Author’s comment on Schism in the Śrī Vaiṣṇava Sampradāya

For my article “Schism in the Śrī Vaiṣṇava Sampradāya,” I received several responses and comments from various devotees and ISKCON leaders through emails and social media. The article’s focus was to provide just the historical facts behind the creation of a formal schism in one of the oldest, long standing Vaiṣṇava sampradāyas in this Kali-yuga.

Nonetheless, by no means did I intended to say that ISKCON should follow suit.

In fact, my point is that the Śrī Vaiṣṇava schism is a bona fide difference of views both having the clear backing of śāstra. But in the case of ISKCON, even the impending or imminent schism threatening to break it due to the introduction of female dīkśā-gurus is not equivalent to that of the Śrī Vaiṣṇava schism. This is due to the fact that institutionalizing female dīkśā-gurus is forbidden per evidence from the Bhāradvāja-saṁhitā (1.42 to 1.44) of Nārada Pañcarātra. (See Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s use of these ślokas from Bhāradvāja-saṁhitā in his commentary to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.13.15 at this link.)

So how can such a schism be discouraged and avoided?

By openly coming to the discussion table, no matter how many years it might take….

This was my intent in writing that article.

Your humble servant,
Śrīdhara Śrīnivāsa dāsa
20th January 2022

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