Srila Giri Maharaja – “Twelve Hours to “Censored!’.”

Introductory notes:

In an effort to remove a great deal of junk that had accumulated on our Facebook sites I recently “unjoined” all the Facebook groups to which I had been joined. To the best of my knowledge I did not intentionally join any of these groups. One of the groups I “unjoined” was this one: “Srila Prabhupada’s Disciples, My Godbrothers & Godsisters.” I knew little about it except that within the last month or so I had a short exchange with Sripada Mahadhyuti Maharaja and, along other observations, developed a general opinion that the group was very similar to many others I have mostly avoided due to their being long on hyperbole and speculation, short on substance and discrimination.

Before you make me out to be the Grinch that stole Christmas, I don’t mean, or intend to imply the site I’m speaking to, or the many others like it, are entirely without merit. They have value and merit, but that value does not rank very high on the scale. In much the same way, the teachings of Jesus have value, but they do not rank very high on the scale when measured against the standard of devotion presented by Sri Krishna Chaitanya and his bonafide followers.

Somehow, after “unjoining” “Srila Prabhupada’s Disciples, My Godbrothers & Godsisters.”, I noticed a set of rules governing the group. I wondered if these rules might explain why I was dissatisfied with the content presented by the group. I read the rules and rejoined the group in order to post some comments I thought might be helpful to the members, should they decide they would like persons like me to participate with them, rather than leave. I seriously doubted there would be a positive reaction to my suggestions but that’s true of much of our preaching work so, I proceeded keeping in mind the adage “No risk, no gain.”

Immediately upon being recognized as a new member of the group I received some very warm welcoming remarks from one of the admins and a few members.

Then, speaking to the rules of the group, I posted my comments that follow these introductory notes to the attention of the founder and one of the administrators, Sriman Gaura dasa. Among my points was this: “Without any rules you will have anarchy and chaos. With them you have Autocracy, with you as the Autocrat.” Rules applied subjectively, as I knew his rules would be, also result in chaos as those subject to them can never be sure how they will be applied in any particular case. Rules applied inconsistently and arbitrarily are little better than having no rules at all.

While there was a contentious point or two, Sriman Gaura Dasa was remarkably generous and forgiving in his response to me. He obviously took great pains to carefully address many of my points.

Twelve Hours to Censorship

Within a mere twelve hours of posting my first comments ST, one of the group’s censors (aka admins), stepped in and cut off all further comments to the thread without any specificity as to what was said that violated the strict rules of the group or by whom it said. This move was, according to her, a preventative measure based on her premonition that something terrible (discouraging remarks) was about to happen:

“Due to the unfortunate unnecessary, challenging, criticism in this thread any further ‘comments’ have been closed in order to avoid any further discouraging remarks.”

As a result I was prohibited from responding to the remarks Gaura Dasa made to me. All other interested parties were also blocked from making further comments.

To bridge the gap I emailed my reply to Prabhu Gaura Dasa and have included that email below following my post on his Facebook site.

If he permits I will post Gaura Dasas response to me at a later time. Until then, I hope you will enjoy, and perhaps learn something from my posts which follow below.

My Facebook Post to the GroupSrila Prabhupada’s Disciples, My Godbrothers & Godsisters.”

Date: 2/19/19

Giri Maharaja: My dandavats Prabhu Gaura Das.

It is kind of you to welcome me. However, I expect you will soon regret my presence here, which I expect will be brief.

I was an unwilling member previously and just “unjoined” a few days[ago]. I think you, or someone else caused me to be a member of this group a few years ago without my knowledge or consent. This happened with many other groups also. I “unjoined” all of them.

I rejoined in order to enter some mostly critical remarks in response to your new rules which are extremely subjective and depend entirely upon you and your assistants for their interpretation, execution, trial and sentence. Of course, as the founder of the group, that is your right. But then I think a more appropriate title for your group would be “Some of Srila Prabhupada’s Disciples, My Godbrothers etc.” as many will be excluded as your rules are enforced.

