Discussions on other Vaishnava-sampradayas and Gaudiyas other than the Rupanuga-tradition should go here. This includes for example Madhva, Ramanuja, Nimbarka, Gaura-nagari, Radha-vallabhi and the such.
Dialogue with Pitambara Dasji -
Madhava - Sat, 07 Jan 2006 00:50:52 +0530
Some of you may have come across the open letter I sent to Pitambara Dasji of Avadhuta-marga fame a while back. I have received a reply and have replied once more.
Since the topic seems to be of a general interest, I am publishing the dialogue in this thread as it proceeds. The thread is kept closed; if you wish to comment, please comment in the Pitambara Dasji's movement, The Avadhuta-marga
Madhava - Sat, 07 Jan 2006 00:52:35 +0530
The following is my opening letter. Dated 24th December, 2005, in anticipation of a reply from Jesus.
Pitambara Dasji: Namaskar, Sri Radhe Radhe!
You may already have heard of me through the grapevine; I'll not then bother with excessive introductions. If I am an alien to you, then I apologize for the lack thereof and will write more of myself in the next letter.
I have come to hear of your endeavors to spread the prema-dharma of Sriman Mahaprabhu and the acharyas through your able disciple, Ramananda Dasji. I would like to express my joy over hearing of your enthusiasm in this regard.
There are, however, some matters that I feel concern over. Perhaps you could shed light on your rationale in including them in your teachings and practices. Since there is ongoing discussion on the matter on the internet, I have chosen to make this an open letter. I trust you'll not mind the publicity.
1. I have learned that ayahuaska, and possibly other hallucinogenic (or entheogenic, I have been told) substances are employed in search of further spiritual awareness. Hari-bhakti-vilasa (2.169), however, mentions forbidding the use of mAdakauSadha, or medicines that alter awareness, is one of the items a guru should teach to the disciple.
2. I have learned that some concepts of sexuality paralleling sahajayana, or further "sahajiya" as we often hear of it, featuring "spiritual sex", are included in your ideology. You may or may not be aware that no license for such has been granted in the writings of the acharyas, and the contrary has been established on a good number of occasions.
The two abovementioned concepts are regarded as heterodox throughout the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. If there is a need for further notes from the writings of the acharyas on the matter, I would feel obliged to present them to you in detail. Our acharyas, who were called for by Sriman Mahaprabhu to outline the path he wished us to traverse, have taken painstaking endeavors in presenting details of befitting practice and conduct in their writings. It is only with their best wishes that ever-new levels of attainment in bhajan are discovered.
For what I have heard, you present yourself as a follower of Sri Sachidulal Das Babaji, from whom you have received siddha-pranali and vesh, and perhaps also diksha-mantras. To the best of my understanding, he is thought of as an orthodox Gaudiya Vaishnava, and would not condone some of the aspects of the ideology you present.
Since you present yourself as a follower of his, I believe it would be in the best interest of everyone involved, including Babaji himself, your good self as well as your disciples present and future, to clarify the matter for good. I trust you realize a great calamity would fall upon your disciples, should they face a situation where their param-guru rebukes the teachings of their guru. The proactive move from your side would be to personally clarify the matters with Babaji before he is informed by others of what I've detailed in this letter.
In the spirit of service to the international Vaishnava community and the whole of humanity who are to hear of the path we traverse, I would like to open a dialogue on the matter. You may contact me in private (Ramananda Dasji will give you the e-mail address) or convey an open letter through him; I trust the latter would be welcome by everyone involved.
Wishing this meets you in the best of spirits;
Madhava - Sat, 07 Jan 2006 00:54:35 +0530
Pitambara Babaj's reply, dated January 6th 2006.
Ah, I remember this letter and thought I replied to it. Maybe rediffmail cocked it up.
Anyway, sex and drugs. Yes, the acharyas are condoning, but not this one.
Sorry, my tendency is towards writing what shouldn't be written. Orthodoxy repulses me a little. I am fortunate in that respect really because I am all honest and sincere, so I followed orthodoxy one hundred percent and it led me deeper, into the unorthodox ways. The line was straight and when I started to get near Krishna it became very crooked. Krishna and my gurus started suggesting I break the rules, but it was hard cause I was accustomed to following. The lesson was, follow Krishna even if He wants you to veer. So I veered and then everything became..wow...
Now, everything is experience. You can assess from outside...but...no you can't...because Bhakti is private, internal. I know for sure I have not veered from Krishna and my gurus if I have veered from orthodoxy. And no guru is orthodox really. He is only for teaching who he has to teach, but ultimately he has no boundaries and will run into the forest to make love to Krishna at any given moment.
I don't believe drugs can give you prema, nor sex. But I don't believe they are absolutely wrong either.
I read 'a devotee of Krishna has the full freedom of Krishna' somewhere. I can't quote. But quoting is not important to me as it is you. I am not following scriptural injunction anymore. I am on the train, on the final stretch where guidance is dynamic, personal, alive, internal, spontaneous. Do you not recognize this yet?
