The Real Narayana Maharaja
Sep 05, 2008 UK (SUN) To many people both inside and outside the Movement, ISKCON's current Guru system is a complete farce. Perhaps
predictably, all the scandal, falldowns and endless self-contradiction amongst Srila Prabhupada's wannabe successors (the 80 competing ISKCON
'Gurus') has opened the way for yet another personality, this time from outside ISKCON, with designs on Srila Prabhupada's legacy.
The GBC have preached for many years that everyone must have a "living, physically present Guru" (or anyone but Srila Prabhupada), and now they
are reaping their reward. His Holiness Narayana Maharaja a disciple of Srila Prabhupada's Godbrother, His Holiness Kesava Maharaja has had
considerable success in attracting both ex and current members of ISKCON to his camp, by promoting his qualification as a "living, physically
present Guru", who is bona fide and won't fall down, unlike the ISKCON Gurus.
Narayana Maharaja likes to portray himself as a mere humble servant of Srila Prabhupada, who simply wants to bring everyone to Srila Prabhupada
through a deeper appreciation of his mission and teachings:
"You should know who your Prabhupada is. You should know. Then you can glorify him, otherwise you cannot."
(Narayana Maharaja, Los Angeles, May 31st, 2000)
In this article we shall use Narayana Maharaja's own words to see if he is bringing us closer to Srila Prabhupada.
Narayana Maharaja Claims To Be Srila Prabhupada's Successor
Narayana Maharaja makes it clear that he is here not to bring people TO Srila Prabhupada, but to actually REPLACE Srila Prabhupada as his
"I am the real successor of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, and there is no other."
(Narayana Maharaja, Murwillumbah, Australia, February 18th, 2002)
Above, Narayana Maharaja boldly stakes out his pitch in direct competition with all the ISKCON Gurus who also want to succeed and replace, not complement, supplement or assist Srila Prabhupada.
Narayana Maharaja Competes Directly With Srila Prabhupada. In pursuance of the above stated aim to replace Srila Prabhupada, Narayana Maharaja has urged his followers to distribute HIS books in preference to those of Srila Prabhupada:
"Now Srila Gurudeva (Narayana Maharaja) has requested that we start what he calls 'a second revolution' in preaching and book distribution. He
wants his books distributed in the same volume, 'not less than Swamiji (Srila Prabhupada).'"
(Gaudiya Courier, Issue 15, July 1st, 2004)
Clearly the above goal of trying to match Srila Prabhupada can only be achieved if Narayana Maharaja's books alone are being distributed by his
followers, and that is generally what is happening. Narayana Maharaja Claims Srila Prabhupada Only Gave The "Basement" To create the demand for his services, Narayana Maharaja claims that there is much spiritual knowledge that Srila Prabhupada failed to give, so that he can claim he has come to fill this gap:
"So Swamiji has at first cleared the atmosphere. Prepared the ground...by preaching name and the sandesh of Gita... he prepared. So very important work ... so he has done this task and it was so necessary for that world...for all world...he has done but he has not done everything by doing that. It was only basement. But...we are deprived of that... he could not complete his work."
(Lecture given by Narayana Maharaja on September 19th, 1994)
Narayana Maharaja Claims Srila Prabhupada Gave Everything
>That the above statement is not actually true, can again be proven by
>the words of Narayana Maharaja himself, who said the following 17
>earlier to Srila Prabhupada himself:
>"All of your duties are completed. You have fulfilled everything in
>lifetime. There is no need to worry for anything.[ï¿½] Yes, you have
>done everything. Nothing is left unfinished."
>(Translation of Bengali conversation between Narayana Maharaja and
>Prabhupada from October 1977, provided by Narayana Maharaja's own
>That Narayana Maharaja would go onto say the complete opposite of
>he himself claimed 17 years earlier, demonstrates opportunism of the
>Narayana Maharaja Claims Srila Prabhupada Is Not the Founder-Acarya
>This opportunism is further displayed in Narayana Maharaja's stating
>that Srila Prabhupada was not the Founder-Acarya of ISKCON. It is
>a redundant point that Lord Krishna (Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu) is the
>origin of all Krishna consciousness, so one wonders why Narayana
>Maharaja feels it so important to belittle Srila Prabhupada's
>and promote his own position by stating such an obvious point:
>"Also you should know that Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the founder of
>Swamiji, AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja is one of the prominent
>in this line only. He is not founderï¿½"
>(Narayana Maharaja 28th April 1999, morning speech, Caracas,
>"Your Prabhupada, Srila Swami Maharaja, only changed the name into
>English. He is not the founder acarya of that eternal ISKCONï¿½ I am
>ISKCON. I'm not different from ISKCON. I am 'Bhaktivedanta' [Srila
>Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja]. Like father, like son. I am
>the real successor of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, and there
>no other. You should know this very openly. I am Bhaktivedanta and he
>Bhaktivedanta, but he received this name after I did. I'm senior to
>in this regardï¿½ I'm Bhaktivedanta, and I'm also ISKCON. Don't think
>that I'm out of ISKCON."
