BSG’s Email: The Missing Links

Introduction

What did I write that prompted this response?

There are a total of ten emails relevant to the one referenced above on BSG’s blog (bsg to bkg 1/28/11).

The first one, dated 1/25/11, was sent by me to Sripada Goswami Maharaja and is included below, as are the other nine, including the email that now appears on the “goswamiblog”.

Previously I had asked Goswami Maharaja’s permission to post the same email he has now posted for public viewing on his blog.

“With your permission, I will publish your email. I would, of course, publish it in its entirety lest any part be taken out of context.”—bkg to bsg, 1/29/11

At that time he did not give his permission citing the need for consent of all the acharyas.

“As long as the acharyas you repeatedly mention, agree, I have no objection to your publishing what I have written. If, as you say, you are seriously willing to work within the framework of an Acharya Board, in concert as opposed to unilaterally, you can demonstrate that by consulting the other five acharyas mentioned in the will, and getting their approval.”—bsg to bkg, 1/31/11

Srila Gurudeva never told me I needed to “demonstrate” anything to Sripada Goswami Maharaja or that I should become his errand boy by gathering permission slips from other acharyas to allow him to publish something he had personally written to me.

If Goswami Maharaja needs permission slips from the five acharyas before he can allow his emails to be made public, why doesn’t he “demonstrate” to us that he has gotten said permission slips? Shouldn’t this all-important item be included with his blog containing his email?

Goswami Maharaja writes:

“Since you first voiced your objections, for the sake of peace, I have offered not to participate in any Acharya Board meetings.”— (bsg to bkg 1/28/11)

He makes it sound as if he’s just a bystander to the dealings of the acharyas. Then he demands that I, one of the acharyas, “demonstrate” my good intentions to him, who is not an acharya.

He doesn’t give any reason why I need to prove my good intentions to him, he just demands that I do.

He shows herein that he is attempting to do exactly what I said he was doing in my “Pied Piper” article, manipulate the acharyas of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math to do his bidding.

Goswami Maharaja began his attempted manipulation of me, as he did with the other acharyas, at the IAB meeting of 4/7/10. He tried to persuade me that I should not accept the position of acharya as Srila Gurudeva ordered (“Sripada Giri Maharaja…shall be Acharya”) in his Will.

He did persuade the other acharyas to ignore Gurudeva’s order and “defer” their acharyaships to Sripada Acharya Maharaja.

When I refused to go along with this indecent proposal, intended to undermine Srila Gurudeva’s authority, he threatened me.

Asserting that he was speaking on behalf of Acharya Maharaja and the other acharyas he told me if I did not “defer”, I would not get any help or cooperation from Acharya Maharaja, the other acharyas or the Navadwipa Math.

Obviously I did not succumb to his “coercion.” Or was this his idea of “preaching?”

The next tactic to gain my cooperation is the one discussed in BSG’s email posted on his Blog (bsg to bkg 1/28/11). That tactic is bribery.

“If need be, I can view the list personally created by Srila Govinda Maharaja as provisional.”

To understand what is meant above will require knowledge of a conversation between Sripad Janardana Maharaja and Sriman Gokulananda Prabhu which took place on or about Jan. 23, 2011.

Contemporaneous notes of this conversation are included by way of a summary in my email below to Sripada Janardana Maharaja (1/25/11) which begins…

“Sriman Gokulananda Prabhu told me of the conversation you had with him regarding the Acharya Sabha.”

“From what I have understood, you cannot accept my position because it would mean the dissolution of the International Acharya Board of which Sripada Goswmi Maharaja is a member and he would not be included as a member of the Acharya Sabha who’s membership would be comprised only of the six initiating acharyas named in the Will.”

In this same conversation Janardana Maharaja told Prabhu Gokulananda he could immediately make me a member of the Interntional Acharya Board if I would just agree to halt my insistence that a proper Acharya Sabha be formed, comprised only of the six acharyas named in Srila Gurudeva’s Will, which would not include Goswami Maharaja.

What was being offered to me was a bribe. The IAB would add me as a member if I would only end my insistence that a proper Acharya Sabha be formed in accordance with Srila Gurudeva’s instructions.

Thus, when Goswami Maharaja writes:

“If need be, I can view the list personally created by Srila Govinda Maharaja as provisional.”

he means he will allow my name to be added to the “list” of members of the IAB.

This magnanimous gesture comes after he has stated:

“Since you first voiced your objections, for the sake of peace, I have offered not to participate in any Acharya Board meetings.”

and is immediately preceded by:

“for the sake of peace, I will try to follow Srila Guru Maharaja’s path of passive withdrawal.”

If he is not participating “in any Acharya Board meetings” and, has adopted the “path of passive withdrawal”, how is it that the decision to “view the list personally created by Srila Govinda Maharaja as provisional.” appears to rest entirely in his hands?

It appears that way because that’s the way it was. He was the one dictating to Janardana Maharaja the terms of a negotiated settlement with me.

They thought I was interested in position, not principle. It would make sense, therefore, that I could be bribed with an offer of a seat on their all-powerful IAB.

