Srila Prabhupada, His Movement & You

Worship of the Sampradaya Acharya Endorsed

Upendranatha das from Vrindaban, after reading Srila Prabhupada, His Movement and You, claimed the term “Sampradaya Acharya” is a concoction. What follows are quotes from Srila Prabhupada’s books and conversations which clearly show the term and concept is very bona fide.

Madhva Sampradaya, the same, and Rudra Sampradaya and Sri Sampradaya…, Sri, Rama, Kumara Sampradaya. These are four sampradayas. So we should hear from the Sampradaya Acharya by disciplic succession. As Krishna recommends in this Bhagavad-gita. (Lecture on Bhagavad-gita, Hyderabad, November 30, 1972)

The four Kumaras are parampara spiritual masters of the Vaishnava Sampradaya. Out of the four sampradayas, namely Brahma Sampradaya, Sri Sampradaya, Kumara Sampradaya and Rudra Sampradaya, the disciplic succession of spiritual master to disciple known as the Kumara Sampradaya is coming down from the four Kumaras. So Prithu Maharaja was very respectful to the Sampradaya Acharyas. (Purport, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 4, Chapter 22, Text 4)

There are four sampradayas, parampara: the Ramanuja Sampradaya, Madhvacharya Sampradaya, Vishnusvami Sampradaya, Nimbarka Sampradaya. So we belong to the Madhvacharya Sampradaya. Fortunately, all these acharyas, even Shankaracharya, they appeared from South India. This sampradaya, acharya sampradaya, is going on all over India. So every sampradaya has got his commentary on the Brahma-sutra. (Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 13.8-12, Bombay, September 30, 1973)

So we have to follow Prahlada Maharaja. He is our guru, purva acharya. Narada is purva acharya. He is disciple of Narada. Therefore he is acharya, and his disciplic succession…. There are sampradayas: Brahma Sampradaya, Kumara Sampradaya…. Anyone who is bona fide acharya, he can create his own disciplic succession, but one disciplic succession and the other disciplic—they are not different. They are of the same conclusion. The Vaishnava acharyas, just like our Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya and Nimbarka and who that? Rudra Sampradaya? Vishnu Swami. (Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 7, Chapter 9, Text 12, Mayapur, February 19, 1976)

That is acharya. Acharya 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 acharya. Acharya is following strictly the previous acharya, but according to the circumstances, he may make little changes. That is… That change is not change from the original idea. (Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.9.12, Mayapur, February 19, 1976)

PARAMAHAMSA: Sometimes people ask, though, they say, “Why is it that even among the acharyas sometimes we find there is a difference of opinion?”

PRABHUPADA: They are not acharyas. They are not acharyas. There is no difference of understanding between acharyas. What Madhvacharya understands, we also understand . Suppose you are present also. So there is no difference. What Ramanujacharya understands, we also understand. What Chaitanya Mahaprabhu understands, we also understand. So where is the difference? Difference should be that the fact that he is not acharya. As soon as he differs from the previous acharyas, that means he is not acharya. Otherwise there is full agreement between all the acharyas. Just like Krishna is the Supreme Person, all acharyas agree. Where is the difference? Does Ramanujacharya differ from Madhvacharya or Madhvacharya differ from Chaitanya, Chaitanya differs from—no. There is no difference. That is Vaishnava. All the Vaishnavas understand that Vishnu is the Supreme. There may be, sometimes, such as Krishna is understood as incarnation of Vishnu, and sometimes they understand Vishnu as the incarnation of Krishna. That is sampradaya. That is sampradaya. But either Krishna or Vishnu, He is Supreme. That is accepted by all. (Evening discussion, Perth, May 6, 1975)

O Lord, who resemble the shining sun, You are always ready to fulfil the desire of Your devotee, and therefore You are known as a desire tree (vancha-kalpataru). When acharyas completely take shelter under Your lotus feet in order to cross the fierce ocean of nescience, they leave behind on earth the method by which they cross, and because You are very merciful to Your other devotees, You accept this method to help them. (Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 10, Chapter 2, Text 31)

Thus it is the duty of theacharya to publish books that will help future candidates take up the method of service and become eligible to return home, back to Godhead, by the mercy of the Lord. (Purport, Bhag, Canto 10, Chapter 2, Text 31)

