Hare Krishna!


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Pictured in front row from left to right: Vipramukhya Swami, Bhakti Vikasa Swami, Radhanatha Swami and Bhakti Charu Swami. In second row from left to right, Sivarama Swami, Sacinandana Swami and Atmanivedanta Swami. Amiya Vilasa Swami was also present

Bhakti Vikasa Swami speaks as Radhanatha Swami and Bhakti Charu Swami listen.

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See the list of names of those that took 1st initiation

32 initiates sit nervously waiting for initiation to begin

Srutidharma Prabhu whispering in the ear of head-priest Kripamoya Prabhu, who conducted the fire sacrifice.



Largest Initiation since days of Bhagavan before international assembly
By Vipramukhya Swami

CHAKRA (Bhaktivedanta Manor, UK) - August 14, 1999: Bhakti Charu Swami, Radhanath Swami and Bhakti Vikasa Swami initiated 32 devotees this morning at Bhaktivedanta Manor, England, the day before the London Rathayatra. It was the largest initiation to take place at Bhaktivedanta Manor since the days when Bhagavan was GBC here.

In attendance were devotees from around the world, including Sivarama Swami, Vipramukhya Swami, Sacinandana Swami, Atmanivedana Swami, Amiya Vilasa Swami, Pankajangari dasa from Mayapur and hundreds of devotees from Italy, France, Germany, Argentina, India, America, Canada, Russia, Croatia, Lithuania, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands and the U.K.

After a brief introduction by temple president, Vipramukhya Swami, Krpamoya Prabhu, acting as the priest (ritvik) of the ceremony, then lead the initiates in the chanting of the Brahma Samhita.

Addressing the assembly of devotees, His Holiness Radhanatha Maharaja spoke about the initiation of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu from Isvara Puri. “The Lord wanted to show by His own example, the great necessity of submitting oneself to the servant of the servant of the Lord.”

It is by our supreme fortune, he said, that Srila Prabhupada came into our lives to give us entrance into devotional service. “Those of you who are taking this vow of initiation, where there is real bhakti in the society of devotees, that is the best way to serve the spiritual master – by serving the society and members of the society. That is the best way to serve your initiating spiritual master. This is the method of pleasing Krsna.”

He said the initiates were taking a vow to chant 16 rounds a day and follow four regulative principles: no meat eating, no gambling, no intoxication and no illicit sex. “The vow you are taking,” he said, “is the most serious thing you have ever done. Your spiritual advancement is determined by how you follow these vows until the day you die.”

He said we should read and study Srila Prabhupada’s books very carefully. At all cost we should avoid offending any devotee and we should give our lives to creating a wonderful spiritual atmosphere to make ISKCON the Movement Srila Prabhupada dreamed it would be.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami then spoke about the Holy Name. He wished to express his appreciation for the speech of Radhantha Maharaja.  “Often we give some verbal appreciation, but then we forget the words of the sadhu. Especially on this day of initiation, this is a special day. You’re going to take a certain vow that you’re going to direct your life in a certain way. Please carry these words of Radhanatha Maharaja in your heart eternally.” He recommended devotees to take a copy of the tapes and listen to them whenever you have time.

Copies of the tape are with Sriman Pandit at Bhaktivedanta Manor, and also can be heard over the Internet, he said.

The way we act is the manifestation of our state of consciousness, Bhakti Charu Swami said. “Liberation in its true sense means to become a servant of Krsna. As soon as we become a servant of Krsna we become free from the bondage of maya.”

Our heart is like a lotus. “This lotus blooms when it is exposed to Krsna,” he said. When the lotus is exposed to the sun, it blooms. But it also requires water, and that water is the shelter of the spiritual master. This sun and water make the lotus of devotion bloom.

In this age of Kali, Krsna has appeared in the form of His Holy Name. There is no difference whatsoever between Krsna and His name. Just as the Deity on the altar is not different from Krsna Himself, similarly the Holy Name is identical with Krsna. On the altar Krsna has manifested Himself through earth, and in the Hare Krsna Maha-mantra the Lord has manifested Himself through sound. “The medium is different, but both are identical to Krsna.”

Love is exclusively meant for offering to Krsna. Our heart has the energy of love, but in the material world we have the wrong or mistaken application of love, which is called lust. Real love means when love is offered to Krsna, and when love is offered to Krsna our heart begins to expand.

He said that spiritual life is the process for recognizing the greatness of Krsna and His devotees.

“Until and unless we become free from the 10 offenses against the Holy Name, Krsna will not reveal Himself.” He then requested His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami to speak on the 10 offenses.

His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami then addressed the large assembly of devotees. He said that Lord Caitanya described many activities of devotional service. Among them, Lord Caitanya says that the 9 processes of sravanam, kirtanam, etc. are the best because they are very powerful to award us Krsna Prema.

“Lord Caitanya then says that among them all, the best is chanting the Holy Names of Krsna. We can get pure love of Krsna if we chant without offenses.”

The first offense is sadhu-nindam, he said. “To blaspheme sadhus.” You can’t claim yourself to be the only devotee and shove everyone else aside. “We have to be careful not to offend other devotees.”

“The second offense to consider even great devotees and demigods to be equal to Krsna,” he said. That is not pleasing to Krsna if we think that today I will chant Hare Krsna and tomorrow Durga or some Baba or so many names.

The next offense is to disobey the orders of the spiritual master, or to consider him an ordinary person. The fourth offense is to blaspheme the sastras, which also includes how the modern scholars analyze the scriptures in their own derogatory ways. We must hear the scriptures by those in the paramapara otherwise we may become infected with poison.

The fifth offense is to consider the glories of chanting Hare Krsna as an over-exaggeration. Even by chanting the Holy Name, not even fully purely, one can be freed from all sinful effects. There are many such statements.

He talked about sinning on the strength of chanting, hearing about Vedic rituals, and chanting Hare Krsna is just like that, that is also an offense. Chanting is meant for elevation to the spiritual platform.

To preach the glories of the Holy Name to those that have no offense is also an offense.

Having heard the glories of the Holy Name that we are not this body and still maintain a body concept of life, that is also an offense. “The root cause is inattentive chanting, so that we should also not do.”

Bhakti Charu then asked all his disciples taking first initiation to make a vow that they never leave ISKCON and the association of devotees. He also asked those becoming brahmanas to render service to the Deities in the temple. “You also have to take a vow that you will always remain at Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet and never, ever leave ISKCON,” Bhakti Charu Swami them. Each initiate had to agree verbally. Sometimes he would ask the wife, “Stay together with your husband in ISKCON.”


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