Chapter 6 - Let Them Dig Their Own Graves

Introduction: The Lesser Etiquette Must Retire

This review is a page-by-page analysis of the teachings of Sridhar Maharaja in comparison to the teachings of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The quotations from Sridhar Maharaja cited in this chapter are from Sridhar Maharaja cited in this chapter are from documents or books that have been well circulated. A list of those documents are given at the end.

Srila Sridhaara Maharaj and Srila Prabhupada sharing same Vyasasana

Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj Prabhupada seated together, sharing the vyasasana. Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj here leads kirtan at the opening of ISKCON's Sri Chandradoya Mandir, 17th March 1973.

I began reading the books of Sridhar Maharaja with an open mind in order to establish whether Sridhar Maharaja is in line with the teachings of Srila Prabhupada or if there are many discrepancies. There are numerous witnesses who will testify that, in the wake of losing my wife and children, entering the arena of the Sridhar Maharaja controversy was the last thing on my mind. But in the course of our extensive research and analysis of the ISKCON dilemma/conspiracy, which forms the bulk of this book, we have found so many glaring discrepancies in Sridhar Maharaja's teachings that we know these must be brought out.

Everyone has been constantly reminded by the adherents of Sridhar Maharaja how there is a Vaishnava etiquette forbidding a disciple to criticize his guru's Godbrother. Although some of you may not believe it, we had no personal desire to criticize Sridhar Maharaja. In fact, at one point, before reading his books, we were defending Sridhar Maharaja on the basis of this above etiquette. But since having studied his books, we are duty bound to confront the teachings and influence of Sridhar Maharaja on the mission of our spiritual master. The lesser etiquette must retire in the face of a much more important consideration-the survival of the pure teachings of Srila Prabhupada, the real acharya for Krishna consciousness throughout the world.

This chapter proves that the effect of Sridhar's preaching has been highly malefic. We are not going into all the discrepancies here since there are many. We are only touching on the most obvious flaws in his teachings. At a later date, if necessary, we will go into much more detail. At this time, we request that the current followers of Sridhar Maharaja carefully study our points. If the followers of Sridhar Maharaja are, as is ISKCON's GBC, unable to logically defeat our statements, we will not hesitate to declare, as we have about ISKCON's "GBC", that "silence means defeat."

"He is simply playing with them"

First some brief but relevant considerations from other Gaudiya Math leaders who dealt with our spiritual master in a favorable way.

Puri Maharaja is a Godbrother of Sridhar Maharaja. He knows him well. Puri Maharaja has three centers in India, one at Jagannatha Puri, and he believes that Sridhar Maharaja is utilizing his scholarly attainments in a way that is not straightforward. Puri Maharaja told one of Prabhupada's devotees, "He (Sridhar) is simply playing with them." When the big men of the Maha Mandala, namely Ackshayananda Swami and Madhavadasa, went to the opening of his Jagannatha Puri center they were not at all successful in converting Puri Maharaja to a favorable attitude toward their path. Indeed, as they entered his room, Puri Maharaja verbally jumped on them before they could speak a word: "You are disciples of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. You are being cheated by Sridhar Maharaja."

Narayana Maharaja was called in one letter, "My agent in India" by Srila Prabhupada and was one of two Vaishnavas that Srila Prabhupada recommended we could approach for "technical advice." Narayana Maharaja manages the Kesavaji Gaudiya Math in Mathura. His own guru gave Srila Prabhupada sannyasa, but had himself received sannyasa from Sridhar Maharaja. Narayana Maharaja is a very strict observer of Vaishnava etiquette. When directly confronted about Sridhar's role in ISKCON, Narayana Maharaja revealed his staunch conviction about Sridhar Maharaja and was prepared to lay his spiritual integrity on the line. He adamantly stated, "Even if Lord Caitanya appeared personally before me and ordered me to accept what Sridhar Maharaja is doing with ISKCON, I would not accept it." He does not believe that Sridhar Maharaja, who has actually re-initiated a brahmin-initiate of Srila Prabhupada (Buddhi yoga dasa), should have become so involved in ISKCON.

Reviewing the Preface to Search for Krishna

It is a pitiable state of affairs when a disciple of Srila Prabhupada is driven from his spiritual master's mission and is forced to take shelter elsewhere. We feel for such souls an sympathize with them. But at the same time it should be understood that in some cases it would be better for a Prabhupada disciple to forget spiritual life for the time being, keeping his devotional creeper in a dormant state, rather than go to someone who can actually poison the devotional creeper. This is the case with Sridhar Maharaja. Dheera Krishna, the Western world's mouthpiece for establishing Sridhar Maharaja as being equal to and even superior to Srila Prabhupada, is unscrupulous in his method of converting Prabhupada's disciples over to Sridhar's camp. Here are some examples of his technique.

