Pseudo-vaishnava-dharma: sahajiyas, baulas, sanis, nedas, daravesas, karttabhajas, ativadis

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

(From "Sampradaya: Asat-Sampradayas" - click to read more from it.
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– Why do many people call pseudo-vaishnava-dharma pure vaishnava-dharma?

– Due to the influence of Kali many people, not understanding the principle of pure Vaishnava-Dharma, call pseudo-vaishnava-dharma pure vaishnava-dharma. (Jaiva Dharma Chapter 4)

– By accepting any philosophy as Mahaprabhu’s philosophy can one obtain the teachings of the Lord?

– Many times, because of bad karma, miscreants of various unauthorized cults, such as pseudo-religion and irreligion, say that they preach the teachings of Sri Caitanyadeva. Being absorbed in material enjoyment and not having the ability to discriminate, many people accept those unauthorized cults as the line of Mahaprabhu, and thus they are cheated from receiving the actual instructions of the Lord. (Caitanya-siksamrta)

– Is the baula philosophy similar to the Vaishnava philosophy?

– The philosophies of the baulas, sanis, nedas, daravesas, karttabhajas, and ativadis are those of nondevotees. Their instructions and activities are most incoherent. Many people lose respect in Vaishnava-Dharma by discussing these philosophies. (Prema-pradipa Chapter 6)

– Was the baula philosophy propounded by Sri Sanatana Goswami or Sri Viracandra Goswami?

– The form in which the baula philosophy is seen at present is totally opposed to Sastras. There are two types of instructions on devotional service that are found in the sastras: vaidhi and raganuga. The baulas do not follow any limbs of vaidhi-bhakti; they engage in various improper activities on the pretext of raganuga-bhakti.

It is very hard to say who started the baula philosophy. Sometimes the baulas claim Sri Sanatana Goswami and sometimes Sri Viracandra Goswami as their propounder. Actually neither Sri Sanatana Goswami nor Viracandra Goswami ever thought of the sinful path of the baulas. (Sajjana-toshani 4/4)

– Do the baulas belong to the disciplic succession of Sri Caitanya’s followers?

– The baulas can never be identified as Vaishnavas belonging to the line of Sri Caitanya’s followers. (Sajjana-toshani 2/7)

– Do the groups, like sani and daravesa, belong to the line of Sri Caitanya’s followers? If not, then who are they?

– Since Sanatana was dressed as a fakir when he came to Sri Caitanya, persons who belong to various unauthorized groups, such as sani, daravesa, caranapali, and dulalcandi, dress themselves as dervishes and often act like them. In this way, they claim to be Vaishnavas belonging to the line of Sri Caitanya. If someone asks them, "Why do you dress and almost behave like dervishes but identify yourselves as Vaishnavas belonging to Sri Caitanya-sampradaya?"

In answer, they say, "Sanatana Goswami was a dervish." But when Mahaprabhu had Sanatana shave his moustache and beard, and ordered him to dress as a Vaishnava, the authenticity of the sani, daravesa, caranapali, and dulalcandi was put to an end. For this reason the followers of sani and daravesa can never become Vaishnava followers of Sri Caitanya; rather they should be known as belonging to the Mohammedan religion. (Sajjana-toshani 2/7)

– Is the sahajiya religion a Vaishnava religion?

– An abominable sect known as sahajiya is secretly being followed in many parts of Bengal. The activities of this cult are extremely sinful. They do not follow sahajiya-dharma or spontaneous duties that are mentioned in the sastras. The spontaneous duties of the pure spirit soul are to engage in the transcendental service of Krsna. These duties are spontaneous for the soul, and they manifested at the same time as the soul, but they are not spontaneous when the soul is materially conditioned.

The cheaters and the cheated have turned their pure love of Krsna into mundane spontaneous activities by the meeting of man and woman. Actually pure love is not like that. For a soul in its constitutional position, the contact of a material male and female body is extremely abominable and improper. The cult that is being advertised at present as sahajiya-dharma is against all Sastras. (Sajjana-toshani 4/6)

– Is the endeavor of the sinful living entities against the system of varnasrama beneficial?

– To preach religious principles without respecting the varnasrama system or the sannyasis engaged in devotional service is extremely harmful. The endeavors against the varnasrama system by impersonalists, whimsical devotees, and various unauthorized sampradayas, such as neda, baula, karttabhaja, daravesa, kumbhapaiya, ativadi, are also extremely harmful. (Caitanya-siksamrta)

– What is the harm if persons who follow pseudo-religion identify themselves as brahmacaris, sannyasis, and paramahamsas?

– Nowadays, being involved in various pseudo-religion s, many people identify themselves as brahmacaris, sannyasis, and paramahamsas, and thus they destroy the religious principles of the Aryans. (Sajjana-toshani 10/7)

– Is it correct to differentiate between Krsna and Gauranga?

– One can worship Krsna with the Gaura mantra and Gaura with the Krsna mantra. They are all one. Anyone who differentiates between Them is extremely ignorant and a servant of Kali. (Jaiva Dharma Chapter 14)

– What is the history of the ativadi-sampradaya and Visa Kisana?

– Jagannatha dasa had a group of followers in Orissa. They were known as ativadis. By the order of Mahaprabhu, Jagannatha dasa became a follower of Haridasa Thakura. Later, when he gave up pure devotional service and took shelter of Mayavada philosophy, Mahaprabhu rejected him, saying he was an ativadi.

The sect of ativadi was expanded like the baulas of Bengal. The ativadis have some false literature, which states that Lord Caitanya will manifest again. On this pretext, a few wicked persons began to pose themselves as Caitanya, Brahma, Baladeva, Krsna, and so on.

Having obtained some mystic power, an imposter named Visa Kisana began to promote himself as Maha-Vishnu. He and his followers constructed a temple in the jungle, 2 miles from Sardaipur. It was written on the beads of the followers of ativadi that "Maha-Vishnu" Visa Kisana remains incognito and on 14 March, he will manifest himself and display his 4 arms of Maha-Vishnu. As soon as this news spread, many brahmana women began to serve him, neglecting the prohibition of their husbands.

When some illicit affairs between Visa Kisana and the wives of the Choudhary’s of Bhrangarapura surfaced, then the people of Bhrangarapura reported this to the Revered Walten Sahib, who was the commissioner of Bhrangarapura. He advised me to go to the jungle and investigate the matter.

I went there at night and after a long conversation with that "Maha-Vishnu," I concluded that he was determined to destroy the British Rule. After returning to Puri, the trial of "Maha-Vishnu" began in my court. After a long trial and hearing, I awarded him the punishment of one and half years in prison. When his matted hair was cut, his worshipers and followers abandoned him as a cheater. (Svalikhita Jivani)

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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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