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On Responsibility in Devotional Leadership - Comments on the editorial



Madhava - Thu, 14 Oct 2004 23:35:28 +0530
Many must have missed my editorial, On Responsibility in Devotional Leadership, as Jagat posted something there right after I posted it. Anyhow I believe the topic is important and worth a discussion. Any thoughts from our good audience?
Madhava - Sat, 16 Oct 2004 21:58:45 +0530
Here is a recent letter from a guru of a modern Vaishnava group which illustrates an aspect of what I'm heading at with my editorial fairly well.

Leading a double life is not only harmful to the followers of the guru, but for the guru himself. Eventually the walls begin to come crashing down as you get frustrated with the facade. Therefore people ought to be upfront about their situation and not allow others to build dreamy pictures of themselves.
braja - Sun, 17 Oct 2004 01:05:59 +0530
One argument--or perhaps it is something that is not even voiced--in defense of maintaining the facade is that the leader/guru often feels that he is doing it for the benefit of the disciples. If fallibility is revealed, their faith in everything may crumble. I see a similarity in the US presidency and have been thinking a lot lately on the topic of psychological types and their approach to religion. For instance, after the first debate, in which George Bush was humiliated, I came across an interesting article on Salon (free day pass req'd) concerning believing in belief, absolute faith, and having a divine mission. The political cacophony in the US reveals that a huge section of population wants absolute faith in a leader and in policy and will reject anything to the contrary, no matter how reasonable or factual. The greater the individual or societal insecurity, the greater the need for a surrogate. In Bush you have an example of a president who largely functions in the same way. Similarly in Western Vaisnavism, you find many who "made it to the top" with the same outlook. When things go wrong and the good guy/bad guy, faith in The Process mentality no longer fits, the person is in danger of rejecting everything. If they have followers, chances are many of those followers will also be of the same mentality which is how the relationship occured in the first place.

Anyways, excuse the convolution but it's mid afternoon and I haven't eaten yet. And I'm desperately trying to get out of my funk of having no energy to say anything any more.
Subal - Sun, 17 Oct 2004 02:02:05 +0530
Dear Madhava,

I read your editorial when it first came out and just re-read it. While you make many good points, I sense a damned if you do, damned if you don't mentality in your concluding remarks.

First of all, I think the "ideals" may be unrealistic. I believe too many disciples project an unrealistic picture on the guru and too many gurus encourage this. I agree that anyone, guru or disciple, should be congruent between ones teachings and one's personal practices and the way one presents oneself to the public. However, I don't see a problem with enjoying films or music or whatever, as long as this isn't some big secret. One need not be overly appologetic or self-deprecating for such actions and try to shield one's disciples from such things.

It seems the only ones who can meet the "ideal" (and I am not referring to the ideal of pure devotion, but rather the ideal of living according to traditional vaishnava cultural norms) are Indians who have been life-long vaishnavas. For Western vaishnavas to try to live the "ideal" is unrealistic as was pointed out in the painful letter of Prithu. We need to be true to ourself and not suppress too much. Suppression builds the "shadow" which can erupt in undesirable ways; thus, so many "fall-downs" among ISKCON leaders. We need to come to terms with who we are as Westerners and as devotees and not pass on dualistic, self-deprecating, self-defeating practices to our disciples based on Indian cultural ideals. This should not be a requirement for being a guru. I do agree that a guru has a tremendous responsibility to disciples and must be honest about who one is.
Madhava - Sun, 17 Oct 2004 03:07:00 +0530
Subal, in regards to damned if you do, damned if you don't, that's not the idea I intended to convey. If one is straightforward about what one does, though it reveals that one is not quite yet on the highest platform, it does not build illusions (which will invariably eventually break) in the minds of others. I personally do not have a problem with watching movies or enjoying music or whatever. However I do believe the behavior expected of householders and renunciates ought to be different in this regard.

There is an example from my personal experiences I remember very vividly in this regard. There was a certain guru, a renunciate, who had gotten into the habit of watching movies until mangala-arati time. He would have his own TV/video set packed in his van with a box of films. Whenever we would arrive at a temple, he would have us unload the equipment into his room. However as we once arrived to a bigger temple where another sannyasi resided, he would have us wait until the sannyasi left the premises and only then have us carry in the stuff. As the word began to go around about his newfound hobby which caused him to neglect his regular morning sadhana, he had us go and purchase a load of masking tape to cover over the "Fujitsu" labels from the box so as to not cause suspicion. Of course, eventually someone blew the whistle on this, though I am not altogether certain whether the habit just moved over to a more discreet medium, ie. these fancy laptops that will play any movie for you.

The story above is somewhat of an emblem of the problem I see. People ought to be straightforward about what they do and where they're at in their spiritual lives, not going at great lengths to cover up the "secret" stuff they do. And again, more so with those in whom people place their faiths in, especially their unconditional faith in.
Subal - Mon, 18 Oct 2004 00:56:00 +0530
I agree.
Madhava - Mon, 08 Nov 2004 00:06:43 +0530
VNN has published this too, finally. (Only took them what, two months?)

