VNN World - Letter To B.V. Bhagavat Maharaja

© 1998 VNN


November 8, 1998   VNN2474   See Related VNN Stories

Letter To B.V. Bhagavat Maharaja


INDIA, Nov 8 (VNN) — Dear H.H. Bhakti Vidagdha Bhagavat Maharaja,

We have heard the news that you have gone to western countries for preaching the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu following in the footsteps of Srila Saraswati Thakura who through his disciple Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja Prabhupada spread Krishna consciousness throughout the world.

I do not remember that my Guru Maharaja had ever gone to Costa Rica where you are presently preaching, so it is very nice that a representative of the Gaudiya tradition is now there. Costa Rica is not actually what we call 'fully in the western world' although it is certainly far, far away from Mother India. The western world proper means New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angles, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome etc. - possibly you will come to these centers of western civilization in the future for preaching Krishna consciousness.

As you might have heard - Ramesh Prabhu has distributed your reply to Ravindra Swarupa Prabhu by the box full while he was in India. The paper was greatly appreciated by the followers of H. H. Narayana Maharaja at Govardhan. However I beg to inform you that the paper was not appreciated by one and all. I, for one, take exception to your statements regarding my Guru Maharaja. You may have your personal/private thoughts about my Guru Maharaja and I do not have any jurisdiction over that but you have now made your conception public by posting your paper on VNN. It is also a fact that your paper was greatly disliked by your senior Godbrothers of the Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha here in India - nor was the paper appreciated by your own illustrious Gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Promoda Puri Goswami Maharaja. The reason for this is that your paper has inadvertently criticized Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja Prabhupada as not being a strict follower of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura.

I will not take the liberty to represent what has been communicated to myself from your central Matha here in India because you will hear of that from them soon enough.

The purpose of my letter to you is to request you to kindly write a heartfelt apology to my Guru Maharaja (Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja Prabhupada) for having suggested that he was not a strict follower of Srila Saraswati Thakura.

It is certainly not a happy situation which has arisen to now have to approach your holiness in this regard. It is also unfortunate that the good name of Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha has been dragged into the controversy between H.H. Narayana Maharaja and Iskcon.

Your letter to Ravindra Swarupa Prabhu does contain some valuable Gaudiya-siddhanta. And certainly you are due some respect for your learning in the scriptures and also for your service to your Gurudeva. It appears that you have silenced Ravindra Swarupa Prabhu or possibly he just feels disgusted with your letter and simply does not like to reply. In any event your comments and questions raised regarding the standards and practices of our Guru Maharaja are certainly demeaning his position as an empowered Vaishnava and thus whatever siddhanta you have presented in your paper has become jaded. Here too your name as a scholar is also tarnished - for scriptural learning that cannot recognize the divinity of a pure Vaishnava is no better than ignorance.

You may say that I do not understand your letter to Ravindra Swarupa but let me mention again that even the senior members of your central Matha have considered your paper offensive to Swami Maharaja Prabhupada and this has been communicated to me in writing.

I might also remind you that such venerable personalities of the Gaudiya Matha such as Srila Yajavar Maharaja and Srila Sridhara Maharaja have accepted Srila Swami Maharaja as an empowered incarnation. In their own words, "Swami Maharaja was a saktavesa- avatar." They saw all that he did (practices and standards) in the matter of spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world but they did not see the necessity to raise doubts as you have done and thus commit an offense to a seniormost empowered Vaishnava.

I have also never heard that your revered Gurudeva has ever questioned the wisdom of Srila Sridhar Maharaja or Srila Yajavar Maharaja - how then have you come to see all these apparent defects in the mission of my Guru Maharaja?

Your twelve points raised against my Guru Maharaja concerning nama, gayatri to women, archana, bhajan, kirtan, japa etc., all have intelligent and bona- fide answers but without a submissive attitude how will you understand? First, a humble apology from you at the lotus feet of our revered Guru Maharaja is required and then all things will be forthcoming.

I have known you for a number of years - at least well enough to know that the twelve points that you have raised in your letter to Ravindra Swarupa Prabhu are indeed your own doubts and criticisms of my Guru Maharaja.

It is my experience in talking with a number of devotees who have come in your association in India (at Dauji Temple in Vrindavana) that you consider all the preaching of my Guru Maharaja as simply 'pratistha.' We have personally observed and also tolerated such lack of appreciation and negative comments about our Guru Maharaja from you for a long time simply for the sake of harmony with the Gaudiya Matha - but now my dear friend you have crossed the line and frankly speaking it both pains me and saddens me to read your remarks about my Guru Maharaja who has made it possible for millions of conditioned souls to come in connection with Mahaprabhu. The extent of the mercy and grace of my Guru Maharaja is even marveled at by such great personalities as Lord Brahma and Lord Siva. Did you know that these transcendental personalities used to attend the evening sankirtan in the London Iskcon temple in the time of my Guru Maharaja? Seeing Brahma, Siva, and Narada present in the kirtan Guru Maharaja requested us to establish permanent seats in the temple room for them.

You have said that you know my Guru Maharaja better than we do but are you prepared to accept that he was an eternally liberated soul or will you argue that his mission was successful only because he was a good manager?

Actually yourself and many persons like yourself have only ever come in contact with the burnt remnants of the mission of my Guru Maharaja in the post Iskcon days. Due to your many negative experiences and having witnessed so many fall downs and displays of nonsense by some of the disciples of my Guru Maharaja you may be thinking that he was a conditioned soul and that his success was only due to his karma - if so nothing could be farther from the truth. In conclusion I would say that you do not know my Guru Maharaja in truth and thus you are not qualified to comment about him.

Unfortunately, whatever little you do know about my Guru Maharaja is primarily hearsay - and from quite dubious and unreliable sources at that. In my opinion it would be better for you to stick to matters that concern you directly such as the orders of your Gurudeva. In other words your preaching will be better appreciated and more beneficial to others if you keep it within a jurisdiction where you have some standing and realization. Instead of commenting about my Guru Maharaja why not just glorify your Gurudeva and bring fortunate souls to his lotus feet? I am sure Krishna would be satisfied with that.

I might also mention that your letter to Ravindra Swarupa Prabhu has led numerous devotees to believe that your letter was written under the authorization of your Gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Promoda Puri Goswami Maharaja. But the fact is that your senior Matha members have directly informed me that you were not authorized to write that letter and that the letter also does not represent the position and authority of your Gurudeva regarding H.H. Narayana Maharaja and his conflict with Iskcon, as he himself has stated in writing.

Considering the above I do not feel that my request for you to humbly apologize for your criticisms of my Guru Maharaja is inappropriate or unjustified. I do hope you will regard this matter with the utmost urgency.

Hoping this meets you well.

Swami B.G. Narasingha

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