Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 10. Nitya-Dharma & History


C H A P T E R 10

Nitya-Dharma & History


Shri Harihara Bhattacarya was a professor residing in Agradvipa.

He had accepted initiation into vaishnava-dharma, and was engaged

in the worship of Bhagavan Shri Krishna in his home. But a

doubt arose in his mind about Vaisnavism which he could not

dispel even after speaking to many people about it. In fact, such

talk only agitated his mind further. One day, Harihara went to the

village of Arkatila, and enquired from Shri Caturbhuja Nyayaratna,

"Bhattacarya Mahasaya, can you tell me how long ago vaishnavadharma



For nearly twenty years Nyayaratna Mahasaya had laboriously

studied the nyaya-sastra. Consequently, he had become quite

indifferent to religion, and did not like to be bothered with

religious discussions. He only displayed any devotional tendency

when he was performing sakti-puja (worshiping Goddess Durga).


When Nyayaratna heard this question, he thought that

Harihara, being partial to the Vaishnava religion, intended to

embroil him in a dispute, and that it would be best to avoid such

a conflict. Thinking like this, Nyayaratna Mahasaya said,

"Harihara, what kind of question are you asking me today? You have

studied the nyaya-sastra all the way up to the muktipada section.

Look, you know that there is no mention of vaishnava-dharma

anywhere in the nyaya-sastra, so why are you burdening me with

such a strange question?"


Harihara, now slightly aggravated, replied, "Bhattacarya

Mahasaya, my forefathers have been Vaishnavas for many generations.

I am also initiated with a Vaishnava mantra, and I have never

had any doubt about vaishnava-dharma. However, you may have

heard that Tarka-cudamani of Vikramapura intends to uproot the

Vaishnava religion, and as a result he is preaching against it at the

moment, both locally and abroad, and earning a good deal of wealth

by so doing. In a meeting that was attended mostly by worshipers

of Durga, he proclaimed that the Vaishnava religion is very recent

and has no philosophical substance. He said that only low-class

people become Vaishnavas; high-class people do not respect



"When I first heard such conclusions from a scholar of his

stature, it somewhat pained my heart, but when I thought it over,

it occurred to me that no vaishnava-dharma existed anywhere in

Bengal prior to the appearance of Shri Chaitanyadeva. Before that,

everyone worshiped Goddess Durga and recited the sakti-mantras.

Granted, there were a few Vaishnavas like ourselves, who worshiped

by reciting Vaishnava mantras, but everyone's goal was ultimately

to attain brahma and mukti, and to this end they diligently applied



"In the type of vaishnava-dharma into which we were initiated,

everyone approved of the pancopasana system, but after Chaitanya

Mahaprabhu's time, vaishnava-dharma assumed a new outlook, and

now Vaishnavas cannot even bear to hear the words mukti and

brahma. I cannot even say what they think bhakti is. Well, as they

say, "A one-eyed cow often strays from the herd." That applies

perfectly to modern Vaishnavas. So my question is, did this type of

vaishnava-dharma exist previously, or has it only appeared since the

time of Chaitanyadeva?"


Seeing that Harihara was not as orthodox a Vaishnava as he had

feared, Nyayaratna Mahasaya's face blossomed with happiness.

"Harihara," he said, "you are a true scholar of the nyaya-sastra. You

have just expressed exactly what I believe. These days there is a

new upsurge of vaishnava-dharma, and I am afraid to say anything

against it. We must be a little cautious, because it is the age of Kali.

Many wealthy and respectable gentlemen have now accepted

Chaitanya's doctrine. They completely disregard us, and even think

that we are their enemies. I am afraid that our profession will

become obsolete within a short time. Why, even the inferior castes

of oil-sellers, betel-leaf vendors and gold-traders have taken to

studying the sastra, and that pains us.


"Look, for a long time the brahmanas had arranged things so that

no other caste could study the sastra, even the kayasthas, who are

just below the brahmana caste. Everyone was obliged to honor our

words. Now people of all castes have become Vaishnavas and

deliberate on philosophical truths, and this has greatly damaged

the reputation of the brahmana caste. Nimai Pandita is responsible

for the destruction of brahmana-dharma. Harihara, Tarkacudamani

has spoken correctly, whether he has done so out of greed

for wealth, or after careful analysis of the situation.


"When I hear the words of the Vaishnavas, my body burns with

anger. Now they go as far as to say that Sankaracarya established

Mayavada sastra on the order of Bhagavan Himself, and that the

Vaishnava religion is eternal. The religion that sprung up not even

a hundred years ago has now become beginningless! How amazing!

