Srila Giri Maharaja “Enemies, Aggressor, They Should Be Killed.”

What follows is a continuation from the previous post: “Taking Sides on the Russia-Ukraine War

In my email to Sriman Datatreya dasa sent on Apr 17, 2022 I wrote in part:

Before I respond to you fully I would like to know who you accept as spiritual authority. If we do not accept the same sources of spiritual authority it will be very difficult to find agreement.

Datatreya dasa’s response:

From: Datatreya dasa
Date: April 17, 2022
To: Srila Giri Maharaja

Hare Krishna Giri Maharaja,

PAMHO AGTSP

I am a disciple of Trivikrama Swami and his guru is Srila Prabhupada.

Sincerely

D. Wolfgang (Datatreya dasa)

My reply.

To: Datatreya dasa
Date: April 17, 2022

My dandavats to you Sriman Datatreya dasa.

I am a disciple of Trivikrama Swami and his guru is Srila Prabhupada.

Good. You directly answered my first question (below) but not the second.

1) the name of your guru and his guru, 2) whether or not you accept the following as spiritual authorities: Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Srila Sridhara Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Sundara Govinda Maharaja and their guru parampara.

In your email to me you made reference to Srila Sridhara Maharaja. Srila Prabhupada accepted him as his siksha guru:

“So if you are actually serious to take instructions from a siksa guru, I can refer you to one who is most highly competent of all my god-brothers. This is B.R. Sridhara Maharaja, whom I consider to be even my siksa guru, so what to speak of the benefit that you can have from his association. He is living in Navadvipa, and if you like, I can give you letter of introduction as well as I will send him letter to allow you to stay there with him. So if you and Acyutananda are not lost to the poison of Bon Maharaja, and are still serious about advancement of your spiritual life, I will advise you to go to Sridhara Maharaja. Or else I do not know what will save you. So my advice to you both is that you immediately leave the unhealthy and envious association of Bon Maharaja and either proceed to Germany as I have instructed you, or at least go to someone who will be competent to act as siksha guru. This is Sridhara Maharaja.”

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Letter to: Hrsikesa
Los Angeles
31 January, 1969

There are differences of opinion about Srila Sridhara Maharaja among Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. I do not know the position of my Godbrother, His Holiness Sripada Trivikrama Maharaja. In the past I know he had respect for Srila Sridhara Maharaja, but that was three decades ago. I do not know his current position so I must ask you: do you accept Srila Sridhara Maharaja as a bonafide spiritual authority?

Sincerely,

Swami B.K. Giri

Reply from Sriman Datatreya dasa.

From: Datatreya dasa
Date: April 17, 2022
To: Srila Giri Maharaja

Yes I do accept Srila Sridhar Maharaja and Trivikrama Swami also accepts him he quotes him occasionally in his lectures.

My response of April 17, 2022—

On Apr 17, 2022, at 11:20 AM, Datatreya dasa wrote:

Yes I do accept Srila Sridhar Maharaja and Trivikrama Swami also accepts him he quotes him occasionally in his lectures.

Very good. Now we can proceed happily.

What follows below is my response to your email dated April 16 [See: “Taking Sides on the Russia-Ukraine War”].

 

April 17, 2022

Dear Sriman Datatreya dasa,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

I thank you for the opportunity to respond to your mysterious ideas. They are mysterious because your statements are contradicted by your actions. This makes it difficult to unravel your actual positions. I hope you will help me do so.

You begin your letter saying: “I feel it is not befitting to take sides on the Russia-Ukraine war.”

I feel it is not befitting to take sides on the Russia-Ukraine war. I have read some of your articles and find them quite disturbing.

You end it by taking sides against America: “America is the aggressor. America is the evil.”

You also wrote: “It is interesting how devotees take out quotes to support their visions.”

