Navadwip, India — Friday, April 15th

A sad day...

Today is the first anniversary of the disappearance of Srila Gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj. (Srila Gurudeva disappeared on March 27th last year, but because we follow the lunar calendar, we commemorate this anniversary today.)

At mid-morning we all gather in the quadrangle in front of Srila Gurudeva's newly constructed samadhi mandir (which stands next to Srila Guru Maharaj's samadhi mandir, the "Temple of Union in Separation") for the official inauguration of His Divine Grace's "Temple of Love and Affection" in the holy place of his pastimes here at the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Navadwip.

It is a sad day here at the Math. Srila Acharya Maharaj was supposed to install Srila Gurudeva's murti (divine form) on the dais in the center of the new samadhi mandir, but with all the trouble that the anti-party has been causing recently, that ceremony has unfortunately had to be postponed...

Who would have thought that so soon after Srila Gurudeva's disappearance, after His Divine Grace explicitly anointed Srila Acharya Maharaj as his successor,

"Sripad Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj... is highly qualified and I have chosen him as next Acharya of this Math. All of you should unitedly proceed under his guidance, serve under him faithfully, and love him..."

these so-called disciples in the anti-party would make such a blatant grab for power? It seems that the disturbance and strife that Srila Gurudeva tried to so hard to prevent,

Because the disappearance of the acharya is always followed by turmoil and strife, Srila Gurudeva tried to minimize that disturbance by choosing a successor that he had the most faith and confidence in — that he had the most loving relationship with — so that our service would continue without interruption...

cannot be avoided. The anti-party is now contesting Srila Acharya Maharaj's position and the legality of Srila Gurudeva's will — asking the court to impose its secular will on Srila Gurudeva's divine will.

What manner of disciples are these, who seemingly have no fear of committing the mortal sin of guru aparadha? They are all senior men; they must know that this is the most grievous offense that a disciple can be guilty of; they must know the horrendous consequences of their actions. Why do they deliberately make their future so dark?

"To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven."

Paradise lost, indeed.

Now every single one of us — all the disciples and followers of Srila Gurudeva — must prepare for our own, individual test of fire:

The time has come to purify us, to test whether we are real students, real disciples, or [Srila Gurudeva's] disciples only in face [on the surface] and confession [verbally]... The fire has come to test whether we can stand. Is our acceptance real? Or is it a sham, an imitation? This fire will prove that.

But this test is a contest that we welcome, right?

yadrcchaya copapannam / svarga-dvaram apavrtam
sukhinah [sisyah mad-bhakto] / labhante yuddham idrsam

Bhagavad Gita (2:32)

[My dear devotee], only the most fortunate [disciples] are blessed with the opportunity of such a battle, which has come to you like an open door to heaven.

Will we pass this crucial examination, or will we too be found wanting? Time will tell...

Tags: Avoid offenses

Navadwip, India — Monday, April 18th

Srila Gurudeva's murti

Srila Gurudeva's murti (divine form) was installed this morning in His Divine Grace's samadhi mandir, the "Temple of Love and Affection." Because of the anti-party's continued shenanigans, Srila Acharya Maharaj — who did so much to get this samadhi mandir ready in time — was unable to officiate so, with his blessing, Sripad Tirtha Maharaj presided over the simple abisheka (consecration) ceremony.

It is a time of considerable turmoil here at the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Sri Navadwip Dham. Srila Acharya Maharaj hints at some of these difficulties in this open letter posted on the Math web site:

In the aftermath of the departure of Srila Gurudeva, we have been visited by much inauspiciousness in the last year. Srila Guru Maharaj has told, "A period of shuddhi (purification) will take place and those that are sincere will be victorious." In this regard, I must express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for your selfless support and well-wishes throughout this most difficult year...

As you can imagine, those of us loyal to Srila Acharya Maharaj (and therefore Srila Gurudeva), are having a rather difficult time here at the Math. Because these offenders to Srila Gurudeva cannot be evicted under Indian law, we are forced to live in the same quarters and attend the same temple functions with these heretics (who have no compunction about tying up Srila Gurudeva's assets and squandering his resources in order to expedite their nefarious attempt to depose His Divine Grace's chosen successor and subvert his divine will)... and they grow bolder and more insufferable with each passing day.

It's almost too much to tolerate, really, but we are told that there is not much else that we can do because the anti-party appears to have the (legal) upper hand at the moment, and since all the overseas devotees are here to support Srila Acharya Maharaj and the anti-party is made up entirely of Indian dissidents, we get no help from the local constabulary, who see this largely as an East vs. West confrontation.

Be that as it may, our gurus and scriptures stress that, if we have the eyes to see, the environment is always friendly, but — just as when being drenched in a torrential downpour one's first thought is unlikely to be, "This rain is good for the crops!" — it is difficult to see the silver lining in the ominous black cloud hovering over the Math...

But now that Srila Gurudeva's murti has been installed — now that we can again see Srila Gurudeva sitting "so serenely with his regal head held high" in the center of his Temple of Love and Affection — even we, the spiritually short-sighted, can see,

Srila Gurudeva is not buried here, in samadhi, but living here in deep meditation, in samadhi. Srila Gurudeva's samadhi mandir is not a shrine or the tomb of a saint; rather, His Divine Grace is dwelling within, engaged in intense bhajan, absorbed in a deep state of profound meditation...

and thus be encouraged to draw strength from Srila Gurudeva through our own intense meditation on his instructions as we earnestly pray that His Divine Grace will not allow us to be misled, so that we may be counted among the "sincere [who] will be victorious."

Tags: Don't Lose Hope!

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Layout by iMonk — April 18th, 2011.