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Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has instructed:

"Logically, if one accepts half the truth, he cannot understand the whole."

C.C. Adi 7.140

We may say that Srila Prabhupada is a completely spiritual person and that, since he is therefore like Krsna, he can only be understood from a spiritual point of view, through the medium of bonafide sastra. This is true. However, sometimes we may turn the understanding of the sastra into half-truths, by concocting that the bonafide spiritual master may also be seen and understood from a material point of view. Thus, we will not be able to understand the whole. Our understanding becomes a mis-understanding.

If someone in the name of glorifying His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, also criticizes him by attributing to him such mundane qualities as destitution, insecurity, vulnerability, directionlessness, familiar attachment, dependency on anyone and everyone, attainment of knowledge via material experiences, etc., then Srila Prabhupada's spiritual authority is brought into question. Interpreting the Vedic literature minimizes the authority of the Vedas. Mixing the spiritual with the mundane allows the mundane to be accepted as spiritual, and the spiritual to be considered in a mundane manner.

There is an example of the gardener who allows a mad elephant to enter his garden, and then rationalizes, "Only 50% of my activities were mistaken. I cultivated the garden very nicely but, on the other hand, I permitted the entrance of that mad elephant." However, whatever percentage of mistake the gardener wishes to concede, the result is nevertheless that the entire garden is destroyed.

"When one actually engages in unalloyed, uncontaminated devotional service, he is already liberated (sa gunan samatityaitam). Krsna's devotee is not subject to material conditions, even though his bodily feature may appear materially conditioned. One should, therefore, not see the pure devotee from a material point of view...If we consider the bodily defects of a Vaisnava, we should understand that we are committing an offense at the lotus feet of a Vaisnava. An offense at the lotus feet of a Vaisnava is very serious. Indeed, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has described this offense as hati-mata, the mad elephant offense. A mad elephant can create a disaster, especially when it enters a nicely trimmed garden...One is forbidden to observe the activities of a pure Vaisnava from a material point of view. For a neophyte especially, considering a pure devotee from a material point of view is very injurious. One should, therefore, avoid observing the pure devotee externally, but should try to see* the internal features and under stand how he is engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. In this way, one can avoid seeing the pure devotee from a material point of view, and thus one can gradually becomes a purified devotee himself."

N.O.I, p. 61, 63-4

There is another example of a spiritual truth given by Srila Prabhupada wherein the elephant is also used. The elephant takes a bath in the lake and, upon coming out, throws dust all over his body. Thus he defeats his bath's purpose. the elephant may try to rationalize, "I made only 50% error in throwing this dirt upon myself, but the other half of my activities made me very clean!" However, what is the genuine use of his good bath at this point?

"Acaryamam vijaniat. One should consider the acarya to be as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In spite of all these instructions, if one considers the spiritual master to be an ordinary human being, one is doomed. His study of the Vedas and his austerities and penances are all useless, like the bathing of an elephant. An elephant bathes in a lake quite thoroughly, but as soon as it comes on the shore, it takes some dust from the ground and strews it over its body. Thus, there is no meaning to the elephant's bath. One may argue by saying that since the spiritual master's relatives and the men of his neighborhood consider him an ordinary human being, what is the fault on the part of the disciple who considers the spiritual master an ordinary human being? ...The injunction is that the spiritual master should never be considered an ordinary man. Even a slight deviation from this understanding can create disaster in the disciple's Vedic studies and austerities."

S.B. 7.15.26-7

"If one becomes an offender to his spiritual master or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he falls down to the material platform to merely speculate."

C.C. Antya 8.26

"When one thus criticizes a pure devotee, he commits an offense (Vaisnava aparadha) that is very obstructive and dangerous for those who desire to advance in Krsna consciousness. A person cannot derive any spiritual benefit when he offends the lotus feet of a Vaisnava. Everyone should be very careful not to be jealous of an empowered Vaisnava, or a shuddha-vaisnava."

N.O.I, p. 65

Even if we unknowingly commit offenses to the completely realized bonafide spiritual master, we are held responsible and there are problems for us.

