Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 22.21-28 , New York , 1967-01-11


kevala jñāna 'mukti' dite nāre bhakti vine
kṛṣṇonmukhe sei mukti haya jñāna vinā

[Cc. Madhya 22.21]

[Speculative knowledge alone, without devotional service, is not able to give liberation. On the other hand, even without knowledge one can obtain liberation if one engages in the Lord’s devotional service.]

Mukti, liberation... The impersonalists think that simply by cultivating knowledge that "I am not matter; I am spirit," or "I am one with the Supreme Spirit; I am now... Out of ignorance, I am thinking different, but when I am fully elevated to the platform of knowledge, then I become liberated." But the..., there is no answer that "Why you have become conditioned?"

The impersonalists think that "I am one with the Supreme. Now, due to my ignorance, I have forgotten that I am the Supreme." Because they do not recognize the Supreme Personality of Godhead, so they think that impersonal conception of the spirit soul: "I am now... Out of ignorance, I am thinking matter, but as soon as my ignorance is over, I shall become one with the Supreme."

So this is the theory of the impersonalist. But they... They cannot give any answer that "Why you have become under the influence of ignorance? If you are the Supreme, then what is the cause that you have become conditioned? Then the Supreme it become conditioned under the material nature. Then how one can become the Supreme? Supreme cannot be conditioned."

So there is no answer for this question from the impersonalists' school. But real fact is that the Supreme never falls down. The part and parcel of the Supreme, they fall down—some of them; not all. So therefore the living entity, they are different from the Supreme. They are one in quality with the Supreme, but not in quantity.

So Lord Caitanya says that "Simply by thinking that 'I am not this matter; I am spirit soul, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, I am Brahman,' that will not help you to get liberation." The real fact is that the individual living entities, they are part and parcel of the Supreme, but somehow or other, they wanted separation from the Supreme and wanted to lord it over the material nature.

Therefore they are entangled. That is the real fact. And as such, we find from the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord asked that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]: "Just surrender."

[Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.]

So therefore, unless there is surrender of the individual soul to the Supreme, there is no question of liberation. There is no question of liberation. You can cultivate knowledge that "I am not this body; I am spirit soul," but that will not help for your liberation. Because real thing is that you have or we have rebelled against the supremacy of the Supreme Lord.

That is the attitude, everywhere we can see actually. Everyone is: "Oh, what is God? What is God?" especially in this age. So this impersonalism is another type of atheism, and this impersonal theory of the Absolute Truth has converted practically the major portion of the world into atheism. So therefore Lord Caitanya says that simply by cultivation of knowledge that "I am not this matter. I am not this matter. I am spirit soul," that will not help.

Now He gives again evidence from scriptures. Every step, whatever He says, He gives some evidence from authoritative scripture. Mostly He gives evidence from Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, because for the Vaiṣṇava school these two books are sufficient for acquiring knowledge. So far Vedānta-sūtra is concerned, Bhāgavata is Vedānta-sūtra itself.

Bhāgavata is the natural commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra. Therefore one who has sufficient knowledge in Bhāgavata, he has automatically sufficient knowledge in Vedānta-sūtra. According to Vedic system, one must have sufficient knowledge in Vedānta-sūtra. Then he'll be considered as learned in spiritual science.

So Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, although the Vaiṣṇavas, they have got their commentaries on Vedānta-sūtra, but this Caitanya Mahāprabhu's sampradāya, they did not make any commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra because they belonged to the disciplic succession of Vyāsadeva. So Vyāsadeva is the spiritual master. So the later ācārya, they did not think it proper that whatever the...

Because their spiritual master has had already made a commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra, "Oh, that is sufficient. Why should we do again?" These are some of the etiquettes. Anyway, the Vedānta-sūtra... And Bhāgavata is natural commentary on Vedānta-sūtra, and Lord Caitanya therefore gives evidence from the Bhāgavata generally, and Purāṇas also, Mahābhārata and every, I mean to say, Upaniṣad. They are all authorities. But especially He gives evidences from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Now, so far in confirmation of this statement that knowledge, cultivation of knowledge, is not sufficient to give one liberation—one must take to devotional service. Devotional service plus knowledge is just like gold with flavor. Yes. So, of course, those who are engaged in devotional service, their knowledge automatically comes. They are not fools. Those who are actually, seriously in devotional service, in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they will not lack in knowledge, because you'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā that the Lord says that,

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te

[To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.]

