With renewed interest of late in the topics I brought to light in “The Pied Piper of San Jose”, it seems appropriate at this time to post my response to one of its readers who had expressed to me his appreciation for my efforts. About two months after posting the article, the International Acharya Board (“IAB”), comprised of four acharyas actually named to be so by Srila Govinda Maharaja, and Sripada Goswami Maharaja, who was not named to be an acharya, issued a letter of censure against me. Although I was following the order of Srila Gurudeva, who directed me to serve as an acharya in his Mission; within the short span of just a little over one year after his disappearance, those signing the letter of censure sought to oust me from Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.
Speaking to a group of us in 1982 Srila Sridhara Maharaja said:
“They are driving me out of ISKCON. Let us see who is driven out, from ISKCON. Wait and see.” (82.03.05.D @5:50)
I suggest we follow the same line of thought with the attempt to drive me out of SCSM.
I am not alone in this thinking. There are others who, like me, have refused to accept the dogma of the IAB, exacted through “deviation, deception and deceit in the name of devotion, dedication and Divinity” (See: “The Acharyas Dialogue #7 – Deviation, Deception & Deceit”, “The Road to Deviation, Deception & Deceit”). In the company of these stalwarts I continue my humble attempt to carry out the command of Srila Gurudeva: “By My command being Guru save this land.”
“I have no fear. My Gurudeva has heard this from his Gurudeva. And it is for this reason that Gurudeva has accepted even such a great sinner as myself and has told me: ‘By My command being Guru save this land.’” (“Be humbler than even a blade of grass.”, Sri Chaitanya’s Teachings, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura)
I suspect our readers will be pleased and surprised to see some of the new material we will present here in the coming weeks and months. For now, I encourage everyone to consider the words below, which apply with equal relevance to His Divine Grace Srila Govinda Maharaja as they did to Srila Prabhupada, Swami Maharaja:
@ 14:20 SP’s Vani & Vapu, not the style, but the substance.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Swami Maharaja means not his external figure, but his advice, his instruction, he lives in his instruction, there his figure, he is. He’s in his instruction, the knowledge, what he wanted to give to us. That will be the special attention to him, devotion to him. Only not to, to have his, this stony figure and to dress it like Kirtanananda, with golden crown, and putting him in a golden house.
That is something, but the real thing, all leads to be subservient to the truth he came to preach. These [externals] are all secondary, primary thing is vani. Vapu, and vani also, not the style of writing, not the English language or the Sanskrit, but the purpose of his vani. Vapu. Otherwise the vani, the words, that is also vapu. Not the physical thing, but the substance within, is there, not the body, not the body, not the mind, but the principle he came to preach and represent. That is the highest conception of him.
A group of five or ten, or hundreds or thousands, may capture the organization of a guru, while the substance of his teachings eludes them. There is nothing new in this. The history of our sampradaya bears ample evidence of how aggressively the deluding potency acts to overwhelm and capture the minds of those who are even a little inattentive to faithfully follow the order of their Divine Preceptor.
Srila Govinda Maharaja
88.11.02.A Nab (edited by bkg for readability)
@0:14 …Jayapataka Swami [ISKCON guru/GBC] also came here, and he glorified very much. Now there is no difficulty to glorify. Now [after his disappearance] no one can come to Guru Maharaja. No one can see him here, then he is glorifying very nicely. And also I have seen, that book is also with me, one news of the disappearance of Guru Maharaja, and they wrote very nicely four or five pages. Five pages about Guru Maharaja, glorifying, and said Guru Maharaja was the highest Vaishnava in this world.
They are not coming in the time of Guru Maharaja, they’re afraid their disciples will go to Sridhara Maharaja, if they are seen going to him.
But after the disappearance of Guru Maharaja, they printed his magazine and there are five pages of glorification of Guru Maharaja. And very nicely they wrote. Little mistakes are there, little mistakes. Not historical mistake, some time mistake. You have seen? And they sent it.
Guru Maharaja was not taking their magazine from them. Guru Maharaja wrote them “We do not want your magazine. Don’t send to me.” In this way, Maharaja was very heavy, he cannot tolerate any apa–siddhanta [opinions antithetical to bona-fide vedic conclusions].
Srila Swami Maharaj often said, “I am ISKCON.” That means that all the property of Krishna consciousness—the Society he formed—was living with him, and he could not tolerate that any disturbance will come to his preaching life, and he would try to remove such disturbances by any means. But after His Divine Grace’s disappearance, some wave of illusion in the form of ego immediately tried to spread bad influence. You know that many have been affected by that influence. By those infected persons’ power many good souls were ousted, and Srila Guru Maharaj tried to give them some hope and shelter in the form of relief work. At present I am trying to serve his divine chair to the best of my limited capacity. — Divine Guidance, Hand-carved Gems, Pg. 117
In our case we believe we have but one choice to make our position safe within Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. We must commit all our energy to following the directives stated here:
Śrīla Guru Mahārāj gave very clear directives for his sampradāya saying, “Who wants to follow me and my directives, he can come to Śrī Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh and follow Govinda Mahārāj as my successor.” He gave very clear directives on many occasions and in many ways—and everyone knows it. (Affectionate Guidance)
In doing so, we must ask ourselves, as Srila Govinda Maharaja asked about others—”Now there is a section who are always saying ‘Guru Mahārāj is great. He is great. He is great.’ But his desire they cannot follow, so what is their faith to their Guru?”
It is all clear instruction for his devotees, for his followers, for his friends, for the newcomers—everything he very clearly has done. Seeing the activities of others we can now understand something of the reason why Śrīla Guru Mahārāj did this.
