Srila Giri Maharaja “Feelings of the heart”.


Date: 3/13/17

Subject: “…the two options available to you”

Dear Sripada Paribrajaka Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

I have read your three most recent emails and will reply to the content shortly.

There are many apparent issues but I think the real issues are few, maybe only one or two. Let us see.

For now, I have some questions I will ask you.

What does the “P” stand for in your initials “BP”?

Who are Chaitanya Giri Maharaja’s gurus, sannyasa, nama and diksha? I do not know who he is, at least not by his sannyasa name.

Quite some time ago we discussed your question of whether you were a disciple of Srila Sridhara Maharaja or Srila Govinda Maharaja. I looked back to those emails to refresh my memory on the subject. On Aug. 10, 2011 I replied to you, in part:

Hari Nama diksha is the more important initiation. If you took Hari Nama in 1983 from Srila Guru Maharaja, you are definitely his disciple.

If you took mantra diksha from Gurudeva in 1986. That is, you heard the mantra from him, he is your mantra guru.

In accordance with the above, Srila Sridhara Maharaja is your Hari Nama guru, Srila Govinda Maharaja is your [gayatri] mantra guru.

Your relationship with these two gurus is explained in Sri Guru and His Grace.

I also found this from my email to you dated Sep. 21, 2011:

I happened across this today while looking for something else.

I think it answers your question about the date Srila Govinda Maharaja became the initiating guru in SCSM, Gaura Purnima, 26th March, 1986.

by Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
[from a recording on Gaura Purnima, 26th March, 1986]

According to the desire of my Divine Master, I have been maintaining this Disciplic Succession but it is no longer possible for me, as I am now too old and an invalid. You all know from long ago I have chosen Sriman Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj and I have given him sannyasa. All my Vaishnava Godbrothers are very affectionate towards him and it is also their desire to give him this position. I have previously given to him the charge of the Math and now I am giving him the full responsibility of giving Harinam, diksha, sannyasa, etc., as an Acharya of this Math on behalf of myself.

Those who have any regard for me should give this respect and position to Govinda Maharaj as my successor. As much as you have faith in my sincerity, then with all sincerity I believe that he has got the capacity of rendering service in this way. With this I transfer these beads and from now he will initiate on my behalf as ritvik. The ritvik system is already involved both here and also in the foreign land. The ritvik is the representative. So if you want to take from me, and you take by his hands, then it will be as well and as good as taking from me.

In the Mahamandala, Sagar Maharaj and many others are also ritvik of Swami Maharaj and also myself. They may do so, but in this Math and in any Math under this Math, he will be the representative. If anyone cannot accept this, he may leave the Math rather than stay here and disturb the peace of the Math. With all my sincerity and good feelings to Guru-Gauranga, to the Vaishnavas and the Acharyas, Mahaprabhu, Pancha-Tattva, Radha-Govinda and Their Parshadas, with all my sincere prayers to Them, henceforth he will represent me in this affair beginning from today’s function.

Now I shall go from here and he will do the necessary. On my behalf, he will give Harinama, diksha, sannyasa, and everything.

If anyone says Srila Govinda Maharaja was acting as rtvik and not initiating his own disciples, they may say that based on the above statement. However, the next question is “What is the difference?”

First Srila Govinda Maharaja has said all those initiated after the above date are his disciples, not the disciples of Srila Sridhara Maharaja. If you believe Srila Sridhara Maharaja, you must believe Srila Govinda Maharaja “Those who have any regard for me should give this respect and position to Govinda Maharaj as my successor. As much as you have faith in my sincerity, then with all sincerity I believe that he has got the capacity of rendering service in this way.”

Next, what is the real difference whether the initiate is the disciple of Srila Sridhara Maharaja [or] of Srila Govinda Maharaja? “So if you want to take from me, and you take by his hands, then it will be as well and as good as taking from me.”

Devotees often attribute different feelings of theirs as being “from the heart.” What they want me to believe is that such feelings must be Divine or Divinely inspired and, therefore, absolute indicators that they should do one thing or another that is being directed “from the heart.” More often than not, they later reverse course, or at least change course. When they do they again claim that they have done so based on their feelings which have come “from the heart.”

What is the difference between these feelings of the heart and the dictates of the mind, when both can change often and easily?

Immediately after Srila Govinda Maharaja’s disappearance all the acharyas he named, except for myself, were sure that Gurudeva wanted them to ignore the directions of his Last Will and Testament wherein he directed six sannyasis to succeed him as acharyas. They were sure that what was stated in Gurudeva’s Will should not be followed. They were very certain that it was better to follow Goswami Maharaja’s direction to establish one worldwide acharya and that all the other acharyas should “defer” {defer: submit humbly to (a person or a person’s wishes or qualities)} to him. They did this. Each of them declined to accept the position of acharya as Srila Gurudeva had directed them to do. They did, in fact, establish Acharya Maharaja as the one worldwide acharya for the entire Mission, except where I was accepted as acharya.

