Thursday, August 9, 2012

Srila Prabhupada’s Appearance Predicted in the Scriptures

Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Appearance Predicted in the Scriptures\

Śrīla Prabhupāda’s appearance and accomplishments are a turning point not only in Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism, but in the very history of human civilization, so it is not surprising that they were predicted many centuries ago. In several ancient religious traditions, the sacred scriptures usually include passages or whole sections dealing with predictions. Some of these passages are marked by a veiled language and are often interpreted in different ways. Interpretations are subjective and may be relatively taken as correct according to time, place and circumstance, but they are conclusive when properly substantiated by sufficient evidences. The meaning of some of the following verses and statements might have been previously obscure or misunderstood, but since Śrīla Prabhupāda’s deeds were self-evident, unprecedented and matchless, there is hardly any scope to doubt that he is the personality who is being directly or indirectly pointed out here. From diverse sources there is a general prediction that Vaiṣṇavism would be spread throughout the world, so it is also implied that there would be a pioneer preacher. I am sure that there must be many more verses like these and it is just a matter of time until we have a much longer list. This is a short compilation with the original texts and exact references of what we have found so far.
In his Tiruvaymoli (5.2.1), a section of the Divya-prabandha, Nammālvār speaks about a vision he had:

poliga poliga poliga! poyiṭru valluyir ccāpam
       naliyum naragamum nainda namanukkiṅgu yādonrum illai
kaliyum keḍum kanḍu kolmin kaḍalvaṇṇan būdaṅgal maṇmel
       maliya ppugundiśai pāḍi āḍi ulidara kkaṇḍom

“Victory ! Victory ! Victory ! I behold something wonderful: all the inauspiciousness of the living entities is destroyed, no one is going to hell, Yamarāja has no more any work, and the effects of Kali yuga ceased to exist. This is because all over the world an increasing number of Lord Viṣṇu’s devotees sing His names while dancing and playing musical instruments.”

In the Bhāgavata-māhātmya in the Uttara-khaṇḍa (194.57) of the Padma Purāṇa, bhakti personified tells Nārada muni that after travelling through several places in India, she reached Vṛndāvana. Then she declares her resolution of leaving from Vṛndāvana to go to foreign countries:

idaṁ sthānam parityajya  videśam gamyate mayā
“Leaving this place, I will go abroad.”
By the end of the Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa (Kṛṣṇa-janma-khaṇḍa, chap. 129, 49-51) we find the narration of the departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa from this world and how all the holy rivers headed by the personified Ganges approached Him:

bhāgirathy uvāca
he nātha ramana-śreṣṭha yāsi golokam uttamam
asmākaṁ kā gatiś cātra bhaviṣyati kalau yuge
Gangā Devī said: “O Lord, best of lovers, now that You are going to the supreme abode, Goloka, what will be our situation here in this age of Kali?”

śrī bhagavān uvāca
kaleḥ pañca sahasrāṇi varṣāṇi tiṣṭha bhūtale
pāpāni pāpino yāni tubhyaṁ dāsyanti snānataḥ
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: “Sinful people will come to you and upon bathing will give you their sins. You must remain like this on earth for 5,000 years of the age of Kali.”

man-mantropāsaka-sparsād bhasmī-bhūtāni tat-kṣanāt
bhaviṣyanti darsanāc ca snānād eva hi jāhnavi
“O Gangā, then there will be many devotees worshipping Me by My mantra, and merely by their touch, glance and bathing all those sins will be immediately burnt.”

In the Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata (Antya, 4.126), Lord Caitanya declares:

pṛthivī paryanta yata āche deśa grāma
sarvatra sañcāra haibeka mora nāma
“In every country and village of the world, the chanting of My name will be heard.”

In the  Śrī Caitanya Maṅgala (Sūtra-khaṇḍa, song 12, texts 564-565) Lord Caitanya clearly mentions that He will send His leading preacher abroad:

ebe nāma saṅkīrtana tīkṣṇa khaḍga lanā
               antara āsura jīvera pheliba kāṭīyā
yadi pāpī chāḍi dharma dūra deśe yāya    
               mora senāpati-bhakta yāibe tathāya

“Taking the sharp sword of the congregational chanting of the Holy Name, I will root out and destroy the demoniac mentality in the hearts of the conditioned souls.”
“If some sinful people escape and giving up religious principles go to
far off countries, then My commander in chief (Senāpati Bhakta) will appear to chase them and distribute Krsna consciousness.”

In more recent days, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī also predicted the propagation of the sankirtana movement. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura wrote in the Sajjana-toṣaṇī volume of 1885:

“Lord Caitanya did not advent Himself to liberate only a few men in India. Rather, His main objective was to emancipate all living entities of all countries throughout the entire universe and preach the Eternal Religion.... There is no doubt that this unquestionable order will come to pass.... Very soon the unparalleled path of hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana will be propagated all over the world.... Oh, for that day when the fortunate English, French, Russian, German, and American people will take up banners, mṛdangas, and karatālas and raise kirtana through their streets and towns! When will that day come? ... That day will witness the holy transcendental ecstasy of the Vaisnava dharma to be the only dharma, and all the sects and religions will flow like rivers into the ocean of Vaiṣṇava dharma. When will that day come?”

Devotee (1): We can understand all of your instructions simply by reading your books.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Anyway, follow the instruction. That is required. Follow the instruction. Wherever you remain, it doesn't matter. You are secure. Follow the instruction. Then you are secure anywhere. It doesn't matter. Just like I told you that I saw my Guru Mahārāja not more than ten days in my life, but I followed his instruction. I was a gṛhastha, I never lived with the Maṭha, in the temple. It is practical. So many Godbrothers recommended that "He should be in charge in this Bombay temple, this, that, that..." Guru Mahārāja said, "Yes, better he lives outside. That is good, and he will do what is needed in due course of time."
(Morning Walk, February 3, 1975, Hawaii)
Prabhupāda: And in my horoscope there was written there, "After seventieth year this man will go outside India and establish so many temples.(...) I could not understand. "What is this, that I have to go outside India? That is not..." And Guru Mahārāja foretold. He told my Godbrothers, Śrīdhara Mahārāja and others, that "He'll do the needful when time comes. Nobody requires to help him." He told in 1935. And after all, this was true(?). Guru Mahārāja told. And in the beginning, first sight, he told, "You have to do this."
(Room Conversation, June 17, 1977, Vṛndāvana)

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