To Hear or Not to Hear, That is the Question!

by Puru Das Adhikari

28 March 2001

Dear Brajanatha Prabhu

dandavat pranamam
sri guru gaurangau jayatah

These are some letters sent by Srila Hridayananda Mj and by Srila Jaypataka Mj to some of his disciples in Brazil exposing their position towards Srila Gurudeva's preaching in Brazil. They are very hard and please ask for the translation when you get this e-mail.

dasa dasanudasa
S. dasa

What follows are the aforementioned letters from Hrydayananda Maharaja and "Chat on Line" remarks from Jaypataka Swami (in red bold type). They are translated into English from Portuguese (see Appendix II and III). It is not our business to disrupt anyone's faith or disturb the guru disciple relationship. But what should we do when the advice of a guru is opposed to the clear instruction of the founder-acarya of ISKCON, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada? If a guru has given incorrect direction to his sincere followers in the name of Srila Prabhupada then why shouldn't that be pointed out? Is the behavior of such a guru bonafide or avaisnava? Should we follow or ignore his instructions? "Nothing should be accepted blindly; everything should be accepted with care and with caution." (Bg. 10.4-5)

Arjuna found himself in a similar predicament 5,000 years ago on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra. To surrender to Sri Krsna he was compelled to oppose his relatives, his teachers and even his gurus. He gave up everything to defend true religious principles on the order of Sri Krsna. If we find ourselves opposed to those we once revered and followed loyally, we can take shelter of Sri Arjuna's stalwart example. Bali Maharaja also found himself in the same predicament. He was forced by higher understanding to reject his family guru, Sukracarya.

One of my godbrothers has observed that the spiritual master is supposed to teach you how to think, not what to think. We should not be insubmissive to the order of guru. However, we must understand who is actually qualified to initiate disciples and be a spiritual authority. Ecclesiastical committees cannot and do not establish who is a real guru. The words of self-realized souls, the examples of self-effulgent acaryas, and the revealed scriptures establish such standards. We must try to understand what is actually in our spiritual self-interest, and what may be a deception. We should try to understand Vaisnava aparadha, and how to avoid it at all cost. To do this we must first understand who is a Vaishnava and who is not. To distinguish a diamond from a broken piece of glass you must have some personal qualification to discriminate the difference, or you will be cheated. Therefore, to get a clearer understanding of guru tattva you should study the Sri Cc. Adi lila, Volume One, and The Nectar of Instruction carefully. If you are not properly equipped to discriminate in this matter you can be deceived. Krsna says to Arjuna "Armed with yoga, O Bharata, stand and fight." (Bg.4.42) Similarly, if we are armed with transcendental knowledge we can make clearer decisions concerning guru-tattva.

Bhakti Vidagdha Bhagawat Maharaja has also made these points about finding Sri Guru:

"It was quite clear that at the beginning of the ISKCON movement not many devotees were well-aware of the necessary qualifications of a bonafide spiritual master. Just out of pure inspiration they took initiation from Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and were definitely not cheated by following the instructions of the Caitya-guru. Even after having diligently studied the scriptures it does not qualify one to select a bonafide guru. The inspiration that comes from the heart is what helps you. If this inspiration comes from the G.B.C., then it may not be permanent. The only judgment a disciplic can make about his guru is whether he is a mayavadi or attached to sense enjoyment. If the disciple wants to get to know his guru in every sense, then he has to be on an equal level with that guru, then what need would there be for an initiation? Please stop to think it over for one minute. How was it that you chose your Prabhupada as a bonafide guru when all of you were completely (and it still seems that most of you are) ignorant about guru-tattva?

"I have the answers from the scriptures. This can only happen by inspiration. Being merciful to the jiva, Sriman Mahaprabhu inspires the heart of the disciple in the form of Caitya-guru so as to accept initiation or instructions from a certain vaisnava acharya."
BVBM Taking Prabhupada Straight

Therefore in the matter of who to hear from we can take guidance from the shastra but we have to ultimately follow our hearts. Love is not forced and sraddha (faith) is not artificial. My point in writing this article is that we should be informed and not misinformed. Every story has at least two sides and different angles of vision. Srila Sridhar Maharaj explained for every thesis there is antithesis. Ultimately there is a synthesis, and in this matter you will have to resolve the issue of "To Hear or Not to Hear" for yourself, with the help of Supersoul and the guidance of guru, sadhu and shastra. My suggestion is that you use your head and follow your heart.

Puru Das Adhikari

> >-----Mensagem original-----
> >From: Iskcon RJ
> >To: Jagannatha News
> >Date: Thursday, 7 December 2000 00:47
> >Subject: ISKCON s position regarding Narayana Maharaja
> >>Dear Devotees of the Lord, please accept our obeisances. ALL GLORIES TO SRILA PRABHUPADA.
Due to the visit of Narayana Maharaja to Brazil and desiring to protect our congregation and Srila Prabhupada s movement, Srila Acaryadeva and Srila Jayapataka Swami, as well as several senior ISKCON devotees from Brazil, have been consulted. Their answer about Narayana Maharaja is the same. The following two letters are from Srila Acaryadeva and also Srila Jayapataka Swami s instructions. It is important that all of us are aware of THE TRUTH in order to avoid offenses to Srila Prabhupada and all the devotees. Actually, these offenses are so dangerous that they may completely DESTROY our spiritual life and IMPEDE our devotional service to Lord Krishna. We appreciate your understanding of these points. Thank you all.
Your servant,
Arcaka Dasa.
PS. If possible forward this message to all devotees who don t have e-mail.
> >> ---------------//------------------------------------/


Arcaka das is a disciple of Hrydayananda Maharaja and we certainly agree with him that the TRUTH should be known in the matter of who devotees in Brazil and worldwide are advised to take association from. He is correct that Vaishnava aparadha "may completely DESTROY our spiritual life and IMPEDE our devotional service to Lord Krishna." However we would suggest that Srila Narayana Maharaja in this case is not committing the aparadha . His motives in preaching worldwide are being misrepresented. By their declarations some of my godbrothers unfortunately indicate that they are not really willing to follow the anugatya (guidance) of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada concerning sadhu-sanga. Their sad proposal that jiva souls who have taken their shelter, should avoid the association of Srila Narayana Maharaja and his disciples unnecessarily divides the Vaishnava community.

It is very unfortunate indeed that we are forced to observe that some of our god brothers stand opposed to the words of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada who have advised us to embrace sadhu-sanga (association with pure devotees); and in such association hear the Srimad Bhagavatam.

If anyone cares to try and prove that Srila Narayana Maharaja is not a bona fide sadhu and capable of guiding devotees, they will be unsuccessful. His life of devotion, world preaching and Hindi translations of many important Vaishnava literatures, speak for themselves. The experience of his vapuh association speaks even louder to those willing to listen. The instruction to associate with such Vaisnavas is clearly stated in many places in Srila Prabhupada's books and in particular we can see it clearly written in the Cc. Antya lila 5.131:

"yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane
ekanta asraya kara caitanya-carane

"If you want to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam," he said, "you must approach a self-realized Vaisnava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu."

In the purport to this sloka His Divine Grace repeats the instruction no less than four times:

l). . . Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.17) says: srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah. One should regularly hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from a self-realized Vaisnava.

2). . . Therefore Svarupa Damodara Gosvami herein advises that one should not hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from professional reciters. Instead, one must hear and learn the Bhagavatam from a self-realized Vaisnava,

3). . . . Condemning this process of hearing the Bhagavatam from professionals, Svarupa Damodara Gosvami says, yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane: "To understand the Srimad-Bhagavatam, you must approach a self-realized Vaisnavas." One should rigidly avoid hearing the Bhagavatam from a Mayavadi or other nondevotee who simply performs a grammatical jugglery of words to twist some meaning from the text, collect money from the innocent public, and thus keep people in darkness.

4) One should hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from a person who has no connection with material activities, or, in other words, from a paramahamsa Vaisnava, one who has achieved the highest stage of sannyasa. This, of course, is not possible unless one takes shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Cc. Antya lila 5.131 Purport

As you will see from the letters and comments posted below, my godbrothers are instructing their disciples to ignore this point of information given in His Divine Grace's books, in the name of following the founder-acarya. Why is anyone motivated to deviate from guru, sadhu and shastra on the essential matter of sadhu-sanga? That is another topic we can consider, to some extent, at the end of this article. First let us examine their (Hrydayananda Maharaja and Jayapataka Swami's) remarks and see how accurate or false their statements actually are. If you take the time to consider these points, make up your own mind and do not be told what to think.


From: Hridayananda das Goswami
To: Gaura Hari Das
Dear Gaura Hari Das,
Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thanks for your letter. Concerning your question, all my disciples are absolutely forbidden to have any kind of association with Srila Narayana Maharaja s party, and we never can give them any list of our congregational members. If we do that, we are inviting them to destroy our congregation. After my personal visit with Narayana Maharaja and his followers, without any shame or piety, they did whatever they could to take advantage of my visit in order to take away my disciples and other devotees out of ISKCON. They always come with smiles and a friendly disposition and finally they take away everything. They don't accept the authority of the GBC, not even concerning ISKCON management. I hope that my personal instructions are very clear. My blessings to your family.
Wishing you are well,
Your eternal well-wisher,
Hridayananda das Goswami
>> ---------------//------------------------------------/


Hrydayananda Maharaja recently visited with Srila Narayana Maharaja in Los Angeles and Badger, California. A videotape of the Badger visit is available from me upon request. Apparantly a still photo of Hrydayananda dancing with the followers of Srila Narayana Maharaja (after the lecture) was circulated on the internet. Hrydayananda Maharaja made it perfectly clear in a letter to CHAKRA that he was present in Badger only as a representative of the Governing Body Commision (GBC) and was not in any way endorsing Srila Narayana Maharaja's preaching.

When Sripad Hrydayananda Maharaja spoke in front of this assemblage of devotees his words took on a different tac. He expressed some hope for a cooperative spirit between camps. After all he did make the journey to Badger from Los Angeles and appeared to be sincere. Sadly, a short time later he felt compelled to apologize for his presence there. It appears he was concerned with what the GBC members and his disciples might construe from his visit to Srila Narayana Maharaja's program . We should consider why Hrydayananda Maharaja does not want to appear to endorse Srila Narayana Maharaja's preaching, even though he had kind words to say about Srila Narayana Maharaja's efforts to spread Krsna Consciousness when he spoke in Badger to the assembled devotees.

Hrydayananda Maharaja must think he should "protect" everyone from sadhu-sanga. Discples are not chattel. Sripad Hrydayananda Maharaja knows this fact. ISKCON's congregation are similarly not the "property" of the ISKCON institution, but eternal parts and parcels of the potency of the Supreme Lord. Bhakti-yoga is not a sectarian religion. Sincere practitioners should follow Srila Rupa Gosvami's first anga of bhakti, Sri-Guru-padasraya, and take shelter of a bona fide acarya. Hrydayananda Maharaja should not worry if devotees hear from Srila Narayana Maharaja and are inspired to follow the second anga of bhakti, Sri Krsna-diksa-siksadi and become his disciples. If anyone takes initiation outside of the jurisdiction of ISKCON and its GBC why should that cause any problem? We are all members of the family of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Guru-tattva is not limited to an institutional conception.

Regardless, Srila Narayana Maharaja said very clearly in one of his lectures on 13 December 2000 (pm) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the Clube Monte Libano that he is not preaching out of any self-interest or trying to "kidnap" anyone from any other institution. Take Srila Narayana Maharaja at his word, otherwise not. As you wish.

The Blind Well (an unedited transcript)

"My lakhs and lakhs of humble obeisances in the lotus feet of my diksa-guru om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and my siksa guru om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. I met Swamiji, Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, in 1947. Perhaps at that time you have not taken birth, or you were very young. And from then (1947) we have a thick relation. When he left India for New York, he requested me to send him his all books, kartalas, deities, and to help him in all ways. And I fulfilled his desire, I followed his desire. Also I sent so many things to Swamiji, even a sweet of India, very famous sweet, pera of Mathura. He was very fond of very tasteful sweets and preparations. He was also himself expert in all these things.

"You know that he also requested me to give his samadhi. There were so many qualified there, his devotees and many of his godbrothers. He requested me to do [his samadhi] with my own hands. So I did. He also ordered me to help his devotees, so I am very happy that from several parts of the world, the devotees of Swamiji come to me and I help them as a family boy, without any self interest or gain. I know that anyone who is serving Krsna, or chanting, remembering, they are in the family of Gauracandra, Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So I have come only to fulfill the desire of Srila Bhaktivedanta swami maharaja my siksa guru, without any caste and creed, without any caste and creed. I have not come to initiate so many disciples. So my devotees should not press anyone to take initiation at once. I want to help them without any self interest. Whether they are initiated by me or not.

"Especially I want to help those who are hopeless, and anyhow they are neglected from iskcon devotees. Even they have been kicked from iskcon. Especially for them I have come. Don't be hopeless. If anyone has left sannaysa even, but he wants to follow Swamiji, his gurudeva, and he wants to chant and remember Krsna in the line of Gaura Nityananda Prabhu, I think that he is still in the family of Swamiji. So I want to help all. "

The devotees that are neglected from iskcon or have been kicked from iskcon also includes most of Srila Prabhupada's initiated disciples. Many of them also don't accept the authority of this GBC. I personally heard Srila Prabhupada say that Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana Gosvami are our authorities. If sincere sadhakas are searching for Sri Guru and do not find him in the person of anyone rubber-stamped "acarya" by a committee, then whose fault is that? Certainly it is not Srila Narayana Maharaja's. A bonafide guru in our line is not anxious to "collect" too many disciples. He is simply interested in offering the hearts of sincere bhadda jivas to the lotus feet of Srimate Radhika.

Srila Narayana Maharaja is not responsible for ISKCON or Hrydayananda Maharaja "losing" any member or disciple. Simply he is offering shelter to those who have been rejected because of their sincerity to practice bhakti yoga. Duplicitous management and so many fall downs of senior members are not symptomatic of a potent spiritually pure organization. The devotees in Brazil have seen a good amount of both. What alternative do devotees have when they are unable to find adequate shelter from an institution that has serious problems meeting the spiritual needs of its members?

Every living entity is looking for love and affection and ultimately love of God. Why should anyone be denied the association of a self-realized soul who can offer just that, because of politically motivated self-interest? Since the departure of its founder-acarya in l977, ISKCON has been plagued by so many problems. Nearly 90% of its original members have left. The ISKCON managers still can't put their finger on the real cause of their dilemma. They haven't had any real sadhu sanga in over two decades, or have repudiated it when it was available. The result of their smear campaign against Srila Sridhar Maharaja in the l980's and Srila Narayana Maharaja, which started around 1995, appears to be manifesting in so many ways. Yet, they still cannot quite understand how their numerous problems stem from too many Vaishnava aparadhas to godbrothers, senior Vaisnavas and even the founder-acarya himself. "Love me love my dog" is the apt expression. Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja did not stay with us long enough to be expelled by the GBC, though it was their intention. He was not one to be expelled, so he left. Left the planet that is. I was told that an astrologer did Harikesa's chart and he calculated that his fall down was due, in part, to offences committed against a sadhu from Orissa. He was one of several GBC who told Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja not to preach in his zone. If you doubt that the GBC and other godbrothers gave undeserved trouble and grief to Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja simply visit Bhubanesvara and speak with his disciples. They know what happened. You can read:
Iskcon and Non-Iskcon
[ ]

Sripad Hrydayananda Maharaja would be well advised to stop projecting motives to accumulate men and money to others, whose Krsna consciousness far exceeds his own. His personal concerns, and his more recent letters to devotees in Brazil, unfortunately serve to place an even greater distance between the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti and ISKCON. We are all members of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's family. Why should we be divided?

Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami explains in Manah-Siksa sloka seven that concerns for "reputation" or name and fame are inadvisable for Vaisnavas. . In Srila Narayana Maharaja's commentary to that sloka we read:

"{1}Dhrstva svapaca-ramani partisthasa: The desire for prestige is an audacious dog-eating outcaste woman.

"The desire for honor and distinction is called pratisthasa. Although all other anarthas may be dispelled, the desire for pratistha is not easily removed. From this, all kinds of deceit and hypocrisy arise and are gradually nourished. The desire for pratistha is called shameless, for although it is the root of all anarthas, it fails to acknowledge its own fault. It is also called candalini, a female dog-eater, for it is engaged in eating the dogmeat of fame."

