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Battlefield Fancy by Danavir Goswami

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Did you know there's a ministry in for the protection of ISKCON?



People who are taught to eschew deep thinking and logical discourse, will almost invariably need "protecting" from those who attract such followers by superior charisma, knowledge, or whatever. The bottom line is that there is no substitute for thinking and discrimination based on sAstra.


I think it is unfortunate that so many gaudIya vaiSNavas are taught that quoting of sAstra is a mundane exercise, and that one should never ask questions of a guru for fear of causing some offense. There seem to be some interesting ideas in this tradition, but practically much of it seems covered over by the collective complacency of its practitioners, along with the tendency to drive a knife into each other's backs at the first available opportunity.


And then there is the stereotyped, fanatical response that comes whenever one politely inquires about the sAstric basis for some commonly-held belief, i.e. "did you know you are criticizing a pure devotee?? How dare you!"


When even simple questions become seen as criticisms in your sampradAya, how do you expect your tradition to attract the inquisitive and intelligent?


To put it another way, do you prefer followers who shut up and do as they are told, or followers who can think about why their practices and beliefs are correct?


Sorry, but I'm probably going off on a tangent....



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I was joking a little in my previous posts but the matter is quite serious. I think that the risks to ISKCON members need to be evaluated based on solid evidence of actual harm done to their devotional life. the risks to ISKCON - the organization - should be seen as non-different from the risks to its members. trying to keep the "flock" in ISKCON fold at all cost is not protecting the devotees: it is protecting the "turf". ISKCON leaders should worry about purity within it's own ranks before they go all out to criticize others. If they do that, nobody will have a desire to leave ISKCON. Hare Krishna!

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Babhru Prabhu,


It seems that the GBC site has disappeared from the web.





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Apparently so. Thanks for confirming this for me, Muralidhar. I've wasted some time the last couple of days. If it existed, I suppose jndas would have pointedus to it. I wanted to confirm who are the curent GBC members (I think DG is still there, right?) and what the different assignments are. Oh well--perhaps they're now a secret society. Maybe Shiva will find some site that explains their Masonic connection. /images/graemlins/wink.gif

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As far as I know, Srila Prabhupada would never go out of his way to publicly criticize any of his Godbrothers, regardless of the perceived gravity of the offence. He would say critical things in informal conversations with his disciples, but certainly there were no unsolicited open attacks on his Godbrothers.

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ghari: his just to be thorough and not presumptuous, since all four seem to be ridiculed and maligned to some

extent or other in the review.


Actually, his complaint specifically addresses Tripurari Maharaja's book although he doesn't name the book or the author. However, since Tripurari Maharaja draws on the the explanations of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana, and Srila B.R. Sridhar Maharaja, DG is by implication calling their understanding of Bhagavad-gita concoctions and worse.Showing how this is so will help others (maybe DG) understand the true nature of his diatribe and of Tripurari Maharaja's study of Bhagavad-gita.

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Kulapavana: As far as I know, Srila Prabhupada would never go out of his way to publicly criticize any of his Godbrothers,

regardless of the perceived gravity of the offence. He would say critical things in informal conversations with his

disciples, but certainly there were no unsolicited open attacks on his Godbrothers.


Well said. As far as I know, you're correct. He occasionally made some remarks about Bon Maharaj and Tirtha Maharaja, but never in public. And I cannot imagine that he would ever publish something like this.

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Response to Danavir Gosvami's "Battlefield Fancy"

By Babhru das


I have to admit that I felt a mix of emotions on reading H. H. Danavir Goswami's essay "Battlefield Fancy." The two more prominent emotions I experienced were incredulity and disappointment. I was incredulous that someone of Danavir Maharaja's stature as a sannyasi, an initiating guru within ISKCON, a member of ISKCON's Governing Body Commision, and president of Rupanuga Vedic College would publish something so carelessly researched and composed, so full of thinly disguised vitriol for a Gaudiya vaishnava sannyasi, and so clearly based on either an incomplete reading of the text it purports to review, if any reading at. I was disappointed that something so clearly unrepresentative of the mood of our acharyas would be presented as if it were actual vaishnava siddhanta.


