How All the Residents of Vārāṇasī Became Vaiṣṇavas
The following is a summary of Chapter Twenty-five. A Mahārāṣṭrian brāhmaṇa who was living in Benares was a great devotee of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He was always very happy to hear of the glories of the Lord, and it was by his arrangement that all the sannyāsīs of Vārāṇasī became devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He invited all the sannyāsīs to his house to meet Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and this incident has been described in the Seventh Chapter of Ādi-līlā. From that day, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became famous in the city of Vārāṇasī, and many important men in that city became His followers. By and by, one of the disciples of the great sannyāsī Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī became devoted to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and this devotee explained Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and supported His views with various arguments.
One day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to take a bath at Pañca-nada, and afterwards all His devotees began chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra in front of the temple of Bindu Mādhava. At this time Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and all his devotees approached the Lord. Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī immediately fell down at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and very much regretted his past behavior toward the Lord. He asked Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu about devotional service in terms of the Vedānta-sūtra, and the Lord told him about devotional service that is approved by great personalities who know the Vedānta-sūtra. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then pointed out that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the proper commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra. He then explained the catuḥ-ślokī (four ślokas) of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the essence of that great scripture.
From that day on, all the sannyāsīs of Vārāṇasī became devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Before returning to His headquarters at Jagannātha Purī, the Lord advised Sanātana Gosvāmī to go to Vṛndāvana. The Lord then departed for Jagannātha Purī. Kavirāja Gosvāmī then describes something about Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī and Subuddhi Rāya. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Jagannātha Purī through the great forest of Jhārikhaṇḍa in central India. At the end of this chapter, Kavirāja Gosvāmī sums up the incidents of Madhya-līlā and instructs every living being to read this sublime book of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's pastimes.
prabhur nīlādrim āgamat
vaiṣṇavī-kṛtya—making into Vaiṣṇavas; sannyāsi-mukhān—headed by the sannyāsīs; kāśī-nivāsinaḥ—the residents of Vārāṇasī; sanātanam—Sanātana Gosvāmī; su-saṁskṛtya—completely purifying; prabhuḥ—Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; nīlādrim—to Jagannātha Purī; āgamat—returned.
After converting into Vaiṣṇavas all the residents of Vārāṇasī, who were headed by the sannyāsīs, and after completely educating and instructing Sanātana Gosvāmī at Vārāṇasī, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Jagannātha Purī.
jaya jaya śrī-caitanya jaya nityānanda
jayādvaita-candra jaya gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
jaya jaya—all glories; śrī-caitanya—to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; jaya—all glories; nityānanda—to Nityānanda Prabhu; jaya—all glories; advaita-candra—to Advaita Prabhu; jaya—all glories; gaura-bhakta-vṛnda—to the devotees of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
All glories to Lord Caitanya! All glories to Lord Nityānanda! All glories to Advaitacandra! And all glories to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya!
ei mata mahāprabhu dui māsa paryanta
śikhāilā tāṅre bhakti-siddhāntera anta
ei mata—in this way; mahāprabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; dui māsa paryanta—for two months; śikhāilā—instructed; tāṅre—him; bhakti-siddhāntera anta—all the conclusions of devotional service.
Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī in all the conclusions of devotional service for two consecutive months.
'paramānanda kīrtanīyā'-śekharera saṅgī
prabhure kīrtana śunāya, ati baḍa raṅgī
paramānanda kīrtanīyā—Paramānanda Kīrtanīyā; śekharera saṅgī—a friend of Candraśekhara's; prabhure—unto Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; kīrtana śunāya—sings and chants; ati baḍa raṅgī—very humorous.
For as long as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was in Vārāṇasī, Paramānanda Kīrtanīyā, who was a friend of Candraśekhara's, chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and other songs to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in a very humorous way.
sannyāsīra gaṇa prabhure yadi upekṣila
bhakta-duḥkha khaṇḍāite tāre kṛpā kaila
sannyāsīra gaṇa—all the sannyāsīs; prabhure—Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; yadi—when; upekṣila—criticized; bhakta-duḥkha—the unhappiness of the devotees; khaṇḍāite—to drive away; tāre—to them; kṛpā kaila—showed His mercy.
When the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs at Vārāṇasī criticized Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Lord's devotees became very depressed. To satisfy them, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu showed His mercy to the sannyāsīs.
sannyāsīre kṛpā pūrve likhiyāchoṅ vistāriyā
uddeśe kahiye ihāṅ saṅkṣepa kariyā
sannyāsīre kṛpā—mercy upon the sannyāsīs; pūrve—before this; likhiyāchoṅ—I have described; vistāriyā—elaborately; uddeśe—in reference to that; kahiye—let me speak; ihāṅ—here; saṅkṣepa kariyā—in brief.
In the Seventh Chapter of Ādi-līlā I have already elaborately described Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's deliverance of the sannyāsīs at Vārāṇasī, but I shall briefly repeat it in this chapter.
yāhāṅ tāhāṅ prabhura nindā kare sannyāsīra gaṇa
śuni' duḥkhe mahārāṣṭrīya vipra karaye cintana
yāhāṅ tāhāṅ—anywhere and everywhere; prabhura nindā—criticism of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; kare—do; sannyāsīra gaṇa—the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs; śuni'-hearing; duḥkhe—in great unhappiness; mahārāṣṭrīya vipra—the brāhmaṇa of Mahārāṣṭra province; karaye cintana—was contemplating.
When the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs were criticizing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu anywhere and everywhere in Vārāṇasī, the Mahārāṣṭrian brāhmaṇa, hearing this blasphemy, began to think about this unhappily.
"prabhura svabhāva,-yebā dekhe sannidhāne
'svarūpa' anubhavi' tāṅre 'īśvara' kari' māne
prabhura sva-bhāva—the characteristics of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; yebā—anyone who; dekhe—sees; sannidhāne—nearby; sva-rūpa—His personality; anubhavi'-realizing; tāṅre—Him; īśvara kari'-as the Supreme Lord; māne—accepts.
The Mahārāṣṭrian brāhmaṇa thought, "Whoever closely sees the characteristics of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately realizes His personality and accepts Him as the Supreme Lord.
kona prakāre pāroṅ yadi ekatra karite
ihā dekhi' sannyāsi-gaṇa habe iṅhāra bhakte
kona prakāre—by some means; pāroṅ—I am able; yadi—if; ekatra karite—to assemble; ihā dekhi'-by seeing this (Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's personal characteristics); sannyāsi-gaṇa—the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs of Vārāṇasī; habe—will become; iṅhāra bhakte—His devotees.
"If by some means I can assemble all the sannyāsīs together, they will certainly become His devotees after seeing His personal characteristics.
If one saw the personal characteristics and activities of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one would certainly be convinced that He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can ascertain this by following in the footsteps of the śāstric injunctions. This sincere study and appreciation of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is also applicable to His authorized devotees, and it is clearly stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Antya 7.11):
kṛṣṇa-śakti vinā nāhe tāra pravartana
In this Age of Kali, real religious propaganda should induce people to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. This is possible for someone who is especially empowered by Kṛṣṇa. No one can do this without being especially favored by Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura comments in this regard in his Anubhāṣya, wherein he quotes a verse from Nārāyaṇa-saṁhitā:
dvāparīyair janair viṣṇuḥ
pañcarātrais tu kevalaiḥ
kalau tu nāma-mātreṇa
pūjyate bhagavān hariḥ
"In Dvāpara-yuga, devotees of Lord Viṣṇu and Kṛṣṇa rendered devotional service according to the principles of pāñcarātrika. In this Age of Kali, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshiped simply by the chanting of His holy names." Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura then comments: "Without being empowered by the direct potency of Lord Kṛṣṇa to fulfill His desire and without being specifically favored by the Lord, no human being can become the spiritual master of the whole world. He certainly cannot succeed by mental concoction, which is not meant for devotees or religious people. Only an empowered personality can distribute the holy name of the Lord and enjoin all fallen souls to worship Kṛṣṇa. By distributing the holy name of the Lord, he cleanses the hearts of the most fallen people; therefore he extinguishes the blazing fire of the material world. Not only that, he broadcasts the shining brightness of Kṛṣṇa's effulgence throughout the world. Such an ācārya, or spiritual master, should be considered nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa-that is, he should be considered the incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa's potency. Such a personality is kṛṣṇāliṅgita-vigraha-that is, he is always embraced by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. Such a person is above the considerations of the varṇāśrama institution. He is the guru or spiritual master for the entire world, a devotee on the topmost platform, the mahā-bhāgavata stage, and a paramahaṁsa-ṭhākura, a spiritual form only fit to be addressed as paramahaṁsa or ṭhākura."
Nonetheless, there are many people who are just like owls but never open their eyes to see the sunshine. These owlish personalities are inferior to the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs who cannot see the brilliance of Kṛṣṇa's favor. They are prepared to criticize the person engaged in distributing the holy name all over the world and following in the footsteps of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who wanted Kṛṣṇa consciousness preached in every town and city.
vārāṇasī-vāsa āmāra haya sarva-kāle
sarva-kāla duḥkha pāba, ihā nā karile"
vārāṇasī-vāsa—residence at Vārāṇasī; āmāra—my; haya—there is; sarva-kāle—always; sarva-kāla—always; duḥkha pāba—I will suffer unhappiness; ihā—this; nā karile—if I do not execute.
