of devotional service.” Purport, Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 1.47

“Sometimes a caste guru says that yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya means that one who is not a brahmana may become a siksa-guru or a vartma-pradarsaka-guru but not an initiator guru. According to such caste gurus, birth and family ties are considered foremost. However, the hereditary consideration is not acceptable to Vaisnavas. The word guru is equally applicable to the vartma-pradarsaka-guru, siksa-guru and diksa-guru.” Purport, Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 8.128

“A siksa-guru who instructs against the instruction of spiritual, he is not a siksa guru. He is a demon. Siksa-guru, diksa-guru means… Sometimes a diksa-guru is not present always. Therefore one can take learning, instruction, from an advanced devotee. That is called the siksa-guru. Siksa-guru does not mean he is speaking something against the teachings of the diksa-guru. He is not a siksa-guru. He is a rascal.” Lecture in Honolulu July 4, 1974

“These eternally liberated Vaikuntha-vasis are always helping others. Acting in the material world, they protect sincere persons from misunderstanding the principles of devotional service and thereby falling down and being punished by the agents of Yamaraja. The Vaikuntha-vasis encourage the descent of advanced devotees into saintly families, act for the increased prosperity and influence of those devotees, and render unseen help to the devotees’ preaching, by which more and more conditioned jivas are brought back to Krsna consciousness. As instructing spiritual masters, the Vaikuntha-vasis and their representatives remove the obstacles of attachment to karma and jnana and inspire their disciples in various ways to dedicate themselves fully to Krsna’s service. Because the residents of Vaikuntha are free from the restrictions of karma, their efforts never go in vain.” Brhad-bhagavatamrita 1.3.46, translated by Gopiparanadhana das

“The diksa-guru and the siksa-guru are both intimate servitors of Lord Krsna.” Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, Harinama-cintamani, translated by Bhanu Swami

“ . . . the pure devotee who instructs and guides the disciple in the confidential service of Sri-Sri Radha and Krsna is the siksa-guru.”
“One should . . . worship both the initiating and instructing spiritual masters with great attachment, never thinking that the guru is merely a great sage—rather, that he is one’s most intimate and well-wishing friend.” Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami, Sri Manah Siksa, translated by Sarvabhavana das

“So Krsna is within as caitya-guru, and when we are serious He comes out as the spiritual master. Siksa-guru, diksa-guru. So there is no difference between siksa-guru and diksa-guru and Krsna. Krsna manifests Himself externally as siksa-guru and diksa-guru.” Lecture in Vrindavan on Oct. 29, 1972

“The first manifestation described is the spiritual master, who appears in two plenary parts called the initiating spiritual master and instructing spiritual master. They are identical because both of them are phenomenal manifestations of the Supreme Truth.” Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Introduction to Adi Lila

“He helps us from within as Caitya Guru, and He expands Himself externally as Siksa Guru (as instructor) and Diksa Guru (initiator). So the principle is that whatever you are instructed by the Caitya Guru internally may be confirmed by the instructor or initiator externally. Then your progress will be complete.” Letter to Sivananda May 21, 1969

“Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami states that the instructing spiritual master is a bona fide representative of Sri Krsna. Sri Krsna Himself teaches us as the instructing spiritual master from within and without. From within He teaches as Paramatma, our constant companion, and from without He teaches from the Bhagavad-gita as the instructing spiritual master. There are two kinds of instructing spiritual masters. One is the liberated person fully absorbed in meditation in devotional service, and the other is he who invokes the disciple’s spiritual consciousness by means of relevant instructions. Thus the instructions in the science of devotion are differentiated in terms of the objective and subjective ways of understanding.” Purport, Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 1.47

“A devotee must understand that the adiguru, original spiritual master of the sampradaya, is the siksa-guru, and only his teachings are to be accepted and not those of any other scholar or teacher.” Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, Harinama-cintamani, translated by Bhanu Swami

“The initiating and instructing spiritual masters are equal and identical manifestations of Krsna, although they have different dealings.” Purport, Sri Caitanya Caritamrita 1.34

“Guror avajna. First offense is guror avajna: Defying the authority of guru. This is the first offense. So one who is offensive, how he can make advance in chanting? He cannot make. Then everything is finished in the beginning. Guror avajna. Everything is there. If one is disobeying the spiritual master, he cannot remain in the pure status of life. He cannot be siksa-guru or anything else.” Lecture in Honolulu, July 4,1974

Section 16 – “But a thief should be called a thief.”

