Welcome to the KrishnaSoft's Electronic Newsletter.
This is the February 2000 issue entitled: "Without Surrender, the Initiation Rituals Are Useless!"

This newsletter goes to over 1100 people who either have an interest in Vedic science and/or spiritually entertaining multimedia technology.

(1) Without Surrender, the Initiation Rituals Are Useless!
(2) Srimad-Bhagavatam is the Answer to All Questions!
(3) Feedback: Miscellaneous
(4) Editorial Policy and Product List


[The following is the fifteenth of a series of articles to present to the benefits of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Krsna CDROM and the Srimad-Bhagavatam CDROM from Krishnasoft present this great spiritual masterpiece in multimedia format.]

In the January 2000 newsletter, we mentioned how the Vedic scriptures are realized by taking shelter of devotional service as received by the mercy of guru and Krsna. It should be noted that a devotee is not necessarily a person who went through some rituals and name change in a fire yajna. The surrender to the instructions of the spiritual master is the essential feature of initiation and performance of devotional service:

"Only one who executes his spiritual life under the direction of the spiritual master can achieve the mercy of Krsna. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah. If one desires to advance in spiritual life but he acts whimsically, not following the orders of the spiritual master, HE HAS NO SHELTER." (Bhag. 7.12.11)

"It is stated in Bhagavad-gita that no one is barred from rendering service to the Lord . Whether one is a woman or a laborer or a merchant, if he engages himself in the devotional service of the Lord he is promoted to the highest perfectional state and goes back home, back to Godhead . The devotional service most suitable for different types of devotees is determined and FIXED BY THE *MERCY* OF THE SPIRITUAL MASTER." (Bhag. 3.25.28)

The conditioned souls are struggling in the material world with their senses including the mind, but if they take shelter of Krsna through the bona-fide spiritual master, they can become free from service to the mind:

"S'rii Caitanya Mahaaprabhu has instructed S'riila Ruupa Gosvaamii: Brahmaanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva /guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija. When one receives the seed of devotional service by the MERCY OF THE GURU AND KR.S.N.A, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one's real life begins . If one abides by the orders of the spiritual master, by the grace of Kr.s.n.a he is freed from service to the mind ." (Bhag. 5.11.17)

"For such a man to get out is extremely difficult unless he is helped by a strong person, the spiritual master, who helps the fallen person with the strong rope of spiritual instructions. A fallen person should take advantage of this rope, and then the spiritual master, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, will take him out of the dark well." (Bhag. 7.6.13)

The ceremonies of initiation are purifying and are meant for the re-enforcement of the commitment to the spiritual master, but they are superficial and useless if one does not take up devotional service.

"In summary, the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies and injunctions are not to be discounted; they are means of being promoted to the spiritual platform. But if one does not come to the spiritual platform, the Vedic ceremonies are simply a WASTE OF TIME.... 'Duties [dharma] executed by men, regardless of occupation, are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Supreme Lord.' If one very strictly performs the various duties of religion but does not ultimately come to the platform of surrendering to the Supreme Lord, his methods of attaining salvation or elevation are simply a waste of time and energy." (Bhag. 7.6.26)

Surrendering to the Supreme Lord means surrendering to the order of the spiritual master which is coming down from the Supreme Lord through the disciplic succession:

"The Lord's order descends in disciplic succession through the bona fide spiritual master, and thus execution of the order of the bona fide spiritual master is factual control of the senses . Such execution of penance in full faith and sincerity made Brahmaajii so powerful that he became the creator of the universe. And because he was able to attain such power, he is called the best amongst all the tapasviis ." (Bhag. 2.9.8)

Lord Brahma did not even physically meet his spiritual master but took up the instruction of his spiritual master. The instruction he received was just one word: "tapa". He followed this and became empowered and became successful in creation of the universe. Similarly, Narada became initiated by the bhaktivedantas and surrendered to their instructions and gradually realized Lord Krsna. This is the essence of the initiation principle:

"Following the order of the bona fide spiritual master is the ONLY duty of the disciple, and this completely faithful execution of the order of the bona fide spiritual master is the secret of success." (Bhag. 2.9.8)

So if one is really against surrender to the order of the spiritual master which is the same as surrendering to Krsna, one can perform rituals for ten million years, change his dress, change his name, etc. and still remain in the material world.

Note, as we proved in the August 1999 newsletter, there is no such thing as resurrender. Since the order of the spiritual master descends from Lord Krsna Himself through the disciplic succession, one who has surrendered to this order is rightly situated in devotional service and thus initiated. One who may have performed the rituals of initiation but never surrendered to the order of the spiritual master is technically NOT yet initiated in his devotional service. Brahma, Narada, Dhruva, etc. were initiated (inspired into devotional service) without the rituals since they were very determined to take up the order of their spiritual master.

