If we wish to become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious, we have to give up the shackles of māyā. Or, if we remain with māyā, we should live in such a way that we will not be subject to illusion, as did the many householders among Lord Caitanya's closest devotees. With His followers in the renounced order, however, Lord Caitanya was very strict. He even banished Junior Haridāsa, an important kīrtana leader, for glancing lustfully at a woman. The Lord told him, "You are living with Me in the renounced order, and yet you are looking at a woman with lust." Other devotees of the Lord had appealed to Him to forgive Haridāsa, but He replied, "All of you can forgive him and live with him. I shall live alone." On the other hand, when the Lord learned that the wife of one of His householder devotees was pregnant, He asked that the baby be given a certain auspicious name. So while the Lord approved of householders having regulated sex, He was like a thunderbolt with those in the renounced order who tried to cheat by the method known as "drinking water under water while bathing on a fast day." In other words, He tolerated no hypocrisy among His followers.
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- 1 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
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CC Preface and Introduction
The duty of the spiritual master is to initiate a disciple with the sacred thread ceremony, and after this saṁskāra, or purificatory process, the spiritual master actually begins to teach the disciple about the Vedas. A person born a śūdra is not barred from such spiritual initiation, provided he is approved by the spiritual master, who is duly authorized to award a disciple the right to be a brāhmaṇa if he finds him perfectly qualified.
Some so-called Vaiṣṇavas say that the renounced order of life was not accepted in the Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, or disciplic succession, until Lord Caitanya. This is not a very intelligent proposition. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took the sannyāsa order from Śrīpāda Keśava Bhāratī, who belonged to the Śaṅkara sect, which approves of only ten names for sannyāsīs. Long before the advent of Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya, however, the sannyāsa order existed in the Vaiṣṇava line of Viṣṇu Svāmī. In the Viṣṇu Svāmī Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, there are ten different kinds of sannyāsa names and 108 different names for sannyāsīs who accept the tri-daṇḍa, the triple staff of sannyāsa. This is approved by the Vedic rules.
Lord Caitanya has accepted the role of Rādhārāṇī, and we should support that position, as Svarūpa Dāmodara did in the Gambhīrā (the room where Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu stayed in Purī). He always reminded Lord Caitanya of Rādhā’s feelings of separation as they are described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and Lord Caitanya appreciated his assistance. But the gaura-nāgarīs, who place Lord Caitanya in the position of enjoyer and themselves as His enjoyed, are not approved by Lord Caitanya or by Lord Caitanya's followers. Instead of being blessed, the foolish imitators are left completely apart. Their concoctions are against the principles of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The doctrine of transcendental enjoyment by Kṛṣṇa cannot be mixed up with the doctrine of transcendental feeling of separation from Kṛṣṇa in the role of Rādhārāṇī.
Of the four kinds of reciprocation of loving service—dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya and mādhurya—mādhurya is considered the fullest. But the conjugal relationship is further divided into two varieties, namely svakīya and parakīya. Svakīya is the relationship with Kṛṣṇa as a formally married husband, and parakīya is the relationship with Kṛṣṇa as a paramour. Expert analysts have decided that the transcendental ecstasy of the parakīya mellow is better because it is more enthusiastic. This phase of conjugal love is found in those who have surrendered to the Lord in intense love, knowing well that such illicit love with a paramour is not morally approved in society. The risks involved in such love of Godhead make this emotion superior to the relationship in which such risk is not involved. The validity of such risk, however, is possible only in the transcendental realm. Svakīya and parakīya conjugal love of Godhead have no existence in the material world, and parakīya is not exhibited anywhere in Vaikuṇṭha, but only in the portion of Goloka Vṛndāvana known as Vraja.
Before the time of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the suvarṇa-vaṇik class was condemned by Ballāl Sena, who was then the King of Bengal, due to a personal grudge. In Bengal the suvarṇa-vaṇik class are always very rich, for they are bankers and dealers in gold and silver. Therefore, Ballāl Sena used to borrow money from a suvarṇa-vaṇik banker. Ballāl Sena's bankruptcy later obliged the suvarṇa-vaṇik banker to stop advancing money to him, and thus Ballāl Sena became angry and condemned the entire suvarṇa-vaṇik society as belonging to the śūdra community. He tried to induce the brāhmaṇas not to accept the suvarṇa-vaṇiks as followers of the instructions of the Vedas under the brahminical directions, but although some brāhmaṇas approved of Ballāl Sena's actions, others did not. Thus the brāhmaṇas also became divided amongst themselves, and those who supported the suvarṇa-vaṇik class were rejected from the brāhmaṇa community. At the present day the same biases are still being followed.
