"TIME, PLACE AND CIRCUMSTANCES"
by Yasodanandana dasa, 1996
Nama om visnu padaya krsna presthaya bhutale
Primate bhaktivedanta swamis iti namine
namaste sarasvate deve gauravani pracarine
nirvisesa sunyavadi pascatya desa tarine
"The Vaisnava acaryas, just like our Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya and Nimbarka...and Visnu Swami. They are all of the same movement. Aradhyo-bhagavan vrajesa tanayah krsnas to bhagavan svayam. That is their conclusion. There is no different conclusion. Although they have got varieties of methods-sudhadvaita, dvaitadvaita, visisthadvaita, like that they present the same philosophy in clear way. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu presented the same philosophy in clear way. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu presented the same philosophy, that acintya-bheda-abheda.
That is acarya. Acarya gives some way for simple understanding. The same conclusion. But according to the time, circumstances, they give a very easy method to understand. That is acarya. Acarya is following strictly the previous acarya, but according to the circumstances he may make little changes. That is...That change is not change from the original idea, no." (1)
The empowered Vaishnava acarya such as Srila Prabhupada, is fully endowed with the ability to establish the principles of religion or Bhagavad-Dharma according to time, place and circumstance. Yet, in this process the empowered acarya always keeps the essence of Vaishnavism. Neophytes and inexperienced persons sometimes level criticisms and find fault with some of the apparent and novel methods used by the empowered Acarya to bring people to the platform of Krsna Consciousness. However, we have see that the essence of the teachings is actually followed.
"Vaishnava who is preaching, it may be in a different way, according to time, place and the party. They have to change something, but we have to see the essence." (2)
Why is the fully realized pure devotee acarya empowered? There are virtually unlimited reasons but we hereby present a few to help us understand how the pure devotee acarya acts and why he can adjust the formalities according to time, place and circumstances.
1) The empowered Acarya or pure devotee is in direct contact with Lord Krsna
"A pure devotee always engages in the service of the Lord, taking shelter of his lotus feet, and therefore has a direct connection with the saffron mercy particles that are strewn over the lotus feet of the Lord. Although when a pure devotee speaks the articulation of his voice may resemble the sound of this material sky, because the voice touches the particles of saffron dust on the lotus feet of the Lord, the voice is spiritually very powerful." (3)
“Therefore although he is visible in every atom, the Supreme Personality of Godhead may not be available to the eyes of the dry speculators, still, the mystery is unfolded before the eyes of the pure devotees because their eyes are anointed with love of Godhead. And this love of Godhead. And this love of Godhead can be attained only by the practice of transcendental loving service of the Lord, and nothing else...the Lord's name, form, quality, pastimes, entourage, etc. as they are described in the revealed scriptures or as performed in the Vaikuntha lokas, far, far, beyond the cosmic manifestation, are factually being televised in the heart of the devotee...the spiritually developed person is able to have the television of the Kingdom of God always reflected within his heart. This is the mystery of knowledge of the Personality of Godhead." (4)
2) The empowered acarya and pure devotee receives personal direction from Krsna in all his activities.
Interviewer: In the same way I'm curious with respect to the way Krsna communicates with you, whether it's in a similar kind of way that he gives you your necessities.
Bali Mardana: In other words, when you decide that someone is to be in charge of a particular temple does Krsna tell you that this person should be in charge?
Interviewer: or do you by judging him say this person is qualified?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, because a devotee always consults Krsna and he gives order.
Interviewer: It's more of a direct communication.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, because a devotee always consults Krsna and he gives order.
Ramesvara: Because intelligence, our philosophy is that intelligence comes from Krsna. So if I have some...
Interviewer: And your philosophy is that your daily necessities come from Krsna as well.
Ramesvara: Yes, try to understand. Suppose my intelligence has told me.
Srila Prabhupada: No, not necessarily. Krsna will tell him directly. A devotee always consults Krsna and Krsna tells him. “Do like this." Not figuratively. (5)
3) The empowered acarya and pure devotee is fully endowed with all mystic perfections including the ability to see past, present, and future.
