Aug 19, 2013 JAIPUR, RAJASTHAN (SUN) [A mistake was inadvertently made regarding authorship of this article, which was written by Swami B.G. Narasingha and published in his book, Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Parampara.]
In order to get confirmation regarding the Vrndavana Anti-party's accusations against our Guru-parampara, two brahmacharis were sent to Vrndavana to seek an interview. A three hour special interview was first conducted by a third party and the discussions were tape-recorded. In a separate meeting, the brahmacharis sat in Satyanarayana dasa's library at the Jiva Institute and listened to the three-hour taped interview and carefully took notes. We were thus able to obtain first hand information regarding the propaganda against our Guru-parampara. It was no longer hearsay - the Vrndavana Anti-party was on a campaign to disrupt the faith of innocent devotees who had taken shelter of our Guru-varga.
The majority of the Anti-party criticisms were aimed at Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and ISKCON. The Gaudiya Math was lumped in here and there. The Anti-party representative took serious objection as regards the preaching mission and siddhanta of Saraswati Thakur and also Bhaktivinode Thakur.
In many instances the remarks of the Vrndavana Anti-party were outrageous, in other instances they were based on logic or argument, and were often followed with scriptural references. Sometimes the arguments were even childish. However, in every instance one thing stood out the most - the objections lacked substance. The very essence of Krishna consciousness was lacking.
We have reproduced below the main twenty-five points of objection that the Vrndavana Anti-party makes against our parampara, and respond with our comments. We are doing this because we have been requested to do so by several concerned Vaishnavas who feel that the propaganda of the Vrndavana Anti-party is an intolerable offense to our Guru-parampara.
Before beginning the main topic of this article we would like to say a few words to clarify our position. Some of our readers may feel that we are speaking too harshly against the Vrndavana Anti-party in this article or specifically against Satyanarayana. If so, we would like to point out that we have not attacked the persons of the Vrndavana Anti-party but only that which we perceive as their offenses and misconceptions. We should also add that it is they that endeavor to find fault in the Divine Succession of Bhaktivinode Thakur, Saraswati Thakur and their followers - it is not we who have sought out our accusers with a view to offend their parampara. It is they who have attacked us, not we who have attacked them.
Nonetheless, we would like to vindicate some of the Anti-party members to some degree, for we feel that they alone are not to blame for their having arrived at their present position of offending our parampara. If we look closely at ISKCON we will find that there are many devotees in ISKCON who think and feel in a way which is conducive to the Anti-party sentiments. This, we propose, is not the fault of the individuals but the fault of the institution in which they have taken shelter.
It is the concerned opinion of many older members of ISKCON that since the disappearance of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada the leadership in ISKCON has not trained their students in the proper siddhanta and practice of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. It seems that the leaders have also over-stressed the importance of external achievement at any cost, be it one's own sadhana or even the dignity of another Vaishnava, vaishnava-aparadha.
It is also a fact that the Vrndavana Anti-party spokesman and others of their camp have been poorly treated at times by ISKCON leaders and they may naturally bear a grudge against ISKCON and our parampara as a result of their bad experience. It is indeed unfortunate. I can sympathize with their plight to some extent but I cannot tolerate their propaganda against those who are very dear to Krishna. We do not hate the sinner - we hate the sin.
The following are the twenty-five points of criticism of our parampara by the Vrndavana Anti-party.
[New and uninitiated devotees are cautioned to read the following highly offensive remarks only under the direction of a senior devotee who can ensure they are properly understood.]
We have divided their statements into two thrusts against our Guru-parampara.
The first thrust is as follows:
There is no parampara in ISKCON and the Gaudiya Math. This is supported by the following eighteen points (1-18):
1) Only sastra (scripture) is an authority - no human can be so in any circumstance. Even God follows sastra to show the example. Sastra is there to make sure that the independent "self-effulgent" personalities do not appear.
2) Bhagavat-diksa does not exist, there is no logical meaning of bhagavata-diksa.
3) We can understand Krishna and sastra only through proper diksa-parampara.
4) Only Krsna is self-effulgent - no jiva soul can be, because self-effulgent means in so many words independent.
5) Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada is a rebel against the parampara. He disregarded all the proper diksa lines and attempted to establish his own concocted line by picking famous names from the Gaudiya history.
6) Sampradaya means proper inheritance and this can only be received if one has the proper guru-pranali (diksa line).
