Srila B. R. Sridhara Maharaja
Srila B. S. Govinda Maharaja
The Exclusive Guradianship of Gurudeva
The One Channel of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math
Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura
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by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaja
I received a letter describing a society that is being formed by mixing together so many Vaisnava groups. I can clearly say that if the society is made in the way described, it is against the principle of Srila Guru Maharaja. It was to avoid this very thing that Srila Guru Maharaja made separately Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. He was in the highest position of the whole Vaisnava community, but he never joined with their missions. Srila Guru Maharaja did not want to be deviated from his own vision by any of his Godbrothers or other Gurus, therefore he made Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. Furthermore, Srila Saraswati Thakur gave the charge of the Rupanuga-sampradaya to Srila Guru Maharaja - it is clear and everyone knows it.
So many stalwart Vaisnavas made big societies and invited Srila Guru Maharaja to be their President. For the time being in some cases he accepted and told them. "If it will help to bring harmony to your society then you can use my name," but he himself never went back there.
Srila Guru Maharaja gave very clear directives for his sampradaya saying, "Who wants to follow me and my directives, he can come to Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math and follow Govinda Maharaja as my successor." He gave very clear directives on many occasions and in many ways - and everyone knows it. I do not want to create any chaos or disturbance in our community. Whatever qualification and position I have was all given by Srila Guru Maharaja for his service, and I shall try to maintain that.
What is the meaning of 'preceptorial line?' This word 'preceptorial' means that it must be in one channel, not several channels. The Ganges is not flowing within several channels - it is flowing through one channel, and who wants Ganges water he must come to that channel. When a channel leaves the Ganges, that is not Ganges water. The Ganges water is running in the main channel. This is the situation with our preceptorial line.
Srila Guru Maharaja told the devotees clearly that he could not continue holding the charge of the preceptorial line, therefore he is giving that charge to Govinda Maharaja. And I am trying as much as is possible by me. I do not want to disturb anyone, or anyone's mission, but whoever is a sincere seeker coming to me, and whoever is my friend in the line of Srila Guru Maharaja, I want their association and I want to continue with them. I want to practice my service with them. I do not want to make a hodgepodge, therefore I avoid any proposal that is not in an exclusive way to Srila Guru Maharaja.
I want to express the truth clearly: I do not want to disturb anyone's mood, therefore if anyone comes with another proposal I give some excuse. But actually that excuse is not the reason, rather I do not want to mix with the mood of others. Someone is giving sahajiya-sankirtan in their math, but it is not possible for me to do like this in Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. That is the exclusiveness of Srila Guru Maharaja in his service to the Rupanuga-sampradaya, and I cannot break it. I must follow the instructions of Srila Guru Maharaja, and that is my opinion. Another Acharya gave initiation to disciples of Srila Guru Maharaja and disciples of mine, and gave sannyas to Srila Guru Maharaja’s disciples, but by doing so that sannyasi diverted them to his own sampradaya. I have no problem for that, but I cannot consider them as our sampradaya's members - it is very clear. 'It is very clear' means that Srila Guru Maharaja said, "I have previously given to him (Govinda Maharaja) the charge of the Math and now I am giving him the full responsibility of giving Harinam, diksa, sannyas, etc., as an Acharya of this Math on behalf of myself." That charge he gave to me, and those that will not follow the instructions of Srila Guru Maharaja, who cannot keep faith with him - they are no doubt glorifying Srila Guru Maharaja in many ways, saying "Srila Guru Maharaja was so intelligent, he was such a great Vaisnava, Guru Maharaja was siddha-mahapurusa, Guru Maharaja was this, Guru Maharaja was that" - but if it is their conception that Srila Guru Maharaja has done so much wrong in appointing me, then in which way are they honoring him?
They are saying, "Guru Maharaja is siddha-purusa, he is very intelligent, this, that, this, that," and telling that Guru Maharaja is supreme, but I cannot agree that his opinion is not supreme. This opinion and his desire stood continuously from 1947 to 1988 and he did not change his mood in any way.
And why did Srila Guru Maharaja keep his faith to me? And why not to any of the hundreds of devotees who have come here, some of whom were very qualified with graduation, Master Degrees, etc., even though I have always been very unqualified in that way?
Lastly he made his 'Last Will and Testament' but before that he made three or four wills, and there always he named, "This person will be my successor. If he will not come back from his position of grhastha you must wait five years, but in the meantime do not make anyone else as Guru in Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. This chair must be kept vacant five years for him." I came across this expression in his Will a few days ago.