Those who are engaged in transcendental loving service of Kṛṣṇa, for them knowledge automatically comes from within, because Kṛṣṇa is within us. So a sincere soul in Kṛṣṇa consciousness will not lack in knowledge. And in the Vedic literature also it is confirmed:

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

[Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23]

[Unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master, all the imports of Vedic knowledge are automatically revealed.]

The Vedic knowledge, revelation, to whom it is revealed? It is revealed to a person who has unflinching faith and love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead as well as to the spiritual master. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. As much he has got faith in the Supreme, similarly he has faith in the spiritual master. Such a person gets revelation of the Vedic knowledge from within.

So those who are actually serious in engaging themselves in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, devotional service, for them knowledge is secondary. Knowledge automatically revealed to them. And those who do not take to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, devotional service, simply indulge in dry speculation, for them liberation is not possible. Not possible. So Lord Caitanya gives one evidence from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from Tenth Canto:

śreyaḥ-sṛtiṁ bhaktim udasya te vibho
kliśyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye
teṣām asau kleśala eva śiṣyate
nānyad yathā sthūla-tuṣāvaghātinām

[My dear Lord, devotional service unto You is the best path for self-realization. If someone gives up that path and engages in the cultivation of speculative knowledge, he will simply undergo a troublesome process and will not achieve his desired result. As a person who beats an empty husk of wheat cannot get grain, one who simply speculates cannot achieve self-realization. His only gain is trouble.]

Real knowledge means to understand the last word of the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and surrender unto Him, after knowledge. As it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]:

[After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.]

"After many, many births, one who is actually in knowledge, he surrenders."

So Śrīmad-Bhāgavata practically confirms the same, that śreyaḥ-sṛtiṁ bhaktim udasya te vibho. Any person who does not take to the devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, simply indulge in dry speculation, kliśyanti, takes trouble..., kliśyanti means "takes trouble"; ye, "persons"; kevala-bodha-lab..., simply to understand that "This is not matter, this is not spirit, this is not...," like that, and that there is no separate Supersoul, only one soul is there, and this conception of individual soul is misunderstanding, ignorance—in this way, there are volumes of books of..., by Śaṅkarācārya especially, and later on, his disciples.

They are very, very learned scholars, undoubtedly. By their scholastic jugglery they want to cover the Supreme Personality of God. They do not want to cover; they think that they are advanced. But Kṛṣṇa covers Himself so that they may not understand Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa does not want. Kṛṣṇa wants that one should surrender and take to devotional service.

So Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ [Bg. 7.25]:

[I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My eternal creative potency [yoga-māyā]; and so the deluded world knows Me not, who am unborn and infallible.]

"I do not reveal Myself to everyone, one and all. No. I cover Myself." So these impersonalist, due to their, I mean to say, less intelligence, or misfortune, they cannot see Kṛṣṇa. So therefore, for them this remark is here, that śreyaḥ-sṛtim, that "Actually what is auspicious, devotional service, if somebody gives that path away and takes to simply dry speculation, simply to understand..." Because jñāna means to understand what is the difference between matter and spirit. So they, of course, indulge in that process of knowledge.

But simply by that speculation the result is that teṣām asau kleśala eva śiṣyate [SB 10.14.4]. The trouble which they accept for discriminating matter from spirit... There is trouble. You have to see so many Vedic literatures, and you have to understand the instruction of Upaniṣads and logic, and so many things there are to, I mean to say, back your understanding.

