M O V I N G F O R W A R D
The following Srimad-bhagavatam verses and purports by Srila Prabhupada outlines the “Core Essential Elements” of Krishna Consciousness. Moreover, they can be used by any organization, that wants to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s mission, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s mission, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s mission and the Six Goswamis of Vrindavan mission, and the mission of Lord Caitanya, and ultimately the mission of Lord Sri Krishna.
The guidelines and principles, are so potent, they can be described as, “precious” & “valuable” secrets that exist in this Universe, and in fact in all the infinite Universes that exists in this one ex-hale of Maha-Visnu..
Again, someone, somebodies, needs to assume the challenge of properly and fully understanding how they can be “physically and practically” applied, so that the proper form, of the Krishna-consciousness movement, will spread throughout the world; to every nick, crack, and corner.
This Treatise, concurs with Srila Prabhupada and his Spiritual Master, in that, at this time, and going into at least the next century, the Krishna-consciousness movement can be spread all over the world, via the facilities of an organized institution, comprising of communities of devotees of all varieties.
Srila Prabhupada cane to the USA, from India, all by himself; with a few rupees in his pocket. His disciples still number in the hundreds, and maybe still a few thousand. He was by himself, but, we are many. He had a dollar in change, but, I am sure that Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, who are still alive, have a combined liquid wealth of, maybe many, many, millions.
Srila Prabhupada Reconstituted his Spiritual Masters’ Gaudiya Matha, into IKCON, So, why can we not do the same, as he did; why can we not Reconstitute ISKCON into “??????”. He did say “do-as-I-do,” “follow in my foot steps”.
Reconstituting Srila Prabhupada’s Mission is certainly a challenging endeavor, and those who will assume this responsibility, must simply be sincere, bold, fearless, truthful, and they must know the Science of Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada has specified core elements, which such an institution must have, and in addition, he has taught us some other essentials which one can say are secrets to its success as well.
Modern technology will be adopted in the same manner that Srila Prabhupada did. There must be a careful study of all Internet, and social media technology, in order to determine how it can best be used. I can just imagine all those devotees out there who can say, that this is right up their alley; and you will surely be able to come up with all sorts of ways that will facilitate the preaching of Krishna-consciousness, which is a Science; and do not forget that. I have already seen many separate such efforts on the Internet, with substantial Web-Sites. However, if you all ‘melted’ together into one, two, or three, stronger organizations; each properly organized, and mandated with a specific aspect of Srila Prabhupada’s overall articulation mission, that would make a significate impact, be more influential, and make a big impression on our Krishna-consciousness community and general society as well.
I have used my past skills as a very successful Business Computer Systems Consultant. I have secured, this very wildly used software, call “Elementor”, that is a tool for building Website. It has capabilities, that go way beyond my experience, from 35 years ago. This website, has facilities, land capability to Unite Us. It is a start, in the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”. I need help, especially from my god-brothers and sisters.
Maybe, an analogy, is appropriate here:
Let us say, that we (us Srila Prabhupada disciples), are 3,000 individuals in a school-yard. But, there is one group of 100, who have formed a “gang”, and are the proverbial “bullies” in the school-yard. This “gang” of “bullies”, can easily “beat-you-up”, if they do not like what you are doing.
However, if the 2,900 individuals, (who are not part of that school-yard gang of 100 bullies), ban together, and form a new “gang of 2,900 individual”; they together can “beat-up”, the smaller gang-of-100 bullies, very easily. Do you not see, that the “Big-Bully” in the school yard can control everyone in the school-yard, and this “Big-Bully” is patrolling the school-yard and is on the “look-out” for anyone or any organization, that threatens its “individual and collective vested-interest”, of the “gang of 100 bullies”! Therefore, if we are weak, they can break us, but if we are strong, they will run-away.
In the purports, I have selected key elements; which I have highlighted in Italics, and Underlined font. These Items will be further discussed. Hence, I recommend that you take note of them.