As explained in regard to verse 41, Māyāvādī sannyāsīs do not approve of chanting and dancing. Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, like Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, misunderstood Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to be a misled young sannyāsī, and therefore he asked Him why He indulged in the association of fanatics instead of executing the duty of a sannyāsī.
Unfortunately, those who do not cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness and do not properly understand the Vedic knowledge accept any rascal to be an incarnation of God, and they are of the opinion that one can become an incarnation simply by worshiping a demigod. This philosophical hodge-podge exists under the name of the Hindu religion, but the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement does not approve of it. Indeed, we strongly condemn it. Such worship of demigods and so-called incarnations of God should never be confused with the pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
According to another accusation, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī did not approve of the principles of the parakīya-rasa of Vraja-dhāma and therefore supported svakīya-rasa, showing that Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are eternally married. Actually, when Jīva Gosvāmī was alive, some of his followers disliked the parakīya-rasa of the gopīs. Therefore Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, for their spiritual benefit, supported svakīya-rasa, for he could understand that sahajiyās would otherwise exploit the parakīya-rasa, as they are actually doing at the present time. Unfortunately, in Vṛndāvana and Navadvīpa it has become fashionable among sahajiyās, in their debauchery, to find an unmarried sexual partner to live with to execute so-called devotional service in parakīya-rasa. Foreseeing this, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī supported svakīya-rasa, and later all the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas also approved of it. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī was never opposed to the transcendental parakīya-rasa, nor has any other Vaiṣṇava disapproved of it. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī strictly followed his predecessor gurus and Vaiṣṇavas, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī, and Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī accepted him as one of his instructor gurus.
Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī accepted Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī as his special guide. Therefore at the end of every chapter he says, śrī-rūpa-raghunātha-pade yāra āśa caitanya-caritāmṛta kahe kṛṣṇadāsa. Sometimes it is misunderstood that by using the word raghunātha he wanted to offer his respectful obeisances to Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, for it is sometimes stated that Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī was his initiating spiritual master. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī does not approve of this statement; he does not accept Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī as the spiritual master of Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī.
Sometimes we, the members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, are accused of not approving of the worship of demigods. But how can we approve of this when it is condemned by Lord Caitanya and Lord Kṛṣṇa? How can we allow people to become foolish and hṛta-jñāna (BG 7.20), bereft of intelligence? Our propaganda is simply meant to enable intelligent people to understand the distinction between matter and spirit and understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the whole spiritual identity. That is our mission. How could we mislead people into worshiping so-called gods in material bodies within this material world?
The gopīs, the girlfriends of Kṛṣṇa, were almost of the same age as He. Within their minds they desired that Kṛṣṇa be their husband, but because of feminine bashfulness they could not express their desire. Therefore later on, after stealing their garments, Kṛṣṇa informed them, "I immediately understood your desire and approved of it. Because I have now stolen your garments, you have presented yourselves before Me completely naked, which means that I have accepted all of you as My wives." Sometimes foolish rascals, not knowing the purpose of the Lord or the purpose of the gopīs, unnecessarily criticize from their own angle of vision, but the real purpose of vastra-haraṇa is expressed by the Lord in this verse.
"In this Age of Kali, five acts are forbidden: the offering of a horse in sacrifice, the offering of a cow in sacrifice, the acceptance of the order of sannyāsa, the offering of oblations of flesh to the forefathers, and a man's begetting children in his brother's wife." (Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa, Kṛṣṇa-janma-khaṇḍa 185.180) Nevertheless, we see that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself accepted sannyāsa and approved of the sannyāsa of His elder brother, Viśvarūpa. It is clearly said here, bhāla haila,—viśvarūpa sannyāsa karila pitṛ-kula, mātṛ-kula,—dui uddhārila. Therefore, should it be thought that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu made statements that are contradictory? No, actually He did not. It is recommended that one accept sannyāsa to dedicate his life for the service of the Lord, and everyone must take that kind of sannyāsa, for by accepting such sannyāsa one renders the best service to both his paternal and maternal families. But one should not accept the sannyāsa order of the Māyāvāda school, which has practically no meaning.
