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Controversy Surrounds the Great Reformers
By Atul Krishna Dasa

In his article "Thoughts on the Narayana Maharaja Controversy,” as it appeared on Chakra on the 10th of March, Prithu dasa Adhikary has given the following statement as the opening line for his article:

"Wherever great souls go, they cause happiness, harmony and peace."

I will proceed to present a strong objection to his statement. There is no evidence to his claim. On the contrary, we may observe the history and note that all the great religious reformers have been surrounded by controversy and opposition.

Prithu dasa Adhikary goes on to express his concern: "Indeed, division often occurs even within one and the same family." Let us hear the words of wisdom of the great idol of Prithu dasa Adhikary, our beloved teacher Srila Jesus Christ, as they appear in the Gospel of Matthew:

10:34: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 10:35: For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Thus it becomes evident that Prithu dasa Adhikary's appeal to the readers' family sentiment goes diametrically against the principle of unadulterated sanatana-dharma. He has also expressed his concern on how Narayana Maharaja sees no wrong initiating even minors. What to speak of only initiating minors, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura used to actually hide the young brahmacaris in the matha to save them from their parents who were about to bring them home from the matha.

Srila Sarasvati Thakura for one was a person who was surrounded by controversy, as he boldly preached the uncompromising message of Caitanya Mahaprabhu throughout India, and as sent his disciples to all directions to uproot materialism and to establish the ultimate theistic concepts of Lord Caitanya. Perhaps no-one has ever counted how many lawsuits took place as a result of his radical actions. Even there were attempts to kill him due to the disharmony and disturbance he caused.

Certainly there will be disturbance in this damned world of atheism, in which materialistic conceptions assume the convenient guise of eternal religion. Is it that Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada didn't cause any disharmony with his bold and radical preaching work and the relentless proselytizing of his followers? Even back in his early years in Kesavaji Gaudiya Math, the articles which he published in the Gaudiya Patrika-magazine were a cause of great upheaval both inside the Gaudiya Math and outside in the society.

Prithu dasa Adhikary goes on to express the idea that the recent graffiti-incident is a result of Narayana Maharaja's sharp and intensely belligerent words against ISKCON. Perhaps he has not considered that the numerous baseless accusations given by the leaders of ISKCON against Narayana Maharaja play a part in the conflict. Side by side I have studied the position papers from both sides, and I have noted how the GBC has published numerous blatantly false accusations in their papers.

We should understand that it is not at all amazing that a neophyte admirer of a great soul may take an improper course action in doing what he considers good for his master. The Gospel of Luke offers one such instance for our consideration:

22:49: When they which were about him [his followers] saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? 22:50: And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. 22:51: And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

The abovementioned violent scene takes place not so much due to the strong words Jesus has spoken against the Romans' misconceptions, but rather due to the Romans' hostile words and deeds by which they have offended Jesus. Perhaps we may learn a lesson from this incident.

In his article Prithu dasa Adhikary goes on to present many claims, opinions, exaggerations and gossips. For instance, he presents the following hearsay regarding Narayana Maharaja's stand on restricting sexuality to procreation in married life by initiated householders:

"'I don't know where Swamiji is getting these ideas from.'(as said to Gopal Krishna Maharaja)."

Perhaps Srila Swami Maharaja is getting it from Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura's commentary on the dharmaviruddho bhutesu kamo 'smi-verse of the Bhagavad-gita (7.11), which has been recently published in English, translated from the Hindi edition of Narayana Maharaja. Srila Chakravarti Thakura states:

"Dharmaviruddhah means that which is not opposed to dharma, that is, passion which is used only to produce children from one's own wife."

Prithu dasa Adhikary is even willing to call any deity in any ISKCON temple to be his witness, although it is stated in the eight chapter of the Nectar of Devotion, entitled "Offenses to be Avoided,” that one should not take a vow in the name of God.

We are left wondering; where is Prithu dasa Adhikary getting his ideas from? Perhaps his other claims are as substantial as his opening phrase, "Wherever great souls go, they cause happiness, harmony and peace."

If there would be any comment to this article, it may be sent to the author at atul.krishna@pamho.net.

© CHAKRA 4 April 2001

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