Analysis of Failing Guru Reforms in ISKCON
BY: MADHU PANDIT DASA
Aug 24, 2011 — BANGALORE, INDIA — A Vyasapuja offering to His Divine Grace.
Dear Srila Prabhupada, please accept my most respectful, humble obeisances. All glories to Your Divine Grace!
Srila Prabhupada, Your Divine Grace have displayed so many exalted qualities during the years that you physically graced this world. In the midst of the most degraded age we live in, it is the good fortune of humanity to have been blessed with your transcendental wisdom. It is our greatest fortune that our lives have been touched by your divine mercy.
On this auspicious day I humbly wish to contemplate on one of the aspects of your transcendence that has greatly impacted me from the very first day I came in touch with you. Your presentation of the purity of guru Tattva or the principle and surrender of a disciple to a Guru, who is a personal representation of such purity was most impressive. You uncompromisingly present the truth by severing the falsehood. You teach who the guru is by your personal example.
Whatever you teach is based on the highest tattva or principles of absolute truth. Hence, when you speak about bogus gurus, you include the entire gamut of gurus, both within and outside of Vaishnava sampradaya. Generally one tends to think that you are referring to cheaters outside of the Vaishnava sampradaya. But in order to teach us deviations in our own sampradaya, you even point out specific examples of Vaishnavas posing as acaryas though not qualified. But unfortunately this is one issue in your movement that had been and is being compromised repeatedly after your Samadhi eating into the purity of your transcendental mission.
We find your instructions playing a most unique role in understanding guruship, post1977. In order to gain a realistic perception of what happened in ISKCON after 1977, one has to go back in time and see things as they were then. In 1977, after your samadhi, and a few years thereafter, everyone understood without a doubt, that ‘guru' is synonymous with ‘pure devotee' i.e. Guru never falls. Nobody in ISKCON even dreamt of a philosophy that accommodated the idea of a guru falling down. It was just not ISKCON's philosophy then is an historical fact. In the following conversation you clarified that the acarya has to be a pure devotee and that the idea that he falls down to mode of passion is a concocted one.
Akshayananda: "I was recently told by one devotee that the acarya does not have to be a pure devotee.
Akshayananda: That the acarya does not have to be a pure devotee.
Prabhupada: Who is that rascal?
Akshayananda: Well, he said it. Who said it?
Prabhupada: Who said? Who is that rascal? The acarya does not require to be a pure devotee?
Akshayananda: He said it. Nitai said it. He said it in this context. He said that Lord Brahma is the acarya in the Brahma-sampradaya, but yet he is sometimes afflicted by passion. So therefore he is saying that it appears that the acarya does not have to be a pure devotee. So it does not seem right.
Prabhupada: So who is that rascal? I want to know who has said.
Akshayananda: Nitai. Nitai dasa.
Harikesa: Nitai said that?
Prabhupada: Who is Nitai dasa?
Harikesa: Our Nitai.
Prabhupada: Oh, our Nitai? Oh.
Akshayananda: He said he couldn't understand it, but he thought, he said that he thought...
Prabhupada: He manufactured his idea. Therefore he's a rascal. Therefore he's a rascal. Nitai has become an authority?
Akshayananda: No, actually he said that he thought...
Prabhupada: He thought something rascaldom, and he is expressing that. Therefore he is more rascal. These things are going on. As soon as he reads some books, he becomes an acarya, whatever rascal he may be."
(Morning Walk — December 10, 1975, Vrindavana)
Many times new devotees, who enter the movement have raised a question to me; Prabhu, it is difficult to believe that such senior devotees who did so much service to Srila Prabhupada would actually deviate and fall for such ambition. This is easily understood from your own teachings about the ‘shajiya' trap or pitfall that a practitioner of bhakti is prone to fall into if he one is not careful.
"Sahajiya means they take very easily. ‘I am.... Everything is all right. Now I am perfect.' That is sahajiya."
(Morning Walk — June 7, 1976, Los Angeles)
Historically, we have seen that Gaudiya Vaisnavism immediately after Lord Chaitanya's times, had gone through a phase of degradation mainly because of deviation arising out of shallow and cheap understanding of the advanced tenets of Lord Chaitanya's philosophy.
