What does “Prabhuji” mean? What is “Gauranga”? What is “Neophyte”? How to know if a person has surrendered to God?

Sunil, Jul 14 2011

Please accept my humble obeisances,

I am asking few questions below:

Frankly I do-not know the meaning of “Prabhuji” . Please tell.

I also do-not know the meaning of “Gauranga”. Please tell.

When one says neophyte devotee, then does the word refer to newly-initiated devotees or even to non initiated disciples or students of Krishna Consciousness?

How would a person know that he or she has surrendered to God?



I enjoy the atmosphere in this group:)

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Jul 14 2011

Dear Sunil Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much for your active participation in this group. If you like the atmosphere, the credit goes to you and each and every sincere member of this group, due to the collective consciousness of the members, this group is a nice place for all of us to grow together in Krishna consciousness.

Q>Frankly I do-not know the meaning of “Prabhuji”

A: “Prabhuji” – the “ji” is a suffix in India to indicate respect, especially in North India, for example, if someone’s name is Sunil, then, respectfully, one may be address that person like “Sunil ji” or “Sunilji”. It is similar to the “san” suffix attached by Japanese persons, it is of cultural origin. The work “Prabhu” means “Lord”. This means of address is meant to remind us that we are meant to have the mentality of being a “das” or a servant, not a “boss” or a master. It is also an acknowledgement, that each and every living entity is a part-and-parcel of Krishna, and therefore deserves to be addressed respectfully. Not that we are saying everyone is Krishna, but we are honoring everyone as a dear servant of Krishna. Sometimes, we see some very senior devotees address others as “Prabhu” or “Prabhuji”, that is a sign of their advancement and humility, that they consider the other person “lord”. I have personal experiences, sometimes, a great devotee like His Holiness Bhaktimarga Swami will address me, his junior in all respects, as “Prabhu”. My shiksha guru Rupanuga Das (disciple of His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja) addresses me as Prabhu, and when I offer him my obeisances, he gets on the ground and returns my obeisances, although, he is senior to me in all respects. Now one can see the effect of such senior devotees’ example, I feel humbled by their humility, and my false ego’s desire to enjoy respect offered by others can thus be overcome by following them.

Does this answer your question, Sunil Prabhuji 🙂

Q>I also do-not know the meaning of “Gauranga”

A: “Gauranga”, that is a most auspicious sound vibration. If all the persons of the whole world chant this sound vibration even once, then no more there will be Kali Yuga. Gauranga is a name of God, in His most munificent, magnanimous incarnation, as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Gauranga is also known as Gaura Hari, or Sachi Suta or Sachinandana, or many many of His wonderful names filled with nectar. We know that the name of the Lord is non-different from HIm, the Lord is absolute. So whenever we chant Gauranga, we associate directly with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, in His transcendental mood of a devotee, and we feel great great bliss. So, try it out, say out aloud “Gauranga”! And see how persons become miraculously happy when that chant Gauranga.  Please chant Gauranga now, then, all the time, chant Gauranga here, there everywhere.

Q>When one says neophyte devotee, then does the word refer to newly-initiated devotees or even to non initiated disciples or students of Krishna Consciousness?

A: Neophyte devotee has nothing to do with one’s external status like initiated or not, it has to do with one’s internal status… how much one has realized, and how much one is practicing, and what is one’s internal consciousness. Even a disciple for 50 years or more, even of a Guru as great as His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, could very well be a neophyte. And a person who is not even initiated could be an advanced devotee, this is not external at all. We should not in any case, treat anyone disrespectfully, even if they are apparently “new”. We don’t know what every soul’s previous journey has been, Krishna knows, and someone who joins the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, say, 20 years after us may actually be a great spiritual master resuming their service to Krishna, and someone who has been in the movement for 50 years may very well be a beginner in devotional service. One who has passed out of the neophyte stage, follows the orders of the spiritual master sincerely, never deviates from the regulative principles, even when no one is looking, is always burning with the desire to serve the orders of the spiritual master, is very humble, always eager to learn of Krishna, hear of Krishna, speak of Krishna, think of Krishna, not desiring anything for oneself except more and more service, is hankering for the association of the devotees every moment, is very very greedy for more and more and more devotional service, and is totally and completely dependent on Krishna in all situations, always chanting His names or engaged in one of the 9 processes of devotional service, is a friend to all, very dear to Krishna, never in material consciousness, is fully engaged in delivering Krishna’s message to one and all, and such a devotee is very rare.

Q: How would a person know that he or she has surrendered to God?

A: A person who has taken the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master in an authorized disciplic succession, and who takes the instructions of one’s spiritual master as one’s very life and soul, and is always engaged in the sincere, persistent, and honest attempt to fulfill the orders of the spiritual master, such a person is surrendered to God.

Please let me know if this answers your questions Prabhu.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Sunil, Jul 14 2011

Respected Mahabhagavat Das

Please accept my humble obeisances

You answered all the questions very nicely



Author: Mahabhagavat Das SDA

I am a formally initiated disciple of His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari. My spiritual master was initiated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1971. He is the author of the famous Ultimate Self Realization Course. Check it out at www.joincourse.com.

4 thoughts on “What does “Prabhuji” mean? What is “Gauranga”? What is “Neophyte”? How to know if a person has surrendered to God?”

  1. What is the reason we shouldn’t drink tea or coffee? Why shouldn’t we eat the roots of plants such as potatoes and carrots? Do we need to eat and drink in Krishna’s heaven?


    1. Potatoes and carrots – there is no restriction. Some people have specific health needs, and they follow a certain to suit their health. I don’t eat potatoes, for example for health reasons, but no problem with carrots for me…


    2. Because there is no material suffering in the spiritual realm known as Vaikuntha, everyone has a spiritual body, there is no “need” to eat and drink… eating and drinking is simply to create opportunities for service to Krishna. There is no killing, no pain, and everyone is simply striving to serve to please Krishna. This is a long topic, but I will write about this some day soon. Hare Krishna.


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