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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura > Brahmana & Vaishnava > Appendixes > Vaineava & Other Smatis

Vaishnava and other smritis

The two types of smritis such as Vaishnava and non-Vaishnava. The consideration on non-Vaishnava smritis.

A smriti-shastra is that which contains various rules and regulations of the religious scriptures (Dharma-shastras) and which is meant to regulate the living entities' ordinary dealings. The smriti shastras are of two types-those meant for devotees and those meant for nondevotees. Without accepting transcendental consideration, the nondevotee smartas have accumulated many nondevotional rules and regulations from the smritis to protect mundane social discipline and have thus established a godless society. In such a godless society, only those who are inclined towards the Supreme Lord do not follow the instructions and regulations of the smartas. Although the number of persons who are averse to the devotional service of the Lord is greater, they are unable to extend their authority upon the persons who are inclined towards God. The ordinary smartas declare that if one simply follows the lifeless regulations of the shastras without accepting devotional service, he can be famous as a pious person. But the devotees cannot agree with such persons.

The opinion of Smarta Raghunandana

and Shri Hari-bhakti-vilasa.

According to the propensities of people, different codes of conduct are found in the same shastra. Shri Raghunandana and other smartas, who are expert in worldly dealings, have mentioned in their various essays about the separate arrangements for the Vaishnavas. And spiritualist smartas have concluded that the nondevotional statements of smritis quoted in Shri Hari-bhakti-vilasa are not meant to be followed by the Vaishnavas.

The prominence of non-Vaishnava smritis

is due to aversion to the Lord.

Since the current of godlessness is very prominent in society, there is often no respect for Vaishnava smritis. The consideration, “Because the Vaishnava smritis are not always respected, they have no utility in the society,” befits a foolish society. When people consider themselves nondevotees and averse to the Lord, then their position in godless society becomes firmly established. They also think that they cannot escape from the fierce attack of the nondevotee smartas. Being initiated by a Vaishnava acarya yet continuing to lick the feet of smartas such as Raghunandana becomes a family tradition for such a person. But actually this is the result of his forgetfulness of the self.

Initiated Vaishnavas should study the Vaishnava smritis.

When the initiated Vaishnava will observe that the behavior of the uninitiated godless society is averse to spiritual life and when he feels the necessity of requesting the nondevotees to turn towards Krishna, then his study of Vaishnava smritis will begin. Until one advances in the spiritual path, he will continue to regard following the ordinary smritis as following religious principles. But if he is determined to follow in the footsteps of the spiritual master, then such a benefactor of society will learn to respect the Vaishnava smritis.

Even many Gaudiya Vaishnavas

do not respect Shri Hari-bhakti-vilasa.

Alas, what a sorrowful condition! Today in Gaudiya Vaishnava society, the respect for the Vaishnava smriti written by Shri Sanatana Gosvami and instructed by Shriman Mahaprabhu is no longer present! Though we identify ourselves as servants of the Vaishnavas, we disgrace our line by uprooting the practice of Vaishnava smritis! And we consider those who are trying to revive the practice of Vaishnava smritis as enemies!

The antiquity of Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami's

Sat-kriya-sara-dipika and its propagation

by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

The book, Sat-kriya-sara-dipika, written by Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami according to Vedic process, existed in the Gaudiya Vaishnava society one hundred years prior to the period of smarta Raghunandana. But so far, due to the lack of acaryas, this book was locked in a box and thus unknown among the Vaishnavas. The need of the pure devotees that Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura fulfilled by preaching this book among the Vaishnavas by the will of Shri Gaurasundara, the pure Gaudiya Vaishnava society will take a thousand years to repay this debt. And if Shri Gaurasundara desires, then Gaudiya Vaishnavas can unanimously adopt the principles of this Vaishnava smriti in order to protect their purity.

Instructions to the devotees of Shri Gaura

and their followers to chant the holy names

of the Lord while remaining in pure varnashrama.

