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Caranashraya

 

QUESTIONNAIRE FOR SRILA PRABHUPADA Charanashraya

1.   For how long you have been associating with the ISKCON Temple? A: ________

 

2.   How often do you visit the temple? ___________

 

3.   How often you attend temple Mangal-arati? A: __________________________

 

4.   For how long have you been chanting 16 rounds of Hare Krishna Mantra? A: __

 

5.   When and where do you chant most of your rounds? A: ___________________

 

6.  Do you observe fasting on Ekadashi and other festival days as per Vaishnava  calendar?

A:__________

 

7.   Do you worship Tulasi everyday? A:___________________________________

 

8.   Do you know the following practical aspects of devotional service:

 a.  Write below the prayers (in a run-on format) that we chant before honoring prasadam?

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  _________________________________________________________________

  _________________________________________________________________

 

b. Write the mantras and the procedure for offering foodstuff [bhoga] to Lord Krishna?

__________________________________________________________________

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c. Write the mantras for applying Vishnu tilaka to the 12 parts of the body?

__________________________________________________________________

  _________________________________________________________________

  _________________________________________________________________

 

 

d. Srila Prabhupada’s picture is on the altar of the Mandir. Name the four previous spiritual masters in the disciplic succession before Srila Prabhupada, i.e. his guru, param-guru, etc.

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9.   Have you executed steady devotional service during the past 12 months? List the services executed.

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10. How many times have you read the following books:

            (a)       Bhagavad Gita as it is. _______________

            (b)       Srimad Bhagavatam first canto. __________

            (c)       Srimad Bhagavatam cantos 1 to 5(which cantos, if not all) ______

            (d)       Srimad Bhagavatam cantos 6 to 9(which cantos, if not all)­­­­­_______

            (e)       Krishna book. ______________

            (f)        Caitanya Caritamrta(which volumes, if not all) _______________

            (g)       Teachings of Lord Chaitanya. ________________

            (h)       Nectar of Devotion. _____________________

            (i)        Which other BBT books have you read? ­­­­­­­­­_________________

 

11. Do you avoid offending vaishnavas and criticism of other devotees? (Yes/No)

 

12. Are you following a simple morning sadhana of one aarti, Srila Prabhupada Guru puja and hearing Srimad Bhaghavatam class? [Yes / No]

 

13. Have you been serving a local ISKCON temple on a regular basis? [Yes / No]

 

14.  Do you contribute to Lord Krishna’s service? [Yes / No]

 

15.  Do you have plans for increasing your devotional service? [Yes / No]

 

16.  Do you avoid eating anything but prasadam? [Yes / No]

 

17.  Does your occupation involve breaking regulative and other principles of spiritual life?[Yes / No]

 

18.  How many hours do you watch TV everyday? _______ hours

       What type of programs? Please list _________________________________

 

19.  How often you eat food in outside restaurant? ________ times in a month.

 

20. What time do you rise in the morning? A: ____________________________

 

21.  How have you been benefitted by the contributions of Srila Prabhupada ? Explain in your own words.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

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Say true or false:

22. Men who desire success in frutive activities worship the demigods.

            a. True                        b. False

 

23. When the Supreme Lord descends to the material world, He also becomes entangled in the material activities.

            a. True                        b. False

 

24. Yajna means any activity done for the pleasure of the Supreme Lord.

            a. True                        b. False

 

25. A real yogi is one who engages all his senses in the service of the Lord.

            a. True                        b. False

 

26. It is difficult to control the mind but by practice it can be controlled.

            a. True                        b. False

 

27. If someone gives up all material prospects and takes complete shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no loss or degradation in any way.

            a. True                        b. False

 

28. The material nature is working under Krishna’s directions.

            a. True                        b. False

 

29. If one reaches Brahmaloka he does not have to come down to the lower planets.

            a. True                        b. False

 

30. Lord Krishna is impersonal and takes a personal form when descending to the material world.

            a. True                        b. False

 

31. A common man cannot see Lord Krishna because He is covered by His yoga-maya energy.

            a. True                        b. False

 

32. Lord Krishna had already killed Bhishma, Drona etc., but wanted Arjuna to become an instrument.

            a. True                        b. False

 

33. One can see the Krishna in His original form by reading the Vedas, by undergoing penances or by giving charity.

            a. True                        b. False

 

34. Read the following excerpts and answer the questions

“However, the disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of vani (words). Physical presence is called vapuh. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master.” (Purport, SB 4.28.47)

“There are two conceptions of presence—the physical conception and the vibrational conception. The physical conception is temporary, whereas the vibrational conception is eternal.” (Ch.4, Elevation to Krishna Consciousness)