I met Danavir Maharaja in 1973, when I spent some time in the brahmachari ashram at ISKCON's Los Angeles center. Everyone there recognized his enthusiasm for and dedication to the service of our spiritual master. Since that time, through good times and bad, he has persisted in his service and has accomplished things a poor family man such as I can only appreciate. I have no desire to vilify him or offend him or those who have faith in him in any way.


However, because I'm familiar with the book he critiques in his article, I feel called by my conscience to point out a few shortcomings in that review and the implications they carry. My familiarity with the book in question, Bhagavad-gita: Its Feeling and Philosophy, by Swami B. V. Tripurari, is due to my having been one of the book's editors. One reason that may be worth considering is that I believe I have a reputation as a cautious devotee. I believe I'm still considered a member in good standing of ISKCON, which I have been since 1969, and at the time I worked on this book I was deeply involved in a variety of activities in support of an ISKCON center. Nevertheless, I was impressed by Tripurari Maharaja's dedication to spreading Krishna consciousness, despite the fact that his circumstances required that he work outside ISKCON.


Although I worry more about the substance of Danavir Maharaja's critique, I think I would be remiss in my duty if I ignored the form, the quality of the writing itself. His essay is largely a collection of quotations, mostly from Srila Prabhupada, pasted together with comments from Danavir Maharajaasserting that these quotations themselves condemn Tripurari Maharaja's Gita. Of course, we hear from Srila Prabhupada that when addressing a spiritual audience we should always provide quotations from spiritual authority to support our points. It's a basic principle that effective writing includes using carefully selected quotations to support the point the writer wants to make. It's also basic that writers should find a way to integrate quotations into their own text to help create a smooth flow of ideas, create a context and clarify for the reader how that quotation works in the text. But in Danavir Maharaja's critique, we find that almost every second paragraph is a quotation, and these are not integrated with his text but dropped in so awkwardly that the reader is forced to stop and think how the quotation fits with Maharaja's remarks-sometimes in the preceding paragraph, and sometimes in the paragraph following the quotation-which is often hard to accomplish. Moreover, they don't support Danavir Goswami's claims; rather, they support claims that perpetrators of the offenses he alleges are offenders against the Lord and the spiritual master. I'll address this further later in this response.


More troubling than this, however, is the tone of Danavir Goswami's critique. A prominent feature of the little text Maharaja has actually composed is the repetition of "Vraja version" in some form. Since his primary complaint about Tripurari Maharaja's book is that it attempts to "screw out" of Bhagavad-gita an obscure philosophy of Vraja bhakti concocted from Tripurari Maharaja's mind, it's clear that he intends to use this phrase and its variants in a pejorative way. Because he does so no less than 41 times, it comes across as a sneering motif. This, along with comments referring to the book as "the Gita caricature" and "clandestine mischief may naturally raise the question in some readers' minds whether, despite over 30 years' engagement in chanting and preaching the holy names, Danavir Maharaja still is subject to the propensity to criticize others, regardless of his attempts to disguise this by claiming to be concerned only with the philosophy the book espouses.


Another problem is the paucity of quotations from the book being reviewed. Danavir Goswami includes only one brief quotatation from Bhagavad-gita: Its Feeling and Philosophy in his critique. What this means is that he makes assertions without supporting any of them with evidence from the text he is criticizing. This blunder should be astonishing in a piece of writing from an author who markets himself as holder of a doctorate and who runs a college. It's all the more shocking when the author has a position of spiritual authority and levels charges as serious as those Danavir Goswami makes against Tripurari Maharaja: opportunism (using the reputation of Bhagavad-gita to advance his own concocted philosophy), impertinently trying to present himself as more advanced than Srila Prabhupada, sahajiyaism, misinterpreting the Gita, mixing incompatible rasas, and mayavada philosophy. The most troubling problem with this review, however, is the extent to which it is unabashedly wrong in all these assertions.


The first clear error Danavir Maharaja makes is in the second paragraph of his review. He begins his case against Tripurari Maharaja and his study of Bhagavad-gita by claiming that it translates ramanti in Chapter 10, verse 9 as "conjugal love." In fact, this is a false claim. In synonyms, ramanti is given as "they rejoice"; the verse itself is translated, "Those whose minds are fixed on me and whose lives are absorbed in me derive satisfaction and delight from enlightening one another and always speaking of me." The commentary to this verse does cite Madhusudana Sarasvati, whose commentary to Bhagavad-gita is often cited by Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura in his own commentary, as explaining that ramanti alludes, as Triprari Maharaja writes, "to the delight of love that a young girl feels for ayoung boy, as the gopis felt for Krishna."


This brings us to the heart of Danavir Goswami's complaint. Most of the charges he makes stem from what he calls screwing "obscure meanings" out of Bhagavad-gita in a "fanciful and whimsical manner." He claims that Tripurari Maharaja is making up a Vraja-bhakti perspective on Bhagavad-gita to garner cheap followers by showing himself to be superior in realization to his own spiritual master. "The issue of contest," Danavir Maharja proclaims, "is whether the Bhagavad-gita is to be interpreted in terms of Vraja bhakti or not."


If we were to accept that there is no precedent for understanding Bhagavad-gita in terms of Vraja bhakti, we must begin by ignoring Krishna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami, author of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita. For example, in Adi-lila, Chapter 4, in examining Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's third reason for appearing, Kaviraja Gosvami explains, "Lord Krishna has a promise from before to reciprocate with His devotees according to the way they worship Him." He then cites Bhagavad-gita 4.11:

ye yatha mam prapadyante

tams tathaiva bhajamy aham

mama vartmanuvartante

manusyah partha sarvasah

"In whatever way My devotees surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha." Here's how Srila Prabhupada discusses this verse in his purport:

Krishna was never ungrateful to the gopis, for as He declares to Arjuna in this verse from the Bhagavad-gita (4.11), He reciprocates with His devotees in proportion to the transcendental loving service they render unto Him. Everyone follows the path that leads toward Him, but there are different degrees of progress on that path, and the Lord is realized in proportion to one's advancement. The path is one, but the progress in approaching the ultimate goal is different, and therefore the proportion of realization of this goal-namely the absolute Personality of Godhead-is also different. The gopis attained the highest goal, and Lord Chaitanya affirmed that there is no method of worshiping God higher than that followed by the gopis.

But that's not all. Krishna das Kaviraja then claims, "That promise has been broken by the worship of the gopis, as Lord Krishna Himself admits." He supports this by citing a very confidential verse from the chapters of the 10th canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam describing Krishna's dancing with the damsels of Vraja: "O gopis, I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshipped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation."


We see here, then, that Krishna das Kaviraja not only uses that Bhagavad-gita verse to help explain Krishna's desire to understand Srimati Radharani's love for Him, but that his doing so sheds new light on verse 4.11, which Srila Prabhupada supports. Specifically, it suggests that it is possible to see Krishna's instructions in Bhagavad-gita in the light of the particular moods of surrender exhibited by the inhabitants of Vrindavana. Is this, as Danavir Maharaja complains, "mere conjecture" on Tripurari Maharaja's part? Absolutely not. In pursuing this line of thought, Tripurari Maharaja tells his readers in his introduction that his commentary follows the comments given previously by several acharyas, especially Gaudiya vashnava acharyas. These acharyas include Sridhara Svami, Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura, Baladeva Vidyabhusana, and more recently, Srila Prabhupada's beloved Godbrother Srila B. R. Sridhardeva Gosvami, and Srila Prabhupada himself.


