Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta & Daśa Mūla Tattva #1

Lecture on Śrī Śrī Caitaya Śikṣāmṛta and Daśa Mūla Tattva #1, given in Bhaktivedānta Academy, Śrī Māyāpura, as part of Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta and Daśa Mūla Tattva Course, a Precursor course to the study of Śāstra Cakṣus of Bhaktivedānta Theological Seminary


His Holiness Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Svāmī Mahārāja: Okay, reading from the Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta... You gave him? Yeah.

Reading from Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta & Daśa Mūla Tattva Study Guide:


By the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, five hundred years after His appearance, there are many learned people engaged in specialized research and cultivation of knowledge in various parts of the world. The result of their hard efforts, like rays of light, drive out the darkness from the hearts of those eager for knowledge. The youth of this country, obtaining all this material knowledge at universities, gain an acquaintance with their way of thinking. In their extensive studies, many have also studied the works of different preachers of religion in India and elsewhere. They have come to the conclusion that there is no teacher equal to Śrī Caitanya and that there is no religion equal to pure Vaiṣṇava dharma. Inspired by this conclusion, thousands of men now desire to know the teachings of Śrī Caitanya and the meaning of Vaiṣṇava dharma.

Wise men have conviction that the religion of humanity cannot be many. The eternal religion of mankind cannot be divided into extremely opposing factions. At root, eternal religion must be only one. Why have many religions then arisen? The correct answer is that the religion or dharma of man is one when the soul is in a pure condition.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, when the soul is not... How you say? Understands actually its proper place and its desires for pure devotion, then you get one religion. If we see that the living entity actually is harbouring all kinds of materialistic desires separate from the religion, then you are going to end up with many religions. Does that make sense?

Because Vaiṣṇava-dharma, the eternal religion is everybody is surrendered and serves Kṛṣṇa. That’s what happens, everyone serves Viṣṇu. So if you find that someone wants to basically be pious, but enjoy the material facility, attain to heavenly pleasures... Like so many religions say if you worship God then you attain the heavenly pleasures. They don’t say, 'Worship God and you attain love for God.' If you say to develop love of God is a good thing, they will all agree, but their main drive is heavenly pleasures or to not go to hell. One of the, something like that. So that itself then is not actually the pure state of the soul. Therefore you have various religions in the world. Otherwise it would only be one.

Reading from Study Guide: When the soul becomes conditioned, the dharma takes two forms: conditional and unconditional. Unconditional dharma does not differ no matter what country it is found in. When the soul takes on material designation and consequently different place, time and body, due to variety in matter, conditional dharma makes its appearance in different countries and at different times. Conditional dharma takes on different forms and names in different countries. The dharma of the soul becomes unconditioned to the extent that the soul becomes freed from material conceptions. When the jīvas reach the unconditioned state, they have only one dharma.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Does that make sense? So in the conditioned state they are conditioned by the material energy and that is also part of the consideration, so according to the time, the place, the circumstances, the country, and that then different religions are manifest at different time to fulfil the desire and needs of those people. But as they become purified, when it comes to the unconditioned state, then there is only one religion, that is Vaiṣṇava-dharma.

Reading from Study Guide: Śrī Caitanya taught this eternal dharma to the jīvas of this world; it is called pure Vaiṣṇava dharma.

"Lord Caitanya dispatched the two generals Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī to Vṛndāvana to preach the bhakti cult. As Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī were sent toward Mathurā, so Nityānanda Prabhu was sent to Bengal to preach extensively the revelations of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally went to South India, and He broadcast the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa in every village and town." (C.C. Ādi 7, 164-66)

( All of Śrī Caitanya's teachings-whatever they may be - are discussed in terms of three divisions: sambandha....)

Prabhu (1): Mahārāja, there is one page missing... This one...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: [indistinct] So I just skipped it backwards... Sometimes all the pages blow off... Oh, probably blew off and then didn't get it back... Okay, go ahead.

Prabhu (2): Somebody just printed another page. Page 2 is this.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, two is what I am leaving there...

Reading from Study Guide: Listen to the instruction that the Lord Himself gave the world, through His orders to His commissioned generals:

"Therefore I order every man within this universe to accept this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and distribute it everywhere. One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all other people." (C.C. Ādi 9. 36, 41)

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, the 41 is what we always hear about, but this other, he says, Lord Caitanya already ordered everybody to take it up. So then, but specifically at least in India. So He gives it both: In general every human being, but specifically those from India.

