BSG and “Swami” | “co-disciples”

BKG St. Pete

…But I think when he began the ruthless oppression against us, we’re innocent people, and he began to oppress us in a ruthless way, and Prabhupada withdrew from him. And when he withdrew, then what to [is] left? He had no other alternative but to go against Prabhupada. He became some sahajiya, his previous family culture, sahajiyaism. He came from sahajiya family, and because his offensive, repression towards us who are innocent followers of Prabhupada, he had, Prabhupada withdraw from him. That is my finding.

I had thought that he was really qualified. Prabhupada also told many times that: “In which way I shall go, one man can say, that is Vasudeva.” When he was speaking Hari-katha, Vasudeva Prabhu used to supply Shloka that will be necessary in the next moment. Which way to go with that thought. He could supply the shloka. Afterwards I also could do, but in the beginning I, we saw that he used to supply the shloka, appropriate quotation from the scripture, and put before Prabhupada, and he was taking them and explaining and going further, we saw. Prabhupada told: “Which way I shall go, one man can say that.” That was remarked.

And also during his departure he told: “The Vasudeva may help professor and Sundarananda to preach what is rupanuga Vaishnavism.” The last word it is mentioned, “The Vasudeva to help Sundarananda and professor Rao [Sanyal]? to preach the real thing of Rupanuga.”

So rupanuga, what is rupanuga-bhajan, he had some idea, Vasudeva Prabhu. But anyhow my finding is this, that Prabhupada could not tolerate his oppressive nature towards us. We were innocent party, the second party. We had no greed for the property, as Kunja Babu had. But we had no greed for it, out of principle, for principle of the Math. But we were ruthlessly repressed, and for that Prabhupada withdrew from him, and he had no other alternative but to preach, go against him.—SSM, 83.07.25.D

Some time ago I published a highly contentious article titled “The Road to Deviation, Deception & Deceit“. Surprisingly, the principle contender protesting my point of view did not come from the devotees intent on following Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s successor, Srila Govinda Maharaja. He (Sriman Brahma dasa) came instead from the group following the one BSG referred to as “Swami” (Sripada Tripurari Swami), when BSG was firing away at him with his non-lethal ray gun due to his associations with a sahajiya. Apparently BSG felt it was neither aggressive, passive aggressive nor negative to attack this guru of another mission; as long as it was done at a distance and the killing (vaporization) was only metaphorical, not literal. Or maybe the beauty of vaporization, like other beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder and, in this case, can be appreciated by BSG due to his special empowerment, while the rest of us lesser mortals can only pray to one day attain the blessings of the Great One in the hope that he may empower us, as he was empowered.

Now BSG has taken positions I find to be remarkably similar to those of “Swami”, in relation to Srila Govinda Maharaja. Like BSG, “Swami” considers himself to be a “co-disciple” of Srila Govinda Maharaja, even though “Swami” has received no initiations from Srila Sridhara Maharaja.

As for myself, always striving to present such topics in a “fair and balanced” way, Sripada BSG is technically accurate in presenting himself as a co-disciple of Srila Govinda Maharaja insofar as both of them received sannyasa diksha from His Divine Grace Srila Sridhara Maharaja. From my perspective, that is the furthest extent to which the comparison is a reasonable one. All comparisons following this, serve principally to move Sripada BSG downward from the plane upon which Srila Govinda Maharaja is situated. That is my perspective as a “co-disciple” of BSG.

While we should not dismiss entirely the point Sripadji is making, it is a distinction that bears more weight as form, than substance. In this matter, I suggest BSG consider his own advice, “Read Sri Guru and His Grace.” Not because it is necessary to understand Srila Govinda Maharaja’s Last Will and Testament, but because it is necessary to understand matters concerning gurus and disciples and the non-difference between the siksha and diksha gurus and the proper weight to be given to our siksha-guru parampara.

On 12/19/13 (coinciding with Srila Govinda Maharaja’s appearance day) Sripada BSG made a video that seemed to be intended to convince us, and particularly the diksha disciples of Srila Govinda Maharaja, that he should be regarded by all of us as being on a higher level, our “guru-varga“.

When I include myself in Srila Govinda Maharaja’s sishya-varga, I think the reasons should be clear, we are following the line of siksha-guru parampara. Following that parampara, after the disappearance of Srila Sridhara Maharaja, I accepted Srila Govinda Maharaja as next in the line of my guru parampara; Srila Saraswati Thakura, Prabhupada Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, Srila Sridhara Maharaja and then Srila Govinda Maharaja. This is my siksha-guru parampara.

Apparently BSG, like “Swami”, is following a different siksha-guru parampara, one that does not include Srila Govinda Maharaja.

