By: His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Date: 7 June 2020
Subject: Initiating and Self-Declared Gurus, Open Address to Members of Sri
Chaitanya Saraswat Math
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
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
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
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.