“They have the most closed door policy amongst themselves. We are the one that’s the open ones, we are the idiots. You know what I am saying? So first let them go out there and create cooperation amongst the Gaudiya Maths. “
Prabhu: It’s a question about the relationship of ISKCON and other maths, sometimes we have…
His Holiness Bhaktividya Purna Swami Maharaja: Other maths…
Prabhu: Other organizations, spiritual organizations, who… You know, sometimes we have a very hostile relationship and there is some fear, or they say, ‘You are afraid, because… You are not being free. Why we should, you know, why we should just keep ISKCON, why we just don’t have one family? Because we all…’
HH BVPS Maharaja: Tell them, tell them, tell them… As soon as they say that, as soon as they say any of that, say, ‘Why don’t you practice what you preach?’ It says, ‘Don’t be a hypocrite and walk in here.’ It says, ‘We are doing that light years more than you, light years.’ Gaudiya Math is a generic term, but what is each one of them called? Gaudiya Math? You know, Gaudiya Saraswata Caitanya Math, Caitanya Saraswat Gaudiya Math, Gaudiya Caitanya Saraswat Mayapur Math, why? Because each, if you are a guru, you have to have your own math, your own institution. So where is their cooperation? Can Narayana Maharaja go over to Govinda Maharaja’s place and sit down and give a Bhagavatam class? You tell me.
Prabhu: Probably not.
HH BVPS Maharaja: No. And vice versa. They have the most closed door policy amongst themselves. We are the one that’s the open ones, we are the idiots. You know what I am saying? So first let them go out there and create cooperation amongst the Gaudiya Maths. When you’ve done that, then we’ll consider whether we want to be part of it or not. But first let them do that. They haven’t done it in the last 80 years. So why don’t they work out that first? Then come over here and make stupid comments like that about us. What do you mean we are not free? What do you mean? So why doesn’t he just go off, leave his acarya and go live in another math? Try that. ‘You are not free.’ ‘Well, I wouldn’t want to.’ So we don’t want it either. ‘Oh, you can’t hear from this Maharaja.’ We don’t want to hear from this Maharaja and that Maharaja, why do we need to hear from them? We have our Acarya. It’s like telling the married man, ‘Oh, you are not free, why don’t you go out with that woman or this woman?’ ‘I don’t want to, I got my wife,’ what’s the thing? You know what I am saying? It’s just foolishness. And all it is is, when their acarya dies, then you see what happens to them. Then they go off to another math. Where is their loyalty? Where is their loyalty?
So it’s like, they can say whatever they like, the point is is, we don’t come to your math and talk about our acarya and say that, ‘You know, our acarya has got it and yours doesn’t.’ So you would consider that very offensive, so why should we consider that that’s such a nice thing that you are coming to our math and doing that? So therefore don’t be a hypocrite. You want to do that, try go over to Govinda Maharaja’s math, tell them that they don’t know what they are doing and that your acarya knows what he is doing. Go ahead, go for it, let’s see what happens. It’s just nonsense what they are talking.
We’ve been living here with the Gaudiya Math forever, right? There is a formal relationship, there is some formal function, there is a formal invitation, and people formally go and formally speak, and formally take prasada, and formally leave. It’s been like that, it’s always been like that, that’s the way it is from math to math, that’s the way it is from ISKCON to these other maths, it’s always been like that. But in the West they try to make tricks.
Narayana Maharaja openly declares that Srila Prabhupada was wrong
Prabhu: Why is there a relationship like that?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Why is there a relationship like that? Ask them. Prabhupada tried really hard to work with them, he tried to get them to preach and do everything. He asked Narayana Maharaja to go with him to America. He said, ‘No, I’d rather sit here and do my bhajana.’ But now he is claiming he is the next acarya. Where is this nonsense coming from? You know what I am saying? Has any one, I just ask this one question, has any one of the Gaudiya acaryas, Gaudiya Math acaryas, taken their Bengali boys or Hindustani boys and then just themselves gone over to the West and on their own tried to do anything and preach and be successful? Not one. And who are they going to the West with and being successful with? Prabhupada’s disciples, trained by Prabhupada. And then after doing that then they criticize. What is that called? That’s called being ungrateful, so that’s not even human. So therefore why do we even have to discuss these points with them?
