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When impersonalist philosophers refer to the Vedanta and the Upanisads, they are actually referring to these works as understood through the commentaries of Sankaracarya, the greatest teacher of Mayavada philosophy

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"When impersonalist philosophers refer to the Vedanta and the Upanisads, they are actually referring to these works as understood through the commentaries of Sankaracarya, the greatest teacher of Mayavada philosophy"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

According to Māyāvādī philosophers, the Vedānta refers to the Śārīraka commentary of Śaṅkarācārya. When impersonalist philosophers refer to the Vedānta and the Upaniṣads, they are actually referring to these works as understood through the commentaries of Śaṅkarācārya, the greatest teacher of Māyāvāda philosophy.
Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 19:

After hearing the arguments and talks of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, all the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs who were present became pacified and replied with sweet words: "Dear sir, what You have spoken is all true. A person who attains love of Godhead is certainly very fortunate, and undoubtedly You are very fortunate to have attained this stage. But what is the fault in the Vedānta? It is the duty of a sannyāsī to read and understand the Vedānta. Why do You not study it?"

According to Māyāvādī philosophers, the Vedānta refers to the Śārīraka commentary of Śaṅkarācārya. When impersonalist philosophers refer to the Vedānta and the Upaniṣads, they are actually referring to these works as understood through the commentaries of Śaṅkarācārya, the greatest teacher of Māyāvāda philosophy. After Śaṅkarācārya came Sadānanda Yogīndra, who claimed that the Vedānta and Upaniṣads should be understood through the commentaries of Śaṅkarācārya. Factually, this is not so. There are many commentaries on the Vedānta and the Upaniṣads made by Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, and these are preferred to those of Śaṅkarācārya. But the Māyāvādī philosophers, influenced by Śaṅkarācārya, do not attribute any importance to the Vaiṣṇava understandings.

There are four different sects of Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, and each follows a different variation of personalism—śuddhādvaita, viśiṣṭādvaita, dvaitādvaita and acintya-bhedābheda. All the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas in these schools have written commentaries on the Vedānta-sūtra, but the Māyāvādī philosophers do not recognize them. The Māyāvādīs distinguish between Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's body, and therefore they do not recognize the worship of Kṛṣṇa by the Vaiṣṇava philosophers. Thus when the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs asked Lord Caitanya why He did not study the Vedānta-sūtra, the Lord replied, "Dear sirs, you have asked why I do not study the Vedānta, and in answer to this I could speak something, but I am afraid you would be sorry to hear it."

All the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs replied, "We shall be very much pleased to hear You because we see that You are just like Nārāyaṇa and Your speeches are so nice that we are taking great pleasure in them. We are very much obliged to see and hear You. Therefore we shall be very glad to hear patiently and accept whatever You say."

The Lord then began to speak on Vedānta philosophy as follows: The Vedanta-sūtra is spoken by the Supreme Lord Himself. The Supreme Lord, in His incarnation as Vyāsadeva, has compiled this great philosophical treatise. Since Vyāsadeva is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord, he cannot be likened to an ordinary person, who has the four defects which arise due to contact with material existence. The defects of a conditioned soul are (1) he must commit mistakes, (2) he must be illusioned, (3) he must possess the tendency to cheat others, and (4) all his senses must be imperfect. We must understand that the incarnation of God is transcendental to all these defects. Thus whatever has been spoken and written by Vyāsadeva is considered to be perfect. The Upaniṣads and Vedānta-sūtra aim at the same goal: the Supreme Absolute Truth. When we accept the direct import of the Vedānta-sūtra and Upaniṣads, that is glorious. But the commentaries made by Śaṅkarācārya are indirect and are thus very dangerous for the common man to read, for by understanding the import of the Upaniṣads in such an indirect, disruptive way, one practically bars himself from spiritual realization.

According to the Skanda and Vāyu Purāṇas, the word sūtra refers to a condensed work which carries meaning and import of immeasurable strength without any mistake or fault. The word vedānta means "the end of Vedic knowledge." In other words, any book which deals with the subject matter indicated by all the Vedas is called vedānta. For example, the Bhagavad-gītā is vedānta because in the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says that the ultimate goal of all Vedic research is Kṛṣṇa. Thus one should understand that the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which aim only at Kṛṣṇa, are vedānta.