Nam Hatta: goings-on, developments and issues important to the
disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Srila Prabhupada, His Movement & Youby Hansadutta das
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From Dinadayadri devi dasi,
Dear Hansadutta das:
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!!!
I have just finished reading your publication Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You and was compelled to write to convey my deepest, heartfelt thanks for shining this beacon of light and reason into the insane mire that unfortunately has enveloped our beloved spiritual father's divine mission for so many years. Frankly, I had given up hope of ever again seeing in print such a logical, bhakti-infused representation of the truth of these essential matters in this lifetime!
I don't recall ever meeting you personally, but I heard much about your glorious exploits in the service of Srila Prabhupada during the early days of ISKCON from my then husband, Naranarayana das. I also have always credited you to a great extent with saving the day during the near-disastrous 1970 Rathayatra Festival in San Francisco through your tireless chanting of the Holy Names, which went on for hours and resounded like a battle cry against the evil forces that seemed intent on disrupting the Lord's chariot ride through Golden Gate Park to the sea. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to continue in that vein, because I think you could also do a lot to save the present-day circumstances through broadcasting the Holy Names as heard from the lips of our true Sampradaya Acharya, Srila Prabhupada.
I have long held the belief that much of the current philosophical confusion could be dissipated if devotees would simply return to practicing the congregational chanting and dancing of the Holy Names in the manner set forth by Srila Prabhupada. (As you said, DO AS PRABHUPADA WOULD DO!) After all, kirtan is the first and foremost method he gave us for purifying our consciousness so we could understand Vaishnava philosophy. Nowadays, the kirtan in the temple is usually so cacophonous, raucous and disjointed, it is very difficult for all but the most grimly determined to even take part. That's a far cry from the simple, enchanting melodies, steady rhythms and graceful dancing introduced by Srila Prabhupada that so captivated us and swept us up into the dust at his lotus feet and onto the path back home, back to Godhead!
Thank you very much, Hansadutta Prabhu, for kindly taking time to read through this rather lengthy letter. I'm sure I haven't said anything that you don't already know and judging from your writings, you have probably already implemented a return to the pure form of congregational chanting as heard from Srila Prabhupada. Of course, the most important principle of chanting was given by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in His Shikshastaka:
trnad api sunichenaI just happened to notice that when the devotees started trying to imitate the professional kirtan singers and sahajiyas they heard in India, something got lost in the translation. I thought one such as yourself, who was recognized by Srila Prabhupada as a very nice kirtan man, could appreciate and perhaps elucidate further on these points. I am subscribing to your newsletter Inside Nam Hatta with joyous anticipation!
From Sriman Pandit das,
Dear Hansadutta dasa Prabhu:
Please accept my humble dandavats! Thank you very much for your kind response and magazine about Srila Prabhupada. I especially liked the letter you composed while waiting for Sriman Rahugana Prabhu. I felt it very nicely covered the issue of consulting Srila Prabhupada's god-brothers and consequently changing camps. I recently met with Brahmananda Prabhu at Pusta Krishna's house and related to him how Govinda Maharaja has gained some strength, especially in Santa Cruz by using Srila Prabhupada without giving him the credit due. I personally feel, though, that their potency is only being exhibited because Srila Prabhupada's movement is so weak. It's kind of like the example Prabhupada gives about the glow worms: how they exhibit their light, but in the presence of the sun they are vanquished. And since, as you so expertly point out, because Srila Prabhupada's movement is lacking strong preaching and brahminical power, they are (Govinda Maharaja's group) having some success in gathering support. Also I feel because the devotees in general have fallen away from strictly following the regulative principles and chanting their rounds and staying fully engaged in Krishna's service, that no one really knows what the brahminical standard is anymore. Therefore devotees think when they see a devotee like Govinda Maharaja, who is a nice devotee, they think this is the standard now, and so undermine all the strict rules and regulations that Srila Prabhupada so strongly insisted upon.
I am so enlivened to hear you preaching again. It is music to my ears. Thank you also for cultivating the humble attitude. I remember when I was first trained up we were taught if we had a problem with a god-brother we had to go and offer our obeisances and beg forgiveness. In fact, I remember offering obeisances to all the devotees individually every day. And when I keep this attitude and remind myself of my personal falldown and offenses, I feel more Krishna conscious! I also feel that Krishna has given me another chance to serve Srila Prabhupada. I have become very serious about my sadhana and sankirtan preaching that I do here in Santa Cruz and even though I am alone for the most part, it is special mercy because I am learning how to fly my own airplane. Hare Krishna!
