06/08/98 - 1853
Refutation of Swami Narasingha´s Twelve Statements
USA (VNN) - by Premananda Dasa
Sri Sri Guru-Gaurangau jayatah!
In the article 'Saraswati Prabhupada Parampara 2' Swami Narasingha
mentions twelve statements that the 'anti-party' according to
him hasn´t countered. Here´s my reply to the twelve statements.
I don´t like to see our line being defamed and for this reason
alone I write this article. First I want to say that I am not
trying to defame or criticize any individual; I only want to
refute what I and many other Gaudiya Vaisnavas believe are misconceptions
about our Guru-parampara. If any devotee feels offended by this
article, I beg your forgiveness. If my statements are not in harmony
with the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, Sadhu, Guru and Sastra, please
inform me about my misconceptions. I will try to refute Swami
Narasingha´s twelve statements as follows. Each point will be
refuted, after quoting Swami Narasingha:
Swami Narasingha (SN): The anti-party has failed to demonstrate
anything substantial - nor have they countered any of our statements
in the previous article wherein we have shown; 1) that the parampara
of Saraswati Thakur is indeed drawn from Bhaktivinode Thakur and
Jagannatha Dasa Babaji not Bipin Bihari Goswami.
Premananda Dasa (PD): 1. According to the dictionary, the meaning
of Parampara is 'continuous succession' or 'successive order'.
You haven´t presented any evidence in support of your claim to
be in the Parampara of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur. The idea that
you are in Srila Bhaktivinod´s line is of course related to Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta´s conception of the 'Bhagavata-parampara'. But
Parampara is always a Diksa-parampara by definition, in the Gaudiya
Vaisnava Sampradaya and all the other Vaisnava Sampradayas as
well. In the Sri Sampradaya there is no such thing as a 'Bhagavata-parampara',
Parampara always means Diksa-parampara. Only the Gaudiya Math
branch of Gaudiya Vaisnavism has a 'Bhagavata-parampara'. If the
Bhagavata-parampara is the original type of Parampara, then how
come it didn´t exist before the time of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition? All previous Acaryas considered
their Diksa-parampara to be essential (see my article 'Sankalpa-kalpadruma
Nectar - illustrating the importance of Diksa-parampara'.). Srila
Gaurakishora Babaji was not Srila Bhaktivinod´s disciple. That´s
a fact. Nor was Srila Jagannath das Babaji Bhaktivinod´s Diksa
Guru. Srila Gaurakisora Babaji´s Guru was in the Advaita-vamsa,
from Santipur. All the Diksa disciples of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur
were initiated into the Parampara of Srimati Jahnava devi, descending
through Srila Vipin Vihari Gosvami. He never gave anyone Diksa
into some 'siksa-parampara'. Because at that time the siksa-parampara
wasn´t invented. All paramparas were unbroken Diksa-paramparas,
as they have been since Sri Caitanya´s time. Gaudiya Math may
have a Diksa-parampara. But Srila Bhaktisiddhanta does not seem
to have considered it to be important since he didn´t mention
it as the succession of the Gaudiya Math. The mood of Srila Visvanath
Cakravarti and other great Acaryas is different; in Sankalpa-kalpadruma
he shows respect to and offers prayers to the whole Diksa-parampara
SN: 2) that Bhaktivinode Thakur took diksa, for decorum's sake
only, from Bipin Bihari Goswami.
