Śrīla Prabhupādas Transcendental Books and the secret of diksa initiation !

Śrīla Prabhupāda speaks about His books:

“In my books the philosophy of Krsna consciousness is explained fully so if there is anything which 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.

Every one of you must regularly read our books at least twice—in the morning and evening, and automatically all questions will be answered.” (Letter to Ranadhira, 24/01/70)

“So utilize whatever time you find to make a thorough study of my books. Then all your questions will be answered.”

This process of true initiation (diksa) is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā:

tad viddhi praṇipātena – paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ – jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

tat—that knowledge of different sacrifices; viddhi—try to understand; praṇipātena—by approaching a spiritual master; paripraśnena—by submissive inquiries; sevayā—by the rendering of service; upadekṣyanti—initiate; te—unto you; jñānam—knowledge; jñāninaḥ—the self-realized; tattva—truth; darśinaḥ—the seers.

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.” (Bhagavad-gita, 4:34 [original 1972 edition])


In this verse ( Bg 4:34), the word “upadeksyanti” is translated literally as “initiate”; however, in the full translation, this “initiate” is rendered to mean that the guru must “impart knowledge”. Consequently, the “Prabhupada is siksa and not diksa guru” proponents are caught in a logical trap that they themselves have set. If Srila Prabhupada is capable of imparting “knowledge” or “divya-jnana” to neophytes, which the GBC concedes by endorsing him as the preeminent siksa guru for ISKCON, then by definition he must also be capable of giving or initiating (initiating) diksa. Transmission of transcendental knowledge (transcendental siksa) is, after all, the main component of diksa:

“Dīkṣā actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination. (Madhya-lila, 4.111, purport)

“Dīkṣā is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as dīkṣā.” The regulative principles of dīkṣā are explained in the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (2.3,4) and in Bhakti-sandarbha (283). (C.C. Mad., 15.108, purport)

In other words, the spiritual master awakens the sleeping living entity to his original consciousness so that he can worship Lord Viṣṇu. This is the purpose of dīkṣā, or initiation. Initiation means receiving the pure knowledge of spiritual consciousness. (C.C. Mad., 9.61, purport)

The spiritual master, by his words, can penetrate into the heart of the suffering person and inject knowledge transcendental, which alone can extinguish the fire of material existence. (S.B. 1.7.22, purport)

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada when you’re not present with us , how is it possible to receive instructions? For example in questions that may arise…

Srila Prabhupada: Well the questions are answ… answers are there in my books.
(Morning Walk, Los Angeles, 13/5/73)

“In my books the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is explained fully so if there is anything which 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.” Letter — Bombay 22 November, 1974

“Every one of you must regularly read our books at least twice, in the morning and evening, and automatically all questions will be answered. So utilise whatever time you find to make a thorough study of my books. Then all your questions will be answered” (Letter to Randhira, 24/01/70 and Upendra 7/1/76)

“If there is no chance to serve the spiritual master directly, a devotee should serve him by remembering his instructions. There is no difference between the spiritual master’s instructions and the spiritual master himself. In his absence, therefore, his words of direction should be the pride of the disciple.” (CC Adi 1.35 : purport)

“The eternal bond between disciple and spiritual master begins from the first day he hears.” (SP Letter to Jadurani, 4/9/72)

“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.” (Letter to Rupanuga Das, 19/10/74)

Srila Prabhupada: “Even a moment’s association with a pure devotee—all success.”
Revatīnandana: Does that also apply to reading the words of a pure devotee?
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Revatīnandana: Even a little association with your books has the same effect?
Prabhupāda: Effect, of course, it requires both the things. One must be very eager to take it.
(SP-Room-Conversation, 13/12/70)

Paramahaṁsa: My question is: A pure devotee, when he comments Bhagavad-gītā, someone who never sees him physically, but he just comes in contact with his commentary, explanation, is this the same thing?

Prabhupāda: Yes. You can associate with Kṛṣṇa by reading Bhagavad-gītā. And these saintly persons, they have given their explanations, comments. So where is the difficulty? Everyone is helping you. (SP Morning-walk, Paris 11/6/74)

If death takes place, let it take here. 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 endeavor. Whether I am present or not present, it doesn’t matter. (770517ar.vrn Conversations)

If I depart there is no cause for lamentation. I will always be with you through my books and orders. I will always remain with you in that way. (BTG 13:1-2, December 1977)


Here is a statement by a self-proclaimed ISKCON “guru” (Sivarama) that is totally inconsistent with Srila Prabhupada’s philosophy:

Sivarama says: “Srila Prabhupada has taught us that the disciplic succession is a living affair […] The law of disciplic succession is that one approaches a living spiritual master – living in the sense of being physically present.” (Sivarama Swami ISKCON Journal, p.31, GBC 1990)

