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CHAPTER 1 - SETTING THE SCENE FOR THE ADVENT OF MUKHYAPRANA
The area which is now called modern day Karnataka State, situated on the western coast of South India, bounded to the west by the range of hills called the Western Ghats (also known in the ancient scriptures as the Sahya Hills), and to the east by the warm blue waters of the Arabian Sea / Indian Ocean, is not an ordinary place. This stretch of land runs from Kanya Kumari in the south to modern day Maharastra State where the city of Bombay is found in the north. This lush paradise with thick forests of teak and rosewood, picturesque hills full of herbs, spices, fruits and pulse, inland waterways that supply the vast rice paddy fields, banyan trees and even eucalyptus gum trees, sugar cane, jack fruit and bananas, and the towering areca and coconut palms has it's own natural opulence, and is known as the land of milk and honey.
We are told that in the days of yore, this area was given to the avatar of Lord Kesava (Krishna) called Parasurama. After killing the demoniac kings and chasing others to the west, Lord Parasurama was presented with this land that was given once by the ksatriya kings to Kasyapa. To this day it is known as Parasuramaksetra. He was given land to the extent that he would throw his battle-axe, which in it's flight easily covered the entire area from Kanya Kumari to Maharastra.
The Vaishnava poet Jayadeva Goswami, in his Gita Govinda, sings of the glories of Lord Parasurama thus: (Verse six, Dasavatara stotram)
ksatriya rudhire jaye jagad apagata papam
snapayasi payasi samita bhava tapam
kesava dhrta brghupati rupa jaya jagad-isa hare
"O Kesava, O Lord of the universe, O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of Brghupati (Parasurama)! All glories unto You! At Kuruksetra You bathe the earth in rivers of blood from the bodies of the demoniac kings that You have slain. The sins of the world are washed away by You, and because of You, people are relieved from the blazing fire of material existence."
Within this area, the state of Karnataka, lies the district of South Kanara, and within South Kanara is the modern day township of Udupi. Udupi is situated near Mangalore, which is linked to the outside world by bus service from Mysore, Bangalore, Bombay and Cochin. For those who have little time and cannot take the scenic bus route, there is a domestic airport just outside the city of Mangalore, just an hour or so taxi ride from Udupi, making this sacred tirtha not too difficult to approach. According to local guide books who quote Anandagiri in his Sankara Vijaya, Udupi was known for many centuries as Rupya or Rajata Pitha. This is the ancient name of the country which now comprises Dharwar, the North and South Kanaras and the western part of the state of Mysore. Which was Tuluva (modern Tulu) and which is mostly today inhabited by 'Madhvas'. Odipu in the local Tulu language literally means "cracking or breaking", and as the story of Madhvacarya unfolds, the name Udupi announces and commemorates the arrival of it's Lord, Udupi Krishna.
Rupya Pitha or Rajata Pitha were names given to the presiding Deity, the lingam form of Lord Siva residing on his pitha or seat. The story is told that once a king called King Ramabhoja was about to perform a great yajna or sacrifice in Rupya Pitha and was ploughing land to prepare for the preliminary pujas or worship when the blade of the plough hit a snake and killed it. Being a very pious King, he decided to atone for this unnecessary killing and so constructed four shrines in the area of the village, within two or three miles of modern day Udupi. In the middle of these four shrines he dedicated one to Skanda Maharaja (Kartikeya), the son of Lord Siva, and then he worshipped Lord Parasurama in the form of a large Siva lingam now known as Anantasana or Anantheswara. The story goes that when Lord Parasurama appeared, he took instruction in archery from Lord Siva, and so to show respect to his archery guru, Lord Parasurama said that he would identify Himself in the form of that particular lingam. Being an incarnation of Lord Vishnu - Vishnu Tattva - He could do like that.
ksiram yatha dadhi vikare-visesa yogat
sanjayate na hi tatah prthag asti hetoh
yah sambhutam adi tatha samupaiti karyad
govindam adi purusam tam aham bhajami
"Just as milk is transformed into curd by the action of acids, but yet the effect curd is neither the same as, nor different from, it's cause milk, so I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of Whom the state of Sambhu (Siva) is but a transformation for the performance of the work of destruction." Brahma Samhita (5.45)
This is also supported in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi Lila (3.17.100) of Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami, where Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya the Supreme Personality of Godhead assumed the form of Lord Siva. In his purport, Shrila Prabhupada points out also that just as the origin of yogurt is milk, so the origin of Lord Siva is Vishnu (Krishna). Milk coming in contact with a culture never again can become milk, but the milk can, whenever desired, become yogurt. So even to this day Ananteswara / Anantapadmanabha / Anantasana is still worshipped there as Lord Narayana with Anantasesa in the form and alankaras (ornamentation) of Parasurama, but in the shape of a Siva lingam.
His Holiness Visvapriya Tirtha Junior Swami wrote in a letter to me that Anantesvara means Rudra (Siva) who has been sent by Lord Vishnu as an advance seat in the form of Adisesa awaiting the arrival of Lord Krishna in the next kalpa, and so that lingam is worshipped as Vishnu and not Rudra. It was at this temple of Anantasana that the chosen "parents" of the incarnation of Lord Vishnu's preaching devotee Vayu, who would later perform ardent sadhana bhakti to please the Lord, and then be graced by the appearance of Mukhyaprana - the third avatar of Lord Vayu, as their son.
When on pilgrimage to Udupi this temple is the second temple to be visited. The first is another temple of Lord Siva by the name of Lord Candramuliswara. It is stated in the Shri Madhva Vijaya (2.14), "There are two temples - the eastern one and the western one. The pilgrim must first offer respects to Lord Siva at the eastern temple (Candramuliswara) and then go to Anantasana in the western temple. This custom is followed here." We also see this same system in many other sacred tirthas such as Shri Vrndavana Dhama, where one first approaches Gopiswara Siva to ask permission to enter the Dhama. Also in Mayapur there is a small temple of Lord Siva down by the Jalangi (Saraswati) River, and also in Jagannatha Puri, inside the temple complex one visits Mahesh Dhama and the Siva temple before approaching Their Lordships Jagannatha, Baladeva and Lady Subhadra.
The brief story behind the Candramuliswara temple, is that this place is where the moon god Candradeva performed austerity to please Lord Siva. There is a small groove marking the exact spot where Lord Siva appeared before Candradeva and bestowed upon him several boons. Also it is mentioned that the Candramuliswara temple has given it's reflection (one might say) of it's name to the town of Udupi - udupa being a Sanskrit word for the moon (candra). At a certain auspicious lunar asterisms, the bright moon shines through a place in the roof of the temple placing a crescent on the head of the Siva lingam, giving the name of the town as udu (star) and pa (Lord).
There is a nice festival called Candresvara Rathutsava which is observed at the Candramuliswara temple on the second day of the bright fortnight in the month of Mrgasirsa (November-December), and the utsava (festival) Deities of Candramuliswara and Ananta-padmanabha Swami are taken in procession around Car Street in the Garuda Ratha with all pomp and ceremony.
According to one local guide book there are seven holy places listed as being in Parasuramaksetra. They are Rupya Pitha (Udupi), Kumaradri (Subrahmanya), Kumbhasi (Kumbhasi), Dhvajesvara (Kostesvara), Kroda (Shankarnarayana), Gokarna (Gokarna) and Mukamba (Kollur).
The above-mentioned verse which mentions the east and western temples was obviously written long before the Udupi Krishna temple, which is the last temple to visit, but certainly not least of importance. So after visiting the temple of Candramuliswara and Anantapadmanabha (Anantasana), one may go to take darsan of Udupi Krishna for Whom the pitha was laid, in a previous age.
KRSNA'S PLAN REVEALED
During the twelvth and thirteenth century AD there was a great unrest among the many devotees of this area because of dissatisfaction that they were feeling towards the followers of Sankara, who had become very promanent. They just could not bear any more the insults to the form of the Lord, nor would they take it any longer, the frailties of superficial onenesses, couldn't satisfy their hearts, too many differances were being found for it all to be one. There was a general feeling that the acceptance of the shallow philosophy of Mayavada was not only unacceptable, but was a great wrong doing. One could feel that a philosophical uprising was about to take place. Many were feeling unfulfilled, men were perplexed, and the contradictions that they found were, for the first time in many years were being aired. Doubts, and what were previously inaudible whispers were now shouts of revolt. The waves indicated a storm coming.
As Lord Shri Krishna states to Arjuna in Shrimad Bhagavad-gita (4.8),
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge
"To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish the principles of religion, I myself appear millenium after millenium." And sometimes He sends His pure devotees, empowered beings, (saktyavesha avatars) to perform certain tasks on His behalf.
In this case all the hosts of demigods headed by Lord Brahma, the grandfather of mankind, approached Lord Narayana to relieve the burden of the devotees, having been requested by the devotees to send someone to guide the suffering devotees in Kali Yuga. Lord Narayana looked around the assembly to find someone who He felt competant for this work. Lord Narayana's lotus like eyes then found His trusted servent Lord Vayudeva, the wind - god, and so appointed Vayu the perform the task. Lord Vayu accepted this mission with bright face and folded hands. This Vayu is a renowned preacher and knower of the sastras (scriptures) Lord Narayana (the well wisher of mankind ), asured the saintly assembly. Madhva Vijaya (2.1-5)
Actually a progressive plan had already been in action for several hundreds of years, from a time when many heinous acts were being performed in the name of Vedic sacrifices. Though since the advent of Kali Yuga some 2000-3000 years had passed, and although an injunction had been stated that animal sacrifices were not for this age, still some would not stop. The swara suddhi or perfect pronunciation was not there in the recitation of mantra, which was an important aspect of these yajnas, and the rituals themselves were full of defects as is the nature of Kali Yuga, and the hereditary Brahmins were not Brahmins at all by good brahminical qualities, but still they tried to perform the Vedic sacrifices and yes as you guessed, with no success. The "animal killing" sanctioned in the Vedas is not for satisfying the tongue, for meat eating, but is to give the yajuman (the animal) a better body. The Brahmins, by their perfect recitation (swara suddhi) of the mantra performed at the proper time with the proper ritual, would have the old animal led to the fire and a new young healthy body, shining like the morning sun would come from the fire - rejuvenated. Anyway, due to the influence of this age of kali another process was underway, and the degraded inhabitants of the time utilised the cheating process.
Now to change is never an easy thing and when many bad habits have entered, and not only taken root but have practicaly become the main tree, great care has to be excersised to unravel that which is wanted and to kick out that which is not wanted. Not only care in separating the wanted for the unwanted but also to show why, it takes great sesitivity and care, so great misunderstandings, and clashes of false ego do not occure.
The business is to develope a structured change that will enthuse the bewildered inhabitants of kali yuga to again direct their attention to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishnacandra.
We will now explain then how various personalities, representitives of the Lord and in some cases even the Supreme Lord Himself, appeared re-establish sanity even within this fallen age of kali. The first to appear was Lord Buddha, who had a specific part to play in this evolution of philosophical understandings.
It is recorded in the sacred sastras that at this time the Supreme Lord Vishnu took the form of a King's son, descending from the Suryavamsha (Solar Dynasty), and was given the name Siddhartha and came to be known as Gautama Buddha (Lord Buddha). He was naturally renounced and detached from this world, and grew up in His father's kingdom. On the auspicious day of Vijaya dasami, the time of the boy's birth, as is the Vedic system, the father called for expert astrologers to come and cast a chart for the child who would become the fulfiiler of their desires as the future King. As will be told a little latter, this was done, but to the dismay of the father who then found out that actually the boy was not of this world but was there to serve a mission - actually Lord Buddha, as he was later known, was a saktyavesa avatara of Lord Vishnu. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.3.24) it states:
tatah kalau sampravrtte
buddho namnanjana sutah
"In the beginning of Kali Yuga the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theists."
In the Bhaktivedanta purports to this verse, Shrila Prabhupada in brief, portrays Lord Buddha.
"Lord Buddha, a powerful incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, appeared in the province of Gaya (Bihar) as the son of Anjana, and He preached His own conception of non-violence and deprecated even the animal sacrifices sanctioned in the Vedas. At the time when Lord Buddha appeared, the people in general were atheistic and preferred animal flesh to anything else. On the plea of Vedic sacrifice, every place was practically turned into a slaughterhouse, and animal-killing was indulged in unrestrictedly. Lord Buddha preached non-violence, taking pity on the poor animals. He preached that He did not believe in the tenets of the Vedas and stressed the adverse psychological effects incurred by animal killing. Less intelligent men of the age of Kali, who had no faith in God, followed His principle, and for the time being they were trained in moral discipline and non-violence - the preliminary steps for proceeding further on the path of God realization. He deluded the atheists because such atheists who followed his principles did not believe in God but they kept their absolute faith in Lord Buddha, who himself was in incarnation of God. Thus the faithless people were made to believe in God in the form of Lord Buddha. That was the mercy of Lord Buddha; he made the faithless faithful to him.
Killing of animals before te advent of Lord Buddha was the most prominent feature of society. People claimed that these were Vedic sacrifices. When the Vedas are not accepted through the authoritative disciplic succession, the casual readers of the Vedas are misled by the flowery language of that system of knowledge. In the Bhagavad-gita, a comment has been made on such foolish scholars (avipascitah). The foolish scholars of Vedic knowledge who do not care to receive the transcendental message through the transcendental realized sources of disciplic succession are sure to be bewildered. To them, the ritualistic ceremonies are considered to be all in all. They have no depth of knowledge. According to the Bhagavad-gita (15.15): vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah - the whole system of the Vedas is to lead one gradually to the path of the Supreme Lord. The whole theme of Vedic literature is to know the Supreme Lord, the individual soul, the cosmic situation and the relation between all these items. When the relation is known, the relative function begins, and as a result of such function the ultimate goal of life or going back to Godhead takes place in the easiest manner. Unfortunately, unauthorized scholars of the Vedas become captivated by the purificatory ceremonies only, and the natural progress is thereby checked.
To such bewildered persons of atheistic propensity, Lord Buddha is the emblem of theism. He therefore first of all wanted to check the habit of animal-killing. The animal killers are dangerous elements on the path going back to Godhead. There are two types of animal killers. The soul is also sometimes called the "animal" or the living being. Therefore, both the slaughterer of animals and those who have lost their identity of soul are animal-killers. Maharaja Pariksit said that only the animal-killer cannot relish the transcendental message of the Supreme Lord. Therefore if people are to be educated to the path of Godhead, they must be taught first and foremost to stop the process of animal killing as above mentioned. It is nonsensical to say that animal-killing has nothing to do with spiritual realization. By the dangerous theory many so-called sannyasis have sprung up by the grace of Kali-yuga who preach animal killing under the garb of the Vedas. The subject matter has already been discussed in the conversation between Lord Chaitanya and Maulana Chand Kazi Shaheb. The animal sacrifice as stated in the Vedas is different from the unrestricted animal killing in the slaughterhouse. Because the asuras or the so-called scholars or Vedic literatures put forward the evidence of animal-killing in the Vedas, Lord Buddha superficially denied the authority of the Vedas. This rejection of the Vedas by Lord Buddha was adopted in order to save people from the vice of animal-killing as well as to save poor animals from the slaughtering process of their big brothers who clamour for universal brotherhood, peace, justice and equality. There is no justice when there is animal-killing. Lord Buddha wanted to stop it completely, and therefore his cult of ahimsa was propagated not only in India but also outside the country.
Technically Lord Buddha's philosophy is called atheistic because there is no acceptance of the Supreme Lord because that system of philosophy denied the authority of the Vedas. But that is an act of camouflage by the Lord. Lord Buddha is the incarnation of Godhead and as such, He is the original propounder of Vedic knowledge. He therefore cannot reject Vedic philosophy, but He rejected it outwardly because the sura-dvisa, or the demons who are always envious of the devotees of Godhead, try to support cow-killing or animal-killing from the pages of the Vedas, and this is now being done by the modernized sannyasis. Lord Buddha had to reject the authority of the Vedas altogether. This is simply technical, and had it not been so He would not have been so accepted as the incarnation of Godhead, nor would He have been worshiped in the transcendental songs of the poet Jayadeva, who is a Vaishnava acarya. Lord Buddha preached to preliminary principles of the Vedas in a manner suitable for the time being (and so also did Sankaracarya) to establish the authority of the Vedas. Therefore both Lord Buddha and Acarya Sankara paved the path of theism, and Vaishnava acaryas, specifically Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu led the people on the path towards a realization of going back home, back to Godhead.
We are glad that people are taking interest in the non-violent movement of Lord Buddha, but will they take the matter very seriously and close the animal slaughterhouses altogether? If not, there is no meaning to the ahimsa cult.
Shrimad Bhagavatam was composed just prior to the beginning of the age of Kali (about five thousand years ago), and Lord Buddha appeared about twenty-six hundred years ago. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam Lord Buddha is foretold, therefore such is the authority of this clear scripture. There are many such prophecies, and they are being fulfilled one after another. They will indicate the positive standing of Shrimad Bhagavatam, which is without trace of mistake, illusion, cheating and imperfection which are the four flaws of all conditioned souls. The liberated souls are above these flaws, therefore they can see and foretell things which are to take place on distant future dates."
There are some interesting stories in the life of Lord Buddha which I have briefly compiled from various Vedic literatures (Buddhacarita, Agni Purana, as well as Indian History).
Before His appearance, according to Agni Purana (16), there were many wars between the demigods and the demons, both phyisical and verbal. The demigods are devotees and so always absorb themselves in the thought of their Lord. The main difference between a demigod and a demon is that, devotees are always thinking themselves dependant on the Lord while demons think themselves independant, so at a time of trouble or distress the demigods take shelter of Lord Shri Krishna or Vishnu, whereas the demons think that by their own prowess they will be victorious in their endeavour. During these troubled times fighting the demons, the demigods as usual took shelter of Lord Vishnu and begged for His protection and guidance, yet still being surrendered to His divine will left the Lord to choose the appropriate time. The demons and their philosophies over the course of two thousand years into Kali Yuga had left their scars on all manners of decency. Even Temples were transmogrified, magically transfered into slaughter houses just to satisfy carnivarous lusty desires, and big business was underway for selling the " prasadam ".i Many selfish mannerisms and impersonal traits and dealings, had entered into day to day affairs due to this yugas influence; influences that the demigods by themselves were powerless to restore to a normal, fulfilling, peaceful way of life.
When the Lord and the demigods are not shown proper repect and the remnants of sacrifice is not offered to the masses for their purification an upheavel in society takes place. Everyone is uncomfortable, the demigods (devotees) are neglected or abused, and all kinds of speculations become the standard codes of practice. Such a corrupt atmosphere pollutes even the best of places. In complete anxiety and fear for their well-being, and the preservation of what was left of the vedic culture the devotees approached their higher authorities, the devas, for something had to be done. They sought a change in consciousness within this fallen yuga. It was a full change that would take thousands of years, making this iron age of Kali into a veritable mini Satya Yuga, within the Kali Yuga.
Lord Vishnu agreed to help the demigods in the following way. To start with, He said He would appear in the royal family of the Sakya (King Suddhodana and his queen Mahamaya (Mayadevi)) in the city of Kapilavastu, which is in the province of Gaya just below the foothills of the Himalayas. He said His appearance would force the demons to reject the Vedas and the injunctions thereof and become His followers, but in a more passive state.
