Is he, Srila Prabhupada as good as his books, or is he not?
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das
[Posted 13 November 2006]

Science of Self RealizationThe Power of Prabhupada's Books

Hansadutta das


[This letter published at Hare Krishna News Network 05-19-02]

Dear Madhudvisa Prabhu,

Please accept my most humble obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, this letter is sweet beyond words. It just shows that Srila Prabhupada is as near and available to anyone who has the love, faith and enthusiasm to approach him. Even when Srila Prabhupada was physically present, most devotees had no access to him. But this is not because Srila Prabhupada was inacessible, it was because most dared not to come too near to him, because one had to be prepared to carry out any and all orders that might come from Srila Prabhupada under the inflow of the divine inspiration of Krishna. After all Srila Prabhupada is "The transparent medium " - the channel of communication, to and from Krishna. It is a two-way channel. It stands to reason that His books, in his absence, are now the two-way channel, "transparent medium" to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. Although apparently only a binding of paper and ink, we say they are spiritual. So how are they spiritual? Herein lies the inconceivable "achintya shakti" spiritual mystery of the transcendental world.

Matter cannot make use of spirit; rather, spirit makes use of matter, thus anything properly related to Krishna, by his agent, the transparent medium, it has all the potency of Krishna. The spiritual world is not in the material world; the material world is a small part of the spiritual world, just as San Quentin prison is part of California. Not that California is part of San Quentin.

If Srila Prabhupada is not spiritually available in his books, then certainly Krishna is also not there, then what is the use of such books? This question should be resolved. Is he, Srila Prabhupada as good as his books, or is he not?

Absolute means no difference between the person Bhagavat and the book Bhagavat. In the purport of SB, Canto 1, Ch.2 Text 18, Srila Prabhupada writes "The remedy is the association of the BHAGAVATAS. There are two types of BHAGAVATAS, namely the book BHAGAVATA and the devotee BHAGAVATA. Both the BHAGAVATAS are competent remedies, and both of them or either of them can be good enough to eliminate the obstacles...."

Now someone may object by quoting the last sentence of this same purport where Srila Prabhupada says "The messages of the book BHAGAVATA therefore, have to be received from the devotee BHAGAVATA, and the combination of these two BHAGAVATAS will help the neophyte devotee make progress on and on." This may sound like a valid argument, but I say that the book BHAGAVATA which was given to us by Srila Vyasadev, comming down thru the disciplic sucession to Srila Prabhupada, was subsequently translated and purported by him especially for the people of this modern age of western industrialized, technologized and sin-saturated society. Therefore what we have in the Book BHAGAVATA and the BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORTS is in fact the book BHAGAVATA and the person BHAGAVATA all in one presentation. As Srila Prabhupada's disciples our function is simply to deliver these two BHAGAVATAS, the book and the person, Srila Prabhupada. It is the function of the disciple to confirm the instructions of the spiritual master, and give assistance to the new candidates. It is not their function to use Srila Prabhupada's books for alluring new candidates to increase their personal following, as it seems to be the case today.

You might go have a reading in the next chapter (1.5.24 - 26) about the mercy and spiritual nature of "THE BHAKTIVEDANTAS". I also have an interesting letter in that connection. I will forward that to you.

In the future we may have to be known as "THE BHAKTIVEDANTAS" in order to distinguish ourselves from so many camps and contending elements. Just as Srila Prabhupada insisted on calling his society KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS and not GOD consciousness... At some point it must be clear that one is a follower of SRILA BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRBHUPADA as per his BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORTS, or that one is simply following something else.

Your humble servant,
Hansadutta das

[The following letter published at Hare Krishna News Network]

Dear Sivarama Swami,

Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. I hope you do not mind my writing to you. I have never written to a spiritual master before. You do not know me. My name is Bhaktin Dora and I live in pecs (Hungary). I am 14 years old, and I live at home with my mother and older sister.

