Gautama and Kanada have given stress to this theory that the creation resulted from a fortunate combination of material elements, and they have tried to establish that atomic energy is the origin of creation

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"Gautama and Kanada have given stress to this theory that the creation resulted from a fortunate combination of material elements, and they have tried to establish that atomic energy is the origin of creation"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Gautama and Kaṇāda have given stress to this theory that the creation resulted from a fortunate combination of material elements, and they have tried to establish that atomic energy is the origin of creation. Similarly, impersonalists and monists like Aṣṭāvakra have tried to establish the impersonal effulgence (brahmajyoti) as the Supreme. And Patañjali, one of the greatest authorities on the yoga system, has tried to conceive an imaginary form of the Supreme Lord.
Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 21:

The student of Prakāśānanda summarized the explanations of Lord Caitanya and concluded: "We have practically given up the path of spiritual realization. We simply engage in nonsensical talk. Māyāvādī philosophers who are serious about attaining benediction should engage in the devotional service of Kṛṣṇa, but instead they take pleasure in useless argument only. We hereby admit that the explanation of Śaṅkarācārya hides the actual import of Vedic literature. Only the explanation given by Caitanya is acceptable. All other interpretations are useless."

After thus explaining his position, the chief student of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī began to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. When Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī saw this, he also admitted the fault of Śaṅkarācārya and said, "Because Śaṅkarācārya wanted to establish the doctrine of monism, he had no alternative but to interpret the Vedānta-sūtra in a different way. Once one accepts the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the doctrine of monism cannot be established. Therefore by mundane scholarship Śaṅkarācārya has tried to obscure the actual meaning of the Vedānta-sūtra. Not only has Śaṅkarācārya done this, but all authors who attempt to give their own views of necessity misinterpret Vedānta-sūtra."

Thus Lord Caitanya gave the direct meaning of Vedānta-sūtra. No Vedic scripture should be used for indirect speculation. In addition to Śaṅkarācārya, other materialistic philosophers like Kapila, Gautama, Aṣṭāvakra and Patañjali have put forward philosophical speculation in various ways. Indeed, the philosopher Jaimini and his followers, who are all more or less logicians, have abandoned the real meaning of the Vedas (devotional service) and have tried to establish the Absolute Truth as subject to the material world. It is their opinion that if there is a God, He will be pleased with man and give man all desired results if man simply performs his material activities nicely. Similarly, the atheist Kapila tried to establish that there is no God who created the material world. Kapila has even tried to establish that a combination of material elements caused creation. Similarly, Gautama and Kaṇāda have given stress to this theory that the creation resulted from a fortunate combination of material elements, and they have tried to establish that atomic energy is the origin of creation. Similarly, impersonalists and monists like Aṣṭāvakra have tried to establish the impersonal effulgence (brahmajyoti) as the Supreme. And Patañjali, one of the greatest authorities on the yoga system, has tried to conceive an imaginary form of the Supreme Lord.

In summary it should be understood that all these materialistic philosophers have tried to avoid the Supreme Personality of Godhead by putting forward their own mentally concocted philosophies. However, Vyāsadeva, the great sage and incarnation of Godhead, has thoroughly studied all these philosophical speculations and in answer has compiled the Vedānta-sūtra, which establishes the relationship between the living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the importance of devotional service in ultimately achieving love of Godhead. The verse janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), which appears in the very beginning of Vedānta-sūtra, is explained in Vyāsadeva's Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Vyāsadeva establishes from the very beginning that the supreme source of everything is a cognizant, transcendental person.

The impersonalist tries to explain that the impersonal effulgence of the Supreme Lord (brahmajyoti) is beyond these material modes of nature, but at the same time he tries to establish that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is contaminated by the modes of material nature. The Vedānta-sūtra asserts that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not only transcendental to the material modes of nature but that He also has innumerable transcendental qualities and energies. All these various speculative philosophers are one in denying the existence of the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu, and they are very much enthused to propagate their own theories and be recognized by the people. Unfortunate people become enamored of these atheistic philosophers and consequently can never understand the real nature of the Absolute Truth. It is far better to follow in the footsteps of great souls (mahājanas). According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, there are twelve mahājanas, or great souls, and these are: (1) Brahmā, (2) Lord Śiva, (3) Nārada, (4) Vaivasvata Manu, (5) Kapila (not the atheist, but the original Kapila), (6) the Kumāras, (7) Prahlāda, (8) Bhīṣma, (9) Janaka, (10) Bali, (11) Śukadeva Gosvāmī and (12) Yamarāja. According to the Mahābhārata, there is no point in arguing about the Absolute Truth because there are so many different Vedic scriptures and philosophical understandings that no one philosopher can agree with another. Since everyone is trying to present his own point of view and reject others, it is very difficult to understand the necessity for religious principles. Therefore it is better to follow in the footsteps of the great mahājanas, great souls; then one can achieve the desired success. Lord Caitanya's teachings are just like nectar, and they hold whatever is needed. The best way is to take to this path and follow it.