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Clarification Sought
By Romapada Dasa

After reading Atul Krishna Prabhu's response to Prthu Prabhu's artcile, it seemed that one of the 'must have' qualifications of a bona fide Guru is that he must be controversial and must face opposition!

As disciples and grand-disciples of Srila Prabhupada, we know that Srila Prabhupada's words are perfect, infallible, complete and never subject to defects. But last December, while reading an article in Vaisnava Internet News Agency, I came across an interview given by Sripada Narayana Maharaja, after which I requested VINA as well as some Narayana Maharaja disciples to explain whether Sripada Narayana Maharaja's views on this important issue differed from Srila Prabhupada's.

Unfortunately, my letter was not published in VINA (which does carry many letters praising the site), I never received any reply, and the article containing the interview was removed from the site. The original URL, which no longer works is: http://www.vina.org/articles/gurus_of_different_levels.html.

An extract from the interview is:

"Q: Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada says the guru takes the disciple's sins, papa.

Srila Narayana Maharaja: Never. The bona fide guru is qualified. He is like fire. He will burn everything away. Why will he take it himself? He will not take the fruits from the disciple's karma. Never will he take them. He will at once, by his mercy, quickly burn all. Not, there is nothing to be confused about. But, if the guru is not qualified, if he is not tattva-jnani, or if he is a kanistha-adhikari, then he will take all the sins. A madhyama-adhikari who is at the level of madhyama-uttama, oh, he will burn everything. "

I had sought the following clarification from Sripada Narayana Maharaja or his disciples in my letter dated 15 December:

"In this interview, Sripada Narayana Maharaja seems to say that Srila Prabhupada's statement that the Guru takes the sins of his disciple is not true (he uses the word 'never'). Could someone clarify whether Srila Narayan Maharaja actually disagrees with Srila Prabhupada, or whether there is some esoteric meaning in Sripada Narayana Maharaja's statements that I cannot understand? Or is it that when Srila Prabhupada made statements to the effect that the Guru takes on the sins of his disciples, there were some esoteric meanings that escaped our attention?

In any case, it would be nice if Sripada Narayana Maharaja or his disciples could please clarify this apparent disagreement, since, we as Srila Prabhupada's followers believe that Srila Prabhupada is perfect in all respects and can never be wrong. "

As mentioned, I never did receive a reply. Perhaps Atul Krishna Prabhu would be happy to speak to Sripada Narayana Maharaja and clarify the interview, so that we do not harbor any misconceptions.

Begging forgiveness if this letter has caused any offence,

Romapada dasa

© CHAKRA 14 April 2001

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