The following three emails are offered as background to the issues discussed in the newest edition of “The Acharyas Dialogue #7 – Deviation, Deception & Deceit“.
Dear Sriman Mahananda Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
Prabhu, I sent the below enclosed text as a response to a few devotees who have been asking me about the stories regarding Srila Acharya Maharaja.
You understand I have to respond to questions. I hope you don’t find my response outside the bounds of my conversation with you today.
I was very sincere in what I told you regarding your service there during the time of our two predecessor Acharyas and now Srila Acharya Maharaja. Srila Govinda Maharaja was very clear in his Will, and personally, about the important function you serve there as “Srila Guru Maharaja’s secretary.” I have made the argument that one reading of Srila Gurudeva’s Will shows you as holding the highest position, even above that of Acharya Maharaja. I pray you will not be dissuaded in any way from continuing in spite of all the difficulties that must certainly present themselves at your doorstep. Of course, I have no reason to think you would be dissuaded, which is why you are serving in the important capacity you have been given.
As always, please don’t hesitate to call upon me if I can help you in any way.
I pray this finds you well in all respects.
The following is an excerpt from some emails I sent to inquiring devotees.
In response to your most recent emails, such as the one below, I thought I must call Prabhu Mahananda to see if I can figure out what is what. He was very straight and forthright with me. He did not hesitate to answer any of my questions.
I ask that you consider what I’m telling you as somewhat confidential. I think it’s reasonable to discuss these things privately with senior persons in our mission. I do not intend what I’m saying to become part of any public forum.
Publicly I would do what you told me Prabhu xxxxxxxx is doing, reinforce in the minds of our devotees and the public what is the proper standard for an Acharya in accordance with guru, shastra and sadhu.
That said, probably the most notable thing that I took away from our talk is that the young lady from Brazil is not accusing the Acharya of having a “gross sexual relationship” with her. That is, no “bedding” as you had been told.
In addition, “Nothing was seen” by anyone.
I am not comfortable writing about the details of what I learned. I can say this; I would characterize the situation as one where this lady is accusing the Acharya of pursuing her with inappropriate affection.
Next, this young lady’s reason for returning to Brazil is because she felt uncomfortable being in this situation.
She did not speak directly with Sriman Mahananda about these events. He got the news from several ladies she spoke to directly. They believed what she was telling them was credible and consistent with the opportunities for such behavior to occur. Her story was also consistently told to several ladies and, over a period of time.
Acharya Maharaja’s reaction to the accusations is that he has done nothing wrong.
In my opinion, based on the above information, I believe the accusations are serious enough and credible enough for me to conclude, based on my familiarity with Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s reaction to such things, that it would be best for Srila Acharya Maharaja to stop initiating for a period of at least six months to a year while his interactions with women are restricted and closely monitored by trusted senior devotees.
What has been accepted for now is that he will continue to initiate while his actions are being closely observed. Although I would personally favor a halt to initiations, the more modest actions that are being taken are not unreasonable, based on what I know.
He cannot be stopped from initiating. I would not suggest to anyone that they accept him as their guru until I was satisfied he was properly situated. If asked by such a person, I would recommend they wait for six months or so before asking for initiation.
If you would like to discuss any of this further I will be happy to talk with you.
Dear Sripad Giri Maharaj,
Please accept my humble obeisances. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to look over your reply to the devotees.
Maharaj, I have no objection. A small point is that it wasn’t just ladies that xxxxxxxx DD directly spoke with, but gents as well.
It *is* a difficult time, and your Vaishnava good wishes are much appreciated and much needed.
With my repeated obeisances,
Mahananda Das B.R.