It is said, "The benefit which is meant for one man is enjoyed

by another."


"Whatever glory Navadvipa attained formerly has now been laid

to waste. In particular, there are some Vaishnavas who now live at

Gadigacha in Navadvipa, who look upon the world as a shallow

earthen plate. A few good scholars among them have stirred up

such a great commotion that it has ruined the entire country. Now

the occupational duties of the four castes, the eternal truth of the

doctrine of Mayavada, and the worship of the devatas and devis

are all fading into oblivion. People seldom perform the sraddha

ceremony for the benefit of their deceased relatives any more. How

are we teachers to survive?"


Harihara said, "Mahatma! Is there no remedy for this? In

Mayapura there are still six or seven brahmana scholars of great

repute. Across the Ganga in Kuliya-grama, there are also numerous

scholars who are well versed in the smrti and nyaya-sastras. If

they all combine together and attack Gadigacha, will it not bear



Nyayaratna said, "Why not? It's possible if the brahmana-panditas

can unite, but there are differences among them these days. I heard

that a few panditas headed by Krishna Cudamani went to Gadigacha

and initiated a debate, but they came back to their schools

defeated, after which they spoke no more about it than was

absolutely required."


Harihara said, "Bhattacarya Mahasaya, you are not only our

teacher, but the teacher of many teachers. Your commentary on

the nyaya-sastra has taught many scholars the art of reasoning by

analyzing fallacious arguments. If you so desire, you can defeat these

Vaishnava scholars once and for all. Establish that the Vaishnava

religion is a modern invention that the Vedas do not support. This

will be a great act of mercy on the brahmanas, and it will reinstate

our long-established pancopasana worship, which is on the point

of vanishing."


Caturbhuja Nyayaratna was inwardly afraid to debate with the

Vaishnavas, thinking that they might defeat him as they had Krishna

Cudamani and others. He said, "Harihara, I will go in disguise. You

should pose yourself as a teacher and ignite the fire of debate in

Gadigacha. After that, I will take over and assume responsibility."


Harihara said happily, "I will certainly carry out your order. Next

Monday we will cross the Ganga and attack them, invoking the

name of Mahadeva for auspiciousness."


Monday arrived while they were still pondering over this matter.

Three professors, Harihara, Kamalakanta and Sadasiva, met

Shri Caturbhuja Nyayaratna at his home in Arkatila, and escorted

him across the Ganga to Godruma. At four in the afternoon they

arrived at the madhavi grove exclaiming "Haribol! Haribol!" having

a mood like Durvasa Muni surrounded by his followers.


Advaita dasa was at that time chanting hari-nama in his kutira.

Seeing them, he came out and affectionately offered them each a

seat. He then enquired, "How may I be of service to you?"


Harihara said, "We have come to discuss some matters with the



Advaita dasa said, "The Vaishnavas of this place do not debate

on any topic. However, it is all right if you have come to enquire

submissively about something. The other day, a few professors

initiated a full-scale debate on the pretext of making some

enquiries, and in the end, they left greatly disturbed. I will ask

Paramahamsa Babaji Mahasaya and then give you an answer."

Saying this, he entered Babaji Mahasaya's kutira.


A few moments later, Advaita dasa returned and arranged more

mats for sitting. Then Paramahamsa Babaji Mahasaya came into

the grove and offered dandavat-pranama to Vrnda-devi and then

to the cultured brahmana visitors. With folded hands, he enquired

humbly, "O great souls, please order us. What service can we do

for you?"


Nyayaratna said, "We have one or two questions to ask, and we

would like you to answer them."

When Paramahamsa Babaji Mahasaya heard this request, he

summoned Shri Vaishnava dasa Babaji Mahasaya to join them. When

Vaishnava dasa Babaji arrived, he offered pranama to Paramahamsa

Babaji and sat next to him. Within a short while, a small group of

Vaishnavas had gathered.


Nyayaratna Mahasaya then asked his question: "Please tell us

whether the Vaishnava religion is ancient or modern."


Paramahamsa Babaji Mahasaya requested Vaishnava dasa to

respond. In a peaceful, yet grave tone of voice, Vaishnava dasa said,

"The vaishnava-dharma is sanatana, everlasting, and nitya, eternal."


Nyayaratna: I see that there are two types of vaishnava-dharma. One

maintains that the para-tattva known as brahma is formless and

devoid of qualities. However, since there is no question of

worshiping a formless object, sadhakas first imagine brahma to have

some form, and then they worship that. This worship is only needed

to purify the heart, and when the heart is purified, knowledge of

the formless brahma arises. At that point, there is no longer any

need to continue the worship of forms. The forms of Radha-Krishna,

Rama, or Nrsimha are all imaginary, and are by-products of maya.

