A devotee in Texas wrote in, asking what to do, how to be properly connected with Srila Prabhupada. He is certainly not the only one. There are many devotees like him all over the world, so I hope this helps others who likewise want to understand their situation in relationship to Prabhupada.
Dear Bhakta Ronnie, obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Thank you for your nice letter. You have asked, “What exactly is a
devotee like me supposed to do? How do I get linked up with Srila Prabhupada?” This is the question that plagues you, right?
Vaikuntanath das, a good friend of mine from NY City in early 1968, was alone with Srila Prabhupada at the Radha Damodar temple in Vrindaban, India. He wanted to ask a question of Prabhupada that had haunted him for a long time. Finally he felt, “This is my chance.” He asked, “Srila Prabhupada, we are
distributing millions of books, but in the future when you are not here, how will these people who read your books be INITIATED?” Srila Prabhupada looked at him approvingly and answered, “One who
reads my books, he is initiated automatically.”
Actually, initiation as a ceremony is only a formality that takes place after embracing the instruction of Srila Prabhupada (either from books or in person) into the heart. Just as the marriage ceremony takes place after a man and a woman have fallen in love. The love is a prerequsite, not the formality of marriage ceremony.
So take it that your initiation has already been done long, long ago when your heart was pierced by and embraced the instructions of Srila Prabhupada.
Therefore, because it is so, you could never embrace or be embraced by anyone else in the garb of a Guru. In a conversation with Madhudvisa, Prabhupada is asked, “What about a Christian who is reading the Bible, but has no spiritual master?” Prabhupada replies that “If one is reading the Bible, then he is following the spiritual master Lord jesus Christ.” Madhudvisa continues, “I mean a living spiritual master.” Prabhupada replies, “There is no question of living, the spiritual master is eternal. If one is
reading the Bible, then he is following the spiritual master Lord Jesus Christ, and he may be assisted by some clergy man or priest in the church.”
So there you have it. The disciples are like clergy men or priests in the church. Srila Prabhupada is the ACHARYA. He is like JESUS to CHRISTIANITY. His students are simply assistants for those coming after Prabhupada. They are not on the same level.
It is common sense. I think you will understand. You are OK. Don’t be bewildered by the external formulas and rituals being peddled by neophyte devotees.
When I inadvertantly received “Easy Journey to Other Planets”, I read it cover to cover, immediately (March, 1967 ) walked into the NY City 26, 2nd Ave temple and said, “I want to be a devotee. Give and tell me whatever I need.” I never had someone preach to me. The words in the book catapulted me unhesitatingly and totally over the edge of Maya’s cliff into a free fall of Prabhupada’s merciful ocean of devotional service.
I never Joined ISKCON; I always thought I was following and serving the person Prabhupada. And when I die, I will go to wherever he is and continue to serve him, even if I become a dog, but I will be in
Prabhupada’s orbit. That’s all I know, and I don’t need to know more than this. “Ours is not to wonder why, ours is but to do or die.” (R. Kipling)
Your humble servant,
Thank you again, your letter gives me inspiration and hope that some out there have a heart and a head for Prabhupada.
Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur has written: “There is an eternally impassible line of demarcation between the SAVIOR and the SAVED. Only Those who are really saved know this.”
Hare Krishna. Thank you so much. So glad you found it.
>>>To: by way of das
Sent: Fri, Oct 22, 2010 1:06 pm
Subject: Re: Just saw your web site,,,Jai,,,,,,
Dear Bhakta Ronnie, Obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada. I just came accross your letter while sorting out the spam and useless stuff. I must have missed it, sorry.
I’ll get back to you later. I have some pressing things to take care of today.
Your servant, Hansadutta das
Dear Hamsadutta, Hare Krishna. My name is Bhakta Ronnie, and I just came across your site. I have serached /waited for years to see a site like this from one of the ‘original 11’ and here it
is..Wow! This is truly one of the happiest moments in my Krishna consciousness ,and, its been 23 years. I so much appreciate your realizations and articles. The honesty with which you are
approaching these issues is a God send. I know that you are not an advice cloumnist ,but, i felt that you could certainly advise me on this issue . As i said, I have been a devotee for 23 years [in Texas] and i have seen all of the things that we have all seen. Even though i have regularly attended temple programs, done service, all the things that devotees do ,,I never took diksa because i felt
[even before it was such a public topic] that the system was not right. I was seeing [as we all did] that things just did not add up. I knew that i had to wait, no matter how long it took, until i knew
exactly what the right thing to do was as far as diksa is concerned. Well, to this day i have not taken diksa in the ‘current system’ and at times i feel very blessed for that ,and ,at other times i feel that i am not properly linked up. What exactly is a devotee like me supposed to do? How do i get linked with Srila
Prabhupada if i dont take diksa from Iskcon [which i do not want to do] ? I so do not want to be offensive toward any leaders of any group ,but , i feel that the current Iskcon system is offensive to
Srila Prabhupada. I follow the principles and chant 16 rounds ,and have for years,but the ‘not being linked’ thing is a constant thought [worry] ,and this issue seems to have no end as far as devotees taking different sides. I am just trying to serve Srila Prabhupada and do not know how to get diksa on behalf of Srila Prabhupada. Any advice that you could give would be greatly appreciated. I am just not certain which way to go. I know that you are aware of Srila Prabhupadas direct instructions first hand and that you have come so far [the web site proves that]..If you would kindly instruct me in this matter i would be so grateful.
Thank you, Hare Krishna., Bhakta Ronnie