Quotes on speaking the plain truth and the dangers of ignoring contradiction.

“To cut something, a sharp instrument is required; to cut the mind from its attachments, sharp words are often required. The sadhu or teacher shows no mercy in using sharp words to sever the student’s mind from material attractions. By speaking the truth uncompromisingly, he is able to sever the bondage. For example, at the very beginning of Bhagavad-gita, Krsna speaks sharply to Arjuna by telling him that, although he speaks like a learned man, he is actually fool number one. If we actually want detachment from this material world, we should be prepared to accept such cutting words from the spiritual master. Compromise and flattery have no effect where strong words are required.” Perfection of Yoga, Ch. Four: Yoga as Body and Mind Control

“It is not the question I believe and don’t believe, it is a fact. God is there—you believe or not believe—but God must be there. Your believing, not believing, it doesn’t matter. If I don’t believe there is no president, it does not mean there will be no president. There must be president. I do not know who is president. (indistinct) So people are in misconception that there is no God, God is dead, I am God, you are God, God is not person, so many God theories. But we have no theory, we have got a positive presentation, ‘Here is God.’ With that conviction we have to push on. So you must be prepared in that way. There will be so many questions, so many opposing elements. You have to face them by your arguments, by your knowledge. This is required. At least we must have faith in that way. We have to push on. This is the fact. We are Brahmā sampradāya, Lord Brahmā’s sampradāya. So, Brahmā sampradāya, Lord Brahmā is giving.” Conversation with the GBC, May 25, 1972, Los Angeles

“Obviously if one is intelligent he will associate with those who are trying to elevate themselves to the platform of self-realization through one of the various forms of yoga. The result will be that those who are sadhu, or realized, will be able to sever his attachment to material association. This is the great advantage of good association. For instance, Krishna speaks Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna just to cut off his attachment to this material affection. Because Arjuna is attracted to things that are impeding the execution of his own duty, Krishna severs these things. To cut something, a sharp instrument is required; and to cut the mind from its attachments, sharp words are often required. The sadhu or teacher shows no mercy in using sharp words to sever the student’s mind from material attractions. By speaking the truth uncompromisingly, he is able to sever the bondage.” The Perfection of Yoga, Ch. 4

“(W)ithout first properly understanding the science of the Absolute Truth, one cannot possibly develop firm devotion to the Supreme Lord”. Renunciation Through Wisdom, page 30

yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya
vartate kama-karatah
na sa siddhim avapnoti
na sukham na param gatim
“But he who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.” Bhagavad-gita 16.23

“The science of learning a subject matter seriously is different from the sentiments of fanatics.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.7.53

Srila Prabhupada: Nitir, by argument, by logic, when one becomes victorious, that victory is Krishna, niti. Without Krishna…
Chandobhai: It is God’s victory, not his.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. – Morning Walk–April 2, 1974, Bombay

“We are also lawyer. Not in the material sense. But we know what is the law of God.” Room Conversation with Monsieur Mesman, Chief of Law House of Paris, June 11, 1974, Paris

“Our process is to show Krishna Consciousness as it is, not as others want to see it.” Letter to Yogesvara, Bombay, 28 December, 1971

“When my Guru Maharaja was present even big, big scholars were afraid to talk with His beginning students. My Guru Maharaja was called “Living Encyclopedia” , he could talk with anyone on any subject. He was so learned – so we should be like that as far as possible. No compromise – Ramakrishna, avataras, yogis, everyone was enemy to Guru Maharaja – he never compromised. Some God-brothers complained that this preaching was chopping technique and it would not be successful. But we have seen that those who criticized, they fell down. For my part I have taken up the policy of my Guru Maharaja – no compromise.” Letter to Karandhara, 27 July, 1973