Scripture recalls that once when Queen Maha Mayadevi was resting, in a dream she saw the white, six tusked elephant, Anjana, the elephant of the demons, who then pierced her womb with his tusks. Ten months later, when Queen Mayadevi was on her way to her father's house travelling by chariot through the Lumbini Grove, she became impelled to stop the chariot. Getting down from the chariot, Queen Mayadevi, followed by her maidservants, walked into the forest. Suddenly the Queen felt great pain in her stomach and sat down to rest beneath a large sacred sala tree. Unexpected to all, the Queen gave birth to a son under that tree on the full moon night in the month of Vaisakha ( April-May 560B.C.) iiThe boy was given the name Siddhartha. As is tradition, astrologers cast their charts but to the King's dismay, for it was predicted that this boy was not ordinary, and at a young age he would renounce this world upon seeing an old man, a diseased man, a dead man and a monk. Seven days after this, the Queen passed away, leaving Siddhartha in the care of a co-wife named Prajapati who loved him dearly. The King, however, was always worried about the prediction and as Siddhartha grew up, the King noticed he was different from the other Princes. He didn't like the hunting trips and the cruel sports some of the Princes participated in, but instead spent much time in contemplation under sacred trees like the sala and bodhi (banyan).
Once when another prince shot an arrow into a dove, Siddhartha protected the dove and restored it's life. The other prince complained, saying it was his dove as he shot it and now he wanted it. Siddhartha went to the King's court for a decision. Prince Siddhartha said, "I removed the arrow and restored the poor bird to well-being, and so this bird owes it's life to me. If the dove is given to this boy who tried to take it's life, I feel this not proper, and an injustice is being done. Surely the life of this bird belongs to one who gave it life, and not to one who tried to take it's life." The court agreed and the bird was set free, but by now his father was extremely worried about his boy.
Siddhartha was now coming to an age suitable for marriage, so to try to make him entangled in materialistic affairs, the King decided to get Siddhartha married to a stunningly beautiful and talented daughter of one of the King's noblemen. A swayamvara was held so she could chooses her own husband, but some envious princes, knowing how much the beautiful Yasodhara liked Siddhartha, complained that the swayamvara was not difficult enough for no real tests had been made of the princes' qualities. These princes thought that since Siddhartha didn't go hunting, etc, he was not a real prince, for he was not a warrior. Really they were all lusty and wanted her for themselves to enjoy. A competition was held, but Siddhartha beat all the other princes in archery and horse-riding and so won the hand of Yasodhara. Siddhartha was just sixteen years of age, and upon gaining a bride he had gained her entourage of young maid servants also. It was arranged that Yasodhara's maidservants were all scantily dressed and all being exquisitely beautiful for the purpose of bewildering Siddhartha, but he wasn't in the least intimidated, what to speak of interested in or attracted to them, instead referred to and treated them as his mothers. The King pressured Siddhartha into making Yasodhara pregnant and to the King's pleasure, later a male child was born, but Siddhartha remained detached.
Up until this time King Suddhodana had arranged that Siddhartha had not been out of the palaces in his whole life, for his palace was like a city with all kinds of jewels and luxurious items to which again Siddhartha had no attachments at all. Siddhartha continually asked his father to arrange a journey outside of the palace for him, but the King feared, for he remembered the predictions of Siddhartha renunciation. Shortly after his twenty-ninth birthday the King made all necessary arrangements for Siddhartha's chariot ride outside the palace. The route was cleared of old, infirm, dead and young persons to avoid the hand of fate, but on the journey, as Siddhartha rode through the city, the demigods took special forms upon the Lord's order to prompt the excecution of the princes' mission. Siddhartha asked his chariot driver, Channa, "Who is this? His hair is white, he is appearing very weak, his back is bent, and his skin is wrinkled?" Channa replied even against the King's instructions as if his jaw worked on it's own, and his tongue talked of it's own accord. "He is an old man and he is bent double with advanced age." "Does everyone get old Channa?" asked the prince. Channa replied, "Yes, everyone has to grow old." Siddhartha fell silent.
A little further along the road Siddhartha saw a diseased man and asked, "Channa, what is wrong with this man? He appears to be suffering, his face shows pain." "He is ill and is crying due to his bodily pains." Channa replied. "Channa, tell me, is disease particular only to him?" "No, my prince," replied Channa. "Anyone may become ill, and at any time of his life." "Even I?" asked Siddhartha. "Yes, even you." replied Channa. Again the chariot proceeded down the road until Siddhartha saw a procession. "Channa, why are those people carrying that man, and Channa, why are they all so upset?" Channa replied, "The man's body that you see being carried has died and those following him are his friends and relatives. They are naturally upset due to their affection for the death of their dear one." "Channa, please tell me, has anyone else ever died besides that man, and will others die also?" "O my prince," replied Channa, "every person who is born in this world will die at some time. That is as sure as death."
Siddhartha suddenly felt sick and asked Channa to return to the palace. On the way they saw a man sitting peacefully by the side of the forest road. The prince was mystified by the saintly man's aura of inner peace. "Channa, stop. Who is this man? He appears different from the others we have seen. Why is that?" He replied, "O my dear prince, he is a saintly renunciate, having given up these worldly pleasures and pains, instead he has taken to the path of looking for the key to truth and enlightenment."
From that day on, Siddhartha had changed. He became more introspective and grave and had thoughts only for renouncing this world to go to the forest. Before long, at the dead of night, and unseen by the palace guards, Siddhartha left the palace for the forest. Shaving off his long hair and swapping his opulent clothes for that of a beggars, Siddhartha took to extreme austerities, fasting, only sometimes taking water. Only occasionally he would take fruits. Until giving up sleeping and eating he took only one hemp seed daily. Due to his bodily weakness he collapsed. In the forest a herdsman's daughter brought him some fruits and again he ate. Some criticised him for this, but now Siddhartha, devoid of even fame and the presigue that follows renunciation, was free.
He took to sitting under a bodhi (banyan) tree and took to introspective analysis of why suffering takes place. After some time, looking at various activities of pleasure and giving them up he came to the conclusion that eating, sleeping, mating and defending, and especially that of material desire were the causes of sorrow. To obtain eternal bliss, one must be pure, true and righteous in thought, deed and words (mind, body and speech). One must give up desire for material things and seek out the truth. This was his basis, then he started to go and preach, he even convinced the great Kasyapa Muni into becoming his follower and to give up the worship of Agni in the fire yajna.
On his way to Rajagriha he saw a herd of sheep, and upon finding out they were on their way to King Bismisara's big yajna to be the offering into the fire, Buddha decided to accompany them and preach to the King his philosophy of ahimsa (non-violence), along with his new disciple Kasyapa. Buddha preached to the King to give up these Vedic yajnas and Kasyapa echoed the same, that by worship of fire and offering of poor and innocent animals into the fire, one will not become free from the miseries of this world. The King then gave up the offering of animals into the fire, and all other Vedic rites and became a follower of Buddha.
Another time a woman came to Lord Buddha whose child had died and begged him to restore the baby to life. Lord Buddha told her to go to every house and collect a mustard seed from any house where there has been no death taken place, and return with a handful of mustard seeds to him. The woman went from house to house, but at each house someone had lost a husband, father, grandfather, daughter, son, two children, servant or animal. Alas, in tears of dissapointment, she returned to Lord Buddha. He preached to her that all living entities that have taken birth must die, so ultimately there is nothing but sorrow gained from this life. He told her to give up this desire for controlling destiny, and be free from sorrows. In this way he lived his life and preached to those who were atheistic, caught up in so many ritualistic sacrifices and superstitions just for the satisfaction of their senses, either directly or indirectly.
Lord Buddha's preaching had to be along these lines, for people of this time were only thus philosophically evolved, and so seemingly he had to preach against the Vedas, though in actuallity he was doing the people a great service stopping their deviations.
The Vedas are never meant for sense gratification, but are meant for satisfying the senses of the Supreme Lord, Who's glories are sung throughout the Vedas. Unfortunately, persons who look to the Vedas with an aim of fulfilling their own desires will rarely come to know the knower and revealer of the Vedas, nor are they particulary interested in Him.
Vedic literature is unchallengable and stands without question of doubt, whatever is stated in the Vedas must be accepted completely or one challenges the authority of the Vedas.
The following is a summary taken from the introduction of Shrimad Bhagavatam, Volume 1, Page 21.
"The Vedic injunctions are self authorized, and if some mundane creature adjusts the interpretations of the Vedas, he defies their authority. It is foolish to think of oneself as more intelligent than Shrila Vyasadeva. he has already expressed Himself in His Sutras and there is no need of help from personalities of lesser importance. His work, the Vedanta Sutra is as dazzling as the midday sun, and when someone tries to give his own interpretations on the self-effulgent sun like Vedanta Sutra he attempts to cover the sun with the cloud of his imagination."
So though Lord Buddha was the Personality of Godhead His plan was to take the general populous, who had deviated away from Vedic principles, right away from the Vedas. "Reject the Vedas, there is no God, you just follow Me."
Just as to properly retrain a person who has taught himself to play a musical instrument, one has to "un- train", I mean get the fool to reject all that he has speculated upon by his own means, and then when deprogrammed, free from his own misconceptions, re-programming can begin. To execute this method of retraining Buddha developed an "unusual" school of thought which can be looked at briefly here.
Buddhism has nine principles with two ways of understanding philosophy - one way is called hinayana, and the other is called mahayana. These will be explained a little later.
The nine principles to which this is applied are:
1. The creation is eternal; there is no need to accept a creator.
2. The cosmic manifestation is false.
3. "I am" is the truth.
4. There is repetition of birth and death.
5. Lord Buddha is the only source of understanding the truth.
6. The principle of nirvana, or annihilation is the ultimate goal.
7. The philosophy of Buddha is the only philosophical path.
8. The Vedas are compiled by human beings.
9. Pious activities, showing mercy to others and so on are advised.
These are all based on logic and argument, or should we say illogical and poor arguments, as the Vaishnavas have dealt with these with swift strokes. Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada dismembers their nine limbs in the Bhaktivedanta purports to Chaitanya Charitamrita (Madhya 9.49, page 316), quoting Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, which we have summarized herein.
"Their first principle is that creation is always existing, but if this is the case, there can be no theory of annihilation. The Buddhists maintain that annihilation or dissolution is the highest truth. If the creation is eternally existing, there is no question of dissolution or annihilation. This argument is not very strong because by practical experience we can see that material things have a beginning, a middle and an end. The ultimate aim of the Buddhist philosophy is to dissolve the body. This is proposed because the body has a beginning. Similarly, the entire cosmic manifestation is also a gigantic body, but if we accept the fact that it is always existing, there can be no question of annihilation. Therefore the attempt to annihilate everything in order to attain zero is an absurdity. By our own practical experience we have to accept the beginning of creation, and when we accept the beginning, we must accept a creator. Such a creator must possess an all-pervasive body, as pointed out by Bhagavad-gita (13.14):
sarvatah pani-padam tat
sarvatah srutimal loke
sarvam avrtya tisthati
"Everywhere are His hands and legs, His eyes and faces, and He hears everything. In this way the Supersoul exists."
"The Supreme Person must be present everywhere. His body existed before the creation; otherwise He could not be the creator. If the Supreme Person is a created being, there can be no question of a creator. The conclusion is that the cosmic manifestation is certainly created at a certain time, and the creator existed before the creation; therefore the creator is not a created being. The creator is Param Brahman, or the Supreme Spirit. Matter is not only subordinate to spirit but is actually created on the basis of spirit. When the spirit soul enters the womb of a mother, the body is created by material ingredients supplied by the mother. Everything is created in the material world, and consequently there must be a creator who is the Supreme Spirit and who is distinct from matter. It is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita that the material energy is inferior and that the spiritual energy is the living entity. Both inferior and superior energies belong to a supreme person.
"The Buddhists argue that the world is false, but this is not valid. The world is temporary, but it is not false. As long as we have the body, we must suffer the pleasures and pains of the body, even though we are not the body. We may not take these pleasures and pains very seriously, but they are factual nonetheless. We cannot actually say that they are false. If the bodily pains and pleasures are false, the creation would be false also, and consequently no one would take very much interest in it. The conclusion is that the material creation is not false or imaginary, but it is temporary.
"The Buddhists maintain that the principle "I am" is the Ultimate Truth, but this excludes the individuality if "I" and "you". If there is no "I" and "you", or individuality, there is no possibility of argument. The Buddhist philosophy depends on argument, but there can be no argument if one simple depends on "I am"."
This is the crazy philosophy of "one hand clapping" - singular perception of whatever I think of or imagine, then that I am. Because I have imagined you, then you are here for me, but actually you are just an extension of me, or my mind, actually you do not exist. This is what they called swacitta.
"There must be a "you", or another person also. The philosophy of duality - the existence of the individual soul and the Supersoul - must be there. This is confirmed in the Second Chapter of Bhagavad-gita (2.12), wherein the Lord says:
na tv evaham jatu nasam
na tvam neme janadhipah
na caiva na bhavisyamah
sarve vayam atah param
"Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be."
"We existed in the past in different bodies, and after the annihilation of this body, we shall exist in another body. The principle of the soul is eternal, and it exists in this body or in another body. even in this lifetime we experience existence in a child's body, in a youths body, a man's body and an old body. After the annihilation of the body we acquire another body. The Buddhist cult also accepts the philosophy of transmigration, but the Buddhists do not properly explain the next birth. There are 8,400,000 species of life, and our next birth may be in any one of them; therefore this human body is not guarantied. (This is our philosophy.)
"According to the Buddhists fifth principle, Lord Buddha is the only source for the attainment of 'Vedic' knowledge. One must accept a principle of standard knowledge because one cannot attain the Absolute Truth simply by intellectual speculation. If everyone is an authority, or if everyone accepts his own intelligence as the ultimate criterion - as is presently fashionable - the scriptures will be interpreted in many different ways, and everyone will claim his own philosophy supreme. This has become a very great problem, and everyone is interpreting scripture in his own way and setting up his own basis of authority. ( Yata mata tata patha.) Now everybody and anybody is trying to establish his own theory as the Ultimate Truth. The Buddhists theorize that annihilation, or nirvana, is the ultimate goal. Annihilation applies to the body, but the spirit soul transmigrates from one body to another. If this were not the case, how can so many multifarious bodies come into existence? If the next birth is a fact, the next bodily form is also a fact. As soon as we accept a material body, we must accept the fact that the body will be annihilated and that we will have to accept another body. If all material bodies are doomed to annihilation, we must obtain a nonmaterial body, or a spiritual body, if we wish to be anything but false. How the spiritual body is attained is explained in Bhagavad-gita (4.9):
janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vettir tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so 'rjuna
"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna."
"This is the highest perfection by which one can transcend the transmigration of material bodies and return home, back to Godhead. It is not that existence become void and zero, existence continues, but if we positively want to annihilate the material body, we have to accept a spiritual body, otherwise there can be no eternality for the soul.
"We cannot accept the theory that the Buddhist philosophy is the only way, for there are so many defects in that philosophy. A perfect philosophy is one that has no defects, and that is Vedanta philosophy. No one can point out any defects in Vedanta philosophy, and therefore we can conclude that Vedanta is the supreme philosophical way of understanding the truth. According to the Buddhist cult, the Vedas are compiled by ordinary human beings. If this were the case, they would not be authoritative. From Vedic literatures we understand that shortly after the creation, Lord Brahma was instructed in the Vedas. It is not that the Vedas were created by Brahma, although Brahma is the original person in the universe. If Brahma did not create the Vedas, and if he is acknowledged as the first created being, wherefrom did Vedic knowledge come to Brahma? Obviously the Vedas did not come from an ordinary person born in this material world. According to Shrimad Bhagavatam, tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye; after the creation, the Supreme Person imparted Vedic knowledge within the heart of Brahma. There was no person in the beginning of creation other than Brahma, yet he did not compile the Vedas; therefore the conclusion is that the Vedas were not compiled by any created being. Vedic knowledge was given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who created this material world. This is also accepted by Sankaracarya, although Sankaracarya is not in this instance playing the part of a Vaishnava (as such).
"It is stated that mercy is one of the qualities of a Buddhist, but mercy is a relative thing. We show our mercy to a subordinate or to one who is suffering more than ourselves. However, if there is a superior person present, the superior person cannot be the object of our mercy. Rather, we are objects for the mercy of the superior person. Therefore showing compassion and mercy in a relative activity. It is not the Absolute Truth. Apart from this, we also must known what actual mercy is. To give a sick man on a restricted diet something forbidden for him to eat is not mercy. Rather, it is cruelty. Unless we know what mercy really is, we may create an undesirable situation. If we wish to show real mercy, we will preach Krishna consciousness in order to revive the lost consciousness of human beings, the living entity's original consciousness. Since the Buddhist philosophy does not admit the existence of the spirit soul, the so-called mercy of the Buddhists is defective (for it pertains only to the body)."
That sums up the problem, now in brief let's look at the two main schools which carry this philosophy, who are as follows.
The Mahayana doctrine has developed along two lines - that of Sunyavada or Madhyamika, and that of Vijnanavada. The difference between Sunyavada and Vijnanavada is that in Vijnanavad the appearance of anything in this world is due to our mental creations or concoctions.
Sunyavada - however, when a Sunyavadi argues, they only accept for the moment what other people regard as reasons, and deal with everyone in the sunyavadis own unique way of comprehension of how to see anything. " Due to the false nature of everything which I am witnessing, what you see and what I see, really all this has no meaning, because after all, it is all false, its all nothing. Therefore there is no truth, seeing that it never existed as an established fact in the first place, therefore nothing is ever destroyed." They do not even accept that heat and light are properties of fire, they say that heat can be made in other ways as can light, so it depends on the conditions at hand - sounds like a cynics paradise. We have seen due to the potency of Lord Buddha the bewilderment of the atheistic class of men, and that these hidious philosophies have spread all over the world.
Vijnanavad - the Vijnanvadis tactfully accept what the sunyavadis say, but are mostly interested in their own theory of the eternality of thought and their famous stanza of "I think, therefore I am." All dhamas (qualities) and activities are imaginary concoctions of avidya or ignorant minds. There is no movement in the so-called world, because we have invented it, it doesn't exist. We invented it ourselves and then we are deluded by our own creation into thinking it exists. This is called the theory of nirmmita pratimohi. They say there are two functions involved in our consciousness - 1) khyati vijnan - that which holds the "perceptions" and 2) vastu-prati-vikalpa vijnana - that which orders the imaginary and constructs that which the first perceives. All sense knowledge (perception) can be stopped only when the mind is held still. The mind, is that thing by whose movement all creations take place, if separated from all sensual perception, all action will from that moment cease to act.........................................
It is quite amusing to note that although the Buddhistic philosopher seems to think that his nihilistic, voidist out look to life will give him freedom from suffering, he should understand one thing which is really the basis of all suffering. That is our unfortunate adversity towards the Supreme controller, creater, maintainer, and destroyer, of which all of them denounce, some more than others. The Buddhist is the extreme case. The attitude of becoming nothing is really stemming from a negation of personal relationship, which has its roots in envy.
In life we have experienced situations occure where in a subordinate personality cannot get the particular satisfaction that he requires from a situation so he declares, " I want nothing to do with...... such and such." Its selfishness, nothing more, I want a relationship on my terms, if its not on my terms, then forget it, why should I do what you want. All kinds of senarios arise. " I'll withdraw my labour.....," or as it has also been said, "..... if passing air benifits you, then I'll hold it in." Gross maybe but acurate nonetheless.
