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4 June 2004
[Gadadhara das wrote:] Dear Hansadutta, all glories to Prabhupada! please accept my humble obeisances. Just clarify a few things regarding these other gurus. I have had the opportunity to hear what their disciples are preaching (most notably Narayan Maharaja). First, it is completely offensive that they seek to minimize Srila Prabhupada, but I think it's also important to address a simple fact on the philosophy (please correct me if I am wrong). They say that our "aim is to become Gopis with Krishna."
Dear Gadadhara Prabhu, obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada. I will follow your letter and intersperse my comments as I go from one point to the next. The aim of devotional service is to revive our original Love for Krishna. The living entity already has his eternal relationship with Krishna. Because we have lost or forgotten this unique relationship with the Lord, we are always dissatisfied (dis= not, sat=eternal, isfied=permeated, as in electrified). The relationship with Krishna exists now. Just as one may go out of home, forgetting his relationship with his father, but that does not mean it does not exist; it exists, and when one is reminded of it, it is revived. One cannot be happy in any other relationship with Krishna, save and except that relationship which is eternally his, or his svarup. The foot or leg of my body may become numb due to some ailment, but when it is revived it does not become the hand or the head; it always remains the leg in relationship with the whole body. Prabhupada explains that it is a natural awakening of mature perfection in the course of practicing devotional service. A boy is nothing but an immature man. In due course of time he comes to maturity. It is not something to be artificially practiced and attained. A flower on the apple tree develops from the bud, to flower, to knot, to green, unripe, sour apple, and ultimately to the mature, sweet red apple. It is natural: it happens by the grace of KRISHNA. Similarly, one's svarup is revealed in the mature stage of Krishna consciousness. In the immature stage, little girls play with dolls and cook mud pies. In the natural course of time, they actually beget their own children and cook their own meals.
[Gadadhara wrote:] I pose the question, how can we even THINK of becoming Gopis (the greatest of all devotees of Krishna) if we haven't even begun our loving devotional relationship with Him? There is a part in the Mahabarata where Duryodhana and Arjuna go to visit Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is lying on His bed, and they both approach Him. Duryodhana goes to approach Krishna's face and embraces Him, and Arjuna goes to greet Him at His lotus feet. Krishna of course ignores Duryodhana and immediatly goes to Arjuna because he is at His feet. The moral of the story is that Krishna went to Arjuna because he was at His feet rather then being like Duryodhana, being arrogant and going directly to this face to embrace Him, acting as if they were equals.
[Hansadutta wrote:] Yes, this is a nice example of devotees relationship with Krishna. Although Arjuna was thick and thin with Krishna, still he always remained very respectful towards him. They were soldiers. Prabhupada mentioned that sometimes in their tent, in the casual hours of the evening, they would laugh and joke together, as soldiers are apt to do. Krishna gave hint to Arjuna how to kidnap his sister, Subhadra for marriage. He suggested Arjuna dress himself as a sannyasi. In this way he could get near and carry her away. These are some of the symptoms of Arjuna's loving, friendly relationship with Krishna. Just immagine how intimate and confidential they were. In every lifetime, Arjuna is with Krishna, thick and thin. We cannot immagine--it is so exhalted. This Narayana Swami is just like Duryodhana: impudent and puffed up, with no good intentions, except to exploit Srila Prabhupoada, who is like Arjuna and Krishna. His [Narayana Swami's] followers are all a set of fools like the wicked Sakuni, the envious Karna and others.
[Gadadhara wrote:] Oh, I want to be a Gopi, the greatest devotee. But we are supposed to be the servant of the servant and think of ourselves completly UNgreat. It's all about devotional service and understanding that we are not the doer, Krishna is! We aim to control but find it impossible due to the modes of Material Nature. Krishna controls everything and only He can contol material nature. Krishna is attracted by devotional service. As is says in the Nectar of Devotion, last paragraph, page 17:
"That is the proof of how great this process of devotional service is. It can attract even the Supreme Personality of Godhead. God is great, but devotional service is greater then God because it attracts Him. People who are not in devotional service can never understand what great value there is in rendering service to the Lord."