"When one serves a Vaisnava unknowingly, one still gets a good result; and if one unknowingly insults a Vaisnava one suffers the bad result. A Vaisnava is especially favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Pleasing him or displeasing him directly affects the pleasure and displeasure of the Supreme Lord...by pleasing the spiritual master, who is a pure Vaisnava, one pleases the Personality of Godhead; but if one displeases the spiritual master, one does not know where he is going."

S.B. 4.9.23

One may admit that "Brahman is supreme and great". However, if one then concocts, "and that Brahman is impersonal," the whole statement has become spoiled. It has become a blasphemy to Lord Krsna, the Supreme Person, even though Brahman is great, and that clause is included in the distorted statement.

When someone interprets sastra and bonafide purports of sastra, inevitably there will be some correct statements scattered throughout the polluted propaganda. But, Lord Caitanya says that it loses its value. Such misinterpretation misleads us and contaminates the self-evident, bonafide conclusions. We then cannot understand the whole.

"The Vedic literature is to be considered a source of real knowledge, but if one does not take it as-it-is, one will be misled."

C.C. Adi 7.140

"The self-evident Vedic literatures are the highest evidence of all, but if these literatures are interpreted, their self-evident nature is lost. We quote Vedic evidence to support our statements, but if we interpret it according to our own judgment, the authority of the Vedic literature is rendered imperfect or useless. In other words, by interpreting the Vedic version, one minimizes the value of Vedic evidence."

C.C. Adi 7.132

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirms that all Vedic literatures, including the Upanisads, Brahma Sutras and others, whether sruti, smrti, or nyaya must be understood according to their original statements. To describe them in one's own way, using imperfect senses and imperfect knowledge, is a disastrous blunder."

C.C. Adi 7.108

If someone says, "Srila Prabhupada was fully dependent on Krsna," but then adds his own concoction that "he was also confused, insecure, materially attached, dependent on karmis and mayavadis, etc.," the entire statement becomes polluted and misleading. It minimizes the value of His Divine Grace as being "fully dependent on Krsna." If we accept this two-sided viewpoint of Srila Prabhupada, it will make our understanding of what it means to be dependent on Krsna material. We might consider such a position to be mundane intellectualism. We might believe that even when a devotee is fully self-realized, he is still beaten by the whips of this material nature. This seems to be the manner, although cushioned by sentimentality, with which His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada has been portrayed in Lilamrta. The book repeatedly appears to praise Srila Prabhupada, while simultaneously seeing him in another mundane perspective, and describing this to be the praiseworthy quality referred to, as a pious personality. The reader may be reminded of Orwellian double-think, where war is simultaneously peace, ignorance simultaneously knowledge, and so forth. Srila Prabhupada should be, according to sastra, correctly described in the topmost terms (nitya-siddha, mahabagavat, fully surrendered, fully dependent on Krsna, etc.). However, these terms do not sound very glorious when Lilamrta proceeds to delineate the pure devotee's activities and qualities, from its independent vision, which regularly is found to contradict that of sastra.

The GBC is said to have "authorized" the Lilamrta, but it may remain unauthorized. The book puts forth ideas which contradict Srila Prabhupada's statements. If we accept Lilamrta's conclusions, we will be forced to subtly interpret Srila Prabhupada's books in such a way that they may somehow be forced to correspond with the distorted understandings of the Lilamrta. The author quotes a mundane professor's review of his book, describing it as a "very real human story." It seems that the Lilamrta has attempted to present His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada in terms which (it theorizes) can be accepted by mundaners. The approach, when viewed from the sastric vision, appears to be that of keeping the reader at a minimum of arm's-distance from the true sastric explanation, in a calculated attempt to avoid appearing "unrealistic" to the mundane mind.

"Any commentary which contradicts the principles of the Gita or Srimad Bhagavatam is unauthorized."

Sri Isopanisad, p. 31

Lilamrta describes His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada paradoxically, in the following five separate ways:

(1) It says that he is nitya-siddha, BUT...
then describes his supposed symptoms as those of a conditioned soul,
printing a review which says as much.