In 1992 I went to the Hare Krishna festival with a friend. I was not very interested, but I enjoyed the chanting and dancing at the end. After it was over I bought a book, The Science of Self-Realization. I do not know why, generally I never read. I think it was because of the chanting. I took the book home and cannot remember what happened to it. One day my mother found it and was very angry with it. She thought that I was reading this kind of thing. You see our family members are all very strict Catholics. They thought that Krishna consciousness was some kind of "brainwashing". Actually I wasn't reading the book. I had forgotten all about it. Somehow it just "appeared". Anyway my mother was going to throw it away.

My Grandmother who was 68 was in the kitchen at that time. She lives in the apartment upstairs. She came in and took the book. She looked at it and scolded me in a heavy way. I thought that would be the end of it. I did not mind it so much as I was in a lot of maya at that time.

About a week later I overheard a conversation between my mother and grandmother. Granny was saying that this was not some ordinary book. She said that what Prabhupada was saying about Jesus Christ and that Krishna was God. I was very surprised. She said that we should listen to what Prabhupada said and chant Hare Krishna because that was the religion for this age. There was a lot of talk about how Christianity was no more and no one was following the bible, but what Prabhupada said was pure and perfect.

Things really took a turn from there. One day my grandmother visited the Namahatta center here and began to chant on beads. She also began to buy Prabhupada's books one by one. She was spending all her pension on buying what she called the "beautiful, holy Bhagvatam". Sometimes she could only afford to eat potatoes, but she kept buying the books. The devotees came up to her flat and helped her set up an altar. When I went upstairs they had taken all the pictures down, and there were Krishna's pictures everywhere.

That was really the beginning. One night granny had a dream about Prabhupada. Something really happened to her then. I don't know what it was, but she began to get very enthusiastic. Next she began to get the whole family involved. I mean, not just me and my mother and sister, but her two sons their wives and six children as well as her brother, sister and relatives. Before she used to carry a bible with her and quote Jesus Christ. Now she has a Bhagavad Gita and quotes the "good lord Prabhupada". She became a veritable transcendental terror. Every one in the family has to chant at least one round a day. In addition granny made everyone became vegetarian including my dog sikra, and we offer our food to the picture of Prabhupada and lord Caitanya.

Now I am also getting out of Maya and chanting and reading a little also. Where I go to school there my friends inquire about Krishna, as they know that I am a devotee. The whole family goes for Namahatta, all sixteen of us. During the Christmas marathon we all tried to distribute Prabhupada's books. Even granny would take the books to the market and sell them to the vendors. Everyone is afraid of her because she is fearless. They all think that she has gone crazy, but she doesn't care.

Now she is saving to go to Budapest to see the newly installed deities. She has heard that Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda "came" to Hungary and are being worshipped there by some devotees. She says she wants to see God just once in this life.

At this year's Hare Krishna festival, you were speaking to the guests after the kirtana. You must remember my grandmother because she came and sat right besides you and asked so many questions. At the end when you stood to leave, she even kissed your hands, remember? I also wanted to ask a question, but I was shy. Could I please ask you now? I hope you do not mind Maharaja.

I want to know what kind of man Srila Prabhupada was. He must have been so dear to Krishna to spread this message all over the world. What are these books that changed my family so much? How is it possible that he can speak so powerfully through them? You must feel very fortunate to be his disciple. How great a man he is? Sometimes my granny chants in front of a picture of Krishna she cries. How does Prabhupada do that? I want to cry like that too. Granny dreams of Prabhupada and sometimes she talks to his picture. Although it says on the cover of the book that he passed away, is Prabhupada really dead or he is still alive? Do you think I can meet him some day?

I am sorry that I have gone on so. I would like to be a good devotee one-day and help you and Prabhupada spread Krsna consciousness. Please could you answer my questions?

Your servant,
Bhaktin Dora.


The Power of Prabhupada's Books/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
©2004 - Hansadutta das
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