Srimati Rukmini Devi: My initiation

Srimati Rukmini Devi: My initiation

( – Srimati Rukmini Devi: My initiation

My Initiation.

On August 15, 1968, in Montreal, I was initiated at the age of 16-an unqualified person meeting such a great and unprecedented saint as Srila Prabhupada. At the same time, the six pioneers from San Francisco, on their way to London received their Gayatri mantra, or second initiation.

To listen to the transcript of my initiation, please click on this link:

Written transcript begins here:

[Yamuna starts kirtana with “Hare Krsna.”

Prabhupada: Vandanam. Vandanam. Vandanam.

Yamuna: What?

Prabhupada: Vandanam Prayer?

Yamuna: [indistinct]

Prabhupada: Yes.

Yamuna: [indistinct] [Prabhupada leads devotees in Vande ‘ham].

vande ‘ham sri-guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaisnavams ca
sri-rupam sagrajatam saha-gana-raghunathanvitam tam sa-jivam
sadvaitam savadhutam parijana-sahitam krsna-caitanya-devam
sri-radha-krsna-padan saha-gana-lalita-sri-visakhanvitams ca

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and of all the other preceptors on the path of devotional service. I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaisnavas and unto the Six Gosvamis, including Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami and their associates. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Advaita Acarya Prabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and all His devotees, headed by Srivasa Thakura. I then offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Lord Krsna, Srimati Radharani and all the gopis, headed by Lalita and Visakha.]


[Yamuna starts leading Hare Krsna kirtana. Prabhupada chants prayers to the six Gosvamis by himself] [13:37]


krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau premamrtambho-nidhi
dhiradhira-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pujitau

You can get up. Can anyone follow on the harmonium, this? Mukunda, you can follow. [sings]

krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau premamrtambho-nidhi
dhiradhira-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pujitau
sri-caitanya-krpa-bharau bhuvi bhuvo bharavahantarakau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau
[Sri Sri Sad-gosvamy-astaka 1]

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who are always engaged in chanting the holy name of Krsna and dancing. They are just like the ocean of love of God, and they are popular both with the gentle and with the ruffians, because they are not envious of anyone. Whatever they do, they are all-pleasing to everyone, and they are fully blessed by Lord Caitanya. Thus they are engaged in missionary activities meant to deliver all the conditioned souls in the material universe.] [repeats song] [Prabhupada continues playing karatalas while speaking]

This, today, a devotee is being initiated, so we are praying to the lotus feet of the six Gosvamis, who inaugurated this movement under the instruction of Lord Sri Caitanya. Who are they? Sri rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau.Just try to chant these six names.

[sings] Vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau.

Repeat. [devotees chant]

Again. [devotees chant twice more]

Vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau.

Rupa, sanatana, two, vande rupa-sanatanau; raghu-yugau. There were two Raghunathas. One Raghunatha Bhattacarya and one Raghunatha dasa. Two Raghunathas, and Rupa, Sanatana.

Vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau. [repeats with devotees]

Repeat. [devotees chant twice more]

So what was their business? Krsnot-kirtana-gana-nartana-parau: always engaged in chanting Hare Krsna. Krsnotkirtana.Hare Krsna means krsna-kirtana. Krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau. Nartana means dancing. So chanting and dancing. That was their business.


Krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau premamrtambho-nidhi. And krsna-kirtana, whenever one is merged in krsna-kirtana,that means he is merged into the ocean of love of Krsna. That should be the test. As soon as “Krsna,” this sound is vibrated, one immediately becomes merged into the ocean of love. That is the sign of pure devotion. Immediately. So these Gosvamis, they… Premamrtambho-nidhi. They merged immediately into the ocean of love of God.


Krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau premamrtambho-nidhi,
dhiradhira-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pujitau.

And these Gosvamis were dear both to the devotees and nondevotees. Not that they were simply liked by the devotees, but nondevotees also liked them. That was their position. A devotee’s position is ajata-satru: he has no enemy. He has no enemy. Ajata-satru. Nirmatsara. Nirmatsara means because they are not envious. A devotee is always open to everyone.

There is no question of discrimination, that “This person should be allowed to chant Hare Krsna and this person should not be allowed.” No. In the material platform there is difference: high, low, man, woman, this or that. But in the spiritual platform there is no such difference. Therefore they were nonenvious, nirmatsara, and because they were nonenvious, pujitau. Pujitau means they are worshipable.

A person should be worshipable because he’s nonenvious. Sri-caitanya-krpa-bharau: such kind of position can be attained by one who has acquired the mercy of Lord Caitanya. Sri-caitanya-krpa-bharau bhuvi bhuvo bharavahantara. And such person can deliver the suffering humanity from this material contamination. Therefore we offer our respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, Rupa, Sanatana, two Raghunatha, Gopala Bhatta and Sri Jiva Gosvami.

[sings, with devotees singing]

Vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau.


Vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau.

nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau
lokanam hita-karinau tri-bhuvane manyau saranyakarau
radha-krsna-padaravinda-bhajananandena mattalikau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who are very expert in scrutinizingly studying all the revealed scriptures with the aim of establishing eternal religious principles for the benefit of all human beings. Thus they are honored all over the three worlds and they are worth taking shelter of because they are absorbed in the mood of the gopis and are engaged in the transcendental loving service of Radha and Krsna.] [Prabhupada continues playing karatalas while speaking]

Nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau: they were expert in scrutinizingly studying all the scriptures. Nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau. Nipunau means expert. Why? Sad-dharma-samsthapakau: to establish real religion in the world. Real religion. Just yesterday we have received one letter from Mr. Renovich, Vancouver. He says that the Canadians, they want real religion. That’s very good, encouraging. Anyone, if he is anxious to have real religion, for him this is the best thing, this krsna-kirtana-gana-nartana. So without religion, human society is nothing but animal society. It is simply polished animalism.

So these Gosvamis, they made so many books to guide us. You have read Rupa Gosvami’s Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. That is the first direction in the line. So they always worked very hard, day and night. Their business was writing books or chanting and dancing. And other necessities—eating, sleeping, mating and fearing—they practically abolished. There was no question of mating; there was no question of fearing. And sleeping, they used to sleep utmost one and a half hour daily in twenty-four hours. And eating, that is also practically nil. When they felt hungry they would go to some householder’s home and beg one capati or two capatis. That’s all. Finished.

So nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau. Why? Lokanam hita-karinau. The mission of saintly person is simply to think how this suffering humanity will become happy by spiritual consciousness. That is their business. They are not for exploiting. The whole material world is trying… One man is trying to exploit another; one nation is trying to exploit another nation; one society is trying to… This is struggle for existence. They have invented this law that “Might is right.” You struggle, and if you are powerful… Just like there is now a struggle between Russia and America, or China and America. This is going on.

So everyone is suffering. The struggle for existence means a condition of suffering. And these saintly persons, devotees of Krsna—not only devotees of Krsna, any devotee of God—they are…, their business is to see how people become happy. Lokanam hita-karinau. Therefore, tribhuvane manyau: the devotees are worshiped not only in this planet but in other planets also—wherever they will go.

There is a nice verse in Canakya Pandita: vidvatvam ca nrpatyam ca naiva tulyam kadacana. He says that a rich man and a learned man cannot be compared. There is no comparison. Why? Because sva-dese pujyate rajan vidvan sarvatra pujyate: a rich man may be honored in his own country, but a learned man, a devotee of God, he will be honored wherever he goes.

Sva-dese pujyate rajan vidvan sarvatra pujyate. So this is the position of devotee. Therefore a devotee, wherever he goes he’ll be honored. Therefore a devotee has no distinction whether it is heaven or hell, because Krsna is with him either in heaven or hell. So where there is Krsna, there is no question of hell; it is Vaikuntha.

Just like Haridasa Thakura, he did not enter Jagannatha temple at Puri. He thought himself that “I am born in Muhammadan family. These Hindus, they’re against any Muhammadans entering the temple. Why shall I go and disturb them? I shall chant here.” So Jagannatha Himself was coming daily to him.

This is the power of devotee. He hasn’t got to go to Jagannatha, but Jagannatha comes to see Him. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to come daily to Haridasa Thakura. When He was going to take bath in the sea, so He would first of all enter Haridasa’s cottage: “Haridasa, what you are doing?” “Yes, my Lord. Please come.” So this is the position of devotee. Therefore Krsna says, mad-bhakta-pujabhyadhika [SB 11.19.21].

[Firm faith in the blissful narration of My pastimes, constant chanting of My glories, unwavering attachment to ceremonial worship of Me, praising Me through beautiful hymns, great respect for My devotional service, offering obeisances with the entire body, performing first-class worship of My devotees, consciousness of Me in all living entities, offering of ordinary, bodily activities in My devotional service, use of words to describe My qualities, offering the mind to Me, rejection of all material desires, giving up wealth for My devotional service, renouncing material sense gratification and happiness, and performing all desirable activities such as charity, sacrifice, chanting, vows and austerities with the purpose of achieving Me—these constitute actual religious principles, by which those human beings who have actually surrendered themselves to Me automatically develop love for Me. What other purpose or goal could remain for My devotee?]

If somebody worships a devotee, that worshipment is more valuable than worshiping Krsna. Krsna says like that.

So this is a process… Vaisnava process is parampara process. So today this nice girl is going to be initiated. She must learn this science, this very nice science, and you all Godbrothers and sisters will help her. Anyone who is trying to be Krsna conscious, he should be given or she should be given all kinds of facilities. You’ll be glad to learn that our Hayagriva Brahmacari, he is taking one land in New [sic] Virginia, 136 acres of land. So I’ve advised him to develop it into New Vrindaban.

So I have got today his letter, the document he is preparing through the lawyer. So it is also a nice project. If by Krsna’s desire we can develop a center just exactly prototype of Vrndavana, it will be very nice. Those American boys and girls who cannot go so long distance, 14,000 miles, they will have facility. So Krsna is giving us all facilities. Simply we have to be very sincere, and everything will be done nicely.

So let us begin our today’s business. So you come forward. Yes. Take little water, one glass and spoon. This is too big. All right, take it. You know how to do it? Take little water—one, two, three, then four. Do it like that.

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