Dear Bhakta Michael,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thank you for your letter. I hope that I may help the devotees that are facing a very difficult situation at the Moscow temple. I will try to summarize the answer to your question. His Holiness Narayana Maharaja is a Gaudiya Vaisnava and basically he is preaching the same philosophy that we do. But because of two important reasons now we cannot have his intimate association anymore. I will try to briefly explain these two reasons:

Narayan Maharaja has a different style and emphasis in his preaching of KC. This has been widely documented in other documents, but to make it short: Narayan Maharaja emphasizes the intimate moods of rasa in a way that Srila Prabhupada did not appreciate. Obviously he doesn t do that in all of his lectures and he certainly will not do it when he is recruiting people from ISKCON But we are continuously observing that after some time he will manifest his own understanding of how to teach KC that is different from the way Srila Prabhupada has taught.


First of all Srila Narayana Maharaja is not "recruiting" anybody. He is preaching Krsna Consciousness and encouraging devotees world wide to increase the quality and frequency of their hearing and chanting, to study deeply the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and all of our predecessor acaryas. He is kindly offering his association to help devotees advance in their understanding of suddha-bhakti, pure devotional service. The suggestion that Srila Narayana Maharaja is inventing his "own version" of Krsna Consciousness is spurious. Every acarya is an individual, and it is not illegal for any realized Vaishnava to manifest a unique personality and preach in his own style. That does not separate him from our guru varga and is not a cause for alarm. These are very tired and worn arguments. If you think allegations of incorrect emphasis and divergence from Srila Prabhupada's mood are even issues you can consult these papers. They clearly explain how erroneous such observations about Srila Narayana Maharaja are.

My Heartly Blessings, by Buddhara Das
Responding to the GBC Position Paper Concerning Srila Narayana Maharaja

Shouting Like Hell, by Jnana Das

07/13/98 - Who Is A Real Disciple of Srila Prabhupada? USA (VNN) - by Agrahya das

The Difference Between The Teachings Of Badri Narayana Prabhu And Srila Prabhupada
Svami B.V. Aranya Maharaj

Sectarian institutional politics is often cleverly disguised by claims of philosophical deviation. We have seen that often enough in papers that try to discredit Srila Narayana Maharaja. It is plainly evident in the "GBC position paper concerning H.H. Narayan Maharaja KEEPING FAITH WITH SRILA PRABHUPADA". This paper is actually an embarrassment to its authors. I would offer the URL so you can examine it for yourself, but the GBC homepage webmaster appears to have misplaced it. One of my more insightful godbrothers called it an obscenity. A thoughtful reader should be able to see past the veneer of such a politically motivated deception if he is aware of the tenets of revealed scripture and reads Srila Prabhupada's books carefully for himself.

Srila Prabhupada has clearly explained that acaryas do not teach anything that oppose each other. A sectarian view of His Divine Grace's understanding regarding guru tattva establishes a lack of qualification to speak on the topic effectively.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has stated:
"Any meaning of the Scriptures that belittles the function of the devotee who is the original communicant of the Divine Message contradicts its own claim to be heard."

". . . There is no difference between the pronouncements of one Acarya and another. All of them are perfect mediums for the appearance of the Divinity in the Form of the Transcendental Name Who is identical with His Form, Quality, Activity and Paraphernalia."

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura,
The Harmonist, December 1931, vol. XXIX No.6

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada said in 1936:

Gentlemen, the offering of such an homage as has been arranged this evening to the acaryadeva is not a sectarian concern, for when we speak of the fundamental principle of gurudeva or acaryadeva, we speak of something that is of universal application. There does not arise any question of discriminating my guru from yours or anyone else's. There is only one guru, who appears in an infinity of forms to teach you, me and all others.
In the Mundaka Upanisad (1.2.12) it is said:
samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham
tad-vijnartham sa gurum evabhigacchet

"In order to learn the transcendental science, one must approach the bona fide spiritual master in disciplic succession, who is fixed in the Absolute Truth."
Thus it has been enjoined herewith that in order to receive that transcendental knowledge, one must approach the guru. Therefore, if the Absolute Truth is one, about which we think there is no difference of opinion, the guru cannot be two. The acaryadeva to whom we have assembled tonight to offer our humble homage is not the guru of a sectarian institution or one out of many differing exponents of the truth. On the contrary, he is the jagad-guru, or the guru of all of us, the only difference is that some obey him wholeheartedly, while others do not obey him directly.
Abhaya Caranaravinda Prabhu 1936, Bombay

He also said in a lecture in London:
August 22, 1973
Therefore guru is one. Although hundreds and thousands of acaryas have come and gone, but the message is one. Therefore guru cannot be two. Real guru will not talk differently. Some guru says that "In my opinion, you should like this," and some guru will say, "In my opinion you'll do this"--they are not guru; they are all rascals. Guru has no "own" opinion. Guru has got only one opinion, the same opinion which was expressed by Krsna, Vyasadeva or Narada or Arjuna or Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu or the Gosvamis. You'll find the same thing. Five thousand years ago, Lord Sri Krsna spoke Bhagavad-gita and Vyasadeva wrote it, recorded it. Vyasadeva does not say that "It is my opinion." Vyasadeva writes, sri bhagavan uvaca: "Whatever writing, it is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead." He's not giving his own opinion. Sri Bhagavan uvaca. Therefore he is guru. He is not misinterpreting the words of Krsna. He's giving as it is. Just like a bearer, peon. Somebody has written you letter, the peon has got the letter. It does not mean he has to correct it or edit it or addition or... No. He'll present it. That is his duty. Then he is guru. He's honest. Similarly, guru cannot be two. Mind that. The person may be different, but the message is the same. Therefore guru is one. (BBT folio)

You can also read:
What is a Guru? London, August 22, 1973

We challenge Hrydayananda Maharaja to produce one statement, one sentence, from Srila Narayana Maharaja's lectures, books or darshans that is not corroborated the teachings of our predecessor acaryas, the Six Gosvamis of Vrndavana and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself.

Hrydayananda Maharaja's letter continues:

I personally talked with ISKCON leaders who have sat at SNM's feet for so many years, who studied with him Vaishnava scriptures, and have heard hundreds of lectures, given by him. These students were very dedicated to SNM and they have concluded, some reluctantly, that finally without a doubt, the presentation of KC given by SNM is significantly different than the one given by SP. And SP himself is who emphasizes that we should learn the process of KC from himself or from his direct representatives, and never through other people.


Hrydayananda Maharaja most likely means he has spoken with Tamal Krsna Gosvami, or Giriraj Swami. They were among the devotees who rejected Srila Narayana Maharaja as their siksa guru under GBC coercion. They made this decision however, because the GBC put pressure on them and threatened to "take away" their "positions" within ISKCON if they did not become guru tyagis (renunciates) and also take an active role opposed to Srila Narayana Maharaja's preaching. We seriously doubt they were ever really dedicated to their siksa guru or they would not have rejected his association in favor of institutional favors and pratistha (honor, false prestige). Such acceptance and then rejection of Sri guru (diksa or siksa) is not a symptom of real sraddha (faith.). They clearly did not understand what accepting a siksa guru means.

So what philosophical differences are we talking about? Only those in the imagination of GBC politicians who are unwilling to hear from Srila Narayana Maharaja. So-called differences between Srila Narayana Maharaja and Srila Prabhupada had little to do with their decision to reject his siksa.

Srila Narayana Maharaja told Tamal Krsna Goswami and the other devotees (who were pressured by the GBC to reject him) that they had the choice to either pursue suddha bhakti or follow the GBC rulings against his anugatya (guidance). They chose to stay within ISKCON. While they may proclaim that this was done out of "loyalty" to His Divine Grace, their forced decision to opt for position instead of sadhu sanga association was a poor choice indeed.

You can read Tamal Krsna Goswami's and Giriraj Swami's own words on this matter here. As I said, I doubt they really accepted the principle of accepting a siksa guru, by their subsequent behavior, but you can read their statements from the past here:

Vrindavana Istagosthi addressing Gopi-bhava and Narayana Maharaja

and here:


If what Satsvarupa used to think about Srila Narayana Maharaja interests you, read here:

H.H. Satsvarupa Maharaja Glorifies Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

We understand that Satsvarupa Maharaja no longer holds Srila Narayana Maharaja in such high esteem. Ravindra Svarupa claimed in his 1998 paper "Taking Prabhupada Straight" that Srila Narayana Maharaja was "distorting" Satsvaraupa Maharaja's thinking about Srila Prabhupada and "this gave him such qualms that he took remedial measures." Satsvarupa Maharaja has flip-flopped on this and other topics concerning guru tattva rather consistently. Just read his "guru reform notebook", if you care to see a material perspective on guru tattva. Prior to spending any time with Srila Narayana Maharaja he similarly accepted, then rejected Srila Sridhar Maharaja's advice. He took "remedial measures" then also, by trying to destroy all the tapes of his discussions with Srila Sridhar Maharaja about guru tattva, on the order of the GBC. The highly realized and informative compilation of Srila Sridhar Maharaja's discussions concerning guru tattva, Sri Guru and His Grace [] was still published by the divine will of providence. This URL takes you to an edited version of the book. A paperback hard copy version is still available from Mandala Publishing Corp., or myself.

Despite Satsvarupa's best efforts he is not capable of suppressing spiritual truth. His "chaste intelligence" means being told what he must think to stay in the GBC's good graces. He has folded under their pressure consistently for many years. We have him on tape in 1979 apologizing to the GBC for not deleting the words "from higher authorities" from the title his report on the darshans he had with Srila Sridhar Maharaja. He blames the typist for not following the clear instructions. The GBC had apparantly objected to any reference to Srila Sridhar Maharaja with the word "higher" or "authority." Ask yourself why?

The GBC could not then and cannot now prevent sincere devotees who think for themselves, from hearing from the lotus lips of elevated Vaisnavas, simply because they lack a GBC rubber stamp of approval. This brand of "philosophical chastity" might be better labeled philosophical terrorism or Gaudiya fascism. GBC aversions to sadhu sanga and false claims of "philosophical chastity" to the founder-acarya are nothing new.

Ravindra's many inaccurate and offensive observations about Srila Narayana Maharaja in his l998 paper were deftly answered in another paper of the same name written by Bhakti Vidagdha Bhagawat Maharaja,
Taking Prabhupada Straight
[ ]

Ravindra Swarupa's article (Taking Prabhupada Straight) spun a tangled web of false accusations against Srila Narayana Maharaja in a vain effort to discredit his motives and character. Ravindra's article was a vivid example of psychological projection of nefarious motives for control, name and fame. By his own words the character flaws he seems to feel he observed in Srila Narayana Maharaja are more accurately observed in others. The original author of guru reform in ISKCON, Ravindra Svarupa certainly lost sight of the need for continued reform as soon as he was promoted to the "guru club" himself.

Make up your own mind as to whether Hrydayananda Maharaja has given a clear picture of why events have transpired. In the name of "protecting Srila Prabhupada's Movement" some disciples have rather polluted it with political and material considerations. They have infected the atmosphere of Srila Prabhupada's mission with Vaishnava aparadha. We should not be more concerned with management and lording over others, rather than inspiring devotees to actually practice bhakti and develop their love for Radha and Krsna. Lack of spiritual integrity and attachment to name, fame and position is not a transcendental quality. We cannot edit Bg. 4.34 out of the Bhagavad-Gita. As Srila Prabhupada's disciples it is our obligation to point new devotees in the direction of a qualified spiritual master, not ecclesiastically appointed imitations. Sanatana dharma does not change to suit the management of an institution. Guru tattva in our line started with Lord Brahma and has come down from time immemorial. It should stay unchanged or it will simply become watered down truth that will not save anyone from anything let alone birth and death eternally. Samsara dava nada lidha loka means exactly that: to save one from birth and death eternally.

Hrdayananda Maharaja's remark "And SP himself is who emphasizes that we should learn the process of KC from himself or from his direct representatives, and never through other people." is incorrect.

Hrydayananda Maharaja's sectarian, institutional orientation is not supported in Srila Prabhupada's actual teachings or his books. What gives Hrydayananda Maharaja exclusive access to Srila Prabhupada's vanih? His assertion that he and the GBC are Srila Prabhupada's direct representatives is not accepted by many of His Divine Grace's disciples. How can he claim that Srila Narayana Maharaja is not also Srila Prabhupada's direct representative? Srila Narayana Maharaja is traveling and preaching on Srila Prabhupada's request. Does Hrydayananda Maharaja propose that only the GBC are Srila Prabhupada's representatives? His Divine Grace initiated thousands of disciples. Anyone, who actually follows His Divine Grace and preaches Krsna Consciousness As It Is, is his direct representative, otherwise not. Three letters of the alphabet do not make you Srila Prabhupada's anything let alone his bonafide representative. Many devotees may not know that in l972 His Divine Grace disbanded the GBC, when it overstepped its boundaries of authority. In an effort to reorganize ISKCON's management and "centralize" they appointed Atreya Rshi Das "secretary". His Divine Grace removed them all. He sent a letter round the world for the devotees to simply follow the local temple president. Srila Prabhupada was not pleased with their behavior. Consult the folio and word search GBC. You can find other remarks from His Divine Grace that express his reservations concerning their methods of "management".

You can read the original directives of management that the GBC is supposed to follow here:

We can read in the Nectar of Devotion, Chapter Nineteen:

"Association with Pure Devotees

Although many different processes for developing love of Godhead have been explained so far, Srila Rupa Gosvami now gives us a general description of how one can best achieve such a high position. The beginning of ecstatic love of Godhead is basically faith. There are many societies and associations of pure devotees, and if someone with just a little faith begins to associate with such societies, his advancement to pure devotional service is rapid. The influence of a pure devotee is such that if someone comes to associate with him with a little faith, one gets the chance of hearing about the Lord from authoritative scriptures like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam."

Also anyone who can read English simply has to examine the purport written by His Divine Grace to Cc. Adi lila 1.35 on the matter of diksa and siksa guru.

"A devotee must have only one initiating spiritual master because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one is always forbidden. There is no limit, however, to the number of instructing spiritual masters one may accept."

You can also read further in Adi lila 1.47 to understand that we should not make false distinctions between diksa and siksa gurus.

You can also read
Chapter Eleven - The Land of Gurus from:
Sri Guru and His Grace
[ ]

Srila Sridhara Maharaja says there: "Our guru is whoever gives us impetus for the service of Krsna, whoever helps us to look towards the center.. . . Krsna tells us not to particularize in one point (acaryam mam vijaniyan). There are so many siksa gurus in the line, and it is our good fortune to see more gurus, to come to the stage where we see gurus everywhere. Everywhere we shall try to draw the hints of the auspicious presence of Godhead. Krsna says, "One who can see me everywhere, and everything in me is never lost to Me, nor I to him (yo mam pasyati sarvatra, sarvam ca mayi pasyati ). We shall try to see Him in every medium. Then our position is safe. Not to see guru is a dangerous position. But if we can see guru everywhere, advising us to concentrate our energy towards the service of God, then we'll be safe. Of course, there is also a specific vision of guru, from whom I can get the maximum immediate help. But ultimately, Krsna says, "I am the acarya, See Me in him."

In a certain stage, we should beware of bad association, so in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.91) Rupa Goswami has said, sajati-yasye snigdhe sadhau sangah svato vare : What sort of saintly persons shall we try to mix with earnestly? Those who are in our line, who have the same highspiritual aspirations as we do, and who hold a superior position. To associate with such saintly persons will help us the most to progress towards the ultimate goal.

There may be some obstacles, but if at heart we are sincere, the environment cannot deceive us because God's inner help is there, cooperating with our sincere, inner need (na hi kalyana krt kascit durgatim tata gacchati ). What we want from our innermost hearts cannot but come true, because Krsna knows everything. There may be some obstacles, but by Krsna's help, they shall all be eliminated and our innermost aspiration will be crowned with success.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj

Hrydayananda Maharaja's letter continues:

NM states that he is the "first" or maybe the "true" disciple of SP etc. Actually I have personally served SP for so many years as a gbc member and he has never mentioned NM, nor was NM engaged in any significant service to Srila Prabhupada's Mission. And finally, according to many devotees who were present in a meeting for answering technical questions regarding the rituals for the burial of SP, after his departure, SP has advised us that we should consult NM in this regard, and other technical matters. SP never told in any book, article interview or any other documented statements, that NM should become the siksa guru of ISKCON. NM is consistently ignoring ISKCON s institutional integrity as established by SP. ISKCON is not a mundane entity. It is SP's society. SP gave ISKCON its name. SP has established the basic constitution of the gbc system etc. ISKCON is the only institution in the world that is exclusively dedicated to serving SCM strictly according to SP's personal vision.


