In our continued journey of radical transparency, we present a confession from Satyanarayana Das Babaji in which he describes his offenses toward his own guru, Haridas Shastri Maharaj, and many other devotees. Assuming Satyanarayana Das Babaji’s confession is factually accurate, these actions are not only spiritually bankrupt, but also criminal in nature.
The purpose of sharing this confession is to reveal the true character of Satyanarayana Das Babaji, the guru of our former Vrindavan Today editor Jagadananda Das, and to show why Vrindavan Today needed to separate itself from these individuals in order to stay true to its mission of being non-sectarian and non-denominational.
Our readers are encouraged to use their own intelligence to assess the merits of the confession.
Bold text, links, images, and video added by Alexander Shenkar. Attached are scans of email print received from Bhrigu Nath Mishra, one of the trustees of Haridas Shastri Maharaj.
I, Satyanarayan Das, disciple of Ashtottarshat Sri Sri Param Pujya Sri Haridas Shastri Maharaj, resident of 380 Sheetal Chhaya, Vrindavan, Mathura, UP, India. I have the following confessions to make to all the disciples of Sri Maharajaji and to those who may have suffered of felt offended by my low class behavior. By the grace of the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva I am able perceive my crooked nature and reveal it in front of Vaishnva Community in the hope that I will be forgiven by them.
I had my first darshan of Sri Gurudeva in the kartika month of 1983 and I was immediately impressed by his visage and depth of realization. I was a member of ISKCON at Tirupati Center and was visiting Vrindavan for few days. By the grace of Lord Govindadeva I developed a desire to study under him but I did not know how that could be possible, Without going into the details, by the countless mercy of Lord Govindadeva I moved to Vrindavan in 1987 and by 1988 I started studying the Sandarbhas of Shri Jiva Gosvami Prabhupad under Sri Gurudeva. He was unlimitedly kind to me and taught me from his heart although I was not really qualified to comprehend the deep siddhanta he was revealing – yet I realized that I need to adjust my life. My mind was tossing about my future.
The simplest and the most proper thing should have been to leave ISKCON and take shelter of the lotus feet of Shri Gurudeva. But because my heart was impure, full of desire for sense pleasure, name and fame I cleverly went to Maharajaji and asked him about my future action. Maharaja Sri could read my heart like an open book and knowing my devious mentality replied that I should continue my studies while living and serving in ISKCON. This of course was comforting to my unclean heart.
I was kicked out of ISKCON in 1996 and again I did not come to my senses. Instead of coming and taking shelter of Maharaja Sri I built Jiva Istitute in Sheetal Chaya. I realize it now that it was more out of envy of Sri Gurudeva that I did come under the shelter of his lotus feet. I made a show of surrender while harboring my plans to remain independent. In my plan I also include my family members, especially my two brothers, Rishipal Chauhan and Partap Chauhan.
By the causeless grace of Sri Gurudeva I understand now that all the activities I did in the name of service was only hypocrisy and offensive. I was very proud thinking that I am assisting him in cow service when actually he was being gracious by giving me the opportunity to serve and purify my heart. But just as a fly is attracted to garbage I was only attracted to my plans for name, fame, adoration, profit and distinction.
Although I am not at all qualified to speak on shastra out of envy for Sri Guru (Guru-droha) I was giving classes to western disciples of Maharajaji. I was dressing in white to pass for a babaji when I did not display any requisite qualities. This was an imitation of dress of a Paramahamsa Vaishnava and thus also a competition to him. Such people in scripture are called dharma dhvaji or those who carry a flag of dharma while engaged in adharmika activities. I was getting honored by my own godbrothers and instead of bringing them to Sri Guru’s feet I was becoming an obstacle in their surrender. It was very flattering to my ego and thus I was deriving subtle pleasure from it.
I was very much attached to my family members and did everything in consultation with them, instead of consulting Sri Gurudeva. Although I cherished to be a surrendered disciple of Sri Gurudeva, I was making independent decisions that were not within the purview of Dharma,. This is a very subtle way of telling lies. This is what hypocrisy means ? to do things in such a way that simple people get fooled. I was myself full of cheating propensity yet in my classes I was speaking against. The audience took me for an honest and sincere disciple and was not able to catch my cunningness. This continued for few years and Sri Gurudeva was tolerating me.
