Acharya - Pure Devotee Falls down!
There are two issues here:
1. The fall down from the spiritual world:
Srila Prabhupada states the following in a letter: The Spirit Soul is certainly eternal and changeless; and the fall is superficial, just like the relation between father and son cannot be broken ever. Now we are simply in a phase of forgetfulness, and this forgetfulness is called Maya. There is a nice example in the waning of the moon. To us the moon appears to be changing, but in fact the moon is always the same. So as eternal servitors of Krishna – our constitutional position – we fall down when we try to become the enjoyer, imitating Krishna. That is our downfall. Krishna is the Supreme Enjoyer, and we are constitutionally to be enjoyed by Him, and when we revive this constitutional position there is no more Maya. Krishna Consciousness gives us the opportunity of rendering service to Krishna, and this service attitude only can replace us on our original position. -
Letter to Jananivasa 27th Sept 1967
2. The Acharya (PURE DEVOTEE) who is EMPOWERED AND PROTECTED by Krishna is SUPPOSED ---according to Narasingha Maharaja and some others can fall down. This is ---like saying to come under the shelter of Krishna’s pure devotee is unreliable.
The noted difference is that the souls - who as Srila Prabhupada has stated clearly “try to become the enjoyer, imitating Krishna” fall down. BUT this fall down does NOT necessarily apply to Srila Prabhupada or those acharyas who precede him who have come here TO SERVE Krishna’s purpose in delivering humanity. These acharyas are EMPOWERED AND PROTECTED BY KRISHNA. They have NOT come here to become ENJOYER.
THIS is why Narasingha Maharaja and his colleagues will find it VERY difficult to prove that (PURE DEVOTEES) ACHARYAS fall down. This ludicrous theme is NOT found in Srila Prabhupada’s books AT ALL.
Here is the ACHARYA DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION--- PROVE IT! WHERE? IS THE FALLEN ACHARYA IN OUR GLORIOUS Disciplic succession of acharyas as given in a letter:
My Guru Maharaja was in the 10th generation from Lord Chaitanya. We are 11th from Lord Chaitanya. The disciplic succession is as follows: 1. Sri Krishna, 2. Brahma, 3. Narada, 4. Vyasa, 5. Madhva, 6. Padmanabha, 7. Nrihari, 8. Madhava, 9. Akshobhya, 10. Jayatirtha, 11. Jnanasindhu, 12. Purusottama, 13. Vidyanidhi, 14. Rajendra, 15. Jayadharma, 16. Purusottama, 17. Vyasatirtha, 18. Laksmipati, 19. Madhavendra Puri, 20. Ishvara Puri (Advaita, Nityananda) 21. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, 22. (Svarupa, Sanatana) Rupa, 23. (Jiva) Raghunath, 24. Krishna dasa, 25. Narottama, 26. Visvanatha, 27. (Baladeva) Jagannatha, 28. (Bhaktivinode) Gaura-kisora, 29. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Sri Barshabhanavidayitadas, 30. Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta.
- Letter to Upendra 13th Feb 1968
In Bhagavad-gita, Thirteenth Chapter, it is clearly stated that one should execute devotional service and advance on the path of spiritual knowledge BY ACCEPTING THE ACHARYA. Acharyopasanam: one SHOULD WORSHIP AN ACHARYA, a spiritual master who knows things as they are. The spiritual master must be in the disciplic succession from Krishna. THE PREDECESSORS OF THE SPIRITUAL MASTER ARE HIS SPIRITUAL MASTER, HIS GRAND SPIRITUAL MASTER, HIS GREAT-GRAND SPIRITUAL MASTER AND SO ON, WHO FORM THE DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION OF ACHARYAS.
- Srimad Bhagavatam 3.29.17 Purport
We quote below an exchange between Narasingha Maharaja and some devotees on this very subject:
Devotee: But so many, what you are calling pure devotees, have fallen down - a pure devotee cannot fall down.
Narasingha Maharaja: Oh. This is very interesting point that you are making. On one hand you say that a pure devotee cannot fall down but on the other hand, yourself and other ritvik proponents are of the opinion that all living entities in the mundane world have fallen from eternal lila with Krishna in Goloka or Vaikuntha - is it not?
Devotee: Yes. But...
Narasingha Maharaja: So in the spiritual world, were these fallen souls pure devotees or not? If they are not pure devotees then how can they be with Krishna in eternal lila. Therefore by your own admission a pure devotee can fall down - is it not?
Srila Prabhupada’s Verdict:
It should be understood that a madhyama-adhikari, a second-class devotee, is fully convinced of Krishna consciousness but cannot support his convictions with sastric reference. A neophyte may fall down by associating with nondevotees because he is not firmly convinced and strongly situated. The second-class devotee, even though he cannot support his position with sastric reference, can gradually become a first-class devotee by studying the sastras and associating with a first-class devotee. However, if the second-class devotee does not advance himself by associating with a first-class devotee, he makes no progress. THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY THAT A FIRST-CLASS DEVOTEE WILL FALL DOWN, EVEN THOUGH HE MAY MIX WITH NONDEVOTEES TO PREACH. Conviction and faith gradually increase to make one an uttama-adhikari, a first-class devotee.
- Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Madhya 22.71
Note: Here Srila Prabhupada says clearly HE DOES NOT DEVIATE AT ALL. He further affirms this in many more places.
A BONA FIDE SPIRITUAL MASTER IS IN THE DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION FROM TIME ETERNAL, AND HE DOES NOT DEVIATE AT ALL FROM THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE SUPREME LORD as they were imparted millions of years ago to the sun-god, from whom the instructions of Bhagavad-gita have come down to the earthly kingdom. One should, therefore, follow the path of Bhagavad-gita as it is expressed in the Gita itself and BEWARE OF SELF-INTERESTED PEOPLE AFTER PERSONAL AGGRANDIZEMENT WHO DEVIATE OTHERS FROM THE ACTUAL PATH. The Lord is definitely the supreme person, and His activities are transcendental. One who understands this is a liberated person from the very beginning of his study of the Gita.
- Bhagavad-Gita 4.42 Purport
Note: Srila Prabhupada warns us: personal aggrandizement - this so-called gurus who want to take us for a ride. Best to worship His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada the bona fide acharya.
Pure devotee falls?---NO! GURUSU NARA-MATIH.
Even if a man is very advanced in learning, he cannot understand the behaviour of a Vaishnava. Anyone can take shelter of a pure Vaishnava, without fear. Therefore in the previous verse it has been distinctly said, devarser antike sakuto-bhaya: Kayadhu, the mother of Prahlada Maharaja, stayed under the protection of Narada Muni without fear from any direction. SIMILARLY, NARADA MUNI, IN HIS TRANSCENDENTAL POSITION, STAYED WITH THE YOUNG WOMAN WITHOUT FEAR OF DEVIATION. NARADA MUNI, HARIDASA THAKURA AND SIMILAR ACHARYAS ESPECIALLY EMPOWERED TO BROADCAST THE GLORIES OF THE LORD CANNOT BE BROUGHT DOWN TO THE MATERIAL PLATFORM. THEREFORE ONE IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN TO THINK THAT THE ACHARYA IS AN ORDINARY HUMAN BEING (GURUSU NARA-MATIH).
- Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.14 Purport
Empowered devotees are NOT disturbed
Those who are not narayana-para, pure devotees, must be disturbed by this duality of the material world, whereas devotees who are simply attached to the service of the Lord are not at all disturbed by it. For example, Haridasa Thakura was beaten with cane in twenty-two bazaars, but he was never disturbed; instead, he smilingly tolerated the beating. Despite the disturbing dualities of the material world, devotees are not disturbed at all. BECAUSE THEY FIX THEIR MINDS ON THE LOTUS FEET OF THE LORD AND CONCENTRATE ON THE HOLY NAME OF THE LORD, THEY DO NOT FEEL THE SO-CALLED PAINS AND PLEASURES CAUSED BY THE DUALITIES OF THIS MATERIAL WORLD.
- Srimad Bhagavatam 6.17.29
yam labdhva caparam labham manyate nadhikam tatah
YASMIN STHITO NA DUHKHENA GURUNAPI VICALYATE
"Established in Krishna consciousness, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. BEING SITUATED IN SUCH A POSITION, ONE IS NEVER SHAKEN, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF THE GREATEST DIFFICULTY." AN UNALLOYED DEVOTEE IS NEVER DISTURBED BY ANY KIND OF TRYING CIRCUMSTANCE.
- Bhagavad-gita 6.22
Brahma as the acharya is given PROTECTION.
Maitreya hesitated to state this anomaly on the part of Brahma, who was sexually inclined to his own daughter, but still he mentioned it because sometimes it so happens, and the living example is Brahma himself, although he is the primeval living being and the most learned within the whole universe. If Brahma could be a victim of the sexual urge, then what of others, who are prone to so many mundane frailties? THIS EXTRAORDINARY IMMORALITY ON THE PART OF BRAHMA WAS HEARD TO HAVE OCCURRED IN SOME PARTICULAR KALPA, BUT IT COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED IN THE KALPA IN WHICH BRAHMA HEARD DIRECTLY FROM THE LORD THE FOUR ESSENTIAL VERSES OF SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM BECAUSE THE LORD BLESSED BRAHMA, AFTER GIVING HIM LESSONS ON THE BHAGAVATAM, THAT HE WOULD NEVER BE BEWILDERED IN ANY KALPA WHATSOEVER. THIS INDICATES THAT BEFORE THE HEARING OF SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM HE MIGHT HAVE FALLEN A VICTIM TO SUCH SENSUALITY, BUT AFTER HEARING SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM DIRECTLY FROM THE LORD, THERE WAS NO POSSIBILITY OF SUCH FAILURES.
