Our Webmaster, Sriman Gokulananda das
A couple days ago, during the early morning hours I generally use for writing and study, I noticed some anomalies while accessing our website.
Coincidentally, it occurred in the midst of writing an email mentioning the attack to our website that occurred almost exactly a year before (See: Attack on scsmathglobal.com— the evidence. All signs point to Radha Syam and Indra Bandhu.). The subject came up due to its relevance to a vast expansion of the Media Archives on our website that is soon to “materialize” thanks to the dedicated seva of our webmaster extraordinaire, Sriman Gokulananda.
Naturally, when the anomalies occurred, I wondered “Could these be the result of another attack?” The question was quickly followed by “It’s more likely Prabhu Gokulananda is fiddling with our website again.”
He expends a huge amount of energy maintaining and expanding the content of our site. And his work is often taking place, like mine, during the early hours of the morning.
Sure enough, a phone call a little later revealed the cause for the anomalies. He was “refreshing” the site by implementing some updates and, by another coincidence, making changes that would improve the security of the site.
What ties all these events together?
- An email explaining the proposed doubling in size of our Media Archive by adding newly discovered videos of Srila Govinda Maharaja.
- A previous attack on the website that destroyed all the content, including the archives.
- Prabhu Gokulananda “fiddling” with the website.
Let me put it all together.
Immediately following the attack on scsmathglobal.com and our subsequent rebuilding of it, Srimans Radha-Syama (aka Ronald Sannes) directed Indra Bandhu (aka Eric Wildenberg) to launch another attack against our website. This time they filed a claim against GoDaddy, the company hosting our site, demanding it block all access to it unless we removed a vast amount of material Sannes and Wildenberg claimed we were using in violation of their copyright to it.
Convinced the accusation was false, we disputed it. Nevertheless, GoDaddy has no way of knowing if such accusations are true, or not. A court must decide that matter based on a review of evidence that proves, or disproves, the accusation.
No such evidence needs to be presented to the hosting company. Instead, the mere claim that a copyright violation has occurred on a site they are hosting, whether the claim is true or false, is all it takes to cause them to panic and seek the easiest and cheapest means to protect themselves from any liability or costs associated with such a claim.
To do this, they simply demand the defendant, so to speak, (in this case scsmathglobal.com) remove the disputed content or they will shut down the site.
Radha-Syam knew this and must have thought we would succumb to this bullying tactic he was employing against us by way of making a threat against GoDaddy for allowing us to use their services to allegedly post material in violation of a copyright.
If so, he was wrong.
Who is really responsible for the content published on our website? Is it the hosting company? Of course not. It is us, Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.
Who was Radha-Syam threatening with the notice he filed with GoDaddy? He was threatening GoDaddy, not SCSM.
He was alerting GoDaddy that they could be liable for damages if they did not take action to remove the material he claimed violated his copyrights and those of Indra Bandhu. He also knew GoDaddy’s response would be to block access to the entire scsmathglobal.com site, rather than go one by one looking for a long list of “offending” materials which they would then delete piece by piece. This would accomplish what the previous attack against our site accomplished; total denial of access by anyone to any material on our site, including all the books, lectures, writings and audio/video files; even those of their guru Srila Govinda Maharaja and his guru Srila Sridhara Maharaja.
Why not make the claim directly against SCSM? Why threaten the company that is doing nothing but providing a place for our website to reside?
The answer appears obvious. It is much easier to threaten or bully a third party who has no real involvement in the matter, other than receiving a small monthly fee for providing a service.
Since almost all hosting services can be expected to react the same way GoDaddy did, I consulted with Srimans Gokulananda and Uddharan, then took the decision to remove any hosting company from involvement with our website. If anyone has a claim to make, let them make it directly to us. After all, that’s ultimately where it will end up anyway, unless we give in to the bullying tactics of those like Radha-Syam and Indra Bandhu.
This decision meant we would have to host the site ourselves, a feat most, including those with intimate knowledge of web hosting, thought to be nearly impossible. I reached out to a great number of experts seeking their advice on the matter. Almost everyone either thought it technically impossible, too much trouble, or advised against it for some reason or other.
I persisted and found information that convinced me we could do it.
It would be many times more expensive than using a web hosting company. But it would give us the freedom to post whatever we believed should be posted, without a third party second guessing us as to what content was acceptable or not acceptable.
And, to the most current point, we could post as much material as our own web-server’s drive capacity would allow.
