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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2003

Internet Forum
Who will answer?

At the morning darshan, one of the devotees tells Srila Gurudeva about the internet forum that he and another devotee have created. He explains how the forum works, how it's an opportunity for devotees to virtually associate with each other, converse, ask questions, etc.

Srila Govinda Maharaj: Who will answer the questions? That is necessary to know.

Devotee: Anybody in the forum may answer...

Srila Govinda Maharaj: That is not good. If someone like Goswami Maharaj answers such questions, then that is okay. But if anyone and everyone gives answer, that is not good.

Devotee: The forum is good because devotees from all over the world can get a chance to associate with each other on the internet.

Srila Govinda Maharaj: That is good, but questions should be answered by authorized persons like Goswami Maharaj, or Janardan Maharaj, not anybody and everybody.

Devotee: Many devotees have been helped by this forum. The forum is moderated, so a particular standard and behavior is maintained.

Me: Moderated or not, Srila Gurudeva is saying that this democratic system of answering questions and giving advice is not a good thing. When somebody asks a question, the answer should come from someone who is competent and authorized to answer such questions. If I ask a serious question and Bhakta Joe or Bhakta Blow answers, why should I put any faith in their answer? Until I know who they are, who their gurus are, and what their particular conception of Krishna consciousness is, their answer has no value, and may, in fact, even be harmful.

Devotee: But Maharaj, before I began, I asked you if it was alright to create this forum for devotees to associate on the internet, and you said yes.

Srila Govinda Maharaj: My English is not so good. Now that I am seeing the result, I think it is not a good thing.
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