Sri Govinda Divya-vani Seva Ashram, dissolved and withdrawn.

Out-of-Service

Status Upgraded to “Permanently Out of Service”

It is with great reluctance, sadness and disappointment that I accept the resignation of Sriman Radha-Syam dasa as the leader of our Ashram in Salem, OR.

In an email to me on March 17, this year, he wrote:

I’m not continuing in the position I’m in, regarding managing an ashram, I will continue to try and make spiritual progress, attempt to follow Srila Govinda Maharaja (which I have attempted), and formally point others towards the SCS Math in respect of Srila Govinda Maharaja’s appointing you, etc., if they are seeking Hari Nama initiation. Regardless of my shortcomings.

It was my strong desire that Prabhu Radha-Syam continue as the spiritual leader there. Therefore, I asked him many times to call me, as it was my feeling that all problems could easily be resolved if he would only call me to discuss them.

From: BK Giri
Subject: Re: set back
Date: March 17, 2013 6:17:31 PM EDT
To: IBd

I just tried to call you but received no answer. I left a message on your voicemail requesting both you and RSdb to call me. I did the same with Prabhu RSdb, who also did not answer his phone.

Past experience has shown that only speaking with all concerned about these matters resolves them.

It looks like you’ve written a long letter, but I think it is best to speak personally rather than me try to read a long letter which will require a long response which I am not able to do, and will be ineffectual.

When these things happened, and they happened often, with our gurus, the resolution always came quickly and easily through association. If you want resolution, then call me, I’m sure it is a simple matter to resolve.

Giri Maharaja

It is my personal experience of some forty years that such difficulties as Prabhu Radha-Syam is having are akin to what Srila Sridhara Maharaja called “mental mushrooms”, easily removed through association and application of our Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy.

“We will find that those unwanted things were like mushrooms: they came out from our mental soil, and now they have all gone and died. They have all gone away, and Krsna alone is in the heart. At that time, the heart is only full of Krsna, full of the Krsna conception… After all, they are mushrooms; they have no footing, no connection with the soil. They are only floating”—SSK

After receiving no response to my numerous pleas in March that they call me, I sent the following email on May 28 to Radha-Syam with a copy to Prabhu Indra Bandhu:

Dear Sriman Radha Syam dasa,

Please accept my humble obeisances and well-wishes in remembrance of my Divine Master.

I thought it is now a good time to respond to your below email.

I’m happy that you’ve decided tough love is the best course of action with Trivikrama Maharaj, and certainly it is a cleansing experience, as well as honestly expressing your position both in favor of Srila Govinda Maharaj’s Will and actually that you favor Trivikrama Maharaj if he’ll also follow Srila Govinda Maharaj’s Will. It is possible that you will not push Maharaj away, but actually, show the clear line of demarcation between deception and conception he may need to hear to make a choice in favor of the Positive. Certainly it seems that he enjoys the clarity of the IAB’s choices (their ability to make a decision and follow through) however their choices clearly didn’t and don’t follow Srila Gurudeva’s. Bottom line is that we offer others our association NOT that we need theirs, so I make no mistake that you definitely will choose sides, and that is also a warning to me to take sides with you, and not think I ever have a position with you, in this dynamic play. My suggestion to Maharaj would be that he consider to Whom he is attracted. I hope that he’ll find your association attractive, and by stating your honest position in relation to him, he may actually be encouraged by your steadfastness as his well-wisher and heaviness as Acarya.

I also think it is time you respond to your own words above which I accept as expressing your true beliefs and faith.

Meanwhile, I am super glad to hear of Bimalananda’s progress! My affection for him grows as I hear such wonderful new, and also I am so happy for you, that there is another person in the temple there to play with and help:) I had sooo hoped he’d find a Home with devotees, the association of a bonefide Guru, and the affection he’s been seeking, while helping you because I really wanted to send someone there who’d help. I hope he has staying power! I think of course he’s in great hands and must be satisfied. He may take saffron at some point? School for me will be out in March, then one last two week program I had to switch to May, and done. So I’d like to come I hope in May and visit, or June perhaps because then Indra Bandhu prabhu and my birthday are in June, and Indra Prabhu and I can arrange a nice time to visit all of you, at which time I hope to hug Bimalananda das as I want to show my appreciation for his Positive decisions and service oriented adjustment! Hare Krishna!