The acharya gives the suitable method for crossing the ocean of nescience by accepting the boat of the Lord’s lotus feet, and if this method is strictly followed, the followers will ultimately reach the destination, by the grace of the Lord. This method is called acharya-sampradaya. It is therefore said, sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphaamatah (Padma Purana). The acharya-sampradaya is strictly bona fide. Therefore one must accept the acharya-sampradaya; otherwise one’s endeavor will be futile. Srila
Narottama dasa Thakura therefore sings: tandera charana sevi bhakta sane vasa/janame janame haya, ei abhilasa: One must worship the lotus feet of the acharya and live within the society of devotees. Then one’s endeavor to cross over nescience will surely be successful.” (Purport, Bhag. 10.2.31)

PRABHUPADA: Evam parampara-praptam.

RAMESVARA: It’s clear that for the first time these scholars are understanding the difference between the Bhagavad-gita and the Mayavadi conception. It’s clear that now you have saved them. Previous to this, all they knew about is this impersonal concept.

PRABHUPADA: That is the business of acharya:
to save the sampradaya from falling down.
Sampradaya. Sampradaya rakshana.

RAMESVARA: After centuries of rascaldom, you are giving them the first clear choice.

PRABHUPADA: Yes. That was the desire of my Guru Maharaja. I am just trying. (Room conversation with Sannyasis, Bhuvaneshvara, January 22, 1977)

PRABHUPADA: So a similar counterpart leaflet you should, that “International Society for Krishna Consciousness, world organization, established by His Divine Grace, and anyone can come here and take foodstuff. We have got arrangement,” like this. In suitable words you write and issue another pamphlet.


PRABHUPADA: In Bengali and in English. Which may not touch there, but we write in our own way that “by the order of is guru he went to America. Then he….” That’s a fact. What is the fact, that should be written. Give the list of the books and so on, so on.

TAMAL KRISHNA: List of the temples.

PRABHUPADA: Yes, temples. And “He is
the Acharya of the present Gaudiya Sampradaya
.” (Room conversation, Mayapur, January 19, 1976)

PRABHUPADA: I don’t care for them. Immediately kick out. That is, sampradaya vihina ye mantras te vi(pha)lah matah . If he is not coming by this parampara system, whatever he says, all nonsense.

TAMAL KRISHNA: What about those who are coming in these other sampradayas, like Ramanuja Sampradaya…?

PRABHUPADA: They are bona fide if they are actually following.

TAMAL KRISHNA: I was referring to them, that they are not preaching very widely.

PRABHUPADA: Then they are useless.

TAMAL KRISHNA: Yeah, because if they wanted to, Krishna would have facilitated it.

PRABHUPADA: Ramanuja preached. All the acharyas preached.

TAMAL KRISHNA: Yeah, either in writing or by traveling and preaching. You have done both, though.

PRABHUPADA: That is the duty of acharya. Otherwise he is not… Not that three dozen acharyas in Mayapura. Each one has a temple and a few dozen… Not few dozen; one dozen disciples. Bring some rice and eat. They are acharya. That day I said that, khai laya khasi bhaja (?), then everybody became angry. Collecting some money, taking
to the holy place, collecting fifty rupees and keeping twenty rupees and spending thirty rupees. This is… In this way they are making livelihood, acharyas. They say, “Whatever is in our capacity, we are doing.” The capacity means when they are speaking that the cockroach is as good a bird as the Garuda. Cockroach is also a bird, and Garuda is also a bird.

TAMAL KRISHNA: Quite a difference, though.

PRABHUPADA: How the cockroach can say, “I am also as good as Garuda?”


PRABHUPADA: (Laughs) So they want to say like that. (Room conversation, Bombay, April 10, 1977)

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22 Responses to Srila Prabhupada, His Movement & You

  1. I shall be including sections of this very intelligent, but flawed, commentary in an upcoming article that will be posted on one of our websites. As I told you in 1988, I would read the book that you gave me. I have read, more than once, both of your books, as well as this article. You are close. The quote from Vaikunthanatha, as potent as it appears to be, is still evidence not conclusive proof. Indeed, and somewhat ironically, you have prominently posted in another section of your website, that famous letter you received from His Divine Grace wherein he said that his movement may have gurus given the title of Bhaktivedanta (for their advanced learning and realization in the supreme science) by 1975. This was not realized, however, as we all know. Instead, eleven men–yourself one of them–went, in your own words to me back in the Eighties “way too far.” Nevertheless, misuse of a great science does not render it useless. The rittvik process (and I spell this word exactly as you do, so we have something in common there) in relation to Srila Prabhupada ended on November 15, 1977; the last genuinely initiated disciple of Prabhupada was Mahapurana das, an African-American devotee, at (again, somewhat ironically, although Nityananda prabhu was already in Mississippi by that time) the New Orleans yatra just hours before Prabhupada departed us in manifest form. The real issue here is not rittvik; the real issue is “regular guru, that’s all.” What did that mean? I ask this rhetorically, as I am confident that I know what it means. Similarly, as was revealed in your presence at Topanga Canyon in early December of 1980, the eleven men named on July 9-10, 1977 where not to create any kind of exclusive monopoly based upon their having been given the renewal of the service of rittvik, which had been suspended for a period of time before that summer. I think that you would agree that close is not good enough here. We may put together the pieces of the puzzle in a different chronological order–and that is to be expected–but, when it is finished, all the pieces fit together in one way and one way only. There is one perfect way, and we both agree that the vitiated GBC has not established, nor does it represent, that way. Yet, there arguments have some power to them, especially in terms of pragmatic considerations–Western pragmatism, that is. Indeed, I pick up no dearth of pragmatism in your presentations both in your books and on your website. The issue is not pragmatism itself, as Prabhupada was very results oriented. The issue is the difference between Western pragmatism and Vedic or Vaishnava pragmatism. There is one essential difference between them, and a hint of what that is can be found in Nityananda prabhu’s favorite slogan: Satyam eva jayate.
    One other thing to keep in mind. Kindly do not misread anything personal into this, because it is not intended for any specific initiated devotee (1966-1977) of Prabhupada. We both agree that the GBCs of Prabhupada and his guru deviated in egregious ways. What was the ultimate result thirty years after the first such deviation? Or, rather, how did Lord Chaitanya choose to rectify that situation? It wasn’t via any kind of rittvik arrangement, was it.
    So, I am being stimulated to some extent by what I am reading on your website and in reviewing your books (I have both of them) once again. In due course, it should produce an article that goes into detail on all of these spiritual raw nerve topics. Obviously, I had very little association with His Divine Grace in comparison to your good self; I was only alone with him once for about four minutes. So, you are very blessed, and I admire your spiritual good fortune. It empowers you to carry on, no doubt. Still, you and I have another thing in common that is certainly rare amongst Prabhupada’s actually initiated disciples, viz., neither of us was preached to before coming to the temple and deciding to surrender. I have read your historical account, it was impressive, and I could relate to it. Mine was different, obviously, but the principle was the same. As such, we each stand for something and push something independent of mass opinion and negativity of the enforced conformity. Your version of rittvik–and there are quite a number of them–is different from the others, and that is to be expected, also.
    Once I produce the above-mentioned article (for the first time, I am seriously considering employing the A & A format in doing so), would you like me to notify you of its posting along with a hyperlink? I shall not be offended if you answer this specific query in the negative nor shall I be offended if I do not hear from you at all. We are all meant to reach the stage of sthita-prajna, in which it is certain that His Divine Grace would order us to become diksa-guru, not rittvik. Until then, we are meant to preach to newcomers, stress Prabhupada as their siksa-guru, and keep them in the process at the level of sadhu-sanga. It is an impetus to get very sincere and serious and reach the stage of mahimni sve mahiyate, i.e., drsta evatmanisvare. If we could not or cannot reach even this stage, which is prior to bhava, then what was the meaning of Srila Prabhupada coming here in the first place and training us to become gurus? And he certainly wanted this, as you well know, and as evidenced, if not indeed proved, by his letter to you in 1975.
    Hoping that this meets you and your good wife in good health and cheerful mood, I beg to remain . . .
    Your eternal servant,

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  3. Suvarna says:

    Thank you for this book Hansadutta Prabhu. Very wonderful writing. I am very grateful. Thank you. Your servant Suvarna

  4. Suvarna says:

    is this book available to purchase?

  5. I have no motre copies for saler, you can download the whole text from Nama Hatta, or write to…… perhaps they have a copy,
    Thank you nfor appriociating my realizations. I do not write for money, or noteriety. I have written according to my experience and heart felt love for Prabhupada

    Your humble servant,
    I shaould have done better,
    But I fell. failed and am very repentant about that, and still working to get up and do the right thing.