"The great sages like Vyasadeva are liberated souls and therefore they can see clearly past, present and future." (6)
"That means tri-kalajna. Mahamuni, he is liberated. He is incarnation of God. He knows past, present and future perfectly, we should take knowledge from Him. That is our Krsna Consciousness movement, that we don't accept any knowledge for any person who is defective in so many ways" (7)
“Our knowledge is perfect because we are receiving knowledge from the perfect as it is." (8)
"So Yamaraja or Lord Brahma or great personalities, they, even great sages, saintly persons, they know the three features of time " (9)
Srila Prabhupada was fully endowed with the ability to see past, present and future. As the empowered acarya He perfectly knows how to apply the principles of Vaishnava-Dharma, taking into consideration:
1) the past and the statements of the sastras.
2) the current situation during the time of His physically manifested presence and
3) the fixture time frame of His eventual physical departure from this temporary world.
4) The empowered acarya and pure devotee is a fully realized soul who is beyond the four defects of conditional life.
Bhrama pramada vipra-lipsa karanapatava
arsa-viCna-vakye dosa nahi dosa ei saba
"Mistakes, illusions, cheating and defective perception do not occur in the sayings of the authoritative sages."
“There cannot be mistakes, illusion, cheating, or imperfect perception in the words of liberated sages... Srila Vyasadeva revealed these statements after perfect realization, and therefore they are perfect, for liberated sages like Vyasadeva never commit errors in their rhetorical arrangements... Since the Personality of Godhead and His plenary portions and self-realized souls are all transcendentally situated, they cannot be misled by such deficiencies "(10)
Srila Prabhupada was and still is such a self-realized soul and there is no defect whatsoever in any of His transcendental arrangement for spreading Krsna Consciousness.
5) The empowered acarya and pure devotee's speech is dictated by the Supreme Personality of Godhead from within.
"A spiritually advanced person who acts with authority, as the spiritual master, speaks as the Supreme Personality of Godhead dictates from within. Thus it is not that he is personally speaking. When a pure devotee or spiritual master speaks. what he says should be accepted as having been directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the parampara system" (11)
"When a pure Vaishnava speaks, he speaks perfectly. How is this? His speech is managed by Krsna from within the heart." (11)
The exalted position of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Srila Prabhupada once answered one of His students who had asked about Bhaktivinoda Thakura' s activities as an impersonalist before He acted as a Vaishnava Acarya. His Divine Grace replied as follows:
“Similarly, Bhaktivinoda Thakura for sometimes was associating with the impersonalists. And then he exhibited his true color as pure devotee... So there is nothing to be misunderstood in this connection. Krsna and His devotees sometimes play like that, as much as Lord Buddha although as an incarnation of Krishna, preached the philosophy of voidism. These things are conducted in terms of place, audience, time etc. In the Caitanya-Caritamrta, it is said that the activities of the Vaishnava cannot be understood by the greatest scholar. So we have to understand everything through the via media of the spiritual master. So there is no doubt about it that Bhaktivinoda Thakura is eternal energy of Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and whatever he did was just to suit the time, place and circumstances, etc. There is no contradiction in His activities " (12)
The exalted position of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura performed many activities to preach the message of Lord Caitanya, which were also unprecedented in nature. Some of these unprecedented activities are described as follows.
1) He took the order of sannyasa by Himself in the same manner as Sripada Ramanujacarya had done previously.
2) He allowed Brahmacaris to wear saffron colored cloth, which had not been done before in the Vedic Vaishnava culture.
3) He gave Brahminical diksa to all varnas or to qualified members of all classes of society.
4) He personally wore sewn cloths, coats etc. which are forbidden in the sastras for a sannyasi.
5) He had his sannyasi disciples travel in motor cars, live in marble palaces, travel across the ocean etc.