When one worships these imaginary forms, knowledge of brahma

gradually awakens. Among worshipers of the five Deities

(pancopasakas), those who worship the Deity of Vishnu and recite

visnu-mantras with this attitude consider themselves Vaishnavas.


In the second type of vaishnava-dharma, Bhagavan Vishnu, Rama,

or Krishna are accepted as para-brahma, possessing eternal forms.

When the sadhaka worships one of these particular forms with the

corresponding mantras, he obtains eternal knowledge of the

specific Deity whom he worships and receives the mercy of that

Deity. According to this view, the doctrine of impersonalism is

Mayavada, which is a misconception that Sankara has propagated.

Now tell us, which of these two types of Vaisnavism is everlasting

and eternal?


Vaishnava dasa: The second of these is the real vaishnava-dharma,

and it is eternal. The other is vaishnava-dharma in name only. In

reality, this pseudo vaishnava-dharma is opposed to real vaishnavadharma.

It is temporary and has originated from Mayavada doctrine.


Nyayaratna: I understand that in your opinion, the only true

vaishnava-dharma is the doctrine that you have received from

Chaitanyadeva. You do not accept that the worship of Radha-Krishna,

Rama, or Nrsimha constitutes vaishnava-dharma in and of itself. You

only accept the worship of Radha-Krishna or other Deities as

vaishnava-dharma if it is conducted in accordance with the ideology

of Chaitanya. Is this not so? It is a fine idea, but how can you claim

that this type of vaishnava-dharma is eternal?


Vaishnava dasa: This type of vaishnava-dharma is taught throughout

the Vedic sastras, and is instructed in all the smrti-sastras. All

the Vedic histories sing the glories of this vaishnava-dharma.


Nyayaratna: It is obvious that Chaitanyadeva is the pioneer of this

doctrine, but He appeared less than one hundred and fifty years

ago, so how can it be eternal?


Vaishnava dasa: This vaishnava-dharma has been in existence from

the very moment of the jivas' appearance. The jivas are anadi

because they have no beginning in material time. Therefore, the

constitutional function of the jivas, known as jaiva-dharma or

vaishnava-dharma, is also anadi. Brahma is the first jiva to take birth

in the universe. As soon as he appeared, the Vedic sound vibration,

which is the basis of vaishnava-dharma, also became manifest. This

is recorded in the four essential slokas of Shrimad-Bhagavatam

(2.9.33-36), known as the catuh-sloki. It is also mentioned in the

Mundaka Upanisad (1.1.1):


brahma devanam prathamah sambabhuva

visvasya kartta bhuvanasya gopta

sa brahma-vidyam sarva-vidya-pratistham

atharvaya jyestha-putraya praha


Brahma, who is the first of all the devas, and who appeared

from the lotus that sprouted from the navel of Bhagavan, is

the creator of the universe and the maintainer of all living

entities. He imparted brahma-vidya, which is the basis for

all other knowledge, unto his eldest son, Atharva.


The Rg Veda-samhita mentions the instructions of this brahmavidya



tad visnoh paramam padam

sada pasyanti surayah

diviva caksur atatam


The jnani-janas (pure Vaishnavas) always behold the supreme

abode of Bhagavan Shri Vishnu, just as the unobstructed eye

sees the sun within the sky.


It is said in the Katha Upanisad (1.3.9):


tad visnoh paramam padam / visnor yat paramam padam


That supreme abode of Bhagavan Shri Vishnu is the highest



The Svetasvatara Upanisad (5.4) says:


sarva disa urddhvam adhas ca tiryak

prakasayan bhrajate yad vanadvan

evam sa devo bhagavan varenyo

yoni-svabhavan adhitisthaty ekah


Bhagavan is the Supreme Person and the original source of

all the devas. He is the supreme object of worship and is

one without a second. Just as the sun shines radiantly,

illuminating all directions, upwards, downwards, and on all

sides, so Bhagavan regulates material nature, which is the

origin of all different species of life.


It is said in the Taittiriya Upanisad (2.1.2):


satyam jnanam anantam brahma

yo veda nihitam guhayam parame vyoman

so 'snute sarvan kaman saha brahmana vipascita


Para-tattva brahma is the embodiment of truth, knowledge,

and eternity. Although that para-brahma is situated in the

spiritual sky, He is hidden in the sky of the hearts of all living

entities. One who knows Isvara, who is situated within as

the indwelling Supersoul, attains the consummation of all

his desires in contact with that all-knowing Isvara.


