[Portions printed in Sri Guru & His Grace]
[Known present GBC members: Tamal Krsna Maharaja, Jayapataka Maharaja, Jayatirtha Maharaja, Harikesa Maharaja, Satsvarupa Maharaja, Jayadvaita Maharaja, and others]
This talk formed the basis of the ISKCON GBC's 1978 paper entitled:
THE PROCESS FOR CARRYING OUT SRILA PRABHUPADA'S DESIRES FOR FUTURE INITIATIONS
Jayapataka Mj: After the departure of our beloved spiritual master we came to offer our respects to you as well as to hear your very esteemed upadesa on certain matters if you would be kind enough.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: The gurudeva is mentioned in the sastra with an example. The sisya is like a lotus, and the gurudeva like the water around, just as in a pond or in a lake, gurudevas position is like water and Krsna is like the sun. As long as the lotus is floating on the water, the sun will give life to the lotus but if the water vanishes that very sun will burn the lotus. Do you follow? This sort of example is given in the sastra. I cannot exactly remember the sanskrit verse, but such example is there, the water along with the lotus, for without water the sun, Krsna, will burn. Without the help of guru the disciple is nowhere. Raghunatha Das Goswami prabhu, the prayojana acarya of the whole Gaudiya philosophy, spiritual system-he has also remarked that yat bunjayate kunjam hrdayate . . .that a python is coming. After the demise, departure of Sri Gurudeva, Rupa-Sanatana, that Govardhan Hill, which is the representation of Sri Krsna Himself, it seems to me just like a big python is coming to devour me and Radha Kunda the holiest place of the divinity of the Gaudiya Sampradaya, like a tigers mouth, it is coming to devour me by the separation of Gurudeva. So much excitement is there, given to me about the absence of my gurudeva, my dearest and my highest guardian, spiritual guardian, who has the most intense affection for me, to nurture me for spiritual purpose. He is not here, how can I tolerate that my everything is gone. All vanishes with his departure-such sort of deep sense of separation will come and the . . .
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Where is Bhavananda, is he here?
Jayapataka Maharaja: He couldn't come today.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: He told in his lecture, that union in separation is the highest realization. I was very happy to hear from his lips that union in separation-vipralambha-that is the highest kind of attainment, vipralambha. Without vipralambha nothing else can come to us. Krsna and the opposite thing, that is antithesis, that will come as vipralambha, vihara, Krsna vihara, krsna milan, krsna vihara and without milan there cannot be any other reaction to that, without that separation, vihara, vipralambha. So, vipralambha is the most spacious, most spacious thing pertaining to Krsna consciousness. And if we can have the grace of that plane, forgetfullness. In forgetfullness also, if there is Krsna connection then we are safe, we are set. In the forgetfulness also we shall have the Krsna consciousness also in the background and nothing else-no maya. The safest position, fearless position, that is vipralambha. In vipralambha, gurudeva, in separation to gurudeva, if we can stand then vidyavatam bhagavate pariksad. I have passed the highest stage, test, examination. In separation also I can retain the memory of sri gurudeva, Sri Krsna.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Maharaja, when our Srila Prabhupada left, then he has given instruction that for initiating and for carrying on the sampradaya there would be eleven-in the beginning, he appointed eleven devotees, his disciples, to be initiating spiritual masters or to accept disciples and in the future that number would also be able to be increased. So we wanted to take your advice on some points as to various details of how these initiating spiritual masters should deal with certain questions. If we could ask questions to you then?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: yes, you may ask.
Jayapataka Maharaja: He has given explicit desires, but he told us that, on other technical points and other matters of philosophy, it there was question we should approach you. He said that during his...when he was very ill, he had appointed eleven ritviks and he said that after he disappears that these ritviks would continue as initiating spiritual masters and that they could be increased later, that would be decided by the GBC or Governing Body Commission.
The first question was, we wondered that some of the disciples had been initiated by Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. But this Harinama, so they will be taking diksa from one of his disciples, so they wondered, what is their relationship in this type of situation with each of the spiritual masters. So, those who are initiated by our Srila Prabhupada with Harinama, then when they approach one of these eleven and take second initiation then they would like to know what is the, who is the guru, spiritual master amongst these eleven.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: A Disciple, he may like one-first or third or fourth or fifth, how to solve that.
Tamal Krsna Mj (background): That we must solve.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: A person . ..
Jayapataka Maharaja: He can take who he likes, he may take whichever one he wants?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: According to his sraddha.
Devotee: His faith.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: According to his sraddha a newcomer should be given some time. Who will come to be initiated, he should be given some time for a fair period of time to hear from different persons and then the sraddha, the faith ...
Devotee: Will be awakened.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Ah, will be considered to whom he will submit. Do you follow?
GBC Assembly: Yes
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: After sravan, then varan, five stages there are; first to hear. First stage is to hear and the second stage, that is varan, that is, acceptance by the guru and the sisya, both the preceptor and the disciple. That is the second stage, varan dasa. Then the sadhana or the attempt for realization will begin. First stage, to hear openly, open field-fair field to hear-then the connection should come between the guru and sisya-preceptor and disciple, both sides. Then that should be better. Sravan dasa, then varan dasa, then sadhana dasa, apan dasa, prapan dasa-five stages in sadhana in spiritual life.