Those that are honest say, I heard one of the Gaudiya acaryas saying, ‘The only way that we are preaching and doing all this being successful nowadays is because of the mercy of Srila Prabhupada.’ Bas. He will say it straight and he is the head of his math, so he could say whatever he likes. He knows it, just the others aren’t, they just want to cover it. But they’ve all gone with Prabhupada’s preachers, no one else. They’ve been sitting here from since time immemorial and gone nowhere. Not that they as individuals aren’t advanced, not that they don’t have something to offer, but they are talking here organization.
So if you want to talk organization, let’s talk organization here. They are the ones that have made the rule, if you want to be an acarya, you have to open your own math. We don’t make that, therefore we have a hundred gurus working together in one mission. We don’t have a problem like that. They are the ones with a problem like that. Then like women they are trying to say it’s us. The woman does something wrong, then she blames the man, I mean, that’s the way it goes. So therefore we are not buying this, and they are going to spin-doctor this on us. You want to talk philosophy, that’s fine, you want to talk this other stupidness, then what’s the use, what’s the meaning? What’s the importance? If they are so satisfied, then be satisfied. We can go through a whole day, a week, month, years, and never even think of the Gaudiya Math and our life goes on. But they have to always talk about us. So then? Who is free and who is independent? We in no way, shape or form need them. You know what I am saying? We acknowledge that they as a bonafide institution can take people back to Godhead, we don’t have any problem with that. But that’s their business. You go out, you go take your stick and fish around in the gutter and find somebody and pull them out, then great, we are happy. That’s not a problem.
Prabhu: So it’s behavioral issue?
HH BVPS Maharaja: It’s an etiquette issue. They don’t follow etiquette, but they try to say that we are the ones that don’t know the etiquette. What do you mean? We may be rough around the edges, they don’t know, but then that makes them worse, because they supposedly know. How do you tell somebody that your acarya took you to this level, now our acarya will take you to this other level? Where in Gaudiya etiquette is that allowed? Where is that allowed? And then if you say, if somebody complains, ‘Oh, they are envious and therefore according to Krishna-bhajanamrita then you can leave the guru, it says like that,” this is nonsense. No actual Gaudiya acarya will ever do this. It’s just they don’t do this stuff, that’s what the neophytes do. I am not saying the acarya is doing it, but his neophyte disciples are doing this. Like the kids, the kids like to play the mother and father off of each other. You go to one and then you get trouble, then you go to the other and say this, and it starts the fight there? You know what I am saying? So that’s what they do. Somebody says something and then they tell that to their acarya, he makes a comment and then you tell that back, and then it creates this whole thing. What happens? We had a fine relationship way before you came along. So why you are coming in-between and messing it up?
You know the point, ‘They don’t cooperate,’ cooperate on what terms? Why don’t you take our books, go out, distribute them? That’s our terms. No, it’s all you want is that your guru can come into our math, talk and make disciples from here, that’s all, that’s what your terms are. Our terms is, you take your people, take our books and go out and distribute them. They don’t want to cooperate, they are just looking for opportunities, they are business people, they just look where is an opportunity, so they can get profit, that’s all. They are not looking really to push on mission, otherwise, here, there is plenty of people outside, there is six billion people on this planet, why bother the ones over here? How many we have? A few thousand? Like that. Go out there, there is plenty. So that’s why it’s saying, where is the potency? Where is the potency?
All of our devotees we picked up ourself from the gutter. How many have they picked up? A few they have, but in proportion I don’t think so. They are on Parikrama now, they got six hundred Western devotees, where are those six hundred from? They are not six hundred that they picked up. So what’s the credit? Okay, you got them engaged in this service again, that’s nice, that’s great. But then to say that’s because you got something better? What do you mean got something better? Let’s come back in ten years, then I want to hear people of that math say that, the Westerners. You know what I am saying? Bengalis will still be there, but I want to see if the whities are still there.
Prabhu: So we give them credit for what they do good and…?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah. The point is their philosophy and our philosophy is the same. The only difference between them and us is the GBC, that’s the only difference. These other things are inconsequencial. We offer obeisances during Jaya-dhvani, they stand up, that’s the end of the world? Jaya-dhvani are offering respects to somebody. So if you do that standing up or offering obeisances, then what’s the problem? That’s not an issue. To make that an issue means you don’t know what devotional service is. Otherwise, why would you make that an issue?
