Why Siddhanta Saraswati never appointed a successor Acharya after him-Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Tirupati 28 April, 1974
My dear Rupanuga Maharaja,
Please accept my blessings.
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of April 17, from Washington D.C. and I have very carefully noted the contents.
Regarding Mayapur, as you have begun this program should be regularly followed once a year: meet in Mayapur and chalk out activities for the year. Then, next year meet and see how far things are being done and if necessary make changes for responsible GBC and presidents etc. The meeting is very valuable and must be carried out regularly every year. But one thing is that at Mayapur last time most of the time was spent discussing but no program was made firm for the year. For example, our Tamala Krishna Goswami never proposed to go to the USA at the meeting but now he has decided to go back to the U.S.A. Of course you can go back, but if the matter is discussed at the meeting, then a GBC vote could be taken and they could have selected a replacement. Now this replacement I have to bother. It is not difficult for me, but why wasn’t their discussion of the meeting. Now Karandhara has written asking to come back and I have called him to come to Bombay and if possible he can be engaged as GBC for India.
You are right about Sridhara Maharaja’s genuineness. 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. I do not wish to discuss about activities of my Godbrothers but it is a fact they have no life for preaching work. All are satisfied with a place for residence in the name of a temple, they engage disciples to get foodstuff by transcendental devices and eat and sleep. They have no idea or brain how to broacast the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. My Guru Maharaja used to lament many times for this reason and he thought if one man at least had understood the principle of preaching then his mission would achieve success. In the latter days of my Guru Maharaja he was very disgusted. Actually, he left this world earlier, otherwise he would have continued to live for more years. Still he requested his disciples to form a strong Governing body for preaching the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He never recommended anyone to be acarya of the Gaudiya Math. But Sridhara Maharaja is responsible for disobeying this order of Guru Maharaja, and he and others who are already dead unnecessarily thought that there must be one acarya. If Guru Maharaja could have seen someone who was qualified at that time to be acarya he would have mentioned. Because on the night before he passed away he talked of so many things, but never mentioned an acarya. His idea was acarya was not to be nominated amongst the governing body. He said openly you make a GBC and conduct the mission. So his idea was amongst the members of GBC who would come out successful and self effulgent acarya would be automatically selected. So Sridhara Maharaja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one acarya and later it proved a failure. The result is now everyone is claiming to be acarya even though they may be kanistha adhikari with no ability to preach. In some of the camps the acarya is being changed three times a year. Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp. Actually amongst my Godbrothers no one is qualified to become acarya. So it is better not to mix with my Godbrothers very intimately because instead of inspiring our students and disciples they may sometimes pollute them. This attempt was made previously by them, especially Madhava Maharaja and Tirtha Maharaja and Bon Maharaja but somehow or other I saved the situation. This is going on. We shall be very careful about them and not mix with them. This is my instruction to you all. They cannot help us in our movement, but they are very competent to harm our natural progress. So we must be very careful about them.
Our students who are making this political program must be fixed in one point that human society unless divided into the four classes and divisions is animal society. Among the animals there is no intelligence for self realization or how to make life successful. In human life intelligence is better than animals therefore they should know what is the aim of life and to educate human society there is the whole Vedic literature, of which the Bhagavad gita is the quintessence. The Supreme Personality of Godhead orders that there must be four division in human society, a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th class, like that, and the 1st must be ideal. If the whole society is full of rogues, thieves, drunkards, cheaters and demons, where is there question of decent government. There must be division so the lower class men may aspire to be second class men. So far we are concerned we are trying to train first class men. How much great responsibility we have to follow regulative principles, chant the beads, live with personal character etc. Regulative principles means to especially execute devotional service in terms of the revealed scriptures under the direction of the spiritual master. By fulfilling the regulative principles you come to the platform of spontaneous love for Krsna. Spontaneous love for Krsna is there already but is covered by the influence of Maya. The regulative principles are a device how to overcome the influence of maya and come to the platform of spontaneous love of Krsna. If we want to exist as first class men in society all our students must be induced to following the regulative principles. One shouldn’t think artificially he has come to the spontaneous platform. That is sahajiyaism.
The GBC must be vigilant by following the regulative principles and teach by ideal character the presidents of the centers, and the presidents by their ideal character must teach the others then automatically all members of the whole institution will be ideal to the human society. Then we can dictate to administrators or sometimes take hold of the administration. In the absence of competent leaders we may take the post. But we must be very careful in the flow of the political movement we may not forget our ideal life. For example, Parasaram was a Brahmin but when he found the ksatriyas were mismanaging he killed them twenty one times and some of them fled to European countries. This is the history. So far we are concerned we shall keep ourselves in ideal brahminical position and if need be if no ksatriya or Vaisya is here we can take up their work as emergency. Our business is to create ideal ksatriyas and vaisyas but beyond that our real business is to keep ourselves as ideal Brahmins. If we are not ideal we cannot create others as ideal. Training is required for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes of social constitution. Persons who are not fit for being advanced by training are sudras or less than that. At the present moment in the world state, there are sudras and less than that. There are no ideal brahmanas or ksatriyas. But these four divisions are imperative. So our business is to keep fit as brahmanas and to train others to be ideal ksatriyas and vaisyas for advancing the whole society. As Krsna says in the Srimad-Bhagavatam:
Tamala Krsna Goswami is going to Los Angeles and I shall give him instruction to join Madhudvisa Swami, Bali Mardan and Jayatirtha and reform the deficiencies. As soon as there is a little deficiency we must repair it or it will create a big hole and the ship will drown. So I have said keep fit. I saw this Vrindaban Candra and Prajapati as a little sentimental without thoroughly understanding. Without following the regulative principles advancement is doubtful, and one may fall at any moment.
As for drugs, not just one party, but everyone was involved. Our process is to reform. Everyone is under the clutches of maya. If we follow the regulative principles we can get out and come to spontaneous love. A diseased man is always under the clutches of disease. But if he follows the prescribed orders given by the __ __ he can be cured. Now, how to reform? If we ask him to go away the whole society will be finished. In the hospital many patients are there and the attempt is made to cure them, not to tell them to go away or to kill them. They try their best to cure them. If they tell them to get out of the hospital or if they kill them, that is easy.
Initiation should be given as a future hope, but we should be careful about the second initiation. As recommended by the president or GBC they should only do so when they are quite confident of a man. Otherwise, he should not be recommended. If you follow this principle it will be successful. Every day I am getting request for second initiation, but I do not know. The responsibility goes to the presidents who pick them. Unless they are thoroughly convinced second initiation should not be given. In the beginning we may be a little lenient. But if someone falls down after being initiated he should not be credited with second initiation.
Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
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