From: BK Giri <[email protected]>
Subject: Your video
Date: April 15, 2011 6:36:07 AM EDT
To: BN Acharya <[email protected]>
Cc: [email protected], Bimal Avadhut, Bhakti <[email protected]>, Bhakti Vijay Trivikrama <[email protected]>, Bhakti Pavan Janardan, Maharaj <[email protected]>, Bhakti Ashram-1 <[email protected]>, Bhakti Goswami <[email protected]>, Mahananda <[email protected]>
Dear Srila Acharya Maharaja,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
Maharaja, this morning I saw the recent video of your Holiness addressing the devotees of our Mission. With it was a caption reading “encouraging everyone to continue in Krishna consciousness and keep within the shelter of the senior sannyasis of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.”
It must have been difficult for you to offer such an address, but you showed the courage to do it and I want you to know I admire your courage and determination to continue your important seva to Srila Gurudeva and his followers, even in the face of the many adversities you have had to experience, especially since his disappearance.
I also took the time this morning to listen to Sripada Goswami Maharaja’s talk titled “The guiding principal is to avoid Vaisnava aparadh.” He said something I found to be of great interest, (paraphrasing) “One who acts quickly will be quick to repent.” This is certainly good advice and I will take this opportunity to suggest you and the other members of the International Acharya Board follow it.
You (the Board), following the direction of Sripada Goswami Maharaja, acted very quickly to create the illusion that your Holiness was the preeminent Acharya above all the others.
Goswami Maharaja even went so far as to audaciously insist the rest of us “defer” to you and act only as your rtviks, a proposal you accepted, encouraged and supported. Even in your recent letter to us, dated March 23 of this year, rather than repent for your mistaken action, you express your belief that it was the proper course:
“I must also express my genuine appreciation and indebtedness to my fellow Acharyas, as in the last year they have deferred to me to help establish me and maintain the stability of the Mission.”
Although I refused to accept the illusion of Goswami Maharaja, you were largely successful in getting what you wanted, recognition as the only true successor to Srila Govinda Maharaja, the only “President-Sevaite Acharya of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Navadwipa and Worldwide”, as it was advertised throughout our Mission.
Now widespread bewilderment has erupted within the worldwide Mission. Our devotees are dismayed over accusations regarding your personal conduct.
They have also been left to wonder how the Acharyas of our mission, who were once expected to “defer” to you, are now suddenly expected to reverse their deferments and become the ones to be relied upon for spiritual initiation and direction. In this context, perhaps you could tell me how, exactly, the lie of the “One World Acharya” has helped to “maintain the stability of the Mission”?
Maharaja, this was the wrong action when it was quickly taken (April 7 of last year), against my objections, and yet there is no repentance, either by you or the other members of the International Acharya Board.
Instead, in your most recent video, that I referred to above, you are still advising the devotees of our Mission to take shelter of this same International Acharya Board that propagated so much misconception within our society rather than directing their attention to a properly formed Acharya Sabha that Srila Gurudeva directed his successor initiating Acharyas to form.
What is the reason for ignoring Srila Gurudeva’s direction to form an Acharya Sabha, comprised of initiating Acharyas? It is being ignored at the insistence of Sripada Goswami Maharaja in order to create another illusion, that Srila Gurudeva intended him to be a seventh Acharya but was remiss in naming him as such in his Will.
I also want to directly address the so-called rumors that abound regarding the accusations against you by the young woman from Brazil. I understand you deny her accusations to be true. Only the two of you know the truth of this matter.
After familiarizing myself with the available evidence, I personally believe the accusations she made are true.
That does not mean I will abandon you or Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, at least not yet.
Certainly the events of this past year have given me ample reason to completely disassociate myself from those of you who have shown such a willingness to leave the directions Srila Gurudeva gave to us in his Will to chart your own course independently of those directions.
Your inappropriate personal behavior, now widely ridiculed by so many and causing alarming disturbance, compounds the impulse for me to “fly away” before my name is also tarnished by the unfortunate actions of the otherwise respected leaders and Acharyas of our Mission.
I am tolerating these things, even though some of my respected friends have advised against it.