Without any rules you will have anarchy and chaos. With them you have Autocracy, with you as the Autocrat. I doubt either is what you wanted or intended when you began this forum.

I have nothing against you personally. My objection is a philosophical one. You seem to believe you can create an artificial Vaikuntha, where Vaikuntha does not exist.

“Here everything is full of anxiety. This is not Vaikuṇṭha.”

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.23.57, Initiations and Sannyāsa of Sudāmā — April 30, 1972, Tokyo

As soon as I write this someone else will offer a quote like this one:

“Everywhere wherever Krishna Katha is spoken, that is Vaikuntha. And wherever I go to my branches, you my good devotees turn it into Vaikuntha and I wish to be there where my disciples are.

— Letter to: Citsukhananda — Amsterdam 29 July, 1972

Then I will argue about what is meant by “my good devotees”, etc. At each stage argument will ensue with some on one side, others on another side and no conclusion will be agreed upon because, while we all claim to accept Srila Prabhupada as our final authority, none of us will agree on what his words actually mean or how they should be applied except in terms so general that they tell us nothing except “Chant Hare Krishna”, etc.

Your opening premise for this forum was that it was open only to Srila Prabhupada’s disciples.

Perhaps I’ve said enough

. . . [Break in text due to accidentally hitting the “Return” key]

No, I haven’t said enough I just ran up against another of my objections, the rules imposed by Facebook which force me to comply or, as just happened by accidentally hitting the return key my text was memorialized without being completed or reviewed and edited by me should there be a need for corrections.

Obviously this is not a forum for me. As I said, it is for “Some of Srila Prabhupadas disciples.”, not all. And it seems intended for those intent on living in the past (prior to Nov. 1977) rather than those interested to move forward under the guidance of a higher vaishnava whose forum they would have joined if they had that interest. Finally, while this is a forum for “Some of Srila Prabhupada’s Disciples” it is not Srila Prabhupada’s forum. If it were, all questions, doubts and arguments would be settled directly by him just as those you accept as his disciples were initiated directly by him [“…this group is open only to those that took direct initiation from Srila Prabhupada prior to Nov. 14, 1977.” — “House Rules”].

I offer my respectful obeisances to all those who welcomed me to this forum. It was very kind of you to do so and I don’t doubt your good intentions. I simply do not feel I should spend my time on something which holds no foreseeable prospect for me, and even very little for the other participants.

Srila Bhakti Sundara Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaja once made this remark about an attempt very much like this one (this forum begun by Sriman Gaura dasa) which was intended to unite varied vaishnavas. He said (paraphrasing):

“What Srila Swami Maharaja (Prabhupada) could not do and what Srila Guru Maharaja (Srila Sridhara Maharaja) could not do, I cannot do.”

I will be very much surprised if Sriman Gaura dasa or this group can do what they could not; unite a wide range of devotees with differing conceptions, adhikara, etc.

Again my dandavat pranamas to all.

Respectfully,

Swami B.K. Giri (Giri Maharaja)

In less than 12 hrs. of my posting the above an admin intervened to cut off any further comments. The reason given was this: “Due to the unfortunate unnecessary, challenging, criticism in this thread any further ‘comments’ have been closed in order to avoid any further discouraging remarks.”

 

My email to Sriman Gaura Dasa—

Date: 2/20/19

Dear Sriman Gaura Das,

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

In your comment to my comments in your “Srila Prabhupada’s Disciples, My Godbrothers & Godsisters” Facebook group you wrote this:

I only set one universal “rule” , the Golden Rule, in place. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Hopefully no one finds that too subjective or restrictive

I find it both too subjective and too restrictive. If you don’t think the “rule” is subjective, then allow me to be the one to objectively apply it, as my application would be non-different from that of any other objective person, such as you seem to consider yourself to be.

If the rule restricts the expression of even one opinion, it is too restrictive if you really intend to provide a forum for “Srila Prabhupada’s Disciples… ” to associate with one another. I’ll suggest a means by which to manage outliers further on.