Only one small problem. I knew the IAB was an illusory “Acharya Board”, not a real one.

I had no interest in becoming a part of their illusion intended to deceive the devotees of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math into believing a proper Acharya Board had been established.

– bkg

 

The Emails

 

From: BK Giri <[email protected]>

Subject: From Giri Maharaja

Date: January 25, 2011 4:17:57 AM EST

To: Bhakti Sudhira Goswami, Maharaj <[email protected]>

Dear Sripada Goswami Maharaja,

My dandavats to your lotus feet.

Maharaja I am having some discussion with Sripada Janardana Maharaja regarding the Acharya Sabha.

I was thinking to publish the article below explaining my understanding of the matter. I first sent it to all the Acharyas with the following introduction. I welcome your corrections as I did theirs. I also have some specific questions for you that follow the letter below.

Dear Acharyas of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math,

I am preparing to publish the following article, or something substantially similar.

Acharya Sabha Simplified

The Acharya Sabha directed to “be formed” by Srila Govinda Maharaja.


L-R (in alphabetical order): Sripadas Acharya Maharaja, Ashrama Maharaja, Avadhuta Maharaja, Giri Maharaja, Janardana Maharaja and Trivikrama Maharaja.

All Glories to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga

Dear devotees, friends and followers of Srila Govinda Maharaja.

I previously wrote an article regarding the Acharya Sabha. It was very detailed and perhaps unnecessarily complex. Here I have tried to condense the vital points.

Srila Govinda Maharaja, in his final directives to his followers, as stated in his Will, specifically named six sannyasis as Acharyas of Sri Chaitanya Saraswata Math who are to succeed him.

They are, in alphabetical order: Sripadas Acharya Maharaja, Ashrama Maharaja, Avadhuta Maharaja, Giri Maharaja, Janardana Maharaja and Trivikrama Maharaja.

That these six will be initiating Acharyas is undisputed.

Srila Gurudeva also stated in his Will in clear, unambiguous language: “An Acharya Board (Acharya Sabha) shall be formed, composed of initiating acharyas, to consult with one another regarding all spiritual matters and to give guidance to all Trust Boards.”

That the Acharya Sabha “shall be formed” means it did not exist prior to the implementation of Srila Gurudeva’s Will. It does not exist now.

No meeting of the six Acharyas has occurred which would enable the formation of the Acharya Sabha.

Myself and Sripada Trivikrama Maharaja have expressed our willingness to meet for the purpose of forming the Acharya Sabha. The other four Acharyas have ignored my repeated invitations to do so.

I have repeatedly requested all six Acharyas meet for this purpose. [Paraphrasing] “The Acharya Sabha should meet, with all six of the Acharyas named in Srila Gurudeva’s will being invited to participate, and the meeting arranged in such a manner as to allow that participation.”

I am again calling upon them to honor this direction of Srila Gurudeva. Until his direction is respected I will not participate with those who choose to substitute their own will for that of Srila Govinda Maharaja.

A copy of this article has been sent to each of the six Acharyas of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.

Praying for the mercy of the devotees,

Swami B.K. Giri

In fairness to you, I am, once again, first giving you the opportunity to correct any mistaken facts or misrepresentations you may find.

If you want, I will publish your response along with my article.

My questions arise out of a position Sripada Janardana Maharaja is taking in response to the above article. I have tried to represent his position and my questions regarding it in a letter I recently sent to him after he called Sriman Gokulananda.

I would appreciate your reading this and telling me if I am missing something.

Sriman Gokulananda Prabhu told me of the conversation you had with him regarding the Acharya Sabha. I’m a little unhappy you did not feel you could have such a discussion with me directly but I understand why that would be difficult for you and if it is easier for you to discuss these things via Prabhu Gokulananda I have no objection. I think it is better to have some communication even if through a third party. Perhaps one day Gokulananda will bring us to Camp David to negotiate a final peace plan. I don’t have much land to swap, but if you will acknowledge my right to exist we might be able to work something out.

From what I have understood, you cannot accept my position because t would mean the dissolution of the International Acharya Board of which Sripada Goswmi Maharaja is a member and he would not be included as a member of the Acharya Sabha who’s membership would be comprised only of the six initiating acharyas named in the Will.

As I’ve suggested before, it would seem possible that the members of the Acharya Sabha could, as their first order of business, decide that Goswami Maharaja should be recognized as an initiating Acharya and thereby become a member of the Sabha. You say this is not acceptable.

I am puzzled by this for a few reasons. I previously posed these questions to you but never received a response.

You told Gokulananda that Goswami Maharaja “wrote the Will” and told Srila Gurudeva he did not want to be an Acharya. Gurdeva accepted Goswami Maharajas desire and as a result Goswami Maharaja was not named as an Acharya in the Will. So, Goswami Maharaja did not want to be an Acharya and Gurudeva accepted that.

You now want to hold the Acharya Sabha hostage to your idea that Goswami Maharaja must be included as an initiating acharya against his will and against the decision of Srila Govinda Maharaja. I cannot understand why you want me to agree to this. Please explain.

