Found in Sanga, Sanga 2000.

Q. Jadurani dd has posted an article on VNN that is very critical of a previous Sanga discussion you gave on Gadadhara Pandita. Could you please respond?

A. In her previous article, aimed at exposing my misconceptions and setting the world straight on the rasa of Srila Prabhupada, Jadurani dd made numerous statements that were incorrect. Furthermore, the entire thrust of her article went against the conviction of the Gaudiya Sarasvata sampradaya (Bhaktivinoda parivara) that one’s svarupa/rasa is dormant within one’s heart, and thus the possibility exists that although ours is primarily a madhurya sampradaya, sometimes members of it will spiritually develop in terms of sakhya-rasa, etc.

She also unknowingly vilified Om Visnupada Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja, whose opinion was represented in the article of mine she took exception to. In my response to her article, I was very generous. The moderator of this Sanga forum also wrote to the leading sannyasa disciple of Narayana Maharaja requesting that if anyone from that group has any questions about my Sanga writings, in order to avoid the possibility of offense, self-embarrassment, and friction between the devotional communities, that a representative of their group contact me personally and discuss any misunderstanding before making uninformed statements in public.

Unfortunately, we received no response other than the latest article of Jadurani (VNN, “Gadadhara Pandita is Radharani”), in which she attempts to take me to task once again, without first apologizing to the Vaisnava public for publishing her original article (VNN, “Is Srila Prabhupada in the Highest Rasa”), which, as I mentioned, was full of apasiddhanta. Unfortunately, her latest article is also full of misconceptions.

Jadurani would do well to read my articles more closely. In the very least she would be saved from wasting valuable time refuting things I never said. In her recent article she spends the better part of her time in refuting the idea that Gadahara Pandita is an incarnation of Rukmini, something I never said or implied. Even a novice in our sampradaya knows that Gadadhara Pandita is Radha. The question is what is Gadadhara’s (Radha’s) position in light of the fact that in his appearance as Gauranga, Krishna has stolen the bhava of Radha.

My response to this question (which Jadurani did not understand) is the opinion of Om Visnupada Bhakti Raksaka Sridharadeva Goswami, my revered siksa-guru. It is due to be published later this year in a book entitled Follow the Angels from Mandala Publishing Group. Here is an excerpt from the unedited manuscript.

“Devotee: Maharaja, in Antya-lila, there is a section where Gadadhara Pandita is compared to Rukmini.

“Sridhara Maharaja: Yes, that is the outer aspect. Outer aspect, his bhava has been taken, emptied. Rukmini means daksina, not vama. Vama type, that is little aggressive in nature, and fights with the lover. And daksina type tolerates everything whatever comes, only with a defensive attitude he stands. That is daksina, that is in Rukmini. So when the spirit of Radharani of that opposing nature was drawn out by Mahaprabhu, then what remains is compared like that of Rukmini, a passive seer, without any power to assert, only onlooker. Onlooker and bearing everything, a very pitiable condition. To awaken kindness and sympathy from everyone.

“What is he and what is she and what is her position now. And how her lover has taken up everything from her, looted everything from her, leaving her as a beggar wandering in the street. So much looted. Radharani when looted to such a degree by Krishna, that becomes Gadadhara, the pitiable figure. The wealth of course cannot go forever. She is the proprietor, owner cannot be far off. After a long time, that must come to her again, one day. And those that are helping her in her day of distress, they will get how much remuneration at that time. When she will get back all property.”

The above opinion is one that is shared by Om Visnupada Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami. In his book, Heart of Krishna that contains a series of articles originally written in Bengali during the manifest presence of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, Puri Goswami Maharaja states, “That which is left over after the bhava and luster of Radha has been plundered by Krishna is Gadadhara Pandita.” When asked by his disciples about those devotees who do not respect the opinion of Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja, Puri Goswami replied, “Sridhara Maharaja and Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupda same, exact same!” (available in Video from Mandala publishing later this year).

Indeed, when we hear the same thing from two senior disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Prabupada we are moved to assume that they heard it from their Guru Maharaja. So let it be very clear just whose opinion Jadurani takes exception to.

