Kapindra Swami, Disciple of Srila Prabhupada
Prabhupada sankirtan devotees and brahmacaris. (2005-ish) Kapindra Swami is saffron sannyasi in center.
Kapindra Swami leading discussion after hearing directly from Srila Prabhupada 3/12
Kapindra Swami, a.k.a. Maharaj
original disciple of Srila Prabhupada, has sincerely served Prabhupada for over 40 years. His dedication to lovingly and diligently keeping Prabhupada's Hare Krishna movement exactly what Prabhupada intended, through Prabhupada's personal instructions, is incomparable. It's no wonder where ever Kapindra Swami is, Prabhupada's original sankirtan movement thrives.
Kapindra Swami has invited countless souls to take part in sankirtan activities and has made devotees, giving first and second initiations under Prabhupada's ritvik system. This means an appointed elder disciple of Prabhupada initiates on Prabhupada's behalf and the devotees become direct disciples of Srila Prabhupada. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is both diksa and siksa guru. Siksa-he is instructing guru (there may be many). Diksa-he (Prabhupada) will deliver his disciple from the cycle of birth and death (there is one).
Kapindra Swami's goal is to keep all focus on Prabhupada and Prabhupada's flawless voice, words, vibration and instructions. For who else can bring us back home to Krishna but our ever well-wisher, Srila Prabhupada?
Kapindra Swami is leading the way towards making Prabhupada's farm in Hawaii a reality and his purely Prabhupada guidance will keep Prabhupada's farm community adhere lovingly to Prabhupada, and Prabhupada only.
We are all so lucky to know and learn from such a great soul like Kapindra Swami, who is not settled until he knows that Prabhupada's mission is going on as it was when Prabhupada was here. Because Kapindra Swami knows that Prabhupada IS still here and always will be in his pure vibration.
If you are looking to become a fixed up devotee under the shelter of Prabhupada, Kapindra Swami will make sure to it. Just ask any devotee, from all parts of the world (read letters below), who has served with Kapindra Swami and they will tell you... you will feel Prabhupada's presence always with such a sincere youthful elder devotee and dedicated sannyasi.
Kapindra Swami's Prabhupada love energy will help lead you more and more towards awakening your natural love and service to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the incarnation of love, the guru of the universe!
(written by Premanandi Devi Dasi 2011)
Kapindra Swami/Maharaj serving out Prasadam to the devotees at a crowded Sunday Love Feast 2011
The following are
letters from devotees about their contact with Kapindra Swami.
More reasons why if you're looking for devotee association AND want to make sure you're sticking with Prabhupada's ORIGINAL Hare Krishna Movement, connecting with a devotee like Kapindra Swami is rare and vital for our spiritual growth.
And if you're looking to live on a farm/Hare Krishna center with devotees or near a community of devotees, you can be rest assured that Kapindra Swami will do his best to lead all towards PURE unadulterated Srila Prabhupada. You will feel safe knowing you are associating with devotees who truly understand that
Prabhupada is Guru of the Universe.
LETTER FROM CAITANYA DAS 3/12 (click "us" on menu to see photo)
Hare Krishna devotees and friends.
Please accept my obeisances.
ALL glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who so
kindly opened our eyes darkened by ignorance with the torchlight of knowledge.
My respects to all.
Please add to this list as you like and forward it, improve it, etc.
I was serving with His Holiness Kapindra Swami for about 8 years.
In that time I was observing and hearing him on a daily basis.
He followed the principles and kept to the spiritual teachings of Srila
He shows a comprehension and enthusiasm for Srila Prabhupada's teachings which
is advanced beyond what i observed among any other devotee and i've met many.
Some glimpses of what is impressive and innovative;
1. Tompkins Square Park. Distribution of prasadam and books at the holy dham.
The collection of hundreds of pieces of bark from the tree that Srila Prabhupada
chanted under, and the distribution of those barks to devotees.