(2) It says that he was fully dependent on Krsna, BUT...
then describes his alleged dependence on mayavadis, karmis, disciples and even inanimate matter.

(3) It says that he took complete shelter of Krsna, BUT...
then describes him to be insecure, vulnerable, directionless, and confused.

(4) It says that he was inspired to write by Krsna, BUT...
then describes him as being a writer on the strength of his so-called "psychological nature".

(5) It says that he saw himself as moved by the will of Krsna, BUT...
then describes that he was forced by circumstances at times.

The author has entitled his book the Lilamrta, "The Eternal Nectar of Lila".

However, Srila Prabhupada writes:

"When there is enforced acceptance for suffering, it is not a pastime."

S.B. 3.26.9


Lilamrta prints a review of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada's life as being "a very human story".

"It is a very human story, with a very human A. C. Bhaktivedanta at the center."

Review of Lilamrta by Prof. Hopkins
Printed as Forward to Vol II, p. vii

"I invite the reader to enjoy the very real, human life story of Srila Prabhupada, who is known in this volume as Abhay Charan."

Lilamrta I, Intro., p. xix, by author

However, Srila Prabhupada writes:

"Narada Muni, Haridas Thakura and similar acaryas especially empowered to broadcast the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be brought down to the material platform. Therefore, it is strictly forbidden to think that the acarya is an ordinary human being (gurusu nara matih)."

S.B. 7.7.14

"Such a person may appear to be an ordinary human being, but because he acts on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is not to be neglected as ordinary."

S.B. 8.24.46

"One is forbidden to accept the guru, spiritual master, as an ordinary human being...A spiritually advanced person who acts with authority as the spiritual master, speaks as the Supreme Personality of Godhead dictates within. Thus, it is not he who is personally speaking. When a pure devotee or spiritual master speaks, what he says should be accepted as having been directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the parampara system."

C.C. Antya 5 (?)

"My dear Uddhava, the spiritual master must be accepted not only as my representative, but as my very self. He must never be considered on the same level with an ordinary human being."

N.O.D., p. 59

"Therefore, Srimad Bhagavatam advises acaryan mam vijaniyam navamanyeta karhicit na martya buddhyasuyeti: the acarya should always be offered respectful obeisances. One should never envy the acarya, considering him an ordinary human being."

S.B. 6.7.21

"One should not treat the spiritual master as an ordinary human being, for he is the substitute for the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

S.B. 4.20.13

Lilamrta refers to the bonafide spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, as "Abhay". The authors of the Lilamrta are initiated disciples of Srila Prabhupada, but unfortunately they have the boldness to refer to their guru as "Abhay". It is no wonder that the readers of this book consider Srila Prabhupada as a "very human story"! His Divine Grace always referred to his spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, in these exalted terms, even when he referred to a pastime of his spiritual master as a 6 month old child.

Lilamrta speculates that the nitya-siddha devotee, Srila Prabhupada, also had to learn by mundane experiences.

"His stay in Butler had been helpful. He had gotten first-hand experience of American life, and he gained confidence that his health was strong and his message communicable... He had learned that casual one-time lectures here and there were of limited value."

Lilamrta II, p. 10

"His vision was spiritual - he saw everyone as a spirit soul and Krsna as the controller of everything. Yet, aside from that, even from a worldly point of view, he was unafraid of the city pandemonium. After all, he was an experienced Calcutta man."

Ibid., p. 206

"Rayrama thought it was time Swamiji tried reaching some of the more sophisticated New Yorkers, and since Judson Hall was near Carnegie Hall and sometimes had interesting concerts and lectures, he thought it would be a good place to start...Swamiji agreed to the idea...only seven people attended...they had misled Swamiji."

Ibid., pp. 239-40

To the contrary, Srila Prabhupada writes:

"The process is mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. One has to follow strictly the great personalities and acaryas. Acaryavan puruso veda: One who has the favor of the acarya knows everything. This statement made by Kaviraja Gosvami is very valuable for all pure devotees."

C.C. Madhya 8.312

"Whoever knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without doubting, is to be understood as the knower of everything and, he therefore engages himself in full devotional service, O son of Bharata."