Next, at the meeting of the International Acharya Board I attended on April 7, Sripad Goswami Maharaja was insistent that we all “defer” to Acharya Maharaja who would be the only Acharya for the worldwide mission. All of you complied. That I would not agree to the one Acharya idea seemed to cause him some perturbation.

Goswami Maharaja’s insistence that everyone defer to Acharya Maharaja is another clear indication that he had no interest in being an initiating Acharya. Surely he would not have suggested we all defer to Acharya Maharaja if he harbored any desire to be an initiating Acharya himself.

Maharaja, I recall your statement “Godbrother can do anything. Then how Godbrother will decide who is the acharya among Godbrothers? That is very difficult.”

But you are insisting that you, the Godbrother of Goswami Maharaja, see to it that Goswami Maharaja be made an initiating Acharya, against his wish and Gurudeva’s acceptance of his desire not to be an Acharya.

If you could clearly explain these things I might be able to understand why your proposal is reasonable and should be accepted.

I pray this finds you well in all respects.

Puzzled

(This was an excerpt from an email to Sripad Janardan Maharaja)

Maharaja, as you can see from the above letter, according to Janardana Maharaja, we cannot form the Acharya Sabha as described in Gurudeva’s will because it would create a problem for you. But, as you can also see in the letter I do not see how it is a problem when you have made it very clear you do not want to be an initiating Acharya.

If you’ve changed your mind, or for whatever reason, decided you do want to be recognized as an initiating Acharya what is wrong with the process I’ve described which could be done in line with Srila Gurudeva’s Will?

Sripada Janardana Maharaja is ready to immediately add myself and Sripada Trivikrama Maharaja to the present Acharya Board, but that board is the International Acharya Board that is superseded by the Acharya Sabha which “shall be formed” in accordance with the directions of the Will. The IAB should properly have been dissolved, along with the other boards arising from the same memo, when the Will was implemented. If that was not done, it is no reason the Will should continue to be ignored on the vital point of the Acharya Sabha.

Your assurance to Sripada Janardana Maharaja and the other Acharyas, that you do not want to be an initiating Acharya, as you told Srila Govinda Maharaja, and therefore have no objection to the formation of the Acharya Sabha with the six Acharyas named in the Will, would probably suffice to clear the path forward.

Alternatively, if you now want to be recognized as an initiating Acharya, I would welcome any suggestions you have that would resolve this problem in an amicable fashion, where I am satisfied the Will is being followed and you are satisfied with your function in the mission.

Admittedly, it will be hard to dislodge me from my position which is, briefly, the final Will supersedes all prior boards, trusts and so forth, including the International Acharya Board and that an “Acharya Sabha shall be formed composed of initiating acharyas”. Still, I’m open to any reasonable solution.

I pray this finds you well in all respects.

Affectionately yours,

Giri Maharaja

 

From: Bhakti Sudhira Goswami, Maharaj <[email protected]scsmath.com>

Subject: From Giri Maharaja

Date: January 28, 2011

To: BK Giri <[email protected]>

Dear Sripad Giri Maharaja,

My dandabat pranam,

After leaving ISKCON in August of 1981, I was inspired to begin a movement to promote Srila Sridhar Maharaja, outside of India, for the benefit of the aspiring devotional community, particularly, in Srila Guru Maharaja’s words, “for those who were going away disappointed and neglected.” My desire to connect others with the susiddhanta of Srila Guru Maharaja was fully approved by him. He directly authorized my return to America to begin this “relief work.” Referring to the Western preaching that evolved, Srila Guru Maharaja said in his final days, although it is “In the name of Chaitanya Saraswat Math, it is really founded by Sudhir Goswami.”

It was upon my return to America, in the fall of 1981 that Srila Guru Maharaja authorized me as ritvik and I began initiating disciples on his behalf. With the rapid increase of this movement, Srila Guru Maharaja gave me sannyas and the name Bhakti Sudhir Goswami. At that time Instructing me in May of 1982, that in addition to the ritvik position he previously authorized, “you will give initiation in general, but any particular case you may take to me, otherwise you will be there locally. In general, local people, I am giving my consent—deal with them, the responsibility I am transferring to you, there locally. Special cases you may send to me.” So I began initiating disciples and sending special cases to him (or acting as ritvik when directed).

It was also around that time that I interpreted “Bhakti Rakshak” as “The Guardian of Devotion” and he and Srila Govinda Maharaja happily approved that rendering and we began the Guardian of Devotion Press. Subsequently publishing Search for Sri Krishna: Reality the Beautiful; Sri Guru and His Grace; Golden Volcano of Divine Love; Loving Search for the Lost Servant and the Subjective Evolution of Consciousness, all which were appreciated as Deities by Srila Govinda Maharaja.

In the aftermath of Srila Guru Maharaja’s disappearance, during Srila Govinda Maharaja’s tenure as Acharya, when asked whether or not I could act as his ritvik, he replied, “He is already directly empowered by Srila Guru Maharaja to initiate. But if he will act as my ritvik, I will be very happy.” I marveled at how, despite my history, the deep flaws in my character, and the serious mistakes that I had made, Srila Govinda Maharaja saw me in terms of my service attempts for Srila Guru Maharaja. That I had some success in promoting the glories of Srila Guru Maharaja, in his divine eyes, eclipsed my innumerable faults. He had written me, “As Sri Gopala was waiting for Madhavendra Puri, I am waiting for you to assist me in the service of Srila Guru Maharaja.” I aspire to his vision of my potential—a servitor of Srila Guru Maharaja under the guidance of Srila Govinda Maharaja.