In the preface to Search for Krishna Dheera makes Prabhupada out to be a new bhakta compared to Sridhar Maharaja. The way he does this is by taking quotes by Srila Prabhupada that praise Sridhar Maharaja, he pieces them all together (no matter how many years apart they were spoken), and then adds and subtracts a few words to make it look like Srila Prabhupada is saying something he's not. Of course he never mentions the circumstances under which statements were made. This technique is exactly like trying to make Jayatirtha out to be a saint by quoting his "vyasapuja" offerings from the other "gurus." They bear no relevance whatsoever to Jayatirtha's actual status.

1. First paragraph: Dheera's version of Prabhupada's words.

"We are very fortunate to hear His Divine Grace, Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya Bhakti Raksaka Sridhar Maharaja. By age and by experience, in both ways, he is senior to me. I was fortunate to have his association since a long time, since perhaps 1930. At that time he had not accepted sannyasa, but had just left home. He went to preach in Allahabad, and on that auspicious occasion we were connected."

The actual words:

(First part the same.) "...perhaps since 1930, something like that. At that time he did not accept sannyasa, he just left home, vanaprastha, in his white dress he went to Allahabad. Maharaja, I think you remember the incident when you went to Allahabad? On that auspicious occasion we were connected...(Jayatirtha's omission). There is a long story it will take time, but I had the opportunity of associating with Sridhar Maharaja for several years. Krishna and Prabhupada liked him to prepare me."

Note: This was spoken during at meeting at Sridhar's Math in 1973 at a time when Srila Prabhupada was introducing Sridhar to some of his disciples, possibly just before Sridhar was going to speak. So naturally any praise spoken at such a time is a matter of good etiquette only and can easily be understood as a friendly gesture. Still Dheera twisted the actual statements to make Sridhar look better. Of course Srila Prabhupada was always humble in the presence of his Godbrothers so this first paragraph does not mean much. Especially since he was directly speaking to Sridhar Maharaja. The transcript we are using is from a paper defending Sridhar Maharaja which we have been told was compiled by Jayatirtha. It is entitled: Srila Prabhupada and Sridhar Maharaja-17 pg..

2. Second paragraph, Dheera's version

"Sridhar Maharaja lived in my house for many years, so naturally we had very intimate talks. He has such high realizations of Krsna that one would faint to hear them. He was always my good advisor, and I took his advice very seriously because from the very beginning I knew that he was a pure devotee of Krsna. So I wanted to associate with him. Krsna and Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, like him to prepare me. Our relationship is very intimate.

Actual version: "Sridhar Maharaja lived in my house for a few years so naturally we had very intimate talks and he was my good advisor. I took his advices, instructions very seriously because from the very beginning I knew that he is a pure Vaishnava, a pure devotee and I wanted to associate with him and tried to help him also...our relationship is very intimate." (The omission is Jayatirtha's who also has a tendency to omit statements that don't look good for Sridhar Maharaja.)

Note: The statement about "his high realizations" we are told was spoken to Satsvarupa during a train ride. What Prabhupada meant is debatable. But, giving them the benefit of the doubt, if this were actually true, then why didn't Srila Prabhupada arrange for Sridhar's words to be put into books and published along with his own books? This would have been no problem at all. If his realizations are so high, and if he is actually pure, it would only make sense to do so. Prabhupada was always wanting to translate more books and if Sridhar could have helped him do so, then why wouldn't Prabhupada have asked him? This is just common sense.

There are many possible explanations as to why Srila Prabhupada would make such high praises and at other times severely condemn Sridhar Maharaja. One explanation is the fact that Srila Prabhupada was a humble Vaishnava and it is not the natural inclination of a humble Vaishnava to look for faults in others, what to speak of Godbrothers-unless it is painfully necessary. Another reason is that Srila Prabhupada wanted to keep as good a relations with his Godbrothers as possible so as to not hinder the mission in India. Sridhar had influence on the other Gaudiya Math members and Prabhupada knew this.

Then there is the possibility that those praises may have been true at one time. So many devotees execute sincere devotional service for awhile, and then later, along with getting power and/or knowledge, they become carried away and fall down. This is also a possibility. Prabhupada did not recommend anyone go to Sridhar's Math after the Mayapur temple was established. There are few if any recorded praises of Sridhar Maharaja after ISKCON was established in Mayapur, but there are many criticisms.

