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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava Part 1 > Impure Vaisnavas


Impure Vaisnavas


1.Are offenders to the holy name pure Vaisnavas?


Persons who commit offense against the holy name are never pure Vaisnavas; thus, Srlman Mahaprabhu has distinguished them by saying that they are not pure Vaisnavas but are like Vaisnavas. (Sajjana-tosani 8/9)


2.If a person is sinful, in spite of externally displaying the transformation of love of God, is he a Vaisnava?


Those who are sinful have not taken shelter of the holy names with undivided faith. Even if they exhibit all other symptoms, still we will never accept that they have taken shelter of the holy names without deviation. Sinful persons who shed tears of love while chanting the holy name will be counted among the cheating Vaisnavas, because they are offenders at the feet of the holy names.{Sajjana-tosani 8/9)


3.If external transformations of love of God are found in a Mayavadi, can he be called a Vaisnava?


The Mayavadls are pseudo namabhasls; therefore, they are offenders. It is very difficult for them to become pure Vaisnavas. They can never be called Vaisnavas—no matter how much reflection of love of God they manifest. (Sajjana-tosani 5/12)


4. If a person who worships five gods worships Sri Radha-Krsna, can he be called a pure Vaisnava?


There are two types of impure Vaisnava religions; one is contaminated by karma and the other by jnana. The Vaisnava religion found among the smartas is contaminated by karma. Although in this religion the followers accept initiation into Vaisnava mantras, nevertheless they establish the universal Lord Visnu as a limb of karma. According to their opinion, Lord Visnu is the controller of all demigods and He is personally a part of karma and under the control of karma. Karma is not dependent on the wheel of Visnu, rather Visnu is dependent on the wheel of karma. In their opinion, worshiping, offering service, and following rules and regulations are limbs of karma, because there is no truth higher than karma. For a long time, such Vaisnava principles of the fruitive workers have been going on. In India, many followers of this philosophy proudly consider themselves Vaisnavas, but they do not want to accept the pure Vaisnavas as Vaisnavas. It is simply their misfortune.


The Vaisnava religion contaminated by jnana is also vigorously followed in India. According to the philosophy of the jnanis, the unknown Brahman is the highest truth. In their opinion, to attain the impersonal Brahman, one needs to worship the personal forms of Surya, Ganesa, Durga, Siva, and Visnu. When one attains perfection, the worship of these personal forms is no longer required; one ultimately merges into the existence of the impersonal Brahman. Followers of this philosophy disregard the pure Vaisnavas. Although the worship of Visnu among the worship of five gods appears to be related to Visnu or even Radha-Krsna, it is not pure Vaisnava religion.


If we separate such impure Vaisnava religions, the actual Vaisnava religion will manifest. Because of the influence of Kali, many people do not understand pure Vaisnava religious principles and consider impure Vaisnava religion as pure Vaisnava religion. (Jaiva Dharma Chapter 4)


5. Are the Ramanandis pure Vaisnavas?


One who desires to attain liberation can never be considered a pure Vaisnava. Since Ramadasa of the Ramanandi-sampradaya was a worshiper of Lord Rama, he was Vaisnava praya or almost a Vaisnava. In those days, no one could distinguish between a pure Vaisnava and a pseudo Vaisnava. However, Sri Ramadasa who was born in a kayastha family, was known as a Vaisnava because he worshiped Lord Ramacandra. (Caitanya-caritamrta Antya 13/92 commentary)