2. Opening a Prabhupada centered asrama in the Lower East Side offering facility
for worship and living for devotees.
3. Offering Ritvik innitiations to devotees as per Srila Prabhupada's order.
4. Obtaining their most excellent Lordships Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga and Srila
Prabhupada Murti, as well as the more recently manifest Sri Sri Radha Krishna
5. Explaining the importance of taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada to devotees.
6. Explaining the meaning of being a Disciple of Srila Prabhupada:
a. reading only Srila Prabhupada's books (not books translated by others such
as Mahabarata, or Ramayan.)
b. following Srila Prabhupada's program with regard to morning program song
selection, kirtan melodies from Srila Prabhupada, and the prayers of Srila
c. studying the life of Srila Prabhupada and meditating on his activities and
personal history. (for the disciple the guru is Krishna.)
d. developing a devotee community with varnasrama and farm elements.
e. prasadam selection as Srila Prabhupada desired for sunday feast and also
f. study especially of the most used verses of Srila Prabhupada, memorize
them, quote them and live them, teach them.
g. hearing Srila Prabhupada lecture and discussing it.
h. the importance of hearing 24 hours. even at night sleeping, playing Srila
i. only original unadulterated books for distribution and in the temple.
j. only original artwork or art by undeviated sources.
k. proper etiquitte with regard to rank, such as elder or sanyassi being
given proper respect as prescribed (referring to sanyassi as Maharaja, paying
l. importance of meditation on Srila Prabhupada's lotus feet.
m. pronunciation of words especially sanskrit words as Srila Prabhupada
n. emphasizing always the salient point that Srila Prabhupada is the guru
thus naturally to try and do things like him. That does not mean falsely imitate
or pretend to be him. But he is the teacher and his way is best.
o. using remedies offered by Srila Prabhupada wherever possible such as
bananas and buttermilk or yogurt (pronounced Jogurt) for diarrhea.
p. eating even very old or fallen on the floor prasadam.
q. cleaning the toilet bowl in the asrama and serving devotees prasadam
even at advanced age and with swami status.
r. defending Srila Prabhupada's mission by exposing the bogus gurus and
s. properly educating young devotees in the science of Krishna
consciousness as taught in the early days.
t. meditating on Srila Prabhupada's handwriting.
u. maintaining book distribution, harinam, prasadam distribution,
festivals, and sunday feasts.
v. dressing according to the original standard as far as possible daily
brahmacari, sanyassis, and matajis including tilak in most situations.
w. preaching to devotees and others.
x. often chanting in the temple room before the deities in sequence 16
rounds clearly with Srila Prabhupada in the background.
y. chanting one round with Srila Prabhupada slowly.
z. daily video as far as possible usually while eating prasadam of Srila
Prabhupada and devotees.
Maharaj reading his homage to Srila Prabhupada
LETTER FROM JERAD MACK 3/12
Hare Krsna Prabhu, all glories to Srila Prabhupada,
What an amazing personality Maharaja is... you [Caitanya Das from letter above] did a really good job prabhu of recognizing and pointing out all of Maharaja's pure and selfless qualities. It makes me sad that I do not have his association anymore...that was the time when I was following Prabhuapada the best... because Maharaja was always there to whip me up into shape, and it was actually really fun, and sometimes funny because he is such a small man in stature but his purity is so strong that he is like a lion actually..and here I am a big bumbling idiot not knowing how to even wipe my own butt properly cowering at maharaja's power lol....