The envious atheists who are despirately tring to deny the existance of God expose their real nature as they speak. I want to be the supreme controller, why should you be, therefore in an angry mood of resent they rebuke everything, you don't exist. If for even a moment this kind of person thought that it could be due to some defect on our own part that either I cannot perceive the origin of everything, and its effects, or why I am suffering, honesty and humility would then have a chance to develope as one casts the view upon one's self and saw our short comings. Its easy to say isn't it, but try it, try to have a meaningfull relationship with a Buddhist, instead all you will find is that their phlosophy of deep rooted envy, covers, and makes all possability of any kind of personal relationship to exist an impossability.
At the time of accepting vows, the aspiringiii Buddhist chooses to take what is termed a "more complete path" over a few lifetimes in which to become enlightened. The Bodhisattwa, "enlightened being" as he is known, who takes many lives, accrues benefit as pious activities and with those pious results helps others - he formally takes a vow not to accept "nirvana" so as to complete his path over numerous lifetimes as a Bodhisattwa.
The term nirvana literally means " to leave the forest of material existance." This understanding is also there in the Vedic literatures. In Dhamapada, Lord Buddha preaches the principals of celibacy as follows, " Cut down the forest of lust, not just one tree. This real danger of material existance comes from this lust, when one cuts down the forest of lust and its undergrowth, subtle sense enjoyment, then oh monks, then you will be rid of the forest and be freed."
This same subject is discussed in the Bhagavad Gita 3.36 to 43., but Lord Krishna tells Arjuna to curb this bodily missidentification, which comes about due to lust, as we have stated which comes into action through the desire to enjoy separately from the Lord, which originally has its roots in envy. Lust as we know is a perverted reflection of our original love for Krishna, just to do away with the negative (lust), will as we observe with the Buddhists only bring about bitterness, cynicism, and anger towards those who rightfully enjoy, but in a transcendental spiritual way, free from lust and focused on the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna.
This is the system that Lord Buddha accepted of going into the forest, sitting under a tree and meditating. This process is followed still by strict Buddhist monks, but under the new name of Theravada, and they attain enlightenment quickly. After becoming enlightened they teach and establish a temple. Some stay in the forest.iv
The word "hinayana" is generally translated as "small vehicle", hina meaning small and yana meaning vehicle. The ultimate goal of the hinayani is to attain his own nirvana or "salvation", whereas the goal of the mahayani is to try to preach this philosophy to others. Generally the hinayani is looked down upon as a non-preacher, in Buddhist cicles. If he is diligent in his sadhana it is suggested that for his own "salvation" it would usually take about three life times, with nirvana rarely being achieved in one lifetime. This is probably one of two most significant differences in the two schools, but from a more philosophical line, the hinayanis and mahayanis do differ. The mahayanis think that everything comes from nothing and is of an indefinable nature until our minds create it, whereas the hinayanis only think that everything is not permanent and is a creation of the mind. They never went further than this.
Both give forms of meditation to suit the student - first to accept a student the student has to ask three times before being accepted, and still some are sent away if they are not submissive or as the Buddhists say, "if their minds are not still" - the goal being sunya or zero ( to become fixed in a state of nothingness ).
These days there are twenty two schools of Buddhism. Because Buddhism depends on your viewpoint, different schools fit different persons. No-one being completely submissive to another differences have arrisen, "different strokes for different folks," they say, as is their philosophy. A significant difference between the main two, hinayanis and mahayanis also, is that whilst sunyavadis accept devotion and service, ( bhakti they call it ), to the spiritual master or Buddha, the hinayanis do not. Their main view though is humanitarianism. Even the relationships that naturally develope from personal dealing and service are scoffed at, for they say, that if one is too compassionate then this indicates that simply he is too attached. The doctrine of sunyavadis accepts dukha, or suffering as the nature of this material world, but thinks to become void or nothing, which as we all know is opposite to something, of which the material world is, will bring the opposite to suffering, sukha or happiness fulfilment. This philosophy is especially meant for the cheaters and those who want to be cheated. None of them even consider of taking to the positive action after cessation from the material world and its dealings. Instead they leave it there, simply cessation or nirvana, but unfortunately, especially for them, its only the "will 'o the whisp", fantacy, this cessation of everything is not permanent, definately one can change around the shapes of the material manifestation, working with the elements in verious ways,but to finish it completely ? Sorry folks ! If they were spiritually intelligent they would appreciate that, yes this material world is a place of suffering, so let me now find out a place of permanant happiness free from all suffering. But this they are not and so due to not taking up the positive aspects of activities, which are free from the implications of birth, old age, disease and death, further suffering again comes of its own accord. The natural next step would be to accept that after negating the negative to accept a positive, but their cheating philosophy will not allow them to do so.v
Buddha himself taught that this material world is full of suffering, and he also taught that there is samudaya or a cause (material), and that due to there being a cause there must be a way of removing the cause, so then one has to remove material existance. This is the teaching of Buddha and as far as I can see there is nothing wrong with this statement, as with many of the revealled statements of Buddha. Though he never really disclosed more than this. Still he had a service to perform and he did it well. It was not his purpose to develope anything further, nor would the people of the time had been able to receive any more than this, it was a troubled time.
Throughout Buddhas life he always acted in an exemplary way, his compassion was always very personal despite his missions philosophy. In his life history there are many incidences recorded in which some details to his mission are brought out, but mostly the focus has been on his refutation of the devient so-called Vedantists. However we have found one rare written poem reputed to be the only text actually written by the renounced Buddha :
Creatures without feet my love ,
and likewise those who have two feet ;
and those, too who have many feet.
Let creatures all, all things that live,
all beings of whatever kind, see
nothing that will bode them ill.
May no evil come to them.
There in the Surangama sutra he is quoted as saying that ," The reason for developing detachment, perfoming meditation, and seeking enlightenment is to escape from the sufferings of life. But in seeking that escape ourselves why should we impose suffering upon others. So unless one can control the mind then the misdeeds of violence and brutal unkindness and killing will be prevailant, when one is abhorant to such acts nurturing compassion to all who are naturally suffering, then one can escape from the bondage of mundane life."
This was the conclusion of Lord Buddha sitting for six years under the banyan ( Bodhi ) tree performing austerity and meditation on the outskirts of the city of Gaya.
It is even mentioned that Catur Mukha Lord Brahma the teacher of the sacred Vedas throughout the universe came and hailed "The Buddha ", and requested him to preach to save the fallen souls in this world, let them over come birth death old age and disease. Buddhas' reply was, "That the door to the realm of the immortals is now wide open to all those who hear me."
Buddha himself reveals in the Donasutta," I am not a deva (demigod ), I am not a gandharva (celestial angel), nor yaksa (fierce guardian spirit), or human being." and in the Saddharma Punarika he announces to all :-
yam eva'ham lokapita swayambhu cikitsakah sarvaprajnan natah
"I am the self born, father of all, the Lord of all beings and the remover of all ills."
Therefore for those faithless atheists who were caught up in, as Buddha himself states, "Rituals that have no efficacy, prayers that are simply vain reparticians which have no reformetory powers to save one, and covetous, and evil passions of lust and hate. Give up these things and follow me." In this way Lord buddha tried to reform the devient society at large by guiding them at least in a moral direction.
In the Lankavatar sutra there are mentions that some of the real followers of Buddha who were inocent and attracted to him because of his pure nature even developed into an appreciation for him as Vishnu tattwa. Thus he is refered to in that sastra as nistha abhava param brahma, "the personifcation of the Supreme Lord, viparam brahma."
After Buddha, Sankara appeared to re-establish eternality of the soul and the supremacy of Veda or actual knowledge. This is as much as anyone could accept at this time, and Sankara gave just what was necessary to bring those who are envious of the Lord a little closer to Him.
Shrila Prabhupada points out quite clearly in his purport of Chaitanya Charitamrita (Adi, 3.15.14) that the so-called Mayavadi followers of Sankara are in fact more dangerous than Buddhists, even so, one can see the Lord's hand at work. How great is Krishna that He gives remembrance to those who wish to remember Him and forgetfulness to those who wish to forget Him, giving those persons the necessary paths by which they can forget Him. And for those who can be swayed, who are innocent, there are the Vaishnavas, the sastras (scriptures), and the Lord and, or His representatives who come to help give positive direction.
guru krishna prasad paya bhakti lata bhija
brahmanda bhramita kona bhagavanjiva
"After wandering in the material world for countless years one is extremely fortunate if by the grace of the Lord one meets His representative and the seed of devotion is planted."
Sankaracarya appeared in 788 AD and because of his particular mission, he would appear to some, as some kind of demon. If one reads some of the works of Madhvacaryavii or his disciples or followers, Sankaracarya is directly referred to as a demon or worse, although his philosophy was to again re-establish Vedic authority. How is that ? Read on, and all will be revealed. He was such an empowered and potent personallity and his philosophy so well presented that it realy put the cat among the pigeons, so to speak. It is stated that even if a Maha Bhagavat Paramahamsa devotee of the Lord, or highly elevated devotee, who has surrendered himself to the lotus feet of Krishna hears the Mayavada philosophy of Sariraka Bhasya, he will fall down. For Vaishnavas this philosophy is like poison.
Accordingly to really be effective, to fulfill his purpose Sankaracarya presented his philosophy in such a way that it would attract the right kind of followers.
Basically there are two kinds of Mayavadis, or followers of Sankara, though there have become branches, and sub-branches of the original two. The Kasiras from Benares say that the Absolute Truth is beyond the range of sense perception and it includes no spiritual variety or spiritual enjoyment. The spiritual world is simply void and anything one can perceive by direct sensual perception is maya. The other Mayavadis are called Saranatha, Varanasi Mayavadis, and they propagate the idea that "brahma satyam jagan mrtyam" - Brahman is truth and everything else is false. Thus they do not believe in spiritual existence and do not believe in material or spiritual nature. They only consider material varieties to be everything, in the absolute everything loses its variety and becomes one.
They cannot in actuality accept the principles of Bhagavad-gita due to poor fund of knowledge of the permanance of the soul. Such verses in Bhagavad Gita as 2:24 that state emphatically that the individual soul remains the same, and B.G.2:20 that says that the soul does not come into being, nor will it attain a state of unbeing at the demise of the material circumstances. Bhagavad Gita's classic verse on this subject is 2:12 wherein Krishna the Supreme Philosopher states," Never was there a time when I did not exist nor you nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be." The same Vedic truths given to Arjuna are given to all persons in the world who pose themselves as very learned but factually have no fund of knowledge. The Lord says clearly that He Himself, Arjuna and all the kings who are assembled on the battlefield are eternally individual being and that the Lord is eternally the maintainer of the individual living entities both in their conitioned and in their liberated states. Some how or another due to the inauspicious age of kali even such holy tirthas as Kuruksetra's Jyoti tirtha where this Bhagavad Gita was spoken has fallen into the hands of the followers of Sankaracarya, yet what do they care for Bhagavad Gita??? In all humility they should take their inauspicious faces, accept mauna ( a vow of silence ), and leave that place for good if they will not accept the truths as spoken by the Lord in that holy place some 5000 years ago.
Let us look at an interesting incident that happened during the lifetime of Sankara which will substantiate my statement radical as it may seem.
The following is from Navadwipa Dhama Pilgrims Guide:
"Once, whilst on pilgrimage, Sankaracaya visited Shri Navadwipa Dhama, Mayapur, and to his surprise, soon after his arrival Lord Chaitanya appeared before him in a most splendid golden form and spoke the following words. "Sankara, you are actually My eternal servant and, following My orders, you are very effectively preaching the Mayavadi doctrine. But since Navadwipa is My most beloved transcendental abode, the impersonal philosophy has no place here. On My behalf Vriddha Siva and Praudha Maya spread concocted impersonal interpretations of the scriptures but only to those who envy My devotees. In this way I cheat them. Since Shri Navadwipa Dhama is generally for My devotees and not the envious, the impersonal doctrine should not be preached here. Therefore you should go elsewhere to perform your particular service. Do not contaminate the inhabitants of Shri Navadwipa (Mayapur)."
Sankara at once realized the exalted nature of Shri Navadwipa and with his heart instilled with great devotion, went elsewhere."
In the Chaitanya Charitamrita the author Krishnadasa includes the words of Lord Chaitanya in Adi Lila Chapter 7, Texts 109 & 110, saying "Shripad Sankaracarya has described all the Vedic literatures in terms of indirect meanings". Practically speaking one can say he is giving envious rascals enough rope to hang themselves with. It is also stated that "One who hears such explanations is ruined." In Shrila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's purport he says, " Sankaracarya is not at fault, for he has thus covered the real purpose of the Vedas under the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead." In the purport to these verses Shrila Prabhupada states the cases of the Bhagavatam and the Puranas;
In the Padma Purana there is a conversation between Lord Siva and his wife Parvati:
mayavadam asac- chastram
pracchannam bauddham ucyate
mayaiva kalpitam devi
kalau brahmana rupina
brahmanas caparan rupam
nirgunam vaksyate maya
sarvasvam jagato 'py asya
mohanartham kalau yuge
vedante tu maha-sastre
mayaiva vaksyate devi
"The Mayavadi philosophy," Lord Siva informed his wife Parvati, "...is impious (asac-shastra). It is covered Buddhism. My dear Parvat, in the form of a Brahmana in the Kali-yuga I teach this imagined Mayavada philosophy in order to cheat the atheists. I describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be without form and without qualities. Similarly, in explaining Vedanta I describe the same Mayavada philosophy in order to mislead the entire population towards atheism by denying the personal form of the Lord."
In the Siva Purana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna told Lord Siva:
dwaparadau yuge bhutva
swagamaih kalpitais twam ca
janan mad-vimukhan kuru
"In Kali-yuga mislead the people in general by propounding imaginary meanings for the Vedas to bewilder them."
And in the Padma Purana Lord Siva tells Parvati:
srnu devi pravaksyami
patityam jnaninam api
antra ca pratipadyate
naiskarmyam tatra cocyate
paratma jivayor aikyam
mayatra prati padyate
"My dear wife, hear my explanations of how I have spread ignorance through Mayavadi philosophy. Simply by hearing it, even an advanced scholar will fall down. In this philosophy, which is certainly very inauspicious for the people in general, I have misrepresented the real meaning of the Vedas and recommended that one give up all activities to achieve freedom from karma. In this Mayavada philosophy I have described the jivatma (the minute spirit soul) and Paramatma (the Supersoul) to be one and the same."
This excuses Sankara as just doing his particular service, but as for his followers - Bhagavad-gita (16.19) states:
tan aham dvisatah kruran
ksipamy ajasram asubhan
asurisv eva yonisu
"Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among mankind are cast by Me into the ocean of material existence into various demoniac species of life."
It is predicted in the sastras that in the present age of quarell, hypocrites (dambha S.B.12.2.5.) will take their births in the families of brahmanas, and simply by there group agreement and "smooth talking" philosophical schools will come about, giving way to such philosophies as that of mayavada.
To try to minimise the activities of a great person even in the material world unscrupulous persons spread all kinds of nonsense designed to defame agreat man. Is this not enviousness? Then what to speak of those who try to minimise the qualities of the Lord, or worse say that He has no qualities, is this not of the same offensive mentality? The mayavadis also try to say that when this unmanifested brahman desires to appear He takes on aform made of the mode of material, or mundane goodness, due to their deep rooted envy they cannot even see the inconsistances in their philosophy. One minute they say He or It has no form then the next minute they say that this impersonal qualityless thing desires to take on a form like yours or mine, but just a little more refined.
One cannot offend the Lord by saying He is formless and without qualities, and that an insignificant personality like I will eventually become God.
The Mayavadis try to use an analogy of the King's son who is, for some reason, out of his father's kingdom and has become covered by ignorance (avidya). He has forgotten his real situation and has been brought up by shepherd folk in the forest. However when the wise man comes and informs the boy that he is the King's son and heir to the throne, he can go and assume his natural position which he had forgotten as King.
So in this way the avidyavadis (mayavadis) try to say that that is the case of the living entities in this world, after enlightenment, one realizes that he has become God.
A great Madhva, and latter Gaudiya Vaishnava, (Baladeva Vidyabhusana), in his commentary of Vedanta Sutra (Govinda Bhasya) sets this one straight in a sentence. He points out that the Supreme Omnipotent Omniscient All-pervading Personality of Godhead is never subject to the four defects of human life - to be under illusion, to commit mistakes, to have imperfect senses, and the cheating propensity. Sometimes such persons try to continue their wishful thinking philosophy saying that actally it was just my special lila pastime, its a fact thatI do not become illusioned etc. However in actuallity when the test is given to change their way of livingand thinking, their habits or even death itself their "rascal lila" is brought to a more truthful end. In the Bhakti sandarbha of Jiva Goswami Prabhupada (313) it is stated: "One who criticises or blasphemes Lord Vishnu and his devotees loses all the benefits accrued in a hundred pious births. Such persons rot in the Kumbipaka-hell and are bitten by worms as long as the sun and moon exist. One should therefore not even see the face of such a person who blasphemes Lord Vishnu and His devotees. Never try to associate with such persons."
We could go on but this is all delt with in this book by our hero Shripada Madhwacarya, so pushing on let us take a brief look into the life of Sankara and see what his life reveals.
Sankara, the incarnation of Lord Siva, took his birth in the village of Kaladi in Kerala on the banks of the river Periyar. His father's name was Shivaguru and his mother Aryamba. His parents were pious saivites who frequently went on pilgrimage to temples of Lord Siva. Once they went to Tricur to see Chandramuleswara Siva there. After spending all day at the temple in prayer they returned to their lodgings. That night Lord Siva appeared to them both in a dream disguised as a sage, and separately asked them the same question. "I bless you with many ordinary sons of long life, or one extraordinary son who will not live very long. Which would you prefer?" Both parents individually answered the question that they would like the one extraordinary son. The very next day they returned to their village of Kaladi where they continued to render service to the brahmins, the pilgrims and the poor. Ten months later a child was born. Astrologers cast their charts and the boy was named Sankara after Lord Siva.
At a young age his father passed away. Sankara's mother became very weak and nearly died. Shortly after this the young boy Sankara, asked her permission to take sannyasa but she refused. He decided to bide his time, knowing that sooner or later she would have to say yes. He just waited for the opportune moment.
One day Sankara was bathing in the river when a crocodile siezed his legs in it's mouth. At that time Sankara called for his mother who was nearby and told her he was about to die. He then took the opportunity to ask her permission to take sannyasa. Trying to fulfil his last wish she said yes, but as she agreed to this request the crocodile let go and Sankara limped ashore. Sankara now headed north to the banks of the Namadi River and met Govinda Bhagavadpada who gave him sannyasa. Sankara told his philosophy to his sannyasa guru who encouraged this twelve year old boy to go to Kasi (Benares) and spread this thought there. Which as we all know only too well, he did, and with great success.
Sankara made many sannyasi disciples who were all very eager to preach his philosophy. Some noted ones are Sanandana (Padmapada), who was his closest disciple, and Thotakacarya.