Now there is a section who are always saying “Guru Mahārāj is great. He is great. He is great.” But his desire they cannot follow, so what is their faith to their Guru? Śrīla Guru Mahārāj commented, “I do not want to go into the jungle of Āchāryyas, rather I will keep myself to myself, maybe in a thatched house, but that must be very clean and very quiet.” And for that he made Śrī Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh. Not only that but he did not want to make many maṭhs, that was his desire. (Affectionate Guidance)
Following the way of thought just espoused, it is not our desire to create a huge religious institution of the kind described by Srila Saraswati Thakura as “Kamsa and Putana.” We do not, in fact, expect any particular outcome whatsoever in exchange for our adherence to Srila Gurudeva’s direction. We serve His Divine Grace because he is our master and we are his humble servants. In this way we are simply trying our utmost to follow the idea expressed by Srila Gurudeva in the following passage:
I am keeping a very clear position with all other missionary activities: I am a servitor of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, and I am engaging in such service that comes to me. And if anyone wishes to join with me or the sampradāya in that same exclusive way, we will invite them, “Please come and do sevā.” (Affectionate Guidance)
Krishne matir astu. Swami B.K. Giri
To: Sriman Vamsivadanananda
I’ll forward this to Prabhu Gokulananda & ask him to make the corrections you suggest.
Thank you for your courage in posting the “Pied Piper.” I hope it wakes many from their slumber, though I suspect it may for the most part draw the ire of Goswami Maharaja’s many siksa-disciples.
I know our gurus, their devotees and followers, and myself, all have a deep and lasting appreciation for the service Sripada Goswami Maharaja has done for our gurus, the preaching of Krishna Consciousness and, thereby, for us.
But, as Sruta Srava Prabhu asked me a couple years ago, “When did Goswami Maharaja become God?” He doesn’t seem to know when to stop. He cannot, or as you might prefer, will not, as a rule, admit when he doesn’t know something. This is problematic. Srila Govinda Maharaja once noted this to me about the behavior of Sripada Sagara Maharaja.
We should have some sort of objective appreciation of the limits of our own knowledge and abilities and act accordingly. We are not God. Pretending to be omniscient, or to know better than our gurus, will bring trouble, not only for ourselves, but for those we are trying to serve, our gurus and their devotees.
I also am not God. Neither, am I the controller of Sripada Goswami Maharaja or the judge of his rank or position. I know what is in Srila Govinda Maharaja’s Will and I believe he wrote it with the intention that we should try our utmost to follow it.
I can’t say where this will go. I expect not far. Mostly I expect anger and resentment from the obvious sources. Although I have tried to give the four Acharyas on the IAB a way out, to admit they were inadvertently persuaded to move in the wrong direction by someone who is known to be very persuasive, I expect they will do what they’ve been doing, retrench, rather than change course.
There is a process. I am simply trying to follow the necessary process through to its conclusion.
Srila Sridhar Maharaja “Accepting the Inevitable from the Absolute Plane”
@ 16:50 (After question pertaining to how initiations would be carried out after the disappearance of BSST, but before a “self effulgent Acharya” appeared.)
“You see, we have come to understand, generally we feel, that Acharya will appoint Acharya, his successor. But we saw that he did not, he avoided. And, necessarily, we came to think that whatever spiritual education he had already imparted to his disciples, this, and perhaps it is natural, and he relied on his general preaching and instructions, that it will come naturally from, from his own, imparted grace. It will come automatically.
And, as it happened afterwards, in relative, from relative plane, we may not appreciate that, but from the absolute standpoint we find, that everything happens by the will of Krishna, Mahaprabhu, and necessarily of Gurudeva. And that is all good.
In different ways, in different stages, and that reacted. What he told, the reaction, the reverberation, has come in different ways. [sanskrt verse] If we can accommodate the dissolution of yadu vamsa, the war of Kurukshetra, if we find that that is not lacking in spiritual, from the Absolute standpoint, then this dismemberment also, is to be appreciated, appreciated.
While complaining, but we are to, still we are to accept the inevitable, inevitable. And through this process the inevitable will appear.
“Now we are sitting to find dissatisfaction in the existing administration [of ISKCON]. It is a process. And through this process, perhaps something will come out. We can’t avoid this, this is a necessary process. So, after Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura, that was also so. Through our complaint, our dissatisfaction, so many things came, and it was propagated and preached, in particular way. And that is the final reading of things.
That in the ultimate, ultimate decision is in His hand. And what is happening, that is all right, that is all all right. Still, according to our own realization we shall strain, don’t do this, but when done, that may be accepted, by the will of Krishna.
It is a peculiar, thesis, antithesis, synthesis. “It is undesirable, don’t do it.” But, when it is done, it should be accepted, His will. We must, I am to adjust with that. In this way we are to take things.
I believe Prabhu Gokulananda was largely correct when he remarked, “We will not convince 90% of the devotees. Maybe 1% will understand what you are saying. That’s about the best we can hope for.”
I would say that’s roughly the percentage of Srila Swami Maharaja’s disciples that were able to see the value of Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s siksha after Prabhupada’s disappearance. If I can maintain my stance as a member of such a group I must think that Sri Sri Guru Gauranga are very merciful to me.
I appreciate your comment about my courage. Objectively, it must take some courage to act as I am doing. But I do not feel courageous. I am merely doing what I believe is my duty. Not only to my gurus but to the sincere souls who want to, and are trying to, follow them. I do not want to waiver from my duty.
I do not know what is Krishna. I do not know what is guru tattva, or so many other things. I have some sense, however, about what is my duty and I am trying to be faithful to that.
I pray this finds you well in all respects.
Oh, and btw, what is the B in VDB?