"I shall have to reside at Vārāṇasī the rest of my life. If I do not try to carry out this plan, I shall certainly continue to suffer mental depression."
eta cinti' nimantrila sannyāsīra gaṇe
tabe sei vipra āila mahāprabhura sthāne
eta cinti'—thinking this; nimantrila—he invited; sannyāsīra gaṇe—all the sannyāsīs; tabe—then; sei vipra—that brāhmaṇa; āila—approached; mahāprabhura sthāne—the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Thinking like this, the Mahārāṣṭrian brāhmaṇa extended an invitation to all the sannyāsīs of Vārāṇasī. After doing this, he finally approached Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to extend Him an invitation.
hena-kāle nindā śuni' śekhara, tapana
duḥkha pāñā prabhu-pade kailā nivedana
hena-kāle—exactly at this time; nindā śuni'-by hearing the criticism (of Lord Caitanya by the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs); śekhara tapana—Candraśekhara and Tapana Miśra; duḥkha pāñā—feeling very unhappy; prabhu-pade—unto the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; kailā nivedana—submitted a request.
At this time, Candraśekhara and Tapana Miśra both heard blasphemous criticism against Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and felt very unhappy. They came to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's lotus feet to submit a request.
bhakta-duḥkha dekhi' prabhu manete cintila
sannyāsīra mana phirāite mana ha-ila
bhakta-duḥkha dekhi'-seeing the unhappiness of the devotees; prabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; manete cintila—considered within His mind; sannyāsīra mana—the minds of the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs; phirāite—to turn; mana ha-ila—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu decided.
They submitted their request, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, seeing His devotees' unhappiness, decided to turn the minds of the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs.
hena-kāle vipra āsi' karila nimantraṇa
aneka dainyādi kari' dharila caraṇa
hena-kāle—at this time; vipra—the Mahārāṣṭrian brāhmaṇa; āsi'-coming; karila nimantraṇa—invited Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; aneka—various; dainya-ādi—submissions; kari'-doing; dharila caraṇa—touched His lotus feet.
While Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was seriously considering meeting with the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, the Mahārāṣṭrian brāhmaṇa approached Him and extended an invitation. The brāhmaṇa submitted his invitation with great humility, and he touched the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
tabe mahāprabhu tāṅra nimantraṇa mānilā
āra dina madhyāhna kari' tāṅra ghare gelā
tabe—after this; mahāprabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; tāṅra—his; nimantraṇa—invitation; mānilā—accepted; āra dina—the next day; madhyāhna kari'-after finishing His madhyāhna activities (taking bath and murmuring mantras); tāṅra ghare gelā—He went to the house of the Mahārāṣṭrian brāhmaṇa.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted his invitation, and the next day, after finishing His noontime activities, He went to the brāhmaṇa's house.
tāhāṅ yaiche kailā prabhu sannyāsīra nistāra
pañca-tattvākhyāne tāhā kariyāchi vistāra
tāhāṅ—there; yaiche—how; kailā—performed; prabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; sannyāsīra—of the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs; nistāra—deliverance; pañca-tattva-ākhyāne—in describing the glories of the Pañca-tattva (Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Prabhu Nityānanda, Śrī Advaita, Gadādhara and Śrīvāsa); tāhā—that subject matter; kariyāchi vistāra—have described elaborately.
I have already described Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's deliverance of the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs in the Seventh Chapter when I described the glories of the Pañca-tattva-Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu, Gadādhara Prabhu and Śrīvāsa.
grantha bāḍe, punarukti haya ta' kathana
tāhāṅ ye nā likhiluṅ, tāhā kariye likhana
grantha—the size of the book; bāḍe—increases; punaḥ-ukti—repetition; haya—would be; ta' kathana—of subject matters once described; tāhāṅ—there (in the Seventh Chapter); ye—whatever; nā likhiluṅ—I have not described; tāhā—that; kariye likhana—I am writing.
Since I have already described this incident very elaborately in the Seventh Chapter of Ādi-līlā, I do not wish to increase the size of this book by giving another description. However, I shall try to include in this chapter whatever was not described there.
ye divasa prabhu sannyāsīre kṛpā kaila
se divasa haite grāme kolāhala haila
ye divasa—the day when; prabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; sannyāsīre—to the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs; kṛpā kaila—showed His mercy; se divasa haite—beginning from that day; grāme—in the locality; kolāhala haila—there were many talks about this incident.
Beginning from the day on which Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu showed His mercy to the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, there were vivid discussions about this conversion among the inhabitants of Vārāṇasī.
lokera saṅghaṭṭa āise prabhure dekhite
nānā śāstre paṇḍita āise śāstra vicārite
lokera saṅghaṭṭa—crowds of men; āise—come; prabhure dekhite—to see Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; nānā śāstre paṇḍita—scholars learned in various scriptures; āise—used to come; śāstra vicārite—to talk on various scriptures.
Crowds of people came to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu from that day on, and scholars of various scriptures discussed different subject matters with the Lord.
sarva-śāstra khaṇḍi' prabhu 'bhakti' kare sāra
sayuktika vākye mana phirāya sabāra
sarva-śāstra khaṇḍi'-defeating all the false conclusions of different scriptures; prabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; bhakti kare sāra—established the predominance of devotional service; sa-yuktika vākye—by talks full of pleasing logic and arguments; mana phirāya—turns the minds; sabāra—of everyone.
When people came to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to discuss the principles of various scriptures, the Lord defeated their false conclusions and established the predominance of devotional service to the Lord. With logic and argument He very politely changed their minds.
We have been spreading this saṅkīrtana movement in the Western countries, and in our recent tour of European cities like Rome, Geneva, Paris and Frankfurt, many learned Christian scholars, priests, philosophers and yogīs came to see us, and by the grace of Kṛṣṇa they agreed that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, the bhakti cult, offers the topmost conclusion. Following in the footsteps of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, we are trying to convince everyone that the devotional service of the Lord is enjoined in every scripture. If a person is religious, he must accept the supreme authority of the Lord, become His devotee and try to love Him. This is the real principle of religion. It does not matter whether one is Christian, Mohammedan or whatever. He simply must accept the sublime position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and render service unto Him. It is not a question of being Christian, Mohammedan or Hindu. One should be purely religious and freed from all these material designations. In this way one can learn the art of devotional service. This argument appeals to all intelligent men, and consequently this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is gaining ground throughout the world. Due to our solid logic and scientific presentation, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's prediction that Kṛṣṇa consciousness will spread in every town and village throughout the world is gradually being realized.
upadeśa lañā kare kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana
sarva-loka hāse, gāya, karaye nartana
upadeśa lañā—getting instructions from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; kare—join; kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana—the saṅkīrtana movement; sarva-loka hāse—everyone began to laugh in pleasure; gāya—chant; karaye nartana—and dance.
As soon as people received instructions from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they began to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Thus everyone laughed, chanted and danced with the Lord.
prabhure praṇata haila sannyāsīra gaṇa
ātma-madhye goṣṭhī kare chāḍi' adhyayana
prabhure—unto Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; praṇata haila—offered obeisances; sannyāsīra gaṇa—all the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs; ātma-madhye—among themselves; goṣṭhī kare—discussed; chāḍi' adhyayana—giving up so-called studies of Vedānta.
All the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs offered their obeisances unto Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and then began to discuss His movement, giving up their studies of Vedānta and Māyāvāda philosophy.
prakāśānandera śiṣya eka tāṅhāra samāna
sabhā-madhye kahe prabhura kariyā sammāna
prakāśānandera śiṣya eka—one of the disciples of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī; tāṅhāra samāna—equal in learning with Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī; sabhā-madhye—in the assembly of the sannyāsīs; kahe—explains; prabhura kariyā sammāna—respecting Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu seriously.
One of the disciples of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, who was as learned as his guru, began to speak in that assembly, offering all respects to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya haya 'sākṣāt nārāyaṇa'
'vyāsa-sūtrera' artha karena ati-manorama
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya—Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu; haya—is; sākṣāt nārāyaṇa—directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa; vyāsa-sūtrera—the codes of Vyāsadeva (Vedānta-sūtra); artha karena—He explains; ati-manorama—very nicely.
He said, "Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa Himself. When He explains the Vedānta-sūtra, He does so very nicely.
upaniṣadera karena mukhyārtha vyākhyāna
śuniyā paṇḍita-lokera juḍāya mana-kāṇa
upaniṣadera—of the Vedic version known as the Upaniṣads; karena—He does; mukhya-artha—the original meaning; vyākhyāna—explanation; śuniyā—hearing; paṇḍita-lokera—of the learned scholars; juḍāya—satisfies; mana-kāṇa—the minds and ears.
"Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu explains the direct meaning of the Upaniṣads. When all learned scholars hear this, their minds and ears are satisfied.
sūtra-upaniṣadera mukhyārtha chāḍiyā
ācārya 'kalpanā' kare āgraha kariyā
sūtra-upaniṣadera—of the Vedānta-sūtra and the Upaniṣads; mukhya-artha—the direct meaning; chāḍiyā—giving up; ācārya—Śaṅkarācārya; kalpanā—imagination; kare—does; āgraha kariyā—with great eagerness.
"Giving up the direct meaning of the Vedānta-sūtra and the Upaniṣads, Śaṅkarācārya imagines some other interpretation.
ācārya-kalpita artha ye paṇḍita śune
mukhe 'haya' 'haya' kare, hṛdaya nā māne
ācārya-kalpita—imagined by Śaṅkarācārya; artha—meaning; ye paṇḍita śune—any learned person who hears; mukhe—only in the mouth; haya haya—yes it is, yes it is; kare—does; hṛdaya—his heart; nā māne—does not accept.
"All the interpretations of Śaṅkarācārya are imaginary. Such imaginary interpretations are verbally accepted by learned scholars, but they do not appeal to the heart.
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-vākya dṛḍha satya māni
kali-kāle sannyāse 'saṁsāra' nāhi jini
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-vākya—the words of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; dṛḍha—very firm and convincing; satya māni—I admit as truth; kali-kāle—in this Age of Kali; sannyāse—simply by accepting the renounced order of life; saṁsāra nāhi jini—one cannot escape the material clutches.
"The words of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu are firm and convincing, and I accept them as true. In this Age of Kali, one cannot be delivered from material clutches simply by formally accepting the renounced order.
harer nāma-ślokera yei karilā vyākhyāna
sei satya sukhadārtha parama pramāṇa
harer nāma-ślokera—of the verse beginning harer nāma harer nāma; yei—whatever; karilā—made; vyākhyāna—the explanation; sei—that; satya—true; sukha-da-artha—a meaning that is pleasing to accept; parama pramāṇa—the supreme evidence.
"Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's explanation of the verse beginning 'harer nāma harer nāma' is not only pleasing to the ear but is strong, factual evidence.
bhakti vinā mukti nahe, bhāgavate kaya
kali-kāle nāmābhāse sukhe mukti haya
bhakti vinā—without devotional service; mukti nahe—there is no question of liberation; bhāgavate kaya—it is said in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; kali-kāle—in this Age of Kali; nāma-ābhāse—even by a slight appreciation of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra; sukhe—without difficulty; mukti haya—one can get liberation.
"In this Age of Kali, one cannot attain liberation without taking to the devotional service of the Lord. In this age, even if one does not chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa perfectly, he still attains liberation very easily.
śreyaḥ-sṛtiṁ bhaktim udasya te vibho
kliśyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye
teṣām asau kleśala eva śiṣyate
nānyad yathā sthūla-tuṣāvaghātinām
śreyaḥ-sṛtim—the auspicious path of liberation; bhaktim—devotional service; udasya—giving up; te—of You; vibho—O my Lord; kliśyanti—accept increased difficulties; ye—all those persons who; kevala—only; bodha-labdhaye—for obtaining knowledge; teṣām—for them; asau—that; kleśalaḥ—trouble; eva—only; śiṣyate—remains; na—not; anyat—anything else; yathā—as much as; sthūla—bulky; tuṣa—husks of rice; avaghātinām—of those beating.
" 'My dear Lord, devotional service unto You is the only auspicious path. If one gives it up simply for speculative knowledge or the understanding that these living beings are spirit soul and the material world is false, he undergoes a great deal of trouble. He only gains troublesome and inauspicious activities. His actions are like beating a husk that is already devoid of rice. One's labor becomes fruitless.'
This is a quotation from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.4).
ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas
tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ
āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ
patanty adho 'nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ
ye—all those who; anye—others (nondevotees); aravinda-akṣa—O lotus-eyed one; vimukta-māninaḥ—who consider themselves liberated; tvayi—unto You; asta-bhāvāt—without devotion; aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ—whose intelligence is not purified; āruhya—having ascended; kṛcchreṇa—by severe austerities and penances; param padam—to the supreme position; tataḥ—from there; patanti—fall; adhaḥ—down; anādṛta—without respecting; yuṣmat—Your; aṅghrayaḥ—lotus feet.
" 'O lotus-eyed one, those who think they are liberated in this life but who are devoid of devotional service to You are of impure intelligence. Although they accept severe austerities and penances and rise to the spiritual position, to impersonal Brahman realization, they fall down again because they neglect to worship Your lotus feet.'
'brahma'-śabde kahe 'ṣaḍ-aiśvarya-pūrṇa bhagavān'
tāṅre 'nirviśeṣa' sthāpi, 'pūrṇatā' haya hāna
brahma-śabde—by the word brahma; kahe—is meant; ṣaṭ-aiśvarya-pūrṇa bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full in all six opulences; tāṅre—Him; nirviśeṣa sthāpi—if we make impersonal; pūrṇatā haya hāna—His completeness becomes damaged.
"The word Brahman means 'the greatest.' This means that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is full in all six opulences. However, if we take the one-sided impersonalist view, His fullness is diminished.
mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ
na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ
"By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them."
The potency of Kṛṣṇa that is spread everywhere is impersonal. The sunlight is the impersonal expansion of the sun globe and the sun-god. If we simply take one side of the Supreme Personality of Godhead-His impersonal effulgence-that one side does not fully explain the Absolute Truth. Impersonal appreciation of the Absolute Truth is one-sided and incomplete. One should also accept the other side, the personal side-Bhagavān. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. One should not be satisfied simply by understanding the Brahman feature of the Personality of Godhead. One must also know the Lord's personal feature. That is complete understanding of the Absolute Truth.
śruti-purāṇa kahe-kṛṣṇera cic-chakti-vilāsa
tāhā nāhi māni, paṇḍita kare upahāsa
śruti-purāṇa kahe—the Vedic literatures and the Purāṇas confirm; kṛṣṇera—of Lord Kṛṣṇa; cit-śakti-vilāsa—activities of spiritual potencies; tāhā nāhi māni—not accepting that; paṇḍita kare upahāsa—so-called scholars play jokes without perfect understanding.
"Vedic literatures, the Upaniṣads, the Brahma-sūtra and the Purāṇas all describe the activities of the spiritual potency of the Lord. If one cannot accept the personal activities of the Lord, he jokes foolishly and gives an impersonal description.
In the Vedic literatures, including the Purāṇas, there are full descriptions of the spiritual potency of Kṛṣṇa. All the pastimes of the Lord are eternal, blissful and full of knowledge, just as the form of Kṛṣṇa Himself is eternal, blissful and full of knowledge (sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha). Unintelligent people with a poor fund of knowledge compare their temporary bodies to the spiritual body of Kṛṣṇa, and by such foolishness they try to understand Kṛṣṇa as one of them. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam. Bhagavad-gītā (9.11) points out that foolish people think of Kṛṣṇa as one of them. Not understanding His spiritual potency, they simply decry the personal form of the Absolute Truth, foolishly thinking of themselves as jñānīs cognizant of the complete truth. They cannot understand that just as the material energy of the Lord has a variety of activities, the spiritual energy has variety also. They consider activities in devotional service the same as activities in material consciousness. Under such a wrong impression, they sometimes dare joke about the spiritual activities of the Lord and His devotional service.
cid-ānanda kṛṣṇa-vigraha 'māyika' kari' māni
ei baḍa 'pāpa',-satya caitanyera vāṇī
cit-ānanda kṛṣṇa-vigraha—the transcendental form of Kṛṣṇa, which is completely spiritual; māyika kari' māni—accept as made of the external energy, māyā; ei baḍa pāpa—this is a great act of sin; satya—true; caitanyera vāṇī—the words of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
"The Māyāvādīs do not recognize the personal form of the Lord as spiritual and full of bliss. This is a great sin. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's statements are actually factual.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement especially aims at defeating the Māyāvāda conclusion about the Absolute Truth. Since the members of the Māyāvāda school cannot understand the spiritual form of the Lord, they incorrectly think the Lord's form is also made of material energy. They think that He is covered by a material body just like other living beings. Due to this offensive understanding, they cannot recognize that Śrī Kṛṣṇa's personal form is transcendental, not material. Their conclusion is a great offense at the lotus feet of the Lord. As explained by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Kṛṣṇa has His eternal, blissful form that is full of knowledge, and all Vaiṣṇava ācāryas accept this. That is the proper understanding of the Absolute Truth.
nātaḥ paraṁ parama yad bhavataḥ svarūpam
ānanda-mātram avikalpam aviddha-varcaḥ
paśyāmi viśva-sṛjam ekam aviśvam ātman
bhūtendriyātmakam adas ta upāśrito 'smi
na—not; ataḥ—than this; param—more supreme; parama—O supreme one; yat—which; bhavataḥ—of Your Lordship; sva-rūpam—the personal form; ānanda—of transcendental bliss; mātram—only; avikalpam—where there is no creation; aviddha—without contamination; varcaḥ—having an effulgence; paśyāmi—I see; viśva-sṛjam ekam—who alone has created this universe; aviśvam—not belonging to the destructible material world; ātman—O Supreme Soul; bhūta-indriya-ātmakam—the original cause of the senses and the living beings; adaḥ—transcendental; te—unto You; upāśritaḥ asmi—I take full shelter.