Reading from Study Guide: Is it any surprise then, that a person would give up the teachings of spokesmen of various religions and simply desire to learn the pure Vaiṣṇava dharma of Śrī Caitanya? It is necessary that we give the teachings of Śrī Caitanya to the world at the present time.

However, taking this opportunity, some unintelligent persons have attempted to mislead the educated people by preaching their own doctrines. Some people, giving up the correct path, have taken up a speculative path, cheating themselves and the world. At the moment, we must therefore, to the best of our ability, make a sincere attempt to help the innocent, educated youth. In such an auspicious work there are none of the obstacles that arise in selfish acts. Many people, with motives of self-interest, can take advantage and preach impure doctrines. However, dear readers, we have no type of self-interest at heart. We do not desire wealth, fame, surrender, or respect as an ācārya. We have only the desire to make the people understand and appreciate the teachings of Śrī Caitanya - to the extent of our own appreciation - by the mercy of devotees.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So there is the humility is that others will understand, but to the degree that we are understanding. But now we also know to the degree he understands then that is perfection, because he is already in prema-bhakti, so not a bad determination.

Reading from Study Guide: Some time ago I happened to see one new publication called Śrī Caitanya Bodhinī. The authors had vowed to give the pure teachings of Śrī Caitanya to the world. The vow is not bad, but the system they proposed to gather Śrī Caitanya' s teachings is very dangerous. The authors thought that they could extract the Lord's teachings from the Saṁskṛt works of the Gosvāmīs. They forgot that the essence of the Gosvāmīs' works is contained in the Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta. It is sufficient to take this work in order to present the teachings of Śrī Caitanya to the world. There is no one as learned as Kavirāja Gosvāmī today. Anyone who thinks that he can extract the essence from the Sanskrit works of the Gosvāmīs better than Kavirāja Gosvāmī is certainly worthless and foolish. I have firm conviction that by presenting to the world clearly the teachings of Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta, nothing else need be known. However, many topics in Kavirāja's work are described in a cryptic way. In those places it is best to const the Sandarbhas, Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu and other works of the Gosvāmīs in order to clarify matters. The aim of the Caitanya Bodhinī however was to bypass the superior authority. In the present work we will reveal the teachings of Śrī Caitanya clearly, based on the statements of Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So all the quotes are from there.

Reading from Study Guide: I have one request to the readers. The teachings of Mahāprabhu are a very confidential science. Without applying proper concentration one cannot understand them. It is a common practice nowadays to go to sleep after eating while reading a novel. One cannot read this book in that manner. These teachings are the esoteric truths of the Vedas and Vedānta sūtras. If one slowly reads these teachings with faith and concentration while discussing the topics with devotees, the truths will be properly understood. Therefore give up the bad habit and attentively study the ten topics presented in this book.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, there you can also see, is because the novels were popular and people were reading them, then Bhaktiviṇoda Ṭhākura himself wrote two novels to present Lord Caitanya’s teachings. So those who wouldn’t read the spiritual literature then he wrote novels so that they could do. So, Bhaktiviṇoda Ṭhākura... I mean, Śrīla Prabhupāda mentioned that this book and the Jaiva-dharma, these two contain all the teachings of Bhaktiviṇoda Ṭhākura. Others will get some detail of this or that, but everything is contained within these two books.

Reading from Study Guide: All of Śrī Caitanya's teachings-whatever they it may be-are discussed in terms of three divisions: sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay, so here is also another thing. I mean, here is another establishment that when Lord Caitanya is making that point then it is not… No, this is a different place. So that one that we were quoting before, that is another one. Okay.

Reading from Study Guide: 

veda śāstre kahe, sambandha, abhidheya, prayojana

kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa-bhakti, prema-tina mahādhana

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Because we always quote that other one. Because he is saying that these are topics in the Veda. But you could also then read it depending on how it is, you want to argue it that 'Rhat's three topics, there is other topics also.' But what has been pointed out here: in terms of three divisions. "All of Śrī Caitanya's teachings-whatever they it may be - are discussed in terms of three divisions." That means, everything is discussed in three, and Lord Caitanya is giving the essence, and Lord Caitanya is Kṛṣṇa. So whatever there is is in these three. And now here we are getting into also…

Reading from Study Guide: 

mukhya gauṇa vṛtti, kiṁva anvaya vyatireke

vedera pratijñā kevala kahaye kṛṣṇake

"In the Vedic literatures, Kṛṣṇa is the central point of attraction, and His service is our activity. To attain the platform of love of Kṛṣṇa is life's ultimate goal. Therefore Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa's service and love of Kṛṣṇa are the three great riches of life."

