Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī has advised us to hear about Kṛṣṇa from a Vaiṣṇava. He has explicitly forbidden us to hear from an avaiṣṇava.
avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtamśravaṇaṁ naiva kartavyaṁ sarpocchiṣṭaṁ yathā payaḥThus quoting from Padma Purāṇa, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī warns that one should not hear anything about Kṛṣṇa from an avaiṣṇava, however great a mundane scholar he may be. Milk touched by the lips of a serpent has poisonous effects; similarly, talks about Kṛṣṇa given by an avaiṣṇava are also poisonous. However, because a Vaiṣṇava is surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his talks are spiritually potent. In the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 10.10) the Supreme Lord says:
- teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
- dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ yena mām upayānti te
“To those who are constantly devoted to worshiping Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.” When a pure Vaiṣṇava speaks, he speaks perfectly. How is this? His speech is managed by Kṛṣṇa Himself from within the heart. Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya accepts this benediction from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; therefore he admits that whatever he was speaking was not derived from his own intelligence. Rather, everything was coming from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. According to the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 15.15):
- sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
- mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
- vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
- vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham
“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed I am the compiler of the Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.”All intelligence emanates from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul within the heart of everyone. Nondevotees want to ask the Supreme Lord for sense gratification; therefore nondevotees come under the influence of māyā, the illusory energy. A devotee, however, is directed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead and comes under the influence of yogamāyā. Consequently there is a gulf of difference between statements made by a devotee and those made by a nondevotee.