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
From Gour Mohan das,
Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Thank you very much for the magazines. I think many devotees will appreciate it very much. I gave Anant Swarup Prabhu also a copy, and he said that "This is really approaching the truth." I will send you in due course some Lakshmi for the magazines.
The leader of the Hague Centre bought also one magazine and became very enthusiastic to preach this to all the people who visit the centre. He asked me to ask you two questions, which he would like to have an answer. If the answers are satisfying, he said he will help you convince other people. His name is Guru Padma and was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in 1976.
The two questions are: 1) Is there any Vedic evidence that when a bona fide spiritual master is no longer physically on the planet, that he can still accept disciples? 2) The proof that Prabhupada has meant that after his disappearance those who become initiated are his disciples? Please be so kind to write a letter for Guru Padma and send it to me, and I will hand it over to him.
Your servant in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
From Yasodanandan das,
Dear Hansadutta das:
Please accept my humble obeisances. It was a pleasure to speak to you last night. Regarding some scriptural evidence for this special position of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, you may consider the following.
As the Acharya of His Movement
His Unique Position as the Major Spiritual Literary
Authority for the Golden Age
Predicted by Lochana Dasa Thakura
Predicted by Srila Krishna Dasa Kaviraja (Middle 16th
Predicted by Srila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura,
...Sriman Mahaprabhu did not descend with His associates to deliver a certain number of human beings in the land of India, but rather His purpose was to deliver and uplift all living beings in all countries of the world by preaching the eternal religion of all souls. He has personally said,prthivi-parjanta jata ache desa gram/ sarvatra prachara hoibe mora nama. "My Name will be preached in all the countries and towns that exist throughout the world." (Chaitanya Bhagavata Antya 4.126) There are many kinds of religion in the world, and among all of them the highest development of religion is the congregational chanting of the Supreme Lord's divine names. Of this there is no doubt. Alas! When will that day come [underline is mine] when all greatly fortunate souls in countries such as England, France, Russia, Prussia and America will take up banners, kettle drums, mridangas and karatalas and thus cause the ecstatic waves of Hari Nama Kirtana and the singing of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Holy Name to rise in the streets of their towns and cities? O when will that day come when pure and transcendental Krishna prema (love of God) will be the only religion of all souls and all tiny sectarian religions will meet in the unlimited and universal religion of devotional service to Krishna, as rivers merge into the great ocean? O when will that day come? -- Saj-jana Tosani of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, late 1800's
And who fulfilled that wish and prediction of Bhaktivinoda Thakura? Srila Prabhupada.
6) Statement by Srila Prabhupada in New York, 1968: " After me there will be no more Acharyas."--recounted by Rohini Kumara Swami in July, 1989, November, 1991 and again in February, 1993
The obvious intent of Srila Prabhupada was there would not be another acharya like him after his departure. But bona fide disciples who did follow the principles and knew the philosophy and could preach could act as acharya representatives. He was to be the prominent acharya for the next 10,000 years. Also see the quote re law books for ten thousand years.
7) Explain the meaning of shakti avesha avatara, especially empowered personality. Only a super-empowered personality could do what Prabhupada has done.
Examples of the Lives of the Great Acharyas
Sri Ramanujacharya preached all over India and wrote commentaries in Vedanta and Bhagavad-gita. He re-established the Vaishnava dharma especially throughout South India. He made thousands of disciples and established many Vaishnava temples.
Sri Madhvacharya wrote 38 books and commentaries and established eight major monasteries in Udupi, and also made thousands of disciples. He also travelled throughout India and preached strongly against the Mayavada impersonalist philosophy. He established Vaishnava philosophy in many places throughout India.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personally preached throughout South India. He started a spiritual revolution that is still felt today.
However, all these acharyas stayed in India. Their literatures and temples were confined to the Indian sub-continent. Prabhupada is the first acharya of the Vedic lineage who has ever travelled out of India and made so many Vaishnavas. He has presented in his numerous purports the true essence of the teachings of all the Vaishnava sampradayas . Thus, in one sense, he is the greatest acharya, because he has accomplished what no one else has done, in a most difficult environment and very tenuous circumstances in 1965 in New York.
What Ramanuja is to the Sri Sampradaya, what Madhvacharya is to the Brahma Sampradaya, what Nimbarkacharya is to the Kumara Sampradaya and what Vishnusvami is to the Rudra Sampradaya and what Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is to the Gaudiya Sampradaya and to all sampradayas; what Rupa Goswami Prabhupada and Sanatana Goswami Prabhupada and Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhupada were in their times after the departure of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by their literary and devotional accomplishments and what Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakura and Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana were in the 1700's--SRILA PRABHUPADA is today their bona fide representative, preaching the glories of Vaishnava philosophy all over the world throughout his books and teachings and through his bona fide disciples and followers.