I am tolerating because I do not want to “Act quickly and be quick to repent.” While I was previously hopeful (full of hope) that things will be set right, I am at least still “hoping against hope” they will be.
My first concern is for those who have joined this great world-wide Mission as disciples and followers of our great preceptors. I do not want them to be disappointed by finding that the pure line of Krishna Consciousness, for which they came to the lotus feet of our gurus, is no longer available within the Mission they founded and nurtured. Next, I want to lend my help and support to maintaining the dignity of our Divine Masters. Finally, I am personally obliged to Srila Govinda Maharaja to make every effort to serve his Divine vision for the world-wide Mission he created.
Maharaja, I think you, and the other senior leaders, are also tolerating me for the same reasons I just expressed. That is not lost on me. Just as it would be easy for me to abandon the ship it seems to me you are sinking, it might seem easier for you to finally dispense with me, to eliminate the disturbance you feel I am causing.
Whether it is me who is tolerating, or you, we must expect each of us will have a limit to such tolerance. I pray we do not reach those limits.
I also want to take this opportunity to say, although I believe the accusations made against you by the young woman are true, I also believe you can recover from such a temporary setback. You are a vaishnava, it is not such a great fault for a vaishnava, it is, however, a great fault for an Acharya.
I have heard some devotees are demanding a public apology or admission from you. I doubt that would be helpful.
In your position, as an Acharya of our Mission, I don’t believe you need admit your mistake to anyone. I don’t think anyone should expect that. What you did, you know. Srila Gurudeva also knows. If the accusation is true, you will succeed as an Acharya by admitting the fault to yourself, repent for the ill conceived action you took too quickly, and vow that you will never allow yourself to do such a thing, ever. Srila Gurudeva will then surely come to help you. You will also continue to get the encouragement and support of all of us who want very much to see you succeed in the position Srila Gurudeva gave you.
Maharaja, I must also strenuously urge you to please, voluntarily, stop giving initiations for some time. I would suggest at least six months to one year. Perhaps this is what you were indicating you would do on the video I saw.
You can make any excuse for halting initiations. The reason you give seems unimportant to me, but you must stop. Srila Guru Maharaja in a similar case involving his Godbrother, Prabhu Ananta Vasudeva, advised that he “leave his Acharya post” while getting nourishment from those Godbrothers who were his affectionate well-wishers.
Srila Guru Maharaja also gave some advice that I believe was a little different in situations involving some ISKCON guru’s who where unable to maintain the proper standard. To the best of my knowledge he advised them to remain at their posts while correcting themselves. (Sripada Goswami Maharaja may know something more specific about this.) I suggest you follow this line of action.
If you feel you can correct yourself (As I believe you can.), then it will be unnecessarily disruptive to leave the post of Acharya, only to assume it again at a later date. In the meantime, stop initiating.
When you are again strong, you can resume giving initiations. You are still the Acharya for the Indian Mission. I don’t believe anyone else should initiate there. But, those who want initiation from you can wait six months, or more if needed, for that opportunity. It is not a problem.
In the meantime I know you have so much seva to do for Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharva Govinda Sundarjiu. It is this seva that Srila Gurudeva so much appreciated that caused him to put you in the position of Acharaya and bestow his affectionate blessings upon you. The same attention to your seva will help you now.
I most sincerely ask you to consider all I have said and, with the same sincerity, offer myself at your service in any way possible by me.
If you would like to read Srila Guru Maharaja’s own words, that I mentioned previously, as they were restated by Srila Govinda Maharaja, I transcribed them below.
You can also hear the entire recoding which is available from our website. Since Goswami Maharaja had the link to our website removed from your website, I include it here for your convenience.
Srila Govinda Maharaja “The Disappearance of Srila Saraswati Thakur (12/31/93)” @ 41:56
Devotee: Maharaja, why Swami Maharaja didn’t like the arrangement, never liked? [Prabhu Ananta Vasudeva as Acharya]
Srila Govinda Maharaja: Who will like prabhu? Acharya will go… in the night to the pub. Who will like that? In London? Nobody will like it. First Vasudeva Prabhu [was] hiding that mood, fearful. Until living there [with] Guru Maharaja, he was very fearful, and hiding himself. But some letter come out, and that is love letter. And Guru Maharaja has seen that love letter and Guru Maharaja said “Yes, it is Ananta Vasudeva.” Guru Maharaja knows his writing. Guru Maharaja said “Yes, it is.” Hrdaya Govinda that man’s name. He was the press manager at that time [Gayatri?] Press. I have seen. I met with him many times.
Devotee: It was in whose handwriting?
SGM: Vasudeva’s. Vasudeva Prabhu’s handwriting, love letter published, Kunja Babhu’s group. And Guru Maharaja believed it. Then Guru Maharaja gave some proposal. “Vasudeva Prabhu [should] 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.
Again, I offer my most sincere well-wishes to your Holiness and pray this meets you with double determination to serve our Divine Master.
From: BK Giri <[email protected]>
Subject: Please Read
Date: November 6, 2011 12:14:57 PM EDT
To: xxxxxxxx Prabhu <?>
Dear Sriman xxxxxxxx Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
My time is short so I may not be able to address all the issues as completely as I would otherwise do.
From your email to [a certain “acharya”] –
I found these interesting quotes by Srila Gurudeva that I wanted to share with you. I hope you don’t mind my intrusion.
You gave a wonderful lecture Sunday for the disappearance day of Visvaranya Srila B.V. Swami everybody liked it.
“I found these interesting quotes…” Really. You found them? And where did you find them? Why don’t you say?
Maybe it’s not such a big point except you are avoiding the real truth. The real truth is I found them, I transcribed them from the original recording and used them in my writing which you read. Then, after I did the research you took that research and used it as if it were your own to avoid mentioning my name.
As I said, maybe it’s not such a big point but do you like it when devotees in ISKCON take the points made by Srila Sridhara Maharaja and use them in their preaching without crediting him? Don’t you find it objectionable when the persons you mentioned below, “Tripurari, Narashingha and Paramadwaiti M.” do the same thing? They want to snatch the conception of Srila Sridhara Maharaja and use it for their own purposes rather than for serving him. Otherwise, why would Srila Gurudeva object to what these men do? Why did he say we should not associate with them?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja said- “I must go where my spiritual conscience takes me. By God’s will, friends may be converted into foes. Foes may be converted into friends, but I must stick to my ideal.”
I don’t understand exactly what is your ideal that allows you to say this:
According to me he [Goswami Maharaja] is an offender of our Srila Gurudev. I don’t see much difference at this point between him, Tripurari, Narashinga and Paramadwaiti M. They also jumped over, stepped on Gurudev’s head, to go directly to Guru Maharaja, disregarding Gurudev and Guru Maharaja’s instructions.
without acknowledging that all the “acharyas” who support the “offender” are in the same category as the offender.
Is only Kamsa to be blamed for trying to kill Krishna or should Putana, Aghasura, Trinavarta and so many others be blamed as well? Is Kamsa the only asura and the others all devas?
I don’t see much difference at this point between him, Tripurari, Narashinga and Paramadwaiti M.
What is the difference between BSG and those who support him?
To support him they have all jumped over Gurudeva’s head and disregarded his instructions.
I want to call Acharya Maharaja and ask him how he can accept that his picture is on the altars of other Acharya’s Maths. How can he go along with the speculation of Goswami?
Acharya Maharaja has completely disgraced the chair of the Acharya of our Navadwipa Math and you want him to settle the matter?
He was named as the executor of Gurudeva’s Will but he did not execute the instructions Gurudeva gave therein.
Next he disgraced the acharya post by pursuing and physically enacting the most disgraceful behavior with the young lady from Brazil. The IAB continued to support him and promote him as the preeminent acharya of your guru’s Mission.
