His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(founder of the Hare Krsna movement)
His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(founder of the Hare Krsna movement)
by bhakta Pranjul Yadav
India is the land of spirituality. It starts its day by ringing the temple bells and goes to sleep while remembering God. Due to the advanced spiritual environment it is very easy to perform Bhakti in India. However, there has been deliberate efforts by certain category people to end this culture. All this is being done out of greed for money and fame.
There are many organisations which promote their own ‘brand’ of spirituality and oppose bhakti. They do it so silently that someone without the knowledge of Vedas is unable to see their propaganda. Since a common man is unaware of what is written in scriptures, he falls prey to such propaganda. Thus, the spiritual culture of India deteriorates and we don’t even realise the cause of it. In this article I’ve tried to explain about these enemies of Indian Bhakti Culture.
In India there are 3 kinds of opponents to Bhakti-
1. Mayavadis (impersonalists)
2. Nastik (atheists)
3. Sahajiyas (imitators)
Mayavadis or impersonalists are special group of Vedantists who say that anyone can be God. This way, they try to belittle God’s image and decrease a common man’s interest in God. They claim that they know Vedas and thus a common man listens to them. They are difficult to recognize because they pose themselves as gurus. However there is a simple test to recognize them. One has to simply ask the guru or baba about his opinion on God. If the guru starts giving false ideas like 'everyone is God' or ‘anyone can be God if he follows my path’, then he is a Mayavadi. This way, they sell their philosophy to poor and innocent people & cheat them by telling them half-truth.
God, by definition, is above any living entity and is sum total of all that exists. Ask any common man, howsoever foolish, and he’ll tell that God is greater than us. Mayavadis however say that ‘I am God’ and you too can become God if you follow my path. Thus they confuse and mislead a common man and makes him forgetful of India’s rich spiritual culture. This has been going on for many years and is the main reason of India’s spiritual decline.
The Mayavadis sometimes say that God is just like us and by some mystic practices God achieved his Godhood. They say that you can also become God if you follow my package and give me money in return. They have created a business by exploiting the innocence of Indian masses. However their claims are not true because God is always God. Lord Krishna killed Putana when he was 3 days old. How can a 3 day old child kill a demon like Putana if he is not God? Thus the Mayavadi philosophy is exposed because they are unable to explain the simple facts about God.
Another tool used by Mayavadis to belittle God's image is that they'll spread false knowledge about God. They'll try to prove that Avatars like Rama and Krishna were humans. They'll say things like "Krishna was just a simple cowherd boy and not some God". They'll also say vague things like "Krishna was connected to Brahman when he was speaking Geeta but actually he is like us". Thus they will invent new ways to falsify God's Godhood. However, their claims are not supported by scriptures as Lord Krishna says following in Geeta -
avajananti mam mudha
manusim tanum asritam
param bhavam ajananto
mama bhuta-mahesvaram, i.e.
"Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be."
This verse clarifies that only a mudha, a fool, thinks of Krishna as an ordinary human being. Krishna and all his pastimes were extraordinary. He was not born as an ordinary child and appeared as Lord Vishnu in front of His parents. When He was a small child, He killed great demons like Kaliya Naag, Putana, Aghasura and Bakasura. He also showed His universal form, His Viraat Roopa, which had everything from past, present and future. However, the greatest irony is that Mayavadis, who pose themselves as knower of Vedas, say that Lord Krishna was an ordinary man. Actually they are trying to hide the greatest truths from common man. Mayavadis are offenders to God because they use their knowledge to deviate people from God consciousness. Thus they play a vital role in destroying India's Bhakti culture.
The next class of opponents are Nastik or atheists. Generally speaking, there are two types of people who do not believe in God - first are agnostics and second are atheists. Agnostics are those who are confused about the existence of God. They are still searching and are actually encouraged by Vedas. However atheists try to diminish God consciousness by their propaganda. The atheists are themselves not sure about their knowledge, but out of arrogance they claim to know everything. They say things like, "If God is there then why don't you show me God" or "God is not omnipotent because there is existence of evil in the world". However their claims are false because they do not know what God is. God is not our servant who will come to us as per our wish. He is the supreme master and one has to qualify in order to see Krishna.