I generally have the GGM website address at the signature of my @granthamandira.org e-mail address, so it looks like we got some unexpected advertisement there. I hope it is clear to everyone that the essay does not represent GGM in any official capacity. I have posted a note to this extent to the GGM forums.
Madhava - Mon, 08 Nov 2004 00:48:13 +0530
I just had the pleasure of having PADA add me to his mailing list, and I see that in his latest newsletter (attached), he has jumped all over my essay. Here is a response I have sent in.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dear Mr. Pada,

For your information / whom it may concern, I do not belong to Gaudiya Math. I do not understand why you critique my editorial as if it was written by a Gaudiya Matha advocate. Also, contrary to what appears to be your reading of the essay, I am objecting to the idea that gurus may engage in varieties of mundane endeavors and get away with it -- not endorsing the idea.

Incidentally, I happen to be the same fellow whose "Suhotra Swami Expose" you once published, in which the movie issue was first featured before the broader public. Therefore, please do not review my editorial as a Gaudiya Math presentation. If you would take the time to read the essay for what it is instead of projecting your preconceived notions over every statement it has, perhaps you might better appreciate its contribution.

The term "guru-ness" is not a newly coined concept, but a translation of the Sanskrit word "gurutva" which means the position of a teacher. I could also have used "guruship", "guruhood" or "being a guru", which are all more or less synonymous with the original Sanskrit word. I trust the idea is not entirely alien to you, given that you seem to spend a good deal of your time exposing the flaws of individuals whom you deem to lack "guruness" or the qualities of a proper guru.

If you have problems understanding "high sounding complex slogans", I suggest you take some courses in Vaishnava literature and perhaps notice that the terms used in the essay, such as sanga-siddha-bhakti, are actually quite common terms for anyone with a bit of learning with the writings of the Goswamis. I do not understand your need to find fault in someone's presenting concepts you are unfamiliar with. It only speaks of your own lack of erudition. If your concept of "straight-forward language" means that one has to say "crap" instead of "excrement", and you find the latter confusing and misleading, then perhaps a lesson or two in the smooth use of language might be in place.

From your comments, it seems that you are under the impression that there is an individual called VNN who writes all the articles on their website. I hate to break the news to you, but VNN is actually the name of a website which publishes news and editorials written by people from various walks of life, and even of people, such as myself, who may not agree with a good deal of their agenda.

Please publish this in your newsletter as a clarification to your comments which, regardless of whether I agree with them or not, are evidently a bit out of place amidst my editorial.

Thank you very much.

Ityalam --
Madhavananda Das

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Disclaimer: While educational in a sense, the attached file may contain objectionable content.
Attachment: pada_newsletter_11_07.pdf
Madhava - Mon, 08 Nov 2004 01:17:30 +0530
And a follow-up:

QUOTE(Pada)
Ummm, dear Madhavananda, are you telling us that big time Gaudiya Matha/smarta supporters like Jan Brzezinski, who has wrote me numerous letters advocating Gaudiya Matha leaders and their -isms, and who supposedly rejected his Prabhupada initiation and got re-initiated, and Nitai Dasa, another guy who renounced his Prabhupada initiation and ran off to the smartas and was allegedly associated with the babajis for awhile, and who is aligned with who knows what nowadays after he publicly renounced Srila Prabhupada, that they ... have renouced their ideas and they now accept that they were wrong, and they agree with us that they should not have ran off to these camps? Or what?

And who is translating all of your literatures if not Gaudiya Matha siddhanta sympathizers like the two above mentioned persons? And why is it that VNN only posts supporters of the Gaudiya Matha / smartas / pedophile lineages, and never posts our idea that pedophiles and their Gaudiya Matha cheer leaders are not in the parampara? Actually, we were very merciful to you not to bring any of this up, but if you insist

... thanks pd


QUOTE(Madhava)
Dear Pada,

Just what exactly might that have to do with anything I wrote to you?

Gaudiya Grantha Mandir has nothing to do with this, and texts at GGM are not translations, they are original Sanskrit texts. I translate my own translations when I feel like I am in need of translations of a text that is not accurately translated.

As for wheter I am a Gaudiya Math or ISKCON sympathizer, quite frankly I am fairly unconcerned. I really do not give a crap, or should I say excrement, about your internal quibbles. I have written an essay that addresses a theological issue, an essay that is applicable throughout the tradition.

Ityalam (*) --
Madhavananda Das

(*) Hasta la vista

Tamal Baran das - Mon, 08 Nov 2004 11:30:22 +0530
It is really possibly not nice to write that here, but Pada is mentally ill person and individual. That man is in need of serious psychological evaluation and treatment. He is devoided of reality and lives in some imaginary world.He uses victims of religious/cult oppression and torture as his background, by hiding himself behind them, posing like a saviour. Honestly, i remember him from other Forums, he needs to take some medications. Furthermore he is cultist, religious fanatic and not a person which has clearly thinking and ratio. In other words, he actually, all the time has battle with himself. Unfortunately, a war he can't win, because of his denial of reality.
I don't feel sorry for him at all.
jatayu - Mon, 08 Nov 2004 12:40:52 +0530
QUOTE(Tamal Baran das @ Nov 8 2004, 06:00 AM)
It is really possibly not nice to write that here, but Pada is mentally ill person and individual. That man is in need of serious psychological evaluation and treatment. He is devoided of reality and lives in some imaginary world.He uses victims of religious/cult oppression and torture as his background, by hiding himself behind them, posing like a saviour. Honestly, i remember him from other Forums, he needs to take some medications. Furthermore he is cultist, religious fanatic and not a person which has clearly thinking and ratio. In other words, he actually, all the time has battle with himself. Unfortunately, a war he can't win, because of his denial of reality.
I don't feel sorry for him at all.



