After Suddhadvaiti Maharajas post about Premananda Prabhu, it’s been nice to see how his disciples defend their Guru and how this encourage their guru-bhakti. However, there is one thing that needs to be addressed in their eagerness to defend their Guru.
“Furthermore, he is party and an advocate of those who are being shunned by the majority of Srila Gurudeva’s sanga for going completely against Srila Gurudeva’s as well as Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja’s rasa-vicara in regard to Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada. He is blatantly offending Srila Gurudeva and his siddhanta. Can this not be causing pain to Srila Gurudeva’s heart? Who are really doing their best to derail Srila Gurudeva’s sanga?”
The forward march of the Sampradaya
There is a difference between the current disagreement and what rasa Srila Prabhupada has. This debate is a question of trustworthiness which is key in our spiritual process and who we seek siksa from. The rasa of Srila Prabhupada is a discussion on siddhanta – it’s a siddhantic disagreement and therefore need to be understood differently.
Question by Krishna Karunya dasa: Most of our guru varga we know like Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta is Nayana Mani Manjari, Vinod Manjari Paramgurudeva, Bhaktivinod Thakur is kamal Manjari, Gurudeva Raman Manjari. Now people are asking what is Swami Maharaja´s siddha svarup name, like there is nothing revealed, so now they are raising this question saying he is a sakha.
Pujyapada Premananda das: how much dakshin [they] are giving you? (all laugh)
First you realize your svarupa, then you are not fighting. First svarupa siddhi, then vastu siddhi.
New___?___ bhajan, respect giving, then you will watch your siddha svarupa and then you will watch Swami Maharaja´s svarupa, and all the jiva´s svarupa you will understand. Why are they fighting? This is demon’s fight, demoniac philosophy.
Now this fight is like that of dogs; one on one side and another in other side. “Hey I am the dog king. This is my line, my area. Why are you entering my area? Then barking, barking barking, then biting, cutting and killing and not giving any entrance; “this is MY area.” “My understanding this is all in all.” Who is telling this? Nonsense people.
Mahaprabhu what is He giving? Is Mahaprabhu distributing sakhya rasa? Nityananda prabhu what is He giving? Nitai pada kamale, Radha Krishna paite nai. When Advaita Prabhu is dancing how long does he have this gopi mood? How long time? You read Chaitanya Bhagavat. So then? Everybody in this sampradaya have NO other mood, not possible.
Premamanda Prabhu in a lecture (this is a link to the whole lecture which has been removed from Bhaktabhandav)
In the case of the rasa of Srila Prabhupada we need to understand how to address who is rupanuga and we have to understand the speciality of priya-narma sakhas. The easiest way to explain how the stance of the majority of Gurudevas sanga is against siddhanta, is that they don’t accept the sakhi-bhava of priya-narma-sakhas, when even Gurudeva himself emphasizes this in Bhakti rasamrta Sindhu bindu p.254:
The priyanarma-sakhas are superior in every way to the three other types of sakhas. They are engaged in extremely confidential services and are possessed of a very special bhava (sakhi-bhava). In other words they perform confidential services for the preyasis (lovers) of Sri Krishna, they assist Krishna in meeting with the preyasis and they desire to give pleasure to them. These include Subala, Arjuna, Gandharva, Vasanta, Ujjvala and Madhuma∫gala. Of these Subala and Ujjvala are the best.
We have to follow Gurudevas words and as I show above even he emphasizes the sakhi-bhava of priya-narma sakhas. The majority of Srila Gurudevas sanga who don’t accept the speciality of priya-narma sakhas is blatantly disregarding Gurudevas siddhanta and it shows how they haven’t deeply looked into this issue. There is also the case of Gour Govinda Maharajs alleged statements on the rasa of Srila Prabhupada which has been refuted.
I understand that the disciples of Premananda Prabhu defends the character of Premananda Prabhu and they do it well, but in their defense they should refrain from mentioning the siddhantic debate of rasa-vicara of Srila Prabhupada and use it as an example.
The best argument I’ve read so far is from Subal Sakha dasa where he carefully actually address the main argument of Sudhadvaiti Swami:
I can appreciate it if people do not immediately accept everything that Prabhji says in his class.
… Gurudeva quite clearly said that we should always look to the scriptures to confirm things and he also said on a number of occasions that Prabhji’s class is nonsense so I can understand why people are frustrated with him.
… In regard to Gour Govinda Maharaj he was present in Keshavji Gaudiya Math when he first arrived there and so is in a much better position than our dear friend or any other biographer to reveal what actually happened on that occasion. Why hadn’t he spoken about this before? Well why should he when he knows this is the reaction he will get?
Then he comes with arguments on how to recognize Guru and how Premananda Prabhu fits that description.
So who to believe in regards to Gour Govinda Maharaja and wether he asked for diksa from Gurudeva? In the authorized biography of Madhava Maharaja this event is addressed:
2nd volume of Srila Gurudeva’s authorized biography where Sripad BV Madhava writes on page 223, “It was in the early nineties that Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja first came to visit Srila Gurudeva. He had come to Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura many years earlier even before his initiation, but at that time Srila Gurudeva was away preaching elsewhere and was not in Mathura Mandala.“
While most goes into the emotional defense of Premananda Prabhu, Subal Sakha addresses the inconsistencies that are brought forward and how he navigate them. A Gurus word should be in line with sastra, and when there is inconsistencies, we need to meditate on how to navigate it. We need to understand our opponents arguments and see if there is some validity to each and every one of the arguments. If you find one such inconsistency, what does it mean for you? For example, in the debate of the rasa of Srila Prabhupada there is one inconsistency of KBM which has not been addressed by them. This was an inconsistency where I had to think on the implications of it and how I would navigate this internally.
Only a fool would easily discard ones Guru or those he seeks guidance from. But we do have to deeply look into the arguments and inconsistencies that are pointed out to us. It’s an opportunity for learning.