Where are the devotees who can understand me? After forty years of Krishna consciousness being in the west I am shocked how few are really feeling this prema. I have met a few Ananta Das Babaji disciples who experiencing...many Gaudiya Math Indians (but not westerners). My followers...I don't have many surrendered ones yet, are experiencing amazing things now. I can give you contact numbers, they can give their experiences. It is happening. Prema is coming. The proof is in the pudding. And I am just a messiah, not an uttama uttama yet. So it is a bit difficult to understand this. Beyond logic. But it is happening.
As for sex. I remember sex of ten years ago, that gnawing desire called lust, and I feel it now, that desire called love. It is different. Looks the same. So how can one use their genitals for Krishna? By loving. It is not difficult to understand...that at the height of love for someone you want not only your hearts to meet, your minds to meet but also your bodies to meet. Have we become so blinded by books.
It is not ugly or wrong when Krishna is not forgotten. I have amazing experiences of girls crying in prema after making love with me. And they are feeling the same love for Krishna, only internally they are manjaris, externally they are girls. So there are two dharmas. You have sadhaka and siddha deha. In your sadhaka deha you serve guru, in your siddha deha you serve as manjari Radha and Krishna. The mood is the same. Madhura.
I have used drugs in the last couple of years because they came with Krishna's grace. Do you feel what is from Him and what is not? I do. If you don't you have something to look forward to. Life becomes decisionless as you follow the thread of lila.
Anyway, you are now switched on or off to me. I am willing to answer anything. I am not hiding in any hole. I have written about my life how I experienced it and am willing to take any flack or criticism but really I want to get through to those who want the highest thing.
I want to change the world now. It is time for the golden age. We have to unite. Not fight. Why don't Iskcon wake up and allow Naryana Maharaja to teach. Ego. I met the leader, Jayapataka Maharaja. My God. Nothing. No energy. Just an obese, bored old man. My friends were shocked when I told them he had so many disciples. Iskcon is content now with being a Sunday worship place for Hindus. I am not content with Krishna Consciousness being like this. Prabhupada is not. In his name I write what I write. In my gurus name, swearing on the Bhagavad gita...
Hmmm, you caught me revolution mode.
Much love my friend.
Madhava - Sat, 07 Jan 2006 00:55:42 +0530
My letter, dated January 7th, 2006.
Dear Pitambara Dasji:
Thank you for returning a letter, I waited with anticipation. Some thoughts to follow.
I appreciate your realization, "everything is experience". That is certainly what the path of bhakti boils down to. Yet, the colourful world is full of potential for experiences of all forms and varieties. To not follow the path laid out in the scriptures is to place oneself into a position of uncertainty over whether the experience, regardless of the ananda we might imbibe of it, is truly of the same essence and fulfilling the same potential the acharyas tasted of and delivered of.
The scripture should not be thought of merely as a book of rules we are free to follow or to reject. The writings of the Goswamis are born of their hearts. What they have written of the path of raga-bhakti with all the directions included spans of their experience, and it spans indeed from the direct inspiration of our Gaurachandra. They are none other than verily the same manjaris under whose care we render our seva. To bring joy to them, to worship them through embracing their words, is a great seva indeed. They are our gurus both in this world and in the next, the allegiance lasts forever.
You may have not noted the section I referred to from Vishwanath's Raga-vartma-chandrika (Moonray on the Path of Raga) explaining how the scripture is to be followed even after the awakening of greed for the path of raga. Sri Jiva, our Vilasa Manjari he is, notes in his Bhakti-sandarbha (Essay on Devotion, 312) that shastra-vidhi must be embraced by both those truly depending on it, as well as by those in whom ruchi has arisen. While ruchi reigns independent and nourishes itself, vidhi is maintained for the sake uplifting others. In other words, its rejection is not seen as a means of aiding others towards devotion proper, devotion as they thought of it. It is clear from both their writings as well as of what we know of their lives that they wholeheartedly embraced this concept.
Now, if we are to suggest that there is an easier way for attaining prema and that the path outlaid by the Goswamis is unnecessary, we are in essence saying the following:
1. The Goswamis made it unnecessarily hard for people to attain the splendid devotion of Vraja by insisting on the maintenance of vidhi parallel with raga.
2. The Goswamis were wrong in suggesting that success on the path of bhakti will not arise if one disregards the vidhi of the scriptures.
3. The Goswamis were not endowed with a capacity akin to ours in blessing the world, as they would have certainly given it as freely as you are if they had seen it as a fit option, an option that would deliver equally.
This, then, raises the pertinent question: Why do we present ourselves as belonging to the tradition they outlined if we are free to not follow them, if it so pleases us, or if we feel thus inspired?
With regards to receiving direct guidance from the antaryamin, yes, in this world everyone receives guidance from the voice within. Yet, it is tinged with our endless desires, with our flawed premises, with our conditioned nature. Therefore, confirmation with the externally manifest guru, or otherwise coherence with the shastra, is called for.
