New and updated transcripts for the Srila Sridhara Maharaja Media Archive

Introduction

A few weeks ago we were blessed to receive, from Sriman Paramananda Prabhu (UK), 150 transcripts of Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s audio recordings. His email, notifying me of this auspicious presentation, along with my reply, are attached below.

Most of the transcripts I received are corrected forms of transcripts previously submitted by him and posted on our website. Others are new transcripts. All of them have now been presented in a universal type font making the characters with diacritics much more portable, as they can now be easily converted into a great number of fonts for use in a wide number of digital and print formats and devices.

I forwarded the new files to Sriman Gokulananda, who serves as our devoted webmaster, so that the updated files can be replaced with the new ones, and the newly transcribed files added to the list already present at our: Srila Sridhara Maharaja Media Archive

The work involved in removing and replacing the old files, as well as adding the new ones, is considerable and will take some time. With you, our readers, we anxiously await the completion of this work and look forward to the day we can all take advantage of this great boon to our study, research, writing and preaching activities.

We pray for the blessings of the vaishnavas to help us, as we find ourselves unable to keep up with the prolific output of Sriman Paramananda dasa, whose steadfastness in transcribing the recordings of Srila Sridhara Maharaja has yielded a tremendous body of work available to all those anxious to serve, absorb, utilize, taste and distribute the exquisite siddhanta of His Divine Grace, Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhara-Deva-Goswami Maharaja.

A humble servant of the servants of our Divine Masters,

Swami B.K. Giri

 

Date: 4/16/17

Subject: Transcripts

All Glories to the servitors of our Gurus!

All Glories to our Gurus!

All Glories to the Supreme Personalities!

Dear Giri Mahārāja,

I offer you my dandavat pranams.

After receiving ISKCON’S Vedabase data and off line conversion link from you back in December, I’m always in awe of such wonderful sevā they have performed for Śrīla Prabhupāda and the sampradāya.

I’m also aware, of course, that I’ve made many mistakes in my feeble attempt to transcribe such amazingly high ontological topics percolated through such an amazing personality as Śrīla Guru Mahārāja.

So the last few months I have been re-listening to, and correcting, according to my very limited capacity, all the one hundred and fifty audio files of Śrīla Guru Mahārāja dated from 73.03.00.A to 81.10.04.B_81.10.05.A, that are in the three zip file attachments. Hopefully there may be some that you haven’t already corrected, in the mood of the following verse.

[“I pray that those great devotees whose minds are immersed in the nectar of Lord Caitanyacandra’s pastimes may read this book critically and correct all its faults.”]

[Last verse of Kavi Karnapura’s Sri Gaura-Ganoddesa-Dipika]

Praying that I may be allowed to continue such sevā,

Regards from Paramananda dasa.

 

Srila Giri Maharaja’s Reply—

Date: 4/21/17

Dear Sriman Paramananda dasa,

Please accept my humble obeisances in remembrance of our trinity of Gurus.

I received your email along with the wonderful attachments containing so many transcripts that have been reassessed and updated for improved accuracy and translated to a more universally compatible font, which appears to be ‘Gaura Times’, although my word processor does not always recognize it as such. Whichever font it is, as you translated it, is now not of very great importance as it seems to be easily converted to a wider range of fonts with diacritics kept intact. I was able to change the following selection at will to a variety of different fonts with no loss of diacritics:

His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Goswāmī Mahārāja.

81.08.21.

Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja: …did not try in a broader scale to preach and to make disciples, but anyhow I shall keep it open. If anyone comes then I shall try to keep him or to initiate or to educate him in the spiritual line in a minimum way. With this spirit I took my position here. That Nityānanda Prabhu, that sort of inspiration there came in me, that…

Devotee: Indirectly.

Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja: … whose Patita Pāvana, and you must try your best to help those that are fallen, in your consideration. That sort of inspiration I got from there, Nityānanda Prabhu. And also, something: that if a doctor, a doctor is not omniscient, but should he not try his best to cure a patient? As much as he has got his capacity he must try to help. Otherwise the world will at standstill. If everyone says, ‘that if I’ve got complete, full knowledge, then only I can approach another to help,’ but that is not possible in this world. Everyone has got some relative position, so everyone will try his best to help others according to his own capacity and position. That also came in my mind. So I began in a narrow and mild way to help. Not reluctant altogether but not any big attempt, because it is mentioned also in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindu: bahu sisya na kaivay, bahu grantha kalābhyāsa varjan, mahārambha.

 [bahu-grantha kalābhyāsa vyākhyāvāda-vivarjanam
        vyava hāreha pyakārpaṇyaṁ śokādyavaśavartitā]

       [Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindu, 2.79.76]

This is truly a tremendous boon to those who would like to use these transcripts for a wide variety of purposes.

After receiving ISKCON’s Vedabase data and off line conversation link from you back in December, I’m always in awe of such wonderful seva they have performed for Srila Prabhupada and the sampradaya.