The sahajiyās, however, pose as followers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu although they indulge in lusty affairs with women. In His youth Lord Caitanya was very humorous with everyone, but He never joked with any woman, nor in this incarnation did He talk about women. The gaurāṅga-nāgarī party is not approved by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu or Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura. Even though one may offer all kinds of prayers to Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one should strictly avoid worshiping Him as the Gaurāṅga Nāgara. The personal behavior of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and the verses written by Śrī Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura have completely repudiated the lusty desires of the gaurāṅga-nāgarīs.”
It is still the practice at the Jagannātha temple not to allow those to enter who do not strictly follow the Vedic culture known as Hinduism. Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī had had previous intimate connections with Muslims. Haridāsa Ṭhākura had been born in a Muslim family, and Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, having given up their social status in Hindu society, had been appointed ministers in the Muslim government. They had even changed their names to Dabira Khāsa and Sākara Mallika. Thus they had supposedly been expelled from brāhmaṇa society. Consequently, out of humility they did not enter the temple of Jagannātha, although the Personality of Godhead, Jagannātha, in His form of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, personally came to see them every day. Similarly, the members of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness society are sometimes refused entrance into some of the temples in India. We should not feel sorry about this as long as we engage in chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Kṛṣṇa Himself associates with devotees who are chanting His holy name, and there is no need to be unhappy over not being able to enter a certain temple. Such dogmatic prohibitions were not approved by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Those who were thought unfit to enter the Jagannātha temple were daily visited by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and this indicates that Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not approve of the prohibitions. To avoid unnecessary turmoil, however, these great personalities would not enter the Jagannātha temple.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu warned all His followers not to become independent or impudent. Unfortunately, after the disappearance of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, many apa-sampradāyas (so-called followers) invented many ways not approved by the ācāryas. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has described them as the āula, bāula, kartābhajā, neḍā, daraveśa, sāni, sahajiyā, sakhībhekī, smārta, jāta-gosāñi, ativāḍī, cūḍādhārī and gaurāṅga-nāgarī. The āula-sampradāya, bāula-sampradāya and others invented their own ways of understanding Lord Caitanya's philosophy, without following in the footsteps of the ācāryas. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself indicates herein that all such attempts would simply spoil the spirit of His cult.
"(As a brāhmaṇa from Avantī-deśa said:) "I shall cross over the insurmountable ocean of nescience by being firmly fixed in the service of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. This was approved by the previous ācāryas, who were fixed in firm devotion to the Lord, Paramātmā, the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu approved the purport of this verse on account of the determination of the mendicant devotee to engage in the service of Lord Mukunda. He gave His approval of this verse, indicating that it was very good.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu approved of all the methods employed in cooking and offering food to Kṛṣṇa. Indeed, He was so pleased that He said, "Frankly, I will personally take the lotus feet of anyone who can offer Kṛṣṇa such nice food and place those lotus feet on My head birth after birth."
The perfection of human civilization depends on Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which recommends Deity worship. Preparations made from vegetables, grains, milk, ghee and yogurt are offered to the Deity and then distributed. Here we can see the difference between the East and the West. The people who came to see the Deity of Gopāla brought all kinds of food to offer the Deity. They brought all the food they had in stock, and they came before the Deity not only to accept prasādam for themselves but to distribute it to others. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement vigorously approves this practice of preparing food, offering it to the Deity and distributing it to the general population. This activity should be extended universally to stop sinful eating habits as well as other behavior befitting only demons.
When Caitanya Mahāprabhu was having His discussion with the Chand Kazi, the Muslim magistrate of Navadvīpa, He recited a verse from the Vedic literature to the effect that the order of sannyāsa is prohibited in this Age of Kali. Only those who are very serious and who follow the regulative principles and study Vedic literature should accept sannyāsa. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu approved of a sannyāsī’s reading the Vedānta-sūtra, or Brahma-sūtra, but He did not approve the Śārīraka commentary of Śaṅkarācārya. Indeed, He said elsewhere, māyāvādi-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva-nāśa: (CC Madhya 6.169) "If one hears the Śārīraka-bhāṣya of Śaṅkarācārya, he is doomed." Thus a sannyāsī, a transcendentalist, must read the Vedānta-sūtra regularly, but he should not read the Śārīraka-bhāṣya. This is the conclusion of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The real commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Artho ’yaṁ brahma-sūtrānām: Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the original commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra, written by the author himself, Śrīla Vyāsadeva.