Another point in this paragraph is Dheera's playing up on the fact that Sridhar lived for many years in Srila Prabhupada's house. According to Chanakya Pandit, "The worst pain in this world is having to live in another man's house." The fact is, Srila Prabhupada was setting the example for us how to live an honest, Krsna conscious householder life before taking sannyasa. "Example is better than precept." His household life was an integral part of his setting the example for future generations. That is Lord Caitanya's instruction and Prabhupada, being the perfect representative of Lord Caitanya, perfectly set that example for us. Then later he set the perfect example in his sannyasa also. Sridhar Maharaja's living in Prabhupada's house is not a sign of superiority, it is a sign of dependency upon an extremely Krsna conscious and responsible family man.

3. Third Paragraph-Dheera's version

"After the breakdown of our spiritual master's institution I wanted to organize another institution making Sridhar Maharaja the head. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura told me that Sridhar Maharaja is one of the finest preachers of Krsna consciousness in the world, so I wanted to take him everywhere. This was my earnest desire. But since he could not go around the world and preach, at least the people of the world should come to hear from him."

Actual version from a conversation just before Prabhupada's passing:

Srila Prabhupada: "I very much want Maharaja, that you come and stay at Mayapur. Because Prabhupada always desired that you preach. He told me quite a few times, 'Why don't you pull him out?' (Both laugh.) You know, I also tried to some extent before, but somehow or other it did not work out. Now why don't you come and stay at Mayapur?

Sridhar Maharaja: "At last Prabhupada told me that, 'You are an ease lover' (laughter) the qualification, that you have.. ."

Srila Prabhupada: "Yes, it's true. He told me also that he (Sridhar Maharaja) is such a qualified person, one of the finest preachers. I want to take you everywhere. (No quotations made. Who is speaking this last sentence is unknown.) At least at the place we have in Mayapur people are coming from all over the world... (Ed. omission some talk of arrangements) This is my earnest desire. Since you could not go around the world and preach, at least stay there and people will come to you. I shall make that arrangement.

Note: According to sastra, the uttama-adhikari thinks that he is the most fallen and that everyone else is factually doing some service, save and except himself. We know that Srila Prabhupada is an uttama-adhikari and so this is a very likely explanation for the above praises. As far as Sridhar Maharaja being one of the best preachers "in the world," I beg to remind the readers that Srila Prabhupada also said some very encouraging things to some of his disciples-things that could not have been further from the actual fact as time has stood witness to. Prabhupada's saying the people of the world should come to hear from Sridhar is just good etiquette. As stated above, if Prabhupada had wanted the world to hear Sridhar's words, he could have easily printed them into books.

4. Fourth Paragraph: Dheera's version (from a letter to Acyutananda and Hrisikesha, 1969)

"For spiritual advancement of life we must go to someone who is actually practicing spiritual life. So if one is actually serious to take instructions from a siksa-guru, or B. R. Sridhar Maharaja. I consider Sridhar Maharaja to be even my siksa-guru, so what to speak of the benefit that others can have from his association." (This grammar error is in the book.)

This last paragraph has three sentences which seem to fit together all right but actually, as with all Dheera's work, they are pieced together without using (...). This is intentionally done since the missing sentences clearly reveal the actual purpose of this letter. Note the way Dheera misquotes it:

"So I cannot recommend him (Bon Maharaja) as siksa-guru. I think that he has no actual spiritual asset. For spiritual advancement of life, we must go to one who is actually practicing spiritual life; not to some head of a mundane institution. Not to one who has offended his Spiritual Master in so many ways. I do not wish to go into all details...but this Bon Maharaja may be considered as a black snake, and at the time of His Disappearance, my Guru Maharaja did not even wish to have him in his presence due to the character of this Bon Maharaja. So if you are actually serious to take instruction from a siksa-guru, I can refer you one who is most highly competent of all my Godbrothers, This is B. R. Sridhar Maharaja, who I consider to be even my siksa-guru, so what to speak of the benefit that you can have from his association."

This is of course the only part of the letter that Dheera was interested in, but later, in the same letter, Srila Prabhupada writes:

"So if you and Achyutananda are not lost to the poison of Bon Maharaja, and are still serious about advancement of your spiritual life, I will advise you to go to Sridhar Maharaja. Or else I do not know what will save you. So my advice to you both is that you immediately leave the unhealthy and envious association of Bon Maharaja and either proceed to Germany as I have instructed you or at least go to someone who will be competent to act as siksa-guru. This is Sridhar Maharaja."