Devotee: At which stage does diksa come?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Prapana dasa-last. First sravan
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Sravan, to hear, to listen to and then varan-both preceptor accepts the sisya...
Devotee: This is the Harinama stage
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Both Harinama. Harinama is the main thing and diksa only to help Harinama. It is mentioned in Rupa Goswami's writings that Harinama diksa is the main thing.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Accha.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: And the Pancaratric Diksa, it is Bhagavati diksa, Harinama diksa, that means bhagavati diksa. Pancaratic diksa is mantram and that only to help Harinama, that one can reach to the siddhi of Harinama, this mantra will help. Mantra's jurisdiction up to salvation, liberation. And after liberation Harinama continues-Harinama circle-greater circle and diksa is a smaller circle within the Harinama circle. Harinama reaches to the lowest and the highest. And diksa in the middle part-mid circle-that may help to Harinama. Muktafal, Harinama, not mantra.... trayateti mantra, this mental, which will relieve us from mental speculation-that is mantram, this manama-dharma that is the worldly mind should, we should get relief from the worldly-mindedness by mantram, but Harinama is a natural thing. It reaches to the lowest and goes to the highest-Harinama.
Jayapataka Maharaja: So those who have recieved Harinama from Bhaktivedanta Swami, then they are his disciples.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: They will take help, his disciples, may be, and they will take help from the diksa guru, because they are in the sadhana, on the way to the end. So, they'll take the help of this mantra guru. Nama guru, mantra guru. Nama guru is Bhaktivedanta Swami and when he will take mantrum from any of his disciples, he will be his mantra guru.
Jayapataka Maharaja: So, they will offer respect to both, a disciple will offer respect to both-nama guru and mantra guru?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Mantra guru. Then there is also sannyasa guru. Sannyasa guru is also in the stage-sannyasa or babaji state-that is also a guru. Guru-ONE IN MANY FORMS-siksa guru. Siksa guru.
atamat ta mantra gurun siksa gurun.
Devotee: guru bhagavat tadan.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: guru bhagavat tadan avare haritaki, vande 'ham sri guru sri gurun. Tamal Krsna Maharaja was saying the other day, "vande 'ham sri gurun sri yuta pada kamalan sri gurun vaisnavams ca. Sri gurun . . . plural.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: Plural
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Plural-vaisnavams ca one all
Jayapataka Maharaja: What is the difference between siksa guru and diksa guru?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Diksa guru, siksa-guruke ta' jani krsnera svarupa (CC Adi 1.47). Caitanya Caritamrta. Siksa guru both extension of Krsna. Guru is Krsna, acaryam mam vijaniyam. Krsna has come there to liberate me, in different appearance, representations. He is coming, Krsna coming, oneness in variegated position.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: (Background): Who can be a siksa guru, who is qualified?
Jayapataka Maharaja: who is qualified to be a siksa guru?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: What does he speak?
Jayapataka Maharaja: Who is qualified? (Bengali): Siksa guru ha upa yukta ke?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Whoever sincerely will help me to go towards Krsna, he is siksa guru. Vaisnava is also siksa guru, vaisnavas. Vaisnavas, siksa guru. Who will come in my connection and will help me to go forward, he is siksa guru. Vartma pradarsaka. And there is vartma pradarsaka, siksa guru, mantra guru, nama guru, then sannyasa guru.
Jayapataka Maharaja: What is the relationship between a sannyasi and his sannyasa guru.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: That is tathasta, whom I am much indebted for my spiritual progress, who will help me most in my spiritual progress, there we shall find the main guru. Otherwise, through whom the maximum grace will come to me to take me towards the Supreme entity, he is the...
Dev (background: Who is the main guru?)
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: ...supreme guru.
Jayapataka Maharaja: What is their relationship of sannyasi and his sannyasa guru-just like a siksa guru?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: First guru, vartma pradarsaka guru is the first guru, who shows the way. He may leave, otherwise, the mantra guru, nama guru, if I am accepted by any nama guru, then as long as the nama guru is present, I am getting only one guru, and after his departure if sannyasa guru or mantra guru comes then I shall offer all my regards to him seeing the representative of the previous guru. Do you follow?
Jayapataka Maharaja: In the presence of the . . .
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Representative, only vartma pradarska maybe present before the real guru.
TKG (background): He may remain.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: And other gurus cannot be present, with the diksa guru. Nama guru or diksa guru, that will be one and the same.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Whoever the nama guru is, he should also consequently be...
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: If nama guru is living, then he should be mantra guru, he should be sannyasa guru.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Everything.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Everything, everything. And the ritviks are but vartma pradarsaka guru. When he was living, he appointed so many ritviks, representatives, they are really, they are vartma pradarsaka. Do you follow?
Jayapataka Maharaja: Vartma pradarsaka.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: That, they are showing, they are showing, indicating the way to the guru.
Jayapataka Maharaja: At which stage is the karma accepted by the guru?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: When the guru first accepts the disciple, then he will take the charge. Diksa, Bhagavate. Diksa is nama diksa. Pancaratric diksa, mantra diksa, at the time of diksa, initiation, the guru accepts him as he is, accepting the charge to wash away the sins, by his instructions. santevas saucindate mana basangam itibi
Dev (background): Harinama?
TKG(aside): Both, the karma is accepted for both, because he washes and cleans at that time.
Dev (aside): At which time?