“Physical presence is sometimes appreciable and sometimes not, but vani continues to exist eternally. Therefore we must take advantage of the vani, not the physical presence. The Bhagavad-gita, for example, is the vani of Lord Krishna. Although Krishna was personally present five thousand years ago and is no longer physically present from the materialistic point of view, the Bhagavad-gita continues.” (Cc. Antya Con Words)

“So we should give more stress on the sound vibration, either of Krishna or Spiritual master. Never think that I am absent from you. Physical presence Is not essential; presence by message (or hearing) is the real touch.” (Letter to: Students - Vrindaban 2 August, 1967)

 

a. When the spiritual master physically leaves the world the disciple should seek another guru for advancement.

                        a. True                        b. False

 

b. On the disappearance of the spiritual master the disciple’s connection with the spiritual master is broken.

                        a. True                        b. False

 

c. Even if one has never met or served the spiritual master physically, yet the guru disciple relationship is effective.

                        a. True                        b. False

d. “Association of vani” means                                                                                                                                     _______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

 

e. “Vapu” means    

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

 

f. Which one is more important: vapu or vani? Why?

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35. Read the following excerpts and answer the questions based on your reading.

Reporter: If I wanted to be initiated into your society, what would I have to do?

Srila Prabhupada: First of all, you’d have to give up illicit sex life.

Reporter: Does that include all sex life? What is illicit sex life?

Srila Prabhupada: Illicit sex is sex outside of marriage. Animals have sex with no restrictions, but in human society there are restrictions. In every country and in every religion, there is some system of restricting sex life. You would also have to give up all intoxicants, including tea, cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana—anything that intoxicates.

Reporter: Anything else?

Srila Prabhupada: You’d also have to give up eating meat, eggs, and fish. And you’d have to give up gambling as well. Unless you gave up these four sinful activities, you could not be initiated.

Reporter: Does “surrender” mean that someone would have to leave his family?

Srila Prabhupada: No.

Reporter: But suppose I were to become an initiate. Wouldn’t I have to come and live in the temple?

Srila Prabhupada: Not necessarily.

Reporter: I can stay at home?

Srila Prabhupada: Oh, yes.

Reporter: What about work? Would I have to give up my job?

Srila Prabhupada: No, you’d simply have to give up your bad habits and chant the Hare Krishna mantra on these beads—that’s all.

Reporter: Would I have to give any financial support?

Srila Prabhupada: No, that is your voluntary wish. If you give, that’s all right. And if you don’t, we don’t mind. We do not depend on anyone’s financial contribution. We depend on Krishna.

Reporter: I wouldn’t have to give any money at all?

Srila Prabhupada: No.

Reporter: Is this one of the main things that distinguishes the genuine guru from the fake guru?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes, a genuine guru is not a businessman. He is a representative of God. Whatever God says, the guru repeats. He does not speak otherwise

 

a. What are the qualifications required for a person to get initiated into ISKCON Society?

       ____________________________________________________

       ____________________________________________________

       ____________________________________________________

 

b. Is it necessary for an initiated devotee to stay in the temple?  

       ____________________________________________________

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c. Mention the qualities of a genuine guru  

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36. Read the following excerpts from Prabhupada and answer the questions based on your reading.

My spiritual master used to say, “The spiritual master is the transparent via medium.” For example, I can see the letters of this book very nicely through these transparent eyeglasses, without which I cannot see because my eyes are defective. Similarly, our senses are all defective. We cannot see God with these eyes, we cannot hear Hare Kåñna with these ears, we cannot do anything without the via medium of the spiritual master. Just as a defective eye cannot see without the via medium of spectacles, so one cannot approach the Supreme Lord without the transparent via medium of the spiritual master. “Transparent” means that the via medium must be free of contamination. If it is transparent, one can see through it. (SSR 8 - Attaining Perfection)

It is the spiritual master who delivers the disciple from the clutches of maya by initiating him into the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. In this way a sleeping human being can revive his consciousness by chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. In other words, the spiritual master awakens the sleeping living entity to his original consciousness so that he can worship Lord Vishnu. This is the purpose of diksha, or initiation. Initiation means receiving the pure knowledge of spiritual consciousness. (Purport, Cc. Madhya 9.61)

a. What is the significance of a spiritual master?

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b. Why one cannot see the Supreme Lord directly?

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c. What is meant by “transparent via medium”?

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d. Initiation means

       ___________________________________________________

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37. Read the following excerpts and answer the questions based on your reading.(SP Morning Walk, 21/7/75, San Francisco)

Narayana: So those disciples who don’t have opportunity to see you or speak with you...