Leaving “too subjective or restrictive” aside for now: only one rule, really? Then what are what appear to be many pages of rules and explanations shown here:

Srila Prabhupada’s House Rules
By S. Das Acbsp on Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 6:00 AM

and signed by you, among several others:

Servants of the Head Admin : S. dd, R dd , B.A. A. Maharaja , S. Das, M. Das, Gaura Das

After spending a great deal of time carefully composing my reply to comments made to me by others I went to paste it into a comment field only to find this: “S.T. turned off commenting for this post.” The explanation [highlighting added]:

In order to create a safe environment, there are firm guidelines for etiquette to be followed to eradicate the tendency towards criticism, hate speak and any form of communication which does not show the utmost honor towards other Vaisnavas.

Guidelines for the Srila Prabhupada’s Disciples Group Forum.

Be courteous and kind to others or you will be removed from the site

If it’s not nice or helpful, do not make a comment on another persons post.

The primary DO is to always glorify Krsna, His associates and His pure devotees…

Due to the unfortunate unnecessary, challenging, criticism in this thread any further ‘comments’ have been closed in order to avoid any further discouraging remarks.

On a positive note: this thread has been a good example of why there are established guidelines to follow. Hare Krishna!

“In order to create a safe environment… ”? We are not in a war torn land like Syria or Afghanistan, or the battlefield of Kurukshetra. We are in an environment of words used to “share” opinions, ideas and concepts that cannot possibly inflict physical injury upon anyone. Everyone who enters your group is “safe” within its environment regardless of what might be written there.

Your imposition restricting your sanga only to those who are Srila Prabhupada disciples initiated before Nov. ’77 insures that everyone is not only an adult, but at least 40 years old or older. Most of the members of your sanga are likely parents and grand parents, perhaps even great grand parents. Do you believe they are so immature or insecure they will be terrified, injured or made un-safe by words used to discuss and debate various points?

What follows is what I wrote, but could not post, as my comments to comments made to and about me in your group. These are mostly intended for you, thus I am including them herewith.

Gaura Das— I thank you for your extended comments to my remarks. I know you must have put a great deal of time, energy and thought into them. Unfortunately, I doubt I will have the time to respond in kind. Also, I thank you for pointing to what should have been obvious: the 3 dots to the right of a comment that allows editing. I very rarely use or even visit Facebook. I looked for the dots but misremembered them being at the top or bottom of the comment; they are in the middle.

Next: and here we go… after my joining only 12 hours before, M. Das attacked me by writing: “Giri Maharaja, I’m disappointed in your motives and the deceptive way you became a member.”

Does accusing someone of having ill motives and being “deceptive” violate the “Golden Rule” of your sanga or is it “vaishnava aparadha”, according to you and your co-admins? How will you decide? And is such a decision not highly subjective, just as I said such decisions must be?

Then, if you rule against M. das will you ban him from the sanga? I do not agree he should be banned, even if he continuously repeats this behavior, or even worse. If your sanga has spiritual value then banning anyone from it means they lose some chance for redemption. Only the association of vaishnavas and service to vaishnavas can help us to advance. In a sanga of words (which this is) I think the motto “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” should be adhered to.

The question will then come “How should we deal with offenders of vaishnavas?” We will not feel offended by anything said about us personally. Considering ourselves to be “the meanest of the mean” fallen souls, we have no right to feel offended by anyone. If we believe someone has said something offensive to one of our Godbrothers or Godsisters we have the right to object and attempt to correct them. We can also ignore the perceived offender or his words. These are options that don’t invoke the banning of a member.

Someone may also write something we find to be offensive about devotees outside this group, including even the Godbrothers of our guru or our guru himself. The sober among us will know this is problematic and should be avoided. Still, it may go on. I am not convinced ousting is the answer to this problem. Those who are more sober can react in the ways already described: object, attempt correction, ignore. I believe the perceived offender will either respond favorably to objection/correction or become tired of being ignored and discontinue his bad behavior. If nothing works he can be ignored forever without ousting him.