It is from Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti that we get the idea that verses 8-11 of Chapter 10 as the chatuh-shloki of Bhagava-gita. In his commentary on verse 9, which I have discussed above, Chakravarti thakur says, "Sri Bhagavan's above statements describe raganuga bhakti only." That's a strong statement, especially if we understand that raganuga bhakti is concerned exclusively with Vraja. Following Visvanatha's line of thinking, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura comments similarly on this same verse:

The character of those whose minds are exclusively devoted is as follows: By completely offering their minds and lives unto me, they mutually exchange their bhavas and remain engaged in glorifying my lilas and so forth, In this way, by sravanam and kirtanam they attain the happiness of bhakti. In their sadhya stage, that is after attaining pure prema, which is accessible only through raga-marg, they experience the pleasure of enjoying with me within vraja rasa, culminating in the bhava of madhura-rasa.

I appears, then, that Tripurari Maharaja did not invent this idea out of whole cloth, as Danavir Maharaja would have us believe.


Furthermore, some excerpts from Srila B. R. Sridhara Maharaja's commentary on the chatuh-shloki sheds further light on Tripurari Maharaja's perspective on Bhagavad-gita:


Radha-dasyam, the servitorship of Srimati Radharani, is indicated here. Only those who are blessed with divine intelligence will be able to appreciate this, and not persons with self-acquired intelligence from this mayika quarter, the world of misconception. In this verse, the word budhah refers to sumedhasah as described in the Srimad Bhagavatam (11.5.32): persons of fine theistic intelligence arising from direct connection with the transcendental plane. (commentary of Srila Sridhara Maharaja, Bg 10.8)


Tusyanti ca- "They find very much satisfaction." Up to the divine relationship of parenthood ( vatsalya-rasa ) there is a feeling of satisfaction. Furthermore, ramanti ca - "Just as a wife enjoys a conjugal relationship with her husband, the devotees similarly feel such ecstasy in My intimate company when speaking about Me." This has also been explained by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. (commentary of Srila Sridhara Maharaja, Bg 10.9)


ln this verse, the Lord says, "The highest group of My servitors (whose sentiment was described in the previous verse by the word ramanti ) are those who are constantly engaged (satata-yukta) in My service in consorthood (madhura-rasa) with heartfelt love (bhajatam priti-purvakam)." (commentary of Srila Sridhara Maharaja, Bg. 10.10)


Out of compassion for them, I, situated within the hearts of all living beings, dispel the darkness of ignorance with the radiance of knowledge. Or,


Being conquered by the love of those devotees who, in the most elevated position of noncalculative loving devotion (jnana-sunya prema-bhakti ), are afflicted by all-devouring darkness born of the pangs of separation from Me, their Lord - I, granting them the internal illumination of meeting Me personally, destroy the darkness of their agony of separation. (Srila Sridhara Maharaja's translation of Bg. 10.11)


However, Danavir Maharaja also accuses Tripurari Maharaja of impertinence and disloyalty to Srila Prabhupada, insisting that our guru-maharaja's Bhagavad-gita As It Is has no such allusions to Vraja Bhakti. It may be even more to the point, then, to examine Srila Prabhupada's Gita to see if he does indeed never say that the goal of Bhagavad-gita is serving Krishna in Vrindavan and whether, therefore, this charge has any merit at all.


To keep this essay relatively brief, I will examine only a couple of the places in Bhagavad-git As It Is where Srila Prabhupada shows Krishna's instructions pointing the reader to Vrindavana, Krishna's original abode, which keeps his purports in line with our previous acharyas. We find a couple of hints at the ultimate end of Bhagavad-Gita in Srila Prabhupada's introduction. In the course of discussing the nature of our personal relationships with Krishna, Srila Prabhupada offers this discussion of verse 7.20:

kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah

prapadyante 'nya-devatah

tam tam niyamam asthaya

prakrtya niyatah svaya

"Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures." Here it is plainly said that those who are directed by lust worship the demigods and not the Supreme Lord Krishna. When we mention the name Krishna, we do not refer to any sectarian name. Krishna means the highest pleasure, and it is confirmed that the Supreme Lord is the reservoir or storehouse of all pleasure. We are all hankering after pleasure. Ananda-mayo 'bhyasat (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12). The living entities, like the Lord, are full of consciousness, and they are after happiness. The Lord is perpetually happy, and if the living entities associate with the Lord, cooperate with Him and take part in His association, then they also become happy.