" 'O supreme one, the transcendental form I am now seeing is full of transcendental bliss. It is not contaminated by the external energy. It is full of effulgence. My Lord, there is no better understanding of You than this. You are the Supreme Soul and the creator of this material world, but You are not connected with this material world. You are completely different from created form and variety. I sincerely take shelter of that form of Yours which I am now seeing. This form is the original source of all living beings and their senses.'
This is a quotation from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.9.3). This verse was spoken by Lord Brahmā, who perfectly realized the Supreme Personality of Godhead after meditating upon the Lord within the water of the Garbhodhaka Ocean. Brahmā realized that the form of the Lord is completely spiritual. This is certainly a better understanding of the Absolute Truth than impersonal understanding.
dṛṣṭaṁ śrutaṁ bhūta-bhavad-bhaviṣyat
sthāsnuś cariṣṇur mahad alpakaṁ vā
vinācyutād vastu-tarāṁ na vācyaṁ
sa eva sarvaṁ paramātma-bhūtaḥ
dṛṣṭam—experienced by direct perception; śrutam—experienced by hearing; bhūta—past; bhavat—present; bhaviṣyat—which will be in the future; sthāsnuḥ—immovable; cariṣṇuḥ—movable; mahat—the greatest; alpakam—the smallest; vā—or; vinā—except; acyutāt—the infallible Personality of Godhead; vastu-tarām—anything else; na vācyam—not to be spoken; saḥ—that Supreme Personality of Godhead; eva—certainly; sarvam—everything; paramātma-bhūtaḥ—the origin of all causes.
" 'Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the cause of all causes. He is past, present and future, and He is the movable and immovable. He is the greatest and the smallest, and He is visible and directly experienced. He is celebrated in Vedic literature. Everything is Kṛṣṇa, and without Him there is no existence. He is the root of all understanding, and He is that which is understood by all words.'
tad vā idaṁ bhuvana-maṅgala maṅgalāya
dhyāne sma no daraśitaṁ ta upāsakānām
tasmai namo bhagavate 'nuvidhema tubhyaṁ
yo 'nādṛto naraka-bhāgbhir asat-prasaṅgaiḥ
tat—that; vā—or; idam—this; bhuvana-maṅgala—O most auspicious of the entire world; maṅgalāya—for the benefit; dhyāne—in meditation; sma—certainly; naḥ—of us; daraśitam—manifested; te—by You; upāsakānām—of devotees engaged in devotional service; tasmai—unto Him; namaḥ—all obeisances; bhagavate—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; anuvidhema—we offer obeisances, following in the footsteps of the ācāryas; tubhyam—unto You; yaḥ—who is; anādṛtaḥ—not much appreciated; naraka-bhāgbhiḥ—by persons who are destined to go to a hellish condition of life; asat-prasaṅgaiḥ—who discuss the Supreme Personality of Godhead illogically.
" 'O most auspicious one! For our benefit You are worshiped by us. You manifest Your transcendental form, which You show to us in our meditation. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You, the Supreme Person, and we worship You whom impersonalists do not accept due to their poor fund of knowledge. Thus they are liable to descend into a hellish condition.'
avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā
mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam
paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
avajānanti—decry; mām—Me; mūḍhāḥ—rascals; mānuṣīm—just like a human being; tanum—a body; āśritam—accepted; param—supreme; bhāvam—position; ajānantaḥ—without knowing; mama—My; bhūta-maheśvaram—exalted position as the Supreme Person, creator of the material world.
" 'Fools disrespect Me because I appear like a human being. They do not know My supreme position as the cause of all causes, the creator of the material energy.'
tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krūrān
kṣipāmy ajasram aśubhān
āsurīṣv eva yoniṣu
tān—all of them; aham—I; dviṣataḥ—those who are envious; krūrān—always willing to do harm; saṁsāreṣu—in this material world; nara-adhamān—the lowest of men; kṣipāmi—throw; ajasram—again and again; aśubhān—engaged in inauspicious acts; āsurīṣu—demoniac; eva—certainly; yoniṣu—in families.
" 'Those who are envious of My form, who are cruel and mischievous and lowest among men, are perpetually cast by Me into hellish existence in various demoniac species of life.'
sūtrera pariṇāma-vāda, tāhā nā māniyā
'vivarta-vāda' sthāpe, 'vyāsa bhrānta' baliyā
sūtrera—of the codes of the Vedānta-sūtra; pariṇāma-vāda—the transformation of energy; tāhā nā māniyā—not accepting this fact; vivarta-vāda—the theory of illusion; sthāpe—establishes; vyāsa bhrānta baliyā—accusing Vyāsadeva to be mistaken.
"Not accepting the transformation of energy, Śrīpād Śaṅkarācārya has tried to establish the theory of illusion under the plea that Vyāsadeva has made a mistake.
For a further explanation of this verse, one may refer to Chapter Seven (verses 121-126).
ei ta' kalpita artha mane nāhi bhāya
śāstra chāḍi' kukalpanā pāṣaṇḍe bujhāya
ei ta'—this; kalpita—imaginary; artha—meaning; mane—to the mind; nāhi—does not; bhāya—appeal; śāstra—the authoritative scriptures; chāḍi'-giving up; ku-kalpanā—mischievous imagination; pāṣaṇḍe—to the atheistic class of men; bujhāya—teaches.
"Śrīpād Śaṅkarācārya has given his interpretation and imaginary meaning. It does not actually appeal to the mind of any sane man. He has done this to convince the atheists and bring them under his control.
Śrīpād Śaṅkarācārya's propaganda opposed the atheistic philosophy of Buddha. Lord Buddha's intention was to stop atheists from committing the sin of killing animals. Atheists cannot understand God; therefore Lord Buddha appeared and spread the philosophy of nonviolence to keep the atheists from killing animals. Unless one is free from the sin of animal killing, he cannot understand religion or God. Although Lord Buddha was an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, he did not speak about God, for the people were unable to understand. He simply wanted to stop animal killing. Śrīpād Śaṅkarācārya wanted to establish the predominance of one's spiritual identity; therefore he wanted to convert the atheists through an imaginary interpretation of Vedic literatures. These are the secrets of the ācāryas. Sometimes they conceal the real purpose of the Vedas and explain the Vedas in a different way. Sometimes they enunciate a different theory just to bring the atheists under their control. Thus it is said that Śaṅkara's philosophy is for pāṣaṇḍas, atheists.
paramārtha-vicāra gela, kari mātra 'vāda'
kāhāṅ mukti pāba, kāhāṅ kṛṣṇera prasāda
parama-artha-vicāra—discussion on spiritual matters; gela—has gone; kari—we do; mātra vāda—only argument and word jugglery; kāhāṅ—where; mukti—liberation; pāba—we shall get; kāhāṅ—where; kṛṣṇera prasāda—the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.
"The atheists, headed by the Māyāvādī philosophers, do not care for liberation or Kṛṣṇa's mercy. They simply continue to put forward false arguments and counter-theories to atheistic philosophy, not considering or engaging in spiritual matters.
vyāsa-sūtrera artha ācārya kariyāche ācchādana
ei haya satya śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-vacana
vyāsa-sūtrera—of the codes of the Vedānta known as Vyāsa-sūtra; artha—the meanings; ācārya—Śaṅkarācārya; kariyāche ācchādana—has purposely covered; ei—this; haya—is; satya—the truth; śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-vacana—the words and explanation given by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
"The conclusion is that the import of the Vedānta-sūtra is covered by the imaginary explanation of Śaṅkarācārya. Whatever Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said is perfectly true.
caitanya-gosāñi yei kahe, sei mata sāra
āra yata mata, sei saba chārakhāra"
caitanya-gosāñi—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; yei kahe—whatever He has said; sei mata sāra—that explanation is actually the essence of Vedic knowledge; āra yata mata—any other opinion not in collaboration with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's statement; sei—these; saba chārakhāra—all distortions.
"Whatever meaning Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gives is perfect. Any other interpretation is only a distortion."
eta kahi' sei kare kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana
śuni' prakāśānanda kichu kahena vacana
eta kahi'—speaking so much; sei—the disciple of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī; kare—performed; kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana—the chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa; śuni'-hearing; prakāśānanda—the guru, Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī; kichu—something; kahena—says; vacana—words.
After saying this, the disciple of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī began to chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. Hearing this, Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī made the following statement.
ācāryera āgraha-'advaita-vāda' sthāpite
tāte sūtrārtha vyākhyā kare anya rīte
ācāryera—of Śaṅkarācārya; āgraha—the eagerness; advaita-vāda—monism; sthāpite—to establish; tāte—for that reason; sūtra-artha—the meaning of the Brahma-sūtra, or Vedānta philosophy; vyākhyā—explanation; kare—does; anya rīte—in a different way.
Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī said, "Śaṅkarācārya was very eager to establish the philosophy of monism. Therefore he explained Vedānta-sūtra, or Vedānta philosophy, in a different way to support monistic philosophy.
'bhagavattā' mānile 'advaita' nā yāya sthāpana
ataeva saba śāstra karaye khaṇḍana
bhagavattā—the Personality of Godhead; mānile—if one accepts; advaita—monism or nondualism; nā—not; yāya—is possible; sthāpana—establishing; ataeva—therefore; saba—all; śāstra—revealed scriptures; karaye—does; khaṇḍana—refutation.
"If one accepts the Personality of Godhead, the philosophy that maintains that God and the living entity are one cannot be established. Therefore Śaṅkarācārya argued against and refuted all kinds of revealed scriptures.
yei grantha-kartā cāhe sva-mata sthāpite
śāstrera sahaja artha nahe tāṅhā haite
yei—anyone who; grantha-kartā—author; cāhe—wants; sva-mata sthāpite—to establish his own opinion; śāstrera—of the revealed scriptures; sahaja—the direct; artha—meaning; nahe—is not; tāṅhā haite—from such an author.
"Anyone who wants to establish his own opinion or philosophy certainly cannot explain any scripture according to the principle of direct interpretation.
'mīmāṁsaka' kahe,-'īśvara haya karmera aṅga'
'sāṅkhya' kahe,-jagatera prakṛti kāraṇa-prasaṅga'
mīmāṁsaka—the Mīmāṁsaka philosophers; kahe—say; īśvara—the Supreme Lord; haya—is; karmera aṅga—subject to fruitive activities; sāṅkhya kahe—the atheistic Sāṅkhya philosophers say; jagatera—of the cosmic manifestation; prakṛti—nature; kāraṇa—the cause; prasaṅga—thesis.
"The Mīmāṁsaka philosophers conclude that if there is a God, He is subjected to our fruitive activities. Similarly, the Sāṅkhya philosophers who analyze the cosmic manifestation say that the cause of the cosmos is material nature.
'nyāya' kahe,-'paramāṇu haite viśva haya'
'māyāvādī' nirviśeṣa-brahme 'hetu' kaya
nyāya kahe—the philosophers following logic say; paramāṇu—the atom; haite—from; viśva haya—the cosmic manifestation has come; māyāvādī—the Māyāvādī philosophers, impersonalists; nirviśeṣa-brahme—in the impersonal Brahman effulgence; hetu—the cause; kaya—say.
"The followers of nyāya, the philosophy of logic, maintain that the atom is the cause of the cosmic manifestation, and the Māyāvādī philosophers maintain that the impersonal Brahman effulgence is the cause of the cosmic manifestation.
'pātañjala' kahe,-'īśvara haya svarūpa-jñāna'
veda-mate kahe tāṅre 'svayaṁ-bhagavān'
pātañjala kahe—the Pātañjala philosophers say; īśvara haya—the Supreme Lord is; svarūpa-jñāna—self-realization; veda-mate—in the Vedic version; kahe—they say; tāṅre—to Him; svayam-bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
"The Pātañjala philosophers say that when one is self-realized, he understands the Lord. Similarly, according to the Vedas and Vedic principles, the original cause is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
chayera chaya mata vyāsa kailā āvartana
sei saba sūtra lañā 'vedānta'-varṇana
chayera—of the six philosophers; chaya mata—six different theses; vyāsa—Vyāsadeva; kailā āvartana—analyzed fully; sei—that; saba—all; sūtra—the codes; lañā—taking; vedānta-varṇana—explaining the Vedānta philosophy.
"After studying the six philosophical theses, Vyāsadeva completely summarized them all in the codes of Vedānta philosophy.
'vedānta'-mate,-brahma 'sākāra' nirūpaṇa
'nirguṇa' vyatireke tiṅho haya ta' 'saguṇa'
vedānta-mate—according to Vedānta philosophy; brahma—the Absolute Truth; sa-ākāra nirūpaṇa—established as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a person; nirguṇa—without material qualifications; vyatireke—by indirect explanations; tiṅho—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; haya—is; ta'-indeed; sa-guṇa—fully qualified with spiritual attributes.
"According to Vedānta philosophy, the Absolute Truth is a person. When the word nirguṇa [without qualities] is used, it is to be understood that the Lord has attributes that are totally spiritual.
parama kāraṇa īśvara keha nāhi māne
sva-sva-mata sthāpe para-matera khaṇḍane
parama kāraṇa—the supreme cause, the cause of all causes; īśvara—the Supreme Lord; keha nāhi māne—none of the above-mentioned philosophers accept; sva-sva-mata—their own personal opinions; sthāpe—they establish; para-matera khaṇḍane—busy in refuting the opinions of others.
"Of the philosophers mentioned, none really cares for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes. They are always busy refuting the philosophical theories of others and establishing their own.
tāte chaya darśana haite 'tattva' nāhi jāni
'mahājana' yei kahe, sei 'satya' māni
tāte—therefore; chaya darśana haite—from the six philosophical principles; tat-tva nāhi jāni—we cannot understand the actual truth; mahājana—the great authorities; yei kahe—whatever they say; sei—that; satya māni—we can accept as truth.
"By studying the six philosophical theories, one cannot reach the Absolute Truth. It is therefore our duty to follow the path of the mahājanas, the authorities. Whatever they say should be accepted as the supreme truth.
In his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura gives the following summary of the six philosophical processes. Prakāśānanda admitted that Śrīpād Śaṅkarācārya, being very eager to establish his philosophy of monism, took shelter of the Vedānta philosophy and tried to explain it in his own way. The fact is, however, that if one accepts the existence of God, he certainly cannot establish the theory of monism. For this reason Śaṅkarācārya refuted all kinds of Vedic literature that establishes the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead. In various ways, Śaṅkarācārya has tried to refute Vedic literature. Throughout the world, ninety-nine percent of the philosophers following in the footsteps of Śaṅkarācārya refuse to accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Instead they try to establish their own opinions. It is typical of mundane philosophers to want to establish their own opinions and refute those of others. Therefore: (1) The Mīmāṁsaka philosophers, following the principles of Jaimini, stress fruitive activity and say that if there is a God, He must be under the laws of fruitive activity. In other words, if one performs his duties very nicely in the material world, God is obliged to give one the desired result. According to these philosophers, there is no need to become a devotee of God. If one strictly follows moral principles, one will be recognized by the Lord, who will give the desired reward. Such philosophers do not accept the Vedic principle of bhakti-yoga. Instead, they give stress to following one's prescribed duty. (2) Atheistic Sāṅkhya philosophers like Kapila analyze the material elements very scrutinizingly and thereby come to the conclusion that material nature is the cause of everything. They do not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the cause of all causes. (3) Nyāya philosophers like Gautama and Kaṇāda have accepted a combination of atoms as the original cause of the creation. (4) Māyāvādī philosophers say that everything is an illusion. Headed by philosophers like Aṣṭāvakra, they stress the impersonal Brahman effulgence as the cause of everything. (5) Philosophers following the precepts of Patañjali practice rāja-yoga. They imagine a form of the Absolute Truth within many forms. That is their process of self-realization.
All five of these philosophies completely reject the predominance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and strive to establish their own philosophical theories. However, Śrīla Vyāsadeva wrote the Vedānta-sūtra and, taking the essence of all Vedic literature, established the supremacy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All five of the philosophers mentioned above understand that impersonal Brahman is without material qualities, and they believe that when the Personality of Godhead appears, He is contaminated and covered by the material qualities. The technical term used is saguṇa. They say, "saguṇa Brahman" and "nirguṇa Brahman." Nirguṇa Brahman means impersonal, and saguṇa Brahman means "accepting material contamination." More or less, this kind of philosophical speculation is called Māyāvāda philosophy. The fact is, however, that the Absolute Truth has nothing to do with material qualities because He is transcendental. He is always complete with full spiritual qualities. The five philosophers mentioned above do not accept Lord Viṣṇu as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they are very busy refuting the philosophy of other schools. There are six kinds of philosophical processes in India. Because Vyāsadeva is the Vedic authority, he is known as Vedavyāsa. His philosophical explanation of the Vedānta-sūtra is accepted by the devotees. As Kṛṣṇa confirms in Bhagavad-gītā (15.15):
sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham
"I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known; indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas."
The ultimate goal of studying all Vedic literature is the acceptance of Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is propagating the philosophical conclusion of Śrīla Vyāsadeva and following other great ācāryas like Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇusvāmī, Nimbārka and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself.
tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā
nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam
dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ
mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ
tarkaḥ—dry argument; apratiṣṭhaḥ—not fixed; śrutayaḥ—Vedas; vibhinnāḥ—possessing different departments; na—not; asau—that; ṛṣiḥ—great sage; yasya—whose; matam—opinion; na—not; bhinnam—separate; dharmasya—of religious principles; tattvam—truth; nihitam—placed; guhāyām—in the heart of a realized person; mahā-janaḥ—self-realized predecessors; yena—by which way; gataḥ—acted; saḥ—that; panthāḥ—the pure, unadulterated path.