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: Both initiations.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: And the guru, he also does the function by the help of his guru, in this way the chain goes to Krsna but, tada bhaktave, the medium is so transparent that is, no time can be guru parampara. It goes to Krsna, in no time. So the guru should be transparent. Who has wholey given himself to his own guru, he is guru. The cent percent servant of his guru is guru. This is the criterion. Who has wholey dedicated himself to guru, he is guru. Whatever comes to him he already reaches to his guru, this transparent medium.
Jayapataka Maharaja: And to whatever extent he is not surrendered, that much he won't go forward, (Bengali): jatadur samarpen haya nama tatakun ara
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: tatakun coming to opaque-coming to transparent.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Partially.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Partially to opaque, partially to transparent. According to the transparency, guru should be recognized in tathasta vicar. Vijayate tathasta tata, that will be clearly. Tathasta-impartial judgement at the relative and the absolute, two sorts of judgement-absolute and relative.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Yes.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: You see, just as in the worldly representation, my mother most affectionate to me, his mother is most affectionate to him, but when the comparison will be drawn between two mothers, who is more affectionte, that is another thing, will come. Relative and absolute, calculation. Absolute calculation will get the supermost hand.
TKG (Background): Next question.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: That is to be done amongst you-both relative and absolute. Even a disciple, he may commit error. Disciple, when he is going to accept his guru, he may be erronious. However, it is the duty of the other Vaisnavas to give him proper guidance. That should also come. In the consideration of absolute realization; these intricate points will arise.
Jayapataka Maharaja: If the initiating guru, the Nama guru, say he falls down, just as we hear of one Maharaja . . . Say he falls down, from the path by act of providence, then what should the disciple do?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: He will take Name again and after-he may wait for some time. Because, if he was sincere first, he was a sincere disciple to his guru, first, now for some offenses he's neglected by his guru for sometime, he maybe, here and there, astray, led astray. Then he may come again, after that. . . (Bengali conversation) . . . karyakaryam ajanatah, utpatha-prathipannasya, parityago vidhiyate. In Mahabharat, Visvanatha says, statement: Dasa Mahajana , one of Dasa Mahajanas is Bhisma. Bhisma says to Parasurama, he is astra guru. Astra guru, also deva guru, acarya guru. Jiva Goswami Prabhu has taken this example
guror apy avaliptasya karyakaryam ajanatah
utpatha-prathipannasya parityago vidhiyate
"A guru who does not know what is to be done and what is not to be done, who has left the path of devotional service, should be abandoned."
Mahabharata (Udyoga-parva 179.25)
If he goes astray, then he should be left, but there may be circumstances for some time. By the inconceivable desire of Krsna he may go astray, and he may come back again, come back again. So, disciple may wait for some time.
Dev (Background): See if he comes back.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: And this is very unfortunate for the disciple when he gets such a test. In Harinama Cintamani, written by Bhaktivinode Thakur, you will find this elaborately described. Harinama Cintamani by Bhaktivinode Thakur, there we will find this guru tyaja chapter, how he has dealt with it carefully. Harinama Cintamani.
Jayapataka Maharaja So, in ISKCON, there are many initiating gurus . . .
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Just as you see, if a son disobeys his father, then the father may be indifferent to the son and for sometime he may be [taken from the will] excluding him but after sometime, he sees that the son comes back, is obedient, then again he may correct his will, it may be like that.
api cet suduracaro bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva mantavyah samyag vyavasito hi sah
"Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination."(Bhagavad-gita 9.30)
So, only very abruptly, we should not deal with such things of unfortunate incidence, wait and see. Generally, in his own zone, he will perform diksa, generally. But there should be special arrangement. Aki mandire... (Bengali)
Jayapataka Maharaja: Now, are five disciples in one temple, each with a different guru of these eleven. (Bengali)
Jayapataka Maharaja: The pictures on the altar, different things, how will these be managed? How they would?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Then, the arcak, who is performing the worship, he will worship his, the portrait of his own guru as guru, and other gurus as Vaisnava, he will worship. Do you follow?
Jayapataka Maharaja: Yes, and those pictures will be put on far left side?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Yes, they should be in a position that should be adjusted. They should be dealt as Vaisnava, after guru puja.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Guru puja.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: After his own guru puja, he will perform guru puja and others and then Vaisnava puja. The other gurus will come in the rank of Vaisnava guru.
Jayapataka Maharaja: So everyone's picture could be there, all of the...
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: All the portraits could be there.
Jayapataka Maharaja: And he will worship his own guru as guru.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: One guru as guru and the others as Vaisnava. Vaisnava siksa guru.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: But, explain. In one temple, in one of our Maths, the disciples may have many different gurus, just like there are eleven persons now. So, say three of those eleven persons may be the gurus of the disciples in that Math, then how to know whose picture to put on the ...
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: So, to get out of this difficulty, the zonal preference should be maintained.
Assembly (Background): The zonal preference should be maintained to get out of this problem.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: To get out of this difficulty, as much as possible, but what I m saying is, that may be applicable easily in the branch Maths. But in the main Maths, Mayapur, Vrndavana, where all is interested keenly, difficulty will arise there.
