Constitution for ISKCON As It Is - Article 6


Aug 03, 2017 — CANADA (SUN) —


6.1 Vaisnava Values

    While engaging in the practice of sadhana-bhakti, and generally throughout their lives, Members should make every effort to demonstrate in their personal dealings the values integral to an aspiring Vaisnava, including: truthfulness (satyam) in all things; mercifulness (daya) in not creating undue difficulty for any living entity; renunciation (tyaga) on the principle of giving all things over to the service of Krsna (nirbanda krishna sambandhe); austerity (tapasya) in conducting varna and asrama; detachment from the troubles of the material body (nirmama); cleanliness (saucam) of self and belongings; and tolerance (ksama), excusing others who disturb them.

6.2 Four Regulative Principles

    Four regulative principles shall be strictly followed by all Members: 1) abstaining from illicit sex; 2) no meat-eating (meat, fish and eggs); 3) no intoxication; and 4) no gambling.

6.3 Nine Devotional Processes

    The practice of sadhana-bhakti is comprised of nine basic devotional processes: sravanam (hearing), kirtanam (chanting), smaranam (remembering), pada sevanam (deity worship), arcanam (temple service), vandanam (offering prayers), dasyam (servitorship), sakhyam (friendship), and atma nivedanam (surrendering). By engaging in any one of these practices, one can become Krsna conscious. In this Age of Kali, sravanam-kirtanam are understood to be the easiest, therefore the most optimal methods for developing bhakti.

    Hearing and chanting, honoring Krsna prasadam and engaging in Deity worship are among the fundamental sadhana practices Members shall engage in. Hearing from authorized sastra, chanting authorized mantras, worshipping the Deity in the temple and/or at home, and honoring and distributing Krsna prasadam shall all be performed in accordance with the instructions of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In all practices, the sadhana-bhakta shall aim to "always remember the Lord and never forget Him".

6.4 Principles of Devotional Service

    6.4.1 Sixty-four Regulative Principles

      Among the sixty-four regulative principles enumerated by Sri Sanatana Goswami in Hari-bhakti-vilasa, ten items comprise the primary regulative principles necessary for the neophyte devotee to engage in, in the discharge of devotional service. All Members are encouraged to practice them:

      • Accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master;

      • Becoming initiated by the bona fide spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him;
      • Obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion;
      • Following in the footsteps of great Acaryas under the direction of the spiritual master;
      • Inquiring from the spiritual master how to advance in Krsna consciousness;
      • Being prepared to give up anything material for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna;
      • Residing in a sacred place of pilgrimage like Dvaraka or Vrndavana [or establishing this mood in one's home];
      • Accepting only what is necessary, or dealing with the material world only as far as necessary;
      • Observing fasting on Ekadasi; and
      • Worshiping sacred trees like the banyan tree [and Tulsi].

    6.4.2 Five Regulative Principles

      Among the above named sixty-four regulative principles, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed that five are the most important:

      • one should associate with devotees;

      • one should chant the Holy Name of the Lord;
      • one should hear Srimad Bhagavatam;
      • one should reside at Mathura; and
      • one should worship the Deity with faith and veneration

      "These five limbs of devotional service are the best of all. Even a slight performance of these five awakens love for Krsna." [33]

6.5 Sadhana Practice

    Spiritual practice begins with the offering of obeisances to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, followed by offering worship to the Sampradaya Acaryas, then to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His various Forms and Incarnations, using authorized prayers, mantras and procedures.

    6.5.1 Pranama Mantras

      When offering pranamas (obeisances) to His Divine Grace, the following pranama mantra (Srila Prabhupada pranati) should be offered, the Sanskrit chanted clearly and audibly:

      nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
      srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
      namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

      [Translation: "I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krsna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet. Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvati Gosvami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism." ]

    6.5.2 Prayers to Acaryas in Authorized Disciplic Succession

      Guru-parampara-puja shall begin with, respectively, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Thakur, moving next to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji, the Six Gosvamis, and the Pancatattva: Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acarya, Sri Gadadhara Pandita and Sri Srivasa Thakur.

