The Homonym ISKCON
BY: JADURANI DASI (SYAMARANI DD)
Aug 30, INDIA (SUN) Cutting Through The Jungles Of False Propaganda and Misunderstanding: A response to Gadadhara prabhu's article on Srila Narayana Maharaja.
Some time back an article appeared on Chakra entitled "Understanding Narayana Maharaja: His Own Words and Primary Sources". More recently, an updated version of that article was published in the Sun by Gadadhara dasa. The following article was written as a refutation of the original "Understanding Narayana Maharaja".
Recently there was an article published on the Cakra website, attempting to show that Srila Narayana Maharaja's teachings are different from those of Srila Prabhupada, and trying to discourage devotees from hearing from him. This compilation, full of quotes gathered by an ISKCON Gurukula teacher, was also translated and distributed in Mexico during Srila Maharaja's recent visit there. The ideas expressed in the compilation have already been refuted repeatedly over the years on the Internet. Still, because the compilation has just been translated into Spanish, we are again replying for the sake of new readers.
In this present article we will state the same quotes of Srila Narayana Maharaja used in the compilation, along with quotes from Srila Prabhupada confirming Srila Maharaja's statements. Knowing that every one of us understands both life and scripture according to our millions of births of impressions, sukrtis and samskaras, the author humbly requests the respected reader to consider the points presented herein in the light of your highest aspiration. Decide as you like.
The compilation posted on Cakra is called 'Understanding Narayana Maharaja: his own words and other primary sources'. Let us first of all consider the meaning of the title, which may lead the reader to think that it is accurately representing Srila Maharaja's words. Actually, his words are many times taken out of context, and sometimes simply changed. Moreover, in the ISKCON compilation, the 'primary sources' are not even credible.
When quoting the compilation, we shall begin with the word 'COMPILATION', and we will begin our own statements with the word 'REFUTATION'. Because the compilation is very lengthy and contains so many ideas, we shall discuss only half of those ideas in this article and more of them in articles to come. Our article is quite long, but we beg your indulgence, for a careful reading will clear the matter. Otherwise, you are quite welcome to browse:
COMPILATION 1: Narayana Maharaja on A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and ISKCON
Narayana Maharaja Germany: Dec 12, 2001:
"My siksa-guru, nitya-lila-pravista Om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja."
Narayana Maharaja Mathura, October 24, 1999:
"We can glorify Swamiji, Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. But those who are falling down, how can they glorify him? They cannot glorify him, never; they are cutting. They are establishing that he was the founder of ISKCON, but I know that he was not founder, he was one of the members of this in guru parampara. It was founded by Krishna, and first acarya was Brahma, then Narada, then Vyasa. Only he has changed the name and he has preached these things in Western countries."
REFUTATION 1: The compilation's use of Srila Maharaja's quotes, saying that he is the siksa disciple of Srila Prabhupada and then saying that Srila Prabhupada is not the founder-acarya of ISKCON, is meant to show that he is not really Prabhupada's disciple. But Srila Maharaja is saying nothing that Srila Prabhupada has not said many times. In his Bhagavad-gita Preface Srila Prabhupada says:
"Some of them said that it is greatly fortunate for the Americans that I have started the Krsna consciousness movement in America. But actually the original father of this movement is Lord Krsna Himself, since it was started a very long time ago, but is coming down to human society by disciplic succession. If I have any credit in this connection, it does not belong to me personally, but it is due to my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja Prabhupada. If personally I have any credit in this matter, it is only that I have tried to present Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any adulteration. Before my presentation of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, almost all the English editions of Bhagavad-gita were introduced to fulfill someone's personal ambition. But our attempt, in presenting Bhagavad-gita As It Is, is to present the mission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna."
Srila Prabhupada also writes in his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.6: "Thus Brahma was initiated by the Krsna mantra, by Lord Krsna Himself, and thus he became a Vaisnava, or a devotee of the Lord, before he was able to construct the huge universe. It is stated in the Brahma-samhita that Lord Brahma was initiated into the eighteen-letter Krsna mantra, which is generally accepted by all the devotees of Lord Krsna. We follow the same principle because we belong to the Brahma sampradaya, directly in the disciplic chain from Brahma to Narada, from Narada to Vyasa, from Vyasa to Madhva Muni, from Madhva Muni to Madhavendra Puri, from Madhavendra Puri to Isvara Puri, from Isvara Puri to Lord Caitanya and gradually to His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, our divine master."
COMPILATION 2: Narayana Maharaja 28th April 1999, morning, Caracas: "Also you should know that Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the founder of ISKCON. Swamiji, AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja is one of the prominent acaryas in this line only. He is not founder; he's one of the prominent acaryas, who spread all these things [over] whole world, in a very short time.
REFUTATION 2: The compilation is trying to say that Srila Narayana Maharaja does not respect Prabhupada's position as founder-acarya of this movement. But actually, he is establishing Prabhupada's glory. With pride, Srila Prabhupada confirms Srila Maharaja's statement in his own Srimad-Bhagavatam purport. There he says: "The Hare Krsna movement is not a new movement as people sometimes mistakenly think. The Hare Krsna movement is present in every millennium of Lord Brahma's life, and the holy name is chanted in all the higher planetary systems, including Brahmaloka and Candraloka, not to speak of Gandharvaloka and Apsaraloka. The sankirtana movement that was started in this world five hundred years ago by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore not a new movement. Sometimes, because of our bad luck, this movement is stopped, but Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His servants again start the movement for the benefit of the entire world, or indeed, the entire universe." (SB 7.15.72 Purport)
In his Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.6-7 purport, Srila Prabhupada lists some of the other prominent acaryas in this movement. He writes: "He (Narada) is the son and disciple of Brahmaji, and from him the disciplic succession in the line of Brahma has been spread. He initiated Prahlada Maharaja, Dhruva Maharaja and many celebrated devotees of the Lord. He initiated even Vyasadeva, the author of the Vedic literatures, and from Vyasadeva, Madhvacarya was initiated, and thus the Madhva-sampradaya, in which the Gaudiya-sampradaya is also included, has spread all over the universe. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu belonged to this Madhva-sampradaya; therefore, Brahmaji, Narada, Vyasa, down to Madhva, Caitanya and the Gosvamis all belonged to the same line of disciplic succession."
Prabhupada confirms in this next quote that he is coming in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He writes: "Our original sampradaya stems from Madhvacarya. In that sampradaya there was Madhavendra Puri, and Madhavendra Puri's disciple was Sri Isvara Puri. Sri Isvara Puri's disciple was Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus we are coming in the disciplic succession from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and therefore our sampradaya is called the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya. It is not that we have manufactured a sampradaya; rather, our sampradaya stems from Lord Brahma." (Teachings of Lord Kapila, chapter 14, text 31)
Thus, to be a prominent acarya in this line is the greatest glory.
COMPILATION 3: Narayana Maharaja Murwillumbah, Australia: Feb. 18, 2002 (eve):
"Your Prabhupada, Srila Swami Maharaja, only changed the name into English. He is not the founder-acarya of that eternal ISKCON… I am ISKCON. I'm not different from ISKCON. I am 'Bhaktivedanta' [Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja]. Like father, like son. I am the real successor of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, and there is no other. You should know this very openly. I am Bhaktivedanta and he is Bhaktivedanta, but he received this name after I did. I'm senior to him in this regard… I'm Bhaktivedanta, and I'm also ISKCON. Don't think that I'm out of ISKCON."
REFUTATION 3: COMPILATION 3 did not quote this accurately. By this inaccurate quote it wants to say that Srila Narayana Maharaja is trying to usurp Prabhupada's position as founder-acarya. But the truth is that Srila Maharaja is actually revealing his pride in being Prabhupada's humble servant. The compilation did not include the preceding sentences and explanation, and it also substituted an important clarification with a mere three dots. The following is the actual version of the statement as it was posted on the Internet. (The words in brackets, also included in the Internet posting, were ours:)
"At the time of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, Srila Sarasvati Thakura was the president of ISKCON. He sent one arm, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, who was given sannyasa by Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and who then gave ISKCON its English name [Previously it was called by different names, like Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti,* Gaudiya Matha, Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha, and Krsna-bhakti-rasa bhavitah mati.] Your Prabhupada, Srila Swami Maharaja, only changed the name into English. He is not the founder-acarya of that eternal ISKCON. [Srila Prabhupada sometimes said he was the founder-acarya for two reasons: for management and legal purposes, and also for the faith of his young disciples who would not have understood another presentation at that time.] The founder-acarya is originally Brahma, and it was actually established by Krsna. All of you who are following this disciplic succession are ISKCON. Don't think that you are not. I am ISKCON. I'm not different from ISKCON. I am 'Bhaktivedanta' [Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja]. Like father, like son. I am the real successor of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, and there is no other. You should know this very openly.
"I am Bhaktivedanta and he is Bhaktivedanta, but he received this name after I did. I'm senior to him in this regard. By my request he became ready to take sannyasa, and my Guru Maharaja gave sannyasa to him. [Srila Narayana Maharaja and Srila Prabhupada were both given the name Bhaktivedanta by Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja at the time of their sannyasa initiations.] I was like the priest at his sannyasa ceremony. I performed the fire sacrifice, I made his danda and I taught him how to wear his sannyasa garments. Although he is junior to me and I'm senior to him in sannyasa, he is my siksa-guru. I'm his disciple. I'm Bhaktivedanta, and I'm also ISKCON. Don't think that I'm out of ISKCON."
