November 8, 1998 VNN2474 See Related VNN Stories
Letter To B.V. Bhagavat Maharaja
BY SWAMI B.G. NARASINGHA
INDIA, Nov 8 (VNN) Dear H.H. Bhakti Vidagdha Bhagavat Maharaja,
We have heard the news that you have gone to western countries forpreaching the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu following in the footstepsof Srila Saraswati Thakura who through his disciple Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja Prabhupada spread Krishna consciousnessthroughout the world.
I do not remember that my Guru Maharaja had ever gone to Costa Rica whereyou are presently preaching, so it is very nice that a representative of theGaudiya tradition is now there. Costa Rica is not actually what we call'fully in the western world' although it is certainly far, far away fromMother India. The western world proper means New York, Boston, SanFrancisco, Los Angles, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome etc. - possibly you willcome to these centers of western civilization in the future for preachingKrishna consciousness.
As you might have heard - Ramesh Prabhu has distributed your reply toRavindra Swarupa Prabhu by the box full while he was in India. The paperwas greatly appreciated by the followers of H. H. Narayana Maharaja atGovardhan. However I beg to inform you that the paper was not appreciatedby one and all. I, for one, take exception to your statements regarding myGuru Maharaja. You may have your personal/private thoughts about my GuruMaharaja and I do not have any jurisdiction over that but you have now madeyour conception public by posting your paper on VNN. It is also a fact thatyour paper was greatly disliked by your senior Godbrothers of the GopinathaGaudiya Matha here in India - nor was the paper appreciated by your ownillustrious Gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Promoda Puri Goswami Maharaja. Thereason for this is that your paper has inadvertently criticized Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja Prabhupada as not being a strict follower ofSrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura.
I will not take the liberty to represent what has been communicated to myselffrom your central Matha here in India because you will hear of that fromthem soon enough.
The purpose of my letter to you is to request you to kindly write a heartfeltapology to my Guru Maharaja (Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami MaharajaPrabhupada) for having suggested that he was not a strict follower of SrilaSaraswati Thakura.
It is certainly not a happy situation which has arisen to now have toapproach your holiness in this regard. It is also unfortunate that the goodname of Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha has been dragged into the controversybetween H.H. Narayana Maharaja and Iskcon.
Your letter to Ravindra Swarupa Prabhu does contain some valuableGaudiya-siddhanta. And certainly you are due some respect for your learningin the scriptures and also for your service to your Gurudeva. It appearsthat you have silenced Ravindra Swarupa Prabhu or possibly he just feelsdisgusted with your letter and simply does not like to reply. In any eventyour comments and questions raised regarding the standards and practices ofour Guru Maharaja are certainly demeaning his position as an empoweredVaishnava and thus whatever siddhanta you have presented in your paper hasbecome jaded. Here too your name as a scholar is also tarnished - forscriptural learning that cannot recognize the divinity of a pure Vaishnavais no better than ignorance.
You may say that I do not understand your letter to RavindraSwarupa but let me mention again that even the senior members of yourcentral Matha have considered your paper offensive to Swami MaharajaPrabhupada and this has been communicated to me in writing.
I might also remind you that such venerable personalities of the GaudiyaMatha such as Srila Yajavar Maharaja and Srila Sridhara Maharaja haveaccepted Srila Swami Maharaja as an empowered incarnation. In their ownwords, "Swami Maharaja was a saktavesa- avatar." They saw all that he did(practices and standards) in the matter of spreading Krishna consciousnessall over the world but they did not see the necessity to raise doubts asyou have done and thus commit an offense to a seniormost empoweredVaishnava.
I have also never heard that your revered Gurudeva has ever questioned thewisdom of Srila Sridhar Maharaja or Srila Yajavar Maharaja - how then haveyou come to see all these apparent defects in the mission of my GuruMaharaja?
Your twelve points raised against my Guru Maharaja concerning nama, gayatrito women, archana, bhajan, kirtan, japa etc., all have intelligent andbona- fide answers but without a submissive attitude how will youunderstand? First, a humble apology from you at the lotus feet of ourrevered 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 thatthe twelve points that you have raised in your letter to Ravindra SwarupaPrabhu 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 inyour association in India (at Dauji Temple in Vrindavana) that you considerall the preaching of my Guru Maharaja as simply 'pratistha.' We havepersonally observed and also tolerated such lack of appreciation andnegative comments about our Guru Maharaja from you for a long time simplyfor the sake of harmony with the Gaudiya Matha - but now my dear friend youhave crossed the line and frankly speaking it both pains me and saddens meto read your remarks about my Guru Maharaja who has made it possible formillions of conditioned souls to come in connection with Mahaprabhu. Theextent of the mercy and grace of my Guru Maharaja is even marveled at bysuch great personalities as Lord Brahma and Lord Siva. Did you know thatthese transcendental personalities used to attend the evening sankirtan inthe London Iskcon temple in the time of my Guru Maharaja? Seeing Brahma,Siva, and Narada present in the kirtan Guru Maharaja requested us toestablish permanent seats in the temple room for them.
You have said that you know my Guru Maharaja better than we do but are youprepared to accept that he was an eternally liberated soul or will youargue that his mission was successful only because he was a good manager?
Actually yourself and many persons like yourself have only ever come in contactwith the burnt remnants of the mission of my Guru Maharaja in the postIskcon days. Due to your many negative experiences and having witnessed somany fall downs and displays of nonsense by some of the disciples of myGuru Maharaja you may be thinking that he was a conditioned soul and thathis success was only due to his karma - if so nothing could be farther fromthe truth. In conclusion I would say that you do not know my Guru Maharajain truth and thus you are not qualified to comment about him.
Unfortunately, whatever little you do know about my Guru Maharaja isprimarily hearsay - and from quite dubious and unreliable sources at that.In my opinion it would be better for you to stick to matters that concernyou directly such as the orders of your Gurudeva. In other words yourpreaching will be better appreciated and more beneficial to others if youkeep it within a jurisdiction where you have some standing and realization.Instead of commenting about my Guru Maharaja why not just glorify yourGurudeva and bring fortunate souls to his lotus feet? I am sure Krishnawould be satisfied with that.
I might also mention that your letter to Ravindra Swarupa Prabhu has lednumerous devotees to believe that your letter was written under theauthorization of your Gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Promoda Puri Goswami Maharaja.But the fact is that your senior Matha members have directly informed methat you were not authorized to write that letter and that the letter alsodoes not represent the position and authority of your Gurudeva regardingH.H. Narayana Maharaja and his conflict with Iskcon, as he himself hasstated in writing.
Considering the above I do not feel that my request for you to humblyapologize for your criticisms of my Guru Maharaja isinappropriate or unjustified. I do hope you will regard this matter withthe utmost urgency.
Hoping this meets you well.
Swami B.G. Narasingha
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