|Srila B.K. Santa Maharaj
Srila Bhakti Prapan Damodara
Srila B.S. Akinchan Maharaj
Sripad Dol Gobinda Shastri
Sripad Bhakti Nandan Swami Maharaj
|Sripad B.Svarup Damodar Swami
Sripad Jaypataka Swami
Swami B.V. Tripurari Maharaj
Sripad Atulananda d.A
Sriman Tarun Krsna das
Invoking the blessings of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura "What was sanctioned by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by his descent, was intimately known only to Sri Svarupa Damodara Goswami. Sanatana Goswami, the elder brother of Sri Rupa Goswami, was attentive to that divine truth, and Sri Rupa Goswami himself served that very thing with his own hands to the devotees. Raghunath das Goswami tasted that sweetness and also added something of its own to its flavor. ( He was assisted in doing so by Raghunath Bhatta Goswami and Gopal Bhatta Goswami.) What was distributed by Rupa and tasted by Raghunatha was protected by Sri Jiva Goswami, who lent support to its divinity with srciptural evidence. That taste of the divine truth is aspired after by Sri Sukadeva Goswami, Lord Siva, and Lord Brahma who regard it with the highest respect from a distance. What is that inconceivable ambrosia? The sublime nectar of the mellows relished in the service of Srimati Radharani's holy lotus feet. O Bhaktivinode Thakura, within this world, you fully possess the ability to give us that extraordinary nectar.
Srila B.R. Sridhar Maharaj, disciple of Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakur.
It was decided that all those wishing to be considered Founding members of the WVA can do so, provided that they are Sannyasis or Acaryas and that they communicate with the WVA office in Vrindavan before the 3rd meeting of the WVA which will be held on the Rama Ekadasi Okt.20, 1995 in Sri Vrindavan Dhama in the Govindaji Mandir of Srila Rupa Goswami at three PM.
We like to invite all the members of the WVA and specially the senior preachers to submit their articles to our office for including them in one of our future Journals. All Vaisnava missions are also invited to send lists of their temples and publications to be published. It is welcomed if local translations of the journal can be done. Volunteers to assist in such a task can communicate with the WVA office in Vrindavan. All members of the WVA are requested to invite other Vaisnavas to join the WVA and to subscribe to the magazine. For subscriptions and for membership you can request forms from our India office . In the beginning we are only able to prepare an English edition, but very soon that shall change, so we can serve all the non- English speaking Vaisnavas.
Srila B.P.Puri Maharaj gave the following guideline for all our published articles:" We must check two things in our publications. How often has he mentioned the name of his Guru and Krishna and that there is no offense to Guru, Sadhu or Sastras."
It was wonderful to see members of 17 different Vaisnava institutions uniting to start the WVA as a joint effort. This actually opens the door to jointly glorify the holy dignity of the effort of our spiritual masters to take the Holy Name to the entire world.
We look forward to serve all of you with happiness and always pray for the Vaisnavas blessings.
We have received several letters and suggestions from different members. For the sake of space we reserve the right to present excerpts of the articles submitted.
Parama Pujyapad Srimat B. P. Puri Maharaj is going there. He is a great vaisnava. Every thing may possible with his kind blessing.
You have come from foreign county attracted by the view if Sriman Mahaprabhu. My opinion is this - it may never become a material thing but heartedly. If you can follow the guideline of Sriman Mahaprabhu with your heart & soul then you can obviously achieve His close contact & connection otherwise not. I pray to the Holy lotus feet of God that all your purpose and activities may become successful. With blessing to you & all.
Srila B.K. Santa Maharaj disciple of Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakur
The main advise of Srila Sarasvati Thakur of Mahaprabhu - we are not an enjoyer of Krishna's thing we are visible of Krishna. We are fit to be enjoyed by Sri Krishna. Canvass or propaganda and the mission or preaching with kind heart are quite different in nature. Worshipable Srila Puri Maharaja is the great and the proper person to this preaching. His exemplary whole life is great and pure. He is now eldest amongst us. His India centre formal mission broadcasting throughout the world by his able disciples all under the guidance and teachings of the famous Gaudiya Sampraday by the influence mainly Srila Saraswati Thakura and the real follower, Srimat Puri Maharaja.
Back to God and back to Home is the message of Sri Gaudiya Math. To arrest the pervertedly current tide of the averse world is the seemingly unpleasant duty of Gaudiya vaishnava. I remain yours faithfully, Bhakti Prapan Damodara
Srila Bhakti Prapan Damodara, disciple of Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakur.