“Satyam, truthfulness, means that facts should be presented as they are, for the benefit of others. Facts should not be misrepresented. According to social conventions, it is said that one can speak the truth only when it is palatable to others. But that is not truthfulness. The truth should be spoken in a straightforward way, so that others will understand actually what the facts are. If a man is a thief and if people are warned that he is a thief, that is truth. Although sometimes the truth is unpalatable, one should not refrain from speaking it. Truthfulness demands that the facts be presented as they are for the benefit of others. That is the definition of truth.” Purport, Bhagavad-gita 10.4-5

Dr. Patel: With all my due respect, sir, well, we must have some sort of forbearance for others’ views.
Prabhupada: No, no. Because if we have got to preach, we cannot make any compromise.
Dr. Patel: You feel that way, we have no objection. But we should also respect somebody else’s views.
Prabhupada: No, we have got all respect, but not unnecessary respect.
Dr. Patel: But even unnecessary respect sometimes you unnecessarily go beyond, according to the…
Prabhupada: No, no, we have respect. But a thief should be called a thief. That is truth.
Dr. Patel: You are the magistrate and you are the judge and you are the…
Prabhupada: No, no, I am not judge. I am talking on the basis of Bhagavad-gita. – Morning Walk, April 5, 1974, Bombay

“You cannot judge a movement simply by the number of its followers. If one man is genuine, then the movement is successful. It is not a question of quantity, but quality.” The Science of Self Realization, Ch. 2, “Choosing a Spiritual Master-Saints & Swindlers”

“Do not be depressed. All along my godbrothers gave me only depression, repression, compression – but I continued strong in my duty.” Letter to: Gurudasa, Los Angeles, 29 August, 1972

“My godbrothers always discouraged me but I did not give up, I am doing my duty and always keeping my spiritual master in front.” Letter to Krsna dasa, Dallas, 9 September, 1972

“We must pray to Krsna to save us from the attack of so many bad elements.” Letter to Rupanuga, Bombay, 18 December, 1974

“Ekas candras tamo hanti na ca tarah sahasrasah. If we can, I mean to say, raise one person to Krishna consciousness, that means we have successfully preached our mission. One moon is better than millions of stars. Hare Krishna.” Press Release, Los Angeles, December 22, 1968.

“So the maya has captured us. Why? Because we have defied the supremacy of Krsna. So all of us, more or less. Therefore Krsna says in the Tenth Chapter, bhuya eva maha-baho [Bg. 10.1]. Arjuna is great soldier; therefore he is addressed as maha-baho. Baho, we have got baho. We have got baho. But Arjuna’s baho is different: he can fight with thousands of men alone. We cannot fight even with one man, although we have got this baho. Therefore he is addressed as maha-baho. And another meaning is that unless one is very strong in determination, he cannot make any advancement in Krsna consciousness. He must be a hero. He must be able to fight with the laws of material nature.” Class on Bhagavad-gita 10.1, Calcutta, March 6, 1973

“A chanter of Hari-kirtana is necessarily the uncompromising enemy of worldliness and hypocrisy. It is his constant function to dispel all misconceptions by preaching the truth in its most unambiguous form, without any consideration of person, place, or time. The form to be adopted is that which is least likely to be misunderstood. It is his bounden duty to clearly and frankly oppose any person who tries to deceive and harm himself and others by misrepresenting the truth, whether due to malice or genuine misunderstanding. This will be possible if the chanter of kirtana is always prepared to submit to being trodden upon by thoughtless people, if such discomfort will enable him to benefit his persecutors by chanting of the truth in the most unambiguous manner.
“If he is unwilling or afraid of considerations of self-respect or personal discomfort to chant kirtana under all circumstances, he is unfit to be a preacher of the absolute truth.Humility implies perfect submission to the truth and no sympathy for untruth. Those who entertain any partiality for untruth are unfit to chant Hari-kirtana. Any clinging to untruth is opposed to the principle of humility born of absolute submission to the truth.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, Harmonist 26.249-50, April 1929

Devotee: Does straightforwardness, does that include making the truth palatable to someone who will not understand the truth directly?
Prabhupada: Yes. When you speak of higher truths, you don’t care whether it is palatable to others or not. – Class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.10, July 10, 1968, Montreal

