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Apasampradayer Svarupa


The Smarta Doctrine


Two kinds of smrti sastra:

          1) spiritual, or satvata smrtis;

          2) material, moral or fruitive work oriented smrtis.


 Satvata smrtis include: Shri Bharadvaja Samhita (included in Narada Pancaratra), Brhat Samhita, Vishnu Samuccaya, Vaikhanas Samhita, the Agamapramanya compiled by Sage Albandaru, the Sadacar Smrti compiled by Sage Purna Prajna, the Krishnamrta Maharnava, the SmrtyarthaSagara by Cchadari Nrsimhacarya, the Prameyamala by Vira Raghava, the Prayoga Candrika, the Vaishnavaêdharmasuradrumamanjari by SamkarsanaSaranadeva, the Smrtiêratnakara by Vitthalacarya, the Shri Haribhaktivilasa by Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami Prabhu, the Shri Satkriyasaradipika and the Samskaracandrikapaddhati by Shri Dhyana Candra.

 "The ordinary nontheorist community and the sinful living entities cannot understand the wide difference existing between apparent similarities and sincere dedication ((between a "smarta" and a Vaishnava)). They are thus becoming smartas with external vaishnava designations; thatis, although externally maintaining all the rituals and activities of a Vaishnava, they internally cherish allegiance to the smarta ideal of materialistic work. The lay nontheorist society cannot diagnose this deceptive disease infecting the remotest corners of the heart; it is the true doctor, conversant in the scriptures and in the science of Krishna, who is aware of these complications and can persuade the frank and surrendered soul of these diseases and endeavor for their cure. They look for sincere dedication and not for external details of Vaisnavism or for drama. Where dedication serves materialism the sense organs, and seeks peace, prasadam and contentment, there are only material or moral regulations the smarta doctrine in the guise of a socalled vaishnava doctrine is evident. Only the mercy ofa pure devotee can deliver one from this dire calamity."

 Celebrating occasions like Ekadashi:

 Vaishnavas or spiritualists celebrate such occasions as enhancers of devotion or out of the pleasure of serving Krishna and without any desire. Smartas, on the other hand, celebrate them for physical or mental welfare or as activities fulfilling their moral, economic or sexual desires. So, notwithstanding apparent similarities, the motives of Vaishnavas vs. those of smartas are poles apart. j NTaking bath in and worshiping the Ganges

 Vaishnavas view the Ganges as nectar from Vishnu's feet, are reminded of Vishnu by her contact and take bath in her in a spirit of service, knowing her to be a transcendental object of service. So "even Ganga herself desires to bathe Haridasa". But the smartas want to utilize Ganges water for cleansing themselves of sins, filth and unholy thoughts. The Ganges, whose water even Lord Siva takes gladly on his head as it washes the feet of his Lord, the smartas want to use as maidservant or a sincleansing machine.

 Installing and worshiping Deity forms of the Lord:

 The Vaishnavas do not differentiate between Krishna Himself and His Deityform. They accept sankirtana as the prime means of worship and by that means perform the abhisekha and other rituals, according to Shriman Mahaprabhu's instructions. The smartas consider the Deity as different from the Lord, as something transient and imaginary for temporary assistance of the aspirant, to be rejected or immersed later on. They imagine to instil life and consciousness into the idol and employ it in gratifying their desires. Sometimes they even use Deity worship for enhancing some trade.

 Establishing monasteries:

 The Vaishnavas establish monasteries to provide saintly association and propagate the sankirtana movement. They believe that just as lighting a fire to cook food rids us of darkness and cold as well without separate endeavor, similarly sankirtana will relieve us of all social problems. Smartas, on the other hand, pompously open monasteries for the sake of selfadvertisement or for some temporal social or moral welfare. Thus freehospitals, artifical celibacyschools, gymnasiums, etc. are often part of their monasteries. Or they may open abbeys for hoarding property, deceiving other people or such other material activities.

 Deity worship:

 Vaishnavas know that the nonVaishnava or onoprincipled man is not qualified for Deity worship even if born in the best of families. Only when he attains "bhutasuddhi" or the realization that the constitutional position of the living entity is a servant of Krishna from a bona fide spiritual master can he perform purified worship. To the smartas the only qualification necessary for Deity worship are birth in a high family, external clenaliness and ability to chant sanskrit verses. The post of Deity worship expands like a priest's profession. Mentally they do not consider the Deity as God and do not try to arrange for the Deity's comfort.