Inside Nam Hatta

Inside Nam Hatta has the scoop on goings-on, developments and issues important to the disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

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From Umapati Swami

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From: "US" <>
To: "hans jurgen kary"<>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2005 17:29:51 +0800
Subject: RE:

Dear old buddy Hansadutta Prabhu,
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Thanks for the kind letter. It's true I was annoyed by your letter. I did not expect something like this from you, and I am happy that our relationship is still the same. It's true that we have never had a conflict, and I don't want to start one now.

I don't want to go through this ritvik-guru thing again. I have given it a lot of thought and a lot of discussion with people on both sides, and I am convinced that what I am doing now is the best thing. I have tried to learn from your mistakes and from the mistakes of the others.

I am also guided by an incident in Los Angeles in the '70s. Sudama had recently arrived there after taking sannyasa. We were talking one evening, and he told me that it was unbearable for him to see people offering him obeisances. While we were talking, Visala Prabhu came up to us. "Oh, Maharaja," he said, "may I touch your holy danda?"

Sudama looked at me. "I can't stand it," he said.

Srila Prabhupada was in Los Angeles at that time, and a few days later Sudama came up to me outside. "I went to see Srila Prabhupada," he said, " and I told him that I couldn't stand it that people were bowing to me, and he told me, 'They're not bowing to *you*.'"

I always keep this in mind. When my disciples tell me how great I am, I say, "I am a fallen soul like you. The difference is that I read Srila Prabhupada's books and you don't." I remind them that the only reason they are coming to see me is that I am repeating what is in Srila Prabhupada's books. Would they come if I were teaching anything else?

When people ask me for blessings, I tell them that Srila Prabhupada's books are my blessings and that they should read more. When people ask me for special instructions, I tell them to study Srila Prabhupada's books. I tell them that the guru must first of all be a good disciple and that they should read Srila Prabhupada's books to see whether or not I am truly following.

I know I am in a dangerous situation. It would be so easy to start thinking, "Yeah, baby, I really got it together." I constantly remind myself that I am not the savior but the servant of the savior. I know well that as soon as I forget this I will be in big trouble. I have certainly seen it enough.

And I have also seen enough to know that today's weeping disciple could be my strongest critic tomorrow.

Nara Narayana said that my attitude is rare, but it is not rare among the people that I associate with. And I don't associate with any other kind of person. I don't go along with the current fashion of thinking that Srila Prabhupada may know all about the spiritual world but he really doesn't understand women or mundane social issues. In all circumstances, I try to be a disciple.

My point about doing and not doing is that if people want to say that I am doing things wrong, then let them open centers and show me how to do it right, but so far, I have not seen any example among the ritviks and the critics that I would want to follow. I cannot stand it when people just pick and pick at whatever little faults they can find in others.

As far as the GBC goes, I appreciate the encouragement and moral support that they give me. I couldn't ask for anyone nicer than my own GBC, and Tamal Krishna Maharaja was as good to me as I could have ever asked for.

It was great seeing you in Mayapur. I am happy to have found you again, and I would like to continue the association, but please, no ritvik-guru stuff.

I notice that you did not put any other receivers on this e-mail, but feel free to share it. I look forward to hearing from you.

Your most humble servant,
Umapati Swami

-----Original Message-----
From: hans jurgen kary []
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 1:31 AM

Dear Umapati Maharaja,
Please accept my humble obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada. I can see that my letter made you very angry, please forgive me, this was not my intention.. I was really happy to see you in Mayapur, and I cannot remember ever having any real serious conflict with you. You have always been warm and friendly towards me and others. I was not ranting and raving in Mayapur, you must have seen someone else, but not me. I was very happy to see you, otherwise I would not say so.

I think you misunderstood my quoting Lord Buddhha "DO NOTHING". I did not mean to suggest that as Prabhupada's disciples we should "DO NOTHING" and sit on the sidelines griping. Rather my point was that doing something we are not authorised to do results in disasters, and under the circumstances it would be wise to clarify what exactly we are authorised to in terms of the GURU-RITTVIK ISSUE .

I am also not comparing GURUs to Tyrants, but illustrating my point that  simply because someone is doing something, therefore it makes the question of one's authority to do what he is doing irrelevant.

I don't know who related my narration of Srila Prabhupada's asking for your company to Santa Fe while we were in Montreal, but I certainly did not narrate the story as a criticism of you; rather in telling this story I was pointing out how utterly unaware we were of the fact that Prabhupada, by material standards alone, was an old man, but we (me, you and whoever else there was in the movement at the time) did not have the sense to arrange a traveling companion, or travelling assistant. I have related the story on a number of occasions, but never to criticise you, or rave and rant against you, but really to remember our associations with His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, and how inspite of our incompetence or unconsciousness he was ever so graceful.

No, I don't expect you to take spiritual advice from me (I'm not sitting on the side lines), but I do expect you to think carefully and deeply on the facts as they stand in connection with the issue of Prabhupada's arrangement for his disciples to continue initiation after his departure. After all Srila Prabhupada did write the July 9th letter--he supported it in subsequest letters--and the fact that this directive (clear Prescription) has been ignored has not produced very satisfactory results. There is no harm in learning from one's or other one's mistakes. I have certainly made enormous mistakes. The same mistakes I made have been made by others who are more qualified and talented than I could ever be. Something is definately wrong, and having been on both sides of the fence, am trying to illuminate the issue as I see and understand it. I really do not want to quarrel with you, I was actually moved at your friendly attitude towards me when we briefly met in Mayapur. So please forgive me if I have offended you with my letter, or in any other way. You are preaching on the frontier of a communist country, and I know that takes a lot of faith, determination and austerity. I was in China in 1995 and saw first-hand what China is like. I offer you all my respects and best wishes for success, and again ask you not to be angry or offended by me.

Your humble servant,
Hansadutta das

From Umapati Swami/ Inside Nam Hatta
© 2004 - Hansadutta dasa
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