Breaking down the statement on Premananda prabhu

So let’s break down the statement by BV Suddhadvaiti Swami (sadm) (yes, my analytical nature got the better of me).

The beginning of sadm’s letter presents the main, and most surprising detail:

Recently Premananda dasa brahmacari published a biography of Srila Gurudeva, Sri Guru Darsana, in which he presents, in the section 1978-2010, pages 509-511, a fabricated story about Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja. He claims that, prior to meeting Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja approached Srila Gurudeva in Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura and asked him for initiation. He says that Srila Gurudeva declined and instead directed Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja to go and take initiation from Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

I haven’t read the book, but I expect this story exists in Sri Guru Darsana. If it does – this in itself is extraordinary. I don’t remember when Gurudeva first accepted taking initiations, but I find it very strange that Gour Govinda Maharaja ever asked Gurudeva for initiation. Gour Govinda Maharaja was initiated in 1975. The section regarding this is from 1978 – 2010. So did Gour Govinda Maharaja ask for initiation *after* he already was initiated? If so, I would be even more surprised.

I have read the biographies of Gour Govinda Maharaja available from Tattva-vicara publication, and this is not mentioned anywhere.

When it comes to sadm’s other stories which goes to Premananda Prabhus character, it seems like sadm so far is left to fend for himself and that nobody openly confirms his stories.

But it is nothing short of extraordinary if Gour Govinda Maharaja went to Gurudeva and asked for initiation. The extraordinary would be that it was so little known and not mentioned anywhere except in Premananda Prabhus book.

Some reflections on our approach

Here is the letter by Bhaktivedanta Suddhadvaiti Swami in regards to Premananda Prabhu which Bhaktivedanta Suddhadvaiti Swami allowed me to publish.  I will not comment so much on the contents or the responses so much (at least not now though I may say something on a later point).

So how to approach this?

The backbone of all devotees no matter what we believe is that they speak the truth, especially sannyasis who have been at it for decades.

At the same time, we are human with faults.

That BV Suddhadvaiti Swami allowed me to publish the letter shows that he fully supports his statement.

Premananda Prabhu has done wonders with the construction of Gurudevas samadhi and it seems like BV Suddhadvaiti Swami recognizes this since he writes he don’t want to minimize his other services.

This is an important distinction. When you have kids, there is a certain way to raise them when they do something wrong. You criticize their acts, but not the kid itself. The kid isn’t good/bad/etc because he did something wrong, but their one act may be unkind. This is the approach I try to take when I open my big mouth.

But of course, when devotees clash then the act itself and wether it has happened is in question itself.

We have to use our intelligence, and use it wisely. We are speaking about our spiritual welfare, and I know that my spiritual welfare is so important that I have to guard the seed that Gurudeva planted in me. We have to make up our own mind. For me this means that I don’t shy away from those hard questions or conflicts, but I enter them with an intent to increase my understanding – wherever and however it approaches me. I don’t need to classify people as good or bad, but I do need to increase my understanding of them. I try not to label people, because I usually don’t like that people label me. Labels are uninteresting.

Sannyasis always have to stand up for the truth/siddhanta, they have to stay true to their calling even when it’s uncomfortable, even if it means sometimes you have to go after a person.

This is about correction between devotees. I don’t see a need for regular devotees like me to become involved in this. We can be on the sideline and observe, making some reflections that can help us spiritually.

Observe and reflect with an equal mind.