"When one accepts Vedic literature by interpretation or even by dictionary meaning, directly or indirectly, the ultimate declaration of Vedic knowledge points to Lord Kṛṣṇa." (C.C.Madhya 20.143, 146)

The meaning is this. Vedas are the scriptural authority. What the Vedas state is true. Any religious person must act according to the instructions of the Vedas. The ultimate aim of the Vedic literature is to reveal Kṛṣṇa as the only Lord, either by secondary, or indirect interpretation of the statements, or by primary or direct meaning of the statements. In other words, if one examines the sambandha or principle of relationships described in the Vedas, one will find no one except Kṛṣṇa. On considering the abhidheya or process recommended in the Vedas, only devotion to Kṛṣṇa will be found.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, he is saying here that the Veda is the authority. There is no other authority. So whether you deal with it by direct meanings or indirect meanings, your primary or secondary, you still are going to come up with Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So, therefore then if you are examining sambandha everything goes back to Kṛṣṇa, every aspect. Now he goes on to abhidheya.

Reading from Study Guide: On considering the abhidheya or process recommended in the Vedas… 

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So the Vedas are describing the relationship, everything goes back to Kṛṣṇa, and he is describing now the process recommended in the Vedas and that only devotion to Kṛṣṇa. Right?

Reading from Study Guide: On considering the abhidheya or process recommended in the Vedas, only devotion to Kṛṣṇa will be found. In considering the prayojana or goal of the scriptures, only Kṛṣṇa-prema will be found. In order to discuss in detail the sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana, the ten conclusions taught by Śrī Caitanya will first be presented in the form of one verse, and later, each topic will be discussed separately in detail.

āmnāyaḥ prāha tattvaṁ harim iha paramaṁ sarva-śaktim rasābdhiṁ

tad bhinnāṁsāṁś ca jīvān prakṛti-kavalitān tad-vimuktāṁś ca bhāvāt

bhedābedha-prakāśaṁ sakalam api hareḥ sādhanaṁ śuddha-bhaktiṁ

sādhyaṁ tat-prītim evety upadiśati janān gaura-candraḥ svayaṁ saḥ

HH BVPS Mahārāja: This is, means because Lord Caitanya, He spoke this. There is also a verse Madhvācārya quotes that he gives nine prameyas, so he also got that from Lord Caitanya because all the ācāryas, they all met Lord Caitanya at some point.

Reading from Study Guide: The Supreme Lord Gauracandra has taught ten principles to the jīvas:

1. The statements of āmnāya are the chief proof. By these statements the following nine topics are taught.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, everything is based on the Veda and what the Veda teaches is three things: sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana. Then within that the major aspects that are important then are broken down. There are seven aspects of sambandha, then abhidheya and prayojana. Of these seven aspects three are about Kṛṣṇa, three about the living entity and one is about their relationship.

Reading from Study Guide: 

2. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Absolute Truth.

3. Kṛṣṇa is endowed with all energies.

4. Kṛṣṇa is the ocean of rasa.

5. The jīvas are all separated parts of the Lord.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right, that's their position.

Reading from Study Guide: 

6. In bound state the jīvas are under the influence of matter, due to their taṭastha nature.

7. In the liberated state the jīvas are free from the influence of matter, due to their taṭastha nature.

8. The jīvas and the material world are both different from and identical to the Lord.

9. Pure devotion is the practice of the jīvas.

10. Pure love of Kṛṣṇa is the goal.

The first topic concerns the nature of proof (pramāṇa). The next seven topics concern the sambandha which is ascertained in the Vedas. The ninth topic concerns the abhidheya or means. The tenth topic concerns the goal or prayojana. If the topics are divided into two groups - source of knowledge (pramāṇa) and what is proven by the source of knowledge (prameya), the first topic is pramāṇa and the rest are prameya. Among the sambandha topics the first three define Kṛṣṇa and the next three define the jīva. The seventh sambandha topic deals with the relation between the jīva and Kṛṣṇa, inconceivable difference and non-difference. Please concentrate on each of these topics as they are discussed.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So even he is writing a book, he is writing it as a teacher. You can see, he is still speaking in a way that people will learn. So this is clear? I mean, we have gone through it before, so it should be all right.

Reading from Study Guide: 

CHAPTER TWO - Āmnāya Vākya is the Final Proof

What is the meaning of āmnāya vākya (authoritative statement or knowledge)? Concerning this, there is the following kārikā (verse):

HH BVPS Mahārāja: A kārikā is a verse that is giving... It's like a verse form of kind-of like giving a specific instruction. It is like if you have a main verse and you have a kārikā, a kārikā will give detail about it, a very specific kind of application.