To drive home the point of his superior position to us, BSG said; “Yeah, because I’m directly empowered by Bhakti Rakhaka Sridhara Deva Goswami to initiate.”, “I’m not in the same situation as you or others. We are co-disciples, Srila Gurudeva and [me] — we are co-disciples of Om Vishnupada Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhara Deva Goswami. There’s guru varga and sishya varga.”

Now, lest I be accused by BSG of breaking rank with my fellow sishya-varga, I must modestly confess that I also am not like you, the lower sishya-varga. You see, some time ago I received a license to limited empowerment by the Great One who wrote this to me (the text has not been modified from the original):

giri mj — you are kindly, most affectionately keeping me honest (if that’s possible) trivikram mj and i were praising u like anything at lunch prasad the other day

one could think, “giri mj is a little argumentative” and be that as it may t mj and i both agreed,  you an acute listener and observer and very often reveal (to he and i) the gaps (when speaking fragmentally) the flaws in our theory or proposal and natural questions that arise if one is following the implications of what is being said (and much much more)

. . . you know i want my arguments to be unassailable — i asked jayadvaita mj to preview the “17 page paper” to assess its flaws, his response, “it is philosophically unimpeachable.” and giri mj i simply take it that u are (and at a modest fee, i might add) [m]y ontological spotter — and i am really thankful for that — i might get a little annoyed at the time — but u make me think “t mj’s words and i agree) and in the that reflection i hone my reasoning and my presentation becomes more structured, gaps are filled, sequence is better structured and my argument becomes more tenable.

so giri mj u r helping me in the the most valuable way and if i get credit for bogtv u get credit for people more readily acepting my arguments because of the improved order and structure achieved by factoring in ur reasonable considerations.

My eternal dandabats to ur Holiness as always,

Goswami

Date: March 18, 2009

So, you see, my co-disciples, “I’m not in the same situation as you or others.” I have been empowered to help keep the Great One “honest”. I do this “kindly” and “most affectionately”, as I hope will be clear to everyone.

Next, having received this special empowerment, I suppose you lower sishya-varga people will begin accusing me of doing something similar to what the CIA has been accused of, creating Osama bin Laden, a monster.

Should I be accused of creating a monster simply because I helped BSG in the way he described thusly “in the that reflection i hone my reasoning and my presentation becomes more structured, gaps are filled, sequence is better structured and my argument becomes more tenable”?

Is Sri Krishna to be blamed for creating a class of men, the ksatriyas who, after they became corrupt, had to be annihilated twenty-one times by Sri Parasurama? Should Dronacharya be blamed for training the Kurus, who would later use their mastery of weapons to attack the Pandavas? I suppose it depends on how your eyes are accustomed to see beauty.

For those who can see beauty in more or less the same way I do, I think you will appreciate that I am still trying to do my para-upakara work, trying to do good for others.

Unfortunately, BSG no longer accepts me as his “ontological spotter”. Therefore, I think it would be unfair to blame me for the deviations he has taken in his preaching and behavior since Srila Govinda Maharaja’s disappearance. I’ve tried my best to help him so that his “argument becomes more tenable”, but he resists all my efforts. As a result, his arguments are often untenable, illogical and unreasonable.

I can now only sound the alarm to others (as I’ve been doing for the last three years), that he has spun out of control and hope, hearing the alarm, you immediately run for cover, taking shelter of Srila Govinda Maharaja and our Sri (Siksha) Guru Varga.

Srila Sridhar Maharaja “Accepting the Inevitable from the Absolute Plane” (also 82.02.27.A)

“from relative plane, we may not appreciate that, but from the absolute standpoint we find, that everything happens by the will of Krishna, Mahaprabhu, and necessarily of Gurudeva. And that is all good.”In different ways, in different stages, and that reacted. What he told, the reaction, the reverberation, has come in different ways. [sanskrt verse] If we can accommodate the dissolution of yadhu vamsa, the war of Kurukshetra, if we find that that is not lacking in spiritual, from the Absolute standpoint, then this dismemberment also, is to be appreciated, appreciated.

“While complaining, but we are to, still we are to accept the inevitable, inevitable. And through this process the inevitable will appear.

“Now we are sitting to find dissatisfaction in the existing administration [of ISKCON]. It is a process. And through this process, perhaps something will come out. We can’t avoid this, this is a necessary process. So, after Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura, that was also so.  Through our complaint, our dissatisfaction, so many things came, and it was propagated and preached, in particular way. And that is the final reading of things.

“That in the ultimate, ultimate decision is in His hand. And what is happening, that is all right, that is all all right. Still, according to our own realization we shall strain, don’t do this, but when done, that may be accepted, by the will of Krishna.