I am glad to know that you are going to organize the World Vaisnava Association which will help us to create a common ground on which all our followers in the line of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu can meet to increase understanding and harmony. I had a great desire to participate in the Foundation meeting of the WVA. It is sure that you will get fruitful results by the Sweet grace of the Almighty. I wish every success of this association I am yours in the service of the Supreme Lord.
Srila B.S. Akinchan Maharaj, disciple of Pujyapada B.S. Goswami Maharaj
President Acarya of the Gaudiya Sangha
I have gone through your proposals regarding the WVA. It is simply wonderful, excellent and rejoicing. Perhaps this is the divine will of the Great Acaryas like Srila Sarasvati Thakur, Srila Sridhar Goswami Maharaj and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja.
Sripad Dol Gobinda Shastri, disciple of Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakur.
- World Vaisnava Association is the subjective appearance of the objective called 'Divine Love' under two aspects: love dominated and love dominating, the all-charming and all accommodating ultimate Reality, the goal of all living entities, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna.
- WVA is to clarify that the worlds around and beyond are for the happy demonstrations of 'Divine Love' only and for no other purpose divinity the Love manifests Himself through His different potencies under different relationships which are very charming to think in walks of life. Thinking and chanting of Radha-Krsna lila is called sanatana-dharma.
- Sudharma-sabha of gods in heaven transformed into Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha afterwards it was conducted by Srila Jiva Gosvami imparting his able guidance stimulating happy preaching of the benevolent message of Lord Gauranga for the moral and spiritual uplifment of the world.
- Next it was revived by Thakur Bhaktivinod in 1300 (Bengali calendar) in the name of Nawadvip Dham Pracharini Sabha to serve the same purpose of preaching at large.
- Next its works was taken up by His Divine Grace Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur to its higher esteem under the auspices of his exalted personality as founder president of Sri Chaitanya Math, it's branche Gaudiya Maths and Gaudiya Mission all over the world.
- The encyclopedia tells that all the above mentioned acaryas were very much impartial to their decisions on scriptures. They very humbly avoided the mahanta system or guruism which is a curse to the society as well to the spiritual development of human beings by giving differentiating a bona fide guru from a pseudo-guru.
Note: The hearty appreciation of the bona fide vaisnava characters would only take us to Vaikuntha realm or Goloka Vrndavan immediately.
From Sripad Mangal Maharaj, disciple of Pujyapada Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaj Calcutta.
The WVAs activities are not only meant for the vaisnava circle but also for all of mankind to help them attain, under the guidance of higher Vaisnavas, the ultimate goal of life, the supreme truth. Therefore in accordance of time, place and circumstance WVA should also give importance to some necessary social welfare work (of course it should be performed according to Vaisnava principles) such as Maha Prasadam distribution, charitable dispenary, schools etc.
WVA should not involve itself in any kind of individual or collective missionary conflicts between its members. Unity in diversity or Diversity in Unity" will always remain as one of the fundamental guiding principles which cannot be replaced by any other principle in any way.
Sripad Bhakti Nandan Swami Maharaj, disciple of Pujyapada B. R. Sridhar Maharaj and founder of Isa Caitanya Mangalam, Eugene, California
I like the overall vision of the WVA. Under your ( Srila B.P. Puri Maharaj) it will florish very nicely and the world vaisnava commmunity will be greatly benefited.
I have read all the 108 proposals contained in the Newsletter WVA. They are very well thought out and I accept all of them.
I am looking forward to having your darsan during the coming Gaura Purnima festival. your servant Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami.
Sripad B.Svarup Damodar Swami, disciple of Pujyapada A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Iskcon and Chairman of the Bhaktivedanta Institute
The Bhaktivedanta Charity trust is very interested in the unity of the Vaisnavas. Kindly sent a copy of your memorandum of by- laws for persusal.
Sripad Jaypataka Swami, disciple of Pujyapada Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Iskcon.
It should be mentioned that we are in no illusion as to the potencial impediments that may surface to thwart this noble attempt. Perhaps foremost among them is the potencial for miscommunication between Vaisnavas hailing from different cultures. But at present we are left with little communication at all, which has resulted in considerable misunderstanding already. To not attempt this would no doubt be to succumb to Kali himself. Nothing risked nothing gained. In fact the greater the risk the greater the potencial for gain. let us all put down our initial reservations enough to, in the very least, put in our two cents as to what a World Vaisnava Association should consist of.
Swami B.V. Tripurari Maharaj, disciple of Pujyapada A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Acarya of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Society.
The dignity of our line
Dear Vaisnavas, all the members of the WVA.
Please accept my humble dandavat Pranams at your feet.
I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you.