A pure concoction of Sivarama. It is hard to reconcile the above assertion with statements such as:

Physical presence is not important.”
(Srila Prabhupada Room conversation, 6/10/77, Vrindavan)
Physical presence is immaterial.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 19/1/67)

Of course, we must have a guru who is external, since in the conditioned stage pure reliance on the Supersoul is not possible, but nowhere does Srila Prabhupada teach that this physical guru must also be physically present:

Therefore one must take advantage of the vani, not the physical presence.”
(C.c. Antya, concluding words)

Srila Prabhupada practically demonstrated this principle by initiating large numbers of his disciples without ever meeting them physically at all. This fact in itself proves that diksa can be obtained without any physical involvement from the guru. There is nothing in sastra, or from Srila Prabhupada, linking diksa with physical presence.

75-11-04 Letter: Suci
You have rightly said that the best way to associate with the spiritual master is to follow his instructions. There are two ways of associating, by vani and by vapu. Vani means words and vapu means physical presence. PHYSICAL PRESENCE IS SOMETIMES APPRECIABLE AND SOMETIMES NOT. THEREFORE WE SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE VANI, NOT THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE, BECAUSE THE VANI CONTINUES TO EXIST ETERNALLY. Bhagavad-gita for example is the vani of Lord Krishna. Although Krishna was personally present 5,000 years ago and is no longer present physically from the materialistic viewpoint, still Bhagavad-gita continues. So you have correctly concluded.


“He lives forever by his divine instructions, and the follower lives with him.” (S.B. Preface)

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Śrīla Prabhupāda’s original books – The way to spiritual success

All IHKM books are exclusively Śrīla Prabhupādas original books. These are also available for download here.

Śrī Īśopaniṣad

IsopanisadĪśa Upaniṣad or Īśopaniṣad is considered the pearl of the famous 108 Upaniṣads of India. The Śrī Īśopaniṣad describes the form and nature of the Absolute Truth in 18 mantras and gives us a deep insight into the sublime philosophy of Indian wisdom.

From the sources of the highest, vedic authority, the famous 108 Upaniṣads of India, the Śrī Īśopaniṣad brings us the manifest proof that the personal God is the creator, sustainer and destroyer of all that exists.

This book reveals that the Supreme Lord, who is described as “incorporeal” and “formless”, has no material form, but possesses a transcendental form, beyond the material elements. The form of God is not subject to the laws of matter, such as birth, old age, disease and death. The Supreme Lord has a spiritual form, full of eternity and bliss.

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Easy Journey to Other Planets

Easy Journy to Other Planets 1977

The most recent desire that man has developed is the desire to travel to other planets. This too is natural, for every living being has the right to travel to any part of the material or spiritual worlds at will.

Such a journey is very tempting and exciting, for in these heavens float countless, diverse planets on which all conceivable kinds of living beings exist.

This book is an attempt to inform all people, especially philosophers and religious scholars, how to reach other planets through the process of bhakti-yoga, the highest form of yoga.

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Life comes from life

Life Comes from Life

Is science destroying our world? All the achievements of our modern civilization such as computer technology, space programs, the automobile industry and concrete architecture cannot hide the fact that behind the façade of modern progress, not only are people becoming desolate, lonely and ill, but the ecological and economic balance is also disintegrating under the pressure of greed for profit and blind faith in materialistic science.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda questions the methods of modern science in an astonishingly simple way and points out their limitations. “Life comes from Life” is an analysis of the disintegration of human society. At the same time, however, with its consistent conclusions, it points the way to spiritual renewal and the material order of our lives.

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Rāja-Vidyā: The king of Knowledge

1973 Raja Vidya The King of KnowledgeRaja-vidya means “the king of knowledge”. If you learn this knowledge, then you will be completely liberated from the conditioned plane of this material world. That is why it is called raja. Raja means king, and vidya means knowledge.

Raja-Vidya: The king of knowledge is based on the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, “The Most Confidential Knowledge”. There Kṛṣṇa – the Supreme Personality of Godhead – tells His friend Arjuna: “… because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart this most confidential knowledge and realization to you, in the knowledge of which you will be freed from the miseries of material existence.”

“This knowledge is the king of education and the most secret of secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives a direct perception of the Self through realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting and is practiced with joy.” (Bhagavad-gītā 9.2)

This knowledge is highly confidential because confidential or transcendental knowledge involves an understanding of the difference between soul and body and leads to self-realization. And the king of all confidential knowledge culminates in devotional service to the Supreme Lord.