“It is a peculiar, thesis, antithesis, synthesis. “It is undesirable, don’t do it.” But, when it is done, it should be accepted, His will. We must, I am to adjust with that. In this way we are to take things.”

If BSG had his way, you would not have access to the above quotation of Srila Sridhara Maharaja which, so nicely explains our current situation and the proper way of viewing it. He did not want the disciples of Srila Govinda Maharaja to have access to these materials.

Although BSG tells us “Gurudeva would never cross Guru Maharaja”, BSG feels no apprehension in crossing Srila Govinda Maharaja. Thus, even when Srila Gurudeva made it crystal clear that he approved of his disciples hearing the recordings of His Divine Master, Srila Sridhara Maharaja, BSG thought better of the idea and restricted access to the recordings he held. As a co-disciple of Srila Govinda Maharaja, he felt justified in overriding Srila Gurudeva’s decision on the matter.

After all, who knows better than BSG, what will be good for the disciples of Srila Govinda Maharaja?

And, who should really control access to the recordings of Srila Sridhara Maharaja, BSG or Srila Govinda Maharaja? Obviously, BSG thought he was the one who should control access to them. So, while he could sell the recordings to “Swami”, or those he was working with, he had to make sure they would not fall into the wrong hands of Srila Govinda Maharaja’s disciples, who couldn’t be trusted with understanding them properly, them being in the sishya-varga and all. Only the guru-varga, co-disciples like BSG & “Swami”, should be granted access to the storehouse of nectar of Srila Sridhara Maharaja.

Because Srila Govinda Maharaja wanted all these recordings available to his disciples, we had to “cross” BSG in order to publish them as an archive of Srila Sridhara Maharaja.

True to form, BSG’s disciple Sripada Madhusudana Maharaja has restricted access, not only to all the recordings of Srila Sridhara Maharaja, but also those of Srila Govinda Maharaja. And, again, we had to do another “crossing” to make as many of these recordings available as possible in our archive of Srila Govinda Maharaja.

When Srila Govinda Maharaja named six acharyas to succeed him, again BSG felt justified to cross him and urge us to accept only one worldwide acharya:

Srila Goswami Maharaj was the first man who supported unconditionally Srila Acharya Maharaj and presented him as a worldwide leader to the Acharya Board . . .. And even fought about this matter with Giri Maharaj at the very first meeting of the Acharya Board. — Swami B.B. Avadhuta, 12/8/13

According to BSG, spiritual instruction can only be understood after receiving his explanation. Srila Gurudeva’s Will, for example cannot be understood by “the rest of us”:

Don’t come to me with your insane, ridiculous interpretations of Gurudeva’s Will. It would be laughable, if it wasn’t pathetic. — BSG, 12/19/13

Apparently any reading of Gurudeva’s Will that does not conclude BSG was named as the seventh acharya and a member of the Acharya Sabha (to be formed after Gurudeva’s disappearance) is “insane” and “ridiculous” and  “would be laughable, if it wasn’t pathetic.”

You see we have to believe that BSG, who is credited with writing Gurudeva’s Will, wrote it in such a way that only he can understand it. For example, he tells us; “read Sri Guru and His Grace, then you’ll understand what the Will is telling you.” We can’t just read the Will, “As It Is”. No. If we want it to speak to us, we must first follow some special instruction from BSG which requires us to first read Sri Guru and His Grace.

I wonder what book BSG would have wanted Srila Govinda Maharaja to read before he would accept Gurudeva’s understanding of Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s Will?

Apparently reading Sri Guru and His Grace will cause us to see something that isn’t in the Will itself, a seventh acharya, who happens to be none-other than BSG.

As I suspect is true of most of you reading this, I’ve read Sri Guru and His Grace, many times. I’ve read it after Srila Gurudeva’s disappearance. I’ve instructed my disciples to read it before taking initiation. I advise everyone to read it before taking initiation. I’ve read it before reading Gurudeva’s Will. Virtually everyone with whom I’ve discussed Srila Gurudeva’s Last Will and Testament have read Sri Guru and His Grace, yet not a single person has every told me that after reading Sri Guru and His Grace they found a seventh acharya mentioned in Srila Gurudeva’s Will or, according to BSG’s earlier reading of the Will, that Gurudeva decided it would be best for the Mission to have only one worldwide acharya.

Because only BSG can “draw out” this new meaning, it must mean he believes the Will can only be understood by having him explain it to us.

I previously challenged him on this point asking him, in essence, “Is the Will valid or invalid?”.

