A Treatise; Making a “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”
Analysis of a Lecture Given by Srila Prabhupada in 1969. Part 1
Sri Vyasa-puja Lecture, Hamburg, September 5, 1969:
“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 total without any addition or alteration. Then all of you become the spiritual master. That is the science of becoming spiritual master. … To become a spiritual master is not very wonderful thing. Simply one has to become sincere soul. That is all.
[Bhagavad-gita 4.2]. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said,
‘By disciplic succession this yoga process of Bhagavad-gita was handed down from disciple to disciple. But in course of time that disciplic succession is now lost. Therefore, Arjuna, I am teaching you again the same philosophy.’
So, this is the process. Simply if we… Therefore, Vedic knowledge is called sruti. One has to hear it properly, assimilate it, and then practice it in life and preach the same thing. Then everyone becomes spiritual master. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says,
‘O My dear disciples, I tell you that you, all of you, become spiritual master. Simply you carry out My order. That is all.’
And what is Your order? The order is the same: [Caitanya-caritamrita-Madhya-lila 7.128].
‘Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Sri Krishna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-bhagavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land.’
Just like Krishna gave instruction in the Bhagavad-gita, and if you simply place the instruction received from Bhagavad-gita As It Is.”
Let us look at the first part of this quote by Srila Prabhupada,
“So, all my students present here who are feeling much obliged. . . I shall request them all to become guru. Every one of you should be guru. . .”
This is simple and straight forward and to the point. If you have an appreciation for what has been taught to you by your Spiritual Master, and if you are feeling “obliged”. you should also become a guru.
It is very clear that he is not demanding his disciples to become Guru, he is requesting them all, to become guru if they feel obliged. However, being “obliged” is just the first step. Next you would have to be “sincere”, and next you would have to become “qualified”.
The meaning of Srila Prabhupada’s words in this 1969 lecture:
The meaning of “request” is,
“To express a desire for, ask for; to ask a person to do something”.
Thus, Srila Prabhupada had this desire and he asks for it to be fulfilled and by a specific set of women and men; his disciples.
If you know something; then you can teach it. You cannot give something you do not have. Similarly, you cannot teach something if you do not possess that knowledge. This is the meaning of the next part,
“Whatever you are hearing from me, whatever you are learning from me, you have to distribute the same in total without any addition or alteration.”
Srila Prabhupada says that the knowledge one has learned from him, from his books or from his spoken words, should be distributed. That part is clear. In this connection, he said,
“Whatever you have taken in; simply just vomit it.”
Garden Conversation—September 6, 1976, Vrindavan:
“Go and preach. Do not be afraid. Simply present [Caitanya-caritamrita-Madhya-lila 7.128]. Whatever you have learned from Krishna, from your guru, just vomit it, that’s all. There is no need of becoming very expert. Simply whatever you learned. That is all.”
The next part, which needs a more careful analysis is,
“… You have to distribute the same in total without any addition or alteration.”
Clearly, he says,
“Do not add to what you have learned”.
Then he says,
“Do not alter it as well”.
However, he did not specifically say subtraction. Subtraction is adulteration just as much as addition.
The word ‘alteration’ means,
‘To change or make different; modify’.
Therefore, this also means that we should not subtract or remove anything. Nevertheless, Srila Prabhupada did not specifically mentioned ‘subtraction’, as he did with ‘addition’. Why did he say ‘addition’ only, where the word ‘alteration’ covers both addition and subtraction?
In regards to his books, it is well known that Srila Prabhupada said,
“Do not change anything.”
The word “change” means,
“Make or become different.”
Hence, the conclusion is that the word “change” includes addition, modification, and subtraction.