Let me cite another excerpt from the forthcoming “Follow the Angels” in light of Jadurani’s objection to my example of amavasya (new moon), in which Gadadhara, who appeared on the amavasya, is compared to the new moon and thus in a bereft condition.

“Gadadhara Pandita, Radharani and Rukmini, they are of the same line, and that was represented by Gadadhara Pandita in Gaura-lila. In Gaura-lila the bhava, the sentiment, the mood, the emotion of Radharani was taken by Mahaprabhu Himself, Krishna Himself. So, Gadadhara Pandita, Radharani, was emptied. His everything is drawn from him, and he holds a shadowlike position in Gaura-lila. And Rukmini’s characteristic was maintained there. Sober, considerate, patient; all these things, all these qualities remained there in him and so sometimes it is told that he is the Rukmini avatar, the avatar of Rukmini. But really, his position was that of Radharani.

“Just like a shadow he cannot leave Sri Gauranga. Wherever Sri Gauranga is going, he is following from a distance. He does not know anything but Gauranga. But still, he is not seen to come forward. Always in the backside. Krishna and Radharani are born in the middle of the new moon and the full moon. But Mahaprabhu took his birth in the full moon. Gadadhara Pandita appeared during the new moon. New moon means no moon. The full moon was taken by Mahaprabhu, and new moon, or no moon was taken by Gadadhara Pandita. Gadadhara is master of everything, but still here he has given everything to his master, and he is empty. He is empty, he is playing in such a way his part, Gadadhara Pandita. His is the highest position of sacrifice.

“Nimai Pandita showed his character as an aggressor, impertinent, and an extraordinary genius. Gadadhara Pandita was just the opposite. He had some natural inclination, submission towards Nimai Pandita. And Nimai Pandita also had some special attraction for Gadadhara Pandita. But Gadadhara Pandita could not face Nimai Pandita directly. Some sort of shyness he felt about Nimai Pandita. So, this is what we know about Gadadhara Pandita. Gadadhara Pandita had very intimate relationship with Mahaprabhu, in which the acaryas, Swarupa Damodara, Rupa, Sanatana, Kaviraja Goswami, Raghunatha Dasa, all of them, could see Radharani and Rukmini both in his personality, and according to that we can try to understand him.”

Other than the fact that Syamarani dd, the disciple of Sripada Narayana Maharaja, who is a disciple of Pujyapada B. P. Kesava Maharaja, who took sannyasa from Srila Sridhara Maharaja, has opposed the opinion of a Vaisnava who is very senior to her siksa guru and is the param sannyasa guru of her siksa guru, there are several other points in her article worthy of consideration.

I will proceed with a brief discussion of them for the sake of exposing their foolishness in the name of rasa-tattva. In doing so it should be clear that in spite of the weight of what I have already written above, I do not rest my case merely on the fact that my siksa guru, Om Visnupda B. R. Sridhara Maharaja, the revered Pujyapada B. P. Puri Goswami, by implication Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, and last but far from least my own eternal preceptor, Om Visnupada Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are all of the same opinion as that which was expressed in my articles on Gadadhara Pandita.

In her article Jadurani informs that Sri Gauranga is the same Vrajendranandana Krishna. Based on this she concludes that he could not possibly have a relationship with anyone if they were in the bhava of Rukmini. If he could, she asserts, he would then be Dvarakadhisa Krishna and not Vrajendranandana Krishna, and everyone knows that he is not Dvarakadhisa Krishna. It should be apparent from this statement that Jadurani does not understand the implication of being Vrajendranandana Krishna (svayam bhagavan).

Her ignorance is underscored by her own words earlier in the same article. Previous to stating that Gaurangadeva could not have a relationship with one in the bhava of Rukmini, she informs us that Rukmini is represented in Gaura-lila as Laksmipriya. Although it is true that Gauranga Mahaprabhu is Vrajendranandana Krishna, within him, as is the case with svayam bhagavan Krishna, all of his expansions are present. Thus as Gaura-Narayana he consorts with Rukmini in her appearance as Laksmipriya devi. Furthermore, just as Vrajendranandana Krishna never leaves Vrindavana, similarly Sacinandana Gaura Krishna never leaves Navadvipa Dhama.