Once, amidst many of his disciples, a candala (dog-eater) approached. The disciples told the candala to get out of the way as Sankara and the party had just taken their midday bath in the Ganges and didn't want to become contaminated. Sankara however saw that actually this was not an ordinary dog-eater. The candala replied to them, " My dear sir what shall I remove from your presence, this gross body made of material elements or shall I remove myself which is symbolised by the consciousness which pervades this body of nine gates?" Sankara was quite taken back by the candala's reply and understanding. He stated that this man is good enough to be guru, regardless of his low birth, for he is seeing the spiritual reality in all living beings. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (5.18), a God conscious person does not make distinction between species or castes. A brahmin and a dog-eater may be different from a social point of view, but they are both spirit souls.
On another occasion Sankara stopped by a school where one teacher was teaching Sanskrit grammar to his students day after day. Sankara put a few points to the teacher how simply by book knowledge or grammatical enunciation of dukrn karane one will not be saved at the time of death - one has to worship Govinda. At this time he elaborately composed his Bhaja Govindam prayers emphasizing how one must worship Govinda; one's grammatical word jugglery will not save us at the time of death.
Throughout Sankara's stay in Benares he discussed with various types of ritualistic smartas, grammarians, etc, and tried to bring them closer to the proper path and away from dry rituals, word jugglery and mental speculation. Sankara left Benares for Badrinatha via Haridwar and Rsikesh. Whilst at Hrsikesa he visited the temple of Lord Vishnu, but to his dismay he found that the priests had put the Deity into the River Ganges out of fear of the raiding hill tribes and now couldn't find the Deity. They were worshipping only a kalash (kumbha-pot) representing the deity. Sankara told them exactly where to look in the river, and minutes later they had located the Deity and Lord Vishnu was again installed into His temple.
Next Sankara visited the cannibalistic, and murderous hill tribes and convinced them to stop their human sacrifices to Kali and other deviant tantric activities. Many of the dacoit hill tribes joined Sankara and they all went to Badrinatha together.
At Badrinatha the Deity of Badrinarayana was also missing and the priests there asked Sankara to help them find the Deity. Sankara did this and himself re-installed the Deity with great pomp. Sankara then turned the management and puja in the temple over to a handful of his Nambuduru followers from Kerala.
After visiting Kedarnath, Amarnath, Gangotri and Uttara Kasi one sage came and they discussed Vedic understanding. The sage the gave the then sixteen year old Sankara a boon that his life span be doubled. He then returned to Badrinatha and established the Jyoti Mutt there. From there he returned to Kasi (Benares) and then to Prayag (Allahabad) where he met the ritualistic smarta Kumarila Bhatta.viii Sankara offered his respects to the aging brahmana. The Bhatta asked that Sankara go to Bhatta's disciple and make him fortunate by his presence. So Sankara set out for Mahismati where Bhatta's disciple Mandana Misra lived. Mandana Misra was completely caught up in fruitive activities and, bound by the codes of the ritualistic smarta brahmins, he was not in the least pleased to see a sannyasi enter his place. According to smarta beliefs it is inauspicious to see a renunciate when one is performing one's fruitive rituals for religious household life (karma khanda). The purpose behind the followers of the karma kanda section of the Vedas is to gain punya or accumulative pious results, for by those pious results one can enjoy in one's future lives. So when one sees one who has given up enjoyment in this world, a sannyasi, it is not considered very much auspicious for that day's results. But if one does not properly respect a sannyasi then one has to perform atonement (prayascitta) or lose one's pious activities. So the presence of a sannyasi to a materialistic smarta engaged in ritualistic worship is not very much wanted.
Sankara, who was trying to instil purity and detachment from mundane rituals, was unperturbed by the unpleasant greetings he was given. Sankara told Misra of how Kumarila Bhatta, Misra's guru, had suggested he come and discuss with him. It was then that the Misra agreed to discuss with him, but suggested that his own wife, Saraswati, be the judge.
Saraswati was just as rude as her smarta husband and attacked Sankara saying, "How can a sannyasi who has no experience of household affairs, and the arts of sensual bodily love of a sexual nature claim to have complete knowledge? It is not possable, and therefore you cannot hope to defeat my husband, what to speak of my husband you have not yet defeated me." Sankara agreed and said he would come back in some time.
Then in the nearby forest Sankara entered into a state of samadhi (deep meditation) and then left that body to experience household life. While the body of Sankara sat in a yogic posture looked after by his disciple Padmapada, Sankara entered the body of the King of Vanga Desha (Modern day Bengal) who was extremely ill and on his death bed.
To everyones' amazment suddenly, miraculuosly right before everyone's eyes the King made a remarkable recovery and came to the royal balcony to be seen by his cheering subjects. Spending a month or so in the guise of the King, Sankara experienced the responsibility of ruling the kingdom, protecting it from invaders, protecting and maintaining the citizens from internal threats of murderers and thieves, and punishing those miscreants. The King also enjoyed luxuries such as the many beautiful dancing girls and maid servants who were there for his pleasure. He also tasted the fine banquets, and heard royal musicians play for him, and of course not to forget his Queen's loving service. In this way Sankara gained experience of household life. During this time the Buddhists and smartas had heard roumers of that which had happened and had conspired to destroy that body of Sankara and thus do away with him once and for all. Hearing of this Sankara imediately gave up the King's body, leaving it for dead. Sankara then returned to his own body being tended by the loyal Padmapada.
Sankara now returned to Mandana Misra and his wife Saraswati, stating that now he was ready to discuss. For several days, a fiery debate took place until Mandana Misra's faith was shaken by the strong attacks of Sankara. Saraswati, who was the judge, saw her husband's flower garland wilt, and so had to announce Sankara as the winner of the debate. Mandana Misra being thus defeated, gave up his wife Saraswati and took sannyasa from Sankara and was given the name Sureswaracarya.
Sankara showed his prowes in many ways to the peoples that he came in contact with.
After curing a rich man's son who was about to die merely by his touch, the son surrendered his life to Sankara and became Hastamlakacarya.
As Sankara headed further south, he stopped for some time at his southern headquarters of Shringeri where he put Sureswaracarya as the head of the mutt. At this place some sannyasis from his home town of Kaladi arrived and informed him that his mother was ill and was preparing to leave her body. Sankara went quickly and preached to her before she passed away. Sankara, desirous of performing the funeral rites, took off his sannyasa attire and put on simple white cloth to perform the rites, much to the disapproval of the local Nambuditi community, who then disowned him. Sankara was unperturbed and cremated her body himself in the back garden of their house. Later the Nambudiris had a change of heart, and since that day this local tradition of cremating one's family members amidst plantain stems at the home rather than the river continues.
After this Sankara travelled twice the length and breadth of India, establishing mutts at Dwaraka, Badri, Assam, Benares, Kathmandu, Puri and Kanci. Not only there though, by his preaching he even established adwaitavada with King Jayavarman II of Kambhoja (Combodia-Kampucia).
Through his disciple, who was the King's nephew, Sankara brought five lingas from Kailasa and installed them at five different places - Murtilinga at Kedara, Paralinga in the Nilakantha temple, Kathmandu, Moksalinga at Cidambaram, Bhogalinga at Shringeri, and Yogalinga at Kanci (Siva Kanci).
Once, two disciples came to him on separate occasions on the same day. One was all over Sankara, glorifying him and glorifying Siva, and of course, glorifying himself for being so fortunate as to be the knower of Sankara's philosophy. Sankara was not very pleased by this kind of glorification, for as Sankara said, "Yes, there will be many like you in this age who will follow this upadharma (lesser philosophical understanding). This is predicted in the scriptures." Later another disciple came to Sankara quite upset and a little embarrassed. He told Sankara how sorry he was that he couldn't follow the philosophy of advaita, for he always felt himself subservient to, and dependant on Lord Vishnu. His only thoughts were how to serve Lord Vishnu. Thus he said that he would have to leave the association of Sankara and his monist followers, as due to his thoughts the Mayavadis angered him and he didn't want to commit offences. Sankara, bright faced and smiling, stated, "Yes, you are the real knower of Vedanta."
In Sankara's Gita Dhyanam (Meditation on Bhagavad-gita) his real nature as Siva the vaishnava devotee of the Lord is more revealed.That Gita Dhyanam follows:
parthaya pratibodhitam bhagavata narayanena svayam
vyasena grathitam purana-munina madhye mahabharatam
advaitamrta-varsinam bhagavatim astadasadhyayinim
amba tvam anusandadhami bhagavad-gite bhava-dvesinim
"O Bhagavad-gita, thou hast been instructed to Arjuna, the son of Prtha by the Lord Himself and afterwards thee were included within the Mahabharata by the ancient sage Vyasa. Thy eighteen divine chapters are a shower of the immortal nectar of the wisdom of the Absolute. O mother, destroyer of man's rebirth into the darkness of this mortal world, upon thee I meditate."
namo 'stu te vyasa visala-buddhe
yena tvaya bharata-taila-purnah
prajvalito jnana-mayah pradipah
"Obeisances to thee, O Vyasa, thou art of mighty intellect, and thine eyes are large as the petals of the full-blown lotus. It was by thee that the oil-filled lamp of knowledge of the Mahabharata was lit."
"I offer obeisances unto Lord Krishna, the refuge of ocean-born Laksmi and all who take refuge at His lotus feet. His one hand holds a staff for driving cows, and the other hand is raised, the thumb touching the tip of the forefinger, indicating divine knowledge. He is the milker of the immortal nectar of the Bhagavad-gita."
partho vaisah sudhir bhokta
dugdham gitamrtam mahat
"The Upanisads are as a herd of cows, Lord Krishna, son of a cowherd, is their mother, Arjuna is the calf, the supreme nectar of the Gita is the milk, and the wise man of purified intellect is the drinker."
krishnam vande jagad-gurum
"I offer my obeisances to Lord Krishna, the beloved son of Vasudeva, destroyer of the demons Kamsa and Canura, the supreme bliss of Mother Devaki and the spiritual master of the universe."
bhisma-drona-tata jayadratha-jala gandhara-nilotpala
salya-grahavati krpena vahani karnena velakula asvatthama-vikarna-ghora-makra duryodhanavartini
sottirna khalu pandavai rana-nadi kaivartakah kesavah
"Of the terrifying river of the battlefield of Kuruksetra over which the Pandavas victoriously crossed, Bhisma and Drona were it's high banks, Jayadratha was the river's water, the King of Gandhara, the blue water-lily: there were sharks such as salya, Krpa was the current, Karna, the mighty waves, Asvattham and Vikarna, the dreadful alligators, and Duryodhana, the very whirlpool, but Lord Krishna was the ferryman!"
7 nanakhyanaka-kesaramhari-katha-sad-vasana-vasitam pararsaya-vacah sarojam amalam gitartha-gandhotkatam
loke saj-jana-sat-padair ahar-ahah pepiyamanam muda bhuyad bharata-pankajam kali-mala-pradhvamsi nah sreyase
"May the spotless lotus of the words of Vyasa that grows on the eternal waters of the words of Lord Hari, with its filaments of various tales of heroes and which is rightly endowed with the sweet fragrance of the explanations of the Bhagavad-gita, it's nectar beign quaffed with pleasure daily in this world by saintly persons who are compared to so many nectar-seeking bumble-bees and which destroys all the sins of the age of Kali - May this lotus of the Mahabharata bestow on us the highest good."
mukam koroti vacalam
pangum langhayate girim
tay-krpa tam aham vande
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna, the transcendentally blissful husband of the goddess of fortune, whose mercy turns the dumb into eloquent speakers and enables to lame to cross mountains."
9 yam brahma varunendra-rudra-marutah srunvanti divyaih starvair
vedaih sanga-pada-kramopanisadair gayanti yam sama-gah
dhyanavasthita-tad gatena manasa pasyanti yam yogino
yasyantam na viduh surasura-gana devaya tasmai namah
"Let all obeisances be unto the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna, whom Brahma, Varuna, Indra, Rudra, the Maruts and all divine beings praise with the divine hymns of the Vedas and their supplementary parts such as the Upanisads, whom the followers of the Sama Veda glorify with song, whom great mystics see with their minds absorbed in perfect meditation and of whom all the hosts of demigods and demons know not the limitations. To him the Supreme Lord, let there be all obeisances."
There are many aspects of personalistic philosophy defined in these prayers, but how much could he say his real heart, and at this time how much could the population actually understand. For so many years they had followed the non-vedic atheistic views of Buddha and the devious ritualistic animal 'sacrificers' before that.
Anyway as we will read the Lord had an overall plan or drama, that all these personalities were acting out, likened to pawns in a game of trancendental chess.
There is some controversy as to where Sankara finished his earthly pastimes. Some say it was at a cave in Kedara in the northern Himalayas while others say it was at Kanci in the south - obviously then we could point out, with some sarcasm, it is definately not all one for even they have two. His age at the time of his departure is agreed on as thirty-two years.
Let us now have a brief look at some aspects of the mayavada philosophy. What he said :--
We can for all saying sake say Sankaracarya preached the estranged Advaita philosophy of the impersonal Brahman - the Absolute Truth being formless. One of his main stand points was that the knower of brahman and the known (brahman) and all forms are actually our concoction due to us being in maya, therefore they are false, as the pure unknowable impersonal Brahman is without features or form. Indirectly by this statement this philosophy says that we are all superior to the impersonal Brahman, for we have a body whereas Brahman does'nt. The unfortunate truth for them however is as follows. Due to us all (including the propounder of this ridiculous philosophy) having forms, they think its all one, like some kind of equilateral communism, that without distinction we are all the same. " I am you, you are me, we are all together........" They actually think like that, of course its not a fact, simply its due to maya, the illusion that they are in, that to them we appear to be all completely the same, everyone, we are all without differentiation the same as, and will eventually again become Brahman, God.
An example of what they say is to substantiate the aham mam eti, " I am that," (brahman) is that when you speak you say I speak, and when I speak the I, aham is applicable to me and when you speak the aham, I is applicable to you, so it must be that I, is common to all so this proves tha t we are all one.
Now lets look at this a little closer. How can it be ? All that they are recognising is that two indiviual " I's " have spoken. Even a child can understand that when you say I speak, and when I say I speak, or anyone else says I speak it is not that we are all the same, the common factor is that we all spoke saying I speak, not that we as individuals are now all one simply because we all said the same phrase. This is still further proof that it is out of a poor fund of knowledge of reality, the qualities of the tiny living entity, the Supreme Lord, and His creation that one could make such a statement. Basically it is ignorance, avidya. They are very fond of using this term, avidya, but the knife of transcendental knowledge cuts both ways.
The Lord is spoken of throughout the Vedic literatures as aditya varnam tamasas tu pare,...... who is untouched by the mode of ignorance.ix He does not have any defect as we do which stems from such contact, with such lower modes.
The tiny conditioned soul, due to the influence of the mode of ignorance, sometimes is compared just like an animal who thinks that there is water in the desert. Sometimes it is seen that due to the blazing sun's reflection on the ground, the heat appears to be water even in the desert. Now that animal because it has no knowledge of what it is dealing with, it is allured towards that "water" in the desert, but actually there is no water, it is a mirage. A sane man, however, who knows the nature and effect of the sun under certain conditions is not so bewildered. He knows that it is only the intense heat on the desert which is causing some optical illusion, at this time water is not there. It does not mean though that water doesn't exist at all, no just that it is not present there now at that time. This is the difference between a sane philosophical man and an animal. Anyway my point is that one has to look a little closer, and see things through eyes that have been opened with the torch light of knowledge, and not only so much wishfull thinking, and so many material desires to be God.
Their whole philosophy is quite offensive, not only to the individual natures, desires, and likings, and personal dealings of the individual souls, but the Mayavadis insult the Lord as well due to their being mudhas (asses). Being caught red handed so to speak, as Madhwa puts it like a cat trying to abscond with the ghee meant for the sacrificial offering, "Who me, no I'm not a theif, I just found it there,thought I would look after it, you know, keep it safe.........shouldn't leave thing just lying around, you might loose them." Who me envious of God come on.....what have I got to be envious of anyone for?" Then they try to side step the issue.
Trying to deny that Krishna is cent per cent spiritual, with a purely spiritual body made of sac cid ananda vigraha, seems to be one of their fondest fronts of attack. They use the statement that if, it, (Brahman) does have a form then it's made of matter like mine. "Because I'm a fool then everyone's a fool".
Did you notice, to make the initial statement, differences such as "the known", and "the knower", and "all forms" point to a reality that there is a person who is a knower or a known. What to speak of the Supreme Person by which one has the capability to know.............and interact with in loving exchange. According to Bhagavad-gita (9.11) avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum ashritam param bhavam ajanato mama bhuta-maheswaram - "Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be."
Due to ignorance of the real situation, the impersonalistic followers of Sankara thinks the Lord's body to be illusorary, or at best of the same nature as ours, made of a temporary nature that is always afflicted by different kinds of sufferings, bad smells, tooth aches etc. Seeing ours as a cause of suffering their conclusion is that to not have a body must be superior. Due to their cheating philosophy they actually use both these arguments in different ways. They say they are God (Narayana), but when the Lord appears in His original transcendental form not made of mucus, bile and air like ours, but of eternality, knowledge and bliss, they deny Him. Or in other words, everyone is God or Brahman, that is, everyone except Krishna, which proves their envy of them saying that He cannot have a form. This is due actually to their limited perception of forms, thinking His to be like theirs (ours). They are again, thinking that really the supreme unknowable truth, who is beyond contact with this material world, and who is not knowable by blunt material senses, is beyond the form which is there, and this form that we are seeing is only there so we, with blunt material senses, can relate to it - therefore it is a manifestation of our own desire and is therefore not real, or that of God.
Either way, these ideas are the real purport to concoctions such as the statement "brahma satyam -----brahman is truth, while jagan mrtyan----everything else is false or illusory, spoken of earlier.
The impersonal Brahman is also funnily enough subordinate, or dependant on the complete whole, Supreme Person, in as much as the statement of Bhagavad Gita, Krishna's own word saying that He is the sourse of the impersonal brahman......brahmano hi pratisthanam. Therefore we can say without fear of contradiction, that those who have realization of the impersonal brahman do not have complete realization, for they do not know Param Brahman, Krishna, from whence the impersonal aspect is eminating. The energetic from where the energy is coming.
Brahman realization is only the partial realization of the sac, or eternity factor of the absolute. Above this there is more intimatation, the cid, or knowledge (truth) factor, still it is only partial. However when the devotee developes realization of Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, all transcendental features sac cid ananda vigraha are revealed, and Krishna is approached. Approaching means personal interactions, rendering service out of love, in all manner of relishable pleasing mellows, as we mentioned in the first chapter of this book.
As all the great Vaishnava Acarya's explain, it is a fact that the Lord, the Supreme Ever-existing Personality of Godhead is not known by our blunt material senses, but when these senses are purified and spiritualized, they can directly see and perceive the Lord in everything. Just as when metal is placed into fire and becomes hot like fire, the iron takes on the potency and qualities of fire, though it still remains iron, it acts like fire. So in the same way, when our blunt senses are engaged in the service of the Lord under the sanction and guidance of the Vaishnavas, guru, one is trained how to use those things favourable for developing consciousness or awareness of the Lord in His multifarious potencies, and to give up things which cause impediments to having a personal relationship with Him. This is the process of bhakti yoga as followed by the great Vaishnava acaryas.
In Lord Shri Krishna's very own words, He states in Bhagavad-gita (10.10):
bhajatam priti purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te
"To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."
Sankara's avidya philosophy points out how the self luminous reality appears in this world through the influence of defects. In it he says "Defect or avidya (ignorance) hides its own real nature and make various appearances, and can neither be described as being or as a non-being (It is Brahman)."