This reads exactly like throughout human history common people described a saint. "...mentally ill ...devoided of reality .......lives in some imaginary world...
posing like a saviour..........religious fanatic ........ I don't feel sorry for him at all."
Candidate like Haridas Thakur to be beaten through twenty three marketplaces? rolleyes.gif
Jagat - Mon, 08 Nov 2004 18:22:56 +0530
Surely, Jatayu, you do not think that Puranjan is a saint or a prophet? I am starting to worry about you.

The principle objection that we here (I speak primarily for Madhava and myself) have to the most hard-core elements of Iskcon and the Ritvik movement is their unconditional hatred for ALL Vaishnavas. They find ways to attach everyone except their own followers to the crimes--real or only imagined by Puranjan (like the poisoning)--committed by some in Iskcon.

Furthermore there is no redemption except to become a born again follower of Pada. Then all is forgiven.

This is a total aberration of the Vaishnava path and in fact a caricature of the things that are most detestable about the Iskcon mind-set.

I am not against accountability. A Vaishnava should be ready to admit mistakes, and the guru-vada makes it difficult for people who have taken on the nimbus of infallibility to admit they are just human. But Pada presents us without any hope at all. It is hard to imagine a religious movement led by Puranjan, who is the darkest demagogue ever to be brought forth from the bowels of the Krishna consciousness movement. He long ago turned the holy mission of reforming Iskcon into a Manichaean obsession.

The most difficult verse in the Gita is "api cet sudurAcAro". When it says "kSipraM bhavati dharmAtmA", what is "quickly" in your mind? Five minutes or five lifetimes? Five lifetimes are just a couple of blinks in the life of Brahma.

The battle for Iskcon has been lost (or won, depending how you look at it). It's time to cultivate devotion. Protect your own heart first.
DharmaChakra - Mon, 08 Nov 2004 19:36:16 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Nov 7 2004, 03:18 PM)
I just had the pleasure of having PADA add me to his mailing list, and I see that in his latest newsletter (attached), he has jumped all over my essay. Here is a response I have sent in.





That newsletter is not even comprehensible. I feel dirty even having read the little I could get through. I want to write a larger reply to Madhava's article (and keep this thread from becoming a dump-fest on PADA (<- is that a person, a group, what?), but this newsletter leads into some of my response. Obviously the author no longer sees anyone else as a vaisnava, ergo, vasinava-apradha is not even coming into play here. I just refuse to go into how ignorant this is, even just of his beloved Swamiji's teachings... ugh. You should put a warning on that download.
Jagat - Mon, 08 Nov 2004 20:32:36 +0530
Actually, this PADA newsletter appears to be far more rational than usual. But what is clearly interesting about this entire development in Iskcon, etc., is that practically no one has any knowledge of the scriptures in their original forms.

Thus Puranjan says: "...it all starts with envy of Krishna. Again, the Gaudiya Matha folks have never understood this point. And so they have no actual explanation why us teeny souls are here at all, since they think we originated in the impersonal brahman. As such, they think: we were never "envious of Krishna" -- we never were with Him? Neither they can properly explain why we are bound up by sex desire in the way that we are here in this world, because they fail to see how we were originally "envious." etc., etc.

Anyway... This really belongs over here: http://www.gaudiyadiscussions.com/index.php?showtopic=2495
jatayu - Tue, 09 Nov 2004 01:24:11 +0530
QUOTE(Jagat @ Nov 8 2004, 12:52 PM)
Surely, Jatayu, you do not think that Puranjan is a saint or a prophet? I am starting to worry about you.


Thanks for the slap, PADA's position is, he/they are ongoingly making others responsible without knowing that this very process results to become conditioned as a helpless victim. However, when I bring myself constantly down on the helpless victim's level, how am I going to successfully attain my goal? By making others responsible for an unfortunate situation I'm not only giving away my own responsibility but with this responsibility also my god given power. I have to become responsible myself and unless I have a clear goal, others will dictate me what my goal should be. And this could be a bad surprise. PADA seems to fight till the end of time against neophytes, sitting on the seat of Srila Vyasadeva and that's somewhat like fighting endlessly against darkness, not considering that the sun can solve all that darkness problems just like that. Therefore Krishna not only told Arjuna to fight, but he also made him realize that unless he has a goal, a goal of which he's 100% convinced of, able to see himself having attained that goal, Arjuna's live would be a failure. Chairman Mao: "Don't fight unless you can win." cool.gif
Jagat - Wed, 01 Dec 2004 19:37:05 +0530
Much as I think that writing to Puranjan is as futile as washing one's hands with brake oil, his response to Madhavananda's letter can only be taken as "good publicity." The man is so far from rational discourse that he makes Jabberwocky look like the model. Actually Jabberwocky at least has the merit of being mellifluous--

"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe..."

I thank Pada for associating me with Tripurari and the rest of the Gaudiya Math. This will surely cast me in a favorable light amongst those who admire those organizations. Need I say more? Nothing like an insane enemy to create a feeling of togetherness, even among strange bedfellows.

Anyway, for those who can bear a cold shower of incoherent venom early in the morning, read on.