On close analysis of the way in which Dheera has used this letter to further his cause is obvious. First of all, Srila Prabhupada would not have written such things about Sridhar Maharaja were it not for the fact that these devotees were insisting on disobeying Prabhupada and taking instruction from someone in India. Prabhupada really wanted them to go to Germany. Prabhupada's saying, "at least go..." clearly indicates the lesser of two evils. At least Sridhar wouldn't try to steal Prabhupada's disciples. Sridhar Maharaja frequently admits that to be the reason why Prabhupada trusted him. In any case, Prabhupada certainly was not enthusiastic about them going to Sridhar. This is confirmed in the letter to Rupanuga, 4/28/74, wherein Prabhupada says, "You are right about Sridhar Maharaja's genuineness... (replying to Rupanuga's statement that none of Prabhupada's Godbrothers were doing anything worthwhile)...but in my opinion he is the best of the lot. He is my old friend, at least he executes the regulative principles of devotional service." After the Mayapur temple was established, Prabhupada never again recommended anyone go to Sridhar Maharaja. Instead he wrote more and more letters like the following:

"If you are serious to be an important assistant in our society you should fully engage yourself in translation work, and do not mix yourself with my so-called Godbrothers. As there are in Vrindaban some residents like monkeys and hogs, similarly there are many rascals in the name of Vaishnavas, be careful of them. And do not dare to question impudently before your Spiritual Master." (Letter to Niranjan, 11/21/72)

Note: Were Prabhupada convinced that Sridhar Maharaja was so special and that he alone, amongst au of Prabhupada's Godbrothers, was a pure devotee, then why didn't Prabhupada single him out as such? In dozens of letters and passages from the books, Prabhupada condemns all his Godbrothers in one lump without mentioning that Sridhar Maharaja is an exception. If Sridhar Maharaja were indeed an exception, Prabhupada certainly would have said so. Otherwise it would be offensive to Sridhar Maharaja. Here in this preface, Dheera Krsna takes the few places where Prabhupada appears to glorify Sridhar Maharaja's, ignoring the many more places where he is condemned, and puts them all together to make it look as though Sridhar Maharaja is far superior to Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada also said one can "increase his devotional service" by taking initiation from Madhava Maharaja:

"I understand from the letter of Asita dasa that he has gone to your place in Jagannatha Puri. He has asked permission from me for taking initiation from you. I have given my permission and you can initiate him if you like so that he may increase his devotional service there." (Madhava Maharaja, 1/14/75)

Most of the devotees are aware of who this Madhava Maharaja is. He is one of the most envious Godbrothers of the lot. So why didn't Prabhupada just tell Asita this? Prabhupada also glorified Bon Maharaja in the earlier years, but the later caged him a black snake. So we have to use our discrimination and know that often times Prabhupada would say encouraging things, even if they couldn't be further from the truth. This will be made perfectly clear later in this chapter and also from the Kirtanananda expose. It is regrettable that we have had to bring all these distasteful points out so openly but the urgency demands we do this. We must defend our spiritual master at any cost.

Conclusion to Preface Analysis

This technique of mixing and matching quotes is not only here in this preface but throughout the entire book. Therefore what we are really reading is Dheera Krsna's interpretation of what he thinks Sridhar Maharaja wants to say, what he thinks will sound good to Prabhupada's disciples, and what he thinks he can get away with. Exactly what are Dheera's motives for rejecting Srila Prabhupada and running to Sridhar Maharaja are known to many. It has to do with becoming a guru. What many ISKCON preachers are not realizing is that becoming a bona fide guru is not a matter of being appointed by the "GBC" or Sridhar. It's simply a matter of repeating exactly what Prabhupada taught and following the regulative principles. That's all.

PART ONE (of four parts)


As if his heart and soul were broken.

"Srila Svarupa Damodara Goswami wanted to impress upon Bhagavan Acharya that even though someone firmly fixed in devotion to Krsna's service might not be deviated by hearing the Mayavada bhasya, that bhasya is nevertheless full of impersonal words and ideas such as Brahman, which represent knowledge but which are impersonal... Upon hearing all these nonsensical ideas from the nondevotee, a devotee is greatly afflicted, as if his heart and soul were broken." (CC Antya-lila, 2.99)

Sometimes, but not very often, Srila Prabhupada speaks about "the transcendental plane," or he uses terminology like this. One has to look hard to find them. The Lord does have His impersonal feature and realization of "the higher plane" or "domain of knowledge" is the first attainment of God realization. We are meant to go far beyond that realization. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada always spoke in personal terms, such as, "the spiritual world," or "Krsna's abode," "The Supreme Personality of Godhead," "Krsna's friends," "Love of Krsna," "service to Krsna," "devotional service."

