Srila Giri Maharaja – “If I were your disciple”

Dear Sripada Trivikrama Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Since my use of the word “cheating” troubled you so much I thought I should take another look at the way I used it.

Your placement of Acharya Maharaja’s photo in the parampara of your Math in Brazil, which identifies him, not you, as next in line after Srila Gurudeva gives further weight to the conclusion in the paragraph above and indicates that devotees in Brazil, even your disciples, are free to ignore you in favor of the one you promote as being “in a central and more important position” than your own. In this way you are cheating your disciples who should see you as supreme above all others but, instead, are encouraged by you to see the acharya of “the Indian Mission” as holding the supreme position.

If I were your disciple I think I would read this in a manner something like this: “Giri Maharaja says we should see our guru as supreme above all others but Guru Maharaja is so humble he is shy to demand that of us.”

Is this wrong?

If you want to continue the analysis: “Guru Maharaja is so humble he does not portray himself as supreme. Instead, he avoids his own prestige to offer prestige to another vaishnava.”

I suppose Acharya Maharaja and his fellow acharyas would see it as you do, one more piece of evidence proving Giri Maharaja is not a vaishnava, but an offender of vaishnavas.

If you think my speaking like this about cheating is not the way a vaishnava would speak, I plead guilty. I never claimed to be one.

But, if you accuse me of not speaking like a vaishnava meaning — I could not speak like one because I am not one — why do those accusations of yours not fall into the same category of being non-vaishnava speech?

Again, I suppose your answer would fall in line with that of the IAB which would be: it is okay to say that to Giri Maharaja, because it’s true, he is not a vaishnava, he is an offender of vaishnavas.

That seems to be the way the IAB dealt with me. Those that accept their authority are of a similar mind. Apparently you have adopted the same groupthink yourself and therefore think nothing of saying to my face, whether directly or indirectly, that I am not a vaishnava. Using your analogy: “Bam, 50 cal. right in the face.”

Really, Maharaja, I don’t mind you speaking to me in that way. What I don’t like is what appears to me to be hypocrisy. One set of rules for Giri Maharaja, a different set of rules for the IAB and their favorites.

For example: I am labeled an offender for criticizing the acharya of Navadwipa:

For the past year Sripad Giri Maharaj has conducted a disinformation campaign, publicly criticizing Srila Acharya Maharaj, and the Acharya Board, established by Srila Govinda Maharaj. . . .

During his time as acharya, we would not tolerate that anyone would criticize Srila Govinda Maharaj, regardless of their reasons for doing so or their position. As per the order of Srila Guru Maharaj, that person would be ousted from the Math and mission.

. . .

This directive applies to Giri Maharaj. He is publicly criticizing the present Sevaite Acharya of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj, and the Acharya Board that he heads. . . .

We must inform the devotees that Giri Maharaj is acting offensively, independently and without authority. We do not recognize him as a bonafide leader of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. We advise all faithful followers of Srila Govinda Maharaj to avoid his association, personally, or through email and the internet.

That’s the rule for me.

The rule for Goswami Maharaja is that he can berate Acharya Maharaja with a seemingly endless tirade of insults (See: “ULTIMATUM | TO BN ACHARYA MAHARAJA” ) Finally BSG threatens the “Acharya of Navadwipa” with expulsion and replacement by another person:

“I will convince the world that you, in no way, shape or from, represent Srila Guru Maharaja and the Math that he conceived. Don’t dream for a moment that I am incapable of doing this.

. . . I will actively and openly seek a suitable replacement”

The result of this “criticism”? Soon afterwards, without making the public apology promised by Avadhuta Maharaja (See: “BSG’s Letter Seeking Acharya Maharaja’s Forgiveness” ), Acharya Maharaja is photographed running to embrace him [BSG] at their next meeting. A move I judged to be extremely demeaning for the “Acharya of Navadwipa”.

What happened to the rule:

During his time as acharya, we would not tolerate that anyone would criticize Srila Govinda Maharaj, regardless of their reasons for doing so or their position. As per the order of Srila Guru Maharaj, that person would be ousted from the Math and mission.

Why is it that the directive applies to me:

This directive applies to Giri Maharaj. He is publicly criticizing the present Sevaite Acharya of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj, and the Acharya Board that he heads. . . .

We must inform the devotees that Giri Maharaj is acting offensively, independently and without authority. We do not recognize him as a bonafide leader of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. We advise all faithful followers of Srila Govinda Maharaj to avoid his association, personally, or through email and the internet.

but not BSG?