7) In the Brhad-Bhagavatamrta, Srila Sanatana Goswami says that this concept of Mahaprabhu and what he came to give, cannot be understood even by Lord Visnu, what to speak about ordinary mortal beings. It cannot be preached or conceived by reading unlimited amount of books. It can only be revealed through proper diksa parampara.
8) Guru actually means teacher. The word spiritual master does not give the full, proper idea. Teacher means that he is leading us through every step of raganuga-sadhana. That is the only way the secret flow of Mahaprabhu's line comes down to us.
9) We must have an unbroken diksa line, because, through that channel not only are we doing service in this plane but also in the eternal plane . One must have a practical guide along the whole way.
10) Guru must be completely bonafide. This means he must be sabda brahma and parabrahma (according to SB 11.3.21). Sabda brahma means he must be learned and able to explain scriptural truths, and parabrahma means he must have realization of the transcendental plane.
11) Each and every guru must be of this high qualification (siddha-mahatma). One cannot jump to the guru above him and remain properly connected.
12) Guru is a sadhana siddha.
13) Diksa and siksa come from one person. Because internal meaning of the diksa is siksa in a seed form. After that seed is planted, siksa that follows allows that seed
14) Mantra is a secret that must be revealed. It must be heard directly from the guru. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada, if he ever received initiation, he definitely did not receive brahma gayatri and sannyasa gayatri. Since his mantras are not received in a bona fide disciplic succession they will never bear fruit (sampradaya vihina ye, mantras te nisphala matah, Padma Purana).
15) Mantras which are received in ISKCON and the Gaudiya Math at the time of mantra-diksa are not bona fide. (This point is based on the idea that the mantras which Satyanarayana received from his guru, Haridas Sastri, in the Gadadhara parivara, are not the same as those given in ISKCON and Gaudiya Math)
16) Harinam-diksa in ISKCON and Gaudiya Math is not bona fide. Harinam-diksa simply does not exist.
17) In the Gaudiya line brahma-gayatri does not exist, it is a part of varnasrama.
18) Sannyasa in the Gaudiya line does not exist, it is a part of varnasrama. Sannyasa-gayatri, as above mentioned, does not have any potency.
The second thrust is as follows:
Deviations from the siddhanta of the Six Goswamis are being preached in ISKCON and Gaudiya Math. This is supported by the following seven points (19-25).
19) Srila Prabhupada preached sahajiyaism. (Reading from sahajiya literatures, Satyanarayana claims to find parallel points being preached by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and the sahajiya groups.
20) These misconceptions given by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are also found throughout the writings of Bhaktivinode Thakur and Saraswati Thakur.
21) Gaudiya Math and ISKCON have the wrong conception about the relation of raganuga and vaidhi bhakti. Sadhana is divided into vaidhi and raganuga sadhana. Vaidhi leads to vaidhi and raganuga sadhana leads to raganuga. Vaidhi never leads to raganuga.
22) A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada gives his own explanation of rasa in his Nectar of Devotion, one which is never heard of before.
23) A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada preached the mayavada philosophy by stating in a number of places in his books that this world is just a dream, non-real. This particular concept is actually found in the teachings of Gaudapada, the parama guru of Sripad Sankaracarya. (Satya Narayan argues that this is the wrong siddhanta since one of the basic tenants of the Gaudiya philosophy is, as stated by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana in his nine prameyas that this world is real (visvam-satyam).
24) The Jaiva Dharma written by Bhaktivinode Thakur is full of contradictions, misconceptions and apasiddhanta. One of the examples is that it has been written there that the catuh sloki of Srimad Bhagavatam lies inherently dormant within the heart of the living entity. (Satyanarayana further argues that this is apasiddhanta. If the catuh sloki of Srimad Bhagavatam is lying dormant within the heart of the living entity, then why Lord Brahma, after a thousand celestial years of tapa, receives them from outside, from his guru, Sri Krsna)?
25) The concept that jiva is actually sat - cit - ananda, as it is found throughout the teachings of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is apasiddhanta." (Satyanarayana argues that jiva is not sat - cit - ananda, it possesses only sat - eternality aspect. Cit and ananda aspects are received in a seed form at the time of initiation, from a guru who is in a bona fide diksa parampara.)
See the original article at Gosai.com, which also provides a response to the Anti-party propaganda.