“So people may not like it. It may be very unpalatable. But the fact is like that. It is social convention that if you want to speak truth, you speak truth very palatable, flattering. Don’t speak unpalatable truth. But we are not meant for that purpose, social convention. We are preacher. We are servant of God. We must speak the real truth. You may like it or may not like it, that a godless civilization cannot be happy in any stage. That is a fact.” Lecture to College Students, October 21, 1968, Seattle

Devotee: Does straightforwardness, does that include making the truth palatable to someone who will not understand the truth directly?
Prabhupada: Yes. When you speak of higher truths, you don’t care whether it is palatable to others or not. – Class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.10, July 10, 1968, Montreal

“So people may not like it. It may be very unpalatable. But the fact is like that. It is social convention that if you want to speak truth, you speak truth very palatable, flattering. Don’t speak unpalatable truth. But we are not meant for that purpose, social convention. We are preacher. We are servant of God. We must speak the real truth. You may like it or may not like it, that a godless civilization cannot be happy in any stage. That is a fact.” Lecture to College Students, October 21, 1968, Seattle

“Truth may be palatable or unpleasant, that does not matter. Everything is palatable to somebody, unpalatable to others. “One man’s food, another man’s poison.” That does not matter. But the thing should be presented as it is. That is required. There is no hide-and-seek policy. Caitanya Mahaprabhu especially was very much against untruthfulness.” Class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.10, March 11, 1969, Hawaii

“You tell truth, but it must be very palatable. If you say truth unpalatable, then you will create enemies. But how can I do so in the spiritual knowledge? There is a proverb that “If you go to a prostitute, go in the morning. [laughter] Not at night.” [laughs] In the morning you will see her real beauty.” Class on Srimad Bhagavatam 6.1.22–25, December 13, 1970, Indore

“They want if you can say the truth, but don’t say the unpalatable truth. But that is social etiquette. When you speak about spiritual life there is no such scope. You must speak this truth: ‘Yes, you are rascal. Because you are not Krsna conscious, you are rascal, mudha. You are sinful. You are lowest of the mankind.’ Krsna says.” Class on Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.10, February 17, 1976, Mayapur

“The world situation is that you can speak truth if it is palatable. And if it is unpalatable, don’t speak. But this thing cannot be maintained when you are preaching spiritual life. There we cannot cheat. Spiritual life must be declared very frankly. Not that we have to declare; it is already declared.” Room Conversation, January 3, 1977, Bombay

“There is a proverb in Sanskrit that you speak truth but don’t speak unpalatable truth. When you speak the truth it must be very palatable. So this social convention is not applicable to a person who is preaching the Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth is not dependent on material pleasure or unpleasure.” Letter to: Rupanuga, Seattle 15 October, 1968

“We should consider that, without the right motive, it is inappropriate to reflect, even impartially, upon the faults of any living being, what to speak of Vaisnavas. To blaspheme Vaisnavas is an offence, but even blaspheming other jivas is a sin. Vaisnavas have no interest in performing such a sinful act.

“However, provided one has the right motive, the scriptures have not condemned a careful critique of someone’s faults. Proper motive is of three types:
(1) desiring the welfare of the person criticized,
(2) desiring the welfare of the world
(3) and desiring one’s own welfare
“There are three types of proper motive:
(1) If the intention in analyzing someone’s sins is to ensure that he attains his ultimate welfare, then such reflection is auspicious.
(2) If the motive behind reflecting on someone’s sins is to benefit the whole world, then this is to be counted as an auspicious act.
(3) If such reflection is undertaken for one’s own spiritual welfare, then it too, is auspicious. There is no fault in such reflection.
“When one reflects upon the historical accounts of personalities like Valmiki or Jagai and Madhai in light of one or more of these three virtuous motives, then such reflection is never the cause of incurring sin. When a disciple humbly asks his spiritual master to instruct him on how to identify a Vaisnava, the spiritual master, desiring the welfare of his disciple and of the whole world, explains that those who exhibit unholy behaviour are non-Vaisnavas. He thus points out how to identify true Vaisnavas through antithesis.
“With the motive of encouraging one to accept the shelter of the lotus feet of a true Vaisnava by abandoning false, so-called preachers of religion, one neither risks committing blasphemy of saints (sadhu-ninda) nor vaisnava-aparadha (offence to Vaisnavas). In such cases, even criticism directed at a specific person is free from fault. These are all examples of criticizing with the proper motive.” Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, Vaishnava Ninda

Section 17 – “When my disciples will be sahajiya, it will be more dangerous.”

