Colin Jury wrote:
Dear Puru Prabhu,
Dandavats and pranams.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
I have written the following editorial to VNN without them posting it. I am not surprised at this as they appear to be 'sold out' to Narayan Maharaj.
Would you say that you are "sold out" to Srila Prabhupada. Then you should take note of the close relationship that he and Srila Narayan Maharaj had. You should take note of the fact that Srila Prabhupada asked him to perform his samadhi, and that he not allow anyone else to touch his body. You should note that you have not seen fit to take his association and meet him personally before you judge. You are not doing that well spiritually and the association of such an advanced rasika vaisnava wouldn't hurt you prabhu, only help you realize the depth of what Srila Prabhupada has left for us in his books. Re read Adi lila Ch. 1.35 the purport. Siksa guru is a matter of realization. If you don't have any need for anyone to help you make further progress in spiritual life then you don't need one. Are you that advanced? Read what Srila Sridhar Maharaj has to say about this first, and then I will be happy to read and comment on your letter, since I know it is sincerely written. OK?
"Yes my boy, Shoot the arrow." (Dronacarya to Arjuna) We should have that sort of aim in our life-do or die. Whatever the circumstances may come to frighten me, I won't be frightened. If my own men seem to be my enemy, that does not matter. My own is only He. And He can not tolerate anyone else will be partner of Him..
He is absolute. He is the Absolute owner of me. He does not toleate any partnership there. In this way, I must go where m 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 idea. If I am of a progressive nature, then there must be elimination and there must be new beginnings. It can't be avoided in the course of our realization.
When we are in school, all do not pass; some fail and then we have to meet new classmates. Again we advance, and again we have new classmates and old classmates may fall behind. It is quite natural. That does not mean that we are envious of them. We are sympathetic. We shall try our best to help them. But still it may happen. We cannot help it, but his is the nature of spiritual life. So the absolute and relative principles are always coming in clash. They will seem to fight with one another, but the absolute should be accepted and the relative should be sacrificed."
Otherwise, what have I taken in the prison-house of my mind, through my scholarship ? God is not a finite thing. He is infinite. And as much as in the cell of my brain I have imprisoned Him, shall I stick only to that? What is this? Is my realization a living thing, or is it dead? Is there any growth? What I have received from my spiritual master-can it grow. Or is it finished? Have I reached the infinite standard where I can progress no further.?
If someone says that he has reached that standard and that there is nothing further to be rallied, then we offer our obeisances to him from far away. . . .Even an acarya should consider that he is a student and not a finished professor who has everything."
make it clear that I mean no offense to His Grace, however I still am of the opinion that he is an opportunist who is trying to capture as many of Srila Prabhupad's disciples as possible for his own.
I already told you that this is as far from the truth as anything possible He is not looking for disciples. Coming to the west is a great austerity for him. He is 78 years old. He has many books to write, many disciples in India, a temple under construction. ISKCON devotees are about the last thing in the universe he needs to bother with. He is simply preaching as his siksa guru did and trying to encourage anyone who will hear him and open his heart to develop suddha bhakti.
The reason for my opinion is detailed in his own words in his lecture which I have made comment on in the following letter. I will read and try to explain according to my understanding. I may be wrong, but the two subjects I have listed here, namely his statement that one cannot understand the essence of Srila Prabhupad's books without the association of a bhagavat in person, meaning himself,
You can't assume he is referring only to himself. He is explaining the principle. You can read that principle right in Srila Prabhupada's books. Read Srimad Bhagavatam l.1.5-6 and take note of the purports.
And secondly that to re-initiate Srila Prabhupad's disciples is bogus, have been of concern to me for some time.
This is bhogus propaganada. He hasn't re-initiated anyone who Srila Prabhupada gave diksa to. Who told you this fairy tale, a gbc propagandist. Where do you get your information from prabhu, chakra?
I would like your honest opinion of my letter, and also if you could forward it to any other senior vaishnavas for comment, with my email address attached for responses. I want to get to the bottom of this, as he is coming here to L.A. in a few days, and I want to address these two points with him in person and need more feedback. I may just be paranoid, but if he is out of line, I want to stand up for Srila Prabhupad on these two issues, before any more Prabhupad disciples become 'converted'.
What are we becoming converted to prabhu? Krsna consciousness!!! You think there is any difference in what he is preaching and what we heard from our gurudeva then you are mistaken. By all means go an hear him and if you have any doubts then arrange with Brajanath a darshan and ask him yourself.
PADA is not an option as Puranjan is very offensive to NM. PADA is offensive to everyone prabhu.
