All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauräìga .
Dear Vaisnava devotees of the Lord,
Recently I was sent the latest GBC article attempting to minimize the relationship between Srila Bhaktivedänta Narayana Mahäräja, and His siksa guru Srila Bhaktivedänta Swami Mahäräja. Unfortunately, one afflicted with jaundice sees everything as yellow, in the same one afflicted with misconception sees contradictions everywhere.
Actually, I have read the document several times and see no contradictions whatsoever between what was said, and what is claimed to be said by Srila NarayanaMahäräja.
I don’t want to make this article so long, so I will just stick to the main points;
The essence of the claims by the GBC is the following, “The most prominent of these fabulations is the depiction of death-bed professions by Prabhupäda that (1) he had failed to teach his own disciples adequately; that (2) the reason for his failure was the debased and degraded nature of his disciples; that (3) Prabhupäda consequently appointed Narayana Maharaja himself to complete the job; and that (4), given the unfitness of his own disciples, Prabhupäda wanted Narayana Maharaja instead to put him in samadhi.”
(1) The first point raised by them is “he had failed to teach his own disciples adequately” This is an obvious fact given the sad past of the leaders of the ISKCON society. Considering at the time of Srila Prabhupäda departure, the leaders included such perfectly trained disciples such as;
Bhavananda, Jaya-Tirtha, Brahmananda, Garga-muni, Bhagavän, Harikesh, Surabhi Swami, Hari-sauri (Prabhupäda Kripa Goswami), Rameswara, Drstadhumana, Adi-kesava, Sudama, Kirtananda, Hamsadutta…..need I go on. Had any of Prabhupäda’s disciples been trained up to the level of pure devotion? Even upon the attainment of bhäva one should remain under the guidance and protection of sädhu-sanga, or one will experience difficulties in spiritual life, as is shown by the past-time of the fall down of Bharat Maharaja in the fifth canto of the Srimad Bhägavatam. Unfortunately, the GBC have given an incorrect slant to their translation of Prabhupäda’s words of ‘yatata pari shiksa diyechi, karche ora’ which should actually be translated as ‘I have trained them as much as I could’. Actually as a pure devotee, Srila Prabhupäda has unlimited potency to give perfect training, but unfortunately the disciple can only catch the mercy of the guru according to their surrender, and as we see from the histories of the ex-leaders of the GBC, this surrender was not very substantial. Why this is so is explained by Srila Prabhupäda himself “because they are from mleccha and yavana backgrounds, I tried my best to train them.” Thus the point that Prabhupäda is trying to make is that he could not train them up to the proper standard of pure devotion. I think that there are very few disciples of Srila Prabhupäda who can raise their hands and claim to have been perfectly trained in pure devotion.
(2) As for the second point that “reason for this failure was the debased and degraded nature of his disciples”, the GBC are simply repeating Prabhupäda’s own words verbatim. “They do not have any hereditary background. All are from mleccha and yavana family background. I have trained them according to my ability. They are also doing their best.”
The GBC have made great efforts to show that Srila Näräyaëa Maharaja is misrepresenting Prabhupäda because Srila Näräyaëa Maharaja claimed that Prabhupäda said, “You should help my disciples. They are like monkeys, I could not train them so much.” Actually Srila Näräyaëa Maharaja is being kind by describing them as monkeys, because their Guru Maharajahas described them as being worse. It is better to be called a monkey rather than a mleccha and yavana. In Prabhupäda’s BBT the glossary gives the translations for mleccha as (uncivilized humans, outside the Vedic system of society, who are generally meat-eaters.), and a yavana is (a class of humans fallen from the Vedic culture; a low-class person, generally a meat-eater; a barbarian.) A monkey is a sub-human, and mlecchas and yavanas are considered as sub-human beings, as quoted by Srila Prabhupäda in his Srimad Bhägavatam commentary, “In the Kåñëa consciousness movement these monkey disciples, being unable to follow the strict regulative principles, sometimes fall down and try to form societies based on sex. This is proof that such people are descendants of monkeys, as confirmed by Darwin. In this verse it is therefore clearly stated: yathä vänara jäteù.”
And…..”However, being unable to stick to these principles, these rascals again fall down and take shelter among südras who are very expert in making arrangements for sex indulgence. Sex is very prominent among animals like monkeys, and such people who are enlivened by sex may be called descendants of monkeys.”
The reason Srila Narayana Maharaja is being so kind was also explained by him 15 years ago, and this has been also given by the GBC as an explanation, he says, “At that time he (Srila Prabhupäda) 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." Thus the words of Srila have prophetically become true, because when the GBC understood that their Gururdeva called them mlecchas and yavanas 30 years ago, they have become upset and wrote a 40 page reply.
(3) ) The GBC has stated that “Prabhupäda consequently appointed Narayana Mahäräja himself to complete the job (of giving them full training). This was also stated in the conversation, where Prabhupäda says in the beginning of the conversation, “Prabhupäda and Bhaktivinoda Thakura wanted that we
should preach in Europe and America. Another desire was that everyone
should preach collectively.” Is this not a statement that Iskcon should work together with the Gauòiya Math? Is this not the desire of Srila Bhakti Siddhänta Sarasvaté Thakura and Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, (thus also a desire of Srila Prabhupäda)? Is not Srila Narayana Maharaja being told that this is the desire of the Guru Paramaparä? Srila Prabhupäda continues, “And after I have gone, everyone should all come together . . .” Thus Prabhupäda is not just instructing Srila NarayanaMahäräja, and the Gauòiya Math to work co-operatively with Iskcon, but for Iskcon to work together with the Gauòiya Math. Prabhupäda explains that we have all the facilities in terms of “If all work unitedly—there are big, big temples; there is sufficient place to stay; there is no lack of manpower. If everything happens when I am here, that will be very nice.”
