I Wonder What You Mean by ”Friend”

Dear Sripada Jayadvaita Swami,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

You wrote:

I see no reason to terminate our friendship.

Previously, on May 17, 2023, you wrote this to me:

When we correspond, I naturally assume we are writing to one another personally because of our being godbrothers and friends. Now it has come to my attention that you have posted your reply to me on the internet. (And without telling me.)

This is not what I expect from my friends.

Maharaja, I wonder what you mean by ”friend.”

When you use that word, what is your meaning?

Is a ”friend” someone you control and who accepts your control; or something else?

I understand friend to mean ”benefactor and well-wisher”, something along these lines: suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ. That is how Krishna defines His relationship with all living entities. I believe His devotees are of a similar mindset, a ”benefactor and well-wisher” of everyone. As such they are naturally a friend to all.

Because I believe you to be a devotee you must be my friend, even if we disagree. That’s what I expect of my friends, I expect them to be my well-wisher, as I’m sure you are. I believe I am your friend because I want good for you.… Read More...

Srimati Divya Shakti Devi’s Birthday

Divya Shakti Devi rear row second from the left.

Date: 6/15/23

All glories to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga!

Divya Shakti Devi was one of the original supporters of our attempt to establish a branch of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in New York City following the direction of Srila Sridhara Maharaja.

Dated: 4/2/1987

My Dear Sripad Tripurari Maharaj and Jagat Guru Maharaj,

Please accept my humble dandavat pranams, and to all the devotees there headed by your good selves. These days Srila Guru Majaraj’s health is much better and for that we are happy.

Sripad B.K. Giri Maharaj has received the full blessings of Srila Guru Maharaj for opening a center in New York on his behalf called Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, New York Branch. For this auspicious endeavour a couple of good brahmacari assistants would be most helpful and we would be happy if Rohini Kumar das brahmacari and Devanatha das brahmacari could go to New York and assist there the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.

We hope you are well and looking forward to seeing you again. Once again accept my humble respects and offer the same to B.G. Sadhu Maharaj and Bhavananda Roya Swami.

Yours Affectionately,

Swami B.S. Govinda
( Govinda Maharaj)

She joined with us as a bhramacharini, immediately lent her support to our acquisition of a rental house in Floral Park, NY (pictured in the accompanying photos) and earnestly began supporting all our preaching efforts there.… Read More...

Srila Giri Maharaja “Residency Requirements”

Date: 5/15/23

Dear Bhakti Ranjana dasa,

Please accept my blessings and well wishes in remembrance of my Divine Masters.

Since your phone call yesterday I reread your email (below) and have carefully considered all the points you made in both your email and phone call.

I appreciate your desire to render some service to the Deities and Devotees of our Math. As you have fond remembrances of myself and Srimati Lila Sundari Devi we also have fond memories of you and your generous help to our mission during the time you stayed with us.

During that time I accepted you as my disciple [Bimalananda dasa] and regarded you as a father regards his son. In that spirit I did all I could to give direction to your spiritual life in the line of my Sri Guru Parampara. The purpose of this direction was to save you from the repeated cycle of samsara. Unfortunately, you rejected that direction and you rejected me as your guru. The justification for the action you took is stated in our scriptures as follows.

Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.18):

gurur na sa syat sva jano na sa syat
pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
daivam na tat syan na patis ca sa syan
na mocayed yah samupeta mrtyum

“Even a spiritual master, relative, parent, husband, or demigod who cannot save us from repeated birth and death should be abandoned at once.”… Read More...

Srila Giri Maharaja ”Rejecting Demands To End Discussion”

Date: May 8, 2023
Subject: Re: Bhavananda’s testimony presented as equal to that of Srila Prabhupada.

My dandavats to you Maharaja.

You wrote:

Please forgive me for being unwilling to argue about the matter.

That’s one way of dodging these questions I presented to you in my previous email challenging your use of citations from Bhavananda in your book (Prabhupada’s Kirtana Standards).

How do you suppose Bhavananda, promoted as a guru within ISKCON and widely accepted as such, persuaded others to have homosex with him?

I’ll tell you what I suppose. You tell me why I’m wrong. I suppose he presented himself as acharyam mam vijaniyan and/or saksad hari, in other words non-different from Krishna. Therefore, pleasing him by satisfying his perverse sexual appetite would please Krishna, Prabhupada, etc. That’s what I suppose. Am I wrong? If so, please cite the “historical testimony” of sources you consider reliable that refute my supposition.

Please forgive me for being unwilling to argue about the matter.

I’m a sucker for such pleas. Especially when I was just about to throw this blow at you with my next email.

You wrote (May 5, 2023):

I’ve carefully considered your concerns. I’m not going to go back and forth about it.Read More...

Srila Giri Maharaja “On Citing Bhavananda (A Letter to Sripada Jayadvaita Maharaja)”

Date: May 4, 2023 (Sri Nrsingha Caturdasi)

Dear Sripada Jayadvaita Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances in remembrance of my Divine Masters.

On Apr 1, 2023, at 4:28 AM, Jayadvaita Swami wrote:

Regarding my citing Bhavananda: Regardless of his history, he heard first-hand instructions from Srila Prabhupada, and I regard his testimony as reliable, despite his later falldowns. My citing him has nothing to do with his status in ISKCON and so on. In the book I cite a number of other devotees who’ve had various problems or who no longer follow their vows. For the same reason: I don’t think their problems knock out the value of their historical testimony.