B.G. 15.19

"There is a Vedic version, yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati, which means that, by knowing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, everything becomes known to the devotee."

S.B. 4.12.34

"Simply surrendering at the lotus feet is the cause of all a devotee's enlightenment and awareness."

S.B. 7.13.22

"Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is full of all opulences, is predominant within the core of your heart because of your being a pure devotee. He always drives away all the darkness of ignorance, as the sun drives away the darkness of the universe."

S.B. 7.13.22

"And, in the same way, when Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, is worshipped, all the details of the material worlds are enlightened, and the heart of the devotee is nourished without having to work in a materialistic way."

E.J.T.O.P., p. 19

"Akrura said, "My dear Lord, all wonderful things that are happening within this world, either in the sky or in the water or on the land, are factually appearing in Your universal form. So when I have seen You, what wonderful things have I not seen?" This statement confirms the Vedic version that one who knows Krsna knows everything, and one who has seen Krsna has seen everything, regardless of how wonderful a thing may be."

Krsna, Vol. II, p. 27

"A person who is cent-percent engaged in the service of the Lord is the emblem of all knowledge."

S.B. 1.5.6

Lilamrta theorizes that the nitya-siddha, "one who lives solely to carry out the order of Krsna", (Srila Prabhupada) had to struggle to continue his mission. He had to work in the usual material way in order to achieve success.

"Seeing him from a distance, a tiny figure walking Manhattan's streets and avenues amongst many other tiny figures, a foreigner whose visa had almost run out, we come upon only the external appearance of Srila Prabhupada. These days of struggle were real enough and very difficult, but his transcendental consciousness was always predominant. He was not living in Manhattan consciousness, but was absorbed in dependence upon Krsna, just as when on the Jaladuta he had suffered his heart attacks, the reading of Caitanya Caritamrta had supplied him the nectarine of life'."

Lilamrta II, p. 48

"His struggle to continue his mission was part of his preparation."

Lilamrta I, p. xviii

"Bhaktivedanta Swami worked hard to raise enough donations."

Lilamrta I, p. 239

Webster's Dictionary defines struggle as: "to make violent, strenuous efforts against opposition".

Sastra, however, explains that such a mahabhagavata may speak of himself in terms of his struggling, or how he has not done as well as he would have liked for Krsna, or how he is lower than the worm or the straw in the street, but this is not taken literally. If we see the pure devotee appear to struggle, perhaps we are actually seeing a reflection of the actual struggle which we are undergoing within our own minds.

Srila Prabhupada writes:

"Liberation means becoming free from the relativities of the world. Unless one is self-realized, he has to undergo the dual struggles of the relative world."

S.B. 4.28.37

"Again and again the Lord is very much interested in increasing the influence of his devotees...The Supreme Personality of Godhead has unlimited powers and he wants to see that his devotees are also entrusted with unlimited powers."

S.B. 4.30.24

Krsna does everything while He arranges for his devotee to take the credit.

"Thus, the Lord conducted the Battle of Kurukshetra according to His own plan...The other party was equipped with all military strength supported by big generals like Bhisma, Drona, Salya, and it would have been physically impossible for Arjuna to win the battle had the Lord not helped him by every kind of tactic. Such tactics are generally followed by every statesman, even in modern warfare, but they are all done materially by powerful espionages, military tactics, and diplomatic maneuvers. But, because Arjuna was the Lord's affectionate devotee, the Lord did all this Himself, without personal anxiety by Arjuna. That is the way of devotional service to the Lord."

S.B. 1.15.15

"Those who are devotees, therefore, have no problems in the material world. Visvam purna sukhayate...devotees are free from all problems because they are fully surrendered unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For a devotee, everything in this world is very pleasing, because he knows how to use everything in the transcendental loving service of the Lord."

S.B. 4.8.82

The Lilamrta speculates that the nitya-siddha devotee, Srila Prabhupada, was shaken due to the conflict of mundane family life and the orders of his spiritual master.

"He knew it was not an ordinary dream, but the request seemed so difficult and unlikely. Take sannyasa! At least it was not something he could do immediately."