Prabhu: Initiation stuff, you know?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Initiation stuff?
Prabhu: Quick initiation when somebody comes…
HH BVPS Maharaja: That’s just a matter if they want to take the karma of somebody they don’t know, hey, that’s their choice, what do we care? It says, we don’t do it, we believe in Purvaishcharya-viddhi and everything and make sure that everything all goes very pukka and everything, like that. We are following that mood of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He is the one that slowed down the initiation. Him, not us. Before it was, you got first and second together, it’s diksha, it has five aspects, they came together. But seeing the need that the living entities are so conditioned by the Kali-yuga he split it into the first and second, and there was the first three and the last two, like that. That’s all.
And then they formalized this position of getting people to chant. We don’t even consider, we get people to chant and it’s like that, we don’t even consider. They have a formalization of that.
Prabhu: Formalization means…?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Formalization means…
Prabhu: No, no, I mean, how? Which way they do?
HH BVPS Maharaja: They call it something, I think, that’s your Nama-guru. Do we say that? Who gave you the Holy Name?
Prabhu: To me? Prabhupada.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Prabhupada came up and personally said, “Here, chant this mantra,” or was it bhakta, you know…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, it was bhakta… Whatever was their name. So that’s the point. Who is the more, more… What do you call it?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Liberal, but also just more raganuga here? You know what I am saying? That’s the point, we are way raga beyond these guys, our organization and our everything. We don’t have a head, we just cooperate and work together. So where do you find that? Is there a head of Vraja?
HH BVPS Maharaja: I mean, there is Krishna, but does He have seniors?
HH BVPS Maharaja: So technically then it’s all mixed. Is there a head of Vaikuntha?
Prabhu: Krishna, yes.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Very obvious. There is Krishna, no one is equal, no one is above Him, that’s it. Now, which of those is vaidhi and which one is raga? Vrindavana or Vaikuntha, tell me.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Obvious, okay, so, Vaikuntha is the vaidhi, and Vrindavana is the raga. Now let us look at this very carefully here. Now, we have our gurus, but they work with the GBC, no GBC is on top, there is no like that. So everybody has their position of authority, but everybody works cooperatively together. Okay? Then, let us go to the Gaudiya Math where they have one acarya and he is above everyone. Even if they have a GBC, he is still above it. So going by that, by organization, which of the two, the Vaikuntha or the Vrindavana, would you classify ISKCON? Vrindavana, right? And which would you classify the Gaudiya Math?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes. And then they have the audacity to tell us that we are just stuck in the vaidhi. So this is the difference between the two, this is the difference between the Gaudiya Matha and us, it’s this one point. Philosophy and all that, we don’t have a difference. We are the same mission. Just they don’t accept the order of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura to establish a GBC and just work together. Otherwise, they say they have a GBC, yeah, you have a GBC for your math with your one acarya but when another one comes up, then…? And why is it that he is not working with them? You know what I am saying? So it’s there, it’s a problem, neophyte problem. It’s not a madhyama problem.
(From His Holiness Bhaktividya Purna Swami Maharaja’s lecture on Mahabharata, questions after class, 11th March 2008, Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sri Mayapur Dhama)
He never recommended anyone to be acarya of the Gaudiya Math. 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 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. 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.
LETTER TO RUPANUGA
Tirupati 28 April, 1974
There should be no dealings with
Srila Prabhupada’s so-called godbrothers
8 November 1975
NOTICE TO ALL CENTERS
Prabhus, please accept my humble obeisances. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada has asked me to write to you to make it very explicit that there should be no dealings between you and Prabhupada’s so-called godbrothers. They are all jealous and are all trying to do harm to our mission and also to Srila Prabhupada. So without Srila Prabhupada’s permission, no one should correspond with any of them, and no one should have anything to do with any of them, without asking Srila Prabhupada. No one should give them any of Srila Prabhupada’s books, no one should purchase their books, no one should visit their temples without authorization. I hope this is clear. It is very important. Please instruct all your devotees regarding this. [crossed out words] And when the devotees come for the annual festival, you should also instruct them not to visit or have any dealings with any of the godbrothers. I hope this is clear and I hope this meets you in good health.
Personal Secretary to
His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada