A REAL VAISHNAVA


So every Vaiṣṇava, every devotee of Kṛṣṇa, pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa, is a paramahaṁsa. So you, we are teaching people to become immediately paramahaṁsa, highest stage of sannyāsa. And the method is simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. You see? The post is paramahaṁsa. Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava means paramahaṁsa. He’s above brāhmaṇa, above sannyāsa. But we must be real Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava means ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam (CC.2:19:167). Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam (Brs. 1.1.11). There is no other desire, material desire. Desire means material desire, this contaminated desire. It does not mean that we shall not desire to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That desire is real desire. And any other desire, anyābhilāṣitā, for some material benefit, that is not required. But if we can keep ourself without any material desire, without any propensity for enjoying fruitive result… “I am doing something, I must enjoy this result. I must be enjoyer.” This is called jñāna-karma. “Oh, I must try to understand Kṛṣṇa by my speculative method.” Why? Kṛṣṇa is explaining Himself. Why don’t you try to understand Him in that way? Nonsense. (chuckling) What speculative power you have got? Simply you’ll commit blunder.
(Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam——1:5:9-11——–by Srila Prabhupada).

P38

Prahlāda Mahārāja, he said to Nṛsiṁhadeva, “My Lord,” na udvije, “I am not at all in anxiety.” Na udvije. Para: “You are transcendental.” Naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaraṇyās. Duratyaya means very difficult to cross over. Vaitaraṇyā, vaitaraṇi, the nescience, ocean of nescience. “Why you are not afraid of?” Tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta-magna cittaḥ: “Because I am now Kṛṣṇa conscious, and as soon as I hear the glories of Your wonderful activities, I become merged in it. So I have no problem.” “Then you appear to be little unhappy. Why?” “No,” śoce, “I am very much aggrieved.” “Why?” Tato vimukha-cetasa: “For these rascals who do not take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I am thinking of them. Instead of taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are busy in māyā-sukhāya, māyā, this temporary, little temporary happiness. They are making big, big program. He will live for fifty years, but he is making program for five millions of years. So I am…,” śoce, “I am actually lamenting for them.” This is Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava is not very anxious or unhappy for his personal affair. He knows that “Everywhere I will be protected by Kṛṣṇa,” so he has no problem. Therefore real Vaiṣṇava, he wants to deliver all these fallen souls from this miserable condition of life. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja is Vaiṣṇava. His first attention was drawn to the persons in the hellish planet. They are suffering. He questioned, “How they can be saved?” That is his concern. This is Vaiṣṇava.
(Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam——6:1:8——–by Srila Prabhupada).

Taking advantage of these verses, there are some sahajiyās who, taking everything very cheaply, consider themselves elevated Vaiṣṇavas but do not care even to touch the Vedānta-sūtra or Vedānta philosophy. A real Vaiṣṇava should, however, study Vedānta philosophy, but if after studying Vedānta one does not adopt the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, he is no better than a Māyāvādī. Therefore, one should not be a Māyāvādī, yet one should not be unaware of the subject matter of Vedānta philosophy. Indeed, Caitanya Mahāprabhu exhibited His knowledge of Vedānta in His discourses with Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī. Thus it is to be understood that a Vaiṣṇava should be completely conversant with Vedānta philosophy, yet he should not think that studying Vedānta is all in all and therefore be unattached to the chanting of the holy name. A devotee must know the importance of simultaneously understanding Vedānta philosophy and chanting the holy names. If by studying Vedānta one becomes an impersonalist, he has not been able to understand Vedānta. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15). Vedānta means “the end of knowledge.” The ultimate end of knowledge is knowledge of Kṛṣṇa, who is identical with His holy name. Cheap Vaiṣṇavas (sahajiyās) do not care to study the Vedānta philosophy as commented upon by the four ācāryas. In the Gauḍīya-sampradāya there is a Vedānta commentary called the Govinda-bhāṣya, but the sahajiyās consider such commentaries to be untouchable philosophical speculation, and they consider the ācāryas to be mixed devotees. Thus they clear their way to hell.
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta——1:7:72——purport).