So teṣām kleśala eva..., their..., their profit is that the trouble which they accept for studying so many Vedic literatures to prove that the Absolute Truth is not person, that trouble is their profit, and nothing more. Kleśala eva, teṣām asau kleśala eva śiṣyate: "They do not get any other profit except that troublesome business." That's all. Teṣāṁ kleśala eva śiṣyate [SB 10.14.4].

How it is? The example is, nānyad yathā sthūla-tuṣāvaghātinām: "Just like husking the grain to take out the skin." Now, there are many grains which are skin over. So there is process of taking out the skin out of the grain. So if the grain is already taken out, only the skins are left. Then, if you husk on it and beat to get out the grains, so there is no possibility to get any grains from them, because the grain is already taken out. So that is the trouble. Simply, I mean, beating the skin is no good. We must have some concrete result. That concrete result is one who is directly engaged in the transcendental service, loving service of the Supreme Lord. That is recommended.

daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te

[Bg. 7.14]

[This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.]

So the same thing is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, Seventh Chapter, that the Lord says that... This is also another influence of māyā, illusion. Just like under the spell of illusion we are thinking that "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am king," "I am big man," "I am poor man"—so many we have got—and this is all due to this body, bodily conception. It has no actual standing. It is all..., they are all designation.

Similarly, the last snare of māyā is to, I mean to say, induce one to think that "I am God." Just like we are under the spell of illusion. We are thinking, "I am this and that, this and that." So after many, many years' cultivation of knowledge, if one comes to the conclusion that "I am God. There is no other second God. I am God," so that is also another spell of illusion.

So the Bhagavad-gītā says that daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā. One is trying to get out of the clutches of the illusory energy, but it is very difficult. Up to the last point the māyā, illusion, will offer you something so that she will baffle your endeavor to get out of her clutches. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā. Then how to get out of her hand? Mām eva prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti... Only process is just you surrender to Kṛṣṇa, and māyā will not any more interfere with your business. So therefore surrender is the only process by which you can get out of the clutches of māyā.

'kṛṣṇa-nitya-dāsa'-jīva tāhā bhuli' gela
ei doṣe māyā tāra galāya bāndhila

[Cc. Madhya 22.24]

[The living entity is bound around the neck by the chain of māyā because he has forgotten that he is eternally a servant of Kṛṣṇa.]

Just like we become..., sometimes we take a pet dog with shackles on the neck, similarly we are under the spell..., we are pet dogs of the illusory energy, with shackles. You see? So why? Now, 'kṛṣṇa-nitya-dāsa'-jīva tāhā bhuli' gela, that "The living entity is eternally servitor of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. That he has forgotten." That he has forgotten. Therefore...

[break] ...galāya bāndhila. Just like the dog is shackled on the..., we are in that way shackled.

tāte kṛṣṇa bhaje, kare gurura sevana
māyā-jāla chuṭe, pāya kṛṣṇera caraṇa

[Cc. Madhya 22.25]

[If the conditioned soul engages in the service of the Lord and simultaneously carries out the orders of his spiritual master and serves him, he can get out of the clutches of māyā and become eligible for shelter at Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.]

Therefore, if one agrees to serve Kṛṣṇa under the direction of spiritual master, follows the instruction of spiritual master, and engages himself in the service of the Supreme Lord, māyā-jāla chuṭe, pāya kṛṣṇera caraṇa, then he can get out of this network of illusory energy, and pāya kṛṣṇera caraṇa, and he can get the shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

cāri varṇāśramī yadi kṛṣṇa nāhi bhaje
svakarma karite se raurave paḍi' maje

[Cc. Madhya 22.26]

[The followers of the varṇāśrama institution accept the regulative principles of the four social orders [brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra] and four spiritual orders [brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa]. However, if one carries out the regulative principles of these orders but does not render transcendental service to Kṛṣṇa, he falls into a hellish condition of material life.]

Cāri varṇa. Cāri varṇa means four castes, four division of human society: the brāhmaṇa, the kṣatriyas, the vaiśyas and the śūdra. They have got their specific duties. One who is brāhmaṇa, he has got his specific duty. Culture..., cultivation of knowledge is their first and foremost duty. Similarly, kṣatriya, he has got his specific duty. The fore and foremost is to establish good administration in the state. And vaiśya, he has got also specific duty.