The phenomenon of sahajiya is the greatest danger that leads to deviation from the purity of original teachings. It is all about taking transcendental attainment cheaply. It manifests as a disturbance in society in the form of unqualified persons imitating advanced and exalted standards, either because they are ambitious for cheap adoration or they genuinely believe they are advanced and elevated. Sahajiya is a common pitfall that the sampradaya falls into from time to time. Taking shelter of the instructions of the spiritual master and strictly following them is the only way to stay on track since some of these sahajiya traps are very subtle and pass off easily as desire for expanding ones devotional service to ones Guru. It passes off so seamlessly and is impossible to detect as sahajiya, until after a period of time, disastrous results show up. Phalena parichayate.
Unfortunately after your departure, leaders of ISKCON fell prey to sahajiya traps. One, in 1978 and the other, in 1985. The first trap was immediately after your transcendental disappearance. Eleven leaders appointed by Your Divine Grace to initiate disciples on your behalf, declared themselves to be the next acaryas of ISKCON. These eleven were young both materially and spiritually, being in the movement for less than a decade. In fact the leader among them, Tamal Krishna Maharaj acknowledged on December 3rd 1980 in a public meeting, "I can definitely say for myself, and for which I humbly beg forgiveness from everybody, that there was definitely some degree of trying to control(…) This is the conditioned nature and it came out in the highest position of all. ‘Guru, oh wonderful! Now I am guru, and there is only eleven of us." Thus, the case of these eleven is clearly a case of being grossly ambitious in taking a position that they were not qualified. They imitated Your Divine Grace in the manner of sahajiyas and initiated their own disciples. The resultant situation that followed such a sahajiya imitation of Your Divine Grace's position is akin to what Your Divine Grace has said;
Prabhupada: "A patient is thinking, "How shall I dance when I become healthy?" First of all, rascal, become healthy, then talk of all this. The rascals are thinking like that. You are patient; first of all cure your disease, material disease. Then talk of all this. Utopian. "When I will get rich, how I shall treat.... I shall.... Then my wife is disobedient and I shall kick her like this," (laughter) and as soon as he kicked on the earthen pots, all broken. Then he, "Oh, then my.... All prospects have gone." You know this story?
Tamala Krishna: What was in the pot?
Prabhupada: That.... A potter, potter boy, he had got some earthen pots selling. So he was dreaming, that "By selling this earthen pot, I'll make so much profit. Then I shall purchase another batch, I shall make profit. In this way, I shall be millionaire. Then I shall marry, and my wife must be very obedient. Otherwise I shall kick." So in this way, he kicked over the pots and (laughs) all of them broken."
(Morning Walk — June 7, 1976, Los Angeles)
These eleven, being ambitious to become big acaryas, started initiating disciples on their own. The result of the imitation of Your Divine Grace is the sad history of ISKCON over years. The self made gurus, trapped in the clutches of illusion about themselves, have kicked and destroyed all the valuable (pots) assets of ISKCON and rendered it bankrupt both spiritually and materially. The disaster forced thousands to leave ISKCON, thus rendering the movement bereft of their valuable services.
When these self declared acaryas fell down one after the other, thousands of innocent ‘disciples' were left shattered and spiritually abandoned. This is clearly nothing short of spiritual abuse of jivas. Everyone is familiar with the million dollar law suit that hundreds of materially abused children slapped on ISKCON leadership. Bigger law suits wait in the court of Yamaraja, for spiritual abuse of thousands of innocent souls who stepped into ISKCON to surrender to your lotus feet.
Calamity after calamity has befallen these sahajiyas, imitators of Your Divine Grace. These fall downs were not a merely accidental but were also steeped in deceit. All of these fallen self-made acaryas had become habituated to illicit activities for extended periods of time before they were finally exposed to the world. On the one side they were pretending to be pure and receiving worship like pure devotees, as good as Krishna, and on the other side they were simultaneously involved in illicit activities behind closed doors.
"Just like Rupa Gosvami has given, sruti-smriti-puranadi-pancaratriki-vidhim vina, aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate [Brs. 1.2.101]. It is utpata, disturbance. If you do not follow the principles of sruti, smriti, purana, pancaratriki-vidhi...... Without following these principles, the so-called devotional service, Hari-bhakti, utpata, simply disturbance, simply a disturbance."
