Posted July 6, 2006
To whom it may concern,
I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.
Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvati Goswami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.
I have been asked to address an unpleasant situation that has recently come to a disturbing head. Over the years I have been made privy to information which is less than pleasant and may be disturbing to the minds of loving followers, disciples and grand-disciples, of His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Jagat Guru Srila Prabhupada. I am specifically speaking about one of our Godbrother who left Srila Prabhupada's movement many years ago to start his own movement. I am referring to Tripurari Swami who recently performed an initiation ceremony in North Carolina, which took people, being cultivated by Iskcon devotees to his own society known as the Gaudiya Vaisnava Society.
I have known Tripurari Maharaja for many years, and was pleased to have distributed Srila Prabhupada's books with him on occasion at the Chicago O'Hare airport back in 1974. Distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and inspiring others to do so was Maharaja's claim to fame. On more than one occasion, Srila Prabhupada stated that if you wanted to please me in the best way, PLEASE distribute my books. I joined Krsna Consciousness with my best friend Pragosha dasa, and for many years distributed Srila Prabhupada's books. As a matter of fact, Praghosa dasa is in New York City and still is engaged in book distribution, at the age of 53. Back in the 70's we shared great appreciation for the service Tripurari Swami performed for Srila Prabhupada.
Then in the 80's Tripurari Swami left the Iskcon mission and became involved with various Gaudiya Math leaders. Srila Prabhupada had directly warned us NOT to associate with his Godbrothers, "If they say one thing differently, your whole spiritual life will be spoiled."
In Sridhara Maharaja's own admission he stated, "Me and Swamiji (our Prabhupada) we do not see eye to eye on all things."
After hearing such a statement, why would any follower of Srila Prabhupada want to hear even another word from this person. Respectful obeisances should be offered, then out the door, never to return.
Srila Prabhupada instructed time and again to simply hear from HIM, and repeat without any addition or alteration. "This is guru. You haven't got to learn very much. You simply repeat like parrot what Krsna has said everything in the Bhagavad-gita. You learn Bhagavad-gita, and you repeat that. You become guru. This is guru. So sometimes people give me very much credit that I have done wonderful throughout the whole world. But I do not know that I am wonderful man. But I know one thing, that I am speaking what Krsna has spoken. That's all. I am NOT making any ADDITION, ALTERATION." Srila Prabhupada's lecture San Francisco 7/15/75.
Then in another place Srila Prabhupada said, "Don't make ADDITION, ALTERATION. Then you become guru. Very simple thing. If I say that "My father said, This is a bell," I am correct because I have learned it from my father, authority. I may be fool, rascal. It doesn't matter. But because I have learned it from the authority and presenting it that "This is a bell," this is perfect. Similarly, I cannot become guru because I am imperfect. My senses are imperfect. I cannot see even what is beyond this wall, although I am very proud of my eyes. I want to see. What can you see? Imperfect, all senses. But if some authority says that "Beyond this wall this is the..., like this," it is all right. So we have to follow this path, that you become guru, deliver your neighborhood men, associates, but speak the authoritative words of Krsna. Then it will act. So our, this Krsna Consciousness movement is like that. WE DO NOT MANUFACTURE IDEAS. That has spoiled the whole world." Darshan Hrishikesh, India 5/11/77.
I have a tape conversation between Tripurari Swami and Krsna Balarama Swami in which the following statement is made by Tripurari Swami: "Prabhupada said things according to time and circumstance, Sridhara Maharaja saying this way according to time and circumstance and I, another way according to time and circumstance. I can draw from Prabhupada how he applied in certain circumstances and I can see how Sridhara Maharaja did and I can come up with a synthesis, a third idea, based on scripture of what they had done. You become like a grown-up. It is one thing you follow the father as a child, it is very cute and everyone likes it. You put on the father's coat, even though it's too big. Then you put on his shoes, "isn't it cute, he wants to follow his Dad." But if it goes on his whole life, you're nuts! The father hopes you are going to grow up and add to the business. Maybe bring in and add a new product, you know. Hmmm, further the market whatever that is. So that is what I am here. I write books, this is mostly what I do." Tripurari Swami discussion with Krsna Balarama Swami 1995.
