Srila Giri Maharaja – “Srila Gurudeva’s Biography (I)”

Sep 18, 2017

All glory to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga

Dear Giri Maharaj,

Please accept my obeisances. I hope this finds Your Holiness very well. I am currently with our devotees at Villa Govinda Ashram in Italy.

I am just writing a note to express my deep appreciation for the wonderful service you and your team are doing in steadily uploading so many hundreds of invaluable audio and video recordings of Srila Gurudev and Param Guru Maharaj. I have found some recordings there which seem to have been lost from other archives.

Since I am writing I also would like to mention that I have been working on a biography of Srila Gurudev for several years now, based on what I have been able to collect from numerous recordings, articles, and the hearts of the devotees. The final work will be edited by Sripad Madhusudan Maharaj and Sripad Tyagi Maharaj, and I am hopeful that it will be completed over this coming year.

I would like to invite you to make any contribution to the work, whether in discussion of Srila Gurudev’s divine character and teachings, or personal experiences you had with His Divine Grace. I have always had admiration for your devotion to Srila Gurudev and that combined with your articulate and fine way of writing would make anything you could contribute in his glorification most valuable.

Most humbly,

Vishakha dasi.

Srila Giri Maharaja’s response:

Sep 19, 2017

Dear Srimati Vishakha Devi dasi,

Please accept my humble obeisance in remembrance of our Divine Masters.

I am very pleased to learn you are happy with our humble attempts to propagate and preserve the teachings of our Divine Guardians and Benefactors. Their treasures of Divine Knowledge and Wisdom are contained in many transcendental treasure chests we know as audio and video recordings. These are all meant to be distributed as far and wide as possible for the upliftment of the conditioned souls and the pleasure of the Lord’s transcendental devotees who, like honey bees, constantly endeavor to taste the nectar of these Divine Discourses. Many years ago Srila Sridhara Maharaja approved, encouraged and promoted this endeavor in many ways; very eloquently with these words:

“So I am unwilling and you have come and forced. Extract from me. If you find anything good, what is akin to your master’s gift, if you find that what you have already got from your Spiritual Master, similar things are to be found here, then of course you may come and try to snatch it and distribute to the world. You have got that right.” (81.08.10B)

He repeated the same theme many times.

“…to take tapes from me and to preach, to supply it to the preacher, of course the idea is good. If Mohammed does not go to mountain, mountain coming to Mohammed.” —Srila Sridhara Maharaja, 81.08.10.A @ 21:41

Therefore, humbly attempting to adhere to his direction, I am trying to encourage everyone to follow this ideal he set forth for our well-being and improvement and to encourage those most dear to Krishna, the preachers of His Divine Dialectic:

ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ
mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati
bhaktiṁ mayi parāṁ kṛtvā
mām evaiṣyaty asaṁśayaḥ

For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees, pure devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me.

na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu
kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ
bhavitā na ca me tasmād
anyaḥ priya-taro bhuvi

There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.

Bg 18.68-69

Srila Govinda Maharaja has described some outcomes we can expect from the diligent practice of the above:

“The revolution has already erupted and in the fighting some may be injured and some may die, but the gate has been broken and the prisoners are running to Vaikuntha.” – Srila Govinda Maharaja

So, it is all very hopeful, from top to bottom; the life of a preacher is all auspicious. I think you are a preacher and can verify from your own experience the truth of this statement.

Now you are trying to encourage me. I am very grateful you are doing so, but I have some reservations.

You wrote that Sripada Madhusudana Maharaja [formerly Mahananda dasa Bhakti Ranjan] will be one of two final editors of your biography of His Divine Grace, Srila Govinda Maharaja. Therefore, it would seem pointless for me to expend my energy on a project that he will most likely reject, believing my offering to be in the form of what the International Acharya Board (“IAB”), of which he has been included as a member by the fact that he is the secretary, has described in its publicly circulated “Censure of Sripad BK Giri Maharaj” as a “disinformation campaign.”

You are a simple hearted vaishnavi, so perhaps you do not know that in the same “Censure” the IAB declared I “must be expelled from all Maths and their premises”:

“It is the direction of Srila Guru Maharaj that only those who will be loyal to the Sevaite Acharya of the Math and will act accordingly will be members of the Math. Those who would cause disturbance to the Math and the Mission obstructing the Seva work done by the Acharya must be expelled from all Maths and their premises.”

This directive applies to Giri Maharaj.

Furthermore, Madhusudana Maharaja believes me to be an offender, one who is not bonafide and one who must be shunned in every way by “all faithful followers of Srila Govinda Maharaja.” To that end the “Censure” continues as follows:

We must inform the devotees that Giri Maharaj is acting offensively, independently and without authority. We do not recognize him as a bonafide leader of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. We advise all faithful followers of Srila Govinda Maharaj to avoid his association, personally, or through email and the internet.

The Acharya Board

Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Bhakti Kusum Ashram Maharaj
Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj
Bhakti Sudhir Goswami Maharaj
Bhakti Bimal Avadhut Maharaj

Secretary: Mahananda Prabhu Bhakti Ranjan

I think you must have inadvertently written to me with your kind words and generous proposal without first checking with your editors.

Without Sripada Madhusudana Maharaja’s prior approval of my contribution, I cannot see how such an endeavor on my part would be fruitful.

I am happy to hear from you after many years of silence. I knew you as a genuine and sincere student of our Divine Precepts and Preceptors and one who received countless blessings from Srila Gurudeva and many vaishnavas who you satisfied with your beautiful discipline of seva.

I pray this finds you well in health and spirits.


Swami B.K. Giri