“O son of the King, now I shall speak unto you the mantra which is to be chanted with this process of meditation. One who carefully chants this mantra for seven nights can see the perfect human beings flying in the sky.”
Purport by Srila Prabhupada:
Within this universe there is a planet called Siddhaloka. The inhabitants of Siddhaloka are by nature perfect in the yoga achievements, which are of eight varieties: one can become smaller than the smallest, lighter than the lightest, or bigger than the biggest; one can immediately get whatever he likes, one can even create a planet, etc. These are some of the yogic perfections. By virtue of the laghima-siddhi, or purificatory process to become lighter than the lightest, the inhabitants of Siddhaloka can fly in the sky without airplanes or airships. It is hinted herein by Narada Muni to Dhruva Maharaja that by meditating upon the transcendental form of the Lord and at the same time chanting the mantra one becomes so perfect within seven days that he can see the human beings who fly in the sky.
Narada Muni uses the word japah, which indicates that the mantra to be chanted is very confidential.
One may ask, “If it is confidential, why is it mentioned in the writing of Srimad-bhagavatam?”
It is confidential in this sense: one may receive a published mantra anywhere, but unless it is accepted through the chain of disciplic succession, the mantra does not act. It is said by authoritative sources that any mantra chanted without having been received from the disciplic succession has no efficacy.
Another point established in this verse is that meditation should be carried on with the chanting of a mantra.
Chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra is the easiest process of meditation in this age. As soon as one chants the Hare Krishna mantra, he sees the forms of Krishna, Rama and Their energies, and that is the perfect stage of trance. One should not artificially try to see the form of the Lord while chanting Hare Krishna, but when the chanting is performed offenselessly the Lord will automatically reveal Himself to the view of the chanter. The chanter, therefore, has to concentrate on hearing the vibration, and without extra endeavor on his part, the Lord will automatically appear.
“Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. This is the twelve-syllable mantra for worshiping Lord Krishna. One should install the physical forms of the Lord, and with the chanting of the mantra one should offer flowers and fruits and other varieties of foodstuffs exactly according to the rules and regulations prescribed by authorities. But this should be done in consideration of place, time, and attendant conveniences and inconveniences..”
Purport by Srila Prabhupada:
Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya is known as the dvadasaksara-mantra. This mantra is chanted by Vaisnava devotees, and it begins with pranava, or omkara. There is an injunction that those who are not brahmanas cannot pronounce the pranava mantra. But Dhruva Maharaja was born a ksatriya. He at once admi tied before Narada Muni that as a ksatriya he was unable to accept Narada’s instruction of renunciation and mental equilibrium, which are the concern of a brahmana. Still, although not a brahmana but a ksatriya, Dhruva was allowed, on the authorial of Narada, to pronounce the pranava omkara. This is very significant. Especially in India, the caste brahmanas object greatly when persons from other castes, who are not born in brahmana families, recite this pranava mantra. But here is tacit proof that if a person accepts the Vaisnava mantra or Vaisnava way of worshiping the Deity, he is allowed to chant the pranava mantra.
In Bhagavad-gita the Lord personally accepts that anyone, even one of a low species, can be elevated to the highest position and go back home, back to Godhead, simply if he worships properly.
The prescribed rules, as stated here by Narada Muni, are that one should accept the mantra through a bona fide spiritual master and hear the mantra in the right ear.
Not only should one chant or murmur the mantra, but in front of him he must have the Deity, or physical form of the Lord. Of course, when the Lord appears it is no longer a physical form. For example, when an iron rod is made red-hot in a fire, it is no longer iron; it is fire. Similarly, when we make a form of the Lord—whether of wood or stone or metal or jewels or paint, or even a form within the mind—it is a bona fide, spiritual, transcendental form of the Lord. Not only must one receive the mantra from the bona fide spiritual master like Narada Muni or his representative in the disciplic succession, but one must chant the mantra.
