Sridhara Maharaja is my siksa guru?

12 May 2006

Dear Krishnakant Prabhu,
my obeisances to you,
guru gauranga jayatah!

Thank you very much for your free Final order. Now I finished reading of this book.

This book is interesting ...

I have one question to you please. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, he told "to make GBC body and to wait for self effulgent acharya". So in this line of thinking we may see one or more self effulgent acharyas. Srila Prabhupada is this, but we may see Srila Sridhara Maharaja also the same, and possibly others. This Bhaktisiddhanta conclusion does not saying that "he must be one man only". By this we may establish more people next to Srila Prabhupada I see.

Regarding others, it is possible that Srila Prabhupada told "no man from my godbrothers is able to act as acharya". Sridhara Maharaja did not like to have any position so in one sense he was not able to act as an acharya. This does not necessary mean  that all godbrothers was bad persons.

Next, Sridhara Maharaja was not establishing anybody to acharya from Gaudiya Math. Maybe some temple presidents or so but not as an acharya. Some other man of Gaudiya Math, yes, possible they were in some problem but things to nowadays are changing, they adopted some correction or so, we may see. But what is very interesting, in your book there is mention that Srila Prabhupada told "Sridhara Maharaja is my siksa guru". Your explanation to this refers to diplomatic behaviour, warm heart and attempt to give some chance to serve to godbrothers. How to solve this? Prabhupada was very serious men regarding this kind of points. It is difficult to try to imagine that he is using word "guru" in some hazy, light, low, joking or so manner. This does not look like Prabhupada, what more, this is contradictory to him almost. So it is difficult to accept that in this line of thinking Prabhupada is adopting diplomacy. All your book is good example of logic etc but this one point is not so steady and I think you know it - you must if your thinking is in line of your whole book.

So by this we may harmonize all.

My second question please, where is this mention about 10 000 years of one acharya Srila Prabhupada? I think I read something like this but not in this form and sense and purport.

My obeisances to you again please.

All glories to all merciful Lord Chaitanya and to our gurus!

S**** dev das,

disciple of Srila Govinda Maharara,

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math


Dear S**** Dev prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your appreciation and questions.

1. The exact phrase used was 'self-effulgent acharya' NOT 'self-effulgent acharyaS'.

Therefore it refers to one individual. Also Sridhara Maharaja could hardly be this self-effulgent acharya since he only became known due to getting followers from Srila Prabhupada's movement in the 1980s. He only displayed any sort of 'effulgence' due to taking the remnants of the real self-effulgent acharya, Srila Prabhupada. Therefore even if for the sake argument we accept that Sridhara Maharaja was in some way displaying 'effulgence', since this was merely REFLECTING the already existing effulgence of Srila Prabhupada, since he merely recycled the disaffected followers of ISKCON, it simply establishes Srila Prabhupada's effulgence, and not his.

2. Srila Prabhupada did not say that none of his Godbrothers were able to ACT as acharya. He actually said:

"Actually amongst my Godbrothers no one is qualified to become acarya. So it is better not to mix with my Godbrothers very intimately because instead of inspiring our students and disciples they may sometimes pollute them."
(Letter to Rupunuga, 28/4/74)

Therefore whether Sridhara Maharaja 'liked' to become acharya or not is irrelevant. Srila Prabhupada is saying he did not actually possess the ability to do so, as he was not qualified.

3. Sridhara Maharaja DID establish an acharya for the Gaudiya Matha:

"So Sridhara Maharaja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one acarya and later it proved a failure."
(Letter to Rupunuga, 28/4/74)

4. Regarding Srila Prabhupada's statement about Sridhara Maharaja being his 'siksa guru' let us look at the complete statement. It comes from a letter in 1969 to a disciple Hrisikesa, who had ALREADY REJECTED Srila Prabhupada, and who wished to join the Gaudiya Matha. However he had selected to join Bon Maharaja who Srila Prabhupada describes in the same letter as being a 'black snake'. Therefore in order to save someone who had already left ISKCON, from going to a black snake, Srila Prabhupada refers him to Sridhara Maharaja. Why? Because as Srila Prabhupada states later:

" But in my opinion he is the best of the lot. He is my old friend, at least he executes the regulative principles of devotional service."
(Letter to Rupunuga, 28/4/74)

Because Sridhara Maharaja was the best of the 'lot', the same 'lot' which Srila Prabhupada also condemned as not being qualified to be acharya, and at because he AT LEAST followed the regulative principles, Sridhara Maharaja was recommended as an alternative to a black snake.

Therefore this was NOT just an act of diplomacy. It was an act of mercy, to save someone from a black snake, and therefore the person was advised to take shelter of Sridhara Maharaja, and in THIS CONNECTION Sridhara Maharaja is praised, in order to induce his disciple to leave Bon Maharaja.

However please note the following facts which are relevant:

  1. EVEN if we accept for the sake of argument, that Sridhara Maharaja WAS Srila Prabhupada's Siksa guru, Srila Prabhupada never tells US to accept Sridhara Maharaja as OUR Siksa guru or to consult him. On the contrary, as I have quoted before, he instructs US to actually AVOID Sridhara Maharaja.
  2. Further the only time anyone was advised to go to Sridhara Maharaja, was only to STOP that person from going to a 'black snake'.
  3. Thus there are NO instructions from Srila Prabhupada instructing us to take shelter of Sridhara Maharaja (except to stop one person from taking shelter from a 'black snake'), but there ARE instructions from Srila Prabhupada telling us to NOT take shelter of Sridhara Maharaja.

Therefore we can conclude:

  1. If you wish to take shelter of a black snake, and have rejected the shelter of Srila Prabhupada, THEN Sridhara maharaja is a better alternative.
  2. In ALL OTHER CASES - Avoid the association of Sridhara Maharaja.

This is what Srila Prabhupada actually advises.

The 10,000 year concept follows from the following facts:

  1. Lord Caitanya's movement will last for 10,000 years. (Mentioned in Bhagavatam many places)
  2. Srila Prabhupada is the person who established Lord Chaitanya's movement in every town and village. (Historical fact).
  3. Srila Prabhupada is the acarya of the Gaudiya Sampradaya:
"In suitable words you write and issue another pamphlet. In Bengali and in English. Which may not touch there, but we write in our own way that “By the order of his guru he went to America. Then he...” That’s a fact. What is the fact, that should be written. Give the list of the books and so on, so on. [...] Yes, temples. And “He is the acarya of the present Gaudiya-sampradaya.”
(Room Conversation, January 19th, 1976)

Therefore Srila Prabhupada is the acarya who will spread Lord Chaitanya's movement for 10,000 years. And it is a fact. Whilst so many other acaryas will come and go, to be replaced by their successors, only Srila Prabhupada's books and teaching will endure for 10,000 years. Other acaryas are known for a few years and then they are gone, replaced by their successors. But even in the deviant ISKCON, it is still Srila Prabhupada's books which are being distributed in the millions. And this will continue in one way or another - through ISKCON now and the revived IRM-ISKCON in the future - for the next 9500 years. No other acarya from the Gaudiya Sampradaya will even touch this. In 200 years time, they will not be distributing the books of Sridhara Maharaja or Govinda Maharaja. They will promote whomever is the current acarya of the Sri Caitanya Sarswata Matha at that time. This is the problem with the 'acharya' matha system. No one acharya can ever emerge, since after 20-30 years they will be replaced. But the IRM will ensure that Srila Prabhupada will remain for 10,000 years, and the ISKCON 'gurus' are fading away due to their own nonsense and our preaching.

Thank you,

Your servant, Krishnakant