Reading letters of Srila Prabhupada to his disciples in the early NY temple during a time when his first sannyasi, Sripada Kirtanananda Swami, had taken to preaching mayavada philosophy and was attempting to convert others to his way of thinking made a great impression upon me. Some devotees reacted, as one might expect, very contemptuously, even spitting on Kirtanananda Maharaja. Prabhupada did not like this behavior (such as spitting) at all and ordered it to be stopped. Nor did he like the direction taken by Kirtanananda Maharaja (“KM”). I think some devotees suggested KM be banned from the temple. Prabhupada never banned him, although he did stop him from giving classes. KM was, in point of fact, preaching in diametric opposition to Srila Prabhupada’s own teachings and had even taken the side of his enemies, the mayavadis. As I recall, Srila Prabhupada advised the devotees, as I am advising you, to only object/correct or ignore him. I don’t have time at present to find and quote Srila Prabhupada’s letters that support these positions but they are in the Vedabase for anyone to look up.

By Srila Prabhupada’s grace, and the good association of his disciples, Kirtanananda Maharaja eventually emerged from the coma induced by the influence of mayavada. He went on to do things that were previously unimaginable (in their scale) to us and was later named by Srila Prabhupada to act as one of the eleven gurus he selected to continue initiations after him.

Our only hope is good association. If you believe, as you must, that your sanga is providing good association, my humble suggestion is that you forget your “Golden Rule” idea, and all others like it. With such rules you will squelch diverging opinions. You will eliminate challenge and, without challenge, your faith will not grow but atrophy. The same will happen to the others who adhere to the policies of your group.

Rules for the group—

I would not allow foul language of the four letter word variety, a rule that can be objectively applied. Otherwise, I think you would do best to stay on the sidelines and expect disciples of Srila Prabhupada, that have been so for a minimum of forty years, to be capable of working things out among themselves. I would try to avoid the temptation to treat them as children by implementing rules that are akin to those of overbearing parents trying to enforce discipline on their adult children who have grown up and left home.

“Regulation is necessary for controlling the inherent worldliness of conditioned souls. But no mechanical regulation has any value even for such a purpose. The bonafide teacher of the religion is neither any product nor the favourer of any mechanical system. In his hands no system has likewise the chance of degenerating if not a lifeless arrangement. The mere pursuit of fixed doctrines and fixed liturgies cannot hold a person to the true spirit of doctrine or liturgy.”

. . .

“The idea of an organized church in an intelligible form, indeed, marks the close of the living spiritual movement. The great ecclesiastical establishments are the dykes and the dams to retain the current that cannot be held by any such contrivances. They, indeed, indicate a desire on the part of the masses to exploit a spiritual movement for their own purpose. They also unmistakably indicate the end of the absolute and unconventional guidance of the bonafide spiritual teacher.”

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura’s “Organised Religion (Putana and Kamsa)”

You do not accept the diksha of those who claim it to have occurred by Srila Prabhupada after his disappearance (11/’77). Your rules and group’s “realizations” suffer from the same defect, where siksha (“realization”) is occurring after the time of Srila Prabhupada. As the ritviks claim they are giving Srila Prabhupada’s diksha, your group’s “realizations” are a claim to Srila Prabhupada’s siksha.

Of the two claims, yours is better supported, but only marginally, as there is (with no acharya as the head of your group) no single recognized spiritual authority to decide disputes. Because of this the siksha is marginalized by being only quasi authoritative.

That’s acceptable for disciples of Srila Prabhupada who can always claim, individually, their reliance upon His Divine Grace as their authority. However, if you intend for your group of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples to remain independent from the authority of any extant higher vaishnava, I suggest the next best thing is to treat your members as having sufficient spiritual maturity to justify being given a free reign to discuss any matter of their choosing in any way they like. Otherwise you should either resign yourself to becoming the acharya of the group (or select another to be so) or face the fact that you and the other rule makers are what amounts to the ISKCON GBC, in which case you may as well submit to its authority and control.