When reciting this verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.8), Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya changed the original reading from mukti-pade to bhakti-pade. Mukti means liberation and merging into the impersonal Brahman effulgence. Bhakti means rendering transcendental service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because of having developed pure devotional service, the Bhaṭṭācārya did not like the word mukti-pade, which refers to the impersonal Brahman feature of the Lord. However, he was not authorized to change a word in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu will explain. Although the Bhaṭṭācārya changed the word in his devotional ecstasy, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not approve of it.
The spiritual senses are beyond the material senses. A materialist can think only of the negation of material variety; he cannot understand spiritual variety. He thinks that spiritual variety simply contradicts material variety and is a negation or void, but such conceptions cannot even reach the precincts of spiritual realization. The wonderful activities of the gross body and subtle mind are always imperfect. They are below the degree of spiritual understanding and are ephemeral. The spiritual mellow is eternally wonderful and is described as pūrṇa, śuddha, nitya-mukta—that is, complete, perfectly pure and eternally liberated from all material conceptions. When we are unable to fulfill our material desires, there is certainly sorrow and confusion. This may be described as vivarta. But in spiritual life there is no sorrow, inebriety or imperfection. Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya was expert in realizing the spiritual activities of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and Kṛṣṇa, and Rāmānanda's spiritual experience was placed before Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as he inquired whether the Lord approved his realization of spiritual truth.
Sometimes a university student or professor tries to study these transcendental literatures and attempts to put forth a critical analysis from the mundane view, with an end to receiving degrees like a Ph.D. Such realization is certainly different from that of Rāmānanda Rāya. If one actually wants to take a Ph.D. degree from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and be approved by Rāmānanda Rāya, he must first become free from all material designations (sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170)). A person who identifies with his material body cannot understand these talks between Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Man-made religious scriptures and transcendental philosophical talks are quite different.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura says that if something impedes the execution of devotional service, it should be understood to be impure. Pure devotees of the Lord do not accept impure principles. Impure devotees accept rasābhāsa, or overlapping, contradictory mellows, and other principles opposed to the bhakti path. The followers of such impure principles are never accepted as pure devotees. There are many parties following the path of rasābhāsa, and the followers are sometimes adored by ordinary men. Those who adopt the conclusions of rasābhāsa and bhakti-siddhānta-viruddha are never accepted as devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī never approved such followers as Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, nor did he allow them even to meet the Supreme Lord, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
When Brahmānanda Bhāratī heard this, he thought, "My deerskin is not approved by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu."
Bhāgavata-dharma, or the principle of religion enunciated by the paramparā system, is the supreme principle of religion. In other words, dharma refers to the science of bhakti-yoga, which begins by the novice's chanting the holy name of the Lord (tan-nāma-grahaṇādibhiḥ). Therefore in this Age of Kali, as recommended here in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (text 98), kali-kāle dharma—kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtana: the chanting of the holy name of the Lord is the method of religion approved by all Vedic scriptures. In the next text of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, quoted from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.32), this principle is further stressed.
One should not try to imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura at the beginning of one's transcendental life. One must first become very mature in devotion and thus receive the approval of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Only at such a time may one actually sit down peacefully in a solitary place to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and remember the lotus feet of the Lord. The senses are very strong, and if a neophyte devotee imitates Haridāsa Ṭhākura, his enemies (kāma, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and mātsarya) will disturb and fatigue him.
Śrīla Mādhavendra Purī was a real mahājana, but misguided people cannot distinguish the real from the unreal. But a person who is awakened to Kṛṣṇa consciousness can understand the real religious path chalked out by the Lord and His pure devotees. Śrī Mādhavendra Purī was a real mahājana because he understood the Absolute Truth properly and throughout his life behaved like a pure devotee. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu approved the method of Śrī Mādhavendra Purī. Therefore, although from the material viewpoint the Sanoḍiyā brāhmaṇa was on a lower platform, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu considered him situated on the highest platform of spiritual realization.
Kuṭīnāṭī, or diplomatic behavior, cannot satisfy the ātmā, the soul. It cannot even satisfy the body or the mind. The culprit mind is always suspicious; therefore our dealings should always be straightforward and approved by Vedic authorities. If we treat people diplomatically or duplicitously, our spiritual advancement is obstructed.