I will always cherish the association I had with the Prabhupada Sankirtan Society, yourself [Caitanya Dasa], your wife [Jayasri Gaurangi], Maharaja [Kapindra Swami], such an amazing experience that has brought me to Krsna Consciousness, I will always remember first meeting you and your wife in the parking lot in Salem Oregon also....I had my bow in my hand, and came up to you....it was pretty funny actually. thank you prabhu, without our meeting I would not be here and not have a nice wife...Krsna works in such mystical ways.... I sometimes wish you guys kept that farm in Sweethome though...that was such a nice feeling there...and i will always remember the prasadam you guys worked so hard in preparing when I would visit.
your eternal servant in eternal gratitude-
LETTER FROM BHAKTA CHRISTOPHER 3/12
MEETING KAPINDRA SWAMI -
I first met H.H. Kapindra Swami in the mid-1990s, approximately during the Summer of 1996 (if memory serves me correctly), when he had a small temple and a connected bookstore on the Lower Eastside, not far from Tompkins Square Park. At the time, my career as an artist had taken some difficult turns. I was facing a difficult time in my life, financially, and in many other ways. The stress of my situation seemed endless...
Then I happened upon Swami's small temple, which - by some minor-but-much-needed-miracle, was only a few short blocks from where I was then residing. Immediately after entering that spiritual oasis, I noticed that basically everything, down to the smallest details, reminded me EXACTLY of the 'old days' of the Krishna Conscious Movement. I had not only found a small temple, I found the RIGHT temple. Here was and is a devotee, Kapindra Swami, who had left the now corrupt ISKCON, but NEVER left the ORIGINAL Hare Krishna Movement.
[As a young man I had the good fortune to witness and experience (via the West 55th St., Manhattan, NY ISKCON temple, circa 1975/76) a small sample of the ORIGINAL Krishna Consciousness Movement, and had many fond memories of the highly charged spiritual energy of that time. I had some prior, brief association with devotees directly under Srila Prabhupada's supervision. Thus, I had at least a good idea/inkling/memory of how a Prabhupada directed temple SHOULD be run.]
Swami quickly proved to be an extremely astute observer of people's personalities and judge of their various levels of spiritual development. It was immediately obvious that Maharaj was fully knowledgeable, experienced, and qualified as both a full devotee, teacher, and Sannyasi monk. But more than that, in a world filled with wannabe (false) gurus and slick con jobs, Kapindra Swami's honest directness and brotherly way of communicating real Krishna Consciousness was and is the rare find.
From the alter, to the books, to Swami's own immaculately clean (purely glowing) saffron robes, to the spiritually charged atmosphere, to virtually ALL details - everything in the small temple Kapindra Swami lovingly set up reminded me of the ORIGINAL days of the Hare Krishna Movement. What should not have been there was absent. And everything that should be there was very much present.
Swami made all the KC literature fully available, as well as many other needed devotional materials and items for proper worship. He held back nothing. Knowledge and information that the visitor was keenly ready for or completely open to was freely given. The dialogue, discussions, and even debate were always centered on Prabhupada. The activities and teachings were always based on the teachings of Prabhupada. Prabhupada was and remains the central pivot on which all of Kapindra Swami's own teachings revolve. And that is in perfect keeping with or following of parampara, disciplic succession.
I quickly felt the reality and seriousness of Kapindra's Swami's mission. Maharaj's inviting, warm, friendly, and sincerely helpful demeanor, combined with the permeating spiritual energy that pervaded all activities there - drew me back to the small temple, time and time again. Indeed, it truly did become a spiritual oasis, a place in which one may return to actual reality, leaving - for a time - the insanity of the material world.
Classes, videos, and programs properly filled and rounded out the small temple's activities. And the delicious and perfectly pure prasadam, liberally served by Maharaj, was the ultimate 'piece-de-resistance.' It soon became apparent that, under Kapindra Swami's tutelage, many of us were learning a lot, and greatly strengthening our spiritual health and resolve.
FEEDING BODY AND SOUL -
One of the Temple's activities, which left a permanent, powerfully positive impression upon me, was the offering of food (first offered to Krishna) to the needy of the Tompkins Square Park area. On just a very few occasions I was able to assist in the creation of these true feasts, and witness their powerful effect on the people that enjoyed these physically and spiritually healthy meals.
