I was informed some time ago that Madhāvananda Dās from Finland left Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism. (I waited with this blog until his own announcement would come) Sad as it is, his departure does not surprise me. I don’t want to use this blog to kick a man when he’s down, but our relationship was checkered to say the least. On the positive side Mādhava has been a great computer-help from the beginning till the end, and in the early days of our acquaintance he was great sat saṅga too. We had a few scuffles before, but the relationship was irrepairably distorted when Mādhava began to blindly and consistently side with Jagat in whatever apostasy or aparādha he had to present on "Gaudiya Discussions" from June 2004 onwards. Since then Mādhava could never really give up his deep friendship for Jagat, and that might have led to his demise. When put to the test Mādhava repeatedly failed in respect, honesty, humility, modesty and integrity. I hope he will come back, but my 30-year experience with seeing 90% of devotees leaving without ever returning makes me fear the worst.
Finally I want to say to those who support(ed) Mādhava: It is sad that after the 11-Guru debacle devotees have not learned anything. The 11 post-ACBS Iskcon Gurus were mistaken for pure devotees because of their charisma and material qualifications – history repeated itself with Jagāi and Mādhāi, who had the same ‘assets’. Real devotion is not shown through a mega-brain, eloquence, quoting lots of verses, sex appeal, fancy glittering uniforms, fancy titles or having many disciples. Mādhava wrote some excellent essays that can always be used for future preaching, so his legacy is safeguarded. I read his goodbye-letter on his blog, and saw confirmed that bhakti is anyway not really the path for him. I respect that and wish him the best in his onward journey.