As we showed in the January 2000 newsletter, once one is initiated, one can enter into the depths of the Srimad-Bhagavatam otherwise it will just be jnana and not realized knowledge:

"The physicist can deal only with the prakrta sound, or sound vibrated in the material sky, and therefore we must know that the Vedic sounds recorded in symbolic expressions cannot be understood by anyone within the universe unless and until one is INSPIRED by the vibration of supernatural (aprakrta) sound, which descends in the chain of disciplic succession from the Lord to Brahma, from Brahma to Narada, from Narada to Vyasa and so on. No mundane scholar can translate or reveal the true import of the Vedic mantras (hymns). They CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD unless one is *INSPIRED OR INITIATED* by the authorized spiritual master." (Bhag. 2.4.22)

Note the phrase "Vedic sounds recorded in symbolic expressions" applies to recordings in magentic fields (tapes/discs), black and white markings on paper (books), transistor/LED/CRT devices (computer screens), etc. These transcendental sounds have to be received from a transcendental source-- one who is engaged (fixed) in devotional service:

"One has to receive the transcendental sound from the right source, accept it as reality and prosecute the direction without hesitation. The secret of success is to receive the sound from the right source of a bona fide spiritual master. Mundane manufactured sound has no potency, and as such, seemingly transcendental sound received from an unauthorized person also has no potency." (Bhag. 2.9.8)

As we see throughout history so many mental speculators, mayavadis, fruitive workers, etc. caused havoc by misinterpreting scriptures to suit their own needs rather than understand them through the process of devotional service. Although, they had access to the recorded transcendental sound, they were unable to understand it. Krsna reserves the right not to expose Himself to materialists until they take up devotional service as ordered by the spiritual master. [This is obviously true, since their material desires are the reason they are in the material world in the first place.] So either one understands this knowledge from one who is fixed in devotional service and/or one first becomes fixed in devotional service by surrendering to the order of the bona fide spiritual master:

"God can be seen by the light of God and not by man-made speculations. Here this light is specifically mentioned as vidyat, which is an ORDER by the Lord to Brahma. This DIRECT ORDER of the Lord is a manifestation of His internal energy, and this particular energy is the means of seeing the Lord face to face. Not only Brahma but anyone who may be graced by the Lord to see such merciful direct internal energy can also realize the Personality of Godhead without any mental speculation." (Bhag. 2.9.34)

This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita:

"One should, however, note that after doing something whimsically he should not offer the result to the Supreme Lord. That sort of duty is not in the devotional service of Krsna consciousness. One should act according to the order of Krsna. This is a very important point. That order of Krsna comes through disciplic succession from the bona fide spiritual master. Therefore the spiritual master's order should be taken as the prime duty of life. If one gets a bona fide spiritual master and acts according to his direction, then one's perfection of life in Krsna consciousness is guaranteed." (BG 18.57)


[The following article is also based on the Srimad-Bhagavatam which is available in book or CDROM from Krishnasoft.]

"The Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of God, and it is compiled by Srila Vyasadeva, the incarnation of God. It is meant for the ultimate good of all people, and it is all-successful, all-blissful and all-perfect." (Bhag. 1.3.40)

We discussed how the Srimad-Bhagavatam is all-perfect in the November 1999 newsletter. The Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of God, who is the Absolute Truth and the Personality of Godhead. This means there cannot be any new principles of religion or contradictory principles of religion outside what is contained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam:

"As stated in the beginning of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, this great transcendental literature is the ripened fruit of the tree of Vedic knowledge, and therefore ALL QUESTIONS that can be humanly possible regarding the universal affairs, beginning from its creation, ARE ALL ANSWERED in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The answers depend only on the qualification of the person who explains them." (Bhag. 2.9.46)

Actually, all transcendental literatures are in-line with the Srimad-Bhagavatam but mental speculators misinterpret various transcendental literatures and derive various theories and confuse the innocent people. These mental speculators are just following their own ideas while IMAGINING that they are following spiritual instructions. As soon as a principle contradicts the principle of the Bhagavatam, it is a representation of the illusory energy:

"O Brahma, whatever appears to be of any value, if it is without relation to Me, has no reality. Know it as My illusory energy, that reflection which appears to be in darkness." (Bhag. 2.9.34)

"And as such, whenever there is forgetfulness of this prime relation with the Lord, and whenever things are accepted as real without being related to the Lord, that conception is called a product of the illusory energy of the Lord." (Bhag. 2.9.34)

