Following the Previous Acharyas

Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev. 

Listening to Srila Prabhupada' s lectures is one of the most important aspect of sadhana for aspiring devotees. I have seen personal example of so many advanced devotees following this process diligently to increase their devotional attitude. Although I am still a neophyte follower of this process, I wish to share with you all, a wonderful piece of lecture by His Divine Grace that I listened yesterday. This is from a discourse given by Srila Prabhupada in London on July 17th 1973 on BG 1.20. 

The crux of Srila Prabhupada' s point is that one should always follow in the footsteps of the previous acharyas. He so nicely indicates that 'following' doesn't mean simply trying to imitate them. Rather, we should pray for their mercy to help us serve the Lord in the same way as they did. Please relish the nectar. 

Hṛṣīkeśaṁ kapi-dhvajaḥ. Kapi-dhvajaḥ is nominative. So, He said... Kapi-dhvajaḥ Kapi-dhvajaḥ is also significant. Kapi-dhvajaḥ, Arjuna, on his... Just like nowadays also, every nation has different types of flags, so Arjuna also had his flag on the... Dhvajaḥ. Dhvajaḥ means the flag. The flag was on the top of his chariot. And it was marked with Hanuman, Vajrangaji, Vajrangaji, Hanuman, who fought for Lord Ramachandra. He (Arjuna) is fighting for Krsna. So he is also following the footsteps of Vajrangaji.

Vaishnavism is like that. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. Vaishnava should follow his previous Mahajana, authority. That is Vaishnavism. We don't manufacture ideas. We don't commit such rascaldom. We simply accept the behaviour or the activities of previous acaryas. There is no difficulty. There is no difficulty.

So in the fighting principle, Arjuna is fighting for Krsna. He is following the previous fighting acarya, Hanumanji. Therefore he has depicted his flag with Hanuman, that" Hanumanji, Vajrangaji, kindly help me." This is Vaishnavism. "I have come here to fight for Lord Krsna. You fought also for the Lord. Kindly help me." This is the idea. Kapi-dhvajaḥ. So any activities of the Vaishnava, they should always pray to the previous acharya, "Kindly help me. Kindly..." This is, Vaishnava is always thinking himself helpless, helpless. And begging help from the previous acharya. Just like in Caitanya-caritamrta you will find, the author, at the end of every chapter:

śrī-rūpa-raghunātha-pade yāra āśa 
caitanya-caritāmṛta kahe kṛṣṇadāsa

His every line, he is thinking of Rupa-Raghunatha, previous acaryas. So let me surrender to the goswamis and they will help me how to write. You cannot write (by yourself). That is not possible."

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Kalacakra Krsna das.