Nyayaratna: The Rg Veda states, tad visnoh paramam padam: "They

see the supreme abode of Vishnu." How can you say that this doesn't

refer to the vaishnava-dharma that is included in the Mayavada



Vaishnava dasa: The vaishnava-dharma that is included within the

scope of Mayavada rejects the conception of eternal servitorship

to Bhagavan. The Mayavadis believe that when the sadhaka acquires

knowledge, he attains the status of brahma. However, where

is the question of service if one becomes brahma? It is said in the

Katha Upanisad (1.2.23):


nayam atma pravacanena labhyo / na medhaya na bahuna srutena

yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas / tasyaisa atma vivrnute tanum svam


That Paramatma Parabrahma cannot be attained by

delivering learned discourses, by applying one's intelligence,

or even by hearing the Vedas extensively. That

Paramatma is attainable only by one upon whom He

bestows His mercy. Since the Paramatma is very close by,

He reveals His own form.


The only true religion is the constitutional function of service

and surrender. There is no other means to attain Bhagavan's mercy

and thus see His eternal form. Knowledge of brahma will not enable

one to attain darsana of Bhagavan's eternal form. We can

understand from this categorical Vedic statement that pure

vaishnava-dharma is founded upon the Vedas. All the Vedas sanction

the vaishnava-dharma that Shriman Mahaprabhu taught. There

is no room for doubt in this regard.


Nyayaratna: Is there any statement in the Vedas to the effect that

krishna-bhajana, and not realization of brahma-jnana, is the highest



Vaishnava dasa: It is said in the Taittiriya Upanisad (2.7.1), raso vai

sah: "Krishna is the embodiment of rasa." Besides, the Chandogya

Upanisad (8.13.1) states:


syamac chabalam prapadye sabalac chyamam prapadye


By service to Krishna, one attains the transcendental abode

of divine bliss, which is full of wonderful pastimes, and by

reaching that transcendental abode of wonders, one attains



There are many similar statements in the Vedas which declare

that krishna-bhajana is the highest attainment.


Nyayaratna: Is the name Krishna anywhere to be found in the Vedas?


Vaishnava dasa: Does the word Syama not refer to Krishna? It is said

in the Rg Veda (


apasyam gopam anipadyama nama


I saw Shri Krishna who is born in a dynasty of gopas and who is



There are many statements in the Vedas that refer specifically

to Krishna, who appeared as the son of a gopa (cowherd).


Nyayaratna: Krishna's name is not clearly mentioned in any of these

statements; this is simply your contrived interpretation.


Vaishnava dasa: If you study the Vedas carefully, you will see that

they have used these types of indirect statements in relation to

every topic. The sages of old have explained the meaning of all

these statements, and we should have the highest regard for their



Nyayaratna: Please tell me the history of vaishnava-dharma.


Vaishnava dasa: I have already said that the appearance of vaishnavadharma

is concurrent with the origin of the jiva. Brahma was the

first Vaishnava. Shriman Mahadeva is also a Vaishnava, as are all the

progenitors of mankind. Shri Narada Gosvami, who was born from

the mind of Brahma, is a Vaishnava. This clearly verifies that

vaishnava-dharma is not a recent development, but has been

prevalent from the very beginning of creation.


Not all living entities are free from the influence of the three

modes of nature, and the superiority of a high Vaishnava will depend

on the degree to which he is free from the modes. The Mahabharata,

Ramayana and the Puranas are the histories of the Aryan race, and

they have all described the excellence of vaishnava-dharma. We have

already seen that vaishnava-dharma was present at the beginning

of creation. Prahlada and Dhruva were both pure Vaishnavas.

During their time, there were many thousands of other Vaishnavas

whose names are not given anywhere in history because only the

most prominent have been mentioned. Dhruva was the grandson

of Manu, and Prahlada was the grandson of Prajapati Kasyapa, and

they both lived close to the beginning of creation; of this there is

no doubt. You can therefore observe that pure vaishnava-dharma

was active from the beginning of history.


Later, the kings of the solar and lunar dynasties, as well as the

great munis and rsis, were all intently devoted to Shri Vishnu. There

is extensive mention of vaishnava-dharma in the three previous ages,

known as Satya, Treta, and Dvapara. Even in the present age of

Kali, Shri Ramanuja, Shri Madhvacarya and Shri Vishnusvami in Southern

India, and Shri Nimbaditya Svami in Western India initiated

many thousands of disciples into pure vaishnava-dharma. By their

mercy, perhaps half the population of India crossed the ocean of

maya and attained shelter at the lotus feet of Bhagavan. Also, just

consider how many downtrodden and degraded people Shri

Shachinandana€````@P@``€``PP@P€°`° `@```ğ`@°°`°°  @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`€@ `P€PP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@€p€€€€€€€pppp````````` P````    ```````€````````_›8œȰ_Ȱ_粜娈粜が粞〼粞, who is the master of my heart and soul, delivered in

this land of Bengal. Can you still not perceive the greatness of

vaishnava-dharma in spite of witnessing all this?


