Srila Giri Maharaja – “Confidential Knowledge”

On Jun 14, 2020, Tom wrote:

Dear Sripada B.K. Giri Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

I am writing to you with the hope that you may be able to help me find a particular commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita by your Gurudeva, BR Sridhara Maharaja, in which he describes the escalation of confidentiality shown by the word guhyam, which culminates in verse 18.66 with sarva-guhyatamam.

While I seem to remember him presenting this development by examining how guhyam was used in three different instances, I’m unable to remember in which of his books I read this, and cannot easily go through them now as I am in India on lockdown with no idea when I’ll be able to return home.

If you know where I might find this discussion, or if being familiar with his observation you’re able to mention the different presentations of guhyam your Gurudeva was describing (and in which verses they appear), I would be be most grateful.

Hoping this email finds you well,
Yours sincerely,

Hare Krishna.

On  June 14 2020, Sripada Giri Maharaja replied:

Dear Tom,

I have gone through your email and carefully noted the contents.

I see no purpose to be served either by your questions or by my reply to them except to say the following.

You are asking about confidential knowledge where confidence does not exist between you and me or, if it does, can only be found to a very minimal degree.

Krishna speaks of confidential knowledge here:

Bg. 9.2

rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṁ
pavitram idam uttamam
pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyaṁ
su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam

This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.

The starting point for receiving such knowledge is highlighted here:

Bg. 4.34

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.

Avoiding the above preliminary steps prohibits you from achieving any true insight into a proper understanding of the rāja-guhyaṁ mentioned in the first verse above or any guhyam to which you refer in your letter.

Academic knowledge will not get you what you want. Even careful study of Vaishnava scriptures without the tutelage of a bonafide Vaishnava guru will be useless except so far as it brings you to acceptance of that fact.

I pray this finds you well in health and spirits.


Swami B.K. Giri