This behavior is indicative of real Vaiṣṇavas. When they saw that Rūpa and Sanātana were fortunate enough to receive the mercy of the Lord, they were so pleased that they all congratulated the two brothers. A jealous person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava is not at all happy to see the success of another Vaiṣṇava in receiving the Lord’s mercy. Unfortunately, in this Age of Kali there are many mundane persons in the dress of Vaiṣṇavas, and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has described them as disciples of Kali. He says, kali-celā. He indicates that there is another Vaiṣṇava, a pseudo Vaiṣṇava with tilaka on his nose and kaṇṭhī beads around his neck. Such a pseudo Vaiṣṇava associates with money and women and is jealous of successful Vaiṣṇavas. Although passing for a Vaiṣṇava, his only business is earning money in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura therefore says that such a pseudo Vaiṣṇava is not a Vaiṣṇava at all but a disciple of Kali-yuga. A disciple of Kali cannot become an ācārya by the decision of some high-court. Mundane votes have no jurisdiction to elect a Vaiṣṇava ācārya. A Vaiṣṇava ācārya is self-effulgent, and there is no need for any court judgment. A false ācārya may try to override a Vaiṣṇava by a high-court decision, but Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says that he is nothing but a disciple of Kali-yuga.
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta——2:1:220——purport).

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would certainly not have liked to hear about marital dealings unless such dealings were exchanged between two Vaiṣṇavas. Marriage arrangements and ceremonies belong to ordinary material karma-kāṇḍa sections of the scriptures. The Vaiṣṇavas, however, are not interested in any kind of karma-kāṇḍa dealings. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says: karma-kāṇḍa jñāna-kāṇḍa kevala viṣera bhāṇḍa. For a Vaiṣṇava, the karma-kāṇḍa and jñāna-kāṇḍa sections of the Vedas are unnecessary. Indeed, a real Vaiṣṇava takes these sections as a poison pot (viṣera bhāṇḍa). Sometimes we take part in a marriage ceremony for our disciples, but this does not mean that we are interested in karma-kāṇḍa activities. Sometimes, not knowing the Vaiṣṇava philosophy, an outsider criticizes such activity, maintaining that a sannyāsī should not take part in a marriage ceremony between a young boy and a young girl. However, this is not a karma-kāṇḍa activity, because our purpose is to spread the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We are giving all facility to the general populace to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and in order to fix the devotees in concentration on the service of the Lord, marriage is sometimes allowed. We have experienced that such married couples actually render very important service to the mission. Therefore, one should not misunderstand when a sannyāsī takes part in a marriage ceremony. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu took great pleasure in hearing about the marriage ceremony between the young brāhmaṇa and the daughter of the elderly brāhmaṇa.
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta——2:5:24——purport).

In his statement, Jhaḍu Ṭhākura presents himself as being born in a low-caste family and not having the qualifications of a bona fide devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He accepts the statements declaring a lowborn person highly exalted if he is a Vaiṣṇava. However, he feels that these descriptions from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam appropriately describe others, but not himself. Jhaḍu Ṭhākura’s attitude is quite befitting a real Vaiṣṇava, for a Vaiṣṇava never considers himself exalted, even if he factually is. He is always meek and humble and never thinks that he is an advanced devotee. He assigns himself to a lower position, but that does not mean he is indeed low. Sanātana Gosvāmī once said that he belonged to a low-caste family, for although he was born in a brāhmaṇa family, he had associated with mlecchas and yavanas in his service as a government minister. Similarly, Jhaḍu Ṭhākura presented himself as someone who belonged to a low caste, but he was actually elevated above many persons born in brāhmaṇa families. Not only is there evidence for this in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, as quoted by Kālidāsa in verses 26 and 27, but there is also considerable evidence for this conclusion in other śāstras.
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta——3:16:29——purport).

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