PD: 2. Srila Bhaktivinod doesn´t describe it like this. He had
the association of many very advanced Vaishnavas prior to his
diksha, but didn´t want to take initiation from any of them. He
wanted the perfect Master. Srila Bhaktivinod writes in his autobiography
that in a dream Mahaprabhu appeared and directed him to take diksa
from Srila Vipin Vihari Gosvami. Srila Bhaktivinod describes his
Guru as "the manifestation of the potency of Hari"! But Swami
Narasingha obviously doesn´t agree with Mahaprabhu´s choice of
Guru for Bhaktivinod! Srila Bhaktivinod writes:
vipina-vihari prabhu mama prabhu-vara sri vamshivadanananda-vamsha-shashadhara
"Vipina Vihari Prabhu, my exalted Master, is like a brilliant
moon in Sri Vamshivadanananda´s family line." (from Bhagavat-arka-marichi-mala)
vipina-vihari hari tara shakti avatari vipina-vihari prabhu-vara
sri-guru-gosvami-rupe dekhi more bhava-kupe uddharilo apana kinkara
"Vipina Vihari, my exalted Master is the manifestation of the
potency of Hari, Who plays in Vraja´s forests. Seeing me in the
dark hole of mundane existence, he appeared in the form a Guru
Gosvami, to save this servant of his." (the commentary on Caitanya-caritamrita)
SN: 3) that Bipin Bihari Goswami did in fact reject Bhaktivinode
Thakur (printed in Gaurangasevaka Patrika in 1919) for the reason
that the Thakur had preached what the Goswami considered an untruth
regarding the birth site of Mahaprabhu being at Mayapur and not
PD: 3. The Swami mentions that the article was published in 1919,
the year of Srila Vipin Vihari Gosvami´s disappearance. After
the article was published, Srila Bhaktivinod and his Guru are
supposed to have separated. How is that possible, considering
that Srila Bhaktivinod left in 1914? It has not been proved that
Srila Vipin Vihari Gosvami is the author of the article. It was
not written in his name (at least that´s what I´ve heard; I haven´t
read it myself), so the author could be some other person. There
are reasons why many Gaudiya Vaisnavas didn´t accept the new janmasthan
in Mayapur. Bhaktisiddhanta´s preaching was very aggressive and
many Gaudiya Vaisnavas in Navadvip Dham were attacked by him.
The Mayapur janmasthan became associated with Bhaktisiddhanta
and his followers. For this reason Srila Vipin Vihari Gosvami´s
relatives probably didn´t want to become associated with the
Janmasthan that Srila Bhaktivinod found and therefore wrote the
article in the Patrika. This is the only reasonable explanation.
They didn´t want to become associated with Bhaktisiddhanta and
his followers. Srila Vipin Vihari Gosvami would surely not reject
Srila Bhaktivinod, who was a very dear disciple of his, practically
at his deathbed and this five years after Bhaktivinod´s disappearance,
only because Bhaktivinod claimed that another place was the actual
SN: 4) that Bipin Bihari Goswami offended Raghunatha Das Goswami
by considering him as born in a lower caste.
PD: 4. Srila Vipin Vihari never said this, Swami Narasingha makes
it up. His idea is that Vipin Vihari Gosvami considered Brahmanas
to be superior to Vaisnavas, which is not true. Here´s the evidence:
By the way, it would appear from this same book, that the accusation
of VVG (Vipin Vihari Gosvami) taking a stand against the superiority
of the Vaisnava over the brahmana is without foundation. I translate
(p.527-8): In 1909, he was elected to the position of president
in the Sri-Sri-Krsna-Caitanya-tattva-pracarini-sabha, founded
by Dr. Priyanath Nandi at 12 Upper Circular Road in Calcutta.
With the help of the Gosvamis residing in Vrindavan, Navadvip,
Santipur, Pabna, Vainci and Baghnapara, he edited a proposal for
the reformation of Vaisnava society. On 22 Bhadra 1318 (Bengali
= 1911 AD), he was present at a conference organized in Balighai
in Mednipur district, presided over by Visvambharananda Gosvami,
son of the Mahanta of Gopivallabhapur, Ramkrishnananda Gosvami,
in which he argued for the supremacy of the Gaudiya Vaisnava religion,
defeating Smarta Brahmana scholars.
SN: 5) that Saraswati Thakur defeated Bipin Bihari Goswami in
the debate at Midinpur on Brahmins and Vaisnavas.
PD: 5. Not true. See my refutation of point 4 above.
SN: 6) that Bipin Bihari Goswami had the character of the lower
PD: 6. Where is the proof? He didn´t smoke, as SN claims. Even
if he did: Can we judge the Maha Bhagavata, Srila Vipin Vihari,
by his external behaviour? In Narasingha´s article there is a
picture of Srila Vamshidas Babaji, who smoked tobacco and ate
fish. Does that mean he "had the character of a lower Vaishnava-adhikari"?