Janardana Maharaja did not use the words “from the heart”, but that was clearly his justification for agreeing to the one worldwide acharya proposal. In countering my objections, based on my reading of Srila Gurudeva’s Will, Janardana Maharaja said “We do not need to read his Will. We know what Gurudeva wants.”

As with “feelings of the heart”, within a short time they changed course and now Acharya Maharaja has completely reversed course and admitted that Srila Gurudeva never intended him to be the only acharya of SCSM.

One of the benefits of receiving connection with a sad guru is to be saved from following our “feelings of the heart.” To follow such feeling is to be a blind follower. Following such feelings has led us to take birth in many species of life within this mundane world. They have caused us to believe “This is my wife, these are my children, this is my brother, my neighbor, my community, my society, my friend, my love, my nation, etc., etc.” If asked “How do you know this one is meant to be your wife, your husband, etc.” The response can only be “It is the ‘feelings of the heart.'”

Let us not confuse those feelings with the direction of our “clear spiritual conscience”, which is the locus standi Srila Sridhara Maharaja has directed us to use when taking our bearing on any course of action. There is often a conflict between “feelings of the heart” and the direction of our “clear spiritual conscience.” When the two come to clash, which should be accepted and followed? The answer should be clear.

Now, a thoughtful person will ask “If you cannot discern the difference between direction from the ‘heart’ and direction from the mind, how can you discern the direction of the mind from that of what you believe to be your ‘spiritual conscience’?”

We have heard the answer many times, but it is very difficult to follow. The answer was given by Srila Govinda Maharaja (as it was by all our acharyas):

One instruction Srila Guru Maharaj used to always give me when I first came to him was: “What I shall instruct, you will follow, and what your mind will say, you don’t follow.” But I thought; “My mind is not always giving me bad advice, sometimes it is giving good suggestions to me.” But Srila Guru Maharaj told me not to follow even what I thought was the good advice of my mind. “That means you must fully depend upon me. My need is that you must fully depend upon me.” Srila Guru Maharaj said in this way, “What does your mind tell you? You think it sometimes says good advice and it sometimes says bad. But you are not to follow even the apparently good advice. If you take the association of your mind, you must give some return to him; therefore it is not necessary to take association of your mind, instead take my instruction for yourself.”

And, as I have just said, he also said the answer is difficult to follow:

It is a very easy instruction but we cannot always follow it, therefore we receive some trouble. When we forget Srila Guru Maharaj’s order we receive much trouble. Behind this, two things are acting: one is fortune, and the other is our activity. Good fortune is necessary, and that comes through seva. Good fortune grows through seva. One who can do real seva will receive a good result. However, one who does ‘seva’ but is always thinking about his own interest must be ignored by bhakti, and bhakti will not go to him. He may live so long and stay for many years in the Gaudiya Mission, but he may not get that bhakti.

When we follow the direction of a sad guru or a higher vaishnava, leaving aside all other considerations, we are freed from the tendency to be led astray by the mind and transient feelings. Only by following a true sad guru will we get what we came for, bhakti.

After the time of Srila Saraswati Thakura, by his influence, many gurus have come out to preach in the line of Krishna consciousness. Still, to get connection with a real sad guru is very rare and the chance to render service to such a guru is even more rare.

kṛṣṇeti yasya giri taṁ manasādriyeta
dīkṣāsti cet praṇatibhiś ca bhajantam īśam
śuśrūṣayā bhajana-vijñam ananyam anya-
nindādi-śūnya-hṛdam īpsita-saṅga-labdhyā

Synonyms:
kṛṣṇa — the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa; iti — thus; yasya — of whom; giri — in the words or speech; tam — him; manasā — by the mind; ādriyeta — one must honor; dīkṣā — initiation; asti — there is; cet — if; praṇatibhiḥ — by obeisances; ca — also; bhajantam — engaged in devotional service; īśam — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; śuśrūṣayā — by practical service; bhajana-vijñam — one who is advanced in devotional service; ananyam— without deviation; anya-nindā-ādi — of blasphemy of others, etc; śūnya — completely devoid; hṛdam — whose heart; īpsita — desirable; saṅga — association; labdhyā — by gaining.

Translation:
One should mentally honor the devotee who chants the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, one should offer humble obeisances to the devotee who has undergone spiritual initiation [dīkṣā] and is engaged in worshiping the Deity, and one should associate with and faithfully serve that pure devotee who is advanced in undeviated devotional service and whose heart is completely devoid of the propensity to criticize others.

You see, there are many devotees who we should mentally honor. Then, there are some to whom we should offer our obeisances. The most rare person is the one who is very advanced in devotional service. If we can get connection with that standard of devotee, we should associate with and faithfully serve him.

