Srila Prabhupada: The Giver of Sastra


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 75, Vol. 4, 2022

In the previous article, we noted the forbidden practice of "jumping over", whereby one independently accesses the works of the previous acaryas which have not been given to us by Srila Prabhupada. However, GBC voted-in guru HH Romapada Swami ("RPS") claims that Srila Prabhupada has actually authorised such "jumping over":

"I'm now reading Brhad-bhagavatamrta [...] Prabhupada writes in Caitanya-caritamrta that one who is interested in the soul, devotional service, and Krsna, must read Brhad-bhagavatamrta by Sanatana Gosvami."
(RPS, Interview published 20/2/22)

RPS refers here to the following quote from Srila Prabhupada:

"the Brhad-bhagavatamrta is very famous; anyone who wants to know about the subject matter of devotees, devotional service and Krsna must read this book."
(Cc., Adi-lila, 5.203, purport)

We will now address this claim of RPS. All emphases added.

Only from Srila Prabhupada

Along with the Brhad-bhagavatamrta, Srila Prabhupada actually states that basically all the Vedic literatures should be accessed:

"The Vedic literatures – the Vedanta, Upanisads, Ramayana, Mahabharata and many others – should be utilized if we wish to become free from the contamination of tamo-guna and rajo-guna."
(Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Verse 16)

But he insisted on wanting to give us his translations:

"So there are seventeen Puranas, still more, not yet touched. Beside that, there are 108 Upanisads. Then there is big Mahabharata, the great history of India. Then Ramayana. There are so many books. So we are trying to present all these books into English translation."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 15/1/74)

"I have to translate all the Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and many other theistic literatures left by the Gaudiya Vaisnavas headed by the six Goswamis like Rupa, Sanatana, Jiva, etc".
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 26/7/75)

"to give you so many nice literatures like the Vedas, Upanisads, Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and other books in our own Gaudiya line, like Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Visvanatha Cakravarti and others [...] I shall devote my full time to giving you further nice books"
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 16/2/72)

Thus, in response to RPS's point, at the time Srila Prabhupada made statements regarding reading books he had not yet translated, the intention was to provide such books. Hence, if it is bona fide to read other translations, there would have been no need for Srila Prabhupada to insist on giving us his translations. The fact that he did insist means it is essential we only read his works. As just quoted, he specifically states that "I have to" provide these translations.

Further proof

Indeed, some of Srila Prabhupada's disciples were already questioning him about reading such translations written by others. Srila Prabhupada's answers make it clear what is to be done in a situation, like now, where his own translations do not exist:

"One thing is though, you have got enough other books to study. Did you appear in the examination held on Janmastami Day? Why should you go to Ramayana when you have got Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and Teachings of Lord Caitanya? Don't divert your attention in that way."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 6/9/69)

"Regarding reading Mahabharata, why divert your attention in this way? Bhagavatam is also Mahabharata. There are so many books I have presented already, so whatever you have got, just become expert in that. There are many things still yet to be learned."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 29/4/73)

Thus, even though Srila Prabhupada wanted us to have these other literatures, there was a condition: he only wanted us to read what he himself had presented.

The evidence from all the foregoing facts and quotes proves that it is consistent that:

1) Srila Prabhupada states that we should read Book X.

2) But if it is not given by Srila Prabhupada,

3) we do not read Book X given by others.

From the current link only

One who has even basic knowledge of what is meant by the parampara or disciplic succession would already understand these basic points:

"in order to receive the real message of Srimad-Bhagavatam one should approach the current link, or spiritual master, in the chain of disciplic succession."
(SB, 2.9.7, purport)

The "real" message of scripture is only received via or through the current link in the disciplic succession, which is Srila Prabhupada and not anyone else. In the final months before his physical departure, Srila Prabhupada was specifically asked if others could translate the scriptures, and he re-affirmed the need for a "current link"-like person to do so:

"A realized soul, must be. Otherwise, simply by imitating A-B-C-D will not help. [...] Our translation must be documents. They are not ordinary... One cannot become unless one is very realized. It is not A-B-C-D translation."
(Srila Prabhupada, Conversation, 28/5/77)

– with "realised soul" being the qualification of a diksa guru:

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."
(Bg., 4.34)

Thus, Srila Prabhupada was stating that future translations could only be given by one who is of the calibre of a successor diksa guru (current link). But Srila Prabhupada never authorised anyone to replace him as the current link in ISKCON.


In previous issues, we have supplied many quotes from Srila Prabhupada forbidding "jumping over" him. In this article, we have proven the same again from another angle using different quotes. Despite such clear proof in support of the POP ("Prabhupada-Only Paradigm"), the desire to disobey Srila Prabhupada and supplant him via jumping over him shows no sign of abating. Which is only to be expected, given we are dealing with disobedient, supplanting guru hoaxers.

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