Thus the lila of Mahaprabhu in Puri, which is representative of Dvaraka, is imbued with aisvarya not found in Nadiya. Indeed this aisvarya is said to have weighed heavily on Gadadhara Pandita and influenced his bhava. Kaviraja Goswami says of Gadadhara in Puri Dhama that because he was influenced by aisvarya-jnana of Gauranga, he was, as Srila Prabhupada comments further, always submissive (daksina-nayiki). He could not be angered by Mahaprabhu even when Mahaprabhu tried to anger him and see the mood of Radha (vama-nayiki) in him.

Jadurani has misunderstood the submissive nature of Gadadhara Pandita. She states that his submission was merely that of all Gauranga’s parsada devotees, who in spite of their relationship with him in Krishna-lila as gopis, etc. all served him in dasya-bhakti. However, the submission of Gadadhara mentioned by Kaviraja Goswami is not a reference to this. If it were, why would he contrast it with the dominating temperament of Jagadananda Pandita? Was Jagadananda not a dasya-bhakta of Gauranga? Thus what Kaviraja Goswami is stating is that Gadadhara was submissive to Gauranga just as Rukmini was submissive to Krishna in Dvaraka.

He is pointing out that even as Krishna in the form of Mahaprabhu tried to anger Gadadhara (Radha) he could not draw out this sentiment from him because he maintained a temperament like that of Rukmini’s (daksina-nayiki) due to the fact that Mahaprabhu had already stolen the vama-nayiki aspect of Radha from him. Indeed, Svarupa Damodara Goswami asked Gadadhara why he did not reproach Mahaprabhu and instead tolerated Mahaprabhu’s criticisms of him. To this Gadadhara replied, prabhu svatantra sarvajna-siromani tanra sane ‘hatha’ kari,—bhala nahi mani, “The master is independent. He is the topmost omniscient person. If I speak on an equal level with him, this will not be good for me.”

Jadurani makes much of the fact that Kaviraja Goswami is only making a comparison between Rukmini and Gadadhara. He is not saying that Gadadhara is Rukmini. As I stated earlier, neither have I said he is an incarnation of Rukmini. However, the weight of Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami’s comparison has gone completely over the head of Jadurani devi. Kaviraja Goswami says that Gadadhara’s bhava is just like that of Rukmini (daksina-nayiki). This is my point. Again his submissive mood in relation to Mahaprabhu cannot be dismissed as a reference to the general mood of dasya-bhakti to Mahaprabhu exhibited by all of his associates. The comparison is made for the purpose of revealing the temperament of Gadadhara. He is Radha with her bhava stolen by Krishna. What is left over is the bhava of a submissive lover that is the opposite of Radha’s dominating love (vama-nayiki). Gadadhara is Radha under the surface of this submissive mood, and he is in search of the bhava that Mahaprabhu has stolen.

Jadurani has misunderstood the poetic emptiness of Gadadhara. His is an emptiness in spiritual desperation and necessity. She has little feeling for all of this to have tried to refute this beautiful idea by comparing it with mayavada philosophy! Do we have another Ramacandra Puri in our midst? The emptiness and desperation of Gadadhara is one of spiritual necessity, a longing that we are to learn from. He has not become zero. His desperation far exceeds in fullness the zero of Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta. We should hope to be so empty and in such need. Indeed, the measure of spiritual completeness is determined by the degree of one’s spiritual necessity.

It is true that Krishna has not stolen all of the bhava of Radha, but what he has stolen Gadadhara longs to have returned. Jadurani has reasoned that when one takes another’s mood that person does not lose his mood. This is good logic. However, in spiritual matters such as the one under discussion the mood of Radha in Gadadhara Pandita is not really lost. It has gone underground for the sake of lila.

Kaviraja Goswami stresses that Gauranga is Radha-Krishna milita tanu, Radha-Krishna combined. At the same time Kavikarnapura has stated that Gadadhara is Radha. His emphasis is slightly different. He presents Caitanyadeva as Krishna with the bhava of Radha. In light of such subtle differences, Gadadhara may be conceived of differently by great devotees. There is room for such difference. The idea of Narayana Maharaja that Gadadhara is the guru of Gaura teaching him how to conduct himself in Radha bhava is interesting. Jadurani has referred us to Caitanya Bhagavata for scriptural support of this idea. However, in my edition of Caitanya Bhagavata the particular section that she cites does not speak of Gadadhara in this way.