(Lecture on The Nectar of Devotion - Vrindavana, November 1, 1972)
These sahajiya deviations among leaders in ISKCON, have created a great disturbance due to violation of the most important principle of devotional service. What is the principle that they violated? Their act of becoming gurus and accepting disciples without qualification and authorization.
By the year 1984-85, these fall downs had become an embarrassment to the whole movement. There was questioning and rebellion from the rank and file devotees against the then leadership by a 50-man committee, seeking reforms. Ironically many members of the 50-man committee were philosophically bribed into becoming gurus themselves, that year. They, disregarded and ignored the clear direction/order on initiation given by Srila Prabhupada in black and white- explaining it off as ‘non- traditional' and calling it a ‘lone document'. However the glaring fact is that the direction was addressed to the entire GBC and all Temple Presidents. As if the spiritual master has to repeat himself over and over in order to convey himself.
This resulted in rampant multiplication of the cancer of sahajiya. Today there are more than hundred malignant tumors attacking the body of ISKCON. Thousands of innocent souls seeking shelter of Your Divine Grace are misdirected into the faith that these persons are their personal gurus, to be revered and worshipped as per standards taught by you in the matter of perceiving and treating a bona fide guru by any sincere disciple. Your Divine Grace did never taught of any kind of semi qualified bona fide guru with a lower standard of reverence and worship like once a year puja, etc. from the disciple.
Instead of addressing the root of the problem, which is disobedience of the order of the spiritual master, in 1985 the GBC fell into the next sahajiya trap. What exactly was the trap? They legalized their years of rationalization of fall down of gurus by changing the very philosophy. They conveniently accommodated the theory that bona fide gurus can fall down. Today the ISKCON law book contains a chapter on fallen gurus, suspended gurus, when not to reject a fallen guru, rectification of gurus, reinstating fallen gurus after rectification, reinitiation, etc. This sahajiya theory has made a cheap mockery of our exalted parampara and made a laughing stock of the movement even to a common man. This is against everything that you taught about guru tattva. They have struck at the foundation of truth on which you so painstakingly built your transcendental movement.
Srila Prabhupada, you clearly taught that the guru must be a person in the category of Narada Muni.
"This is the process of initiation. The disciple must surrender to the spiritual master, the representative of Krishna. The spiritual master, being in the disciplic succession stemming from Narada Muni, is in the same category with Narada Muni. A person can be relieved from his sinful activity if he surrenders to the lotus feet of a person who actually represents Narada Muni."
(Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 24.258 Purport)
Further you teach about the elevated position of the spiritual master:
"Such an acarya, or spiritual master, should be considered nondifferent from Krishna—that is, he should be considered the incarnation of Lord Krishna's potency. Such a personality is krishnalingita-vigraha—that is, he is always embraced by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. Such a person is above the considerations of the varnasrama institution. He is the guru, or spiritual master, for the entire world, a devotee on the topmost platform, the maha-bhagavata stage, and a paramahamsa-thakura, a spiritual form only fit to be addressed as paramahamsa or thakura."
(CC Madhya 25.9 Purport)
"The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class…….. Such a guru can accept disciples from all over the world. Prithivim sa sishyat. This is the test of the guru."
(CC Madhya 24.330 Purport)
You have clearly taught that to become a spiritual master one needs an order from his predecessor acarya. This rule of needing authorization to become a guru from the predecessor guru is the only protection against a misjudgment by oneself or other conditional souls as to the qualification of a soul for rendering such a grave service to the guru parampara. Assessment of conditioned souls or self assessment to qualify for that service, without a specific order, is a road guaranteed to lead to the sahajiya trap, even if it is well intended by some among them.
"One should take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, who is authorized by his predecessor spiritual master. This is called diksha-vidhana."
(Srimad Bhagavatam 4.8.54 Purport)
And you have emphasized that unless authorized, one cannot become spiritual master.
"The spiritual master is the manifested representative of the Lord to help one achieve ultimate success. One who is not authorized by the Lord cannot become a spiritual master. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami is an authorized spiritual master, and thus he was inspired by the Lord to appear before Maharaja Parikshit and instruct him in the teachings of Srimad-Bhagavatam"
(SB 1.19.36 Purport)
"Following the order of the bona fide spiritual master is the only duty of the disciple, and this completely faithful execution of the order of the bona fide spiritual master is the secret of success."