The exact opposite is the case with the preachings of Sridhar Maharaja. If you read the books his followers have compiled (we don't recommend that you do so), it is strikingly apparent that iiinpersonalistic terms predominate. This section will go into detail of this tendency but for now, quickly glance over what is but a sample segment of the impersonal way of speaking.

"A higher conception of the finer world is here.

"In this way, step by step, you will have to come to the Krsna conception of Godhead.

"When our egoistic attitude vanishes, we will find ourself in the midst of sweet waves all around. We should try to do away with whatever wrong we have done hitherto. We must do our duty and never expect any definite result, but cast it towards the infinite.

"And then one day will come when our egoistic feeling will dissolve and from within, our real seer, a member of the infinite world, will spring up and awaken, and we will find ourselves in the sweet waves of that environment.

"He comes to live in the plane of divinity.

"So we have to awaken our interest in that plane, and ignore the interest of this plane.

"We have to approach the domain of knowledge with self-surrender, honest inquiry, and a serving attitude. We will have to become objects to be handled by the superknowledge of that plane.

"We are trying to gain this knowledge, not so we can get the help of that plane, not so we can utilize that experience for living here: rather we must give our pledge to serve that knowledge. We shall serve that higher knowledge: we won't try to make it serve us. Otherwise, we won't be allowed to enter into that domain. Absolute knowledge won't come to serve this lower plane. We shall seek that plane of real knowledge...

"The intellect cannot approach the world of spirit...Only through faith, sincerity and dedication can we approach that higher realm, and become a member. We can enter that higher plane only if they grant us a visa and admit us. Then we can enter that land of divine living. So a candidate must have these three qualifications before he can approach the truth which is on the higher plane of absolute reality.

"With this ideal we shall be able to make progress. Our ideal, our highest model-that is our all-in-all in life. To be on the path of realization of that goal is the greatest wealth in ones life.

"He has given me the highest conception of the holy name of Krsna.

"Everyone should contribute to the center.

"You will have to dive deep...into the plane of the soul.

"We have to dive deep into that plane of reality.

"We should always be eager to devote ourselves exclusively to the highest duty.

"We will have to search for a person who is a bona fide agent of the higher world.

"We should have faith that if we do our duty towards the absolute...

"The heart is only full of Krsna, full of the Krsna conception.

"Divine love is the supreme most goal of every soul.

"They (gurus) will all help to carry me to the center.

"And there the Lord is engaged in his pastimes with His paraphernalia of equal quality. We are trying to understand what is what in the spiritual thought world.

"And all conception of mundane, whether physical, mental, or intellectual, should be eliminated in our journey if we want to go to the inner world of substance.

"Progress means elimination and acceptance.

"Anyone who has come in connection with the infinite cannot but say this: 'I am nothing.' "Mahaprabhu's vibration of Krsna's name was so fine and surcharged with force that the sound entered within the animals, and aroused in their hearts the innermost plane which was covered by the elephant's or tiger's body."

The fact that many persons, even Prabhupada's former-followers, are attracted to this terminology of Sridhar Maharaja, is not surprising. It only further proves what Srila Prabhupada said all along; that the West if full of impersonalists. Every day Prabhupada's disciples state this fact in prayer to Prabhupada. So we are naturally inclined to this type of terminology but we should not confuse that way of speaking with the pure devotional terminology that Srila Prabhupada used and think that they are equal. Sridhar Maharaja's books are chuck full of impersonalistic terminology. Sridhar Maharaja himself admits his real interest, "I am only concerned with my high thinking. That is my life. My spiritual thinking is my life." (DK, 80) The real life of the devotee is service.

The Impersonal Idea of the Origin of the Soul

(Taken from Sridhar Maharaja's book, Search for Krishna)

"There are two classes of souls, jivas, who come into this world. One class comes from the spiritual Vaikuntha planets for the necessity of nitya-lila, the eternal pastimes of Krsna. Another comes by constitutional necessity.

