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. Hearing, chanting remembering, worshiping—all these are used in the process of attaining the highest perfection by understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This process by which the Supreme Personality of Godhead is understood is known as abhidheya, practice of devotional service within conditional life.
It is experienced in practice that when one takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he does not like to deviate into another form of consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is development of love for Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and this is the fifth dimensional interest of the human being. When one actually takes to this process of transcendental service, he relishes his relationship with Kṛṣṇa directly. When there is reciprocation of transcendental dealings with Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa gradually becomes a personal associate of the devotee. Then the devotee eternally enjoys blissful life. For this reason, it is the purpose of the Vedānta-sūtra to reestablish the living entity's lost relationship with the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa and to enable him to execute devotional service and ultimately achieve the highest goal of life, love of Godhead. This is the real purpose of Vedānta-sūtra.
After Lord Caitanya explained the Vedānta-sūtra by directly interpreting the verses, the chief disciple of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī stood up in the assembly and began to praise Lord Caitanya as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa. He not only very much appreciated the explanation of Vedānta-sūtra by Lord Caitanya, but he stated publicly that the direct explanation of the Upaniṣads and Vedānta-sūtra "is so pleasing that we forget ourselves and forget that we belong to the Māyāvādī sect." Thus it is herein admitted that Śaṅkarācārya's explanations of the Upaniṣads and Vedānta-sūtra are all imaginary. We may sometimes accept such imaginary explanations for the sake of sectarian feuds, but actually such explanations do not satisfy us. It is not that one becomes free from material entanglements simply by accepting the order of sannyāsa. Yet if we actually understand the explanations given by Lord Caitanya, we will be helped. For instance, when Lord Caitanya explains the meaning of harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam (CC Adi 17.21), everyone is pleased, for it is a fact that there is no alternative to devotional service. Without devotional service no one can attain liberation from the material clutches. Especially in this age, one can achieve the highest liberation simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.4) it is stated that when a person abandons the path of devotional service and simply labors for knowledge, he has no profit other than the trouble he takes to understand the difference between matter and spirit. It is useless labor to try to get grains from empty husks. Thus it is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.2.32) that a person who gives up the transcendental loving service of the Supreme Lord and superficially considers himself liberated, never attains to liberation. With great labor, austerity and penance, he may be elevated to the liberated platform, but for want of shelter at the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, he falls down again into material contamination.
The Supreme Brahman cannot be accepted as impersonal, otherwise the six opulences, which belong to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, cannot be attributed to Brahman. All the Vedas and Purāṇas affirm that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is full of spiritual energies, but foolish people simply reject this and deride His activities. They misinterpret the transcendental body of Kṛṣṇa to be a creation of material nature, and this is considered to be the greatest offense and greatest sin. One should simply accept the words of Lord Caitanya as He spoke them before Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs.
The individual personality of the Supreme Absolute Truth is explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.9.3-4): "O Supreme Lord, the transcendental form which I am seeing is the embodiment of transcendental pleasure. It is eternal and devoid of the contamination of the material modes. It is the greatest manifestation of the Absolute Truth, and it is full of effulgence. O soul of everyone, You are the creator of this cosmic manifestation and all the material elements. I surrender unto You in Your transcendental form, O Kṛṣṇa! O most auspicious universe! You advent Yourself in Your original personal form in order to be worshiped by us, and we perceive You either by meditation or by direct worship. Foolish people contaminated by material nature do not give much importance to Your transcendental form, and consequently they glide down to hell."
This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā:
- avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā
- mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam
- paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
- mama bhūta-maheśvaram
"Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be." (BG 9.11)
That such foolish and demoniac persons go to the hellish planets is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā:
- tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krūrān
- saṁsāreṣu narādhamān
- kṣipāmy ajasram aśubhān
- āsurīṣv eva yoniṣu
"Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, are cast by Me into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life." (BG 16.19)
The doctrine of by-products, pariṇāma-vāda, is asserted from the very beginning of Vedānta-sūtra, but Śaṅkarācārya has superficially tried to hide it and establish the doctrine of transformation, vivarta-vāda. He also has the audacity to say that Vyāsa is mistaken. All Vedic literatures, including the purāṇas, confirm that the Supreme Lord is the center of all spiritual energy and variegatedness. The Māyāvādī philosopher, puffed-up and incompetent, can not understand variegatedness in spiritual energy. He consequently falsely believes that spiritual variegatedness is no different from material variegatedness. Deluded by this false belief, the Māyāvādīs deride the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such foolish persons, unable to understand the spiritual activities of the Supreme Lord, consider Kṛṣṇa to be a product of this material nature. This is the greatest offense any human being can commit. Lord Caitanya therefore establishes that Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1), the form of eternity, knowledge and bliss, and that He is always engaged in His transcendental pastimes in which there is all spiritual variegatedness.