Lilamrta I, p. 118

"...he went on with his duties but remained shaken by the dream."

Ibid., p. 118

"And again Abhay had to put the dream aside. He was a householder with many responsibilities. To take sannyasa would mean to give up everything. He had to earn money. He now had five children. "Why is Guru Maharaja asking me to take sannyasa?" he thought. It was not possible now."

Ibid., p. 140

"Of course, there could be a compatible balance between family service and devotional service. Bhaktivinode Thakura had described two simultaneous obligations: bodily and spiritual. Social status, mental development, cleanliness, nourishment, and the struggle for existence were all bodily obligations; the activities of devotional service to Krsna were spiritual. And the two should run parallel to one another. In Bhaktivinode's life, his family was a source of spiritual encouragement, and he used his social position to advance in preaching. But Abhaya's experience had been different; the two paths seemed to be at war, each threatening the other's existence. He felt himself operating somewhat like the materialists he had criticized in his writings, absorbed in the struggle for existence with insufficient time for self-realization."

Ibid., p. 120

However, Srila Prabhupada writes:

"How can a highly learned person who has absolutely no affinity for the bodily conception of life be affected by the bodily conception in regards to house, children, wealth, and similar other bodily conceptions?"

S.B. 4.20.6

"A devotee of the Lord never thinks of his household paraphernalia as his own, but surrenders everything for the service of the Lord...Attachment for household paraphernalia and for Lord Krsna go poorly together."

S.B. 2.4.2

"The conclusion is that a paramahamsa is an exalted devotee (bhagavat priya). Such a paramahamsa may be in any stage of life - brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, or sannyasa - and be equally liberated and exalted."

S.B. 7.13.46

"Devotees are certainly liberated persons. Therefore, O greatest of the brahmanas, they cannot possibly be absorbed in family affairs."

S.B. 5.1.2

"One becomes attracted to his body, home, property, children, relatives, and wealth. In this way, one increases his life's illusions and thinks in terms of "I and mine". The attraction for material things is certainly due to illusion. There is no value in attraction to material things, for the conditioned soul is diverted by them. One's life is successful if he is absorbed in the attraction of Krsna's strength, beauty, and pastimes as described in the Tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam."

S.B. 5.14.44

Regarding Bhaktivinode Thakura's statement on bodily and spiritual obligation, that does not apply to the pure devotee but to the conditioned soul who is advancing in Krsna consciousness. Srila Prabhupada verifies this truth in his purport to the Sri Isopanisad:

"As long as the proportion of devotional services does not come to the right point, there is an occasional exhibition of worldliness."

Sri Isopanisad, p. 103

"When a living entity is conditioned, he has two kinds of activities; one is conditional and the other is constitutional."

B.G. 9.30

"A devotee is always happy in possessing the devotional service of the Lord...Such devotees are free from attachment to family, society, friendship, children, and so on. They abandon affection for all these material possessions and are always happy in possessing the shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. The Supreme Personality of Godhead understands the position of his devotee. If a person derides a pure devotee, he is never recognized by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, the Lord never excuses one who offends a pure devotee."

S.B. 4.31.21

The Lilamrta guesses that sometimes His Divine Grace was obliged, even though he was nitya-siddha, to engage in family life rather than engage in preaching activities, according to his desire.

"Srila Prabhupada's obligation to his wife and children and his attempts to develop a business career in a pharmaceutical industry may appear inconsistent with a single-minded determination to spread Krsna consciousness, yet his earnestness in pursuing these responsibilities, and the way Providence finally extricated him from them, proved important in his essential lifetime of preparation."

Lilamrta I, p. xviii

"The new Calcutta business enjoyed an early success, but Abhay didn't have his heart in it. It was a duty - he had to do it to maintain his family."