And not only must one chant, but he should also offer whatever foodstuff is available in his part of the world, according to time and convenience.
The method of worship—chanting the mantra and preparing the forms of the Lord—is not stereotyped, nor is it exactly the same everywhere. It is specifically mentioned in this verse that one should take consideration of the time, place and available conveniences.
Our Krishna consciousness movement is going on throughout the entire world, and we also install Deities in different centers. Sometimes our Indian friends, puffed up with concocted notions, criticize, “This has not been done. That has not been done.” But they forget this instruction of Narada Muni to one of the greatest Vaisnavas, Dhruva Maharaja.
One has to consider the particular time, country and conveniences. What is convenient in India may not be convenient in the Western countries.
Those who are not actually in the line of acaryas, or who personally have no knowledge of how to act in the role of acarya, unnecessarily criticize the activities of the ISKCON movement in countries outside of India. The fact is that such critics cannot do anything personally to spread Krishna consciousness.
If someone does go and preach, taking all risks and allowing all considerations for time and place, it might be that there are changes in the manner of worship, but that is not at all faulty according to sastra. Srimad Viraraghava Acarya, an acarya in the disciplic succession of the Ramanuja-sampradaya, has remarked in his commentary that candalas, or conditioned souls who are born in lower than sudra families, can also be initiated according to circumstances. The formalities may be slightly changed here and there to make them Vaisnavas.
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommends that His name should be heard in every nook and corner of the world. How is this possible unless one preaches everywhere? The cult of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is bhagavata-dharma, and He especially recommends Krishna-katha, or the cult of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-bhagavatam.He recommends that every Indian, considering this task to be para-upakara, or welfare activity, take the Lord’s message to other residents of the world. “Other residents of the world” does not refer only to those who are exactly like the Indian brahmanas and ksatriyas, or like the caste brahmanas, who claim to be brahmanas because they were born in the families of brahmanas. The principle that only Indians and Hindus should be brought into the Vaisnava cult is a mistaken idea. There should be propaganda to bring everyone to the Vaisnava cult. The Krishna consciousness movement is meant for this purpose. There is no bar to propagating the Krishna consciousness movement even among people who are born in candala, mleccha or yavana families. Even in India, this point has been enunciated by Srila Sanatana Gosvami in his book Hari-bhakti-vilasa, which is smrti and is the authorized Vedic guide for Vaisnavas in their daily behavior. Sanatana Gosvami says that as bell metal can turn to gold when mixed with mercury in a chemical process, so, by the bona fide diksa, or initiation method, anyone can become a Vaisnava. One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorized by his predecessor spiritual master. This is called diksa-vidhana. Lord Krishna states in Bhagavad-gita, vyapasritya: one should accept a spiritual master. By this process the entire world can be converted to Krishna consciousness.
“One should worship the Lord by offering pure water, pure flower garlands, fruits, flowers and vegetables, which are available in the forest, or by collecting newly grown grasses, small buds of flowers or even the skins of trees, and if possible, by offering tulasi leaves, which are very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
Purport by Srila Prabhupada.
It is specifically mentioned herein that tulasi leaves are very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and devotees should take particular care to have tulasi leaves in every temple and center of worship.
In the Western countries, while engaged in propagating the Krishna consciousness movement, we were brought great unhappiness because we could not find tulasi leaves. We are very much obliged, therefore, to our disciple Srimati Govinda dasi because she has taken much care to grow tulasi plants from seeds, and she has been successful by the grace of Krishna. Now tulasi plants are growing in almost every center of our movement.
Tulasi leaves are very important in the method of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this verse the word salilaih means “by the water.”Of course, Dhruva Maharaja was worshiping on the bank of the Yamuna. The Yamuna and the Ganges are sacred, and sometimes devotees in India insist that the Deity must be worshiped with water of the Ganges or Yamuna.
But here we understand desa-kala to mean “according to time and country.”
In the Western countries there is no River Yamuna or Ganges—water from such sacred rivers is not available. Does this mean that the arca worship should for that reason be stopped? No.
