- Srila Sridhara - / - Srila Prabhupada -
BY: Mahesh Raja (UK)
Editors note: In response to the article http://www.iskcontimes.com/was-sridhara-maharaja-bona-fide-guru posted in ISKCON Times we received the following comment from an unnamed reader:
I think you are wrong,Prabhupada said that his Sannyas guru and Sridhar Maharaj were Pure devotees,read a litlle bit about it before opening your mouth widely! http://gosai.com/chaitanya/saranagati/html/vishnu_mjs/affection_unabridged/oag_a_1.html
“Throughout his life, Srila Prabhupada always maintained the highest respect and confidence in Srila Sridhara Maharaja. He considered that sometimes, when it was not possible for his disciples to proceed directly under his guidance, that they should take direction from Sridhara Maharaja. On January 31, 1969 he wrote in a letter to one of his disciples, Hrishikesha dasa, "Because you are my disciple, and I think, a sincere soul, it is my duty to refer you to someone who is competent to act as shiksha-guru. For spiritual advancement of life, we must go to someone who is actually practicing spiritual life; not to some head of a mundane institution, not to someone who has offended his spiritual master in so many ways. I do not wish to go into details here . . . So, if you are actually serious to take instructions from a shiksha-guru, I can refer you to the one who is the most highly competent of all my god brothers. This is B. R. Sridhara Maharaja, whom I consider to be even my shiksha-guru, so what to speak of the benefit that you can have by his association. So, if you are serious about the advancement of your spiritual life, I will advise you to go to Sridhara Maharaja. It will be very good for your spiritual benefit, and I will feel that you are safe. When I was in India with the others, we lived with Sridhara Maharaja. You can also make arrangements for your other god brothers to go there in the future."
“He considered that sometimes, when it was not possible for his disciples to proceed directly under his guidance, that they should take direction from Sridhara Maharaja.”
What a COMPLETE FABRICATION! This is trying to make it look like ALL the disciples should go to Sridhara Maharaja – WHEREAS - this was ONLY –ONE- case where it was a question of choosing the BETTER option BETWEEN Bon Maharaja and Sridhara Maharaja.
The actual FACT of the matter is that he was a stubborn person who was NOT going to accept Srila Prabhupada although initiated by him: he wanted Bon Maharaja INSTEAD. SO--------- instead of taking Bon Maharaja who was a black snake it was BETTER OPTION to take Sridhara Maharaja’s shiksha. THAT IS ALL!!! The WHOLE comparison is between Bon Maharaja versus Sridhara Maharaja.
The letters below are the evidence:
Letter: Mukunda, March 26, 1968
Aniruddha is here and he is waiting for the statues of Radha and Krishna which is being expedited by Gaurasundara, and most probably he will be starting back for L.A. on Friday morning. How Umapati is feeling there? I have not heard anything from him. In the meantime I have received one letter from Hayagriva, and he was anxious to come to San Francisco during his summer vacation. In meantime, I have also received one letter which is very depressing from Hrishikesha. I understand that he has been induced by Bon Maharaja to be initiated by him for giving him shelter, and this foolish boy has accepted his inducement. This isn't very happy news, and I have replied Hrishikesha's letter in the following words, which please take note, and in the future, we shall be very cautious about them. "My Dear Hrishikesha, Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of March 14, 1968, and I am greatly surprised. I am greatly surprised for Bon Maharaja's initiating you in spite of his knowing that you are already initiated by me. So it is deliberate transgression of Vaishnava etiquettes and otherwise a deliberate insult to me. I do not know why he has done like this but no Vaishnava will approve of this offensive action. I very much appreciate your acknowledgement of my service unto you and you will always have my blessings, but you must know that you have committed a great blunder. I do not wish to discuss on this point more elaborately now, but if you are desirous to know further about it, I shall be glad to give you more enlightenment. Mukunda is not here. He has gone to L.A. Hope you are well." If Hrishikesha writes you letter I think you may avoid reply. I do not approve both Hrishikesha's and Bon Maharaja's this offensive action. Hoping you are both well.
Letter: Brahmananda, November 2, 1968
I wrote one letter jointly addressed to Achyutananda and Jaya Govinda but they have not replied the same. I think as Bon Maharaja poisoned the mind of Hrishikesha, similarly these boys have been entrapped by Parvat. This Parvat is one of the disciples of my God-brother but he is so salient that he has not replied to my letters, but, instead of replying my letter, he has the impudency of writing to Rayarama. Rayarama may not reply this letter until I have seen it. He appears to be as venomous as Bon Maharaja. They are all envious of my activities here. As Jaya Govinda has not yet left for Bombay, there is no need of issuing indemnity letter in his favor. I do not understand why he has requested to address the indemnity letter to Parvat Maharaja.
