Question by Anantacarya dasa: "Srila Gurudeva, Does Srimati Radharani's brother, Sridham Sakha, appear before us as Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj?
(Then there are quizzical looks from all 8 devotees in the room).
Srila BV Narayan: "For His disciples. His disciples can see Him that way if they want to"......."but He is a manjari just like the rest of us."
Narayan Maharaja subsequently sent the following detailed and nectarian email as a more comprehensive explanation:
My dear Anantacarya,
My heartly blessings are for you. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and
Gauranga, all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.
Regarding your questions:
First of all, it is understood that all who are Acaryas in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami are called Rupanugas. This means that they are serving under the guidance of Srila Rupa Gosvami in the manifested pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and in Krsna lila they serve under the guidance of Sri Rupa Manjari. All who are under the guidance of Sri Rupa Manjari are her manjari sakhis. Any Acarya who is a follower of Sri Rupa is never in sakhya rasa. An Acarya who is in sakhya rasa will come in another line from Sri Nityananda Prabhu. If he is in vatsalya rasa, he comes in pusti marga from Vallabhacarya. He will come in the Sri Sampradaya if he is in aisvarya mood.
Then again, for a disciple it is alright to think that his Guru maharaja is in sakhya rasa. No harm at all. When the disciple realizes his or her own stayi bhava, then only does it become clear how to go forward on the path of perfection in the spiritual world. Like in Jaiva Dharma it is clearly explained that the disciple - Vrajanath and Vijay Kumar - sees his spiritual master according to the intrinsic bhava - stayi bhava - which is manifest in the heart of the disciple.
Your ever well-wisher,
Swami B.V. Narayan