LEADING WITH SHASTRA

Dear prabhu, while you are an historic devotee who has done tremendous service for Srila Prabhupada, the way you understand and explain spiritual subjects is not the way that Srila Prabhupada told us to understand them. If we consider the way Srila Prabhupada himself explained them, whether in his books or lectures especially, he lead with shastra; only seldom did he quote his own Guru Maharaja. But most of us don’t do that. In these debates we tend to either quote Srila Prabhupada at length or quote from our own experience of him and seldom quote from shastra. And there are many reasons why this leads to innumerable misunderstandings.

Consider the case when we happen to speak with devotees who do not belong to our sampradaya. For example, Sri Vaishnavas. When we discuss spiritual subjects with them, we don’t quote Srila Prabhupada at length, we quote shastra at length and then may sometimes add the support of our acharya, Srila Prabhupada. Otherwise, they will not accept what we say, even if it is right. And we can’t blame them for that. We would do the same if they started bashing us over the head with quotes from whomever their current acharya is.

So the first point here is that when we lead with shastra, then that evidence has wide authority, more so than any other kind of evidence. Srila Prabhupada wanted to present the teachings of Lord Krishna in the most authoritative way, which is why he placed so much emphasis on shastra in his own presentations. read more

Vyasa-puja Offering to Srila Prabhupada

nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine   nirvisesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desa-tarine

Srila Prabhupada, recently a Sri Vaisnava acarya invited me to a thirumanjanam (elaborate ceremony of worship) of Sri Ramanujacarya. That was another occasion for me to observe how the sampradaya to which Sri Ramanujacarya gave new life, meaning, and direction is still united around him many hundreds of years after the period of his manifest activities. read more