Can a Devotee Be Redeemed? (06/25/06)
Dear B_____ Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga.
Thank you for your email. We are mortified to hear the terrible story about G____ Mahārāja and your unpleasant experience at the maṭha of Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja! Such an incident is most regrettable and Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja would certainly never approve of such behavior. However, I think you were lucky because it could have been much worse.
I should apologize because I may have misled you to think that I am close with and hold G___ Mahārāja in high esteem. Actually, I have not been to Śrī Caitanya Sārasvata Maṭha since 1993 for similar reasons as you have mentioned, but much more complex.
However, your saṅga (or so it seems) has also not been free from violent outbursts from time to time, as I myself was even threatened to be shot by one of your members at Śaraṇāgati a few years ago. It wasn’t a nice experience having that big dumb brute standing there in front of me saying he would get his gun and blow me away, but having been threatened like that several times before by people in Iskcon, I wasn’t very much affected and I managed to keep my composure. I simply told the guy I didn’t think that was a good idea. But frankly put, my disciples were very disturbed.
The story about N___Mahārāja is already known to me and it is disgusting beyond belief! However, according to the information sent to me by B____ Mahārāja and others, illicit sex with ‘sisters’ has also plagued some of your Guru Mahārāja’s closest sannyāsī disciples. Certainly you must be aware of these things and it must be far more disappointing to you than it is to me. The question is, does a devotee’s failure at some point discredit all the service he has done or by the grace of Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas can he be redeemed? I think you already know the answer, but do you apply it universally or only to members of your own camp?
At some future date I will try to meet with Śrīpāda V_____ Mahārāja in Bangalore for some discussions and Kṛṣṇa willing, I may again meet your Guru Mahārāja some day in the Holy Dhāma.
Wishing you well,
Swami B.G. Narasingha