Srila Narayana Mahäräja then tells Prabhupäda that Iskcon devotees are sufficiently trained, so as to put Prabhupäda out of anxiety, thus he says, “It is very nice. This is how it should be. You have created something; if they all work together and maintain it. You have trained them. Yet in the future if they become even more united and help, then a wonderful thing will happen in this world.” Then Srila Prabhupäda explains that actually he hasn’t been able to train them properly because they are all mlecchas and yavanas, but he tried his best, and they are also trying their best with their insufficient training, Thus he says, “They do not have any hereditary background. All are from mleccha and yavana family background. I have trained them according to my ability. They are also doing their best.”
So the entire flow of the conversation should be looked upon as a whole. One cannot simply pull random statements out of context, and present them to a reader. Srila Prabhupäda states that the desires of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Thakura are to preach in Europe and America, and if we are all united then wonderful things can be done. He states how he tried to train his disciples as much as he was able, but due to their being mlecchas and yavanas, it was insufficient. Why is he saying this to Srila Narayana Mahäräja at their last meeting? Of course Srila Narayana Mahäräja could understand the mano ‘bhista (internal desire) of Srila Prabhupäda, which anyone, (unless they are blind) could also see. That is please train My disciples and co-operatively preach around the world, fulfilling My desires, and also the desire of the previous acharyas.
Srila Prabhupäda always gave the analogy of the blind man and the lame man. The lame man represented India, and the blind man represented the West. India was materially lame, and the West was blind to spiritual knowledge, if they both co-operate then wonderful things can be done. Here the Gauòiya Math may be likened to the lame man, and Iskcon is the blind man, our previous äcäryas wanted for them to work co-operatively, and that was the final desire of Srila Prabhupäda being expressed here. Perhaps the blind man cannot see this though, but Srila Narayana Maharajaknew what Prabhupäda meant, therefore he replied, “Whenever they will call me, consult with me, wherever they will ask me to go, I will do according to my ability. However, my qualification is very little. Whatever I can do selflessly, I will do.” And “I consider you to be like my spiritual master.”
(4) The last disagreement the Iskcon paper had with the direct statements of Srila Prabhupäda was stated by them, “given the unfitness of his own disciples, Prabhupäda wanted Narayana Maharajainstead to put him in samadhé.” Again, this was also collaborated by the entire conversation. If the disciples like PP Bhakticaru Maharajaand Bhavananda already knew everything, then why would they have to consult Srila Narayana Maharajaabout the details of the Samadhi ceremony? I quote,
Prabhupäda: You have consulted with NarayanaMahäräja?
Tamäla Kåñëa: Yes. This morning Bhakti-caru Swämé, Bhakti-prema Swämé
and Sridhara Swämé went to see him, and Narayana Maharajadescribed the ceremony for the departure of a Vaiñëava, great Vaiñëava soul.
So full training was not given so they had to take advice from a senior Vaiñëava.
Actually the most offensive statement in the entire article was the following jewel of vaiñëava-aparädha, where it states on page 28, “Thus, it
appears that the idea of NarayanaMahäräja’s participation in the ceremony originates from Narayana Maharajahimself, not from Srila Prabhupäda.” Thus directly suggesting that Srila Narayana Maharajawent to the Samadhi ceremony for the free feast or something like that. Considering that Srila Prabhupäda in the same conversation asks Srila Narayana Maharajaif he will be there for everything, and that he was the only person who could direct the entire viraha mahotsava, and to say that Srila Maharajawent there for some self-interest is just disgusting. Also considering that Srila Prabhupäda did not give His disciples the gopé-bhäva mantra at the time of sannyäsa, then who will write that mantra on the divine body of the pure devotee at the time of the Samadhi giving ceremony. You can see Srila Narayana Maharajawriting the mantra on the divine chest of Srila Prabhupäda on the video clip, “The final lesson.”
Of course the real reason Srila Prabhupäda didn’t want those leaders to touch his body was because they had poisoned him, that is why Srila Prabhupäda asked Srila Narayana Maharajato give him Samadhi. I heard this from Srila Narayana MaharajaHimself.
I don’t want to spend too much time on this. I am glad that the GBC have so much time up their sleeves that they can compose 40 page letters on the subject. It is better that they look towards their own deviations, such as the voting in of äcäryas, voting on the fall of the jéva, the zonal äcärya system, the gurukul fiasco etc ad finitum, than trying to cast assertions on the character of an exalted Vaiñëava.
Of course, for those great and fortunate souls who took shelter under Srila Prabhupäda, and are fulfilling his desires for them to attain pure devotion by remaining under the guidance of the pure Gauòiya Vaiñëavas, then for them we apply the verse from the Srimad Bhagavad Gétä (9.30);
api cet su-duräcäro bhajate mäm ananya-bhäk
sädhur eva sa mantavyaù samyag vyavasito hi saù
“Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.”
While those who divulge in fault finding and criticism of the Vaiñëavas, they are abominable.
This is the principle,
Wishing them all the best, and praying for their rectification;
A fallen servant of the servant
BV Dämodara Maharaja