Perpetuating Institutional Offences (06/04/16)
To whom it may concern:
I have read S______ Prabhu’s recent comments dated June 3rd 2016 on my articles regarding the topic of the Adbhūta Mandira and Iskcon’s Deity focus in Māyāpura. These articles were first published in 2004 and 2005.
I am surprised that a loyal member of possibly the most sectarian Vaiṣṇava organization to have ever existed on this planet, tries to do away with the content and substance of my articles by dismissing them as jaded ‘political and sectarian’ opinions on my part. I find this almost humorous.
In regards to the subject being discussed, the information provided in my articles is purely historical – both materially and spiritually. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura envisioned the Adbhūta Mandira twice – it led him to the Yogapīṭha, the very birth-site of Lord Caitanya in 1887. Then, in 1933, Sarasvatī Ṭhākura opened the temple at Yogapīṭha which was widely declared throughout Bengal and Gauḍīya literature at the time as being the Adbhūta Mandira envisioned by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura.
Furthermore, the prediction is that from that temple, Kṛṣṇa Consciousness will spread all over the world and then Vaiṣṇavas from all over the world will come and join with the Bengali Vaiṣṇavas and chant the holy name in the saṅkīrtana of Mahāprabhu.
Our Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda spread that Kṛṣṇa Consciousness all over the world and brought everyone back to Māyāpura as predicted. The glory of Bhaktivinoda is that he envisioned the Adbhūta Mandira at Yogapīṭha (emphasis on Yogapīṭha!). Bhaktisiddhānta built the Adbhūta Mandira at Yogapīṭha and Prabhupāda spread Kṛṣṇa Consciousness throughout the world as a disciple of Bhaktisiddhānta and brought everyone back to Yogapīṭha.
It is not fitting to take the achievements of Bhaktisiddhānta and attribute them to Prabhupāda. Prabhupāda wanted to build the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium and he never once referred to it as the Adbhūta Mandira as envisioned by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura – not once! The idea for such a grand temple itself was not originally Prabhupāda’s – it was the idea of his godbrother Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja. In a recorded conversation in Navadvīpa at Śrīdhara Mahārāja’s maṭha in 1977, Śrīla Prabhupāda told Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja:
“That Planetarium also will be built under your direction. My idea is to combine the Indian culture and the American money – the lame man and the blind man policy. I tell them also that this will be very beneficial for the world.”
The emphasis here is on the words “under your direction”. All will agree that the temple envisioned by Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja which Śrīla Prabhupāda desired to be built on ISKCON property, under ISKCON management, is no doubt meant to broadcast the glories of Caitanya Mahāprabhu and the highest conception of theism to the world. This, however, is becoming a point of embarrassment.
Although the temple being built at Māyāpura is undoubtedly grand, the conception and the Deities within, (namely Rādhā-Mādhava and the Aṣṭa-sakhīs), falls embarrassingly short of the highest conception of theism in Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism which Prabhupāda himself initially installed, represented as Gaura-Rādhā-Mādhava (mahāprabhu śrī caitanya, rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya). This conception of Gaura Rādhā-Mādhava should have just been made bigger – not replaced by the Aṣṭa-sakhīs, because Kṛṣṇa standing with the Aṣṭa-sakhīs is not the highest conception of Godhead. The highest conception is when Kṛṣṇa stands with Rādhā and becomes one and that one is Mahāprabhu. The combined form of Rādhā-Mādhava is the form of Mahāprabhu. This Deity form represents the highest conception of theism. It for this reason that Prabhupāda installed Mahāprabhu and Rādhā-Mādhava in the Māyāpura Candradaya Mandira. They are in perfect harmony.
This is no time for harmonizing in the manner that S_____ has suggested. This is the time for understanding the truth as it is and all things in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness related to that truth. How they can be harmonized with each other and how they will be presented to the world is to be taken to the higher level of harmony, not the lower level.
Unfortunately, for decades Iskcon has rejected Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja. Nevertheless, it has been Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja’s contribution through his books and representatives in the field of proper conception that has already come to Iskcon’s rescue several times in the past. Iskcon can benefit immensely by going forward with the śikṣā and insights of Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja, but before that, its leaders have to give up their perpetual making of offenses to Srila Sridhara Maharaja (I herein reference contemporary Iskcon preaching such as a lecture given in 2014 by R_________ wherein he makes several out-of-context statements and offensive remarks about Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja, thus perpetuating the institutional offenses in the minds of loyal neophytes. If you would like a copy of a transcript of his class, it is available on request).
If any of the above perks your interest, we are open to sharing what we have to offer with Iskcon for their benefit, providing their negative attitudes towards Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja can be adjusted.
(AKA Jagat-Guru Swami)
P.S. Rumor has it that Madhu Pandita and the Rtviks are going to build a temple in Mayapur 10 feet bigger than Iskcon’s temple. Will that make their temple the Adbhuta Mandira?