What happens when devotees think they are following SP but make it up as they go along?

January 27, 2021 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

The following is a very instructive conversation between Lord Caitanya and Sarva Bhauma Battacarya, whom He, Lord Gauranga, was trying to convince of the errors of his mental speculative ways.

Madhya 6.109–” ‘In almost all cases, whatever learned brāhmaṇas speak becomes accepted; nothing is impossible for one who takes shelter of My illusory energy and speaks under her influence.’ “

PURPORT-In this verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.22.4), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains that His illusory energy can perform the impossible; such is the power of the illusory energy. In many cases philosophical speculators have covered the real truth and have boldly set forth false theories. In ancient times philosophers like Kapila, Gautama, Jaimini, Kaṇāda and similar brāhmaṇas propounded useless philosophical theories, and in modern days so-called scientists are setting forth many false theories about the creation, backed up by seemingly logical arguments. This is all due to the influence of the Supreme Lord’s illusory energy. The illusory energy, therefore, sometimes appears correct because it is emanating from the Supreme Correct. To avoid the very bewildering illusory influence, one must accept the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as they are. Only then can one escape the influence of the illusory energy.

Madhya 6.132–“You do not explain the direct meaning of the Brahma-sūtras. Indeed, it appears that your business is to cover their real meaning.”

PURPORT-This is typical of all Māyāvādīs or atheists who interpret the meaning of Vedic literature in their own imaginative way. The real purpose of such foolish people is to impose the impersonalist conclusion on all Vedic literature. The Māyāvādī atheists also interpret the Bhagavad-gītā. In every verse of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly stated that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In every verse Vyāsadeva says, śrī-bhagavān uvāca, “the Supreme Personality of Godhead said,” or “the Blessed Lord said.” It is clearly stated that the Blessed Lord is the Supreme Person, but Māyāvādī atheists still try to prove that the Absolute Truth is impersonal. In order to present their false, imaginary meanings, they must adopt so much word jugglery and grammatical interpretation that they finally become ludicrous. Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu remarked that no one should hear the Māyāvādī commentaries or purports to any Vedic literature.

Madhya 6.135–“Although there is other evidence, the evidence given in the Vedic version must be taken as foremost. Vedic versions understood directly are first-class evidence.”

PURPORT-Works that should be consulted are Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī’s Tattva-sandarbha (10-11), Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s commentary on that, and the following verses of the Brahma-sūtra: śāstra-yonitvāt (1.1.3), tarkāpratiṣṭhānāt (2.1.11) and śrutes tu śabda-mūlatvāt (2.1.27), as commented upon by Śrī Rāmānujācārya, Śrī Madhvācārya, Śrī Nimbārkācārya and Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa. In his book Sarva-saṁvādinī, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has noted that although there are ten kinds of evidence-direct perception, the Vedic version, historical reference, hypothesis, and so on-and although they are all generally accepted as evidence, the person presenting a hypothesis, reading the Vedic version, perceiving or interpreting by his experience is certain to be imperfect in four ways. That is, he is subject to commiting mistakes, to becoming illusioned, to cheating and to having imperfect senses. Although the evidence may be correct, the person himself is in danger of being misled due to his material defects. Apart from the direct presentation, there is a chance that an interpretation may not be perfect. Therefore the conclusion is that only a direct presentation can be considered evidence. An interpretation cannot be accepted as evidence, but may be considered proof of evidence.In the Bhagavad-gītā, at the very beginning it is stated:dhṛtarāṣṭra uvācadharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caivakim akurvata sañjayaThe statements of the Bhagavad-gītā are themselves proof that there is a place of religious pilgrimage named Kurukṣetra where the Pāṇḍavas and Kurus met to fight. After meeting there, what did they do? This was Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s inquiry to Sañjaya. Although these statements are very clear, atheists try to interpret different meanings of the words dharma-kṣetra and kuru-kṣetra. Therefore Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has warned us not to depend on any kind of interpretation. It is better to take the verses as they are, without interpretation.

Madhya 6.136–Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “Conchshells and cow dung are nothing but the bones and the stool of some living entities, but according to the Vedic version they are both considered very pure.

PURPORT-According to Vedic principles, bones and dung are generally considered very impure. If one touches a bone or stool, he must take a bath immediately. That is the Vedic injunction. Yet the Vedas also enjoin that a conchshell, although the bone of an animal, and cow dung, although the stool of an animal, are very sanctified. Even though such statements appear contradictory, on the basis of the Vedic version we still accept the fact that conchshells and cow dung are pure and sanctified.

Madhya 6.137–“The Vedic statements are self-evident. Whatever is stated there must be accepted. If we interpret according to our own imagination, the authority of the Vedas is immediately lost.”

PURPORT-Out of four main types of evidence-direct perception, hypothesis, historical reference and the Vedas-Vedic evidence is accepted as the foremost.If we want to interpret the Vedic version, we must imagine an interpretation according to what we want to do. First of all, we set forth such an interpretation as a suggestion or hypothesis. As such, it is not actually true, and the self-evident proof is lost.Śrīla Madhvācārya, commenting on the aphorism dṛśyate tu (Vedānta-sūtra 2.1.6), quotes the Bhaviṣya Purāṇa as follows: ṛg-yajuḥ-sāmātharvāś ca bhārataṁ pañcarātrakam mūla-rāmāyaṇaṁ caiva veda ity eva śabditāḥ purāṇāni ca yānīha vaiṣṇavāni vido viduḥ svataḥ-prāmāṇyam eteṣāṁ nātra kiñcid vicāryateThe Ṛg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sāma Veda, Atharva Veda, Mahābhārata, Pañcarātra and original Rāmāyaṇa are all considered Vedic literature. The Purāṇas (such as the Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa, Nāradīya Purāṇa, Viṣṇu Purāṇa and Bhāgavata Purāṇa) are especially meant for Vaiṣṇavas and are also Vedic literature. As such, whatever is stated within the Purāṇas, Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa is self-evident. There is no need for interpretation. The Bhagavad-gītā is also within the Mahābhārata; therefore all the statements of the Bhagavad-gītā are self-evident. There is no need for interpretation, and if we do interpret, the entire authority of the Vedic literature is lost.

Madhya 6.147–“The word ‘Brahman’ indicates the complete Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. That is the verdict of all Vedic literature.

PURPORT-This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15), where the Lord says, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ. The ultimate object in all Vedic literature is Kṛṣṇa. Everyone is searching for Him. This is also confirmed elsewhere in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.19): bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyatevāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.”When one has actually become wise through the study of Vedic literature, he surrenders unto Vāsudeva, Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa.This is also confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.7-8):vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁjñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ notpādayed yadi ratiṁ śrama eva hi kevalamUnderstanding Vāsudeva is real knowledge. By engaging in the devotional service of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, one acquires perfect knowledge and Vedic understanding. Thus one becomes detached from the material world. This is the perfection of human life. Although one may perfectly follow religious rituals and ceremonies, he is simply wasting his time (śrama eva hi kevalam) if he does not attain this perfection.… As stated in the Padma Purāṇa, ataḥ-śrī kṛṣṇa nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ: a person with mundane senses cannot fully understand the name, qualities, form and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The Purāṇas are therefore meant to explain and supplement Vedic knowledge. The great sages present the Purāṇas in order to make the Vedic mantras understandable for common men (strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnām). Considering that women, śūdras and dvija-bandhus (unworthy sons of the twice-born) cannot understand the Vedic hymns directly, Śrīla Vyāsadeva compiled the Mahābhārata. Actually, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is vedeṣu durlabham (untraceable in the Vedas), but when the Vedas are properly understood or when Vedic knowledge is received from devotees, one can understand that all Vedic knowledge leads to Śrī Kṛṣṇa.The Brahma-sūtra (1.1.3) confirms this fact also: śāstra-yonitvāt. Commenting upon this Brahma-sūtra aphorism (śāstra-yonitvāt), Śrī Madhvācārya says: “The Ṛg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sāma Veda, Atharva Veda, Mahābhārata, Pañcarātra and the original Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa are all works of Vedic literature. Any literary work following the conclusive statements of these Vedic scripttures is also to be considered Vedic literature. That literature which does not conform to Vedic literature is simply misleading.”Therefore when reading Vedic literature, we must take the path traversed by great ācāryas: mahā-jano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. Unless one follows the path traversed by great ācāryas, he cannot understand the real purport of the Vedas.

Some Conclusions—Throughout all these verses and purports the idea is presented by Srila Vyasadeva and Srila Prabhupada that one must accept the Vedas and the supplemental Puranas, AS THEY ARE, without adulteration or personal interpretations whereby one screws out his own “understanding” or speculations.And this is exactly what we are seeing today among many devotees who are on the mental platform, and not the spiritual platform. Spiritual platform means one accepts verbatim what the bona fide spiritual master or guru says, without change. And if one cannot do that, then he or she should not have accepted such a guru as master.

Unless one is under the shelter of a realized spiritual master, his understanding of the Supreme is simply foolishness” quote from TLC

LA July 13 1971—Prabhupāda: Unless one is prepared that “I am accepting somebody as my spiritual master. I must accept whatever he says,” if there is any doubt, that I cannot accepthis words verbatim,” then one should not accept him as spiritual master. That is hypocrisy

Note-And what happens in your daily activities if one cannot accept vebatim without speculation the words of Srila Prabhupada?

SB 1.18.18 purport…Such is the power of pure devotees of the Lord. The Ganges water is accepted as pure, and one can become purified after taking a bath in the waters of the Ganges. But as far as the great devotees of the Lord are concerned, they can purify a degraded soul even by being seen by the lowborn, and what to speak of association. Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to purify the whole atmosphere of the polluted world by sending qualified preachers all over the world, and it remains with the Indians to take up this task scientifically and thus do the best kind of humanitarian work. The mental diseases of the present generation are more acute than bodily diseases; it is quite fit and proper to take up the preaching of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam all over the world without delay.

Cc. Adi-lila : Adi 8: The Author Receives the Orders of Krsna and Guru : Adi 8.15 : PURPORT :Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvati Ṭhākura comments in this connection that people in general, in their narrow-minded conception of life, create many different types of humanitarian activities, but the humanitarian activities inaugurated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are different. For logicians who want to accept only that which is proven through logic and argument, it is a fact that without logic and reason there can be no question of accepting the Absolute Truth. Unfortunately, when such logicians take to this path without the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they remain on the platform of logic and argument and do not advance in spiritual lifeHowever, if one is intelligent enough to apply his arguments and logic to the subtle understanding of the fundamental spiritual substance, he will be able to know that a poor fund of knowledge established on the basis of material logic cannot help one understand the Absolute Truth, which is beyond the reach of imperfect senses. The Mahābhārata therefore says: acintyāḥ khalu ye bhāvā na tāṁs tarkeṇa yojayet. (Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma-parva 5.22) How can that which is beyond the imagination or sensory speculation of mundane creatures be approached simply by logic? Logic and argument are very poor in spiritual strength and always imperfect when applied to spiritual understanding. By putting forward mundane logic one frequently comes to the wrong conclusion regarding the Absolute Truth, and as a result of such a conclusion one may fall down to accept a body like that of a jackal.4th offenses to chanting-to blaspheme the vedic literatures or any other literatures in pursuance to the vedic version

Hare Krsna

damaghosa das