Tripurari Swami may say he takes a little from Srila Prabhupada, and a little from Sridhara Swami and then adds a little himself to give us what he refers to as "adding a new product". What does Srila Prabhupada say in response to this thinking, "From now on unless I order you do something change or in addition, go on with the usual standard way. You manufacture ideas and then I have to waste my time. I have given you everything already, there is no need for you to add anything or change anything. The greatest danger to our movement will come when we manufacture and create our own process." Letter from Srila Prabhupada to Dhruvananda Bombay 1/4/73.
Later in Philadelphia Srila Prabhupada elaborated on this point, "Devotee: My only wish is that my mind be purified by the words coming from the mouth of my spiritual master. I have no other desire but this." Prabhupada: Yes. This is the order. Guru-mukha-padma- vakya, cittete koriya aikya. Now citta means consciousness or heart. "I shall do this only, bas. My Guru Maharaja told me; I shall do this." Cittete koriya aikya, ar na koriho mane asa. So it is not my pride, but I can say, for your instruction, I DID IT. Therefore whatever little success you see than my, all my Godbrothers, it is due to this. I have no capacity, but I took it, the words of my guru, as life and soul. So this is fact. Guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete koriya aikya. Everyone should do that. But if he makes addition, alteration, THEN HE IS FINISHED. No addition, alteration. You have to approach guru,guru means the faithful servant of God, Krsna- and take his word how to serve Him. Then you are successful. If you concoct, "I am very intelligent than my guru, and I can make addition or alteration," THEN YOU ARE FINISHED." Lecture SB- 6-1-26, Philadelphia 7/12/75.
As far as taking the position of Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada spoke very emphatically how we should embrace that position, "So all my students present here who are feeling so much obliged...I am also obliged to them because they are helping me in this missionary work. At the same time, I shall request them all to become spiritual master. Every one of you should be spiritual master next. And what is their duty? Whatever you are hearing from ME, whatever you are learning from ME, you have to distribute the same in toto without any addition or alteration. Then all of you become the spiritual master. That is the science of becoming spiritual master." Sri Vyas Puja-Hamburg, 9/5/69.
In the same conversation Tripurari Swami states, "People say, "He's (Tripurari) not distributing any books. Why isn't he out there? Things are different. I'm 46 years old now. I can write my own books now." Tripurari Swami and Krsna Balarama Swami conversation 1995.
This of course is a great and sad tragedy. The very thing that made Tripurari Swami appreciated and respected by all the devotees, that very service that gave Srila Prabhupada so much transcendental pleasure, he has whimsically renounced for his own concocted program. Srila Prabhupada wrote, "My dear Rameswara, Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge your letter of May 29th, and I have examined the contents. You have written to recommend Tripurari for sannyasi. Tripurari is however already a brahmachari so in essence there is no difference between brahmachari. I have asked Tripurari to dedicate his LIFE to distributing MY BOOKS and he has turned out the most expert of all our sellers." Letter to Ramesvara 6/5/74.
This was a very specific instruction given by His Divine Grace that he is giving up. What a great loss for Tripurari Swami to be given such mercy from the Jagat Guru, a specific instruction of how he should dedicate his entire life. Instead he has invented a different program to dedicate his life. Srila Prabhupada said, "So bhaktya anuvrtya. Anuvrtya means following. Not that I have become more than my guru, I can invent something. No. Bhakti means, sädhu-marganugamanam. You have to follow the sädhu, the acarya. That is Bhakti. Bhakti does not mean that I am so learned I can manufacture something. That is rascal. Not that at a point you become suddenly very learned scholar, and you do not remain a servant, but you want to become a master, to dictate the guru. That is rascal. That will not help us." SB 5-5-14 Vrndavana 11/2/76. Further Srila Prabhupada states, "To honor the spiritual master means to carry out his instructions WORD FOR WORD." SB purport 3-24-12.