SN: 7) that Saraswati Thakur reinitiated a leading disciple of
Bipin Bihari Goswami thus showing his complete disregard for the
idea that the Goswami was the guru of Bhaktivinode Thakur.
PD: 7. So? That means the disciple was ignorant. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
didn´t accept Srila Vipin Vihari, but Srila Bhaktivinod did, which
I´ve already proved.
SN: 8) that Bhaktivinode was very pleased with the preaching of
Saraswati Thakur and gave him his full blessings to defeat all
types of philosophical misconception, to establish the birth site
of Mahaprabhu at Mayapur and to establish the divine teachings
of pure devotional service throughout the world (daiva-varanashram).
PD: 8. Not according to my Param Guru, Prabhupad Srila Lalita
Prasad Thakur. It seems to be word against word on this point.
SN: 9) that ekadasa-bhava as practiced by the followers of Lalita
Prasad Thakur is mental speculation.
PD: 9. And where is the evidence? It´s not mental speculation.
The ekadasa-bhava as practiced by us comes through disciplic succession
from the time of Mahaprabhu Himself. It is in complete harmony
with the Teachings of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur and Srila Gopal
Guru Gosvami, as found in for example Harinama Chintamani, Sri
Caitanya Siksamritam and Jaiva Dharma. Gaudiya Math´s (with the
exception of Sripad Narayan Maharaj) and ISKCON´s rejection of
siddha-pranali is not in harmony with Srila Bhaktivinod´s teachings
SN: 10) that hari-nama is a superior process to ekadasa-bhava
as explained by Kaviraja Goswami in his commentary to Krsna-karanamrta.
PD: 10. Both are required. According to the person who Sriman
Mahaprabhu instructed to write about Raganuga sadhana and ekadasha
bhava, namely Srila Gopal Guru Goswami, ekadasha-bhava is an essential
part of Raganuga Sadhana. But feel free to disagree with him if
you don´t like the idea. It is not a question of whether Harinama
is superior or not. Of course we admit the possibility, that one´s
siddha-deha may be revealed by Harinama. But according to the
authority Srila Gopal Guru siddha-pranali is given by the Guru.
And Srila Bhaktivinod agrees with him, as is evident from his
SN: 11) that the siksa-parampara is the sat-guru-parampara and
not simply the line of bodily succession (diksa-parampara).
PD: 11. Diksa-parampara doesn´t mean a succession of bodies in
which 'dead mantras' are received, as Sridhar Maharaj put it once.
Diksa means that divine knowledge, divyam jnanam is given to the
disciple by the Guru. That divine knowledge is divided into two
parts, knowledge about the Lord (which includes mantras that describe
Him) and knowledge about the sadhaka´s specific relationship with
the Lord (siddhapranali). Diksa-parampara is the line through
which this divine knowledge is passed down. Therefore it is artificial
to make a separate 'Siksa-parampara'. Diksa-parampara by definition
includes Siksa-parampara, but the opposite may not be true.
SN: 12) that one receives entrance into the process of raganuga-bhakti
at the time of initiation into the parampara of Saraswati Thakur.
12. That´s possible, but it´s not the same as the process of Raganuga
sadhana bhakti that was taught and practiced by Srila Bhaktivinod,
his disciple Srila Lalita Prasad Thakur, and is practiced by his
followers. To be able to practice Raganuga-bhakti first of all
a connection with the spiritual world in the form of Diksa-parampara
is required. And that Parampara must be fully accepted by the
devotee, otherwise he will not be connected with the divine service.
This seems to be the generally accepted philosophy in the world
of Gaudiya Vaisnavism.
The parampara of Gaudiya Math still is a big questionmark to most
Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Since Bimala Prasad Thakur was initiated by
Gaurakisora das Babaji, why didn´t he make known to his followers
the Guru-parampara (as per diksa, which it by the way always is
in all other Gaudiya or other Vaishnava lines) he was initiated
into? (Which was the Advaita-parivara. Srila Gaurakisora´s Diksa-guru
was Srila Nanda-kisor Gosvami of Santipur.) Did he not accept
the Parampara? If he didn´t accept it, was the Parampara broken?
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