Response to Ravindra's Letter about Srila Narayan Maharaj

by Giridhari dasa (BVNM)

1 September 1998

Dear Ravindra Svarup Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances ! Sri Sri Guru-Gaurangau jayatah!

In your letter about my eternal spiritual master Srila B.V Narayan Maharaj you doubt Srila Maharajas position as a bonifide Vaisnava acarya. You try to substantiate your personal view with ad hominemarguments. I am happy that you opened your mind in that letter, as it fostered my faith towards Guru Maharaj and disclosed the prevailing kanistha-mentality among the present GBC. Mind, a kanistha can never wholeheartedly honor the qualities of a Vaisnava, especially if he belongs to another math. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur stated in this regard (Caitanya Siksamrta 3.3.6):"Being under the control of kusamskar (bad samskar) one doesnīt take vaisnava-sanga from other sampradayas and thus oneīs tendeny towards bhakti diminishes gradually. This is a dreadful dosa (vice)".Your Grace mentioned several historical incidents based on hearsay-evidences to substantiate your viewpoint. I wonder why you donīt consult written statements about Srila Narayan Maharaj by uttama-bhagavatas such as Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj or Srila Bhaktipramod Puri Maharaj.

In his letters Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj has always offered his dandavat-pranamas to Srila Narayan Maharaj, though being senior. After having personally associated with Srila Narayan Maharaj for over 20 years, Srila Swami Prabhupad wrote: "In all the Gaudiya Mathas, I think that you are the real guru-sevaka, so I always correspond with you and I always give my full love and affection to you. (May17th, 1967)".

In that very same letter Swami Maharaj mentioned that if anyone critizices Narayan Maharaj, it is like "a thunderbolt striking my head." All these quotes are printed in "Srila Prabhupadīs letters from America to Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja", published by Gaudiya Vedanta Publications.

Ravindra prabhu, why are you unnecessarily striking thunderbolts on your spiritual masterīs head. If you think that the statements of your beloved Prabhupad have become obsolete, then why donīt you consult Srila Bhaktipramod Puri Maharaj, the eldest living Srila Sarasvati Prabhupad disciple and president of the Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha, the greatest Vaisnava umbrella organization? Srila Puri Maharaj, who knows Srila Narayan Maharaj for half a century, recently said:

"Srila Narayan Maharaj is a bonifide preacher in our line. We are happy that he is going to the West, and devotees should follow him. He is a rasika Vaisnava."

Why donīt you heed the opinion of uttama-bhagavatas? Have you become more than Guru Maharaj? How dare you say that Srila Narayan Maharaj is not in the line of Srila Sarasvati Prabhupad? Why do you compare Srila Narayan Maharaj with Kirtanananda?

Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj personally told Srila Narayan Maharaj totake care of his disciples. He was disgusted with the sectarian and non-vaisnava attitude of the current GBC. I vividly remember how the local ISKCON authorities and GBCs described Srila Gour Govind Maharaj as "being a deviator from Prabhupadaīs line". In fact, Harikesha prabhu wrote a letter to the temple presidents of his zone not to invite Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj during his last Europe tourin 1995. Co-GBC Rohini suta prabhu (yes, that Swiss ISKCON guru who officially admitted having recommended an abortion to a female disciple three years ago), justified this sanction by proclaiming in a Sunday feast lecture in ISKCON Ljubljana, Slovenia: "We donīt need Gour Govinda Swami!".

Gurudeva is now facing the same fate. Srila Sridhar Maharaj was also heavily critizised by the GBC. Harikesh Prabhu once said that to his Swedish god-brother Atma-nivedana prabhu: "Srila Sridhar Maharaj is like sand in kitchri." Look at your god-brotherīs situation now. He has turned into a sahajiya, claiming to be Krishna or "a transcendantal personality in Vrindavan lila." Worse, he has recently even become inimical to his own diksa-guru. That is the result of Vaisnava-aparadh.

You say that Srila Narayan Maharaj is crooked as he said that he was"locked out" of the Houston temple. Badrinarayan prabhu confirmes this "lie" saying that the temple president of Houston, Syamsundar prabhu, greeted Narayan Maharaj in the temple and eventually "saw him off with prasadam and sweet words." According to the May/June1998 newsletter of Tamal Krishna Goswami, that very same Syamsundar prabhu gave a long disparaging speech on Srila Narayan Maharaj to the Vaisnava community of Fiji.(Issue No 30, p.26)

Now tell me, who is crooked and hypocritical? From the transcendental perspective it is a fact that Srila Narayan Maharaj was barred from entering the temple, as the authorities didnīt appreciate his visit to the temple.

Ravindra prabhu, you say that Srila Narayan Maharaj has no interest in preaching the gospel of the Bhagavad-Gita. Arenīt you aware of the fact that Srila Narayan Maharaj has recently translated and published the Bhagavad-Gita into Hindi, which includes the sarartha-varsini commentary by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur? Till now this book is the lenghtiest Srila Narayan Maharaj has ever translated and commented. He presented it to the lotus hands of Srila Bhaktiprajnan Kesava Maharajaīs vigraha on his appearance day in 1997. When I personally asked Srila Narayan Maharaj (July 1997) which of his books heīd like to have translated into German, he immediately replied Bhagavad Gita, stressing the importance of this book.

You claim to see certain upasakhas (unwanted creepers) in Srila Narayan Maharajas personality, but forget to heed Srila Swami Maharajaīs words in his purport (CC Madhya 19.159):

"A PURE DEVOTEE can distinguish between the bhakti-lata creeperand a mundane creeper."

I doubt that you are a pure devotee of Krishna having the adhikar to discredit senior acaryas. You donīt even have the adhikar to reprimand your godbrothers and -sisters, calling them foolish.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Vaman Maharaj, the president-acarya of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti and Srila Narayan Maharajaīs senior godbrother and siksa-guru sent following congratulations to his beloved guru-bhai (March 1997):

"Sri Srimad Bhaktiprajnan Keshav Gosvami Maharaj, the most affectionate disciple of Srila Sarasvati Prabhupad, had founded the world-reputed Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti to preserve Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhuīs message of unflinching devotion. Knowing his inner desire, You stepped forward to carry the responsibility of conveying the Gaudiya Vedanta expositions beyond the seas, ignoring the bondage of your old age. Such is your benevolence.

To preach the Gaura-Sarasvat-vani in its unchanged form in your unyielding way has brought happiness to all of the followers of Sri Keshava." It is inconceivable how you can equate Srila Narayan Maharaj to a sahajiya. In fact, Srila Narayan Maharaj has a reputation for openly challenging and chastising the sahajiyas in Vrindavan. Srila NarayanMaharaj even cautioned us going to babajis:

"All babajis are not sahajiyas, but I think almost all are in this category. Bhaktisiddhant Sarasvati Thakur has not recommendedthem because they will think bogus things in the name of bhakti and rasa." (Rays of the Harmonist, Vol. 1, No 1, p 34)

Ravindra prabhu, please clean your own house and heart instead of blaspheming a suddha-bhakta. I conclude my short apologia with an excerpt of a letter your Guru Maharaj wrote to my Guru Maharaj (Sept 28, 1966):

"Our relationship is certainly based on spontaneous love. That is why there is no chance of us forgetting one another...From the first time I saw you I have been your constant well-wisher. At his first sight of me, Srila Prabhupad also saw me with such love."

Indeed, only an uttama-bhagavat can recognise an uttama-bhagavat.

Please forgive my offenses committed at your feet.

Vaisnava-dasanudas,

Giridhari das


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