The mayavadi philosophers, they say that because I am now covered by ignorance, therefore I see individuals. Our individual experience, that I am Mr ........ and that you are Mr .........is only due to our ignorance. Generally the mayavadis give the example of a diseased person, one suffering from a particular disease of the eyes, that when one looks at the moon he sees two. The eyes become so defective due to disease that whenever they see things ( objects in this world ) they see two, but actually it is all one (so they say). Indeed for one who is in ignorance, avidya, ignorance of reality, this diseased condition may well apply but, this cannot, and does not apply to the all perfect, all knowing, self manifesting, original, individual Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, who is tangebly known and described in the sastra as Param Brahman, the Supreme from whence the effulgence is coming! He does not fall prey to the four imperfections of this world.x Only one who is above the four defects and full in all oppulences can be known as the Supreme God, or Bhagavan, and not one who is subject to illusion or avidya. Anyone who either proffesses to be God, or who say he will become in the future is cheating, and that is one of the four defects. Thus proving he also has imperfect senses having committed a gross mistake, is that illusion! Yes. Disqualified!
The Sankarites say that Brahman cannot be a being, since then the illusion and realization of it's defects would be unavoidable, and it cannot be a non-being substance since then, due to appearances in the world, they would be superior to this non-being substance; thus one should look beyond that which is seen and known to see that which is unknown and unknowable.? And try to know that ??? Krishna recognises these disease in Bhagavad Gita 9.11. Actually this is the real conclusion of the philosophy of avidya - ignorance. Yes this is it in a nut--shell, simply a wonderfull feat of word jugglery, so many words but no real conclusive meaning.
If I am trying to research information for a subject, and am told to go to a particular place or person for information, but I say to myself its not to the person or place that I should go but to the place beyond........ this is exactly what they are saying, so what kind of fool am I ? ( A BIG ONE )( as Prabhupada calls describes "fool number one" ).
Phenomenal reality is due to, according to Mayavadis, being induced by avidya or ignorance. If avidya itself is the result of avidya, surely we are landed in a vicious circle.
The philosophy of ignorance tries to evade reality in three ways -
1) They say that those who think avidya to be only associated with the jiva try to explain their way out in this way - that ignorance covers one in a way much like the repetition of a seed growing into a shoot, the shoot into a plant, and again into a seed. In the same way, as long as one is thinking in that way then due to ignorance (avidya),we are kept down in that position ,and birth after birth we remain a jiva, but when "I" realize that "so 'ham", "I am that", which is non-different from Brahman and which has the ignorance removed, then.. again.. I.. am.. GOD.[ANI9]
O.K. Boys take him away! Got a Nice jacket for you to try on Mr GOD, or was that Dog!
To substantiate this they sometimes use the example of the King's son lost in the forest being brought up by shepherd fold. When the wise man comes and enlightens the would-be prince as to who he is, then he can assume his role as heir-apparent. Simply wishful thinking. Now I know that I am God.....as told earlier.
2) There are those also who say that the avidya belongs to the Brahman and that it in itself is eternal, and that the irrationality of everything (according to them) is ignorance. Sounds like a case of a false pride and a false renunciation complex to me. Blame Brahman for one's own ignorance and because everything is "irrational", renounce it, like the man who walks past the treasury, looks in and says, "I renounce all this". But it was never his to begin with. ( or the example of sour grapes )
3) The third view is that everything is just illusion, illusion is eternal and one illusion formed in the first instance has just led to further illusions - a vicious circle almost ending in voidism. So as a means of "hope" they lay in wait for something of a non-illusory nature to appear, and if it doesn't, then that is due to the strength of avidya (Neti Neti). This philosophy is a little like trying to find one's father by examining every man, and asking "Sir are you my father?" By the process of elimination maybe he will be found!!! (to be honest though if some mayavadi came and asked me if i was his father, even if I was, I wouldn't admit it. 'Seeing we are all one anyway everyone is his father, says a lot for his mother eh! So we could say then that in fact, if the appearance of that non-illusory element, i.e. the father, does not appear then the appearance of everything one knows is simply a product of avidya (illusion or ignorance). Like so many zeros without a digit that could make ten or a hundred or a thousand, etc. etc.
Needless to say this is the essence of the mayavadi philosophy, need we say more?
Sit tight for a good laugh !
There are two brief stories that are quite entertaining on these points. Once at a Kumba Mela in Allahbad in the cold month of Magha (January) in the midst of literally, without any egxageration, millions of pilgrims, some personalists, some jnanis, some munis, and mayavadis. Amongst all this there was a contingent of ISKCON devotees. One of the devotees had two huge woolen blankets wrapped around him on that cold morning. A mayavadi saw him and his two blankets and coming up close asked if he allow the mayavadi to borrow one to keep warm. So the ISKCON devotee to the suprise of the mayavadi took out one long thread from the blanket and gave it to the mayavadi, who stared at it in bewilderment. The devotee then said, "whats the funny look for...that your philosophy isn't it.... the part is equal to the whole... so enjoy.... our blankets are one!"
The second story is in connection with His Divine Grace Shrila Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada. Once some mayavadi came to challenge, so Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta asked one of his disciples to ask the mayavadi if he liked to eat mangoes. The reply came back that yes he did. So Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta sent out a whole box of mouldy, rotten mangoes and insisted tha the mayavadi eat them. "No, no please don't feel shy you can eat the whole box they are for you!" After managing to hold back his vomit the mayavadi enquired as to why the powerful Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati had forced him to eat all those rotten mangoes. He simply replied surely they were nice, undifferentiated brahman mangoes, non different from fresh ones. That mayavadi took a vow on the spot never, EVER to preach that ridiculous philosophy again as long as he lived.
( Much more of their hidious philosophy will be dealt with during the life of Madhwacarya, and in the next few sections of the Acaryas. )
Over the course of the life and teachings of Shripada Ramanujacarya, who was the next promenant acarya to appear after Sankara, we will try to bring in some points of interest and compare the philosophies.
In the year 1188 ad Ramanujacarya, a partial incarnation of Lord Ananta Sesa and Laxman appeared. He made his appearance in South India and preached the Vaishnava philosophy of Visisthadvaita, or qualified oneness. Ramanujacarya gives some nice points on this matter referring to the acceptance of avidya. Though Ramanujacarya uses the word "ajnan" rather than avidya, the meaning is the same - ignorance. Being a personalistic worshiper of Shri Laksmi Narayana, Ramanujacarya tackles this as a personalist would. He points out the existence of ajnan (ignorance) as a positive entity and as being directly perceived in such perceptions as "I am ignorant", "I do not know myself or others". This really refers to having lack of understanding of something due to not having any, or sufficient knowledge of what it is. So what he does is throw the blame back on the perceiver, not on the subject that the infinitesimal perceiver is trying with his limited senses to perceive, like the mayavadis do.
The mayavadis simply try to blame the knife for stabbing the man to death, neglecting the chance that someone may have been holding the knife maybe even with some intent to do something, either consciously or not.
Once I observed one of my children, my two year old, fall from the swing and clambering to stand up rebuked the swing, your naughty swing. But the swing actually wasn't at fault, dare I say it was my child for not being co-ordinated.
Ramanuja clarifies one rather interesting point as well. He said that if ignorance is a perceivable thing (entity or specific item), then that cannot be ignorance for it is known. Ignorance can only refer to that which is unknown, or that which one is ignorant of. Also if ignorance is unknown, how can one have ignorance standing on it's own to be perceived? If it is argued that ajnan or ignorance is "a-visada-swarupa" (Indistinct knowledge), then again Shripada Ramanujacarya gives a good point that this is only to the fact that there is lack of distinct knowledge as to what it is. Even if their (the mayavadis) philosophy of positive ignorance is admitted, it must be somehow related to something and that must be known, which is knowledge. In that way, if jnan were there, their philosophy would have something to relate to. The opposite to black being white, the opposite to ignorance being knowledge.
Ramanuja clears up the theory of illusion as set by the Sankarites in the following way by saying that if one knows what is truth, one may, for a short period, be subject to illusion by which normal things appear different to what they should be. But it cannot be said that illusion has no cause other than illusion itself, or is unknown or just appears for no reason. Ramanuja goes on to say that if illusion were an inexpressible of an unidentifiable thing, again when or where would one even known it was illusion for one would be in illusion and would have nothing to compare with as real.
According to the avidya - advaitistic philosophy of Sankara, the dream state, the wakeful state, and the state of self are all unreal and illusory. But according to Ramanujacarya there is a real character in all these three states. Even dreams are not illusion entirely. During the waking state the self is awake, and it contacts the objects of the senses externally through the mind and senses. In the dream state, the self becomes detached from the external world of the senses and their objects. The mind, however, experiences a succession of images presented from the memory without really any necessity of logic or reason. Originally the objects were seen or touched, smelt or heard through the senses, and the mind stores the information. The mind acts in this way, thats' its function, so definitely it cannot be called illusion or unreal for it is just a reflection of reality that the mind has come in contact with.
Sankara says that in the case of sleep one is the witness of avidya. After waking, one says, "I slept well, I was pure spiritual consciousness free from all material conditioning, and a witness to avidya." Ramanujacarya however sheds a deeper light on this subject. He says that that person who was sleeping is not only pure spiritual consciousness, but is a spirit soul - eternal servant of the Lord, and that pure spiritual consciousness is an attribute of the soul by which the soul can be perceived (swarupopadhi). So by this we can see that if the soul (self) did not remain conscious in sleep, then how could he then remember upon waking that he had been sleeping, or had slept well? Thus there would be a gap in his life caused by avidya. But this is not a fact, for the soul has a sense of permanent consciousness carried by memory.
The Mayavadis say that the perceptions one may have in a dream are all unreal in the same way scriptures are not real, as the written word cannot do justice to a spiritual reality. Ramanuja refutes this saying, that it is not true that dreams are unreal, but the circumstances are different, in as much as the activities may be there in a dream, and the same activities are there in a waking state. One could in fact say the activities are the same but that is the only qualification to their one-ness ( visista-dwaita ). It is not that the dreams of subtle nature and the activities of the wakeful state are exactly one - but yes, there is a qualification to their one-ness. The activity may be of the same kind of act, and it is the same person who sees in relation with both. One could further say that the vision exists, but in the dreaming state not on a gross platform. The objects seen do not exist though certainly the objects do exist somewhere. One may see in a dream a golden mountain, and it is a fact that gold exists and a mountain exists, but to see a golden mountain?? Well maybe! Another example is that sometimes, due to our defective material vision, we may mistake a rope on the floor for a snake. Certainly ropes exist and snakes exists, but to fear a rope or pick up a snake, this kind of all one-ness can cause problems.
Another argument sometimes used is that of seeing silver in a pearl or that of a shell. If one has defective vision one could say that there is definitely silver in a shell or pearl. Silver is real and pearls and shells are also real, but when one's defect in vision is restored one can actually see what is actual silver and what is pearls coloration (mother of pearl in shells). Again, the perception was true but it was due to a particular circumstance. A conclusion can be drawn at this point that the qualification of oneness in different objects can be seen according to the perception of the seer. As with the pearl or shell, one can grasp what is there partially or totally depending on one's vision. So the practicality of discriminating in every day life proves that everything is not one, though due to everything having it's roots in the Lord, and the changeable nature of things in this material world one could say that, due to everything emanation from the Lord, it is one, but due to the practically unlimited varieties of temporary manifestations in the universe there has to be a qualification to the oneness, Visista adwaita, qualified oneness.
There are three ways of understanding the truth, out of the three ways says Ramanujacarya one must accept Sruti pramana- Vedic literature without doubt, anuman pramana- inference or reasoning can also be accepted if it falls in line with Sruti, and prataksa pramana- sensual perception as authorities in this matter and though anuman and prataksa can be debated, Sruti must be accepted as absolute truth having come down from the Supreme Lord. This in essence is the summary of Ramanujacarya's philosophy of Visisthadwaita, everything being based on what the Lord has said or done.
Ramanujacarya makes the statement in his Shri Bhasya comentary on Vedanta Sutra,"For those who accept God as the highest and ultimate reality, Who has the power to create all of these unlimited universes whilst in a dreaming state lying in the Karana Ocean, Who is glorified through the Vedic literatures, Who is omniscient and free from all defects, and is full in all good qualities personified, having a body made of eternity, knowledge and bliss, for these fortunate Vaishnavas, what cannot be achieved or proven simply by dull witted arguement, or blunt senses? The Supreme Personality of Godhead created all the universes for His own pleasure, and the tiny living entities (the jivas) can enjoy in this world by serving the Lord or engage in their own selfish pursuits and become criminally entangled and further conditioned in the world of birth and death. The Lord gives results of one's actions through the contact of the senses and the objects of the senses - the result being happiness or distress. Due to the action the concomitant result follows for a limited period of time."
"Thus the distinction between experiences that are contradicted (like dreams) and those that are contradicting (like wakeful experiences) is a distinction between objects of the senses that are experienced by everyone and those that are not (as in dreams)." This is an example of qualified oneness.
(Shri Bhasya 1.1.1) 'opening verse'.
Ramanujacarya could not stand the way things were at the time - the so-called religion that was being practised, the cheating of priests (Purohits) and the ignorant blind following of the people. Although he accepted the daivi Varnasrama system, it was not solely based on birth rite, but on quality and qualification - guna and karma.
Some guide lines he laid down were as follows:-
That a devotee, or for that matter everyone, should be like salt. That is, the same within and without, free from duplicity and cheating. He also gave an example how one should be even like a fowl, in as much as a fowl is able to pick out the wholesome things even from a stock-pile of rubbish. These are also examples used by other great acaryas - 1) to take gold from a dirty place, 2) to separate milk from water, 3) to take a good wife from even a low class family and 4) even take good advice from a fool. Another famous saying of his was that one should be like a bird called the crane, who is very watchful for his prey. Expect the unexpected and don't be suprised when calamity comes.
Ramanujacarya was a great propounder of and follower of the Pancaratriki system of Puja, that is, the strict rules and regulations, for purity and use of exclusive privacy for puja and preparations for the worshiping of the personal form of the Lord. In all of his institutions great care was taken daily to see to the worship of the deity in the temple, very high standards of personal service to the Lord were always followed, cleanliness being of the utmost.
To establish his teaching he compiled the Shri Bhasya which was his commentary on the Vedanta Sutra. Also he made a commentary of Bhagavad-gita.
We can recap how Ramanujacarya strongly attacks the philosophy of Sankara. Saying that the concept of Brahman as being without qualities is meaningless or fiction as it cannot be seen, touched, spoken about or known. Ramanujacarya goes on to state that it is not a fact that this world is false, but it is temporary, and originally comes from God and in that way, yes, everything is one because everything coming from the Lord, and therefore that is only qualification to its oneness.
aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts."
Bhagavad-gita (14.27) says:
brahmano hi pratisthaham
sasvatasya ca dharmasya
"I am the origin of the impersonal Brahman which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness."
During Sankara's reign he founded the philosophical deviation, pancopasaka, that one can worship five kinds of Deities together equally as one, and they are listed as Vishnu, Siva, Ganesha, Surya and Devi (either Durga, Laxmi or Saraswati). However, in the Padma Purana it is stated that the second offence against the Holy Name of Lord Krishna (Vishnu) is "To consider the demigods such as Lord Siva or Lord Brahma or others to be equal to or independent of the Holy Name or form of Lord Vishnu." When Ramanujacarya came he very strongly challenged this bogus idea of Sankara using the teachings of Narada Muni from the Narad Pancaratra to firmly establish that Lord Vishnu (Krishna----Narayana), is the one true and Supreme Lord without a second.
Ramanujacarya said that Lord Narayana (Vishnu) is supreme and that all others are subordinate. One may offer respects to any demigod as one would to any devotee, but to mis-identify the Supreme Lord with a small lord is an offence.
There are many instances in Shripada Ramanujacarya's event filled life which draw us to some kind of appreciation of how hard he battled to establish Vishnu as supreme, even plans were made to kill him to stop his mission, but the Lord came to his aid. There are many many wonderful pastimes which could be told, but they are too numerous to do justice to here, I personally suggest instead that one read the very nice book by Naimasaranya das of ISKCON entitled "The life of Ramanujacarya", many hours of enjoyable reading.
An interesting story follows, showing how Ramanuja came to assist in the pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, this orginally is found in the book of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur entitled Navadwip Dham Mahatmya and sheds the view of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas upon the mission, pastimes, and who came to help him, similar to how we are expressing here, but without the reasons, the cocept of evolution of philosophy.
"Once whilst Ramanuja Acarya was staying in Jagannatha Puri he offered prayers to Lord Jagannatha Who became very pleased.
"Lord Jagannatha appeared before Ramanuja and said, "Ramanuja, go and visit Shri Navadvipa, for very soon I shall appear there in the house of Shri Jagannatha Misra. Shri Navadvipa is My most beloved abode and is a part of the spiritual sky manifest in this world. As My eternal servant and a leader amongst My devotees, you should go there. Let your students stay here, for they are absorbed in dasya rasa (servitorship in awe and reverence) and will not understand the advanced devotional mood (of spontaneous love of Godhead, raga-marg). Travel there alone. Any living entity who does not go to see Shri Navadvipa has been born uselessly. Just one portion of Shri Navadvipa contains Ranga Ksetra, Venkateshvara and Yadava Acala. Therefore go to Shri Navadvipa and see My form of Gauranga. After gaining (My) blessings (there), go to Kurma Sthana and rejoin your disciples."
"Folding his hands, Ramanuja humbly requested Lord Jagannatha, "My dear Lord, You have mercifully told me something about Gauranga, but exactly who He is, I don't know."
"The Lord answered, "It is known to you that Lord Shri Krishna, the Lord of Goloka, is the Supreme Absolute Truth. That much is well known to My devotees. That same Supreme Personality of Godhead who resides in Shri Vrindavana is fully manifest as Gauranga, and His beloved abode, Shri Vrindavana, is manifest as holy Navadvipa. Navadvipa is the Supreme spiritual abode and it is transcendental to the influence of the material nature. In that divine land, Lord Gauranga eternally resides. By My mercy that holy abode has come to exist within this universe, but it remains completely unaffected by maya. This is the verdict of the scriptures. If anyone thinks that Shri Navadvipa is only a material location, then whatever devotion he has developed will wither and perish. By My will, My inconceivable energy preserves this transcendental abode within this material world. Simply by studying the scriptures, one will not be able to understand the Absolute Truth. Only by My mercy can My devotees understand."
"Hearing these words of Lord Jagannatha, Ramanujacarya was filled with love. "My dear Lord," he said, "Your pastimes are truly astounding. The scriptures cannot fully describe Your opulences. Why is Gauranga-lila not described in the scripture? Upon reflection, I find some hint of Gauranga tattva in the Srutis and puranas. Now, however, all my doubts are gone and I am ready to execute Your will. If it is Your desire, I will go to Shri Navadvipa and from there, I will set out to preach about Lord Gauranga throughout the three worlds, giving evidence from the scriptures to all converting them to the devotional service of Gauranga. Please instruct me. You have just to give me Your order."
"Lord Jagannatha replied, "Ramanuja, do not broadcast in this way. Keep these secrets of Lord Gauranga's pastimes as they are for the present. Only after He has concluded His pastimes will the people in general come to understand them. Preach about Me on the level of dasya rasa as you have always done, but within your heart worship Lord Gauranga constantly."