Srila Prabhupada expresses this in His Phalguna-Krsna-Pancami:
“Generally the sannyasis renounce everything and go stay in the mountain caves, but you O master, keep your sannyasis in mansions of marble." (13)
“Hindus are not allowed to cross the ocean, but you send your devotees overseas to preach." (l4)
All of these unprecedented activities are technically restricted in the Vedas. Yet, in order to establish the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as directed by his father Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, He performed these unprecedented activities. Srila Prabhupada explains these unconventional methods as follows:
“Every acarya has a specific means of propagating his spiritual movement with the aim of bringing men to Krsna Consciousness. Therefore the method of one acarya may be different from one another, but the ultimate goal is never neglected... An acarya should devise a means by which people somehow or other come to Krsna Consciousness " (15)
The exalted and unique position of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
During the manifested presence of the Sampradaya-Acarya Srila Prabhupada, He adjusted certain scriptural injunctions according to time, place and circumstances. He never changed the sastra or the essence of the sastra. He never deviated from the sastra and he never twisted the sastra. He simply adjusted the formalities. While He successfully preached Krsna Consciousness all over the world, many critics leveled false accusations against Srila Prabhupada. Some so- called Hindus, caste Brahmanas and some of Srila Prabhupada's Godbrothers criticized Him for some of his apparent unprecedented activities.
All of these activities must be first understood with the basic understanding that the empowered pure devotee Acarya never manufactures anything which is not given in the sastra and that the empowered acarya's statements are as good as sastra.
“The bona fide spiritual master...never manufactures or presents anything which is not mentioned in the Vedic literatures"(16)
Srila Prabhupada adjusted the formalities of worship and initiations according to time, place an circumstance. This is under the direction of Lord Krsna the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Only the topmost devotee situated in full love of Godhead, a bona fide fully realized Uttama- Adhikari, can do this. He did not change the essence of the sastras. A neophyte either kanistha neophyte or madhyama a neophyte does not have the power to do this.
Srila Prabhupada explains this principle in the fourth canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam:
"One has to consider the particular time, country and conveniences. What is convenient in India may not be convenient in the Western countries. Those who are not actually in the line of acaryas or who personally have no knowledge how to act in the role of acarya, unnecessarily criticize the activities of the ISKCON movement in countries outside of India. The fact is that such critics cannot do anything personally to spread Krishna Consciousness. If someone does go and preach, taking all risks and allowing all consideration for time and place, it might be that there are changes in the manner of worship, but that is not faulty according to the sastra" (17)
Here are several examples of some of these so-called unprecedented activities.
1) Srila Prabhupada crossed the ocean by boat. This is technically forbidden in the Vedas. Srila Prabhupada explains this in the Vaisisthya-Astakam [Phalguna-Krsna-Pancami 1961]
"Hindus are not allowed to cross the ocean, but you send your devotees overseas to preach." (l8)
However, Srila Prabhupada explains, "just like formerly, parivraja, Caitanya Mahaprabhu walked on the street. There was no aeroplane or... or he did not use it. Does it mean that I shall have to follow that? I must take the jet engine, if it is available. If somebody criticizes, "Caitanya Mahaprabhu walked on leg and you are traveling in the jet plane?" Shall I have to take that ideal? These are all rascaldom. When you have to work with the greatest facility. That's all"(l9)
2) Srila Prabhupada gave many first initiations or Hari Nama initiations by mail without first personally and physically examining the prospective disciple. He had his temple presidents and senior devotees do the training and actual recommendations on His behalf.
The sastra [Hari Bhakti Vilasa] states that the prospective disciple should physically live with the guru for one year and the guru should carefully examine the disciple for one year before initiations. The real purpose is to introduce daiva-varna-asrama as explained by Srila Prabhupada.
"But as far as we are concerned, we are trying to establish daiva-varna-asrama, as it is instructed by the Goswamis, by Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa, by our spiritual master. May not be very perfect, but we are trying our best to introduce this daiva-varna-asrama."(20)
"Therefore, the rules and regulations are that nobody should blindly accept any disciple. They must behave, one another, at least for one year, so that the prospective disciple can also understand, "whether I can accept this person as my guru," and the prospective guru also can understand," whether this person can become my disciple.' This is the instruction by Sanatana Goswami in his Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa." (21)
It is well know that Srila Prabhupada conducted a large number of initiations by proxies or representatives, who would often recruit the new candidate, train him, teach him the basic aspects of Krsna Consciousness on behalf of Srila Prabhupada. After the required period of training, the new devotee would be recommended to be formally initiated as a disciple of Srila Prabhupada. This practice of proxy representation was not widely practiced before Srila Prabhupada, if at all. “so on your carefully considered recommendation, I am accepting these girls and boys as my initiated disciples and their names are as follows... They may send their beads for chanting along with a copy of this letter to Kirtanananda Maharaja. Now you instruct them carefully that they must chant 16 rounds daily without and always follow the regulative principles as well as engage in daily duties of temple attendance, classes and street sankirtana. The word initiation means "to begin" not that when he is initiated a disciple becomes slack, rather upon initiation he begins spiritual life in earnest" (22)
"Regarding the initiations, I am pleased to accept on your recommendation the following devotees as my disciples" (23)
"Regarding the initiations upon your recommendation I am accepting the devotees." (24)
(4) In many instances, Srila Prabhupada gave second initiation or Brahminical-diksa by tape recording without physically, personally, giving the mantra to the disciple.
When giving gayatri mantra and other sampradaya mantras, it is understood from the sastra that the guru must personally whisper the sacred mantra in the ear of the initiate. This is not only the tradition, but the actual process given in the sacred sastras. The use of a tape recording to convey mantra would constitute a departure from the standard traditional scriptural injunction, yet Srila Prabhupada explains:
"Sriman Viraraghava Acarya, an acarya in the disciplic succession of the Ramanuja Sampradaya has remarked in his commentary that candalas, or conditioned souls who are born in lower than sudra families, can also be initiated according to circumstances. The formalities may be slightly changed here and there to make them Vaishnavas" (25)
"Regarding second initiation, enclosed is one sacred thread chanted on by me, and the gayatri mantra. This should be instructed to Maha Muni in private, have him hear a tape recording of the mantra in the right ear. Hold a fire yajna for the first initiates." (26)
Srila Prabhupada letter to Makhanlal dasa June 22, 1973
"I hereby accept on your recommendation, Hasyakari Prabhu and his wife Nari devi dasi as my second initiated disciples. Enclosed find one thread duly chanted on by me and two Gayatri mantra sheets. You may take instruction from Rupanuga Maharaja on the proper performance of a yajna and the mantra may be heard through the right ear from the cassette tape recording."(27)
4) In one instance Srila Prabhupada told the wife of a devotee to chant the gayatri mantra in her husband's ear.
"I am enclosing herewith your sacred thread, duly chanted on by me. Gayatri Mantra is as follows... Ask your wife to chant this mantra and you hear it and if possible hold a fire ceremony as you have seen during your marriage and get this sacred thread on your body, Saradiya or any twice initiated devotee may perform the ceremony " (28)
There are three significant points in this connection.
1) Srila Prabhupada authorized the mantra to be chanted by the wife of the soon to be Brahmana.
2) Srila Prabhupada authorized the wife of the soon to be Brahmana to perform the fire sacrifice.
3) Srila Prabhupada authorized the prospective Brahmana devotee to receive his gayatri initiation by mall.
4) Srila Prabhupada had deputies chant on the disciple's beads and doing the fire sacrifice or the initiation ceremony without Srila Prabhupada personally chanting on the beads. He did not chant personally on every disciple's beads.
"Regarding the initiations, upon your recommendations I have accepted the following as my disciples and their names are...the sacred threads and mantra sheets are enclosed. Now hold a fire sacrifice, and the brahmanas may hear the gayatri mantra through the right ear from my recording tape. you are authorized to chant on the beads." (29)
"You may chant on the beads of the first initiates, and they must chant at least 16 rounds daily, that will keep them strong." (30)
6) Srila Prabhupada initiated mlecchas and yavanas, a rarity which had only been done a few times by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He did it on a large scale.
"Kirata, Huna, Andhra, Pulkasa, Pulinda, Pulkasa, Abhira, Sumbha, Yavana, members of the khasa race and even others who are addicted to sinful acts can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him" (31)
"The principle that only Indians and Hindus should be brought into the Vaishnava cult is mistaken idea. There should be propaganda to bring everyone to the Vaishnava cult. The Krsna Consciousness movement is meant for that purpose. There is no bar in propagating the Krsna Consciousness movement even among people, who are born in candala, mleccha or yavana families. Even in India this point has been enunciated by Srila Sanatana Goswami in His books Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa, which is smrti and is the authorized Vedic guide for Vaishnavas" (32)
7) Srila Prabhupada gave Brahminical initiations to unmarried women on a large scale.
Indian man. Srila Prabhupada, since there is no distinction between "man" and "woman" these are both designations - is it possible for a woman to become a Brahmana?
Brahmananda: Is it possible for a woman to become a Brahmana.
Srila Prabhupada: He is...Woman is a Brahmana's wife. Then she is automatically a Brahmana.
Indian man: suppose she doesn't want to get married for the rest of her life, just wants to serve the Lord.
Srila Prabhupada: so in his spiritual position everyone is a Brahmana.
Brahmananda: But you give brahminical initiation to unmarried women.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes but on the spiritual platform she is a Brahmana. On the spiritual platform, there is no such distinction. (33)
However, Srila Prabhupada explains that this is authorized by Srila Sanatana Goswami in His Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa.
"The following injunction is given in the Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa (I.194):
tantrikesu ca mantresu
diksayam yositam api
sudradinam ca sad-dhiyam
"Sudras and women who are chaste and sincerely interested in understanding the Absolute truth are qualified to be initiated with the pancaratrika-mantras." This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-Gita.
mam hi partha vyapasritya
ye pi syuh papa-yonayah
striyo vaisyas tatha sudras
te 'pi yanti param gatim
"O son of Prtha, those who take shelter of Me, though they be of lower birth-women, vaisyas [merchants], as well as sudras [ workers]-can approach the supreme destination." (34)
7) Srila Prabhupada as a sannyasi engaged in brokering and performing marriages for his disciples This is another area which the non-preachers and the non-acaryas, even some of Srila Prabhupada's Godbrothers, falsely criticized. Let us hear Srila Prabhupada's explanation.
"For example, since boys and girls in the western countries freely intermingle, special concessions regarding their customs and habits are necessary to bring them to Krsna Consciousness. The acarya must devise a means to bring them to devotional service. Therefore, although I am a sannyasi I sometimes take part in getting boy and girls married, although in the history of sannyasa no sannyasi has personally taken part in marrying his disciples." (35)
"Sometimes, not knowing the vaishnava philosophy, an outsider criticizes such activity, maintaining that a sannyasi should not take part in a marriage ceremony between a young boy and girl. However, this is not a karma-kanda activity because our purpose is to spread the Krsna Consciousness movement" (36)
Prabhupada explains that although this marriage of young disciples has never been done by other sannyasis before, He did this to further the preaching of Krsna Consciousness.
"Should a sannyasi, who is in the renounced order of life and who has given up his family relations, encourage the marriage ceremony? The Lord says here that any sacrifice which is meant for human welfare should never be given up. Vivaha-yajna, the marriage ceremony, is meant to regulate the human mind to become peaceful for spiritual advancement. For most men, this vivaha-yajna should be encouraged even by persons in the renounced order of life. Sannyasis should never associate with women, but that does not mean that one who is in the lower stages of life, a young man, should not accept a wife in the marriage ceremony. All prescribed sacrifices are meant for achieving the Supreme Lord. Therefore, in the lower stages, they should not be given up" (37)
8) Srila Prabhupada allowed young unmarried women or Brahmacarinis to live in proximity of the major temples in Brahmacarini asramas.
9) Srila Prabhupada allowed women disciples to perform aratika and deity worship in major temples. This had never been done in any major public temples in India before.
