Dear devotees and readers,
Please accept my humble dandavat pranamas in remembrance of our Divine Masters.
Several weeks ago I leaned Sripada Trivikrama Maharaja had left his sannyasa. I wrote to him about this and soon afterwards he kindly called me to explain what had happened. At that time I explained it is not so much of a difficulty for a devotee.
Srila Govinda Maharaja: Vasudeva’s. Vasudeva Prabhu’s handwriting, love letter published, Kunja Babu’s group. And Guru Maharaja believed it. Then Guru Maharaja gave some proposal. “Vasudeva Prabhu leave his acharya post. He is Vaishnava, no doubt. And it is not fault, so much fault. But this is fault for one acharya. This is point. Then he leave acharya post. And, shall give nourishment to him. And he may come perfect way. Again he will come perfect.” That was Guru Maharaja’s proposal.
— Srila Govinda Maharaja, “The Disappearance of Srila Saraswati Thakur (12/31/93)”
Many sannyasis have left that ashram. They were not condemned for doing so by our gurus. Rather, they were encouraged to continue their preaching and practicing life with the idea that service to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga is the be-all and end-all of life and can be done from any position:
CC Madhya 13.80
nāhaṁ vipro na ca nara-patir nāpi vaiśyo na śūdro
nāhaṁ varṇī na ca gṛha-patir no vanastho yatir vā
gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ
“ ‘I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a vaiśya or a śūdra. Nor am I a brahmacārī, a householder, a vānaprastha or a sannyāsī. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the maintainer of the gopīs. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing with brilliance.’ ”
This is verse 74 from the Padyāvalī, an anthology of verses compiled by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.
That is our philosophy.
Srila Swami Maharaja Prabhupada even selected one of his grhastha devotees to serve as a guru after his disappearance.
Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja: Then? This is one, Caru Swāmī Mahārāja he has got some appreciation for me. He [Jayatirtha] was direct appointed by Swāmī Mahārāja as an Ācārya though gṛhastha. He has got some sympathy with me, and so many others also.
At the same time, the position of acharya is unique and Srila Sridhara Maharaja thought it should be represented by one who is a sannyasi. He was so firm in that conviction that even though he saw Srila Govinda Maharaja as fully qualified to follow him as his sole successor acharya, he would not appoint Srila Govinda Maharaja to that post until he had been reinstated as a sannyasi.
Sripada Trivikrama Maharaja has acted honorably by discontinuing his initiation of new persons. He continues to preach the precepts of our Sri Guru Varga and I offered him all encouragement to do that. But Srila Govinda Maharaja wanted him to serve the post of acharya for Brazil. Naturally, we also want that. Therefore, I have urged him to return to sannyasa and in due course again assume the post of acharya.
I include below two emails that express my opinion on the above matter. In the line of my second email below, I respectfully submit my prayer to all, and especially the devotees of Brazil, that you do as I have done and encourage Prabhu Ananga Krishna dasa to return to his position as a sannyasi and acharya. Everything is achieved by the blessings, support and good will of devotees. Please offer these to His Grace Ananga Krishna for the satisfaction of our Divine Masters.
A humble servant of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvika Giridharijiu,
Swami B.K. Giri
Dear Sriman Ananga Krishna dasa,
Please accept my humble obeisances in remembrance of our Divine Masters.
I just thought to follow up on your recent phone call.
I once received a telegram from Srila Sridhara Maharaja in reply to my quandary about a particular matter. His reply was very brief, straight and simple. Following that idea I say, very simply: you made a mistake, you realize your mistake. Therefore, I suggest you return to sannyasa as soon as possible and don’t look back.
I pray this finds you well in health and spirits.
Swami B.K. Giri
My dandavats Prabhu Ananga Krishna dasa.
This morning I read this and it inspired me to think of you:
One of our God-brothers he told, he was gṛhastha. At that time a good disciple he got, then he took sannyāsa, and told that, “This disciple has given me sannyāsa. I was gṛhastha and this young man he left his wife and has come to serve me whole time, and I am a gṛhastha. This impression this impressed me. This knowledge impressed me to take sannyāsa, to become sannyāsī. My disciple has given the daṇḍa to me, the sannyāsa-vesa. He’s always, being a young man he has come to serve Guru whole time, and still I am gṛhastha.” Though he was a good condition of Vaiṣṇavism, still he said like that.
So disciples will help the Guru to keep up his dignity. “That they regard me so much, how can I go down. How I can do this thing that thing, what in their consideration I’ll be in a degraded position.” So they help to keep up the Ācārya in his own temper. And other Vaiṣṇavas, his God-brothers, they will also help them to keep their high temper. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Hope all is well.
Swami B.K. Giri