==============


Madhavananda: Dear Mr. Pada (a letter from VNN's sanskrit expert),

For your information / whom it may concern, I do not belong to Gaudiya Math. I do not understand why you critique my editorial as if it was written by a Gaudiya Matha advocate. Also, contrary to what appears to be your reading of the essay, I am objecting to the idea that gurus may engage in varieties of mundane endeavors and get away with it -- not endorsing the idea.

PADA: Your article is not clear since for starters, it does not state that your "limited guru" (a kanistha) is not a diksha guru but he is a representative (such as a preacher or a ritvik). You call for Sanskrit clarity and honesty, but then fail to give us the honest terms in sanskrit because you do not delineate (a) the neophyte (siksa guru: sadhaka) from the pure (diksha: parisad) guru. And worse -- you make it sound like gurus might be residents of Vaikuntha, simultaneously, the abyss (hell). And this is how VNN writes, and Visoka Mahaksa writes, and the GBC writes, and the Gaudiya Matha writes, starting in ISKCON with their 1988 paper penned by Gaura Govinda maharaja that (sometimes) "gurus are demons." No, demons are demons and they are never gurus. Yet -- you (and they) have not clarified.

You write in typical VNN hodge podge style, that is why they published it. The VNN clan has merged together "guru" even with "homosexual pedophile," so they are experts at juxtaposing anarthas with gurus. Moreover, you admit below that you got the whole idea for "guru and Hollywood movies" from the VNN/ GBC/ Sridhara/ Narayana/ Gaudiya Matha camp, those who rubber stamp hokey "gurus" like Suhotra in the first place. So you are still in league with that camp, and you cite examples from them and not from Srila Prabhupada. You cannot cite any examples from Srila Prabhupada where "guru-ness" and "Hollywood movie-ness" and "the abyss" are connected, nor have you even attempted to do so because it is impossible.]

Madhavananda: Incidentally, I happen to be the same fellow whose "Suhotra Swami Expose" you once published, in which the movie issue was first featured before the broader public.

PADA: Good. Now you admit that you got your whole idea for juxtaposing "guru-ness" and "Hollywood movie-ness" and "gurus from the abyss" from the GBC/ Sridhara/ Narayana/ camp, since they originally rubber stamped GBCs like Suhotra as "gurus." So you admit, you did not get this idea from Srila Prabhupada or even any sanskrit writings, you got this idea from the deviants. Agreed. Sorry, first Sridhara Maharaja said that the GBC's homosexuals and deviants have to "vote in more gurus," and so they voted in your pal Suhotra, and as you noted previously, he watches Hollywood movies, and that is how you got that example and argument: from them. We never linked gurus and Hollywood movies, you folks do?]

Madhavananda: Therefore, please do not review my editorial as a Gaudiya Math presentation.

PADA: You are one of them because no one else merges guru/ and Hollywood movies/ and the abyss -- except -- you and your GBC/ Gaudiya Matha camp.]

Madhavananda: If you would take the time to read the essay for what it is instead of projecting your preconceived notions over every statement it has, perhaps you might better appreciate its contribution.

PADA: Your "article" is not original material, it is simply a re-hash of the Gaudiya Matha's idea that gurus are full of anarthas, even Hollywood movie anarthas, and that their gurus are sometime from the pits of hell (the abyss as you state it) so you blend all these nomenclatures together, without stating that the GBC/ Sridhara/ Narayana/ Gaudiya Matha folks are bogus for doing this juxtaposing. Of course even a pygmy cannibal goat shepherd knows that gurus are not part of the abyss, while you big sanskrit scholars muddy up the whole issue?]

Madhavananda: The term "guru-ness" is not a newly coined concept, but a translation of the Sanskrit word "gurutva" which means the position of a teacher.

PADA: Again you are confusing things. You said that a person who watches Hollywood movies might be a limited teacher (layman, preacher), and we agreed, this is why these "limited preachers" were delineated by Srila Prabhupada in 1977 as people who "must be replaced when they deviate (the GBC)" but this is not full-fledged guru however. What is an actual bona fide guru v. a limited preacher, priest or ritvik, that is the issue at hand. At least that is the issue for ISKCON since 1977 and the Gaudiya Matha since 1936: that there has been a massive misunderstanding over the post of diksha guru, coming from your web-site's authors, and from your GBC/ Sridhara/ Narayana/ VNN, Gaudiya Matha et al. And since you know all about Suhotra's escapades being linked to diksha guru, you should know this better than us since you are the alleged scholar here. And yet your article does not define that the factual bona fide diksha guru is -- separate -- from the cheater Suhotra class.

And as such, you fail to distinguish the real v. false gurus in your article. Rather you mention some generic "guru-ness" then bait and switch to -- Hollywood movie-ness, and the abyss-ness? So, guru is one thing, Hollywood movies are another thing, residents of the abyss are demons, so that is yet another thing, but your team merges all these items together? Your article begins with the idea you are going to deal with guru-ness, but then you switch gears, without making it clear for example that Srila Prabhupada and us Prabhupadanugas were right from 1936, these homosexuals, deviants, and "movie guys" never were gurus? They all lied, especially your co-author Jagadananda's siddhanta pals like Sridhara, Tripurari et al. You do not explain any of this.]

Madhavananda: I could also have used "guruship", "guruhood" or "being a guru", which are all more or less synonymous with the original Sanskrit word.