Letter: Rayarama, January 16, 1969
* I have received one letter from Jaya Govinda which suggests that he and Achyutananda are being poisoned like Hrishikesha. Will you send me the last letter of Jaya Govinda which you have said is not very good. Will you send it to me? ACB
Letter: Hrishikesha, January 31, 1969
I suspect that you have interest in taking instruction from some shiksha guru, but in this connection, because you are my disciple and I think, a sincere soul, it is my duty to refer you to someone who is competent to act as shiksha guru. This Bon Maharaja, perhaps you do not know, has been rejected by Guru Maharaja. So I cannot recommend him as shiksha guru. I think that he has no actual spiritual asset. For spiritual advancement of life, we must go to one who is actually practicing spiritual life; not to some head of a mundane institution, not to one who has offended his Spiritual Master in so many ways. I do not wish to go into all details here, but I must inform you that this Bon Maharaja may be considered as a black snake, and at the time of His Disappearance, my Guru Maharaja did not even wish to have him in His presence due to the character of this Bon Maharaja. So if you are actually serious to take instructions from a shiksha guru, I can refer you to one who is most highly competent of all my god-brothers. This is B.R. Sridhara Maharaja, whom I consider to be even my shiksha guru, so what to speak of the benefit that you can have from his association. He is living in Navadvipa, and if you like, I can give you letter of introduction as well as I will send him letter to allow you to stay there with him. So if you and Achyutananda are not lost to the poison of Bon Maharaja, and are still serious about advancement of your spiritual life, I will advise you to go to Sridhara Maharaja. Or else I do not know what will save you. So my advice to you both is that you immediately leave the unhealthy and envious association of Bon Maharaja and either proceed to Germany as I have instructed you, or at least go to someone who will be competent to act as shiksha guru. This is Sridhara Maharaja.
When I was in India, Achyutananda, Ramanuga, and myself, with others, lived with Sridhara Maharaja, so Achyutananda knows him very well. He spared a big house for us and if both of you go there now, it will be very good for your spiritual benefit. Then I will feel that you are safe. Besides that, if you wish to live in India, you can make arrangements for this house so that other of your god-brothers may go there in the future. Just on the other side of the Ganges there is Mayapur, and you can occasionally or every week go there and learn Bengali and Sanskrit if it is your desire. All facilities are there. Sridhara Maharaja is a very good English scholar and he can talk with you very nicely in English. The room in Vrindaban where you are residing may also be kept so that it may be utilized when necessary. But so far as I am concerned, I am becoming older and older, and my life may be finished at any moment. As I have got my permanent residence in America, it is indication of Krishna that I shall live here to organize this movement to the best possible extent. If I sometimes go out of this country, I will go to Europe only and again come back. So, practically I have decided not to go to India anymore. In case I suddenly meet my death, then I shall make my will how to deal with my body later on.
So don't be carried away by whims. It is my duty to save you. Leave Vrindaban, live peacefully with Sridhara Maharaja, if you do not wish to go to Germany, and thereby you will be spiritually enlightened. Please inform me immediately regarding what you have decided.
Letter: Tirtha Maharaja, February 7, 1969
Please accept my humble dandavats. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your rubber-stamped circular letter of January 29, 1969 regarding the Golden Jubilee Festival of Sri Chaitanya Math. Previous to this I heard about it from Sripada Sraman Maharaja and Sripada Y. Jagannatham, and expecting your invitation, I expressed my desire that during the ceremony a special home for the EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN BRAHMACHARIS MAY BE ESTABLISHED AT MAYAPUR. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and Srila Prabhupada desired that such American and European devotees may live at Mayapur for studies of Sri Chaitanya philosophy, and now the time is ripe when many American, European, and Japanese students working as my disciples are ready to go there for this purpose. In 1967, when I went to India, five American disciples were with me. One of them, Kirtanananda (Keith Ham, B.A.), was given sannyasa by me at Vrindaban. He was sent back to the USA to organize my New Vrindaban scheme in West Virginia, and he is working there along with another of my disciples, Professor Howard Wheeler M.A., in cooperation with Dr. George Henderson M.A., Ph.D., and others. The remaining four disciples were entrusted to live at the Institute of Swami Bon Maharaja, but on account of his canvassing them for becoming his disciples they left him, although one of them, Hrishikesha, is still living c.o. Bon Maharaja as his re-initiated disciple (?) Two other of my disciples are still at Vrindaban in my place at Radha Damodara Temple, and Bon Maharaja is still after them to deviate their faith upon me.
HOW can anyone who DISOBEYS his spiritual master be a DIKSHA guru?