"The chair will be vacant for five years, but none will sit in this chair except Govinda Maharaja." That type of faith he had in me. He said, "It is my desire. Who cannot respect it, who cannot follow it, who cannot keep faith with this, he must get out from my Math." "I shall drag them out." These are his own words. Here is no haziness. It is all clear instruction for his devotees, for his followers, for his friends, for the newcomers - everything he very clearly has done. Seeing the activities of others we can now understand something of the reason why Srila Guru Maharaja did this. Now there is a section who are always saying "Guru Maharaja is great. He is great. He is great. "But his desire they cannot follow, so what is their faith to their Guru.
Srila Guru Maharaja commented, "I do not want to go into the jungle of Acharyas, rather I will keep myself to myself, maybe in a thatched house, but that must be very clean and very quiet." And for that he made Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.
Not only that but he did not want to make many Maths, that was his desire. But I was very enthusiastic to do something for the devotees and he mercifully gave me the instruction, "Yes, you can do one in Calcutta as the devotees' transit station, and one you can do in Puri and one in Vrndavan." That is: Puri, Vrndavan, and Nabadwip, and, "Don't make many Maths," that was Srila Guru Maharaja’s instruction.
It was not his full desire that I make many Maths, but looking after the eagerness of the devotees, he accepted this, and in his lifetime we have done it, so we have no problem. But now others are making a hodgepodge kind of society, and I am well aware of it.
My preaching in the West is going in a very happy way. Who has seen my preaching style in the West he will immediately understand that our preaching mission will grow more and more if I go there and preach, and they are afraid of that. This became clear to me some time ago in Vrndavan.
However, I am keeping a very clear position with all other missionary activities: I am a servitor of Srila Guru Maharaja, and I am engaging in such service that comes to me. And if anyone wishes to join with me or the sampradaya in that same exclusive way, we will invite them, "Please come and do seva."
If any ISKCON servitor who hasn't taken initiation comes to me and asks if he can do service in ISKCON, I say, "Yes you can do. If you want to take initiation from me I have no objection, but you are serving ISKCON, so serve ISKCON. If they do not abuse me, you can stay there."
Only One Line
I am a disciple of Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaja, and I have only one line: that is service to Srila Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaja, and I am continuing that preceptorial line. I am respecting all the Vaisnavas, and why will I not do so? Offense to the Vaisnava is also Nama-aparadha. I cannot do Nama-aparadha. Offense to the Vaisnava is Nama-aparadha, that I know clearly. I am very insignificant and my Mission is very small, but I shall try to do the seva of the sincere seekers as is the order of my Sri Gurudeva, and I am trying as much as is possible by me - that is my final conclusion.
Meanwhile others are trying to take my friends, but I am tolerating everything. My mood is to tolerate, because without tolerating, nothing can be achieved. You must tolerate and give honor to others. I am taking everyone's feet dust on my head and I am feeling grateful to get their feet-dust.
I never went to any other Math without any service to Srila Guru Maharaja. Sripad Madhusudan Maharaja would come and serve Srila Guru Maharaja every year, but without my service to Guru Maharaja I never went to his Math either. Katwa, the place where Mahaprabhu took sannyas, is just 28 miles from here, but I never went there in thirty years. I can go to see, "Oh, this is the very auspicious place where Mahaprabhu took sannyasa. Here is Mahaprabhu's Deity and here are many reminders of Mahaprabhu's sannyas-lila." But leaving my service I never went there. And that wasn't one year or two or three years, but for thirty years I did not go to Katwa. I am passing Katwa station by train, but not getting down.
Similarly in Kalna, in twenty years I never went to see that place even though Mahaprabh is living there. It is just four stops down on the train. Nitai-Gour are there at Gauridas Pandit's house. But when a legal case came, at that time I went there every fifteen days or sometimes every seven days, and on one day only, by the desire of Srila Guru Maharaja I went to see Gauridas Pandita's Nitai-Gaur and pay my dandavats. At that time the government wanted to take the whole Math and property of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, and at that time myself and Haricharan Prabhu went there in order to resist the takeover. By the grace of Srila Guru Maharaja we were successful. That is my mood to Srila Guru Maharaja, and who will follow that, I believe he must be benefited, for that is the real exclusive devotional line.