Letter to WVA Founding Member
by Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti
Dear Founding Member or Friend of the World Vaisnava Association Please accept my obeisances at your Lotusfeet.
I am writing to you daring to take a little time of your holy attention. My name is B.A. Paramadvaiti. I left Iskcon in 1984 and received the Sannyas Order by the mercy of Srila Sridhar Maharaj. Since 1984 I experienced to be an outcast. Rejected by the Iskcon community and also by the western society which holds a Hare Krishna devotee to be some kind of a cult leader. We are discredited by the foolish activities of many Iskcon scandals.
I observed that every Vaisnava society was standing separately and with no relationships with each other, or bad relationships, or only diplomatic connections. I felt that some development was necessary to show our Vaisnava culture to be a real world religion which has a common ground, a common siddhanta and respect for the other practicing Vaisnavas in other Missions.
Thus I came to present that plan of a World Vaisnava Association to Srila Narayana Maharaj and he told me that he would bless such an attempt, even though he thought it would not be successful. Many of my friends of other missions had similar opinion about it and I was not very hopeful about the World Vaisnava Association. That changed only when I met with Pujyapad Srila B.P. Puri Maharaj. He actually spend two hours to read all the proposed bylaws of the WVA and even expanded them. He also personally called Srila B.B. Tirtha Maharaj to help and participate in this effort. After receiving the request from me and many other devotees to become the President of the WVA, Srila B.P. Puri Maharaj answered: "Swami Maharaj worked so hard to spread Krishna Consciousness, Sridhar Maharaj also tried to help the western devotees and Srila Prabhupada gave his live to this mission. But I have not done anything. Therefore I will accept this charge." After that we started the yearly meetings in Govindaji Mandir and in Srivas Angan. We published until now nine magazines and held three All Vaisnava Mission Book fairs. We also established a site on the Internet to present our tradition and the news and activities. Many meetings were also held in other countries.
It was only after three years in Srivas Angan, that Puyjapad Giri Maharaj, the sisya of Prabhupada read from the harmonist about the activities of the Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha and declared that this would be the appropriate name for the WVA. Since there was no objection we included that sacred name in the full registration. Even though I am not a Vaisnava, due to some mercy of the Vaisnavas I had the opportunity to do some bad secretarial service to the WVA in this first five year period which ends at Kartik 1998. In these years I have been constantly attacked even by some of my godbrothers in and outside of Iskcon to only work for the World Vaisnava Association for my pratista and to only use Srila Puri Maharaj for my own purpose etc. Even though we have had some advancement in a variety of fields the results are meager, mostly because of insufficient participation of the other strong Gaudiya Missions. The WVA has been loved by the small, new Vaisnava groups and has been basically ignored by those Vaisnava groups who are big and successful. Now in addition there is another Sarasvata Gaudiya Vaisnava Association, arranged by Jayapataka Swami. In my observation the organizers of the Bhaktivedanta Charity Trust ,who sponsor the association have no real intention to respect the family of Srila Prabhupada. Even though Sripad Bodhayan Maharaj and myself also participated in their meetings, it is clear that Iskcon's attitude against the Gaudiya Math, as you know it well is not changing, which their recent publications and their Laws regarding their relationship with the Gaudiya Math published in the Iskcon Law Book confirm.
Also I am very disqualified, due to my not speaking bengali and also because I have my own missionary activities.
The last meeting of the managing committee in 1998 in Mayapura requested all Vaisnava missions to choose one specific secretary to represent their mission on the WVA . But I am afraid, this will not happen very easily. I have failed and I am not available for another secretary period after Kartik 1998. I will continue to give technical internet and financial support to WVA with Happiness.
