Srila Giri Maharaja “The Mystery of Transcendental Form… “

To: Gokulananda das

From: Srila BK Giri

Date: 1/13/15

Dear Sriman Gokulananda,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

I read the wonderful report of your work with our website with great pleasure and pride.

Sometimes the Deity of Lord Jagannatha in Puri is hidden from public view and given some “nourishment” by touching up or repainting his features. When His devotees see Him again they are very happy. He, in turn, also becomes very happy.

It is a little difficult for me to describe a digital website as a Deity, a Deity must have form. The server housing the website has form, but it is not the form of the website itself. The Bhagavatam is a similar thing. It is worshiped as a Diety, but what is its actual form? It is a compendium of transcendental words and images, most of which were originally spoken or personally viewed, then committed to writing. The written form, as it appears in a book, can be vastly different from one edition to another. Srila Prabhupada’s first three volume set printed in India bears little resemblance to later, more embellished volumes printed in the West that even came to be decorated with gold leaf and so forth.

The mystery of transcendental form is not new to us. It remains forever a mystery to the mundane eye which, even when straining its utmost to see it, cannot do so. I am, therefore, not disturbed in the least that I cannot tell you to place the garland for our website here, or over there, just a little to the left, or a little to the right.

The website is certainly one of our Deities and, thereby, deserving of our deep respect, adoration and the nourishment you are regularly offering to Him, just as we adore and worship the Holy Name, although we may not yet see His Divine form.

Our website should be given this sort of attention on a regular basis, as you are doing. He should not be allowed to fast, just as Srila Saraswati Thakura said we should not allow our japa mala to fast.

You know how deficient I am in giving proper attention to a wide range of tasks that remain unfinished or not yet begun. So many projects for the service of Srila Gurudeva are languishing. I can say, as Srila Govinda Maharaja sometimes did, “I have no man power.” Although it explains our situation to a certain extent, I don’t find much satisfaction in hearing the explanation. I still lament the fact that so much seva needs to be done and I cannot do it.

Through these dark clouds some transcendental rays always shine through. They are produced by “a compendium of transcendental words and images, most of which were originally spoken or personally viewed, then committed to writing” and presented for the highest welfare of all on our website in the same manner announced by Srila Vyasadeva in his Srimad Bhagavatam:

tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo
yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api
namany anantasya yaso ‘nkitani yat
srinvanti gayanti grinanti sadhavah

On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world’s misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.

Whenever someone asks a question about almost any subject, I am confident and proud to know that I can direct that person to our website, where he is sure to find his answer. It is a transcendental oasis in the dry desert of the material world. All those who drink from its well will certainly feel spiritually refreshed and invigorated.

You are continually providing nourishment to our and, as a result, the devotees are joyful and happy. Because of this, I can only think Srila Gurudeva must also be pleased and happy.

I pray this finds you well in all respects.