So Tripurari Maharaja gave up the distribution of the transcendental devotional ecstasies of Srila Prabhupada for what? As he put it, he can write his own books. So I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up a copy of one of his books. It was called Aesthetic Vedanta. I was shocked. I will give you a couple of excerpts from the book, but I will forewarn you that as followers of Srila Prabhupada the descriptions of the madhurya-lila of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in this fashion is disgusting. But without further ado I will let the writing speak for itself. On the inside cover jacket Tripurari Swami writes, "Aesthetic Vedanta illuminates the classic Sanskrit poem, rasa-lila, the sacred love affair of the Hindu deities Radha and Krsna. Interspersed with original poetry and renderings of the medieval verse of several Hindu mystics, this book reveals the means to access the spiritual reality of India's EROTIC mysticism....In the rasa-lila, Godhead enters humanity to celebrate his sensuality, thus confirming the feeling in all of us that our drive for the EROTIC is not something to be abolished." Aesthetic Vedanta Tripurari Swami Cover jacket.
On page 84 of the same book, Tripurari Swami writes, "Krsna stretched out his arms and embraced the gopis. He further aroused their passion and enjoyed with them by touching their hands, hair, thighs, belts, and breasts, as well as by playfully scratching them with his fingernails, joking with them, laughing with them, and glancing at them. In this way, he engaged in erotic sport with them as prescribed in the KAMA-SUTRA." Aesthetic Vedanta Tripurari Swami.
First of all, what in the world is he doing writing about the rasa-lila to the general public, all engaged in the most heinous and abominable activities imagined. Secondly why would you describe to the general mass of devotees and/or non-devotees such touching by our Supreme Lord to such private parts of the gopis bodies. And finally how dare Maharaja describe the most intimate, exalted and internal pastime of the adi-purusam with the most pure and elevated eternally perfected living beings in the Spiritual Sky, as following the KAMA-SUTRA!!!! THE KAMA-SUTRA??!!!!
I went back to the same Barnes and Noble that I had purchased the Aesthetic Vedanta at and inquired at information if they had any copies of the KAMA-SUTRA in stock. The gentlemen showed me where they would be, and I found 3 different versions. All with complete photography of EROTIC positions. In other words, for all practical purposes, PORNOGRAPHY! I then over the next week did a survey of probably 30 non-devotees that had heard of the KAMA-SUTRA and asked them to define in their own words what the KAMA-SUTRA was. Without an exception they said, "The KAMA-SUTRA is an elaborate sex manual from India."
To top it off, Tripurari Swami has the following endorsement on the back of the cover jacket, "Aesthetic Vedanta recounts India's most important treatise on romantic love. More practical and interesting than the KAMA-SUTRA, it involves the classic adventure of the fabulous Krishna. Swami Tripurari's treatment is a masterpiece." Louis Meldman author of Mystical Sex: Love, Ecstasy, and the Mystical Experience.
I search and found Louis Meldman's book also at Barnes and Noble, and sure enough this was a sex manual.
