(Click on photo to see a larger image of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.)
"I am always with you. Never mind if I am physically absent."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 16, 1967)
"I shall remain your personal guidance, physically present or not physically, as I am getting personal guidance from my Guru Maharaj."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Vrindavan, July 14, 1977)
"In the spiritual world, separation is more relishable than meeting. In other words, in spiritual life, there is no separation. Separation is eternal, and meeting is also eternal. The separation is simply another feature of meeting."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 3, 1969)
"There is no difference between me and my picture. Therefore we should honor and keep pictures in that spirit. If we throw pictures this way and that way, that is offense. The name and picture are as good as the person in spiritual world. In the material world either picture or person, everything is illusion."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 4, 1972)
"Next you ask if I am present in my picture and form? Yes. In form as well as in teachings. To carry out the teachings of guru is more important than to worship the form, but none of them should be neglected. Form is called vapu and teachings is called vani. Both should be worshiped. Vani is more important than vapu."
(Srila Prabhupada letter, December 14, 1972)
"In my room at Radha Damodara Temple you should keep one photo of me and offer to it Prasadam of Sri Radha Damodara."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, March 18, 1977)
"There are two conceptions: the physical conception and the vibration conception. So physical conception is temporary. The vibration conception is eternal. Just like we are enjoying or we are relishing the vibration of Krishna's teachings. So by vibration He is present. As soon as we chant Hare Krishna or chant Bhagavad-gita or Bhagavata, so He is present immediately by His vibration. He's absolute. Therefore vibration is more important than physical presence. When you feel separation from your spiritual master you just try to remember his words of instruction; you'll not feel separation. You'll feel that he is with you. So we should associate by the vibration, and not by the physical presence. That is real association. Sabdad anavrtti. By sound. Just like we are touching Krishna immediately by sound. Sound vibration. So we should give more stress on the sound vibration, either of Krishna or of the spiritual master. Then we'll feel happy and no separation. When Kṛṣṇa departed from this world, at that time Arjuna was overwhelmed with sorrow and he began to remember the instruction of Bhagavad-gita. You'll find in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Then he was pacified. He immediately began to remember the teachings which was taught to him in the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, and he was pacified. He was his constant friend, so when Krishna went to His abode he was feeling overwhelmed, but he began to remember His teaching. So whenever we shall feel separation, the best thing is to remember the teachings. Then it will be very nice. Is that clear? Yes. So you can chant Hare Krishna."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Montreal, August 18, 1968)
"Krishna and His representative is the same. Just like Krishna can be present simultaneously in millions of places. Similarly, the Spiritual Master also can be present wherever the disciple wants. A Spiritual Master is the principle, not the body. Just like a television can be seen in thousands of places by the principle of relay monitoring."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 28, 1968)
"It is sometimes misunderstood that if one has to associate with persons engaged in devotional service, he will not be able to solve the economic problem. To answer this argument, it is described here that one has to associate with liberated persons not directly, physically, but by understanding, through philosophy and logic, the problems of life."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.31.48, Purport)
"If you think of me and work for me, then I am in your heart. If you love somebody he is in your heart. It is common thing, everyone understands it."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 4, 1972)
"What is this alone? Vaisnava is never alone. When I first came to the United States I was seemingly alone for one year. But I never felt alone. I always felt the presence of my Guru Maharaja. Myself, I was cooking, I was printing books, I was selling books, everything seemingly alone. But I did not lose my determination. Actually you should know this, you are never alone."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 27, 1974)
"You are doing solid work, even alone, and I am very pleased. This is the test for a sincere devotee. Simply by depending on the mercy of the Lord and carrying out the order of the spiritual master, one's success in spiritual life is guaranteed. I thank you for your endeavor."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 4, 1975)
"I thank you very much and all the devotees for offering me a garland daily as you were doing when I was physically present. If a disciple is constantly engaged in carrying out the instructions of the Spiritual Master he is supposed to be constantly in company with hs Spiritual Master. This is called Vaniseva. So there are two kinds of service to the Spiritual Master One is called vaniseva and the other is called vapuseva. Vaniseva means as above mentioned, executing the instructions, and vapuseva means physically or personally rendering service. So in the absence of physical presentation of the Spiritual Master the vaniseva is more important. My Spiritual Master, Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, may appear to be physically not present, but still because I try to serve His instruction I never feel separated from Him. I expect that all of you should follow these instructions."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 22, 1970)
"If you don't keep in touch with the original link, then it will be lost. And if you keep touch with the original link, then you are directly hearing Krishna. Similarly, Krishna and Krishna's representative, spiritual master, if you keep always intact, in link with the words and instruction of the superior authorities, then you are always fresh. This is spiritual understanding."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, March 2, 1975)
"So there are two phases, prakata and aprakata, appearance and disappearance. So we have nothing to lament on account of disappearance because Krishna and Krishna's devotee... Not only devotees, even the nondevotees, nobody disappears. Nobody disappears because every living entity... As Krishna is eternal... It is confirmed in the Vedic literature, nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13)."
(Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's Disappearance Day Lecture, Los Angeles, December 13, 1973)
"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. 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."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28,47, Purport)
"You can associate with Krishna by reading Bhagavad-gita. And these saintly persons, they have given their explanations, comments. So where is the difficulty? Everyone is helping you."
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Paris, June 11, 1974)
"The secret of success in the matter of Krishna Consciousness is devotion to the Lord and the Spiritual Master. In the Vedas, the secret of success is described as follows:
Yasya deve para bhakti yatha deve tatha gurau
Yasya ete kathotha hi artha prakasyanta mahatmanah
'Anyone who has developed unflinching faith in the Lord and the Spiritual Master can understand the revealed scripture unfold before him.' So continue your present aptitude and you will be successful in your spiritual progress. I am sure that even if I am not physically present before you. Still you will be able to execute all spiritual duties in the matter of Krishna Consciousness; if you follow the above principles."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 29, 1967)
"We are not separated actually. There are two - Vani or Vapuh - so Vapu is physical presence and Vani is presence by the vibration, but they are all the same."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 22, 1970)
"So in the absence of physical presentation of the spiritual master, the Vaniseva is more important. My Spiritual Master Sarsavati Goswami, may appear to be physically not present, but still because I try to serve his instruction, I never feel separated from him."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 22, 1970)
"So my Guru Maharaj will be very, very much pleased upon you and bless you with all benefits... It is not that he is dead and gone. That is not spiritual understanding. Even ordinary living being, he does not die. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire (BG 2.20). And what to speak of such exalted authorized personality like Bhaktisiddhanta. He is seeing. I never feel that I am alone."
(Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's Appearance Day Lecture, Atlanta, March 2, 1975)
"Yes I am glad that your centre is doing so well and all the devotees are now appreciating the presence of their spiritual master by following his instructions, although he is no longer present. This is the right spirit."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 13, 1970)
"He lives forever by his divine instructions, and the follower lives with him."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam Dedication to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja)
"He reasons ill who tells that Vaishnavas die,
When thou art living still in sound!
The Vaishnavas die to live, and living try
To spread the holy name around!"
(Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)
"Just like I am working, so my Guru Maharaja is there, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. Physically he may not be, but in every action he is there. I think actually I have written that... So I am not going to die. Kirtir yasya sa jivati: 'One who has done something substantial, he lives forever.' He doesn't die. Even in our practical life... Of course, this is material, karma-phala. One has to accept another body according to his karma. But for devotee there is no such thing. He always accepts a body for serving Krishna. So there is no karma-phala."
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Vrindavan, May 27, 1977)
"All of you please chant Hare Krishna, and hear the sound vibration, and serve Krishna and Spiritual Master to your best capacity and everything will be all right."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 6, 1968)