Amazingly, Maharaj would always visit the local supermarkets and larger grocery stores scavenging for the so-called "refuse" - which they allowed him to collect. So many restaurants, supermarkets, and grocery stores in New York City (and all over the U.S.) throw out literally TONS of food. Naturally, some of it is garbage, but much is perfectly fine food. Due to a long list of regulations, such businesses are required to throw out a LOT of food, even though most of it is still useable. Maharaj knew/knows this and took great advantage of it.
In a short time, Kapindra Swami could collect a good deal of perfectly good food, clean it, prepare it, and create and serve astonishingly simple but great meals - all for hundreds of people. And he did this as a regular service, on an ongoing basis, for years and years. His food program became quite well known. Literally, Swami feed thousands and thousands of people. And all that time, the emphasis was always just on getting people, in need, fed.
If any preaching was done, it was done with perfect deference to each individual's personal convictions. Maharaj brought Krishna Consciousness, love-devotion-and surrender to God, to the masses in only the most gentle and easy manner. Never forcing, always encouraging, he always managed to inspire.
The skill and standards of Maharaja's food preparation were (and are) the absolute highest. Maharaj always followed Prabhupada's cooking regulations and standards to the letter. The results showed in the excellent, delicious, and pure food served - over and over again. I was honored and amazed, the few times I was able to assist. In both the kitchen and on the street corner, where the final results could be seen, it was a truly miraculous thing. Out of so few resources, Swami made so much. And so many people were so very appreciative.
Even most of the regular, working local residents appreciated immensely what Maharaj did. And to the 'down and out'; the drug addicts, alcoholics, and various street people - Kapindra Swami's regular service was literally a 'God-send.' Years later, when Maharaj was forced to move on, he was - and still is - sorely missed in Tompkins Square Park.
SAVING A STARVING SOUL -
Around that same time, during the mid-to-late 90s, as said, I personally went through a paricularly difficult period. At one point, while being employed, and living a meager/humble lifestyle; I STILL was having much difficulty making ends meet. After all, I was an artist living in New York City...
However, the stereotype of the "starving artist" became way too much, and way too quickly, just a truly harsh reality. I was beginning to starve in New York, and NO ONE; not friends, family, or anyone else - not anyone would help. No one would help except Kapindra Swami.
I guess it started to get pretty obvious, but whenever I entered the small temple, Maharaj made sure I didn't leave without having some delicious prasadam... But I was far from alone.
Kapindra Swami helped so many people. He fed our bodies, our minds, and our souls. And he made sure that we all knew that it all came down through parampara, disciplic succession - and especially, and naturally via His Divine Grace, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
That summer in the city, in the streets dirty and gritty, H.H. Kapindra Swami saved an artist from becoming another casualty of the classic artist stereotype. He saved THIS starving soul, and for that I am and shall ALWAYS be grateful.
TOTAL AWARENESS AND THE VARNASRAMA SOLUTION -
While things were not easy for many of us, material world pressures increasingly mounted their opposition against Maharaj's efforts, making his path increasingly difficult. Despite all this, and quickly advancing age, Kapindra Swami bravely carried on. Despite a series of minor and major setbacks, Maharaj always adhered closely to the intructions and regulations of his faith, and the teachings of his Guru, Srila Prabhupada.
By the mid-2000s, more than ever, and thanks to Prabhupada's teachings, Maharaj was keenly aware of the demonic plans for even more destruction of the material world. A large compendium of gathered articles and knowledge on this topic was gathered into (for lack of a better term) a 'Codex', of sorts, meant for those who would listen and act.
This rather thick compendium or codex was sent out to many PSS members. It detailed the dangers of nuclear, chemical, and biological threats; the pending disasters, and how to protect oneself - when possible. But further, it laid out the safest locations in the United States. This was to become one of the key points or one of the primary reasons for the only reasonable and real solution: Varnasrama.
