Patita Pavana – Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada writes in the preface to NOD: “The principle of Lord Caitanya’s movement in educating and elevating everyone to the exalted post of a gosvami is taught in The Nectar of Devotion.” Here he reveals his purpose in presenting the summary study of Srila Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti-rasamrita-sindu. He very plainly wants to elevate and educate everyone to the exalted position of a gosvami. Srila Prabhupada himself had the vision of a gosvami and thus he knew how to present the teachings of the acaryas in such a way that it could be adopted by all people of the world in the present times.

In Nectar of Instruction Srila Prabhupada states “The gosvami title is actually the monopoly of the pure devotees.” Srila Prabhupada, by his life and teachings, exclusively promoted pure devotional service in complete compliance with the disciplic succession and without compromise. Thus his title of Bhaktivedanta Swami is appropriate. In the first six chapters of Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna discusses with Arjuna several lesser paths which ultimately lead to bhakti. In Srila Prabhupada’s purports, however, only pure devotional service is recommended from the first page of the Gita to the last. Furthermore in the first six chapters Srila Prabhupada quotes many relevant verses from Srimad Bhagavatam and other literatures confirming the position of one who takes up the process of devotional service. This one in particular was quoted twice:

aho bata sva-paco ‘to gariyan
yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur arya
brahmanucur nama grnanti ye te

“O my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although born of a low family like that of a candala [dog-eater], is situated on the highest platform of self-realization. Such a person must have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to Vedic rituals and studied the Vedic literatures many, many times after taking his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Such a person is considered to be the best of the Aryan family.” Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.33.7)

also Srila Prabhupada cites this reference from Caitanya-caritamrta:

kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya
yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei ‘guru’ haya

“It does not matter whether a person is a vipra [learned scholar in Vedic wisdom] or is born in a lower family, or is in the renounced order of life-if he is master in the science of Krsna, he is the perfect and bona fide spiritual master.” (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 8.128)

Srila Prabhupada’s faith in the transformational power of devotional service was so strong that he accepted the most unlikely candidates as disciples and successfully raised many of them to the perfection of human life. A good example of this was of one prominent leader of our society who first met Srila Prabhupada on a hippie farm community where the occupants were not very attached to some material objects such as clothes. After Srila Prabhupada’s association and guidance he became spiritually empowered and Srila Prabhupada himself thought him fit for the title of gosvami. HH Tamal Krishna Goswami was thus the first devotee in ISKCON to receive this title. Similarly, it is appropriate for members of ISKCON to endeavour to raise ourselves up to such a spiritually satisfied condition by following in the footsteps of such kripa-siddhas.

Srila Prabhupada’s vision was so broad and full of compassion and his efforts were so purely motivated that even several years after his departure from this world many people are still being elevated to the position of gosvami. These fortunate souls are not only recipients of his mercy but also try to elevate others to the gosvami position. Thus we can understand Srila Prabhupada’s mood and mission to be perpetually established in his sublime transcendental literature and in the hearts of all his sincere followers.

Om tat sat


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