Sri Sri Guru Gouranga jayatah

"Party spirit is the enemy of truth"

From "The Bhagavat" by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur

The following points deal with the symptoms of Party Spirit, facing our young Vaisnava community.

Party Spirit can manifest subtly or grossly in a preaching mission, many times with overzealous followers. One of the serious problems with party spirit is that it can potentially damage or destroy faith and progress in other missions. It is the duty of an Acharya to protect disciples in the beginning stages of their faith from outside influences that may disturb their tender creeper of devotion. But with the emerging world Vaisnava community we should try to harmonize with a common universal interest of saving souls in this world under the banner of Lord Chaitanya's Sankirtan Movement, rather than clash with different centers of local interest. Love, trust and respect to all sincere vaisnavas is a fundamental principle of sadhu sanga in the active and living tree of the parampara of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Those engaging in party spirit will preach that only one person (or mission) is really trustworthy. Some will preach that their connection provides a higher seed of Bhakti which will not be equaled by others. They may not disqualify all Acharyas in their preaching, but they will surely hold their contemporaries in contempt, especially if they have taken up the service of Acharya. In extreme cases, followers may try to transfer the exclusive credibility to be the "next" Acharya to another spiritual master at the cost of all the other active Acharyas.

Some party spirit preachers may create doubts in new and old devotees about other spiritual masters. Such doubts will circulate and damage the faith of disciples of other spiritual masters. Party spirit preachers will warn others with comments like: "He may fall down, he is only a madman." Then they may say; "My Guru is Uttama. Therefore, you should choose my Guru." Or, if someone already has a Guru, they may say or suggest, "You should reject your present guru unless he surrenders unto my Guru."

Party spirit preachers discourage acceptance of the noble attempt of other sincere vaisnavas of continuing and spreading the mission of their Guru as Acharyas, and openly question the motivations of such persons who have accepted the Acharya responsibilities. On the contrary, my Sannyasa Guru and Vaisnava scholar, Srila B.R. Sridhar Maharaja, accepted that young Western-born Vaisnavas had to continue the mission of their Guru and he further encouraged other Western Vaisnavas to open new missions and to initiate disciples. Such Acharyas are the creators of further Acharyas and preaching leaders.

Party spirit preachers do not like to associate with other Vaisnavas who are not under their control. They resent such organizations as the Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha or ignore its existence and the invitations they receive to participate in and develop joint Vaisnava activities in an attempt to bless the whole world with Vaisnava strength and 'Unity in Diversity'.

Party spirit leads to limiting the Acharya expansion of the Guru parampara to their election or appointment ideas. What is forgotten is that a real Acarya will always be self effulgent. If that would not be the case, how could anyone in the world explain how the non-appointed and non-elected Parama Pujyapad A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, my divine master, affectionately known amongst his disciples like his own Gurudeva as 'Srila Prabhupada', single-handedly spread Vaisnavism in the western world and also draw the attention of all Indians as well to the glories of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Party spirit may exploit the highest bhakti philosophy as a recruiting technique by challenging the newcomers or members of other missions with such questions as:
" Does your Guru give siddha pranali?"
" "What is the Adikara of your Guru?"Does this or that Guru know his own spiritual form in Goloka (siddha deha)?"

Party spirit preachers are not generally kind to others (except while recruiting).
Those engaged in party spirit are often hypocritical, misrepresent the truth with lies or distortions and are not afraid to commit Vaisnava Aparadha or Sastra Ninda. Anyone showing such symptoms of party spirit will only distance himself from the love, trust and mercy of the previous Acharyas and the sincere devotional community.

Vaisnava dasanudas
Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti  -  Ekadasi End of Kartika 21-11-96 Vrindavan Dham