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Believer
14 July 2010, 07:28 PM
With Praphupad having left us long time back, who is leading the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampridaye? Was there a formal succession, or are Prabhupad's books the 'new Guru'?

Braja Bhushan das
16 August 2010, 04:24 PM
There's no "correct" answer to this. Everybody is individual, and will look for someone who will suit his/her nature. Stating officially that some person is a successor would only worsen things and strengthen institutional kind of thinking, forcing people to accept "the only way to salvation". Fortunately, spiritual life cannot be limited like that.

As for Prabhupada's books, they are great as introduction into GV, and some may stick to them all their lives but those who feel they need to move further will certainly consult other books, especially those written by traditional acaryas such as Sridhara Svami, Visvanatha Cakravarti and Baladeva Vidyabhushana which guarantee purity of GV teachings.

Believer
17 August 2010, 10:34 PM
Since the GV Sampradaya is based on disciplic succession, I was just curious if one or more of his followers will provide the unbroken chain for future generations, or have we reached the end of it. I realize that there are other Acharayas who belong to that Sampradaya too, but as far as ISKCON goes, will the disciplic succession continue in that branch of the GV tree, or were Praphupad's books declared to be the eternal successor?

ScottMalaysia
18 August 2010, 10:10 AM
Since the GV Sampradaya is based on disciplic succession, I was just curious if one or more of his followers will provide the unbroken chain for future generations, or have we reached the end of it. I realize that there are other Acharayas who belong to that Sampradaya too, but as far as ISKCON goes, will the disciplic succession continue in that branch of the GV tree, or were Praphupad's books declared to be the eternal successor?

There is not one continuous linear chain, but a many-branched chain consisting of many different disciples and gurus. For example, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur initiated a large number of disciples. Two of them were Bhaktivedanta Swami (Srila Prabhupada) and Bhakti Prajñana Kesava Goswami.

Srila Prabhupada initiated a number of disciples to sannyas, and brought them to the same position that Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati has brought him to. These disciples, such as Jayapataka Swami and Devamrita Swami, give initiation to other disciples.

Bhakti Prajñana Keshava Goswami initiated Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, who initiated a number of disciples, forming another Gaudiya organisation that has spread throughout the world.

So each of these gurus does not pass the teachings onto one other person, but on to many. Yes, the tradition is unbroken, but it is not one linear chain, going from one person to another person and so on.

Eastern Mind
18 August 2010, 12:59 PM
Vannakkam: So if the chain is spread amongst say, 2 or 3 or more, what happens to assets of the organisation? Does the membership collectively own the buildings, etc., or is it the members of the temple, the closer associates. I know we're dealing with sannyasins here, but still there has to be some sort of 'ownership' of the temple.

Aum Namasivaya

ScottMalaysia
18 August 2010, 08:05 PM
Vannakkam: So if the chain is spread amongst say, 2 or 3 or more, what happens to assets of the organisation? Does the membership collectively own the buildings, etc., or is it the members of the temple, the closer associates. I know we're dealing with sannyasins here, but still there has to be some sort of 'ownership' of the temple.

Aum Namasivaya

A lot of conflicts have broken out in ISKCON over the very issues you mention. Srila Prabhupada didn't appoint one successor but eleven gurus, many of whom actually wanted to be Prabhupada. After he left this world, many of them started fighting about things like money.

But that doesn't mean that the sampradaya is one long, linear chain.

Believer
19 August 2010, 12:04 PM
There is not one continuous linear chain, but a many-branched chain consisting of many different disciples and gurus.

Srila Prabhupada initiated a number of disciples to sannyas, and brought them to the same position that Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati has brought him to.

Thanks. I am fully aware of that.

Perhaps I did not frame my question correctly. All the Acharyas form a pyramid with Chaitanaya Mahaprabhu at the top. Srila Praphupad had several initiated disciples. One out of them will lead ISKCON and the rest will branch out and be free to carry on the GV sampradaya under different names. I was trying to find out if there was an Acharya who inherited ISKCON. From your later post, it seems that, that is still up in the air. Either Srila Praphupad did not find anyone worthy of the task, or He wanted his initiated disciples to decide who they wanted to be led by. In either case, it is TBD; and that is the end of the story.

Gopal Dasa
14 October 2010, 05:59 PM
Thanks. I am fully aware of that.

Perhaps I did not frame my question correctly. All the Acharyas form a pyramid with Chaitanaya Mahaprabhu at the top. Srila Praphupad had several initiated disciples. One out of them will lead ISKCON and the rest will branch out and be free to carry on the GV sampradaya under different names. I was trying to find out if there was an Acharya who inherited ISKCON. From your later post, it seems that, that is still up in the air. Either Srila Praphupad did not find anyone worthy of the task, or He wanted his initiated disciples to decide who they wanted to be led by. In either case, it is TBD; and that is the end of the story.