Dear Vaisnava Thakur. The need of a united Vaisnava forum is felt much more outside of India. It is also felt much more by outcasts such as myself. Rejected by some institutions, because we went to a real Sadhu, and we rejected distortion of Vaisnava siddhanta and improper behavior. This is also the situation of all the western followers who came to the Gaudiya Math after first contacting this line through Srila B.V. Swami Prabhupada and Iskcon. In India, even the smallest mission is respected and the devotees treated like saints. The forum of the WVA could actually provide a lot of medicine to this situation. Exactly because the WVA provides the plurality of the divine descend of mercy as we glorify in the Mangalacaranam when we recite vande ham sri guruh sri yutah pada kamalam sri gurun vaisnavams ca.
A Vaisnava forum without a particular acarya who dominates all activities is the only forum the western world would accept to give credibility to our whole sampradaya. Some missions actually dream like Iskcon that they will be some vatican style saving organization of the world. They are blind to the fact that in the 21 years after the passing of their founder, they already committed so many mistakes, that they gave more headache than glory to our sampradaya . Also amongst the Gaudiya Math tradition, only through persons such as Srila B.P. Kesava Maharaja, P.S. B.D. Madhava Maharaja, P.S.R. Sridhara Maharaja and world wide Srila B.V.Swami Maharaja, the glory of the sampradaya was saved.
Claiming monopoly over temples, copyrights and exclusive representation has not served any good purpose to our sampradaya, as much as I can see. And the lack of understanding of the Bhagavad (Siksa) - parampara is not a good sign.
When Gaudiya Math Acaryas like Srila Narayana Maharaj started to travel around the world, guiding many devotees, I felt new hope. Those who had left Iskcon and who in many occasions had also rejected Srila Sridhar Maharaja, or followed the idea that Srila Swami Maharaja was the only real Guru, became his followers.
Now, myself and other Godbrothers hoped to regain some old friends and be able to work together for the glory of the entire Gaudiya Math and it`s branches.
Unfortunately the capacity of broadmindedness remained very low, and even though we are so many outside of Iskcon and connected to one or the other branch of the Gaudiya Math, we can still not join forces to have mutual respect and to save the dignity of our Vaisnava school. The Guru as a cult leader, with blind fanatic followers who cannot even recognize their fellow Vaisnavas when they follow their Guru. That is precisely the picture the materialistic people would like to paint of us. And total turmoil after the Guru goes. But the real picture of the Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha- World Vaisnava Association as conceived by Srila Jiva Goswami and brought to life by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, Srila Prabhupada BSS and Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaj is quiet different. It is the worship of the one and only divine truth and all its descending channels to this world. That plus some practical association and joint work for the benefit of the world will elevate the Gaudiya Vaisnavas prestige in the eyes of even our critics to be a religious tradition which thrives on the individual transaction of many spiritual masters and their faithful followers
I pray that we may stand united for the dignity of our Spiritual masters. I pray to give to those who consider themselves my students the truth of the glorious teachings of all Acharyas and their sincere efforts and publications. I pray to be useful to all Vaisnavas and I pray that they may forgive my many offences.
In conclusion I fall at your feet and pray that you may grant some active involvement in the Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha WVA by yourself or some of your talented members. Hopefully you can spare for this purpose both from the Indian side and from the western side some trusted secretaries.
The meetings are only two times a year but a great amount of other valuable aspects of the WVA could evolve if the involvement of more active members could be secured.
This is an emergency call from my heart. If great souls like yourself do not take care of this joint Vaisnava forum effort, the work will be temporally lost, because I am incapacitated to continue as secretary. We will include a sheet which reports on the formation of several committees for further service of the WVA and everyone who wishes too may join any of these committees via E mail or common mail. Also please fill out the form where we request you to choose the members you prefer to be sitting on the managing committee of the VVRS-WVA for the next five years. Please also report who would be your secretary or if you would like to become personally involved. It has been discussed and will properly be approved that several secretaries will share the secretary work of the VVRS-WVA and of the different committees. All this will be decided in Kartik one day before Rama Ekadasi in Vrinda Kunja. We need your papers before in order to also include your opinions in our final decision. I will also submit my final report to the managing committee on that occasion. We already past out the paper to many of our members but those who have not received anything or had no time to answer can utilize this On line feature or use the mail.
Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti