Srila Giri Maharaja “I Stand Corrected?”

Date: 8/27/23

Dear Saraswat Putra,

Thank you for your comment — “as far as i know the calendar has never had any chatermas , ect, dates 1981 — 2023.” — which has helped me to notice at least one error in the latest calendar we produced. I will immediately try to see that all errors in our calendar referring to Chaturmasya are corrected before the beginning of the second month.

Your statement is not wrong, but I think I am correct to note the beginning and end dates of each month of Chaturmasya based on the following quotation (highlighting added) originally posted on the scsmath.com website and which may be found at: Chaturmasya.

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Chaturmasya

Here at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math the devotees begin Chaturmasya on purnima (the full moon day). The following is a section about Chaturmasya by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in his edition of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, (Madhya-lila 4.169):

Verse:

At the end of summer Madhavendra Puri returned to Jagannatha Puri, where he remained with great pleasure during the whole period of Chaturmasya.

Purport:

The Chaturmasya period begins in the month of Asadha (June-July) from the day of Ekadasi called Sayana-ekadasi, in the fortnight of the waxing moon.… Read More...

Srila Giri Maharaja “Calendar Alert”

It has come to my attention that a number of calendars circulated by those representing themselves as Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math have serious defects with respect to the dates of observance of Chaturmasya. This is a result of omitting the beginning and end dates for each of the individual months.

Thanks to the efforts of Sriman Gokulananda dasa (who produces our calendar) these dates are correctly noted in our calendar which is intended for use by those in or near our geographic area of Oaklyn, New Jersey, USA.

Those outside our area may want to use our calendar as a baseline by which accurate dates for each of the months of Chaturmasya may be calculated for one’s specific location.

While this may seem a small matter to some, our gurus attached considerable significance to producing accurate calendars. This was true for Srila Swami Maharaja Prabhupad, Srila Sridhara Maharaja and Srila Govinda Maharaja. I personally witnessed the distress of the latter two acharyas when they noted an incorrect calculation, notation, omission or other discrepancy. In the case of Srila Prabhupada I’ve heard and read about his displeasure in such instances.

Mistakes can be excused, but they should be corrected. We are now more than a month into the first extended month of Chaturmasya and I’ve seen no effort to correct the calendars referenced above.… Read More...

Srila Giri Maharaja “Neutrality; We Hate It”

8/3/23

I have some sort of tendency to hate neutrality. On the whole one taking such a position (non-committal) appears untruthful, maybe cheating or hiding something he doesn’t want to reveal. In some cases such positions seem cowardly.

This morning I read something that favors my tendency.

udāsīno ‘rivad varyam
ātmavat suhṛd ucyate

Synonyms

udāsīnaḥ — one who is indifferent; ari-vat — just like an enemy; varjyaḥ — is to be avoided; ātma-vat — like one’s own self; suhṛt — a friend; ucyate — is said to be.

[SB 10.24.5]

“One who is neutral may be avoided like an enemy, but a friend should be considered like one’s own self.”

Perhaps there is something more in the background. When taken to the extreme, what is neutral? Neutral is brahma-vada, preference for a position in the impersonal oneness of Sri Krishna’s undifferentiated spiritual effulgence. It is a position hated by vaishnavas.

udāsīno ‘rivad varyam (“One who is neutral may be avoided like an enemy . . . ”); maybe not such bad tendency.

Swami B.K. Giri

Srila B.K. Giri “Censoring Spiritual Knowledge/Discussions”

Date: 5/24/23

My dandavats to you [Jayadvaita] Maharaja.

Thank you for sending me this quotation from our spiritual master:

So in the future please do not circulate my letters to you. All my letters to you should be considered as confidential, and if you want at all to circulate, you just ask me before doing so.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Brahmananda — Tittenhurst 28 September, 1969

Since you offer no explanation as to the reason you sent it to me I take it as a reminder that a spiritual master has absolute authority over his disciples.

Additionally, because you are circulating the letter to me, it means the letter has already been circulated; despite Prabhupada’s prohibition.

It must also mean you and the BBT/Vedabase are comfortable distributing letters that may be considered as confidential when you feel the need to do so; just as I do when I feel the need to do the same thing for the spiritual education of others.

And yet, you demand I not circulate certain letters I have written.

If I were your disciple I would accept your Divine Right of censorship over the circulation of my letters. Likewise for my preaching, both content and methods.… Read More...

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...