Subsequently, living with Srila Gurudeva on his veranda for many years, I understood for some time his intention to establish Sripad Acharya Maharaja as his successor. A year before his departure, understanding his intentions and alarmed by his failing health, I conveyed my full support for Acharya Maharaja as his successor of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. I also expressed my desire to more or less retire from any type of initiating, additionally pledging my support and assistance to Sripad Avadhut Maharaja in Russia et al. He smiled and said very affectionately, “Maharaja, I am very pleased with your mood.” Still, he also expressed that in certain instances, if necessary, I would initiate disciples, A year later he reiterated, “If Goswami Maharaja will act as a guru of Chaitanya Saraswat Math that will be very good. Guru Maharaja was attached with Goswami Maharaja.”

In light of the aforementioned, I am unable to look upon the will with tunnel vision. I don’t think instructions given to myself and others by Srila Guru Maharaja or Srila Gurudeva should be dismissed out of hand because they are not in the will. Rather I view the will in consonance with the expressed “will” of Srila Govinda Maharaja and Srila Guru Maharaja, over the last thirty years.

After the disappearance of Srila Saraswati Thakur, Srila Guru Maharaja recalled a similar instance, “There were many amongst our group, they heard Prabhupada’s advices, words, but partly. One day some Aranya Maharaja told, he was a senior man, “Saraswati Thakur told only this thing,” a provincial remark, he wanted to utilize in a universal way. I gave some objection, “Prabhupada told this, it’s all right but this is not the whole thing, he told “this” also.”‘ I believe the same holds true now. The implication that myself and others must consider a lifetime of instructions cancelled because they are not in the will is preposterous.

But as you insist that, what is in the will is all in all, in that will, which by an unbiased reading is overwhelmingly in favor of Sripad Acharya Maharaja, Srila Govinda Maharaja only mentions Acharya Maharaja as “successor.” With all due respect to yourself and the others, this makes his position unique. Additionally, at Srila Govinda Maharaja’s Vyas Puja in December of 2009, I did not hear him announce “six successors” as you contend. Neither did anyone else. We did hear him announce that Acharya Maharaja would succeed him “as the next Acharya of this Math,” and “this Math” means, Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, founded by Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev Goswami Maharaja.

If what you assert is true, I find it odd Srila Govinda Maharaja didn’t call you aside and present the “six successor” scenario you contend. Neither did he present it to anyone else at any other time. The attempt to blur distinction, equating any Math and its acharyaship to the Mula Math’s succession, the only Math established directly by Srila Guru Maharaja, is unpalatable to me and seems unnecessary.

Rather, my understanding is that in addition to declaring Acharya Maharaja as his successor, in recognition of years of service and deference, Srila Govinda Maharaja magnanimously, with great affection and genuine appreciation, conferred acharyaship upon the exalted Maharajas mentioned in the will, in Maths established by them or headed by them for many years. Most seem to be approaching that seva humbly, modestly and with great caution.

For another perspective, the London Math Secretary, Devashis Prabhu’s reading of the will is, I think, fairly representative of the understanding of most:

“I read it that Srila Govinda Maharaj is making definite and unique statements about Srila Acharya Maharaj and my feeling is that he wants Srila Acharya Maharaj to be the head of the Mission and Sabha with the other Acharyas as his advisors, guides and mentors, while affording the other Acharyas jurisdiction as initiating Gurus and heads of the mission outside of India. As the Mula Math is given special recognition and central importance over all other branches of the mission, so too will this be with the Acharya of that Math.”

I don’t see this as “big mantras for big gurus” versus “little mantras for little gurus” but the application of spiritual etiquette and common sense.

Now with regard to my making amendments to the will under the direction of Srila Gurudeva, I have been asked to explain why I added the sentence about the Acharya Board.

To counter the growing opposition to Acharya Maharaja, a covert attempt to usurp the Indian and world mission, manifesting in the form of a trust board imposed by Ranajit and Paramahamsa Maharaja, I reminded Srila Gurudeva of Srila Guru Maharaja’s “Acharya Board” concept. He smiled and said, “Yes, Acharya Board.” There was no Acharya Board in the will up to that point. It was a practical consideration, introduced at my suggestion, to shore up support for Acharya Maharaja. And as a preventive measure against foreseeable hostile attempts to takeover the mission. With Gurudeva’s  approval, I added it to the will.

He didn’t say anything about the wording, he only said “Yes.” So I listened to the tape of Srila Guru Maharaja’s 1978 meeting with the GBC and came up with this sentence:

“An Acharya Board (Acharya Sabha) shall be formed, composed of initiating acharyas, to consult with one another regarding all spiritual matters and to give guidance to all Trust Boards.”