"Following Lord Jagannatha's order, Ramanujacarya secretly cultivated his attraction for Shri Navadvipa. Being very merciful, Lord Narayana led him to Vaikunthapura and showed him His transcendental form, worshipped by manifestations of His different energies. Ramanujacarya felt himself most fortunate to see this, but as he watched, the Lord manifested His form as Gauranga, the son of Jagannatha Misra. Ramanujacarya's mind became stunned by the brilliance of His shining golden form. Lord Gauranga then placed His two lotus feet upon Ramanujacarya's head and Ramanujacarya, filled with inspiration, began to offer prayers.
"Ramanujacarya said, "I must see Your pastimes when You appear here in Navadvipa My Lord. I shall never leave this place."
"Lord Gauranga replied, "Your wish will be fulfilled, O son of Kesava. When My Navadvipa lila is revealed, you will again take your birth here."
"Lord Gauranga then disappeared. Greatly satisfied by the Lord's promise, Ramanujacarya returned to Kurma Sthana, where he joined his disciples. During his life he preached devotional service to the Lord in the mood of dasya rasa or servitorship through out the South of India, whilst internally he was absorbed in meditating on the pastimes of Lord Gauranga. By Lord Gauranga's mercy, he was born again in Shri Navadvipa as a devotee named Ananta to assist in the Lord's pastimes."
"When Lord Chaitanya made His appearance in Shri Navadvipa, Ananta Vipra was already quite old. He lived in a cottage which was situated beneath a huge old banyan tree. There, within this humble abode, he would worship his Deities of Lakshmi-Narayana. None could describe the pure way in which he worshipped Them.
"Ananta was a very dear friend and neighbour of Shri Vallabha Misra. Shri Vallabha was very affectionate to him and treated him as his disciple.
"On the most glorious day when Lord Gaurasundara accepted the hand of Lakshmipriya at the Misra's house, a huge festival was held and Ananta was invited. As the Vipra stood watching Lord Chaitanya and Lakshmipriya sitting together during their marriage ceremony, dressed in gorgeous silks and jewels, he realized that they were none other than his beloved Lakshmi Narayana. Unable to control his spontaneous emotions he began to dance like a madman. His hair stood on end and his whole body trembled. Understanding, however, that his activities might seem a little inappropriate, he finally controlled himself and returned to his house. Entering his cottage, he sat down before his Lakshmi-Narayana Deities and again became overcome with ecstatic love. He began to consider how his beloved Lordships had now manifested as Lord Gauranga and Lakshmipriya. He thought, "I am so fortunate to have personally seen Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I, who am so fallen and insignificant." As he sat there, Lord Gauranga, being very satisfied by his devotion appeared before him. The Lord was a beautiful golden colour and His bodily effulgence was brighter than millions of moons. He was dressed in first class silks and decorated with valuable jewels. He sat on a fabulous golden throne which was studded with gems and Lakshmi Devi at His side.
"Lord Gauranga could understand what Ananta was thinking and manifested His four armed Narayana form. Seeing his worshipable Lord Narayana standing before him, the brahmana fell down at the Lord's feet to offer prayers. The Lord, being controlled by His devotee's love, smiled charmingly at him. "O My beloved devotee," the Lord said, "By My will you have seen this form. Anyone who sees My form has all his desires fulfilled." Then after placing His lotus feet on Ananta's head, the Lord departed. Ananta became totally absorbed in remembrance of the Lord's Shri Navadvipa pastimes."
So one can see from incidences like these, that these personalities were no ordinary conditioned soul, or for that matter sinful living entity, but directly the Lord's intimate, and trusted devotees.
During the life story of Shripada Madhvacarya Bhagavatpada, found later in this book, specifically in the winning over of the heart of Trivikrama Pandit to being a disciple and follower of Madhva, the simulated philosophy of the Acarya will be presented whilst defeating other philosophies, incluing Sankara's, and Ramanuja's. So as not to minimize this summary of the dynamic preaching of Madhvacarya, I will not pre-empt any of the punches at this stage. But just to see how the changes in ideas, understandings and format develop, we will include the next natural progression - that of the philosophy of dualism, Dwaitavada. In the philosophy of Acarya Madhva it is stated that there are five kinds of differences:
1. Difference between God and the individual soul.
2. Difference between God and matter.
3. Differences between individuals.
4. Differences between individuals and matter.
5. Differences between different types of matter - i.e. earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego.
Only fools would believe otherwise. Shrila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada firmly states in Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya Lila (6.169): "If one accepts Mayavadi philosophy his advancement is doomed forever." Again in Adi Lila (17.53) he says, "Mayavadins are the greatest demons (pasandis)", though he again states that Sankaracarya is not at fault (Adi 7.157 purport). Prabhupada smashes modern day Mayavadis saying, "You say it's one but I disagree, therefore there are two .... ." The purity and simplcity of the Vaishnavas, who are many, see through these nonsesical statements of those who are actually envious of the Supreme Lord. In fact they will say that everyone is God but they will not agree with us that Krishna is God, everyone except Krishna. Devious comentators on the scriptures have even invented philosophical schools to propound their deep rooted enviousness. In these schools such terms as "manava seva Madhava seva," are widely used to infere that the sevice to mankind is the same as service to the husband of the Goddess of fortune Shri Madhava. They try to propound by popular opinion that either the separated part and parcel of the Lord is as good as the Supreme Lord, or that the Lord of all that be, Bhagavan (Narayana ), has become poor. Simply wishful thinking will not make anyone God. As we recall some such devients are the infamous duo of earlier this centuary, (please excuse me for mentioning their names but I feel the rogues have to be identified), that is Vivekananda and Ramakrishna of "daridya Narayana" (poor Narayana) school fame. However they are also dealt with easily with the cool heads of the non-cheating Vaishnavas, the followers of Shripada Madhwacarya in this case represented by our Shrila Prabhupada stating, "You say poor Narayana, but just by you distinguishing "poor (daridya) Narayana" shows proof of dhani Narayana (rich Narayana), Bhagavan Shri Krishna." In a lecture given by Shrila Prabhupada he says, "Poor Narayana we have no interest in. We worship dhani Narayana." "They say "tat tvam asi" (you are the same), but if you eat, I am not full of food - there is difference ..... If you spend my bank balance you may be happy, I may not be. Where is the question of oneness?" Etc, etc...........he goes on, if I kick you in the face with shoes, I do not feel the pain.
One very nice modern day follower of Madhwacarya, H.H.Visheshwa Tirtha Swami (Pejwa Swami), in his book 'Tattwa jnan' makes the following statement showing the ridiculous statements of the afore said mayavadins, Ramakrishna and Co., as well as the next acarya Bhaskaracarya and even the later acarya, Vallabhacarya and another, Shri Arobindo Ghosh, who definately is not an acarya, to be all of the same mentality. Shri Vishwesha Tirtha Swami (Pejwar Swami), says that these persons try ".......to tell us that God Himself became the world, out of His creative power. World is the transformation of God. Souls are particles of God. Separated from Him by ignorance, they are yet His parts. God Himself descends to imperfection to become an ordinary soul. Since God Himself out of His desire changed Himself to the world, the world too is real. The particles of God which appear to have separated from God, have become re united again upon leaving this realm as God ultimately."
"Is it the pleasure of God to descend into ignorance and suffer the trials of the world and experience all the sorrow, is this why He has become a small god and has come to this world, clouded by ignorance, if so what is the necessity for all this ?"
"If God transforms Himself into the world, then what is the purpose of such a creation, since they say, it is all illusion? " " If God has descended to become the souls as the mayavadins suggest, all the souls just become actors in a drama and no more."
" So no effort is called for in getting liberation, nor is it required to undergo austerities giving up material comforts as the mayavadis do, for the sake of attaining such liberation. The whole creation then becomes a meaningless futile act, everything is just the anguish of God's lila (pastime), the rituals of only a stage play. If then, this be the case, why would a true seeker of the self undergo such hardships if he is God Himself ???!"
Pejwar Swami then hits them right on the jaw:-- "If we say that the particles that are divorced from God, do not find fulfilment unless they again become one with God, and if this thought of fulfiment is what drives them on through their various endeavours towards reaching "God", then we have to give up the idea that God, Himself descended as many pieces to become the world and all that are in it. Further if the "complete" object descends to become an incomplete soul, in order to realize his completeness, we can only assume that in actuality this object was never really complete in the first place and therefore could not be God. And if per chance there were to be a such a change in God, then surely there must be a higher power than God. Then again God is not the supreme. So this concept of God becoming the world and then dividing Himself up to inhabit the world destroys the supremacy of God by making Him subject to change by some higher force. Since these schools say that there is no higher force than God, and that no other force could bring about such a change in God, the theory of God becoming the world and becoming the souls is too contradictory to be accepted. For God is always complete in Himself as stated in the Isa Upanisad :
Om Purnamidah purnamidam purnat purnamadcyate
purasya purnamadaya purnamevavasishyate."
Actually there are no sane statements made by the mayavadis, however the Vaishnava acaryas take great pleasure in presenting answers to this kind of illogic. The real problem as we have said throughout this book is this devious mentality and so much wishfull thinking, wanting to be the supreme controller.
Shortly before we mentioned one name Bhaskaracarya who appeared just prior to Madhwa and who continued to help the evolution progress of the philosophical changes that we are pointing out. Though as I have said Bhaskara came just before Madhwa I have placed him here because of his lesser importance. He was not a Vaishnava acarya, he just kind of filled in the gap and gave the Vaishnavacaryas someone to defeat, so he did a nice service nonetheless.
Bhaskara is an almost forgotten commentator, practically unknown to this day. He wrote the commentary on Brahma Sutra called Bhaskara Basya (and Sariraka Mimamsa Bhasya), not a significant work.
He was born 1114 AD, 1036 Sakabda era as the son of Mahesa Daivajna or Maheswara in the village of Vijjala in Deccan. Recorded in history there is mention of another Bhaskara born around 600 AD, but due to dates being very hard to track back, the exact date is difficult to state. The former's books deal with the particular philosophical matters that we are discussing, whereas the latter's books are mostly astronomical ones, though it is stated that Bhaskaracarya was also a great mathematician and astronomer. It is neither here nor there the date of his birth, for his fitting in the philosophical evolution is more important than dates in relative time.
He made some attempts at refuting Buddhism and Mayavada, and tried to establish his own philosophy of Aupadhika-bhedabhedavada. According to Bhaskara the jivatma is different and non-different from Brahman whilst bound to this material tabernacle, and then in the liberated brahma bhuta stage, the jiva is identical with Brahman. Thus being non-different is natural, eternal and real, but the difference is only real - it is not natural or eternal. Pejwar Swami in the section directly before this put the Madhwa views on Bhaskaras' philosophy quite fully, I don't think we need to go over that,we all know that we are not God, isn't that right.
But let us see how Bhaskara did with the other philosophies.
Sankara says that this world is false and that only Brahman is truth. Bhaskara refutes this in the following way, calling the Mayavadis the propounders, or upholders of maya. How then can they (the Mayavadis) cite cause and effect as being identical. Their famous argument in this connection is a comparative study of the nature of things as in this case, of clay. They say that when clay is known, all clay materials are known, not because they are really clay, for indeed they are different. Only clay is truth, and all manifest actions are but maya or illusion. Bhaskara says "How is this, for one can just as easily turn the table, saying that for one who has known the reality of many articles and objects, why should we only say it is one? For a philosopher who first reads the scriptures is at first in ignorance (avidya), so if on account of this ignorance, one's "knowledge" of the many is seen as false, then who is to say that one's knowledge of monism is not equally false, for the same reason? You say that knowledge of the world is false, just as knowledge of a dream is false, and letters are false. Even though they can give the meanings of good and evil, for instance, with your so-called monistic texts in the Upanisads, right knowledge may come of this.
Unfortunately all your philosophy is wrongly based in illusion and your analogies are actually that which is false. In the Puranas, in the section on Svapna, or dreams, it gives reference to good and bad dreams as being existent but subtle. Out of these one may see what good or bad karma one is about to be inflicted with and how long until it's effects will be seen according to when, which part of the night the dream took place. So it is not an illusion, for they are facts, having qualities and features or experience — they are not like the horn of a hare, or a flower that floats in the sky. The same may be said for letters of an alphabet — it is not as you say that words are false. If words are so false, why do you write so many books, or why do you stress through inferance that in the Upanisads,(which are in themselves compilations of words) that oneness and impersonality is the only philosophy to be exclusively propounded? No. We see that letters, under common agreement, hold phoenetic sounds, so in different places different persons use these sounds to communicate sounds which are represented by letters. You also say that from a mistake someone experiences fear and dies; it is not, however, from nothing or from something false that that persons' body dies, for he experienced real fear and the fear in itself was the cause of death, being aroused by memory of another incident which was fear personified and the cause of fear, such as a snake, or a lion. The only unreality was that the particular cause of fear was not present at the time, thus disproving what you say, and proving that falsity could come even from a real or truthful situation, and not necessarily only from falsity. Thus being non-different is natural, eternal and real but the difference is only real. It is not natural or eternal."
As you can see from the above example, unity in difference was the principle of Bhaskara. He believed that Brahman is a pure being, but is formless — intelligent, but absolutely formless. Almost like a hidden judge, this formless intelligent being would still give results of cause and effect. Bhaskara insists that by this philosophy there is no contradiction, because since all things have an impersonal and yet root in the pure Brahman nature, there is unity in difference. Bhaskara's view is that the pure being of intelligence is worshipable, but says it is also impersonal — a two fold concept of Brahman. Bhaskara says that there are no qualities without substance and no substance without qualities, so all differences are unity as well. He gives examples, like "the powers and attributes of a particular thing as being not different from it. i.e. He says, the fire is the same as it's power of burning and illumination, so they are both one and different.
Anyway we know that the sensation of burning and the illumination of light are different, even though they both have their origins in fire, and burn fire like, they are different in their functions, and nature, though they may possess similar attributes that fire possesses, such as heat. Getting closer though isn't it?
Just to see another angle Ramanuja differs from Bhaskara by saying that the difference and the unity are not two independent forms. They are both real but the difference qualifies the character or nature of the unity. Hence, Ramanuja's qualified oneness approach, and Bhaskara's one and yet different, are also different.
Applying the principal of Madhwa's Bimba prati bimbabhav to Bhaskara's philosophy we get a closer picture to reality in full, as we presented in the first chapter of this book in relation to the progressive re development of the conditioned soul to again attain a stage of brahma bhuta, self realization, swarupajnan as Madhwa calls it.xi
After Bhaskara and then after Madhva came Nimbarkacarya, whose philosophy was that of swabhavika bhedabhedavada, or natural difference and non-difference, which, coming after Madhva, is an obvious acceptance of Madhva's statement of bimbaprati bimbabhava, or the reflected image resembling the original image. Madhva derived this from Rg Veda (47.18) wherein it says:
rupam rupam pratirupo babhuva
tadasya rupam praticaksanaya
"Those numerous forms that that we see in this world resemble the Lord's own form. For the Lord has re-duplicated his very own form to appear like His, though it is different in its capacity to act."
Where the main difference in Madhva's philosophy from Nimbarka's is that Madhva, due to his mission of dualism, would only state that of difference between jiva and the Brahman and that alone is reality. Whereas Nimbarka says that there is a natural difference and yet non-difference between the jiva and Brahman. Madhwa would never say non--difference, or oneness, as it was diametrically opposed to his mission. This was due to the state of the level at which people coul understand at that time, after so many tears of oneness, Madhwa had to make clear and distinct differences.
Somewhere between Madhva and Nimbarka the true statement[ANI10] of qualitatively one and yet quantitatively small has been accepted; that the jiva soul has all the propensities of God but to a minute degree.
Nimbarka was given his name due to taking his birth at Nimba, a small village in Bellary district of Karnataka, South India, though he is also known as Nimbaditya or Niyamananda, Nimbarka was his most widely known name. Nimbarka literally means "the sun of Nimba". He was a tailanga brahmin - his father's name was Jagannatha and his mother's name was Saraswati. He is considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu's Sudarsana Cakra.
Another name for his philosophy is dwaitadwaitavada (dualism and non-dualism) and he comes in a Vaishnava line from Sanat Kumara, and so this line sports the name Kumara Sampradaya or Sanakadi Sampradaya. Basically Nimbarka's philosophy is much the same as Ramanujacarya's, though Nimbarka accepts that there is a conjugal rasa whilst Ramanuja's dasya rasa is that of awe and reverence, epitomised by the opulent worship of Laxmi Narayana.
There appears to be much controversy about the date of Nimbarka's birth and also where he fits in the picture. For certain, he fits into the Lord's structured plan of the evolution of the philosophies and the changes over the ages that were excecuted by the acaryas, but unfortunately many details about his life are unavailable.
Some persons try to say that Nimbarkacarya came after Ramanujacarya and directly before Madhvacarya. This, however, is impossible for the most obvious reason being, that the disciple of Madhva called Madhava Tirtha did not make any reference to Nimbarka in his Sarva-Darsana-Samgraha, though he referred to all other important philosophies that we have mentioned previously - i.e. Sankara, Ramanuja, Bhaskara. Nimbarka himself makes reference to Ramanuja, Madhva, and even Vallabha, though it is suggested that Vallabhacarya may have become established as a Vaishnavacarya towards the later part of Nimbarka's life. There is another school who say that actually Nimbarkacarya came even before Buddha, and that due to his spiritual insight into the affairs yet to come, was able to comment on all the other philosophies, and even may have appeared more than once, but if this be the case why is he not mentioned by any of the previous acaryas.
In the guru parampara listing found in "Hari Guru Stava Mala" of the Kumara sampradaya of which he is the acarya, we find, as in the Brahma Sampradaya, Hamsa (Narayana or Krishna) is the original spiritual master, but then the Nimbarka (Kumara--Sanak Adi) sampradaya says the next guru was Sanak Kumara, thus negating Brahma. They say that Brahma told the four Kumaras to go and create progeny in the material world, but Sanak Kumara and his saintly brothers said no, and took shelter of Lord Narayan. Thus disobeying Prajapati Brahma's instructions, for a higher cause, they remained celibate, travelling and preaching the small boys founded their mission, and Sanak Kumara was chosen as the guru of this established line. One of his disciples was the great Narada Muni, who was the spiritual master of Veda Vyasa. Another was Durvasa Muni as mentioned in the Guru Parampara section of this book. So, as one can see, these four bona-fide sampradayas are a family of very close knit devotees of the Lord, coming down to save and reclaim the fallen conditioned souls like myself, the compiler of this book.
Some of Nimbarkacarya's works are (1) Vedanta-Parijata-Saurabha, a commentary on the Brahma Sutra, (2) Tattva-Prakasika, a commentary on Bhagavad-gita, (3) Tattva-Prakasitka-Veda-Stuti-Tika, a commentary on the tenth canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavat Purana), and (4) Taittriya Prakasika, a commentary on the Taittriya Upanisad. Nimbarka also wrote a puja manual for Vaishnava rituals performed in the Sampradaya entitled Krama-Dipika, and as the name suggests, deals greatly with mantras in puja.
Nimbarkacarya stated that five things should be known by the devotees:
1. The nature of the being to be worshipped.
2. The nature of the worshipper.
3. The result of God's grace.
4. The natural bliss that comes of it's own accord from bhakti yoga.
5. and Obstructions or anarthas on the path to attaining love of Godhead, and how to get rid of them.