Yes, Sriman Bimalananda dasa is doing very well and regularly expresses his gratitude for having the opportunity to serve here. Srila Gurudeva has delivered his grace to him with you and Sriman Indra Bandhu as two of the via mediums. Neither he, nor I, are unmindful of that. Up till now, his “staying power” has shown no signs of interruption. If that continues a little while longer I will give him saffron cloth provided he demonstrates to me that he understands the significance of it.

As for the UK temple, and any others joining the SCS Math Global Mission, I believe Srila Govinda Maharaj is pleased, and I just feel things are going to grow. I deeply appreciate that you continue to list the Ashram here in Salem on your auspicious website, and look forward to doing more preaching and distribution to continue to earn such a wonderful and undeserved service connection.

Thank you for associating with this insignificant soul.

When you ceased communicating with me naturally I was of a mind to remove the Salem Ashram from our listing of Centers. If left with no other option, then I must do that.

Fortunately, I have a long history to refer to wherein our gurus had to deal with many devotees who behaved in ways similar to yours. They were extremely patient, tolerant and forgiving, with some exceptions.

Following their example and precepts, I have not lost hope for you. Somehow or other you have received some inspiration for preaching the message of Sriman Mahaprabhu and our Sri Guru Varga. I cannot easily dismiss this. Therefore I continue to hope and pray to Srila Gurudeva that you will leave your emotional proclivities to return to your senses and his Divine Mission.

If you decide instead to pursue your own path, deviating from the well reasoned and truthful conclusions you expressed in the first paragraph of your email to me beginning “I’m happy that you’ve decided tough love is the best course of action…”, you may do so, but you should inform me clearly of this fact and request that I cancel the Salem Ashram as one of our centers.

I pray this finds you well in health and spirits. Please convey the same to Sriman Indra Bandhu.

Swami B.K. Giri

Again on May 30 (full email attached below *), I strongly urged Sriman Radha-Syam to call me, reminding him of my email to him and Prabhu Indra Bandhu on 3/18/13.

March 18 email:

Dear Srimans Radha-Syam dasa brahmachari and Indra Bandhu,

I see some emails from both of you in my Inbox. But I don’t know why you are sending them. I am not reading them.

If you did not get the message before, hopefully you will get it this time.

When you are prepared to leave your childish fantasies and illusions for the world of Krishna Consciousness, that begins with surrender to Sri Guru and Vaishnava, you can call me on the phone and I will explain to you how you can do that, following guru, shastra and sadhu.

If you want to continue your personality cult, with Radha-Syam as the cult leader, then you are certainly free to do that, independent of any authority or sanction by Srila Govinda Maharaja and, “at your own risk.”

I have no interest in any personality cult, except that cult which revolves around the instructions given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Mood and personality are part of vapu, the physical conception of Sri Guru, they are not relevant to vani, the spiritual instructions of Sri Guru.

Any complaints about my personality, mood and so forth, are entirely irrelevant to discussions of spiritual life and progress. It is mistaking form for substance.

I was taught to follow guru, shastra and sadhu, not moods and personalities.

That is what I am doing. That is what I advise you to do. Anyone who shares that interest is welcome to join with me.

Everyone else is welcome to continue chasing shadows and ghosts, ignoring things of spiritual substance.

I am still of the same opinion. If you have any questions regarding my actions or philosophical position they should be settled by calling me for the above stated reasons. I will discuss any such issues at that time.

Despite my repeated requests that he call me, including my last request above, Radha-Syam has not called and spoken with me, nor have I seen any indication that he has the least inclination to do so.

In addition to all the above, Radha-Syam, after insisting that his use of “Srila Gurudeva” is another in a long list of addresses to me intended to convey the idea that he regards me as being his guru (in addition to Srila Govinda Maharaja), has begun a campaign intended to persuade others that his “Srila Gurudeva”, the acharya of the Salem ashram, and the one from which he took saffron brahmachari cloth, is severely defective and is in need of rehabilitation by his disciple, Radha-Syam.

In my opinion, Radha-Syam cannot distinguish apparent defects of Sri Guru from actual, substantial defects.

Paraphrasing Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Sridhara Maharaja said:

“The purifying capacity of the Ganges water is separate, and cannot be disturbed by any foam or dirt mixed with the water. The spiritual capacity does not depend in any way on the apparent material capacity. A Vaisnava may sometimes be seen to be a little greedy, a little angry; or physically he may be blind or deaf or lame – but the saintly character of the Vaisnava is independent of the mental or physical characteristics.”—SGD, Vol. 1

If Prabhu Radha-Syam wants to dissolve this guru/disciple relationship he previously insisted upon with me, I have no objection, he is free to do so.

However, as long as the guru/disciple relationship remains in effect, it is my duty to try and guide Radha-Syam towards the proper understanding of such a relationship and do as he requested me to do many times, correct his misunderstandings.

I never felt it necessary that Radha-Syam accept my as his guru in order for him to act as the leader of the Salem Ashram. He must, however, be amenable to following my direction if the Ashram is to operate under my auspices and as a spiritually affiliated branch of our Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math (Global), for which Srila Govinda Maharaja directed me to be the acharya.

At present, as Sriman Radha-Syam will not follow my direction regarding the operation of the Salem Ashram, nor follow even the most minimal decorum with relation to the one bestowing upon him the status of a saffron clad brahmachari, I hereby accept his resignation as the manager of the Sri Govinda Divya-vani Seva Ashram in Salem, OR.

I also withdraw the status I previously conferred to him as a saffron clad brahmachari. If he has not done so already, he must leave the saffron cloth given by me and return again to white cloth.

Furthermore, as the Sri Govinda Divya-vani Seva Ashram in Salem, OR was conceived and formed under my direction as the acharya of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math and as the ashram’s Founder Acharya, I hereby revoke permission to use that name and rescind any connection with the ashram, except as the spiritual friend and well-wisher of all the devotees there, especially Sriman Radha-Syam dasa and Sriman Indra Bandhu to whom I shall always remain indebted for assisting me so wonderfully in my service to Srila Govinda Maharaja and our Sri Guru Varga.

Swami B.K. Giri

*Full email of May 30:

Dear Sriman Radha Syam dasa,

As I told you previously:

Date: March 17

I just tried to call you but received no answer. I left a message on your voicemail requesting both you and RSdb to call me. I did the same with Prabhu RSdb, who also did not answer his phone.

Past experience has shown that only speaking with all concerned about these matters resolves them.

It looks like you’ve written a long letter, but I think it is best to speak personally rather than me try to read a long letter which will require a long response which I am not able to do, and will be ineffectual.

When these things happened, and they happened often, with our gurus, the resolution always came quickly and easily through association. If you want resolution, then call me, I’m sure it is a simple matter to resolve.

And again:

Date: March 18, 2013

I see some emails from both of you in my Inbox. But I don’t know why you are sending them. I am not reading them.

If you did not get the message before, hopefully you will get it this time.

When you are prepared to leave your childish fantasies and illusions for the world of Krishna Consciousness, that begins with surrender to Sri Guru and Vaishnava, you can call me on the phone and I will explain to you how you can do that, following guru, shastra and sadhu.

If you want to continue your personality cult, with Radha-Syam as the cult leader, then you are certainly free to do that, independent of any authority or sanction by Srila Govinda Maharaja and, “at your own risk.”

I have no interest in any personality cult, except that cult which revolves around the instructions given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Mood and personality are part of vapu, the physical conception of Sri Guru, they are not relevant to vani, the spiritual instructions of Sri Guru.

Any complaints about my personality, mood and so forth, are entirely irrelevant to discussions of spiritual life and progress. It is mistaking form for substance.

I was taught to follow guru, shastra and sadhu, not moods and personalities.

That is what I am doing. That is what I advise you to do. Anyone who shares that interest is welcome to join with me.

Everyone else is welcome to continue chasing shadows and ghosts, ignoring things of spiritual substance.

I am still of the same opinion. If you have any questions regarding my actions or philosophical position they should be settled by calling me for the above stated reasons. I will discuss any such issues at that time.

Because you have not called me as I requested, and later insisted, I raised the issue below which I would like to bring to a close:

When you ceased communicating with me naturally I was of a mind to remove the Salem Ashram from our listing of Centers. If left with no other option, then I must do that.

Fortunately, I have a long history to refer to wherein our gurus had to deal with many devotees who behaved in ways similar to yours. They were extremely patient, tolerant and forgiving, with some exceptions.

Following their example and precepts, I have not lost hope for you. Somehow or other you have received some inspiration for preaching the message of Sriman Mahaprabhu and our Sri Guru Varga. I cannot easily dismiss this. Therefore I continue to hope and pray to Srila Gurudeva that you will leave your emotional proclivities to return to your senses and his Divine Mission.

If you decide instead to pursue your own path, deviating from the well reasoned and truthful conclusions you expressed in the first paragraph of your email to me beginning “I’m happy that you’ve decided tough love is the best course of action…”, you may do so, but you should inform me clearly of this fact and request that I cancel the Salem Ashram as one of our centers.

I will reiterate:

“I continue to hope and pray to Srila Gurudeva that you will leave your emotional proclivities to return to your senses and his Divine Mission.

If you decide instead to pursue your own path, deviating from the well reasoned and truthful conclusions you expressed in the first paragraph of your email to me beginning “I’m happy that you’ve decided tough love is the best course of action…”, you may do so, but you should inform me clearly of this fact and request that I cancel the Salem Ashram as one of our centers.”

That is the vital point. But you missed this vital point and tried to draw my attention to a relatively insignificant side issue:

I am writing in regards to an edit or revision that may be made on the SCS Math Global website.

Until the vital question is answered, you have no right to question me about anything else. If you want to operate outside SCSM, you may do so, but outsiders have no right to question me about internal matters. I think you can understand this simple point.

You write one thing, perhaps by mistake, and then say you mean another, or you write something which is so esoteric or convoluted as to not be understandable. For example:

Concerning your censuring me or not, or your “canceling” me, I believe it would be ridiculous to do so over something misinterpreted and taken out of context; and I think given the circumstances of your censure by the IAB its hypocritical.

My job is not to decipher obscure codes written by you or wait ten weeks for you to offer an explanation that entirely contradicts the obvious meaning.

Whatever it is you are trying to say I hope you can understand this, the IAB gave me nothing, therefore they have nothing to take away from me. What I was given was given personally by Srila Bhakti Vedanta Swami Maharaja, Srila Sridhara Maharaja and Srila Govinda Maharaja. If they withdraw their grace from me, they may do so, but no board, be it the GBC or the IAB, has any such independent power. Neither can they take anything from you or anyone else that was given by Srila Gurudeva (Srila Govinda Maharaja).

The spiritual system is an autocratic one, not a democratic one. We are to work under the guidance and direction of a higher Vaishnava, pure and simple. If we cannot find or see such a reliable devotee we will then have to rely on our own caitya-guru, the shastra and sadhus of like-minded interests to our spiritual pursuit.

I gave you saffron cloth by which you are entitled to refer to yourself as “brahmachari”. I gave the name “Sri Govinda Divya-vani Seva Ashram” and the accompanying rights and responsibilities to those who would operate the ashram under my auspicious. As I am the one who gave these things, I am the one with the right and responsibility to maintain them, or withdraw them, if need be.

“withdraw them, if need be” means according to my determination, just as all these things were given according to my determination. I am not, therefore, obliged to justify my reasoning to you. I am attempting to do so as a courtesy to you who are so new, young, immature or otherwise unable to grasp these things without my patiently explaining them to you.

I believe I have explained everything sufficiently.

vimrsyaitad asesena
yathecchasi tatha kuru

Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.

Again, to be clear, please inform me by return email whether you will operate the ashram under my direction or, if you prefer to operate outside SCSM. If you choose the latter, I will remove the listing of Sri Govinda Divya-vani Seva Ashram as one of our spiritually affiliated centers.

The choice is yours.

If you have any questions about the vital point, you may call me.

Sincerely yours,

Swami B.K. Giri