Because Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was repeatedly glancing at this valuable woolen blanket, Sanātana Gosvāmī could understand that the Lord did not approve of it. He then began to consider a way to give it up.
Everyone is eligible to become Kṛṣṇa's devotee. One simply has to be trained according to the approved process. It is the work of Kṛṣṇa's confidential devotees to turn everyone into a Kṛṣṇa bhakta. If the confidential devotees do not take up the task of elevating everyone to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then who will do it? Those who claim to be devotees but do not engage in Kṛṣṇa's service to elevate all living creatures to Kṛṣṇa consciousness are to be considered kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs (people in the lowest stage of devotional service).
According to Nārada Muni and Vedic culture, animal-killers are not even gentlemen, to say nothing of being religious men. A religious person, a devotee of the Lord, must be nonviolent. Such is the nature of a religious person. It is contradictory to be violent and at the same time call oneself a religious person. Such hypocrisy is not approved by Nārada Muni and the disciplic succession.
"Nārada Muni approved his not wanting more than a daily supply of food, and he blessed him, saying, 'You are fortunate.' Nārada Muni and Parvata Muni then disappeared from that place."
44) The Lord should be carried on a nice palanquin to the altar. (45) The Lord should be seated on the throne. (46) Again water should be given for the washing of His feet. (47) Something again should be offered for eating. (48) Evening ārati should be offered. (49) The Lord should be fanned with a cāmara fan, and an umbrella should be placed over His head. (50) The Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and approved songs should be sung. (51) Musical instruments should be played. (52) One should dance before the Deity. (53) One should circumambulate the Deity. (54) One should again offer obeisances.
Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī immediately fell down at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and very much regretted his past behavior toward the Lord. He asked Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu about devotional service in terms of the Vedānta-sūtra, and the Lord told him about devotional service that is approved by great personalities who know the Vedānta-sūtra. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then pointed out that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the proper commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra. He then explained the catuḥ-ślokī (SB 2.9.33/34/35/36) (four ślokas) of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the essence of that great scripture.
Subuddhi Rāya would deposit his extra money with a mercantile man and spend it when necessary. When one is in the renounced order, saving money is not recommended. However, if one saves money for the service of the Lord or a Vaiṣṇava, that is accepted. These are the dealings of Subuddhi Rāya, who is one of the confidential devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī also followed this principle by spending fifty percent of his money in order to serve Kṛṣṇa through brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas. He gave twenty-five percent of his money to relatives, and twenty-five percent he deposited in the custody of a merchant. These are the approved methods recommended in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Whether in the renounced order or in the gṛhastha order, a Vaiṣṇava should follow these principles set forth by the previous ācāryas.
Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī composed an important verse beginning with the words priyaḥ so ‘yam, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu relished it very much. One day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Rāmānanda Rāya, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya and others went to the place of Haridāsa Ṭhākura and heard some of the verses Rūpa Gosvāmī had composed for his books Lalita-mādhava and Vidagdha-mādhava. After examining the manuscripts of these two books, Rāmānanda Rāya approved and appreciated them very much.
Materialistic persons sometimes take to professional devotional service and keep Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as a means of livelihood. None of this, however, is approved. In the book known as Sapta-śatī, as mentioned by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, one can discover how a person worshiping the goddess Durgā begs her for different varieties of material profit. Such activities are very popular among people in general, but they are the attempts of foolish, blind people (sei jñāna-andha).
Anyone who knows the temporary situation of this material world and is expert in achieving a permanent situation in the spiritual world, who knows that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is beyond the jurisdiction of our experimental knowledge, is understood to be the most learned scholar. Haridāsa Ṭhākura knew this science perfectly. Therefore, he is described in this connection as parama-vidvān. He personally preached the importance of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, which is approved by the revealed scriptures. As stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.5.24):
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
It is not necessary for one to abandon his family, for there were many householders amongst Lord Caitanya's closest devotees. What must be renounced is the propensity for material enjoyment. Although Lord Caitanya approved of a householder having regulated sex in marriage, He was very strict with those in the renounced order, and He even banished junior Haridāsa for glancing lustfully at a young woman. The point is that one must take up a particular path and stick to it, obeying all the rules and regulations necessary for success in spiritual life.