Quotes on Sahajiyas.

“Sahajiya . . . Sahaj means easy, easy-going.”  Conversation on May 1, 1974

“. . . . actually, we do not want to create a group of prakrta-sahajiya, or devotees who do not know the science of Krishna and do not know the science of devotion but simply worship the Deity with no depth of knowledge.” Letter to Syamasundara, New Vrindaban, June 3, 1969

“It is not so easy. That is called sahajiya. Why you want such exalted things so easily?” Room Conversation, July 8, 1976

Prabhupada: These sahajiyas will come out of so many devotees. What can be done? From my Guru Maharaja’s disciples, so many sahajiyas came. These are called sahajiyas. Very easily they capture thing. So my Guru Maharaja used to say, “When my disciples will be sahajiya, it will be more dangerous.” He used to say like that. Take things very easily. You know that Purusottama, supposed to be my Godbrother?
Prthu-putra: No.
Prabhupada: You don’t know?
Prthu-putra: In Mayapura?
Prabhupada: In Vrndavana.
Prthu-putra: In Vrndavana. Ah, yes. Purusottama, yes.
Prabhupada: He has poisoned this Nitai.
Prthu-putra: Oh. Is it because we have the desire to come in contact with such persons that we contact them, like Nitai contacting that Purusottama?
Prabhupada: You may not desire, but if you are not strong, you’ll be misled by these rascals. But if we follow this instruction, Narottama dasa Thakura, ara na koriho mane asa, oh, then you become strong. Then you remain strong. Our bhakti line is anyabhilasita-sunyam. We should be completely zero of our material desires. Anyabhilasita-sunyam. Sunyam means zero.  – Room Conversation, January 28, 1977, Bhuvanesvara

Prabhupada: My Guru Maharaja used to say, “When our men will be sahajiya, he will be more dangerous.”
Devotee: Our own men.
Prabhupada: Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he said that, “When our men will be sahajiya, oh, they’ll be more dangerous.” So our men are becoming, some of them, sahajiyas. This very word he said, that, “When our men will be sahajiyas, he’ll be more dangerous.” – Room Conversation, January 24, 1977, Bhuvanesvara

“The transcendental symptoms of ecstasy certainly are auspicious, but they are not for advertising to others. One should not advertise directly or indirectly that one is feeling like this. They should be checked. Otherwise one will gradually become sahajiya or one who takes spiritual advancement as something materially manifest.” Letter to Makhanlal,Los Angeles, June 3, 1970

“Without serving Krsna according to the vidhi-marga regulative principles of the pancaratrika-vidhi, unscrupulous persons want to jump immediately to the raga-marga principles. Such persons are called sahajiya. There are also demons who enjoy depicting Krsna and His pastimes with the gopis, taking advantage of Krsna by their licentious character. These demons who print books and write lyrics on the raga-marga principles are surely on the way to hell. Unfortunately, they lead others down with them. Devotees in Krsna consciousness should be very careful to avoid such demons.” Purport, Srimad Bhagavatam, 4.24.45-46

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, when one returns to his svarupa, his natural form, how does…
Prabhupada: First of all, anartha-nivrtti. You are accustomed to so many bad habits. First of all try to rectify it, then talk of svarupa. – Conversation, June 23, 1976

“One should not artificially try to establish some relationship. In the premature stage it is sometimes found that a lusty, conditioned person will artificially try to establish some relationship with Krsna in conjugal love. The result of this is that one becomes prakrta-sahajiya, or one who takes everything very cheaply. Although such persons may be very anxious to establish a relationship with Krsna in conjugal love, their conditioned life in the material world is still most abominable. A person who has actually established his relationship with Krsna can no longer act on the material plane, and his personal character cannot be criticized.” Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 40