Prabhupada set up the Rtvik system in which there are 11 representatives of Prabhupada and His books are the Guru now. For it says in the Caitanya-Caritamrita that the Spiritual Instructor and His words are one. Prabhupada also said that the movement may fail, the devotees may fail, but His books will never fail. These representatives are there to initiate new deciples into ISKCON and the new Initiates will then be deciples of Prabhupada, threw His books. But the GBC (Governing Body Commision), has skewed Prabhupadas plan and have made just about anyone have the possiblity of being a Diksa Guru and are allowing others to have deciples, unlike Prabhupada wanted. Also, there is some system in which people can VOTE for someone to be a Guru and that could be based purely on the fame or the riches of the person, not their Devotion.

Believer
15 October 2010, 02:45 AM
Thanks for the information Gopal Dasa.


But the GBC (Governing Body Commision), has skewed Prabhupadas plan and have made just about anyone have the possiblity of being a Diksa Guru and are allowing others to have deciples, unlike Prabhupada wanted. Also, there is some system in which people can VOTE for someone to be a Guru and that could be based purely on the fame or the riches of the person, not their Devotion.

This is exactly what bothers me. Lot of Diksha Gurus have been created who are "collecting" disciples by giving them Diksha without the new initiates performing the required Tapa. This is diluting and weakening the Sampradaye. This point was brought out in an article in a recent issue of the Back to Godhead magzine. I hope somebody in the GBC is reflecting on that.

Gopal Dasa
15 October 2010, 12:10 PM
Thanks for the information Gopal Dasa.



This is exactly what bothers me. Lot of Diksha Gurus have been created who are "collecting" disciples by giving them Diksha without the new initiates performing the required Tapa. This is diluting and weakening the Sampradaye. This point was brought out in an article in a recent issue of the Back to Godhead magzine. I hope somebody in the GBC is reflecting on that.

I hope someone is too. But I dont know if any are. Ever sense they started changing Prabhupadas books, I really began to lose faith in ISKCON. The changes where minor, but they changed the WHOLE MEANING of a verse.

The whole problem with the Diksa Gurus is that, like you said, they are "collecting" new deciples without the new initiates performing the Tapas. The only reason why I think they are doing this is because they arnt in it for Krsna Consciousness, but just to get their own followers. Yesterday I was thinking about western priests, like Christian priests or Jewish Rabbis. They are not greatly glamorized or look at as god-like figures. But, look in the east at the Gurus. They wears a garland of flowers, they have Tilaks, they have people who bow down to them. Im guessing that when westerners saw how Prabhupada was being treated, that they wanted to be treated the same. So when Prabhupada died, the egoists took over and started playing the role of Prabhupada. Obviously I dont know if this is true, but it seems like something that could happen.

Adhvagat
24 October 2010, 09:52 AM
Hello Gopal...

Could you talk more about the changes in Prabhupada's books? Are there any editions that are prior to these changes?

I think if we are truly thankful to Prabhupada (I am immensely, through his deeds now I'm on the path of Dharma) we should STAND UP and expose these anti-gurus.

Believer, your insights are welcomed as well, as any other.

Hari Om Tat Sat!

Adhvagat
26 October 2010, 04:26 PM
Anyone? This is really important for me.

upasaka
27 October 2010, 01:39 PM
Anyone? This is really important for me.

Here is a link to a page discussing the changes that have been made to Prabhupada's translation of the Bhagavad-Gita. I know I have come across a site before that does verse by verse comparisons so you can see some of what has been altered, not sure if it was on this site. I remember seeing that the copy of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is that I have is one of the later, altered editions. I am a Buddhist so the different translation does not impact my spiritual practice; however, if I was a member of ISKCON I think I would be really bothered by this. Changing a sacred text is a serious action, and one needs to present a really good justification for doing so!

The link:
http://bookchanges.com/

upasaka
27 October 2010, 01:46 PM
Here is a link to a page that goes down through each chapter, comparing the original text to the revised one.

http://bookchanges.com/bhagavad-gita-changes-complete-list/

upasaka
27 October 2010, 06:37 PM
Here is a link to a website that sells the original, unaltered editions of Prabhupada's works.

http://krishnastore.com/

Gopal Dasa
04 November 2010, 09:51 AM
Hello Gopal...

Could you talk more about the changes in Prabhupada's books? Are there any editions that are prior to these changes?

I think if we are truly thankful to Prabhupada (I am immensely, through his deeds now I'm on the path of Dharma) we should STAND UP and expose these anti-gurus.

Believer, your insights are welcomed as well, as any other.

Hari Om Tat Sat!

Sorry, I have been away for a while. The changes in Prabhupadas books are very small, but they can change the whole meaning of the text. Here is a real example:
Bg 2.18 P ORIGINAL:


…The body itself is unimportant. Arjuna was advised to fight and to sacrifice the material body for the cause of religion.
Bg 2.18 P REVISED & ENLARGED:


…The body itself is unimportant. Arjuna was advised to fight and not sacrifice the cause of religion for material, bodily considerations.