When I was initiated in 1972 by my spiritual master Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada I had the distinct feeling that I was being introduced into the fold of the oldest theistic tradition of the world. Thus I felt the happiness of belonging to a family saints. At that time I did not know any of them except my own Guru Maharaj. I always felt strange in later years when I noticed that even amongst new aspiring Vaisnavas several sectarian contamination's led them to not appreciate each other's preaching efforts. I also learned that neophyte devotees are still prone to be influenced by envy and greed, even to the point of causing harm to their own missions. Once my Guru Maharaj said:" Nobody can stop our work from the outside, but if we are not careful our own man can destroy it from the inside."
Finally I thought about the dignity of my Guru Maharaj and of the whole Parampara. Of course that dignity stands on it's own tradition. That divine family tree of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu holds within its beautiful expansions so many bigger and smaller branches of Vaisnava families. Still the so much divided picture of the Gaudiya Math and of Iskcon create the doubt within many minds, how so much apparent sectarianism can exist within the precepts of the most loving message? After reading the sloka : Yei Krishna tattva vettha sei Guru haya; I could understand that any limitation imposed on the preaching of other Vaisnavas in the form of not accepting them happily, was rather a severe mistake on their side, depriving them and their followers of the most nectarean understanding and association.
Thus the foundation of the WVA on the 18th of Nov. 1994 under the holy guidance of Srila B.P. Puri Maharaj is actually a great relief and remedy so much needed. I feel that Srila Jiva Goswami is sending his blessings to all of us, and that Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and all other Acaryas of the past are present here through such a humble and learned saint as is Srila B.P.Puri Maharaj.
It is truly a happy step and I am sure it will give great help to uncountable Vaisnavas of the present day as well as in the future. It is the spirit of the Bhakti school where Srila Jiva Goswami would teach his students, which were sent there by their respective Gurus. The spirit of Vrindavan, is present where so many spiritual masters lovingly join together to uphold the glory of the Supreme Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Simply appreciating each others missions is already an accomplishment, which comes about almost automatically by joining the World Vaisnava Association, such as the Vision of the Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha follows the strict line of the Rupanugas, but has the most merciful approach of recruiting the souls from all over the world. from all the castes and races to give them the highest treasure brought to earth by the Harmonist who appeared in the holy land of Sri Mayapur.
There is no space for sectarianism in His loving embrace. When I saw the presence of the divine masters in their murtiform in the WVA foundation meeting and heard the sweet Kirtan chanted by the assembled Vaisnavas, I felt grateful to my Guru maharaj that he had brought me to such a nice family. I could feel his presence and I wished all the Vaisnava world could be present there. Regardless of all the differences and the mistakes we or others committed in the past, it was obvious that there is so much which unites us and so little which divides us.
The common ground of communication provided by the WVA Journal may actually lead us into a new Vaisnava world of cooperation. I wholeheartedly join the WVA and pray to all Vaisnavas:" Please let us join together in this unique opportunity. Let us cast all doubts and resentments aside and try to fulfill the wish of our superiors. The dignity of Vaisnava siddhanta will be made very popular as the world can notice how such a unique spiritual tradition can actually accommodate true UNITY IN DIVERSITY. Traditional strict adherence to the principles of the past, accompanied by the free flow of love and trust as the different missions join this association share with each other the purity and grace as it has descended to any one or all.
Sripad Atulananda d.A. disciple of Pujyapada A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami P. He is Acarya of the ISEV
Dear Devotees of the Lord,
please accept my koti dandavats Pranams at your feet.
All Glories to all of our divine Masters, the holy Name and the holy Dhama.
After going through the invitation to found a World Vaisnava Association I felt impelled to contribute some thoughts to this attempt .
Meditating on the different angles and difficulties such an attempt has to encounter I would like to share the following considerations with all of you.
As followers of the Sanatan Dharma principle we have a long standing rift with those who deny the personality of Godhead a transcendental eternal form for the sake to increase the chance for religious unity. People , like Kabir, Ram Mohan Roy, the Arya Samaj, the Theosophists and many others have tried to show the superiority of their opinion, by posing the argument that a certain deity would only limit the absolute to a little group with the particular faith in that deity. Little did they realize that this approach in itself is imposing limitations on the unlimited Lord.
But even with such impersonalists we share quiet a lot of common ground, and Krishna calls them impersonal transcendentalists.
Still , if uniting would mean that we should shun the Lord of our heart, then it is unity for a bad thing, like a gang of dacoits who unite to deprive us of our most precious jewel. Unity shall only be for a good purpose, therefore we have to clearly outline what are the basic principles which can form a common ground for Vaisnava unity.