(SB 2.9.8 Purport)
"The Lord's order descends in disciplic succession through the bona fide spiritual master, and thus execution of the order of the bona fide spiritual master is factual control of the senses. Such execution of penance in full faith and sincerity made Brahmaji so powerful that he became the creator of the universe."
(SB 2.9.8 Purport)
"The parampara system of disciplic succession is very important as a means of spiritual success. One becomes a mahat by the grace of his mahat spiritual master. If one takes shelter of the lotus feet of a great soul, there is every possibility of one's also becoming a great soul. When Maharaja Rahugana asked Jada Bharata about his wonderful achievement of spiritual success, he replied to the King that spiritual success is not possible simply by following the rituals of religion or simply by converting oneself into a sannyasi or offering sacrifices as recommended in the scriptures. These methods are undoubtedly helpful for spiritual realization, but the real effect is brought about by the grace of a mahatma. In Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's eight stanzas of prayer to the spiritual master, it is clearly stated that simply by satisfying the spiritual master one can achieve the supreme success in life, and in spite of executing all ritualistic performances, if one cannot satisfy the spiritual master, one has no access to spiritual perfection."
(SB 3.22.6 Purport)
"Sometimes the spiritual master is addressed as Prabhupada. Prabhu means "the Supreme Personality of Godhead," and pada means "post." According to Vaishnava philosophy, the spiritual master occupies the post of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or in other words he is the bona fide representative of the Supreme Lord."
(SB 4.8.69 Purport)
Thus you have taught in very clear terms the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master to whom one should surrender in order to advance in spiritual life and go back to Godhead. Undoubtedly he has to be a pure devotee and confidential servant of Krishna, one who is constantly embraced by Krishna and in the category of Narada Muni. Who else can certify a person to be on this most exalted platform other than the predecessor Acarya? Thus the rule of ‘authorization'. Unless you have specifically authorized one or more, Your Divine Grace continue to be the current link in the parampara.
Their imitation having miserably failed for three decades, most of the self-made gurus of ISKCON have been humbled by kala to now state it is Your Divine Grace alone who takes everyone Back to Godhead, except one of the original eleven. It took decades of debate and discussion for them to even concede that Your Divine Grace is the siksa guru for everyone in ISKCON. The fact that it took decades to accede to Your Divine Grace even your foremost siksha position in ISKCON alone goes to show how deep routed was and is disease that has crept into the movement of neglecting Your Divine Grace. But having got addicted to the intoxication or rasa of jivas surrendering to them, they are unable to come out of the trap entirely and have now settled for a compromised position as unqualified small time gurus who are not pure devotees (pre-empting disciples from shocks of future fall downs). But Your Divine Grace has said:
"It is illegal to become a spiritual master if one is unable to deliver the disciple."
(SB 2.8.7 Purport)
The self made gurus further reason that a spiritual master in flesh and blood is required to guide the disciple and therefore ‘out of necessity' some have to become gurus. That such guidance from a guru in flesh and blood is not necessary and that ‘vani', transcendental sound, is more important has been amply emphasized by Your Divine Grace, like in the conversation below:
Indian lady: "Is that the spiritual master still guiding after the death?
Prabhupada: "Yes, yes. Just like Krishna is guiding us, similarly, spiritual master will guide. We are being guided by Krishna, by the Bhagavad-gita. Although Krishna is not physically present, still, His book Bhagavad-gita is there. And that Bhagavad-gita is nondifferent from Krishna."
(Lecture on HDG Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Appearance Day, London, September 23, 1969)
The very reason, Srila Prabhupada, you have mercifully set up the ISKCON institution with your transcendentally brilliant foresight, is to make this guidance available at all levels from different Vaisnavas who are servants of Your Divine Grace. This system of guidance or sadhu sangha worked during your physical presence. Most of the guidance for a devotee automatically comes from your books and the system you set up, with Vaisnavas delivering sadhu sangha. Even at a practical level, none of these self-made gurus are really guiding the disciples on a day to day basis. Not even as much as others in the ISKCON institution like temple leaders, temple commanders etc are doing.