We had also posted the following quote by Srila Prabhupada along with Srila Maharaja's lecture, confirming Srila Maharaja's statement. Prabhupada had stated in a lecture in Detroit, on August 3, 1975: "It is not that, 'Bhaktivedanta Swami has brought this.' They say. They give me the credit. That is my good fortune also. But actually I am just like a peon. I have brought, but I am delivering it without any adulteration. That may be my credit. And if you take it without any adulteration and practice it, then your life is successful."
Moreover, Srila Maharaja's above-mentioned statement was preceded by his introduction, but this was also not quoted in the compilation. Srila Maharaja began his lecture with these words: "You should know one thing. ISKCON was first established by catur-mukha (four-headed) Brahma. He is our first guru. He is the original founder-acarya of ISKCON, and his disciples like Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, Sanat-kumara, and Narada are real ISKCON preachers. After them, especially in Kali-yuga, Madhvacarya, Ramanuja, Visnuswami, Nimbaditya, and so many others appeared. In our line (the Gaudiya sampradaya), especially in Kali-yuga, Sri Madyavendra Puri is the root, the seed. His disciples are Srila Isvara Puripada and Nityananda Prabhu; from Isvara Puripada came Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and from Him came Svarupa Damodara. Then, after them, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura appeared in their line, and they are also part of the real ISKCON. All these are ideal ISKCON personalities, and you should always be aware of this."
Srila Maharaja is simply encouraging us to remember to honor our previous acaryas. They can also help us and bless us. If we think that Prabhupada is the first in this movement, we are not glorifying him. He does not want to be disconnected from his guru-parampara. His glory is his chastity to the words and moods of his disciplic succession. If we think that Prabhupada is first, it means we think we don't have to refer to the previous acaryas of the succession to understand what he is trying to teach. It means we think that we, and conditioned souls like us, are the authorities on understanding him.
Regarding Srila Maharaja's statement that he, as well as others, can also be given the title 'Bhaktivedanta', Srila Prabhupada confirms this in Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.24 as follows: "As such, vedanta-vadis, or the followers of the Vedanta, indicate the pure devotees of the Personality of Godhead. Such vedanta-vadis, or the bhakti-vedantas, are impartial in distributing the transcendental knowledge of devotional service. To them, no one is enemy or friend; no one is educated or uneducated. No one is especially favorable, and no one is unfavorable. The bhakti-vedantas see that the people in general are wasting time in false sensuous things. Their business is to get the ignorant mass of people to re-establish their lost relationship with the Personality of Godhead. By such endeavor, even the most forgotten soul is roused up to the sense of spiritual life, and thus being initiated by the bhakti-vedantas, the people in general gradually progress on the path of transcendental realization."
In his lecture on Aug. 5, 1975, Prabhupada says further: "So some of the Vaisnavas selected me to get this title Bhaktivedanta. Vedanta means bhakti, understanding bhakti. Because vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15]. So who can understand Krsna unless he has bhakti? So this is the bhaktivedanta."
Srila Maharaja's diksa-guru, Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Maharaja is also his sannyasa-guru. Srila Maharaja's diksa-guru is also the sannyasa-guru of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Maharaja gave all his sannyasa disciples the title 'Bhaktivedanta'.
The compilation quoted Srila Maharaja saying, "I am the real successor of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, and there is no other." Perhaps, by doing this, the compilation is trying to say that Srila Maharaja is not bona fide because a self-effulgent acarya does not need to proclaim himself. But the compilation is wrong in its assumption. Surely Srila Maharaja is only separating himself from the hundreds of pretenders who masquerade as gurus, and there is no harm in that. This statement is not exclusive but inclusive. When Prabhupada was asked in 1969 in Boston what Jesus meant when he said I am the only son of my father. No one can come to Him but through me, Prabhupada replied, "He means, 'by me or anyone like me; in other words, by me or any bona fide representative of God.'" Similarly 'guru is one', as we have heard, and at the same time there is more than one bona fide guru. Srila Maharaja is not disparaging other bona fide teachers. He is simply saying that it is no small thing to perfectly represent the line of Gaudiya acaryas.
Srila Maharaja's statement can also be seen in this way: His is the statement of a son who loves his father (Prabhupada) so much that he can say that "No one can love my father as much as I." This is not at all pride in himself, but in his beloved Srila Swami Maharaja, our Srila Prabhupada. We cannot imagine such love in our Western culture.
COMPILATION 4: Hari Sauri 3/31/97 7:54 AM Letter: "He (Narayana Maharaja) shouted, 'I am not under your rules. I am not ISKCON, I am Gaudiya Math!'"
REFUTATION 4: The compilation is trying to say that Srila Maharaja contradicts himself to suit his purposes. But actually, he is putting a spotlight on the real eternal ISKCON, and distinguishes it from the modern corporate ISKCON. The incident referred to above took place in Navadvipa. Hari Sauri and a few of his god-brothers were trying to chastise Srila Maharaja in harsh language. They had been accusing him of re-initiating Gaurangi dasi, who had actually never been initiated before. They had also been accusing him of initiating her on his first meeting with her, without seeing her qualifications. They said that Prabhupada's disciples waited six months and that this was only Gaurangi's first day. But actually she had been born into Krsna consciousness, had been practicing about twenty years, had read deeply into both Prabhupada's and Srila Narayana Maharaja 's books, and had been recommended by several senior devotees. Srila Maharaja replied to them, without shouting, that he was not part of their [corporate] ISKCON, and therefore they were not his authorities. His statement did not at all imply that he felt himself beyond the rules of eternal ISKCON.
In his lecture of May 13, 200l, in Los Angeles, California, Srila Maharaja explained Prabhupada's glory in relationship to the eternal ISKCON. The following are some excerpts. (The words in brackets is our introduction to this lecture which was posted on the Internet.)
[In these days of confusion, strife and doubt, tens of thousands of devotees around the world who had dedicated their lives with a desire to serve Srila Prabhupada's mission are now becoming more and more inclined to find out the true facts about that mission. What is truly ISKCON? Who are actually ISKCON members and what are their moods? Can a true member of ISKCON ever fall? Who are the real ISKCON leaders and how do we serve them? The astonishing answers to these questions are revealed by Srila Narayana Maharaja in the following lecture.]
"If you have no love and affection and you are worshiping Krsna with sixteen different types of paraphernalia, Krsna will not accept your worship. And, if you have no paraphernalia to offer besides one drop of water or a leaf of tulasi, but you offer it with great love and affection, Krsna will be satisfied. Even if you do not offer any water or tulasi, but you say, "O Krsna, I am Yours and You are mine." - this will suffice. We should try to follow this principle.
"Caitanya Mahaprabhu requested Raya Ramananda to speak on this subject, and Raya Ramananda said:
krsnah bhakti rasa bhavita matih
kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate
[Devotee reads Prabhupada's translation:] 'Pure devotional service in Krsna consciousness cannot be had even by pious activities in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be obtained only by paying one price; that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay. Purport: The previous two verses are in included in the Padyavali (13, 14) by Srila Rupa Gosvami.'
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] "You should hear this very carefully. Bhakti begins from here."
[Devotee reads:] 'Verse 69 refers to devotional service in faith and verse 70 refers to devotional service rendered out of intense greed. The first is devotional service rendered in accordance to the regulative principles, and the second refers to spontaneous loving service to the Lord without extraneous endeavor. Henceforward the basic principle underlying the talks between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya will be spontaneous loving service to the Lord. The regulative principles according to the injunctions of the sastras are necessary insofar as one's original dormant Krsna Consciousness is not spontaneously awakened. An example of spontaneous action is the flowing of rivers into the ocean. Nothing can stop the flow of water. Similarly, when one's dormant Krsna consciousness is awakened, it spontaneously flows to the lotus feet of Krsna without impediment. Whatever will be spoken henceforth by Ramananda Raya based on spontaneous love will be agreeable to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and the Lord will ask him more and more about this subject.'
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] "I have seen that Srila Swami Maharaja has given the definition of ISKCON with this sloka: krsnah bhakti rasa bhavita. This is the basis of ISKCON."
[Srila Prabhupada is quoted here from the book Journey to Self-Discovery:] "In another verse, Rupa Gosvami says, krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih kriyatau yadi kuto 'pi labhyate. I have translated the words Krsna consciousness from krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita. So here Rupa Gosvami advises, 'If Krsna consciousness is available, please purchase it immediately. Don't delay.' It is a very nice thing." In Vrndavana, March 13, 1974, Prabhupada stated: "Rupa Gosvami advised, krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate. He advises that, 'If Krsna consciousness is available, you should purchase it. You should purchase it anywhere it is available.'" In Seattle, Washington, Oct. 4, 1968, Srila Prabhupada stated: "Krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih. Matih means intelligence or status of mind, that 'I'll serve Krsna. If you can purchase this status of mind anywhere, please immediately purchase it."]