Thank you for a speedy response,
Krsna under 'Lock and Key'.
Srila Narayan Maharaj makes the following statement in his "Nectar Sprinkles from Australia". The first part of this lecture I found very interesting and enlightening, however when I came to this part of his lecture I got quite concerned regarding the following statements and I would like to bring this into open discussion in the hopes of understanding, as I still consider myself a neophite, even after 30+ years of practicing devotional service:
I am glad you admit that you are still a student, beginner. Sunicena taror api.
"Do not try to know about spiritual life only from books. Everything is in Vedanta, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta, and in the books of Swamiji; but the knowledge is under lock and key. A very powerful lock and key. Because we are not so qualified we will not understand the meaning simply by reading. Yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane. There are two types of bhagavata-grantha-bhagavata (sastra) and bhakta-bhagavata (Vaisnavas). The grantha-bhagavata is under lock and key and the realized soul, bhakta-bhagavata will reveal its meanings.
(I thought this was what Srila Prabhupad's purports, lectures etc. accomplished? Also I understood that the person bhagavat and the book bhagavat were the same? [Ksd])
They are prabhu, But there are deeper meanings in Srila Prabhupada's purports that are not always understood by everyone who reads them. Siksa guru simply helps you to go deep and read with greater perception what your gurudeva left for you. That is my experience. It happens because he has direct perception of the transcendental world and sees from the same perspective that Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prajnana Kesava Maharaj (his gurudeva) Srila Bhaktisiddhanta,Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and on up the line. Param para. He is a current representative. Not in conflict with anyone, only perhaps your false ego which is telling you you need no other guru but your diksa guru. Well then you better re read Cc. and see the example of Raghunatha das Goswami. How many siska guru's did he have prabhu. Who unlocked rasa for him, who unlocked tattva for him, who unlocked siddhanta for him. Who unlocked rasa for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Ramananda Roy who is Vishaka devi. Only after he heard from her could he go to Nilacala and experience the virpalambha seva of Srimate Radharani's separation from Krsna. Even God himself accepts siksa guru. Why not you, a beginner?
By reading Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and Swami Maharaja's books in the association of superior devotees, we can know their meaning and experience the ocean of rasa contained within them. Without the help of an advanced Vaisnava one may read these books many times and, as we have seen, still fall down. Why? Without proper association one is unable to take the essence.
Go to a bhakta-bhagavata. They are more merciful than Srimad-Bhagavatam, and under their guidance we can realize the mercy of Srimad-Bhagavatam and Sri Krsna.
Otherwise it is not possible."
Now I can understand that there are some devotees who need to be in an ashram situation, and I agree with Sridhar Maharaj's paper on the "Mental Prison of the Mind". One who thinks he does not need the association of the devotees and cannot learn anything more is already fallen. However, Srila Prabhupada said "Everything is in my books", and for those who still follow Srila Prabhupada's instructions, he is still very much with them. So I am confused as to what Srila Narayan Maharaj is indicating by his statement.
He is only trying to help you to understand what is written in the books. Why so much confusion on this point. He is doing what Srila Prabhupada asked him to. You look around you. So many of your godbrohters have had access to Srila Prabhupada's books for 20 or more years. How are they doing prabhu? Chanting with conviction? Serving the deity with regularity? Preaching on any basis? Writing on tattva and siddhanta with any realization? Please be honest. Where are all of our god brothers? What are they doing?
One note here, in the past one lived at or near his guru's ashram, whereas now the devotees are living all over the planet, mostly in big cities. This is a very important point at this time, when most of Srila Prabhupad's disciples do not go to the ISKCON temples, therefore most of his disciples associate with Srila Prabhupada by their saddhana at home and by studying his books.
What is the difference if Srila Prabhupad's disciples associate with him from Goloka, and Narayan Maharaj's disciples associate with him from Australia, or wherever he happens to be? Is it that one has to be in the physical prescence of an advanced devotee in order to get mercy and enlightenment? Does one have to have personal association of an advanced living devotee at all times? And why is Narayan Maharaj able to "unlock this very powerful lock and key", whereas Srila Prabhupada is not able to? The statement - "Otherwise it is not possible", seems to be very final. By this statement, Srila Narayan Maharaj seems to be saying that without his or some other Śliving' vaishnava's association one cannot understand Krsna Consciousness? I thought that it was only by the mercy of one's guru that one understood Krsna, and that it was revealed to the sincere disciple from within his heart by his guru, whether by vani or vapu.