For example, the re-initiation theory is not supported by the principles of the Bhagavatam. For one thing, it clashes with the principle of ahaituky-apratihata; therefore, it can be rejected immediately. The theory is based on the misinterpretation of some transcendental literature or is just a completely new concoction. Devotional service cannot be checked by any external material event. Therefore, a person who is engaged in devotional service cannot be told to stop and go look for another guru. This RESTARTING of devotional service is not valid just because his guru is no longer engaged in devotional service. If the instructions received from the guru came down through the disciplic succession, they remain transcendental even if the guru is no longer engaged in devotional service. This theory is deriding the Vedic literature because to add a new principle would mean the Absolute Truth (Srimad-Bhagavatam) is incomplete (imperfect) and not giving ALL THE ANSWERS. This is absurd.


[Here is some of the feedback since the last issue:]

> I agree complitely. But how to recognize the autenticity of a spiritual
> master one may ask?

Anyone who is surrendered 100% to carry out the order of his spiritual master is qualified to be a spiritual master himself.

"This Kr.s.n.a consciousness movement directly receives instructions from the Supreme personality of Godhead via persons who are strictly following His instructions . Although a follower may not be a liberated person, if he follows the supreme, liberated Personality of Godhead, his actions are naturally liberated from the contamination of the material nature. Lord Caitanya therefore says: "By My order you may become a spiritual master ." One can immediately become a spiritual master by having full faith in the transcendental words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and by following His instructions . Materialistic men are not interested in taking directions from a liberated person, but they are very much interested in their own concocted ideas, which make them repeatedly fail in their attempts . Because the entire world is now following the imperfect directions of conditioned souls, humanity is completely bewildered ." (Bhag. 4.18.5)

>By which method or qualifications is he to be
> recognized? The guru is one, but it seems he can be on different levels of
> spiritual advancement. How do I know that my spiritul master will remain the
> whole life a active spiritual master?

You don't need to know that. Once you know he is fully engaged in devotional service, you can take shelter of him and take up devotional service. Ultimately, it's Krsna guiding the living entity to the spiritual master. Our shelter is devotional service as given by the guru and not the body of the spiritual master. Once engaged in devotional service, your life is set.

>Can a spiritual master also retire
> from his activity as spiritual master and still be considered spiritualy
> competent?

Once he stops engaging in devotional service (following his guru's order), you have to live by his instructions while he was engaged in devotional service. See for more information about this subject.

>How do I know on what level of spiritual advancement the
> spiritual master is? Can a disciple surpass his spiritual master in regard
> to spiritual understanding and purity, or can one only make so much
> advancement as the spiritual master has?

The only qualification of the spiritual master is that he's 100% engaged in devotional service which is the order of his spiritual master. The devotional service is a process for gradually attaining God realization so it does not matter what level the guru is on. You can follow the process he gives you and carry on. Of course, the more advanced the spiritual master is, the better your personal guidance but otherwise the process is complete in itself. And you can always check with sastra to confirm that the guru's orders are in-line with Krsna's instructions.

You can deliver your guru actually as proved via sastra->

"This incident proves that the siksa- or diksa-guru who has a disciple who strongly executes devotional service like Dhruva Maharaja can be carried by the disciple even though the instructor is not as advanced. Although Suniiti was an instructor to Dhruva Mahaaraaja, she could not go to the forest because she was a woman, nor could she execute austerities and penances as Dhruva Maharaja did. Still, Dhruva Maharaja was able to take his mother with him. Similarly, Prahlaada Maharaja also delivered his atheistic father, Hiranyakasipu. The conclusion is that a disciple or an offspring who is a very strong devotee can carry with him to Vaikunthaloka either his father, mother or siksa- or diksa-guru." (Bhag. 4.12.33)

In the case of Narada, he was initiated into devotional service by bhaktivedantas but he did not set up a surveillance system to see how those people were doing when he was executing their instructions. He did NOT say, "Oh, no he's deviating; there goes my spiritual life!" That's the foolishness of the reinitiation theory which is not found anywhere in the sastras.

> I agree to this of course, still I ask myself if the way this teachings
> where aplyid in the ISKCON organization are the way they are meant to be?
> I mean this exagerated fixation, of the disciple upon the autorithy
> especially the spiritual master in all aspects of his life, is this the way
> how it should be in order to grow spiritually?