As a member of the IAB, I welcome your explanation to this mystery.

My explanation would be that just like dealing with Gurudeva’s Will, for the IAB there are no rules; only whimsy, sentiments and mental perturbations that spring up again and again from those who’ve lost sight of Srila Gurudeva’s torchlight of knowledge and are left to grope in the dark hoping to find something to cling to that will keep them from drowning in the quicksand created by their deviations from our Divine Masters.

The following are the ideas that attract me and bind me. I find it very difficult to break free from them. When I try, I just get drawn back again. I care for little else. This is what sustains me:

Do not compromise – One moon is sufficient

Prabhupada: Therefore Krsna has said, mam ekam. “Don’t go to these foolish rascals.” Mam ekam. Otherwise you’ll be misled. Because they are misleaders, rascals.

Dr. Patel: You are so very hard.

Prabhupada: I must be hard!

Dr. Patel: Hard, harsh, and hard and harsh…

Prabhupada: The whole world is spoiled for these Mayavadis. Therefore I am very much hard.

Dr. Patel: What… I don’t say hard. Hard and harsh…

Prabhupada: No, we must be harder and harder.

Dr. Patel: Hard and harsh! Doesn’t matter…

Prabhupada: I don’t make any compromise with these rascals. No words. No, no. I never made that. Even if I don’t get any disciples, I’ll be satisfied. But I can’t make any compromise like these rascals. I cannot make. Ekas candras tamo hanti na ca tara sahasrasah. If I create one moon, that is sufficient. I don’t want many stars. That was my Guru Maharaja’s principle, and that is my principle. What is the use of having number of fools and rascals? If one man understands rightly, he can deliver the whole world. [break]

Morning Walk — March 23, 1974, Bombay

Nobody is serious. That is the difficulty. Everyone is thinking, “I am free,”

The difficulty is that we do not want to become a regular student. Haphazardly, here and there, here and there, but I remain the same thing. It is a science. Vedas say, tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. If you are serious to learn about that, tad vijnana. Tad vijnanam, gurum evabhigacchet. You must go to a bona fide guru who can teach you.

Nobody is serious. That is the difficulty. Everyone is thinking, “I am free,” although he is pulled by the ear, by nature. Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sa.. [Bg. 3.27]. You have done like this, come on, here, sit down. This is going on, prakrti. Ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate [Bg. 3.27]. The rascal, befooled by his false ego, he is thinking, “I am everything. I am independent.” Those who are thinking like that, they have been described in the Bhagavad-gita, ahankara vimudhatma. By false ego he is bewildered and thinking, “What I am thinking is all right.” No, you cannot think in your own way. Must think as Krsna says, then you are right.

Otherwise, you are thinking under the spell of maya, that’s all. Tribhir gunamayair bhavair mohita, na ‘bhijanati mam ebhyah param avyayam. Mayadhyaksena prakrti suyate sa-caracaram [Bg. 9.10]. These things are there. Read Bhagavad-gita thoroughly, follow the rules and regulations, then your life will be successful. And so long you have got, this is also right, that is also right, then you will not do the right. You will all be misled. That’s all. That is not [indistinct]. What Krsna says, that is right. That, that should be the [indistinct]. Otherwise you will be misled.

So we are trying to preach this philosophy in that way. Maybe, very small number, but ekas candras tamo hanti na cittara sahasra. If there is one moon, that is sufficient. What is the use of millions of stars, twinkling. So that is our propaganda. If one man can understand what is Krsna philosophy, then my preaching is successful, that’s all. We don’t want many millions of stars, with no light. What is the use of millions of stars with no light?

That is Canakya Pandita’s advice, varam eka putra na chavur kasatan api. One son, if he is learned, that is sufficient. Na chavur kasatan api. What is the use of hundreds of sons, all fools and rascals? Ekas candras tamo hanti na cittara sahasras. One moon is sufficient to illuminate. There is no need of millions of stars. Similarly, we are not after many millions of disciples. I want to see that one disciple has understood Krsna’s philosophy. That is success. That’s all.

I pray this finds you well in all respects.

Sincerely,

Swami B.K. Giri

PS If I seem too harsh, hard or passionate it’s because I see you standing in the quicksand I referred to above. To get free from it, you must first become aware you are standing in it. You don’t seem to very cognizant of that fact. You are half asleep, or something, and I am trying to wake you up.

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