Srila Gurudeva drew up and signed a list of its members, with myself as one of them. The crux of your argument, “it’s not in the will,” was not a factor to him, the author of the will.

I don’t object to your having a difference of opinion. You’re free to interpret and present things as you see them. You’re not bound to see things through the eyes of others and vice versa. You may also persuade others to see as you do. Assuming everyone involved is sincere, I accept that there are different legitimate views. I alter mine regularly. But your position seems to be, whether something is true or not, is not your concern, only whether it is mentioned in the will. My opinion is that relying upon that sort of logic to establish truth, will prove inadequate and misleading.

Since you first voiced your objections, for the sake of peace, I have offered not to participate in any “Acharya Board” meetings. Despite my shortcomings, Srila Govinda Maharaja repeatedly requested myself, Mahananda Prabhu and others, to look after his mission, giving particular care to the Western section. I consider myself to be an affectionate, well-wishing, advisor. If need be, I can meet when necessary with those concerned under another heading. That seva is not dependent upon designation.

But your proposal, which entails ignoring the recognition and appreciation of Guru Maharaja and Gurudeva, in favor of a board resolution, is sadly disappointing and unacceptable to me. You demand a legalistic approach to what I believe is a spiritual matter, a matter of faith. Still, for the sake of peace, I will try to follow Srila Guru Maharaja’s path of passive withdrawal. If need be, I can view the list personally created by Srila Govinda Maharaja as provisional.

For what its worth, I believe that you and Sripad Trivikram Maharaja should be seated in the Acharya Sabha. After all, you are indicated as acharyas and its purpose is to consult and advise. It should be a simple matter. For the record, it was at my insistence that Mahananda Prabhu invited you to the inaugural meetings—until they dissolved into contentious dysfunction. Had Trivikram Maharaja been there, he would have been invited also.

Forgive me for stating the obvious but I believe that the seva of initiating becomes truly meaningful and substantial when you actually have disciples. Until that time, it is to a certain extent, putting the cart before the horse. At present I am at a loss to see how anyone is interfering with your seva as “Acharya of New York, New Jersey and Detroit.” In this regard, one of the Acharya’s wrote me recently, Acharya abhiman can eat the brain and turn into an unhealthy obsession.

While your dissent is disturbing to some, I think it has value in making us all more carefully consider these things. I take that what you have expressed is your sincere point of view and feel in time, what Srila Govinda Maharaja envisioned for you will manifest, just not through coercion but as a natural outcome of your preaching.

Sincerely,

Bhakti Sudhir Goswami

Nabadwip Dham

 

From: BK Giri <[email protected]>

Subject: Re: Acharya Board of SCSMath

Date: January 28, 2011

To: Bhakti Sudhira Goswami, Maharaj <[email protected]>

Cc: Bhakti Ashram-1 <[email protected]>, Bhakti Pavan Janardan, Maharaj <[email protected]>, Avadhut Mj <[email protected]>, BN Acharya <[email protected]>, Bhakti Vijay Trivikrama <[email protected]>

Dear Sripada Goswami Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

I was just thinking about you and wondering if you would respond to, or ignore, my recent email to you. It was a natural question since I have been almost entirely ignored, and more than that, excluded, no, shunned is, perhaps, the more accurate terminology, since the April 7 meeting. The International Acharya Board’s dealings with Sripada Trivikrama Maharaja are similarly disturbing. I was, then, very happy to see your name in my Inbox.

I do not intend to respond to all your points just now as time does not allow it. I will rather do what you have referred to as something like “Quick read, quick response.”

Maharaja, nothing you say regarding yourself, and the affection, expectations, trust and so forth expressed by Srila Govinda Maharaja and Srila Sridhara Maharaja surprises me. Most of it was already known to me.

If you had been named as an Acharya in the Will I would expect you to do exactly what I’ve encouraged those mentioned to do, accept the responsibilities of an Acharya and sit on the Acharya Sabha for the purposes Srila Gurudeva mentioned. I have not shown any public partiality to any one of the Acharyas and have expressed my firm conviction that everyone would be wise to follow this course, particularly the respected leaders of our mission, of which you are certainly one. You insist on establishing a hierarchy among the Acharyas. It is a philosophical debate I don’t care to have just now.

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.

I pray this finds you well in all respects.

Sincerely yours,

Giri Maharaja

 

From: BK Giri <[email protected]>

Subject: Request to publish.

Date: January 29, 2011 2:02:44 AM EST

To: Bhakti Sudhira Goswami, Maharaj <[email protected]>

Cc: Bhakti Pavan Janardan, Maharaj <[email protected]>, Bhakti Ashram-1 <[email protected]>, BN Acharya <[email protected]>, Avadhut Mj <[email protected]>

 

Dandavats Maharaja,

I forgot to mention something in my last email to you.

It occurred to me that the below email of yours was well written, thoughtful and respectfully presented. It addresses some important history of yours with our mission and was, no doubt, intended to remove my misconceptions regarding the portion of Srila Gurudeva’s Will dealing with the Acharya Sabha. It goes beyond that to establish what you believe to be the proper understanding of Srila Acharya Maharaja’s position in our Mission, something I’m sure you will be happy to see broadcast to a wider audience than just my humble self.