PADA: You are avoiding the whole point, you mention guru-ness ... then you started talking about movies .... which in sanskrit is called anartha, not guru-ness, and in English your technique is called hodge podge.]

Madhavananda: I trust the idea is not entirely alien to you, given that you seem to spend a good deal of your time exposing the flaws of individuals whom you deem to lack "guruness" or the qualities of a proper guru.

PADA: I am familiar with your terms, and how you folks write about guru-ness, then trip us up with some movie-ness. Your write, "the topic is mangoes," then you start talking about "an old shoe"?]

Madhavananda: If you have problems understanding "high sounding complex slogans", I suggest you take some courses in Vaishnava literature and perhaps notice that the terms used in the essay, such as sanga-siddha-bhakti, are actually quite common terms for anyone with a bit of learning with the writings of the Goswamis.

PADA: OK, but our point is that your idea that Rupa Goswami's "sangha siddha bhakti" relates to -- Hollywood movies -- and the abyss, is a crock? What is the connection? Again you fail to explain, despite we just now asked you to. That means: there is no connection and no explanation? Your VNN pal's guru, Narayana Maharaja, he does the same thing. We ask him about why he supports homosexual pedophiles as gurus, and then he starts going on about some abtuse gopi rasika citations, but for that matter so does Jagadananda's pal Tripurari. Sangha siddha bhakti has: what connection to Hollywood and the abyss? Homosexual pedophiles have what connection to -- gurus and the gopis? You folks do not tell us clearly. Ever?]

Madhavananda: I do not understand your need to find fault in someone's presenting concepts you are unfamiliar with. It only speaks of your own lack of erudition. If your concept of "straight-forward language" means that one has to say "crap" instead of "excrement", and you find the latter confusing and misleading, then perhaps a lesson or two in the smooth use of language might be in place.

PADA: Again, you are missing the point, your co-author Jagadananda is working with Tripurari, and his gurus are out there having sex with men, women and children, and they have been doing that since 1936, and we think this is "crap." And we think Jagadananda should not work with people like Tripurari, who have been washing Kirtanananda's feet trying to get a guru certificate. And Tripurari still is licking Virabahu's booties since he has a pedophile guru certificate. And when all the kids were getting molested left, right and center, the only thing Tripurari wanted was a stamp of approval from the pedophiles. And so Jagadananda is working with the biggest cheerleaders of pedophile pooja, and you are working with him ... you guys all promote each other and/or each other's web sites etc., so what else is there to figure out here, you are in league with one another, birds of a feather?]

Madhavananda: From your comments, it seems that you are under the impression that there is an individual called VNN who writes all the articles on their website. I hate to break the news to you, but VNN is actually the name of a website which publishes news and editorials written by people from various walks of life, and even of people, such as myself, who may not agree with a good deal of their agenda.

PADA: VNN's agenda is very clear, they only promote pedophile guru cheer leaders like Sridhara, Narayana, and your site's pedophile bucket boy pal Tripurari, and other people who like to promote the "poison snake" sanskrit editors, at least according to Srila Prabhupada. And as soon as we say we should worship a bona fide pure devotee and not cheerleaders for pedophile worship, or bogus sanskrit editors, VNN has a fit.]

Madhavananda: Please publish this in your newsletter as a clarification to your comments which, regardless of whether I agree with them or not, are evidently a bit out of place amidst my editorial. Thank you very much. Ityalam -- Madhavananda Das

PADA: Well this is yours and VNN's group: Editors: Jan Brzezinski, PhD (Jagadananda Das), Neal Delmonico, PhD (Nitai Das) Contributors Advaita Dasa, Ekkehard Lorenz, Gary Thomas, Haricarana Dasa, Malika Das (M.A.), Robert Gafrik (M.A.), Srivatsa Goswami, Toke Lindegaard Knudsen (MSc), Victor Di Cara (Vraja Kishora Dasa) Webmaster Oskari Loponen (Madhavananda Das)
------------------

PADA: Ummm, dear Madhavananda, are you telling us that big time Gaudiya Matha/ smarta supporters like Jan Brzezinski, who has wrote me numerous letters advocating Gaudiya Matha leaders and their - isms, and who supposedly rejected his Prabhupada initiation and got re-initiated, and who has been listed on the VOICE website as a child abuser, and Nitai Dasa, another guy who renounced his Prabhupada initiation and ran off to the smartas and was allegedly associated with the babajis for awhile, and who is aligned with who knows what nowadays after he publicly renounced Srila Prabhupada, that they ...have renounced their ideas and they now accept that they were wrong, and they agree with us that they should not have ran off to these camps? Or what? And who is translating all of your literatures if not Gaudiya Matha siddhanta sympathizers like the two above mentioned persons? And why is it that VNN only posts you supporters of the Gaudiya Matha/ smartas/ pedophile lineages, and never posts our idea that pedophiles and their Gaudiya Matha cheer leaders are not in the parampara? Actually, we were very merciful to you not to bring any of this up, but if you insist ... thanks pd
---------------------

Madhavananda: Dear Pada, Just what exactly might that have to do with anything I wrote to you? Gaudiya Grantha Mandir has nothing to do with this, and texts at GGM are not translations, they are original Sanskrit texts. I translate my own translations when I feel like I am in need of translations of a text that is not accurately translated. As for whether I am a Gaudiya Math or ISKCON sympathizer, quite frankly I am fairly unconcerned. I really do not give a crap, or should I say excrement, about your internal quibbles. I have written an essay that addresses a theological issue, an essay that is applicable throughout the tradition. Ityalam (*) -- Madhavananda Das (*) Hasta la vista

PADA: This is the whole problem. VNN allows people like yourself to post your writings on their web site, and then you essentially say that you are an advanced sanskrit scholar who does not need a guru, since you translate everything yourself. Then you say, your site is for sanskrit readers only, but as we all know both Nitai and Jagadananda write lots of stuff in English, and that their site is just "a front" for their real plying in trade of their English commentaries. And besides, who can read sanskrit nowadays anyway?