" 'Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate.'
tiṅho ye kahaye vastu, sei 'tattva'-sāra"
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-vāṇī—the message of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; amṛtera dhāra—a continuous shower of nectar; tiṅho—the Lord; ye kahaye vastu—whatever He says to be the ultimate truth, the summum bonum; sei tattva sāra—that is the essence of all spiritual knowledge.
"The words of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are a shower of nectar. Whatever He concludes to be the ultimate truth is indeed the summum bonum of all spiritual knowledge."
e saba vṛttānta śuni' mahārāṣṭrīya brāhmaṇa
prabhure kahite sukhe karilā gamana
e saba vṛttānta—all these descriptions; śuni'-hearing; mahārāṣṭrīya brāhmaṇa—the Mahārāṣṭrian brāhmaṇa; prabhure—Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; kahite—to inform; sukhe—very happily; karilā gamana—went.
After hearing all these statements, the Mahārāṣṭrian brāhmaṇa very jubilantly went to inform Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
hena-kāle mahāprabhu pañca-nade snāna kari'
dekhite caliyāchena 'bindu-mādhava hari'
hena-kāle—at this time; mahāprabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; pañca-nade snāna kari'-taking His bath in the Ganges, called the Pañca-nada; dekhite caliyāchena—was going to see; bindu-mādhava hari—the Deity known as Lord Bindu Mādhava.
When the Mahārāṣṭrian brāhmaṇa went to see Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Lord was going to the temple of Bindu Mādhava after bathing in the waters of Pañca-nada.
pathe sei vipra saba vṛttānta kahila
śuni' mahāprabhu sukhe īṣat hāsila
pathe—on the way; sei vipra—that brāhmaṇa; saba vṛttānta kahila—explained the whole incident; śuni'-hearing; mahāprabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; sukhe—in happiness; īṣat—mildly; hāsila—smiled.
While the Lord was on His way, the Mahārāṣṭrian brāhmaṇa informed Him about the incident that took place in the camp of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī. Hearing this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu smiled happily.
mādhava-saundarya dekhi' āviṣṭa ha-ilā
aṅganete āsi' preme nācite lāgilā
mādhava-saundarya dekhi'-after seeing the beauty of Lord Bindu Mādhava; āviṣṭa ha-ilā—became ecstatic in love; aṅganete āsi'-coming to the courtyard; preme—in great love; nācite lāgilā—began to dance.
Upon reaching the temple of Bindu Mādhava, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, seeing the beauty of Lord Bindu Mādhava, became overwhelmed in ecstatic love. He then began to dance in the courtyard of the temple.
śekhara, paramānanda, tapana, sanātana
cāri-jana mili' kare nāma-saṅkīrtana
śekhara—Candraśekhara; paramānanda—Paramānanda Purī; tapana—Tapana Miśra; sanātana—Sanātana Gosvāmī; cāri-jana mili'-all four of them; kare—perform; nāma-saṅkīrtana—chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
There were four people accompanying Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and these were Candraśekhara, Paramānanda Purī, Tapana Miśra and Sanātana Gosvāmī. They were all chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra in the following way.
"haraye namaḥ kṛṣṇa yādavāya namaḥ
gopāla govinda rāma śrī-madhusūdana"
haraye—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; namaḥ—obeisances; kṛṣṇa—Lord Kṛṣṇa; yādavāya—to the descendant of the Yadu family; namaḥ—obeisances; gopāla—Gopāla; govinda—Govinda; rāma—Rāma; śrī-madhusūdana—Śrī Madhusūdana.
caudikete lakṣa loka bale 'hari' 'hari'
uṭhila maṅgala-dhvani svarga-martya bhari'
cau-dikete—all around; lakṣa—hundreds of thousands; loka—people; bale—chant; hari hari—O Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari; uṭhila—there arose; maṅgala-dhvani—an auspicious sound; svarga-martya bhari'-overwhelming all the universe.
In all directions, hundreds and thousands of people began to chant "Hari! Hari!" Thus there arose a tumultuous and auspicious sound filling the entire universe.
nikaṭe hari-dhvani śuni' parakāśānanda
dekhite kautuke āilā lañā śiṣya-vṛnda
nikaṭe—nearby; hari-dhvani śuni'-after hearing the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra; parakāśānanda—Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī; dekhite—to see; kautuke—in great eagerness; āilā—came; lañā—taking; śiṣya-vṛnda—all the disciples.
When Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, who was staying nearby, heard this tumultuous chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, he and his disciples immediately came to see the Lord.
dekhiyā prabhura nṛtya, prema, dehera mādhurī
śisya-gaṇa-saṅge sei bale 'hari' 'hari'
dekhiyā—seeing; prabhura nṛtya—the dancing of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; prema—ecstatic love; dehera mādhurī—the transcendental beauty of His body; śiṣya-gaṇa-saṅge—with his disciples; sei—Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī; bale—chants; hari hari—Lord Hari's name.
When Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī saw the Lord, he and his disciples also joined the chanting with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī was charmed by the Lord's dancing and ecstatic love and by the transcendental beauty of His body.
kampa, svara-bhaṅga, sveda, vaivarṇya, stambha
aśru-dhārāya bhije loka, pulaka-kadamba
kampa—trembling; svara-bhaṅga—faltering voice; sveda—perspiration; vaivarṇya—fading of bodily color; stambha—becoming stunned; aśru-dhārāya—with showers of tears from the eyes; bhije—wet; loka—all the people; pulaka-kadamba—eruptions on the body like kadamba flowers.
Ecstatic spiritual transformations began to take place in the Lord's body. His body trembled, and His voice faltered. He perspired, turned pale and wept a constant flow of tears, which wet all the people standing there. The eruptions on the Lord's body appeared like kadamba flowers.
harṣa, dainya, cāpalyādi 'sañcārī' vikāra
dekhi' kāśī-vāsī lokera haila camatkāra
harṣa—jubilation; dainya—humility; cāpalya-ādi—talking in ecstasy and so on; sañcārī vikāra—the transient transformations; dekhi'-seeing; kāśī-vāsī—the inhabitants of Benares; lokera—of all the people; haila camatkāra—there was astonishment.
All the people were astonished to see the Lord's jubilation and humility and to hear Him talk in ecstasy. Indeed, all the residents of Benares [Kāśī] saw the bodily transformations and were astonished.
loka-saṅghaṭṭa dekhi' prabhura 'bāhya' yabe haila
sannyāsīra gaṇa dekhi' nṛtya saṁvarila
loka-saṅghaṭṭa dekhi'-by seeing the great crowd of people; prabhura—of Lord Caitanya; bāhya—external consciousness; yabe haila—when there was; sannyāsīra gaṇa—the groups of Māyāvādī sannyāsīs, headed by Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī; dekhi'-seeing; nṛtya saṁvarila—suspended His dancing.
When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu regained His external consciousness, He saw that many Māyāvādī sannyāsīs and other people were gathered there. He therefore suspended His dancing for the time being.
prakāśānandera prabhu vandilā caraṇa
prakāśānanda āsi' tāṅra dharila caraṇa
prakāśānandera—of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī; prabhu—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; vandilā—prayed; caraṇa—at the feet; prakāśānanda—Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī; āsi'-coming; tāṅra—His; dharila caraṇa—immediately caught the lotus feet.
After stopping the kīrtana, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is a great example of humility, offered prayers unto the feet of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī. At this, Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī immediately came forward and clasped the Lord's lotus feet.
prabhu kahe,-'tumi jagad-guru pūjyatama
āmi tomāra nā ha-i 'śiṣyera śiṣya' sama
prabhu kahe—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued to speak; tumi—you; jagat-guru—the spiritual master of the whole world; pūjya-tama—the most worshipable; āmi—I; tomāra—your; nā ha-i—am not; śiṣyera śiṣya sama—equal to the disciple of the disciple.
When Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī caught hold of the Lord's lotus feet, the Lord said, "My dear sir, you are the spiritual master of the whole world; therefore you are most worshipable. As far as I am concerned, I am not even on the level of the disciple of your disciple."
Māyāvādī sannyāsīs generally call themselves jagad-guru, the spiritual master of the whole world. Many consider themselves worshipable by everyone, although they do not even go outside India or their own district. Out of His great magnanimity and humility, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu presented Himself as a subordinate disciple of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī.
śreṣṭha hañā kene kara hīnera vandana
āmāra sarva-nāśa haya, tumi brahma-sama
śreṣṭha hañā—being a more honorable person; kene—why; kara—you do; hīnera—of an inferior person; vandana—worship; āmāra sarva-nāśa haya—I become minimized in My strength; tumi brahma-sama—you are equal with the impersonal Brahman.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, "You are a great, spiritually advanced personality, and therefore you cannot worship a person like Me. I am far inferior. If you do so, My spiritual power will be diminished, for you are as good as the impersonal Brahman.
yadyapi tomāre saba brahma-sama bhāse
loka-śikṣā lāgi' aiche karite nā āise'
yadyapi—although; tomāre—for you; saba—everyone; brahma-sama—equal to the impersonal Brahman; bhāse—appears; loka-śikṣā lāgi'-for the enlightenment of people in general; aiche—in such a way; karite nā āise—you should not present yourself.