Jayapataka Maharaja: So there, there can be a group photo. (Laughter)
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: Group photo, say it in Bengali. [to Srila Sridhara Maharaja]
Jayapataka Maharaja: (Bengali)
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Group photo, group photo. But then, then also a difficulty will arise, his guru. Guru photo, but, everyone will like that his guru must be in the center.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: (Serious): No, No, No, We...
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: This difficulty may arise.
Hansadutta Maharaja: We can take eleven different group photos, each man in the center.
Background noise: (Devotees discussing amongst themselves)
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: But, you may start with your gurudeva, Swami Maharaja, in the center and others as parsada. You must start in this way now. Then the time will help you gradually.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Thank you. Those mandirs which Srila Prabhupad, our Bhaktivedanta...
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Prabhupada in the center, group photo, manage in this way, Prabhupada in the center and all others, who will initiate, those that will initiate, as parsada.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: This is in the main branches or in the sub-branches? This is in the main Math or everywhere?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: This will be maintained everywhere.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: Everywhere.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Everywhere.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: Group photo.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Synthesis will help you most. As much as we can synthesize that will come to help you more.
Jayapataka Maharaja: The disciples of our gurus picture, shouldn't be on the Vyasasana. It was suggested that if that Vyasasana was kept for Prabhupada, a second Vyasasana for others could be installed. This was one idea, we do not know what is the proper etiquette.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: That asana should not be occupied by any of the disciples, because the disciples who are initiating, the initiating disciples, present guru, he will also regard his guru as superior to him. So he cannot occupy that seat. Do you follow?
Aside: Even his picture?
Jayapataka Maharaja: Similarly, his picture should not occupy. (Bengali)
Background assembly: A little picture on the bottom.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: (Bengali) Just next to that seat, the present gurus seat should be given, should be placed.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Second seat.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Second seat, should be given to the initiating guru, present initiating guru.
Jayapataka Maharaja: So, on the original vyasasana, no picture, or...
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: The picture of Swami Maharaja, a picture will be introduced there and just a little below, nearest seat will be for the present acarya. The present disciple will say that he is giving honor to his own guru. That, will rather impress the disciple, that even the siddha guru, he is also giving respect to his own guru. This way, I must learn. A guru should be always kept above.
Jayapataka Maharaja: But in those temples which are now newly established, by zonal guru, in that place then, this would not be required? (Bengali)
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Even in new organization also, the same thing will go on, because whatever you are creating, that is with the impression, first impression with him, from him.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: Thats a fact.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: That will all come within, within the same administration.
Jayapataka Maharaja: So, when the, such disciple does guru puja at these asanas, then he will first do the puja to his guru and then to his guru.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Then his, his guru, the Deities and afterwards all other gurus or Vaisnavas.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Vaisnavas are after the Deities.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: After the Deities.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Which mantra?
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: Just like if Jayapataka gives one of his new men initiation-if Jayapataka Swami gives diksa to somebody, how that sisya will offer his pramans to Jayapataka, in what words, what mantra?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: In ordinary mantra of guru puja, until and unless his disciples compile a mantra, a special mantra for him, he is not to go to arrange the mantra or pranam, but when his disciples will come and make a mantra for guru-puja, they will do like that, otherwise a general mantra:
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnanjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurve namah
[ I offer my respectful obiesance unto my spiritual master, who has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance, with the torchlight of knowledge. ]
With this ordinary common mantra, it will be performed, but when his disciples will come to such a stage as to compose a special mantra for him, which has special characteristic mentioned there, then they will perform with that mantra.
Jayapataka Maharaja: To say, nama om visnupadaya . . . (Bengali)
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Yes, that may be, sisya will always say that, visnupada, the representative of Visnu.
Jayapataka Maharaja: That's a general mantra.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: He is in the feet of Krsna. nama om vishupadaya . . . common and other things where the sisya will see in the guru that should be mentioned there, special characteristics, that may be general and visnupadaya, krsna prestaya bhutale, it is all common.
Jayapataka Maharaja: (Bengali)
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: And then, the name will come and the special characteristics may be mentioned there.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Accha.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: That will be, that will come from the disciples, that customarily in Sanskrit.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: (Background): Etiquette of choosing the guru.
Jayapataka Maharaja: Should be pure Sanskrit?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Corrrect Sanskrit language, otherwise you see, one fine point, those in our position also, our gurudeva, he dictated in English some instructions once, but little faulty from the standpoint of correct English, then our one professor Bhaal, disciple, he told that dictionary should be corrected. What gurudeva says, it is alright.
Assembly: Laughter. Jaya.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Do you follow? Grammer and dictionary should be corrected, but what guru says it is alright. Then another little higher position disciple, he told, that , that is the lowest class disciples statement. The higher class disciple will see that what guru wants from him, what sort of service he wants, that correct English should go to establish his position to the public, so when it comes to the sisya, it will adjust. Suppose your gurudeva, when you are going to take his photo, in ordinary dress, he comes before the photo maker. But the sisya will, no, no. You should stand in this posture, with this dress dress you must take the photo. Do you follow?
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: Very clear, very clear.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: So, in language also, gurudeva gives the main point, but the language, if it is a little faulty, faulty to the public, the sisya will come, no this should be couched in good language, that is not harmful. Do you follow?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: So, in Sanskrit, what your guru maharaja has told, namo sarasvatam-all these things, you say, I can't follow whether it is correct gramatically, but it will be your duty according to my opinion to couch it well with the language. And that will be the greatest service, service of higher quality, and to say that dictionary should be corrected and the grammer should be corrected, what my guru has said, but practically that will be kanistha-adhikari service. The lower sisya, the lower status service....To explain his prestige and position, you will dress him in good dress.
