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Srila Prabhupada Initiating His Disciples
In the Vaniquotes Category titled Our Initiations (Disciples of Srila Prabhupada) - Umbrella Category, we have gathered all the existing references where Srila Prabhupada is giving first and second initiations to his disciples, both from initiation lectures and from Prabhupada's letters. As not all the initiations were recorded in these sources, this is not a complete list of Srila Prabhupada's disciples. Still, it is wonderful to be able to browse through them and find the actual documentation of so many initiations. We hope this project will be both a useful resource for study, and an inspiration for the devotees whose names are recorded here.
We have two subcategories, Disciples of Srila Prabhupada Receiving Their Initiated Names, and Disciples of Srila Prabhupada Receiving Second Initation. Each of these is further divided chronologically into years. They are presented at the bottom of the page.
It was no secret that Srila Prabhupada gave enormous importance to the relationship he was establishing with his disciples by initiating them. Everywhere he went he formed eternal relationships with his disciples, thus giving them the rare chance to advance in Krsna Consciousness.
- "You have now got the golden opportunity of this human form of life, and it is not by accident that you have met your spiritual master, so if you are actually intelligent you will take advantage of Krsna's blessings upon you and go back to home, back to Godhead."
- (Letter to Krsnakatha (Kris Carlson), Anala (Anna Carlson) Riddha (Roger May), Maharddhi (Morley Walkowski), Rohita (Randy Hyndeman), Kala (Carl Mulder) -- Bombay 5 January, 1973)
He often stressed that all of a devotees spiritual strength and advancement is based on his faith in, and surrender to, his spiritual master and the Parampara.
- "Your spiritual strength will depend only on the basis of unflinching faith in Krsna and the Spiritual Master, chanting sixteen rounds on beads and following the restrictive items."
- (Letter to Bali-mardana -- Tokyo August 21, 1970)
Srila Prabhupada gave two levels of initiation. The first initiation is where the disciple is freed from his past sins, and is reborn with a new name, taking sacred vows to avoid sin and to daily chant sixteen rounds of the maha-mantra. The second initiation follows later, after the disciple is stable in his practice, and is where the disciple is recognized as a brahmana. Prabhupada was very generous in accepting this responsibility for so many thousands of his followers.
- "First initiation is the preliminary, just to make him prepared, just like primary and secondary education. The first initiation gives him chance to become purified, and when he is actually purified then he is recognized as a brahmana and that means real initiation. The eternal bond between disciple and spiritual master begins from the first day he hears. (...) The spiritual master accepts the sinful activities of his disciples from the first initiation. I may give initiation very easily, but what can I do? I am prepared to go to hell for service of Lord Caitanya."
- (Letter to Jadurani -- New Vrindaban 4 September, 1972)
Srila Prabhupada did not only explain the guru-disciple relationship in terms of the disciples obligations, however. He also spoke about the duty of the spiritual master to the disciples, and stressed the absolute nature of his commitment to them. The following two quotes illustrate the extent of his determination to never leave or give up on those who had taken shelter of him, even if the disciples turned away from him.
- "You do not require to worry as I shall never leave you, you are my disciple and I am your spiritual master, so there is no question, as long as you follow my instructions, that I shall ever leave you."
- (Letter to Bhaktijana -- Los Angeles 21 September, 1972)
- "Anyone who comes to me for my help or wants advance in Krishna Consciousness, and whom I initiate and accept as my disciple, I must pray for him and his welfare always. So Kirtanananda personally served me, especially during my illness, which I always remember. But because somehow or other he has misunderstood our activities that does not mean that I am no longer his well wisher. I write at the end of my letters to my disciples, "Your ever well-wisher", and as such, I cannot become otherwise than being ever well-wisher of my disciples, even though he may leave me."
- (Letter to Janardana -- New York 26 April, 1968)
Disciples of Srila Prabhupada Receiving Their Initiated Names
- A total of 1,679 first initiates are listed below. There are 1,142 men and 581 women
|1966 - total of 1 devotee, no men & 1 woman.|
|1967 - total of 11 devotees, 5 men & 6 women.|
|1968 - total of 19 devotees, 12 men & 7 women.|
|1969 - total of 36 devoteee, 26 men & 10 woman.|
|1970 - total of 33 devotees, 18 men & 15 women.|
|1971 - total of 189 devotees, 114 men & 75 women.|
|1972 - total of 137 devotees, 83 men & 54 women.|
|1973 - total of 310 devotees, 196 men & 114 women.|
|1974 - total of 336 devotees, 221 men & 115 women.|
|1975 - total of 303 devotees, 202 men & 101 women.|
|1976 - total of 258 devotees, 196 men & 62 women.|
|1977 - total of 46 devotees, 25 men & 21 women.|
Disciples of Srila Prabhupada Receiving Second Initation
- A total of 679 second initiates are listed below. There are 466 men and 213 women
|1968 - total of 7 devotees, 4 men & 3 women.|
|1969 - total of 1 devotee, no men & 1 woman.|
|1970 - total of 4 devotees, 2 men & 2 women.|
|1971 - total of 42 devotees, 30 men & 12 women.|
|1972 - total of 75 devotees, 51 men & 24 women.|
|1973 - total of 65 devotees, 39 men & 26 women.|
|1974 - total of 166 devotees, 114 men & 52 women.|
|1975 - total or 150 devotees, 101 mean & 49 women.|
|1976 - total of 118 devotees, 88 men & 30 women.|
|1977 - total of 51 devotees, 37 men & 14 women.|