Reading from Study Guide: 

āmnāyah śrutayaḥ sāksād brahma-vidyeti viśrutaḥ

guru-paramparā prāptāḥ viśva kartuḥ hi brahmaṇaḥ

"Āmnāya refers to the scriptures called brahma-vidyā or knowledge of Brahman originating from Brahmā, the creator of the universe and passed down by disciplic succession."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So you have these scriptures called brahma-vidyā, transcendental knowledge, knowledge of Brahman originating from Brahmā. So the Vedic literature is about transcendental subject matter and it has been given to us by Lord Brahmā, so then what we are getting is coming down in disciplic succession, so that is important.

Reading from Study Guide: 

That the knowledge was passed down from Brahmā is stated in Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad:

"Brahmā, the creator of the universe and protector of the worlds, the first among the devatās, taught brahma vidyā, the basis of all knowledge, to his eldest son Atharva."

"He taught that knowledge by which the indestructible Supreme Person can be known in his true form." 

(Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.1.1, 1.2.13)

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So now, it is interesting to note here, he taught it to his eldest son Atharva. So then this gets the thing, then you have the Atharva Veda because everything is in it. So all the, the whole Veda was taught to him, because it says 'this indestructible knowledge,' because it refers to the scriptures called brahma-vidyā, or knowledge of Brahman. So all that was taught to Atharva. That is why some of this is... We establish it when, that originally there is one Veda, and that is the Atharva Veda, or some will say there is one Veda and that is the Ṛg. So, that is not wrong because the Ṛgs are the primary verses in the Veda and everything goes back to the Ṛgs, so then you can say that is the one Veda and from the Ṛgs you get the Yajurs, the Sāmans and what is left over is in the Atharva. But originally then those Ṛgs and prose and Sāmans were in the Atharva, were all together as one Veda, and then it is the Atharva. Because Atharva is like 'miscellaneous', so then it is natural that it would be there. Also I think it is in one place it says that the Yajur is the prominent because that is the ritual and how it is applied. No one says the Sāma Veda was the original. It has always been the prayers.

Reading from Study Guide:

Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad says:

"From the Supreme Person's breath came the four Vedas, the histories, the Purāṇas, the Upaniṣads, the verses and Sūtras and all the anuvyākhyās (commentaries)."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So that means, all these different things come. But what it means, it didn’t mean that there weren’t four Vedas, it is just that they were all combined together as one. Because the Veda would have Ṛgs, prose just explaining the rituals, it would have the prayers, in other words sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana, and then miscellaneous topics. So they would all be mixed-up together, but it is not that those four aren’t there. So Vedavyāsa compiled them, broke them up into four separate books so they can be seen, but otherwise they were four books, but combined together as one body of knowledge. Does that make sense?

Reading from Study Guide:

The word "histories" refers to Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata and other similar works. The word "purāṇas" refers to the eighteen major Purāṇas of which Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is supreme, and eighteen secondary purāṇas (upapurāṇas). Upaniṣads refer to the eleven Upaniṣads such as Īśa, Kena, Kaṭha, and Praśna. "Verses" refers to the collection of verses in meters such as anustup composed by ṛsis. "Sūtra" refers to the concise statements which explain the meaning of the Vedas, written by major teachers. Anuvākhyā refers to commentaries on the sūtras written by great teachers. All of these are called āmnāya. The primary meaning of āmnāya is Veda.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So all this is considered āmnāya, or the authority.

Prabhu (3): Why did Vyāsadeva break it into four sections and not keep it as one?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Basically because, it's just like this. That people don’t have that much focus and can’t accommodate so much, so breaking it into smaller pieces, then that would be... Someone can focus on it, they get that same knowledge but through one particular branch, one particular perspective because then you get it through the Ṛgs, or through the prose, or through the prayers, or through the miscellaneous.

Prabhu (3): Is it true that Ganeśa was the writer, Vyāsadeva was the...?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: That was only on the, that I know of, it was only on the Mahābhārata.

Prabhu (3): Okay.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Everything else Vyāsa just did himself.