Jayapataka Maharaja: For giving vanaprastha, is there any ceremony.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Vanaprastha and sannyasa-by the simple desire of the guru.
Jayapataka Maharaja: On the desire of the guru, no special ceremony.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: On his order.
Jayapataka Maharaja: On his order. (Bengali) Can there be any restriction on the activities of the guru?
Devotee: (Background): These are very complicated.
Harikesa Maharaja: Because we are working within a government with. We have GBC, Governing Body, its a Governing Body of the whole society.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Yes.
Devotee: So, it is possible that even if some members of the Governing Body, they are not gurus, but can the Governing Body as a whole make a restriction on the activity of an individual guru.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: (Laughter) A most difficult thing, (more laughter), a non-guru comes to regulate the gurus. Is it not?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Those who are not fit for guru, who are not considered to be fit for guru, he will come to guide the guru? So many gurus, is it? So, it would be better that the Governing, all the members of the Governing Body were guru, and they are all acaryas.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: They are all acaryas.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: The assembly of acaryas, they will consult with each other.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: And make rules.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: The Acarya Sabha, the assembly of the acaryas, they will perform the function about all the spiritual matters. Acarya board. There should be an Acarya Board to guide the whole thing from behind, without non-acarya within the meeting. Then if anybody within the meeting, then if anybody is considered to be the most expert for the management, he will work under the Acarya Board. What he has said, you must carry out that at present, but I think gradually you will have to ....
TKG (Background): Form a board.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Get new experience.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: From practical experience.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Practical experience, you will have to get.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: Time will guide us.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: You are suffering a great deal from that. So, the non-acarya, non-acarya will come the majority speaking, non-acarya.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: Yes, the majority is non-acarya.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Non-acarya, that will, according to my opinion, that will play, create a difficulty.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: In our system-both the autocracy and democracy-it cannot go together, cannot go together. But ours is a autocratic thing, extremely autocratic. Guru is all in all. As you will do and experience yourself, the guru, our submission to guru is unconditional. We've felt great difficulty. Submission to guru is unconditional. So, when I shall see that my guru's followers are being oppressed by other guru, another Vaisnava, it will create a great disturbance in the mind of the sisya.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: A disciple.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: To grow, his own sraddha, faith, absolute faith.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: What about a board of gurus?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: But, our Krsna conscious conception of Godhead has come to relieve you. Whom we think the Supreme-most Krsna, Yasoda is whipping Him and Nanda's paduka (shoes), He is taking on the head-the Supreme-most devata, Deity. So, in this way also, we can adjust-both the absolute faith and the relative position of the non-absolute. These two things should be harmonized. Reaction. You see, after the departure of our gurudeva, it was thought that one acarya should be made-then, naturally, different acaryas came. Then, when some of us proposed many acaryas, then I told one thing. If you want, if anyone marries, a separate room is necessary. Do you follow? When, so long as you do not marry, you may not have any separate room, but as soon as you will marry, you want a separate house to... Whenever a Vaisnava does not initiate he does not want any special place or special respect, but whenever he initiates, he is absolute in the eyes of his disciples. From the corresponding impression he will be carried out. And the sisya will, cannot tolerate that other, any other Vaisnava will come to disturb the absolute position of my guru. This is hearts feeling-sentiment. How to adjust, very difficult thing.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: So, it will be very difficult to manage practically the democratic, absolute characteristic. Difficult, but still we shall have to go on and make, according to the will of Krsna it will be adjusted.
Jayapataka Maharaja: So, the initiating gurus, then, it would be more practical for them to have a separate board to decide on addition of new gurus.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: No, what I came to conclusion with these experiences . . . but how in this great universal institution that should be applied? At least one place should be there where the disciples can get their guru exclusively, that, but that will not be possible practically. Where they will find my guru's absolutely of the. Suppose the birthday of his guru comes, the disciples gather on the birthday of their guru. They will, with all their devotion, they will worship him exclusively-that he is the representative of God, of Krsna-but other disciples, they may not feel very much encouragement in their behavior. They will see that our faith to our acarya is being disturbed by that wave. That my guru is not absolute -- very subtle point of sentiment and all divine.
In Krsna's camp, also Radharani, and Candravali and others, you see. So, we must prepare ourselves for that. To the farthest point then, I put one question to my gurudeva, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. Rupa Goswami, he feels Krsna one way, Sanatana another and in various books also, we find in different ways and why? "He is adhoksaja." That was the answer, He is adhoksaja. He is not bound to come within our fist-of our brain, our speculation above speculation. Still, we are to march on. The solution of anything in all its detailed characteristics is impossible, about Krsna. And that and He-anything pertaining to Him-all acintya and must be kept on the head, overhead. Acintya, adhoksaja. We cannot reach into a particular solution as all complete and perfect; it is not given to him that way. In this way we are to march on and on, without thinking of any finish, any limit or any final solution. That is impossible. Still we must go on and on in the infinite, like a bird who is flying in the infinite space. Finite and infinite must meet in their own position. Hare Krsna.
Assembly: Hare Krsna. Jaya.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Go with fair feeling, go on with fair feeling, this utmost I can suggest to you.