[Hansadutta wrote:] When Vishwhambhara was initiated, I asked him if he was following the 4 regulative principles, and chanting 16 rounds and will he marry his girl friend (Bhagavan's daughter) thereby being responsible as Prabhupada taught us. He said it was not nescessary, Narayana Maharaja is merciful. I pointed out that these are prerequsite qualifications, minimum requirements for sadhana bhakti, and if these things are not in place, there is no possibility of making advancement in devotional service. Just like the medical school requires certain standard of preliminary high school education before they admit a student for further study; otherwise without certain preliminary educational achivements, the student will not be able to do the work of higher medical school. He simply could not understand this simple point, because he is in love--not with Narayana Maharaja, or Krishna, but with his senses. And the beautiful Manjari devi dasi is engaged by him in satifying his senses, and she is engaging him in satisfying her senses, and Narayana Maharaja allows all this because he knows that many students will become his disciple if he is very MERCIFUL, by not restricting their sense gratification.
Prithu Prabhu, the German devotee, told me a story which illustates how ambitious and unscrupulous Narayan is in his determination to collect disciples. The gist of his story is that Narayana Maharaja told one married lady, wife of a multi-millionaire husband, who is a staunch worshipper of Srila Prabhupada, "DID YOU KNOW THAT SRILA PRABHUPADA USED TO SELL ALCOHOL ??" When the woman heard this, she flew into a rage and threw her initiation beads in Narayana's face and abandoned him, to the great relief of her anxious husband.
[Gadadhara wrote:] So it seems that aiming to become Gopis is like aiming to conqure the world. Well, I think if one is to aim to conqure the world he should first aim to be a king or president and before that he needs to aim to be a governor and before that maybe a mayor. My point is that why should we even think of these things if they are completly unattainable? Attain to be particle of dust on Krishna's lotus feet. Right? Just simply the servant of the servant. So is Gopi our aim? Or no?
[Hansadutta wrote:] Our aim is to serve Srila Prabhupada. At the time of initiation, Srila Prabhupada would ask each newly initiated disciple, "What are the four regulative principles?" And upon hearing their answer, he would say, "And every day you must chant 16 rounds minimum on your beads. Even if you have to lose sleep or miss prasadam, you must do it." There is no secret. Everything is in the books of Srila Prabhupada. You simply have to read them regularly, as the karmis read newspapers and magazine, watch the news on TV and hear the news on the radio to keep up on mundane current events. The devotee must hear, chant and read Srila Prabhupada's books, and explain (preach) to innocent people as a regular daily function. In this way he remains on the spiritual platform. He remains SATISFIED ( sat=eternal, fied=permeated). The devotee remains permeated with the quality of eternity, sat chit ananda. If one touches an electrified wire, he will be electrified, permeated with the electric current coming from the power house. He will be in touch with the power house, and he will die. When we come in touch with Krishna by hearing about him from the agent of Krishna, either personally, or by reading his books, or by chanting His name, or by taking His prasadam, or performing His service, no matter how apparently menial, we are immediately elevated to the spiritual platform. Unlike being in touch with electricity--which kills, being in touch with eternity, with Krishna (Krishna-ized), we come more and more to life, eternal life.
On the other hand, if you come and remain in touch with a Narayana Maharaja, an envious, ambitious fool, you will become more and more DEAD, or asat, non eternal. We can think of Narayana as doing a necessary service to Krishna. He is rounding up all useless fools and rascals who refuse to surrender to Srila Pabhupada and Krishna, and he is taking them to hell, just as the police round up all the vagrants, mis-achieve mongers and criminals and take them to the jail, where they are kept from creating disturbances for law-abiding citizens.
another point that should be made is that they
say that they are teaching us the next level.