Prabhu (3): Okay. [Indistinct]

Reading from Study Guide: Caitanya Caritāmṛta also accepts the authority of the Vedas. Listen to the instructions that the Lord Himself gave...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, there is two. Okay, I figured it was over there. So this is Lord Caitanya:

Reading from Study Guide: "The self-evident Vedic literatures are the highest evidence of all, but if these literatures are interpreted, their self-evident nature is lost." (C.C. Ādi 7, 139)

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, it must come from authority. That is why the paramparā was mentioned in the Bṛhad-āranyaka Upaniṣad. Because the knowledge is there, that is why he was complaining about this Śrī Caitanya Bodhinī, is that they weren’t bothering with the authority, they were themselves just picking out things as they understood and try to put it together and God only knows what they came up with, most likely some very rasika kind-of thing. But it wouldn’t have been actually the philosophy of Lord Caitanya, they would have had a little out of specs of it, but it wouldn’t have been properly representative because it wasn’t paramparā, that was the difficulty.

So now he is saying there: so, the literatures can’t be interpreted. That doesn’t mean that one is not understanding, there is not explanation, there is not expanding on it. It means that you are not interpreting what is the philosophy. Like here we have it very clear: it comes in ten categories, everything fits into those ten categories. There is nothing in the Vedas that doesn’t fit in those ten categories. If you can’t fit it in then study it more and try to figure out what it is. Is it establishing relationship, is it establishing process, or is it establishing result?

Reading from Study Guide: "Although there is other evidence, the evidence given in the Vedic version must be taken as foremost. Vedic versions understood directly are first-class evidence."

"The Vedic statements are self-evident. Whatever is stated there must be accepted. If we interpret according to our own imagination, the authority of the Vedas is immediately lost." (C.C. Madhya 6, 135, 137)

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, that was, the other one was 139.

Prabhu (1): That was also Ādi-līlā.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, that was Ādi-līlā. Okay. It's amazing, it says 135, 137, 139, but that's Ādi-līlā 7, this is Madhya 6. So, there is a consistency in the philosophy. That's why it is nice, he has gone through and he pulled this. So then we can understand, this is like essence.

Reading from Study Guide: The works of the Gosvāmīs such as the Sandarbhas and Caitanya Caritāmṛta of Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja are included among the anuvyākhyās. 

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, the commentaries. That's what is mentioned, "Anuvākhyā refers to commentaries on the sūtras written by great teachers."  So, then the Gosvāmīs, these are great teachers who are writing the commentaries, and so then they come out in the forms of these works.

Reading from Study Guide: Therefore Vedas, Purāṇas, histories, Upaniṣads, Vedānta Sūtras, the commentaries by the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas are all considered authoritative knowledge. These sources of authoritative knowledge are glorified in the Bhāgavatam.

(Śrī Kṛṣṇa speaks to Uddhava)

"I first recited the Vedic message to Lord Brahmā, telling him about the ultimate path of pure devotion. That message is eternal. At the time of devastation, it disappears and at the time of creation I explain it clearly to Lord Brahmā. Brahmā spoke this knowledge to his son Manu and others. Thereafter, the devatās, ṛsis, and mankind all received this knowledge. The living entities and their lords are all different, receiving natures according to the three modes, goodness, passion and ignorance. According to these different natures, various philosophies have been produced by various interpretation of the meaning. O Uddhava, those who received the actual statements of the Vedas through guru paramparā anuvyākhyā (explanations) from Brahmā have the real truth. All others philosophies have become the servants of various offensive teachings." (Ś.B.11.14.3,7,82)

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, we see, is that he is taking this is that he is explaining that this knowledge has been spoken, come down in the paramparā, given to us through the writings of the ācāryas. Then people according to their own conditioning by the modes, then they become, they interpret the Vedas in different ways. Therefore you will get, from the Vedic thing you get your six schools, one will be pure thought, the other five are not. And then those five, then with time are also manifested in different places all around the world, with different, you know, something from this one, something from that one, different mixes. So you get the monotheistic where there is only one God, but if you asked them what God is like then He has no form, this that. So they are basically, you could say, Vedāntist in that they accept the Vaiṣṇava philosophy, but at the same time is then they say there is no form or anything like the impersonalists. So they are technically talking Vaiṣṇavism, but then ultimately they are saying it is impersonalism. But still it is within the Vedānta, Mīmāṁsā.

But then, their actual understanding of God, the jīva, this, they don’t have any, really. They know it is there, they have a feeling that they think they should be following it, they know it is good to follow it, but that is kind-of where it ends. So then for, to fill up the rest of it, to keep them busy, therefore then you start adding in all these other elements like Karma-mīmāṁsā, do good work and all these things, and your work is eternal, you know, all these. So, you start to getting little bits and pieces from all the other philosophies. And so, according to the particular modes, the time, place and circumstance, all these different religions come up. So that, at the end of this course, that will be the discussion.