Salilaih refers to any water—whatever is available—but it must be very clear and collected purely. That water can be used.
The other paraphernalia, such as flower garlands, fruits and vegetables, should be collected according to the country and according to their availability.
Tulasi leaves are very important for satisfying the Lord, so as far as possible an arrangement should be made for growing tulasi leaves. Dhruva Maharaja was advised to worship the Lord with the fruits and flowers available in the forest. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna frankly says that He accepts vegetables, fruits, flowers, etc. One should not offer Lord Vasudeva anything other than what is prescribed herein by the great authority Narada Muni. One cannot offer to the Deity according to one’s whims; since these fruits and vegetables are available anywhere in the universe, we should observe this small point very attentively.
“It is possible to worship a form of the Lord made of physical elements such as earth, water, pulp, wood and metal. In the forest one can make a form with no more than earth and water and worship Him according to the above principles. A devotee who has full control over his self should be very sober and peaceful and must be satisfied simply with eating whatever fruits and vegetables are available in the forest.”
Purport by Srila Prabhupada.
It is essential for a devotee to worship the form of the Lord and not only meditate upon the form of the Lord within his mind with the chanting of the mantra given by the spiritual master. The worship of the form must be present.
The impersonalist takes unnecessary trouble to meditate upon or worship something impersonal, and the path is very precarious. We are not advised to follow the impersonalist way of meditating on or worshiping the Lord. Dhruva Maharaja was advised to worship a form made of earth and water because in the jungle, if it is not possible to have a form made of metal, wood or stone, the best process is to take earth mixed with water and make a form of the Lord and worship Him.
The devotee should not be anxious about cooking food; whatever is available in the forest or in the city among the fruit and vegetable groups should be offered to the Deity, and the devotee should be satisfied eating that. He should not be anxious to have very palatable dishes. Of course, wherever it is possible, one should offer the Deities the best foodstuffs, prepared within the category of fruits and vegetables, cooked or uncooked. The important factor is that the devotee should be regulated (mita-bhuk); that is one of the good qualifications of a devotee. He should not hanker to satisfy the tongue with a particular kind of foodstuff. He should be satisfied to eat whatever prasada is available by the grace of the Lord.
“My dear Dhruva, besides worshiping the Deity and chanting the mantra three times a day, you should meditate upon the transcendental activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His different incarnations, as exhibited by His supreme will and personal potencies.”
Purport by Srila Prabhupada.
Devotional service comprises nine prescribed practices—hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, serving, offering everything to the Deity, etc. Here Dhruva Maharaja is advised not only to meditate on the form of the Lord, but to think of His transcendental pastimes in His different incarnations. Mayavadi philosophers take the incarnation of the Lord to be in the same category as the ordinary living entity. This is a great mistake.
The incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not forced to act by the material laws of nature. The word sveccha is used here to indicate that He appears out of His supreme will.
The conditioned soul is forced to accept a particular type of body according to his karma given by the laws of material nature under the direction of the Supreme Lord. But when the Lord appears, He is not forced by the dictation of material nature; He appears as He likes by His own internal potency. That is the difference. The conditioned soul accepts a particular type of body, such as the body of a hog, by his work and by the superior authority of material nature. But when Lord Krishna appears in the incarnation of a boar, He is not the same kind of hog as an ordinary animal. Krishna appears as Varaha-avatara in an expansive feature which cannot be compared to an ordinary hog’s.
His appearance and disappearance are inconceivable to us. In the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly said that He appears by His own internal potency for the protection of the devotees and the annihilation of the nondevotees. A devotee should always consider that Krishna does not appear as an ordinary human being or ordinary beast; His appearance as Varaha-murti or a horse or tortoise is an exhibition of His internal potency.
In the Brahma-samhita it is said, ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhih: [Bs. 5.37]
“one should not mistake the appearance of the Lord as a human being or a beast to be the same as the birth of an ordinary conditioned soul, who is forced to appear by the laws of nature, whether as an animal, as a human being or as a demigod.”