The swabhavika bhedabheda-vada philosophy can be illustrated in the following example of difference and yet non-difference. The Nimbarkarite says this about the soul: The soul is of the nature of pure consciousness, but shouldn't be regarded as God or the real knower of everything, as the soul and the Supersoul are always different, though they both are of a spiritual nature. Nimbarkas example of this is that even when two different kinds of water are mixed together the distinction of the drops of water still remains, though they may be difficult for an inexperienced person to identify. Both drops remaining there are qualitative and quantitatively distinct from each other. The mere non-perception of one from another is not very strong proof, in fact no proof at all, to say that the two different drops have merged together. Quite the contrary. The first drop had certain qualities and properties distinct from the second drop which must substantiate the existance of the second drop from the first. Though yes, both are water, so they are of the same nature, but their attributes differ in quantity and their individual quality of identity, where they have come from, at which time etc.
Another example of this could be given with one kilo of white mustard seeds and one kilo of black mustard seeds. Both are mustard seeds it is a fact, but you can see one white and one black. Definitely there are two kilos of mustard seeds but they can also be identified as being separate or individual also.
Another interesting point, this time refuting Sankara's view of everything being false, is the example that Nimbarkacarya gives that just because a thing may contradict something, it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. The term "maya" does in fact mean illusion but at the same time there is a principle to be applied, again qualifying what is illusion and in regard to what. Just because the spiritual world is permanent or real, it doesn't have to mean that the material world is false, but more to mean the opposite of permanent which is temporary. One may say that as a particular object, for instance a jug, may be destroyed by the stroke of a club or hammer, and by doing so one can know the effect of a club and the nature of the jug, but the destruction of the jug doesn't mean that all jugs do not exist. Nimbarka's point on this is that one should not jump to conclusions without knowing the cause and effect of any particular thing and suppose that it's nature is nonexistent.
Nimbarka gives the example of a cobra on the same theme of existence. The Mayavadis say that an illusory cobra may cause fear and even death (through shock). But Nimbarka's point is that it is not so much that the illusory cobra causes fear or death, but the memory of the ferociousness of the real live cobra, this is the real cause. (This is a similar example to what Bhaskara uses to also define reality.) Nimbarka goes on to expose the Sankarite Mayavadis to be covered Buddhists by the next argument. Since the Mayavadis try to say that the cause of bondage for the soul is the illusory material world, and that only Brahman is truth, they try to emphasize this by the aphorism "brahman satyam jagan mrtyan" - they may as well say like the Buddhists that it is all just a creation of our minds due to ignorance, that is, if Brahman is satyan (truth) and the universe (jagan) is false (mrtyan), because we are covered by that ignorance or illusion which is not truth at all, then what has happened.[ANI11]
Nimbarka agrees with all the Vaishnava acaryas that the soul is covered in this material world due to the tiny soul's misidentification with matter, and thus the spiritual soul, a tiny part and parcel of the Lord, thinks himself to be the body and enjoyer thereof. Thinking himself the enjoyer he is conditioned by accumulation of karma from time immemorial. Nimbarkacarya calls this tad-myatta-svarupa-sthnti-purvikmh, thus meaning the dependent jiva soul's struggle in this world. Even in that state of trying to enjoy separately from the Lord, the tiny jiva is completely dependent on the Lord's mercy at every moment. The individual tiny jiva souls are therefore in one sense different from the Lord, but in another sense are but His (the Lord's) separated parts and parcels. This differs from Bhaskara in as much as, his philosophy emphasises more the aspect of unity since the differences that he had perceived were due to the conditions put upon the soul, and not so much between the tiny soul and the supreme soul. Which had a snif of mayavada to it, especially where he thinks that the jivas are little parts of God, much like breaking up a piece of ladhu, segmants of the whole, rather than being separated parts and parcels, individuals, complete in themselves, as the Vaishnava's including Nimbarka say. With Nimbarka's philosophy of bhedm-bheda or dwaitm-dwaita vmda, the emphasis is not only on the part of unity, but also on the part of difference.
Looking at all these philosophies side by side, one can quite easily see the flow of progress of philosophical evolution - the philosophies gradually develop and a gradual emergence of a completely fulfilling philosophy is coming about.
Nimbarkmcarya followed the system incorporating the Bhagavat Marg along with the Pancaratriki Marg sadhana bhakti, leading to, or as guide-lines by which one can obtain spontaneous love or ragatmika bhakti by which one is free to act for Krishna - the devotee being free from all material contamination and conditioning. Naturally the devotee in this pure state doesn't act outside that of which pleases the Lord, so all rules and regulations are followed on an automatic basis (asakti).
The following story is found in the Navadvipa Dhama Pilgrims Guide of Ananakadundubhi dasa, ISKCON, about Nimbarkacarya and an unusual occurance.
Once, in a village near the forest of Vilva Paksha, a group of brahmana devotees came to engage in the worship of Lord Siva. Just as Lord Vishnu is very much pleased when He is offered the leaves of His most beloved Tulasi, so Lord Siva is pleased by offerings of leaves from the bilva or bael tree. Thus the brahmanas worshipped Lord Siva by offering bilva leaves, for a period of one fortnight. After they had completed their worship, Lord Siva was satisfied and blessed them all with devotion to Krishna.
Among those brahmanas was one whose name was Nimbarka. He had been particularly attentive in his worship of Lord Siva. Being especially pleased with Nimbarka's devotion, Lord Siva personally appeared to him.
"Nimbarka," said Lord Siva, "at the edge of this village is a sacred bael forest. There, in that forest, the four Kumaras are absorbed in meditation. By their mercy you will receive transcendental knowledge, for they are your spiritual masters, and by rendering service unto them you will receive all that is of value." After say this, Lord Siva disappeared.
Nimbarka immediately went to the edge of the village and entered into the bael forest that Lord Siva had described. With great determination he searched for the four Kumaras in every direction, until he finally found the, shining as brilliantly as the sun. They were seated on a very beautiful natural platform beneath a tree and they appeared like fire blazing on an altar. They were all very young, seeming to be no more than five years of age, but they appeared most noble in character as they sat there naked, rapt in meditation. Nimbarka was so excited that he cried out, "Hare Krishna!" This sudden sound startled the four brothers, breaking their meditation. Opening their eyes, they saw before them the blissful form of an ideal devotee, and with great pleasure they embraced Nimbarka, one after another.
"Who are you," they asked, "and why have you come here? We are certainly ready to answer all your prayers." Nimbarka fell at the feet of the four brothers like a rod, and with great humility he introduced himself. With a sweet smile on his face, Sanat Kumara then said, "The all-merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead, knowing that Kali Yuga will be extremely troublesome for the living entities, resolved to propagate devotional service unto Himself. With this goal in mind, He has empowered four personalities with devotion and sent them into this world to preach. Ramanuja, Madhva and Vishnuswami are three and you are the fourth of these great souls. Laksmi accepted Ramanuja as a disciple, Brahma accepted Madhva, Rudra accepted Vishnuswami and meeting you today we have the good fortune of being able to instruct you. This is our intention. Previously we were engaged in meditating on the impersonal Brahman, but by the causeless mercy of Lord Vishnu, we have been relieved of this activity. Since I have realized that it is essential to preach pure devotional service, I have composed a literary work entitled Sanat Kumara Samhita. After taking initiation from me, you should follow the instructions I have set forth therein."
Nimbarka was greatly enlivened at the prospect of taking initiation and he immediately ran to take bath in the Ganges. After this he quickly returned and prostrated himself once more before the four effulgent brothers. "O deliverers of the fallen," said Nimbarka, in all humility, "please deliver this low-born rascal."
The four Kumaras gave him the Radha-Krishna mantra and instructed him in the method of worshipping Radha and Krishna with the sentiments of great love called bhava marg. In that sacred bael forest Nimbarka began to worship Shri Shri Radha-Krishna according to the Sanat Kumara Samhita and he chanted the mantra they had given him. Very soon Radha and Krishna revealed Themselves to Nimbarka. They stood before him, spreading an effulgence which illuminated all directions. In sweet voices They addressed him thus: "Nimbarka, you are very fortunate, for you have performed sadhana in Shri Navadwipa. We both combine, and assume one form, as the son of Sacidevi." At that moment Radha and Krishna combined and displayed Their form of Gauranga (Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu). Beholding this splendid vision, Nimbarka began to tremble. "Never," he said, "Never have I seen such a remarkable form anywhere. Neither have I ever heard of such a form at any time."
Lord Gauranga then said,"Keep this form, which I now show you, a secret for the time being; just preach about devotional service and the pastimes of Radha and Krishna, for I gain great satisfaction from this. When I make My appearance and perform My education pastimes, you will also appear. Taking birth in Kashmir as a great pandit, you will tour all over India defeating all opposition. Your reputation and learning will be celebrated everywhere and you will be known as Kesava Kashmiri. Whilst wandering in Shri Navadvipa you will come to Shri Mayapura. Simply be hearing your name all the great pandits of Navadvipa will flee. Intoxicated with scholastic pride, I will take great pleasure in defeating you. However, by the mercy of mother Saraswati, the goddess of learning, you will realize My true identity. Giving up your false pride, you will take shelter of Me and I will reward you with the supreme gift of loving devotional service and will again despatch you to preach. Thus you can satisfy Me by preaching the philosophy of dvaita-advaita. Keep my identity a secret. In the future, when I begin My sankirtan movement, I will personally preach, taking the essence of your philosophy and the philosophies of Madhva, Ramanuja and Vishnuswami. From Madhva I will take two essential teaching: his complete rejection and defeat of the Mayavadi philosophy and his service to the Deity of Krishna, accepting Him as an eternal spiritual personality. From Ramanuja I will accept two teachings: the concept of devotional service, unpolluted by karma and jnana, and service to the devotees. From Vishnuswami's teachings I will accept two elements: the sentiment of exclusive dependence on Krishna and the path of raga-marga or spontaneous devotion. From you, Nimbarka, I will take two very important principles: the necessity of taking shelter of Shrimati Radharani and the high esteem of the gopis' love for Krishna."
After instructing Nimbarka in this way, Lord Gauranga disappeared, and filled with intense ecstasy, Nimbarka began to shed tears of love. After worshipping the lotus feet of his gurus and taking their permission, he left Shri Navadvipa to begin his preaching mission.
The next is Vallabhacarya. His philosophy is called suddhadvaita or pure nondualism. Unlike the advaita or oneness of Sankara, he states nondual. Vallabhacarya comes in a line from Vishnuswami of the Rudra Sampradaya coming from Lord Siva. His father's name was Laxman Bhatta, a Tailanga brahmin of the Krishna Yajurveda,xii and came from the Telegu speaking country in a village called Kankarava, Andhra Pradesh. He was born while Laxman Bhatta and his mother Elamagara were on pilgrimage on the Ekadashi of the Krishna Paksa (dark fortnight) in the month of Vaisakha in the year 1477.xiii
A relative of Laxman Bhatta had a premanition that if he performed one hundred Soma Yajnas a great devotee would take his birth in their family. Yajnanarayana Bhatta, who had the dream only managed to perform 32 Soma Yajnas untill the end of his life, so Laxman Bhatta continued, and completed the 100 yajnas. The story follows that after the completion of these yajnas Laxman Bhatta and his good wife left their ancestrial home and migrated to Kashi ( Benares ). Soon after this Elama showed signs of motherhood, however they had to flee from Kashi on the account of a muslim invasion. They fled south and at the town of Champaranya (near modern day Raipur) on the banks of the Mahanadi river, Elama gave birth to a boy, Vallabha, prematurely in the eighth month of her pregnancy. The political situation eased so they all returned to Kashi, their new home.
Vallabha was a precious child and was greatly influenced by the philosophical discussions between his father and other pandits who flocked to his house. Before he was out of his teens, Vallabha had completed his study of Vedas, Upanisads, the six systems of philosophy, and the Shrimad Bhagavatam which he found most attraction for. The local pandits of Kashi seeing his scholarly nature confered upon him the titles " Balasaraswati " and "Vacaspati ".
While growing up he toured many holy places and became quite well-known as a Vaishnava. Lord Krishna appeared to him in a dream and told him to meet Him at Govardhana Hill where He would display His Nathaji lila, as Giri-Govardhana lifting Govardhana Hill. Vallabha established a temple of Nathaji at that place called Devadamana.
Vallabhacarya met with Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Personality of Godhead for Whom all this ground work had been laid, at Jagannatha Puri in Orissa. Mentioned in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, narrated by Krishnadas Kaviraja, is the story of Vallabhacarya presenting his commentary of the Shrimad Bhagavatam Bhagavat Purana to Lord Chaitanya, and then out of pride Vallabha made the ultimate blunder by saying that his commentary was better than the original compiler, and that the renounced Vaishnava Shrila Shridhara Swami's commentary (also of the Vishnuswami-Rudra Sampradaya), he said that Shridhar Swami's was an old commentary. Therefore the more modern commentary was better, Lord Chaitanya for this comment immediately rejected Vallabhacarya and would have nothing further to do with him, despite everything.
Vallabhacarya's mode of worship generally is that of parental, vatsalya rasa, as many in this sampradaya worship Bala-Gopal, though due to the influence of Lord Chaitanya there is also the madhura rasa in their sampradaya (conjugal pastimes of Radha-Krishna).
Some identify Vallabhacarya as an Advaitan, because he says everything is Brahman. Essentially this is alright, but according to Vallabhacarya the relationship between Brahman and the jiva (living entities) is on the basis of what he called suddhadwaita or pure non-duality. The jiva is part of Brahman in the same way that the sparks are non-different from their origin (the fire), and so are non-different from Brahman. A stock of gold may be transformed into so many different shapes and ornaments, each having different names like earrings, bracelets, etc., but the gold remains gold - it does not change or loose it's qualities.
He says that Brahman is sac (eternal) cid (full of knowledge) and ananda (blissful), free from any influence of maya (illusion). Brahman is all and all is Brahman. And Brahman, the jivas and the world are all essentially Brahman. He also says how the relationships between Brahman, the jivas and the world are that the jivas are Brahman but with ananda (bliss) obscured, and the physical world is Brahman but with the qualities of ananda (bliss) and cid (knowledge) obscured. For the purpose of lila or sporting pastimes, the appearances (avirbhava) and disappearances (tirobhava) of forms goes on. "Brahman is both the material cause and efficient cause of the jivas and the world".
Vallabhacarya says there are three kinds of jivas - the suddha or pure soul, who is not covered by the illusory energy maya. There there is the samsarin or one who has lost his vision due to misidentification with the material gross and subtle bodies and world, and is caught up in the cycle of samsara, or birth and death. The third is the mukta, the redeemed soul. He has been in the cycle of samsara for some time until by the mercy of Brahman again he comes in contact with spiritual knowledge and becomes freed.
Vallabha's ultimate concept of Brahman is Lord Shri Krishna in Goloka Vrindavan, and his goal is to perform sevice for that supreme brahman.
He gives the following example of how the tiny jivas, under the influence of maya or avidya, endow the world with illusory forms. Though the world is definitely real, it is mistaken to be a place of permanent reality whereas actually it is temporary or sometimes termed illusory due to it's fleeting nature. A man sitting on a moving boat on a river is perceiving a tree on the bank to be moving, but actually the tree is real but the perception of the tree to be moving is illusory.
As already stated in the case of the jivas relationship with Brahman, everything takes place for the means of sport. Thus the jiva's ignorance (maya), as well as his bondage in samsara and his freeing from bondage, are all brought about by the Lord's grace for His own pleasure, so the jiva has no say in the matter. Brahman is therfore responsible for everything both the good and bad deeds that I may do ......!
The problem with this is that the responsibility of good and bad deeds are in the hands of Brahman. So one could say as some do, that because the soul is bound and released he cannot be held responsible for his actions. With the jiva soul not being free to act, it denies him his natural pleasure-seeking propensity as Brahman is the only doer and enjoyer of everything. Then comes the link. Vallabha almost comes through when he makes the statement, "That the creation is on account of the unfathomable greatness and incomprehensible powers of Brahman which can hold together all kinds of opposites." (Anubhasya (2.1.26-31)
Actually this Vallabhacarya is none other than the great Vishnuswami reincarnate as will be shown in the following excerpt from the Navadvipa Pilgrim's Guide by Ananakadundubhi dasa (ISKCON).
"Vishnuswami appeared in the tenth century, two hundred years after Sankara. He was born in South India. He dedicated his life to exposing philosophical contradictions of Sankara and his defiance of the actual Vedic conclusions. He sought to establish that there is a difference between the Supreme Lord and the jivas and that ultimately, though God's grace, the jiva can transcend the material world and attain the eternal abode of Lord Vishnu.
"Just as Sankara had done, to establish Monistic philosophy, Vishnuswami travelled extensively to defeat the same monistic philosophies. One day he arrived in Rudradvipa (one of the nine islands that make up Navadvipa dhama Mayapura) along with his disciples. They set up a temporary camp to spend the night before continuing their journey.
"That night Vishnuswami's disciples, feeling great enlivenment, began to dance and sing, and Vishnuswami began to recite verses from the Vedas glorifying the super-excellence of pure devotional service. Unknown to them all Lord Siva had been listening, and being very pleased by Vishnuswami's statements, he revealed himself.
"When Lord Siva appeared in the midst of their assembly, Vishnuswami was startled and he fell to the ground to offer obeisances. Then with folded hands he began to offer all kinds of choice prayers glorifying Lord Siva.
"Siva then spoke, "All of you Vaishnavas are very dear to me. Your discussion about devotional service has given me great pleasure. You may ask any boon from me for I will surely grant it. There is nothing I would not give to the devotees of Krishna."
"Paying his dandavats once again, Vishnuswami, his heart filled with great love, made the following request, "Please give us this one boon that henceforth we shall perfect a sampradaya which expounds the glories of pure devotional service."
"Lord Siva was very pleased with Vishnuswami's request and told him, "Yes, certainly I give you my blessings. You may name your sampradaya Rudra sampradaya after me."
"For some time Vishnuswami stayed in Shri Navadvipa. Desiring to increase his love of Godhead he engaged in the worship of Lord Gauranga. One night as he lay sleeping, Lord Gauranga came to him in a dream. The Lord told him, "By the mercy of the Lord Rudra, you have become my devotee. By your good fortune you have come to Shri Navadvipa and attained the treasure of Krishna consciousness. Now go out and preach vigorously the philosophy of suddha advaita. The time for My descent is fast approaching. At that time you will also take your birth again as Vallabha Bhatta. You will meet me in Jagannatha Puri and then after travelling to Vraja, (Shri Vrindavan Dham) you will perfect your sampradaya." After making this prediction Lord Gauranga disappeared."
In Vallabhacarya's early studies all his teachings were of the Madhva sampradaya (Trirammalaya, Andhanarayanadiksita and Madhvayatindra). Worshipping the Saligram Sila and carrying the Bhagavat Purana he travelled and preached all over, determinating the nature of Brahman in his discussions. He met with the great follower of Madhvacarya of the name Vyasa-tirtha, and during his grand tours he visited Udupi, and from Dwaraka in the west to Bengal and Orissa in the east, from Ramesvaram and Cidambaram in the south to Kedarnath and Badrinath, Haridwar in the north. In the mid regions he visited Vidyanagara (Vijayanagara - Hampi), also Benares on the Ganges and Shri Vrindavan Dhama. During one visit to Vrndavan, which was incidently his third, he installed the deity of Shrinathaji, at Govardhan hill, when the muslims raided the area the deity was taken south for saftey, this is the famous deity of Nathji at Nathdwar, Rajastan, (Devadamana, we mentioned earlier).