    • tarunkrishna das says:

      Haribol ji, may i say Hansdutta ji at least you have said you made mistakes , been open about what went wrong for you, not many from that time have or ever will, bless you ji ,..haribol

    • Nilesh Dalal says:

      Hare Krishna prabhuji,
      Please consider to reprint your book not for fame or for glory but to help other innocent jivas from following the bogus gurus. I just discovered your website. But there are others where this message has to be reached. Please help to redirect Prabhupada’s vision in it’s true direction. Senior true devotees like yourself is our only link to the truth.
      Hari Bol.

    • dhaval moradiya says:

      hare krishna
      i want to purchasse of this book …

  6. Martin says:

    Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    For many years I have been searching for the audio of the so-called appointment tape of May 28, 1977. Do you have the audio file, and if so, could you please email it to me or post it to YouTube? I have read the transcript and understand that Srila Prabhupada appointed ritviks, but I would like to hear the audio for myself.

  7. William Regular says:

    Hare Krishna!!
    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!!

    Thank you very much for your profound realizations. i really felt indebted.. it gives me more light since you personally advice me to read first before i come to visit any ISKCON temple. i will write you someday in regards of this book.
    Again, thank you very much Hansadutta Prabhu

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  9. Lou says:

    Dear Hansadutta Das,
    I remember you in Berkely in 1976 or so. I used to frequent the temple there often. I have not been to an ISKCON temple since then although I occasionally try to keep up on ISKCON news. I am a devotee of Avatar Meher Baba. I have no qualifications to judge but the letter you’ve shared seems to clearly spell out Srila Prabhupada’s wishes. It makes it very clear: “The newly initiated devotees are disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada …” It is truly a shame that ISKCON has been divided all these years and I pray your efforts are helpful. Congratulations on your honesty and sincere work.

  10. Probir saha says:

    Jay radha!! I love “krishna” but i love you too.,’prabhupada’

  11. Vishnujana says:

    Hansadutta please accept my humble obeisances as a older Godbrother. I would like to talk to you about the ritvik system and where do you stand with post 1977 ISKCON. I would also like to know if you yourself know about the poisoning of our Spiritual Master A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada by your Godbrothers (perhaps you were aware but did not do anything) as well as your Godbrothers and the heinous acts they have done such as kirtananda and bhakti thirtha and many others. Please write back to me as soon as possible. If you truly following Srila Prabhupada you would allow for us to start a conversation to help this poor lost soul find some happiness. You are one of the last Ritvik Representative of Srila Prabhupada who was chosen by HIM. do not let this go to waste. Rise up Hansadutta and fight for Srila Prabhupada if you are sincere. Do not become clouded by illusion like arjuna at the battle of kurusetra with his family members. Just because they are your Godbrothers does not make it right to let them destroy Prabhupada ISKCON and take so many to hell with them. there are many scattered sects of the ritvik camp around the world with some truly devoted to Prabhupada and others for some materialistic purposes. Are we to let our faith become like the christian faith which is scattered from protestant to catholic to coptic orthodox to Pentecostal? Why do you sit and do nothing? Become a true ritvik and defend Prabhupada order and stop this second poisoning which is being done to Prabhupada Books. They are new devotees that are coming in this movement and many are lost because of the so many ritvik camps as well that they do not want to associate with ISKCON example my self and few friends. All I ask of you from my self is to write back to me so we may talk with my friends on your place and what we can do. Hare Krsna Jai Prabhupada.

    • Vishnujana says:

      Srila Prabhupada: Keu bole je keu poison kore diyeche. Hoy to tai.
      Translation: Someone says that I’ve been poisoned. It’s possible.

      Balaram Mishra (?): Hmm?

      Kaviraja: Kya farma rahe hain?
      Translation: What is he saying?

      Srila Prabhupada: Koi bolta hai je koi mujhko poison kiya gaya hai.
      Translation: Someone says that someone has given poison.

      Kaviraja: Kisko?
      Translation: To whom?

      Srila Prabhupada: Mujhko.
      Translation: To me.

      Kaviraja: Kaun bolta hai?
      Translation: Who said?

