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Gaurahari das

Want to Get Off The Kanistha Platform Try This!

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:idea: Want to Get Off The Kanistha Platform Try This!

Devotees who are fortunate to either have been initiated by a rare to be found pure devotee like Srila Prabhupada are very fortunate because from the very start their worship, meditation and service is directed strait to the feet of a pure devotee like Srila Prabhupada. This means their service reaches Krishna directly because the pure devotee is the authorized via media direct to Krishna. These devotees do not have to deal with the politics and wrong direction to worship ( most probably) conditioned souls who stepped to the plate and became worshipable diksha Gurus after Srila Prabhupada left the planet. If devotees who have been initiated by Srila Prabhupada don’t use this privilege properly by being dead serious about giving their life and soul to serve Both Guru and Gauranga then this is truly unfortunate and a great opportunity missed in this life.

I am going to get personal here because I have been trying to figure certain issues out for years and I have learned some essential points in the process. It is my duty to put my conclusions in a no nonsense unpolitical, non diplomatic way before the sincere devotees looking for the real Bhakti Yoga path that works practically. I am one of those Zonal Acharya type disciples who joined ISKCON in 1980. Without going into my own story too much, in the school of hard knocks, which eventually got me clear about how to make real tangible progress on this sublime Bhakti path, I will say I ended up worshiping and taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada exclusively. I did get diksha again because several years ago I thought it wise to be initiated by a highly advanced experienced Spiritual Master. Its is to have as much advanced ion with devotees especially when n the same disciplic succession. A big catastrophe ensued when I thought it was ok to associate with Aledged advanced devotees out of our disciplic line. This is very tricky because if such devotees are against our disciplic succession, which was in my case, even though they may seem to be advanced, it can break our own connection to the real lifeline of our amazingly powerful and empowered Parampara. This is another discussion here and I plan to write a in depth article about this obstacle as ordered by my diksha Guru who instructed me to share my experiences.

In 1986 I left ISKCON after five years of dedicated service but within I felt spiritually drained and dry. After seven years of cooling off or heating up enjoying normal pleasures of material life , I was again attracted by Srila Prabhupdas books. For three years I neglected my Zonal Guru and I enthusiasticly stayed close to Srila Prabhupada by serving his general order to distribute books and close to Krishna by hearing Krishna katha and chanting day and night. I also stay mostly alone and never mingled intimately with worldly minded people except to preach about Krishna. I also remained at a cordial distance with certain ISKCON devotees who appeared to be overly concerned with worldly matters. The result of following these simple rules, which are advised in the scriptures, was beyond what I could ever expect! To make another long story short some new Krishna devotees I met wanted to stay in my association and spontaneously asked me to teach them about what I realized in regards to Bhakti Yoga. The very evening right after giving my first class, Srila Prabhupada appeared to me in a lucid dream, in living color, personally instructed me and confirmed that I was right in line with how he wanted me to serve him. For three years after that I vigorously served his order and was very strongly preaching Krishna consciousness and this preaching was helping to instill faith in Krishna in five or six individuals and general interest to various degrees in many others.

Today I was inspired to write this article because I believe many devotees may be confused about why they may not feel they are making tangable spiritual advancement even though they may want to take the Bhakti Yoga process seriously. I am sharing some of own experiences because I believe it is relevant and may help some devotees who are trying to sort through some confusion.

In essence If one is a Prabhupada disciple I believe they will make rapid advancement to the intermediate devotional platform if they throw themselves whole heartily into serving Srila Prabhuapada by preaching Krishna consciousness in some practical way and at the same time serving Krishna by not wasting a moment performing intense sadhna practices especially hearing and chanting. Another essential point that is very important is that one must learn how to serve and associate intimately with pure devotees or at least with devotees more advanced than oneself. These are some essential positive directives. The other side of the coin is what to avoid. One who is serious and wants to make real progress has to avoid intimate association with worldly people and women other than ones own wife and she should be a serious devotee also otherwise there will be inevitable problems! If this one essential point is not observed one will no doubt will be spiritually disturbed, agitated and remain in a weakened spiritual condition.

Now for those disciples like myself who came after Srila Prabhupada… Here is where I could get into hot water of differences of opinion and controversy. This does not matter to me now because above all controversy and opinions I know what works personally based on personal experience and the revealed and not hidden word juggled scriptural verses. Srila Prabhupda gave me his enthusiastic approval in that lucid dream that I was pleasing him and on the right track. The only time I have had trouble in devotional service is when I have left Srila Prabhupda’s feet being swayed by some popular opinion. Srila Prabhupada has always been the one who has rescued me and brought me back to devotional service through his book incarnation. During my Bhakti Yoga comeback, It worked for me to neglect my zonal Guru and to serve Srila Prabhupda directly, by first serving his general instruction of what pleased him best, book distribution. Srila Prabhupda confirmed his approval by appearing to me personally and giving me further instructions after three years. I was strongly carrying these out until a test came a few years later and I deviated by losing faith in those glorious and sacred orders. My spiritual life fell apart after that for about 8 years. I was confused and in and out of the Bhakti Yoga process. Now everything is back in order because I am again taking up my real lifeline, Srila Prabhupda’s personal instructions.