Tamal Krsna Maharaja: Maharaja, we are so much grateful.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: That will be fair for you, that you will extend it from the ritvik board. Who is already empowered, they will extend, their consideration. They can extend their scope. In this way you move, it will have spiritual characteristic. Do you follow?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: These eleven, they will extend themselves. From this point, it will be-the area of the acaryaship will be extended. Then gradually twenty-four or more, but it will spread from this point, extend. Bigger, bigger, bigger. That you may do, to keep the spiritual characteristic of the extension of the Acarya Board.
Satsvarupa Maharaja: I had one question that Bhavananda Maharaja asked me to ask about the initiating gurus. He, on Gaura Purnima, he initiated some of the Bengali boys, second initiation. So, he is their diksa guru. He wanted to know what respect is required of the diksa guru. They have already taken Bhaktivedanta Swami as their Nama guru. Should they, when they see Bhavananda Maharaja make pranams or should they worship with picture or is that not required for the diksa guru? What is the proper worship of the diksa guru?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: The disciples of Bhavananda Maharaja should see Nama guru also within him and he should be, when in arcana, he should be worhiped as guru, mantra guru in mantra words. Arcana is performed in this Pancaratric, it is tantric mantra, so diksa guru will be worshiped in the arcana function and Nama guru in bhajan-Nama bhajan. And in general case, both should be seen as far as possible in one, that he is in at present, he is present in him for me.
Satsvarupa Mj: But for sannyasa guru, that kind of worship is not required?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Sannyasa guru is not generally worshiped, but it is a form for propaganda we have to take. In sastra, of course, mantra guru has been given the preference, mantra guru. But nama guru is bhagavata diksa guru-that is more comprehensive, mantra to help the Nama bhajan.
Devotee: Mantra guru's portrait is worshiped also?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Portrait worship. In portrait worship, mantra guru is the principle thing, that is, mantra, rather, local help. Nama is of eternal help. Harinama. After liberation, Nama will continue and mantra will disappear.
Mantra up to liberation, as long as I am in the world, the mental world, mantra will relieve me from the mental concoction, but Nama is always with me even after liberation.
Devotee: Kama Gayatri-Krsna mantra, it will not-only up to liberation.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Kama Gayatri, Krsna mantra. It will be automatic at that time. It will be automatic. The desired result will be given by the mantra and the mantra will disappear. It is automatic at that time.
Jayatwaita Maharaja: Now, some of our godbrothers that we have known . . .
Another devotee: (Bengali.) You tell and I will explain.
Jayatwaita Maharaja: But now, we have been familiar with them. Now they have taken this position of initiating guru, so they are worshiped by their disciples—nikunjo yuno rati keli siddhai—that verse. So, how are we, it is very difficult for us to understand, how these people whom we have known, are we to understand they are, have assumed that position, that now they are associating with Krsna. How should we understand?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Now, it should be adjusted in twofold ways-the disciples in a sort of disposition, and godbrothers in another disposition. You see, when Krsna enters Ranga-mancha, He is appearing to different persons in different ways. So, for the disciples the genuine guru, Krsna, will come and play in that line there and it may not be seen, shown to his godbrothers. This way it should be [understood].
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: ...it should be thought. Do you follow?
Jayatwaita Mj: Yes, very clear.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Krsna can show Himself differently to different persons. You see, in madhurya rasa, one is seeing Krsna in one way, and vatsalya rasa, Yasoda is seeing in another way, the servants seeing another way, a rsi, a rsi will see Gargamuni in another conception, as He will, as He likes to show Himself to anybody, he will see like that. You may look to Him in his own ways, but still you will have to behave in such a way that the newcomer's sraddha is not disturbed. Do you follow?
Jayatwaita Mj: Yes.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: When after the departure of our Guru Maharaja, one of us was acarya, then we all, I myself composed a poem for pranama, but I specifically prepared it for his disciples as they will look to him and for myself I have my own conception. And that should be kept in the mental world and not outside, because the newcomers will be disturbed, their sraddha will be disturbed. The newcomer should be encouraged-that it is very difficult to collect our faith and even regard and offer it to guru. It is very difficult for a fallen soul. So, the maximum regard that they can collect, when within him and offer it to guru it will be our lookout. So, what the conception about my godbrother I may have, I may foster that within the heart but don't disturb the disciple. Of course, as much as it is possible, if it is by unfortunately, if that acarya falls himself, proves himself to be lacking in that capacity then and if that comes to be sufficient degree, then some steps may be taken.
Otherwise, as long as possible, the rank should be respected, but rank is but the guinea stamp-man is the gold for that. Tathasta vicar and apeksi vicar. Absolute consideration and relative consideration. And your Einstein says that no absolute consideration is possible in this world-all relative. So, both relative and absolute consideration go side by side. Disciples should be encouraged by the relative consideration mostly and godbrothers are more free for absolute consideration, but still they should not disturb the newcomers in their premier position and caste, but if unfortunately any bad incident happens, then of course we may have to do some unhappy action, but let God save us from that disastrous condition. That should be our feeling. Hare Krsna.