Although Gadadhara does tell Mahaprabhu in Gauranga’s madness of necessity for Krishna that there is no need to worry because Krishna is in his heart, etc., this is not analogous to teaching Mahaprabhu about mahabhava. Jadurani has also cited the Gadadharastakam of Sri Svarupa Damodara without stating the actual verse. I am not familiar with this astaka, nor have I ever seen it quoted by anyone. However, in deference to the learned B. V. Narayana Maharaja I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to Jadurani that devotees may indeed conceive of Gadadhara in this way. He recited the Bhagavata to Mahaprabhu in Puri Dhama. For that matter even if the bhava of Radha is figuratively stolen from him, he can certainly teach it because he knows well what it is. There may be other conceptions of Gadadhara as well. Let the varied spiritual sentiments for Gaura and Gadadhara flourish throughout the world.

This brings me to yet another point that I will conclude with. The recent articles of Jadurani dd in which she attempts to correct me for the benefit of all, other than being incorrect in many respects, are full with a bhava of their own. The corresponding complexion is bright green.

The sect she is affiliated with likes to speak of Vraja-bhakti but as their leading Western spokeswoman she does not know what Vraja means, the land of harmony. She has no capacity to harmonize subtle differences. This we saw in our siksa Gurudeva, Srila Sridhara Maharaja, that great harmonizer, the personification of Vraja itself.

Many followers of Narayana Maharaja have vociferously defended their Gurudeva in light of criticisms of him. I have never been a party to these criticisms. In the guise of protecting others from apasiddhanta, I am being attacked because I say things about Krishna, etc., differently than Narayana Maharaja does. Let it be clear what is going on here.

The likes of Syamarani dd will not rest until everyone realizes that no man or woman goes to Krishna but by Narayana Maharaja. Her guru is the jagad guru. While she preaches about manjari-bhava, she maintains the lowest conception of sri guru, amar guru jagad guru: “My guru is the best guru, the guru of the universe.” The implication of this mentality is that no other guru is worthy of respect. Although there is lip service to respecting other gurus from persons like Jadurani dd, in practical life we do not find it. Only her guru can give raganuga-bhakti. This is an insult to the entire Gaudiya community.

The closest followers of every other sect in our Gaudiya Sarasvata sampradaya that are preaching internationally, all of whom I am acquainted with, feel that many of the followers of Narayana Maharaja are full of pride. Jadurani is hardly the exception. If she does not believe this, she is deluding herself. If leading persons from these sects deny that they feel so, they are merely being polite.

What is the question of attaining the manjari-bhava Jadurani likes to speak so much about while neglecting Mahaprabhu’s mandate of humility like a blade of grass? We all expected more from her when she came out of Iskcon, much more, and we are disappointed. We are happy for the success of Narayana Maharaja’s group for Mahaprabhu. We wish them well. My dear Godbrother, Sripad B.G. Narasingha Maharaja, and I personally welcomed Sripad B. V. Narayana Maharaja on his first world tour with open arms. Why do his leading followers now insult persons like us, and, implicit in their fanatical preaching, gurus like Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja, Puri Goswami, B. V. Tirtha Maharaja, etc.? We are not your students, and we are not ignorant of the topics you choose to discuss openly.

Jadurani criticized me for leaving Iskcon 15 years ago. She criticized Sridhara Maharaja then, and she continues to criticize me now, and Sridhara Maharaja as well. Anyone who harbors the slightest disrespect for Om Visnupada Sridhara Deva Goswami Maharaja will never attain prema-bhakti.

Some kind persons like to hear from me, and they feel nourished in their bhakti by doing so. I cannot apologize for having knowledge and devotion to my gurus. Whatever I do have in this regard is their grace. If this does not work with Jadurani’s paradigm in which only her guru can draw out the secrets from the sastra, and thus all must hear from him or be considered deluded, then I am sorry—for her.

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