Nyayaratna: Yes, but on what basis do you call Prahlada and the

others Vaishnavas?


Vaishnava dasa: They can be known as Vaishnavas on the basis of

sastra. Prahlada's teachers, Sanda and Amarka, wanted to instruct

him in brahma-jnana contaminated with the doctrine of Mayavada,

but he rejected their teaching, realizing that hari-nama is the

essence of all education, and he constantly chanted the name of

Bhagavan with great love and affection. Under such circumstances,

there can be no doubt that Prahlada was a pure Vaishnava. The

truth is that one cannot understand the underlying essence of the

sastras without impartial and minute investigation.


Nyayaratna: If, as you say, vaishnava-dharma has been in perpetual

existence, what new insight did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu reveal for

which He should be given such special regard?


Vaishnava dasa: Vaishnava-dharma is like a lotus flower which gradually

comes into bloom when the time is ripe. First it appears as a

bud, and then it slowly begins to blossom. In its maturity, it is fully

blossomed and attracts all jivas by diffusing its sweet fragrance in

every direction. At the beginning of creation, four aspects of

knowledge were expressed to Brahma through the medium of the

catuh-sloki Bhagavatam. These were bhagavat-jnana, transcendental

knowledge of the Absolute as Bhagavan; maya-vijnana, analytical

knowledge of Ísvara's external potency; sadhana-bhakti, the means

of attaining the goal; and prema, which is the object of attainment.

These four elements were manifested in the jivas' hearts as the

sprout of the lotus flower of vaishnava-dharma.


At the time of Prahlada, this sprout took shape as a bud, which

gradually began to blossom in the period of Veda-vyasa Muni, and

developed into a flower at the time of Ramanuja, Madhva, and the

other sampradaya-acaryas. Upon the appearance of Shriman

Mahaprabhu, vaishnava-dharma became the fully blossomed flower

of prema and began to attract the hearts of all jivas by spreading its

enchantingly sweet fragrance.


The supremely confidential essence of vaishnava-dharma is the

awakening of prema. Shriman Mahaprabhu created the good fortune

for all jivas by distributing this prema through the chanting of shrihari-

nama. Shri-nama-sankirtana is a priceless possession, worthy of

the highest regard. Did anyone reveal this teaching prior to

Mahaprabhu? Although this truth existed in the sastras, there was

no radiant example of it that could inspire the ordinary jivas to

practice it in their own lives. Indeed, before Shriman Mahaprabhu,

had anyone ever plundered the storehouse of prema-rasa and distributed

it in this way, even to common men?


Nyayaratna: All right, but if kirtana is so beneficial, why do learned

panditas not hold it in high esteem?


Vaishnava dasa: The meaning of the word pandita has become

perverted in the present age of Kali. Panda means 'the intelligence

of one who is enlightened by knowledge of the sastra', and the word

pandita really refers to one who has such intelligence. These days,

however, people are known as panditas if they can show off their

vain sophistry in the nyaya-sastra, or explain the meaning of the

smrti-sastra in novel ways that appeal to people in general. How

can such panditas understand or explain the meaning of dharma

and the true purport of the sastras? That can only be realized by

impartial analysis of all the sastras, so how can anyone obtain it

through the intellectual wrangling of nyaya?


The truth is that in Kali-yuga, those who are known as panditas

are expert at deceiving themselves and others by arguing uselessly.

Assemblies of such panditas engage in heated debates over

inconsequential matters, but they never discuss knowledge of

ultimate reality; knowledge of the jivas's relationship with the

Absolute Truth, the supreme goal for the jivas; or the method for

attaining that goal. One can only understand the real nature of

prema and kirtana when he discerns the truth of these matters.


Nyayaratna: All right, I admit that there are no qualified panditas

these days, but why don't high-class brahmanas accept your

vaishnava-dharma? Brahmanas are situated in the mode of goodness,

and they are naturally inclined to the path of truthfulness and

exalted religious principles, so why is it that almost all brahmanas

are opposed to vaishnava-dharma?