"My dear sir, for you everyone is on the level of impersonal Brahman, but for the enlightenment of people in general you should not behave in that way."
teṅho kahe, 'tomāra pūrve nindā-aparādha ye karila
tomāra caraṇa-sparśe, saba kṣaya gela
teṅho kahe—he replied; tomāra—of You; pūrve—formerly; nindā-aparādha—offenses and blasphemy; ye karila—whatever I have done; tomāra caraṇa-sparśe—by touching Your lotus feet; saba kṣaya gela—the effects of all those offenses have been destroyed.
Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī replied, "Formerly I have committed many offenses against You by blaspheming You, but now the effects of my offenses are counteracted by my touching Your lotus feet.
jīvan-muktā api punar
jīvat-muktāḥ—persons liberated during this life; api—also; punaḥ—again; yānti—go; saṁsāra-vāsanām—to desire material enjoyment; yadi—if; acintya-mahā-śaktau—to the possessor of inconceivable spiritual potency; bhagavati—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; aparādhinaḥ—offenders.
" 'If a person considered liberated in this life commits offenses against the reservoir of inconceivable potencies, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he will again fall down and desire the material atmosphere for material enjoyment.'
sa vai bhagavataḥ śrīmat-
bheje sarpa-vapur hitvā
saḥ—he (the serpent); vai—indeed; bhagavataḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa; śrīmat-pāda-sparśa—by the touch of the lotus feet; hata-aśubhaḥ—relieved from all reactions of sinful life; bheje—achieved; sarpa-vapuḥ—the body of a snake; hitvā—giving up; rūpam—beauty; vidyādhara-arcitam—suitable for a person of Vidyādhara-loka.
" 'Being touched by the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, that serpent was immediately freed from the reactions of his sinful life. Thus the serpent gave up his body and assumed the body of a beautiful Vidyādhara demigod.' "
This is a quotation from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.34.9). The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, under the leadership of Nanda Mahārāja, once wanted to go to the bank of the Sarasvatī on a pilgrimage. Nanda Mahārāja was fasting, and he lay down near the forest. At that time a serpent, who was formerly cursed by Āṅgirasa Ṛṣi, appeared. This serpent had formerly been named Sudarśana, and he had belonged to the Gandharvaloka planet. However, because he joked with the ṛṣi, he was condemned to take on the body of a big snake. When this serpent attacked Nanda Mahārāja, Nanda Mahārāja began to call, "Kṛṣṇa! Help!" Kṛṣṇa immediately appeared and began to kick the serpent with His lotus feet. Due to being touched by the Lord's lotus feet, the serpent was immediately freed from the reactions of his sinful life. Being freed, he again assumed his original form of Sudarśana, the Gandharva.
prabhu kahe,-'viṣṇu' 'viṣṇu', āmi kṣudra jīva hīna
jīve 'viṣṇu' māni-ei aparādha-cihna
prabhu kahe—Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said; viṣṇu viṣṇu—the holy name of Viṣṇu; āmi—I; kṣudra—infinitesimal; jīva—a living entity; hīna—bereft of all good qualities; jīve—such a low-grade living entity; viṣṇu māni—accepting as Lord Viṣṇu or the Personality of Godhead; ei aparādha-cihna—this is a great offense.
When Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī supported himself by quoting the verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately protested by uttering the holy name of Lord Viṣṇu. The Lord then presented Himself as a most fallen living entity, and He said, "If someone accepts a fallen conditioned soul as Viṣṇu, Bhagavān, or an incarnation, he commits a great offense."
Although Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He nonetheless, to teach us a lesson, denied belonging to the Viṣṇu category. Unfortunately, there are many so-called Viṣṇu incarnations in this Age of Kali. People do not know that posing oneself as an incarnation is most offensive. People should not accept an ordinary man as an incarnation of God, for this also is a very great offense.
jīve 'viṣṇu' buddhi dūre-yei brahma-rudra-sama
nārāyaṇe māne tāre 'pāṣaṇḍīte' gaṇana
jīve—an ordinary living being; viṣṇu—as Lord Viṣṇu; buddhi—acceptance; dūre—let alone; yei—anyone who; brahma-rudra-sama—equal to personalities like Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva; nārāyaṇe—Lord Nārāyaṇa, Viṣṇu; māne—accepts; tāre—such a person; pāṣaṇḍīte gaṇana—is grouped among the pāṣaṇḍīs, atheistic offenders.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, "To say nothing of ordinary living entities, even Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva cannot be considered on the level of Viṣṇu or Nārāyaṇa. If one considers them as such, he is immediately considered an offender and atheist.
yas tu nārāyaṇaṁ devaṁ
sa pāṣaṇḍī bhaved dhruvam"
yaḥ—any person who; tu—however; nārāyaṇam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of such demigods as Brahmā and Śiva; devam—the Lord; brahma—Lord Brahmā; rudra—Lord Śiva; ādi—and others; daivataiḥ—with such demigods; samatvena—on an equal level; eva—certainly; vīkṣeta—observes; saḥ—such a person; pāṣaṇḍī—pāṣaṇḍī; bhavet—must be; dhruvam—certainly.
" 'A person who considers demigods like Brahmā and Śiva to be on an equal level with Nārāyaṇa is to be considered an offender, a pāṣaṇḍī.' "
prakāśānanda kahe,-"tumi sākṣāt bhagavān
tabu yadi kara tāṅra 'dāsa'-abhimāna
prakāśānanda kahe—Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī replied; tumi—You; sākṣāt—directly; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa; tabu—yet; yadi—if; kara—You pose; tāṅra dāsa-abhimāna—considering Yourself His servant.
Prakāśānanda replied, "You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa Himself. Nonetheless, You are considering Yourself His eternal servant.
tabu pūjya hao, tumi baḍa āmā haite
sarva-nāśa haya mora tomāra nindāte
tabu—still; pūjya hao—You are worshipable; tumi baḍa—You are much greater; āmā haite—than me; sarva-nāśa haya—everything becomes lost; mora—my; tomāra nindāte—by blaspheming You.
"My dear Lord, You are the Supreme Lord, and although You consider Yourself the Lord's servant, You are nonetheless worshipable. You are much greater than I am; therefore all my spiritual achievements have been lost because I have blasphemed You.
muktānām api siddhānāṁ
koṭiṣv api mahā-mune
muktānām—of persons liberated or freed from the bondage of ignorance; api—even; siddhānām—of persons who have achieved perfection; nārāyaṇa—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; parāyaṇaḥ—the devotee; su-durlabhaḥ—very rare; praśānta-ātmā—completely satisfied, desireless; koṭiṣu—among many millions; api—certainly; mahā-mune—O great sage.
" 'O great sage, out of many millions of materially liberated people who are free from ignorance, and out of many millions of siddhas who have nearly attained perfection, there is hardly one pure devotee of Nārāyaṇa. Only such a devotee is actually completely satisfied and peaceful.'
āyuḥ śriyaṁ yaśo dharmaṁ
lokān āśiṣa eva ca
hanti śreyāṁsi sarvāṇi
āyuḥ—duration of life; śriyam—opulence; yaśaḥ—reputation; dharmam—religion; lokān—possessions; āśiṣaḥ—benedictions; eva—certainly; ca—and; hanti—destroys; śreyāṁsi—good fortune; sarvāṇi—all; puṁsaḥ—of a person; mahat—of great souls; atikramaḥ—violation.
" 'When a person mistreats great souls, his life span, opulence, reputation, religion, possessions and good fortune are all destroyed.'
naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ
spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ
niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat
na—not; eṣām—of those who are attached to household life; matiḥ—the interest; tāvat—that long; urukrama-aṅghrim—the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is credited with uncommon activities; spṛśati—touches; anartha—of unwanted things; apagamaḥ—vanquishing; yat—of which; arthaḥ—results; mahīyasām—of the great personalities, devotees; pāda-rajaḥ—of the dust of the lotus feet; abhiṣekam—sprinkling on the head; niṣkiñcanānām—who are completely detached from material possessions; na vṛṇīta—does not do; yāvat—as long as.
" 'Unless human society accepts the dust of the lotus feet of great mahātmās-devotees who have nothing to do with material possessions-mankind cannot turn its attention to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Those lotus feet vanquish all the unwanted miserable conditions of material life.'
ebe tomāra pādābje upajibe bhakti
tathi lāgi' kari tomāra caraṇe praṇati"
ebe—now; tomāra—Your; pāda-abje—to the lotus feet; upajibe—will grow; bhakti—devotional service; tathi lāgi'-for that reason; kari—I do; tomāra caraṇe praṇati—humble obeisances at Your lotus feet.