This kind of thinking is offensive. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has condemned the Mayavadis as offensive to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because of their thinking that the Lord and the conditioned living entities are one and the same.
Narada advises Dhruva to meditate on the pastimes of the Lord, which is as good as the meditation of concentrating one’s mind on the form of the Lord. As meditation on any form of the Lord is valuable, so is chanting of different names of the Lord, such as Hari, Govinda and Narayana. But in this age we are especially advised to chant the Hare Krishna mantra as enunciated in the sastra:
“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”
“One should follow in the footsteps of previous devotees regarding how to worship the Supreme Lord with the prescribed paraphernalia, or one should offer worship within the heart by reciting the mantra to the Personality of Godhead, who is nondifferent from the mantra.”
Purport by Srila Prabhupada.
It is recommended here that even if one cannot arrange to worship the forms of the Lord with all recommended paraphernalia, one can simply think about the form of the Lord and mentally offer everything recommended in the sastras, including flowers, candana pulp, conchshell, umbrella, fan and camara. One can meditate upon offering and chant the twelve-syllable mantra, om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. Since the mantra and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are nondifferent, one can worship the form of the Lord with the mantra in the absence of physical paraphernalia. The story of the brahmana who worshiped the Lord within his mind, as related in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, or The Nectar of Devotion, should be consulted in this connection. If paraphernalia is not present physically, one can think of the items and offer them to the Deity by chanting the mantra. Such are the liberal and potent facilities in the process of devotional service.
“Anyone who thus engages in the devotional service of the Lord, seriously and sincerely, with his mind, words and body, and who is fixed in the activities of the prescribed devotional methods, is blessed by the Lord according to his desire. If a devotee desires material religiosity, economic development, sense gratification or liberation from the material world, he is awarded these results.”
Purport by Srila Prabhupada.
Devotional service is so potent that one who renders devotional service can receive whatever he likes as a benediction from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The conditioned souls are very much attached to the material world, and thus by performing religious rites they want the material benefits known as dharma and artha.
“If one is very serious about liberation, he must stick to the process of transcendental loving service, engaging twenty-four hours a day in the highest stage of ecstasy, and he must certainly be aloof from all activities of sense gratification.”
Purport by Srila Prabhupada.
There are different stages of perfection according to different persons’ objectives. Generally, people are karmis, for they engage in activities of sense gratification. Above the karmis are the jnanis, who are trying to become liberated from material entanglement. Yogis are still more advanced because they meditate on the lotus feet of the Supreme Personally of Godhead.
And above all these are the devotees, who simply engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord; they are situated seriously on the topmost platform of ecstasy.
Here Dhruva Maharaja is advised that if he has no desire for sense gratification, then he should directly engage himself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.
The path of apavarga, or liberation, begins from the stage called moksa. In this verse, the word vimuktaye, “for liberation,” is especially mentioned. If one wants to be happy within this material world, he may aspire to go to the different material planetary systems where there is a higher standard of sense gratification, but real moksa, or liberation, is performed without any such desire.
This is explained in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu by the term anyabhilasita-sunyam [Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 19.167], “without desire for material sense gratification.”
For persons who are still inclined to enjoy material life in different stages or on different planets, the stage of liberation in bhakti-yoga is not recommended.
Only persons who are completely free from the contamination of sense gratification can execute bhakti-yoga, or the process of devotional service, very purely.
The activities on the path of apavarga up to the stages of dharma, artha and kama are meant for sense gratification, but when one comes to the stage of moksa, the impersonalist liberation, the practitioner wants to merge into the existence of the Supreme. But that is also sense gratification.
When one goes above the stage of liberation, however, he at once becomes one of the associates of the Lord to render transcendental loving service. That is technically called vimukti. For this specific vimukti liberation, Narada Muni recommends that one directly engage himself