Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 25.19-30 , San Francisco , 1967-01-20

Prabhupāda: ...Caitanya Mahāprabhu to the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs. They were convinced with the arguments and presentation of Lord Caitanya. And from that day, not only the sannyāsīs, but also the people in general, they also became very much admirer of Lord Caitanya. So,

lokera saṅghaṭṭa āise prabhure dekhite
nānā śāstre paṇḍita āise śāstra vicārite

[Cc. Madhya 25.19]

[Crowds of people came to see Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu from that day on, and scholars of various scriptures discussed different subject matters with the Lord.]

And because He defeated the Māyāvādī philosopher, many other scholars also began to meet Him personally and talk with Him, argue with Him. So this was going on naturally. Whenever a man becomes prominent, so many others, they come to challenge him. That is natural sequence.

sarva-śāstra khaṇḍi' prabhu bhakti kare sāra
sayuktika vākye mana phirāya sabāra

[Cc. Madhya 25.20]

[When people came to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to discuss the principles of various scriptures, the Lord defeated their false conclusions and established the predominance of devotional service to the Lord. With logic and argument He very politely changed their minds.]

The speciality of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was that He used to put very sound arguments, and He used to defeat His opponents in such a way that they were satisfied. They were not inimical. And with the evidence of śāstra. Not that argumentum-ad-vaculum. He was putting reasonable arguments and evidences from śāstra, scripture.

Sarva-śāstra khaṇḍi' prabhu bhakti kare sāra. And the beauty was that He was defeating all other arguments against devotional service. He was establishing only that "God is great, and we are meant for serving Him." On this basis He was arguing and He was defeating others.

upadeśa lañā kare kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana
sarva-loka hāse, gāya, karaye nartana

[Cc. Madhya 25.21]

[As soon as people received instructions from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they began to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Thus everyone laughed, chanted and danced with the Lord.]

And the whole city became surcharged with Kṛṣṇa kīrtana. Everyone began to dance and sing, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. They may understand or not understand, but the infection was there that everyone was chanting.

prabhure praṇata haila sannyāsīra gaṇa
ātma-madhye goṣṭhī kare chāḍi' adhyayana

[Cc. Madhya 25.22]

[All the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs offered their obeisances unto Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and then began to discuss His movement, giving up their studies of Vedānta and Māyāvāda philosophy.]

Now, so far the sannyāsīs were concerned, they practically gave up their so-called Vedānta study, and they simply began to discuss on the sublime presentation of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and they were enjoying that.

prakāśānandera śiṣya eka tāṅhāra samāna
sabhā-madhye kahe prabhura kariyā sammāna

[Cc. Madhya 25.23]

[One of the disciples of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, who was as learned as his guru, began to speak in that assembly, offering all respects to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.]

So after this incidence, one of the chief disciples of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, he stood up and began to glorify Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu in the following words:

śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya haya 'sākṣāt nārāyaṇa'
'vyāsa-sūtrera' artha karena ati-manorama

[Cc. Madhya 25.24]

[He said, ”Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa Himself. When He explains the Vedānta-sūtra, He does so very nicely.]

The... Amongst the Māyāvāda sannyāsīs, the etiquette is to address one another as Nārāyaṇa. They say, "namo nārāyaṇa," "Everyone is Nārāyaṇa." I address you "namo nārāyaṇa," and you address me "namo nārāyaṇa." A mutual praising society of Nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇa eko āsīt. In the Vedas it is said that only Nārāyaṇa was before creation.

So after creation, all these living entities became Nārāyaṇa. This is their philosophy, that "There is no separate Nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇa has manifested pantheism. Nārāyaṇa has manifested Himself in so many varieties. And the varieties is closed; then again, Nārāyaṇa remains."

So this Māyāvāda sannyāsīs, they address one another as "Nārāyaṇa." And Caitanya Mahāprabhu was also a sannyāsī, so he is addressing Caitanya Mahāprabhu as the supreme Nārāyaṇa, as the chief Nārāyaṇa. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13].

[The Supreme Lord is eternal and the living beings are eternal. The Supreme Lord is cognizant and the living beings are cognizant. The difference is that the Supreme Lord is supplying all the necessities of life for the many other living entities.]

As it is stated in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad, that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the leader of all other personalities. He's also person; we are also person; but He is leader. Of all living entities, He is the supreme living entity. Of all eternals, He is the supreme eternal.

So the disciple of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, he addressed Caitanya Mahāprabhu as the chief Nārāyaṇa, sākṣād-nārāyaṇa. "We are all imitation Nārāyaṇa, but You are the chief Nārāyaṇa." Vyāsa-sūtrera artha karena ati-manorama. "And Caitanya's Mahāprabhu's special qualification is that He presents Vedānta-sūtra in such a nice way that it is wonderful."

upaniṣadera karena mukhyārtha vyākhyāna
śuniyā paṇḍita-lokera juḍāya mana-kāṇa

[Cc. Madhya 25.25]

[Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu explains the direct meaning of the Upaniṣads. When all learned scholars hear this, their minds and ears are satisfied.]