In the beginning it may be like that, but we have our individuality to apply in the service received from the spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada's service to preach in English with book publishing was [his] mission throughout his life and he was never separated from his spiritual master via this vani:

"...the disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps the company with the disciple AS LONG AS THE DISCIPLE FOLLOWS STRICTLY THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE SPIRITUAL MASTER." (Bhag. 4.28.47)

Once you forget the divine instructions of your spiritual master, you have no shelter:

"Only one who executes his spiritual life under the direction of the spiritual master can achieve the mercy of Krsna. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah. If one desires to advance in spiritual life but he acts whimsically, not following the orders of the spiritual master, HE HAS NO SHELTER." (Bhag. 7.12.11)

> 1. Can Srila Prabhupada be a spiritual master for people he didn't initiate?

Yes, through his vani (and should be as the Sastra for our time and circumstances is from Prabhupada).

[Krishna Software is engaged in the service of Srila Prabhupada yet in the beginning the initiation/inspiration to take up this service was not directly from Srila Prabhupada. The important thing is IN WHOSE SERVICE YOU ARE ENGAGED not who gave the siksa or diksa. We have to engage in the service of jagad-guru who is Krsna but this can only be done through the medium of service to guru who is giving us the service as coming down through the disciplic succession from Krsna:

"Actually, Vaasudeva is jagad-guru, as clearly stated here (vaasudevam^ jagad-gurum). One who teaches the instructions of Vaasudeva, Bhagavad-giitaa, is as good as vaasudevam^ jagad-gurum. But when one who does not teach this instruction-- as it is-- declares himself jagad-guru, he simply cheats the public. Kr.s.n.a is jagad-guru, and one who teaches the instruction of Kr.s.n.a as it is, ON BEHALF OF Kr.s.n.a, may be accepted as jagad-guru. One who manufactures his own theories cannot be accepted; he becomes jagad-guru falsely." (SB 8.16.20)

So all the bona fide gurus initiate their disciples ON BEHALF of their guru and this assures the devotional service is bona fide and not concocted (thus no need for re-initiation). If each 'guru' concocted his own service, the result would just be a bunch of materialistic factions full of hypocrisy, competition, and politics. The devotional service as received through the disciplic succession is potent enough to deliver the disciple (and if need-be the guru as well): "The Krsna consciousness movement is spreading now all over the world, and sometimes I think that even though I am crippled in many ways, if one of my disciples becomes as strong as Dhruva Maharaja, then he will be able to carry me with him to Vaikunthaloka." (SB 4.12.33)]


Krishna Software Inc. is dedicated to help people become peaceful and happy via spiritual science presented using modern multimedia technology. Our editorial policy as well as our mission is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.37 Purport):

"One should engage in practical service to the Lord. In our Krsna consciousness movement, *ALL* our activities are concentrated upon distributing Krsna literature. This is very important. One may approach any person and induce him to read Krsna literature so that in the future he also may become a devotee.... By fully concentrating on distributing books for Krsna, one is fully absorbed in Krsna."

Our newsletters are geared to show you the benefits of the instructions contained in the transcendental books of Srila Prabhupada so you can judge for yourself the value of these books and obtain them in book or CDROM format. We also have video demos of the Gita CDROM and Bhagavatam CDROM available for those without computers or those who want to get a glimpse into what is on the CDROM.

Krishna Software Inc. has produced some multimedia CDROMs and all the details and reviews of these CDROMs can be found at our website Here is our current list of products:

(a) Multimedia Bhagavad-gita As It Is CD: Lord Krsna's eternal instructions to Arjuna and the rest of the world about Isvara (Supreme Lord), jiva (the soul), karma (activities), kala (time), and prakrti (nature). This is a 30-hour audio-visual CDROM. Also available on CD-R in Hindi version.

(b) Multimedia Srimad-Bhagavatam CD: An encyclopedia on the science of Krsna consciousness. This CDROM deals in detail with bhakti-yoga and covers various subjects-- the creation of the universe, Vedic astronomy, transmigration, birth-death, etc. This is about 35 hours of audio-visual presentations.

(c) Multimedia Krsna CD w/Vedic Astronomy game: This is a 51-hour audio-visual presentation of the Krsna book and a Vedic Astronomy game based on the Srimad-Bhagavatam. All on a single CDROM. Free sample demo downloadable.

(d) Multilingual Word Processor CD [version 4.00]: Type in diacritics, Hindi, Sanskrit, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, and Assamese without knowing the alphabet. This is for those who want to write articles using multiple languages. Free demo downloadable.

All of the above software was tested on various Intel 486 and Pentium processors running Windows 3.1, Windows '95, Windows '98, and Windows NT (client and server).

Latest information and secure ordering is available at our web site:
End of Newsletter- written and edited by KSI staff; (c) 1998-2000 Krishna Software Inc.
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