>(Narayana Maharaja, Murwillumbah, Australia, February 18th, 2002)
>But according to Srila Prabhupada:
>"I am the founder-acharya of the International Society for Krishna
>(Srila Prabhupada letter to Dr. Bigelow, Allahabad, January 20th,
>Narayana Maharaja Deviates From Srila Prabhupada 1
>Although he claims to be a successor to Srila Prabhupada, and that
>Prabhupada is somehow speaking through him, it should be noted that
>Narayana Maharaja's teachings often seriously differ from Srila
>Prabhupada's. This is what Narayana Maharaja has to say about
>Maharaja, who is worshipped on every altar throughout ISKCON as a
>completely pure devotee of Krishna:
>"Prahlada Maharaja was a very bona fide bhakta, and he never wanted
>anything worldly, but he could not serve Krsna. His bhakti was mixed
>with jnana, knowledge of the Lord's opulence. If you have some
>desire, or any desire, then your bhakti may be sanga-siddha bhakti or
>aropa-siddha bhakti, but not pure transcendental bhakti"
>(Narayana Maharaja, Hawaii, February 17th, 2001)
>Yet Srila Prabhupada's verdict is very different:
>"Prahlada Maharaja is the topmost example of a Vaisnava"
>(Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.21.47, purport)
>"So we see practically how Prahlada Maharaja immediately attained the
>state of premaï¿½ he first of all followed the instruction of Brahma,
>then immediately he got the favor of Lord Nrsimhadeva, and after
>that he got the prema state."
>(Srila Prabhupada lecture, Mayapur, February 14th, 1976)
>"Consequently, instead of accepting the results of karma and jnana,
>Prahlada Maharaja simply begged the Lord for engagement in the
>of His servant."
>(Srimad Bhagavatam 5.24.25)
>Above we see Prahlada Maharaja described as a pure devotee who
>shunned the results of jnana (knowledge).
>Narayana Maharaja Deviates From Srila Prabhupada 2
>Narayana Maharaja claims that Advaita Acarya (one of the associates
>Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu) was incapable of giving people Vraja-Bhakti
>(pure devotion to Krishna):
>"Sri Advaita Acarya...He is a part of the part of the part of the
>of Krishna. Being so far away, He can preach with kirtana, but He
>give Vraja-bhakti. Never. He is not qualified for this. Only Krishna
>(Narayana Maharaja, Los Angeles, California May 31, 2000)
>Contrast the above with the following verse from the Sri Caitanya
>Charitamrta as presented by Srila Prabhupada:
>"He (Advaita Acharya) delivered all living beings by offering the
>of Krishna-bhakti (pure devotion to Krishna). He explained
>and Srimad-Bhagavatam in the light of devotional service."
>(Srila Prabhupada, Caitanya caritamrita, Adi-lila 6.28)
>Thus Narayana Maharaja again disagrees with the siksa (instruction)
>given by Srila Prabhupada, even though he also rather immodestly
>to be his "dearmost siksa disciple".
>(Here are more examples of such contradictions ).
>ISKCON Publication Contradicts ISKCON Founder-Acarya!
>"I have not seen the word "ritvik" in our Vaisnava dictionaryï¿½
>We have seen no such word as "ritvik"ï¿½
>In our Gaudiya Vaisnava line there is no ritvikï¿½"
>(Narayana Maharaja, p.23, ISKCON Journal 1990)
>The word "ritvik" and its derivatives appear 32 times in the
>Srimad-Bhagavatam, the most important Purana for all Vaishnavas:
>Ritvik: 4.6.1 / 4.7.16 / 5.3.2 / 5.3.3 / 5.4.17 / 7.3.20 / 8.20.22 /
>Rtvijah: 4.5.7 / 4.5.18 / 4.7.27 / 4.7.45 /4.13.26 / 4.19.27 /
>5.3.4 / 5.3.15 / 5.3.18 / 5.7.5 /8.16.53 /8.18.21 /8.18.22 / 9.4.23 /
>Rtvijam: 4.6.52 / 4.21.5 / 8.23.13 / 9.13.1
>Rtvigbhih: 4.7.56 / 9.13.3
>(Srila Prabhupada, Srimad-Bhagavatam)
>"Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has not mentioned that so many
>will do acarya, yet they have done. This is the systemï¿½ So Tirtha
>Maharaja, Madhav Maharaja, Sridhar Maharaja, our Gurudeva, Swamiji
>Swamiji Bhaktivedanta Swami they all became acaryas." (Narayana
>Maharaja, p.23, ISKCON Journal 1990)
>"Actually amongst my Godbrothers no one is qualified to become
>(Srila Prabhupada letter, 28.4.74)
>"And for a newcomer, it is sure that he should be initiated by a
>guruï¿½ In the parampara system living guru is essential." (Narayana
>Maharaja, p.22, ISKCON Journal 1990)
>"What we have heard from the Spiritual Master, that is living."