That leaves us with those who accept the principles of pure theism in the Vedic tradition.
And even amongst those the further we limit that what we share in common, by demanding exclusive acceptance to the holy persons or particular styles of worship which are prominent in our own particular transcendental tradition, the more limited will the attempt become to have a World Vaisnava Association. Therefore we cannot accept that all should be members who consider themselves Vaisnavas, because so many distorted versions of religious traditions exist, that it would be even hazardous to the very Vaisnava dignity if certain apasiddhantas would get equal recognition and exposition facilities as the Sudhabhaktas and the great Acaryas. An extreme example of that was the World congress of Religion held in 1993 in Chicago, where a certain Christian group objected to join a function where declared devil worshippers would participate. It was a Mayavadi spokesman who told them that it did not matter since we are all worshipping the one, same absolute.
The word Vaisnava comes from the word Visnu. A devotee of Visnu. That leaves us with a vast tradition. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati glorified the position of the four great Acaryas of the south of India as well as the other Alwars. But as we know not all of their traditions exist in solid standing today and only a few individuals of these schools understand the full importance of the Yuga Avatar Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on the other hand is the very reason for our existence, the existence of aspiring Vaisnavas all around the globe. Thus we are meeting further limitation, which we would like not to exist, but they are realities which only a major powerful mercy act from the supreme could change. May be such a world Vaisnava Association can become instrumental to bring about such a unified realization amongst the Sampradayas, that, as Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur has envisioned it that the Sampradayas would unify under the Gaudiya Sampradaya.
But let alone the problems with the other Sampradayas, even within the tradition coming after Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur so many groups have come into existence and frequently we find the validity of the one questioned by the other. After Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu so many material interests sneaked into the descendants of the great personalities creating Caste Goswamis, Family traditions, Prakrita Sahajiya etc. Generally those problems have some common defect. For the sake of maintaining themselves in "power", certain persons claim that they are the only authorized agents to transmit the initiation mantra of the Vaisnava School. Even though such a claim has been refuted again and again in our scriptures and our tradition, some recent examples have shown that such a tendency is always there in the conditioned souls.
Only a very strong recognition of the universal Acarya principle can give a strong common ground to talk happily to each other. The Acarya is Gods own man. Only He can choose him or remove him. Only He can give faith in him and only He is really represented by him.
I would suggest that the World Vaisnava Association should be started by the faithful followers of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. They have so much in common and have actually contributed that Gaudiya Vaisnava Consciousness is becoming stronger every day. They should expand the idea of World Vaisnava unity by setting the best example and shastric foundation and then they should try to expand that concept to try to help other Vaisnava groups. They also will have to pass the test of their own unmotivated nature to work for a goal whose benefits will not be enjoyed by their mission alone. It is clear our Lords and masters have had such a vision all along. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj used to say:" The world is first and your temple is second." The league of devotees he founded, the Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha, how many other proofs do we need?
But we have to be very eager to look upon all those common things which will unite us and let us keep those aspects which may divide us far in the back, so that they will not interfere in our new Sadhu Sanga. Simultaneously though we may discover that what we thought is dividing us is nothing but the same all affectionate lord having taken different forms to capture us all.
Every persons Guru is Jagad Guru for him , but not one single Guru is of that nature that he will make the others obsolete. Every deity is the supreme Lord at the same time, and every commentary printed by a Vaisnava for the pleasure of his Guru is holy scripture which should not be offended (Sastra Ninda).
That leaves us with the siddhanta, this ever reappearing word in Vaisnava conversations. Facing the different mixed conditions of Bhakti with Jnana and Karma as well as the different modes produced by the influence of the three modes of material nature with devotional service explained in the third canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, it is not surprising that so many confusions exist.
But that should not make us hopeless, since the supreme lord himself promises to guide and protect His devotees. But to come together in the humble Vaisnava mood, will not only be helpful but will serve the desire of our guardians , who are quiet capable even of granting us entrance to the eternal service world.
By posing ourselves at the feet of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, with the lotus feet of our respective Gurus kept on our head, we will actually have a common ground, no living Vaisnava in our family could hesitate to join, or could feel imposed upon. From such a wonderful situation, I am sure many benedictions will descend to take us further and deeper into the wonderful service world of the true Vaisnava aspiration.
Your fallen servant crying for the mercy of all Vaisnavas.
Sriman Tarun Krsna das, disciple of Pujyapada A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad
Excerpts from the talks given at the WVA meeting in Mayapur 1995 will appear in the next issue of the WVA newsletter.
World Vaisnava Association