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Sudama: His Snide Retort
By Bhakta Keith
Hare Krishna 
Hare Krishna 
Krishna Krishna 
Hare Hare 
Hare Rama 
Hare Rama 
Rama Rama 
Hare Hare

Dear Chakra et al.,

I was amazed at the recent criticism of Mother Georgina by Sudama das. He did not offer any evidence or logical points, much less respectful, kind words. His coy and smug notices of misspelled words were quite uncalled for. His obvious contention was that she made some mistakes in a debate about intelligence, and therefore must not be intelligent. Such sarcasm in my opinion would be most unbefitting a gentlemanly karmi, what to speak of a Vaishnava.

As I recall, when asked about how the general public would recognize his devotees, Srila Prabhupada is recorded as saying that his devotees would be conspicuous in their gentlemanly behavior.

I do not know who this Sudama Das is... at the risk of offending a Vaishnava, maybe even one of Srila Prabhupada's disciples, I would like to respectfully remind Sudama Das that his snide retort to Mother Georgina's legitimate concerns not only belittles himself but also gives our religion a bad name. It is easy to imagine a prospective devotee reading letters like his and thinking, "Is THIS the way Srila Prabhupada's disciples act?"

Prabhu, did it ever occur to you that Mother Georgina may use English as a secondary (or tertiary, etc.) language? Maybe she does not have a good education... maybe she was raised where women aren't allowed or encouraged to be intelligent... maybe she was brought up in an environment that thinks that women are less intelligent, or less devoted (sound familiar?)... I can think of many reasons that can explain misspelled words.

I have often spent weeks on a college paper, carefully reading over it again and again, correcting mistakes and re-editing... and then on my way to turn it in, saw yet another mistake. Or receive a graded paper and find a mistake that I missed, despite dozens of proofreadings.

But I digress... We should all be ecstatic that new people are getting interested in Lord Chaitanya's movement. It is unbecoming to us and our spiritual lineage to appear in public (as in a public forum) as captious, faultfinding critics.

Prabhupad says that the most violent thing that one can do is turn someone away from Lord Krsna. Prabhu, I hope that you have not already done that. I beg Sudama Das to write a personal apology to Mother Georgina and to the editorial staff of Chakra.

On the issue of intelligence, scientists are still unsure of exactly what it means. The so-called IQ tests were designed in France over 100 years ago, and they were intended to predict how well one would do in academia, and nothing more. Plenty of so-called "less intelligent" people have become devoted followers of Lord Krsna, against overwhelming odds.

Prabhu Sudama, I pray that you and the countless millions of Vaishnavas will please forgive my indiscretion.

Your servant,
Bhakta Keith

[See "RVC: Watch Your Spelling!" Chakra May 23, 2002]

© CHAKRA 28 May 2002

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