Acharya Abhiman: An Email Exchange With Sripad Avadhut Maharaja

bkgvyasa

Dear Sripada Avadhuta Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

I am responding to both your recent emails to me.

I do not understand why are you trying to associate yourself with such a fallen people like myself?

Maharaja, I think you must have misunderstood why I sent you a copy of the email I sent to Sripada’s Janardana Maharaja and Ashrama Maharaja. It was not to get your association. I had no expectation that you would respond to it. I sent a copy to you simply as a courtesy, since you are one of the six acharyas appointed by Srila Govinda Maharaja.

If you look at the header of the email I sent to you, you’ll see that I also sent a copy to each of the other acharyas selected by Srila Govinda Maharaja:

To: Bimal Avadhut, Bhakti, Bhakti Vijay Trivikrama, BN Acharya

You may also recall that it was your International Acharya Board (IAB) that decided, as stated in your “Censure of Sripad BK Giri Maharaj”, that all the devotees of SCSM should cease all communications with me:

We advise all faithful followers of Srila Govinda Maharaj to avoid his association, personally, or through email and the internet.

As a result, I was surprised to receive your email (Date: December 19, 2013), attached below, on behalf of yourself and “Russian devotees”, signaling the end to the communication ban your IAB had imposed.

It had never been my intention to cut off communications with anyone, in fact, just the opposite was true. I tried many times to discuss various important matters concerning the acharyas Srila Govinda Maharaja named in his Will. In almost every instance, the members of the IAB did not respond. When they did respond, they wanted to keep the communications secret. I did not like this policy of secrecy, as these were matters of concern to all those affected by Srila Govinda Maharaja’s disappearance.

Maharaja, now that you have sought to open a dialogue with me again, we have another opportunity to engage in an open discussion with the devotees of SCSM.

As you know, I am coming to Ukraine and Russia to visit my friends and their families. I will be there from the last week of January until the end of February.

I will be happy to arrange a meeting during that time where you can join with me to sit together with the assembled devotees of Ukraine and Russia and discuss Srila Govinda Maharaja’s Last Will and Testament, as it relates to the acharyas he named therein, as well as their duties and responsibilities.

It looks like you are warning everyody about Goswami Maharaj’s and myself’s deviation,

Unfortunately, it has been necessary to warn devotees about the dangers of following those who disobey the orders of the spiritual master. The warning does not come from me, however. I am simply conveying the opinion on this matter, given by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami:

keha ta’ acarya ajnaya, keha ta’ svatantra
sva-mata kalpana kare daiva-paratantra

“Some of the disciples strictly accepted the orders of the acarya, and others deviated, independently concocting their own opinions under the spell of daivi-maya.”

PURPORT
This verse describes the beginning of a schism. When disciples do not stick to the principle of accepting the order of their spiritual master, immediately there are two opinions. Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is useless. One cannot infiltrate materially concocted ideas into spiritual advancement. That is deviation. There is no scope for adjusting spiritual advancement to material ideas. — CC Adi 12.9

acaryera mata yei, sei mata sara
tanra ajna langhi’ cale, sei ta’ asara

The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless.

PURPORT
Here is the opinion of Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. Persons who strictly follow the orders of the spiritual master are useful in executing the will of the Supreme, whereas persons who deviate from the strict order of the spiritual master are useless. — CC Adi 12.10

but why would you like to become yourself a part of devious organization?

I do not. I want no part of such a thing.

Almost three years ago I stated my position publicly on this matter. I sent you (along with all the other acharyas) a copy of the article before posting it, inviting your review and comments.

On Feb 3, 2011, at 4:40 PM, Gokulananda das wrote:

Please accept my dandavat pranams at your lotus feet:

Srila Giri Maharaja has asked me to forward his most recent article, “Acharya Sabha Simplified” to each of you for your review and comments. Comments can be sent to Srila Giri Maharaja at the [email protected] email address.

This article has also been posted to our website.

Hare Krishna,

Gokulananda das
New York, USA

Like the others, you did not respond. Maybe you did not read it. You can read it now if you like. You’ll find it here: “Acharya Sabha, Simplified

The relevant section is:

Until Gurudeva’s direction is respected, I will not participate in events or places under the control of those who choose to substitute their own will for the Will of Srila Govinda Maharaja. To do so would set a bad example for others in our Mission. My conscience will not allow that.

I think you’ll find I’m a man of my word. Since the time the article was published, I have strictly observed my promise. I am observing it still.

Why do you want to associate yourself with something which is devious and imperfect? I can explain why. Answer is, in Srila Sridhara Maharaj’s words, “Acharya abhiman”, which is, according to Srila Sridhara Maharaj himself, is no more than just a madness. If you have any other reasons, please let me know, I will hear them carefully.

