I Don’t Wish to Bang Heads (06/04/02)
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. I am sorry to not have responded to your request. The urgency was due to X_Mahārāja´s impending visit, which is now over. While he was here, I was busy with some of our godbrothers who came to assist me. Basically everything went well. He came to our temple for 10 minutes, took darśana and went to Srīla Prabhupāda´s room, and left.
What I wanted to consult was for my own understanding. If you remember, in South India, I kept asking about the idea of him being a sahajiyā or not. It occurred to me that after some devotees began to publish Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja´s teachings in book form, even though he spoke very carefully about rādhā-dāsyam, steeped with warning about not entering into deep intimate pastimes; a wave of sahajiyāism swept through South America and parts of the USA, mostly people who misrepresented him, or didn’t understand his warnings, or interpreted his soft and merciful nature as being permissive.
Internally I have not seen that X_Mahārāja is a very elevated devotee, although he is certainly well-read. I do not think that X_Mahārāja is a sahajiyā, but he and his group certainly have a lot of the sahajiyā style. Putting the sahajiyā issue aside, I still do not think that X_Mahārāja represents either Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja or Śrīla Purī Mahārāja. I sometimes wonder if X_Mahārāja even represents his own guru.
Many of the points of X_Mahārāja are not in line with our Guardian ācāryas (such as his opinion on the omniscience of Śrīla Prabhupāda etc). X_Mahārāja also has many misunderstandings about why Śrīla Prabhupāda did many things (such as his opinion of why Śrīla Prabhupāda gave gāyatrī via a tape recording). But most importantly, I think that X_Mahārāja has a vendetta against Iskcon and he consciously tries to disrupt Iskcon (this, in my humble opinion, is certainly not the mentality of a pure devotee). And ten times worse than X_Mahārāja are his arrogant followers.
Nonetheless, in most cases, Iskcon is no match for the philosophy of X_Mahārāja. I rarely come upon a devotee in Iskcon who really understands Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava philosophy. Most devotees in Iskcon base their dedication to Iskcon and Śrīla Prabhupāda on sentiment and fanatical society-consciousness rather than on a balanced understanding of siddhānta and historical perspective. Thus the Iskcon devotees are usually no match for the X_Mahārāja’s gang!
So, is it not possible that X_Mahārāja is actually on a level of practicing Kṛṣṇa consciousness and higher aspects of internal understandings, but lacks some discrimination in his presentation, or is one a sahajiyā or tainted by a sahajiyā tendency when one teaches such subject matters to unqualified people? As I mentioned to you, Śrīla B.P. Purī Mahārāja told us that he who teaches to the unqualified is also not qualified. But he did not mention X_Mahārāja as a sahajiyā.
Either way I look at it, the same conclusion is reached – X_Mahārāja does not represent the devotional line that I endeavour to follow and thus I have no inclination towards his association.
Also, in their last magazine, the X_Mahārāja followers include articles from everyone (Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhaktisiddhānta, Śrīdhara Mahārāja, Purī Mahārāja etc) and they give thanks to B_ Mahārāja for his contribution. What is his stance on the X_Mahārāja people?
His stance is, ‘Better a ‘shallow peace’ than an all out war.’ It seems that I have also adopted a similar policy these days (I do not go out of my way to bang heads with the X_Mahārāja camp, but I do not desire their company either).
These are the two matters I was going to consult with you. I will be in the USA on Monday, in case you don’t want to commit yourself in writing on these subjects, and would rather say it on the phone. Thank you for the concern. Most of our godbrothers in Mexico, especially C__ Prabhu and others, were a little put off at X_Mahārāja’s constant insistence that he is Śrīla Prabhupāda’s only successor.
Sounds like Muhammad Ali, “I am the greatest!”
As it is said in the Sanskrit culture, “It is easy for a crow to take the bearing of an eagle when he comes upon a dead lizard.”
I hope this meets you well.
Swami B.G. Narasiṅgha