June 2, 1999 VNN4025 See Related VNN Stories | Comment on this story
Srila Narayana Maharaja's Comment To Ritvik Leader
BY BHUDHARA DAS
USA, Jun 2 (VNN) Dear Prabhus, dandavat pranams, all glories to Guru and Gauranga.
I read the report of his grace Gauridas Pandit das this morning, and noted a number of misinterpretations and omissions in his presentation of his discussion with Sripad Narayana Maharaja. I was in the room at the time of his discussion with Maharaja, and would like to offer a few brief comments that I hope will clarify Maharaja's words with Gauridas Pandit prabhu. I think it is a common occurrence that exchanges between two people are recollected through the filter of one's own pre-conceptions. I also think that the issue of language has influenced Gauridas Pandit prabhu's view of the mood and direction of Maharaja's comments, in that Maharaja will at times make statements that can easily be taken out of context (or misunderstood) due to their brevity. My comments follow the quotations of Gauridas Pandit prabhu's report:
Gauridas Pandit das: "At this point I said that I heard Srila Prabhupada say that he wanted ritviks to initiate after he left the planet and it is recorded on the May 28th 1977 tape. Narayana Maharaja then said that ritvik gurus were not in our sampradaya and we should follow our sampradaya. He asked why I don't follow this. I said I follow the sampradaya through Srila Prabhupada and I said I don't want to jump over my guru. He said, 'You have to.' "
Bhudhara das: While I accept that Gauridas Pandit's representation of this is without rancour, it is dangerously misleading. The actual quote should have been, "You have to, you have jump so high." What Maharaja was saying here is not that we should jump over Srila Prabhupada, but that Gauridas Pandit has to jump higher in his understanding of our sampradaya and the historical fact that never has a ritvik concept been authorised by our acharyas as a replacement for the descent of bhakti through the disciplic line of bona fide gurus.
Maharaja went on to make his point by saying that Srila Prabhupada is an empowered representative of Rupa, Sanatana and Ragunatha das Goswamis, and begged the question, "is Srila Prabhupada creating something different to the line established by our acharyas?"
Gauridas Pandit das: "He asked me if I give ritvik initiations and I said no. He said why and I replied that I was never ordered by Srila Prabhupada or the GBC to do it. He said that the GBC were fallen and have no potency.
Bhudhara das: Maharaja's comment was that "GBC have fallen", suggesting that fallible persons can not have the authority to change was has been given by Rupa Goswami. Maharaja did not make a blanket statement about a body of persons many of whom he may not have met.
Gauridas Pandit das: I said we need a GBC but it needs to be reformed. I said that Srila Prabhupada is still present in his books and the books are the law-books for the next 10,000 years. Maharaja said that Srila Prabhupada never said that."
Bhudhara das: What Maharaja said was that "Srila Prabhupada has never written that in his books." In other words, Gauridas Pandit may have heard him say that, but as in all things shastric the final word is what is written down by the acharya.
Gauridas Pandit das: Narayana Maharaja said there is no such thing as a ritvik guru and I replied that we don't say the ritvik is the guru, Srila Prabhupada is the guru, and the ritvik is his representative. He said the ritvik only does the sacrifice and I agreed.
Bhudhara das: Maharaja's point here is that the use of a ritvik implies ipso facto an inability on the part of the person to perform the ritualistic function. He went on to make the point that a ritvik priest can not act a transparent viable vehicle for the transmission or establishment of a transcendent relationship. Ritvik is wholly and solely a functionary for material concerns. Maharaja makes an important point in bringing the subject matter up for our consideration.
Gauridas Pandit das: He asked me who made Srila Prabhupada a guru and I said Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Maharaja did. He said no. I said Srila Prabhupada told a reporter who asked him that Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati appeared to him in a dream and ordered him to be the guru and he did. Maharaja said, "that is nothing."
Bhudhara das: Maharaja is not saying that Prabhupada's dream is nothing, but that within the context of the discussion it lacks the substance that sadhus and learned men would accept as validation of one's rightful position as acharya. No where have dreams been accepted as proof of one's qualification to sit on the Vyas Asana. Maharaja is trying to bring the discussion to the level of shastra as precedent for determining the validity of the ritvik argument.
Gauridas Pandit das: I said Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati said that he would do everything in time and he also objected to that.
Bhudhara das: Maharaja did not object to that in any way. I am sorry for correcting Gauridas Pandit, but this is a complete misunderstanding on his part.
Gauridas Pandit das: I never thought I would change the Maharaja's mind after reading his position but I thought I should at least state the facts and leave the result to Krsna. I feel that his position will change after he hears all of the historical evidence left by Srila Prabhupada.
Bhudhara das: The principle point is that Gauridas Pandit das did not present any shastic evidence to support his position, and this was the primary focus of Maharaja's comments to him. It will likely require more than sentiment to establish the ritvik concept as a new and bona fide divergence from the line of Rupa and Ragunatha Goswami's.
Finally, I can confirm that the exchange between Gauridas Pandit das and Maharaja was respectful and pleasant. I have no doubt about the sincerity of his presentations to Maharaja, and I do not doubt his intention in presenting his view of the conversation that took place. I also accept my own fallibility in these matters, and offer the above as my own recollection of the conversation as it took place. I trust it will help to clarify a number of important points, which if left to Gauridas Pandit das' version would not, I believe, help us all in establishing a clear understanding of the subject matter, nor would it properly represent Sripad Narayana Maharaja 's viewpoint.
Your servant, Bhudhara das
Related VNN Stories | Comment on this story | Contact VNN about this story | Send this story to a friendThis story URL: http://www.vnn.org/world/WD9906/WD02-4025.html
NEWS DESK | WORLD | TOP
Surf the Web on