Srila Sridhara Maharaja Glorifies
Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON
Srila Sridhara Maharaja has on numerous occasions resolved problems that
arose between Srila Prabhupada and his godbrothers. An example of this is
the controversy that arose amongst Prabhupada's godbrothers when his disciples
began addressing him as "Prabhupada," and later chanting "Jaya
Prabhupada" in his glorification.
Some of Srila Prabhupada's disciples, in the early days of ISKCON,
while visiting the Caitanya Saraswat Matha, heard Niskincana Krsnadasa Babaji
Maharaja chant Prabhupada-padma stavaka composed
by Srila Sridhara Maharaja. At the end he started singing "Jaya Prabhupada,
Jaya Prabhupada" [in glorification of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakura.] The disciples of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada liked this
chanting of "Jaya Prabhupada" very much and introduced it in all
of Prabhupada's temples. When Prabhupada's godbrothers heard of our usage
of "Prabhupada," they raised strong objections. 
It was Sridhara Maharaja who explained to them that it was written in the
sastra that the disciple should
pronounce the name of his guru with the titles, "om visnupada, prabhupada
, etc." He explained that
since "our Srila Prabhupada" was actually fulfilling the desires
of "their Srila Prabhupada," he deserved this title, which was
reserved for great personalities.
That Srila Prabhupada's attempts to obtain land in Mayapur were strongly
opposed is well-known to his disciples. Some of Srila Prabhupada's godbrothers
had complained to the local district magistrate that foreigners and their
opulence would spoil the chastity of the holy dhama . What is not so well-known
is that Srila Sridhara Maharaja, upon Srila Prabhupada's request 
spoke with those godbrothers opposing the acquisition of 350 acres and convinced
them to withdraw their complaints to the district magistrate. In addition,
as a result of Srila Sridhara Maharaja's preaching, they became favorably
disposed toward Srila Prabhupada. Later, one of those godbrothers told the
leader of the Janata party, Professor Haripada Bharati, to give ISKCON
full support  and further, sent a telegram to Prabhupada
that he was anxiously praying for his health.  In
their 1977 meeting in Navadvipa, Srila Sridhara Maharaja asked Srila Prabhupada
about his preaching work:
With much difficulty, I translate the books at night and they print them
and sell them, and send seventy, eighty thousand dollars every month to
me here. Is India benefiting from this or losing something? But they are
falsely accusing them of being CIA agents. Tirtha Maharaja used to say,
"The American government has given Swamiji two million dollars."
As if the American government didn't have anything better to do or couldn't
find a better person to give the money to. So, for making the devotees chant
Hare Krsna and dance, they would give me the money, two million dollars.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: A man from the Central Intelligence Department
took initiation from me. He was asking me about your movement. I told him,
"These are nothing but rumors. I have known Swami Maharaja for a long
time. I know him very well, and this movement is nothing but a purely spiritual
movement." Actually, what they are thinking is that previously they
[the British] used to send the missionaries, then they used to send the
merchants, and finally the army used to come and take over, but those days
are no more. Christianity has become much less effective now.
After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Sridhara Maharaja declared:
I consider him saktyavesa-avatara, and it is
confirmed in his writings on his spiritual journey through the Atlantic.
How he landed there in America, and the nature of his beginning the movement,
his intense degree of dedication to Krsna and dependence, and how much
he made himself empty of any other desire than the order of his gurudeva quite empty that Krsna came down to help
him, and it is corroborated that Krsna worked on his behalf. In his poem,
"Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krsna," we find him pleading with
Krsna, "My dear Brother, Your good fortune will come to You only when
Srimati Radharani becomes pleased with You." Seeing his gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, as Radharani's
delegation and his order as Her divine service, he humbly submitted that
he did not feel himself worthy or fit to discharge the divine service,
so he enlisted Krsna in the service of his guru. He had completely dedicated
himself to the purpose, he was so earnest in his prayer to Krsna that he
may discharge the duty that he has been given by his Guru Maharaja , that
divine force, power, came down to help him. Otherwise, it is impossible.
It is not a thing of the ordinary level that anyone can do--take the highest
thing [Krsna consciousness] to the lowest position [fallen souls] so extensively.
It cannot but be the divine power, embodied and in a great intensity and
magnitude! So, saktyavesa-avatara, I cannot
but take him to be so.
Vision of Iskcon
When asked what the vision of ISKCON should be, Srila
Sridhara Maharaja replied with an explanation of a prayer of Raghunatha
nama srestham manum api saci-putram atra svarupam, I am fully indebted to Sri Gurudeva . Why? He has given me
so many things: the highest conception of the holy name of Krsna, the highest
form of sound which contains the highest form of thought, aspiration, ideal,
everything. And he has given me the service of our great savior, Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu, and His dearmost assistant, Svarupa Damodara. He has brought
me in connection with Sri Rupa, who was ordered to distribute the heart's
innermost dealings, the highest devotional love, raganuga-bhakti. Gurudeva has given me Srila Sanatana Goswami,
who gives us sambandha-jnana, a proper
acquaintance with the environment, and he has given me Mathura Mandala,
which will help me in my remembrance of Radha and Govinda wherever I shall
cast my glance. By his grace gurudeva has revealed the superexcellent position
of Radha-kunda, the favorite place of Radha and Govinda for Their pastimes
and this great Govardhana. Lastly, he has given me the hope that one day
I can get the service of Sri Sri Radhika and Madhava. I have been given
all these assurances by my gurudeva, so I bow
my head with all my respects to his lotus feet. If we are conscious of
all these spiritual matters, we can think that we have approached our gurudeva properly. What is our guru? What is his
mission? It is filled with all these things. Devoid of that, what is our
ISKCON must not deviate from this line. We have
not come here to deceive ourselves, but to fulfill ourselves. ISKCON
will fulfill everyone's inner demand, even extending to the vegetables
and stones, taking them to the feet of Mahaprabhu and the Goswamis. From
village to village, everyone, in every place, should be hunted and approached,
"Take the name of Krsna! Come under the flag of Mahaprabhu!"