"The Brahmajyoti, the non-differentiated marginal plane, is the source of infinite jiva souls, atomic spiritual particles of non-differentiated character. The rays of the Lord's transcendental body are known as the brahmajyoti, and a pencil of a ray of the brahmajyoti is the jiva. The jiva soul is an atom in that effulgence, and the brahmajyoti is a product of an infinite number of jiva atoms.

"Generally, souls emanate from the brahmajyoti which is living and growing. Within the brahmajyoti, their equilibrium is somehow disturbed and movement begins. From non-differentiation, differentiation begins. From a plain sheet of uniform consciousness, individual conscious units grow. And because the jiva is conscious it is endowed with free will. So, from the marginal position they choose either the side of exploitation or the side of dedication... The fallen souls come from the marginal position within the brahmajyoti, and not from Vaikuntha.

"In the brahmajyoti, we are equipoised in the marginal potency as an infinite number of pinpoints of spiritual rays, electrons of consciousness. Consciousness means endowed with free will, for without free will, no consciousness can be conceived. An atomic pinpoint of consciousness has very meager free will, and by misuse of their free will, some jivas have taken their chance in the material world. They refused to submit to the supreme authority. They wanted to dominate. So with this germinal idea of domination, the jiva enters into the world of exploitation... Upon retiring from the world of exploitation, the soul may return to his former position in the brahmajyoti as spirit. But, if the soul has gathered the tendency of dedication through his previous devotional activities, he does not stop there; he pierces through the brahmajyoti and goes towards Vaikuntha...

"The responsibility is with the soul, otherwise, the Lord would be responsible for his distressed condition. But Krsna says that the soul's innate free will is responsible for his entanglement in the material world. The soul is conscious, and is atomic, his free will is imperfect and vulnerable. The result of that free choice is that some are coming into the material world, and some are going to the spiritual world."

But Srila Prabhupada says:

"As living spiritual souls we are all originally Krsna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter from time immemorial, our consciousness has now become polluted by the material atmosphere." (Original Hare Krsna album)

"As soon as we try to become Lord, immediately we are covered by Maya. Formerly, we were with Krsna in His lila or sport. But this covering of Maya may be of very, very, very, very long duration-therefore, many creations are coming and going. Due to this long period of time, it is sometimes said that we are ever-conditioned. But this long duration of time becomes very insignificant when one actually comes to Krsna consciousness.

This Brahma-sayujya mukti is non-permanent. Every living entity wants pleasure, but brahma-sayujya is minus pleasure. There is eternal existence only. So when they do not find transcendental bliss they fall down to make a compromise with material bliss. Unless one develops full devotional service to Krsna, he goes up only to brahma-sayujya but falls down. But after millions and millions of years of keeping oneself away from the lila of the Lord, when one comes to Krsna consciousness, this period becomes insignificant, just like dreaming. Because he falls down from brahma sayujya, he thinks that may be his origin, but he does not remember that before that even, he was with Krsna." (Lecture in Australia)

"The conditioned living being has forgotten his eternal relationship with God and he has mistakenly accepted the temporary place of birth as all-in-all... The living entities are not without spiritual senses; every living being in his original, spiritual form has all the senses, which are now material, being covered by the body and mind. Activities of the material senses are perverted reflections of spiritual pastimes." (Sri Isopanisad 11)

"Real sense enjoyment is possible only when the disease of materialism is removed. In our real, spiritual form, free from all material contamination, pure enjoyment of the senses is possible." (Sri Isopanisad, 11)

"This attachment of the devotee to a particular form of the Lord is due to natural inclination. Each and every living entity is originally attached to a particular type of transcendental service because he is eternally the servitor of the Lord.

"Lord Caitanya says that the living entity is eternally the servitor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, therefore, every living entity has a particular type of service relationship with the Lord, eternally." (SB3.9.11)

In an attempt to minimize or nullify all of the above truths, our impersonalistic adversaries are fond of quoting part of one purport from Srila Prabhupada's commentary on Sri Isopanisad. It reads as follows:

"The all-pervading feature of the Lord-which exists in all circumstances of waking and sleeping as well as in potential states and from which the jiva-shakti (living force) is generated as both conditioned and liberated souls-is known as the Brahman. (Sri Isopanisad 16)

Regarding this quotation, the "all-pervading feature" can refer to either Brahman or Paramatma. "Potential states" is referred to in the Vedanta Sutra. For example, the state of a coma is a potential state. There are others. "Jiva shakti is generated" does not mention the adverb "originally". Generated can mean several things. Already Srila Prabhupada has said in the Australian lecture (above) that the living entity may descend (generate) many times from the Brahma-sayujya, but that is not his original home.