"And He presents the import of Upaniṣad in such a way that everyone becomes pleased by hearing His explanation."

sūtra-upaniṣadera mukhyārtha chāḍiyā
ācārya 'kalpanā' kare āgraha kariyā

[Cc. Madhya 25.26]

[Giving up the direct meaning of the Vedānta-sūtra and the Upaniṣads, Śaṅkarācārya imagines some other interpretation.]

That "So long Śaṅkarācārya, he has imagined some meaning, and therefore that is not so pleasing as much as Caitanya Mahāprabhu's interpretation." Not interpretation; "direct explanation."

ācārya-kalpita artha ye paṇḍita śune
mukhe 'haya' 'haya' kare, hṛdaya nā māne

[Cc. Madhya 25.27]

[All the interpretations of Śaṅkarācārya are imaginary. Such imaginary interpretations are verbally accepted by learned scholars, but they do not appeal to the heart.]

"So we belong to this Māyāvādī sect. Although we hear the Śārīraka-bhāṣya of Śaṅkarācārya and we say, 'Yes, yes,' but actually, it does not appeal to us."

Here is the important point of Māyāvādī philosophers. Every one of them, they say that "I am God," but actually he thinks within himself that "What kind of God I am?" That is the position. But for argument's sake they will play so many things in support of their views, but actually, any sane man will think that "What kind of God I am? I cannot defend myself from the slightest attack of this material nature, and still I claim..."

But they cannot admit frankly. They think like that. That is being admitted here by the chief disciple of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, that "Although we say, 'Yes, this is...,' but it does not appeal to our mind." He is frankly saying.

śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-vākya dṛḍha satya māni
kali-kāle sannyāse 'saṁsāra' nāhi jini

[Cc. Madhya 25.28]

[The words of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu are firm and convincing, and I accept them as true. In this Age of Kali, one cannot be delivered from the material clutches simply by formally accepting the renounced order.]

Now he says that "What Lord Caitanya, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, has said, that is very nice. And we simply accept this sannyāsa order—oh, that will not help us. Simply by accepting, changing the garment, colored garment, and without understanding anything properly or dealing properly, that is not the way for salvation." Because according to Śaṅkarācārya, anyone who accepts sannyāsa, he becomes immediately Nārāyaṇa, God. He immediately becomes God.

So that is being refuted by one of the disciple, that "This is nonsense, that simply by accepting and changing the garment I become God. This is not..." Actually, one has to understand things as they are. So therefore, the explanation as given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that is right.

harer nāma-ślokera yei karilā vyākhyāna
sei satya sukhadārtha parama pramāṇa

[Cc. Madhya 25.29]

[Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s explanation of the verse beginning ’harer nāma harer nāma [Cc. Ādi 17.21]’ is not only pleasing to the ear but is strong, factual evidence.]

Now Caitanya Mahāprabhu has explained before them that "My Guru Mahārāja saw Me a fool. Therefore he has asked Me the 'Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa.' " So "This explanation of Caitanya Mahāprabhu is very nice."

bhakti vinā mukti nahe, bhāgavate kaya
kali-kāle nāmābhāse sukhe mukti haya

[Cc. Madhya 25.30]

[In this Age of Kali, one cannot attain liberation without taking to the devotional service of the Lord. In this age, even if one chants the holy name of Kṛṣṇa imperfectly, he still attains liberation very easily.]

So far salvation is concerned, nobody can be liberated without bhakti, without devotional service. Bhakti vinā, without devotion, or without love of Godhead, without attaining... That is the verdict of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So long one is not a surrendered soul to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no question of liberation from this material world. Bhāgavata says.

Śreyaḥ-sṛtiṁ bhaktim udasya te vibho

[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.]

There's a nice verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It is said there that śreyaḥ-sṛtim, the real path of salvation, śreyaḥ-sṛtim, bhaktim, that is devotional service, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Śreyah-sṛtiṁ bhaktim. Bhaktim udasya te vibho. If somebody gives up the path of devotional service, kliśyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye, and wastes time simply for understanding that "This is not Brahman, this is not Brahman..."

That is the way of Māyāvādī philosophers. They scrutinize that "This is māyā and this is Brahman"; therefore they are called Māyāvāda. Simply, what is not Brahman... They say it is one, but simply they distinguish, "This is māyā, this is Brahman." Why this is māyā? They say... Wherefrom the māyā comes? Then it becomes dualism actually. Although they say that "We are monists, one," but they explain that this māyā is illusion. Māyā is temporary, and actually, everything is one. Eko brahma dvitīya nāsti.

But the Vaiṣṇava philosophy is that "Yes. It is..." It is called viśiṣṭādvaitavāda. We also say, "Yes, one," but one in variety. There are varieties. We don't say that māyā is something external. Māyā is there. Māyā is there. It is not external. It may be inferior, as it is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā that material energy, the material nature is inferior.

That does not mean infer... Some part of my body is inferior. That does not mean it has no existence. It is not mithyā. They say everything mithyā. Mithyā means false. So inferior part of my body there may be, but it is not false. Similarly, the māyā, māyā is not false. It is temporary.

So the Bhāgavata says, simply to understand "This is not Brahman. This is māyā, this is not Brahman," if you go on speculating and without any interest for devotional service or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then teṣām asau kleśala eva śiṣyate [SB 10.14.4, Cc. Madhya 22.22].

