THE NEW MEANING OF FOUNDER-ÄCÄRYA: AN “ISKCON” DOGMA OF MASS LIBERATION
Part One of a Four-Part Series
“Çré Jéva Gosvämé advises that one not accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary or customary social and ecclesiastical conventions. One should simply try to find a genuinely qualified spiritual master for actual advancement in spiritual understanding.” Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi, 1.35, purport
“The spiritual master is not God. Only God is God.”
“One may make a show of devotional service like the präkåta-sahajiyäs, or one may try to support his philosophy by joining some caste or identifying
himself with a certain dynasty, claiming a monopoly on spiritual advancement.”
This review is of the latest G.B.C.-sanctioned literary composition, penned by, arguably, its leading member. The title of the book in question is Srila Prabhupäda Founder-Äcärya of ISKCON (hereinafter referred to as SPFAI or SPFAI by RSA). As the saying goes, you can't always judge a book by its cover--or, for that matter, by the title on that cover. The gist of the treatise is that the honorific “Founder-Äcärya” (in general) and the short and similar phrase “Founder-Äcärya of ISKCON” (in particular) connotes something far more extensive than has been considered for the last forty-five years, since the corporate organization came to be known as ISKCON.
BAD BOYS BURN THE MISSION
Part Four of Benefic and Malefic Spheres
The West values passion and the domineering spirit, often taking them as indications of personal strength, but the Vedic perspective views them as weaknesses of heart. To lord it over material nature is considered progressive in the West, especially when efforts impelled by passion succeeds. Buddhi-yoga in Kåñëa consciousness cannot be maintained with such an attitude and mentality. Passion leads to increasing the propensity to lord it over, conducive to inextricable entanglement in Nature’s complexities.
Becoming attached to matter and the possession of matter is intrinsic to the modes of passion and binds one to saàsara. All the major problems of material existence are due to the lower modes, but the West only recognizes problems caused by the modes of ignorance, which works to destroy what is, in most cases, unnecessarily created when everything appears to flourish in passion.
BENEFIC AND MALEFIC SPHERES ANDPATTERNS OF INFLUENCE
First of a Multi-part Series
“There are many devotees who assume themselves to be in Kåñëa consciousness and devotional service but, at heart, do not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, as the Absolute Truth. For them, the fruit of devotional service—going back to Godhead—will never be tasted. . . Perpetually, their real knowledge will remain under delusion, and gradually they will regress to the darkest region of creation.” -Bhagavad-gétä, 9.12, purport
In sidereal science, a malefic, depending upon its position, can sometimes work in a mostly positive way for the horoscope. Conversely, in the spiritual science of Kåñëa consciousness, malefic spheres and patterns of influence harm the disciplic succession. They work to break its siddhänta, process, momentum, and, ultimately, its viability in human society. Conversely, benefic spheres of influence are helpful. This is confirmed near the very beginning of the Bhägavat Puräëa:
“The effect of devotional service becomes manifest by complete elimination of these effects of passion and ignorance. The devotee is fixed at once in the mode of goodness, and he makes further progress . . .”
The VAISHNAVA FOUNDATION was founded in order to provide a forum for honest seekers of the Absolute Truth. Inherent in the purposes of the Foundation is the need to discriminate between sentimentally-driven Kåñëa consciousness and Kåñëa consciousness which is actually based on the instructions of the previous spiritual masters. As such, the Foundation keeps the emphasis on knowledge and realization, as opposed to absorption in congregationalism.
The Vaishnava Foundation spares no effort in presenting the philosophy of Kåñëa consciousness as it was presented most recently by our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämi Prabhupäda. In this way, the Vaishnava Foundation does not sacrifice the Absolute Truth for the sake of some ephemeral unity or so-called cooperation.
In addition to offering a firm philosophical foundation, the Foundation sheds special light on the plight of the Kåñëa consciousness movement since the departure of His Divine Grace in November of 1977.
The Vaishnava Foundation was founded in 1986 by Kailäsa Candra däsa, an initiated disciple of Swämi Prabhupäda. The Foundation presents the same message and spirit that was available during the manifest physical presence of His Divine Grace, repeating his message as it is according to experience, logic, and personal realization. This is possible due to the leadership of Çréman Kailäsa Candra däsa, who represents Çréla Prabhupäda and directs service activities for the members of the foundation. Kailäsa prabhu’s teachings preserve the philosophy of Çréla Prabhupäda, because he has never allowed himself to come under the influence of party-spirit factions, such as the zonal äcäryas or those that have come after.
Çréla Prabhupäda was extremely pleased by devotees who were familiar enough with his books to resist misleading presentations by deluded leaders of his movement, such as the four sannyäsés of 1970. Strictly adhering to Çréla Prabhupäda’s instructions, Kailäsa prabhu has provided such an alternative since at least 1979. (see biography)
Those who affiliate with the Foundation obtain the opportunity to help him in this effort and thus obtain the mercy of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämi Prabhupäda.
Svarüpa-jïäna--or intrinsic knowledge concerning the sädhaka, the sädhana, and sädhya--is non different from the svarüpa of çuddha bhakti. When such svarüpa-jïäna has not yet arisen in a sädhaka--but the desire to cross over the ocean of material existence has arisen within him--then the symptoms of bhakti visible in him at that time are merely bhaktyäbhäsa. This bhaktyäbhäsa transforms into çuddha-bhakti when one obtains svarüpa-jïäna. Even for Vaiñëavas duly initiated into a genuine sampradäya, the vastu-prabha--the illumination of one's identity arising from the mantra received upon initiation by his dékñä-guru--does not appear until he receives the enlightenment of his svarüpa-jïäna by the mercy of çikñä-guru. Due to ignorance of svarüpa-jïäna, svarüpa-çuddha-bhakti remains covered. Hence, only bhaktyäbhäsa is visible.
Unfortunately, in present day society, in the name of çuddha-bhakti, various types of mixed devotion--such as karma-miçra, jïäna-miçra, and yoga-miçra, as well as various polluted and imaginary conceptions, are spreading like germs of plague. People in general consider these polluted and mixed conceptions to be bhakti. They respect them as such and thus are deprived of çuddha-bhakti. These polluted and mixed conceptions are our greatest enemies.
Some people say that there is no value in bhakti, that God is only imaginary sentiment, that man has merely created the image of God through imagination, and that bhakti is a diseased state, unable to benefit us in any way. These types of opponents cannot harm us much, because we easily recognize them and avoid them. However, those who propagate bhagavad-bhakti as the highest dharma--yet behave against the principles of çuddha-bhakti--can be especially harmful to us. In the name of bhakti, they instruct us against the actual principles of bhakti. This ultimately leads us to a path that is diametrically opposed to bhagavad-bhakti. Therefore, with great endeavor, our previous äcäryas have defined the svarüpa or intrinsic nature of bhakti, repeatedly cautioning us to keep away from polluted and mixed concepts.
Bhakti Viveka Tattva By His Divine Grace Çréla Bhaktivinode Öhäkur Prabhupäda
|Quotes from the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are copyright Bhaktivedanta Book Trust|
The following five articles constitute the core of the Vaishnava Foundation presentation. They are essential for anyone desiring to make tangible progress in spiritual life at the present time.