The following is from a letter I recently wrote.
The International Acharya Board has shown they are willing to support an acharya who they know, or should know, is entirely unfit:
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 situation described above came about from the discovery of a love letter to a woman from the then Acharya of Gaudiya Math, Prabhu Ananta Vasudeva. Srila Sridhara Maharaja could not tolerate such behavior and led a revolt against the acharya.
The situation with Acharya Maharaja and the young woman from Brazil was far worse than the writing of a love letter. Yet the IAB chose to do nothing except continue to promote him as the preeminent acharya of the worldwide Mission.
Not only did he not leave his post as acharya, as he should have done, he would not even stop initiating. He has disgraced the seat of the Acharya of Navadwipa and their response is to do nothing and say nothing except to accuse the woman telling the story of lying, while knowing she must certainly be telling the truth.
Your friend, his daughter and the entire family is suffering as a result of these actions. The entire Mission is suffering from these disgraceful actions. What is the position of the IAB? Vilify, condemn, brand as an offender, anyone who has the eyes to see the truth.
Prabhu Nishikanta Sannyal was a very dear friend of Prabhu Ananta Vasudeva. He threatened to put into prison anyone who accepted the validity of Ananta Vasudeva’s signature on the love letter written by him to some woman. Guru Maharaja didn’t care. He told plainly “It is his signature.” which created a revolt against Ananta Vasudeva.
Sannyal didn’t care. He continued to support Ananta Vasudeva and forced everyone who wouldn’t support him to leave, get out of “Gaudiya Math”. Many important members were forced out including Srila Sridhara Maharaja and Srila Swami Maharaja.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja told Sannyal “I know you will not leave Vasudeva Prabhu. If he goes to hell, you will go with him.”
You can continue to support xxxxxxxx Maharaja [a certain “acharya”], telling him how nice his classes are, and he will continue to support Goswami Maharaja who also gives very nice classes, but you run the same risk as Professor Sannyal who was prepared to go to hell with Ananta Vasudeva, who gave very nice classes.
How nice were the classes of Ananta Vasudeva? Srila Sridhara Maharaja himself thought that among the disciples of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura, Ananta Vasudeva’s presentation of Guadiya philosophy was the best. Therefore he supported him as acharya. Still he immediately left Ananta Vasudeva when he was sure the love letters were real.
I sent this to someone recently:
I believe most of the devotees in our Mission have heard something about Sripada Acharya Maharaja’s misbehavior with the young lady from Brazil. For the most part they seem to have been told, as I was told by Sripada Avadhuta Maharaja, “It’s only a gossip.”
On Mar 30, 2011, at 11:53 PM, George Aistov <[email protected]> wrote:
Mj i think <WEIT andSEE is the Best its only Gosip , i hope for his sekses
On Apr 3, 2011, at 8:44 PM, BK Giri <[email protected]> wrote:
Maharaja, I think you either don’t know the truth or are not telling me the truth.
In either case, I don’t believe “its only Gosip.”
From: George Aistov <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: From Giri Maharaja
Date: April 3, 2011 11:26:26 AM EDT
NO van see any sink . this Lady is only taling her story , bat how mach to belive her im not shur, so its only aqyzeishen
Our devotees have also seen that nothing has been done to resolve this serious matter except to try and hide it and accuse the lady of lying about it. This has caused her and her family great anxiety, unnecessarily. What is her offense?
She merely confided in some of her Godsisters, as she should do, that these incidents had occurred. They, naturally, made an issue of it by bringing the matter to the attention of senior devotees, as they should do.
When the news began to circulate, as it must, Acharya Maharaja denied it, meaning he was indirectly accusing the young woman of lying and trying to sully his otherwise spotless reputation.
Because she would not recant her story, which she believes to be true, she has been ostracized and become an outcaste among her devotee community in Brazil which have apparently accepted the lie that Gurudeva selected only one acharya and therefore they ignore Sripada Trivikrama Maharaja, the only acharya actually named for Brazil.
