In this connection, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya, gives this short note: “Śrī Advaita Ācārya is one of the important trunks of the bhakti-kalpataru, or desire tree of devotional service. Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as a gardener, poured water on the root of the bhakti tree and thus nourished all its trunks and branches. But nevertheless, under the spell of māyā, the most unfortunate condition of a living entity, some of the branches, not accepting the gardener who poured water on them, considered the trunk the only cause of the great bhakti-kalpataru. In other words, the branches or descendants of Advaita Ācārya who considered Advaita Ācārya the original cause of the devotional creeper, and who thus neglected or disobeyed the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, deprived themselves of the effect of being watered and thus dried up and died. It is further to be understood that not only the misguided descendants of Advaita Ācārya but anyone who has no connection with Caitanya Mahāprabhu—even if he is independently a great sannyāsī, learned scholar or ascetic—is like a dead branch of a tree.” This analysis by Śrī Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, supporting the statements of Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, depicts the position of the present so-called Hindu religion, which, being predominantly conducted by the Māyāvāda philosophy, has become a hodgepodge institution of various concocted ideas. Māyāvādīs greatly fear the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and accuse it of spoiling the Hindu religion because it accepts people from all parts of the world and all religious sects and scientifically engages them in the daiva-varṇāśrama-dharma. As we have explained several times, however, we find no such word as “Hindu” in the Vedic literature. The word most probably came from Afghanistan, a predominantly Muslim country, and originally referred to a pass in Afghanistan known as Hindukush, which is still a part of a trade route between India and various Muslim countries.
The actual Vedic system of religion is called varṇāśrama-dharma, as confirmed in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa:
- varṇāśramācāra-vatā puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān
- viṣṇur ārādhyate panthā nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam
(CC Madhya 8.58) (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 3.8.9)
The Vedic literature recommends that a human being follow the principles of varṇāśrama-dharma. Accepting the process of varṇāśrama-dharma will make a person’s life successful because this will connect him with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the goal of human life. Therefore the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for all of humanity. Although human society has different sections or subdivisions, all human beings belong to one species, and therefore we accept that they all have the ability to understand their constitutional position in connection with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu confirms, jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya—kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa: (CC Madhya 20.108). “Every living entity is an eternal part, an eternal servant, of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Every living entity who attains the human form of life can understand the importance of his position and thus become eligible to become a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. We take it for granted, therefore, that all humanity should be educated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Indeed, in all parts of the world, in every country where we preach the saṅkīrtana movement, we find that people very easily accept the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra without hesitation. The visible effect of this chanting is that the members of the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, regardless of their backgrounds, all give up the four principles of sinful life and come to an elevated standard of devotion.
Although posing as great scholars, ascetics, householders and svāmīs, the so-called followers of the Hindu religion are all useless, dried-up branches of the Vedic religion. They are impotent; they cannot do anything to spread the Vedic culture for the benefit of human society. The essence of the Vedic culture is the message of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Lord Caitanya instructed:
- yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa
- āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra’ ei deśa
One should simply instruct everyone he meets regarding the principles of kṛṣṇa-kathā, as expressed in Bhagavad-gītā As It Is and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. One who has no interest in kṛṣṇa-kathā or the cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is like dry, useless wood with no living force. The ISKCON branch, being directly watered by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, is becoming undoubtedly successful, whereas the disconnected branches of the so-called Hindu religion that are envious of ISKCON are drying up and dying.