“Na Hi Gopyaṁ Hi Sadhūnāṁ – Certainly, No Secrets are to be Kept by Saintly Personalities”

An email from Srila Bhakti Kanan Giri Maharaja to Uddharan dasa –

Dear Sriman Uddharan dasa Adhikari,

Please accept my humble obeisances in remembrance of our Divine Masters.

I hope you will post your excellent email to Sripada Paribrajaka Maharaja, with or without his name. I lean in the direction of including his name because: 1. He is a sannyasi and a guru. As such, his is supposed to be a public life and he should not expect too much in the way of “secrecy”. “na hi gopyaṁ hi sadhūnāṁ— Certainly, no secrets are to be kept by saintly personalities… ”

        SB 10.24.4

        etad brūhi mahān kāmo
        mahyaṁ śuśrūṣave pitaḥ
        na hi gopyaṁ hi sadhūnāṁ
        kṛtyaṁ sarvātmanām iha
        asty asva-para-dṛṣṭīnām

etat — this; brūhi — please speak; mahān — great; kāmaḥ — desire; mahyam — to Me; śuśrūṣave — who am ready to hear faithfully; pitaḥ — O father; na — not; hi — indeed; gopyam — to be kept secret; hi — certainly; sādhūnām — of saintly persons; kṛtyam — the activities; sarva-ātmanām — who see everyone as equal to themselves; iha — in this world; asti — there is; asva-para-dṛṣṭīnām — who do not distinguish between what is their own and what is another’s; amitra-udāsta-vidviṣām — who do not distinguish between friends, neutral parties and enemies.

Please tell Me about it, O father. I have a great desire to know and am ready to hear in good faith. Certainly, no secrets are to be kept by saintly personalities, who see all others as equal to themselves, who have no conception of “mine” or “another’s” and who do not consider who is a friend, who is an enemy and who is neutral.

Notice in the above, the word hi is used twice as emphasis: hi — indeed, hi — certainly. I don’t know enough about Sanskrit to diagram the sentence but I think this is a fair parsing of it: Indeed, no secrets are to be kept; certainly not by saintly persons.

As you said, you “are humble householders and it is [y]our duty to serve the mendicants who have given up everything for the service of Divinity.” And yet, you are unafraid to speak “truth to power”, without hiding behind anonymity, even at the cost of the loss of “friends” and social status within a large devotee community.

By taking sannyasa from Chaitanya Giri Maharaja, and by other indicators, it appears Paribrajaka Maharaja is also willing to accept the consequences of holding unpopular positions.

I can scarcely imagine how different the world would be today if Srila Sridhara Maharaja had gone along with the scheme to hide the truth of Prabhu Ananta Vasudeva’s lady love entanglement in order to avoid his name being sullied by a legion of mischief makers. He was threatened with the most severe treatment by the powerful Prof. Sannyal, who declared he would put in prison anyone who swore to the authenticity of Vasudeva’s letter (he later excluded Srila Sridhara Maharaja from the threat). Wasn’t it a private letter? How do we know about it? Srila Sridhara Maharaja told us during several recorded conversations (Likewise with Srila Prabhupada’s comments about Ananta Vasudeva). And, at the time, in front of a large group of sannyasis and other leaders of Gaudiya Math, Sridhara Maharaja said softly, but unmistakably: “Give me the pen.” He was willing to swear, in writing, that the love letter was written by Ananta Vasudeva, who he previously revered as the most qualified to continue preaching the siddhanta of Srila Saraswati Thakura and who was then the “Acharya” of Gaudiya Math.

From Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s simple act of adhering to the truth, and his principals, a sea change occurred as he and more than fifty percent of the leading sannyasis and devotees who had been supporting Vasudeva, “came out” of Gaudiya Math. From there, many of them, including Srila Sridhara Maharaja and Srila Swami Maharaja Prabhupada, founded their own preaching missions and are now referred to as acharyas.

