Lord Caitanya rejected the statement cited by Rāmānanda Rāya from the Viṣṇu Purāṇa because the Lord wished to reject a class of philosophers known as Mīmāṁsakas. The followers of Karma-mīmāṁsā philosophy teach that God is subject to one's work. Their conclusion is that if one works nicely God is bound to give good results. Thus from the statement of the Viṣṇu Purāṇa cited by Rāmānanda Rāya one might conclude that Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord, has no independence but is bound to award a certain kind of result to the worker. Such a dependent God becomes subject to the worshiper, who accepts the Supreme Lord as both impersonal and personal, as he wishes. Actually, the Karma-mīmāṁsā philosophy stresses the impersonal feature of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Because Lord Caitanya did not like such impersonalism, He rejected it.
"Tell Me if you know something beyond this conception of the Supreme Absolute Truth," Lord Caitanya said.
Rāmānanda Rāya understood the purpose of Lord Caitanya, and, after stating that it is better to give Kṛṣṇa the results of fruitive activities, he quoted a verse from the Bhagavad-gītā (9.27):
- yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
- yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam
"O son of Kuntī, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you sacrifice, whatever you give away, and whatever austerity you undergo to achieve some goal—everything should be dedicated to My service." There is a similar passage in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.36), which states that one should submit everything—all the results of the fruitive activities one performs with body, speech, mind, senses, intelligence, soul and modes of nature—to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa.
Lord Caitanya, however, also rejected this second statement, saying, "If you know of something higher, state it."
Offering everything to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as enjoined by the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, is better than impersonally making the Supreme Lord subject to our work, but it is still short of surrendering to the Supreme Lord. A worker's identification with material existence cannot be changed without proper guidance. Such fruitive activity will continue one's material existence. A worker is simply instructed here to offer the results of his work to the Supreme Lord, but there is no information given to enable one to get out of the material entanglement. Therefore Lord Caitanya rejected his proposal.
After having his suggestions rejected twice, Rāmānanda proposed that one should forsake his occupational activities altogether and by such detachment rise to the transcendental plane. In other words, he recommended complete renunciation of worldly life. To support this proposal he cited evidence from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.11.32) wherein the Lord says, "In the scriptures I have described the ritualistic principles and the way one can become situated in devotional service by giving them up. That is the highest perfection of religion." Rāmānanda also quoted Lord Kṛṣṇa's similar statement in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.66):
- sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja
- ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi māśucaḥ
"Give up all kinds of religiousness and just surrender unto Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I shall protect you from all sinful reactions, and you will have nothing to be aggrieved over."
Lord Caitanya also rejected this third proposal from Rāmānanda Rāya, for He wanted to demonstrate that renunciation in itself is not sufficient. There must be positive engagement. Without positive engagement, the highest perfectional stage cannot be attained. Generally there are two kinds of philosophers in the renounced order of life. The goal of one is nirvāṇa, and the goal of the other is the impersonal Brahman effulgence. Such philosophers cannot imagine that they can reach beyond nirvāṇa and the Brahman effulgence to the Vaikuṇṭha planets of the spiritual sky. Because in simple renunciation there is no conception of spiritual planets and spiritual activities, Lord Caitanya rejected this third proposal.