Srila Prabhupada Siddhanta
At The San Francisco Ratha Yatra
By Narasimha dasa
In 2004, The Hare Krishna Society published a 64-page book called "Srila Prabhupada Siddhanta, 'Authorized Conclusions Regarding Srila Prabhupada, Great Vaisnavas, and the Mission and Teachings of the Krishna Consciousness Movement.'" This book is comprised mostly of quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s books, conversations, and letters. The many references substantiate brief, numbered or lettered statements, which delineate essential philosophical conclusions and directions for sadhana found in Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. Srila Prabhupada often encouraged his disciples to write and preach in their own words, while extensively quoting authorized scriptures to prove their statements. Srila Prabhupada further encouraged devotees to be intelligent to know how to preach according to time and circumstance.
By Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, around 35 of his younger and more senior disciples participated in the early compilation of this book in various ways, particularly by suggesting references and offering insights regarding the best way to present these truths simply yet concisely. Before its publication, which was eagerly paid for by several devotees, everyone agreed with the accuracy of every statement. Since its publication hundreds of other honest followers of Srila Prabhupada have whole-heartedly affirmed every statement in this book. Great souls have stepped forward, enthusiastically offering to distribute thousands of copies all over America and the world. Within hours of its publication, it traveled around the world to Sri Vrindaban Dhama and remote corners of the world, inspiring Vaisnavas from all walks of life. Presently, this book is the only treatise of its kind that summarizes the consensus understanding of thousands of Srila Prabhupada’s followers.
In the world of mayavadis, karmis and jnanis there is never a broad consensus regarding philosophy or sadhana, to say nothing of the fine points of deep faith and surrender. In the world of Hindu cults, we can hear many differing philosophical opinions even in the same “guru” camp. And there are hundreds of such camps, with nearly as many opinions as there are “devotees”, each one contradicting the other.
By spectacular contrast, all devotees involved with or favorable to the Hare Krishna Society, as well as perhaps thousands of others, agree totally with every conclusion stated in Srila Prabhupada Siddhanta. This book gives emphasis to the highest, most potent knowledge available, by Srila Prabhupada’s causeless mercy, to human beings of this Dark Age. The fact that so many Vaisnavas agree with these statements and the meanings of the references that support them proves the fact that unity in conclusion (siddhanta) must be based upon unmotivated understanding of Srila Prabhupada and His teachings. Karmis sometimes achieve a degree of unity based on common aims for sense gratification, but when it comes to the subtle knowledge of spiritual consciousness, they find no consensus. Similarly, when sahajiyas, mayavadis and karmis imitate Vaisnavas and talk of Krishna consciousness, they too fight like cats and dogs and find no unity. Sometimes dogs will form a pack for attack but when push comes to shove they may literally eat each other alive. The kali-cela so-called Vaisnavas sometimes organize big festivals in the name of Krishna but according to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura their real business is finding money and women. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 1.220, Purport) Although corrupt persons sometimes unite for selfish ends, they find neither unity nor conclusion in their speculations about spiritual life.
In this age of intense quarrel and chaos, even Srila Prabhupada’s followers have often been misled into varieties of philosophical deviations, either directly or by compliance. This is the bad news. The good news: By Srila Prabhupada’s causeless mercy, in spite of our many faults, thousands of Vaisnavas from all over the planet agree precisely on the fine and exacting path of Krishna consciousness, as described in Srila Prabhupada’s books. Srila Prabhupada Siddhanta is proving this fact and will help restore unity in the Krishna consciousness movement by emphasizing the real basis for cooperation. This book shows there is still great hope. It will help inspire sincere devotees to follow and remain fixed on the true path of the Hare Krishna movement. “When Krishna appeared, He gave His orders, and when Krishna Himself appeared as a devotee, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He showed us the path by which to cross the ocean of Kali Yuga. That is the path of the Hare Krishna movement.” (Srimad Bhagavatam, 8.5.23, Purport)