Imagine also, how different Chaitanya Charitamrta would be if, after receiving the notes of Mahaprabhu’s pastimes from Sri Murari Gupta and Sri Swarupa Damodara, Krishna Dasa Kaviraja had decided to tell the pastimes, but without naming the personalities, who were essential to the pastimes. I wonder if he could have then written this:

CC Ādi 13.17

ei dui janera sūtra dekhiyā śuniyā
varṇanā karena vaiṣṇava krama ye kariyā

By seeing and hearing the notes recorded by these two great personalities, a Vaiṣṇava, a devotee of the Lord, can know these pastimes one after another.

Could we have known the pastimes, without knowing the names of those who participated in them? “Om.” Even impersonalists refer to each other by name.

Take away the name, or change the name, and the mantra has a completely different meaning. Without the name, there would be no Krishna in “Hare Krishna.”

And what of this:

CC Ādi 10.104

iṅhā-sabāra yaiche haila prabhura milana
āge vistāriyā tāhā kariba varṇana

I shall later explain very elaborately how all these devotees met Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Would it have been better to write: “I shall later explain very elaborately how all these devotees met Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but I will not name those devotees.”?

Now someone is sure to say: “Giri Maharaja is comparing the activities of himself and his friends with those of Sri Krishna Chaitanya.” No, I am not. I am trying to emphasize the personal over the impersonal, while remembering: “Certainly, no secrets are to be kept by saintly personalities… ” One might say it is my humble attempt to keep us all saintly.

2. He has not requested anonymity or private communications.

3. It is your letter, not his, you can do whatever you want with it.

4. “I don’t like secrecy. Secrecy means conspiracy.” Is there a conspiracy afoot? Not that I know of.

5. Generally secrecy is used to hide something we are ashamed of. Is there anything in your letter that anyone should be ashamed of? Not that I have seen.

Still, it is up to you. You are more of a gentleman than me. I can be rather ruthless when trying to get my point across. So, maybe I’m seeing this through the wrong eyes.

I made a few corrections. The most notable were to this sentence:

I left that organisation immediately l heard of the so called “censure” in protest at the treatment of Giri Maharaja and because I did not want to become a blind follower of useless fools.

which I changed to:

I left that organisation immediately when l heard of the so called “censure”. I did so in protest to the treatment of Giri Maharaja and, because I did not want to become a blind follower of useless fools.

In the immortal words of Sripada Acharya Maharaja:

Please don’t take my offense. Or, was it simply the command “Don’t take my offense.”?

In any event, it is I, your humble servant,

Giri Maharaja.

Next follows an email exchange between Sripad Bhakti Pradipa Paribrajaka Maharaja & Uddharan dasa.

All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga

Dear Uddharan Prabhu,

Please accept my dandavat pranams.

Recently, I have been corresponding with Sripada Giri Maharaja and I mentioned to him that I came across a video of your good self preaching with him. He kindly mentioned to me that you are in charge of scsmathglobal UK and that I may be able to have your association at some point.

I myself took sannyasa from Sripada Bhakti Caitanya Giri Maharaja, previously Gaur Krsna Prabhu, and since then I have been ousted from SCS Math. So now I find myself alone, and Sripada Giri Maharaja told me that I may acquire some service at your temple? Prabhu, if this is possible, I would be very happy to come for bhajan, kirtan, Harikatha, etc, if this is convenient for you.

Please tell me whatever arrangement suits you. 

I pray that this meets you and Lilavati didi well.

Yours in the service of Hari, Guru and Vaisnava,

B.P. Paribrajaka (Ex-Indupati).

Dear Sripad Paribrajaka Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

I am aware of your situation as Sripad Giri Maharaja has been keeping me informed.

“I myself took sannyasa from Sripada Bhakti Caitanya Giri Maharaja, previously Gaur Krsna Prabhu, and since then I have been ousted from SCS Math. So now I find myself alone, and Sripada Giri Maharaja told me that I may acquire some service at your temple?”

I am sorry you feel yourself to be “alone”.

I am also “alone” not counting the exceptional devotional association of my wife and God sister Srimati Lilavati Devi and my friend, and well wisher, Srila Bhakti Kanan Giri Maharaja and also his close associates in the USA.

Therefore if to be “alone” means to live without mundane society consciousness and to be given the chance to aspire to live in the spiritual family of our Divine Guru Varga then I take it as the greatest blessing.

We would be happy to have your devotional association if it is strictly in the line of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhara Maharaja and Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaja.