Prabhupada brought us "so far", and now we are ready to
go "further". No way! There is a Buddhist story with a
simple point. The Buddha (or someone--I can't remember)
was giving directions to passersby, and four people
went and took directions. One of them managed to come
back, and told him that he got lost. The Buddha (or
whoever) told him, "Whose fault is that? It's the
person who took the directions who was at fault." The
Bhudda said, "I've been down that road a hundred times.
I could walk there with my eyes closed. I told you how
to get there, but you didn't listen. You deviated from
the path." So Prabhupada's instructions are there. Everything
is there. We just have to follow. Is that right?
I just want to arm myself to be able to know what it
is I am talking about when I may find myself
unfortunately disscussing this most distressful
subject matter. Thank you for kindly listening.
[Hansadutta wrote:] Even if we accept this argument, it must be noted that if Prabhupada took his followers to the first level, then these people [Narayana's disciples] have not yet attained this "first level", because they have never followed his [Srila Prabhupada's] instructions of chanting 16 rounds and obeying the four regulative principles, and engaging in devotional activities (like selling his books and recruiting new disciples for Srila Prabhupada). In fact, even Narayana Maharaja has not attained this elementary "first level", because I am sure he has never read Srila Prabhupada's books, nor has he sold Srila Prabhupada's books, nor has he opened any temple for Srila Prabhupada. There are, however, many Prabhupada disciples who have risked their lives, their health, their money, have used their intelligence and all to serve srila Prabhupada twenty-four hours a day for years together. What has Narayana done? Compared to his "disciples" worldwide, nothing to speak of. He has done nothing in comparison to what was done personally by Srila Prabhupada, or even his so called low, "first level" disciples who were deputed in the early years to all corners of the world and against all odds and obstacles (like in Russia, China, Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Japan, Germany etc.). Some went to jail for years. Some were maimed or killed in the line of preaching.
I asked one so-called admiring Narayana follower (ex-Prabhupada disciple) "Would you do for Narayana M. what you did for Srila Prabhupada, like daily Sankirtan, book distribution, no matter heat, cold, wind, rain, day and night, year in, year out???" He immediately replied a resounding and definitive "NO". I said, "Would any of his disciple do what we did for Srila Prabhupada?" Again he said a loud and clear "NO". I then asked him, "Would you do ten percent of what you did for Srila Prabhupada, would anyone else do ten percent?" Again he said "NO", and added, "Yes, I get the point, it is all nonsense. No one would do for him (Narayana Maharaja) what we did for Srila Prabhupada." What more do you need to know?
What Srila Prabhupada did in ten years with the disciples who came to him was not the doing of some ordinary India sahajia gaudya renegade swami. Srila Prabhupada's activities, his books, and his disciples' service was the manifestation of the SHAKTAVISH AVATAR. Therefore I say all these yogis, swamis and so-called gurus who do not recognize Srila Prabhupada's actual position, but try to belittle him, or circumvent, or ignore him are nothing more than impersonators. Just like ELVIS PRESLY was the king of Rock and Roll, so it is fashionable to imitate or impersonate ELVIS. When we see someone doing so, it is an opportunity for amusement, an opportunity for fun. So take them like that. They (these so- called gurus, acharyas) are ELVIS IMPERSONATORS. Have a good laugh and leave it at that. Don't get all bent out of shape. Some are more convincing than others, but none of them are or ever will be anything near Srila Prabhupada. No more than the best ELVIS IMPERSONATOR will ever be ELVIS. Never.
In closing I
would like to quote Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada, who wrote in honor of his Father, Srila
Bhaktivinode Thakur: "THERE IS AN ETERNALLY IMPASSIBLE LINE OF
DEMARCATION BETWEEN THE SAVIOR AND THE SAVED. THOSE WHO ARE TRULY SAVED
P.S. Some years ago we published a small article "The Awesome Statistics of What Srila Prabhupada Did in 10 Years". Find it and read it. It's truly awesome.
Gurus and things…/ Inside Nam Hatta
© 2004 - Hansadutta dasa
World Sankirtan Party