Vaishnava dasa: You are asking the question, so I am compelled to

answer, although Vaishnavas are naturally opposed to criticizing

others. I will try to answer your last question if you will not feel pain

and anger at heart, and if you sincerely desire to know the truth.


Nyayaratna: Come what may, our study of the sastra has imbued

us with a fondness for tranquility, self-control and tolerance.

There is no question of not being able to tolerate your words.

Please speak openly and without hesitation, and I will certainly

respect whatever is reasonable and good.


Vaishnava dasa: Please consider that Ramanuja, Madhva, Vishnusvami,

and Nimbaditya were all brahmanas, and that they each had

thousands of brahmana disciples. In Bengal, our Shri Chaitanya

Mahaprabhu was a Vedic brahmana, our Nityananda Prabhu was a

Radhiya brahmana, and our Advaita Prabhu was a Varendra

brahmana. Our gosvamis and mahajanas were almost all brahmanas.

Thousands of brahmanas who are the very pinnacle of the

brahminical lineage have taken refuge of vaishnava-dharma and are

propagating this spotless religion in the world. So how can you claim

that high-class brahmanas have no regard for vaishnava-dharma?


We know that those brahmanas who honor vaishnava-dharma are

all high-class brahmanas. However, some people who have taken

birth in brahmana families have become inimical toward vaishnavadharma

because they are marred by the faults of degraded family

lineage, undesirable association, and false education. Such behavior

only demonstrates their misfortune and fallen condition. This

is no evidence that they are actually brahmanas. It is to be especially

noted that, according to sastra, the number of true brahmanas in

Kali-yuga is exceedingly small, and these few are Vaishnavas. When

a brahmana receives the vaishnava-gayatri-mantra, which is the

mother of the Vedas, he becomes an initiated Vaishnava. However,

due to the contamination of Kali-yuga, some of these brahmanas

accept another non-Vedic initiation and abandon their

Vaisnavism. Granted, the number of Vaishnava brahmanas is very

small, but that is still no reason to manufacture a conclusion that

is opposed to the tenets of sastra.


Nyayaratna: Why is it that so many low-class people accept



Vaishnava dasa: This should not be a cause for doubt. Most lowclass

people consider themselves quite wretched and downtrodden,

and thus they are eligible for the mercy of the Vaishnavas,

without which one cannot become a Vaishnava. Humility cannot

touch the heart of one who is intoxicated with the pride of high

birth and wealth, and consequently it is very rare for such people

to obtain the mercy of the Vaishnavas.


Nyayaratna: I don't care to discuss this subject any further. I can

see that you will inevitably quote the harsh descriptions from sastra

of the brahmanas of Kali-yuga. I feel greatly pained when I hear

particular statements from the sastra such as this one from the

Varaha Purana:


raksasah kalim ashritya jayante brahma-yonisu


Taking refuge of the age of Kali, demons are born in the

families of brahmanas.


Let us not pursue this topic any further. Now, please tell me why

you don't respect Shri Sankaracarya, who is a limitless ocean of



Vaishnava dasa: Why do you say that? We consider Shri Sankaracarya

to be an incarnation of Shri Mahadeva. Shriman Mahaprabhu

instructed us to honor him by addressing him as acarya. We only

reject his Mayavada doctrine, because it is a covered form of

Buddhism, which the Vedas do not support. On Bhagavan's order,

Sankaracarya distorted the meaning of the Vedas, Vedanta, and the

Gita, and he broadcast the false doctrine of impersonal monism

known as advaita-vada to convert those men who had a demonic

nature. What fault is there in this for which Sankaracarya should

be condemned?


Buddhadeva is an avatara of Bhagavan who also established and

preached a doctrine that is opposed to the Vedas. But do

descendants of the Aryans condemn him for this? Someone may

disagree with such activities of Shri Bhagavan and Mahadeva, and

claim that they are unjust, but we say that Bhagavan is the protector

of the universe, and Shri Mahadeva is His representative, and

they are both all-knowing and all-auspicious. Bhagavan and

Mahadeva cannot possibly be guilty of injustice. Those who blame

them are ignorant and narrow-minded, and cannot understand

the deeper significance of their activities.


Bhagavan and His activities are beyond human reasoning, so

intelligent people should never think, "Isvara should not have

done that; it would have been better for Him to do this." Isvara is

the director of all jivas, and only He knows the necessity for binding

men of ungodly nature with the doctrine of illusion. We have

no means of understanding Isvara's purpose for manifesting the

jivas at the time of creation, and then destroying their forms at

the time of the cosmic annihilation. This is all Bhagavan's lila.