“So tell me Maharaja, is it Gurudeva’s Will, expressing his directions and desires, or is the Will your personal “inspiration from the upper world” inserted therein to cause us to be dependent upon you alone to understand it? If the Will is invalid, deficient, or cannot be relied upon for whatever reasons, please tell me what they are.”

Maharaja I am really tired of fighting so many ghosts. Gurudeva said this to me, Gurudeva said that to someone else, this devotee “feels” this because he has faith, but Giri Maharaja has little faith therefore his feelings don’t count, and on and on with endless speculations and suppositions not supported by the language of the Will but by fond remembrances, warm feelings and conjectures about what Gurudeva “really wants, intended, meant, etc..” Interestingly Srila Gurudeva “told me” of an incident, the moral of which, goes something like this. “If someone comes to me and says ‘Mahaprabhu appeared to me in a dream and said you should give me a thousand Rupees.’, I will say, ‘If Mahaprabhu wants me to give you a thousand Rupees, he would tell me, not you.’”

You may remember when I expressed my appreciation to Srila Gurudeva for his choice of Srila Acharya Maharaja, what “Gurudeva told me” was “There was no other choice, he knows all the sources.” You explained the meaning to be, “He knows the important people related to the various Indian Maths.” “Gurudeva told me” other things far more demeaning regarding Acharya Maharaja. I do not relish mentioning such things as I don’t see them serving the function of promoting faith. You were there, you know what was said, so I can remind you that this is the other side of what you will get if you push us to disregard the clear statements of the Will in favor of tidbits of information that support one thing or another. To avoid that I am giving great stress to following the Will as it was written.

Now, you say you wrote the Will. But I cannot, or should not, accept or rely upon what is written there.

So tell me Maharaja, is it Gurudeva’s Will, expressing his directions and desires, or is the Will your personal “inspiration from the upper world” inserted therein to cause us to be dependent upon you alone to understand it?

If the Will is invalid, deficient, or cannot be relied upon for whatever reasons, please tell me what they are.

When you answer the above issues, please include your permission to publish them. I believe the devotees of our mission are entitled to know.

email to BSG, Date: January 28, 2011
What BSG really wants is, that we not understand Gurudeva’s Will. He wants us to accept it as both valid and invalid, simultaneously. Which parts are valid, and which invalid, depend upon the broad fluctuations in his thinking. I mentioned this to some friends in an email, Date: July 24, 2011:

What is central to both you and they [IAB], is your mutual disregard for Sri Guru.

People of like minds tend to want to associate with others of similar thinking. It is very natural.

My arguments are really intended for those who accept Srila Govinda Maharaja as their guru or at least “a” guru. I am trying to speak to those disciples and followers of his who I feel are being misled by those who have deviated from the Divine instruction he left us in the form of his Will.

You and these other gentlemen seem to be of the opinion that I am the one who is deviating because I insist his Will be accepted.

But then no, sometime they quote the Will to prove a point, then at other times they say the Will is only a piece of paper.

Whenever I ask the question, “Is the Will valid or invalid?” the answer is always the same, “Both.”

I consider this to be the world of illusion, you consider it the world of reality. In your world of reality the guru’s words mean “Yes” and “No” simultaneously. That means His words have no meaning.

I am trying to leave this world of speculation. The world of speculation is forbidden to me by my gurus.

When my guru asks me the question “Can you follow my direction and not your mind?” I must answer “Yes, I will follow your direction.” Otherwise I will remain lost in the world of illusion.

“One instruction Srila Guru Maharaj used to always give me when I first came to him was: “What I shall instruct, you will follow, and what your mind will say, you don’t follow.” But I thought; “My mind is not always giving me bad advice, sometimes it is giving good suggestions to me.” But Srila Guru Maharaj told me not to follow even what I thought was the good advice of my mind.”—Divine Guidance

What Srila Gurudeva said in this paragraph, I am trying to follow. You are free to follow whatever you like.
If we understand Gurudeva’s Will, as it is written, you will know there are no clauses therein instructing the executor of the Will (or the probate court) as follows:

The executor must read and understand Sri Guru and His Grace before attempting to understand this, my Last Will and Testament. After reading Sri Guru and His Grace the executor’s understanding will be accepted, but only if it comports with that of Sripada Bhakti Sudhira Goswami, as he is the only one who can properly understand both the book Sri Guru and His Grace and this, my Last Will and Testament.

The court having jurisdiction over this Will must similarly rely upon the above clause, otherwise their decision must be dismissed as their “insane, ridiculous interpretations of Gurudeva’s Will.” Which, “would be laughable, if it wasn’t pathetic.”