    6.5.3 Arati and Kirtan Mantras

      Kirtan shall begin with the above pranama mantra, which may be followed by chanting 'Jai Prabhupada', followed by the Panchatattva mantra:

      jaya sri-krishna-chaitanya
      prabhu nityananda
      sri-advaita gadadhara

      At the end of kirtan, the prema-dhvani pranama-stuti should be recited:

      Jaya Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya Asttotara Sata Sri Srimad His Divine Loving Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada Ki! (Jai!)
      Ananta Koti Vaisnava-vrinda Ki! (Jai!)
      Nama-acarya Srila Haridas Thakur Ki! (Jai!)
      Prem-se kaho Sri Krsna Caitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhar, Srivasa, Adi Gaura Bhakta Vrinda Ki! (Jai!)
      Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, Gopa-gopinatha, Shyama-kund, Radha-kund, Giri-govardhana Ki! (Jai!)
      One may glorify the Deities of the temple at this time
      Vrndavana-dham Ki! (Jai!)
      Mayapur-dham Ki! (Jai!)
      Jagannath Puri Ki! (Jai!)
      Ganga devi, Yamuna devi, Bhakta devi, Tulasi devi, Ki! (Jai!)
      Brhad-mrdanga Ki! (Jai!)
      Harinama Sankirtana Ki! (Jai!)
      Gaura-premanande (Hari-haribol!)
      All glories to the Assembled Devotees (Hare Krsna)
      All glories to the Assembled Devotees (Hare Krsna)
      All glories to the Assembled Devotees (Hare Krsna)
      All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga
      All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

      Other authorized mantras or prayers may follow, such as Sri Nrsimha pranama.

    6.5.4 Daily Program of Worship

      In the course of executing a daily program of worship, the sadhana-bhakta shall perform devotional activities in accordance with the principles set forth in Article 5, to the degree these principles can be adapted to an individual's personal program of worship.

    6.5.5 Chanting Japa

      As set forth in the Oath of Allegiance in § 2.2, Members pledge their commitment to the chanting of 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krsna Maha-mantra:

      Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      Members shall strive to chant the Holy Names without offense, and to do so to the greatest degree possible under conditions that are optimal for chanting: chanting on japa-mala, without distraction or interruption, and without disturbing others in their sadhana practice. The chanting of japa is an aspect of personal sadhana and is therefore not open to regulation or control by anyone other than one's diksa-guru, except as provided for in § Given that no one except the individual themselves and Paramatma can know or judge the quality of one's japa, Members shall not be subjected to undue pressure by others to report on their japa practice, unless they freely wish to do so. Members shall, in a mood of Vaisnava humility, accept the good advice and encouragement of the devotees in support of their sadhana practice, and this may include emphatic encouragement for devotees who appear not to be chanting 16 rounds daily. Except as provided above, the chanting of japa shall not be made into an obligatory religious practice: it shall not be equated with jnani-type meditation, and shall not be promoted as the one form of sadhana practice elevated above all others.

    6.5.6 Honoring Krsna Prasadam As set forth in § 5.8.3, the spiritual benefit of honoring Krsna prasadam is inconceivable, and therefore it is imperative to follow His Divine Grace's instructions implicitly in regards to the preparation, offering, distribution and consumption of prasadam, employing authorized procedures and prayers both in the temple and in the home. Bhoga shall be offered to Sri Krsna by offering it to the bona fide Spiritual Master, beginning with the Srila Prabhupada pranati (pranama mantra, § 6.5.1), followed by the authorized mantra:

      namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te
      krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne gaura-tvise namah

      namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca
      jagad-dhitaya krsnaya govindaya namo namah Bhoga mantras
      may be recited three times, and may be followed with the Hare Krsna Maha-mantra.

6.6 Vaisnava Decorum

    6.6.1 As sadhana-bhaktas and aspiring Vaisnavas, Members shall conduct themselves with a proper sense of decorum, honoring Vaisnava etiquette and protocol in their dealings with devotees and non-devotees alike.

    6.6.2 Members should dress in a manner befitting Vaisnavas at all times, but particularly when in public, according to the standards established by His Divine Grace. Authorized devotional clothing, Tulsi neckbeads and tilak should be worn when attending temple and festival programs and when engaging in Harinama Sankirtan, book and prasadam distribution, and preaching.

    6.6.3 Devotees accepting brahmacari and sannyasa asrama shall maintain a sikha (flag), shaving one's head and face and engaging similar personal grooming habits following the standards established by His Divine Grace. All male devotees are strongly encouraged to be shaved up with sikha unless unable, due to conditions of employment or similar circumstances.

    6.6.4 Members are strongly encouraged to maintain the mood and persona of the Vaisnavas, particularly when engaging in secular and public preaching events. Devotional clothing and tilak should be worn whenever possible, and should not be avoided in order to 'blend in' with other religious groups or adherents of other spiritual practices. Gaudiya Vaisnava symbols and practices should be displayed, demonstrated and highlighted in public at every opportunity.


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