"Regarding women worshipping the deity, in the Bhagavad-Gita it is stated striyo vaisyas tatha sudras te piyantt param gatim. The idea is that everyone who is properly initiated and following the rules and regulations can worship the deity." (38)
"The main thing is the ceremony [Krsna-Balarama temple opening in Vrindavana] shall be conducted by our own men. We do not have to be dependent on taking help from persons who will not even eat with us, thinking us inferior. All over the world, in Paris, New York, Australia etc., our men and women are worshipping the deity very nicely and I am very proud of their worship. There is no reason why we have to think we are dependent on any Indian Goswami in order to conduct our ceremony in Vrindavana" (39)
10) Srila Prabhupada allowed men and women devotees to live in the same temple buildings. This point was vehemently protested by many of Srila Prabhupada's Godbrothers. They repeatedly criticized Srila Prabhupada for engaging all of us and allowing the devotee men and devotee women in separate quarters in the same buildings. However, the acarya explains. "Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared to deliver all the fallen souls. Therefore he devised many methods to liberate them from he clutches of maya."
It is the concern of the acarya to show mercy to the fallen souls. In this connection, desa, kala, patra ( the place, the time and the object ) should be taken into consideration. Since the European and American boys and girls in our Krishna Consciousness movement preach together, less intelligent men criticize that they are mingling, without restriction. In Europe and America, boys and girls mix without unrestrictedly and have equal rights, therefore it is not possible to completely separate the men from the women. However, we are thoroughly instructing both men and women how to preach, and actually they are preaching wonderfully. Of course we very strictly prohibit illicit sex. Boys and girls who are not married are not allowed to sleep together or live together, and there are separate arrangement for boys and girls in every temple, for in the temple we do not allow even husband and wife to live together. The results of this are wonderful, both men and women are preaching the gospel of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Krsna with redoubled strength" (40)
"Regarding householders living in the temple; in India no woman is allowed to stay in the temple at night. But for our preaching work I have permitted women to stay in the temple. But, in the temple, husband and wife should live separately. There are many young brahmacaris and sannyasis in the temple and men and women living together is simply a source of agitation, so therefore this is my order; ideally the husband and wife can live separately in the temple. If this is not possible they should live together close to the temple and attend arati etc... and if this is not possible the last alternative is to live away from the temple and conduct your own deity worship etc." (41)
11) Srila Prabhupada allowed men and women devotees to wear non-devotional clothes [karmi clothes] in order to facilitate book distribution.
"Yes, if it is enhancing our distribution of books to wear warm clothes like coat-pants in winter, I have no objection." (42)
"There is no objection to going in Western clothes in order to distribute my books. It is not necessary that we always wear the robes, but we should always keep sikha and teelock. However, a wig or a hat may be worn as you describe... regarding selling the books in karmi clothes, yes, it may be done, there is no harm. This book distribution and Rathayatra festivals should go on all over the world." (43)
12) Srila Prabhupada allowed himself to be worshipped in front of the deities and have his feet washed directly in front of the deities
This must be understood in its proper context. The empowered acarya is not an ordinary human.
"According to the rules and regulations, no one should accept obeisances in the temple, of the Lord before the deity. Nor is it proper for a devotee to offer obeisances and touch the feet of the spiritual master before the deity. This is considered an offense. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself was personally the Supreme Personality of Godhead, therefore it was not actually offensive to wash his feet in the temple. However, he was playing the part of an acarya, the Lord considered Himself an ordinary human being. He also wanted to give instruction to ordinary human beings. The point is that even though one plays the part of a spiritual master, he should not accept obeisances or permit a disciple to wash his feet before the deity. That is a matter of etiquette." (44)
Srila Prabhupada explains the position of the empowered advanced Vaishnava.
"Actually an advanced Vaishnava is to be respected more than Lord Vishnu. As stated in the Padma-Purana... of all kinds of worship, worship of Lord Vishnu is the best...and recommended more than worship of Vishnu is worship of the Vaishnava "(45)
13) He once told a brahmana disciple to take off his Brahmana thread and tie a microphone so it would remain steady.
This may have contravened a minor rule the sastra, but it facilitated Prabhupada's preaching and to bring the mercy of Lord Krishna to many conditioned souls.