Assembly: Hare Krsna.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: In Radha Kunda, when our Vrndavan circumambulation was going on in perhaps 1932, Prabhupada, on the banks of Brahma Kunda, he delivered a lecture and told, as I remember, that divinity, perfect divinity has come down thru my gurudeva, after my gurupada padma, it is perfect divinity come down, then this consideration may be practiced. So: acaryam mam vijaniyam by Gods special grace, this is one of his functions that go to the low-to the lowest person and to take him from there gradually, this is one of the eternal functions of the Supreme Lord. There is gradation, the gradation section, hierarchy. Everywhere there is Gods presence and his helping tendency is also present everywhere, only to convert the free will, free will to acarya, free will of every jiva, even in creeper section, in tree and animal there is also at heart God there, Paramatma in that stage. So there is gradation.
aloke bava paroksa badha veduryam balanam usasanan
Just a teacher of a child, by installment he will supply the truth, not the whole truth to a child, but partially, gradually. So, the sastra, the scripture has also taken that path by installments. So guru is also, teacher is also in that way represented, just as sastra to the lowest, then superior, superior, superior. Teacher is also, guru is also. In that way, it is coming. Then at certain position, a workable truth. Otherwise, mainly within maya it is also working. Maya is not exclusively excluded from the interference of Godhead. Everywhere there is the presence of the Supreme. Otherwise, He is not Supreme. Everywhere is influence by gradation, degree it is. Then where we are, we are . . . . human culture, in human society. But, in other sections also there is also a sort of culture amongst the dogs, amongst the tigers there is also a sort of culture, a society there. Aniti, everywhere. But suddha bhakti, a workable ,substantial, true atmosphere. Anyhow, we have come. We must do from there. With this spacious and generous consideration, that we cannot bind down the activities of the Supreme Lord in any way. Nor sympathetic to the more poor. Always, He's trying to keep up to the top. That is general question, but that is not practical to the extreme. Once, I asked a doctor, do you know everything? You go to cure a person, but do you know everything? You may do harm to him by applying a false medicine or by applying one medicine another disease may come. Have you got any perfect knowledge? How do you venture to treat a man? He submitted, but a reaction came in me. Then, how the world will go on? Everywhere there is no full truth, no full knowledge. Then the doctors, the teachers, they are all finished. There, non-cooperate is it possible, not practical. How much is... Sincerity is the best thing to judge. Sincerely, whatever I do, think it is good ever. The other day, I told, that when I feel that Harinama, Krsna-nama has removed my trouble, I am eligible to recommend it to another person who will do it. It will help you. If I sincerely feel that this medicine has helped me, then I have got some right to give it to others, suggest others. Oh, take Krsna-nama. It will deliver you from all the troubles. From the lowest point it begins the help, the activity of acarya. I have felt that I have got relief. With good will, I shall offer it to another persons, just do it. From there it may begin, the position of acarya. You see, and then it will go on. You see, we are also doing in our own way. What little service we do to the society, and Swami Maharaja has also done, but he has done like an ocean and we are like so many tanks, ponds. But still, we are going on, yare dekha, tare kaha krsna-upadesa.
Satsvarupa Maharaja: Thank you very much, Srila Sridhara Maharaja.
Devotee: Virudha - virodha.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Viridha.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Maladjustment. Anomaly, not proper adjustment. The opposite to proper adjustment is maladjustment, wrong adjustment, erronious. That is no adjustment. Erroneous position, that is maya. Maya has got two functions-one to cover and another to scatter. Viksep. Averon and viksep, these two tendencies of maya. First it screens and then it . . .
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: It misdirects.
Devotee: Viksepa means misdirecting?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: First, there is screen, that is covered. What is like darkness and what darkness does, this way or that way we cannot understand; hither and tither we move.
Devotee: Averon-atma, viksep-atma.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Viksep-atma. And harmonises. Svarup sakti is also the harmonising potency. Harmonising potency. Discord and potency is maya. Harmonising potency is svarup sakti, Yoga-maya. Hare Krsna.
Jayadvaita Mj: (Background): Can we ask?
Devotee: To keep the integrity of the relationship between the . . .
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: It as question of sraddha. God's lila cannot be finished. God's lila in His feeling also, there is no limit, so touch an ocean is also... From one side I am touching from the bank, touching the ocean, that is also touching and if you go a mile deep into the ocean, there also you are making some progress-but the infinite you are in connection. In comparison to the infinite it is nothing. Is it not? So, with genuine sraddha, we can come near the position and my attempt, nikunjo yuno, and all these things, it is. The sun is there, but suppose a black glass is also there ,then I cannot see the full sun, is it not? And if I show but still I am seeing the sun through a black glass.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: So, the opaque nature is opposing and as much as it is discovered, I am seeing the true thing, but sraddha can take us in connection with that thing, sraddha, proper quality, not false sraddha, not imitation sraddha, real sraddha comes near that real entity, the Supreme Entity. And as much as it is increased, I go deeper and deeper. Do you follow?
Jayadvaita Maharaja: So, in that way gradually one can come to that point.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Gradually, so the beginning, with genuine sraddha, the beginning also should be respected. God willing, he [a newer devotee] may go and pass me and I am going slow, he may go quickly and pass, overcome me one day. With all this possibility we should try to give respect to any beginner.
Jayadvaita Maharaja: Respect to . . .
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Any beginner.
Jayadvaita Maharaja: Yes.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: He may surpass me one day.