Prabhupada: That he was speaking, vani and vapuh. Even if you don’t see his body, you take his word, vani.

Narayana: But how do they know they’re pleasing you, Srila Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: If you actually follow the words of guru, that means he is pleased. And if you do not follow, how he can be pleased?

Sudama: Not only that, but your mercy is spread everywhere, and if we take advantage, you told us once, then we will feel the result.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Jayadvaita: And if we have faith in what the guru says, then automatically we’ll do that.

Prabhupada: Yes. My Guru Maharaja passed in 1936, and I started this movement in 1965, thirty years after. Then? I am getting the mercy of guru. This is vani. Even the guru is not physically present, if you follow the vani, then you are getting help.

Sudama: So there’s no question of ever separation as long as the disciple follows the instruction of guru.

Prabhupada: No. Chakhu-dan dilo jei... What is that, next one?

Sudama: Cakhu-dan dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei.

Prabhupada: Janme janme prabhu sei. So where there is separation? Who has opened your eyes, he is birth after birth your prabhu.

 

a.         How can one become a disciple without physically seeing the spiritual master?

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b.         How do you know that the guru is pleased?

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c.         When does one get separated from the spiritual master?

       ____________________________________________________

 

38. Read the following excerpt to answer the question [General Lecture -  2nd Oct 1968 – Seattle]

Madhudviña: Is there any way for a Christian to, without the help of a spiritual master, to reach the spiritual sky through believing in the words of Jesus Christ and trying to follow his teachings?

Prabhupäda: I don’t follow.

Tamäla Kåñëa: Can a Christian in this age, without a spiritual master, but by reading the Bible and following Jesus’s words, reach the...

Prabhupäda: When you read Bible, you follow spiritual master. How can you say without? As soon as youread Bible, that means you are following the instruction of Lord Jesus Christ, that means you are following spiritual master. So where is the opportunity of being without spiritual master?

Madhudviña: I was referring to a living spiritual master.

Prabhupäda: Spiritual master is not the question of... Spiritual master is eternal. Spiritual master is eternal. So 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. So any case, you have to follow a spiritual master. There cannot be the question without spiritual master. Is that clear?

 

a.         What do you understand by this conversation of Srila Prabhupada regarding “physical presence of the  spiritual master”?

       ___________________________________________________

       ___________________________________________________

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39. Read the following excerpt to answer the question [Letter to: Rupanuga, Tirupati - 28 April, 1974]

You are right about Sridhara Maharaja’s genuineness. But in my opinion he is the best of the lot. He is my old friend, at least he executes the regulative principles of devotional service. I do not wish to discuss about activities of my Godbrothers but it is a fact they have no life for preaching work. All are satisfied with a place for residence in the name of a temple, they engage disciples to get foodstuff by transcendental devices and eat and sleep. They have no idea or brain how to broadcast the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. My Guru Maharaja used to lament many times for this reason and he thought if one man at least had understood the principle of preaching then his mission would achieve success. In the latter days of my Guru Maharaja he was very disgusted. Actually, he left this world earlier, otherwise he would have continued to live for more years. Still he requested his disciples to form a strong Governing body for preaching the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He never recommended anyone to be acarya of the Gaudiya Math. But Sridhara Maharaja is responsible for disobeying this order of Guru Maharaja, and he and others who are already dead unnecessarily thought that there must be one acarya.

            If Guru Maharaja could have seen someone who was qualified at that time to be acarya he would have mentioned. Because on the night before he passed away he talked of so many things, but never mentioned an acarya. His idea was acarya was not to be nominated amongst the governing body. He said openly you make a GBC and conduct the mission. So his idea was amongst the members of GBC who would come out successful and self effulgent acarya would be automatically selected. So Sridhara Maharaja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one acarya and later it proved a failure. The result is now everyone is claiming to be acarya even though they may be kanistha adhikari with no ability to preach. In some of the camps the acarya is being changed three times a year. Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp.

            Actually amongst my Godbrothers no one is qualified to become acarya. So it is better not to mix with my Godbrothers very intimately because instead of inspiring our students and disciples they may sometimes pollute them. This attempt was made previously by them, especially Madhava Maharaja and Tirtha Maharaja and Bon Maharaja but somehow or other I saved the situation. This is going on. We shall be very careful about them and not mix with them. This is my instruction to you all. They cannot help us in our movement, but they are very competent to harm our natural progress. So we must be very careful about them.

a.         Can an acharya be nominated by a commission? How an acharya be known?

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b.         What did Srila Prabhupada say about mixing with Gaudiya math devotees? Why?

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c.         Why did Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Swami not appoint any of his disciples as successor acharya?

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d.         What do you understand about the significance of GBC? Can GBC function without the physical presence of the spiritual master?

       ___________________________________________________

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40. Read the following and answer the question. (Room Conversation May 28, 1977, Vrindavana)

      Satsvarupa Maharaja: “Then our next question concerns initiations in the future, particularly at theat time when you are no longer with us. we want to know how first and second initiations will be conducted.”

        Srila Prabhupada: “Yes. I shall recommended some of you. After this is settled up I shall recomend some of you to act as officiating acarya.”

        Tamala Krishna Maharaja: “Is that called ritvik-acarya?”

        Srila Prabhupada: “Ritvik. Yes.”

 

a. What is your understanding about “ritvik” from the above conversation?

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41. Read the following and answer the question (Declaration of will by Prabhupada)

The executive directors who have herein been designated are appointed for life. In the event of death or failure to act for any reason of the said directors, a successor director or directors may be appointed by the remaining directors, provided the new director is my initiated disciple following strictly all the rules and regulations of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

      

a. What are the qualifications required for a person to be appointed as a director?

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

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42. Answer in True or False.

a. Does the spiritual master have to physically meet disciples in order to in initiate them.                 (True / False)

b. Srila Prabhupada’s own disciples who never physically met him are not his initiated disciples.      (True / False)

c. Srila Prabhupada never taught that he must be physically present to initiate the disciples.            (True / False)

d. Without physical presence of guru, the 'disciplic succession' will be stopped. (True / False)

e. “ISKCON will last until 9500 years form now.” Till then Prabhupada will be the Guru to carry on the ‘disciplic succession’. (True / False)

f. “Parampara means to hear the truth from the spiritual master.”...Does it mean that by listening to and reading Prabhupada, the paramapara is still being continued. (True / False)

 

43. Read the following passage and answer the question (NoD Lecture, Vrindavan 16/10/1972)

         In this connection, we may inform that our disciples in Krishna consciousness movement, those who are grihasthas, they contribute at least fifty percent of their income. Yes. Most of them, they are full-time engaged. But if one cannot be whole time engaged... Just like we, we have got our disciple, Professor Howard Wheeler. He gives more than fifty percent of his income for developing our New Vrindaban scheme. So we try to follow these principles laid down by Rupa Gosvami, that fifty percent for Krishna or Krishna’s devotees, twenty-five percent for personal emergencies and twenty-five percent for the dependent relatives.

             

 

a. What do you understand from the above passage?

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44. Read the following passage and answer the question          

My first concern is that my books shall be published and distributed profusely all over the world. Practically, books are the  basis of our Movement. Without our books, our preaching will have no  effect. (              Letter to: Mandali Bhadra : 72-01-20)

My ambition is to spread these books far and wide all over the world so  that everyone shall read at least one of our books and that will change his life. If only 1% become devotees, that will change the world. (Letter to: Karandhara : 72-05-02 )

I was very happy to receive the new edition of Bhagavad gita the  make up is very nice. Every time I see a new publication of my books it gives me so much enthusiasm that my life is increased by 100 years. (Letter to: Ramesvara : 75-11-27)

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 Mahäräja. And by his grace it is to some extent successful. And I took it seriously. I take it seriously still now. That is my life and soul. I never tried in India to construct big temples or even in your country we didn’t. I never tried. But I was selling personally books. (Room Conversation Bombay 31/12/1976)

 

a. What is the ambition of Prabhupada and also mention the significance of book distribution?

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

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Please refer to Bhagavad Gita As It Is and answer the following :

 

Fill in the Blanks  :

45. Millions of years ago the same message of the Bhagavad-gita was given by Krishna to the sun god _______________.

46. The two qualities of the material world as described by Lord Krishna are _______________ and _______________.

47. Of all the yogis one who practices __________ yoga is the greatest.

48. The worship of the demigods is ______________ worship of Krishna. (direct/indirect)

 

49. Which are considered to be more perfect, those who are always properly engaged in the Lord’s devotional service or those who worship the impersonal Brahman, the unmanifested?

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50. What is the analogy given by Srila Prabhupada to explain the arca-vigraha representation of the Lord.

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51. Mention five qualities of persons who are dear to Krishna?

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52. Lord Krishna suggests Arjuna various levels of surrender. Mark the order of preference as mentioned by the Lord.

                        a. Cultivation of knowledge                                  __________

                        b. Fixing mind upon Krishna without deviation       __________

                        c. Following regulated principles of bhakti-yoga     __________

                        d. Engaging in meditation                                    __________

                        e. Giving up the results of action                          __________

                        f. Working for the Lord                                        __________