So their advancement in self-realization is simply troublesome. Troublesome. They simply take the trouble of discriminating that "This is māyā; this is Brahman. This is false; this is reality." Because they have no other engagement. For a devotee there are so many engagements, but the Māyāvādī philosopher takes it for granted that these devotees' activities...

"They are cooking for Kṛṣṇa or they are offering prasādam to Kṛṣṇa, they are decorating Kṛṣṇa, or they are singing for Kṛṣṇa, glorifying Kṛṣṇa—these are all māyic activities," they say. Because this bhakti-mārga is not appealing to them. They simply want to...

Similarly, the bhaktas also say that "You are simply wasting time. Real thing is Kṛṣṇa. Just engage yourself in the service of Kṛṣṇa." They also say, "Kṛṣṇa is also māyā." According to them, Kṛṣṇa is also māyā. And Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā says that they are fools. How? Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā. Mūḍha means "The fools, they minimize Me. They decry at Me." Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritaḥ [Bg. 9.11].

[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.]

"Because I come as incarnation, therefore the fools, they consider..., or they deride at Me." Paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto. They do not know the background of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Mama bhūta-maheśvaram. Kṛṣṇa says, "I am the Supreme Lord." They do not know. Who do not know? The Māyāvādīs, they do not know.

So therefore their labor of love for discriminating what is māyā and what is not māyā is simply troublesome. Teṣām kleśala eva avaśiṣyate nānyad yathā sthūla-tuṣāvaghātinām. Just like the skins of rice, when it is taken, there is no more grain. So the grain is separated from the skin by beating. There is a beating machine in India.

That is a crude, original way of separating the grain from the skin. So when the skin is out from the grain, if you simply beat the skin, no more there is grain. So similarly, if you make minus Kṛṣṇa, then the study of Bhagavad-gītā is simply waste of time and labor of love. That's all. "Not Kṛṣṇa."

This means, this Māyāvāda philosophy means simply taking trouble. Bhagavad-gītā is all full, simply Kṛṣṇa. To understand this, it is a science of Kṛṣṇa. And if somebody says, "It is not Kṛṣṇa," then what is that? Simply waste of time and labor. The same thing: the grain is taken out. Simply the skin, enjoy the skin. What is there in the skin?

So this is the verdict of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that,

śreyaḥ-sṛtiṁ bhaktim udasya te vibho
kliśyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye

[SB 10.14.4, Cc. Madhya 22.22]

[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.]

Bodha-labdhaye. They stress on knowledge. What is this knowledge? You can talk on any insignificant thing for many years. That is not knowledge. Just like in the present modern civilization, so many nonsense articles without any utility, or volumes of volumes of books are sold in the market. There is nothing, no substance. Take for this newspaper. Especially in your country, volumes of papers in the news. Just after glancing over, it is thrown away. That's all. No more use.

Just as the newspaper is published early in the morning, and just in the afternoon it is useless, it is heap of paper only, because there is no substance. Nobody can take any interest. But see Bhagavad-gītā, it is..., five thousand years before it was published, and a few pages only, and how much care is being taken after Bhagavad-gītā. Because there is substance.

Similarly, if you don't accept the substance, simply if you are busy with the skin... In Bengal it is called cavara nia tanake. Cavara means skin. You have seen coconut. The coconut is covered by heavy, what is called, fibers. So if you give up the coconut and simply quarrel with the fibers, what profit is there? There is no profit.

Similarly, if you give up God, or Kṛṣṇa, who is the essence of everything, and you make your advancement in scientific knowledge, in physics and chemistry and so many departments of knowledge, so according to Bhāgavata this is simply waste of time. Simply waste of time.

But what we'll gain? Kevala-bodha-labdhaye. Suppose you understand in your human form of life the whole constitution of the universe... That is stated in Bible also, that "If somebody understands everything, but not God, then what does he gain?"

Similarly, there is another verse in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that one may be very much expert to count even the atoms of the universe. You smash the universe and grind it into powder, and you just count all the atoms. That is possible. But still, it is not possible to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore who understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he understands everything. Tasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavanti [Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3].

[If one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the controller of all controllers, one can understand everything else.]

If somebody understand the Supreme Absolute Truth, Personality of Godhead, he understands everything, because He is everything.

So we should not make progress in the negative way, leaving aside... Just like you do not know what you are. You are studying this body. If I do not find out who is the proprietor of the body, who is sitting in the body so that this body is so nice, fresh, and walking and moving... That you do not find. But you simply... You're studying... What is called? Physiological condition, anatomical condition and metabolism, this or that.

There are so many big, big names. But a real, the proprietor of the body... The doctors are sitting, analyzing. But as soon as the soul passes, they cannot explain what happened, what happened to this meta..., I mean to say, anatomy and physiology. They stand fools.

So this is going on. The essence of the thing, the essence of the manifestation, cosmic manifestation, they have missed. They're simply analyzing the outward cover. That's all. That sort of analysis is compared here as simply beating the bush. That's all. [laughter] It has no value.

All right. [end]