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] "If anyone is not following this, even he is trying to be ISKCON, he is not really ISKCON. He is ISKCON-abhasa (a semblance or shadow). We see in the semblance of ISKCON that so many members can fall down. The real ISKCON members, however, will never fall down. Brahma is the first in ISKCON, Narada is second, Srila Vyasadeva is third, and fourth is Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. They cannot fall down. Srila Rupa Gosvami cannot fall down, and he is also ISKCON. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami will never fall down, and he is also ISKCON. We are all ISKCON, but those who can fall down, those who are simply trying to be ISKCON, are not really its members.
"We must help devotees who are in that category. I pray that Krsna will sprinkle His mercy on them so that one day they will be in the real ISKCON. Generally, koti janma sukritair na labhyte: this high-class standard cannot be had only by sukrti (spiritually pious activities or regulative bhakti). If one gathers sukrti for thousands and thousands of births, in relation to Krsna and His devotees, or in relation to anything related to Krsna, then it will be real sukrti. When sukrti is in large enough quantity, you can have darsana of any exalted devotee. Sadhu-sanga will be achieved."
COMPILATION 5: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Letter to: Dr. Bigelow: -- Allahabad 20 January, 1971: "I am the founder-acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness."
REFUTATION 5: The compilation is trying to prove here that Srila Narayana Maharaja does not accept Prabhupada's words that he is the founder-acarya, but here Prabhupada is saying he is the founder of corporate ISKCON, not eternal ISKCON. In the same letter Prabhupada writes, "This unnatural life of repeated birth, death, disease and old age can be stopped when his consciousness is dovetailed with the Supreme consciousness of God. That is the basic principle of our Krishna Consciousness Movement." Surely Prabhupada is not saying he is the founder-acarya of that basic principle. The statement quoted in the compilation is not at all evidence that Prabhupada is not one of the prominent acaryas but, rather, the founder of the Krsna consciousness movement. Prabhupada does not contradict himself. Here he is not referring to the eternal ISKCON, or the eternal Krsna consciousness movement, but the corporate ISKCON; and this is confirmed by the next statement quoted by the compilation.
COMPILATION 6: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Letter to: Kurusrestha - Bombay 28 December, 1974: "Also your idea of forming a trust between ISKCON and the leading men in the Indian community is approved by me. That is very nice. Let the Indians take part in our movement and help us to push on this mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In that trust you must be very careful to make sure that my name is registered there as the founder-acarya and that I am to be the ultimate authority. In other words, in any case of necessity of vetoing or canceling any decision made by the other trustees, I should be able to do like that. My decision should over-rule all the other trustees combined."
REFUTATION 6: Prabhupada would never say that he is the authority over Brahma, Krsna, or his own Guru Maharaja; neither are they trustees. It is clear that he is speaking of the corporate ISKCON and not the eternal ISKCON that he speaks of elsewhere. There is a term in English-language usage called 'homonym.' Homonyms refer to words that have the same spelling or pronunciation but different meanings. ISKCON is such a homonym.
COMPILATION 7: Narayana Maharaja conversation, Murwillumbah, Australia: Feb.12, 2002 (morning): "Therefore, in his service to Radhika, for rati-keli-siddhyai, a guru cannot serve in his male form. Srila Swami Maharaja and my Gurudeva are both serving there in their female forms as gopis. In that realm my Gurudeva is Vinoda Manjari, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura is Nayana Manjari, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is Kamala Manjari, Srila Jiva Gosvami is Vilasa Manjari, Srila Rupa Gosvami is Rupa Manjari, and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is Rati Manjari. These manjaris can serve Radha-Krishna Conjugal."
[Sripad Dhrstadyumna dasa:] "And our Srila Prabhupada?"
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] "If you fully surrender, by body, mind, words and ego, then I may tell you. Otherwise, I will not. I know who he is, but you do not know. None of the ISKCON leaders know. Your Prabhupada has cheated them all, in the sense that he has not revealed himself to them at all.''
REFUTATION 7: Perhaps the compilation is trying to say that Srila Maharaja said Prabhupada is a cheater, and the ISKCON leaders were cheated by him, and he is not a bona fide spiritual master. But Srila Maharaja is not saying that at all. He is only saying that Prabhupada did not reveal his spiritual identity. Due to their, and our, not having the qualification to know, he kept it a secret.
It is true that Prabhupada did not reveal even the nature of his function in Goloka Vrndavana, what to speak of his identity, to most of us. It is also true that all the acaryas in our line of succession from Srila Rupa Gosvami have this service and siddha-deha, eternal constitutional form, as maidservant of Srimati Radhika, as confirmed in the above-mentioned quote from Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's Guruvastakam which is sung by hundreds of thousands of Gaudiya Vaisnavas in their temples and homes. It is also confirmed in Caitanya-caritamrta (particularly Adi 1.5 and Adi 4.15-16), as well as many of the books and songs of all our acaryas. If we don't know this fact about Srila Prabhupada and all our acaryas in the line of Rupa Gosvami, it means Prabhupada didn't reveal it to us yet. In other words, we have not yet understood this aspect of our sastras.
This quote from Caitanya-caritamrta states that Caitanya Mahaprabhu descended to this world to give the fortunate jivas the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the gopis: "May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love." (Adi 1.5)
Srila Prabhupada offered to take his followers back to Godhead, to serve the Divine Couple Radha and Krsna. He therefore gave songs to help them attain that service. In 1970, he gave them the Tulasi Arati song, beginning "namo namo tulasi krsna preyasi." In this song devotees pray: "My desire is that you will also grant me a residence within the pleasure groves of Vrndavana. Thus within my vision I will always behold the beautiful pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. I beg you to make me a follower of the cowherd damsels of Vraja. Please give me the privilege of devotional service and make me your own maidservant."
In 1966, Srila Prabhupada gave his disciples the Sri Gurvastakam prayers by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and they have been singing these prayers to him since that time. Verse six, beginning 'nikunja yuno rati keli siddhyai,' describes the spiritual master as "very dear, because he is expert at assisting the gopis in making tasteful arrangements for the perfection of Sri Sri Radha Krsna's conjugal loving affairs within the groves (kunjas) of Vrndavana." Every morning before his Srimad Bhagavatam class he used to sing, "jaya radha-madhava kunjabihari, jaya gopi jana vallabha giri-varadhari: Krsna is the lover of Radha. He displays many amorous pastimes in the groves of Vrndavana. He is the lover of the gopis, the lifter of Govardhana." Neither a cowherd boy nor an associate in any other rasa but madhurya would sing this song.
In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said that only by following in the footsteps of the gopis can one serve in the kunjas of Vraja (radha-krsna-kunjaseva). Both Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Raya Ramananda have clearly told this: "Without the help of the gopis, one cannot enter into these pastimes. Only he who worships the Lord in the ecstasy of the gopis, following in their footsteps, can engage in the service of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna in the bushes (kunjas) of Vrndavana. Only then can one understand the conjugal love between Radha and Krsna. There is no other procedure for understanding."
The ISKCON Vaisnava Acaryas' songbook includes Srila Prabhupada's recorded purport to Nitai-pada-kamalam. There he says: "Unless you take shelter under the shade of the lotus feet of Nityananda...'radha-krsna paite nai'...it will be very difficult to approach Radha-Krsna. This Krsna consciousness movement is for approaching Radha-Krsna, to be associated with the Supreme Lord in His sublime pleasure dance. That is the aim of Krsna consciousness. So Narottama dasa Thakura's advice is, 'If you actually want to enter into the dancing party of Radha-Krsna, then you must take shelter of the lotus feet of Nityananda.'"
Srila Prabhupada would not promise his followers that he could give them a relationship with Krsna which he himself does not have and is thus not able to give. "Unless one practices devotional service himself, he cannot teach it to others. This conclusion is indeed confirmed throughout the Gita and Bhagavatam." (C.c. Adi 3.21)
Prabhupada writes in Caitanya-caritamrta: "The means for returning home, for going back to Godhead, is devotional service, but everyone has a different taste in the Lord's service. One may be inclined to serve the Lord in servitude (dasya-rasa), fraternity (sakhya-rasa), or paternal love (vatsalya-rasa), but none of these can enable one to enter into the service of the Lord in conjugal love. To attain such service, one has to follow in the footsteps of the gopis in the ecstasy of sakhi-bhava. Then only can one understand the transcendental mellow of conjugal love." (Cc. Madhya 8.204-5 purport)
COMPILATION 8: Narayana Maharaja, Lecture given on September 19th, 1994: "Those who are not rasika Vaisnavas, they don't know tattva, they have not gone to association with any Vaisnava...they think that to preach whole world...the name of Krishna...and to give Gita sandesha...is the whole thing. So I want to say that your Prabhupada has given these things...only these things...and not beyond these things. Then he was only the servant of Mahavisnu, not of Krishna. A strange thing… for them who are ignorant. But those who are wise and have done initiation from any rasika Vaisnava, bhava bhakta of Caitanya Mahaprabhu,... Those who have given their heart to them and have realized anything...very little...they can realize these things……At first, if any temple is going on...we'll have to clear... the ground. The thorns are there, the trees having thorns ...useless...to be cut, and to give some land… But to dig and to sweep is not everything. To dig for basement of this big temple is not everything. So Swamiji has at first cleared the atmosphere...Prepared the ground...by preaching name and the sandesh of Gita...he prepared. So very important work. Without this, without this, he could not have given these things. As Caitanya Mahaprabhu first preached the whole world Krishna name, and he wanted all Vaisnavas to understand His inner mood….Otherwise everyone cannot understand...so he has done this task and it was so necessary for that world...for all world...he has done but he has not done everything ...by that doing. It was only basement...Foundation."