Without relaxing your rules and control in the ways I’ve suggested I very much doubt you will attract the sannyasis you suggested you would like to bring into your group. Sannyasis are, or should be, highly opinionated, firmly convinced of their positions and independent of societal controls. I don’t know of any of our predecessor acharyas that worked under the stringent supervision or control of any rule-making peers. I would not expect any current acharyas to do so.

Srila Prabhupada’s disciples—

You asked: “If he [Srila Prabhupada] came to the NYC temple today and asked “Where is Adi Kesava? Where is Jadurani ‘ , what would we tell him?” Following your line of thought: I don’t think you would tell him anything, because you would not physically be there, nor would he; because the NYC temple was moved from 55th St., where it was the last time he visited it, many years ago, to Brooklyn. This view of the spiritual master is mundane. The relationship between guru and disciple is spiritual, not physical. It is soul to soul and soul to super-soul. “Where is Adi Kesava? Where is Jadurani?” Sri Gurudeva knows better than us the answer to these questions.

The concern a guru has for his disciples is not their physical location, but their spiritual one. Has the disciple advanced past the stage of kanishtha to madhyama and beyond, or is he stuck in one location on the ladder of spiritual advancement? These are the real concerns of a spiritual master with regard to the location of his disciples. How far has he gone towards, how close has he come or how far has he penetrated the Vaikuntha lokas. These are the real concerns of a guru for his disciples.

It is obvious that many of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples appreciate what you have done by creating your sanga. I don’t doubt Srila Prabhupada is pleased by this, and with your attempt. It is laudable, as far as it goes. I just don’t see it going very far as it is currently structured.

I don’t see where it leads, except as you say—

“I realize to a tiny degree that cultivation of divya-jnana and achieving suddha-nama, Krishna-prema is our goal, but there is also the saying:

“People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

And here the lines of demarcation are drawn. You, and those who have joined with you, are thought by yourselves to “care.” While I, by suggesting our Math’s website has something valuable to offer or that I may not take much interest in your sanga, am immediately labeled an outsider, a competitor or, in short, one who does not “care.” I accept the first two labels [Srila Prabhupada encouraged competition among his preachers], but deny the third should be applied to me.

I don’t “care” much for your way of caring and your group doesn’t seem to care much for mine. However, I concede you are engaged in a form and degree of caring. I suspect we differ only in our conclusion of what constitutes real “care” or the highest standard of “care” and how to implement them.

[Gaura dasa]”I respect your opinion that you see little value in your participation here and I am sorry to hear your need to diminish the value of 800 + disciples of Srila Prabhupada sharing their realizations here. Do you think this will help to inspire others to visit your site instead? I do not see it as having to be either or. WHy cannot both sites peacefully co-exist and nurture one another, rahthe than enoucraging divisiveness?”

If you don’t want “divisiveness” don’t be divisive.

“I am sorry to hear your need to diminish the value of 800 + disciples of Srila Prabhupada sharing their realizations here.”

You diminish them by making them out to be so weak, frail and delicate that a few words written by me or someone else will devastate them. You would have us believe they need the protection of Mother Hen’s long list of rules, lest they be damaged beyond repair. If their faith is that delicate they must be kanishtha adhikaris. If so, I am not diminishing them, they simply haven’t developed beyond that stage. Am I to be blamed for that?

In your forum I can only speak my mind. Whereas you have the absolute power of censorship and editorial control. Who, then, is potentially more dangerous, me or you?

When you exercise your censorship power you “diminish the value of 800 + disciples of Srila Prabhupada” by preventing them from “sharing their realizations here.” with actions such as cutting off their speech, as has already been done with me and those desiring to present their comments (aka “realizations”) to me.

I was not afraid of their comments. Neither did they seem to fear mine. If they were so afraid of me they would have made no comments at all, fearing my retaliation. But they did issue their comments to me, until you cut them off.

I can’t help but wonder if your real interest in cutting short such discussion is to protect others; or to protect yourself from views you are not prepared to deal with. Your burdensome rules that forbid any “realization” that doesn’t match your narrow criteria of what is allowed to be said in the group invites that question.

