prabhura tirtha-yatra-katha sune yei jana
caitanya-carane paya gadha prema-dhana
prabhura—of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; tirtha-yatra—touring of sacred places of pilgrimage; katha—topics about; sune—hears; yei—who; jana—person; caitanya-carane—at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; paya—gets; gadha—deep; prema-dhana—riches of ecstatic love.
Whoever hears of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's pilgrimage to various holy places attains the riches of very deep ecstatic love.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura remarks, "The impersonalists imagine some forms of the Absolute Truth through the direct perception of their senses. The impersonalists worship such imaginary forms, but neither Srimad-Bhagavatam nor Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepts this sense gratificatory worship to be of any spiritual significance." The Mayavadis imagine themselves to be the Supreme. They imagine that the Supreme has no personal form and that all His forms are imaginary like the will-o'-the-wisp or a flower in the sky. Both Mayavadis and those who imagine forms of God are misguided. According to them, worship of the Deity or any other form of the Lord is a result of the conditioned soul's illusion. However, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirms the conclusion of Srimad-Bhagavatam on the strength of His philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda-tattva. That philosophy holds that the Supreme Lord is simultaneously one with and different from His creation. That is to say, there is unity in diversity. In this way Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu proved the impotence of fruitive workers, speculative empiric philosophers and mystic yogis. The realization of such men is simply a waste of time and energy.
To set the example, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally visited temples in various holy places. Wherever He visited, He immediately exhibited His ecstatic love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When a Vaisnava visits the temple of a demigod, his vision of that demigod is different from the vision of the impersonalists and Mayavadis. The Brahma-samhita supports this. A Vaisnava's visit to the temple of Lord Siva, for example, is different from a nondevotee's visit. The nondevotee considers the deity of Lord Siva an imaginary form because he ultimately thinks that the Supreme Absolute Truth is void. However, a Vaisnava sees Lord Siva as being simultaneously one with and different from the Supreme Lord. In this regard, the example of milk and yogurt is given. Yogurt is actually nothing but milk, but at the same time it is not milk. It is simultaneously one with milk yet different from it. This is the philosophy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and it is confirmed by Lord Krsna in the Bhagavad-gita (9.4):
maya tatam idam sarvam
na caham tesv avasthitah
"By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them."
The Absolute Truth, God, is everything, but this does not mean that everything is God. For this reason Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His followers visited the temples of all the demigods, but they did not see them in the same way an impersonalist sees them. Everyone should follow in the footsteps of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and visit all temples. Sometimes mundane sahajiyas suppose that the gopis visited the temple of Katyayani in the same way mundane people visit the temple of Devi. However, the gopis prayed to Katyayani to grant them Krsna as their husband, whereas mundaners visit the temple of Katyayani to receive some material profit. That is the difference between a Vaisnava's visit and a nondevotee's visit.
Not understanding the process of disciplic succession, so-called logicians put forward the theory of pancopasana, in which a person worships one of five deities-namely Visnu, Siva, Durga, the sun-god or Ganesa. In this conception the impersonalists accept one of these five deities as supreme and reject the others. Such philosophical speculation, which is certainly idol worship, is not accepted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu or by Vaisnavas. This imaginary deity worship has recently been transformed into Mayavada impersonalism. For want of Krsna consciousness, people are victimized by the Mayavada philosophy, and consequently they sometimes become staunch atheists. However, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu established the process of self-realization by His own personal behavior. As stated in Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 8.274):
sthavara-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti
sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti
"A Vaisnava never sees the material form of anything, moving or nonmoving. Rather, everywhere he looks he sees the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and immediately he remembers the transcendental form of the Lord."
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