It should be noted that most of these acharyas took decades, if not their entire lifetimes to accomplish their mission. But Srila Prabhupada, in a short span of 11 years, accomplished what no one else in the entire history of India had accomplished. HE HAS FULFILLED THE PREDICTION OF SRI CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU.
The Position of the Adi-Guru of the Sampradaya, as
described by Srila Sac-cid-ananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura (Hari-Nama-Chintamani,
Chapter 6, Text 22)
9) sadhu sampradaye acharya sakala siksha guru pratisthaWithin the community of saintly persons, all are teachers and established as siksha gurus or instructing gurus (sakala siksha guru pratisthita). He who is the original guru (Adi-acharya) of the Sampradaya is the crest jewel amongst all gurus (guru siromani ). Thus it is proper to give him worship. Footnote by Bhaktivinoda Thakura:
A community of Vaishnavas is a community of saintly persons. They are able to give instructions about the disciplic succession, mantra, the absolute truth and the practice of sadhus . One should choose a worthy guru from the Vaishnava Sampradaya, if he wants to escape from such unbonafide sampradayas, such as Mayavada, etc.... The explanation of the first guru of the Sampradaya should be respected for his particular instructions. Srila Ramanujacharya, Srila Nimbarka and Sri Vishnusvami--these are the first acharyas of their own Sampradayas. Sri Madhvacharya is our original acharya .
Just as the above-mentioned acharyas are the adi-acharyas of their respective sampradayas, Srila Prabhupada is the adi-acharya of the Bhaktivedanta Sampradaya for the world-wide community of Vaishnavas. He is not merely another acharya. He is the current acharya of the Gaudiya Sampradaya. He has proven it and established it, especially by three major factors:
1) His numerous and voluminous bhasyas and tikas and profuse practical arrangement to distribute these literatures all over the world in all kinds of languages.
2) By his powerful preaching and immaculate purity he has made thousands of Vaishnavas and Vaishnavis all over the world.
3) He has (had???) practically created the framework for a universal house of worship and a sanctuary in the age of Kali-yuga by establishing 108 mandiras or temples, ashramas, farms, Gurukulas, etc. and given specific, practical directions of how to manage these institutions for preaching the message of Lord Chaitanya.
One South Indian Ramanuja guru remarked in 1976, after viewing one of Srila Prabhupada's books and witnessing the preaching of some of his young disciples, "This person [Srila Prabhupada] is the summum bonum of all acharyas."
Thus it is the foremost duty of any sincere disciple and follower of Srila Prabhupada to emphasize the unique and distinct position and accomplishment of Srila Prabhupada as the visva acharya or the world Acharya, the actual jagat guru, by his accomplishments and not merely by a self-given title. He is the actual Sampradaya Acharya to be surrendered to and fully served by all Vaishnavas and all preachers and preceptors in the future.
He lives forever by his divine instructions,
These are just a few of the many quotes and citations that may be presented to establish the unique position of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
From Dasarath Suta das
Hari bol Hansadutta Prabhu:
Thanks for super speedy delivery of your after-thoughts. I still need a copy of Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You, since the one I saw was someone else's. Or if you want me to give some away to earnest followers of His Divine Grace, send 1/2 dozen, if you can.
Enclosed is our N.B. list you requested. Their Lordships are very kind to allow us to glorify them in some tiny way.
Talking to you and then Yashodanandan Prabhu finally cleared up the small doubt I had. Now I can see you are following the proper conclusion. May you have all success in opening the devotees' eyes. Srimad Puri Maharaja is exactly right: "Just give Harinam and teach them to worship the Mahabhagavat."
Hope you are well and singing songs of Vrindaban consciousness.
From Saradiya devi dasi, New York
Dear Hansadutta das Prabhu:
Please accept my respects. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Wow! Thanks for the magazine. I love it, really says it all. That is where my heart is, but can't reveal my heart to many. (In other words, let other devotees know how I feel about the guru issue.) Am so glad that you are also walking the walk, not just talking the talk. (I'm not even talking.) ....
From Gauridas Pandit das
Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:
Please accept my respectful obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Thank you so much for your magazines and newsletter. I must say both the quality of the printing and writing are first class. This is a magazine that will remain. It has integrity. You make a lot of great points that I have not heard before. That's why I feel it's very important that we network among like-minded devotees and keep the communication going. Your magazine should be read by all devotees. Any who don't accept it deserve to be cheated. What honest person can deny the simple truth?