REFUTATION 8: This is not true, and in fact this is not an accurate transcription of Srila Maharaja's lecture. By misquoting this lecture, the compilation is trying to prove that Srila Maharaja said that Prabhupada is not a servant of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but rather of Maha Visnu. Nothing can be further from the truth. Those devotees who were actually present at that lecture, who heard the taped recording several times, and who have heard Srila Maharaja's various lectures on this same topic many times, have transcribed it in the following way:
"Those who are not rasika Vaisnavas, who don't know tattva, and who have not had the association of any pure Vaisnava, think that to preach throughout the world the name of Krsna and to give Gita-sandesa is the whole thing. So I want to say that if your Prabhupada had only given these things and nothing beyond these things, then he would have only been the servant of Mahavisnu, not Krsna. This strange idea is for those who are ignorant. But those who are wise and have taken initiation from any rasika Vaisnava and bhavaka-bhakta of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, those who have given their heart to him and have realized something, even very little, can realize these things about who Prabhupada actually is. First, if any temple is going to be built, we'll have to clear the ground. The trees having thorns are useless and need to be cut, to give some land [for building]. But to dig and to sweep is not everything. To dig for [the construction of the] basement of this big temple is not everything. So Swamiji has at first cleared the atmosphere and prepared the ground by preaching the holy name and the sandesh (message) of Gita, and this is very important work. Without this, he could not have given these more advanced concepts. Caitanya Mahaprabhu also first preached throughout the world Krsna's name, but He also wanted all Vaisnavas to understand His inner mood. Otherwise, [without a foundation], not everyone can understand [His inner mood]. So [Prabhupada] has done this task, and it was so necessary for all the world, but this is not all he did. That was only a basement or foundation."
The above was only a very small excerpt. As the lecture continues, Srila Maharaja explains how Prabhupada has kept the highest truths of bhakti, in his books, suddha-bhakti or Vraja-bhakti, and whatever we need to become pure servants of Radha-Krsna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
In Los Angeles, on May 31, 2000, Srila Maharaja explained this same principle again: "You should know who your Prabhupada is. You should know. Then you can glorify him, otherwise you cannot. He has also descended. He is an associate of Mahaprabhu, and He has descended to give that same mood and mission of Mahaprabhu. He has not only come to preach, 'You should do kirtana, and add that to whatever you are already doing.' He also did not come only to establish yuga-dharma. That is the job of Maha Visnu, not of Krsna. It is not Krsna's function. Who is Maha-Visnu? Sri Advaita Acarya. He is the amsa (part) of the amsa of the amsa of the amsa of the kala of Krsna Himself. He is a part of the part of the part of the part of Krsna. Being so far away, He can preach with kirtana, but He cannot give Vraja-bhakti. He is not qualified for this. Only Krsna can do this. When He came, therefore, He preached through sankirtana that highest love and affection, as well as the process to achieve it.
"So, Srila Swami Maharaja was not an ordinary person whom you can know and realize. You have to come to his level, and then you can understand who he is and why he came to this world. He is not an ordinary historical person.
"If you don't know who he is, how can you glorify him? Sri Svarupa Damodara can glorify Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Raya Ramananda can glorify Him, and Srila Rupa Gosvami can also glorify Him. This is because their standard or level is the same as that of Krsna. They are always His eternal associates. So you must know who Prabhupada, your Gurudeva, was. He was not an ordinary devotee. He came to fulfill the desire of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He preached the same mission as told by Srila Rupa Gosvami. He is a follower of Rupa Gosvami, and he was very happy to say that, 'I am Rupanuga.' You should know what is Rupanuga. Even Srila Sanatana Gosvami, the guru of Rupa Gosvami, felt very great happiness in thinking that "I am a follower of Srila Rupa Gosvami. I should follow Rupa. He is so high.e was so highH
"So, Srila Swami Maharaja came only to preach this mission. As I told before, however, he saw that the land was barren, not fertile. There were so many weeds and thorn trees here and there. Although he had to cut all these things, he actually came to give something else - the same thing that Rupa Gosvami came to give: 'Sri caitanya mano'bhistam sthapitam yena bhutale.' Because he understood the innermost desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he was able to establish His mission in this world. Therefore first know who he is; then you can glorify him. You should not think that he was only a preacher of harinama. You should not think that he only wrote so many books, and published and distributed them. This is not his glory. What is his glory? He is a Rupanuga Vaisnava, serving Radha-Krsna conjugal in the same way as Rupa Manjari."
COMPILATION 9: Narayana Maharaja Bambra, a farm near Melbourne: "Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja told me in the last days 'You should help my disciples. They are like monkeys; I could not train them so much. So always try to help them.'"
REFUTATION 9: Perhaps the compilation is trying to say that Srila Maharaja is pretending that Prabhupada said something bad about us, his disciples. We have a certain great conception of ourselves, and because Prabhupada encouraged his little new-born babies, we continued to think we were great. Can so many of us say honestly that we don't act like monkeys, at least sometimes, being lusty and angry, hungry and quarrelsome? We personally experienced that Prabhupada called the BBT artists monkeys because we quarreled amongst ourselves. Prabhupada trained us according to our receptivity to being trained, and as we continue serving and chanting and building sukrtis and samskaras, devotional credits, we become more trainable. Lord Kapiladeva himself instructs his representatives in disciplic succession (like Prabhupada) to teach according to the eligibility of the recipient. Prabhupada translates, explains, and follows the words of Lord Kapiladeva, in Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.32.39-40, as follows (The caps are only to show that Prabhupada is also speaking about his disciples):
"Lord Kapila continued: This instruction is not meant for the envious, for the agnostics or for persons who are unclean in their behavior. Nor is it for hypocrites or for persons who are proud of material possessions. It is not to be instructed to persons who are too greedy and too attached to family life, nor to persons who are non-devotees and who are envious of the devotees and of the Personality of Godhead.
"Persons who are always planning to do harm to other living entities are not eligible to understand Krsna consciousness and cannot enter into the realm of transcendental loving service to the Lord. Also, there are SO-CALLED DISCIPLES who become submissive to a spiritual master most artificially, with an ulterior motive. They also cannot understand what Krsna consciousness or devotional service is persons who, due to being initiated by another sect of religious faith, do not find devotional service as the common platform for approaching the supreme personality of godhead, also cannot understand krsna consciousness. WE HAVE EXPERIENCE THAT SOME STUDENTS COME TO JOIN US, but because of being biased in some particular type of faith, they leave our camp and become lost in the wilderness. Actually, Krsna consciousness is not a sectarian religious faith; it is a teaching process for understanding the Supreme Lord and our relationship with Him. Anyone can join this movement without prejudice, but unfortunately there are persons who feel differently. It is better, therefore, not to instruct the science of Krsna consciousness to such persons.
"Generally, materialistic persons are after some name, fame and material gain, SO IF SOMEONE TAKES TO KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS for these reasons, he will never be able to understand this philosophy. Such persons take to religious principles as a social decoration. They admit themselves into some cultural institution for the sake of name only, especially in this age. Such persons also cannot understand the philosophy of Krsna consciousness. Even if one is not greedy for material possessions but is too attached to family life, he also cannot understand Krsna consciousness. Superficially, such persons are not very greedy for material possessions, but they are too attached to wife, children and family improvement. When a person is not contaminated by the above-mentioned faults yet at the ultimate issue is not interested in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or if he is a non-devotee, he also cannot understand the philosophy of Krsna consciousness."
"Instruction should be given to the faithful devotee who is respectful to the spiritual master, non-envious, friendly to all kinds of living entities and eager to render service with faith and sincerity." (SB 3.32.41) "This instruction should be imparted by the spiritual master to persons who have taken the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be more dear than anything, who are not envious of anyone, who are perfectly cleansed and who have developed detachment for that which is outside the purview of Krsna consciousness." (SB 3.32.42)
So we were not fully trained because we were not fully trainable. Prabhupada has said us senior disciples that when there is no tree, the small castor seed oil tree seems like a very big tree.