Those who are intently devoted to Bhagavan experience great delight

in hearing His pastimes; they don't like to engage in intellectual

debates about these matters.


Nyayaratna: That is all right, but why do you say that the Mayavada

doctrine is opposed to the Vedas, Vedanta, and the Gita?


Vaishnava dasa: If you have carefully examined the Upanisads and

the Vedanta-sutra, kindly tell me which mantras and sutras support

the doctrine of Mayavada? I will then explain the true meaning

of those statements, and prove that they do not support

Mayavada at all. Some Vedic mantras may appear to contain a faint

trace of Mayavada philosophy, but if one examines the mantras that

come before and after, that interpretation will be instantly



Nyayaratna: Brother, I have not studied the Upanisads and the

Vedanta-sutra. When it comes to a discussion of the nyaya-sastra,

I am ready to discourse on any topic. Through logic I can turn a

clay pot into a piece of cloth, and a piece of cloth into a clay pot.

I have read a little of the Gita, but I have not entered into it deeply,

so I cannot say any more on this point. Instead, let me ask you one

more question on another topic. You are a learned scholar, so please

properly explain to me why Vaishnavas don't have faith in the

remnants of food offered to the devas and devis, although they have

great faith in visnu-prasada.


Vaishnava dasa: I am not a scholar; I am a great fool. You should

know that whatever I am speaking is only by the mercy of my

Gurudeva, Paramahamsa Babaji Maharaja. No one can know all

the sastras, for they are a limitless ocean, but my Gurudeva has

churned that ocean and delivered the essence of the sastras to me.

I have accepted that very essence as the conclusion that all the

sastras have established.


The answer to your question is that Vaishnavas do not disrespect

the prasada of the devas and devis. Shri Krishna is the Supreme

controller of all controllers; therefore, He alone is known as

Paramesvara. All the devas and devis are His devotees, and they

are appointed to positions in the administration of universal

affairs. Vaishnavas can never disrespect the prasada of bhaktas

because one obtains suddha-bhakti by honoring their remnants.

The dust from bhaktas' feet, the nectar-like water that has washed

bhaktas' feet, and the nectar-like food that has touched bhaktas'

lips are three types of prasada that are supremely beneficial. They

are the medicine that destroys the disease of material existence.


The fact is that when Mayavadis worship the devatas and offer

food to them, the devatas do not accept it because the worshipers

are contaminated with attachment to the doctrine of illusion.

There is ample evidence of this in the sastra, and if you ask me, I

can supply the quotations. The worshipers of the devas are mostly

Mayavadis, and it is detrimental to one's bhakti and an offense to

Bhakti-devi to accept the prasada of the devas when such people

have offered it. If a pure Vaishnava offers the prasada of Krishna to

the devas and devis, they accept it with great love and begin to

dance, and if a Vaishnava then takes that prasada, he experiences

tremendous happiness.


Another point to consider is that the instruction of the sastra

is all-powerful, and the yoga-sastras direct practitioners of the

yoga system not to accept the prasada of any devata. This does

not mean that those who practice yoga disrespect the prasada of

the devatas. It simply means that giving up prasada helps those

who are practicing yoga-sadhana to attain one-pointedness in

meditation. Similarly, in bhakti-sadhana, a bhakta cannot attain

exclusive devotion to Bhagavan, who is the object of his worship,

if he accepts the prasada of any other deva. It is therefore a

mistake to think that Vaishnavas are averse to the prasada of other

devas and devis. The various practitioners only behave in that

way to try to attain perfection in their respective goals, as the

sastras recommend.


Nyayaratna: All right, that is clear, but why do you oppose the

killing of animals in sacrifice, when the sastras support it?


Vaishnava dasa: It is not the intention of sastra that animals should

be killed. The Vedas declare, ma himsyat sarvani bhutani: "One

should not commit violence to any living entity." This statement

forbids violence to animals. As long as human nature is strongly

influenced by the modes of passion and ignorance, people will be

spontaneously driven to illicit connection with the opposite sex,

meat-eating, and intoxication. Such people do not ask the Vedas

to sanction their activities. The purpose of the Vedas is not to

promote such activities, but rather to curb them. When human

beings are situated in the mode of goodness, they can naturally

refrain from animal slaughter, sexual indulgence, and intoxication.