If we consider the all-pervading feature to be the Paramatma, Maha Vishnu is the original Paramatma, and Brahma Samhita states that innumerable jivas come from Maha Vishnu. Thus this purport says that liberated souls are also generated from the all-pervading feature of the Lord, and it is a fact that the Avatars come from Ksirodakasayee Vishnu, the Paramatma. The last word of the purport, namely "Brahman," the key word stressed by the impersonalists, can refer to either the Brahmajyoti, the Paramatma, or Bhagavan. In Vedanta Sutra, Brahman almost exclusively refers to the Bhagavan feature. So our point is that this segment of the Isopanisad purport does not in any way indicate that jiva souls originally emanate from the Brahmajyoti. However, Sridhar Maharaja's statements above very definitely tag the jiva with an impersonal origin.

So this discrepancy is very, very important. It conclusively proves that Sridhar Maharaja does not have a personal relationship with Krsna. And that makes all the difference in the world. We have heard some devotees of Sridhar Maharaja try to brush this discrepancy off as insignificant, quoting the above Isopanisad purport by Srila Prabhupada, but actually, it reveals the heart of the whole problem. It clearly shows the difference between a completely pure devotee, who knows Krsna personally, and one who is still interested in his own happiness and mental speculation.

The impersonalist's dilemma is almost identical to that of the evolutionists. The impersonalist cannot explain why the jiva soul first became envious. Sridhar Maharaja uses the words: The jiva's "equilibrium is somehow disturbed." He cannot explain how or why. Similarly, the evolutionists say there was a big bang out of nowhere. They also cannot explain how or why. Both concepts are totally illogical. For the soul to become disturbed in the first place, he has to have an innate nature of something other than non-differentiated existence. Otherwise, what is there for him to become disturbed about? And the second problem with this philosophy is that the soul, in order to be able to make a fair choice of going either to Krsna or matter, would have to have full knowledge of the two choices. Sridhar Maharaja says that he may make the wrong choice due to his being "irnperfect and vulnerable." But that is not the case. Prabhupada often explains that the soul is Sat Cit Ananda, and so he is in full knowledge when in his original position. The soul is perfect. He does not come to this world by some unintentional mistake. He does not come to this world of free will, an intentional act of envy and pride. Or as the Christians say, "He ate the forbidden fruit." One may say that his ability to become envious is a fault, but, factually, that is due to his having free will. If he did not have free will, that would be a fault.

So the only logical explanation for the souls coming into this world and having to undergo suffering is that they became envious to Krsna and proud of their own glories ("Why is Krsna enjoying like this, and I cannot; I'm as good as Krsna"). So they decided to chance it on their own. The original misuse of free will does not lead to utter degradation. When the soul first falls, he does not go to the demoniac species. He takes his birth as a demigod. As long as we follow the rules, and do not try to exploit others, we can live quite happily there. But if we become greedy and commit sins, we go down into the lower species. One may argue, "If God is so kind, then why doesn't he create a place where we can live separate from Him and not have to fall down into suffering where we can be little gods ourselves and have control of our environment? But the answer entails the question, "Have full control of what? If you have control over other living beings, then you are denying them the freedom you so badly want."

So then if you say, "Well, He may not let us have full control, but we should be able to live in perfect harmony with everyone else." That place does exist. It is called the spiritual world, or Vaikuntha. Even in the spiritual world there are degrees of surrender to the personal God. The shanta rasa is often described as an impersonal type realization of Krsna. Not everyone is equally in love and surrendered to the personal feature of Krsna even in the spiritual world. So going back to Godhead is a personal thing and very difficult for the impersonalists to understand or accept. Therefore, they try to rationalize that they came from the brahmajyoti by dint of their being "imperfect and vulnerable" and that their going to Krsna is not a matter of begging forgiveness and surrendering to a person, but simply a matter of moving to where the grass is greener.