In sum, you do not accept the translations of the authorized gurus in the parampara system. This is the exact reason why Srila Prabhupada condemned your cohort and co-web author, Nitai dasa, saying that his sanskrit learning was like "a jewel on a snake" ... because it made him more puffed up. In fact Srila Prabhupada says it made him so puffed up that he rejected his guru. Guru tyagi. This is not "an internal quibble," rather this is the basis of any Vedic debate, we have to state who our guru is before we can debate anything. This is also how we always defeat guys like Kailasha Chandra, Rocana, Prabhupada dasa, Kundali et all, they all say that they have a living guru, but when we ask them "what is the name of your living guru," they have no idea if it is Santa Claus, Donald Duck or Al the Carpet Cleaner. They do not have any living guru, they are all bluffers. So we see that you behave essentially the same way, you fail to even tell us who your guru is, and you more or less tell us why you do not need one, since you are translating it yourself? This is what Nitai said in 1976, why do I need Srila Prabhupada, I know sanskrit myself. I guess he is your guru?

Nitai's guru, Srila Prabhupada, said he had become "a poison snake" due to being puffed up-ness from sankrit learning, so how does this make you folks qualified to comment or translate anything. You tell us you only have a so-called sanskrit web site, but you are all writing articles -- in English. And you and Jagadananda are writing for VNN -- in English. Nitai preaches his smarta-ism also in English. Srila Prabhupada joked that Nitai learned just enough sanskrit to realize that he was better than his guru, just like a foolish student learns some ABC then he thinks he no longer needs a teacher. And if a person's guru openly sends out a letter saying that he rejected this Nitai dasa, as occured, then Nitai is not an authority because he is rejected by his own guru. A person who has been rejected by his guru has no standing in Vedic culture. You have no idea what the sanskrit really says: or you would know this already.

Notice. Those of you who are rejects from guru are openly advertised by VNN, since they too rejected Srila Prabhupada and they became pedophile guru lineage bucket boys, and that is all they ever will be. Only VNN advertises this Nitai dasa's site and we all know why: his best pal Jagadananda is the big editor of Tripurari's books. And Tripurari is the darling of VNN because he works with other people who reject their guru. And Jagadananda works with Tripurari ... because Tripurari has always been a big bucket boy for the GBC's molester guru regime. And indeed Tripurari still hangs out with their leaders like Virabahu. Tripurari is very careful to only promote the worship of people who are "voted in as guru" at pedophile guru recoronations. Worse, Tripurari's followers still say that we are "offenders" because we do not accept their homosexual and pedophile lineage ideas. And so Jagadananda defended Tripurari, telling us that his pal is doing some nice preaching, what?, that pedophiles are or were in the guru lineage. And we have mentioned how this is all connected before.

We cannot just step out and say, "I do all my own sanskirt translation (and do not need any guru)," since that means your translations are superior to the other gurus. That means you are a de facto Gaudiya Matha follower because they also created all kinds of bogus "sanskrit translations" to prove for example -- that homosexual pedophiles are acharyas. They did a hatchet job on the translations. And so are you. That is why you are also mixing up guru and Hollywood movies in your own writing, just as your VNN pals are doing, rather than saying from the get go that people with anarthas are not bona fide diksha gurus. Those with anarthas are limited representatives of the guru, at best ritviks, which is what we have said all along. Nor does you essay follow the tradition of Srila Prabhupada, since you are blending in anarthas and gurus ... AS DOES VNN. You are following the tradition of the Gaudiya Matha's deviants, and thus your article is not at all clear that the limited (kanisthas) are only preachers, at best ritviks, you failed to mention that at all. THAT is why VNN prints your materials, it is line with their idea that gurus watch movies, gurus are homosexuals, gurus are poisoners, and so on. Birds of a feather.

Besides, either you have a bona fide guru or you don't, either you follow your guru, or he says you are "a poisonous snake" for rejecting him as occured with Nitai dasa. "Poison snake" is not our designation, this is the designation Srila Prabhupada gave to you independent sanskrit experts. And you are working with them, you are promoting the people that Srila Prabhupada officially rejected, and moreover they admit they reject him, so you and VNN are among of the guru rejector class. Nitai promotes rejecting Srila Prabhupada, Jagadananda promotes rejecting Srila Prabhupada, and VNN promotes the web site of these twins, so they are promoters of "the poison snake" ideology. And how can Nitai and Jagadananda co-write a web site unless they have some basic agreements on their ideology? And why would VNN promote these fellows unless they are sleeping in the same bed? thanks ys pd
--------------------