The Lord descends to this mortal world to show His pastimes in Vrindavanaa, which are full of happiness. When Lord Sri Krishna was in Vrindavanaa, His activities with His cowherd boyfriends, with His damsel friends, with the other inhabitants of Vrindavanaa and with the cows were all full of happiness. The total population of Vrindavanaa knew nothing but Krishna. . . . The abode of Lord Sri Krishna is described in the Bhagavad-gita, Fifteenth Chapter, sixth verse:

na tad bhasayate suryo

na sasanko na pavakah

yad gatva na nivartante

tad dhama paramam mama

"That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world."


This verse gives a description of that eternal sky. Of course we have a material conception of the sky, and we think of it in relationship to the sun, moon, stars and so on, but in this verse the Lord states that in the eternal sky there is no need for the sun nor for the moon nor electricity or fire of any kind because the spiritual sky is already illuminated by the brahmajyoti, the rays emanating from the Supreme Lord. We are trying with difficulty to reach other planets, but it is not difficult to understand the abode of the Supreme Lord. This abode is referred to as Goloka. In the Brahma-samhita (5.37) it is beautifully described: goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutah. The Lord resides eternally in His abode Goloka, yet He can be approached from this world, and to this end the Lord comes to manifest His real form, sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [bs. 5.1]. When He manifests this form, there is no need for our imagining what He looks like. To discourage such imaginative speculation, He descends and exhibits Himself as He is, as Syamasundara. Unfortunately, the less intelligent deride Him because He comes as one of us and plays with us as a human being. But because of this we should not consider the Lord one of us. It is by His omnipotency that He presents Himself in His real form before us and displays His pastimes, which are replicas of those pastimes found in His abode.


At the end of his purport, we see him quoting from Gita Mahatmya. One of the verses is very famous:

sarvopanisado gavo

dogdha gopala-nandanah

partho vatsah su-dhir bhokta

dugdham gitamrtam mahat

This Gitopanisad, Bhagavad-gita, the essence of all the Upanisads, is just like a cow, and Lord Krishna, who is famous as a cowherd boy, is milking this cow. Arjuna is just like a calf, and learned scholars and pure devotees are to drink the nectarean milk of Bhagavad-gita. (Gita-mahatmya 6)

It's telling that Krishna is presented as Gopala-nandana, the darling of the cowherds. It's also worth noting that he ends the introduction with a call for universal chanting of the hare Krishna mahamantra, which he has repeatedly and clearly said is a call from the heart for the service of Srimati Radharani and Krishna, which is available only in Vraja.


Elsewhere in Bhagavad-gita As It Is, we see Srila Prabhupada offering further support for the idea that service to Krishna in Vraja or Goloka is the ultimate goal of Krishna's teachings. In his purport to 6.16, he writes, "The ultimate goal in practicing yoga is now clearly explained. . . . A consummate yogi, who is perfect in understanding Lord Krishna, as is clearly stated herein by the Lord Himself (mat-cittah, mat-parah, mat-sthanam), can attain real peace and can ultimately reach His supreme abode, Krishnaloka, known as Goloka Vrindavanaa." In the purport to 7.29 he points to this ultimate goal indirectly by explaining that "the less intelligent Brahman-realized persons cannot reach the supreme planet of Krishna known as Goloka Vrindavanaa. Only persons who perform activities in Krishna consciousness (mam asritya) are actually entitled to be called Brahman, because they are actually endeavoring to reach the Krishna planet." He highlights this in his purport to the next verse, explaining that by practicing Krishna consciousness one can be "promoted to the planet of the Supreme Lord, Goloka Vrindavana."


