What to believe?

The question of authenticity of the biography of Premananda Prabhu has reared it’s head again with Bhaktivedanta Damodara Maharaja. Then comes the refutations.

Damodar Maharaja points out specific flaws in the biography from Premananda Prabhu with page numbers, and especially whether these stories can be verified. The refutations claims the stories can be verified, but points to one person who is dead and therefore can’t speak for himself. Then of course, they claim that two devotees following Premananda can verify it, whereby Damodar Maharaja claims they may be lying.

So who to believe? It goes into the heart of difficulty: “Who to trust?”

We would like to think devotees are inherently trustworthy, but that may not be so.

How do we know if somebody is a pure devotee or not? Followers of Prabhuji claims he is, KBM claims he isn’t. The followers of KBM claims Didi and Madhusudhana Maharaja is Bhagavats, others think they are imposters and fabricators.

Who to believe?

First time I met Gurudeva, Aranya Maharaja (now Prema Prajojana) said I should take Harinama from him.
Me: “But I don’t know if he is a pure devotee. Should I take Harinama if I’m not sure?”
Aranya Maharaja: “Yes”.

In some ways I was tricked into taking Harinama, but I was lucky. Gurudeva turned out to be a pure devotee. But how could I have known He was? I didn’t have the vision to know and I still don’t. My way of reasoning was that He had such a great many followers, so therefore I had to take my trust in them.

Now we are in a position where we have so many groups and differences between them. What to belive?

“The path of bhakti is very small”, I saw in a comment from one of the devotees from KBM. It’s true.

A person may have served and surrendered his life to Krishna and his Guru, but it doesn’t mean he is a Bhagavat. There may still be so much aparadha there, a desire for followers and fame. It’s possible to serve Krishna tinged with self-service.

I’m one of those. I want to live a comfortable life while being a devotee. Because of this I also know that I can’t fool around. When I decide to take siksa from someone, I want it to be authentic.

We have to guard our creeper of devotion.





Krishna will cheat us if we have some self-service in us. Many follow Gurudeva blindly. I’m not one of them, even though I have taken diksa from Gurudeva. For me this world is the real one, so if what He tells me is true, He has to prove it every step of the way. So far Gurudeva has proven it in the personal growth I have had, and that I see how what He says aligns with that. But in my perspective, Gurudeva has to prove himself to me. He’s the one with the outrageous claims of a spiritual world we can enter, so He’s gotta prove it. I will use my intelligence every step of the way.

When I first heard and saw pictures of Bhakti Vijana Bharati Maharaja I felt an attraction to him. Then the debate between KBM and the rest of the sangha happened, and I had to use my intelligence to understand the siddhanta. I found that Didi and Madhusudana Maharaja presented the siddhanta expertly and convincingly. Since then I went to Vrindavin last Christmas and will go again this Christmas. Do I believe Didi and Madhusudhan Maharaja is Bhagavats? I don’t know. I know their followers believe so. I’m still on the fence, but I find their way of challenging the status quo to be interesting. That is what makes me curious. I see how the siddhanta is presented deeper than I have been able to penetrate – that makes me curious.

What is it that makes us want to follow somebody? For me it’s about the level of siddhanta they can present. If I struggle to follow it, I love it because it challenges me to go deeper, understand more. That attracts me.

What attracts you? Why does it attract you?

Bhakti – Love is an emotion. Who to follow should not only be an emotional decision. It also needs to be grounded in intelligence. Use it whatever way you decide.

6 thoughts on “What to believe?

  1. Prabhupada used to say -faith without inteligence is fanatism and inteligence without -faith is speculation-.
    Premananda prabhu is a dedicate servant for many years and that requieres apreciation, but as the quote says the more you advance the narrow the way becomes until becomes a razor edge. What this means? Means that any litle mistake walking in such edge will result in cutting your feet and therefore pain but not only for you but for those who follow you Too. Now it is a secret that everybody knows but until this issue of the boys been molested by PP is not clear we can not take anything serious by PP and His followers.

    • I have let your comment simmer in me. I loved the analogy of a razors edge – it’s very fitting (and easy to remember).

      And the quote made it into my collection of quotes 🙂

  2. Dandavats,
    Actually the argument is not whether Premananda Prabhu is a pure devotee, or a Vaisnava or not, that is not our issue. Rather we are asking the question as to why he is putting fabrications into his publications. One can go to my Facebook page to see a quote from Srila Gurudeva that directly contradicts the version of Guru darsana. Why has he changed Gurudeva into Nilima Manjari? As long as the lies in the book are not retracted, we will continue to object in writing!

    • Dandavat pranams, Maharaja.

      I know your role is to question the siddhanta – which is very good. Keep it up!

      My role on the other hand is a bit different. I leave the siddhanta to the experts, I just question everything.

  3. To become a pure devotee – this is very rare. Thousands of People are in the movement of Krishna Consciousness. But who IS in Krishna Consciousness? Srila Gour Govinda Swami is explainig this very clearly – if you are thinking of Krishna for 24 hours a day – then you are in Krishna Consciousness. So – Krishna is all atractive. His pure devotees are also all atractive. But Maya is also atractive! Only by the mercy of Hari, Guru and Vaishnava one will get the intelligence to understand who is who – who is bhogus and who is a pure devotee. I personally know many people who are following PP – and they do not make any spiritual advancement in any way! Material advancement – yes! But not spiritual. It is also not a secret that if you go to PP that you will find nice arrangements for a nice life – but if you advance in Bhakti – this is another question. One of our preachers from KB told one very nice thing: If you want Krishna Prema, you give up the most precious thing – that which you love the most. If there is still only a smell of material bondage – you can´t get Krishna! Impossible! If there is only the smell of desire – Krishna is still far away. So, do you think that you can get Krishna by enjoing nice prasad, boys and girls and other nice facilitys? Do you believe that you can get Krishna by doing Seva, Seva and Seva all the time? Never! Srila BV Narayana Gosvami is telling in his books that you can get prema only by Harinam! Nothing else! Chanting with love and devotion. Chanting is the way and the goal. Both. Mahaprabhu told this with his own words – there is no other way. And all our acharyas told and tell the same! And a spiritual leader will engage his followers and deciples in chanting the holy name. Of course, some seva is necessary, but this is not the main thing! Nobody can get Krishna by chanting 16 rounds only! Never! And this is what we all learn in Krishna Balaram from Srimati Krishna Priya Didi and Pujapad BV Madhusudan Maharaja – how to perform Bhajan. Their temple is called Bhajans tali – and we all know why. There we chant 64 rounds and learn how be satisfied with only a little. This is Krishna Consciousness. This is how our acharyas where living. Simple! There is a beautiful book of Bhakti Promod Puri Gosvami Maharaja – The Art of Sadhana – and this is how we all should practise our sadhana – daily. And in Krishna Balaram – we do! So, somebody, who is interested in real Bhakti – he will find his way to the Lotus feet of a pure vaishnava – and somebody who wants something else will find his way to another one – Krishna takes care that his Bhaktas will never be disturbed. This is natural! And Krishna, who is inside the heart, he knows everything! For shure….

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