What is that? Cow protection and agriculture. That is the duty of vaiśya. And the śūdras, they have no responsibility; therefore they serve these three higher class: the intelligent class, engaged in cultivation of knowledge; the administrator class, who are engaged in good government; and the mercantile class, who are looking to the productive side of this society.

So this is natural. There is no denying the fact. In every society there is a natural division. A certain class of men, they are intelligent class, a certain class of men, they are take part in politics, and a certain class of men, they delight in doing business. And there are certain classes—they do not do anything; simply by serving, they maintain themselves. So these four classes are there.

So according to Vedic civilization, these four classes are also recommended to serve the Supreme Lord. Supreme Lord. With their professional occupation, they want..., they have to, they have to serve the Supreme Lord. That is the injunction of the Vedic literature.

cāri varṇāśramī yadi kṛṣṇa nāhi bhaje
svakarma karite se raurave paḍi' maje

[Cc. Madhya 22.26]

Therefore Lord Caitanya says that suppose an intelligent brāhmaṇa, he's very learned scholar and great philosopher, big thinker... Everything is all right. But he has no relationship in the matter of rendering service to the Supreme Lord. That is minus. That means learned scholar minus Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Similarly, a learned politician, able administrator, minus Kṛṣṇa consciousness... Similarly, a successful businessman minus Kṛṣṇa consciousness... Or the śūdras...

AAnyone, if he is minus Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then the result is that svakarma karite se raurave paḍi' maje: "By doing, by executing his specific duty, he's going to hell." Hell. It is a fact. He's thinking that "I am doing my duty," but he's going to hell. So this is a version of Lord Caitanya. He, even if he does his duty very nicely, still, he's going to hell. Raurave paḍi' maje. Raurave means hell. And again He gives evidence from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

puruṣasyāśramaiḥ saha
catvāro jajñire varṇā
guṇair viprādayaḥ pṛthak

[Cc. Madhya 22.27]

[From the mouth of Brahmā, the brahminical order has come into existence. Similarly, from his arms the kṣatriyas have come, from his waist the vaiśyas have come, and from his legs the śūdras have come. These four orders and their spiritual counterparts [brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa] combine to make human society complete.]

ya eṣāṁ puruṣaṁ sākṣād-
ātma-prabhavam īśvaram
na bhajanty avajānanti
sthānād bhraṣṭāḥ patanty adhaḥ

[Cc. Madhya 22.28]

[If one simply maintains an official position in the four varṇas and āśramas but does not worship the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu, he falls down from his puffed-up position into a hellish condition.]

In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata, Eleventh Canto, these two verses are there. What is that? Mukha-bāhūru-pādebhyaḥ puruṣasyāśramaiḥ saha. Now, according to Vedic conception of social life, there are four divisions of social order and four divisions of spiritual order. The four divisions of social order is the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra; and spiritual order is the sannyāsī, vānaprastha, gṛhastha and brahmacārī. To become a brahmacārī means to make advance in spiritual life. And the social order is there, the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriya. So it is called varṇāśrama-dharma.

Actually, Hindu... There is no such word as "Hindu" religion. We don't find in the Vedic scripture. Hindu religion... This "Hindu" word is given by the Muhammadans. They, they, they generally pronounce i as h. They... So there is river in the west, western side of India. There is river, Indus, Indus River. So Indus River the Muhammadans used to call "Hindus." From "Hindus" it has come to Hindustan, "the place of the Hindus."

So Hindu, Hindu religion is a modern term given by the foreigners. Actually the Indians, the bhāratīya, they, their religion is varṇāśrama-dharma, religion of four castes and four spiritual orders. Four spiritual orders and four social orders. The persons who follow these four orders of social status and four orders of spiritual advancement, they are called varṇāśrama. So "Hindu religion" is a miscalculation. Really, they are called varṇāśrama-dharma. That is the Vedic term.

Thank you very much. [end]