Maharaja, what can I say? You are very kind to credit this humble soul with being possessed of a quality which I value so highly in our exalted Guru Varga, which is very rarely achieved, but which I certainly do aspire to. Perhaps with the blessings of the devotees of Srila Govinda Maharaja I will one day attain the acharya-abhimana you have already attributed to me.

“Acarya-abhimana, the assertion of the Guru over his disciple, is a different posture. That is assertion, but only for the service of the Vaisnava; the sincerity is maintained therein. The Guru’s assertion is not selfish assertion. His assertion is only for the sake of saving the public and upholding the prestige of the Vaisnava. So that is proper adjustment with reality, in twofold senses: to establish the real position of a Vaisnava, and at the same time to save the ordinary persons from the danger and the reaction of false attempt or false thought. So that kind of assertion is not egoistic. Rather, we should know that as sacrifice in the dynamic sense.” — Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion, Vol. I

I just quoted one reference Srila Sridhara Maharaja makes to the quality of acharya-abhimana. I would like to know the reference you referred to:

in Srila Sridhara Maharaj’s words, “Acharya abhiman”, which is, according to Srila Sridhara Maharaj himself, is no more than just a madness.

I do not recall coming across this statement of Srila Sridhara Maharaja, where he says “Acharya-abhiman” . . . is no more than just a madness.”

How can it be “just a madness”, when it can never be that? It is a madness of a most extraordinary kind, that which can only come from one who is an “acharya”, the representation of Sri Krishna.

“Just a madness” has a negative connotation as in “It is only madness (and nothing more). Somehow your usage makes acharya-abhimana sound like something mundane, even grotesque; which is the very opposite of the way Srila Sridhara Maharaja used it in the passage I quoted above.

In any event, I’m sure in my case, you meant acharya-abhimana to mean just what Srila Sridhara Maharaja said, “His [the acharya’s] assertion is only for the sake of saving the public and upholding the prestige of the Vaisnava.”

So, Maharaja, you have asked and answered your own question.

Your Question: “Why do you want to associate yourself with something which is devious and imperfect?

The Answer: “in Srila Sridhara Maharaj’s words, ‘Acharya abhiman'”, “only for the sake of saving the public and upholding the prestige of the Vaisnava.”

In that sense, the meaning would be, that I was not seeking your association, but asserting myself with you “only for the sake of saving the public and upholding the prestige of the Vaisnava.”

If you have any other reasons, please let me know, I will hear them carefully.

No, Maharaja, I have no other reasons.

I pray this finds you well in all respects.

Swami B.K. Giri

 

BBA

From: Avadhut Swami
Date: December 30, 2013 4:09 PM EST
To: Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Global

Dear Giri Maharaj,
please accept my dandavat pranam at your feet.

I’m in eternal debt to you and I’m junior ti you both by age and by spiritual experience. But I do not understand why are you trying to associate yourself with such a fallen people like myself?

Please forgive my bad English, but I don’t really understand what you mean. It looks like you are warning everyody about Goswami Maharaj’s and myself’s deviation, but why would you like to become yourself a part of devious organization? If your intentions are pure, how can Goswami Maharaj stop your preaching in New Jersey or Amercia? Or in a global Chaitanya Saraswat Math which you started to promote your great ideas? You may accuse him of strange behaviour but you cannot accuse him of disability to preach spiritual concepts. You can accuse him of bad language but as he is trying to chastise Acharya Maharaj, you are trying to chastise him as well, so what is your point?

Why do you want to associate yourself with something which is devious and imperfect? I can explain why. Answer is, in Srila Sridhara Maharaj’s words, “Acharya abhiman”, which is, according to Srila Sridhara Maharaj himself, is no more than just a madness. If you have any other reasons, please let me know, I will hear them carefully.

Please don’t take this letter as an offense, but rather as a friendly advice, because if someone is sincere, according to our Guru Varga, nothing will stop his glorious service. And if we are not sincere, we will have to face difficulties.

I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirit.

Happy New year.

Dandavats to Lila Sundari and your divine associates and friends.

Your servant,
Swami B. B. Avadhut

 

From: Avadhut Swami
Subject: Srila Gurudev’s Vyasa Puja
Date: December 19, 2013 8:48:13 AM EST
To: Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Global

Dear Sripad Giri Maharaj,

please accept my dandavat pranam.

Today we celebrate the Divine appearance day of Srila Gurudev and remember His pastimes. We observe pictures and videos of Srila Gurudev and notice that Vaishnava Maharaj, Siddhanti Maharaj, Bhuvan Mohan Prabhu and so many other devotees are no longer with us. We remember that you have pleased Srila Gurudev when He manifested His pastimes in this world and we hope that you continue your devotional service with your followers and friends.

Humbly,

Swami B. B. Avadhut and Russian devotees

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