After the departure of these two greatest of Paramahamsa Vaishnavas I found no one representing their pure devotional siddhanta so deeply and so succinctly as Srila Bhakti Kanan Giri Maharaja.

When Srila Giri Maharaja was most cruelly and maliciously “censured” by the so called “International Acharya Board”, headed by Sripad Goswami Maharaja, I could not tolerate that an innocent vaishnava could be so treated just for telling the plain honest truth according to Guru, Sadhu and Shastra. 

Sripad Giri Maharaja was only acting in the best spiritual interest of all those devotees selected by Srila Govinda Maharaja to be acharyas in his Last Will and Testament and all those devotees who would be their followers.

But those so called acharyas, to a man, followed the mundane will of Sripad Goswami Maharaja instead of the divine will of Srila Govinda Maharaja.

At that point they became “asara” or useless.

CC Ādi 12.10

ācāryera mata yei, sei mata sāra
tāṅra ājñā laṅghi’ cale, sei ta’ asāra

Word for word:
ācāryera — of the spiritual master (Advaita Prabhu); mata — opinion; yei — what is; sei — that; mata — opinion; sāra — active principle; tāṅra — his; ājñā — order; laṅghi’ — transgressing; cale — becomes; sei — that; ta’ — however; asāra — useless.

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.

Here is the opinion of Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī. 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.

I left that organisation immediately when l heard of the so called “censure”. I did so in protest to the treatment of Giri Maharaja and, because I did not want to become a blind follower of useless fools.
I sent this email to Sripad Giri Maharaja at that time –

Dear Sripad Bhakti Kanan Giri Maharaj,

Please accept my dandavat pranams. All Glories to our Illustrious Guruvarga.

I am very unhappy and disappointed at the “censure” of your Grace by Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math Navadwip.

I have known that there have been differences and problems for some time now but I have kept out of it, adopting the “ignorance is bliss” stance.

Now I have been through all your published correspondence on this matter and I can no longer remain ignorant and silent. In fact I was so surprised at how well you have conducted yourself in this matter.

To point out such monumental defects in the current “Acharya Board” takes some courage.

To all the while remain cool, calm, logical and respectful, referencing every point with Vaishnava siddhanta and your own substantial experience makes you a formidable opponent.

I think this is the reason for this so called censure.

They are afraid.

You are the proverbial thorn in the side of the “Acharya Board” and so you must be pulled out, “censured”.

I have never felt comfortable with Sripad Goswami Maharaj and tend to respectfully avoid him if possible but I thought that was just some unjustified mental prejudice on my part and I would berrate myself for that.

However after reading your very amusing, satirical and informing article “The Pied Piper of San Jose ” I think maybe my feelings were more justified than i gave myself credit for.

I have found no offense to any Vaishnava past or present in your writings and presentations and I will continue to visit your website for my spiritual nourishment.

I have informed Sriman Mahananda das Bhakti Ranjan that I will not  cooperate with his self or the current Acharya Board until this “censure” has been overturned and public apology made to you.

I consider your Grace as a beacon in dark times and if there is any service I can render please ask me.

Your servant, 

Uddharan das

So, nothing has changed. The censure was not overturned nor any apology made, just rank arrogance and nasty, envious dealings towards an innocent devotee whose only interest in life is to preach the pure spiritual precepts of his Gurus.

If we consider ourselves followers and disciples of those Gurus shouldn’t that be the ideal of all of us?

Now the situation in what was once Srila Govinda Maharaja’s divine preaching mission is worse than ever.

“Dollars, diplomacy and despotism”. This is the creed of the IAB. I am sorry for that, but accept it now as divine providence as Srila Sridhara Maharaja instructed us to.

Unfortunately I cannot offer you any accommodation at my small house but you are welcome to visit and take prasadam with us.

We are humble householders and it is our duty to serve the mendicants who have given up everything for the service of Divinity.

In our devotional practicing lives we should not aspire for anything other than the blessings and well wishes of the pure hearted, atmarama vaishnavas.

Therefore, I humbly beg you to take the holy devotional association of Srila Bhakti Kanan Giri Maharaja. 

Service to his Divine Grace will give you everything you require to make your own spiritual sojourn a success.

Your servant,

Uddharan dasa