So who are these new entities called ‘gurus' in ISKCON and what part are these self-made gurus playing when there was never such a functional requirement prior to 1977? Just a blind traditional ritual of having someone in flesh and blood to be called ‘guru.' Just figure heads, doing nothing more than what Srila Prabhupada's books and his institution are all ready. Just a group of imitators choking on their attempt of trying to be "as good as Krishna." The sastras point out that nobody can imitate Lord Shiva by drinking the ocean of poison, nor can anybody imitate Lord Krsna's lifting of Govardhana Hill. By such audacity, these self-made gurus are in turn choking the institution with a parallel people management structure. Can these very persons not do what they are doing more honorably, without being initiating gurus and claiming disciples for themselves?
Your Divine Grace in fact exposes a type of guru exactly like the ones in ISKCON now. They are the ones who on their own initiative become spiritual masters i.e. self-made gurus.
"The spiritual master must never be carried away by an accumulation of wealth or a large number of followers. A bona fide spiritual master will never become like that. But sometimes, if a spiritual master is not properly authorized and only on his own initiative becomes a spiritual master, he may be carried away by an accumulation of wealth and large numbers of disciples. His is not a very high grade of devotional service. If a person is carried away by such achievements, then his devotional service becomes slackened. One should therefore strictly adhere to the principles of disciplic succession."
(Nectar of Devotion 14)
And a bona fide guru who follows the orders of his guru will never fall down.
"If one always follows the orders of the spiritual master, there is no question of falling down. As soon as a foolish disciple tries to overtake his spiritual master and becomes ambitious to occupy his post, he immediately falls down. "
(SB 5.12.14 Purport)
The latest genre of gurus is the ‘humble' guru. The fad among them now, is competing to become the ‘humbler guru.' But guruship cannot be given up by them at any cost. They somehow want disciples. They don't mind any guru reform as long as there are disciples. It is not just a guru disease but a ‘disciple disease' - a disease, ranging from gross to subtle manifestation of usurping Your position and Your disciples in ISKCON.
Srila Prabhupada, you have already foreseen all these shams and have written about them. You have pointed out that these ‘humble gurus' are also sahajiyas.
This kind of mind game is described by Your Divine Grace below:
"Actually a first-class reputation is due Madhavendra Puri because he was a most confidential devotee of the Lord. Sometimes a sahajiya presents himself as being void of desires for reputation (pratishtha) in order to become famous as a humble man. Such people cannot actually attain the platform of celebrated Vaishnavas."
(CC Madhya 4.147 Purport)
Today more than 40 gurus have fallen down, majority of them being other than the first set of imitators. The results show that the so-called reform of 1985 is no reform at all but perpetration of the same disobedience and disturbance in the society. Many keep falling down and a few new ones crop up every year. Countless souls have gone through the abuse as disciples of these self-made gurus, when these self-made gurus fall down. While the world does not tolerate any institution abusive of its members, we are pained to see what innocent souls experience in ISKCON today, by placing their spiritual faith simply to be abused again and again. We pray at your lotus feet that this illusion be quickly broken by propagating the truth spoken by Your Divine Grace and that people who read your books and associate with ISKCON, understand Your Divine Grace as the current link and accept none other than Your Divine Grace as their spiritual master; and that these self-made gurus meet their destiny of one day having no takers of their philosophy.
Why should there be infighting in ISKCON? You Divine Grace has given an answer why this schism happens:
"This verse describes the beginning of a schism. When disciples do not stick to the principle of accepting the order of their spiritual master, immediately there are two opinions. Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is useless. One cannot infiltrate materially concocted ideas into spiritual advancement. That is deviation. There is no scope for adjusting spiritual advancement to material ideas."
(CC Adi 12.9 Purport)
Today a guru falling down does not create a tremor as it did in 1980 when we heard that one of the eleven gurus had fallen down. The reason for the change in reaction is easily understood from the instructive parable used in Management:
If you place a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will immediately try to scramble out. (This is like the initial reaction when the first few of the eleven started falling down- many jumped out of ISKCON). But if you place the frog in room temperature water, and don't scare him, he will stay put. Now if the pot sits on a heat source, and if you gradually turn up the temperature, something very interesting happens. As the temperature rises from 70 to 80 degrees, the frog will do nothing. As the temperature gradually increases, the frog will become groggier and groggier, until he is unable to climb out of the pot. Though there is nothing restraining him, the frog will just sit there. This is because the frog's internal apparatus is geared to sudden changes, not to slow gradual changes.