Frankly, Hrydayananda Maharaja should be more concerned with the integrity OF the institution than its institutional integrity. He is particularly concerned with form, but ignores substance. Srila Prabhupada's essence has very little to do with ISKCON of today. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has explained such a phenomenon with regard to other sectarian religions. When the substance of the spiritual thought of the founder of any religious institution becomes lost in a maze of ecclesiastical management we see the result. The real purpose for Srila Prabhupada to have established Radha Krsna temples is to encourage sadhu-sanga and the chanting of the pure name of Lord Krsna. When these goals are lost then temple managers become text-book kanistha adhikaris who worship the Diety nicely, but do not know how to treat anyone else. Similarly the actual practice of bhakti yoga,and any honest discussion of siddhanta or even the purports of His Divine Grace's books are discouraged or even forbidden. The net result is that the application of Krsna Consciousness (without sadhu-sanga, suddha nama, and pure devotion as the real goal)) becomes a sectarian religion and not the practice of sanatana dharma Restructuring the population of the GBC will not change this either. Such vain attempts disregard the need for spiritual substance. The temple or institutional structure may temporarily remain but for what purpose? For social gathering, for eating and sleeping, for money collecting, for bell ringing, but not for really preaching the glories of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His sankirtana Mission. Disciples of His Divine Grace who are unwilling to change the message that the founder-acarya delivered find themselves no longer welcome in their own spiritual master's mission. Devotees who confuse institutional loyalty with bhakti cannot see the forest for the trees. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has written in this connection:

The church that has the best chance of survival in this damned world is that of atheism under the convenient guise of theism. The churches have always proved the staunchest upholders of the grossest form of worldliness from which even the worst of non-ecclesiastical criminals are found to recoil.

It is not from any deliberate opposition to the ordained clergy that these observations are made. The original purpose of the established churches of the world may not always be objectionable. But no stable religious arrangement for instructing the masses has yet been successful. The Supreme Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in pursuance of the teachings of the scriptures enjoins all absence of conventionalism for the teachers of the eternal religion. It does not follow that the mechanical adoption of the unconventional life by any person will make him a fit teacher of religion. Regulation is necessary for controlling the inherent worldliness of conditional souls.

But no mechanical regulation has any value, even for such a purpose. The bona-fide teacher of religion is neither any product of nor the favourer of, any mechanical system. In his hands no system has likewise, the chance of degenerating into a lifeless arrangement. The mere pursuit of fixed doctrines and fixed liturgies cannot hold a person to the true spirit of doctrine or liturgy.
Organised Religion

History speaks for itself. There were so many sannyasis and senior disciples present at the departure of His Divine Grace. Srila Prabhupada did much more than tell them to "consult" with Srila Narayana Maharaja about "burial" details of the acarya. This is yet another "miskconception" from a former GBC member who wants to color actual events with his own brand of institutionalism. Srila Prabhupada asked Srila Narayana Maharaja directly to perform his samadhi ceremony. This is not an ordinary burial, and the task is generally reserved for the most advanced and trusted disciple of any guru. It can also indicate his successor. Hrydayananda Maharaja and others like Ravindra Svarupa would have you believe that Srila Narayana Maharaja's task was just a technical advisor: rather than explain any significance connected with placing of an acaryas's body in samadhi. Ravindra Svarupa described Srila Narayana Maharaja's realization concerning the samadhi of our founder-acarya as esoteric. In his article "Taking Prabhupada Straight" (URL unavailable) he proved his own lack of understanding in the matter when he wrote:

". . .For example Narayana Maharaj explains that Prabhupada's statement that Narayana Maharaja could show Prabhupada' disciples how to put their spiritual master in his samadhi, has an esoteric meaning. To us, it may have seemed that Prabhupada was speaking about funeral services, but it is revealed to Narayan Maharaj the deep meaning; that samadhi is Prabhuapda's eternal absorption and participation in Radha-Krsna lila, and so on."

What Ravindra Svarupa conceives samadhi to actually mean is unclear. In the refutation of his remarks Bhakti Vidagdha Bhagawat Maharaja has written in response:

"One clear example of your ignorance was the case of the funeral services for your Gurudeva. Your Gurudeva wished that H.H. Narayana Maharaja put him to rest in his Samadhi. To you it may have seemed that your Prabhupada was only speaking about funeral services. This is due only to your ignorance and lack of experience in the Vedic culture. It is the custom of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas as well as other vaisnavas and smarta sampradayas that only the successor of the departed acarya has the right to perform his funeral rites. When the body is offered to the fire the eldest son of a departed grihasta had the priority to touch the fire on to the body of the departed parent. When it is offered to the soil mixed with salt (as it happens mostly in the case of the Gaudiyas and other sampradayas departed sannyasis) the successor of that sannyasi has the right to write the Samadhi mantra on the body of the departed sannyasi. If the successor is not a sanyasi (as was in the case of Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura) then the senior most godbrother present there can write it as well as any other exalted vaisnava. In the case of Prabhupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, the Samadhi mantra was written by his first sannyasa disciple Srila Bhakti Pradipa Tirtha Maharaja, though he himself was an initiated disciple of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. If a sannyasi has departed without leaving a successor or without making any disciples, then the assembled vaisnavas must choose a qualified vaisnava to do the ceremony. Even the Hindu laws of India consider it at the time of dispute for succession the person who did perform the rituals at the time of the funerals, giving him main preference.

"So you have to consider that although so many vaisnavas were present in Vrindavana at that time including most of your sannyasi godbrothers, your Gurudeva chose Narayana Maharaja to place him in his Samadhi. In the ISKCON video it is clearly seen that Narayana Maharaja is writing the Samadhi-mantra on the body of your Gurudeva. You cannot make a mockery out of this."
Bhakti Vidagdha Bhagawat Maharaja
Taking Prabhupada Straight

At the samadhi of a rupanuga acarya gopi mantras are written on his chest. A realized Vaishnava who understands their significance, and the eternal position of the Vaishnava whose former body is being interred places these mantras there. This is a spiritual task, and not a mundane ritual. It is not just a "funeral service". Similar misunderstanding was there when Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura disappeared, and his disciple, (who is also the diksa guru of Srila Narayana Maharaja and the sannyasa guru of Srila Prabhupada) took charge and in a similar fashion performed Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's samadhi according to Vaishnava shastra.

"The news of Srila Prabhupada's (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura) entering aprakata-lila (unmanifest pastimes) quickly spread throughout Bengal and the whole of India. His initiated disciples started to lament loudly in the profound grief of separation. People assembled at Bagbazar. Gaudiya Matha from every direction, tormented by separation. Some supposedly very dear disciples of Srila Prabhupada wanted to cremate him at the Nimtala cremation chata in Calcutta. However, Sri Vinodabihari Brahmacari (Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaj) who was learned in bhakti- siddhanta strongly opposed this proposal and said, 'Let me see who has the power to cremate the transcendental body of our Prabhu!. Srila Prabhupada (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura) has clearly instructed us that he should be given samadhi in his own dear Dhama, Sri Mayapura, at Sri Caitanya Matha, which is non-different from Govardhana.' When those present heard his words, they unanimously approved of his judgement, and Srila Prabhupada's transcendental body was brought to Sri Caitanya Matha in Sridhama Mayapura on a special train. There, on the bank of Radha-kunda, Sri Vinodabihari Brahmacari and others selected the place of samadhi and then gave him samadhi according to the rules of Satkriyasara-dipika, the sitavata vasnava-smrti. When the sacred rites of samadhi were completed Sri Vinodabihari Brahmacari, grief stricken and weeping in separation from Srila Prabhupada, fainted.

"After this some of Srila Prabhupada's disciples wanted to perform his sraddha-samskara according to the smarta tradition. Again, Kirtiratna Prabhu (SBPKG) vehemently opposed this proposal. 'According to smarta doctrine,' he said, 'everyone becomes a ghost (preta) when they die. It is to deliver people form this ghostly condition that one has to perform their preta-sraddha. However according to vaisnava doctrine, the sins of a person who chants namabhasa are destroyed, and he goes beyond birth and death, as we see from the example of Ajamile and others. Apart from that sastra opposes the performance of preta-sraddha for Vaisnavas who have been devoted to ekantiki (single focused) krsna bhakti, and who have chanted suddha nama for their whole life.

"Srila Prabhupada, the crown jewel of liberated souls, is a nitya-siddha parikara of Krsna (an eternal associate of the Lord). Not only that, he is Krsnapriya Sri Varsabhanavi s most beloved. Who will dare perform his preta-sraddha? There is a fundamental difference between the satvata-sraddha of the Vaisnavas and the preta-sraddha of the smartas. According to Hari Bhakti Vilasa, Satkriyasara-dipika and other vasnava-smrti, the only satvata sraddha for Vaisnavas is the offering of bhagavata-maha-prasada. The observance of viraha-mahotsava for Vaisnava acaryas has been going on since ancient times, and accordingly we will present our sraddha-pupspanjali to Srila Prabhpada's lotus feet."
excerpted from:
Acarya Kesari Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami
His Life and Teachings
By Tridandiswami Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayan Maharaj, pp.74-75

Hrydayananda Maharaja has declared: "SP never told in any book, article interview or any other documented statements, that NM should become the siksa guru of ISKCON."

This is simply untrue and there is a tape of the conversation between Srila Prabhupada and Srila Narayana Maharaja in Vrndavan l977, in which Srila Prabhupada clearly asks Srila Narayana Maharaja to help his disciples and help with his projects. This tape is in the BBT archives. Its translation from Bengali is completed and by Lord Krsna's divine will you can read a transcript of it here:
Prabhupada's Final Words: On Iskcon and Srila Narayana Maharaja
[ ].

Please note there is a clerical error in the posted VNN article. According to Tamal Krishna Goswami's diary and Prabhupada Lilamrta, this conversation took place on the 8th of October. This is also confirmed in My Siksa Guru and Priya Bandhu:

"Just before Kartika month in early October when our annual Vraja Mandal parikrama was about to begin, Srila Swami Maharaja sent for me. He requested his senior sannyasis and many others, 'I want to meet with Narayana Maharaja.' They came by car and requested me, 'Srila Prabhupada wants you, so please come now.' We were just giving evening discourse for our parikrama party; but I came immediately. (Appendix 15)

"When I arrived in his room at Krsnaa-Balarama Mandira, he was quite silent. Some boys were singing the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and some sannyasis and other disciples were silent. After some time he opened his eyes and indicated with his eyes for me to come close. He was so enthusiastic before his death- not his death, no, his entering into Krsna-lila. He was not speaking, but when he saw me he was happy. The devotees were chanting Hare Krsnaa very softly in Swamiji's special tune. All could see that he was not speaking anything now.

"I did pranams to him, santya pranams (standing and silent) because I saw that there were so many persons there and no space for me to do full pranams. Then he saw me and at once said, 'Oh Narayana Maharaja has come.' He wanted me to take a seat on his bed. He tried to sit up but I put my hands on him and said, 'Please lie down and I will sit over here.' He then motioned for me to come nearer to his bed and said, 'I want to speak to you.' He wanted me to sit closer to his ear so he told some disciples, 'Bring a chair' and I sat on it near to his ear. (Appendix 16)
Srila B.V. Narayana Maharaja
My Siksa Guru & Priya Bandhu

There was another communication on the 14th of November, as described in My Siksa Guru & Priya Bandhu, but that is different.

If anyone choses to remain self-deluded concerning the matter of siksa-guru, and who Srila Prabhupada thought we should approach for guidance, after his samadhi, there is little we can do.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has explained how delusional thinkers bolster each other's self-deception. With regard to empiricists, he wrote:

"It is not empiric wisdom that is the object of quest of the devotee. Those who read the scriptures for gathering empiric wisdom will be pursuing the wild goose chase. There are not a few dupes of their empiric Scriptural erudition. These dupes have their admiring under-dupes. But the mutual admiration society of dupes does not escape, by the mere weight of their number, the misfortunes due to the deliberate pursuit of the wrong course in accordance with the suggestions of our lower selves.
The Harmonist, December 1931, vol. XXIX No.6

You can read:
(Remembrances of His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Compiled from selected interviews, lectures and written by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja) contains considerable information about Srila Narayana Maharaja's long standing relationship with Srila Prabhuapda, which started in the l940's. It does not matter what Hrydayananda Maharaja would like everyone to think.

Srila Prabhupada was one of the co-founders of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti on April 7th, 1940. Srila Narayana Maharaj has been serving our guru varga there prior to the birth of most of Srila Prabhupada's disciples. Longevity of service certainly has its merit We all want to strive for nistha (steadiness) in our guru seva. There is also something also to be said for the quality of that service rendered to our guru varga. Such quality is worthy of consideration.

Is Hrydayananda Maharaja aware that Srila Narayana Maharaja wrapped Srila Prabhupada's danda in l959; performed the fire yajna at his sannyasa initiation, and even made his copins, and organized the feast? While many letters written between His Divine Grace and Srila Narayana Maharaja were somehow mysteriosuly "lost" in a fire at Gita Nagarai, the original 17 remain and tell quite a different story about the quality of Srila Narayana Maharaja's service to Srila Prabhupada and the depth of their lasting relation. When Srila Prabhupada's eldest son sued ISKCON for all of its assets, Tamal Krsna Goswami and the GBC turned to Srila Narayan Maharaja for assistance and he gave important testimony in court as to the sannyasa status of His Divine Grace. This testimony was crucial; saving ISKCON from financial ruin. No small service, by any means. Also, placing Srila Prabhupada's body in samadhi is a far more significant seva (service) than the GBC would like everyone to believe. Srila Narayana Maharaja's present service to Srila Prabhupada, traveling world wide to inspire and assist the Vaisnava community, is certainly appreciated and embraced by many devotees.

Hrdayananda Maharaja has also written: "ISKCON is not a mundane entity. It is SP's society. SP gave ISKCON it's name. SP has established the basic constitution of the GBC system etc vision."

This is true, but you should read the original constitution for ISKCON.
You can read it here:

Constitution Of Association
Take note of this point listed by His Divine Grace in his secondary objectives for ISKCON:

2. To discharge as a matter of courses the vitiated system of supremacy of one man over another by false prestige of birthright or vested interests.

(*Note from Puru Das Adhikari - Please don't misunderstand "2."
The New Webster's Dictionary defines

discharge: to unload, to discharge cargo, to absolve, free oneself from, to release (an arrow or bullet) to rid of an electrical charge, to dismiss etc. . . and

vitiated: spoiled., made defective, corrupted (morals or taste), invalidated or made wholly or partly ineffective.).

Or in other words "to eliminate as a matter of course the defective and corrupted system of supremacy of one man over another by false prestige of birthright or vested interest."

Hrydayananda Maharaja futher stated: "ISKCON is the only institution in the world that is exclusively dedicated to serving SCM strictly according to SP's personal vision."

ISKCON has gone a long, long way since 1977 to deviate from the means and goals set out in Srila Prabhupada's original intentions for it. Srila Prabhupada's vision was not bound by institutional considerations. Even though he established temples and communities he did not "Institutionalize" Vaisnavism. First of all there cannot be any spiritual life without a bonafide understanding of guru tattva. The GBC has flip-flopped on this issue several times. Since 1977 they have been twisting the Gaudiya siddhanta of guru tattva like a pretzel. First they foisted zonal acarya, then in l988 misunderstood "re-initiation" and now have accepted a rubber stamp political appointment system for guru. Does such confusion indicate any real understanding of what Srila Prabhupada's vision actually was? Simply read Nectar of Instruction to understand what His Divine Grace's "personal vision" was. Srila Prabhupada shared the vision of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. We should not try to separate Srila Prabhupada from the rest of our guru parampara. ISKCON is not meant to be an entity separate and apart from the rest of the Gaudiya Sampradaya philosophically, even if it is managed by its GBC.

The Vaishnava world is not limited to ISKCON, especially as it is guided by GBC ecclesiastical resolutions, which have deviated it from our Gaudiya line. ISKCON certainly used to have Srila Prabhupada's personal stamp upon it, but his real mood of love and affection has long been erased by GBC bureaucracy and lack of anugatya (proper guidance) since 1977. No doubt, the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti does not mirror ISKCON in certain details, but in principle Krsna Consciousness is still Krsna Consciousness. We can read this point explained in the Nectar of Devotion by His Divine Grace.

