Your servant Chandrasekhar
Please accept my humble obeisances. Al glories to Srila Prabhupada
Attached is the long awaited document about the agreement with Umapati Maharaja. This agreement was worked out between him and the EC with the help of Brahma Tirtha prabhu. This statement has been agreed to by Maharaja both verbally and through email. A signed copy is also on its way and will be kept for the record.
I suspect for some it may be too general in regards to what his innapropriate behavior actually was. Some will consider it not strong enough and others will consider it too strong.
In the document mention is given of a monitoring
committee who will monitor Maharaja for the two year period he is to be out
As you may know Maharaja is now in Mayapur. If all goes as agreed upon and hoped he will stay there for the next year and a half. He is with some disciples, whom I assume will try to remain with him for as long as possible. Given his age and medical condition he would need a permanent servant and some company.
A short history is in order.
Rumors regarding Maharaja's innapropriate behavior
surfaced a number of years ago. He always strongly denied them and up until a
couple of years ago no one wanted to put their name and face
to the accussations. Even then only one victim was willing to put their name and
face to the accusation. Two investigations were done. One investigation was done
during the late 90s by Giridhari swami based upon an accusation from an
individual. This accusation was latter retracted, probably due to fear and
threat, and Maharaja denied anything happened and thus the investigation didn't
go anywhere. A second investigation was done by Ritadwaja swami about two years
back based upon another accusation. At the time a handful of godbrothers in the
Last year Sept during one of Maharaja's visits to HK he admitted to Krishna Baladeva and Narasinga Maharaja that some of the rumors about him were true. Nothing was formally discussed or decided upon then but they suggested a few informal things he could do to improve himself. Over the course of the next few months Maharaja revealed a little more of his impropriety to other individuals.
One thing led to the next and a meeting was arranged in Vrindavana of December of that year with Maharaja, Gopal Bhatta, Braja Bihari and Chandrasekhar in order to discuss with Maharaja what steps should be taken. It lasted three days and there was a bit of back and forth but Maharaja went along with what was decided upon. A statement was drafted and it was to be announced in Jan of this year. The meeting was respectful and I can only state we bend over backwards to be nice.
We all went our ways and then bit by bit Maharaja began to dispute and disagree with various aspects of that agreement. Over the next six weeks there was much going back and forth about this after which he finally rejected the agreement outright. At that point, although it was clear to him that this option was there from the beginning, he said he wanted the GBC to deal with his case. It came to this just prior to the GBC meetings in Mayapur. It was then that the EC began to deal with him regarding his situation.
I think they went back and forth for almost a month and
then at some point in April it went to Brahma Tirtha prabhu. Maharaja was in
I mention this history for different reasons.
I have been hearing accounts from some that they consider the GBC unfair, too strong etc. If anything I think we can say the opposite and that the leadership (includes me) looked the other way for too long. For years we gave him the benefit of the doubt and then gave him three opportunities to argue his case once he admitted to something. I have also never been able to understand why residing in Mayapur for two years is a punishment and/or harsh. It is a great mercy to visit there for a few days what to speak of being able to live there for two years.
You may be aware that some disciples wrote to the EC complaining about the process as being biased and baseless and that there should be a proper investigation etc. Maharaja had this option from day one but chose not to take it. As doing so would require all the evidence being put out on the table for judges to judge. That wouldn't have been easier than the present arrangement and would have been more difficult for both him and his followers. In either case he chose the present procedure.
I suspect some of you may be asked exactly what happened that was innapropriate. What was heard from Maharaja and from what was heard from the victims, two of which were firsthand and the other 2, 2nd and 3rd hand, there was no intercourse as such. Touching of the private parts and fondling. The statements mentions Maharaja acted innapropriately with 'several devotees'. Maharaja himself stated it was 7 persons, although he didn't state who they were.
Although not as bad as other examples in our society I think we should be careful about giving the impression during our discussions with the devotees (when and if asked) that it was really no big deal or only a very small mishap. We don't need to demonize him but I think it should be clear that it was wrong and being with disciples makes it especially wrong.
Time will tell exactly what will eventuate once this statement is released. Suggestions are welcome but at the moment we plan to send out the statement as it is. The Chinese is being done now and that will also go out. Over the coming days and weeks I will arrange certain devotees to speak about the matter over skype. There was some talk in the past of having Narasinga Maharaja going in person to release the info. Will contact him about this but would want him to come in July for the meetings (going back and forth might be troublesome for him) and may just get him to do it then. There are likely to be some over enthusiastic disciples too who might try to cause him trouble and giving the statement some time to sink in before him going might be better also. Again, suggestions are welcome how to release the statement, through what mediums etc. I will wait one, maximum two days, for advice in this regard, before sending it out.
Your humble servant Chandrasekhar