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Both karmis and jnanis are materialists,
whereas the devotees are spiritualists.
The particular shastras by which the Indian Aryans conduct their ordinary dealings are generally known as smriti-shastras. The fruitive workers consider that by following certain rules and regulations their religiosity will be protected. But the mental speculators who desire liberation do not accept those rules and regulations. Rather, the jnanis, according to their taste, become indifferent to material enjoyment and take to the path of renunciation, considering those injunctions as the only appropriate path for themselves. That is why expert fruitive workers call themselves materialists, and the renounced impersonalists identify themselves as spiritualists. But knowing the jnanis' desire for enjoying the fruits of their activities, the devotees, who are transcendental to karma and jnana, consider both karmis and jnanis as materialists and address the shanta Vaishnavas as spiritualists. All actions performed with a desire for enjoying the results, up to liberation, are under the category of fruitive activities. Therefore they are simply mundane endeavors for one's self-interest.
The smriti regulations of
the transcendental devotees are not the same
as those of the materialists like the karmis and jnanis.
All the endeavors of the devotees are meant for Krishna. Since the devotees do not have material desires like the inferior karmis and jnanis, their endeavors are not like those of the karmis and jnanis. The injunctions of the smritis meant for regulating the materialists are not intended for the spiritualists. So we can say that there are differences between the regulative principles of the nondevotees and those of the devotees. The materialists, who want to enjoy the fruits of their karma and the devotees whose material desires are burnt to ashes are never on the same platform. The regulations of the nondevotees are meant for their own benefit, whereas the regulations of the devotees are meant for serving Krishna. The purpose of the former is to achieve the results of their mundane realizations, and the later is to serve the transcendental Lord.
The Vaishnavas accept the injunctions of Harita-smriti and those supported by the Puranas.
Among the twenty Dharma-shastras, the injunctions of Harita are applicable to the Vaishnavas. Apart from the twenty Dharma-shastras, the regulations of the Puranas are also accepted by the smartas. The Vaishnavas also accept necessary injunctions from the Puranas and Vedas. In this country and abroad some ordinary smartas of the Medieval Age have written a few books about smriti injunctions. The Vaishnavas have collected various evidence from the shastras for the benefit of their respective sampradayas and have written down those rules and regulations for the benefit of the Vaishnavas.
twenty-eight principles, and other smritis.
Under the order of Shriman Mahaprabhu, Shri Sanatana Gosvami, following the pure shastras, compiled Shri Hari-bhakti-vilasa for the benefit of the Vaishnavas of Bengal. This Hari-bhakti-vilasa was edited by Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Approximately fifty years after this, Shri Raghunandana Bhattacarya of Bandyaghata (Bengal) wrote a few essays called Ashta-vimshati-tattva for use in the smartas' mundane dealings. In these essays he has established different opinions from the injunctions of Hari-bhakti-vilasa. It is also found that various smriti books were composed in various parts of India for their respective use.
Although the principle ingredients of smritis
are the same, considerations differ due to desires for either serving Krishna or material enjoyment.
The question may now arise in the minds of many people that when the main foundation of the smriti writers is one, then why are the conclusive regulations different? In answer to this, we can say that the writers of the Vaishnava smritis are servants of the Lord whereas the writers of the smritis meant for persons attached to material enjoyment are sense gratifiers. The materialists have no taste or faith in the worship of the Lord. Therefore it is impossible to get impartial regulations from such persons.
By following the smarta system
one cannot become a Vaishnava.
Although the Hindu communities are forced to follow the regulations of ordinary smartas, the pure devotees who also belong to Hindu communities are not obliged to follow the smritis of the materialists. In the society of devotees it is not possible to follow the Vaishnava smritis and at the same time respect the smarta regulations. That would be simply a sign of weakness and foolishness. When due to the influence of their knowledge the devotee householders will come to understand their own literatures and prestige, then they will no longer be dependent on others. The devotees should lead their lives in Krishna's family according to the Vaishnava smritis. Then the godless smartas will never be able to dominate them.
Instructions for the present Vaishnava societies.
If the Vaishnava devotees spend their lives following the instructions of the spiritual master, then there will be no possibility of disturbances in this world. Sometimes the ordinary smartas glance menacingly towards devotional service to Vishnu and thus prove their foolishness, but such narrow mentality can never prove them to be magnanimous. At present it is the age of Kali, so the pure considerations of the Vaishnavas are being included among the useless arguments of the mental speculators. These are all indications of apathy towards the Absolute Truth. It does not befit a great Vaishnava to accept subordination of the smartas who lack transcendental realization and who are influential by material standards. They should thoroughly follow the Vaishnava smritis-this is our special request. (Sajjana-toshani, Vol. 18, Part 2)