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Initiating and Self-Declared Gurus:
Open Address to Members of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata-Worldwide, 7 June 2020, part 2


So many problem appear in the material world, but we have got this human body, we have got a bona fide guru, we have got his association and some good lessons from him, we have got some good teachings from him. If somebody can get to a real place, why cannot we do that? Why cannot we achieve our goal too? If we practise properly, if we follow our Gurudev's instruction, and if we eliminate what is not good for our preaching, what is not good for our practising life, then we must be successful.

I have already said it to everybody before, and I always say that if somebody wants to join Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, if somebody wants to stay in Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, they should have service mood. "I want to join Chaitanya Saraswat Math to be a manager"—not like this. There was one brahmachari, a disciple of Sripad Shanta Maharaj (Gaudiya Math), who came to Chaitanya Saraswat Math in Gurudev's time. I kept him in Dum Dum Park as the pujari, but after that he left. A few days ago he called me and said, "Maharaj can you give me sannyas? I can take sannyas and you can make me a manager at one of the temples." I told him straight, "This temple is not for becoming a manager. If you want to join Chaitanya Saraswat Math, you should be a servant of devotees. There are so many societies in this world—if you want to be a manager or you want to be a guru, it is not a problem, you can go to any other society and be a manager or a guru there. If you want to be a servant, then you can come to this society." This is my point.

There are so many things that I should clarify.

Gurudev (Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj) has made an Acharya Board and he told clearly who can be a guru, etc. when he declared the names of the Acharya Board. You all know who are the Acharya Board [Srila Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Kusum Ashram Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Vijay Trivikram Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Bimal Avadhut Maharaj]. These are the persons who can initiate devotees, who can be gurus. Gurudev said it many times.

Now, somebody asks about Paramahamsa Maharaj's name. They ask if he can give initiation. Gurudev told me directly in front of Paramahamsa Maharaj, "He [Paramahamsa Maharaj] came to me and asked me to forgive his offence, then I told him that I accepted him," and Gurudev told Paramahamsa Maharaj, "You can be a guru and initiate people in some place, but not in Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. You can come to Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, and your disciples can come, but as guests, not as members of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math." Gurudev also told the same about Sripad Tirtha Maharaj—he said that he could initiate people in some place.

After Gurudev left, there are now so many gurus who are using Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math's name. It is my humble request to all of our devotees to listen to what I am saying. I am telling you what is Gurudev's opinion.

Everybody has their own feelings and their own open mind—somebody may not want to serve under the guidance of the main Acharya of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. If that is the case, it is not a problem—they can leave Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math and be a guru outside Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. They can make their own mission. What is the problem? I have no objection. I will never make any problem for them. This is Gurudev's opinion, and my opinion also. This should also be the opinion of all members of the Acharya Board—Srila Ashram Maharaj, Srila Janardan Maharaj, Srila Trivikram Maharaj, Srila Avadhut Maharaj. Srila Goswami Maharaj resigned from the Acharya Board. They can become gurus, but outside Chaitanya Saraswat Math. Such disciples will not be accepted as disciples of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math. That is the main thing that I wanted to tell you. This was the main opinion of Gurudev.

The main point is that you can make your own mission, but why are you staying in Chaitanya Saraswat Math and making politics inside Chaitanya Saraswat Math? Why do you declare yourself that you will be an acharya, that you are now a guru? In our Chaitanya Saraswat Math, only an acharya can declare his successor—only an acharya can make anyone a guru. That is Chaitanya Saraswat Math's rule and regulation. If you read Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Deed of Settlement, you can understand it easily.

At first, when Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj made Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, the land of the main temple was in his own name. That was 1941, the start. Twenty-three years later, in 1964, he made the Deed of Settlement where he officially named the temple Chaitanya Saraswat Math. Chaitanya Saraswat Math is born unofficially in 1941, and officially in 1964. This Deed of Settlement clearly states the rules and regulations, who will be the main acharya, what are his qualities, etc. If somebody says, "I want to be a guru, I want to give initiation," and starts giving initiation, this is not how it is done. If you want to be a guru, it is not a problem—you can be a guru outside Chaitanya Saraswat Math, you can be a guru outside this mission. Gurudev told the names of the acharyas of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, they are the selected acharyas of the mission, other than them, everyone else is self-declared gurus. They declare themselves acharyas, but this is not the standard of Chaitanya Saraswat Math. There is a standard of Chaitanya Saraswat Math, and devotees should clearly understand it.

I have been quiet for so many years, and I am thinking now that it is not good to be quiet because there are some things that I have to say.

Gurudev also told that when Srila Sridhar Maharaj declared him the acharya in 1985, so many people were against Gurudev. Gurudev has stated clearly (it is there in his lecture, you can read it) that those who have taken sannyas from another temple, from another mission, they will not be accepted as Srila Sridhar Maharaj's line—they have already left Chaitanya Saraswat Math. If somebody has already left Chaitanya Saraswat Math, has taken sannyas from another guru (for example, from Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math, Pujyapad Puri Maharaj), their disciples will not be accepted as our disciples—they are not our Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math sampradaya. It is necessary to clarify this to others. We have to say something otherwise I am asked all these questions and if I keep quiet, then everybody will think that I support it. That is why I am clarifying these things now.

If somebody wants to be a guru, it is very nice, they can make their own mission, they can make their own thing, it is not a problem. If they want to preach about Gurudev, Guru Maharaj, I do not have any objection—I will never question them, "Why are you preaching about Gurudev and Guru Maharaj?!"

These are the main things I wanted to tell everybody. In our sampradaya, if you come to join the mission (I have heard some devotees want to join this mission), you should have humility, tolerance, and you should give honour to others, give affection to others, you must show first to us that you are really following our line. If you first join and then want to be a manager, a temple president or you want to be a guru, then no, Chaitanya Saraswat Math is not for this. If you have service mood, if you can do service, then you can join this mission.



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