In Chapter Eight there are several places where Srila Prabhupada indicates Krishnaloka as the goal of the yoga of devotion. Especially noteworthy are the purports to 8.13 and 8.16. In 8.13, Srila Prabhupada says, "The chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra is clearly recommended for this age. So if one quits his body at the end of life chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, he certainly reaches one of the spiritual planets, according to the mode of his practice. The devotees of Krishna enter the Krishna planet, Goloka Vrindavanaa." In 8.16, he is just as unequivocal: he describes how "devotees in Krishna consciousness achieve the highest perfection of life," which he says is "attain[ing] the supreme planet, Krishnaloka, Goloka Vrindavana."


Careful reading of Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is will reveal many other places where Srila Prabhupada supports a reading of Bhagavad-gita that points to Vraja-bhakti. In fact, although they may support lower aspirations for the benefit of souls as fallen as I, the Gaudiya acharyas such as Srila Prabhupada see nothing but Vraja bhakti in Bhagavad-gita because they cannot help but see everything through the filter of the love the residents of Vraja feel for Krishna.


Danavir Gosvami claims that "the Vraja edition does not accept the Bhagavad-gita as it actually is" but presents some conclusion different from Krishna's. What is Krishna's conclusion? The essential instruction of Bhagavad-gita, which Krishna emphasizes by repeating in the middle and at the end, is man-mana bhava mad-bhakto, mad-yaji mam namaskuru: "Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me." In his purport to verse 18.65, Srila Prabhupada tells us, "The most confidential part of knowledge is that one should become a pure devotee of Krishna and always think of Him and act for Him. . . . These words stress that one should concentrate his mind upon Krishna -- the very form with two hands carrying a flute, the bluish boy with a beautiful face and peacock feathers in His hair. There are descriptions of Krishna found in the Brahma-samhita and other literatures. One should fix his mind on this original form of Godhead, Krishna. One should not even divert his attention to other forms of the Lord."


In his review, Danavir Gosvami makes much of Srila Prabhupada's repeated condemnation of concocted interpretations of Bhagavad-gita. In every case, Srila Prabhupada refers to interpretations of nondevotees, interpretations that divert the reader from surrendering personally to Krishna. There is nothing in Swami B. V. Tripurari's Bhagavad-gita: Its Feeling and Philosophy that comes close to answering that description. There is nothing that contradicts Krishna's ultimate instruction or the explanation offered by Srila Prabhupada above. I believe that if Danavir Maharaja had more carefully read the book he pretends to review, or had read it at all, that would be apparent to him. If he had read it more carefully, he may share the appreciation of the stalwart ISKCON sannyasis who have read this presentation of Bhagavad-gita and expressed their support. These include Jayadvaita Maharaja, Sachinandana Maharaja, Indradyumna Maharaja, Ganapati Maharaja, Gunagrahi Maharaja, Giriraja Maharaja, and Hridyananda Maharaja. Ranchor das has also written to express his appreciation.


Hridayananda Maharaja wrote, for example, "I think you have done an excellent job of explaining VCThakur's commentary on the Gita verse 10.9." Gunagrahi Maharaja said, "I am relishing your Gita very much. I see that you have been utilizing your time extremely well over the years and am eager to reap the nectar you have acquired." Ganapati Maharaja wrote, "I would like to sincerely commend & thank you for your work on Bhagavad-gita. No doubt Srila Prabhupada is smiling upon your endeavor. You have so masterfully highlighted Lord Krishna's 18th chapter finale as the incredible crescendo it really is."


Ranchor das had this to say:

I want to thank you for your edition of the Bhagavad Gita, which has been a

superb guide and companion. . . . I found in every case your translations and commentaries were clear and illuminating, and along the way cleared up many of the points that had long puzzled me in Bhagavad Gita As It Is, in a way that was respectful to our Gurudeva and at the same time added to what he had written.


I acquired my copy from Tamal Krishna Goswami, who lent it me just before

his last trip to India. It now belongs, along with the rest of his library,

to the library at the Oxford Centre for Vaishnava and Hindu Studies.