"t is called niyamagraha, without any profit, to follow the regulative principle without any profit. No if we get the opportunity, preaching facilities for going go on car, on airplane using typewriter, dictaphone, microphone, we must use it. Because this is Krsna's property, it must be used for Krsna. This is our philosophy. This microphone is Krsna's. Isavasyam idam sarvam. And when it is used for Krsna it is not material; it is spiritual" (46)
"Now I have got the facility of the talking in microphone, and. . . so why should I not take it. It will b be recorded. It will be heard by so many others. I am speaking to four, five men. It can be heard by a big crowd of four hundred men." (47).
"The microphone should be used for spreading Krsna Consciousness, not talking nonsense." (48)
14) In some instances, Srila Prabhupada accepted some mlechhas and yavanas, unfit disciples.
During the manifested physical presence of the Sampradaya-Acarya, Srila Prabhupada, so- called Hindus and envious persons sometimes criticized Srila Prabhupada for accepting and initiating persons of mleccha and yavana background as bona fide Vaishnavas. Srila Prabhupada explains this.
"The Krsna Consciousness movement is meant for this purpose. There is no bar to propagating Krsna Consciousness even among people who are born in candala, mleccha or yavana families." (49)
15) He oftentimes wore sewn clothing to perform aratrika, fire sacrifices and abhiseka ceremonies.
According to Vedic injunctions a sannyasi or a Brahmana who performs a Vedic ritualistic ceremony should nor wear cloth sown by a needle. Srila Prabhupada often performed fire sacrifices [aghihotra yajna], deity bathing ceremonies [abhisekas] and aratrikas with full kurtas, which were sewn clothes.
"The Vedas enjoin that for every ritualistic ceremony one must first become clean by bathing either in the water of the Ganges or the Yamuna or in the sea. Then one may perform the ritualistic ceremony and offer clarified butter into the fire. In this verse the words paridhaya ahatani are especially significant. A sannyasi or a person about to perform a ritualistic ceremony should not dress himself in clothing sewn with a needle." (50)
As previously explained Srila Prabhupada adjusted the formalities, but he never sacrificed the essence of the sacred scriptures. He did this for preaching of Krsna Consciousness.
16) Srila Prabhupada ordered His disciples to chant 16 rounds instead of the customary 64 rounds.
"in the Western countries cannot concentrate for long periods while chanting on beads. Therefore, the minimum of rounds is prescribed. However, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura used to say that unless one chants at least sixty four rounds of japa he is considered fallen (patita). According to his calculation, practically everyone of us is fallen, but because we are trying to serve the Supreme Lord with all seriousness, and without duplicity, we can expect the mercy of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Who is famous as patita-pavana, the deliverer of the fallen " (51)
The empowered fully realized acaryas, such as His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, can and do make adjustments to the sastras according to time, place and circumstances to facilitate the spreading of Krsna Consciousness. Srila Prabhupada explains why the acarya make some adjustments to the rules of the sastra.
"The same philosophy and spirit must be there exactly. Just like we preach in this country exactly as we have heard from our spiritual master, but there are changes due to the time, place and circumstances, and the trainees. The spirit of the disciplic succession may not be changed, but there may be adjustments made to suit the special circumstances."(52)
Let us take shelter of the pure devotee Srila Prabhupada by submissively hearing from Him the actual science of devotion to Lord Krsna from His original books.
Citations and quotations used under authority of title 17. U.S.C., Section 107, Fair Use Exception.
(I) His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada- Srila Prabhupada lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam February 19, 1976 Mayapura, India. [Los Angeles, CA, USA Srila Prabhupada's complete database. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust 1991]
(2) ibid SP lecture on S.B. October 8, 1974
(3) HDGACBSP Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.20.25 [Los Angeles, CA, USA Bhaktivedanta Book Trust 1974]
(4) HDGACBSP Srimad-Bhagavatam 'Answers by citing the Lord's version' 2.9.35 [New York, NY, USA ISKCON press 1971]
(5) as in item # I Interview with Srila Prabhupada July 14, 1976 New York, NY, USA.