Sriman Uddharan Prabhu donated the entire amount of $1,500.00
To accomplish the task before us we had to purchase our own web-server. Fortunately Sriman Uddharan Prabhu donated the entire amount of $1,500.00 needed for this.
Next, we had to acquire a much more expensive business broadband connection that would give us access to a static IP address.
With all this in place we embarked on the heavy learning curve needed to set up the server to perform the task at hand. This was the most frustrating and difficult part of our undertaking.
I cannot possibly innumerate all the hours that accompanied Sriman Gokulananda’s indomitable determination to see this project through to its successful completion. Many times the task caused us to recall the admonishments we had received from many experts: “what you want to do is not possible.”
Still, I would not be deterred and neither would Prabhu Gokulananda.
Finally, by the grace of Srila Gurudeva, whose seva we were attempting to achieve, we succeeded.
Did that end the attacks by Radha-Syama and Indra Bandhu. No. They tried again. This time by filling claims against our Internet Service Provider (“ISP”).
Again I’ll ask, why did they not pursue us directly in Federal District Court, the proper venue for such allegations? “The answer appears obvious. It is much easier to threaten or bully a third party who has no real involvement in the matter …”
I was prepared for the next attack and, being confident we had not violated any copyrights as claimed, was determined to defend our position in Federal District Court, if need be. That is the proper place to decide such matters, the court of jurisdiction, where each side can present their case for a fair hearing.
That decision brought a halt to the matter.
In point of fact, almost all the material being disputed had either been offered to us by Radha-Syama and Indra Bandhu, with the unmistakable intent that it be posted on scsmathglobal.com, or they had actually posted it there themselves, thus nullifying any claims to copyright infringement. Other materials had actually been created entirely by the staff of scsmathglobal.com.
Why do great difficulties befall devotees? It is to illustrate their glories. The readers of this article and those using our website, including myself, can hardly know the difficulties Sriman Gokulananda has happily endured to create, maintain and constantly improve and expand scsmathglobal.com in pursuance of his devoted service to his guru, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundara Govinda Deva Goswami Maharaja and his spiritual master, Srila Sridhara Maharaja along with Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and all their associates, disciples and followers.
I hope what I have written above will help us all to better appreciate this seva offered by Sriman Gokulananda for the benefit of everyone.
Now, what about the three items I promised to put together?
Fiddling with the website was, in part, done to lay the proper groundwork for the coming expansion which requires the installation of a new hard drive with 2-3 times the capacity of the one currently in our web server, which we would not have were it not for the fact that our website was attacked a year ago, as mentioned in the context of a recent email to a devotee helping us build our archives.
In simpler terms, each of the points is connected to us hosting our own website, on our own server right here where I am composing this post, on the premises of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura had his own printing press. By his grace, we have our own web server.
When the soul is thirsty, finding no satisfaction in the dry desert of the material world, it yearns for nourishment, refreshment. It is our hope, our prayer and belief that refreshment may be found in the nectar offered here at scsmathglobal.com, where the conditioned souls, along with sincere seekers and practitioners of Krishna Consciousness, all sons of nectar, can be refreshed by diving deep into the oceans of nectar known here by the names Srila Govinda Maharaja Media Archive and Srila Sridhar Maharaja Media Archive.
May it be so by the blessings of the Vaishnavas.
Swami B.K. Giri
So the environment is not bad. We are suffering from misunderstanding, maya (na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum), and that misunderstanding should be cleared. We shall try to live anywhere and everywhere, and we shall see the environment as all-loving, if we have that deep vision to see who is at the basis of all of us, if we find Him. It is also mentioned in the Upanisads that in pure consciousness, one can see nectar everywhere in the wind, in the ocean, in the plants, in the stars everywhere.
Try to recognize that your situation is full of honey – full of nectar. Don’t try to see only the outer cover. Your vision must be deep enough to see the real position. Then you will find everything is like nectar to you. Srnvantu visve amrtasya putrah. This clarion-call is coming from the Veda: “O you sons of nectar! Attempt to listen to my words! You are really sons of the nectar lake. Why should you be like poison? Are you a poisonous unit? Are you now downtrodden to become units of poison? But your real, innate self – you are a drop of the nectar ocean!” Srnvantu visve amrtasya putrah – “Awake! Arise! Arise to your self-consciousness that you are a drop of the nectar ocean! Try to realize it!” — Srila B.R. Sridhara Maharaja. Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion, vol. 1