In year 2000 or so Srinivas came from Hyderabad to study under Sri Gurudeva. In the beginning he stayed at Jiva Institute. Slowly while living with me and talking with me he got a clue what was going on. He decided to move to Sri Gurudeva’s Ashrama and get out of my clutches. When He told this to me then like a competitor to Sri Guru I subtly tried to convince them not to go but stay with me. What can be more selfish, offensive and grossly envious of Sri Guru than this. I was trying to block a disciple from taking shelter of Sri Guru yet I was faking as if I was doing a welfare to Srinivas.
After moving to Sri Guru’s place one day Srinivas came to put some sense into my rotten head. But I was so insolent and hard hearted that I did not heed his good advice. This was the third chance I missed, to come under the shade of Sri Guru’s lotus feet. Rather I was becoming more and more drowned into materialism and seeing faults in Sri Guru’s behaviour. Being proud of my western education I was thinking that Sri Guru does not know how to manage things. Sometimes I discussed this with other devotees and by my bad and demoniac influence they were agreeing with me. In this way not only that I was inimical and offensive to Sri Gurudeva I was involving others in this heinous crime. I was paving my own path to hell and making others join me.
I am like a cow killer in subtle sense. Although I did not kill cows physically, I was influencing others to give me donations which they should be giving for Sri Guru’s cow service. I was slowly deviating others from doing cow service. The funds which were supposed to reach Maharaja Sri were being diverted by me for my own personal use.
Seeing my stubbornness Srinivasa started revealing my true colors by speaking to Sri Guru’s disciples. Instead of taking his words as facts and changing myself I became defensive. Again like a wolf covered with cowskin externally I behaved humbly but underneath I was instigating people like Premnidhi, and my brothers to take action against Srinivas.
Because of my offenses my intelligence was becoming more and more degraded. I secretly started planning to capture the property of Subal and Champakalata. Externally I gave all the documents of the property along with keys to the rooms to Subal and Champaklata but within I was plotting how to get their property. I can be compared to Dhrtarashtra who refused to return the legal rights of the Pandavas. He used his sons to plot against the Pandavas. Similarly I used my hired servants to capture the property of Subal, Champakalata and Ajita in their absence. I got locks broken and took possession. To make myself legally safe I filed a legal suit against Subal and Champakalata to be recognized as the President of the trust. Because the defendents were not present I got an ex-parte decision in my favor.
I am Duryodhana who was giving shelter to people who were against Pandavas. He was enticing people to join him to battle against Pandavas. Similarly I gave shelter to people who were expelled by Maharaja Sri from his ashrama on account of conduct which was against dharma. This includes Bhrigunatha Mishra, Padmanabhadas and Satyadas. This is explicitly revolting against the will of Sri Gurudeva. If someone has been expelled by Sri Gurudeva then to give him shelter is competing with Sri Guru. This is another example of my offensive nature.
When Bhrigunatha Mishra realized that it was wrong to live with me, he left and moved to Sri Gurudeva’s ashrama. After coming to Sri Haridas Niwas he started writing self-revelation emails in which he was giving his own realization about his relationship with Sri Gurudeva and my dealings with him. One can read the details in his book called Arunodaya in which he has done a good job of exposing my dark character. His bold and daring step was not liked by me and my brothers for obvious reasons. He also wrote to me to call him from Europe and he requested me to drop everything and come to back to India immediately. But offensive people can not take good advice. I disregarded his request and this was the fourth opportunity I missed to come and take full shelter of Sri Gurudeva’s lotus feet.
The matter did not end here. My elder brother Rishipal threatened to file a defamation case against Bhrigunatha Mishra and Guruji Maharaja Sri and thus directly attacked Sri Gurudeva. Because of my family attachment I did not stop him to threaten like this rather I supported him knowing well that such a threat is a direct attack on Sri Gurudeva. A disciple is expected to worship Sri Guru as Bhagavan ? saksad haritvena samasta shastraih. This is the conclusion of all scriptures. Yet I attacked my own Gurudeva and still claim to know scriptures and make a show of teaching them. Fact is that I know nothing about the scriptures because Sri Gurudeva is the key to all scriptural knowledge. One who attacks his own guru how can he know anything about the secret of scriptures. I am like a good movie actor who play their role quite well but nothing touches their heart.
