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.” What to speak of ordinary things, even the guru, may have to be abandoned. One may even have to give up one’s own spiritual guide, as in the case of Bali Maharaja, or one’s relatives, as in the case of Vibhisana. In the case of Prahlada, his father had to be given up, and in the case of Bharata Maharaja, it was his mother. In the case of Khatvanga Maharaja, he left the demigods, and in the case of the yajna patnis, (the wives of the brahmanas) they left their husbands in the endeavor to reach the Absolute Personality.

—Srila Sridhara Maharaja, Sri Guru and His Grace

I assume you rejected me because you believed I could not fulfill my duties as your guru, as described above. Our parting was amicable because, just as there is guru lakhan (qualification of a guru), in like manner there is sishya lakhan. You could not fulfill your duties to me as a disciple. When you sought initiation from me I took you to be sincere in your request, having understood the obligations of both guru and sishya. Yesterday you told me that due to some eagerness on your part you had not actually understood or properly considered your pursuit of initiation from me and that you later realized, as you continue to do, it was a mistake. Thus, the connection was broken.

Yesterday you expressed a desire to come here to help us, as you helped in the past. I appreciate the sentiment but believe it is guided more by emotion than devotion. As a result, it will soon pass and, like your initiation, give way to other emotions which you will feel the need to oblige, having learned little or nothing at all during your stay with us.

As you ascertained, we are in need of help, almost desperately so. However, as I told you yesterday, we look to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandhavika Giridhari and Their devotees as our protectors. Their protection is reliable. Those guided by their emotions are unreliable and often quite troublesome.

Conspicuously absent in your expressed desire to come here was taking direction from me, which just happens to be the principal criteria that must be met for those wishing to stay in our Math.

Notwithstanding all of the above, you left my sampradaya and that of my guru varga for another. Your sampradaya and mine are not compatible. Therefore, I see no way forward in your proposal to come here. It will be better you stay with your own group and not disturb us. They are equipped to offer you the type of nourishment you seek. We are not.

I wish you well.


Swami B.K. Giri