In other words we are starting with these teachings, this is the full teachings. Then from there we’ll show how others have their particular perspective on it. Then we will see how in the Vedic form, then it becomes broken down into six forms. Then we will see how those forms they get broken down again further into another 20 odd forms. They then create all the different religions and philosophies of the world. Does that make sense?

Reading from Study Guide: Here it is clearly understood that the Brahmā sampradāya has existed from the time of creation. In this Brahmā sampradāya, the pure message of the Vedas has come down through the Guru-paramparā and has preserved the real teachings of Bhāgavata-dharma. Thus these teachings are called āmnāya (ā + mnā (to remember)+ ya: that which is learned by passing down) Those who do not accept the Brahmā sampradāya which is shown to be authoritative by such statements as "Brahmā, the lord of the universe, is the first student of Nārāyaṇa, Lord of Vaikuṇṭha" are called preachers of irrelevant philosophy (pāṣaṇḍa-mata) by Kṛṣṇa.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Because He says that this is pāṣaṇḍīs, that they are offensive. So, those that don’t accept this, then they are pāṣaṇḍīs basically. They don’t accept the knowledge that is coming down in paramparā, then they are actually offensive. That is why as devotees then we are accepting that, and that is our culture. So we have to be very careful not to become bewildered by or influenced by the pāṣaṇḍīs who say otherwise. So they doubt the scriptures, they doubt the paramparā, they doubt the validity of the teachings. Something that is eternal means it is always valid. So to say something doesn’t apply in this modern age because somehow or another modern is different from Kṛṣṇa’s creation, you got to be pretty foolish to say that. If God created everything then He also created the modern. So how can you try to judge the modern on its own, separate from the Vedic version? God has created it, so it is connected to Him. God made the Vedic literatures for His creation, so that means modern is also taken care of in the Vedic literatures because they deal with God’s creation, which modern is a part of. Because at every moment it is modern, right now we are in the modern. But what we did half an hour ago was in the past, it is not modern any more. And what will happen after half an hour, that is also not modern, that is future. Do you understand? So therefore, taking the temporary time, place and circumstance only, not in consideration of the śāstra and eternity, that is called modern. It is that simple. Do you know what I am saying? Because modern can change in a flash. Why? Because it is not based on authority. So it doesn’t have the eternal principle. Like this book, here he is like, he is talking about people who is going to university, he is talking about the youth, and they are learning and that, and they are coming to the conclusion. Having now studied all these philosophies and all these religions and everything, then Lord Caitanya’s teachings and the Vaiṣṇava philosophy, religion is the best. Does that make sense? And how he is talking, does it sound like that this is something archaic that only applied 150 years ago? No, it sounds very contemporary because he is writing in a mood for the contemporary person. So he wrote this for the contemporary man 150 years ago, and it still speaks to the contemporary man today. Why? Because he is writing it from the eternal platform. So after another 100 years this will still speak to the contemporary man. [Gecko makes sound] Does that make sense? So that is the real reason. Only the Vaiṣṇavas can do this, others don’t. They write on some contemporary thing, and then it goes, who has ever heard of it? You know what I am saying?

Prabhu (1): Yes.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah. So that is the fun, that's the fun: they pride themselves, but actually it is offensive. They pride themselves. Having a bona fide doubt, trying to understand the answer, trying, asking - that is fine. But to doubt... Means you can have a doubt, but you cannot doubt Guru, sādhu and śāstra. If you doubt authority, how can you, how will you answer your question? Because if you doubt authority means authority could be wrong, so if you get knowledge from there that could be wrong. And it could be your own knowledge and your own perception could be right. So then it could be this and could be that, or it is neti-neti, 'not this not that,' or 'could be this, could be that.' Neti-neti is impersonalism. Syāt-syāt, 'maybe this, maybe that,' - that is Jainism. You know what I am saying?

So we can see that this modern thing, it is something else other than pure Vaiṣṇava religion. It is something else. Therefore it is said pāṣaṇḍī. 'But I was only asking..' Yes, but you have a doubt in the process. You don’t understand how to do it, that is another thing, that means you are intelligent, you are thinking, you are trying to apply it, therefore you come up against an obstacle. That’s why you have a teacher. But to doubt the very basis of everything, that you have to miss the point. Does that make sense? Then that is a problem, very dangerous. So when people meddle in this concept of becoming influenced by the modern academy, influenced by the scientists, influenced by the politicians and everybody else, or educators, but it is not according to Vedic conclusion, then they are missing the point. They won’t come up with pure Vaiṣṇava religion, they will never get prema. So if they have prema as their goal, then they have to stick to the process by getting it and that is the authority of śāstra. To understand it through the paramparā, then you discuss. Bhaktiviṇoda Ṭhākura said, 'Read this carefully, discuss it in the Vaiṣṇava community.' That is fine. But you can’t take authority from outside the Vaiṣṇava community. Because then it is not āmnāya, it is not coming in paramparā. Does that make sense? So this is logical, it is not dogmatic, it is logical. Does that make sense? Yes?

Prabhu (4): Mahārāja, can you explain that here it says that only the Brahmā-sampradāya should be considered bona fide?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, no, no, it is not that it is the only one that is considered bona fide. The knowledge is first given to Brahmā, so it is bona fide. We are in that line, Lord Caitanya is in that line, so this is the main line we are giving. Because the other lines are bona fide lines, but they are not teaching… In other words what they are teaching is included in Lord Caitanya’s teachings. Therefore by studying the Brahmā-sampradāya, Lord Caitanya's teachings, you already automatically understand the other sampradāyas, it is not a problem.

It is just like the Śrīs, okay? They have broken themselves into two opposing parties. They don’t intermarry, they won’t basically even eat at each other’s houses, nothing. Now, one group says, Lakṣmī is a servant, She is a servant of Viṣṇu. The other one says, She is actually non-different from Viṣṇu, She is His energy. Do you understand? Right?

Prabhu (4): [Laughter] Yes.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So what is the problem here? The problem is is, both are correct, but they can say... And each one claims that they are the line from Rāmānuja and the other one is not, but Rāmānuja was teaching both these points, but they can’t understand it. So they split into two groups. It is one teaching. She is non-different but She is still the servant. So that is acintya-bhedābheda-tattva. So by acintya-bhedābheda-tattva are the conclusions of all the other sampradāyas can be easily understood. For them it may be more difficult, but for us it is very easy because we are already working on the principle that two contradictory opposing elements are reconciled in Kṛṣṇa. Others don’t have this. They just don’t. They have one perspective and that’s it. Or you have dvaitādvaita. You can look at it as one, you can also look at it as two, it is two different things. But they can’t put them on top of each other and look at the two opposing things at the same time. That is the Gaudīya Vaiṣṇava brain. You can deal with opposing elements, and they are not a contradiction at all. Therefore the element of rasa and what you can taste is the highest because if it is only very straightforward in that therefore you can only have śānta and servitorship. That is straightforward – master-servant. You just do what you are told, and because you have the Greatest Master therefore you have great affection for Him. Does that make sense? Right? Very easy. But as soon as you introduce friendship then you have contradictory feelings happening. You are servant of Kṛṣṇa but saying, 'Yes, if you wrestle with me I will beat you, I will show you who is the superior strength here.' So how does that match? They can’t reconcile these, therefore they don’t deal with these multiple. Does that make sense?

I am not sure that dvaitādvaita is not Nimbārka? Yes, so he is able to get into Vṛndāvana with it because he can look at these both, but he can only take the conjugal rasa up to a certain level. He also worships Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. But still, even in his Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are always together, they are always in the kuñjas. They are never separated, so it is always sambhoga. So because of this then it becomes very hard to, because how do you deal with these other things? These other things are there, 'Oh it is just a pastime. Oh, it is just... It appears.' They are at Prema-sarovara so They think the other one is gone, so They start crying, but They are right there with each other and everybody can see that. So, there may be a feeling of it but actually all the devotees, because we are talking about the devotees’ perspective, they all see that They are together. 'But isn’t it so cute They think that the other one is gone?' Do you understand? So it is this thing that if they are now willing themselves to experience vibralambha, which means you are not with Kṛṣṇa, at the same time you are with Kṛṣṇa. So you don’t emphasize these pastimes. Rādhārānī tells Kṛṣṇa to go away. She wants to be with Him, but She tells Him to go away. So in other words, the full manifestation of what Kṛṣṇa’s energy, the moods of Kṛṣṇa’s energy, the variety of that, that only Lord Caitanya’s philosophy can appreciate and explain. Does that make sense?

So that is why then within the Vaiṣṇavas then is Gaudīya. Because that means then you are taking it from the perspective of the internal potency. The other ones it is Viṣṇu, 'Viṣṇu is like this.' You are taking it from that angle. But this is, you are taking it from the internal potency’s angle of Viṣṇu because you can accommodate all the array of contradiction. Does that make sense? So that is what makes it special. So that is what Lord Caitanya has given that has never been given before. Because someone will say, 'Well, Nimbārka gave Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa worship, rāgānuga-bhakti, what’s the new thing?' But this is what is new, He takes it even farther. He reveals more. Okay?

He is just saying in this Brahmā-sampradāya. He is not saying it is the only one.

Reading from Study Guide: Though a person accepts the teachings of Lord Caitanya, if he cannot accept this paramparā line, is he not most deceptive? 

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, he says 'I accept Lord Caitanya’s teachings but I don’t accept the paramparā that it comes down through.' And that is a problem. This is also the problem with the Bodhinī.

Reading from Study Guide: The fortunate people consider this knowledge handed down in paramparā as the best of proofs. This is Lord Caitanya's first teaching.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, it is four now, there must be a footnote somewhere.

Prabhu (1): They are in the endnotes.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Endnotes? No, it just ends. No notes. Just ends.

Reading from Study Guide: In the Tattva Sandarbha (9.10), Jīva Gosvāmī says:

"I have just mentioned sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana. In order to explain the meaning of these terms, I first will define the nature of authoritative proof. Mankind is by nature afflicted with the four defects (bhrama etc.) and therefore cannot understand inconceivable, nonmaterial matters. Direct sense perception will always be faulty, and therefore sense perception, inference and other normal means of knowledge cannot be considered as authoritative means of knowledge. The only means of knowledge (pramāṇa) for persons desiring knowledge of the ultimate supreme object, the ultimate shelter, the inconceivable, endowed with the most remarkable nature, is the Veda.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, if you want to know the ultimate, then the Veda is the only way. If you are happy by being distracted by other forms of knowledge that aren’t necessarily connected to Kṛṣṇa, then go for it. But if you want to know Kṛṣṇa, the ultimate shelter, His nature, His qualities, His relationships, His pastimes then you are going to have to accept the authority.

Reading from Study Guide: The Veda is perfect knowledge concerning both material and spiritual topics, handed down through a paramparā of realized persons.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, we should not consider ourselves more than these realized persons. We always have to follow in their footsteps, therefore this āmnāya.

Reading from Study Guide: Having established the authority of the Vedic knowledge, Jīva Gosvāmī then shows how the Purāṇas contain the same message as the Vedas, and establishes the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam as the best of all pramāṇas. 

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So this must be in Tattva Sandarbha he is doing this.

Reading from Study Guide: The same qualities which make Śrīmad Bhāgavatam the best of all knowledge are present in the words of Brahmā, Nārada,Vyāsa, Śukadeva, and in the writings of Madhvācārya and his followers Vijayadvaja, Brahmatīrtha and Vyāsatīrtha. By all these statements, it is evident that the Brahmā-sampradāya is the sampradāya of Lord Caitanya and his followers. Ascertaining this, Kavikarṇapūra has written the sequence of the paramparā in his work Gaura Ganoddeśa Dīpikā. The Vedānta Sūtra commentator Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa also confirms this paramparā line. Anyone who does not accept this paramparā is without doubt the greatest enemy of the followers of Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, there is people who don’t accept the line. We may not have to deal with it but there are many who say this. They say it is not a bona fide line and this and that. They accept other lines, they say unless you come in different kinds of lines coming from dīkṣā rather coming from śikṣā then that is not bona fide and everything like this. So these things, these impurities are there. Previously I thought, 'What is the need of discussing these things?' But as the years go by I find more and more the devotees in their interest, or in their foolishness, or naivety, they go out and expose themselves to this and bring this stuff back. So then today you have to deal with this basically inside what it used to be, it didn’t exist inside, you didn’t even know it existed, like that. So we will continue tomorrow.

Oṁ Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare


[end of lecture]

Prabhu (1): Mahārāja, how...[indistinct]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, this is pretty good. I can see what Prabhupāda said, stick to this book. Because whatever we did in those others is already here so far, with further... Because here he is trying to explain... The other one I get the idea he is explaining it for devotees because he says, 'Teach this knowledge to the devotees before they get initiation.' So they have already accepted the line. But I get the idea that this is written to convince people to follow that this knowledge is superior, and then the whole thing. So there is much more of a presentation for those who may not believe in it, so in that way it is more relevant for preaching outside and it is also unfortunately relevant inside, like that. Okay. But nice book, nice book.


Lecture on Śrī Śrī Caitaya Śikṣāmṛta and Daśa Mūla Tattva #1, given in Bhaktivedānta Academy, Śrī Māyāpura, as part of Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta and Daśa Mūla Tattva Course, a Precursor course to the study of Śāstra Cakṣus of Bhaktivedānta Theological Seminary

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