Many Gurus. One Aim.
[This is an excerpt from a darśana with Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Gosvāmī Mahārāja on October 10, 2012 in Vṛndāvana. Please note that the transcript is verbatim. Editors’ input: Additional text has been included in square brackets.]
Śyāmārani Didi: Guru is one, so why is it that in your institution they do parikramā in the opposite way, of the way that Śrīla Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja’s sanga, and both have authoritative scriptural reason why?
Mādhavpriya Prabhu: Can you please explain again?
Śyāmārani Didi: Guru is one, but both of the different saṅgas where there are pure gurus, they both have scriptural evidence of why their order of the parikramā is correct but they are both opposite?
Mādhavpriya Prabhu: [translating the question in Hindi] She is saying that guru tattva is one. Oftentimes it is observed that two pure devotee gurus… just like there is a sequence of parikramā shown in the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, and in other places - some do it that way and some also do it in the other way. So we can also observe difference in them. So how do we understand why there is a difference?
Śrīla Mahārāja: There is difference because deśa, kāla, supātrajña, understand?
Mādhavpriya Prabhu: Time, place and circumstances.
Śrīla Mahārāja: They can change. It is a quality of a pure devotee guru, they can change [some details] according to the time, place and circumstances. So they have changed.
Mādhavpriya Prabhu: That is why it seems changed, that sometimes it is in one way and…
Śrīla Mahārāja: But their aim is same. Our Guru Mahārāja followed the direction of Prabhupāda in toto, not any different. Pujyapāda Vana Mahārāja told in the [tirobhāva] sabhā that we have all differed from the path of Prabhupāda, but although Mādhava Mahārāja is our younger god-brother, he never changed his ācarana [conduct] and every line he followed.
Mādhavpriya Prabhu: I will briefly explain again, clearly.
When Śrīla Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja left this world, and there was a viraha sabhā and there were so many disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda who had assembled together. And Śrīla Bhakti Hṛdaya Vana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, he was the one who was crying for all the time, whenever he was speaking and at that time he was mentioning again and again. That even though Śrīla Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja came a little later than so many of us, but still for whole of his life, he has practiced the conduct of Śrīla Prabhupāda Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura as it is, 100% same. There was no deviation at all, not even 0.1%.
Even though we, ourselves, he mentioned about himself and so many other god-brothers, that we have changed so many things according to time, place and circumstances but we have seen in his life, even that thing has not happened. Śrīla Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja followed everything 100%, completely.
Śyāmārani Didi: So how do we understand that Śrīla Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja….
Mādhavpriya Prabhu: No. That is why Śrīla Mahārāja was mentioning that when Śrīla Bhakti Hṛdaya Vana Gosvāmī Mahārāja, he is saying that he has changed some things, Śrīla Mahārāja does not mean that they are also wrong. Even though out of humility Śrīla Bhakti Hṛdaya Vana Gosvāmī Mahārāja is seeing that Śrīla Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja has not changed anything and they had changed, at the same time they have also not done anything wrong according to the vision of pure devotees. Because they have not done it purposely, that was done out of time, place and circumstances.
Śaśikalā Didi: On Pūrṇimā we are starting [the parikramā], and your gauḍīya maṭha is starting on Ekādaśī.
Mādhavpriya Prabhu to Śrīla Mahārāja: You mention about the time of Śrīla Prabhupādaji, that how…Although they used to do it on both the tithis. In the scriptures it is mentioned that you can do it either ways. And that Śrīla Prabhupāda mostly used to do it on Dvādaśī.
Śrīla Mahārāja: Yes. According to the panjikā, calendar, Cāturmāsa has started from that day [Ekādaśī].
Mādhavpriya Prabhu: Regarding this question…because so many people before also asked Śrīla Mahārāja and I was present when I heard his answer. And it is difficult for him to speak for whole day so many times. That is why in front of him I am speaking and if there is something wrong, he will correct us for sure.
So Śrīla Mahārāja used to mention that even though in Harī Bhakti Vilāsa, it is mentioned that one can start on Ekādaśī, Dvādaśī or one can start on Purṇimā. That is very clear in Harī Bhakti Vilāsa. But at the time of Śrīla Prabhupāda Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura, in the panjikā it was always mentioned that our Kārtika [vrata] starts on Dvādaśī. That is why his Guru Mahārāja always started from Dvādaśī. One time it also happened that they had to begin the vrata on Purṇimā due to some reason or was it not so?
Śrīla Mahārāja: No. No.
Mādhavpriya Prabhu: Alright. So Śrīla Prabhupāda Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura always started from Dvādaśi itself. But then afterwards there were so many different changes because of time, place and circumstances. So that is why we should not go deep into all these things and judge, just say that these are the pure devotees, who are independent like God, and they can manage everything in whatever way they are feeling comfortable.