COMPILATION 10: Narayana Maharaja Salt Spring Island, B.C. Canada May 2001(Morning): "When he came to the Western countries he saw that all were taking so many drugs; so many drugs. Almost all were mad persons, loving dog instead of God. Still he thought, 'What should I do? I should give something.' First he cut the jungles of all mayavada philosophy, atheism, material science propaganda, and so on. Next he explained that you should worship your own gurudeva first. It was something, a beginning for beginners. A, B, C, D. A is for apple, B is for ball, C is for cat, and D is for dog. However, when you pass the beginning primary school and enter high school or college, you should not think, 'Oh, I will only study the thing I learned at the beginning. I will not obey all these professors. I only want my gurudeva and what he has told us. A means apple, B means ball, and C means cat. Why are you telling different things?' 'Narayana Maharaja comes and tells so many different things. We should not accept this. He is glorifying Rupa Gosvami, and he is teaching that we want affection for Radha-Krishna Conjugal. Why is he telling different things? Don't listen to Narayana Maharaja. It will be an offense.' What is this? Ignorant persons speak like this. Don't think that I am teaching anything other than what your Srila Prabhupada wanted and wrote. His voice has been recorded on his last day. He ordered me, 'Help my disciples.' After that he did not speak to anyone. You can get that cassette. Why did he order me in this way? Weeping, he requested this of me. If he had already told everything, then why did he request me in that way? If anyone does not have belief in my statements, he can acquire and hear the cassette. At that time he spoke in Bengali so that others would not understand. If he were to say that all his disciples were ignorant, that they did not know very much, and that they were imperfect, they may have become upset. For this reason he spoke so many things in Bengali. He told me, 'I brought them, but I could not teach them in full.' If he had told them everything, and if they were so knowledgeable and expert, why have so many of the senior devotees, even those in the renounced order, fallen down? Where are they now? Where they are now is not ISKCON. They were not ISKCON, they are not ISKCON, and they will not be ISKCON. …If there is no need for Prabhupada's disciples to continue hearing from a bona fide guru, then why are they falling? Why? I know more than you, much more than you."
REFUTATION 10: Perhaps the compilation is trying to say that Srila Maharaja is criticizing Prabhupada and saying that he only gave ABCD. The actual fact, however, has already been discussed in refutation 9. Prabhupada trained us as much as we were trainable. Moreover, Srila Maharaja is saying that Prabhupada has offered us much more than we can imagine, but we were neither qualified to hear him say nor to see it in his books. Prabhupada's books are just like a treasure chest. If we can open it, we will see a great treasure there. Perhaps we can open it and see some treasures inside, but along with those treasures there is another treasure chest with still more valuable treasures, and it is locked. How will we open it? Yaha bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane. The key is in the hands of another mahabhagavat like Prabhupada. Only a mahabhagavata can understand another, and only a mahabhagavata can explain another.
COMPILATION 11: The conversation to which Narayana Maharaja refers, in the May, 2001 talk: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami and Narayana Maharaja Oct-Nov 1977, Vrindabana, as transcribed by followers of Narayana Maharaja:
Srila Prabhupada: Are any of my God-brothers in Vrindavana now?
Narayana Maharaja: Yes.
Srila Prabhupada: Who?
Narayana Maharaja: Van Maharaja might be there, as well as Indupati Prabhu
from Caitanya Gaudiya Matha.
Srila Prabhupada: Any more?
Narayana Maharaja: Only these two at the moment.
Srila Prabhupada: Who is Indupati?
Narayana Maharaja: Indupati. He comes here often.
Bhakticaru Swami: From Madhava Maharaja's matha?
Narayana Maharaja: Yes. No one else is here.
Srila Prabhupada: Please call both of them. Van Maharaja and him.
Narayana Maharaja: This is very good proposal by you.
Srila Prabhupada: Please sit down. They will call them.
Narayana Maharaja: All right.
Srila Prabhupada: This cutting of arguments happens sometimes...
Narayana Maharaja: These are insignificant matters in such a substantial worldwide mission. A little something here and there is of no consequence. You have done this wonderful preaching work for the benefit of the whole world. There was no self-interest. You did everything only in devotional service to Krsna - for benefiting all people at large.
Srila Prabhupada: It is all by your blessings.
Narayana Maharaja: You have done a wonderful thing. It is necessary to care for and preserve this mission, and see that it is managed skillfully.
Srila Prabhupada: You kindly instruct them on this matter. I'm unable to
REFUTATION 11: This is not the conversation Srila Maharaja refers to. He has had so many conversations with Prabhupada. Why this snippet is quoted, we don't know.
COMPILATION 12: Satsvarupa Goswami:
"In the ultimate issue, however, what matters is not so much what Srila Prabhupada may or may not have said to Srila Narayana Maharaja, but what Srila Prabhupada said to us, his disciples. And there is no record of him ever instructing the members of ISKCON to take direction from Srila Narayana Maharaja, other than to seek his advice concerning the details of performing Srila Prabhupada's samadhi ceremony."
REFUTATION 12: First, Srila Maharaja is Prabhupada's disciple. He became his disciple in 1947. As there is no difference between the diksa and siksa guru, there is no difference between the siksa and diksa disciple. In fact, the siksa disciple may be more advanced and intimate, as in the case of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja's best disciple, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who was his siksa disciple. Secondly, COMPILATION 12 states that Srila Maharaja was not announced. But Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also did not announce to all his disciples about his disciple who later became our Prabhupada. Prabhupada himself states, "They never thought, 'Why Guru Maharaja gave us instruction so many things, why he did not say that this man should be acarya?' They wanted to create artificially somebody acarya and everything failed. They did not consider even with common sense that if Guru Maharaja wanted to appoint somebody as acarya, why did he not say? He said so many things, and this point he missed?" So Prabhupada himself was not announced or externally appointed. He manifested as a self-effulgent acarya, and those who were sincere recognized him. That is the system since time immemorial.
COMPILATION 13: Hrdayananda Maharaja, letter Thursday, 7 December 2000:
"Narayana Maharaja states that he is the 'first' or maybe the 'true' disciple of Srila Prabhupada etc. Actually I have personally served Srila Prabhupada for so many years as a GBC member and he has never mentioned Narayana Maharaja, nor was Narayana Maharaja engaged in any significant service to Srila Prabhupada's Mission. Srila Prabhupada never told in any book, article interview or any other documented statements, that Narayana Maharaja should become the siksa guru of ISKCON."
REFUTATION 13: The compilation is saying that Srila Maharaja did not do significant service to Srila Prabhupada, but that is not true. I refer the thoughtful reader to the book, 'My Siksa Guru and Priya Bandhu' (My Instructing Spiritual Master and Dear Friend). This book is important for anyone desiring to further understand the events from 1922, the year Prabhupada met his spiritual master, to the time of his divine departure in 1977. Srila Narayana Maharaja was engaged in Prabhupada's service throughout India even before most of us [disciples of Prabhupada] were born. While most we earlier disciples were still eating meat in grade school, Srila Narayana Maharaja was assisting Prabhupada by cooking, cleaning and washing his clothes.
Srila Maharaja brought Prabhupada to live with him in his Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura when Prabhupada left home. Prabhupada lived with him for several months, selling his medicines, preaching and writing. Srila Maharaja assisted Prabhupada in his preaching in Jhansi in the late 50s. During his stay in Jhansi, Prabhupada bought a tall Deity of Caitanya Mahaprabhu for his worship and preaching there. When he left, he brought Mahaprabhu's Sri Vigraha to the Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, where Mahaprabhu was installed and where He is being worshipped to the present day. Prabhupada again stayed at the Matha and, during that time, Srila Maharaja assisted in Prabhupada's kirtanas. Prabhupada would play mrdanga and he would sing, and then Prabhupada would give class.
Already a sannyasi, Srila Maharaja strongly encouraged Prabhupada to take sannyasa. His own diksa-guru, Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, insisted, and Prabhupada took sannyasa soon after that from Srila Maharaja's diksa-guru. At Prabhupada's sannyasa ceremony Srila Maharaja made Prabhupada's danda and prepared his sannyasa clothing, and he also performed the fire sacrifice.
He and Prabhupada worked together in publishing. He translated Prabhupada's Bengali articles into Hindi and published his articles in the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti's Gaudiya and Bhagavat Patrikas (Bengali and Hindi magazines). He assisted Prabhupada in printing the first three volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam, which Prabhupada then brought to the West. An expert in the skill of stenography, Prabhupada used to transcribe the spoken lectures of Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja and his accutate transcriptions were later used for publication in the Patrikas. When Prabhupada went to America, he and Srila Maharaja kept regular correspondence; and upon Prabhupada's request, he sent boxes full of his many thick volumes of personal Sanskrit literatures to New York.
In July of 1967, when Prabhupada returned to India via New York, Srila Narayana Maharaja was the only one to meet our Srila Prabhupada and Kirtanananda at the airport in Delhi. Because Prabhupada wasn't feeling well, he told Srila Maharaja to take out his young disciples and train them to preach. All the caste gosvamis and most of Prabhupada's godbrothers would not accept Prabhupada's new disciples, and they refused to take even water offered by them, what to say of their cooked prasadam. But Srila Maharaja accepted them and what they offered.
In 1968, Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja departed for Goloka Vrndavana, leaving Srila Maharaja to manage all the mathas of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, while Prabhupada was travelling around the world. They met now and then, but their communication was mainly by letters, mostly written in Hindi or Bengali. As most of Prabhupada's diksa disciples were engaged in preaching and most associated with him by mail, such was the case with Srila Maharaja. Both Srila Maharaja and Srila Prabhupada preached Krsna consciousness vigorously together, though physically separated. Srila Maharaja received over 300 letters from Prabhupada, a few of which have been published.
They met on several occasions during Prabhupada's final lila. On the day before Prabhupada's departure in Vrndavana, he called Srila Maharaja and requested him to help take care of his mission and his disciples after his departure. Prabhupada requested Srila Maharaja to put him in samadhi, a sacred duty that is often performed by a departing acarya's successor. He requested Srila Maharaja to give his disciples instructions on what to do after his departure, and he ordered his disciples present to hear him as he spoke to them in Prabhupada's presence.
According to Prabhupada's wishes, Srila Maharaja arranged everything required for his viraha-mahotsava, separation ceremony. He lead all the devotees present on procession to the main temples in Vrndavana, wrote special mantras on Prabhupada's chest and forehead with tilaka and, following all the proper Vaisnava procedures, put his transcendental body into samadhi.
Shortly after Prabhupada's disappearance, many of Prabhupada's disciples and followers approached Srila Maharaja for shelter and, besides telling them hari-katha, he always encouraged them to serve in ISKCON. As the problems in ISKCON increased and the numbers of ISKCON devotees approaching him for shelter also increased, he continued to preach beautiful hari-fkatha and the glories of Srila Prabhupada, and still encouraged them to work within ISKCON. In 1986, Prabhupada's son sued ISKCON and tried to take the ISKCON properties from ISKCON on the so-called grounds that Prabhupada never took sannyasa and therefore his ISKCON properties belonged to the family. At that time, although a heart patient, Srila Maharaja went to the courtroom in Bombay and spent each entire day there, in order to prove to the court that Prabhupada actually accepted the Vaisnava sannyasa order. It was because of his testimonies that ISKCON won the case.
From 1990-1995, several ISKCON gurus regularly visited Srila Maharaja and inquired from him about proper Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy and the Lord's qualities and pastimes, and Srila Maharaja was satisfied to help the members of ISKCON in their understanding. As the problems in ISKCON still further increased, many ISKCON devotees who were disciples of Prabhupada's disciples but had lost faith in their gurus, being inspired by Srila Maharaja, begged him for bona fide Vaisnava initiation. Srila Maharaja told them he would be their siksa guru and he encouraged them to continue in ISKCON. Also, many devotees who were not yet initiated begged him for initiation, but he refused them. However, in 1995, when ISKCON leaders banned him from their temple properties, and forbade the devotees under their charge from seeing this pure devotee, Srila Maharaja felt bound to travel around the world - to preach and help devotees be re-inspired in their enthusiasm and spiritual practices, like chanting rounds and Gayatri mantra and giving up sinful activities. He gave them all shelter and began initiating, initiating to continue the disciplic line from Prabhupada. He also became the beloved siksa-guru of many hundreds of Prabhupada's direct disciples, giving them a new life after their feeling dried up and hopeless since Prabhupada's departure.
Prabhupada stated in a lecture on April 26, 1975: "This is the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that you go and preach and make propaganda about krsna-upadesa. This is the Krsna consciousness movement." He quoted this verse on numerous occasions: yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa. [Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed:] "Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Sri Krsna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land." (Cc. Madhya 7.128)
Srila Maharaja continually fulfills this instruction in a number of ways. For the last 40 years, fulfilling Prabhupada's desire, the desire of his diksa guru, and the desire of the entire guru-parampara, and assisted by other sannyasis and brahmacaris, he has been leading the annual Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti Navadvipa-dhama parikrama during Gaura Purnima. Over twenty thousand devotees, mostly from India and about three hundred from abroad, attend. Also, during the month of Kartika, he annually leads over 700 devotees from all over the world in their Vraja Mandala parikrama. He has been doing these parikramas for over 50 years, and for the past seven years he has been preaching throughout the world. By his preaching, thousands of Prabhupada's followers and hundreds of Prabhupada's direct disciples have become rejuvenated in their Krsna consciousness practices, and thousands more are just beginning. As Prabhupada requested, he distributes hundreds of thousands of books and is also publishing books. He gives all credit for his success to his diksa-guru, Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and to his siksa-guru, our Srila Prabhupada. These are some of his services to Prabhupada.
Conditioned souls cannot understand a pure devotee like Prabhupada, or why he may choose not to tell his young disciples something at a particular time and disclose it at another time. Are we sure that Prabhupada's Guru Maharaja announced about Prabhupada to his institution?
Only a fully self-realized devotee can understand the ways of another of the same caliber. In Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 23.39, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says to Sri Sanatana Gosvami: yanra citte krsna-prema karaye udaya, tanra vakya, kriya, mudra vijneha na bujhaya. "Even the most learned man cannot understand the words, activities and symptoms of a person situated in love of Godhead."
Then, in text 40, Srila Prabhupada quotes: "'Even a most learned scholar cannot understand the activities and symptoms of an exalted personality in whose heart love of Godhead has awakened.'"
For example, some of the members of the GBC might have believed that Prabhupada was making them his spiritual successors when they helped him in formulating his last will, but it was not his last will regarding spiritual matters. After Prabhupada's disappearance from our vision in November of 1977, all the devotees and congregation members of ISKCON were told that Prabhupada had written a last will, making the GBC the ultimate managerial authorities and the ultimate executors in managing all the affairs of ISKCON. But the will was only a legal document regarding properties. The following is an excerpt of a conversation that took place on June 2, 1977, so that you can have more information. It was not a will of successorship or controlling the lives of devotees at all.
Giriraja: So we drafted a will, including the trust for the properties of India and some of the other...
Prabhupada: Will? Will. There will be direction that "Management should be done like this." That's all.
Prabhupada: Nobody can say in court case that "This temple will be in charge of this person, this temple..."
Ramesvara: Yes, just like you said.
Giriraja: So we've included those points in your brief will. Should I read it?
Giriraja: Then we can type it. "I, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, settler of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, and disciple of Om Visnupada 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja Prabhupada, presently residing at Sri Krsna-Balarama Mandir in Vrndavana, make this, my last will. 1) The Governing Body Commission, GBC, will be the trustees of the entire International Society for Krishna Consciousness."
Prabhupada: You can.… Then there will be question, "The trust deed will be given? Then there will be tax."
Giriraja: No, because the ISKCON trust is already there, and ISKCON is already tax exempt. The only difficulty is if you create a new trust.
Prabhupada: No, no new trust.
Prabhupada: Instead of trustees...
Tamala Krsna: Use a different word.
Ramesvara: Not to apply to a trust.
Giriraja: Oh, I see.
Ramesvara: It's a different word.
Prabhupada: Supreme managers.
Gopala Krsna: Supreme managers. (laughter)
Prabhupada: Or the ultimate managers, like that.
Gopala Krsna: The ultimate executives?
Tamala Krsna: Yes, the executors.
Gopala Krsna: Ultimate executors.
Tamala Krsna: Or commissioners. You have...
Prabhupada: Hm. Yes, commissioners.
Tamala Krsna: Commissioner is good, 'cause it's already...
Prabhupada: Use such word.
Tamala Krsna: Use a word that's proper.
Tamala Krsna: For now just use one word.
Giriraja: "2) Each temple will be a trust property..."
Prabhupada: Again "trust" word.
Gopala Krsna: Again "ISKCON property."
Giriraja: Okay, we can change that wording.
COMPILATION 14: Narayana Maharaja Los Angeles, California - May 31, 2000:
"Never. Srila Swami Maharaja has not instructed like this. Has he said that we should go to the atheists' university? … Has Srila Swami Maharaja told anywhere that you should go to this bad university or that bad university? What will be the result? Those who are going will be like historians. They will not believe in God. They will not believe in Name and harikatha. They will not believe that Caitanya Mahaprabhu came from Goloka Vrndavan (Svetedvipa). They will think, "Krishna was not God." Gradually this belief will come. They will compare Caitanya Mahaprabhu with Buddha. They are bound to do so. They will not be able to have faith in Caitanya Caritamrta and in Srimad Bhagavatam."
Narayana Maharaja Moscow, 30 July 2000:
"These universities are like slaughterhouses and they are full of mayavadis. Srila Swami Maharaja came and cut down all the arguments of the mayavadis and nirvesesavadis. Why should his disciples join all these things? It is because they have no faith in their Guru's words, and because they themselves are not guru at all. They are fallen from the beginning. There is no position from which they would fall down."
Narayana Maharaja December 3, 2001 India:
"So many of those who claim to be disciples of Prabhupada neither have faith in him nor in nama-bhajana. Rather, they have faith in universities and mayavada professors. Did Prabhupada tell anyone to learn from mayavadi professors? How can we accept them as ISKCON devotees? They have no faith in ISKCON and ISKCON principles."
REFUTATION 14: There are over 500 quotes from Prabhupada's folio like the ones mentioned below. In these sample quotes, Prabhupada confirms Srila Maharaja's statements about the degrading influence of mundane university association.
"Only one who is actually engaged in Krsna consciousness and devotional service can understand what Krsna is. University degrees are not helpful." (Bhagavad-gita 18.55 Purport)
"Modern university education practically prepares one to acquire a doggish mentality with which to accept the service of a greater master." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.19 Purport)
"Similarly, the so-called educational vibrations of the tongues of university professors who do not have spiritual knowledge is like the croaking of frogs." (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 8.6 Purport)
"What fool would deny that Lord Caitanya's approval is far superior to millions of university doctorates?" (Renunciation Through Wisdom 4.2)
"Someone might object, 'How can you call an atheistic gentleman with a university degree a demon? He is so educated and highly qualified.' The verdict of the sastra is that although he appears to be very learned, his actual knowledge has been stolen away by maya on account of his being atheistic." (A Second Chance 7)
"Nobody requires a university degree. That is a false thing. And brahmana should be very highly learned scholar. So the brahmanas will give advice to the ksatriya how to rule, and the ksatriya will levy tax, and vaisyas will produce food. Then the society will be perfect." (Room Conversation Aug.1, 1975)
"So this is the position of so-called professor, student, university, all rascals. This is our challenge. All rascals. Because they are in the bodily concept of life." (Lecture of Apr. 11, 1973)
COMPILATION 15: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Letter to: Pierre Sauvageau - Honolulu 2 February 1975:
"I like the idea of yours to continue on for PHD presenting our books and philosophy in your thesis. This will be a great service for you to perform and I shall be very grateful to you if you can do it. Please therefore go ahead with obtaining PHD and become a learned scholar in the science of loving Krishna."
REFUTATION 15: The compilation is trying to say that Prabhupada authorized certain ISKCON gurus to attend university and get a PHD. This letter is not evidence that a real sannyasi or acarya will attend any other university than the university of Haridasa Thakura. This letter simply encourages a brand new aspiring devotee, who was already in a university, to become a devotee.
COMPILATION 16: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada , Letter No. 33 to Ravindra-svarupa, unknown Place unknown Date:
"So far as your course at the Temple University is concerned, (Ravindra Swarupa was studying for his Ph.D. at Temple University) that is the best platform for introducing our philosophy to the serious persons. And if they become sincere to learn the highest topics of subject matter or transcendental knowledge from us, that will be the perfection of their education. If you must read some other books of philosophers, even they are Mayavadis, as a sideline we can speak about them as comparative study. Otherwise our main aim is to study and preach Bhagavad-Gita and Lord Caitanya. Our purpose is to teach our own philosophy. Do not lose sight of that purpose or become distracted by other things. I have also made one book about other philosophies of your western philosophers, but I did not make compromise."
REFUTATION 16: The compilation is again trying to say that Prabhupada authorized certain ISKCON gurus to attend university and get a PHD. This letter is not evidence. Prabhupada also wrote a letter to Kancanbala dasi when she was a new devotee. She had written to him that she was offering cattails and acorns on her altar, and Prabhupada replied that her offerings showed that Krsna was giving her intelligence. This letter is not evidence that we should all offer such things to the Deities. Because the letter to Ravindra-svarupa is not dated, it could be that it is encouragement to a new devotee. Ravindra-svarupa could have also been a new devotee when he received his letter. Prabhupada did not want to discourage him, and at the same time he gave him a loving warning. Or, it could be that at the time of the letter he was not a student, but rather he was teaching a course in Krsna consciousness and placing Prabhupada's Nectar of Devotion into the syllabus. Whatever the situation, no acarya in our line, since the time of Brahma, has performed even any pastime of attending an atheist university, except in their student life, as in the case of our Prabhupada and his Prabhupada, and they both quit before receiving their diplomas.
COMPILATION 17: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Letter to: Bhakta dasa - Bombay 13 April 1974: "Regarding Srinivasa Svarupa it is very pleasing to hear that this Indian boy wants to surrender his whole life to Krishna. There is no harm if he finishes college and gets his degree. If possible, he can live in the temple and attend the university daily. At any rate, he should carefully follow all the regulative principles and associate with his fellow devotees as much as possible. The university is well known for demonic association, but if he is able to keep up his devotional practices and protect the creeper of devotional service, then he may complete his degree. I think there is more advantage in Bir Krishna remaining fully engaged in his temple duties than in going back to college. What would be the practical benefit of such degree?"
REFUTATION 17: This letter is not evidence that an acarya in the line of Rupa Gosvami will become a student at an atheist university. Again, in this letter Prabhupada is giving encouragement to a new devotee, Srinivasa, along with a warning to a devotee who is older. Significantly, Bir Krishna, the older of the two (perhaps a three-year old devotee by this time) was told not to attend college.
COMPILATION 18: Narayana Maharaja Sri Vraja-Mandala Parikrama, p. 45: "Those who have not scrutinizingly studied the scripture Srimad Bhagavatam, and who have not conscientiously comprehended Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, and who have also not properly understood books like Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu, Brhad Bhagavatamrta, Ujvala Nilamani, Krishna Karnamrta and other literatures of this nature. These people consider vipralambha, the mood of separation to be the highest level of ecstasy. Our previous acaryas also considered vipralambha to be an exalted state; but after much reflection they perceived vipralambha as a prerequisite to highlight and more fully embellish and amplify the ecstasy of reunion. If there would be only vipralambha for all of eternity what would be the use? What would be its service? Vipralambha is necessary only because it intensifies the ecstatic feelings of reunion again."
Narayana Maharaja Sri Vraja-Mandala Parikrama, p.46: "So you can see that the mood of vipralambha is much more complex than possibly the way you envisioned it to be before. And those who still persist in advocating that vipralambha is the highest, they do not yet have the spiritual maturity and understanding to realize that it is not possible for anything to be more elevated than Srimati Radharani and Krishna's ecstatic loving exchanges in reuniting again."
From Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya lila 8.191-197 in Teachings of Lord Caitanya A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: "Upon hearing of these transcendental activities, Lord Caitanya said, "My dear Ramananda, what you have explained regarding the transcendental pastimes of Sri Radha and Krishna is perfectly correct, yet there is something more I would like to hear from you." "It is very difficult for me to express anything beyond this," Ramananda Raya replied. "I can only say that there is an emotional activity called prema-vilasa-vivarta, which I may try to explain but I do not know whether You will be happy to hear it." In prema-vilasa there are two kinds of emotional activities-separation and meeting. That transcendental separation is so acute that it is actually more ecstatic than meeting."
REFUTATION 18: The compiler wants us to believe that there is a contradiction in the words of Srila Maharaja and those of Srila Prabhupada, but it is not so. The subject of sambhoga and vipralambha, the meeting and separation of Radha and Krsna, is the most elevated of subjects, understandable only by Their most elevated of ragatmika associates. Quoting a few passages will not enable us in the least to enter this pinnacle of sacred subject matters. However, I pray to my diksa guru and siksa guru that I may quote a few appropriate sastric references and write some very simple sentences for minute clarification regarding the improper thinking that these two Gaudiya acaryas differ. Prabhupada may say, "Tell the truth," and Srila Maharaja may say, "Don't tell lies," but they are saying the same thing. The words are different but the meaning is the same. Prabhupada may say, "Chant purely," and Srila Maharaja may say, "Avoid the ten offenses." The words are different, but the meaning is the same. If Srila Maharaja used the same words as Prabhupada, we might again misunderstand Prabhupada's intention.
There is no contradiction between the statements of Srila Maharaja and those of Srila Prabhupada. No gopi or gopa, young or old, wants separation. We will never see, in any authorized pastime, that any of Krsna's associates prefer separation to meeting. Separation is not their goal. Meeting is their goal. They desire meeting. It is because they want meeting that they feel separation when they don't have it. The mood of separation is the mood of longing to meet. Gopi-gita, chapter 31 of the Tenth Canto, is a chapter filled with nothing but the mood of separation, but the only activity of the gopis in that chapter is weeping for meeting. None of them say, "I'm so happy to be separated from Krsna." Yet the gopis feel an ecstasy in their grief. Why? Because they are meeting in separation. Krsna is non-different from the pure thoughts about Him and the pure longing for Him. He is present with the gopis by their absorption in Him. So the gopis' feelings of separation enhanced their internal meeting, which, in that absolute spiritual realm, is as good as and sometimes more intense than meeting externally. Moreover, the gopis' external meeting with Krsna after He came out of hiding and appeared to them was more intense than when they were meeting before the separation. At Prema-sarovara, Radharani was meeting with Krsna; but in Her extreme madness of love She thought He wasn't there and She began to feel intense separation, weeping bitterly and striking Her own chest. Then, in Her intense separation mood, Her experience of meeting increased, and Her mood at that time was the highest combination of both meeting and separation.
In his translation of Jaiva Dharma by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Maharaja writes similar information to that given by Prabhupada in the compilation quote:
"Vrajanatha: What is the difference between visaya-rati and krsna-rati?
Gosvami: Visaya-rati is mundane, whereas krsna-rati is transcendental. In mundane rati, there is pleasure in meeting and extreme distress in separation. However, when bhaktas who love Bhagavan achieve krsna-rati, it turns into rasa and gives rise to the pleasure of union. At the time of separation (vipralambha), that very rati assumes the form of an extremely wonderful and astonishing whirlpool of joy (ananda-vivarta). In the conversation between Sriman Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda, Raya Ramananda explains this astonishing ananda-vivarta of separation in his own sloka, pahilehi raga nayana-bhange bhela (Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 8.194). This sloka appears to describe intense suffering, but in fact it is full of the highest type of happiness."
In another place in his translation of Jaiva Dharma, Srila Maharaja writes:
"Vijaya: I would like to know the characteristics of vipralambha.
Gosvami: Vipralambha is the delightful emotion that manifests when the nayaka and the nayikas cannot fulfill their cherished and delightful longing for pastimes such as embracing and kissing each other. Vipralambha can occur in any state, either during meeting (milana) or separation (viyoga), and it especially nourishes the mood of sambhoga. Vipralambha is also called viraha or viyoga.