Ibid., pp. 97-8

However, Srila Prabhupada writes differently:

"Anyone who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, the giver of liberation, giving up all kinds of obligation, and has taken to the path in all seriousness, owes neither duties nor obligations to the demigods, sages, general living entities, family members, humankind, or forefathers. Such obligations are automatically fulfilled by performance of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

B.G. 1.41

"One who is, however, taking pleasure in the self, who is illumined in the self, who rejoices in and is satisfied with the self only, fully satiated, for him there is no duty. PURPORT: a person who is fully Krsna conscious, and is fully satisfied by his acts in Krsna consciousness, no longer has any duty to perform...By such clearing of consciousness, one becomes fully confident of his eternal position in relationship with the Supreme. His duty thus becomes self-illuminated by the grace of the Lord, and therefore, he no longer has any obligations to the Vedic injunctions."

B.G. 3.17

"A self-realized man is no longer obliged to perform any prescribed duty, save and except activities in Krsna consciousness."

B.G. 3.18

"Kings like Janaka and others were all self-realized souls; consequently, they had no obligation to perform the prescribed duties of the Vedas. Nonetheless, they performed all prescribed activities just to set examples for the people in general...Although one who is situated in Krsna consciousness may not have any interest in the world, he still works to teach the public how to live and how to act."

B.G. 3.20


The Lilamrta speculates that His Divine Grace was also dependent on conditioned souls.

It says he was dependent on mayavadis:

"A mendicant, Prabhupada was temporarily dependent on the good will of his mayavadi acquaintance, with whom he regularly conversed and from whom he accepted shelter."

Lilamrta II, p. 25

It says he was dependent on karmies:

"Now his last hope was Sri Padanpat Singhania...He was Prabhupada's final hope."

Ibid., p. 48

"He decided to hone Carl Yeargens and ask him to help. Hearing Swami's voice on the phone - it was an emergency!"

Ibid., p. 97

It says that he was dependent on followers:

"Robert Nelson couldn't give Prabhupada the kind of assistance he needed."

Ibid., p. 61

It says that he was dependent on Godbrothers:

"As the Gaudiya Matha broke down, he was also affected. Under the present circumstances, how could he carry out his spiritual master's order to preach. Previously the main obstacle to his preaching had been family commitments, but now the obstacles were compounded. Now he had to wait helplessly for the outcome of this struggle."

Lilamrta I, p. 97

To the contrary, His Divine Grace states:

"Our duty, therefore, is to execute devotional service sincerely under the guidance of the spiritual master. Krsna, by His grace will supply whatever we need in executing our devotional service. In the Krsna Consciousness Movement, we simply have to execute the order of Krsna and guru. Then all necessities will be supplied by Krsna, even if we do not ask for them."

S.B. 8.6.14

"When a devotee needs something, the Supreme Personality of Godhead supplies it."

S.B. 7.10.4

"As advised by Narada Muni...one should simply endeavor to increase his Krsna consciousness. One should not desire to do anything else, even to earn his livelihood. There are many examples of this attitude. Madhavendra Puri, for instance, would never go to anyone to ask for food. Sukadeva Gosvami has also said...Why should one approach a person who is blind with wealth? Rather, one should depend on Krsna and He will give everything."

S.B. 7.15.15

"A Krsna conscious person does not take shelter of any person - man or demigod."

B.G. 3.18

"A pure Vaisnava thinks himself unfit to help free even one person from the reactions of sinful life, but he engages one's hard-earned money in the service of the Lord and thus frees one from sinful reactions. A Vaisnava guru is never dependent on the contributions of his disciples."

C.C. Antya 3.139

"The spiritual master is not actually happy if the disciple brings him money, but when he sees that a disciple is following the regulative principles and advancing in spiritual life, he is very glad."

C.C. Adi 7.91

We are conditioned and have little faith in Krsna. Therefore, in order to insure that our necessities are provided for, we may become dependent on mundane persons or facilities, and make compromises. However, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada was never dependent on anyone except Krsna.


Lilamrta postulates that His Divine Grace was less secure than bums on the street, and that he was vulnerable, not knowing what to do.

"A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja...now had to face starkly that he had not one friend of stature in the U.S...Suddenly, he was as homeless as any derelict on the street. In fact, many of them...were more secure than he. They were ruined, but settled."

Lilamrta II, p. 96

"Prabhupada moved quickly down the four flights of stairs. He had not stopped to gather up any of his belongings or even to decide where he would go or whether he would return. There had been no time to consider anything...Where was he going? He didn't know. He had come onto the street without knowing where he would go...it was no place to stand wondering where you will live or is there a friend you can turn to."

