Pseudo-vaishnava-dharma and pure Vaishnava Dharma

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

(From "Sampradaya: Asat-Sampradayas" - click to read more from it.
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– What was the condition of Gaura-mandala during the time of Sri Bhaktivinoda?

– Conclusions against Vaishnava philosophy have spread everywhere. Some people promote Mayavada philosophy as Vaishnava philosophy. Some people mix impersonalism and secularism with a portion of pure religious principles and present a perverted Vaishnava religion. Those who are sober Vaishnavas remain as kanistha-adhikaris as defined in the Srimad Bhagavatam, beginning with the words arcayam eva haraye. There is a definite absence of intelligent pure Vaishnavas. The same condition that a living entity is put in if he does not have a teacher is being faced by Gaura-mandala. (Sajjana-toshani 6/2)

– How was the Vaishnava religion accepted during the time of Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura?

– The age of Kali is so formidable that it does not allow pious activities to go on for long. When the 3 Acharyas (Sri Srinivasa Acharya, Sri Syamananda Prabhu, and Sri Narottama dasa Thakura) and their followers (such as Sri Govinda dasa) disappeared from this world, immediately the supreme religious principles began to vanish again. Gradually pure devotional service began to disappear from the land of Gauda. The descendants of the Acharya families began to act like authorized preachers of various religions, no matter whether they were Vaishnavas, saktas, or karma-kandis.

As a result, the pure Vaishnava religion inaugurated by Sri Gauranga, Sri Nityananda, and Sri Advaita gradually disappeared from sight.

On one side, the revolution of the Acharyas was going on, and on the other, disturbances created by baulas, sahajiyas, and others gradually increased. That is why a pathetic condition of Vaishnava religion is found even today. (Sajjana-toshani 6/2)

– After the disappearance of Sriman Mahaprabhu what revolution took place in the world of the Vaishnavas?

– After the disappearance of Sriman Mahaprabhu, there was some commotion within the Vaishnava society. Since there was no qualified candidate in the line of Mahaprabhu at that time and since various ideologies entered the philosophy of Vaishnava-Dharma, the land of Gaudadesa became bereft of the administration of an Acharya. Due to His independent nature, Sri Viracandra Prabhu could not bring all of Gauda-mandala-bhumi under His control. At the same time, there was great confusion among the sons of Sri Advaita Prabhu.

Gradually the associates and devotees of Mahaprabhu began to disappear. Taking this opportunity, many preachers of unauthorized sects, such as baula, sahajiya, daravesa, and sani, began to spread their ideologies at different places. Taking advantage of the faith that the people had in the names of Sri Caitanya and Nityananda, these preachers of unauthorized cults began to spread their evil teachings to the unfortunate living entities.

Sri Jiva Goswami was the only and undisputed Vaishnava Acharya at that time. Although he was a resident of Vraja, on hearing the pathetic condition of Gauda-mandala, he became extremely distressed and immediately sent Sri Srinivasa Acharya, Sri Narottama dasa Thakura, and Sri Syamananda Prabhu to Bengal as Acharyas to teach religious principles. He also arranged to send many conclusive writings of the Lord’s associates. By the will of Mahaprabhu, all these books were stolen on the way. Having no books with them, they began to preach the pure principles of Vaishnava religion on the strength of their own bhajana. (Sajjana-toshani 6/2)

– Which persons tried to eliminate pure devotional service after the disappearance of Sriman Mahaprabhu?

– After the disappearance of the transcendental pastimes of Sri Gaurangadeva, various unauthorized sampradayas such as baula, karttabhaja, and sahajiya as well as the smarta-brahmanas and impersonalists tried their best to pollute the Vaishnava religion on the pretext of supporting it. Even today there is no lack of such people. Gradually the number of these classes of people is increasing.

It is extremely unreasonable and nondevotional to say that Haridasa Thakura was a mercy Brahmana, that Sri Isvara Puri belonged to a Brahmana or sudra family, and that nobody except a Brahmana is qualified to teach the philosophy of Vaishnava-Dharma. These activities have not enhanced devotional service. Therefore these activities are not respected by the devotees. (Sajjana-toshani 11/10)

– What is the duty of a devotee during a spiritual crisis, especially when Avatara of the Lord disappears from the world?

– A practitioner is prone to fall down when various deceptions surface after the disappearance of Avatara. It is a limb of devotional service for a practitioner to remain careful of these deceptions. (Bhajanamrtam commentary)

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Natural Brotherhood (Bhaktivinoda Thakura):

BhaktiVinoda Thakura

"Gradually, when the offensive portions of the established religions are destroyed, there will be no more differences in the bhajana performed by the various Sampradayas nor any quarrel between them.

Then as brothers, the people of all castes and countries will spontaneously chant the Holy Names of the Supreme Lord together.

At that time, no one will hate anyone or consider others dogeaters; nor will anyone be overwhelmed by the pride of high birth.

The living entities will not forget the principle of natural brotherhood."

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