When Shri Shri Gaurasundara appeared in this world, at that time the Hindu society of Bengal was in a most miserable condition. Because He introduced spiritualism and chanting of the holy names of Hari, the godless society of that time did not refrain from opposing Him. Shri Gauranga's devotees and their followers should at present remain properly situated in varnashrama and continue to chant the holy names of Lord Hari.

If the godlessness of the smartas is neglected,

then the practice of Vaishnava smritis will be introduced.

If the activities of society are not related to Hari, then the living entities will be absorbed in matter due to their propensity of aversion to Hari born of anarthas. If in every activity of society aversion to Hari is rejected and service to Hari is accepted, and if pure varnashrama-dharma is widely reestablished, then we will soon be delighted to see respect for the Vaishnava smritis.

One who is externally a devotee of Hari but internally

a smarta can never become an unalloyed Vaishnava.

If we consider ourselves devotees of Hari while maintaining godlessness in all our activities and respecting ordinary smritis within our hearts, then we will never be established as nonduplicitous servants of the Vaishnavas. Unless we become genuine Vaishnavas we will not receive the Lord's mercy and pure varnashrama principles will not be established. The pure swanlike Vaishnava principles, which are beyond the varnashrama system, can never be practiced within the impure varnashrama system-this is a subject of consideration for learned people.

Equal behavior internally and externally.

“Be fixed-up internally while externally carrying out ordinary dealings.” One should not distort the real meaning of this sentence to maintain faith in impure varnashrama principles within. For the benefit of those who have taken shelter of devotional service to the Lord without duplicity, Shri Rupapada has quoted the following Narada-pancaratra verse in Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu:

laukiki vaidiki vapi        ya kriya kriyate mune

hari-sevanukulaiva        sa karya bhaktim icchata

Those who wish to pass their lives in a way that is favorable for the cultivation of devotional service should perform all those worldly and Vedic activities that are favorable for their own service to Hari. Whatever arrangements they establish in this world should not be contrary to the internal faith of the Vaishnavas.

Since the caste Gosvamis and their disciples

are not established in pure varnashrama principles,

they lack Vaishnava qualities.

If we saw today that the acaryas and their followers in the Gaudiya Vaishnava societies were established in pure varnashrama principles that are favorable for devotional service, then there would be no disturbance in the internal faith of the devotees of the Lord. The Vaishnavas who are internally fixed in truth feel great distress on seeing the behavior of godless society, and they are ready to disclose this outrageous behavior to the public. If the Vaishnavas were not fixed in their goal, then they would not assert that both ordinary dealings and worship of the Lord should be favorable to the society. If one's heart is not fixed, or if one has a lack of determination for the lotus feet of Vishnu or the Vaishnavas, then abominable external conceptions will not allow one to be fixed in Krishna consciousness.

Due to misinterpretation of the scriptures

by so-called acaryas, the path of bhakti

has become full of thorns.

Taking advantage of Duryodhana's statement in Mahabharata: yatha nijukto 'smi tatha karomi-“I will do whatever activities you will engage me in,” many nondevotees are proceeding on the path of sinful activities. Taking advantage of the Bhagavad-gita verse: api cet su-duracarah-“Even if one commits the most abominable actions,” hundreds of so-called Vaishnavas are becoming utterly confused on the path of hell. Forgetting the real purport of the verse yad yad acarati shreshthas-“Whatever action a great man performs,” many so-called acaryas like us are spreading thorns on the path of devotional service to the Lord. Since ordinary living entities are habituated to misbehavior, such acaryas proudly and duplicitously advertise themselves as internally fixed in truth while in fact they indulge in so many unfavorable activities.

Confusions in the name of raganuga-bhakti.

Confusion in the name of raganuga-bhakti has become a standard practice, and deviated societies are affected by this, thus revealing their respective internal faith. It is our humble request that the Vaishnavas should carefully discuss these topics and proceed on the path of devotional service by following the Vaishnava smritis.

They will not benefit by attacking us unnecessarily. They should be compassionate to the body and mind and consider our humble statements. (Sajjana-toshani, Vol.23, Part 4)