This grand worldwide mission will thrive like anything; it will touch the
heavens and cover the earth, and other planets also. That was the aim of
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and we understand and appreciate that.
Another day, Srila Sridhara Maharaja spoke further:
I heard from different people that Swami Maharaja has told his disciples
that in Bengal most of the disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakura have deviated from his teachings. So, now you have to go and reinstate
them there. Giving such inspiration, he sent them there. I have not heard
it from him myself. I simply heard it from others, and in a way, I think,
it is quite possible that he said this to his disciples, just to encourage
them. At a time when the brahmanas were very
fallen in Bengal, the Ådisura brought brahmanas from Kanowj and then he re established the varnasrama system there. Swami Maharaja has also done
something like that. I heard from Krsnadasa Babaji Maharaja that before
leaving this planet, Swami Maharaja requested him to beg forgiveness on
his behalf from his godbrothers--that, at times, he might have offended
his godbrothers while preaching. This he said, I heard it from Krsnadasa
Babaji Maharaja. I heard once Akincana Maharaja asked him, "What are
your other godbrothers doing?" He replied, "They just eat, sleep,
and ring the bell." Hearing this they became very offended and came
to me. But my observation is neutral. So I said, "The drum that he
is playing, if he accepts you as a player of the bell in that band, then
you should consider this to be a great honor." My view is different.
I saw that he is playing a huge drum, a battle drum, so if you get a chance
to play the kasi, or cymbals, along with that, that is a great honor to
you, a more dignified position. This I am speaking from the absolute consideration.
[A few Gaudiya Matha sannyasis had many
hundreds of disciples, had opened many temples, and were at that time preaching
with vigor, so they were understandably irritated at being called mere bell-ringers.
For example, in a conversation in Bhuvanesvara in 1977, Srila Prabhupada,
hearing the report of his disciples that Madhava Maharaja had a whole village
enthusiastically engaged in Krsna conscious activities, suggested that we
should do likewise.] 
Keeping Iskcon Together
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: I am open to all. Generally, I want both parties
to come, and I shall try to help that it may not be broken asunder. Such
a great thing has been done by Swami Maharaja, I love it very much. That
this worldwide movement organization will be broken into factions, I can't
tolerate this. So, I like that both parties will come, and I shall try to
find a middle solution. But the party in power may not care to come. For
a long time I am feeling unhappy whenever I come upon a person going away
dissatisfied. But the party in power does not care to come to me. I am sufficiently
old, but I don't like to see that Swami Maharaja's great work is disturbed
in such a way. So laudable a thing. Prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama,
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama. Is this
great action undertaken by Swami Maharaja, which is successful, going to
be ruined by internal feud? Intolerable. So, if both parties come, I shall
try my best before I die. I want to see a united front and a healthy institution.
That is my heart's desire.
Bhakti Caru Swami: That is what most of the godbrothers also feel
[at this time, in 1980, this includes many GBC members].
They feel that whatever Srila Sridhara Maharaja says, we will accept that
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: In the core of my heart I desire such. That
it may be broken is intolerable. It should remain a united front and be
victorious over the other religious principles. There are so many enemies
in the name of religion. They are flourishing and such a great future will
be lost. It is intolerable. And especially Prabhupada asked me to go to
the West. I could not go, but Prabhupada has brought the West to me, so
I have got some holy duty to discharge about that, I feel. It may not be
broken into pieces. United we stand, divided we fall. But if hopeless, there's
no alternative. We must always side with the truth, not with the falsehood.
Swami Maharaja took the responsibility of that great unfinished work and
did wonderfully successful work and we feel proud for him. We feel such
pride for his activity. How can we tolerate in our lifetime, within two
or three years after his departure, that it will be broken into pieces?
It is intolerable. Hare Krsna. But if for the sake of quality, for the sake
of truth, we are to face such a situation, it can't be helped. Truth is
everything, satyam param dhimahi.
From this chapter we can see the nonenvious nature of Srila Sridhara Maharaja.
For more than four years he selflessly gave his sastric advice and high realizations to ISKCON.
He had no desire whatsoever to capture ISKCON devotees.
His nature was just the opposite--disinterested in acquirement, satisfied
with a simple life.
Quotations not footnoted are taken from selected talks of Srila Sridhara
Maharaja in his matha in Navadvipa.
 SP Ltr. Rupanuga, Sept. 25, 1970
 SP Ltr. Sridhara Maharaja, June 6, 1976