So, as we can see, the change is quite detrimental to the whole text, it takes away the whole meaning and basically reverses it.

I have immense respect for Prabhupada, I dont like what is happening to His movement. But I am not apart of ISKCON, I am a traditional Gaudiya Vaishnava and I dont like to get into this business of worrying about the GBC, Book Changes, or anything like that. I just worry about Chanting. I dont even read many of Prabhupadas books because I dont want his commentary, I want to read it by myself without Him telling me what each verse means.

Gopal Dasa
04 November 2010, 09:53 AM
Here is a link to a website that sells the original, unaltered editions of Prabhupada's works.

http://krishnastore.com/

Another good website is http://Krishnaculture.com/

atmarama108
04 November 2010, 10:31 AM
Every society or institution will have its problems - sincere followers and not so much... Depending on our sincerity Krsna will guide us to the right association. Myself, I have been fortunate to have found my spiritual master. He is a very sincere and humble disciple of Srila Prabhupada & happens to be in Iskcon - that to me is external though. What matters is how we can best develop bhakti...

Gopal das, you say: "I dont even read many of Prabhupadas books because I dont want his commentary, I want to read it by myself without Him telling me what each verse means."

A fundamental point with vedic knowledge is for the seed verse or sloka to be expanded upon and explained by The Spiritual Master. Srila Prabhupada is Jagad Guru, an empowered living entity. According to Sridhar Swami (Srila Prabhupada's godbrother) Srila Prabhupada is a shaktyavesa avatar, especially empowered to present vedic wisdom to the whole world in a way we can understand. Therefore his explanation of the verse is required. Actually Srila Prabhupada himself said that his purports are even more important for us than his translation... If your Guru Maharaja is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, of course Srila Prabhupada's books are the base...To follow The Spiritual Master is the important point here though :)

With regard to the "book changes" controversy, there are two sides to every tale... I am also interested in this - but we should know that it is a distraction to become too much involved in fault-finding mentality. We think we figuring it all out, when actually maya's just taking us for a ride, disturbing the mind. Here's a link to a website explaining changes - www.bbtedit.com

Hare Krishna Prabhu's
Atmarama108

Gopal Dasa
05 November 2010, 04:13 PM
Gopal das, you say: "I dont even read many of Prabhupadas books because I dont want his commentary, I want to read it by myself without Him telling me what each verse means."

A fundamental point with vedic knowledge is for the seed verse or sloka to be expanded upon and explained by The Spiritual Master. Srila Prabhupada is Jagad Guru, an empowered living entity. According to Sridhar Swami (Srila Prabhupada's godbrother) Srila Prabhupada is a shaktyavesa avatar, especially empowered to present vedic wisdom to the whole world in a way we can understand. Therefore his explanation of the verse is required. Actually Srila Prabhupada himself said that his purports are even more important for us than his translation... If your Guru Maharaja is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, of course Srila Prabhupada's books are the base...To follow The Spiritual Master is the important point here though :)


Yes I understand that, but Prabhupada is not my Guru nor to I want to be Initiated within ISKCON. I do read a few of His books, and own some, but He is not my Guru. I will always respect Him but the Organization I cherish is Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. The founder, Srila Sridhar Maharaj, has the same Guru as Prabhupada. So I must respect Prabhupada not only for that, but for Him telling the world about Krishna. Without Prabhupada, I would not know about Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

atmarama108
06 November 2010, 09:50 AM
I will always respect Him but the Organization I cherish is Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. The founder, Srila Sridhar Maharaj, has the same Guru as Prabhupada. So I must respect Prabhupada not only for that, but for Him telling the world about Krishna. Without Prabhupada, I would not know about Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

That is wonderful prabhu. I have very deep respect for Srila Sridhar Maharaja! My guru maharaja praises Srila Sridhar Maharaja very much. And Srila Prabhupada was very close to Srila Sridhar Maharaja. We are in the same sampradaya prabhu :) Jai Gurudev!

atmarama108
07 November 2010, 02:33 AM
On my pilgrimage to India in December I hope to get some of Srila Sridhar Maharaja's books. Also, I have heard that Sridhar Maharaja has refered to Srila Prabhupada as a shaktyavesa avatar...

All glories to the servants of the Lord!

Kumar_Das
09 November 2010, 10:05 PM
Hello Gopal...

Could you talk more about the changes in Prabhupada's books? Are there any editions that are prior to these changes?

I think if we are truly thankful to Prabhupada (I am immensely, through his deeds now I'm on the path of Dharma) we should STAND UP and expose these anti-gurus.

Believer, your insights are welcomed as well, as any other.

Hari Om Tat Sat!

Glad to hear. Why don't you take the initiative? I'll be more than happy to see you upload videos on youtube with your face put in line to the public. Get that enthusiasm put into constructive measures. What are you waiting for? That won't be a problem for you at all..... or is it?