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Question: In the last two years we heard that we don’t have to follow Srila Prabhupada but we have to follow the sastra, since it is the ultimate authority. Can you give your opinion of those statements?

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Jayapataka Swami:  There are three things – sastra, guru and sadhu. We use all the three. Many people have different opinions what the sastras says so sometimes it is confusing. So we understand what the sastra says, but it is true that the sastras are the basis. But how do we understand the sastra, without the guru? So Srila Prabhupada is our Founder Acarya. He gave the explanation what the sastra means. And we see that in the life of various pure devotees, Prahlad Maharaj or Kardama muni or Devahuti and all that so these three things are always there. This sastra, the thing is that everybody will read the sastra and –jato mattato path. As many people have different opinions. So sometimes, there are 400 versions of the Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita is the base, which version you take. Hare Krsna version or that version. Srila Prabhupada said he couldn’t recommend any version (audio break) Bhagavad-gita As It Is. So we need the scripture, they are the basis, but for understanding the scripture we need Srila Prabhupada. Sometimes, someone said something. He wanted to know what that means. If we just practice scripture. I met one lady, she was a Major in the Army in Russia, and she was in charge of the Department of Inter Ballistic Missiles. So she said, I have a picture of your God. Can you show me? She showed me a picture of Sai Baba! Ha! He was a self-God but Ha! I gave her the Panca Tattva mantra and Hare Krsna mantra and I told her to chant. Bur people have different ideas. There are so many bogus gurus, avatars. One devotee in Rajahmundry, in Andhra Pradesh, India met a person and his wife. They claimed to be Kalki avatar. Kalki is mentioned in the Vedas. But this devotee asked, but Kalki supposed to come at the end of Kali yuga, which is about 427,000 years from now. Don’t you have your schedule a bit messed up? He said I may not be Kalki avatar, but I am an avatar, I am God! So we have people like this who are saying they are God! And we had in Bengal (audio break) Bhagavat Brahmachari, he claimed to be an avatar. He died and they had so many amulets. His followers thought that if we show these amulets and say that he died, they will be lost. So they kept his body on a slab of ice and sold the amulets. The neighbors complained he is dead. They are keeping him on ice. Actually if he is alive, he doesn’t need ice to preserve his body. So the police came and raided and they found in the closet a man who looked similar to Bhagavat Brahmacari – Bhagavad Brahmacari had a long beard. So they all thought to switch the bodies of this man with the dead body of Bhagavad Brahmacari and to say that Bhagavad Brahmacari died and he came back to life. We have all these kinds of things going on in Bengal. Those who know Bengal, so many avatars. In the Padma Purana it says there are four bona fide sampradayas – Brahma, Sri I mean Laksmi, four Kumaras and Lord Siva. They have vaisnavas in the Brahma sampradaya. Ramanuja is in the Laksmi sampradaya. The four Kumaras they have Nimbarka acarya, and the Rudra sampradaya is Visnu Swami and Pusti marga. So these are the four vaisnava sampradayas. Others the sastra says will not have any fruit from the mantras. So everybody says they are following the sastra. But you need a bona fide guru from a bona fide sampradaya to explain the sastra and to apply it. Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati Thakur said that his pujaris should chant one lakh, and those who are preaching they should chant 25,000 names of Krsna. So Srila Prabhupada he tried if you chant more, we saw 16 rounds and preaching was a better option for us. So like that Prabhupada gave – sastra says chant the holy name of Krsna, chant Hare Krsna maha mantra. So how much you should chant? It does not say. The guru says that. We need a guru. We need Srila Prabhupada. Hare Krsna!