Then you attempt to support your “visions” by referencing something you recall from “the readings of Srila Sridhar Maharaja”: “I have read tape readings of Srila Sridhar Maharaja when [he] talks about ww2. He never took sides. He only explained what he knew.”

In the two instances above you make an argument, then refute it. Because you contradict your own statements it is impossible to understand what you actually believe.

In essence: you are voicing your strong personal opinions while chastising me for doing the same thing. This is illogical and unreasonable. If you disagree, please explain why.

In other words, tell me why you believe it is “befitting” for you to “take sides on the Russia-Ukraine war” while it is “quite disturbing” to you if I do the same thing. Please do the same for taking out quotes to support your position while decrying others for doing so.

You wrote:

I have read tape readings of Srila Sridhar Maharaja when talks about ww2. He never took sides. He only explained what he knew.

And yet take me to task for writing this:

—In its simplest terms Russia is an aggressor to Ukraine. Such aggressors should be killed.

“Enemies, aggressor, they should be killed. There is no ātatāyī. Ātatāyī means one who is aggressor. One who kidnaps one’s wife, one who take away by force one’s wealth, one who sets fire in one’s house, these are called aggressor. So aggressor should be killed.”—

How is what I wrote above different from what you describe as Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s “talks about ww2. He never took sides. He only explained what he knew.”?

Explaining what one knows explains one’s side in a matter without directly saying so. “Krishna is God.” explains what one knows. From that we know his side, he is on the side of theists, not atheists.

Here’s another example of how my point may be applied:

Śrīla Prabhupāda: I have got experience – the government created artificial famine [in India]. The war was going on, so Mr. Churchill’s policy was to keep the people in scarcity so they will volunteer to become soldiers. So this policy was executed. Big men, they collected the rice. Rice was selling at six rupees per mound. All of a sudden it came to fifty rupees per mound. I was in the grocer shop purchasing, and all of a sudden the grocer said, “No, no. I am not going to sell any more!” At that moment the price was six rupees per mound. So suddenly he was not going to sell. A few hours later, I went back to purchase, and the rice had gone up to fifty rupees per mound.

The government-appointed agents began to purchase the rice and other commodities which are daily necessities. They can offer any price, because the currency is in their hands. They can print so-called papers, a hundred dollars, and pay. A man becomes satisfied, thinking, “Oh, I have a hundred dollars.” But it is a piece of paper. …

That was the policy. “You have no money, no rice? So another avenue is open – yes, you become a soldier. You get so much money.” People, out of poverty, would go there. I have seen it. No rice was available in the market. And people were hungry. They were dying. [Srimad-Bhagavatam, Date: Oct. 3, 1972, Los Angeles]

Nowhere in the above does Prabhupada state his side on the matter of the government creating artificial scarcity. He does not say he is for or against it. He only said what he knew about the policy. Yet it is clear he was on the side against it.

So too with me in the quote of mine you extracted: “In its simplest terms Russia is an aggressor to Ukraine. Such aggressors should be killed.” I said what I know, “Russia is an aggressor to Ukraine” and “Such aggressors should be killed.” The former is based on what I believe is common knowledge which even President Putin admits to (taking a special military action in Ukraine). The latter is based on the quote from Srila Prabhupada (“Enemies, aggressor, they should be killed. . . .”).

Did I take a side? Yes. How can it be avoided when stating what one knows? Every statement is an assertion. Every assertion is stating the side one has taken, just as you have done by taking the side of one who disagrees with me via your statements to me.

Finally, to be clear, please tell me whether you would like me to address your beliefs, as in: “I feel it is not befitting to take sides on the Russia-Ukraine war.”, or your actions of taking a side such as your writing: “America is the aggressor. America is the evil.” Perhaps then I can clear any doubts you may have about the appropriateness of my statements.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Swami B.K. Giri

 

Note: It is now almost four months since my above April 17 email to Datatreya dasa. He has not replied. I’ll take it his silence means he came to agree with me and the controversy has been dissolved.