Yes, I am of a like mind with you in that regard. Several times I have personally expressed my appreciation to those that have helped to create, maintain and publish the Vedabase in all its versions. Likewise, I am regularly awestruck when reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and can hardly believe that his relatively new disciples, beginning from their infancy, were able to produce his books with such care, attention and accuracy that they have far exceeded the works of highly acclaimed scholars, academics, devotees and, in some ways, even the books produced by direct disciples of Bhagavan Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura. The astonishing numbers of books ISKCON produced and distributed, as well as their far ranging reach into many languages and countries, is unequaled and will doubtfully be equaled by any group outside of ISKCON at any time in the conceivable future, barring the advent of another Shaktyavesha Avatara who, like Srila Prabhupada, would be empowered to perform such miracles.

I feel so much indebted to Srila Prabhupada and his disciples that I cannot conceive, rather, I do not want to think, what life would be like without them.

I’m also aware, of course, that I’ve made many mistakes in my feeble attempt to transcribe such amazingly high ontological topics percolated through such an amazing personality as Śrīla Guru Mahārāja.

Mistakes must be there. They accompany every attempt we make: “Every endeavor is covered with fault, just as fire is covered by smoke.” However, “One should not give up the work born of his nature, even if such work is full of fault.”

You have undertaken a great work, which I think is born of your nature, and you have accomplished so much that I am also in awe of what you have been able to do, almost singlehandedly.

Sri Svarupa Damodara made some notes of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s pastimes. Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswami related them to Srila Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Goswami who brought forth their essence (along with the notes of Sri Murari Gupta) in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, a work that has become the reference point for all things pertaining to Krishna consciousness.

What was known to Svarupa Damodara, Raghunatha Dasa, Krishna Dasa and others was, no doubt, passed down from one devotee to another in the form of aural tradition. But those aural transmissions have been largely lost over time, as have their sources, except as they may be known to a few devotees. Srila Saraswati Thakura saw the remedy for such losses and prescribed the medicine as brhat-mrdanga. Preserved in a written form, the great philosophy and pastimes of Sriman Mahaprabhu and His devotees, that might otherwise have fallen almost entirely into obscurity, have been preserved and broadcast over the length and breadth of the earth, many centuries after Mahaprabhu Himself preached that philosophy and performed those pastimes.

As you have noted, a great deal has been done to preserve and propagate the works of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It is most befitting that an equal effort is undertaken to preserve and propagate the teachings, pastimes and siddhanta of the one he recognized as his siksha guru, about whom he said: “What Sripada Sridhar Maharaj has directed, I take it on my head. He is my always well-wisher. After the departure of Prabhupada it is appropriate that I should accept his direction.”

Srila Prabhupada established the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust separately from ISKCON so that it would have a life of its own as a pure vehicle for continuing the brhat-mrdanga as conceived by his Gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura. While ISKCON has been troubled in ways I don’t care to mention here, the BBT, at least so far as its capacity to produce Srila Prabhupada’s books is concerned, has continued to do so in a glorious fashion. There standard is very high. It is well accepted and respected by scholars worldwide. As much as possible, it is the standard I want to follow. Anyone can adopt his own standards, but when one has already been proven to be of high quality, what is the use of “reinventing the wheel?”

It is said that whenever there is a question of how to perform a particular function of Deity puja, one should follow the practices of the Jaganatha temple. In a similar fashion, where printed matter is concerned, I refer to the standards adopted by the BBT.

You have voluntarily chosen to undertake the daunting task “to transcribe such amazingly high ontological topics percolated through such an amazing personality as Śrīla Guru Mahārāja.” The ontological truths are certainly high, but Srila Sridhara Maharaja presented them for our benefit, entrusted them to us, and expected us to participate in their preservation and propagation. Surely he will be present to help anyone who sincerely accepts that challenge. Indeed we must expect he is with such a person, just as Mahaprabhu said He will be:

CC Madhya 7.128

yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa
āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra’ ei deśa

“Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land.”

CC Madhya 7.129

kabhu nā bādhibe tomāra viṣaya-taraṅga
punarapi ei ṭhāñi pābe mora saṅga”

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu further advised the brāhmaṇa Kūrma, “If you follow this instruction, your materialistic life at home will not obstruct your spiritual advancement. Indeed, if you follow these regulative principles, we will again meet here, or, rather, you will never lose My company.”

Finally, Srila Guru Maharaja has personally sanctioned the seva you are pursuing:

“Yes, one who has got that, he may do. He may publish, I have no objection. Dhira Krishna Maharaja or something like, he also asked me, ‘May we print all these things?’. Yes, you do, yes, you do. Anyone who has heard it, he may do and publish if he thinks it is, to do some good to the world, then of course he is justified to do that.

I don’t want to make it a trade, it must be the most benevolent trade of Mahaprabhu. But no special trade. For His trade, to convert all under Krishna Consciousness, that earnest idea we must embrace, one and all. These are the interests of Mahaprabhu and Krishna, Prabhupada, Swami Maharaja. For their interest it is repeated, meant, worth something. Everyone is at liberty to do that. It is not mine. If the words come from our Master, Krishna, everyone should have right to accept that and to spread that. Yare dekha tare kaha krishna upadesha. If they consider it is Krishna upadesha, then they’re at liberty to spread it anywhere and everywhere. His conscience to be justified.
— 81.12.02.A at about 30:00

As soon as time permits I will forward the new files to Sriman Gokulananda and ask him to replace the old ones with these updated versions.

I pray this finds you well in health and spirits.

Sincerely,

Swami B.K. Giri

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