ISKCON today can be compared to this. Over the last three decades, we have gradually got used to hearing of so many gurus' fall downs. As an organization we have become incapable of doing something about it, just like the frog, oblivious of the fact that ISKCON has degraded to a sahajiya organization where guru has become really cheap. We are abusing the most pristine position of guru. Sadly, we have become an organization different from the spiritual organization that you had founded and left behind. Even this you had foreseen, and warned us about the consequences of such deviations:
"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has therefore advised us to avoid bhakti-siddhanta-viruddha and rasabhasa. In this way the devotee can remain pure and free from falldowns. Everyone should try to remain aloof from bhakti-siddhanta-viruddha and rasabhasa."
(CC Madhya 10.113 Purport)
You further quote your Guru Maharaja cautioning about sahajiya:
Prabhupada: "Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he said that "When our men will be sahajiya, oh, they'll be more dangerous." So our men are becoming, some of them, sahajiyas. This very word he said, that "When our men will be sahajiyas he'll be more dangerous."
Room Conversation — January 24, 1977, Bhuvanesvara
Prabhupada: These sahajiyas will come out of so many devotees. What can be done? From my Guru Maharaja's disciples, so many sahajiyas came. These are called sahajiyas. Very easily they capture thing. So my Guru Maharaja used to say, "When my disciples will be sahajiya, it will be more dangerous." He used to say like that. Take things very easily. You know that Purushottama, supposed to be my Godbrother?"
(Room Conversation — January 28, 1977, Bhuvanesvara)
This is your most important analysis on why the Gaudiya Matha failed:
"Why Caitanya Mahaprabhu says guru more murkha dekhi' karila sasan? This is sahajiya-vada. He is thinking, "Oh I have become liberated. I don't require any direction of my guru. I'm liberated." Then he's rascal. Why this Gaudiya Matha failed? Because they tried to become more than guru. He, before passing away, he gave all direction and never said that "This man should be the next acarya." But these people, just after his passing away they began to fight, who shall be acarya. That is the failure. They never thought, "Why Guru Maharaja gave us instruction so many things, why he did not say that this man should be acarya?" They wanted to create artificially somebody acarya and everything failed. They did not consider even with common sense that if Guru Maharaja wanted to appoint somebody as acarya, why did he not say? He said so many things, and this point he missed? The real point? And they insist upon it. They declared some unfit person to become acarya. Then another man came, then another, acarya, another acarya. So better remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by Guru Maharaja. That is perfection. And as soon as he learns the Guru Maharaja is dead, "Now I am so advanced that I can kill my guru and I become guru." Then he's finished."
(Room Conversation —August 16, 1976, Bombay)
Unfortunately the very thing that you feared has happened in ISKCON after your disappearance.
"The result is now everyone is claiming to be acarya even though they may be kanistha adhikari with no ability to preach. In some of the camps the acarya is being changed three times a year. Therefore we may not commit the same mistake in our ISKCON camp. Actually amongst my Godbrothers no one is qualified to become acarya. So it is better not to mix with my Godbrothers very intimately because instead of inspiring our students and disciples they may sometimes pollute them."
(Letter to Rupanuga — Tirupati, 28 April, 1974)
Srila Prabhupada, you are the seer of past, present and future. You have forewarned of all that was to happen in ISKCON. In your transcendental vani lie the answers for everything. Your transcendental instructions and association of likeminded sadhus are all that is required to go back to Godhead this very life as assured by Your Divine Grace. When the confidential mission of a pure devotee is being obviously disturbed, it is the duty of every disciple to do something to quell such disturbance. It is only in such a spirit of service to Your Divine Grace that, we devotees in Bangalore are engaged in vigorously propagating your instructions regarding initiation in ISKCON. It is not in the attitude of being ‘holier than thou' meaning holier than other Vaishnavas in this world. I am ever grateful to Your Divine Grace for sheltering us so lovingly and protecting our devotional service in spite of always falling short of sufficient faith and devotion unto your lotus feet. Please bless me so that I can be worthy of being the servant of the servant of the most sincere and obedient disciples of Your Divine Grace. It is only by your causeless mercy that I am engaged in devotional service since I am not worthy of it and have no personal qualification to be engaged thus. I am eternally indebted to Your Divine Grace for your eternal shelter, kindness and continued flow of mercy.
Your fallen servant,
Madhu Pandit dasa