In future I will always recommend your edition. I think it should become a

standard companion to Srila Prabhupada's. And I hope the reprint comes soon

so I can buy my own.


I hope you write many more such books.


Showing how Tripurari Maharaja's Bhagavad-gita: Its Feeling and Philosophy derives its perspective from our acharyas, including Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is, also, I believe, demonstrates the mistaken nature of any accusations of sahajiya or rasabhasa ideas in Maharaja's presentation of Bhagavad-gita. The charge that it is a mayavadi interpretation seems to absurd even to address.


I find it hard to understand why Danavir Maharaja would so publicly denigrate a book whose only purpose is to glorify devotional service to Krishna. It seems irresponsible for someone his position to go to such lengths to vilify not only Tripurari Maharaja, but also, implication, the acharyas whose lead he followed in offering his understanding of what Krishna said. It would be one thing to write a carefully reasoned critique based on a careful reading, but Danavir Maharaja has given no evidence that he has read the book carefully, if at all. Rather, his purpose appears to be merely to denigrate Tripurari Maharaja's preaching efforts simply because they take a different form from his own. I think this is particularly troubling in light of the more than 30 years of service Tripurari Maharaja has offered to ISKCON. We all know how much Srila Prabhupada appreciated his efforts in increasing book distribution in the 1970s. I have seen that his dedication to spreading Krishna consciousness has not flagged since those days but rather has grown more intense. His efforts have added to the regard society has for Lord Chaitanya's sankirtan movement. His books have been well received by the academic community, and devotees both inside and outside of ISKCON have found inspiration in his preaching, his character, and his dealings with others. And despite his changed circumstances with respect to ISKCON, he has also remained a supporter of Srila Prabhupada's preaching institution. I have heard him advise his followers who are connected with ISKCON centers to maintain their service connection with their temples, and I know that he has maintained friendly, cooperative relationships with many of ISKCON's leaders and with many members such as me.


One concern I have had for many years is an apparent culture of vaishnava-aparadha pervading the Krishna consciousness movement. I waited some time to submit this for publication, fully expecting that ISKCON's leadership would call on Danavir Maharaja to reconsider his remarks. Seeing that this is not likely to happen on its own, I call on the GBC chairman and other leaders in ISKCON to find some way to stop that culture of vaishnava aparadha that has so corroded the heart of our movement.


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So well written,

full of cogent ,pertinent and well studied conclusions.

All glories to your service


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Haribol Prabhuji

Dandavats All Glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga


Just wanted to say thank you for this reply... it helped make everything so clear


yours servant

Mahesvara dasa

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Dear Babhru Prabhu,


Your presentation of the essential issues under consideration in this discussion is clean and clear. Well done.


I always remember B.V.Tripurari Maharaj with respect, for he helped me when I was just beginnning this path 30 years ago. To be frank, I am not comfortable to see him preaching about Madhura-rasa to the general audience of scholars and junior devotees (such as me), and I don't think this method of preaching is pleasing to Srila Sridhar Maharaj (since Guru Maharaj told us not to speak about Madhura-rasa to newcomers); but still B.V.Tripurari Maharaj is a dedicated Vaishnava and he should never be abused.


-- Muralidhar

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Review of the Review of the Review:


Despite a few typos, it is clear that our Babhru has toned down his critique to be an honest effective appraisal of the recent hasty review of the new Gita. While not labouring on the numerous mistakes in the review or the blatant offences, Braveheart has hinted only at the iceberg above the surface, enough it seems to warrant great caution and heightened discretion in accepting the speculations set out in the review.


I am hoping this review of the review will be posted to all places where the original review has soiled the internet and ISKCON's heart.


****- I give it a four and a half stars out of five. [Only Lord Brahma gets five stars]



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Muralidhar, thanks for your comments. I appreciate them. Regarding madhurya-rasa, I remember having some reservations at first, but as I read the entire ms., I found they were gradually dissolved. I'm not sure I can remember just how that happened. It certainly is brought up in Maharaja's commentary, but mostly obliquely, I think.

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