Say, for example, a citizen becomes envious of the King and decides to go out to become a King himself. But he doesn't have the qualifications of a King, and so he suffers in a foreign land where no one speaks his language and where he has no friends. He wants to go back to his own land where his friends and family are, but he knows that he will have to personally confront and make amends to the King first. That is difficult. Even though he is suffering, and he wants to go back, his false prestige won't easily allow him to humbly beg forgiveness from the King. The King is a very kind person and is eager to forgive the foolish citizen, but the citizen has lust in his heart and so cannot bring himself to make amends. So, in utter frustration, he may try to merge into a void state by taking intoxication to sidestep his current suffering and postpone his dilemma of having to surrender to the King. This appears to work for some time, and he gets some temporary relief from pain. Eventually, however, because he factually is a person, he again desires to enjoy with family, friends, etc. So, he again tries to get situated in this foreign land. Again he suffers, and again he is given a chance to surrender to the King. This can go on many, many times until he finally realizes that he cannot live separate from his real home and, naturally, from the King. So finally, after many, many ups and downs, he realizes that he must go back and beg forgiveness from the King. Then the King sends his representative to guide him in how to rectify himself. And he is tested to make absolutely sure that he is finally ready to come home and not simply eager to exploit the King. Eventually he is able to go right up to the King, with tears in Ws eyes, and beg forgiveness. The King naturally is very compassionate on his fallen friend and so not only forgives him,but awards him great happiness. Thus the citizen is fully satisfied and never again thinks he can be happy in another land. But to approach the King he must give up his pride.

If one rejects this analogy, then he is saying that God is responsible for our suffering in this material world. He is saying that God made the jivas imperfect, and so they "accidentally" made a bad choice when their "equilibrium somehow became disturbed." So they had to suffer here for many billions of lives. If a teacher gives his student a partial understanding of the principle of right and wrong, and then says, "Now you must choose," that's not fair. If the student chooses the wrong thing, the teacher is responsible. But if the teacher gives the student full knowledge, and the student still chooses the wrong thing, then his suffering is not the fault of the teacher. Similarly, God created us all Sat Cit Ananda. We have full knowledge and free will to love or not love Krsna. We chose to misuse it and so here we are. That choice, to choose Maya or Krsna, will be there eternally.

Love of Who?

Throughout his books, Sridhar Maharaja refers to love independent of a person to love. There is a conspicuous absence of such expressions by Srila Prabhupada in all his writings. Having indexed half a dozen of Srila Prabhupada's books, we can say that we have never seen in even one place where Prabhupada would say, we have to "love". Of course he has said in thousands of places we have to "love Krsna," but he never said we have to "love." There is a very good reason for this. If one has a personal relationship with Krsna, then he knows that there is only one object of love, Krsna, and that is a personal love. It is just as difficult for the personalist to say the word "love" without "Krsna" as it is to clap with one hand. Or as Prabhupada says, "There is no meaning to the word devotion except in relation to Krsna." This is another one of the traits in Sridhar Maharaja that give away his lack of a personal relationship with, and devotion to, Krsna. It is so blatant in fact that we are embarrassed to have to spell it out like this. It should be obvious to everyone who has read one of Sridhar's books. Here are some of the quotes we've found:

"But sacrifice for who? And who is the beneficiary? Love is the beneficiary. Everyone should contribute to the center... with this spirit we should combine and work for real love and beauty.

"Divine love is the supreme most goal of every soul. Beauty and love is the summum bonum, our highest attainment...the ultimate conception of the Absolute Truth is that of reality the beautiful and divine love.

"And beauty will be victorious in the world. Love will be victorious in the world. We will sacrifice everything to see that the banner of divine love wig flutter all over the world, for a particle of that divine love will be able to keep peace and distribute peace in all directions."

To the impersonalists, these above words sound very nice. In fact I can easily see Rajneesh or any other bogus yogi saying such things to a Western audience. But Srila Prabhupada never said such things. The beauty of Krsna and Love for Krsna are certainly the highest goals but when they are constantly mentioned without mentioning or addressing the person, Krsna, the object of love, the possessor of beauty, it becomes impersonal. The impersonalists also appreciate the beauty and love that pervades the entire creation, but they have no appreciation for the person from whom those qualities emanate. Srila Prabhupada never talks of beauty and love without saying; "beauty of Krsna" and "love for Krsna." If one actually loves someone, he naturally says: "I love you." He never says; "I love." That is not only impersonal, but meaningless. We meet hippies constantly talking in these terms and we know perfectly well that they have misdirected their love. Other statements by Sridhar Maharaja further reveal this impersonal tendency in him such as:

"We shall serve that higher knowledge; we won't try to make it serve us.

"We must serve that plane.

"We have to become objects to be handled by the superknowledge of that plane.

"To be acquainted with the conception of the highest ideal..."

A devotee who has a personal relationship with Krsna cannot speak such things. At least we are not meant to hear them since Srila Prabhupada never spoke that way.