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[Posted July 10, 2008]

Srila Prabhupada on His Godbrothers

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

"They cannot help us in our movement, but they are very competent to harm our natural progress."
From the Letters of Srila Prabhupada, excerpt from a letter to his disciple Rupanuga, 28 April 1974

28 April, 1974

Washington D.C.
My dear Rupanuga Maharaja,

Please accept my blessings.

I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of April 17, from Washington D.C. and I have very carefully noted the contents.

...You are right about Sridhara Maharaja's genuineness. But in my opinion he is the best of the lot. He is my old friend, at least he executes the regulative principles of devotional service. I do not wish to discuss about activities of my Godbrothers but it is a fact they have no life for preaching work. All are satisfied with a place for residence in the name of a temple, they engage disciples to get foodstuff by transcendental devices and eat and sleep. They have no idea or brain how to broadcast the cult of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

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Godbrothers' claim of friendship erroneous
Godbrothers, not equals Hansadutta das

At some point, under inspiration and mandate, Srila Prabhupada assumed the mantle and role of Sampradaya Acharya, and produced the fruit of the Acharya; whereas his godbrothers, who up to that point had regarded him as their intimate friend or equal, assumed the title, but produced no fruit.

At that moment, from that time on, when Srila Prabhupada assumed the authority of Acharya, they were obliged to recognize him as such and render him service, just as Arjuna forgot all friendly talks and accepted Krishna as his spiritual master, or just as when a man takes sannyasa, all his civil connections, civil life is finished. The past relationship between Srila Prabhupada and his godbrothers was finished, or should have transcended to the plane of spiritual life, spiritual connection, but even now the godbrothers are still bringing up their friendship and peership with Srila Prabhupada. more

My Guru Maharaja used to lament many times for this reason and he thought if one man at least had understood the principle of preaching then his mission would achieve success. In the latter days of my Guru Maharaja he was very disgusted. Actually, he left this world earlier, otherwise he would have continued to live for more years. Still he requested his disciples to form a strong Governing body for preaching the cult of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He never recommended anyone to be acharya 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 acharya. If Guru Maharaja could have seen someone who was qualified at that time to be acharya he would have mentioned. Because on the night before he passed away he talked of so many things, but never mentioned an acharya. His idea was acharya was not to be nominated amongst the governing body. He said openly you make a GBC and conduct the mission. So his idea was amongst the members of GBC who would come out successful and self effulgent acharya would be automatically selected. So Sridhara Maharaja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one acharya and later it proved a failure. The result is now everyone is claiming to be acharya even though they may be kanistha adhikari with no ability to preach. In some of the camps the acharya is being changed three times a year. Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp. Actually amongst my Godbrothers no one is qualified to become acharya. 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.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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Srila Prabhupada
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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