      Srila Prabhupada: Ye sab friends.
      Translation: These all friends.

      Bhakticharu: Ke boleche, Srila Prabhupada?
      Translation: Who said, Srila Prabhupada?

      Srila Prabhupada: Ke boleche.
      Translation: They all say.

      Tamal Krishna: Krishna das?

      Kaviraja: Ao ko kaun poison dega? Kis liye dega?
      Translation: Who would give you poison? Why would anyone do that?

      Tamal Krishna: Who said that, Srila Prabhupada?

      Srila Prabhupada: I do not know, but it is said.

      Exchange 1 – Mixture of English, Hindi and Bengali (9/11/77)

      Jagadisha: Srila Prabhupada, can you tell us why you want to go on the parikrama? (travelling to visiting holy places)
      Prabhupada: …good paddy.
      Tamala Krsna: This seems like suicide, Srila Prabhupada, this program. It seems to some of us like it’s suicidal.
      Prabhupada: And this is also suicidal.
      Tamala Krsna: Hm. Prabhupada said, “And this is also suicide.” Now you have to choose which suicide.
      Prabhupada: The Ravana (A great demon) will kill and Rama (God) will kill. Better to be killed by Rama. Eh? That Marica–if he does not go to mislead Sita, he’ll be killed by Ravana; and if he goes to be killed by Rama, then it is better.
      [Room Con. Nov. 10, 1977, Vrndavana, India]

      Prabhupada: All right. You take Babaji Maharaja. That will be my going. (“devotees” laugh)
      Krsna dasa Babaji: Jaya. (laughter)
      Tamala Krsna: Yes, the bullock cart will go tomorrow
      Prabhupada: Yes.
      Tamala Krsna: To Govardhana.
      Prabhupada: Yes, other devotees can go. I cannot go.
      Tamala Krsna: No, they’ll go on your behalf, but you will go one day. That we promise you. (“devotees” laugh)
      “Devotee ?”: (under breath) Sati (other “devotees” laugh)
      Prabhupada: All right.
      Tamala Krsna: Our greatest pleasure will be to take you on tirtha-yatra, Srila Prabhupada. We wanted so much to go with you on that.
      Prabhupada: Thank you very much.

      (Vrindavana, India – 10th November 1977)

      here is the conversation of his final days. You were there werent you? therefore if you knew of this publicly repent and work to fight against your “Godbrothers” and if you sincerely and honestly did not know then research and hear what they did to our Guru Maharaj and understand what you must do.

  12. Krishna Tungal says:

    All Glories to Srila Prabhupada,
    Hare Krishna to all the devotees.

    What Vishnujana Prabhu said is 100000% true. Hansadutta Prabhu, you can do it, we all here to support you..


    Your servant
    Krishna Tungal

    • Aaca says:

      Dear Jagaddharta Prabhu Thank you for your comments. I beelive that you are correct in your appraisal that we have underestimated world affairs as a causative influence. Srila Prabhupada has given us all the knowledge and perspective to understand the complexities of modern life and how we are entangled in the modes and more importantly how to get disentangled. Srila Prabhupada gives us the tools it is up to us how or when or if we employ them. He nor Krsna will do this as this is our duty to free ourselves. The Demon Kali has his agents both outside and inside of FISKCON. To have them inside ISKCON is impossible for inside ISKCON is where Srila Prabhupada’s vision lies illuminating the absolute truth. FISKCON adherents do not have this vision and so they will cheat us. It is only when we can understand this difference, that is between ISKCON and FISKCON that we can begin to free ourselves. Yes no one comes close to Srila Prabhupada! Nor are they meant to. He is the Acharya of ISKCON no one else. We have to all come together by aligning our visions to his and in order to do this we must understand our predicament within the Geopolitical sphere and to know where the Krsna Consciousness Movement is being compromised, where our own vision has been affected and obscured. Yours in the service of Srila PrabhupadaAdmin

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  16. Hansadutta Prabhu, you are in an excellent position to understand the ritvik issue because you were an ISKCON temple president, a member of the GBC body, a BBT trustee, an “appointed guru,” and a “zonal acharya.” Your booklet is what convinced me, even before “The Final Order” was published.

    Also, no ISKCON leader dares to debate with you. All that they ever do is resort to low-class name-calling!

  17. hansadutta das says:
    September 12, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I have no motre copies for saler

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