“The sahajiyas, they accept this material bliss as spiritual bliss. That is called sahajiya. Don’t be sahajiyas. Try to understand according to sastra.” Lecture, July 20, 1973

“Tapasya is required. Without tapasya, if you think that very easily… Or ‘Without tapasya, I can get it simply by imagination,’ then you become sahajiya, to take things very easily.” Lecture, August 15, 1974

“Going to girls and making them pregnant, then talking of Gopis, that is going on, that is nonsense. Without coming to the perfectional stage, if anyone tries to understand the Gopis he becomes a sahajiya.” Letter, December 14, 1972

“In this connection, we should be careful about the so-called siddha-pranali. The siddha-pranali process is followed by a class of men who are not very authorized and who have manufactured their own way of devotional service. They imagine that they have become associates of the Lord simply by thinking of themselves like that. This external behavior is not at all according to the regulative principles. The so-called siddha-pranali process is followed by the prakrta-sahajiya, a pseudosect of so-called Vaisnavas. In the opinion of Rupa Gosvami, such activities are simply disturbances to the standard way of devotional service.” Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 16

“First business is cure yourself. Anartha-nivrtti, that is anartha-nivrtti. Then svarupa will come. That is the babajis. In Vrndavana, you have seen? Siddha-pranali.” Conversation, June 23, 1976

“So the cheaters are there. If our men are cheated, if they agree to be cheated, how can I stop them? In Vrndavana also they have done like that, the babajis.” Conversation, April 25, 1977

“This is why we should worship Radha-Krishna in Their Laksmi-Narayana feature with all respect and reverence. If we deviate from this standard then we shall be prakrta sahajiya, or a person who takes things very cheap.” Letter, January 24, 1969

“Regarding Mataji, I have noted your remarks, and actually we do not want to create a group of prakrta sahajiya, or devotees who do not know the science of Krishna and do not know the science of devotion, but simply worship the Deity with no depth of knowledge.” Letter, June 3, 1969

“One must be…, behavior in Vaisnava. Sadacara-sampannah. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has warned that ‘Don’t mix it with Vaisnava who is not well trained up, well behaved.’ You can offer him respect. A Vaisnava offers respect even to the ant. That is another thing. But he has warned, ‘Don’t mix with them, these professional, so-called Vaisnava, sahajiyas.’ This is warned. Avaisnava-mukhodgirnam puta-hari-kathamrtam, sravanam na kartavyam: ‘You should not hear.’ ‘Eh? Huh? What is the wrong there? The Krsna-katha is there.’ No, Krsna-katha is there just like milk is there, but if it is touched by the lips of a serpent, it is no more to be taken. It has become poison. Unless one is situated as pure Vaisnava in his dealing, in his behavior, inside and outside, he should not become a preacher because it will not be effective, neither one should hear from such person. But people in general, they can not understand, but those who are preaching, they must be very sincere, the same way. Rupa-raghunatha pade, haibe akuti. They should read the literatures, the instruction, just like Upadesamrta, The Nectar of Instruction. We should follow, strictly follow. Then prthivim sa sisyat. Then you’ll be able to preach and make disciples all over the world. This is the injunction. That is called gosvami. Don’t be cheap preacher, cheap guru. No, no. That is not good. It is not possible.” Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.28, Mayapur, March 6, 1976

“I have received information that some of our devotees are mixing with the babajis in Vrindaban. This has produced so many problems amongst our men and women who visit Vrindaban. Here in Los Angeles, we have found that there is a group of about 40 devotees who privately meet to discuss the intimate pastimes artificially thinking that they can enter into the understanding of the gopis prematurely. This will create havoc in our society, and the result will be that if this is allowed to go on, our preaching work will be greatly hampered. This premature desire to understand the lila of Krishna is due to mundane sex-life desire as we have seen amongst many of the babajis and sahajiyas in Vrindaban. Our Jagannatha das came back from Vrindaban asking me that he had heard some babaji speaking about siddha-deha and he also was listening to these babajis. So I want this immediately stopped. If it continues, this mixing with the babajis, then it will mean spoiling. In many cases, these babajis keep 2 or 3 women. Asatsanga tyagi. Their association is to be avoided and prohibited amongst all of our devotees who visit Vrindaban.” Letter, June 7, 1976

“Those who are barren of the treasure of love for Krsna- propelled by duplicity- declare to the whole world their false attainment of prema, although in reality, by an external display of prema or by announcing it to one and all, it is positively impossible for such hypocrite destitutes who are deprived of the wealth of krsna-prema to ever attain it. To make their great fortune known to everybody, adepts of prakrta-sahajiyism often expose to each other insincere external symptoms of prema (such as shedding of tears). Rather than calling such hypocrite Sahajiyas as premika, real pure devotees go as far as to completely reject their association, knowing it to destroy bhakti. Pure devotees never teach one to designate such persons as ‘devotees’, thus equaling them with pure devotees. At the rise of genuine prema, the jiva hides her glory and strives for krsna-bhajana.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami, Commentary, Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya 20.28

“Hearing and chanting is certainly the best way, but it is not auspicious for anyone and everyone to hear and discuss intimate pastimes. Hearing and discussing the confidential pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda is the topmost type of worship and our eternal bhajana. However, this type of bhajana should not be taken to the public as it is unfitting and offensive.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami, Sri Srila Prabhupader Upadesamrita

“Apana bhajana-katha na kahibe yatha tatha (You must not disclose your confidential mood of bhajana to one and all)- one who desires all good fortune should follow this advice given by the acaryas. In a public assembly of different people we should chant the Holy Name, as well as prayers and songs that are in the mood of servitorship (dasya-rasa). When we have attained the proper qualification and we are in the association of only rasika devotees, then we may hear more intimate songs and at the time of hearing such songs we may confidentially express our own bhajana according to our eternal position (svarupa). If we do otherwise we will attain the opposite result. If these songs must be abandoned to set a standard, then so be it! We must give some benefit to the public. The practice of singing publicly the Lord’s intimate pastimes by those who have not given up sense enjoyment and the desire for wealth are the activities that give Kali an occupation!” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami, Sri Srila Prabhupader Upadesamrita

Section 18 – “Due to sectarianism a person cannot accept anyone outside of their own group as a Vaishnava”

Quotes on sectarianism, mostly by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

“This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is specifically meant for educating people about the spirit soul. It is not a sectarian religion. It is a science. Don’t take it as a type of religion. It is a course of education which is understandable by the human society, not by the cats and dogs.” Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.10, Geneva, May 31, 1974

“Differences that arise from places, times, languages, behaviors, foods, dresses, and natures of various communities are incorporated within people’s spiritual practices and gradually make one community so completely different from another community that even the consideration that everyone is a human being may cease to exist. Due to these differences there is disagreement, cessation of social intercourse, and fighting, even up to the point of killing one another. When an asslike mentality becomes prominent within the kanistha-adhikaris, they certainly indulge in these things. But if they develop a swanlike mentality, then they do not take part in quarrels; rather, they endeavor to attain a higher level. Madhyama-adhikaris do not quarrel so much about external standards, but they are always attacked by philosophical disagreements. Sometimes they condemn the standards of neophytes and establish their own standards as superior. They condemn the neophytes deity worship in order to establish the worshipable Lord as formless. In such cases, they are also considered asslike people. Otherwise, if they had a swanlike mentality and a desire to attain a higher level, they would respect others practices and inquire about higher topics.
“Contradictions actually arise only due to asslike mentality. Swanlike persons consider the necessity for different practices according to one‘s qualification, so they are naturally detached from sectarian quarrels.” Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sri Krishna Samhita, introduction

“The eleventh obstacle of the Vaishnavas is sectarianism, which takes the shape of the forest fire. Due to sectarianism a person cannot accept anyone outside of their own group as a Vaishnava, and as a result they face many obstacles in finding a guru and associating with devotees. Therefore extinguishing the forest fire is most important.” Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sri Krishna Samhita 8.22

“Those who become sectarian by obstinately locking themselves into dogmatic cults are soon diverted from lofty idealism, munificence and liberality. They deride and rail at anyone who does not follow their particular methodology in religious practice. This is a serious aberration on their part” Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 11 Page 175








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