SAND IN THE SWEET RICE
A Critical Review of the
By Bhakta Çré Hari Vijayaräghavan
Edited by Kailäsa Candra däsa
“The words or songs of a person not fixed in Vaiñëava behavior, not strictly following the rules and regulations and chanting the
Hare Kåñëa mantra, should not be accepted by pure devotees.”
The “Lélämåta”, a multi-volume book written by an initiated disciple of the name and title Satsvarüpa däsa Gosvämé (henceforward, SSd), supposedly glorifies his guru, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämé Çréla Prabhupäda, in the form of a biography. While the focus of this article is a critical analysis of this Çréla Prabhupäda “Lélämåta” (henceforward, referred to as simply “Lélämåta”), we must first establish a solid foundation for the review in terms of prerequisite devotional topics. In light of paramparä teachings, it is required to consider just who are bhägavata bhaktas, and then we can better understand their pastimes. There is an etiquette here, and it is demonstrated by Vaiñëava composers of Vedäntic literatures. Under their guidance can this analysis be undertaken and appropriate, accurate conclusions thus drawn.
The Supreme Lord and His pastimes
In the famous verse, Bhagavad-gétä, 4.9, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Çré Kåñëa, instructed His dear devotee, Çré Arjuna, that, when His pastimes (which are all transcendental) are understood in truth, a conditioned soul gets liberation from the material entanglement. Conversely, He condemned those who misunderstand His activities as material to be ignorant fools and rascals (avajänanti mäm müdhä). Naturally, the first-named class of living entities are known as devotees (viñëu-bhaktaù småto daiva), while the latter are demons (äsuras tad-viparyayaù).
BENEFIC AND MALEFIC SPHERES AND
Seventh of a Multi-part Series
“There are two destinies . . . One destiny is in Kåñëa consciousness, and the other destiny is in material consciousness .
“Mäyä is the shadow of darkness, yet, even if we come under the shadow of darkness, reality remains.”
“Reality denied comes back to haunt.”
Especially in America, what was underpinning Çréla Prabhupäda’s movement in 1976 remains somewhat occluded today, but only for a section of devotees, not
for all of them. Of course, the sentimentalists and the fanatics ignore the actual history of the movement entirely. However, for those who know the
importance of remembering this movement as it was and as it is, 1976 was not a great year. Yes, there were some tremendous output and developments
connected to book distribution, Deity worship, and other magisterial displays in 1976. Still, the occult truth underlying what was actually transpiring
back then can now be seen much more clearly—and that is what Part Seven of this series explores.
BAD BOYS BURN THE MISSION
Part Four of Benefic and Malefic Spheres
The West values passion and the domineering spirit, often taking them as indications of personal strength, but the Vedic perspective views them as weaknesses of heart. To lord it over material nature is considered progressive in the West, especially when efforts impelled by passion succeeds. Buddhi-yoga in Kåñëa consciousness cannot be maintained with such an attitude and mentality. Passion leads to increasing the propensity to lord it over, conducive to inextricable entanglement in Nature’s complexities.
Becoming attached to matter and the possession of matter is intrinsic to the modes of passion and binds one to saàsara. All the major problems of material existence are due to the lower modes, but the West only recognizes problems caused by the modes of ignorance, which works to destroy what is, in most cases, unnecessarily created when everything appears to flourish in passion.
The VAISHNAVA FOUNDATION was founded in order to provide a forum for honest seekers of the Absolute Truth. Inherent in the purposes of the Foundation is the need to discriminate between sentimentally-driven Kåñëa consciousness and Kåñëa consciousness which is actually based on the instructions of the previous spiritual masters. As such, the Foundation keeps the emphasis on knowledge and realization, as opposed to absorption in congregationalism.
The Vaishnava Foundation spares no effort in presenting the philosophy of Kåñëa consciousness as it was presented most recently by our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämi Prabhupäda. In this way, the Vaishnava Foundation does not sacrifice the Absolute Truth for the sake of some ephemeral unity or so-called cooperation.
In addition to offering a firm philosophical foundation, the Foundation sheds special light on the plight of the Kåñëa consciousness movement since the departure of His Divine Grace in November of 1977.
The Vaishnava Foundation was founded in 1986 by Kailäsa Candra däsa, an initiated disciple of Swämi Prabhupäda. The Foundation presents the same message and spirit that was available during the manifest physical presence of His Divine Grace, repeating his message as it is according to experience, logic, and personal realization. This is possible due to the leadership of Çréman Kailäsa Candra däsa, who represents Çréla Prabhupäda and directs service activities for the members of the foundation. Kailäsa prabhu’s teachings preserve the philosophy of Çréla Prabhupäda, because he has never allowed himself to come under the influence of party-spirit factions, such as the zonal äcäryas or those that have come after.
Çréla Prabhupäda was extremely pleased by devotees who were familiar enough with his books to resist misleading presentations by deluded leaders of his movement, such as the four sannyäsés of 1970. Strictly adhering to Çréla Prabhupäda’s instructions, Kailäsa prabhu has provided such an alternative since at least 1979. (see biography)
Those who affiliate with the Foundation obtain the opportunity to help him in this effort and thus obtain the mercy of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Swämi Prabhupäda.
Svarüpa-jïäna--or intrinsic knowledge concerning the sädhaka, the sädhana, and sädhya--is non different from the svarüpa of çuddha bhakti. When such svarüpa-jïäna has not yet arisen in a sädhaka--but the desire to cross over the ocean of material existence has arisen within him--then the symptoms of bhakti visible in him at that time are merely bhaktyäbhäsa. This bhaktyäbhäsa transforms into çuddha-bhakti when one obtains svarüpa-jïäna. Even for Vaiñëavas duly initiated into a genuine sampradäya, the vastu-prabha--the illumination of one's identity arising from the mantra received upon initiation by his dékñä-guru--does not appear until he receives the enlightenment of his svarüpa-jïäna by the mercy of çikñä-guru. Due to ignorance of svarüpa-jïäna, svarüpa-çuddha-bhakti remains covered. Hence, only bhaktyäbhäsa is visible.
Unfortunately, in present day society, in the name of çuddha-bhakti, various types of mixed devotion--such as karma-miçra, jïäna-miçra, and yoga-miçra, as well as various polluted and imaginary conceptions, are spreading like germs of plague. People in general consider these polluted and mixed conceptions to be bhakti. They respect them as such and thus are deprived of çuddha-bhakti. These polluted and mixed conceptions are our greatest enemies.
Some people say that there is no value in bhakti, that God is only imaginary sentiment, that man has merely created the image of God through imagination, and that bhakti is a diseased state, unable to benefit us in any way. These types of opponents cannot harm us much, because we easily recognize them and avoid them. However, those who propagate bhagavad-bhakti as the highest dharma--yet behave against the principles of çuddha-bhakti--can be especially harmful to us. In the name of bhakti, they instruct us against the actual principles of bhakti. This ultimately leads us to a path that is diametrically opposed to bhagavad-bhakti. Therefore, with great endeavor, our previous äcäryas have defined the svarüpa or intrinsic nature of bhakti, repeatedly cautioning us to keep away from polluted and mixed concepts.
Bhakti Viveka Tattva By His Divine Grace Çréla Bhaktivinode Öhäkur Prabhupäda
|Quotes from the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are copyright Bhaktivedanta Book Trust|
The following five articles constitute the core of the Vaishnava Foundation presentation. They are essential for anyone desiring to make tangible progress in spiritual life at the present time.