"Henceforward I shall certainly develop devotional service unto Your lotus feet. For this reason I have come to You and have fallen down at Your lotus feet."
eta bali' prabhure lañā tathāya vasila
prabhure prakāśānanda puchite lāgila
eta bali'—saying this; prabhure—Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; lañā—taking; tathāya vasila—sat down there; prabhure—unto Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; prakāśānanda—Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī; puchite lāgila—began to inquire.
After saying this, Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī sat down with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and began to question the Lord as follows.
māyāvāde karilā yata doṣera ākhyāna
sabe ei jāni' ācāryera kalpita vyākhyāna
māyāvāde—in the philosophy of Māyāvāda, impersonalism; karilā—You have done; yata—all; doṣera ākhyāna—description of the faults; sabe—all; ei—these; jāni'-knowing; ācāryera—of Śaṅkarācārya; kalpita vyākhyāna—imaginary explanations.
Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī said, "We can understand the faults You have pointed out in the Māyāvāda philosophy. All the explanations given by Śaṅkarācārya are imaginary.
sūtrera karilā tumi mukhyārtha-vivaraṇa
tāhā śuni' sabāra haila camatkāra mana
sūtrera—of the Brahma-sūtra; karilā—have done; tumi—You; mukhya-artha-vivaraṇa—description of the direct meaning; tāhā śuni'-hearing that; sabāra—of everyone; haila—became; camatkāra—astonished; mana—the mind.
"My dear Lord, whatever direct meaning You have given when explaining the Brahma-sūtra is certainly very wonderful to all of us.
tumi ta' īśvara, tomāra āche sarva-śakti
saṅkṣepa-rūpe kaha tumi śunite haya mati
tumi ta'—indeed You are; īśvara—the Supreme Lord; tomāra—of You; āche—there are; sarva-śakti—all potencies; saṅkṣepa-rūpe—briefly; kaha—please explain; tumi—You; śunite haya mati—I wish to hear.
"You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore You have inconceivable energies. I wish to hear from You briefly about the Brahma-sūtra."
prabhu kahe,-"āmi jīva', ati tuccha-jñāna!
vyāsa-sūtrera gambhīra artha, vyāsa-bhagavān
prabhu kahe—Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied; āmi jīva—I am an insignificant living being; ati tuccha-jñāna—My knowledge is very meager; vyāsa-sūtrera—of the Vedānta-sūtra, written by Vyāsadeva; gambhīra artha—very grave meaning; vyāsa—Vyāsadeva; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, "I am an ordinary living being, and therefore my knowledge is very insignificant. However, the meaning of the Brahma-sūtra is very grave because its author, Vyāsadeva, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.
An ordinary living being cannot actually understand the purpose of the Vedānta-sūtra. One can understand the purpose if he hears it from the authority, Vyāsadeva himself. For this reason, Vyāsadeva gave a commentary on the Brahma-sūtra in the form of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. He had been instructed to do this by his spiritual master, Nārada. Of course, Śaṅkarācārya distorted the purpose of the Brahma-sūtra because he had a motive to serve. He wanted to establish Vedic knowledge in place of the atheistic knowledge spread by Lord Buddha. All these necessities are there according to time and circumstances. Neither Lord Buddha nor Śaṅkarācārya is to be blamed. The time required such an explanation for the understanding of various types of atheists. The conclusion is that one cannot understand the purpose of the Vedānta-sūtra without going through Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and rendering devotional service. Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore further explains the matter in the following verses.
tāṅra sūtrera artha kona jīva nāhi jāne
ataeva āpane sūtrārtha kariyāche vyākhyāne
tāṅra sūtrera artha—the meaning of Vyāsadeva's Vedānta-sūtra; kona—any; jīva—living being; nāhi jāne—does not know; ataeva—therefore; āpane—personally; sūtra-artha—the meanings of the sūtras; kariyāche vyākhyāne—has described.
"The purpose of the Vedānta-sūtra is very difficult for an ordinary person to understand, but Vyāsadeva, out of his causeless mercy, has personally explained the meaning.
yei sūtra-kartā, se yadi karaye vyākhyāna
tabe sūtrera mūla artha lokera haya jñāna
yei sūtra-kartā—the person who has made the Vedānta-sūtra; se—that person; yadi—if; karaye vyākhyāna—explains the meaning; tabe—then; sūtrera—of the codes of Vedānta-sūtra; mūla—the original; artha—meaning; lokera—of the people in general; haya jñāna—comes within knowledge.
"If the Vedānta-sūtra is explained by Vyāsadeva himself, who has written it, its original meaning can be understood by the people in general.
praṇavera yei artha, gāyatrīte sei haya
sei artha catuḥ-ślokīte vivariyā kaya
praṇavera—of the sound vibration, oṁkāra; yei—whatever; artha—meaning; gāyatrīte—in the Gāyatrī mantra; sei—that; haya—there is; sei artha—that same meaning; catuḥ-ślokīte—in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam summarized in four ślokas; vivariyā—describing elaborately; kaya—has said.
"The meaning of the sound vibration oṁkāra is present in the Gāyatrī mantra. The same is elaborately explained in the four ślokas of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam known as catuḥ-ślokī.
brahmāre īśvara catuḥ-ślokī ye kahilā
brahmā nārade sei upadeśa kailā
brahmāre—to Lord Brahmā; īśvara—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; catuḥ-ślokī—the four famous verses known as catuḥ-ślokī; ye kahilā—whatever was explained; brahmā—Lord Brahmā; nārade—to Nārada Muni; sei—that; upadeśa kailā—instructed.
"Whatever was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to Lord Brahmā in the four verses of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, was also explained to Nārada by Lord Brahmā.
nārada sei artha vyāsere kahilā
śuni' veda-vyāsa mane vicāra karilā
nārada—the great sage Nārada; sei artha—the same purpose; vyāsere kahilā—explained to Vyāsadeva; śuni'-hearing; veda-vyāsa—Vyāsadeva; mane—within the mind; vicāra karilā—considered very carefully.
"Whatever Lord Brahmā told Nārada Muni was again explained by Nārada Muni to Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva later considered these instructions in his mind.
"ei artha-āmāra sūtrera vyākhyānurūpa
'bhāgavata' kariba sūtrera bhāṣya-svarūpa"
ei artha—this explanation; āmāra—my; sūtrera—of Brahma-sūtra; vyākhyā-anurūpa—a suitable explanation; bhāgavata—Śrīmad-Bhāgavata Purāṇa; kariba—I shall make; sūtrera—of the Brahma-sūtra; bhāṣya-svarūpa—as the original commentary.
"Śrīla Vyāsadeva considered that whatever he had received from Nārada Muni as an explanation of oṁkāra he would elaborately explain in his book Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as a commentary on Brahma-sūtra.
The sound vibration oṁkāra is the root of Vedic knowledge. This oṁkāra is known as mahā-vākya, or the supreme sound. Whatever meaning is in the supreme sound oṁkāra is further understood in the Gāyatrī mantra. Again, this same meaning is explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the four ślokas known as catuḥ-ślokī, which begin with the words ahaṁ evāsam evāgre. The Lord says, "Only I existed before the creation." From this verse, four ślokas have been composed, and these are known as the catuḥ-ślokī. In this way the Supreme Personality of Godhead informed Lord Brahmā about the purpose of the catuḥ-ślokī. Again, Lord Brahmā explained this to Nārada Muni, and Nārada Muni explained it to Śrīla Vyāsadeva. This is the paramparā system, the disciplic succession. The import of Vedic knowledge, the original word praṇava, has been explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The conclusion is that the Brahma-sūtra is explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
cāri-veda-upaniṣade yata kichu haya
tāra artha lañā vyāsa karilā sañcaya
cāri-veda—the four divisions of the Vedas (Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg and Atharva); upaniṣade—and in 108 Upaniṣads; yata—whatever; kichu haya—is there; tāra artha—the meanings of those Vedic literatures; lañā—taking together; vyāsa—Vyāsadeva; karilā sañcaya—collected.
"Vyāsadeva collected whatever Vedic conclusions were in the four Vedas and 108 Upaniṣads and placed them in the codes of the Vedānta-sūtra.
yei sūtre yei ṛk-viṣaya-vacana
bhāgavate sei ṛk śloke nibandhana
yei sūtre—in the codes of Vedānta-sūtra; yei—whatever; ṛk—Vedic mantra; viṣaya-vacana—subject matter to be explained; bhāgavate—in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; sei ṛk—that same Vedic mantra; śloke—in eighteen thousand verses; nibandhana—compiling.
"In Vedānta-sūtra, the purpose of all Vedic knowledge is explained, and in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the same purpose has been explained in eighteen thousand verses.
ataeva brahma-sūtrera bhāṣya-śrī-bhāgavata
bhāgavata-śloka, upaniṣat kahe 'eka' mata
ataeva—therefore; brahma-sūtrera bhāṣya—the commentary on the Brahma-sūtra codes; śrī-bhāgavata—Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; bhāgavata-śloka—the verses in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; upaniṣat—the explanations in the Upaniṣads; kahe—state; eka mata—the same version.
"That which is explained in the verses of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and in the Upaniṣads serves the same purpose.
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