"As long as I remain in Benares, I will beg from door to door," Sanātana said. "But the Lord will be so good as to accept this invitation for daily lunch at your house." Lord Caitanya was very much pleased by this behavior of Sanātana, but He noticed the valuable blanket that was given to him by his brother-in-law while en route to Benares. Although Lord Caitanya was overlooking the blanket, Sanātana understood that He did not approve of such a valuable garment on his body, and therefore Sanātana decided to get rid of it.
"When one is firmly convinced that Viṣṇu is the only object of love and worship and that there is no one else—not even a demigod—worthy of receiving devotional service, one feels intimacy in his love relationship with God, and this is approved by such personalities as Bhīṣma, Prahlāda, Uddhava and Nārada." If, due to some righteous activities which provoke devotional service, one is influenced by the service attitude and takes shelter of the good association of pure devotees, he develops attachment for hearing and chanting. By developing chanting and hearing, one can advance further and further in regulative devotional service to the Supreme Lord.
Lord Caitanya further taught Sanātana Gosvāmī how one can live in the material world while being in a complete relationship with Kṛṣṇa, and He also taught him that there is no necessity for dry renunciation. The purport of these instructions is that in the present age there are many persons who accept the renounced order of life but who are not spiritually advanced. Lord Caitanya did not approve of one's accepting sannyāsa without having perfect knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
"One who is not envious but who is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor, who is free from false ego and equal both in happiness and distress, who is always satisfied and engaged in devotional service with determination and whose mind and intelligence are in agreement with Me—he is very dear to Me. He for whom no one is put into difficulty and who is not disturbed by anxiety, who is steady in happiness and distress, is very dear to Me. A devotee who is not dependent on the ordinary course of activities, who is pure, expert, without cares, free from all pains, and who does not strive for some result, is very dear to Me. One who grasps neither pleasure or grief who neither laments nor desires, and who renounces both auspicious and inauspicious things, is very dear to Me. One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equipoised in honor and dishonor, heat and cold, happiness and distress, fame and infamy, who is always free from contamination, always silent and satisfied with anything, who doesn't care for any residence, who is fixed in knowledge and engaged in devotional service, is very dear to Me. He who follows this imperishable path of devotional service and who completely engages himself with faith, making Me the supreme goal, is very, very dear to Me." (Bg. 12.13-20) Even if one is not situated in such a transcendental position, if he simply approves of such a transcendental life, he also becomes very dear to Kṛṣṇa. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.2.5) it is stated that a devotee should always remain dependent on the mercy of the Supreme Lord and that as far as his material necessities are concerned, he should be satisfied with whatever is obtained without endeavor.
In three out of the four millenniums (namely Satya-yuga, Tretā-yuga and Dvāpara-yuga) people had the honor to be able to understand transcendence through the path of disciplic succession. However, in the present age, people have no interest in the disciplic succession. Instead, they have invented many paths of logic and argument. This individual attempt to understand the supreme transcendence (called the ascending process) is not approved by the Vedas. The Absolute Truth must descend from the absolute platform.
The approved method for understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the path of devotional service, and this is confirmed in every Vedic scripture. Devotional service of the Lord begins by hearing about Him. There are nine different methods in devotional service, of which hearing is the chief.
The Lord indicated that in the Māyāvādī sampradāya there are many so-called sannyāsīs who, even though illiterate and unintelligent, hear Vedānta-sūtra from their spiritual master just as a matter of formality. Although they listen, they do not understand anything. As far as Lord Caitanya was concerned, He said that He did not understand the explanation of Bhaṭṭācārya not because it was too difficult for His understanding but because He did not approve of the Māyāvādī interpretation.
In Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.101) Rūpa Gosvāmī has stated that devotional service that makes no reference to Vedic scriptures or Vedic literatures and that does not follow the principles set forth therein can never be approved. Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja has also remarked that professional spiritual masters, professional Bhāgavatam reciters, professional kīrtana performers and those engaged in self-concocted devotional service cannot be accepted.
There are many pseudo-devotees, claiming to belong to Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu's sect, who artificially dress themselves as the damsels of Vraja, and this is not approved by advanced spiritualists or advanced students of devotional service. Such people dress the outward material body because they foolishly confuse the body with the soul. They are mistaken when they think that the spiritual bodies of Kṛṣṇa, Rādhārāṇī and Their associates, the damsels of Vraja, are composed of material nature. One should know perfectly well that all such manifestations are expansions of eternal bliss and knowledge in the transcendental world.
