Not by vote! Last Instruction of Srimad BHakti Dayit Madhav Goswami Maharaj.

Instructions for the Math after His departure

"I have registered the Math. The Math is no one's personal property. But that doesn't mean that I am going to leave this place a mess, with everyone in charge. I have therefore devised a management scheme, which is necessary for the proper running of the Math after I am gone. One person will be named Acharya; he will be the headman or president.

When I am gone, one person will take my place. Who will that be? My spiritual master did not like the idea that there should be a vote to decide the matter. To elect an acharya is not in accordance with the principles of Hari bhakti. God himself will decide who is the acharya. The acharya is the person who is most dear to the Lord. Who will make that decision? The proper arrangement is when the Lord himself says, 'This person is the one who is most dear to me.' Therefore the rule of the disciplic succession is that the choice should come from above. The correct process is that the order should be given from higher up. From the worldly point of view, everyone can get together to elect a leader, but the correct process is that the Lord himself indicates which devotee is filled with love for him, and he makes him the acharya. This is the process approved by scripture.

When Srila Prabhupada was ill, he asked the solicitor, Mr. J. N. Basu, to write up a constitution. We heard that the constitution could be made according to one of two methods, by nomination or by election. Finally, the constitution was written according to the latter method. But Srila Prabhupada did not like it and he rejected it. I and two or three others were personally present when it happened. You cannot decide who is a sadhu, an acharya or realized soul by taking a vote on the matter. Someone will say one thing, another something else and the debate will simply go on. Therefore the proper method is that the Lord himself will choose which person should be honored with the position of acharya. The scripture enjoins us to respect this process.

This process is not followed only in the Gaudiya sampradaya; it can be seen in every Vaishnava sampradaya, the Ramanuja, Madhva, Nimbarka and Vishnusvami lines. This is the way that the disciplic succession is maintained. Therefore, the process ordained in the disciplic succession must be followed. I have therefore discussed with my senior godbrothers who are a part of the Gaudiya Math brotherhood, and I have decided to make Sriman Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha my successor and president in my absence....

When I have gone, that does not give you all an excuse to behave just as you please. The defining characteristic of a Vaishnava is following a devotee. The Lord's blessings follow the blessings of the devotee. When a devotee is merciful to someone, the Lord's mercy follows. This is the essence of my instruction to you, please follow it. I have written about this in more detail elsewhere.

It will not be correct if you try to expel someone from the Math as soon as there is some discord. That will result in chaos. You must first try to explain and clarify the situation. If that still doesn't work, then give the devotee some money and a letter and send him to another Math. Do not act impetuously, but try to work together by following the person who has been made leader. It is not proper to ignore his commands and to do as one pleases. One has to follow the directions of the temple commanders. All his commands are given for the service of the Lord, bear that in mind."

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