Vani and vapuh are qualitatively the same, but there is no substitute for the vapuh association of a maha bhagavta devotee. When Srila Prabhupada was alive on this planet would you not go to see him if the tp told you all Vani and vapuh are qualitatively the same, all you needed to do is read his book and stay back and not see him?
You have to read an essay by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarsvati Thakura.I can't get it on the net just now. But I will send it to you as soon as I can access 'temple of understanding web site." Your idea is just covered ritvik. You do not need any living siksa guru, Your siksa comes only from the books. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta rejected this idea from the followers of Bhaktivinoda Thakura who said the same thing you are saying. Read this artricle when I can send it to you and then frame your questions to Srila Narayan Maharaj based on some fund of knowledge from our grandfather. OK?
I would like to say at this point that I mean no offense to His Grace Srila Narayan Maharaj, I sincerely want to understand this statement of his. I know that many disciples of Srila Prabhupada have taken shelter of His Grace, and they obviously need that personal contact. I understand and agree with the association of a siksa guru, and that the process of learning is constant, although I understood that re-initiation was bogus. Srila Prabhupada taught us that one takes initiation from a diksa guru only once, whereas one may have many siksa gurus.
No problem. He has not re initiated anyone who Srila Prabhupada gave diksa to. But you should read this section from the Bhakti tattva viveka of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura: "Even for vaisnavas who are duly initiated into the genuine sampradaya the vastu-prabha, or illumination of one's eternal identity arising from their diksa-mantra which they received from their diksa guru- won't appear until they receive this svarupa-jnana by the mercy of a siksa-guru. Due to ignorance of savrupa-jnana, savrupa siddha-bhakti remains covered and hence only bhakti-abhasa is visible."
So you have not re-heard your gayatri mantra from a siksa guru, So you are not finished taking instructions on your mantra. So have you heard the word meanings of gayatri from His Divine Grace? Did he give them to you at initiation? If not then ask yourself why? And what should you do about it now? Siksa guru is not theoretical, but practical vapuh association. He can help you increase your understanding of the depth of what bhakti means. He can take you higher than your diksa guru was able to due to your immaturity.
Dear assembled vaishnavas, please speak further on this topic for clarification and enlightenment. Please do not go off in a ranting rave saying that I am fault finding with Srila Narayan Maharaj, this is not the case and I have no interest in such emotional protests. I am seeking a clear definition of the process of Krsna Consciousness.
Therefore I have taken some time to answer your letter. But you should go yourself. See Srila Narayan Maharaj yourself. Speak with Prema Prayojana das brahmacari, Pundarika das brahmacari, Navine Krsna das, Brajanath or any of the sanga and ask them to answer your inquiry and then ask them to take you to ask Srila Gurudeva himself. I will send Brajanath a cc of this letter. He can read it and will be ready for you to come and ask in person.
Puru Das Adhikari
N.B. essay by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta to follow
Colin Jury wrote:
I appreciate you taking the time to clarify these points.
I am very pleased to hear that His Grace has not re-initiated any of Srila Prabhupad's disciples. I was missinformed on this point.
Regarding the Lock & Key, the essays by Srila Bhakrisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura are extremely clarifying.
For your information, I have spent a considerable amount of time with Sila Narayan Maharaj. I made a very large and elaborate garland, and welcomed him to the U.S. on his first tour, plus I lent him my mrdungam for his first tour as they had no mrdungam. He made me sit on the same level as him, and always embraces me when he sees me!
My paranoia regarding the so called "defections" from Srila Prabhupada to Narayan Maharaj, were unfounded if he is not re-initiating. Regarding unlocking the essence, I welcome anyone who can help me understand more about Krsna, although the statement that it is not possible for a Prabhupad disciple to understand this essence without the association of a living bhagavat was unclear until I read the article by Srila Bhakrisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami. He 'gave me the eyes to see', with his clarifications on this point.
Yes I would still like to discuss both of these points with His Grace, as I am always in need of advanced association, and welcome his enlightenment.
I think many other Prabhupad disciples have the same opinion, and hopefully this discussion can educate them as to our relationship with Srila Narayan Maharaj.
Dear Kulasekhara Prabhu, Please accept my dandavat pranams.All glories to SRi Guru and Gouranga. Thank you for your nice letter.
We are like orphans prabhu. Men without a country. A test from the Supreme Lord if we will stay attached to our gurudeva's lotus feet, in the face of so many impediemnts.
I was too foolish to take Srila Sridhar Maharaj's association, and too brain washed to take Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj's either. Srila Narayan Maharaj is the first acarya I have met since Srila Prabhupada, who had the patience and purity to be able to penetrate my false ego without ever threatening my relationship with my diksa guru. All in Krsna's plan, and he came into my life at a time when I could finally hear without institutional chains around my intelligence.
By the will of providence Srila Prabhupada has sent him to help us advance. Siksa guru is a second blessing upon all our heads. At a time when nothing else seems to work, except the association of a great soul, sent from Goloka to take us back to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha Krsna Yugal and to re-unite us with His Divine Grace. We will all be together again some day baba. Of that I am sure. I will see you there, no doubt.
Dear Kulasekhara Prabhu, Dandavat pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Gouranga. Here is the essay I mentioned in my earlier email.
Shortly after the physical disappearance of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, some of his disciples were of the opinion that they could continue to make spiritual advancement by reference to his teachings alone. However, this is against siddhanta, and therefore Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati wrote the following paper to draw attention to their deviation. I think that its correlation with the current world vaisnava situation is obvious enough to forgo any need of pointing it out. I am posting it at the same time as my paper "Personality Cultism Is Anti-Vaisnava", because I have used some material from it:(Sridam Sakha das)
This paper by one of Srila Narayan Maharaj's disciples is available at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/2469/BAB.htm if you want to read the entire article, otherwise not.
Dear Kulasekhara das, Dandavats. All glories to Sri Guru and Gouranga. Here is little longer section from Bhakti Tattva Viveka, which is a series of four essays written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura about the Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu of Srila Rupa Goswami. You said:
"Please do not go off in a ranting rave saying that I am fault finding with Srila Narayan Maharaj, this is not the case and I have no interest in such emotional protests. I am seeking a clear definition of the process of Krsna Consciousnes"
You will find great detail in these essays that you will not find in Srila Prabhupada's books. Don't go off in a ranting rave saying that everything is in Srila Prabhupada's books. That is simply not possible. Had Srila Prabhupada been given more time he would have given us these other books as well. "Everything is in my books" certainly means that the essence of bhakti and how to achieve it can be found in his written word. More details are given by predecessor acaryas, and if you are really serious you won't turn a blind institutional eye to facts from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura,otherwise not!!!
(1) The svarupa-jnana or intrinsic knowledge concerning the sadhaka (the practitioner), sadhana (the practice) and sadhya (the object of achievement) is nondifferent from the svarupa of Suddha-bhakti. When such svarupa-jnana has not yet arisen within a sadhaka but the desire to cross over the ocean of material existence has come within him, then whatever symptoms of bhakti which are visible in him in that condition are merely bhakti-abhasa. This bhakti-abhasatransforms into suddha-bhakti when one obtains svarupa-jnana. Even for Vaisnavas who are duly initiated into the genuine sampradaya the vastu-prabha, or illumination of one's eternal identity arising from their diksa-mantra which they received from their diksa-guru, won't appear until they receive this svarupa-jnana by the mercy of a diksa-guru. Due to ignorance of svarupa-jnana, svarupa-siddha-bhakti remains covered and hence only bhakti-abhasa is visible. The devotion of pancopasakas who remain aloof from the teachings of impersonalism and perform the worship of their favourite deity by considering Him to be a direct expansion of Bhagavan and the supreme goal is also chaya-bhakti-abhasa. Still, there is a great deal of dif ference between pancopasaka Vaisnavas and sampradayika Vaisnavas. The nistha or firm faith of sampradayika Vaisnavas in the personal aspect of Bhagavan is much stronger than that of pancopasaka Vaisnavas. By receiving proper instruction on tattva, a sampradayika Vaisnava remains hopeful of reaching a very exalted stage of _uddha Vaisnavism, but a pancopasaka cannot be as hopeful of achieving such an exalted stage of Vaisnavism by receiving instruction on the tattva according to their own custom. The accessibility of association of pure devotees for sampradayika Vaisnavas is much better than it is for pancopasakas. "If by some fortune the pancopasakas obtain the association of devotees and simultaneously keep themselves aloof from the association of impersonalists, they can then be refined by the sampradayika system and can begin pursuing the path of suddha-bhakti.
Two scriptural evidences mentioned in Bhakti-sandarbha are being quoted here. In the Skanda Purana it is confirmed that sampradayika Vaisnavas achieve their desired result even by the practice of chaya-bhakti-abhasa." (Bhakti-tattva viveka p.49)
and there is much more to read. If you are serious you will get a copy of this Bhakti Tattva Viveka and study it carefully. Then and only then can we continue our discussion.
[Originally published 06/01/99 on VNN]