Signs Pointing to the Sampradaya Acharya
From Yasodanandan das,
Badger, California, USA
23 December 1993
Dear Hansadutta das:
Please accept my humble obeisances. It was a pleasure to speak to you last night. Regarding some scriptural evidence for this special position of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, you may consider the following.
1. As the Acharya of His Movement:
“I wish that each and every center shall keep the Acharya in the center and keep their separate identity.”—Srila Prabhupada to Kirtanananda, 1967
2. His Unique Position as the Major Spiritual Literary Authority for the Golden Age:
“My books will be the law books for the next ten thousand years.”—Srila Prabhupada, Los Angeles, 1976
3. Predicted by Lochana Dasa Thakura (Middle 16th Century):
Statement by Lochana dasa in the Chaitanya Mangala regarding the future appearance of a great Senapati Bhakta who would preach Krishna consciousness all over the world, i.e. Srila Prabhupada.
4. Predicted by Srila Krishna Dasa Kaviraja (Middle 16th Century):
Statement in the Chaitanya-charitamrita: prithivite ache yadi nagaradi grama sarvatra prachara hoibe more nama—”My Holy Name will be chanted in every town and village.” Srila Prabhupada fulfilled that prediction by his factual accomplishments.
5. Predicted by Srila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura, Author of Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata (Middle 16th Century) and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura (Middle 19th Century):
The statement in the Saj-Jana-Tosani of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, regarding the future appearance of a great personality who would come to the west and preach the message of Lord Gauranga and fulfill the prediction of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This is a translation from the journal Vaishnava Tosani:
…Sriman Mahaprabhu did not descend with His associates to deliver a certain number of human beings in the land of India, but rather His purpose was to deliver and uplift all living beings in all countries of the world by preaching the eternal religion of all souls. He has personally said, prthivi-parjanta jata ache desa gram/ sarvatra prachara hoibe mora nama. “My Name will be preached in all the countries and towns that exist throughout the world.” (Chaitanya Bhagavata Antya 4.126) There are many kinds of religion in the world, and among all of them the highest development of religion is the congregational chanting of the Supreme Lord’s divine names. Of this there is no doubt. Alas! When will that day come when all greatly fortunate souls in countries such as England, France, Russia, Prussia and America will take up banners, kettle drums, mridangas and karatalas and thus cause the ecstatic waves of Hari Nama Kirtana and the singing of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Holy Name to rise in the streets of their towns and cities? O when will that day come when pure and transcendental Krishna prema (love of God) will be the only religion of all souls and all tiny sectarian religions will meet in the unlimited and universal religion of devotional service to Krishna, as rivers merge into the great ocean? O when will that day come? (Saj-jana Tosani of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, late 1800’s)
And who fulfilled that wish and prediction of Bhaktivinoda Thakura? Srila Prabhupada.
6. Statement by Srila Prabhupada in New York, 1968: “After me there will be no more Acharyas.”—recounted by Rohini Kumara Swami in July, 1989, November, 1991 and again in February, 1993.
The obvious intent of Srila Prabhupada was there would not be another acharya like him after his departure. But bona fide disciples who did follow the principles and knew the philosophy and could preach could act as acharya representatives. He was to be the prominent acharya for the next ten thousand years. Also see the quote re law books for ten thousand years.
7. Explain the meaning of shakti avesha avatara, especially empowered personality. Only a super-empowered personality could do what Prabhupada has done.
8. Examples of the Lives of the Great Acharyas:
Shankaracharya took sannyasa at eight years old and travelled by foot throughout the whole of India and re-established Vedic principles and chased Buddhism out of India.
Sri Ramanujacharya preached all over India and wrote commentaries in Vedanta and Bhagavad-gita. He re-established the Vaishnava dharma especially throughout South India. He made thousands of disciples and established many Vaishnava temples.
Sri Madhvacharya wrote 38 books and commentaries and established eight major monasteries in Udupi, and also made thousands of disciples. He also travelled throughout India and preached strongly against the Mayavada impersonalist philosophy. He established Vaishnava philosophy in many places throughout India.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personally preached throughout South India. He started a spiritual revolution that is still felt today.