As you can see I do not believe the story is only gossip.
[Prabhu] xxxxxxxx, do you believe “its only Gosip?”
Do you think everything will be OK if only one photo is exchanged for another [exchange Acharya Maharaja’s photo for that of the certain “acharya” named for a certain zone]? Is that the extent of the problem?
The photos are the symptom of the problem, they are not the problem. The problem is the other acharyas of our Mission will not follow the predecessor Acharya of the Mission.
Perhaps you do not want to admit this fact. OK that is your choice, you can do as you like. Everyone can see only what they want to see and live in a fantasy world.
There are some that still find the association of Swarupananda desirable. Their power of discrimination is weak so they think he could not have changed that much, and choose to remember his previous form rather than acknowledge his current position. The fact is that his real position, his ontological position, is the same now as it was then. Previously by following our gurus, he was able to hide and keep his underlying nature in check.
One may transform from laghu to guru. One does not go from guru to laghu. That is against our principles.
Who is guru is following his guru. That is the first and most important principle. Guru is non-different from Krishna. One cannot ignore guru and be a follower of Krishna.
The reason why he [BSG] joined Gurudeva’s mission 10 years ago is becoming clear. He could not get his desired position anywhere else. But Gurudeva did not give the position of initiating Acharya to him and he became angry inside but was not showing it outwardly. As a typical rogue he had to cheat, steal and manipulate the minds of innocent and simple devotees of our mission.
Why Goswami Maharaja joined Gurudeva’s Mission 10 years ago, who can say? It doesn’t matter. What matters is what he has done after Gurudeva’s disappearance. After that time he could do nothing without the support of the IAB.
As Guru Maharaja remarked about the GBC “They are using dollars, diplomacy and despotism in the name of devotion dedication and Divinity” I have seen, and you must also be seeing it, that the IAB is practicing deviation, deception and deceit in the name of devotion, dedication and Divinity.
My position on this matter has been clear for a long time. On February 2 this year I posted the article “Acharya Sabha, Simplified.” In that article I wrote:
Until Gurudeva’s direction is respected, I will not participate in events or places under the control of those who choose to substitute their own will for the Will of Srila Govinda Maharaja. To do so would set a bad example for others in our Mission. My conscience will not allow that.
I think I am showing the proper example. It is very akin to the advice Srila Gurudeva gave to some of his disciples:
“He (Sagar) will be okay but those that follow him will go to hell” and to me he asked simply if i was his man or Sagar Maharaj’s, to which i replied that i was his (Srila Govinda Maharaja’s).
As I am showing one example, those who continue to follow the IAB, who blatantly disregard Srila Gurudeva’s directions, or associate with those that follow them, are showing an example also, that it is more important to follow them than Srila Gurudeva.
I talk with devotees from time to time and, believe me, there is a lot of confusion and nonsense going on.
When the leaders are confused everyone following them will be confused. That is natural.
The devotees may also be confused when they see you are saying the IAB are disregarding Gurudeva’s directions yet you continue to find their association very desirable.
You gave a wonderful lecture Sunday for the disapperance day of Visvaranya Srila B.V. Swami everybody liked it.
You may say you are practicing some diplomacy. Diplomacy can be used in Krishna’s service. But, do you think you will be able to do what Srila Gurudeva said he could not do, which is what he said Srila Sridhara Maharaja and Srila Swami Maharaja could not do, harmonize the different factions of Gaudiya Math?
How will you harmonize those who will not follow Srila Govinda Maharaja, which means even he could not harmonize them?
Will you create your own World Vaishnava Association as Paramadwaiti Maharaja did and invite us all to join? I, like Srila Govinda Maharaja, would certainly never join such a thing.
The IAB will not follow Srila Govinda Maharaja’s directions. They have proven it. They have all jumped over his head. We may not like it but it is the fact.
I pray this finds you well in all respects.