Jayadvaita Maharaja: Yes.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Because he has come in connection with the real thing, God willing, he may surpass me and go ahead. One day it may be possible. So, it is Yogamaya's activity, God's favor. All these are working for Him, so we cannot be too much proud. All this humility, we shall have to deal with these matters, not haughtiness. With submissive faith we have to see everything, with such angle of vision from such angle patience.
Jayadvaita Maharaja: So, in this way, we can understand our position, we can understand our own position.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: When I joined the Math, not joined but I have come to take a decision whether I shall join the Math, that is, take initiation from Guru Maharaja. In Mayapur, like today, the function has been finished and those that came are gradually going away. Prabhupada is sitting in a canvas chair. I also sat nearby. He is speaking to the people. No, don't deceive me. You kept understanding that you will come to worship Krsna. Now, anyhow we come and are going away, going away. I think that you are all deceiving me. In this way he spoke. Then he said, "The one who built the temple that year, that Caitanya Math temple, he was sitting on the floor." Then one person amongst us said, "Oh, Madhan Babu has not even been given a mat. He is on the floor, sitting on the bare floor." Then Prabhupada told that Madhan Babu is Nirupadi-Vaisnava. Here is your point. Madhan Babu is Nirupadi-Vaisnava, but I have some upadi. Do you know the meaning of upadi?
Jayadvaita Maharaja: Designation, bodily title, person.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: I am acarya. I am holding acaryas position. I should be given some position, some respect. So, I am given a chair and he is Nirupadi-Vaisnava. He has got no such designation to show to the people about his devotional bhakti. He is taking his seat anywhere and everywhere. He may do it Niru-when upadi. Acarya's position is also upadi, designation, rank. Rank should be respected. You know the son is the judge nirod. This is so the designation is there and this protocol we should be, we should observe.
Jayadvaita Maharaja: But aside from giving, is it just a matter of formality?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: If you think the person who is doing the function of acarya, he is into tatastha vicar, absolute consideration, his adhikara is lower to you, lower. Still, you should formally give special honor to him because he is in that position, You see, the father is giving the honor to the chair of the judge-nirod. Like that you should do, otherwise the social fashion will be disturbed, is it not?
Devotee: Son may be a judge and pleader may be father. Father must give respect to the chair.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Give respect to the chair, so that sort of something like that, something like that adjustment should be kept in the mission. This is when you are alone the acarya brother and non-acarya brother when alone, you can mix freely, if you can give a slap to his cheek.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: But, when publicly amongst his disciples, you must show . . .
Devotee: Proper as he desires.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: That sort of behavior, conduct should be maintained to keep up the peace and the activity possible.
Jayadvaita Maharaja: How should one himself understand, suppose I am empowered by my Guru Maharaja to initiate disciples, so they are offering me worship, nikunjo yuno rati keli siddhai, but how am I to understand they are saying like this, that I am in this position, but does it mean that because I have been given that position of guru actually I have got?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: That sloka you know?
Devotee: I may not know, Sukadeva Goswami may not know...
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: aham veti suka veti vyasa veti va. Yes, Sridhar Swami wrote the commentary of Bhagavatam and it was written differently from the previous commentary, so the sccholars refused to accept that commentary as universal, especially the Sankarikes. Then they put it to a test, that it should be kept in the temple of Viswanatha and if he . . ., Kasi Viswanatha Mahadev Siva, and if he accepts, then we shall all accept the commentary.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Then from the Siva temple the revelation came, the purpose, the real purpose of Bhagavatam is very difficult to conceive. Only these few of us we know the real purpose: aham veti Mahadeva says. I know the real, the true purpose of Bhagavatam, suko veti, and Sukadeva the disciple, son of Vyasadeva, he knows it thoroughtly. aham veti suko veti vyaso veti na veti va and the author of Bhagavatam, he may know or not. Do you follow? Then your question is answered.
Jayadvaita Maharaja: How, I don't understand?
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: Mahaprabhu, when He is teaching Sanatana Goswami, He says to Sanatana, 'Krsna is going to give His kindness to you through Me. I am talking to you like a man to man and I feel many things passing through Me to you. I feel that much, but I do not know that I have myself got that thing.' Do you follow? Then solution.
Jayadvaita Maharaja: Yes, thats very clear. Thank you very much.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: It is possible, it is wonderful, but still we find it there not unreasonable, not understandable.
Jayadvaita Maharaja: That last explanation, is that the explanation of transparent via medium-that the guru-these new gurus they must be transparent and then it will work.
Devotee: Accha, simply by functioning in their roles it will work like that.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja: You see, when of course sincere cases. . . when the second great war broke out in Calcutta, Dalhousie Square-military dress was written on the wall, was painted on the wall and there was a saying, "Just take this garb and the dress will tell you what you have to do." Do you follow? Take the military dress and the dress will direct what you have to do, what will be your duty. So, a sincere man when he has taken a particular charge, anyhow he will make out what to do, the duty. What is the duty of that post if sincere, and God will help. God helps those who help themselves. You have taken the charge and charge has not come from chance but there is some underground link and then if you try to do then help will come to you. He is not a cheat. You have sincerely taken a charge of the master and the master is not a cheat. He will come to you with all his might, do this. I am helping, I am at your back. When we are all sincere, these things will happen like this.
Thus ends the two meetings between Srila Sridhar Maharaja and the G.B.C. ~ March 1978