Vijaya: How does vipralambha nourish the mood of sambhoga?
Gosvami: Dipping a colored cloth repeatedly in the same dye increasingly enhances the brilliance of the color. Similarly, vipralambha enhances the super-excellent brilliance of sambhoga-rasa. Sambhoga cannot develop fully without vipralambha."
Prabhupada writes, without contradiction to Srila Maharaja: "There are two kinds of dresses worn in that relationship of conjugal love, and they are called sambhoga and vipralambha. On the sambhoga platform, the dresses are unlimited, and on the vipralambha they are four in number. The ecstasy exhibited before the lover and beloved meet, the ecstasy experienced between them after meeting, the state of mind experienced by not meeting, and the state of mind experienced after meeting fearing separation are called vipralambha. That vipralambha serves as a nourishing element for future meetings. When the lover and beloved meet all of a sudden and embrace one another, they feel an ecstasy of happiness, and the state of mind they experience in that ecstasy is called sambhoga. According to the situation, sambhoga ecstasy is also known by four names: (1) sanksipta, (2) sankirna, (3) sampanna, (4) samrddhiman. Such symptoms are also visible during dreams.
"The mental state experienced before meeting is called purvaraga. The obstacles which sometimes impede the meeting between lover and beloved are called mana, or anger. When the lover and beloved are separated, the mental state experienced is called pravasa. Feelings of separation which are present under certain conditions even when the lovers meet are called love anxieties (prema-vaicittya). Such love anxieties are exhibited in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.90.15) by the princesses who kept awake nights and watched Krsna sleep. They were afraid of being separated from Krsna, and they always talked amongst themselves about how they had been affected by Krsna's beautiful eyes and His smile." (Teachings of Lord Caitanya, 14)
"An example of pravasa, or being out of contact because of living in a distant place, is given in the Padyavali as follows: 'Since the auspicious day when Krsna left for Mathura, Srimati Radharani has been pressing Her head on one of Her hands and constantly shedding tears. Her face is always wet now, and therefore there is no chance of Her sleeping even for a moment.' When the face becomes wet, the sleeping tendency is immediately removed. So when Radharani was always weeping for Krsna because of His separation, there was no chance of Her getting any sleep for Herself. In the Prahlada-samhita, Uddhava says, 'The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, panic-stricken due to being pierced by the arrows of Cupid, is always thinking of you [the gopis], and He is not even accepting His regular lunch. Nor is He getting any proper rest.'" (Nectar of Devotion, 44)
It is clear from the above that Radha and Krsna desire meeting, not separation. In this next quote Srila Prabhupada is indicating that there is meeting in separation and separation in meeting (because Kunti devi had had contact with Krsna, therefore She was able to feel separation), and that Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted meeting and would achieve it because of His feelings of separation.
Prabhupada writes, "Krsna cannot be absent from a devotee when the devotee is intensely absorbed in Krsna thought. Here Kuntidevi is very much anxious, thinking that Krsna will be absent, but the actual effect of Krsna's physical absence is that He becomes more intensely present within the mind of the devotee. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by the example of His actual life, taught vipralambha-seva, service of Krsna in separation. Tears would come from His eyes like torrents of rain, for He would feel everything to be vacant for want of Krsna." (Teachings of Queen Kunti 22)
An important reason that Prabhupada, Srila Maharaja, and all our acaryas stress the mood of separation is that it is particularly essential in the stage of sadhana. If we imagine that we are meeting Krsna in our conditioned state, that is sahajiya. Srila Prabhupada writes, "There are two kinds of transcendental feelings for those engaged in the worship of the Lord. One is called sambhoga, and the other is called viraha. According to authorities in the disciplic line, viraha worship is more palatable than sambhoga worship. Sambhoga takes place in direct touch, whereas viraha takes place without such direct contact. Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu taught us to accept viraha worship. In the present state of affairs we cannot make any direct touch with the Personality of Godhead. But if we practice the viraha mode of worship, we can transcendentally realize the presence of the Lord more lovingly than in His presence."
This means that without separation, we will not be fit to experience the happiness. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Prabhupada continues: "Direct contact is not possible. Neither that is the way of worshiping by the method of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. That is sahajiya-vada. "I am talking with Krsna. Krsna is snatching my cloth." There is a book, one lady has written, his (her) experience, that Krsna comes, He talks with her and snatches her cloth. She has written openly. But this is not Caitanya Mahaprabhu's way. There is one gentleman, Mr. Raya, in Poona, and he has got also woman. Everyone must have a woman, parakiya. This is sahajiya-vada. This is sahajiya-vada. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu never said, "This is the parakiya-rasa: one should have one woman." No. He observed complete sannyasa life. Rather there was very, very severe, rigid restriction about women. But now, these sahajiyas, they are going on in the name of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: aula, baula, kartta-bhaja, neda, daravesa, sani sahajiya, sakhibheki, like that, so many. They are apa-sampradaya.
"Real Caitanya Mahaprabhu sampradaya is that he should be feeling like Caitanya Mahaprabhu, separation. Not sambhoga. Vipralambha. Vipralambha-seva: "Oh, I am so wretched, I could not serve Krsna. How I can see Krsna? It is not possible." In this way. That is the teaching of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. "But even though I do not see Him, neither it is possible for me to see Him..." Means: "What I am? I am insignificant person. Why should Krsna come and see me?" This is right. "Why shall I aspire after seeing Krsna? What qualification I have got?" This is bhajana. This is bhajana. Why should I be proud that "Now I shall see Krsna"? What I am? That is the teaching of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam marma-hatam karotu va adarsanat. Adarsana. "Without giving me audience, You kill me, You break my heart; still, You are my Lord, You are my worshipable Lord, nobody else." This is love. This is love. (Bengali:) Asan krsna galai diba naiva beja tata(?). Not like that. "Krsna may not come. I may not see Krsna for thousands and thousands of lives. I may rot in the hellish condition of life for many, many births. That doesn't matter. Still, I cannot give up Krsna consciousness." This is required. I may be sent to hell, heaven; it doesn't matter. What qualification I have got that I want to see back to home, back to Godhead? It is not so easy thing." (Mayapura: June 27, 1973)
Srila Maharaja also discusses the importance of the mood of separation, both in the liberated and conditioned stages, in his translation and commentary of Sri Siksastaka, sloka seven:
"In the condition known as prema-vaicittya, which comes under the heading of vipralambha, there is an external appearance of sambhoga. In this condition, although one is directly in Krsna's presence, one feels intense grief due to the internal conception of separation that is generated by the unique excellence of prema. By contrast with this, when one is physically separated from Krsna, remembrance of Him is so intense that there is no possibility of forgetting Him even for a moment. This stage is the culmination point of all bhajana.
"The group known as Gaura-nagarai, who are actually oblivious to Lord Krsna, make a licentious display of sambhoga-rasa. Due to their negligence of Lord Krsna, they simply create obstacles to the development of aprakrta-rasa. Those who aspire for sambhoga always endeavor for the selfish satisfaction of their own senses. Therefore, they are devoid of krsna-bhakti.
"In the Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila (4.165), it is said: atmendriya-priti-vancha tare bali 'kama', krsnendriya-priti-iccha dhare 'prema' nama - "The desire to gratify ones own senses is kama, but the desire to please the senses of Lord Krsna is prema." If the Gaura-nagaris understood the meaning of this verse, they would not be so quick to place Sri Gauranga in the position of nagara, the enjoyer, and themeselves as nagari, the enjoyed, with an urgent desire to promote their own sambhoga-rasa. One should abandon this and perform bhagavat-bhajana purely under the guidance of Vaisnavas.
"The confidential secret of Sri Gauranga lila is that Sri Krsna Himself, accepting the bhava of an asraya-jatiya (a receptacle of loving sentiments, or, in other words, a devotee), is always situated in the mood of vipralambha. The fullest display of the sentiment of the asraya-jatiya-jiva who is seeking to give nourishment to sambhoga-rasa is found in the mood of vipralambha. In order to demonstrate this, Sri Krsna manifests His eternal Sri Gaura svarupa who is the incarnation of vipralambha-rasa. From this it can be concluded that the misplaced endeavors of those who aspire for sambhoga can never become successful."
In his commentary to Text Twenty of his Venu-Gita, Srila Narayana Maharaja writes the same thing: "This chapter describes purva raga, which includes feelings of separation (vipralambha). Purva-raga means separation before meeting. A sadhaka should experience this mood of separation. Without separation, there is no sadhana. Sadhana should bring on feelings of separation."
Both Srila Prabhupada and Srila Narayana Maharaja say much more on the subject, and a sincere seeker of the truth can see that there is no difference between the two. But anyone can imagine anything. If a person wants, he can even select 1000 taken-out-of-context quotes of Srila Prabhupada himself, and try to show 500 contradictions. Many disciples left Prabhupada's teachings because they could not reconcile the apparent contradictions, which are in fact easily reconciled by another pure devotee. I feel very fortunate that I have a siksa-guru like Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, who is helping me and thousands like me to at least begin to understand the glory of the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and our guru-parampara.
We are ending now because have limited time and space. Every allegation made by Urmilla's paper has a satisfying refutation. Her claims are in every case poorly researched and misleading. We will respond with more answers soon, and if in the meantime anyone has any questions write us at: