We Are Old Friends

by Puru Das Adhikari

The Bhaktivedanta Memorial Museum & Library - December 18, 1998

Dear Tamal Krsna Maharaj,

Dandavats. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Sri Guru and Gouranga.

I am sorry that I missed you in Soho St. Temple. I hope your disciple gave you my note. You did not call me in Birmingham. We are old friends Maharaj. We have served Srila Prabhupada together for many years, and I have rendered personal service to your good self. I was dismayed to hear a recent lecture you gave in Fiji, obviously directed at certain observations that Srila Narayan Maharaj has made about karma misra bhakti and vaiddhi bhakti as it is practiced in many ISKCON centers, and taught by yourself.

You spoke with me some years ago, in the Bhaktivedanta Memorial at the Radha-Govinda Mandir in Brooklyn, about your association with Srila Narayan Maharaj. You told me you were not a sahajiya and that you saw nothing incorrect in your association with him. You then said you "realized" it was a mistake to show the example of taking siksa from him because too many other devotees followed in suit. Well prabhu, Krsna says what great men do, lesser will follow. So I beg to now differ with you and point out that had you at that point stood up to the GBC institutional thinking and allowed yourself and other devotees to take advantage of Srila Narayan Maharaj's association, you might have turned the tide for the ailing and failing ISKCON society you want to think is prosperous and successful. The large buildings ISKCON is building are not necessarily a sign of spiritual health. IBM has bigger buildings and the Catholic Church and the Mormons have larger and more opulent edifices. "Take up the marble, sell it and print books"[SBSST].

I think I understand that you want to protect ISKCON and your disciples. But why protect them from association with such a wonderful devotee and your well wisher? For your information Srila Narayan Maharaj still has only ISKCON's best interest at heart, and he told me personally in San Francisco (this past summer) that he would stop initiating all together if ISKCON leaders would allow him to help them. He mentioned you and said that if you do not rise higher both you and Giriraj will certainly experience spiritual problems and even eventual fall down. He cares about you, all the rest of our godbrothers and he loves Srila Prabhupada very much, of that have no doubt or confusion. Despite your numerous offenses at his lotus feet he calls you and all the other GBC men his eternal friends.

I am the only godbrother who rose to defend you against poison allegations on the Internet. I am probably the only godbrother prepared to write to you directly and confront you on your recent aparadhas. Please stop making unfounded inflammatory remarks that are only based on your attachment to pratistha and safe guarding your position as diksa guru in ISKCON.

No one wants to take away your disciples or hurt their advancement in Krsna consciousness, yours either for that matter. Do you have Krsna prema prabhu? If you don't then how can you give it to your disciples? Did you support Gaur Govinda Maharaj or were you against his preaching the real siddhanta of the fall of the jiva? How much longer will you stoke the fires of contention and keep the conditioned souls in ignorance. Why waste time, inflaming your disciples into a frenzy of institutional loyalty ignoring the real goal of life, suddha bhakti?

Our Godbrother, Harikesa, is now suffering for his demagoguery. Do you want to repeat his performance some day in the future? I don't think so. Don't think it could not happen to you.

For your information, just recently on the Vraja Mandala Parikrama the ISKCON parikrama party led by Giriraj and Radhanath and Danodar collided with Srila Narayana Maharaj's entourage at Srimate Radharani's Palace at the top of Varshana. Everyone was respectful and friendly. The three ISKCON gurus all offered obeisances to Srila Narayan Maharaj and listened to his Hari Katha about Srimate Radharani. Then we all had an amazing kirtan led by one of the Bengali brahmacaris from the Kesavaji Gaudiya Math.

I was not particularly happy to run into these three godbrothers. I am not particularly happy to deal with many of my godbrothers anymore. Why is that prabhu? You know the reasons. You are yourself responsible for many of the incongruities in ISKCON that has driven away most of your godbrothers and left you all alone.

I was ready to confront my godbrothers about the fire in our guru maharaj's math. The theatre is in flames. I am screaming fire, and you want to tell everyone that there is no danger.

Nevertheless Srimate Radharani stilled my tongue when Trai Das prabhu startled me by placing a garland around my neck. I voted with my feet and left. Now only later in retrospect I understand what was happening. By Srimate Radharani's divine arrangement all were shown how we can work cooperatively together, as long as we do not commit Vaisnava aparadha. After our party departed the ISKCON gurus all gave their discourses and were seen by myself accepting pranams and dandavats from their disciples. It seems that their respectful treatment of Srila Narayan Maharaj, in Radharani's abode, in no way hampered their function as ISKCON gurus, or spiritual leaders for their disciples and followers.

Think what this means. You do not have to be threatened by the purity of a Rasika Vaisnava. You can act on your previous realization and take yourself and all of your disciples to him for siksa and stop the madness that is inflaming ISKCON and dragging Srila Prabhupada's institution's name through the mud. You will not lose and you could offset the terrible aparadhas you have committed against Srila Prabhupada's senior and dear siksa disciple and your older god brother Srila Narayan Maharaj. You were there when he put Srila Prabhupada in samadhi. You know how close they were. Why you don't accept what you know is true? You think a degree from Oxford will still your aching heart? I see through you like saran wrap prabhu. So does everyone else in this world not mentally crippled by confusion of bhakti with institutional loyalty. Please escape from your self imposed exile and join the other devotees again.

I am struggling to establish a preaching center here in NY. I have no men, no money. You have so many temples, disciples and laxmi at your disposal. Why not use them for good purpose and help repair this unnecessary rift between yourself and someone you used to call siksa guru and friend? I say this to you out of former friendship and current concern for your bhakti creeper, which you are choking with the first offense to the holy name.

Your servant,

Puru das Adhikari

[Originally published 01/23/99 on VNN]

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