One can make a small analogy here. A prisoner cannot meet the president of the country because he is not qualified for that. Does that means that the president is not existing? He is unable to see the president face to face because he is not qualified to do so. Similarly, in the present condition, we all are entrapped, imprisoned in our material bodies and thus we cannot see God who is all spiritual. In order to see spiritual things we have get a spiritual body, which is possible only when we awaken our God consciousness. There is proper process to awaken our God consciousness i.e. chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra-
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare;
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Alas, atheists do not understand this but out of arrogance they claim that God is non-existence. The existence of evil can also be explained by understanding the law of 'karma' as well as the nature of material world. The material world is 'dukhalayam' i.e. full of miseries, and it is our foolishness that we try to make a comfortable place here. Lord Krishna himself explains that the material world is under the 3 fold miseries:
1. miseries born due to our body like diseases and mental problems,
2. miseries given by other living entities like physical assault, verbal abuse, etc and
3. miseries inflicted by the nature like floods, draughts, etc.
The 'evil' exists because we have left the 'good'. Darkness exists when light is absent. Darkness however does not have its own existence. Similarly, in the absence of Krishna there are all sorts of dangers and miseries. In the presence of Krishna everything becomes blissful. We are in a prison like condition to purify ourselves and to seek happiness in prison is foolishness. A sincere seeker hence tries to understand the Absolute Truth by humbly studying the scriptures, and not by arrogantly boasting about his knowledge.
The fact that atheists are unable to explain the origin of cosmos explains their inability. However, puffed up in arrogance, they deny the scriptures. It is advised in Vedas that one should not associate with such people as they simply try to spread their ignorance. One should try to understand the truth by surrendering to an Acharya, a knower of the truth. This way one can come to the level of true knowledge.
The third class of opponents are 'Sahajiyas'. It is very easy to find a 'Sahajiya' or immitator. A sahajiya tries to imitate the love of God, and displays his emotions in public. By doing so he is accepted as a very advanced devotee but in reality he is destroying the richness of Bhakti. A sahajiya makes everything very cheap looking; he might even dress like gopis and make a great show of emotions. The innocent public thinks of this as an advanced symptom but this is yet another way to fool them. God is not pleased by 'show of emotions' unless one is pure in heart.
The purification process is recommended in scriptures as 'chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra'. However, a sahajiya doesn't recommends that and instead just believes in imitating the symptoms of a pure devotee. Even the many professional bhajan singers are imitators because they have not purified their heart and are singing bhajans for money. The great Meerabai never sang for money or popularity and would practice her bhajans in isolation. The sahajiyas however do their 'emotional show' in public to attract some public and earn money.
A pure devotee undoubtedly relishes his emotional connection with the Lord, just like Mother Yashoda, but it is possible only because a devotee is pure at heart. A pure devotee is not envious of God and has no material desires. A pure devotee has spontaneous and unconditional love for Lord. Thus one has to first purify and then his/her simultaneous love for God awakens.
Due to sahajiyism the educated people think that 'Bhakti' is some sort of sentimentalism and thus not for intelligent people. This however is wrong as only a man in perfect knowledge can practice Bhakti. Unless one doesn't have perfect knowledge about God he/she cannot practice Bhakti. But due to widespread presence of 'sahajiyas' the Bhakti Culture is not appreciated by the intellectual class of people. People confuse 'sahajiyism' as Bhakti and thus do not realize the depth of actual Bhakti.
Thus these 3 groups are trying to disrupt the pure Bhakti culture of India. However, a sincere seeker doesn't get agitated by false propaganda and explains the actual truth to common people. A sincere seeker also practices the purificatory process of chanting, because it is futile to only preach but not practice. Due to the presence of many sincere seekers, the truth of Vedas are still accessible to everyone. Otherwise, in the age of Kaliyuga i.e. the age of misunderstanding and propaganda it is very difficult to realize God.