Editors: Jan Brzezinski, PhD (Jagadananda Das), Neal Delmonico, PhD (Nitai Das) Contributors: Advaita Dasa, Ekkehard Lorenz, Gary Thomas, Haricarana Dasa, Malika Das (M.A.), Robert Gafrik (M.A.), Srivatsa Goswami, Toke Lindegaard Knudsen (MSc), Victor Di Cara (Vraja Kishora Dasa) Webmaster Oskari Loponen (Madhavananda Das)
Jagat - Wed, 01 Dec 2004 19:58:53 +0530
If I had the time, I would deconstruct Puranjan's deliberate and quite transparent demagoguery. It's all tactics--mad, but quite methodical. It is evident with his very first words "VNN's Sanskrit expert." Madhavananda has nothing to do with VNN, what to speak of being its "Sanskrit expert." I don't recall Madhavananda ever making any claims to be a Sanskrit expert of any kind.

But each of these elements "VNN" and "Sanskrit expert" are meant to elicit a response of horror and disgust, an entire constellation of reactions in those who have bought into PADA's world view.

It is unlikely that anyone here buys into Puranjan's warped understanding of Krishna consciousness, but I will say it anyway: "Beware the demagogue, my friends! Beware the demagogue!"

======

As a Sanskritist myself, I would say that the phrase that sticks out in my mind is "And besides, who can read Sanskrit nowadays anyway?" This throwaway line epitomizes something that is indeed a part of Srila Prabhupada's creation and runs through and through Iskcon. This is why even big Iskcon leaders, with only one or two exceptions, never bother to learn either Sanskrit or Bengali, as though Krishna consciousness began with Prabhupada and there was nothing to investigate or learn by approaching the acharyas directly.

It is almost a fear--what will we find? O my God! What will we do if Prabhupada says something different from Jiva Goswami, or even Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati or Bhaktivinoda Thakur?

And then those who actually do learn and do ask the difficult questions are labelled poisonous snakes.

I try to keep myself under control, but I for one have never been able to understand how those who claim to love this tradition, to love Mahaprabhu, to love Yugala Kishor, could not immerse themselves in this culture--and culture IS language.

Let me put it this way : Learning Sanskrit and Bengali has nothing to do with the dry search for knowledge, but is a response to feelings of love for Gauranga and the Goswamis.
Anand - Wed, 01 Dec 2004 20:28:57 +0530
QUOTE
even a pygmy cannibal goat shepherd knows that gurus are not part of the abyss


This Puranjan, whoever he is, decides what the status of the spiritual realizations of goat shepherds are and he thinks he is an authority on guru tattva? Something is missing there, is it not? What happened to being more humble than straw and offering all respect to others?
Jagat - Wed, 01 Dec 2004 21:10:11 +0530
I am sorry to have had to introduce you to Puranjan, Anand. You were safe in your innocence! We generally try to avoid the guy like the plague. As a matter of fact, GD was in part created as a kind of PADA-free zone. If he hadn't just made it about us, I wouldn't have bothered. But it's so over the top and so incoherent that really all you can do is laugh.
Anand - Wed, 01 Dec 2004 21:21:10 +0530
QUOTE
But it's so over the top and so incoherent that really all you can do is laugh.


Maybe what he needs is some rescuing.
Jagat - Wed, 01 Dec 2004 21:54:44 +0530
He's too busy saving others to be saved.
Anand - Wed, 01 Dec 2004 23:09:52 +0530
Sounds to me like he is sending signals.
Satyabhama - Wed, 01 Dec 2004 23:30:57 +0530
QUOTE
Dear Pada, Just what exactly might that have to do with anything I wrote to you? Gaudiya Grantha Mandir has nothing to do with this, and texts at GGM are not translations, they are original Sanskrit texts. I translate my own translations when I feel like I am in need of translations of a text that is not accurately translated


QUOTE
PADA: This is the whole problem. VNN allows people like yourself to post your writings on their web site, and then you essentially say that you are an advanced sanskrit scholar who does not need a guru, since you translate everything yourself. Then you say, your site is for sanskrit readers only, but as we all know both Nitai and Jagadananda write lots of stuff in English, and that their site is just "a front" for their real plying in trade of their English commentaries. And besides, who can read sanskrit nowadays anyway?

In sum, you do not accept the translations of the authorized gurus in the parampara system.


O MY GOD! I haven't laughed this hard in weeks. laugh.gif How absoultely strange and... well just beyond illogical...
DharmaChakra - Thu, 02 Dec 2004 03:21:57 +0530
QUOTE(Jagat @ Dec 1 2004, 11:40 AM)
I am sorry to have had to introduce you to Puranjan, Anand. You were safe in your innocence! We generally try to avoid the guy like the plague. As a matter of fact, GD was in part created as a kind of PADA-free zone. If he hadn't just made it about us, I wouldn't have bothered. But it's so over the top and so incoherent that really all you can do is laugh.


I have to say, he has a very interesting grasp on the english language. His technique is interesting to say the least. Apparently, if you have said a good word about a given devotee, you are then that devotee's 'cheerleader' ad infinitum... and you manage to take on all the flaws of that devotee...