During his life time there was a Sultan ruling from Delhi by the name of Sikander Lodi who held Vallabha in great regard, and at the request of the sultan a portrait of Vallabhacarya was painted from life. The court painter did a first class impression of his subject, and even to this day one can take darshan of this fine portrait in the family temple of the ruler of Kishangarh, Rajastan.
Having lost his father at the age of sixteen, he married one girl Mahalaxmi on his mother's prompting, and led a life as a householder up until just six months before he passed from this world, when he took sannyasa.
Vallabhacarya was the father of Laxmi Priya devi, the first wife of Lord Chaitanya. Whilst Lord Chaitanya was on a preaching tour, Laxmi Priya devi was bitten by a snake and died. Nimai Pandit (Lord Chaitanya) then married Vishnu Priya devi, the daughter of the pandit Sanatana Misra of Navadvipa.
It is said that having accomplished his mission, Vallabhacarya entered into the sacred Ganges at Hanuman ghat (Kashi, Benares) and when he stooped into the water he dissappeared, a brilliant flame at once arose from the spot in the water amongst many on lookers, and he had gone.
We can safely say that as a conclusion to this chapter entitled " Setting the scene", that most of the philosophies were simply 'stop gap' measures to fulfill the change in the structure or reform to sanity, that is from atheism to pure God consciousness. For one to really understand these personalities and the philosophies that they propergated one has to see things from the aspect of the overall mission that has been revealed in these pages, quoting from the autherized sastra. That goal or mission which was so dearly desired by the devotees of the Lord is now being executed according to the Lord's Supreme plan. As stated earlier in this chapter the Lord was approached by His devotees to change the sinful age of Kali into a veritable clone of the Satya Yuga, an age where the quality of at least the mode of goodness prevails. To do this the Lord has personally come Himself, and as a weapon He has used preached through the philosophy taught by His pure devotee, Shripada Madhwacarya Bhagavatpada. What do I mean by this, was it that Madhwacarya couldn't complete the Lord's mission that the Lord Himself came to preach. NO, it is a transcendental loving reciprocation that the Lord that Krishna has with His devotee. Definately the Lord makes the situations to make His devotees glorious but, sometimes the rasa is so relishable, the ecstatic mood of preaching is so sweet that He, the Lord Himself also wants to get in on the action. What could be more relishable than to be on the winning side when the victory parade is about to take place. So that Supreme Person who is the enjoyer of these naturally relishable tastes, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, spoke the teachings of Madhwacarya completely out in the open, 'no holds barred', and more.
In fact only Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu could follow in line next. The perfect philosophy Madhwacarya presented, embellished by the lotus lips of Lord Chaitanya and His followers, the six Goswamis of Vrindavan. By this transcendental teamwork we have actually seen emerge the most simple and wholesome Vaishnava philosophy - that of acintya-bhedabheda tattva, or inconceivably one and yet different, which by its presence has made changes that have changed the course of history. In itself, this philosophy is inconceivably deep and yet very simple. xiv
One must understand in actuality, without personal motivation or design, to really know the purpose of the advent of the Vaishnava Acaryas in order to be non-sectarian and true to the will of the Lord. To do this is not a cheap thing, there is often a tendency towards envy, false ego, and sectarian pride, which are all aspects, or traits of this material world, and which blocks our path to see the Lord's plan unfold. The Acaryas have written countless books to show how to become free from this problem, as we, in our own humble way tried to bring out in the very first chapters of this book.
The following sublime eight verses were left by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and are the summon bonum of all pure Vaishnava feelings, untouched by fruitive action or mental speculation, desires for sense gratification or even liberation. If one takes the time to in depth examine each word that has been chosen by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu one will see the whole complete understanding of the personalistic teachings of the scriptues condensed into eight powerful verses. Though eight in number, and eight may seem small but what He has said in eight verses surely outweighs what I could ever say in eight thousand, no eight lakhas.
So Krishna Himself assumed the form of His own devotee in order to experience the intense pure relationship between the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His pure unalloyed devotees, primarily Shrimati Radharani, who is the most intimate devotee.[ANI12]
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate shri-krishna-sankirtanam
Glory to the Shri-Krishna sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life of repeated birth and death. This sankirtan movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.
namnam akari bahuda nija-sarva saktis
tatrapita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivan idrsam ahajani nunuragah
O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names, like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.
trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.
na dhanam na janam na sundarim
kavitam va jagad-isa kamaya
mama janmani janmani isvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi
O almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service, birth after birth.
ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram
patitam mam visame bhavambhadau
krpaya tava pada-pankaja-
O son of Maharaja Nanda (Krishna), I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow of other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.
pulakair nicitam vapuh kada
tava nama-grahane bhavisyati
O my Lord, when will my eyes be decorated with tears of love flowing constantly when I chant Your holy name? When will my voice choke up, and when will the hairs of my body stand on end at the recitation of Your name?
sunyayitam jagat sarvam
O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence.
aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam
adarsanam marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah
I know no-one but Krishna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me broken-hearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord, unconditionally.
MADHVA MEETS LORD CAITANYA
Madhvacarya met Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu whilst Madhva was touring Bengal and the holy places there. One quite rightly may ask, "how is it possible that Madhva met Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu around 250 years before Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's advent?" The answer is that as in Shri Vrindavan Dham Lord Shri Krishna, the darling of Mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja, the lover of the gopis and the lifter of Govardhana Hill, is still there, residing in that transcendental abode for those pure souls whom He allows to enter into His intimate pastimes, so Mayapur Dhama is to be taken as identical to Shri Vrindavan Dham. Though geographically Mayapur-Navadvipa Dham may appear in modern day West Bengal of India and Shri Vrindavan may appear to be in modern day Uttar Pradesh, to consider that these places are part of a particular tract of land in a particular geographical or political area, or to consider that this transcendental realm has mundane boundaries is actually an offence to the Holy Dham. Such offences, mundane conceptions, stop us from entering into that actual abode, though superficially one may buy an airline or railway ticket and try to go there. If one is not of the proper consciousness then the Supreme Lord, Who is known as Mayesvara (the controller of the illusory energy, Maya) will not lift His veil to reveal Himself in the form of His eternal Dham, His form as a cowherd boy, His blissful pastimes, etc.
The same applies to Shrila Vyasadeva, He resides, even to this day, as we will read later in His Vaikuntha abode beyond the realm of this world, in the highest part of the Himalayas known as Uttara Badri. But for the ordinary man to go there it is not possable. So in the same way please tell me the limitation that you have found in the Supreme Unlimited Lord and the interaction of friendly affairs whith His faithful servant?
Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is directly Radha and Krishna combined, "shri krishna chaitanya radha krishna nahi anya", revealed Himself to His pure devotee Shripada Madhvacarya in this way. In the Navadvipa Dham Mahatmya it is recorded how on Madhva's visit to Bengal, Mayapur-Navadvipa Dham, which at that time was a strong cultural and religious place of learning as well as a great Holy Dham, he met with Lord Chaitanya.
"It was in the forest of Modradumadvipa on one of the nine islands which make up Navadvipa Dham on the sacred Ganges River that the transcendental dancer Lord Gauranga (Chaitanya) appeared to Madhvacarya in his dream.
"Lord Chaitanya told His pure devotee Madhvacarya, "It is well known to everyone that you are My eternal servitor. When I appear here in Shri Navadvipa I will accept your sampradaya. I will travel everywhere and carefully uproot all the false scriptures of the Mayavadis and reveal the glories of worshipping My personal form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Later when I appear, I will personally broadcast your pure Vaishnava teachings." Then the Lord disappeared.
"When Madhvacarya awoke, he was astonished and as he remembered the Lord he began to cry in separation, saying, "will I ever see that beautiful golden form of the Lord again?" Then a celestial voice from the sky replied, "O Madhva, worship Me secretly and you will come to Me."xv
Carrying these direct instructions from Lord Chaitanya deep in his heart, Madhva continued with more determination and enthusiasm on his travels to smash the foolish Mayavadi philosophy. These direct orders given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna Himself in His abode of Mayapur-Navadvipa Dham to his devotees, cannot and should not be overlooked. One may say that sruti says this or sruti say that, but when the Supreme Lord speaks directly to his surrendered devotee such as Ramanujacarya, Vishnuswami, Shridhara Swami, Nimbarkacarya and even Sankara, He personally reveals His own plan, this is also Sruti pramanam. If one actually examines the life of Sankara one can see what he says, where he's coming from, the part he plays in this great drama, and so he is sometimes called a covered personalist.
As previously stated, the Lord had a plan and in this gradual revelation of His supreme plan His great devotees took their parts in the play as theatrical actors take to the stage, some appeared insignificant and some played leading roles. Some so heavily disguised by the external make-up that even loved ones' could not recognise. If things had not happened as they did then certainly the great Vaishnava acaryas would have had no need to present their doctrines for the benefit of mankind.
If Lord Krishna had of wanted to he could have done the whole job Himself, just like in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna asures Arjuna that all the opposing armies have already been killed, now simply fight. Lord Shri Krishna is so kind that He likes to make His surrendered devotees glorious, and so gets them to act out the parts to sceans that actually the Lord has already executed. It is the Lord's loving pastime, lila vicitra, with his pure surrendered devotee, no one else can do the Lords' work.
Shrila Prabhupada, our eternal guide, would sometimes have his disciples play the devils advocate, and pose themselves as mundane sense enjoyers and sometimes as materialistic scientists, doctors and philosophers proffessing all kinds of half-baked nonsense philosophies, then, just to show how these philosophies were not the Absolute Truth, he would defeat them soundly. Guru does like that, for the benefit of the followers.
In the same way, there are many instances of how Krishna appeared and had innumerable pastimes in this world. Some of His pastimes were killing demons, though we must understand that Krishna fighting and killing demons is not an ordinary thing. In the revealed scriptures there are many examples given such as Jaya and Vijaya, the doorkeepers of Vaikuntha. Due to their offences to the four Kumara brothers they accepted the situation to come to this material world as demons for three births to fight and be killed by Krishna to give the Lord some sport. One of the births taken by Jaya and Vijaya was of Ravana and Kumbhakarna. We also see in connection with Hanuman, that an Apsara or heavenly dancing girl was cursed by Indra to become a crocodile and would not be released from the curse until Hanuman killed it. During the battle between Lord Ramacandra and Ravana, Laxman was struck unconscious by Ravana, so Hanuman was sent in search of the creeper to bring him back to external consciousness. He encountered the crocodile and killed it, and from out of the body of the crocodile came the Apsara revealing the story thus. Rama was attacked by a raksasa in the forest who was also embodied due to a curse, but ultimately all these events were the Lord's sporting pastimes. In Krishna lila, when the intoxicated sons of Kuvera, Manigriva and Nalakuvera were bathing in a lake with young maidens, they did not offer respects to Narada Muni. He therefore cursed them to become twin Arjuna trees in Vrindavan. Then along came Krishna, tied to a grinding mortar and broke down the trees, releasing the fallen Yaksas from the curse. There are countless untold recollections of encounters like these throughout the Vedic literatures and it's subsidiaries, the Puranas. They have all been enacted for our benefit so that we may take advantage and absorb ourselves in this nectar, giving up this material world and again return to our natural home with the Lord in the spiritual world.
Take a look at the actors in adifferent light, we can understand that although Sankara posed himself as a proponent of an opposing philosophy to our Vaishnava conclusion, we can see the wonderful result - a partial expansion of Ananta Sesa and Laxman in the form of Ramanujacarya appeared to again bring us closer to the proper conclusion. His vasistha dvaita, or qualified oneness is a huge step from the Mayavad philosophy, and just opening the door for the philosophy of dualism to enter. The great soul Ramanujacarya has stated just how the soul is one just as one may say water is one. Yes, one may say that, for all water is called water, so everything coming from the Lord is Brahman is also a fact, but to say it is one is not fact. Distinction is there; there is hot water, cold water, salty water, etc. This was another stepping stone and due to the Lord's plan he forced a mode of dissatisfaction in the hearts of the pious souls, to be for another philosophy to be propounded by the son of the wind god, Vayu, who the Lord Vishnu Himself recognises as being renowned for his preaching. In sastra it states that of all the demigods that Mukhyapran, Vayudeva is not swayed by the influence of Kali yuga he always remains fixed in his service to the Supreme Lord, Narayana, Vishnu, Krishna!
Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krishna Himself, personally selected his best and most capable devotees for fulfilling his mission, that of distributing knowledge of love of God to one and all.
In the 2nd Canto of Madhva Vijay there is a recollection of how all the demigods approached Lord Vishnu to beg Him to again re-establish the proper, satisfying philosophy to fulfil mankind. On this plea Lord Vishnu pleadged that Lord Vayu will appear in three Yugas - in Treta yuga as Hanuman, in Dwarpa yuga as Bhimasena, and in Kali yuga as Madhva, to fulfill this mission.
There are six attributes of surrender that a devotee possesses:
1. To do everything favourable for the propagation of service to the Lord (Krishna).
2. To avoid everything unfavourable for Krishna Consciousness.
3. To have faith that only Krishna is one's protector.
4. To always identify one'self with the devotees of the Lord.[ANI13]
5. To realize that nothing takes place except by Krishna's sanction.
6. To feel oneself as fallen and therefore in dire need of Krishna's mercy, (even if one has some capacity for doing something).
In the Madhva Vijay of Narayana Panditacarya (2.15-25) he has first stated who is Mukyaprana and how he will appear to do the work of Lord Vishnu-Krishna. Simply I, Jayatirtha Caran dasa, am humbly begging for the mercy of the author Shrila Narayana Panditacarya, to make a humble attempt at setting the scene for the appearance of Shripad Madhvacarya. I pray that I can present this information now the ground work has been laid. I mean not to offend Panditacarya but to try to support his conclusions with the conclusions of our parampara. My humble understanding of this subject matter, the life of Shripada Madhvacarya, itself is a gift coming down in the disciplic succession of the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya (Lord Chaitanya) Sampradaya. For myself I know nothing, but I am simply trying to repeat what I have heard from the great devotees. If in any way I offend please forgive me. It is not my intention - my intention is, however, to bridge the gap of the Vaishnavas to bring us all closer under the shelter of Lord Krishna's lotus feet, the shelter for one and all.
tad vag-visargo janatagha viplavo
yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api
namany anatasya yaso -nkitani yat
srnvati gayanti grnanti sadhavah
"That literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world's misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest."
Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.5.11)
I simply beg that this attempt can follow in those footsteps.
THE BRAHMA MADHWA GAUDIYA CONCLUSION -----THE TRUTH OF ALL TRUTHS.
In Baladeva Vidyabhusana's Govinda Bhasya commentary 4 th. pada 10 th. adhikarana Sutra 4.4.17 he makes a rather humerous statement reagrding how the Mayavadis say that in the liberated state the mukta becomes God. Baladeva says, "..... if every "mukta" became a God, with God-like power of creation, then there would be many Gods in this universe, and instead of this being a cosmos, it would be chaos. Therefore we again state, the mukta is not equal to God nor does he have the power to create worlds - universes etc. like God. Even though the jivan mukta becomes an object of adoration even for the demigods he remains servitor, (sevaka bhagavat)." (As quoted from Taititreya Upanisad 1.5.3. sarve asmai deva balim avahanti - all the devas bring offerings to Him.)[JCD14]
Acarya Madhva has presented all the basic ground work necessary for Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to present the perfect philosophy. As we have stated, Shri Chaitanya accepted Madhvacarya's pure Vaishnava sampradaya and the supremely potent philosophy by which to firmly establish the Supreme Personality of Godhead as having all attributes and qualities in full in his sac-cid-ananda form. No-one else had presented this conclusion so fully, so powerfully and to the point. No doubt Madhvacarya has fulfilled the Lord's mission and brings happiness to the devotees in the form of his philosophy and pastimes.
Unfortunately, however even to this day, some of the descendents of Madhvacarya do not accept Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but instead merely accept Him as a very great devotee of Lord Krishna. It is a shame actaully that they do not accept. Unofortunately also, when Lord Shri Krishna appeared on the planet, many did not know He was the Supreme Lord, nor would they accept. Anyway, we are not here to argue this way and that and get nowhere based on so much anuman pramanas. One thing I humble beg though, irrespective of which part of our family one comes from - Madhva or Madhva-Gaudiya - we both live by the tenant of Bhagavad-gita, where in 10.10 the Lord Himself says, "To those who worship Me with Love I give the understanding by which they can come to Me." This is my humble plea. The way to taste the quality of the baker's worth is by simply tasting his cakes (pudding), simply taste this nectar, for as Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has Himself promised to Madhvacarya, "Later I will spread your glories far and wide."xvi We are seeing this throughout the whole world by the mercy and preaching of the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The glories of Shripada Madhvacarya have been now been spread throughout the entire world.
Lord Chaitanya stated to all the acaryas to keep His identity a secret. "In the future, when I begin my sankirtan movement, I will personally preach, taking the essence of your philosophies (Madhvacarya, Ramanujacarya, Vishnuswami, Nimbarkacarya). From Madhva I will take two very essential teachings: His complete rejection and defeat of the Mayavadi philosophy and his service to the Deity form of Lord Krishna, accepting Him as an eternal spiritual personality. From Ramanujacarya I will accept two teachings: The concept of devotional service which is unpolluted by karma (sense gratification for fruitive results) and jnana (mental speculation) and his mode of performing service for the Lord's devotees. From Vishnuswami's teachings I will accept two elements: the sentiment of complete and exclusive dependance on Krishna and the path of raga marg or spontaneous devotion to the Lord. And from Nimbarkacarya two other important points - the necessity of taking shelter of Shrimati Radharani and the high esteem of the pure love of the gopis for Krishna."
So now the all-perfect master-baker has taken all the pure ingredients together and combined them in a porper manner, so not to make any incompatible tastes. Under the heat of His own devotion He has, with great care, cooked the very palatable cake and is now still distributing it's remnants as maha prasad. If you dare, accept even a fraction of this most precious and rare of foodstuffs embellished by the hands of Shrimati Radharani to make it even more nectarine. Materialistic life is doomed to be finished, for this cake is so infected with love for Krishna, cooked by Shri Radha and Krishna combined, one hasn't got a hope of maintaining materialistic lusty, independant desires. If one however does wish to maintain materialistic desires there is no way one can actually relish the taste, or understand the baker or His transcendental gifts.
Still the small print is written on the label that even if one does have some lusty material desires for sense gratification, even after coming in contact with this nectar, then the Lord will so arrange things that in the end one's desires will become purified, changed in heart the devotee will be cent per cent engaged in the service of the Lord, having forgotten his mundane desires as being insignficant.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, but first one has to be nonenvious enough to accept the existance of the baker who has arranged such an increadabley fulfilling cake, and then naturally one will pay the price. It cannot be stollen by the unqualified, nor will counterfit funds pay the price. What is the price?
na dhanam na janam na sundarim
kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye
mama janmani janmani isvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi
"I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service, birth after birth."
Yes this is why we have agreed to take the trouble to write this book, for this is the pure mood of Shripada Ananda Tirtha Bhagavatapadacarya - (Madhvacarya --- the Lord's pure devotee).