Srila Narayana Maharaja: One thing. I want to request that you should not feel that you are in group of Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja, you are group of Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, your group is Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, or you are group of that Puri Maharaja, or you are group of that, that. Don’t [think this]. You should only think that we are only group in Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s family.
Devotees: Gaura-premanande! Haribol!
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Our hari-katha is only one hari-katha. Water is the same, but bottle may be different, somewhat reddish, sometimes green, no harm. Wine same, but bottle may be different. Name may be some different, but we are all Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Rupanuga Gaudiya Vaisnavas, same thing. But now some are going and derailing. Swamiji Maharaja himself he told me, “Oh, go and preach and help, also help my devotees.” But now they have shut their doors, closed their doors. “Oh, Narayana Maharaja can’t go come.” And that is why they are going, falling down, always falling down, falling down. So you should hear hari-katha. I have only to give without any self-gain, nothing, only to help Swamiji and all the devotees who are now weakened somewhat. You had become weak, [so] I have come. Swamiji and my Gurudeva, Krsna, Mahaprabhu has sent me only to help you. Not that I have come to make disciples, and make so much wealth and money, another group. I’m not going to make another group. We are same group. I have come to assemble them in one group everywhere. “
Gurudevas sanga is splitting into groups, and I have begun to see this as a natural progression. Some seeks the shelter of Bhakti Vijana Bharati Maharaja, some Premananda Prabhu, some with Prema Prajoyana and some with Krishna Priya didi and Madhusudhana Maharaja in Krishna Balarama Mandira.
All are still in the same line. Some may claim that if one doesn’t have the mood of the manjaris, one don’t belong amongst the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. But from my understanding, those in Gaura lila don’t all have the same manjari mood either despite Mahaprabhu came to taste manjari mood. Example; Sri Gadadhara Pandita is in the mood of a servant.
One seeks the group one is attracted to. Bhakti Vijana Bharati Maharaja is from what I hear an encyclopedia of harikatha. Premananda Prabhu is expert at service. I hear that in Prema Prayojanas group they are required to chant 64 rounds. I don’t know about KBM, but so far my impression is that they are able to boldly assert their meanings, however unintentionally. Each group may have some speciality given to them.
Isn’t it natural that once one have found the association that the heart is content with, that one stay under that shelter? Diksa and siksa is so important, and by taking siksa doesn’t one naturally become part of a group no matter how independent ones spirit may be? And siksa can be had several places – simultaneously.
Groups are natural. Animosity between groups is unnecessary, but at the same time you can’t avoid discussions to be raised. Such feelings will be stirred. If we look at the teachers listed in purebhakti.com everybody except Prema Prajoyana is listed.
“The world does not need any more big institutions. Big institutions and their resolutions do not inspire trust. They can’t do very much to solve individual problems or those of this world; the world needs individual performance. Only individual efforts, such as the efforts of Srila Prabhupada, impress the people in this world and will make them change. These difficulties have arisen so that all of you should get your act together and start to make a difference as individuals, in the service of your spiritual master. That’s what is necessary. Then the world will be blessed by Srila Prabhupada’s love.”
There’s so much high class association that is becoming available and visible. I see groups as a natural progression. That isckon has managed to remain isckon is in itself a wonderous miracle and they have achieved so much.
People will always mingle towards the pure devotees.
The Truth will always shine brilliantly in the people it inhabits and groups will form around them. We are still one family. As we all have experienced, family isn’t perfect and sometimes the laundry is aired. Still, we are a family.
I agree with Gurudeva that we shouldn’t think we are a group, but a family. But at the same time I think that the group mentality comes with the conditioned territory. By staying within a group, we also get the opportunity to be worked on. That individual performance doesn’t just arise out of nowhere, it has been honed first and we have to choose our “folks” wisely.