>Prabhupada, lecture, 69/01/13)
>"ï¿½one has to associate with liberated persons not directly,
>physically, but by understanding, through philosophy and logic, the
>problems of life." (Srila Prabhupada's Srimad-Bhagavatam 3:31:48)
>"So there are two kinds of association: physical and preceptorial.
>Physical association is not so important as preceptorial
>(Srila Prabhupada letter to Govinda Dasi, 18/8/69)
>Narayana Maharaja Claims Srila Prabhupada Asked Him To Guide His
>Narayana Maharaja has claimed that Srila Prabhupada ordered him to
>instruct Srila Prabhupada's disciples:
>"He ordered me, 'Help my disciples' [...] You can get that
>cassette.[...] If anyone does not have belief in my statements, he
>acquire and hear the cassette. At the time he spoke in Bengali so
>others would not understand."
>(Salt Spring Island, Canada, April 2001, pm)
>This claim is based on Srila Prabhupada stating "you kindly instruct
>them on this matter" to Narayana Maharaja, during a Bengali
>spoken between the two sometime in October-November 1977.
>However, as will be seen from the full translation of this
>provided by the Narayana Maharaja camp themselves, Srila Prabhupada
>not say anything of the sort. Whilst reading the relevant portion of
>conversation below, please pay special attention to whom the word
>in the above sentence refers to; what was the "matter" on which Srila
>Prabhupada wanted Narayana Maharaja to give instruction; and "when"
>instruction was meant to be given:
>Srila Prabhupada: Are any of my god-brothers in Vrindavana now?
>Narayana Maharaja: Yes.
>Srila Prabhupada: Who?
>Narayana Maharaja: Van Maharaja might be there, as well as Indupati
>Prabhu from Caitanya Gaudiya Matha.
>Srila Prabhupada: Any more?
>Narayana Maharaja: Only these two at the moment.
>Srila Prabhupada: Who is Indupati?
>Narayana Maharaja: He comes here often.
>Bhakticaru Swami: From Madhava Maharaja's matha?
>Narayana Maharaja: Yes. No one else is here.
>Srila Prabhupada: Please call both of them. Van Maharaja and him.
>Narayana Maharaja: This is very good proposal by you.
>Srila Prabhupada: Please sit down. They will call them.
>Narayana Maharaja: All right.
>Srila Prabhupada: This cutting of arguments happens sometimes...
>Narayana Maharaja: These are insignificant matters in such a
>worldwide mission. A little something here and there is of no
>consequence. You have done this wonderful preaching work for the
>of the whole world. There was no self-interest. You did everything
>in devotional service to Krsna for benefiting all people at large.
>Srila Prabhupada: It is all by your blessings.
>Narayana Maharaja: You have done a wonderful thing. It is necessary
>care for and preserve this mission, and see that it is managed
>Srila Prabhupada: You kindly instruct them on this matter. I'm unable
tospeak. When we see the sentence in context, those three aspects become clarified:
1) The word "them" refers to Srila Prabhupada's Godbrothers who were to arrive shortly, not to Srila Prabhupada's disciples. The word "them" comes twice before the final sentence, and both times it refers to his Godbrothers, Indupati Prabhu and Van Maharaja.
2) The "matter" on which Srila Prabhupada wanted Narayana Maharaja to instruct his Godbrothers was that they forgive him for any "cutting of arguments" he may have done in the course of his preaching.
3) And "when" was this instruction to be given? There and then. Immediately after Srila Prabhupada asks Narayana Maharaja to give instruction he states: "I'm unable to speak". This is the reason he is asking Narayana Maharaja to make these points to his Godbrothers on his behalf when they arrive. So here we clearly see a false claim made by Narayana Maharaja to promote his agenda as being the "real successor" to Srila Prabhupada. In conclusion, on the basis of all the above, it is clear from Narayana Maharaja's OWN WORDS that he is not simply a "dearmost siksa disciple"of Srila Prabhupada whose aim is to help to bring us closer to Srila Prabhupada. Rather he is no different to the 80 wannabe "successor Gurus" of ISKCON, doing and saying whatever is necessary to jockey
for Srila Prabhupada's position.
Originally published in Autumn 2004.
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