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Physical Presence is not Important

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Srila Prabhupada: "So although a physical body is not present, the vibration should be accepted as the presence of the Spiritual Master, vibration. What we have heard from the Spiritual Master, that is living."

Paramahamsa: My question is, a pure devotee, when he comments on Bhagavad-gita, someone who never sees him physically, but he just comes in contact with the commentary, explanation, is this the same thing?

Srila Prabhupada: "Yes, you can associate with Krishna by reading Bhagavad-gita. And these saintly persons, they have given their explanations, comments. So where is the difficulty?" (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 13 January, 1969)

"Anyone who reads the books that is also chanting and hearing. Why distinguish between chanting and book distribution? These books I have recorded and chanted, and they are transcribed. It is spoken kirtanas. So book distribution is also chanting. These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing." (Srila Prabhupada letter to Rupanuga, 19 October 1974)

"So there is nothing to be said new. Whatever I have to speak, I have spoken in my books. Now you try to understand it and continue your endeavour. Whether I am present or not present it doesn't matter." (17 May, 1977, Vrindavan, Arrival Conversation)

"In my books the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is explained fully so if there is anything you do not understand, then you simply have to read again and again. By reading daily the knowledge will be revealed to you and by this process your spiritual life will develop." (11 November, 1974, Letter to Brahmarupa)

"After 80 years, no one can be expected to live long. My life is almost ended. So you have to carry on, and these books will do everything." (18 February, 1976, Room Conversation)

"So utilize whatever time you find to make a thorough study of my books. Then all your questions will be answered." (7 January, 1976, Letter to Upendra)

"Every one of you must regularly read our books at least twice, in the morning and evening, and automatically all questions will be answered." (24 January, 1970, Letter to Randhira)

"This is the system of receiving instructions from the Supersoul. Externally He is not to be seen, but internally He speaks to the devotee. That is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita. The Lord dictates from within one who is sincerely engaged in His service, and the Lord acts in such a way that such a person can ultimately attain the supreme goal of life." (Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, Chapter 23)

"Don't feel yourself to be alone because Krishna is always with you. Krishna is always with every living entity as Supersoul, and to His devotee especially He talks and gives instructions how to attain the perfectional stage of meeting Him. So don't feel alone." (1969, Letter to Ananda)

"So we should associate by vibration, and not by the physical presence. That is real association." (18 August, 1968, Lecture)

"It is sometimes misunderstood that if one has to associate with persons engaged in devotional service, he will not be able to solve the economic problem. To answer this argument, it is described here that one has to associate with liberated persons not directly, physically, but by understanding, through philosophy and logic, the problems of life." (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.31.48, Purport)

Paramananda: We're always feeling your presence very strongly, Srila Prabhupada, simply by your teachings and instructions. We're always meditating on your instructions.

Srila Prabhupada : Thank you. That is the real presence. Physical presence is not important. (6 October, 1977, Room Conversation)

"As far as my blessing is concerned, it does not require my physical presence. If you are chanting Hare Krishna there, and following my instructions, reading the books, taking only Krishna prasadam, etc, then there is no question of your not receiving the blessing of Lord Chaitanya, whose mission I am humbly trying to push on." (30 June, 1974, Letter)

"There is no difference between the spiritual master's instructions and the spiritual master himself." (Chaitanya-caritamrita Adi 1.35)

"If you have understood this Krishna philosophy and if you have decided that you will take Krishna consciousness seriously and preach the philosophy to others; that is your initiation. My touch is simply a formality. It is your determination that is initiation." (Back To Godhead Article, 'Search for the Divine')

Reporter: Who will succeed you when you die?

Srila Prabhupada: I will never die. I will live forever from my books and you will utilize. (1975, Berkley, Interview)

"Regarding the parampara system: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. We have to pick up the prominent acarya and follow from him." (12 April, 1968, Letter)

"Just like Krishna can be present simultaneously in millions of places, similarly the spiritual master also can be present wherever the disciple wants. A spiritual master is the principle, not the body." (28 May, 1968, Letter)

Tamala Krishna: Can a Christian in this age, without a Spiritual Master, but by reading the Bible, and following Jesus' words, reach the...

Srila Prabhupada: When you read the Bible, you follow the Spiritual Master. How can you say without? As soon as you read the Bible, that means you are following the instruction of Lord Jesus Christ. That means that you are following the Spiritual Master. So where is the opportunity of being without Spiritual Master?"

Madhudvisa: I was referring to a living Spiritual Master.

Srila Prabhupada: Spiritual Master is not question of...Spiritual Master is your question is 'without Spiritual Master'. Without Spiritual Master you cannot be at any stage of your life. You may accept this Spiritual Master or that Spiritual Master. That is a different thing. But you have to accept. As you say that 'by reading Bible', when you read Bible that means you are following the Spiritual Master represented by some priest or some clergyman in the line of Lord Jesus Christ.

(21 July, 1975, Room Conversation)


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