Ibid., pp. 95-6

"By nightfall, he would have to find some place to stay, a way to keep up the momentum of his preaching. This is what it meant to be working without government sponsorship...without a patron. It meant being vulnerable and insecure."

Ibid., p. 96

Webster's Dictionary defines vulnerable as: "open to attack or danger. Capable of being wounded." It further defines insecure as: "Unsafe. Unprotected."

However, Srila Prabhupada writes differently:

"Hiranyakasipu did not know that Prahlada Maharaja was the most fortunate person within the three worlds because Prahlada was protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such are the misunderstandings of demons. They do not know that a devotee is protected by the Lord in all circumstances."

S.B. 7.8.12

"The Lord assures herein that He is ready to give protection to his devotee even if there is need to cut off part of His own body."

S.B. 3.16.6

"A devotee being always engaged in the service of the Lord, may not be expert in self-defense, but because a devotee fully depends on the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is always sure of protection by the Lord...A devotee is always merged in an ocean of transcendental bliss of rendering service to the Lord. Therefore, he is not at all afraid of any adverse situation in the material world...for the protection of the devotees, Krsna's disc is always ready."

S.B. 9.4.28

"In this connection, it is significant that Narada was immune to the attack of jara or invalidity, and similarly jara, or the destructive force, cannot attack any follower of Narada Muni or a pure Vaisnava."

S.B. 4.27.30

"Such transcendental literatures, missionaries, and representatives of the Lord are spotlessly white, because the contamination of the material qualities cannot even touch them. They are always protected by the Lord when they are threatened with annihilation."

S.B. 1.12.16

"A person in full Krsna consciousness is not unduly anxious to execute the duties of his existence. The foolish cannot understand this great freedom from all anxiety. For one who acts in Krsna consciousness, Lord Krsna becomes the most intimate friend. He always looks after his friend's comfort, and He gives Himself to His friend, who is so devotedly engaged working twenty-four hours a day to please the Lord."

B.G. 18.58

Krsna is a person. He personally looks after His devotee and personally protects His devotee in all ways. The pure devotee never seeks anyone else's shelter. We may think that we are giving the spiritual master our essential assistance, but that is our own misconception. He is actually only engaging us, and that is helping us progress toward taking full shelter of him. The bonafide spiritual master is never unprotected, insecure, or unsettled. He can never be compared to a bum.

Lilamrta offers that His Divine Grace was destitute and pitiably desperate.

"When Abhay arrived, he appeared very poor, starving. He had no means."

Lilamrta I, p. 164

"Abhay told him how his business had failed and how he had willingly left his family and was now destitute."

Ibid., p. 164

"Despite his desperate poverty..."

Ibid., p. 188

Webster's Dictionary defines destitute as: "Suffering extreme want. Desperate."

The pure devotee may appear destitute or desperate to the common man, but this is actually never his real position.

His Divine Grace writes on the matter:

"Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati explains that a mundane person, being enriched by mundane opulences, must always know that the transcendental opulences of the advanced devotee are far more important than the materialistic opulences of a person like himself."

C.C. Madhya 8.127

"In Bhagavad-Gita (18.78) it is said that wherever there is the master of all mystic powers...victory, fortune, and all other opulences are present. Devotional service is so powerful."

S.B. 5.1.30

"Becoming as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not mean becoming one with Him or equal to Him, although in the spiritual world the servant is equally as opulent as the master...The master and servant are different, yet equal in opulence."

S.B. 7.10.9

"Saksad-dharitvena...in every sastra the spiritual master is accepted directly as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This does not mean that the spiritual master or a saintly person like Narada has actually become the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but he is accepted in that way because he possesses the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart constantly...when one is simply absorbed in the thought of Krsna, one is also called bhagavan. Bhagavan possesses all opulence. If one possesses Bhagavan within his heart always, does he not automatically possess all opulence also?"