With all the innumerable offenses at the feet of Sri Gurudeva my hearthas become hard like a diamond stone. Nothing can pierce it. Such being the mentality I instigated Kamala to go and manhandle Bhrigunatha Mishra right in Sri Gurudeva’s Ashrama. In this way I engaged even other disciples in committing offense. Yet I declared that I had nothing to do with it. Such a liar I am! I transgressed all the bounds of the scriptures. Another example of my crooked nature is that I made Premnidhi write a letter against Srinivas and Sobita in pseudoname. Devotees like Kamala and Premnidhi are not intelligent enough to understand my crooked heart and hypocrisy. They think they are doing devotional service by engaging in the acts of offense which are orchestrated by me. When a person becomes offensive he misuses his intelligence and influence. I am a personification of such asura.
Although Sri Gurudeva gave me Veshadiksha, a renounced order of life I always in the company of women which is completely against the principles of vesha. All those who know me are witness to the fact that I am always associating with women. This is equivalent to telling lies, disrespecting the scriptures and Sri Gurudeva. I will not mention the names of the ladies who have associated with me to not bring trouble to them. It was not their fault but mine. They have not taken the vow of celibacy, it is I who have taken the vow. I cannot blame them for my weakness. I am going to hell myself and also sending them. This is all in the name of doing paropakara and teaching philosophy.
I promise that henceforth:
- I will not perform sinful acts mentioned above
- I will always follow the path of Dharma
- I will never betray or violate the trust of Maharajaji or any
disciple or follower of Maharajaji or any other person.
- I will rectify all my mistakes that I have committed
- I will always remain away from women
- I will always remain detached from my family in accordance with the
Dharma of Parmhansa Vesha.
- I will return to Champakalata, Subal, Ajita etc. their properties
at the earliest.
- Those people who I have alienated, like Hemalata, Ajita, etc. from
Maharaja Sri, I will ensure that they return to the lotus feet of
Maharaja Sri and I will inspire them to serve Maharaja Sri as per his
- I hereby hand over to Maharaja Sri all those disciples of his who
were under my influence and worked for my own personal benefit.
- I re-iterate my resolve to serve Gurudev Sri with my full
physical, intellectual and financial capabilities and will also
inspire others to do so.
- I will henceforth lead my life in accordance with the will of
- I prostrate repeatedly at the Lotus feet of Maharaja Sri begging
- I hereby surrender all my belongings (Physical, intellectual,
financial, etc.) that I possess at present and shall have in the
future, to Maharaja Sri.
- I will strictly remain away from those who indulge in Guru-ninda
and I shall lead life by adhering to the principles of Gaudiya
With so many offences at the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva, I should suffer in hell eternally. But the grace of Sri Gurudeva is causeless and unlimited. His heart is always pining for the upliftment of his disciples. Therefore, somehow I am able to look back at my offensive behavior and accept them. I have a great remorse in my heart and I want forgiveness from all those Vaisnavas whom I have offended, cheated, exploited and misguided in the past. I request all of them to take the blessings of Sri Gurudeva and participate in the activities meant for fulfilling his dreams. His desire is to protect and propagate Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings to the society. He is a living example of it himself. He has many projects for us to participate in his service to the Lord. The kind of go-seva he performs is unparalleled, and he wants his disciples and others in the human society to realize the importance of go-seva and support it accordingly. He has established one of the best libraries in Vrindavan, where true scholars can come and perform deep study. He has a publishing and printing house in the ashram for publishing scriptures. He has the desire that sincere students of the scriptures study from him. He wants the rare knowledge that he has to continue to remain with the human society for ever for universal peace and prosperity. He expects sincere seekers to go to the ashram and maintain its sanctity. There is a beautiful garden in the ashram and a farm that he expects his disciples to maintain and expand. He expects his disciples and others to participate in these projects and many more and make their lives successful.