All of our friends will agree that Srila Sridhara Maharaja and Srila Govinda Maharaja qualify as “that pure devotee who is advanced in undeviated devotional service. . .” But not all our friends will agree to faithfully serve them.

To faithfully serve Srila Sridhara Maharaja one must faithfully serve Srila Govinda Maharaja:

“Those who have any regard for me should give this respect and position to Govinda Maharaj as my successor. As much as you have faith in my sincerity, then with all sincerity I believe that he has got the capacity of rendering service in this way.”

Those that did not accept the above direction of Srila Sridhara Maharaja, regardless of how cleverly they may argue their position, have immediately become useless and should be abandoned as bad association.

acaryera mata yei, sei mata sara
tanra ajna langhi’ cale, sei ta’ asara

“The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless.” — CC Adi 12.10

Likewise, those that disobeyed the direction of Srila Govinda Maharaja, as stated in his Last Will and Testament, immediately became useless and their association should be abandoned.

Srila Prabhupada’s purport to the above verse tells us all we need to know about such persons:

“Here is the opinion of Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī. Persons who strictly follow the orders of the spiritual master are useful in executing the will of the Supreme, whereas persons who deviate from the strict order of the spiritual master are useless.”

Why were the directions of our predecessor acharyas Srila Sridhara Maharaja and Srila Govinda Maharaja disobeyed? The answer is “feelings” and “mind.” Those who disobeyed have only one answer “We know what Gurudeva wants.” But they have no answer to the question “If that is what Gurudeva wanted, why did he state something different in his Will?” By what means do they claim to know what Gurudeva wants, which is different from what he said he wanted? By feelings, by mind, by intellect; all of which have deceived us for life after life within this material world.

Srila Sridhar Maharaja “Accepting the Inevitable from the Absolute Plane” (also 82.02.27.A)
@ 16:50

“You see, we have come to understand, generally we feel, that Acharya will appoint Acharya, his successor.

So, Srila Sridhara Maharaja appointed his successor, Srila Govinda Maharaja; but many, perhaps most, of Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s leading disciples and followers did not accept him in that way. They had other ideas, and they followed their ideas.

Then Srila Govinda Maharaja named six acharyas to succeed him, and the same thing happened; none of the big leaders accepted his decision and, except for me, none of them followed it.

“You see, we have come to understand, generally we feel, that Acharya will appoint Acharya, his successor.

The acharya, Srila Govinda Maharaja named his chosen successors. Why was it not accepted by everyone? They were following their “feelings of the heart” and their minds.

Was Goswami Maharaja named to be a successor? No, he was not. But the “feelings of the heart” of the other acharyas told them “We cannot accept Srila Gurudeva’s decision to not name Goswami Maharaja to be an acharya after him. We like Goswami Maharaja. He is so nice, so qualified, he is this, he is that, he is so many things that we like, he should be an acharya. Somehow Srila Govinda Maharaja could not see what we see, so we will make him an acharya. Thereby, we will correct his mistake.”

Did Govinda Maharaja ever say that Acharya Maharaja should be the acharya of Russia, Brazil, etc.? No. He never said so. But the others had their feelings, or their minds told them that he should be the acharya there and they made it so; only to later reverse course.

Those men can say or do anything, except the one thing that is required of a disciple, follow the direction of their guru: “What I shall instruct, you will follow, and what your mind will say, you don’t follow.”

Now, in your situation, you have two options, either find a higher vaishnava for whom you have such regard that what he tells you, you will follow or; absent such a qualified devotee, follow the directions of your gurus as you understand them according to your “clear spiritual conscience.” Especially, follow the direction of Srila Govinda Maharaja as he is the only sure via media to Srila Sridhara Maharaja; there is no second, regardless of any propaganda to the contrary. Always try to remember:

“What I shall instruct, you will follow, and what your mind will say, you don’t follow.”

“Those who have any regard for me should give this respect and position to Govinda Maharaj as my successor. As much as you have faith in my sincerity, then with all sincerity I believe that he has got the capacity of rendering service in this way.”

I have stated the two options available to you. There is no third option.

Please explain what is meant by this:

Sorry I forgot to mention that my sannyasa guru, Sripada Giri Maharaja, told me that my name came from above. Even today, he still forgets my name!

He says it came from Srila Guru Maharaja in order to purify the old name given and that I have been given an opportunity and the responsibility to do that.

It sounds offensive, but maybe I do not understand what he meant when he told you this.

If Srila Sridhara Maharaja gave you the name Indupati, why does it require purification? How could any of us improve upon (purify) what Srila Sridhara Maharaja has given? The idea strikes me as being an offense to Srila Sridhara Maharaja, unless these is something more I do not know.

I pray this finds you in good health and spirits.

Affectionately,

Swami B.K. Giri

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