Objectively speaking you and S. T. have violated several of your own rules, leaving us with the question: “In your group, who is responsible for censoring the censors?”

“I am sorry to hear your need to diminish the value of 800 + disciples of Srila Prabhupada sharing their realizations here.”

Very funny. You attempt to diminish my “realizations” by accusing me of diminishing others’.

As the saying goes, do you want me to tell the truth, or make you feel good? I think you want me to make you feel good. But I’ll tell you the truth and hope it has the same effect.

Are all disciples equal? If all disciples are not equal some must be lesser and some greater or, some diminished by those who are elevated above them.

At the same time, all have value, just not equal value. Is it not true that as quantity increases, quality decreases i.e. diminishes? Playing the numbers game with me will not prove fruitful for your arguments.

If there are more followers of the Catholic Pope, should we follow him instead of Srila Prabhupada? Or, if 99% of the population is foolish and/or ignorant about spiritual life should we heed the vote of the masses rather than the order of a single self-realized soul?

Is there some number of disciples that, regardless of their adhikara (realization as you might say), when combined together, express the direct will of Srila Prabhupada, Krishna, Mahaprabhu, etc.? If so, what is the number needed to do that? Previously the number put forth by the GBC was about 24, the number of members of the GBC that, when combined, made them feel they could declare “Our decision is Prabhupada’s decision.” Is that the number you would propose? Or is the number now the 800+ you suggest of the 4,700 or so Prabhupada disciples? Should all 4,700 be bound by the decision of your 800+? If they reject such an idea, who is diminished in your judgement, the 800+ who may stand with you or the remainder of the 4,700 (3,900)?

“I am sorry to hear your need to diminish the value of 800 + disciples of Srila Prabhupada sharing their realizations here.” These are your words, not mine, and depict your subjective and speculative opinion about my thinking process. I will address it anyway.

If I were to play the same game you are playing I might say “You hear what you want to hear.” for I did not say or mean what you inferred. But I don’t like that game and will not play it with you.

I have not examined all the realizations of the 800+ disciples you refer to. Some may be true (actual realization), some may be partly true (truth mixed with illusion) and some may be illusion. Do you accept every one of the “realizations” as Absolute Truth? I didn’t think so. Neither do I. If you do not accept each of them as Absolute Truth you are guilty of diminishing at least some of the realizations of the 800+ disciples in favor of your own singular realization to which I might say, coining your phrase: “I am sorry to hear your need to diminish the value of 800 + disciples of Srila Prabhupada sharing their realizations here.”

Have we reached a level of equilibrium? I think we have. That being, neither of us fully accept the realizations of the 800+ disciples you refer to. I’m sure we both accept those we agree with and reject or question those we don’t. Where is the wrong in that?

But we have gotten ahead of ourselves. Their “realizations” were already diminished long before I came on the scene. They were diminsihed by Srila Prabhupada, whose realizations we accept above all others. Do you deny this? If not, then why make such a fuss about realizations being diminished?

The argument “for” will always tend to diminish the argument “against”, and vice versa. This is common sense.

In order to preach there is a “need” to distinguish reality from illusion. In that process the value of illusion is diminished in comparison to reality. Likewise, those who place more value in the pursuit of illusion are diminished by comparison to those who place a higher value on the pursuit of reality. “As they surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.” Krishna does not see every person as equal to every other person (achintya bedabeda):

Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja: In some places he [Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja] also exceeding my position, and thinking also, in the preaching affairs, so many tactics he did in his ways, inhuman action [shaktyavesha avatara]. So in that respect he is so great, so big. And I cannot stand before him. In some internal way we have had a little, it is not difference really but little distinction, distinctive. Every man has got his inner distinctive characteristic. Amongst you also there are so many, a little, bedabeda acintya. Hare Kṛṣṇa. It is in His hand.