Until that point, the Vedas prescribe various means to control such

tendencies. For this reason, they sanction association with the

opposite sex through marriage (vivaha-yajna), the killing of animals

in sacrifice, and the drinking of wine in particular ceremonies. By

practicing in this way, these tendencies will gradually wane in a

person, and he will eventually be able to give them up. This is the

true purpose of the Vedas. They do not recommend the killing of

animals; their intention is expressed in these words of Shrimad-

Bhagavatam (11.5.11):


loke vyavayamisa-madya-seva

nityas tu jantor na hi tatra codana

vyavasthitis tesu vivaha-yajnasura-

grahair asu nivrttir ista


It is observed that people in this world have a natural tendency

toward intoxication, meat-eating, and sexual enjoyment,

but sastra cannot sanction their engagement in such

activities. Therefore, special provisions have been given

whereby some association with the opposite sex is

permitted through marriage, some eating of flesh is permitted

through performance of sacrifice, and the drinking of

wine is permitted through the ritual known as sautramaniyajna.

The purpose of such injunctions is to restrain the

licentious tendencies of the general populace, and to

establish them in moral conduct. The intrinsic purpose of

the Vedas in making such provisions is to draw people away

from such activities altogether.


The Vaishnava conclusion in this regard is that there is no

objection if a person whose nature is ruled by passion and ignorance

kills animals. However, a person who is situated in the mode

of goodness should not do so, because causing harm to other jivas

is an animalistic propensity. Shri Narada has explained this in

Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.13.47):


ahastani sa-hastanam apadani catus-padam

phalguni tatra mahatam jivo jivasya jivanam


Living entities without hands are prey for those with

hands. Life-forms without legs are food for the four-legged.

Small creatures are subsistence for large ones. In this way,

one living entity is the means of existence for another.


The verdict of Manu-smrti (5.56) is also very clear:


na mamsa-bhaksane dose na madye na ca maithune

pravrttir esa bhutanam nivrttis tu maha-phala


Abstinence from activities such as sexual indulgence, meateating,

and intoxication yields highly beneficial results,

although a human being is naturally inclined to them.


Nyayaratna: Yes, but why do the Vaishnavas object to the sraddha

ceremony and other activities that are meant to repay one's debt

to the forefathers?


Vaishnava dasa: People who are intent on carrying out prescribed

pious duties perform the sraddha ceremony in accordance with the

karma-kanda division of the Vedas. Vaishnavas have no objection

to this, but sastra declares:


devarsi-bhutapta-nrnam pitrnam

na kinkaro nayam rni ca rajan

sarvatmana yah saranam saranyam

gato mukundam parihrtya kartam

Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.41)


O King, when a human being gives up the ego of independence

from Bhagavan and takes full shelter of Shri Mukunda

as the supreme refuge, he is released from his debts to the

devas, the sages, the general living entities, family members,

mankind, and to the forefathers. Such a devotee no longer

remains subordinate to such personalities, nor is he bound

to their service.


Consequently, bhaktas who have taken shelter of Bhagavan are

not required to perform the sraddha ceremony and other karmakanda

activities meant for gaining release from the debt to one's

forefathers. They are instructed to worship Bhagavan, to offer

bhagavat-prasada to the forefathers, and to honor bhagavat-prasada

with their friends and relatives.


Nyayaratna: At what point does one obtain the position and eligibility

to act in this way?


Vaishnava dasa: It is the prerogative of a Vaishnava to act in this

way, and one becomes eligible from the time that one awakens faith

in hari-katha and hari-nama. It is said in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam



tavat karmani kurvita na nirvidyeta yavata

mat-katha-sravanadau va sraddha yavan na jayate


One is obliged to engage in karma and to follow the rules

and prohibitions associated with that path as long as one

has not awakened detachment from fruitive activities and

the results of such activities (such as promotion to the

celestial planets), or as long as one has not awakened faith

in hearing and chanting My lila-katha.


Nyayaratna: I am delighted to hear your explanations. Seeing your

scholarship and fine discrimination, my faith has now been

awakened in vaishnava-dharma. My brother, Harihara, there is no

profit in debating any further. These Vaishnavas are great teachers

among panditas. They are exceedingly expert in extracting the

conclusions of all the sastras. We may say whatever we like to

preserve our occupation, but it is highly doubtful whether anyone

has ever appeared in the land of Bengal, or in all of India for that

matter, who can compare with such a renowned scholar and

exalted Vaishnava as Nimai Pandita. Let us go. The day is waning

and it will be difficult to cross the Ganga after dark.


Nyayaratna and his group of teachers departed, calling out,

"Haribol! Haribol!" The Vaishnavas then began to dance and chant,

"Jaya Shachinandana€````@P@``€``PP@P€°`° `@```ğ`@°°`°°  @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`€@ `P€PP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@€p€€€€€€€pppp````````` P````    ```````€````````_›8œȰ_Ȱ_粜娈粜が粞〼粞!"