I had a meeting with Hridayananda Maharaja the other day. I should have tape-recorded it, but it happened spontaneously. I went over to his apartment, and he was talking to Jagajivan Prabhu, who was pretty much going along with all of H.M.'s twisted explanations. H.M. said he is an uttama adhikari. Every time we tried to ask a question, he would filibuster the conversation. He would not let me talk, and when I finally did get to say something, he would not address the real points. When Jagat Guru das brahmachari (rittvik-initiated) asked about Srila Prabhupada's statement that you had to be a resident of Krishna Loka to be a spiritual master, H.M. replied that all the temples are Krishna Loka; therefore, he lives in Krishna Loka! When asked about the statement in the will that all future BBT trustees should be Srila Prabhupada's disciples and how could they be disciples after the current generation is all gone, under the current ISKCON system, he replied that we were trying to derive a direct meaning out of an indirect statement. Talk about word jugglery! After talking to him and Jayadvaita Swami last week, I can see why the GBC refuses to discuss this topic anymore. They don't have a leg to stand on! H.M. told me in front of about 15 devotees that he would not respond to any of my questions anymore and was yelling and very angry. He lost his cool totally! Then I said that my main complaint was that the GBC wouldn't discuss the Guru issue, as called for in the 1990 GBC meeting in San Diego. I said the resolution called for an international meeting, but instead of having a meeting, they prepared their ISKCON Journal, which is a pack of lies, and declared that anyone who discusses rittvik will be kicked out of the temples. Fascism to the max! H.M. said, "'Pack of lies!' What are you talking about?" I said, "There are many--for instance, Satyadhanya Maharaja said that I was Tamal's servant, not Prabhupada's." At this, H.M. said that S.M. has done more service than I could ever do for Prabhupada. I replied that he has molested young boys in the Gurukula. H.M. said, "I'm going to ask you a question before I kick you out of here. Do you think that when I said S.M. did great service I was referring to his child molestations?" I replied, "Of course not." I got up and said, "It's obvious that I'm not getting anywhere with you, and you're not getting anywhere with me, so I'll go, and I hope you all have a nice meeting. And by the way, a rittvik acharya is also an honorable position. Hare Krishna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!" Instead of convincing our Jagat Guru Prabhu to join his camp, he left the Clearwater scene altogether and has now joined Yashodanandan Prabhu for now. H.M. also said that his disciples are more advanced than I, although the ones I know here are rude, sleep in, and one even beats up homeless people! Real advanced! His followers are fanatics. One said he could be a cowherd boy (he wears a cowboy hat). The other day, one of his "pastimes" was playing basketball! Well, I guess if you can't sweat in the kirtan, you can play sports?! Let's get real. Rittvik is reality.
We are looking forward to your Prabhupada festival in May. I hope you get the support you need to print all of your good works in glorification of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!
From Riktaharshan (formerly Vrindaban Chandra das of
Mt. Kailash, aka Eric Johanson), Beaverton, Oregon
Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:
Please accept my most respectful obeisances. All glories to your diksha guru, Srila Prabhupada, who I pay dandavats to as my shiksha guru.
I have just read the following excerpt in the "Merry Krishnas" issue (#6) of the PADA newsletter:
Hansadutta Prabhu now initiates newcomers as Prabhupada's disciples, and a Prabhupada initiation ceremony was given by him recently in the Philippines [sic]. Simultaneously, he has advised all his former disciples to consider Srila Prabhupada to be their actual guru . They should consider the initiation [newsletter's italics] he gave them formerly as a rittvik initiation, done on behalf of Srila Prabhupada.
I was surprised to read that you are (allegedly) pushing this new philosophy. As you may remember, in 1988, we mutually agreed to annul my 1978 initiation by you. Did I also receive a "rittvik initiation" from you at that time? I certainly don't consider Srila Prabhupada to be my diksha guru.
In that 1978 ceremony, as well as all the others you performed back then, you never spoke of this rittvik initiation. You instead preached strongly against anything like it, emphasizing that all genuine disciples must be initiated by a living guru.
The rittvik people attack this phrase, saying it's an offence (in effect, calling Srila Prabhupada a dead guru ). Srila Prabhupada is still gloriously living, no doubt. Using the phrase "living guru" is just a common way of referring to a guru who is constantly manifest in what appears to be a physical body, that's all. Prabhupada has chosen not to do that since November of 1977.
Actually, Srila Prabhupada himself used the phrase: "physical spiritual master."