All in all, I think it is a requirement of all organizations to have a PADA.. we have one where I work. He speaks in an incomprehensible manner, and is long on criticism, short on ideas. Think about it.. I wonder what kind of an answer you would get asking PADA 'How would you fix ISKCON'? Probably a lot of 'Put Prabhupad at the center' slogans, but no real practical ideas...
babu - Thu, 02 Dec 2004 03:51:42 +0530
Pada is very entertaining. I suspect this is just a character he is developing for stand-up comedy and he is actually quite sane. Its just too hard to fathom that this could be one's reality. And did he fool all you guys good into thinking he really believes this stuff.

QUOTE
PADA: Your "article" is not original material, it is simply a re-hash of the Gaudiya Matha's idea that gurus are full of anarthas, even Hollywood movie anarthas, and that their gurus are sometime from the pits of hell (the abyss as you state it) so you blend all these nomenclatures together, without stating that the GBC/ Sridhara/ Narayana/ Gaudiya Matha folks are bogus for doing this juxtaposing. Of course even a pygmy cannibal goat shepherd knows that gurus are not part of the abyss, while you big sanskrit scholars muddy up the whole issue?


QUOTE
PADA: This is also how we always defeat guys like Kailasha Chandra, Rocana, Prabhupada dasa, Kundali et all, they all say that they have a living guru, but when we ask them "what is the name of your living guru," they have no idea if it is Santa Claus, Donald Duck or Al the Carpet Cleaner.

Madhava - Thu, 02 Dec 2004 17:03:36 +0530
I personally enjoyed his response tremendously. He seems to have snipped out some of my comments, however. They must have been too embarassing for him. smile.gif
Tapati - Fri, 03 Dec 2004 05:04:34 +0530
Over at Istagosthi Kalisurfer prabhu read one of PADA's posted newsletters and then posted this hilarious inquiry into the different classifications of gurus according to PADA. I swear, Kalisurfer should do stand up:

http://istagosthi.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php?u...c;f=21;t=000172

Levity is always welcome when dealing with Puranjana.

It is sad, really, because he has some valid points amid his rants but he'll never have any real and positive effect on iskcon as long as his presentation is so far out there.
Jagat - Fri, 03 Dec 2004 05:22:09 +0530
Puranjan is not entirely stupid. He uses this approach because he thinks it is the most effective in accomplishing his goals. *shrug*
Tapati - Fri, 03 Dec 2004 05:57:03 +0530
Well, then, I still question his intelligence. When spouting a bunch of offensive language and indicting innocent bystanders, you are not likely to be taken seriously. If he can't see that, either he isn't as intelligent as he seems or his prejudices are keeping him from applying his intelligence directly to the problems he wants to solve. I guess it is the latter but either way it is a shame.

Babhru - Fri, 03 Dec 2004 12:06:06 +0530
That is precisely why I question his intelligence. Some years ago I wrote him and sweetly suggested that his approach may not be the most effective, he repeatedly replied that this approach was necessary to make his point. He can't hear, apparently, over the din caused by the voices in his head. This is a miserable man, and what he does, to borrow from Capote (who I think was mistaken), is not writing at all; it's typing. He's just transcribing those voices.
Jagat - Fri, 03 Dec 2004 19:33:40 +0530
I hope no one objects if I close this thread. It has rather abandoned Madhava's original hopes for a discussion on his article and turned into a discussion of Puranjan, which most will agree is somewhat outside the scope of this forum.

Two points that came to me in PMs. One was the observation that in the same Pada newsletter that the above was in, another diatribe was found against Rambhoru, whose reflections on her years of marriage to Prithu Prabhu were the cause of much discussion over the past two or three weeks. The devotee who wrote me correctly pointed out that this letter was an even worse example of Puranjan's distorted world view. It is clear that rational reform and true humanitarian concern for others is far outweighed in his psyche by personal grudges and vendettas, of which his criticism of Rambhoru has to place high in the charts of good examples. The animus he has against Tripurari Maharaj is another. I don't think he really gives a hoot about me, he is basically using me as just another stick to beat Maharaj with.

To end on a jollier note, here is a PM I received from someone who I will leave unnamed, only because it was sent privately:


QUOTE
Dear Jagadananda,

Please accept my dandavat pranams.

I thought I would take a moment to remind you of a wonderful little detail about Krishna's paraphernalia -- a detail that has helped me endure some of Puranjana's predictable rants with a little less pain.

I used to do nothing but cringe when I would read Puranjana's bizarre leaps of logic. One might expect him to write: "Gaudiya Matha devotees eat breakfast; Jagat eats breakfast -- therefore, Jagat is the bucket boy for the Gaudiya Matha enforced cult ritualistic worship of homosexual pedophiles lineage."

I used to find Puranjana's "bucket boy" rhetoric utterly distasteful. But some time ago I stumbled across a wonderful tidbit in a translation of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna-Ganoddesa-Dipika, text 124. Krishna has a milk-bucket, and it has a name: Amrtadohani.

Ever since I encountered that pleasant detail regarding Krishna's paraphernalia, I have felt somewhat inoculated against the worst of Puranjana's rants. When he accuses someone of being someone else's "bucket boy", my mind now turns to Krishna's bucket, and how being a "bucket boy" could thus be a rather delightful pastime -- quite the opposite of what poor Puranjana intends. smile.gif

Thank you for your many contributions to the Gaudiya Discussions forums; I appreciate them very much.


So, as it is said, madhureNa samApayet ("Always end with the sweets!"), this thread is officially declared closed. PM me if you think there is something critical that needs adding. Thank you.

Jai Radhe !