S.B. 4.31.8

Just as Vrndavana, India is actually non-different from Goloka Vrndavana, if we have the purified vision to see it, similarly the kalpa-vrksa desire trees supply all needs and opulences for the completely clean-hearted Gosvamis. The sastra concludes that Srila Prabhupada had the same facility wherever he went and at all times, in all circumstances.

"For the common man, it seems very wonderful that the Gosvamis could simply live underneath one tree one night and the next tree another night, and have everything they needed...Vrindaban is actually experienced by persons who have finished with material enjoyment."

T.L.C., Intro., p. 17


Lilamrta speculates that His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada was "in his (material) element" as an editor. The sastra seems to disagree with this sort of vision. The pure devotee's writing talents have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any theorized psychophysical bodily nature.

"As an editor, Abhay was in his element."

Lilamrta I, p. 172

But Srila Prabhupada writes differently:

"When the spirit soul is contaminated by the material modes of nature, one is considered good or bad with reference to the material qualities. But when one is transcendental to the material qualities, all the good qualities come out. These qualities of a devotee, twenty-six in number are listed as follows... 24. poetic...The Lord is satisfied by development of the transcendental qualities of the living entity."

S.B. 4.20.17

"The secret in a devotee's writing is that when he writes about the pastimes of the Lord, the Lord helps him; he does not write himself...Since a devotee writes in the service of the Lord, the Lord from within gives him so much intelligence that he sits down near the Lord and goes on writing books. Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami confirms that what Vrndavana dasa Thakura wrote was actually spoken by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he simply repeated it."

C.C. Adi 8.39

"Whatever a pure devotee does is done by the dictation of the Supreme Lord. Thus, it is confirmed by the author of Caitanya Caritamrta that whatever he wrote was written under the direction of the Sri Madana-mohana Deity."

C.C. Adi 8.78


The Lilamrta claims that the mahabhagavat can be moved by force of circumstances.

"Forced by conditions he accepted as Krsna's mercy, Prabhupada sat patiently..."

Lilamrta II, p. 100

"He had never even made specific plans to come here amid so many young people. But in the ten months since Calcutta, he had been moved by force of circumstances or, as he understood it, "by Krsna's will", from one place to another."

Ibid., p. 100

Srila Prabhupada writes that the conditioned soul is forced to act by Krsna's material energy, but the pure devotee is acting fully under the guidance of Krsna's spiritual energy.

"The first sign of the mahatma is that he is already situated in the divine nature. He is not under the control of the material nature."

B.G. 9.13

"From authoritative sources it can be discerned that associates of Lord Visnu who descend from Vaikuntha do not actually fall. They come with the purpose of fulfilling the desire of the Lord...The Lord comes to this material world through the agency of His internal potency, and similarly, when a devotee or associate of the Lord descends to this material world, he does so through the action of the spiritual energy. Any pastimes conducted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is an arrangement by yogamaya, not mahamaya."

S.B. 7.1.35

"For example, Krsna comes like an ordinary human being, He comes as a devotee like Lord Caitanya, or He sends His representative the spiritual master or pure devotee. This is also the planned activity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

S.B. 4.21.27


The Lilamrta did speculate erroneously about the emotions of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. In the process, it has criticized His Divine Grace, though it tries to cover its subtle criticisms with a thin veneer of the mundanely-presented greatness of his struggle through all the internal and external "difficulties".

We have heard that Srila Prabhupada may have sent letters discouraging a biography of stories about himself by any of his disciples. But, if a biography were to be compiled, the Krsna Consciousness Movement could have simply printed statements from His Divine Grace about his own life, minus any misleading commentary. This could have assured the correct transcendental version of the activities and qualities of the topmost paramahamsa devotee of the Lord. Some letters and Indian BTG articles written by His Divine Grace could have been included. And statements directly from Srila Prabhupada's books on the wonderful and totally transcendental activities and qualities of the pure devotee in his preaching pastimes, would most definitely have made a sastric basis for such a project. As always, by simply repeating from sastra, in context, the words of the liberated soul, it is easier to avoid harmful speculation.

"If one becomes an offender to the spiritual master or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he falls down to the material platform to merely speculate."

C.C. Antya 8.26