A Wave of Sahajiyaism (01/23/19)
Śrī Śrī Guru Gaurāṅga jayate.
Thank you for your email. As for sharing our Bhakti-aṣṭāṅga manuscript with your friend _______, we certainly have no objection. Regarding transcendental knowledge we follow Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja’s mood who has said, “These words, this knowledge, is the property of the Vaiṣṇavas and this is for the purpose of sharing with humanity. Anyone who wishes to distribute and share this knowledge for the benefit of others is free to do as they see fit.”
After reading the manuscript, I began a second edition, “Bhakti-aṣṭāṅga Revised” which will be for practicing Vaiṣṇavas and advanced students. The revised edition is basically the same, but with the added inform from “Bhajana-rahasya” by Bhaktivinoda, Gopāla Guru’s “Smaraṇa Paddhati” and Dhyānacandra Gosvāmī’s paddhati.
These additions will come in the sections on japa, kīrtana, līlā–dhyāna, etc. In future we may print all this information in a small book, but for the foreseeable future it will just be in manuscript form.
Yes, preaching means Bhagavad-gītā. That is the standard shown by our ācāryas. Once, Bhakti Pramoda Purī Mahārāja said to a few of us sannyāsīs, “There is a wave of sahajiyaism coming to the west and it is your duty to preach against the sahajiyā conception.”
That was in 1997. Since then, we see so much sahajiyā influence in the western Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, both in and outside of Iskcon. It is understandable that neophyte devotees without sufficient knowledge and association can be influenced by sahajiyā preachers, but it is heart breaking to see that even among the leaders of Iskcon that they are being influenced by sahajiyā tendencies.
You have understood correctly — preach Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. So you may wonder then why have I published my own abridged edition of the Gītā. There were several reasons for this, but the first reason was that, in the hope that I would dry up and blow away, the BBT in India made it a rule that no temple or devotees were to sell me or my followers any of Prabhupāda’s books. Naturally, being a street boy at heart, this angered me and as a result we became determined to publish our own books. This all transpired back in the 90s.
There was even an attempt at that time to copyright the mahā–mantra so that no other devotees could use it or publish it other than Iskcon. Of course that failed and after some years BBT leaders changed their tune and now they are happy to sell us books. Anyway, as Śrīdhara Mahārāja used to say, “All for the good, all for the good.”
Always happy to be of service to the Vaiṣṇava community.
Wishing you well,