Navadvipa, November 1978
Sridhara Maharaja: …Radharani’s Hari-katha and Candravali’s Hari-katha also is different. According to the intensity of realization the purity of realization, it differs. All Hari-katha is not of all one type, same type. Maha-bhagavata, madhyama-bhagavatam, kanistha-bhagavata, they may talk about Hari but the difference in the deepness of the conception.
Pradyumna: Is Kanistha’s Hari-katha to be heard?
Sridhara Maharaja: Something is better than nothing.
Pradyumna: But avaisnava, no.
Sridhara Maharaja: Avaisnava, that is a false agent. He should not be heard at all. The kanistha adhikari is lower but not insincere. But that is insincere, avaisnava. His Hari-katha means poison.
Pradyumna: But what is the poison on the hari-katha?
Sridhara Maharaja: He is not hari-katha at all. Only stand. He says it is hari-katha. It is not hari-katha. It is maya-katha. Krsna and other gods are one, same. With this message he will go on hari-katha. That is maya-katha. That is not hari. Hari means guna saksat, isvarah prakrteh param. Mayam udasraya. Hari’s name go on. And this is saguna. In Sankaracarya’s Hari is saguna, sattva-guna. The Hari is Sankara is that of sattva-guna, it is really maya. So that is no hari-katha. That is maya-katha. Do you follow?
Pradyumna: Yes. But words are the same. He is speaking Bhagavatam, the word is the same. Just like someone is reciting from Bhagavatam, what is the difference, it is his bhava, it is his attitude. Means he is reading Bhagavatam, anyone is reading Bhagavatam, the word is the same, the speech is the same.
Sridhara Maharaja: Everyone taking the name, so why suddha nama and the nama-aparadha. Why? Later bhagavata-katha. The name only, one says it is aparadha, another says it is suddha-nama. How it is? Another namabhasa, why? If uttering the name, there may be a great gulf between the two, one suddha nama and nama aparadha only. That bhagavata-katha aparadha. That is not bhagavata reading. That is making offense to bhagavata. Not real interpretation. He does not know. He is uttering to some other lower purpose. He wants money or he wants prestige. Something else. Not real Hari he doesn’t want. He cannot see. Srita akrti maya hari durabana. The demon Ravana stole Sita forcibly, took away Sita. Mahaprabhu says only maya. Ravana has no power even to see Sita. It is all spiritual embodiment. And this is maya. So maya katha. Bhagavata katha, is one non-devotee, you see Devananda Pandita was reading Bhagavata explaining. Mahaprabhu told one day when he aspired by Krsna-katha, Oh, Devananda, misinterpreting Bhagavatam. I shall go tear up this. Then Srivasa Pandita and others said no, no, don’t go, he took him away. He wanted to tear the very book of Bhagavatam. He did not do. But he wanted to tear up, he expressed that I want to tear up the book. That book is maya. He is giving misinterpretation. In the Devananda Gaudiya Math, they all they got, they have put, the torn bhagavata. Of course, Mahaprabhu did not do, but those heroes, they have torn bhagavatam, they have destroyed that. I don’t agree with that. They have torn Bhagavatam. But Mahaprabhu only gave wording. They say tear up. This is misinterpretation. Then Devananda again came to the feet of Mahaprabhu. I have done very wrong, I have offended, please forgive me. That is bad, was pratistha, a degradation to correct prognations. That I am a pandita of Bhagavatam. He is not anything. He is sankara school. He doesn’t know anything of Bhagavatam.
[Excerpted from the 1973-1980 Transcripts of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Gosvami Maharaja]