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
This attitude of the gopīs is described by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu when He prays, "My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, You may embrace Me or trample Me under Your feet, or You may make Me brokenhearted by never being present before Me. Whatever You like, You can do, because You have complete freedom to act. But in spite of all Your dealings, You are My Lord eternally, and I have no other worshipable object." This is the attitude of the gopīs toward Kṛṣṇa.
Lord Kṛṣṇa was pleased with them, and since they all desired to have Him as their husband, He told them, “My dear well-behaved girls, I know of your desire for Me and why you worshiped goddess Kātyāyanī, and I completely approve of your action. Anyone whose full consciousness is always absorbed in Me, even if in lust, is elevated.
The gopīs worshiped goddess Kātyāyanī to become more and more attached to Kṛṣṇa. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that persons who are attached to worshiping demigods like Lord Brahmā, Śiva, Indra and Candra for some personal benefit are less intelligent and have forgotten the real purpose of life. But the cowherd men, inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, were no ordinary men. Whatever they did, they did for Kṛṣṇa. If one worships demigods like Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā to become more attached to Kṛṣṇa, that is approved. But if one goes to the demigods for some personal benefit, that is condemned.
After hearing Rukmiṇī’s statement and her clarification of each and every word He had used to arouse her anger of love toward Him, Kṛṣṇa addressed Rukmiṇī as follows: “My dear chaste wife, My dear princess, I expected such an explanation from you, and only for this purpose did I speak all those joking words, so that you might be cheated of the real point of view. Now My purpose has been served. The wonderful explanation you have given of My every word is completely factual and approved by Me. O most beautiful Rukmiṇī, you are My dearmost wife. I am greatly pleased to understand how much love you have for Me. Please take it for granted that no matter what ambition and desire you might have and no matter what you might expect from Me, I am always at your service.
Renunciation Through Wisdom
Upon seeing the devotion of the South Indian brāhmaṇa as he read the Gītā, Lord Caitanya embraced him and then told him that he had perfected the reading of the Gītā. What fool would deny that Lord Caitanya's approval is far superior to millions of university doctorates? This accolade from the Lord proves that the Bhagavad-gītā cannot be studied with material intelligence. The knowledge of the Gītā must be received through the chain of ācāryas, or spiritual masters, coming down in disciplic succession.
Message of Godhead
No one can expect to be admitted into the M.A. level without having passed the other, preliminary examinations. Yet in the transcendental world—although there are approved regulations to bring one from the lower stages to the highest goal by a gradual process of development—one can, by the mercy of Godhead, pass the transcendental M.A. examination without even having passed the preliminary examinations. But this extraordinary mercy of Godhead is possible only by a confidential relationship with the Personality of Godhead. And this confidential relationship with the Personality of Godhead is possible only by the transcendental association of the devotees of the Personality of Godhead.
It is said that one result is obtained by worshiping the supreme cause of all causes and that another result is obtained by worshiping what is not supreme. All this is heard from the undisturbed authorities, who clearly explained it.
The system of hearing from undisturbed authorities is approved in this mantra. Unless one hears from a bona fide ācārya, who is never disturbed by the changes of the material world, one cannot have the real key to transcendental knowledge. The bona fide spiritual master, who has also heard the śruti-mantras, or Vedic knowledge, from his undisturbed ācārya, never presents anything that is not mentioned in the Vedic literature.
Narada-bhakti-sutra (sutras 1 to 8 only)
One who becomes affected by the pleasure potency of the Supreme Lord manifests various symptoms of ecstasy, such as slackening of the heart, laughing, crying, shivering, and dancing. These symptoms are not material. However, exhibiting such ecstatic symptoms just to get credit from the public is not approved by pure devotees. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Prabhupāda says, "Persons without attainment of the highest perfectional stage of loving service cannot achieve any auspiciousness simply by artificially laughing, crying, or dancing without any spiritual understanding. Artificial movement of the body... must always be rejected. One should wait for the natural sequence within devotional service, and at that time, when one cries or dances or sings, it is approved. A person artificially showing symptoms of the pleasure potency creates many disturbances in the ordinary way of life.
|Compiled by||Aparajita Radhika +, ChandrasekharaAcarya + and Labangalatika +|
|Completed sections||ALL +|
|Date of first entry||December 28, 0008 JL +|
|Date of last entry||April 10, 0010 JL +|
|Total quotes||57 +|
|Total quotes by section||BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 40 +, OB: 17 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 0 +|