Letter: Rupanuga, April 28, 1974
BUT SRIDHARA MAHARAJA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DISOBEYING THIS ORDER OF GURU MAHARAJA, and he and others who are already dead, unnecessarily thought that there must be one acharya. If Guru Maharaja could have seen someone who was qualified at that time to be acharya he would have mentioned. Because on the night before he passed away, he talked of so many things, but never mentioned an acharya. His idea was acharya was not to be nominated amongst the governing body. He said openly you make a GBC and conduct the mission. So his idea was amongst the members of GBC who would come out successful and self effulgent acharya would be automatically selected. So Sridhara Maharaja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one acharya and later it proved a failure. The result is now everyone is claiming to be acharya even though they may be kanistha adhikari with no ability to preach. In some of the camps the acharya is being changed three times a year. Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp. Actually amongst my God brothers no one is qualified to become acharya. So it is better not to mix with my God brothers very intimately because instead of inspiring our students and disciples they may sometimes pollute them. This attempt was made previously by them, especially Madhava Maharaja and Tirtha Maharaja and Bon Maharaja but somehow or other I saved the situation. This is going on. We shall be very careful about them and not mix with them. This is my instruction to you all. They cannot help us in our movement, but they are very competent to harm our natural progress. So we must be very careful about them.
Nectar of Devotion 8 Offenses to Be Avoided
(3) To disobey the orders of the spiritual master.
The Ten Offenses to the Holy Name
3. To disobey the orders of the spiritual master.
Adi 12.10 The Expansions of Advaita Acharya and Gadadhara Pandita
The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless.
Adi 12.10 The Expansions of Advaita Acharya and Gadadhara Pandita
Here is the opinion of Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. Persons who strictly follow the orders of the spiritual master are useful in executing the will of the Supreme, whereas persons who deviate from the strict order of the spiritual master are useless.
Editors note: In response to the article http://www.iskcontimes.com/was-sridhara-maharaja-bona-fide-guru posted in ISKCON Times we received the following comment from an unnamed reader.
Your last note about Narayana Maharaja is complete nonsense, because he has never re initiated a Prabhupada disciple and only reinitiated those whose bogus Iskcon gurus have fallen down. I think because Narayana Maharaja exposed your bogus ritvik tattva, (an unheard of tattva which is therefore not tattva and just the other side of the coin, which is voting in gurus) that you have to lump him in with others. Narayana Maharaja is also not a god brother of Srila Prabhupada and has had a wonderful relationship with him. You are making yourself a laughing stock to those which know real guru tattva. Go back to the drawing board.
The author responds to the comment:
1) Jadurani and others
had their names changed for fun right? Nice try.
2) Narayana Maharaja the conditioned soul was envious of Srila Prabhupada:
"Is the "ritvik" system bona fide?" Yes - it is bona fide. As can be seen, only the formalities of initiation - ceremonies 1st and 2nd initiation have changed, as this is offered on behalf of Srila Prabhupada by Ritviks (Officiating Acharyas/Representatives of Acharya). This is in confirmation with 9th July 1977 Order. Diksha given to the Madhyama has NOT changed." The formalities may be slightly changed here and there to make them Vaishnavas.
Srimad Bhagavatam 4.8.54 Purport - Dhruva Maharaja Leaves Home for the Forest:
"Those who are not actually in the line of acharyas, or who personally have no knowledge of how to act in the role of acharya, unnecessarily criticize the activities of the ISKCON movement in countries outside of India. The fact is that such critics cannot do anything personally to spread Krishna consciousness. If someone does go and preach, taking all risks and allowing all considerations for time and place, it might be that there are changes in the manner of worship, but that is not at all faulty according to shastra. Srimad Viraraghava Acharya, an acharya in the disciplic succession of the Ramanuja-sampradaya, has remarked in his commentary that chandalas, or conditioned souls who are born in lower than shudra families, can also be initiated according to circumstances. The formalities may be slightly changed here and there to make them Vaishnavas."
Srila Sridhar Maharaj embraced the Rtvik system established by Srila Prabhupada
Sridhara Maharaja's 'Final Ritvik Order'
History of Sridhara Swami - Gaudia Math
Sridhara- and Narayana Maharajas
Conditioned soul Sridhara Maharaja versus Srila Prabhupada the Mahabhagavata
Math vs. Iskcon History
Srila Prabhupada on his Godbrothers
Srila Prabhupada Speaks about his Gaudiya Math Godbrothers
Prabhupada's Godbrothers AVOID THEM! [Rupanuga letter]
AVOIDING REPEATING THE GAUDIYA MATHA MISTAKE
Conversation with Sridhara Maharaja