Srila Giri Maharaja – “Have you considered repentance?”


Dear Ishvara Upamana/Madhu Krishna das/Michael Sheludko/Researcher

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

I am a researcher, doing religion studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University, so the first interest is of this intention.

Prabhu, in Christian theology what is the term for a person who, once a Christian, turns away from Christ? Is the term not “heretic” or, perhaps, apostate? A heretic is one that believes in or practices heresy, which is defined as follows:

1) belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine:

2) opinion profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted:

As for apostate, we find this:

a person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle

Applying the above principals to your case, are you not, as one who has rejected his Vaishnava Guru (Srila Govinda Maharaja), a heretic or apostate, if viewed in light of Christian terminology?

We met with you in Odessa in 1998, so just recall our conversations to find a friend in me, not an enemy.

I do recall our conversations. During them I saw the life Srila Govinda Maharaja gave you drain away from you, as a doctor, whose patient refuses the necessary treatment, is unable to reverse the course of a disease and can do nothing but watch as his patient’s life force slips away towards death’s door.

I do not see you as my enemy, any more than a Christian would think a heretic or apostate to be his enemy, but an enemy or traitor to Christ.

Unfortunately, bringing you back to life at this point is like trying to repair a broken sprout in hopes that it will grow into a mature plant. Once the sprout of faith has been broken, it is very difficult to repair.

I later took shelter of Christ but in some principal aspects I’m still trying to follow Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s line.

So, although very slight, there is a glimmer of hope.

I am a researcher, doing religion studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University, so the first interest is of this intention.

Yes, you have become a researcher, a drastic and long fall backwards and downwards from the positive ascent you were making towards Krishna as a practitioner of His philosophy and precepts.

And, yes, that is your first interest, and it is my last. Did Jesus strive to make his followers researchers, or faithful servitors of God? Obviously I believe he preferred the latter over the former.* Likewise, I and my gurus seek to distribute faith in the Lord, not pablum to infantile academics who, in turn, distribute that bland substance to other spiritual infants after attaching their names to it so as to receive praises and profits from their peers and other foolish fellows who will credit them for creating the formula, when all they did was mix some ingredients already supplied by Krishna, the Creator of the ingredients, whose name and fame become lost in the process.

If I can be of any help in retuning you to the shelter of the lotus feet of His Divine Grace Srila Govinda Maharaja, I look forward to being of assistance. But why should I help you with your mundane research? Will I receive a portion of your grants, royalties, grades or diplomas? I don’t think you have that in mind. I think you have in mind to exploit the practitioners of Krishna consciousness for your own material profit and advancement. In that I wish you well, but decline to participate. And, with this, responding in your coin, I hope you will “find a friend in me, not an enemy.”

Finally, I’m sure you will find there are many foolish persons who will readily agree to help you pursue your mundane ambitions. The cheaters and the cheated are very plentiful in this world. You don’t need me.

Have you considered repentance? I think it is looked upon as a virtue by Christians. You might want to consider it.

With best wishes,

Swami B.K. Giri
*I am no expert on the subject but my impression of Christ is not that he was greatly learned in the Tora (a researcher). If he was, it was not apparent from my reading of the Bible. Neither do I remember him directing his disciples to become researchers of the Tora. He expected his disciples to follow him and preach the doctrines he espoused to arouse faith in God. Faith in their guru (himself) is what I understood him to expect of his disciples. When they denied their affiliation with him, he saw them as having betrayed him, as I see you as having betrayed your guru.

PS- By what means and for what purpose did you acquire and begin using the name Ishvara Upamana?