Chapter Six
How to Discharge Devotional Service

Srila Rupa Gosvami states that his elder brother (Sanatana Gosvami) has compiled Hari-bhakti-vilasa for the guidance of the Vaisnavas and therein has mentioned many rules and regulations to be followed by the Vaisnavas. Some of them are very important and prominent, and Srila Rupa Gosvami will now mention these very important items for our benefit. The purport of this statement is that Srila Rupa Gosvami proposes to mention only basic principles, not details. For example, a basic principle is that one has to accept a spiritual master. Exactly how one follows the instructions of his spiritual master is considered a detail. For example, if one is following the instruction of his spiritual master and that instruction is different from the instructions of another spiritual master, this is called detailed information. But the basic principle of acceptance of a spiritual master is good everywhere, although the details may be different. Srila Rupa Gosvami does not wish to enter into details here, but wants to place before us only the principles.
Ch. 6

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has elucidated this point in some detail, Non-Sectarian Vaishnava-Dharma
taken from the introduction to the Sri Krsna Samhita:

The surface differences of one matha to another, one acarya to another, are not significant reasons to reject their association when their goals are the same. Good association is just that, and bad association is just that. Srila Prabhupada advises us in the NOD repeatedly to seek out good association of Vaisnavas who are more advanced than ourselves and hear from them. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has remarked in his essay "Organised Religion" that:

"The Supreme Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in pursuance of the teachings of the scriptures enjoins all absence of conventionalism for the teachers of the eternal religion. It does not follow that the mechanical adoption of the unconventional life by any person will make him a fit teacher of religion. Regulation is necessary for controlling the inherent worldliness of conditional souls.
But no mechanical regulation has any value, even for such a purpose. The bona-fide teacher of religion is neither any product of nor the favorer of, any mechanical system. In his hands no system has likewise, the chance of degenerating into a lifeless arrangement. The mere pursuit of fixed doctrines and fixed liturgies cannot hold a person to the true spirit of doctrine or liturgy.
The idea of an organised church in an intelligible form, indeed, marks the close of the living spiritual movement. The great ecclesiastical establishments are the dikes and the dams to retain the current that cannot be held by any such contrivances. They, indeed, indicate a desire on the part of the masses to exploit a spiritual movement for their own purpose. They also unmistakably indicate the end of the absolute and unconventional guidance of the bona-fide spiritual teacher."

Also in the purport to Cc. Adi lila Ch.12, Txt 73 we can read:

"In this connection, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, in his Amrta-pravaha-bhasya, gives this short note: "Sri Advaita Acarya is one of the important trunks of the bhakti-kalpataru, or desire tree of devotional service. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as a gardener, poured water on the root of the bhakti tree and thus nourished all its trunks and branches. But nevertheless, under the spell of maya, the most unfortunate condition of a living entity, some of the branches, not accepting the gardener who poured water on them, considered the trunk the only cause of the great bhakti-kalpataru. In other words, the branches or descendants of Advaita Acarya who considered Advaita Acarya the original cause of the devotional creeper, and who thus neglected or disobeyed the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, deprived themselves of the effect of being watered and thus dried up and died. It is further to be understood that not only the misguided descendants of Advaita Acarya but anyone who has no connection with Caitanya Mahaprabhu--even if he is independently a great sannyasi, learned scholar or ascetic--is like a dead branch of a tree."
Cc. Adi 12.73

We are intersted in substance and not form. Hrydayananda Maharaja and Jayapataka Swami and the gbc may claim hold of Srila Prabhupada's legacy, but many of His Divine Grace's disciples are more and more convinced that their misbehavior and deviations since 1977 has simply disconnected what once was Srila Prabhuapada's ISKCON institution from the real ISKCON Mission. Many devotees feel the GBC has disconnected ISKCON from the trunk of the actual tree of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. You decide this issue for yourself. You should make up your own mind. Who are Srila Prabhupada's real disciples? Are they found among those who simply sit on ISKCON's management board or those who actually follow Srila Prabhupada's essence, and are truely in line with our guru parampara with regard to guru-tattva, jiva-tattva and vaisnava aparadha?

More Letter:

History is showing us that ISKCON is continuing to survive in spite of leaders who are falling down or becoming unfaithful. Actually GM preachers have no experience in an international society working according to a gbc system. SP has explained clearly and insistently that the GM has disintegrated into so many mathas, each one with its own acarya. It seems that it is virtually impossible for the GM gurus to imagine any other system besides the acarya system. In this way in their dealings with ISKCON NM consistently behaves himself strongly as if he himself should be our acarya. This became crystal clear for the first time in his famous lecture in our KB temple in Vrndavana many years ago when he declared that he now has come to teach us whatever SP hasn t, but for certain he would if he were still alive. We are simply following whatever SP has explicitly said.


One could say that a terminal patient on life support is still alive, but what is the quality of that life? ISKCON has been losing temples, men, and credibility more each year, and is a shadow of what it was prior to 1977. One should ask why so many "leaders" in ISKCON have fallen. It is abundantly clear that they are not hearing and chanting with any guidance from any siksa guru. They are losing their taste for devotional practices, and reaping the reaction for their numerous offences to their god brothers, and senior Vaisnavas, like Srila Sridhar Maharaja, Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja and now Srila Narayana Maharaja. Srila Prabhupada writes in the NOI, 5th purport:

One should know for certain that without chanting the holy name of the Lord offenselessly, one cannot be a proper candidate for advancement in Krsna consciousness. . . . . The conclusion is that anyone who is trying to advance in Krsna consciousness by regularly chanting the holy name should always be respected by Vaisnavas. On the other hand, we have witnessed that some of our contemporaries who are supposed to be great preachers have gradually fallen into the material conception of life because they have failed to chant the holy name of the Lord.
NOI, 5th purport

Why did a portion of the Gaudiya Math "disintegrate"? They elected an acarya instead of allowing one to manifest by self effulgence and qualification. What is the difference between this foolishness and the GBC's rubber stamping of acaryas? Nothing. Same mistake and the same result. Simply read Cc. Adi lila Ch. 12 Txt 8-11 to see the parallel. We do not have the space to discuss the broader implications of the Gaudiya Math breakup here. Hridayananda Maharaja's perspective on this complicated history is certainly highly simplified and mostly innacurate. "Disintegrate" is his term, not mine.

Srila Narayana Maharaja has no ambition to "take over" ISKCON management. If Hrydayananda Maharaja wants to explicitly follow what Srila Prabhupada actually taught then he is well advised to follow these two verses, both given by Srila Rupa Gosvami. Srila Prabhupada quotes them in his purport to Bg. 4.10:
According to Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, the science of devotional service:

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriya
tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas tatah premabhyudancati
sadhakanam ayam premnah pradurbhave bhavet kramah
"In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually elevated. In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material attachment, attains steadiness in self-realization, and acquires a taste for hearing about the Absolute Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Krsna consciousness, which is matured in bhava, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life." In the prema stage there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage, being freed from all material attachment, from the fearfulness of one's individual spiritual personality, and from the frustrations resulting from void philosophy. Then one can ultimately attain to the abode of the Supreme Lord.
Bg. As It Is 4.10

Now, kindly read Srila Prabhupada's summary of these same points in the Nectar of Devotion:

Association with Pure Devotees

Although many different processes for developing love of Godhead have been explained so far, Srila Rupa Gosvami now gives us a general description of how one can best achieve such a high position. The beginning of ecstatic love of Godhead is basically faith. There are many societies and associations of pure devotees, and if someone with just a little faith begins to associate with such societies, his advancement to pure devotional service is rapid. The influence of a pure devotee is such that if someone comes to associate with him with a little faith, one gets the chance of hearing about the Lord from authoritative scriptures like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. Thus, by the mercy of the Lord, who is situated in everyone's heart, one gradually develops his faith in the descriptions of such authoritative scriptures. This is the first stage of association with pure devotees. In the second stage, after one becomes a little advanced and mature, he automatically offers to follow the principles of devotional service under the guidance of the pure devotee and accepts him as the spiritual master. In the next stage, under the guidance of the spiritual master, the devotee executes regulative devotional service, and as a result of such activities, he becomes freed from all unwanted occupations. When he is freed from unwanted occupations, his faith becomes steadily fixed, and he develops a transcendental taste for devotional service, then attachment, then ecstasies, and in the last stage there is pure love of Godhead. These are the different stages of the development of pure love.

Only the most fortunate persons can achieve such success in life. Those who are simply academic students of the Vedic scriptures cannot appreciate how such a development takes place. In the Narada-pancaratra Lord Siva therefore tells Parvati, "My dear supreme goddess, you may know from me that any person who has developed the ecstasy of love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and who is always merged in transcendental bliss on account of this love, cannot even perceive the material distress or happiness coming from the body or mind."

The affection and the dealings of love that are different branches of the original tree of love precede many varieties of affectionate manifestations that will not be discussed here. These different manifestations have been described by Sanatana Gosvami in his Bhagavatamrta. Although the subject of such affections and dealings of love is very confidential, Sanatana Gosvami has described them very explicitly.

Sri Rupa Gosvami thus concludes the first division of the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, offering up his treatise for the transcendental pleasure of Sanatana Gosvami, who has established the transcendental beauty, and of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. It appears from this statement that the great Srila Jiva Gosvami was not yet active when Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu was written.

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta summary study of the first division of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, up to the descriptions of ecstatic love of Godhead, which are to follow next, NOD Ch. 19

Srila Prabhupada also quoted these verses in many instances. In Appendix V you can read some hits from a folio word search of adau sraddha. In this and all matters we certainly want to follow Hridayananda Maharaja's advise to follow "whatever SP has explicitly said."
Srila Prabhupada's godbrother Srila Hrydaya Bon Maharaja has translated these verses and commented thusly:

Verses 15 & 16 from the Eastern Division: Fourth Wave PREMA BHAKTI
of Srila Rupa Goswami s Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu.

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango tha bhajana-kriya
tato nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavass tatah premabhyudancati
TRANSLATION: The different stages of the appearance of PREMA: First Sraddha i.e. faith, next Sadhu-sanga or asociation with saints, after that Bhajana-kriya or spiritual practices, next to it is Anartha-nivrtti,i.e. cessation of all offences or obstacles, next to it is Nistha or firmness, which is followed by Ruci or taste, next is Asakti or attachment, after this is Bhava, and then appears PREMA. These are the different stages for the appearance of Prema in the heart of a person who undergoes spiritual practices.--15,16--

COMMENTARY: Sri Jiva Goswami points out that though there are manifold gradations in the appearance of Prema, yet here in two slokas one particular gradual stage of development in the appearance of Prema, which generally happens, has been mentioned by the author, 'Adau'. 'first' means faith first created by listening to the Scriptures in the company of saints. This faith refers to faith in the infalliability of the fundamental teachings of the Scriptures regarding God, individual soul, the universe, Maya, and their inter-relationships and final conclusions. After the first association of Sadhus for creation of faith in the Scriptures, there should be a second association of such Sadhus for being taught in the practical application of spiritual practices in one's life. Nistha here means one s faithful adherence to an uninterrupted application of spiritual practices; ruci here means intelligent desire for a spiritual life and its actual appliances; asakti means a natural attraction for leading a spiritual life. This is how Sri Jiva explains the different stages in the unfolding of Prema from the first stage of faith. Sri Mukundadas Gosvami comments that here 'adau', first, means faith in Bhakti in Krsna aroused in the heart by an inexplicable fortune; next is the 'association of Sadhus' which means an earnest association with Sadhus in order to learn the various methods of spiritual practices to be applied in life; next is Bhajana-kriya, i.e. practice of spiritual life; after this is Anartha-nivrtti , which means destruction of all sins committed either in this birth or in previous births; this is followed by Nistha which means eager and earnest attempts repeatedly made in performing the spiritual injunctions as prescribed by the Scriptures; after this, is Ruci, i.e. realization of the sweetness of Bhakti or attainment of its taste after the very seed of all sins has been completely destroyed; then develops Asakti which means complete engagement of the mind in Lord Hari after complete cessation of Avidya, i.e. nescience. This is how the two slokas should be interpreted, says Gosvami Mukundadas.--5, 16--

Srila Prabhupada and his godbrother Srila Hrydaya Bon Maharaja see the subject from the same angle, as explained by Srila Jiva Gosvami. His Divine Grace authorised Srila Hrydaya Bon Maharaja's translation for reading. You can check the orignal letters from His Divine Grace to confirm that, if you are concerned.

Sraddha, or faith, comes from sadhu-sanga, which is not "illegal." Unscrupulous individuals have invented many unsubstantiated claims about Srila Narayana Maharaja's preaching and motives to encourage their followers to avoid his association. This indicates that in the name of preaching bhakti they are actually opposed to one of its essential elements, which is clearly established by Srila Rupa Gosvami adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains this sad mentality in his tika (commentary) Bhakti-tattva-viveka that illuminates Srila Rupa Gosvami's Bhakti-rsamrta-sindhu. In the first of four essays the Thakura wrote:

. . .But those who propagate that bhagavad-bhakti is the highest dharma yet behave against the principles of suddha-bhakti can be especially harmful to us. In the name of bhakti they instruct us against the actual principles of bhakti and ultimately lead us onto a path which is totally opposed to bhagavad-bhakti.

In the name of preaching Krsna Consciousness according to the vision of the founder acarya of ISKCON some are preaching against pure devotional service. They advise us not to hear from or associate with a highly qualified Vaisnava, who was directly instructed to take us into this topic by ISKCON's founder-acarya himself. They can make many claims but anyone who reads Srila Prabhupada's books with some care and attention can easily see that Srila Narayana Maharaja and Srila Prabhupada are teaching the same topic and from the same angle of vision. If you doubt that His Divine Grace valued hearing about Lord Krsna's name, fame and pastimes then kindly read this verse and purport:
Srila Prabhupada has written in SB:



etat samsucitam brahmams
yad isvare bhagavati
karma brahmani bhavitam


etat--this much; samsucitam--decided by the learned; brahman--O brahmana Vyasa; tapa-traya--three kinds of miseries; cikitsitam--remedial measures; yat--what; isvare--the supreme controller; bhagavati--unto the Personality of Godhead; karma--one's prescribed activities; brahmani--unto the great; bhavitam--dedicated.


O Brahmana Vyasadeva, it is decided by the learned that the best remedial measure for removing all troubles and miseries is to dedicate one's activities to the service of the Supreme Lord Personality of Godhead [Sri Krsna].


Sri Narada Muni personally experienced that the most feasible and practical way to open the path of salvation or get relief from all miseries of life is to hear submissively the transcendental activities of the Lord from the right and bona fide sources. This is the only remedial process. The entire material existence is full of miseries. Foolish people have manufactured, out of their tiny brains, many remedial measures for removing the threefold miseries pertaining to the body and mind, pertaining to the natural disturbances and in relation with other living beings. The whole world is struggling very hard to exist out of these miseries, but men do not know that without the sanction of the Lord no plan or no remedial measure can actually bring about the desired peace and tranquility. The remedial measure to cure a patient by medical treatment is useless if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. To cross the river or the ocean by a suitable boat is no remedial measure if it is not sanctioned by the Lord. We should know for certain that the Lord is the ultimate sanctioning officer, and we must therefore dedicate our attempts to the mercy of the Lord for ultimate success or to get rid of the obstacles on the path of success. The Lord is all-pervading, all-powerful, omniscient and omnipresent. He is the ultimate sanctioning agent of all good or bad effects. We should, therefore, learn to dedicate our activities unto the mercy of the Lord and accept Him either as impersonal Brahman, localized Paramatma or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It does not matter what one is. One must dedicate everything in the service of the Lord. If one is a learned scholar, scientist, philosopher, poet, etc., then he should employ his learning to establish the supremacy of the Lord. Try to study the energy of the Lord in every sphere of life. Do not decry Him and try to become like Him or take His position simply by fragmental accumulation of knowledge. If one is an administrator, statesman, warrior, politician, etc., then one should try to establish the Lord's supremacy in statesmanship. Fight for the cause of the Lord as Sri Arjuna did. In the beginning, Sri Arjuna, the great fighter, declined to fight, but when he was convinced by the Lord that the fighting was necessary, Sri Arjuna changed his decision and fought for His cause. Similarly, if one is a businessman, an industrialist, an agriculturist, etc., then one should spend his hard-earned money for the cause of the Lord. Think always that the money which is accumulated is the wealth of the Lord. Wealth is considered to be the goddess of fortune (Laksmi), and the Lord is Narayana, or the husband of Laksmi. Try to engage Laksmi in the service of Lord Narayana and be happy. That is the way to realize the Lord in every sphere of life. The best thing is, after all, to get relief from all material activities and engage oneself completely in hearing the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. But in case of the absence of such an opportunity, one should try to engage in the service of the Lord everything for which one has specific attraction, and that is the way of peace and prosperity. The word samsucitam in this stanza is also significant. One should not think for a moment that the realization of Narada was childish imagination only. It is not like that. It is so realized by the expert and erudite scholars, and that is the real import of the word samsucitam.
SB 1.5.32

It is therefore safe to conclude that Hridayananda Maharaja, Jayapataka Swami and the GBC must believe that Srila Narayana Maharaja is not a "right and bonafide source" for krsna katha. Their reasons for believing this are dubious to say the least.

Also in the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto Four, Chapter 28, text 48 we read:



uttisthottistha rajarse
imam udadhi-mekhalam
dasyubhyah ksatra-bandhubhyo
bibhyatim patum arhasi


O best of kings, please get up! Get up! Just see this world surrounded by water and infested with rogues and so-called kings. This world is very much afraid, and it is your duty to protect her.


Whenever an acarya comes, following the superior orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His representative, he establishes the principles of religion, as enunciated in Bhagavad-gita. Religion means abiding by the orders of the Supreme personality of Godhead. Religious principles begin from the time one surrenders to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is the acarya's duty to spread a bona fide religious system and induce everyone to bow down before the Supreme Lord. One executes the religious principles by rendering devotional service, specifically the nine items like hearing, chanting and remembering. Unfortunately, when the acarya disappears, rogues and nondevotees take advantage and immediately begin to introduce unauthorized principles in the name of so-called svamis, yogis, philanthropists, welfare workers and so on. Actually, human life is meant for executing the orders of the Supreme Lord, and this is stated in Bhagavad-gita (9.34):

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam
atmanam mat-parayanah

"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me and become My devotee. Offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."

The main business of human society is to think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead at all times, to become His devotees, to worship the Supreme Lord and to bow down before Him. The acarya, the authorized representative of the Supreme Lord, establishes these principles, but when he disappears, things once again become disordered. The perfect disciples of the acarya try to relieve the situation by sincerely following the instructions of the spiritual master. At the present moment practically the entire world is afraid of rogues and nondevotees; therefore this Krsna consciousness movement is started to save the world from irreligious principles. Everyone should cooperate with this movement in order to bring about actual peace and happiness in the world.
SB 4.28.48

Unfortunately the ",rogues and nondevotees take advantage and immediately begin to introduce unauthorized principles in the name of so-called svamis, yogis, philanthropists, welfare workers and so on." appear to be the very men who believe they are "running" the ISKCON society at present. They would like us to avoid understanding the teachings of Srila Rupa Gosvami with regard to the following sloka, also from the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu:

anyavilasita-sunyam janan-karmady anavrtam
anakulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama

The cultivation of activities which are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Sri Krsna, performed though all endeavors of the body, mind and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation), and karma (reward seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Sri Krsna, is called uttama bhakti, pure devotional service.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes that "In the above verse, each and every word has to be analysed, otherwise we cannot understand the attributes of bhakti." Pure devotional service is the sum and substance of what Srila Prabhupada and what Srila Narayana Maharaja are teaching. Anyone who thinks there is any difference cannot read or can't understand Srila Prabhupada's written words, due to lack of sukrti and too many offences at the lotus feet of Vaisnavas.

Also, for your information, the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti does have a GBC.

Hrydayananda Maharaja remarked: "It seems that it is virtually impossible for the GM gurus to imagine any other system besides the acarya system." This remark seems ironic for someone who so supported ISKCON's zonal acarya system during its heyday. Sripad Hrydayananda Maharaja simply doesn't understand that when there are qualified acaryas present in any matha, the love and affection they feel toward their disciples, the guidance they give them, and the reciprocal mature service attitude of these disciples, runs everything quite nicely. The "system" is one of love and affection, not committees, zones, zonal secretaries and so many bureaucratic substitutes for guru disciple exchanges. KC without a qualified guru or real sadhu-sanga, is KC without the guidance of Srila Rupa Gosvami. For lack of such a loving mood one may advocate a system of management without it but that is not real Krsna Consciousness. A sectarian version of spiritual life that relies on the vanih (instructions) of the departed acarya when very few disciples seem to be able to either properly understand, or sufficiently enthuse anyone to follow this vanih does not work.

Letter continued:

Whatever SP has taught us to do only a new acarya may judge whatever the previous acarya may have said, but did not say. I have personal experience of trying over and over to meet with NM to solve our differences. I went to see him twice when he came to LA. Both times I could not see him privately in a way that we could discuss substantial matters. Then I wrote a personal letter directing his attention to finding a gap in his schedule in order to share some time with some ISKCON leaders, particularly amongst those `favorable towards him. In this way I was searching the possibility of establishing a closer relationship, in order to discuss important matters of cooperation. Up to the present date I have not received any answer to that letter. One of his close associates told me not to expect any response because he was short of time. In other words, this is the standard of NM behavior.


Bhagavan Das mediated these meetings in California. He has a lot more sense than Hrydayananda Maharaja and the rest of the GBC put together. He can undertand that Srila Narayana Maharaja can help enthuse and inspire the devotee population. If ISKCON had the sense to stop worrying about proprietorship of other jiva souls and "ownership" of disciples then they could easily host Srila Narayana Maharaja.

Why are ISKCON leaders averse to his sadhu-sanga? One answer is that they want to continue their "guru" charade and prevent their congregation from associating with real sadhus. They would also rather ostracize godbrothers who might point out what the shastra and SP have to say about guru tattva, instead of what the gbc has resolved in the matter. The gbc body finds it impossible to allow most of Srila Prabhupada's disciples to preach freely up to their realization and understanding of guru tattva or jiva tattva. The gbc's program is to eliminate any disciple who understands these topics as Srila Prabhupada taught them. The prefer to discourage the association of anyone who is actually a bonafide spiritual master. Srila Narayana Maharaja's presence on the planet should be a cause for their celebration instead of their concern or fear. Anyone who is really sincere to practice krsna consciousness similarly becomes a problem for the gbc body and must be rejected or forced to "leave."

They were "worried" about Srila Gaura Govinda Maharaja in the same way. The GBC was ready to expel him because he "spoke too much" about Radha and Krsna. His association and public lectures were also seen as a threat by some of his godbrothers. Envious persons, who harass and try to to intimidate real sadhus, are treading on very thin ice. Vaisnava aparadha can choke the bhakti creeper. To fulfill their personal agendas they believe that His Divine Grace institutionalized KC so they now have a platform from which to "control" others. Such mentality actually ignores the real principles of Vaisnavism.

Just how does Hrydayananda Maharaja want Srila Narayana Maharaja's cooperation? Once in the past the GBC offered Srila Narayana Maharaja an all expenses paid world tour. Their only condition was that he distort the tattva on the origin of the jiva to coincide with their speculations on the matter. Needless to say Srila Narayana Maharaja rejected their offer. Srila Narayana Maharaja told me personally in San Francisco two years ago, "I couldn't preach that! Never compromise."

The GBC members do not appear to understand how to associate with pure devotees. They made this same mistake in their dealings with Srila Sridhar Maharaja and have not learned how to behave properly according to Vaishnava etiquette.

Contrary to the callous way Srila Narayana Maharaja was treated when he visited Los Angeles ISKCON Temple several years ago, when Hrydayananda Mahraja entered the sanga in Badger Srila Srila Narayana Maharaja cordially greeted him, and even apologized for not providing seating for him equal to his own.

In Vrndavana at the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti's Rupa Sanatana Gaudiya Matha, a raised platform is arranged with simple cushions and cloth for all the speakers to sit on. When my sannyasi godbrothers visit Srila Narayana Maharaja's matha he always asks them to sit next to him and asks them to speak to the assembled devotees. In Govardhana every year Srila Narayana Maharaja has all the disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada sit on the same stage along with himself, and his sannyasi and senior brahmacari disciples. SNM certainly understands how to observe Vaishnava etiquette.

To truly benefit from the association of a pure Vaisnava one must do more than simply be in his physical proximity on the precept of some kind of social courtesy. One should understand how to hear from him with an open heart free of duplicity. Srila Prabhupada writes in SB 1.5 " One must learn the transcendental subject by submissive aural reception from the right sources." Then in his next purport to SB 1.6 he writes, "Only one who has properly grasped the transcendental knowledge from the right source by submissive hearing can properly explain the subject." Without showing proper respect to a Vaishnava who is the contemporary of one's diksa guru and actually listening to what he is preaching how is it possible to hear from him submissively?

Srila Narayan Maharaja's dealings with Hrydayananda Maharaja were more than exemplary. If anyone acted out of character for a Vaisnava it was not Srila Narayana Maharaja. I doubt seriously that the scenario Hrydayananda Maharaja tries to paint in his remarks about attempts to communicate are genuine. They smell of duplicity and exaggerations of the actual events. If Bhagavan Das had not been an influence upon Hrydayananda Maharaja, we doubt if these California meetings with Srila Narayana Maharaja would even have taken place at all.

In Raghunatha Das Gosvami's book, Manah Siksa, in the 6th sloka we read the description of a renunciate who overestimates his own position:

"(3) Deceit of the nirapeksa-sadhaka- (a) to maintain pride by thinking oneself to be an elevated Vaishnava, (b) to adopt the dress of a renunciate and, due to false ego, regard other sadhakas as inferior, (c) to accumulate wealth, and materials beyond the basic necessities of life, (d) to associate with women on the pretext of sadhana, (e) to keep close contact with materialistic people with the intention of collecting funds and donations instead of going to the temple. (f) to worry about collecting funds on the pretext of performing bhajan, (g) to enfeeble one s attachment for Krsna by attributing importance and respect merely to the external dress and symbols of the renounced order and by being overly attached to the rules and regulations of renunciation.

"Therefore the defects of mundane arguments (kutarka) false philosophical conclusions (kusiddhanta), and anarthas all arising from the deceit in the domain of bhajan have been compared to the urine of a donkey. Many sadhakas consider themselves purified by bathing in this unholy urine of the donkey of deceit, but in reality it only consumes their soul."
Manah Siksa pp.73-74

No one needs to meditate on Hrydayananda Maharaja's mistakes, but his audacity to try and shift blame to Srila Narayana Maharaja for his own inability to correctly take the association of an advanced Vaisnava is simply monumental duplicity. How long can Hrydayananda Maharaja continue to cheat and speak ill of Vaisnavas and his godbrothers, without finally being exposed as a naked emperor? Someone in California recently asked Hrydayananda Maharaja was it not a fact that many of his god brothers are now hearing from Srila Narayana Maharaja. His reply, "Only the crazy ones like________________ and ________________. There is a tape to corroborate this conversation. Srila Prabhupada titled one of his early l960's essays, "Who is Crazy?"

How can a sannyasi, and long time devotee act so badly? In the Manah siksa, sloka 7, Raghunatha Das Gosvami we find another explanation:

pratishtasa dhrsta svapaca-ramani me hrdi nater
katham sadhuh-prema sprsati sucir etan nanu manah
sada tvam sevasva prabhu-dayita samantam atulam
yatha tam niskasya tvaritam iha tam vesayati sah

"(Why is it that deceit still lingers in the heart in spite of one's having given up all material sense enjoyment? This verse has been composed in order to answer this question.) O Mind! How can pure divine love appear in my heart as long as the shameless dog-eating outcaste women of the desire for prestige is audaciously dancing there? Therefore always remember and serve the immeasurably powerful commanders of the army of Sri Krsna, the beloved devotees of the Lord. They will at once banish this outcaste women and initiate the flow of immaculate Vraja-prema in your heart."

In his explanation of this sloka "Sri Bhajana-darpana-digdarsni-vrti" Srila Narayana Maharaja has written:

"The desire for honor and distinction is called pratistha. Although all other anarthas may be dispelled, the desire for pratistha is not easily removed. From this, all kinds of deceit and hypocrisy arise and are gradually nourished. The desire for pratistha is called shameless, for although it is the root of all anarthas, it fails to acknowledge its own fault. It is also called candalini, a female dog eater, for it is engaged in eating the dogmeat of fame.. . .The nirapeksa-sadhaka thinks, I am a strict renunciate, I have perfectly understood the conclusions of the sastra and my bhakti has come to the perfectional stage.: In this way he maintains the desire for pratistha."
Manah Siksa pp.82

Hrydayananda Maharaja and Jayapataka Swami were both GBC members who avidly supported zonal acarya. I have tapes of the l979 meeting in which they condemned Pradyumna for his l978 letter, which admonished the GBC for its "zonal acarya policy". If you haven't read that letter you can find it here:

Letter from Pradyumna das 1978 []

On the audiotapes you can hear Hrydayananda Maharaja and Jayapataka Maharaja and Tamal Krsna Goswami and others declaring why they must sit on big vyasasanas and why they must receive daily worship. It was this meeting that resulted in Pradyumna losing his service of translating the remainder of Srila Prabhuapda's Srimad Bhagavatam. After this meeting the GBC transferred this task to Hrydayananda Maharaja. He has told his disciples in Brazil that Srila Prabhupada instructed him to do the translation. This is not true. It was assigned to him by dint of a GBC political move to take credibility away from Pradyumna who disagreed with their "zonal acarya" policy. "Zonal acarya" was eventually revoked in time anyway, as too many of the original "acaryas" left spiritual life altogether. As recently as 1994 in Atlanta, Hrydayananda Maharaja delivered a lecture advocating increased worship for himself and other iskcon gurus, as a cure for the problems in iskcon.

It is clear. He has enough time to go all over the world to recruit people leaving ISKCON in order to join him. Nevertheless now he does not have enough time to sit with ISKCON leaders to seriously discuss a way of mutual cooperation. I have not seen yet a sign that NM is seriously interested in cooperating with ISKCON leaders. I have not seen a sign showing that he sees us as genuine representatives of SP. What I have indeed seen in every case is that he wants us to deal with him as with a senior Vaishnava. Now, IN EVERY CASE AND CIRCUMSTANCE NM is senior to all combined leaders of ISKCON, then he is clearly the acarya. This is simple algebra. NM is certainly senior to any of us as an individual. Nevertheless, we as a group have received an order to give a direction to our society. What follows is an extract of a recent speech by NM in Germany.


Srila Narayana Maharaja may recruit hearts, but "accumulating" manpower is not his goal or motive. The three mathas he oversees in India (Mathura, Vrndavana and Durvasa tila) are more than adequately staffed with qualified devotees. These temples overflow with western visitors once a year for the Vraja Mandala Parikrama. This event was started by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and continued by Srila Narayana Maharaja's gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami. Why shouldn't all the jiva souls of Kali Yuga JOIN Srila Narayana Maharaja's mood of pure bhakti? Why does Hrydayananda Maharaja see preaching the glories of the Holy Name as some kind of military recruiting effort? Srila Prabhupada wrote in the Cc. Adi lila Ch. 12 Txt 8, "therefore I am of no faction." Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura condemns sectarian party feeling. Again we point the reader to his essay:
Non-Sectarian Vaisnava-Dharma

"I have not seen a sign showing that he sees us as genuine representatives of SP."
Hrydayananda Maharaja cannot understand that Srila Narayana Maharaja sees him as an eternal spirit soul and not three letters. Frankly, ISKCON leaders don't want to sit and hear from or discuss anything with Srila Narayana Maharaja. Their idea of cooperation is extremely one sided. Practically speaking what right have they to dictate anything at all to anyone outside their little circle? Many of their godbrothers don't accept them as genuine representatives of Srila Prabhupada. What have they done since 1977 to indicate they truly represent our guru param para? Not much to speak of in any favorable way. So far the attitude of ISKCON management toward Srila Narayana Maharaja's preaching is explained in the following purport to Cc. Madhya 1.218. Srila Prabhupada has written:

TEXT 218


dui jane prabhura krpa dekhi' bhakta-gane
'hari' 'hari' bale sabe anandita-mane


dui jane--unto the two persons; prabhura--of the Lord; krpa--the mercy; dekhi'--seeing; bhakta-gane--all the devotees; hari hari--the holy name of the Lord; bale--chant; sabe--all; anandita--cheerful; mane--in the mind.


When all of the devotees saw the mercy of the Lord upon the two brothers, they were very much gladdened, and they began to chant the holy name of the Lord, "Hari! Hari!"

Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says, chadiya vaisnava seva nistara payeche keba: unless one serves a Vaisnava, he cannot be delivered. The spiritual master initiates the disciple to deliver him, and if the disciple executes the order of the spiritual master and does not offend other Vaisnavas, his path is clear. Consequently Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu requested all the Vaisnavas present to show mercy toward the two brothers, Rupa and Sanatana, who had just been initiated by the Lord. When a Vaisnava sees that another Vaisnava is a recipient of the Lord's mercy, he becomes very happy. Vaisnavas are not envious. If a Vaisnava, by the mercy of the Lord, is empowered by Him to distribute the Lord's holy name all over the world, other Vaisnavas become very joyful--that is, if they are truly Vaisnavas. One who is envious of the success of a Vaisnava is certainly not a Vaisnava himself, but an ordinary mundane man. Envy and jealousy are manifested by mundane people, not by Vaisnavas. Why should a Vaisnava be envious of another Vaisnava who is successful in spreading the holy name of the Lord? An actual Vaisnava is very pleased to accept another Vaisnava who is bestowing the Lord's mercy. A mundane person in the dress of a Vaisnava should not be respected but rejected. This is enjoined in the sastra (upeksa). The word upeksa means neglect. One should neglect an envious person. A preacher's duty is to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, make friendships with Vaisnavas, show mercy to the innocent and reject or neglect those who are envious or jealous. There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaisnavas in this Krsna consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. There is no need to serve a jealous person who is in the dress of a Vaisnava. When Narottama dasa Thakura says chadiya vaisnava seva nistara payeche keba, he is indicating an actual Vaisnava, not an envious or jealous person in the dress of a Vaisnava.
Cc. Madhya lila 1.218

Letter continued:

"Just as the Berlin Wall was destroyed, His Divine Grace wants to abolish the institutional walls of the Vaishnava world. He compared the sectarian mentality of not hearing to the sages outside the institution to which one belongs to the mentality of a son that inherited a well from his father. Nevertheless, the water of the well has become polluted and infected in due course of time, this person now refuses to drink the pure Ganga water, that is flowing nearby."
The problem here is the SP built the institutional walls of ISKCON in order to protect his teachings. We are willing to hear from NM, but up to the present we were not able to engage him in a serious conversation where we could hear each other. Listening to sadhus does not mean that we have to simply hear from him. SP repeatedly ordered us that the GBC should govern ISKCON, since between the gbc members we have tens of years of experience in hearing and serving SP. Therefore there should be a mutual relationship between NM and ISKCON leaders with regard to their exchanges.


The problem here is that the institution has simply lost sight of its purpose. ISKCON should provide a place for sincere souls to become pure devotes in an envy free society. The institutions walls have instead become a mental prison, instead of a place for shelter. By treating disciples like chattel, and godbrothers like dirt, bogus gurus are denying their followers Vaishnava association. Unfortunately this GBC believes it is non-different from Srila Prabhupada, when it has ignored his real mood of love and affection, and his hope for us to become suddha bhaktas. Hrydayananada Maharaja falsely believes that despite their numerous blunders, so many abuses and mismanagement of a monumental scale, since 1977, that the GBC should be regarded highly? Can any disciple in his right mind take them or him seriously in any way? This is statement enough of Hrydayananda Maharaja's self-delusion. Judge a thing by the result. Look at ISKCON today. Catalogue the numerous examples of megalomania, callous mistreatment of gurukula children, beatings of innocent disciples, murders, deviations from Gaudiya siddhanta, etc. etc. etc. and you tell me how we should regard the managers who are responsible for all these travesties.

Letter continued:

If you read Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta you will find that in the beginning of the seventies there was a conspiracy to take away SP s position as the founder acarya of ISKCON and to diminish SP and place SBSST as the true SP. SP personally detected that the devotees of ISKCON press had been contaminated with this idea when the published one of the small books. There they eliminated SP s titles, such as His Divine Grace, and Prabhupada. Recently in Caracas, Venezuela NM repeatedly has preached that SP is not the founder of ISKCON and repeatedly has referred to him as Bhaktivedanta Swami instead of Prabhupada, meaning that the real Prabhupada was BS. NM has stated that other gurus from the GM were more advanced than SP. I am not accusing NM of participating in a conspiracy.
The fact is hence that whatever he was preaching in Caracas is basically identical to the idea that has appeared in the seventies, and that SP rejected as a conspiracy against him. I had personally tried to establish a conversation with NM but until now I have been unsuccessful. So these are some of the basic points.


Here is yet another example of misinformation and false accusation by Hrydayananda Maharaja. Simply because Srila Narayana Maharaja does not refer to our Srila Prabhupada as we do is not a violation of any etiquette and hardly parallels the incident in Los Angeles. I have heard Srila Narayana Maharaja say "your Srila Prabhupada" many times.

"There have been be four Srila Prabhupada's in the modern era:
Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Prabhupada
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada"

I made this statement in Varsana in front of Srila Narayana Maharaja and his entire sanga on the disappearance day mahotsava of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, my beloved diksa gurudeva, two years ago. No one disputed it. Hrydayananda Maharaja should attend this function and see for himself how much love and affection and respect for our Srila Prabhupada is felt by the members of Srila Naryana Maharaja's camp and the members of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. This spurious attempt at character assassination will not do. We point the reader again to My Siksa Guru Priya Bandhu for clarification. The editor of that book has explained:

(NOTE: Srila Prabhupada was addressed by many names throughout his life. His parents gave him the birth name of Abhay Caran Dey. At his initiation by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, he became Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu. Later in 1939, he was honored by an assembly of his Godbrothers with the title Sri Bhaktivedanta. During his grhastha years, many of his friends affectionately called him Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu, Abhay Babu Prabhu, or "Prabhu". These references are shown in the Lilamrta and Srila Narayana Maharaja recalls them here. In 1959 during his sannyas ceremony, Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesaava Maharaja awarded him the formal name "Swami"; and he became known as Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami. Maharaja is included as an honorary title.

'Swami' with 'ji' (Swamiji) is actually a designation of special respect and intimacy. Later his disciples and followers addressed him as Srila Prabhupada (representative of the lotus feet of Krsna). Because the devotees in the Gaudiya Matha have for over a century been accustomed to addressing Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura as 'Srila Prabhupada', to avoid confusion Srila Narayana Maharaja generally refers to him after his sannyasa as Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja or Swamiji.

End of letter:

There are serious reasons explaining why unfortunately ISKCON is now unable to have any intimate association with NM. If NM is really seriously interested in cooperation beyond recruiting ISKCON devotees, he must find time to deal with mutually respectful relationship with the senior representatives of SP.
Wishing you the best
Hrydayananda Goswami.


We have not seen any reasons to avoid Srila Narayana Maharaja's association that can be taken seriously. The members of ISKCON will be denied the opportunity of hearing from him if they follow the orders of the GBC above the orders of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and all of our predecessor acaryas. Therefore ISKCON members must make the decision to think for themselves or allow the GBC to think for them. The disciples of Hrydayananda Maharaja also have now a decision to make. In light of his duplicity and loyalty to a GBC, which is deviated from the teachings of its founder acarya and Srila Rupa Goswami they must decide to continue to follow such a bogus guru or reject him. How can they reject him? Why do we call him bogus? Because Srila Jiva Gosvami gives very clear indication that my assertion is correct.

vaisnava-vidvesi cet parityajya eva. "guror api avaliptasye" ti smaranat, tasya vaisnava-bhava-rahityena avaisnavataya avaisnavopadisteneti vacana-visaya tvacca. Yathokta-laksanasya sri-guror-avidyamanatayastu tasyaiva maha- bhagavatasyaikasya nitya-sevanam paramam sreyah
"A guru who is envious of pure devotees, who blasphemes them, or behaves maliciously towards them SHOULD CERTAINLY BE ABANDONED. Such an envious guru lacks the mood and character of a vaisnava. Knowing these injunctions of the scriptures, a sincere devotee abandons the false guru who is envious of other vaisnavas. After leaving one who lacks the qualities of a true guru, if a devotee is without a spiritual guide, his only hope is to seek out a maha-bhagavat vaisnava and serve him. By constantly rendering service to such a pure devotee, one will certainly attain the highest goal of life"
(Bhakti-sandharba,Annucheda 238)

We can also find evidence for why to reject a guru in the Sri Krsna Bhajanamrta of Srila Narahari Sakara Thakura. Ironically this book was circulated throughout ISKCON under the sponsorship of Jayapataka Swami. It seems that he did not read it carefully enough to comprehend its purport. In it Srila Narahari Sakara Thakura, the 40th branch of the Caitanya tree explains why we can hear from Vaisnavas other than our diksa guru:

Verse 46

If one's initiating spiritual master and instructing spiritual master are of small spiritual potency, or in other words, if they do not poses a special power to give spiritual instruction on worship for devotional service, then one may listen from the mouth of other great advanced Vaisnavas and understand the special instructions. However, thereafter, the disciple must go to his spiritual master for his confirmation or instructions. Then he states:

Verse 47

One should not disobey the order of the spiritual master.

So now we have the dilemna. A diksa guru is saying don't go to hear from a more advanced Vaisnava than himself. He is making so many institutional and sectarian arguments in favor of rejecting sadhu sanga from this Vaisnava. If you are to be a loyal disciple you must either follow his instruction or take an alternative path. My assertion is that many of my godbrothers have said they are bona fide guru without proper understanding of what guru tattva means. A bonafide guru in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami is capable of practicing and teaching the truths concerning raganuga bhakti (spontaneous devotional service). He can also elevate any sincere disciple to one day become qualified to perform this kind of pure devotional service. If you believe your diksa guru is an uttama adhikari and he has the bhava of rati and is practicing suddha bhakti, then you have no problem if your estimation is correct. However if this next verse applies to him instead there may be some problem.

yo vyakti nyaya rahitam anyayena srnoti yah
tava ubhau narakam ghoram vrajatah kalam aksayam

"One who assumes the dress and position of an acarya, who speaks against the conclusions of Srimad Bhagavatam and other scriptures, or performs kirtana opposed to the proper glorification of Sri Krsna certainly goes to hell for countless life times, along with his disciples and whoever else hears such non devotional talks and kirtans. (Hari-bhakti-vilas).

You will find out at the time of death if you have been deceived, otherwise not. Srila Prabhupada has written in the Nectar of Instruction:

In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami advises the devotee to be intelligent enough to distinguish between the kanistha-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari and uttama-adhikari. The devotee should also know his own position and should not try to imitate a devotee situated on a higher platform. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given some practical hints to the effect that an uttama-adhikari Vaisnava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaisnavism. One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master.
NOI purprt sloka 5.

If your diksa guru is actually at the stage of madhyama madyama adhikari he will not discourage you from hearing from an uttama Vaisnava. If he is intelligent he will also accompany his disciples to hear from such an exalted personality himself. He will show a correct example and also benefit from the sadhu sanga of such a pure devotee. He will not "lose" any disciples, only further help them by setting a good example and by not comitting the offence of maryada vyatikrama. (speaking in the presence of superiors).

If you are willing to consider that the instruction not to hear from Srila Narayan Maharaja is bogus then you should take note of what else Narahari Sakara Thakura has to say:

Verse 59

If the spiritual master commits a wrongful act breaking Vaishnava regulative principles then in that case one should in a solitary place, confront him for his rectification using logic and appropriate conclusions from sadhu, sastra and guru references, but one is not to give him up.

Verse 60

One should not be hesitant or fearful because one is confronting or challenging a spiritual master.
"For it has been prescribed that one must appropriately discipline even a spiritual master who is:

*bewildered about what he should or shouldn't do;
*who is inexperienced or ignorant;
*who has deviated from the Krsna conscious path;
*or if he is bewildered by false pride."

Verse 61

This statement of the revealed scriptures is applicable at all times and under all circumstances.

Verse 62

The natural behavior of the Vaisnava devotees is to take complete refuge of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, accepting Him as their principal and real shelter. The very life of the Vaisnava devotees of the Lord is singing the glories of Lord Sri Krsna, describing and expanding the fame of Lord Sri Krsna, and discussing the nectar of His transcendental pastimes.

Verse 63

The authorized course of action is to continue, as before, with one's prescribed devotional service. One may take guidance through or instructions from the Vaisnavas, as all Vaisnavas are considered guru or "spiritual master," or one may use one's own intelligence, duly considering the relevant instructions from sadhu, sastra and guru. In all cases one should continue in one's devotional service.

Verse 64

However, if the spiritual master:

*acts envious towards 'isvarebrantah', that which is connected with the Supreme;
*is bewildered regarding the Supreme Personality of Godhead;
*is averse to expanding the fame of Lord Krsna;
*personally refuses to accept hearing or chanting about the glorious pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna;
*has become totally bewildered, listening to the false praise of ignorant persons and day by day is more materially contaminated and fallen
___then the spiritual master must be renounced.

Verse 65

Under those circumstances one should not doubt, "How can I give up my spiritual master?" With a strong desire for achieving spontaneous devotional service and attaining the lotus feet of Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a devotee accepts the shelter of a spiritual master, if that spiritual master takes on "asuric" qualities or a demoniac mentality then it is one's duty to reject such a demon "asura" guru and in his place accept a Krsna conscious spiritual master and worship him.

Verse 66

By taking shelter of the strength of the Krsna conscious spiritual master's devotional service the ill effects or contamination of the demoniac previous spiritual master is counteracted and destroyed. These activities are recommended by all Vaisnava authorities as the authorized conclusions of the sastra.

Verse 67

During the pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu there have been many practical examples of the above.

This concludes the deliberation and final conclusions of sadhu , sastra on guru on the spiritual master and related matters.
Sri Krsna Bhajanamrta

Verse 64 of this shastra certainly applies to anyone who is advising others not to hear the hari katha from the lips of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna. Anyone who preaches a concocted ecclesiastical version of guru tattva, instead of what Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Prabhupada have written is a cheater. Anyone willing to believe him is certainly being cheated.

Who can be an acarya? What does initiation mean? That answer is found extensively throughout His Divine Grace's books and lectures and is actually too vast a topic to discuss here in full. We can refer you however to:

Nectar of Instruction Text 1 & Purport
Nectar of Instruction Text 5 & Purport
Cc. Adi Lila 1.46-48

Cc. Madhya 24 Txt 330-331
SB 1.5.32

You can also read:
What is a Guru? London, August 22, 1973, by HDGACBSP

Guru Tattva: Real And Apparent, By Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, [] where you will find some basis for understanding qualification of guru or acarya. If anyone is saying not to hear about Lord Krsna s pastimes from a superior Vaisnava, not to associate with a pure Vaisnava because of political considerations, and that you should not think for yourself on the basis of guru, sadhu and shastra, then such a so called guru is a cheater. He has some material motive to keep his followers in ignorance so he can either control or exploit them . Bhakti Vidagdha Bhagawat Maharaja observed this in regard to another GBC member: "You are always concocting different ways to control the present situation in your society and are never consulting with the more advanced and experienced vaisnavas who can give good advice."

We can take note of these slokas:

paricarya-yasa-lipsuh sisyad guru na hi
"One who accepts disciples for personal service and fame is unfit to be a guru." (Visnu Smrti)

guravo bahavah santi sisya-vittapaharakah
durlabhah sad-gurur devi sisya-santapaharakah
"Many gurus take advantage of their disciples and plunder them. They exploit their disciples for sex, and use them to amass wealth, but a guru who can remove the misery of his disciples is very rare." (Purana-vakya)

guror apyavaliptasa karyakarayam ajanatah
utpatha-pratipannasya parityago vidhiyate
"A guru who is addicted to sensual pleasure and polluted by vice, who is ignorant and has no power to descriminate between right and wrong, orwho is not on te path of suddha-bhakti must be abandoned." (Mahabharata, Udyoga-parva 179.25)

Every disciple must judge for himself whether he is trying to take shelter of men who appear to fit in these categories. We don't presume to judge for anyone else. Every jiva must decide who to trust. If your guru is saying don't hear from pure devotees, don't associate with pure devotees, don't hear the hari katha from pure devotees, then he is not on the path of suddha bhakti and is a bhogus guru and should be rejected. That is the verdict of shastra.

We read Srila Prabhupada's remarks :

"A spiritual master is not an enjoyer of facilities offered by his disciples. He is like a parent. Without the attentive service of his parents, a child cannot grow to manhood; similarly, without the care of the spiritual master one cannot rise to the plane of transcendental service."
Cc. Adi lila 1..46

Srila Narayana Maharaja has been preaching quite boldly on this topic of bhogus guru, and no wonder that bhogus gurus are upset and don't want their sisyas to hear that they may be being cheated. Of course no jiva can actually be "controlled" by another. A real guru does not try to manipulate the consciousness of his disciple with lies and institutional predjudice, but simply repeats the information from our previous acaryas with no mundane motive. Here is a sample of Srila Narayana Maharaja's preaching on this topic from a lecture delivered in Australia back in l996.

"A guru who is not realized in sadhana-bhakti, bhava-bhakti, and prema-bhakti cannot give bhakti, although he may appear to do the work of a guru. This is supported by all sastras, including Srimad-Bhagavatam and the Upanisads, and by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Krsna Himself. We should understand this principle:

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasu sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
brahmany upasamasrayam

Any person who is seriously desirous of achieving real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken complete shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters. [Bhag. 11.3.21]
In order to achieve real bhakti to Sri Krisna, have real happiness, and realize who you are and how you can progress in this life, go to a self-realized soul and hear his realizations from him. He will surely help you.
There are three symptoms of a bona fide guru. The first is sabde pare ca nisnatam. What is the meaning of sabde? He is perfect in his knowledge of Veda, Upanisads, Srimad-Bhagavatam, etc. However, knowledge of sastra and the ability to argue based on that knowledge is not enough to qualify him as a guru. If one has no realization of Sri Krisna, if he is not absorbed in bhajana,2 if his bhakti is not very developed, then he is not a guru.
The second symptom is that he is detached from worldly desires (upasamasraya). These first and second symptoms are external. The svarupa , or internal symptom, of the bona fide guru is pare ca nisnatam brahmany. [Bhag. 11.3.21] Who is pare brahman? Sri Krsna Himself. He is param-brahman, pu rna-brahman, sanatana-brahman. A guru should have some internal realization of this, otherwise he may fall down. If he only knows sastric arguments, but he is not absorbed in bhajana, it is not sufficient to keep him from falling down. One may also know all the arguments to support the sastric viewpoint, and sometimes be outwardly performing some kind of devotional practice. Yet, if he is not detached from material desires and objects, he will fall down. If the guru falls, it causes a big problem for the disciple, disturbing his whole life. Therefore we should be very cautious to approach devotees who will not fall.
So Srila Krisnadasa Kaviraja has written: mantra-guru ara yata siksa-guru-gana. What has Swamiji's written? You should all hear this very carefully. It is very important.

Devotee reads from Srila Prabhupada Cc.:

Text: I first offer my respectful obeisances at the lotus feet of my initiating spiritual master, and unto all my instructing spiritual masters.

Purport: Srila Jiva Gosvami in his thesis Sri Bhakti-sandarbha [202] has stated that uncontaminated devotional service is the objective of pure Vaisnavas, and that one has to execute such service in the association of other devotees. By associating with devotees of Lord Krsna one develops a sense of Krsna consciousness and thus becomes inclined towards loving service of the Lord. This is the process of approaching devotional service, approaching the Supreme Lord by gradual appreciation of devotional service. If one desires unalloyed devotional service, one must associate with devotees. [Cc. Adi 1.35]

Srila Narayana Maharaja: Yes. Mark these words. If you want unalloyed devotional service, you must associate with Vaisnavas. Otherwise you will get asat-sanga (association with materialists). This will be the result. So try to follow Swamiji's line of thought. I am following the same line as Swamiji. A person who says that I am not in the same line as Swamiji is himself not in that line. I will never speak anything different from that which was spoken by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Swamiji.

If you want unalloyed devotional service to Krsna, you should boldly follow the directions and instructions which we have mentioned. If your preference is for making money, and you see that this will be hampered by associating with high-class Vaisnavas, then you will not be inclined to follow these instructions. If you aspire to be like Prahlada Maharaja, then you should associate with the statements in Swamiji's purports. Read the last line again and continue.

Devotee reads:
If one desires unalloyed devotional service, one must associate with devotees of Sri Krsna. By such association only can a conditioned soul achieve a taste for transcendental love, and thus revive his eternal relationship with God in a specific manifestation and in terms of a specific transcendental mellow or rasa that one has internally inherent in him.

Srila Narayana Maharaja: If you follow this instruction to associate with pure devotees, Sri Krsna will manage everything for you. Don't fear. Sri Krsna has created you. He is the Supreme Controller, so why should you have any fear? All problems will be solved by following this instruction, and Sri Krsna will manage everything.

If you want unalloyed service to Sri Krisna, have courage in your heart, be bold and make an effort to associate with qualified Vaisnavas. Its importance is stressed not only once, but three times: sadhu-sanga, again sadhu-sanga, again sadhu-sanga. sadhu-sanga sadhu-sanga-sarva sastre kaya lava matra sadhu sanga sarva siddhi haya. The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment's association with a pure devotee, one can attain all spiritual success. [Cc. Madhya 22.54]
Pinnacle of Devotion

Now we turn our attention to several memos back and forth between Jayapataka Swami and some of his disciples, which discuss the same matter, of whether they should be able to take siksa from Srila Narayana Maharaja. We do not have that much to add to our already stated observations, but can offer some clarification since Jayapataka Maharaja seems to also make false accusations and has some very basic wrong assumptions about how to understand guru tattva.

> >> CHAT ON LINE - 05/12/00 (excerpt) > >Devotee _ Thank you for your answer about NM. HM wrote a letter to the council president giving him instructions about this and explained that his disciples are forbidden to have any kind of association with NM s disciples.
JPS: And please you can say the same to my disciples. I used to be liberal with him, but since he has re-initiated some of my disciples, I know that I cannot trust him.
Devotee: Yes, yes, I translated your letter to Revatinath and we will certainly do this.
JPS: Thank you
> >>- JPS has logged out. (05/12/00 at 09:48)


There is no such thing as re-initiation. Real initiation perhaps, if one rejects an unqualified guru. I discussed this issue with Jaypataka Maharaja three years ago. It was then that I came upon the Sri Krsna Bhajanamrta. Here is what Jayapataka Maharaja wrote to me concerning that shastra when some of the ritvik proponents suggested it was not appropriate for modern day application:

"Actually Bhanu Swami translated the book from its original Sanskrit. I only know Bengali and don't know Sanskrit. About the validity of this book. Srila Prabhupada has mentioned Narahari Thakur in various places in his books. Anyone who tries to discredit one of the eternal associates of Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu would be exposed as a total demon. How can they dare to diminish the value of the words of a Nitya Siddha Associate of Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu?

"If during the time of Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu these things were happening, then what to speak of now? That is the real point. Then souls were much greater so now we are insignificant fallen souls entered into Bhakti due to Sri la Prabhupada's mercy. If at that time a spiritual master could fall down then what to speak of now? That is the real point. They fail to see this simple logic. What else can I do for you?

Yours in service,
Jayapataka Swami"

Either you are initiated or you are not. If a sisya rejects his diksa guru for any of the reasons outlined in the Sri Krsna Bhajanamrta then there is no real initiation to "re do." If your guru is not actually qualified then you are not actually initiated. If he fell or is in a fallen condition Srila Gauara Govinda Maharaja declared that then he was not guru in the first place. Then where is there any question of any initiation having taken place at all, or any "re-initiation".

Regardless, if there is already a lack of faith between sisya and guru for whatever reasons it is not a requirement that said sisya take initiation from the siksa guru of his choice. I have heard Srila Narayana Maharaja say many times to disciples of my god brothers that they do not require diksa from him, but can be his siksa disciples. He told me he has no need to initiate anyone if he would be simply be allowed to assist the devotees. Only because ISKCON is making walls and preventing sincere devotees from approaching him are they then rejecting their ISKCON authorities and insisting on being "re-initiated".

Raghuantha das Gosvami writes in his Manah Siksa:
yatha sutatvam me davayati sathasyapi krpaya
yatha mahyam premamrtam api dadaty ujjvalam asau
yatha sri gandahrva-bhajana-vidhaye prerayati mam
tatha gosthe kakva firidharam iha tvam bhaja manah
"(By the association of sadhus, hladini sakti is transmitted into the sakhaka s heart which dispels all corruption and brings about the highest perfectoin. But that type of sadhu is not easily obtained) Therefore,O mind, with utter humility and greif stricken words, just worship Sri Giridhari Krsna in Vraja in such a way that He will become pleased with me. By His causeless mercy He will remove my wickedness, bestow the nectar of His supremely radiant prema, and confer upon me the inspiration to worship Srimati Radhika."

In his commentary Srila Narayana Maharaja writes:
"...Sathata me dustatvam: Pretention is my wickedness Pretention is the vice of the baddha jivas. In their pure state the jivas are by nature simple and honest. When the jivas take shelter of avidya, they at once become deceitful, proud, obsessed with honor and prestige, hypocritical, and immoral, and thus they stray far form the truth of their spiritual identity in relationship with the Lord. By the power of sadhu-sanga, when they consider themselves to be far more insignificant than a blade of grass and offer respect to others as befits their respective positions, they take shelter of Sri harinama. Then Sri Krsna and His beloved devotees will bestow mercy upon them, and they will obtain the rare commodity of Krsna-prema."

If any so called guru does not have the ability to transmit the hladini sakti to your heart and as Raghunatha das Gosvami writes, "...remove my wickedness, bestow the nectar of His supremely radiant prema, and confer upon me the inspiration to worship Srimati Radhika." What kind of guru is he? What kind of initiation has he given? Beyond that if he acts like a non-devotee, allowing other devotees to be beaten, offending sadhus and misdirecting his followers then what kind of initiation is he giving? Shastra says:

Paramartha-gurasrayo vyavaharika-gurvadiparityagenapi kartavyah
"One should not accept a spiritual master based on hereditary, social or ecclesiastical conventions. Such a professional guru should be rejected. One must accept a qualified spiritual master, who can help one advance toward the ultimate goal of life, krsna prema (Bhakti-sandharba, annucheda 210)

No one should be ostracised or criticised for taking shelter of a siksa guru who may be more realized or advanced than his diksa guru. The bona fide spiritual master who gives him shelter should also not be the brunt of undue criticism for simply being Krsna Conscious. Srila Narahari Sakara Thakura tells us:

Verse 66

By taking shelter of the strength of the Krsna conscious spiritual master's devotional service the ill effects or contamination of the demoniac previous spiritual master is counteracted and destroyed. These activities are recommended by all Vaisnava authorities as the authorized conclusions of the sastra.

Shelter does not equal initiation. Read the NOD or the Bhakti rasamrta sindhu to clearly see the distinction between the first and second angas of bhakti. I repeat, Srila Narayana Maharaja has told me he doesn't need to initiate anyone, only he wants to inspire and assist devotees to follow the orders of Srila Prabhupada and our guru parampara. When devotees who have lost faith in their diksa guru come to him for shelter and insist on diksa, they are only following the second anga of bhakti as enunciated by Srila Rupa Gosvami. Rejecting this GBC is not equal to rejecting Srila Prabhupada, as the GBC would lead you to believe, but means really accepting the essence of His Divine Grace's instructions and becoming his actual follower by rejecting politics and embracing sadhu sanga and the desire to achieve suddha bhakti in this life.

When Jayapataka Swami went to visit Srila Promode Puri Gosvami in Jagannatha Puri at the Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha he had a similar complaint about losing disciples. He was heard remarking to Srila Promode Puri Gosvami, "I will agree not to initiate any of your disciples if you will agree not to initiate any of mine." Srila Promode Puri Gosvamis' humble and profound reply was this, "Actually it is the duty of a sannyasi to give shelter to anyone who approaches him and asks for it." Jayapataka had no answer and after hastily leaving 100 rps. left Srila Promode Puri Gosvami's room, and was not seen at their matha again.

I doubt very seriously that Jayapataka Swami has ever given any of his sisyas (disciples) permission to hear from Srila Narayana Maharaja. Such an instruction would be in violation of the GBC resolutions concerning taking siksa from anyone outside of ISKCON.

Revatinath das has written:
As you have seen in your visit to Rio, we ISKCON devotees are very fragile and dispersed. I am feeling very insecure in because of ISKCON's lack of definition concerning our temple, or even a center. Devotees usually are enchanted with the opulence and organization of Narayana Maharaja's camp.

Srila Jayapataka Swami responds:

No, it is not that he is organized, Actually he has some enthusiastic disciples that are inspired against ISKCON And they will spread lies about ISKCON gurus and they will say anything to convince people to take initiation or re initiation from NM. You need to prepare people to understand these things. Do not accept any kind of re initiation and avoid seeing NM. I don t know how many people will resist but we need to do that.

Before I comment allow me to offer a remark written in response to a similar complaint about Srila Narayana Maharaja by Ravindra Swarupa by Bhakti Vidagdha Bhagawat Maharaja:

You have also complained that H.H. Narayana Maharaja reinitiated disciples of ISKCON gurus. But do you think of it as a reinitiation or a real initiation? Those Harikesa disciples who had lost faith two or three years ago, and later took real initiation from Narayana Maharaja, was it not an intelligent move on their part? Were they eve initiated by Harikesa in the real sense of the word? So where is the question of reinitiation? Actually H.H. Narayana Maharaja only initiates those who are sincere spiritual seekers who have been cheated as well as those who were about to be cheated by your present G.B.C.s. So why are you so disturbed? He has never reinitiated anyone, because this term reinitiation is in itself ridiculous. IT MEANS NOTHING!


We most certainly sympathize with Revantinath's dilemna. His feelings of insecurity are genuine. ISKCON no longer has a temple in Rio. Their programs in Brazil have been on the decline for over a decade. Now, when a sadhu like Srila Narayana Maharaja visits Rio De Janeiro the ISKCON devotees are advised to avoid him like he has plague, instead of real KC. Very sad. Why does Revatinath feel insecure? He says: "I am feeling very insecure in because of ISKCON's lack of definition concerning our temple, or even a center." It is apparent that the devotees in Brazil have been neglected and are dissatisfied. Srila Narayana Maharaj's visit there offered the devotees, not any "re-organization" of an institution, but real connection to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Revatinath said "Devotees usually are enchanted with the opulence and organization of NM's camp." But what opulence? The sanga took over an empty room in a country club in Leblanc, opposite a man made lake, for four days. A simple altar and Vyasasana were temporarily set up as well as a field style kitchen. The real opulence was the quality of association. If Revatinath thinks this program was so well organized we wonder what level of organization he has ever experienced.

Beyond that consideration however we should try to understand the real situation, and not just the sectarian view proposed by my godbrothers. Jayapataka Maharaja has stated: "Actually he has some enthusiastic disciples that are inspired against ISKCON And they will spread lies about ISKCON gurus and they will say anything to convince people to take initiation or re initiation from NM." Actually he has some enthusiastic disciples that are inspired to preach the glories of the Sankirtana Movement and will teach guru tattva correctly. It is Jayapataka Swami and the GBC who will say anything to convince people that ISKCON offers the ONLY way back to godhead through its elected, and rubber stamped acaryas. We should base our understanding of tattva and siddhanta on guru, sadhu and shastra, not make believe, or self-appointed guru, imitation sadhu and GBC resolutions.

We remind the reader that we left behind such sectarian thoughts and considerations when we originally decided to pursue the path of pure devotional service. We all seem to be in a similar position and again are forced to chose between institutional loyalty, with its sectarian affiliation, or real sadhu-sanga and the practice of actual bhakti-yoga.

Jayaptaka Maharaja assumes that he is actually giving diksa, simply by repeating the gayatri mantra to his followers.
Shastra says:

asadhu-sange bhai "krsna nama" nahi haya
"namaksara" bahiraya bate nama kabhu naya
"O brothers, the holy name of Krsna is never to be found in the association of those who are un-saintly. The external sound of the holy name is never the name proper." (Prema-vivarta Sri Gaudiya Kanthahara 17.55)

Similarly if any guru lacks full realization of the kama gayatri mantra and the ista deva of this mantra, then what is he giving any sisya when he recites the syllables in his ear? If any guru does not fully understand his own siddha deha, then how can he ever reveal the eternal form of his disciple to him? What substance is there in the guru mantra he gives to anyone? If you do not have Krsna prema how can you give it to your disciple? Therefore in NOD (5th Purport) Srila Prabhupada declares that initiation from less than an uttama adhikari means insufficient guidance toward the ultimate goal. Our ultimate goal is Krsna prema. That is our prayojana (goal), according to Srila Rupa Gosvami and all of our acaryas. SBSST clearly makes a distinction in his essay, "Search for truth" between real diksa and hearing gayatri. He has explained there are three births, not two. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has written:

There is a function which is called 'Upanayana' (bringing near). We come to learn from the words of the Shruti that the birth of man is three fold, viz. (1) seminal birth (2) by gayatri, (3) by initiation. The seminal birth comes first in order of time, from the mother s womb. Then comes the second birth on the attainment of purification by the Gayatrimantram. The next birth is brought about on receiving Spiritual enlightenment (diksha). We obtain a body form the mother s womb by vital fluid from the father. That is our first birth. The body that we get by this process is one kind of body. The second kind of body is that which is born by the union of the Acharya as father and Gayatri as mother as the time of our investiture with the Holy thread. Then the Acarya-father binds us with the thread of Sacrifice for the purpose of introducing us to the study of the Vedas by mans of the Mantras. I will lead thee into the presence of the Vedas etc. The birth to which we are thereby subjected in the home of Acharya is our second birth.

The ceremony of typing the sacrificial thread does not import that thereby the physical body may be preserved but that the Vedas or true knowledge may be gained by its means. Our third birth takes place on the occasion of the ceremony of imparting spiritual enlightenment by initiation into performance of worship. This is spiritual birth proper by attainment of enlightenment...
Search for Truth.

In the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindu bindhu we can read in the explanation of the second anga of bhakti, Sri Krsna- diksa-siksadi (receiving initiation and spiritual instruction):

There are three kins of birth: (1)sakra-janma seminal birth or birth by mother and father, (2)savitra-janma a ceremony in which a boy is initiated into one of the three twice-born classes by being invested with the sacred thread, and (3)daiksa-janma birth by the process of diksa or spiritual initiation

Srila Prabhupada writes in his Nectar of Instruction:

"In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami advises the devotee to be intelligent enough to distinguish between the kanistha-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari and uttama-adhikari. The devotee should also know his own position and should not try to imitate a devotee situated on a higher platform. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given some practical hints to the effect that an uttama-adhikari Vaisnava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaisnavism. One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master."
NOI verse 5 purport

If you believe that anyone assuming the role of guru or acarya is an uttama adhikari then you must be convinced that they manifest the symptoms of a fully self realized soul who has pure love for Radha and Krsna. They should have full realization of their sambhanda jnana and siddha deha (eternal spiritual form), otherwise not. They should be on the platform of Bhava and rati to be qualified to practice raganuga bhakti (spontaneous devotional service) and manasi seva (serving Radha and Krsna in their eternal pastimes within the mind). They must be fully learned in all the sastras and all the Gosvami's granthas and can logically defeat any argument on the basis of their realization of all shastras. They can one day reveal your relationship with Krsna to you, because they have full realization of their own. Otherwise their guidance is insufficient and you should follow Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's advise and find a qualified siksa guru to also help you make spiritual progress. The Thakura has written in his essay Bhakti-tattva viveka:

"(1) The savrupa-jnana or intrinsic knowledge concerning the sadhaka (practitioner), sadhana (the practice) and sadhya) the object of achievement) is nondifferent from the svarupa of suddha-bhakti. When such savrupa 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 abhasa transforms 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 unless they receive this svarupa-jnana by the mercy of a siksa-guru. Due to ignorance of svarupa-jnana, svarupa siddha-bhakti remains covered and hence only bhakti abhasa is visible."

Even if you heard your gayatri mantra from the lotus lips of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada directly, this instruction will also assist you, let alone if you heard it from one of his disciples. Some of my godbrothers say they don't need any siksa guru. That is their choice, but Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura does not advise such a course of action for rising to the practice of suddha bhakti (pure devotional service). Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has very clearly enunciated what pure devotion means in his writing. We cannot ignore him if we want success in self-realization. Where is the instruction from His Divine Grace to burn Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's books, not read them or remain forever ignorant of the different levels of bhakti explained by Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura in their books? Nowhere but GBC resolutions.

Shastra says:

snehad valobhato vapi yo grhniyad diksaya
tasmin gurau s sisye tat devata sapa apatet

"If a guru, disregarding the standard for giving diksa, gives the mantra to his disciple out of greed or mundane affection, he is cursed by the gods along with that disciple." (Hari bhakti-vilasa 2.7)

avaisnavopadistena mantrena nirayam vrajet
punais ca vidhina samyag grahayed vaisnavad guroh
"One who gets his mantra from a guru who is a non devotee or who is addicted to sensual pleasure is doomed to a life in hell. Such a person must immediately approach a genuine Vaisnava guru and again accept the mantra from him. (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 4.366)

This is not re-initiation but real initiation. In Moscow, on June 30, 2000, Srila B.V. Narayana Maharaja pointed out:

What is then the remedy for us? Who will help us? Only the madhyama adhikari. Sri Gurudeva should actually be acting in the stage of madhyama adhikari. "Prema maitri krpopeksa ya karoti sa madhyama." Madhyama adhikaris are of three categories: madhyama kanistha, madhyama madhyama, and madhyama uttama. The madhama kanistha cannot act as guru. The madhyama madhyama and madhyama uttama can, however, because they are in the line of their guru, always chanting and remembering the pastimes of Krsna, chanting Hare Krsna with rasa and taste, and their anarthas have practically disappear. There remains only a very little scent of anarthas, and there is no offense at all: no Vaisnava-aparadha, nama-aparadha, seva-aparadha, or dhama-aparadha. They are chanting and remembering, and always in the line of their own Gurudeva. Though they are not so realized, still they can help us. We have these kinds of devotees in this world, and they can help us. But you should know that a maha-bhagav! ata can descend in the madhyama adhikari stage, and then he can preach and accept disciples. In this way we can accept two kinds of gurus, and they can help us. The madhyama adhikari gurus will take us to the uttama adhikari, and thus the madhyama gurus and their disciples will develop their Krsna consciousness.

...In sastra it has been told very clearly and strongly what a disciple should do if he has accepted a guru who is not in the line of devotion, who is not a realized soul, and who is not even a madhyama adhikari, and afterwards that disciple realizes that his guru cannot help him in devotion, in the service of Krsna and Radhika Conjugal. If that guru is fallen, not actually chanting and remembering, and if he is not in the line of his Gurudeva, the disciple should give him up at once and accept a real guru. If anyone wants to serve Krsna, and has no other motive than to develop his Krsna consciousness, he should do pranama and say, "O Gurudeva, I want to associate with a high-class Vaisnava. Please allow me." If his gurudeva allows, as did the gurus of Sri Syamananda prabhu, Sri Narottama dasa Thakura and others, then that guru is a madhyama adhikari. However, if he says, "No, you cannot associate with high-class Vaisnavas. If you do, you will go to hell", then that class of guru!

He is not guru. He is like a kan-guru (kangaroo). He may say, "If you disobey me and go to another high-class Vaisnava, then you will go to hell." I think that such a false guru will go to hell first, and after him the disciple will go.

...if a guru does not know the meaning of the mantras, like brahma-gayatri -- if he does not know who is the istadeva, deity, of this mantra, if he does not know upon whom we should meditate, who should pracodayat, come in our heart, if he doe not know the meaning of gopal-mantra, kama-gayatri, gaura-mantra, and he does not practice it in the morning, at midday, and in the evening, and if he is not realizing anything, how can he be guru? He should realize all these things. If he has bhakti in his heart, he can donate it to others. But if he is not really doing all these things, and there is no bhakti in his heart, then how can he donate that bhakti to others? This is the thing. That is why we are not developing. But for this, the current will go further, further, further to Krsna.
---Srila B.V. Narayana Maharaja

As long as ecclesiastically appointed "gurus" remain inimical to the hari-katha that comes from the lotus lips of pure devotees; as long as they are inimical to sadhu sanga, and as long as they are willing to compromise our siddhanta on who is guru, we must come to the conclusion that they are bhogus. One definition of a real sadhu is found in the commentary of the verse from the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu by Srila Hrydaya Bon Maharaj:

(II) SADHU SANGA: Company of Sadhus or Saints. This means an individuals eager desire to be in the company of a Sadhu in order to learn the methods of spiritual practices for God realization alone and for no other purpose. But who is a Sadhu?

According to Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 11, Slokas 29 to 31, the following are the qualities of a genuine Sadhu or Saint: A Sadhu is kind; he cherishes animosity toward none; he smilingly endures even the bitterest miseries; he loves Truth as the vein-blood of his life; he never allows any evil thought to pollute his mind; he looks upon all with equal love and compassion; he does not entertain any kind of mundane desires to darken his mental quantum; he is self-controlled, amiable and pure in character; he remains farthest from any attempt to accumulate for his future subsistence and does not beg anything form anybody; he is abstentious and peaceful; he is steady in his mind; he depends absolutely on the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, and remains in constant remembrance of the Lord; he is patient, solemn, magnanimous and undisturbed even by utmost provocations and turmoils; he has control over hunger, thirst, lamentations ,infatuation, birth and death; he does never aspire after respect for himself, but is always respectful to others; he is friendly to all; his heart is full of compassion for others; he is fully conversant with the real nature of God; and he is erudite. To keep company with such a one in person, thought and through discussions is Sadhu-sanga.

You must judge for yourself who is a real sadhu and who is an envious mundane man in vaisnava cloth who should simply be ignored and who should be neglected. (See Cc. Madhya 1.218).

Bhakti Vidagdha Bhagawat Maharaja tried to explain this matter to Ravindra Svarupa:

"2. You are speaking about the indications of Srila Narahari Sarakara Thakura in the Sri Krsna Bhajanamrita that if one's spiritual master is in good standing, and yet is not sufficiently elevated to give a disciple instructions for his further advancement, then the disciple may take permission from his diksa-guru and thus take advantage of the more advance vaisnavas for instructions. Then you have asked, "What if the diksa-guru does not give his approval? Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has answered this very clearly in his book Jaiva-Dharma as follows: "When the disciple chooses someone as a guru, he has no opportunity to verify if that person is tattvajna (he who knows the treatises of Vaisnavism) and of the vaisnavas (in the real sense) then at the time of the effect, he cannot get any result from that kind of initiation and must give him up at once".

So there is no question of asking permission from such a so-called guru (guru-Brava). You are well aware of the fact that many of your ISKCON members are not well trained to accept a guru and in many cases choose them out of ignorance. When after sometime they come to understand that their guru is not qualified enough, they give him up and search for a more advanced vaisnava to instruct them. It does not matter if the so-called guru is in good standing according to your ISKCON or G.B.C. rules. It has been seen that by following the instructions of your G.B.C. many innocent devotees have been cheated by accepting someone as their guru who was never qualified to accept disciples. The most recent example is that of your Harikesa (Maharaja or Prabhu) which proves my point very clearly. You should not turn the devotees into slaves of the G.B.C. Rathe according to the scriptures you must allow them to freely search for a spiritual master. It is not a question of whether a disciple goes to Narayana Maharaja for instructions or not. You have to understand the reason why these people go to him. Obviously they have the idea that their present guru is not qualified enough to instruct them. The moment a disciple thinks like this, his relationship with his guru is automatically broken. According to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he should not disrespect his previous guide, but should with due respect search for a real initiation. This previous initiation is to be considered as abhasa (a faint presence) and it is strictly necessary to accept initiation (in the real sense) in order to begin doing real bhajana-kriya.
Taking Prabhupada Straight

Revatinath das writes:
Anyway I would like to know what is your advice and so how to deal with NM's disciples. For certain we will be invited to the inauguration. And I would like to know how to react to this, and at the same time I would like to keep friendly relationships with them. Should we be strict and radical and do not accept any kind of association What should be the correct conduct regarding this matter, guru maharaja. And how to deal with situations such as those during Rathayatra and other public Vaisnava events in case of their presence.
> >> - Srila Jayapataka Swami:
> >> Email em 02/12/00.
> >>

Srila Jayapataka Swami Responds:
Don't worry about good relationships with the disciples of NM. Only avoid their association and fight as long as you can as much as you can. If they are saying lies or destroying devotees' faith then you have to defend SP's Movement even if it may cause some displeasing situations. NM's disciples tell people to reject their gurus and get re initiated by NM. I had some disciples and I consented that they could accept siksa from NM but instead of siksa NM gave them re initiation. I don't advise any of my disciples to hear from him or even to participate in any program organized by NM. I recommend the same to anyone who is following SP.
P.S. To those who are concerned there is a more complete document discussing many of the divergences between ISKCON and NM including quotes from SP about 50 pages. To ask for this information you may request this address
> >>


It is obvious that Jayapataka Maharaja and the GBC think they have cornered the market concerning Krsna Consciousness. A bonfide guru, who is genuine, will always be be happy to see his sisya get help and inspiration to advance in Krsna Consciousness from another Vaisnava? Are ISKCON "gurus" beyond learning anything more themselves? Is their realization complete? Do they actually understand Radha and Krsna? Can we see the symptoms of fully self-realized souls in their attitudes and behavior over the last twenty years? Considering disciples as "property" but showing them no genuine love and affection will force devotees to look for genuine shelter elsewhere. The more devotees, young or old, hear about institutional loyalty instead of real suddha-bhakti, the more they will gradually come to realize that they are hearing hot air but not much spiritual substance. Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj remarked once that it is not possible to maintain an artificial facade of KC when there is no actual realization of the absolute truth. It is only a matter of time before the many aparadhas committed against Vaisnavas take their toll. Enmity toward pure devotees will not allow anyone to become advanced himself.

"You can fool all of the people some of the time.
You can fool some of the people all of the time
But you can't fool all of the people all of the time"

We know that Srila Narayana Maharaja is not ambitious to collect disciples and is only interested in offering everyone s heart to the lotus feet of Srimate Radhika. The ISKCON leadership would be well advised to set aside their enmity toward him. The envy and pratistha that has plagued them since 1977 is gradually diminishing their bhakti creepers and has practically destroyed the ISKCON mission. Soon enough Krsna will correct their abuses and effect His plan for rectification. In the meantime anyone who is sincerely searching for love of God need not fear the political opinions of the gbc or its lackeys when it comes to selecting a diksa or siksa guru. Freedom of religion is a first amendment right in the U.S. and our eternal legacy.

If anyone is satisfied serving in ISKCON, and feels that any of the GBC ecclesiastically appointed gurus are capable of delivering them from birth and death eternally, we have no argument with them, and nothing to say to them.

It is interesting to note that despite so many vociferous complaints and statements against him, Srila Narayana Maharaja maintains an even-minded, detached and merciful point of view toward his detractors. Read this recent harikatha transcription from New Zealand:

15 January 2001 (am) house darsana Auckland, NZ
[Srila Narayana Maharaja]: If all material enjoyment is coming but the soul is not happy, what does this mean? It means that the person cannot be happy. Never. This association is for the soul's happiness.

Always try to honor all, even those who are criticizing me. Don't care, because they are all like my children. I have promised Srila Swami Maharaja that I would help them. Even if they will do like this. [Srila Maharaja moved his arm as though he were hitting himself] no harm. They can even pass stool and urine on me; still, don't try to quarrel.

[Brajanatha prabhu]: I heard that someone recently said that the biggest mistake the GBC made was to ban Srila Narayana Maharaja.

[Srila Maharaja]: Yes. I told them, "This will the biggest problem for you. Because of that I will have to travel here and there. No one will be able to bind me. However, if you are on friendly terms, then, oh, I will be like a lion sleeping."

[Dhristadyumna prabhu]: Then you will be under the control of the GBC.

[Srila Maharaja]: Yes, they will be able to control by love and affection. Without this no one will be able. Srila Swami Maharaja controlled me so much by love and affection, and I am still under his control. No one else can control me. Even Krsna can never control me, because I am already under the control of Srimati Radhika. Radhika is so powerful. If Krsna will be angry upon me, I will say, "Why are You angry? You should not be angry. My Swamini is Radhika, you know." Then Krsna will say, "Oh, your Swamini is Radhika. Then, namaskara to you."

[Krsna Bhajana prabhu]: Gurudeva, many devotees who we are speaking to think that Gaudiya Matha and yourself are different from Srila Prabhupada.

[Srila Maharaja]: If they think that way, it means that they think Srila Swami Maharaja was not following Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Narada Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati and all others like them. Because I am in their line, I must be in the line of Srila Swami Maharaja. No one has any right to say otherwise. If my Gurudeva tells me, "Oh, you are my transcendental disciple," and I am accepting that he is my transcendental Guru, then even if the whole world is not accepting this, what is the harm? There is no harm.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has told me that, "Our relationship is transcendental, and because of this you should give my samadhi and help my devotees." And I am also accepting him as my siksa-guru. Therefore, even if everyone in the whole world does not accept this, it means they are foolish. They are not obeying their Gurudeva. They are outside of their Gurudeva's control, and they are therefore guru-druhi [against one's guru]. Why are they not accepting this?

So I am not disturbed. Whether they are speaking favorably or unfavorably. I am the same. My relationship with him is the same. I should obey him...

[Typed by Premavati dd & Madan Mohini dd; edited by Syamarani dd]

Everyone chooses his own path. Love is never forced. Not everyone will necessarily agree on how to apply the shastra with regard to who is a bona fide guru and who is a charlatan or cheater. On this point we can be certain there will not be 100% agreement. No matter! There is certainly no lack of confusion concerning guru tattva at present. The shastra offers eternal pertinence in any discussion of this topic. Apply it or not, as you wish. Everyone should feel free to act on his own realization of the subject matter discussed and not be afraid of anyone else s opinion, even if it is that of Hrydayananda Maharaja or Jayapataka Swami or myself. As I suggested earlier, use your head and follow your heart.
Satyam eva jayate.

Your servant,
Puru Das Adhikari


[HTML by Bhuta-bhavana dasa in Sandpoint, Idaho.]

[BVML Home Page] Sripad Puru Das Prabhu Page

Sripad Puru Das
Prabhu Page