Suppose I am a reader of your book who knows nothing about Bhavananda and I ask you ”Who is Bhavananda?” What will your answer be?

Today we are celebrating Sri Nrsingha Caturdasi and the life of Sri Prahlada, one of the twelve mahajanas, whose historical testimony I accept as reliable. Perhaps by his grace I feel no need to read or hear the historical testimony of Bhavananda and believe it is a black spot on your book; one you would do well to eliminate.

In a recent letter to a friend I wrote this.… Read More...

Srila Sridhar Maharaja’s Srimad Bhagavad Gita Back in Stock!

Back in Stock! Srila B. R. Sridhar Maharaja’s brilliant presentation of the Bhagavad-Gita is one of his most treasured and cherished works, translated into many world languages. First published in English in 1985, The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute is now available for sale in a new, revised English edition.This publication contains unique translations of each and every verse of the Gita, as seen from the perspective of unalloyed devotion.Several of the verses are also provided with lucid commentaries. Of special interest is the author’s profound comments of the four principle verses of the Gita.

Now available again from our online ”Shop” thanks to the diligent efforts of Srimati Chintamani Devi.

Tuesday 3/7/2023. Sri Gaura-Purnima. Divine Appearance of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

We humbly invite you to participate in the grand festival of Sri Gaura-Purnima (The appearance day of Sri Krishna Chaitanya, the most magnanimous incarnation of Sri Krishna who appeared in this age of Kali to introduce Harinama-sankirtana — the congregational chanting of the Maha Mantra — as the most simple and sublime method for attaining love of God.) This day is also the beginning of the 538th Gaurabda year.

Celebrations will take place at Sri Gaura Vinoda Saraswat Sanga Headquarters in New Jersey on Tuesday March 7, 2023.

Festivities will include Harinama-sankirtana, readings from Chaitanya-caritamrta, discourses and prasadam.

Fasting is observed until moonrise when some light prasadam (anukalpa) is distributed so that we may receive the blessings of prasadam and break the fast.

Please RSVP via the contact page.

Srila Giri Maharaja “Correction”

Date: 2/16/23

On January 27, 2023 I posted “Paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam!” which contained the following text from my email to Srimati Govinda Nandini Devi dasi.

“When I first viewed the video you sent me of your street sankirtana (attached to your email of 12/9/22) I didn’t positively recognize you. I just viewed it again and see that you are playing a harmonium, chanting and looking very energetic, happy and still youthful.”

Yesterday (2/15/23) I received an email from Srimati Govinda Nandini Devi in which she corrected my misunderstanding as follows.

“Today I was at Harinama after a long break. I recorded a video for you so that you wouldn’t confuse me with other young energetic mataji. (Smile) Earlier I sent you a video of Camila playing the harmonium. I am also in this video, but in the background. I will attach photos and videos to you. I play the tambourine in Harinama.”

Included with her email was the photo below.

Unless I am again mistaken, she is pictured playing the tambourine.

Therefore, I issue the following correction.

This sentence-

“I just viewed it again and see that you are playing a harmonium, chanting and looking very energetic, happy and still youthful.”… Read More...

Srila Giri Maharaja “Paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam!”

Hari Nama on a street in Moscow.

January 27, 2023

Dear Srimati Govinda Nandini Devi,

Please accept my blessings and well wishes in remembrance of my Divine Masters.

I hope I will hear from you soon that your health has recovered.

When I first viewed the video you sent me of your street sankirtana (attached to your email of 12/9/22) I didn’t positively recognize you. I just viewed it again and see that you are playing a harmonium, chanting and looking very energetic, happy and still youthful.

Once I was with Srila Sridhara Maharaja who was speaking with us on his veranda as his kirtana party was returning from morning sankirtana around Navadwipa. As the group came nearer to us and the chanting grew louder his attention was being drawn more and more away from us and towards the sankirtana party. By the time it entered the gate of the Math Srila Sridhara Maharaja was becoming more and more joyful and animated. Finally he broke his talk on the present topic and told us (paraphrasing) ”I cannot dance any more, but in my heart I am dancing.” He was so much pleased to hear the kirtana party.

My feeling was similar while watching and listening to the video of your kirtana group and seeing everyone in a very happy mood.… Read More...

Srila Giri Maharaja “No One In This World Is Independently Wealthy”

Date: 1/21/23

Good morning Darren,

I would like to further the thread of our conversation. I hope you will indulge me.

According to ancient Vedic scriptures — such as Bhagavad-gita and Sriman Bhagavatam — the current age we live in is known as Kali-yuga. It is a very inauspicious age characterized as follows:

ŚB 1.1.10

प्रायेणाल्पायुष: सभ्य कलावस्मिन् युगे जना: ।
मन्दा: सुमन्दमतयो मन्दभाग्या ह्युपद्रुता: ॥ १० ॥
prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya
kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ
mandāḥ sumanda-matayo
manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ


prāyeṇa — almost always; alpa — meager; āyuṣaḥ — duration of life; sabhya — member of a learned society; kalau — in this Age of Kali (quarrel); asmin — herein; yuge — age; janāḥ — the public; mandāḥ — lazy; sumanda-matayaḥ — misguided; manda-bhāgyāḥ — unlucky; hi — and above all; upadrutāḥ — disturbed.


O learned one, in this iron Age of Kali men almost always have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy,misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.

Due to these characteristics of the Age of Kali, meditation — in the manner of a yogi sitting still in the forest in a fixed position for hours at a time — is not recommended as a means to God realization.… Read More...