Lord Caitanya next informed Prakasananda that in the modern age people in general are more or less bereft of spiritual intellect

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"Lord Caitanya next informed Prakasananda that in the modern age people in general are more or less bereft of spiritual intellect"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Lord Caitanya next informed Prakāśānanda that in the modern age people in general are more or less bereft of spiritual intellect. When such people come under the influence of Śaṅkarācārya's Māyāvāda (impersonalist) philosophy before beginning the most confidential Vedānta-sūtra, their natural tendency toward obedience to the Supreme is checked.
Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 19:

It appears from the talks of Lord Caitanya that a person who cannot keep his faith in the words of the spiritual master and who acts independently cannot attain the desired success in chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. In the Vedic literature it is stated that the import of all transcendental literature is revealed to one who has unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord and his spiritual master. Lord Caitanya firmly believed in the statements of His spiritual master, and He never neglected the instructions of His spiritual master by stopping His saṅkīrtana movement. Thus the transcendental potency of the holy name encouraged Him more and more in chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, the mahā-mantra.

Lord Caitanya next informed Prakāśānanda that in the modern age people in general are more or less bereft of spiritual intellect. When such people come under the influence of Śaṅkarācārya's Māyāvāda (impersonalist) philosophy before beginning the most confidential Vedānta-sūtra, their natural tendency toward obedience to the Supreme is checked. The supreme source of everything is naturally respected by everyone, but this natural tendency is hampered when one takes to the impersonalist conceptions of Śaṅkara. Thus the spiritual master of Lord Caitanya suggested that it is better not to study the Śārīraka-bhāṣya of Śaṅkarācārya, for it is very harmful to people in general. Indeed, the common man does not even have the intelligence to penetrate into the jugglery of words. He is better advised to chant the mahā-mantra: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. In this quarrelsome Age of Kali there is no alternative for self-realization.

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.