(6) [His Divine Grace] A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami [Prabhupada] Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.4.16 [New Delhi, India. The League of Devotees, 1960]
(7) as in item # 1. SP Lecture on S.B. August 16, 1971 London, England.
(8) as in item # 1. SP Lecture on S.B. September 29, 1972 Los Angeles, CA, USA.
(9) as in item # 1. SP Lecture on S.B. June 14, 1976 Detroit, MI, USA
(10) HDGACBSP Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi-Lila 2.86 [Los Angeles, CA, USA Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1975]
(12) His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Letters from Srila Prabhupada. SPL to Madhusudana dasa, November 20, 1968 [Mexico City, Mexico. Volume 1. The Vaishnava Institute, 1987]
(13) HDGACBSP Vaisisthya-Astakam 2.11 Cited from Inside Nama Hatta. Published by Nama Hatta International. 1994.
(14) ibid 2.14.
(15) as in item # 10 Adi-Lila 7.37 (16) [HDG]ACBS[P] Sri Isopanisad Mantra 13 [ISKCON Press, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. 1969] page 65.
(17) as in item # 3. S.B. 4.8.54
(18) as in item # 13 .2.14.
(19) as in item # 1 MW March 14, 1974, Vrindavana, India.
(20) as in item # 1. SPLecture on Gita March 29, 1971. Bombay, India.
(21) as in item # 1 SPLecture on Gita February 25, 1975 Miami, FL, USA
(22) as in item # 12 SPL to Makhanlal dasa June 22, 1973
(23) as in item # 12 SPL to Gunagrahi dasa October 14, 1973
(24) as in item # 12 SPL to Madhudvisa Maharaja November 21, 1974
(25) as in item # 3 S.B. 4.8.54
(26) as in item # 12 SPL to Makhanlal dasa June 22, 1973
(27) as in item # 12 SPL to Gunagrahi dasa December 6, 1973
(28) as in item # 12 SPL to Vaikunthanatha dasa August 4, 1971
(29) as in item # 12 SPL to Hamsadutta dasa November 23, 1974
(30) as in item # 12 SPL to Madhudvisa Maharaja December 7, 1975
(31) as in item # 4 'The cause of all causes' S.B. 2.4.18 [Boston, Massachusstes USA ISKCON Press 1970] page 200
(32) as in item # 3 S.B.4.8.54
(33) as in item # 1 MW November 2, 1975 Nairobi, Africa
(34) as in item # 10 CCML 24.331
(35) as in item # 10 CCAdi-Lila 7.37
(36) as in item # 10 CCML 5.24
(37) His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhagavad-Gita As It Is 18.5. [New York, NY, USA The Mac Millan Company, 1972]
(38) as in item # 12 SPL to Uttama Sloka dasa August 13, 1974.
(39) as in item # 12 SPL to Gurudasa July 1, 1974
(40) as in item # 10 CC Adi-Lila 7.38
(41) as in item # 12 SPL to Rabindra Svarupa dasa January 25, 1972
(42) as in item # 12 SPL to Bali Mardan dasa December 31, 1972
(43) as in item # 12 SPL to Madhudvisa Maharaja August 7, 1973
(44) as in item # 10 CCML 12.127
(45) as in item#3 S.B. 7.14.39
(46) as in item # 1 SP lecture on S.B. April 10, 1976 Vrindavana, India.
(47) as in item # 1 March 14, 1974 Vrindavana, India.
(48) as in item # 1 SP lecture on S.B. July 25, 1975
(49) as in item # 3 S.B. 4.8.54
(50) as in item # 3 S.B. 8.9.15
(51) [HDG]ACBS[P] NectarofDevotion p. 54 [Boston, MS,USA ISKCON Press, 1970]
(52) as in item # 12 SPL to Sivananda dasa January 23, 1969.
Nama Om Visnu Padaya Krsna Presthaya Bhutale
Srimate Bhaktivedanta Swamin iti Namine
Namaste Sarasvate Deve Gauravani Pracarine
Nirvisesa Sunyavadi Pascatya Desa Tarine
Sri Krsna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda
Sri Advaita Gadadhara Srivasa adi Gaura Bhakta Vrinda.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare