The Buddhists or other religionists who do not care for revealed scriptures sometimes say that there are many devotees of Lord Buddha who show devotional service to Lord Buddha and who therefore should be considered devotees. In answer to this argument, Rūpa Gosvāmī says that the followers of Buddha cannot be accepted as devotees. Although Lord Buddha is accepted as an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, the followers of such incarnations are not very advanced in their knowledge of the Vedas. To study the Vedas means to come to the conclusion of the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead. Therefore any religious principle which denies the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead is not accepted and is called atheism. Atheism means defying the authority of the Vedas and decrying the great ācāryas who teach Vedic scriptures for the benefit of the people in general.
Lord Buddha is accepted as an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but in the same Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated that Lord Buddha appeared in order to bewilder the atheist class of men. Therefore his philosophy is meant for bewildering the atheists and should not be accepted. If someone asks, "Why should Kṛṣṇa propagate atheistic principles?" the answer is that it was the desire of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to end the violence which was then being committed in the name of the Vedas. The so-called religionists were falsely using the Vedas to justify such violent acts as meat-eating, and Lord Buddha came to lead the fallen people away from such a false interpretation of the Vedas. Also, for the atheist class, Lord Buddha preached atheism so that they would follow him and thus be tricked into devotional service to Lord Buddha, or Kṛṣṇa.
Inquiring about External Religious Principles
In the Nāradīya Purāṇa it is said: "If one is actually very serious about devotional service, then all of his purposes will be served without any delay."
Residing in a Sacred Place
In the Padma Purāṇa it is stated: "For one who has given up his material sense enjoyment and has accepted the principles of devotional service, the opulence of Viṣṇu-loka (the kingdom of God) is awaiting." In the same Padma Purāṇa it is also said that for a person who has lived in Dvārakā for six months, for one month, or even for one fortnight, there is awaiting elevation to the Vaikuṇṭha-lokas and all the profits of sārūpya-mukti (the privilege of having the same four-handed bodily features as Nārāyaṇa).
In the Brahma Purāṇa it is said: "The transcendental significance of Puruṣottama-kṣetra, which is the 80-square-mile field of Lord Jagannātha, cannot be properly described. Even the demigods from higher planetary systems see the inhabitants of this Jagannātha Purī as having exactly the same features of body as are possessed by one in Vaikuṇṭha. That is, the demigods see the inhabitants of Jagannātha Purī as being four-handed."
When there was a meeting of great sages at Naimiṣāraṇya, Sūta Gosvāmī was reciting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and the importance of the Ganges was stated as follows: "The waters of the Ganges are always carrying the flavor of tulasī offered at the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and as such the waters of the Ganges are ever flowing, spreading the glories of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Wherever the waters of the Ganges are flowing, all will be sanctified, both externally and internally."