= A HEARTFELT APOLOGY =
Dear Vaishnavas and Everyone Else,
My respects are out to you all. I feel a heart's need to write the following to clear accounts of the past, to make amends for everyone, to place myself in a situation for smooth progress in a life of bhajan. For the past four years, I have participated in a number of online discussion groups. I have at times contributed material, god willing, that some have found useful. At other times, I have made comments that may have disturbed or hurt someone.
I have associated with people who have warped and watered down some aspects of our Gaudiya Vaishnava siddhanta. I have been influenced, and may have spoken incorrectly at times. If I have written something that has been unbefitting, I heartily apologize. (If someone has concerns over something I have written in the past and on my current views on the said matters, please feel free to contact me and ask.)
I have associated with people who have employed anger and slander as mediums of defending the orthodoxy. I have been influenced, I have at times expressed myself accordingly without due respect to Vaishnavas and all living entities. For everyone involved, I heartily apologize. I have associated with people who have concealed their true nature and heart's inclinations. Deceived myself, I may have caused others to be deceived. I offer my heartfelt apology to everyone afflicted.
I have not been as exemplary in my practice as I should have been. On account of this, clearing of heart has not taken place as much as it should have, and many unworthy character traits have remained, leading me to act in ways that have brought sorrow and anxiety to others. For all of this, I bear the responsibility in the end, and call for forgiveness. Fortune has not been kind upon me. I have not been the good Vaishnava I would have wanted to be, that some have perhaps thought of me as.
It is a time for change, it is a time of repentance. It is a time I dissociate myself from the past and re-commit myself to the beautiful pursuit called bhakti-sadhana like never before. The months following my arrival to India have been a time of tremendous change, a time of heart's growth. I am at a juncture, at a point where I feel I must come to terms with the past, clear my accounts and embrace a new life of sincere devotion. Today is the day I must come forward and fall at the feet of everyone, the lid no longer stays on. I must call an end to an era bygone, once and for all.
I am then calling out to everyone, asking them to kindly forgive whatever ill feeling may have arisen on account of my past activities. Please bless me to be able to progress towards my cherished goal, free from obstacles caused by unbefitting exchanges with others, gravest among which is offending a Vaishnava.
February 4th, 2006,
On the eve of Advaita Saptami at Radha-kunda,
I remain in your service.
// Madhavananda Das //