Furthermore, “Don’t be spin off in your own world, with your own crazy interpretations about what a Will means, who an acharya is, who can initiate, who can’t initiate.”

Now, let us quickly compare some further similarities between the conceptions propounded by both BSG & “Swami”; contrasting them with some statements of Srila Sridhara Maharaja:

BSG | Three years before Gurudeva started initiating, Guru Maharaja empowered me to initiate. [He had empowered many others as well. But they were all to initiate in the line of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami, and that was to be done outside SCSM.*]

Dr. Asthana: Some devotees may consider, “That power {of ritvik} was given to me in 1982 or ’84, and he [Srila Govinda Maharaja] got that power in ’86 so I am more senior.”

Srila Guru Maharaj: No position of seniority. No position of senior. That only seniority will be considered as the qualification—no.

BSG | I’m not in the same situation as you or others. We are co-disciples, Srila Gurudeva and — we are co-disciples of Om Vishnupada Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhara Deva Goswami. There’s guru-varga and sishya-varga.

Srila Guru Maharaj: Govinda Maharaj has told some of them, “No, you are a disciple of Guru Maharaj, and I am your Godbrother.”

Dr. Asthana: He can leave that instruction and give new instruction. Or we can call the devotees here and ask you to tell them.

Srila Guru Maharaj: You may classify them into two {my disciples and Govinda Maharaj’s disciples}. There are my disciples also, and if what they do Govinda Maharaj does not accept, then they will be rejected. [Anyone who “crosses” Srila Govinda Maharaja, will be rejected by Srila Sridhara Maharaja.]

BSG | Read Sri Guru and His Grace. Understand what Guru Maharaja’s opinions about these things are.

Srila Guru Maharaja: “There are my disciples also, and if what they do Govinda Maharaj does not accept, then they will be rejected.” [Even the direct disciples of Srila Sridhara Maharaja are dependent upon Srila Govinda Maharaja as his via media. Srila Govinda Maharaja is the direct path to Srila Sridhara Maharaja, not the reading of Sri Guru and His Grace.]

BSG | Understand what Guru Maharaja said, he’s the founder acharya of this Math.

Srila Guru Maharaja: “There are my disciples also, and if what they do Govinda Maharaj does not accept, then they will be rejected.” [It is more important for us to understand what Srila Govinda Maharaja said, directs and accepts, than what we think we know about what Srila Sridhara Maharaja said. Srila Sridhara Maharaja placed us all under the direction of Srila Govinda Maharaja. “In Guru Maharaja’s opinion, no one could take the rudder of the Math but Govinda Maharaja.” — BSG. Srila Govinda Maharaja then created six more captains, each of which was to “take the rudder of the Math(s)” under their jurisdiction.]

The last similarity I will mention between BSG & “Swami” is that both of them believe the direct instructions of our gurus, whether those of Srila Sridhara Maharaja or Srila Govinda Maharaja, cannot be understood by a direct reading of them. They can only be understood through interpretation, their interpretation.

ara ye ye-kichu kahe, sakala-i kalpana
svatah-pramana veda-vakye kalpena laksana

“If one tries to explain the Vedic literature in a different way, he is indulging in imagination. Any interpretation of the self-evident Vedic version is simply imaginary.

acarya-kalpita artha ye pandita sune
mukhe ‘haya’ ‘haya’ kare, hrdaya na mane

“All the interpretations of Sankaracarya are imaginary. Such imaginary interpretations are verbally accepted by learned scholars, but they do not appeal to the heart.

ei ta’ kalpita artha mane nahi bhaya
sastra chadi’ kukalpana pasande bujhaya
Sripada Sankaracarya has given his interpretation and imaginary meaning. It does not actually appeal to the mind of any sane man. He has done this to convince the atheists and bring them under his control.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
____________* “To meet as a body, and to go on in the line of Swami Maharaj, as you can think, within you best – not to be silent or inactive. As much as we know, as much as we have got from him, with so small capital we shall go on, whatever, but sincerity in, of heart, sincerity of heart that is the real capital. If it is found anywhere…

 

“The conscience that took me to that Great Messiah, Swami Maharaj, I cannot neglect that inner voice of mine; that guide. I shall do accordingly. I should rely on my inner tendency that took me to Swami Maharaj, leaving so many things aside. So according to the dictation of my sincere heart, I shall go on. Go on.

“. . . Swami Maharaj has left a big organisation, and property and men. But these people will have to begin in a humble, in humble way and their sincerity and goodness will be their capital. Not so many grandeurs, so many money, so many men. So mild way with heart within and God overhead, they may launch another missionary work.” — Srila Sridhara Maharaja, 82.02.27.A