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The Nectar of Instruction

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The Nectar of Instruction, is a compact guide to essential spiritual teachings and describes the six principles that promote spiritual progress. This book is the key to enlightenment for all sincere seekers on the path of self-actualization

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Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers

Erstausgabe Nektar UnterweisungAn intelligent conversation between the young development worker Bob Cohen and A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

A development worker in India wants to know what is really going on in the world. He meets Śrīla Prabhupāda there and is given the opportunity to ask him questions about spiritual life for a few days. Śrīla Prabhupāda responds to every single one of his questions and answers them perfectly.

The search for the meaning of life takes a young development worker halfway around the world to a remote island in West Bengal, India. There, in a small bamboo hut in the sacred land of Mayapur, he finds himself at the feet of India’s greatest spiritual teacher, who can answer all his questions about the meaning of life.

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Saṅkīrtana-Yajña Ki Jay

Bhagavad-gītā, Chapter 18, verses 68-69
“For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me. There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.” (Bg. 18.68-69)

The Bhagavad-gītā – As It Is, by A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda – is a book of ancient wisdom – for the man of the new age, 5000 years of Vedic knowledge offer answers to all questions of life.

Who am I? What is the origin of life? Is there life after death? Bhagavad-gītā gives new and interesting answers to these probably oldest questions of mankind.

Original Macmillan Gita

The Bhagavad-gītā is considered the crown jewel of Indian Vedic wisdom and is one of the most important works of world spiritual and philosophical literature. It forms the core of all Vedic wisdom and contains a timeless message of universal validity. Its 700 Sanskrit verses provide a comprehensive insight into the science of yoga, karma, reincarnation, meditation, self-realization and knowledge of God.

Profound questions about the meaning of life, the nature of man, the interplay of time and matter and the resulting nature of happiness and suffering, as well as the question of transcendence are just some of the themes of this masterful science of self-knowledge. These essential questions are not limited to the immediate historical situation 5000 years ago, but have universal significance and validity. Her words are addressed to all people who wish to recognize their unchanging spiritual nature, the ultimate goal of their existence and their eternal relationship with God.

Śrīla Prabhupāda presents the Bhagavad-gītā as it is, in its original tradition, clarity and depth of meaning. With its scholarly presentation (the original Sanskrit verses in Devanagari and in a Latin transcription; a word-for-word translation and then the translation of the respective verse as well as an explanation), the Bhagavad-gītā is an extremely valuable standard work for the spiritual seeker as well as for the student of philosophy and Indology.

Bhagavad-gītā is a practical book of knowledge for the intellectual as well as the practitioner. Bhagavad-gītā has remained alive through the millennia as it imparts simple, clear and practical knowledge to the reader.

Whether philosopher, scientist, politician, businessman, artist, worker, student or housewife – Bhagavad-gītā is a never-ending source of wisdom for everyone and a practical guide for the problems of everyday life.

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The Sankirtana devotees are very very dear to Krishna

Prabhupada On Success Of Preaching “The success of your preaching will be substantiated by how many book are sold.” “The art is to sell many, many books and not to irritate the public.“

„This, our book distribution, is the most important task in our society. Therefore I am giving so much stress and I am working so hard on this because this is my life and soul according to the order of my Guru Maharaja and by his grace it is to some extent successful. I took it seriously. I take it seriously now. That is my life and soul. I never tried in India to Construct big temple or even in your country we didn’t. I never tried but I was selling personally books. That is the history.“

„Regarding Sankirtana and book distribution, book distribution is also chanting. 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 distriburtion is also chanting. These are not ordinary books. It is recorded chanting. Anyone who reads, he is hearing. Book distribution must not be neglected.“

„Distribution of books and magazines is our most important activity. Without books, our preaching has no solid basis.“ – (Letter to Cyavana, 26th December, 1971)

Our main business is to distribute my books and people will come gradually. Everything should be done for that purpose. (Letter to: Ramesvara 7 November, 1976)

The Sankirtana devotees are very very dear to Krishna

„I read your Sankirtana newsletter with great relish…. The Sankirtana devotees are very very dear to Krishna. Because you are doing the field work of book distribution, Krishna has immediately recognized them as true servants. Just like during war time, a farm boy or ordinary clerk who goes to fight for his country on the front, immediately becomes a national hero for his sincere effort. So Krishna immediately recognizes a preacher of Krishna consciousness who takes all risks to deliver his message. It is called Dhira vrata — determination.

These boys and girls are Mahatmas, mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ – bhajanty ananya-manaso jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam [Bg. 9.13] “O son of Pritha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.”

This verse is applicable here, if these boys were under material nature they would not take so much risk, they are mahatma, they are real mahatma, not that long beard and saffron cloth mahatma. They are unswerving in their determination, dhira vrata. All glories to the Sankirtana devotees!“ (Letter to: Uttamasloka  —  Vrindaban 11 December, 1975)

“To teach and promote the Saṅkīrtana movement, i.e. the common chanting of the Holy Names of God as revealed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His teachings” (from Śrīla Prabhupāda’s founding document).