Dear Bhakti Vikāśa Mahārāja,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda.

On February 18, 2021, you were quoted by this site as stating:

“The very fact that supposed devotees attempt to interpret Srila Prabhupada’s statements using mathematics shows how foolish and deviated they are from the basic methods of spiritual understanding as taught by Srila Prabhupada. Why even bother to discuss mathematical approaches to “understanding” Srila Prabhupada’s purports? It is complete nonsense from the outset”.

Thank you for pointing out what a foolish nonsense I am. Correction from the Vaiṣṇavas is always welcome and purifying. I am responding only because there were others involved in the mathematical and logical analysis of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s statements, and I feel obliged to honor their exemplary Vaiṣṇava character:

First, as far as the above assessment of devotees using mathematics for interpreting Śrīla Prabhupāda’s statement as “supposed”, “foolish”, and “deviated”, may I very respectfully mention that it was your disciple Kṛṣṇa-kirtī Prabhu, a trained statistician, who pioneered in faithfully and intelligently applying such branches of mathematics as propositional logic and set theory (as well as syntaxical analysis) to interpreting Śrīla Prabhupāda’s purport on SB 4.12.32 in his article Only Woman, not Mother, is the Prohibited Category (published here on January 21, 2021).

As for The Sunīti Pramāṇa and Set Theory, published on February 16, 2021 in response to Kṛṣṇa-kirtī Prabhu’s paper, it continued and elaborated upon his mathematical approach to interpreting Śrīla Prabhupāda’s statements — albeit arriving at a conclusion somewhat different from his. Besides being PhDs in mathematics, its main co-authors also happen to be twice-initiated devotees, strict sādakas and faithful followers of Śrīla Prabhupāda —  just like Kṛṣṇa-kirtī Prabhu is.

Second, as for “complete nonsense”, Śrīla Prabhupāda writes in his SB 1.5.22 purp.:

“Science, art, philosophy and all similar activities engaged in the service of the Lord are all factually hari-kīrtana, or glorification of the Lord”.

The mathematical tools employed in both papers are a scientific way of identifying, expressing and analyzing logical relations. Therefore, while there are certainly foolish mathematicians in this world, I submit that it may not be appropriate to term as “complete nonsense” attempts to employ mathematics as hari-kīrtana in the service of the Lord by elucidating the inherent or implied logic in the statements of His pure devotee, Śrīla Prabhupāda — provided it is done faithfully and intelligently. Kṛṣṇa-kirtī Prabhu did so himself and thus set a fine example of how mathematics and logic can be used to glorify the Lord.

And third, I would like to share my concern that public characterizations of any devotees as “supposed”, “foolish”, and “deviated” by such esteemed and highly respected senior-most leaders of ISKCON as yourself are often weaponized for personal assaults by others, including some followers who may not yet be mature enough in their devotional behavior.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.

With all respect, I beg to remain

your servant,

Madana-mohan dāsa

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