- Srimad Bhagavatam 3.12.28 Purport
Narasingha Maharaja seems upset at Srila Prabhupada’s potency to give diksa as mentioned below to the generations of devotees to come. If he wants to succeed Srila Prabhupada (disciplic succession of acharyas) he has to prove Srila Prabhupada is no longer capable to give the Madhyama adhikaris diksa. Of course there is a cheaper way – sahijiya way around it – just throw a few bananas and sesame seeds in the fire and give “initiation” calling the devotees “his” disciples. BUT are they following “his” discipline or are they following Srila Prabhupada’s discipline? One who follows Srila Prabhupada’s discipline from his books is Srila Prabhupada’s disciple - common sense. 16 rounds plus 4 regulative principles - these are also given by Srila Prabhupada. Others can but imitate by saying - here do this.
At stage of Madhyama adhikari CAN serve Krishna in loving mellows.
THIS is spiritual initiation –diksa.
DIKSA-KALE bhakta kare atma-samarpana
sei-kale krsna tare kare atma-sama
"At the time of initiation, when a devotee fully surrenders unto the service of the Lord, Krishna accepts him to be as good as Himself.”
"When the devotee's body is thus transformed into spiritual existence, the devotee, in that transcendental body, renders service to the lotus feet of the Lord. The living entity who is subjected to birth and death, when he gives up all material activities dedicating his life to Me for executing My order, and thus acts according to My direction, at that time he reaches the platform of immortality, and becomes fit to enjoy the spiritual bliss of EXCHANGE OF LOVING MELLOWS WITH ME.
- Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Antya 4.192-194
Note: All that Srila Prabhupada authorized was the FINAL ORDER to the society July 9th 1977 naming them as ritviks. He did not say they were acharyas and were to be worshiped as good as God.
The conclusion is that a spiritual master who is authorized and empowered by Krishna and his own guru should be considered as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. That is the verdict of Vishvanatha Chakravarthi: saksad-dharitvenasa. An authorized spiritual master is as good as Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
- Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Madhya 10.136
Note: Here is Srila Prabhupada’s authority from his guru explaining Srila Prabhupada to be Jagad-guru (spiritual master of the ENTIRE world) and spiritual master of ALL varnas and ashramas
It is Srila Prabhupada who is ACTUALLY preaching through his books presenting the holy name (initiating) and delivering the conditioned souls.
"In the Dvapara-yuga one could satisfy Krishna or Vishnu only by worshiping opulently according to the pancharatriki system, but in the age of Kali one can satisfy and worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead Hari simply by chanting His holy name." SRILA BHAKTISIDDHANTA SARASVATI THAKURA EXPLAINS THAT UNLESS ONE IS DIRECTLY EMPOWERED BY THE CAUSELESS MERCY OF KRISHNA, ONE CANNOT BECOME THE SPIRITUAL MASTER OF THE ENTIRE WORLD (JAGAD-GURU). ONE CANNOT BECOME AN ACHARYA SIMPLY BY MENTAL SPECULATION. THE TRUE ACHARYA PRESENTS KRISHNA TO EVERYONE BY PREACHING THE HOLY NAME OF THE LORD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. Thus the conditioned souls, purified by chanting the holy name, are liberated from the blazing fire of material existence. In this way, spiritual benefit grows increasingly full, like the waxing moon in the sky. THE TRUE ACHARYA, THE SPIRITUAL MASTER OF THE ENTIRE WORLD, must be considered an incarnation of Krishna’s mercy. Indeed, he is personally embracing Krishna. HE IS THEREFORE THE SPIRITUAL MASTER OF ALL THE VARNAS (BRAHMANA, KSHATRIYA, VAISHYA AND SUDRA) AND ALL THE ASHRAMAS (BRAHMACHARYA, GRIHASTHA, VANAPRASTHA AND SANNYASA). Since he is understood to be the most advanced devotee, he is called paramahamsa-thakura. Thakura is a title of honor offered to the paramahamsa. Therefore one, who acts as an acharya, directly presenting Lord Krishna by spreading His name and fame, is also to be called paramahamsa-thakura
- Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Antya 7.12 SRILA PRABHUPADA IS MAHA-BHAGAVATA WHO IS DELIVERING US!
brahmano vai gurur nrnam
sarvesam eva lokanam
asau pujyo yatha harih
The guru MUST be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru MUST be accepted from the topmost class.
When one has attained the TOPMOST POSITION OF MAHA-BHAGAVATA, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. ONLY SUCH A PERSON IS ELIGIBLE TO OCCUPY THE POST OF A GURU.
- Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Madhya 24.330
I offer my respectful obeisances unto HIS DIVINE GRACE A.C.BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at his lotus feet.
Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvati Gosvami. YOU ARE KINDLY PREACHING THE MESSAGE OF CHAITANYA-DEVA AND DELIVERING THE WESTERN COUNTRIES WHICH ARE FILLED WITH IMPERSONALISM AND VOIDISM.
Srila Prabhupada DELIVERS! HOW? He preaches in his books GIVING the holy name ONLY UTTAMA ADHIKARI IS QUALIFIED TO DELIVER (BY DEFINITION).
ALL GLORIES TO OUR BONAFIDE JAGAT SIKSHA AND DIKSHA GURU SRILA PRABHUPADA!
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE