The vedas are meant for DIRECT understanding, not imaginations
Hare Krsna to all
All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
what follows is a short summary of how we are to understand Srila Prabhupadas books and instructions.
It is to be done directly,in the mode of goodness and not indirectly through mental concoctions of our own fertile imaginations. He gives the proof, and any sincere disciple should be eager to follow in this way.
And the last verse and purport give the results of such eager following.
Madhya 6.133-135 Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "The Vedanta-sutra is the summary of
all the Upanisads; therefore whatever direct meaning is there in the
Upanisads is also recorded in the Vedanta-sutra, or Vyasa-sutra.
"For each sutra the direct meaning must be accepted without
interpretation. However, you simply abandon the direct meaning and
proceed with your imaginative interpretation.
"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."
In his book Sarva-samvadini, Srila Jiva Gosvami 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historical reference, hypothesis, and so on--and although they are all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... Therefore Srila Jiva Gosvami has warned
us not to depend on any kind of interpretation. It is better to take
the verses as they are, without interpretation.
Madhya 6.137 "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."
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historical reference and the Vedas--Vedic evidence is accepted as the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.
...The Rg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, Mahabharata,
Pancaratra and original Ramayana are all considered Vedic literature.
The Puranas (such as the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, Naradiya Purana,
Visnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana) are especially meant for Vaisnavas
and are also Vedic literature. As such, whatever is stated within the
Puranas, Mahabharata and Ramayana is self-evident. There is no need
for interpretation. The Bhagavad-gita is also within the Mahabharata;
therefore all the statements of the Bhagavad-gita are self-evident.
There is no need for interpretation, and if we do interpret, the
entire authority of the Vedic literature is lost.
... We have got four defects--means we commit
mistake, we become illusioned or bewildered, our senses are imperfect,
and, because everything is imperfect, still we want to become teacher,
that is cheating. I am imperfect. How can I teach? That is going on. A
imperfect person is teaching about transcendental knowledge. Therefore
people are being cheated. Our process is to take lesson from the
perfect person and distribute it, just we are doing. Krsna
consciousness movement means we are preaching what Krsna has said,
that's all. Not that we have manufactured something new. No. That is
not our business. How I can manufacture? I am imperfect. How can I
manufacture? But the spiritual master who follows the perfect teacher,
he is perfect. He is perfect because whatever he is speaking, that is
the statement of the perfect person.
SB 4.18.5 P- At the present moment it has become fashionable to disobey the
unimpeachable directions given by the acaryas and liberated souls of
the past. Presently people are so fallen that they cannot distinguish
between a liberated soul and a conditioned soul. A conditioned soul is
hampered by four defects: he is sure to commit mistakes, he is sure to
become illusioned, he has a tendency to cheat others, and his senses
are imperfect. Consequently we have to take direction from liberated
persons. This Krsna consciousness movement directly receives
instructions from the Supreme personality of Godhead via persons who
are strictly following His instructions. Although a follower may not
be a liberated person, if he follows the supreme, liberated
Personality of Godhead, his actions are naturally liberated from the
contamination of the material nature. Lord Caitanya therefore says:
"By My order you may become a spiritual master." One can immediately
become a spiritual master by having full faith in the transcendental
words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and by following His
instructions. Materialistic men are not interested in taking
directions from a liberated person, but they are very much interested
in their own concocted ideas, which make them repeatedly fail in their
attempts. Because the entire world is now following the imperfect
directions of conditioned souls, humanity is completely bewildered.
SB 3.24.12 P A conditioned soul in the material world has the disqualification of cheating. He has four
disqualifications: he is sure to commit mistakes, he is sure to be
illusioned, he is ... others, and his senses are imperfect. But if one
carries out the order of the spiritual master by disciplic succession,
or the parampara system, he overcomes the four defects. Therefore,
knowledge received from the bona fide spiritual master is not
cheating. Any other knowledge which is manufactured by the conditioned
soul is cheating ....
Yogesvara: "Is there some, any qualities, in the sense that some
people have more receptivity towards the divine than other people?"
Prabhupada: Yes. That I explained, sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna.
Those who are in sattva-guna, they can understand easily. Those who
are in rajo-guna, they have got difficulty. And those who are in
tamo-guna, they cannot.
SB 1.3.44 P--...That is the real process of receiving Bhagavatam. One should
hear with rapt attention from the real person, and then he can at once
realize the presence of Lord Krsna in every page. The secret of
knowing Bhagavatam is mentioned here. No one can give rapt attention
who is not pure in mind. No one can be pure in mind who is not pure in
action. No one can be pure in action who is not pure in eating,
sleeping, fearing and mating. But somehow or other if someone hears
with rapt attention from the right person, at the very beginning one
can assuredly see Lord Sri Krsna in person in the pages of Bhagavatam.
Adi 9.53- Persons who had formerly criticized Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu,
calling Him a drunkard, also ate the fruit and began to dance, saying,
"Very good! Very good!"
When Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu started the sankirtana movement, even
He was unnecessarily criticized by Mayavadis, atheists and fools.
Naturally we are also criticized by such men. They will always remain
and will always criticize anything that is actually good for human
society. But the preachers of the sankirtana movement should not be
deterred by such criticism. Our method should be to convert such fools
gradually by asking them to come and take prasada and chant and dance
with us. This should be our policy. Anyone who comes to join us, of
course, must be sincere and serious regarding spiritual advancement in
life; then such a person, simply by joining us, chanting with us,
dancing with us and taking prasada with us, will gradually also come
to say that this movement is very good. But one who joins with an
ulterior purpose, to get material benefit or personal gratification,
will never be able to grasp the philosophy of this movement.
Adi 9.51 yugayitam nimesena
sunyayitam jagat sarvam
"O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to
be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from My eyes like
torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your
absence." This is the perfectional stage of chanting the Hare Krsna
mantra and eating the fruit of love of Godhead, as exhibited by Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One should not artificially imitate this stage,
but if one is serious and sincerely follows the regulative principles
and chants the Hare Krsna mantra, the time will come when these
symptoms will appear. Tears will fill his eyes, he will be unable to
chant distinctly the maha-mantra, and his heart will throb in ecstasy.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that one should not imitate this, but a
devotee should long for the day to come when such symptoms of trance
will automatically appear in his body.