His Divine Grace A.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.
A spiritual master who knows the absolute trutharrives on time in a blue Volkswagen combivan.
For members of the Hare Kṛṣṇasect it’s the first coming.
For the press, just another Indian mystic, andfor the Paddington mob, another curious visitor.
His Divine Grace founded the InternationalSociety for Krishna Consciousness in 1966.
But it is said his disciplic succession can betraced back directly for five hundred years.
According to his followers he is the divinerepresentative of God and he is completely pure.
Basically the movement he headsis austere and exclusive.
Alcohol, tobacco and sex, otherthan for procreation, are frownedupon and diet is strict and simple.
Disciples surrender everything theyown when they join the movement and they survive on money from publications,donations and they say, “Kṛṣṇa.
” God, or Kṛṣṇa, is all-pervading.
From Hisenergy the five elements, material elements… The history of the movement they saycan be traced back five thousand years when Kṛṣṇa first spoke the truth in India.
These days the headquarters are in LosAngeles where, according to one member, there are more frustrations.
But today they say the most perfect personin the world is in this Paddington flat and the fifty members of theSydney branch are ecstatic.
Today, say the disciples, is a day ofrejoicing and of peace, love and humility.
But behind the facade there issome conflict and some sadness.
Sheryl Zimmerer is eighteen, she trieduniversity and a job in Treasurery before leaving both to jointhe sect a few months ago.
Today, after her initiation by the spiritualmaster, she says she has found true happiness.
But her mother and her aunt are not sosure.
For them the ceremony represents an alienation from the type oflife they hoped Sheryl might lead.
Well I’m not happy with it, I don’t go alongwith it, but it’s her life, it’s what she wants.
So my husband and I make the best of it.
What worries you about herbeing initiated? –Her future.
Her whole future and the fact that theyare teaching them not to have sex.
I came here last night and thespiritual master was telling themthat to have sex is like animals.
Well this isn’t the way I’vebrought my children up.
When I hear this sort of think Iam wondering what her future is.
She has given up university to do this,she’s given up everything, she’s not working and I can’t see any future in it at all.
What’s going to happen in ten years time? And what religion are you, canI ask? –Church of England.
And do you feel that… She’s been christened, she’sbeen confirmed in our own church and she’s suddenly turned to thisall in a matter of two months.
What do you think has attractedher most of all about this? Well she’s been looking forsomething, she’s an introvert, and she’s felt that she’s wanted more outof life than what she’s been getting.
She’s obviously getting it isn’t she becauseshe seems very happy since she has been here.
Her ideas coincide with these peoples’ ideasand I think they are very good living people.
They are very sincere in theirideas, but they are not my ideas.
This is one of the things you don’tparticularly appreciate is the prostrating… No, I can’t see the point of doing this.
Sheryl why do you in factprostrate yourself like that.
Well, it’s a sign of humility.
The spiritualmaster, he is a messenger from God, an associate of God.
He’s actuallyKṛṣṇa’s friend, God’s friend.
This is why we bow down to the spiritual master because the spiritual masteris giving us this knowledge, how to go back home, back toGodhead, back to Kṛṣṇa.
It’s so potent in the world.
We have fifty-two templesall over the world today.
Your mother is worried that all the things youare saying are largely due to brainwashing.
Are you worried that she is worried? Well, yes, I’m worried that she is worriedbut I don’t think that she should be because you can see that thereis peace and happiness there.
Everybody has one goal.
There’s nobad relationships in the temple.
People realize that we are allspiritual souls, all part of Kṛṣṇa.
Do you feel that she could havespiritual happiness and peacewith herself without doing this? Of course.
I thought that’swhat she was getting at home.
I mean we love her very much at home.
She’sbeen brought up in the Christian religion.
But there just seemed to besomething lacking somewhere.
This is a very hard question but ifyour parents wanted you to come home and to perhaps ignore all this and toperhaps get married like most normal eighteen year old girls, what would you do? If they wanted me to I’d say I can’tbecause we are all spirit soul andwere only on this lifetime… This lifetime is like an eye-wink in theeternal time so we have to try to go back home, back to Kṛṣṇa as soon as possible.
There’s no other bona fide spiritualmaster, this spiritual master is pure.
You can tell just byassociation that he is pure.
You can find out for yourself just byassociation.
We don’t ask you to believe… Just because he is such a pure soul, a loverof God.
He’s completely devoted to God.
So Kṛṣṇa says if you serve the spiritualmaster then it is better than serving Me.
Kṛṣṇa would rather you serve the spiritualmaster than He would to serve Him.
Because the spiritual masteris the friend of Kṛṣṇa.