— 81.08.26.A

There is a need to elevate the mahajanas above ourselves, whose stature, like it or not, is diminished before these great souls. Contrast must be drawn for the purpose of distinction and clarity. Do you object? If not, then you accept in principal there may be a need to diminish the so-called realization of some in order to establish a realization in fact or a higher realization. This is the nature of progressive thought. It is not harmful but helpful.

“When I was a child, I thought as a child. But now I have put away childish things.” First grade is not diminished by second, third, etc. But by grade 12 one should see what was learned in first grade as elementary, not sophisticated. We should “put away childish things” not latch on to them as a weight that keeps us from rising higher.

How many of Srila Saraswati Thakura’s disciples (Srila Swami Maharaja’s Godbrothers) did Srila Swami Maharaja, Prabhupada diminish by ignoring them or criticizing them and their realizations to preach as he understood his spiritual master wanted him to do?

How many people, including scholars, religionists, sadhus, etc. did he refer to as being dogs, hogs, camels and asses or no better than such creatures? How many did he identify as demons, “brains filled with cow dung”, useless, etc. Every preacher uses such techniques in some fashion or other. You should not be surprised if you hear such things from me. Despite your implications to the contrary, I do not intend them to hurt anyone, but to help everyone.

When I wrote this:

“Obviously this is not a forum for me. As I said, it is for “Some of Srila Prabhupadas disciples.”, not all. And it seems intended for those intent on living in the past (prior to Nov. 1977) rather than those interested to move forward under the guidance of a higher vaishnava whose forum they would have joined if they had that interest.”

I was a little hazy in understanding why I wanted to say “And it [your disciples group] seems intended for those intent on living in the past (prior to Nov. 1977)” when I wrote it, although the remainder of the sentence validates the point.

You responded by writing this:

“How will the devotees develop love for Srila Prabhupada’s dear godbrother, Srila Sridhara Maharaja, if they are told they are living in the past and they need to go for something higher?”

The direct answer to your question is this: atma samiksha, self examination. We know to go forward by looking at the signal light to see it turn green. If we don’t look, we will not see it. If we don’t look due to absent mindedness, distraction or some other cause, we should be appreciative of one who tells us “The light has turned green, it’s time to go forward.” Instead of being appreciative you seem to think you speak for your group by expressing their resentment of my statement.

Your extensive responses, which I replied to in part previously (in many paragraphs above), indicate to me my statement [“Obviously this is not . . . if they had that interest.”] was an accurate one. But even if I’m wrong, why should you be resentful? What is the harm in thinking “This person, also a Prabhupada disciple like us and, therefore, likely friendly to us, has viewed our group from the outside, perhaps with some objective vision of it, and has made this assessment which seems peculiar to us. Let us consider whether it is correct or not and then act accordingly.” Instead you seem to have rejected it out of hand, defensively and resentfully.

Sridhara Maharaja: Is Jesus stagnant or progressive? Where he has reached, is that finished forever, or is he dynamic?

Christian: Christians will say that he has full knowledge.

Sridhara Maharaja: So, is he stagnant there, finally fixed? Is that Jesus’ position? Do the bishops say that his position is final? Does he have a progressive life? Or is Jesus alone barred from making further progress? Is he a member of the dynamic world? Or the stagnant world?

— The Search For Sri Krsna

Do you believe you and your group, being more than Jesus, have reached the zenith of your spiritual attainment? Are you running as fast as you can towards it? Even if you answered “Yes.” to both questions, I fail to see the harm in receiving a small push from me to go further, faster.

Unfortunately, my brief look at the posts of your group prior to my making my own comments prompted me to expect the very behavior that immediately followed the few comments I had a chance to make before being cut off by one of your admins.

If nothing else it should be easy for you to understand now why I wrote in your Facebook group, as one of my first comments:

“It is kind of you to welcome me. However, I expect you will soon regret my presence here, which I expect will be brief.”

It seems I got that right. Perhaps, with that knowledge, you may consider more carefully whether or not my other points bear some further examination.

I pray this finds you well in health and spirits.

Sincerely,

Swami B.K. Giri

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