However, all these acharyas stayed in India. Their literatures and temples were confined to the Indian sub-continent. Prabhupada is the first acharya of the Vedic lineage who has ever travelled out of India and made so many Vaishnavas. He has presented in his numerous purports the true essence of the teachings of all the Vaishnava sampradayas. Thus, in one sense, he is the greatest acharya, because he has accomplished what no one else has done, in a most difficult environment and very tenuous circumstances in 1965 in New York.
What Ramanuja is to the Sri Sampradaya, what Madhvacharya is to the Brahma Sampradaya, what Nimbarkacharya is to the Kumara Sampradaya and what Vishnusvami is to the Rudra Sampradaya and what Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is to the Gaudiya Sampradaya and to all sampradayas; what Rupa Goswami Prabhupada and Sanatana Goswami Prabhupada and Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhupada were in their times after the departure of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by their literary and devotional accomplishments and what Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakura and Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana were in the 1700’s—SRILA PRABHUPADA is today their bona fide representative, preaching the glories of Vaishnava philosophy all over the world throughout his books and teachings and through his bona fide disciples and followers.
It should be noted that most of these acharyas took decades, if not their entire lifetimes to accomplish their mission. But Srila Prabhupada, in a short span of eleven years, accomplished what no one else in the entire history of India had accomplished. HE HAS FULFILLED THE PREDICTION OF SRI CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU.
9. The Position of the Adi-Guru of the Sampradaya, as described by Srila Sac-cid-ananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura (Hari-Nama-Chintamani, Chapter 6, Text 22):
sadhu sampradaye acharya sakala siksha guru pratistha
adyacharya yini guru siromani puji’tanra yathochita
Within the community of saintly persons, all are teachers and established as siksha gurus or instructing gurus (sakala siksha guru pratisthita). He who is the original guru (Adi-acharya) of the Sampradaya is the crest jewel amongst all gurus (guru siromani ). Thus it is proper to give him worship. Footnote by Bhaktivinoda Thakura:
A community of Vaishnavas is a community of saintly persons. They are able to give instructions about the disciplic succession, mantra, the absolute truth and the practice of sadhus. One should choose a worthy guru from the Vaishnava Sampradaya, if he wants to escape from such unbonafide sampradayas, such as Mayavada, etc…. The explanation of the first guru of the Sampradaya should be respected for his particular instructions. Srila Ramanujacharya, Srila Nimbarka and Sri Vishnusvami—these are the first acharyas of their own Sampradayas. Sri Madhvacharya is our original acharya.
Just as the above-mentioned acharyas are the adi-acharyas of their respective sampradayas, Srila Prabhupada is the adi-acharya of the Bhaktivedanta Sampradaya for the world-wide community of Vaishnavas. He is not merely another acharya. He is the current acharya of the Gaudiya Sampradaya. He has proven it and established it, especially by three major factors:
1) His numerous and voluminous bhasyas and tikas and profuse practical arrangement to distribute these literatures all over the world in all kinds of languages.
2) By his powerful preaching and immaculate purity he has made thousands of Vaishnavas and Vaishnavis all over the world.
3) He has (had???) practically created the framework for a universal house of worship and a sanctuary in the age of Kali-yuga by establishing 108 mandirs or temples, ashramas, farms, Gurukulas, etc. and given specific, practical directions of how to manage these institutions for preaching the message of Lord Chaitanya.
One South Indian Ramanuja guru remarked in 1976, after viewing one of Srila Prabhupada’s books and witnessing the preaching of some of his young disciples, “This person [Srila Prabhupada] is the summum bonum of all acharyas.”
Thus it is the foremost duty of any sincere disciple and follower of Srila Prabhupada to emphasize the unique and distinct position and accomplishment of Srila Prabhupada as the visva acharya or the world Acharya, the actual jagat guru, by his accomplishments and not merely by a self-given title. He is the actual Sampradaya Acharya to be surrendered to and fully served by all Vaishnavas and all preachers and preceptors in the future.
He lives forever by his divine instructions, and the follower lives with him.
These are just a few of the many quotes and citations that may be presented to establish the unique position of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.