In spiritual circles I am not politics, kissing butts for positions, and am not into fearing for my life. I am into vigorously serving Srila Prabhupada’s order. Here I am in the middle of a battlefield of unfavorable Buddhist association in dharmsala India. I am preaching vigorously right now alone but because I am serving Srila Prabhupdas order and observing the basic principals I already pointed out I am full of energy and practical preaching work is being accomplished here. There is not one devotee around that I have seen but there are people taking interest in the chanting and Bhakti yoga classes we are holding here daily seven days a week. This is truly Srila Prabhupda’s grace and the grace of our Glorious disciplic succession. Otherwise how could such things go on? I really have no qualification except for adhering firmly to the advice I am sharing in this article. If it worked for a fallen soul like me then it should work for other devotees also.

In summary here are the main points. Whether one is a direct Prabhupada disciple or not one should get very serious about only worshiping and serving a pure devotee alone on the level of Srila Prabhupada , even if it’s the pure devotee in his book form. In the Christian line, some of his devotees went on to become saints by faith in him through the bible which was written by his followers. Please take note of this second important point that Caitanya Caritamrita also confirms. if one is seriously wants to tread the path of pure Bhakti one must neglect worshiping conditioned souls in the form of materially charismatic Gurus, or the powerful demigods. This may be difficult path to take because you don’t get a lot of warm regard from spiritual organizations that promote living Guru conceptions that allow or encourage initiation and worship of a non liberated Guru. This is against our scriptures if one wants to find the path of pure devotional service. If one is not interested in finding the path of pure devotional service, being more concerned with being taken care of materialy in some way by an organization, fear of excommunication, or public ridicule because of not towing the party line then it’s not important to follow this path. One can just accept, an officiating pope like symbolic Guru, or family Guru as one’s life and soul.

Only the pure devotee illuminates the real path of pure devotional service. In the adjusted for relevance and paraphrased words of Jesus, "The pure devotee is the way, the life, and truth". In the words of Lord Caitanya

"‘For a person devoid of devotional service, birth in a great family or nation, knowledge of the revealed scriptures, performance of austerities and penance, and chanting of Vedic mantras are all like ornaments on a dead body. Such ornaments simply serve the concocted pleasures of the general populace.’" Madya 19-75

Practically… for devotees serious about the path of pure devotional service Krishna is to be worshiped in two principal forms one is himself in the form of his deity, Name, fame, Qualities and so forth and His empowered form as the pure devotee Spiritual Master and or Srimad bhagavatam. .

"Lord Krishna is very kind to His devotees. He is always very grateful and magnanimous, and He possesses all abilities. A learned man does not give up Krishna to worship anyone else. Madya lila

In the light of this verse I found out practically by giving up worshiping Krishna in His empowered devotee form of Srila Prabhupada to worship a Zonal Guru who was certainly not fitting into this category that I lost the real pure Bhakti path and connection with Krishna. The scriptures teach that many demigods are powerful devotees of Krishna but Krishna is still advising us to give up their worship much less disciples of a pure devotee many whom came from hippy backgrounds and had only been around the pure devotee a few years. On the other hand I did hear that there may have been a couple devotees who seem to have received the real mercy of Srila Prabhupada and probably were capable of giving the proper shelter of pure devotional service.

If anyone is interested in hearing a sample of the classes on the practical introduction to Bhakti Yoga I have been giving here in Dharmasala India you can send me an email request. I am not allowed yet to post the urls on this website.

Article written by Gaurahari das

wzodda (at) gmail.com

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I enjoyed reading this. When I first started reading Prabhupadas books I was really enthusiastic about this but when I started trying to encourage people in Krsna Consciousness concepts I was met with so much resistance that I have totally given up on preaching of any sort. I have come to the conclusion that I am not at all cut out for preaching because I get frustrated that society in general is just not really interested in Krishna Consciousness from my experience. I have found a lot of peace in meditating on Krsna Consciousness and Srila Prabhupada but I virtually have no desire to be a part of any Krishna Consciousness organization because all I have witnessed out of that sort of thing is endless philosophical bickering and that stuff just is not very inspiring to me and actually weakens my faith in the merits of Krishna Consciousness because if Krishna Consciousness is so great why do all the devotees in Krishna Consciousness fight each other so much? But anyway I hope to someday reach the point where you have reached but at this point I am not very hopeful of that but I do feel at peace with life and feel I owe Prabhupada and Caitanya Mahaprabhu a debt of gratitude for helping me understand reality a little better.

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