Srila Giri Maharaja – “Gaudiya Vaishnavism: Is It Relevant?”

Dear Sriman Narada dasa,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

I thank you for your reply but don’t notice any substantial difference between your present email and the one before it.

Whatever you want to know about Gaudiya Vaishnavism should be learned under the tutelage of one advanced in spiritual knowledge by following this method:

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

tat — that knowledge of different sacrifices; viddhi — try to understand; praṇipātena — by approaching a spiritual master; paripraśnena — by submissive inquiries; sevayā — by the rendering of service; upadekṣyanti — they will initiate; te — you; jñānam — into knowledge; jñāninaḥ — the self-realized; tattva — of the truth; darśinaḥ — seers.

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.

—Bg. 4.34, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

The type of research you are undertaking is that of academics and will forever remain in that domain, far removed from the transcendental realm which cannot be studied under a microscope, measured with the instruments of this world or understood by the mundane calculative method.

The focus of my research, and book, will be on whether Gaudiya Vaishnavism is ‘still’ (assuming it once was) relevant in the UK.

Gaudiya Vaishnavism is the only matter that is relevant in the UK (and all other places) and will remain relevant for all time and all places:

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam

dharmaḥ — occupation; svanuṣṭhitaḥ — executed in terms of one’s own position; puṁsām — of humankind; viṣvaksena — the Personality of Godhead (plenary portion); kathāsu — in the message of; yaḥ — what is; na — not; utpādayet — does produce; yadi — if; ratim — attraction; śramaḥ — useless labor; eva — only; hi — certainly; kevalam — entirely.

The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.

—ŚB 1.2.8, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

The research that answers your questions and the books explaining it have already been completed and written, respectively. If you read these books under the guidance of a bonafide guru all your questions will be answered. If you distribute those books to others they will get the chance to know the relevancy of Gaudiya Vaishnavism in the UK and throughout all time and space.

I pray this finds you well in health and spirits.


Swami B.K. Giri