I have been asking, pleading, that someone offer a rebuttal to my view of these matters as we all improve through thesis, antithesis and synthesis. I can think of no one better qualified than you to do this. You have described yourself on your former blog site as the protégé of Srila Sridhara Maharaja. I know of no other person with such distinction. And, as you have just reminded me, you have been acknowledged by Srila Govinda Maharaja as one who “is already directly empowered by Srila Guru Maharaja to initiate.”

I have also heard you express many times that you feel it is your duty to protect the conception of Srila Sridhara Maharaja. I assume you feel the same as regards Srila Govinda Maharaja’s conception which you feel I have distorted or, at best, presented with certain deficiencies. I would think you are both honor and duty bound to bless us with your knowledge of the pertinent facts, history and precepts.

Srila Govinda Maharaja dispatched you to many places around the world to preach on his behalf and you are certainly the most widely respected preacher in our mission, perhaps even eclipsing Srila Acharya Maharaja, what to speak of the rest of us.

It would be my great honor to present your remarks on the above subjects, detailed in your email, to our small audience of devotees. As Srila Govinda Maharaja was accepting of your suggestion to include important items he may have otherwise overlooked in his Will, perhaps you could also use your considerable influence to persuade Srila Acharya Maharaja to offer his comments for our improvement. One of his emails to me seems to indicate he has now realized it is his duty to look after all of us. In the words of His Holiness “Srila Gurudev ordered me on that day, ‘you serve my devotees, serve my mission, and serve my deities’. At that time I could not understand, but Srila Gurudev gave me that kind of responsibility now all over the world. That I cannot refuse now. Until my death I have to take his wish upon my head.”

With your permission, I will publish your email. I would, of course, publish it in its entirety lest any part be taken out of context.

Humbly and respectfully,

Giri Maharaja

 

From: Bhakti Sudhira Goswami, Maharaj <[email protected]>

Subject: Re: A Request to Publish

Date: January 31, 2011

To: BK Giri <[email protected]>

 

Dear Sripad Giri Maharaja

My dandabat pranam,

As long as the acharyas you repeatedly mention, agree, I have no objection to your publishing what I have written. If, as you say, you are seriously willing to work within the framework of an Acharya Board, in concert as opposed to unilaterally, you can demonstrate that by consulting the other five acharyas mentioned in the will, and getting their approval.

Regarding your questions after a “quick read,” if you will carefully reread what I have written, you will see those questions are answered.

Personally, I cannot be expected to respond to the recurrent jumbling of facts, half-truths and misleading statements.

A small example from what you have just written: You write that I once described myself as, “the” protégé of Srila Sridhar Maharaja, as opposed to what was actually written, “a” protégé of Srila Sridhar Maharaja.

“the” meaning, “only” [Definite article]

“a” meaning, “one among others” [Indefinite article]

One wonders, are you unaware this is misleading; is it intentional? You imply that “such distinction” is arrogant. Yes, I am arrogant. But considering the definition of protégé, it seems like nitpicking.

protégé |ˈprōtəˌ zh ā; ˌprōtəˈ zh ā| (also protege)

noun

a person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced or influential person

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: French, literally ‘protected,’ past participle of protéger, from Latin protegere ‘cover in front’ (see protect ). Think ‘under the protection and guidance of the Guardian of Devotion.’

This sort of thing (and there are many), renders dialogue frustrating and futile; as in “incapable of producing any useful result; pointless.”

You express indignation saying you should be allowed to think for yourself but when others think for themselves and disagree with you, it is unacceptable. And Its not that your position is unclear; its that they beg to differ. You wonder why you are not getting a response from the others? To paraphrase a saying, “Insanity is writing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.” They do not want to belabor the point. Out of respect for you, I interpret their silence as polite disagreement.

Sincerely,

Bhakti Sudhir Goswami

Nabadwip Dham

 

From: BK Giri <[email protected]>

Subject: Yes or no?

Date: February 5, 2011

To: Bhakti Sudhira Goswami, Maharaj <[email protected]>, BN Acharya <[email protected]>, Bhakti Ashram-1 <[email protected]>, Bhakti Pavan Janardan, Maharaj <[email protected]>, Bhakti Vijay Trivikrama <[email protected]>, Avadhut Mj <[email protected]>

 

Dear Sripada Goswami Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Maharaja, while I am tempted to lose sight of the real issue at hand in favor of jousting with you over irrelevant but amusing issues, I believe it’s pointless to continue without a baseline for our discussion.

Since you, and others taking your side, continue to avoid the central question I posed to you in one of my last emails,

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?

I was reluctant to respond to your last email which did not address it.

However, out of respect for you, and in consideration of the time you have already spent on this issue, I want to offer you another chance to answer a similar question that I have tried to craft in such a way that it will be easy to answer with a simple yes, or no.

Below is a sentence taken from Srila Govinda Maharaja’s “Last Will and Testament”:

“An Acharya Board (Acharya Sabha) shall be formed, composed of initiating acharyas, to consult with one another regarding all spiritual matters and to give guidance to all Trust Boards.”