O'GRADY: The problem is to find this spiritual master.As far as "initiating on behalf of Srila Prabhupada" goes, Prabhupada also used that phrase. Does that mean that you and your god-brothers have all actually been initiated by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta (with Prabhupada as a mere rittvik on his guru's behalf)?
You are all helping me in pushing forward this mission of Lord ChaitanyaMahaprabhu, coming down by disciplic succession to my Guru Maharaja. So, whatever you have spoken, it is simply due to them. I am simply the via medium to receive them, ON BEHALF of my Guru Maharaja, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja Prabhupada.-- Srila Prabhupada, 21 August 1971
As one of the devotees who knew you (to some extent), despite your personal problems, I was often impressed with your strength in speaking out against rationalized concoctions like rittvikvada . Generally, you had a very good understanding of the philosophy and preached it in clear terms, without compromise.
In the Christian community, Jesus was initiated by a spiritual master, John the Baptist. The initiation process is essential...necessary in order to be recognized by God. A medical student has to follow the standard course under a recognized professor. Then he will get his degree. However, if the student goes to the library and reads all the books on his own, he will never be recognized as bona fide .--Hansadutta das, 14 January 1969, BerkeleyHow many students do you know who study under a departed and non-manifest professor on campus and still get their degree from that college?
This rittvikvada is following the path of modern-day institutionalized delusions posing as religions. PADA hints this is the case:
The priest is called a rittvik, in Sanskrit. So PADA heartily applauds...an end to the need for re-initiations. Hey! Once you have your baptismal initiation, how many more do you need anyway? Do you need a new marriage certificate when the priest changes? No. So this soft approach to re-initiation is good.--PADA, issue #4
Diksha, however, is a personal affair, not something to be decided by across-the-board proclamations. Srila Gaura Kishora das Babaji and his sole disciple, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, set the example--the guru and the disciple have to both formally accept one another.
Yet, with what they say is absolute authority, the rittvik party spirit waves a new flag. Anyone who picks up a bead bag and chants, "Jaya Prabhupada" soon becomes a formally initiated disciple of His Divine Grace. And Srila Prabhupada automatically takes his karma (?). And Srila Prabhupada will return to the physical plane to deliver him if he doesn't reach perfection (?).
It's not hard to believe that Srila Prabhupada left, at least in part, because he didn't wish to accumulate any more of that.
Wouldn't you have branded this rittvikvada as sahajiya at one time? It's setting up a kind of First Church of Prabhupada, the Redeemer. And ironically, the man who is now spearheading the campaign received a very clear warning from Prabhupada himself: "IT'S CHURCH! IT'S CHURCH! IT'S CHURCH!" Ask him.
The real process is to become completely sincere. Then Krishna will descend to such a person in the form of the self-realized, pure devotee spiritual master. There is no substitute for this.
Neither the ecclesiastically appointed, voted-in, non-vetoed, post-holder, musical-chairs gurus nor the rittvik-Churchianity material arrangements will work. They cannot deliver the goods.
If someone is not insane and finds that he has not been directly accepted by a manifest guru, then he should honestly draw but one conclusion: he has not yet become sincere enough in spiritual life! Any other conclusions are delusions. The rittvik arrangements discussed by His Divine Grace with his leading secretaries were meant to facilitate world-wide initiations during his manifest presence. Those instructions were no longer applicable after his disappearance. All these post-1977 initiations were and still are a sham and a mockery of the parampara. We should clean house, go back to square one and start over. We shouldn't propose some new, further-flung falsity that will only create more factions.
Why can't we encourage and facilitate people to become spiritually sincere? Are we frightened that they may actually find out a pure devotee? Are we frightened that Paramatma may then dictate in our hearts that we should also approach such a pure devotee for shiksha? Instead, with rittvikvada, we give the babies a mirror, get a reflection in it and then tell them they've actually captured the moon in their hands.
This is an open letter, so you can print it in PADA or elsewhere, if you choose to do that. I assume the afore-mentioned annulment applies to any new conception of initiation you may hold. I hope so. Kindly contact me if that is an incorrect assumption. Most of the things PADA is hammering down on I also despise. So I find the newsletter to be doing some good work and exposing things that fully require to be exposed. But this rittvik philosophy it pushes will spoil it.
Your eternal servant,
P.S."Even a slight change will spoil it. That is why I have always been so careful to give you only those things which I have heard from my Guru Maharaja."--Srila Prabhupada to Hansadutta, Vrindaban, 1967
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Srila Prabhupada, His Movement & You - Correspondence 2/Inside Nam Hatta
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