This brings me to the issue I raised in my first letter. I believe it would be in the best interest of yourself, as well all of your friends, followers and lovers, if you were to confirm the realizations you offer to the world with your guruji, just so as to avoid calamity in the future when the inevitable comes and someone goes to him and presents the case of "Pitambara's teachings" to him. It would be sad if your guru were to openly disaffiliate himself from your movement.
With regards to the issue of sex and manjari-bhava, you are perhaps acquainted with the concept of bhavollasa-rati and all it entails. Amidst other elements, it is imbibed with a unity of hearts with Radha. It is also dissociated from direct sexual engagement with Krishna. All things considered, I am at loss over how you connect sexual intercourse with yourself assuming the male position with the cultivation of the self-identity of a manjari. In which manner is Krishna remembered at such a time, and how does such meditation fulfill the aims of sadhana?
The sadhaka-deha and the siddha-deha are two different bodies, indeed. Yet, your consciousness is one. Never are you to leave the abhiman of being a Radha-dasi. A firm feeling of this identity permeates the sadhaka-form. The time not spent in the self-identity of a manjari is a time tremendously wasted, and the time spent in cultivating an identity other than that of a manjari is blood spilled out the juglar vein of the good fortune of our bhajan.
zrI-rAdhikAyai samarpaNam astu //
Madhava - Sat, 07 Jan 2006 15:59:02 +0530
From Pitambara, dated Jan 7th.
Madhavananda Prabhu, your questions are pertinent, good ones. Answers come as quick as I read them. Please leave some space for the answers, despite your questions seeming to be wise conclusions. Because they are. But, there is time, place and circumstance. Now, when I started writing my book, I was writing for other devotees, by the time I finished I had editted it about forty times, changing it for the mass, for everyone. I am trying to attract everyone to Krishna. Now, I don't want to water down the sadhana either. And like now, I have answered all your questions because all these questions have come up in me as I have moved forward on my path. I know you know that i am serious sadhaka.
So I'll say a few things, if I miss a couple of points, ask again.
I agree that following sastra is manjari seva... all I am saying that it is a guide for us, but when you are clear of anarthas and offences then really you are in tune with Krishna's desire for you. You will experience knowledge. Many people, and you too, are asking still, how do you know. You know by surrender to guru, then when you are fully surrendered, knowledge will come directly to you. That is the time when you are not dependent on scripture or guru, and actually that is what scripture and guru say too...about raganuga.
Last night I opened Prema bhakti candrika of Narottama (Advaita das's translation from Radha Kund). The first words I read, quoting CC... When a devotee surrenders at inititation he attains a transcendental body qualitavely the same as Krishna, for the purpose of serving Krishna. Then it goes on to say how this is, because it appears that the body has not changed, and it clarifies it talks of the apparent mundane body. So the body becomes spritiualized. Now you have a spiritual inner body in which you serve according to your ekadasa bhava, and your sadhaka deha which you serve your guruji, in this world. Now I love my guruji. I love to look at him, I love to touch him. It is described that to touch his body brings all perfection. So where do you draw the line. Maybe you don't draw the line. Maybe you learn that there are no lines to draw anymore. That is the surrender I went through with my guru, and that is what my disciples go through with me. It is love.
And tell me, experientially, do you not feel love for all Krishna's souls, seeing them as his. Or do you feel like hiding in a cave forever. (Excuse my humour, I am not patronizing here...words on screens don't carry sarcasm well).
I am serious. I can make love who I like with or without Krishna...I don't need to justify this, but ask anyone who has met me in the last two years...I am crazy about Krishna, and moreso Radha. And many people being in touch with me have fallen in love with her too. When I am making love in this male body, I feel Krishna making love and understand him, how he feels. I cry for my Radha, I have a girl who is so high in qualities, and these tears are prema, and I read the same day how Krishna is crying and my universe and His seem to unite. So externally and internally the same bhava is there.
So I am not serving scripture now, it serves me. I read exactly what I need to and it forever guides me in my way. I couldn't go my way without it. It is so strong for me. And you can say that it can tell anyone anything but it all boils down to surrender, and sincerity. I would gladly give all this up to live in Radha Kund and be a baba just chanting. But Krishna doesn't want me to do that.
Lastly, don't worry about what I do, and what relationship I have with my guru. Sacidulala Babaji left last year. Prabhuji told me to write my book. He will condone it. Haridas Sastri Maharaja, my diksa guru will condone it. But that is part of the play, because at some point you have to go beyond the instruction. The no will mean yes. That is the crooked speech of a Vaishnava. Now I may be making that up, that is for you to sort out. I am aware that I will not be going to Gaudiya Math again, that I will be banned from all Vaishnava temples. But see in a few years the raganuga wave of Vaishnavism and a Gaura Prema revolution.
Hope this will do. Can you post this for everyone to read. Much love. Pitambara