Is this sentence valid? Please answer yes, or no.

Sincerely yours,

Giri Maharaja

 

From: Bhakti Sudhir Goswami <[email protected]>

Subject: Re: Yes or no?

Date: February 6, 2011

To: BK Giri <[email protected]>

 

Dear Sripad Giri Maharaja,

My dandabat pranam.

As written previously: With regard to my making amendments to the will under the direction of Srila Gurudeva, I have been asked to explain why I added the sentence about the Acharya Board.

To counter the growing opposition to Acharya Maharaja, a covert attempt to usurp the Indian and world mission, manifesting in the form of a trust board imposed by Ranajit and Paramahamsa Maharaja, I reminded Srila Gurudeva of Srila Guru Maharaja’s “Acharya Board” concept. He smiled and said, “Yes, Acharya Board.” There was no Acharya Board in the will up to that point. It was a practical consideration, introduced at my suggestion, to shore up support for Acharya Maharaja. And as a preventive measure against foreseeable hostile attempts to takeover the mission. With Gurudeva’s  approval, I added it to the will.

He didn’t say anything about the wording, he only said “Yes.” So I listened to the tape of Srila Guru Maharaja’s 1978 meeting with the GBC and came up with this sentence:

“An Acharya Board (Acharya Sabha) shall be formed, composed of initiating acharyas, to consult with one another regarding all spiritual matters and to give guidance to all Trust Boards.”

Srila Gurudeva drew up and signed a list of its members, with myself as one of them.

If you choose to interpret this as my “personal inspiration from the upper world,” so be it.

And yes, with respect to the validity of the above, an Acharya Board, composed of initiating acharyas was formed, wherein they consult with one another, and give guidance to Trust Boards.

Sincerely,

Bhakti Sudhir Goswami

 

From: BK Giri <[email protected]>

Subject: Gurudeva’s Mission

Date: February 7, 2011

To: Bhakti Sudhira Goswami, Maharaj <[email protected]>

Cc: Bhakti Ashram-1 <[email protected]>, BN Acharya <[email protected]>, Bhakti Pavan Janardan, Maharaj <[email protected]>, Bhakti Vijay Trivikrama <[email protected]>, Avadhut Mj <[email protected]>

Dear Sripada Goswami Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Maharaja, I must say something to you that I would rather not say. I believe, however, it must be said, for the sake of the devotees of our Mission and for the Mission itself.

When someone will not give a straight answer to a question, especially when a simple yes, or no is sufficient to answer the question, there are two possible reasons that appear most prominently to me.

The first reason one cannot answer such a question is stupidity. One simply does not have the mental capacity to understand the question and respond appropriately.

The second reason is that one is trying to hide the truth. Sadly, for me, I know you are not stupid.

You may believe the lie you are promoting. That is irrelevant to me. What I must consider is the outcome that can be expected if others also believe it.

You are responsible for instigating two great misconceptions throughout our Mission. The first is that Srila Govinda Maharaja intended one worldwide Acharya and some other minor Acharyas. The second is that an Acharya Sabha has been formed in accordance with the direction and the spirit of Srila Gurudeva’s Will.

If these two great misconceptions continue their infectious spread, the potential damage to the worldwide mission of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, or even the Indian Maths, will be far more than could ever have been done by Paramahamsa Maharaja, Ranjit Prabhu and those like him.

Great societies are not destroyed from the outside, they are destroyed from within.

In a society like ours, that is completely dependent on the pure line of shiksha for its sustenance, deviation from such shiksha will bring its destruction.

What happened with Srila Swami Maharaja’s ISKCON? Our ISKCON?

They believed their troubles came from outside, Srila Sridahra Maharaja and his Western followers. Is that what changed their status from sampradaya, under Srila Swami Maharaja’s leadership, to apasampradaya, when following the GBC? No.

No outside force could do to ISKCON what they did to themselves.

If you continue to successfully manipulate the leaders, especially the Acharyas, of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math into promoting your misconceived notions, you may be blamed for that, but the responsibility for the result will fall on their heads.

And what is the root cause of all this mischief? First, if you cannot be the king, you will be the king maker. But, that is not enough for you, you want to make an emperor. Second, to try and establish you in a position Srila Govinda Maharaja did not specify for you, the seventh Acharya.

Maharaja, you know better than anyone that we are a shiksha guru parampara.

It is not necessary that you be recognized as the seventh Acharya for us to give due honor and respect to your ability to present the siddhanta of our Sri Guru Varga. In the end, that is our one and only hope, that we be recognized as properly representing the line of “Pujala ragapatha gaurava bange mattala sadhujana visaya range.”

Maharaja, I can worship you as a vaishnava. That is no problem for me. Your service and recognition by our gurus demands that I do so. First, however, I believe these other matters must be dispensed with.

Since you obviously have tremendous influence over the other Acharyas, I believe you could bring about a settlement to these matters without further disturbance to the society. On the other hand, you can continue your campaign that Prabhu Gokulananda, a faithful disciple of Srila Govinda Maharaja, characterized as “Burning down my Guru’s Mission.”

I have some further ideas regarding the above. You will find them addressed in my response to an email from Sripada Acharya Maharaja which I will soon be sending him, with a copy to you.

I pray this finds you well in all respects,

Giri Maharaja

 

From:  Swami B.N. Acharya <[email protected]>

Subject:  From Sri Nabadwip Dham

Date:  February 6, 2011

To:  [email protected]

 

Dear Srila Giri Maharaj,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

I have so much respect for you Maharaj.

But Maharaj, please don’t waist your time on this matter. How long will you live in this world? You have to preach Krishna consciousness. I have only one word to say, “Preach!”

My humble request to you is that you not waist your time. If you always give your energy to these matters about the Acharya Board then you will not get any energy to preach Krishna consciousness.

Please forgive my offense,

B.N. Acharya

 

From: BK Giri <[email protected]>

Subject:  Re: From Sri Nabadwip Dham

Date: February 9, 2011 7:55:33 AM EST

To:  Swami B.N. Acharya <[email protected]>

Cc:  Avadhut Mj <[email protected]>, Bhakti Ashram-1 <[email protected]>, Bhakti Pavan Janardan, Maharaj <[email protected]>, Bhakti Sudhira Goswami, Maharaj <[email protected]>, Bhakti Vijay Trivikrama <[email protected]>

 

Dear Srila Acharya Maharaja,

My obeisances to your holy feet.

Thank you Maharaja for your kind letter. I have great respect and admiration for your dedicated service to the lotus feet of Srila Govinda Maharaja and his devotees and mission. I believe you must be trying your utmost to satisfy His Divine Grace in the face of extremely difficult circumstances. I must believe the same is true of our other Acharyas and missionary leaders. That does not mean I believe your actions are prudent.

I know the advice you’ve offered me is meant for my benefit. I also appreciate the patience and tolerance you and the other missionary leaders have shown towards this humble soul.

I am reluctant to offer advise to those not seeking it, what to speak of those who have already shown their disdain for it. But since you have kindly taken your time to advise me, please accept the following words by way of my friendly advice to you.

I may reply more completely to your email of February 6, at a later date.

My short response is this.

When you used your gang of five to make mischief with Srila Gurudeva’s Will and then tried to bully me into submission you should not be surprised by the result.

Goswami Maharaja began our meeting on April 7, by insisting all the Acharyas named in Gurudeva’s Will defer to you so that the Mission would be “united” around one Acharya.

Although Srila Gurudeva clearly stated in his Will his desire that six Acharyas would succeed him within the worldwide mission of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, you did not admonish Goswami Maharaja to use his short life to “preach Krishna Consciousness” rather than waste his time trying to make one Acharya instead of six.

You did not think it a waste of time to prepare the “Letter from the Acharya Board of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math” posted to your website on April 8, which attempted to establish the International Acharya Board over the Acharya Sabha. You supported that use of time.

Since then, several public and semi-public attempts (email of Sept. 17 to “leading devotees worldwide”) have been made to establish the [International] Acharya Board as the preeminent Board to guide the Mission.

Since you are the “head” of that Board you must have thought these were productive uses of time for the five of you. You could have used your time instead to “preach Krishna Consciousness”. Why didn’t you?

I must conclude, thereby, you do not believe “this matter” is a waste of time. What you believe is that promoting the view that favors one Acharya and opposes the formation of the Acharya Sabha is productive, while other views, such as mine, are a waste of time.

Maharaja, you and your gang of five bullies challenged me to a fight. I accepted your challenge. Now you say fighting is a waste of time. But I like to fight, and now that the odds are six to one against me, it is even more interesting and enlivening for me.

But, I am not a bully, or mean spirited. If you have had enough, you can stop the fight by following the proposal I made to Sripada Janardana Maharaja (email of Jan. 27).

I believe only initiating Acharyas should sit on the Sabha. This is the direction given to us. My personal opinion is that it would be best if the members have, or had, disciples, but that may take some time to develop. As such I think the minimum should be that one is willing to accept disciples as opposed to deferring that responsibility to someone else.

However, to do things properly, I would suggest the following protocol. All six named in the Will should be assumed to be members of the Acharya Sabha. Each should be contacted in the interest of arriving at a consensus as to who should sit as a member in accordance with the direction “shall be formed, composed of initiating acharyas”.

I also suggest that if any one of the six is determined not to be qualified at present, he should immediately be accepted as a member when he meets the qualification. His notification to the Sabha that he now meets the standard should be sufficient for his acceptance.

After knowing who the members will be, I would recommend they then decide among themselves the time and place of the first meeting, if one is needed, and the agenda for that meeting.

The above proposal was first made at our meeting of April 7, more than ten months ago. It is a reasonable proposal. If you had accepted it then, you would have prevented the waste of so much time on this matter and we would all be working together to “preach Krishna Consciousness”.

Maharaja, please do not worry that I “will not get any energy to preach Krishna consciousness.” I am feeling very energized. Your “Acharya Board” is “like the sun and I am like a solar charged battery”. The more nonsense you propose, the more energy I get to oppose it.

I pray this finds you well in health and spirits.

Affectionately yours,

Giri Maharaja