As history repeatedly proves, via demoniac intents, life within the material world is nothing but precariousness, fragility, and horrid enslavement to the temporal. In such a world, even Krishna Consciousness and true parampara is at risk. As per Prabhupada's perfect insight and subsequent instructions, the only viable solution is varnasrama, the self-sufficient spiritual farm community.
Just as Srila Prabhupada pushed for varnasrama (independent of any worldly government), after establishing ISKCON and during his last years in this material world; so Kapindra Swami also has followed that same course. It was the course set by Srila Prabhupada. Maharaj clearly saw, and still sees the wisdom and simple practicality of varnasrama. Maharaja knows, just as Prabhupada clearly illustrated, that - in the hyper-destructive Kali Yuga (age) - there is really no other choice.
Varnasrama, which Maharaj has pursued for many years, IS the only viable solution in this current age.
THE SEARCH -
At precisely the same moment that Kapindra Swami actively began promoting Prabhupada's principles of varnasrama, Maharaj's search for the right land (in order for such varnasrama to become reality) began in earnest.
Literally crossing the country several times over, Maharaj went from NY to Oregon, from Oregon to Tenessee, from TN to Florida, and from Florida to finally Costa Rica, in Central America. All was in search of appropriate locations and land for a farm community based on the perfect principles of varasrama. In each case, material forces threw up obstacles and grave impediments. And, in every case, ever hopeful and ever youthful, Swami ventured on, with little known interruption and without complaint.
Meanwhile, practice went on as usual, and teachings continued - even via long distance communications. Those of us far away did our best to make contributions in ways that were possible (for us). I continued to try to assist with bolstering the online presence of the Prabhupada Sankirtan Society. But, it turns out, people present, in Maharaj's immediate physical sphere, had/have the best advantage in working with him personally. Krishna protects His devotees, wherever they may be. Many good souls have come forward to work for this important mission.
No matter what happened, hope was never damped down, because, more than anything, FAITH - within Kapindra Swami - was and is always there.
ISLANDS OF PURE FAITH -
I could call Hawaii, His Holiness' last and perhaps final landing place, a place of great HOPE. But that might be technically incorrect. For it is neither hope nor luck that ultimately brought Maharaj to Hawaii, in search of - at last - establishing varnasrama. Rather, it was PURE FAITH. And it is pure faith now that is surrendered, so that a true varnasrama farm community can be established in Hawaii.
Although the demons conspire, yet again, to destroy yet another seemingly Earthly paradise, it is MY own personal hope that THAT is and will NOT be the case. No matter what happens in Hawaii (good, bad, or ugly), Maharaj surely knows that there will always be opportunities and helpful people; all waiting for him, wherever he may be - all across this material world.
In the end, the journey has been as important as the destination, if not more so. I wish for His Holiness' total success, but know that whatever further challenges arise, for as long as he lives - Maharaj will endeavor to meet them in the most correct way.
It has been a long and hard road. His Holiness, Kapindra Swami Maharaj has weathered many hardships and obstacles along the way. Any and all respect and support given him is well deserved, and will not be wasted. His has been and IS the path of the TRUE DEVOTEE. He daily serves his Guru, and all other living entities that seek awareness, knowledge, and the bliss of pure devotion.
Faith can move mountains. Pure devotion can inspire many by faith. There can be no better pursuit for anyone to invest their time, energy, and material wealth in. Each effort and contribution, no matter how small, can make this urgent need a reality. Then the sincere wishes and work of our Guru, Srila Prabhupada will be fulfilled.
MAY THE LORD PROTECT HIS HOLINESS, KAPINDRA SWAMI, AND THIS MISSION.
MAY PRABHUPADA'S DREAM OF VARNASRAMA BE FULLY REALIZED BY SUCH PURE DEVOTEES AS HIS HOLINESS, KAPINDRA SWAMI MAHARAJA.
- Bhakta Christopher