So what does Srila Prabhupada say in this regard? Here is simply a few of the many statements made by His Divine Grace, "The hladini potency is Krsna's pleasure potency. All living entities have this pleasure seeking potency, for all beings are trying to have pleasure. This is the very nature of the living entity. At present we are trying to enjoy our pleasure potency by means of the body in the material condition. By bodily contact we are attempting to derive pleasure from material sense objects. But we should not entertain the nonsensical idea that Krsna, who is always spiritual, also tries to seek pleasure on this material plane. In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna describes the material universe as a nonpermanent place full of miseries. Why, then, would he seek pleasure in matter? He is the Supersoul, the supreme spirit, and His pleasure is beyond the material conception. To learn how Krsna enjoys pleasure, we must study the first nine cantos of Srimad Bhagavatam, and then we should study the Tenth Canto, in which Krsna's pleasure potency is displayed in His pastimes with Radharani and the damsels of Vraja. Unfortunately, unintelligent people turn at once to the sports of Krsna in the Dasama-skandha, the Tenth Canto. Krsna's embracing Radharani or His dancing with the cowherd girls in the rasa dance are generally not understood by ordinary men, because they consider these pastimes in the light of mundane lust. They foolishly think that Krsna is like themselves and that he embraces the gopis just as an ordinary man embraces a young girl. Some people thus become interested in Krsna because they think that His religion allows indulgence in sex. This is not Krsna-bhakti, love of Krsna, but prakrta-sahajiya, materialistic lust." CC Adi-lila Introduction.
In another place Srila Prabhupada mentions, "The specific attraction of Krsna's pastimes with the gopis should never be misunderstood. The Bhagavatam relates these transcendental pastimes in the Tenth Canto. And in order to reach the position to understand the transcendental nature of Lord Krsna's pastimes with the gopis, the Bhagavatam promotes the student gradually in nine other cantos." SB 1/3/28 purport.
"Without coming to the perfectional stage, if anyone tries to understand the Gopis he becomes a sahajiya. Gopis are not ordinary women, they are all expansions of Krishna's pleasure potency. So when we understand Krishna, then we shall understand the Gopis. We can simply follow the foot prints of how the Gopis loved Krsna." Letter to Visvambhara 12/14/72.
Then Srila Prabhupada speaks specifically about the KAMA-SUTRA, "Indeed, there are many so-called philosophers who give directions on how to enjoy sex life. There is even a science called KAMA-SUTRA, which is the science of sex. In human life there are also such divisions as brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa. There is no sex life except in the grhastha, or householder asrama. The brahmacari is not allowed any sex, a vanaprastha voluntarily refrains from sex, and the sannyasi is completely renounced." SB 4-25-38 Purport
"So purification means getting free gradually from sex desire, and this is attained by meditation on the person of the Lord as described herein, beginning from the feet. One should not try to go upwards artificially without seeing for himself how much he has been released from the sex desire. The smiling face of the Lord is the Tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, and there are many upstarts who at once try to begin with the Tenth Canto and especially with the five chapters which delineate the rasa-lila of the Lord. THIS IS CERTAINLY IMPROPER. By such improper study or hearing of the Bhagavatam, the material opportunists have played havoc by indulgence in sex life in the name of Bhagavatam. This vilification of Bhagavatam is rendered by the acts of the so-called devotees; one should be free from all kinds of sex desire before he tries to make a show of recital of Bhagavatam. Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura clearly defines the import of purification as cessation from sex indulgence." SB 2-2-12 Purport.
"However, spiritual lust and material lust are as completely different as gold and iron. Only one who is very highly elevated in spiritual realization can understand the lusty feelings exchanged between Radha and Krsna, or between Krsna and the damsels of Vraja. Therefore, unless one is very experienced and advanced in spiritual realization, he is forbidden to discuss the lusty feelings of Krsna and the gopis." SB 5-25-5 Purport.
Srila Prabhupada would not allow even his own disciples to dwell on the pastimes of Krsna and the gopis, even when it was written in his own books. What to say of materialistic people shopping at Barnes and Noble, who break ALL the four regulative principles, and who are FULL of anger, lust and greed.
As a matter of fact Srila Prabhupada wrote the following letter in this connection, "I have received information that some of our devotees are mixing with the babajis in Vrndavana. This has produced so many problems amongst our men and women who visit Vrndavana. Here in Los Angeles, we have found there is a group of about 40 devotees who privately meet to discuss the intimate pastimes artificially thinking that they can enter into the understanding of the gopis prematurely. This will create havoc in our society, and the result will be that if this is allowed to go on, our preaching work will be greatly hampered. This premature desire to understand the lila of Krsna is due to mundane sex-life desire as we have seen amongst many of the babjis and sahajiyas in Vrndavana. Our Jagannatha dasa came back from Vrndavana asking me that he had heard some babaji speaking about siddha-deha and he also was listening to these babajis. SO I WANT THIS IMMEDIATELY STOPPED. If it continues, this mixing with the babajis, then it will mean spoiling. In many cases, these babjis keep 2 or3 women. Asatsanga tyagi. Their association is to be avoided and prohibited amongst all of our devotees who visit Vrndavana."Letter to Nitai das 6/7/76.
I was in Srila Prabhupada's room in October 1977. Srila Prabhupada began to speak, "I have given you this big, big, Iskcon movement. If you can, please expand it, at least maintain it, don't let it decrease. Please co-operate." And then Srila Prabhupada began to cry. Every time someone leaves Iskcon it makes Srila Prabhupada cry. So Tripurari Swami said, "People criticize me for leaving Iskcon, but I tell you, if I had to do it again, I would have left before. Knowing what I learned leaving. I'm telling you, leaving I learned more than I learned the whole time I was in." Tripurari Swami taped conversation with Krsna Balarama Swami 1995.
As Srila Prabhupada mentioned many times above, that if you want to be a spiritual master, you must repeat what the spiritual master says and does without any alteration or addition. Tripurari Swami's Temple/ashrama does not do daily guru puja to Srila Prabhupada, they do not daily chant the Nrsinghadeva prayers, they do not chant Yani kani ca papani prayer when circumambulating the tulasi tree as was taught to us by Srila Prabhupada, he gives initiations and does not ask all initiates to chant 16 rounds daily but asks some to chant only 4 rounds. These are just a few alterations that I am aware of, I could list more but I think you can understand the point.
Finally, a letter was written by Tripurari Swami dated 11/2/94 to the GBC members at that time. In it Tripurari Swami writes, "Let me share with you what I believe to be the greatest problem facing Iskcon today. Iskcon is suffering from, of all things, over-glorification of Srila Prabhupada." Consider that Srila Prabhupada struggled with so many difficulties to arrange passage from India to America. That he encountered 2 heart attacks on the voyage over here. That he was attacked with the intent to murder him when he was staying with that drug crazed hippy. That he had no money nor any serious followers for almost a year, that without his mercy NO ONE outside of India would have a clue of what is the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. How could it be possible to OVER GLORIFY this most merciful and intimate servant of Sri Sri Radha Krsna. I would humbly submit that the problem that the world vaisnava movement is the UNDER GLORIFICATION of Srila Prabhupada.
I would like to conclude this letter with my most sincere and genuine appeal to Tripurari Maharaja to come back to the fold, give up all concepts of Krsna Consciousness which is contrary or different from what Srila Prabhupada taught us, and finally dedicate the rest of your life to the mass distribution of Srila Prabhupada's transcendental books.
I hope that whoever reads this letter will become more inspired to always glorify the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and serve his Iskcon mission. Then at the end of this life, live eternally with Srila Prabhupada in the Spiritual World.
(NOTE: The following is a quote from the Srimad Bhagavatam 4-24-46 purport. This quote was sent to me from 2 Prabhupada initiated disciples who requested to me to add this quote to my letter.)
"Without serving Krsna according to the vidhi-marga regulative principles of the pancaratrika-vidhi, unscrupulous persons want to jump immediately to the raga-marga principles. Such persons are called sahajiya. There are also demons who enjoy depicting Krsna and His pastimes with the gopis, taking advantage of Krsna by their licentious character. These demons who print books and write lyrics on the raga-marga principles are surely on the way to hell. Unfortunately, they lead others down with them. Devotees in Krsna Consciousness should be very careful to avoid such demons." (SB 4-24-46 Purport)