Over the years there were many requests for an English edition, which led to the manifestation of this book "Vaisnava Vijaya: in its present form from the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. We are optimistic that knowledgeable and sincere devotees as well as scholars and indologists in the medium of the English language will be benefited by this translation and this work will receive wide appreciation around the world based on its own merit.
The holy lineage of the Sri Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya are all devout followers of Sri Svarupa Damodara and Sri Rupa Gosvami, the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who are revered and venerated by Srila Vinode Barshananavi Kesava Maharaja and all who are truly blessed and fully loyal. Enlightenment by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Prajnan Kesava Gosvami Maharaja came by his constant attendance and attentive hearing of the delightful nectarian discourses on Srimad Bhagavatam and other scriptural deliberations delivered by His Divine Grace Jagad Guru Nitya-lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara Sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada was convinced that until the mayavad philosophy is completely vanquished the Earth will not be a safe place for devotional service in its highest manifestations of bhakti. Thus Srila Prabhupada declared total war against mayavadism. It became the underlying theme of all his lectures, writing, seminars, conferences, meetings and books. He was already known as the human encyclopedia so vast and prolific was his knowledge and he utilized it fully by revealing verifications from hundreds of scriptures and evidences from dozens of
commentaries clearly illuminating the imperishable path of Sanatana Dharma. Srila Prabhupada boldly broadcast the holy name according to the original ideas of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's judgement on Vyasadev's immortal Vedanta-sutra. He also destroyed all concocted ideas and speculative theories from all impersonal religions as well as their mundane opinions and uninformed assumptions in regard to the paramount sanctity of Deity worship of the Supreme Lord and his wonderful incarnations."
Whenever and wherever he heard the comments of a shapeless, formless, indistinct and unqualitive divinity was termed as Brahman, he ferociously demolished them by the sharp sword of sastra based argument. In this way all throughout India he relentlessly destroyed Sankaracarya’s atheistic ideas at the very root. Following in the footsteps of his beloved Gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Prajnan Kesava Gosvami Maharaj founded Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti in 1940 to purely promulgate the concepts, methodology and philosophy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s glorious and eternal sankirtan movement.
In this darkened age of Kali atheistic forces are extremely strong. Who can deny or ignore this in the world today Manufactured ideas of the epicureanism give the misguided illusion that the physical body of the human being in non different and synomonous with the spirit soul. Without being able to distinguish the difference and oblivious that the body is also perishable in due course of time this understanding has led to dangerous proportions in the formation of the eat, drink and be merry philosophy found to me motivating the world today; and is the foremost stumbling block in preaching the tenets of devotional service and the main obstacle in obstructing Sanatana Dharma.
Sri Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva, the literary incarnation of the Supreme Lord Krsna and the supreme giver of spiritual truth as well as the spiritual scriptures, revealed that the unlimited source of all creation, maintenance and destruction is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna.
Five thousand years ago in Dvarapa yuga, Srila Vyasadeva made dire forecasts predicting the inauspicious and miserable conditions awaiting this material world in the age of kali. Living entities in clutches of the mortal coils of kali yuga and its attendant vices and evils foolishly defy the followers of Sanatana Dharma and the devotees of the Bhagavata religion. Human being following depraved ways of life have fallen judgement and thus they shun the super excellent, merciful and blessed, sanctifying path which the Supreme Personality of Godhead has exemplified and demonstrated b y His own personal example in the acceptance of a spiritual master. The Supreme Lord Krsna Himself accepted Sandipani Muni as His spiritual master and He duly entered the ashram of Brahmacari and accepted twice born initiation. At his guru’s ashram He studied all branches of Vedic scriptures and fully served and satisfied His guru as a humble disciple.
For those living entities that choose to negate, disregard or ignore the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna, He especially sent His dearmost Mahadeva Siva to incarnate as Sankaracarya to spread the doctrine of mayavadism and thus by bewildering the demonic, misguide them further by misinterpreting the supreme knowledge of the Vedas by interpolating the principles and misrepresenting the fundamental concept of Vedanta. In this way the idea of illusory ideas in an illusory world was fabricated. Sankaracarya performed his service relentlessly, completely twisting and deforming the pristine absolute truth of the Supreme Lord, into a non-distinct impotent facsimile of a formless and qualitiless Brahman, implicitly following the ultimate order of the Supreme Lord Krsna.
Sanatana Dharma and devotional service as understood by Brahma, Narada, Madhvacarya and all Vaisnava authors including Sandilya, Vyasadeva and Garga Muni all reject completely any conception of a formless, indistinct, phenomenalism. Anything that is harmonious with devotional service should always be accepted and anything contrary to devotional service should always be rejected. The author of "Vaisnava Vijaya" always advised all to make reference and consult the "Mayavad Niramaya Anuvashya" and the "Gaudiya Vasya" written by Jagatgur Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaj Srila Prabhupada, the dearmost to the followers of Vaisnavism, the conqueror of the phonemenalists and the root establisher of the pure devotional religion. He wrote the introduction of Srila Madhvacarya's "Tattva-muktavali" where he paraphrases that "Those we attempt to falsely establish the world as a phenomena and try to erroneously establish the individual soul as non existent are the patrons and followers of mayavadism. Without the mercy of the Vaisnavas and without devotion to the Supreme Lord Krsna, mere study of the Vedas only leads to temporal bondage and subsequent ruin. Baseless arguments proposed by speculating phenomenalists with little if any knowledge or scriptural foundation are all unable to lead to the absolute truth. An unsubstantiated imagination only leads to misconceptions and illusions, like the seemingly visualization of a mirage. " It appears to be real, so it is," quotes the phenomenalist and their illusory conceptions based on inadequate knowledge and the foolish dependence on their material sense perceptions leads to gross errors in judgement which undermines their understanding and falsified their conclusions. Thus they are unable to break the cycle of birth and death and attain only the miserable ordeal of having to enter another womb be it human or animal species, totally wasting their precious life and unfortunately unable to use it to improve themselves and attain the spiritual world.
We are deeply indebted to His Divine Grace Om Visnupada 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja Srila Prabhupada for his complete and comprehensive understanding of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Srimad Bhagavatam is the perfect, infallible commentary on Vedanta and Srila Vyasadeva compiled this work as the essence and final commentary on all his other works. But as prolific and beneficial as it is for all of humanity there are still groups of living entities in this world inimical to Bhagavat Dharma. Hiranyakasipu was a terrible demon and an openly determined atheist, but it is those who knowingly deceive others of their factual positions that are truly detrimental and dangerous. Followers of the indistinct formless Brahman like Prakasananda still had the facility for self-analysis and because of this he was able to rectify himself in Varnasi along with 60,000 other mayavadi sannyasis and receiving the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accept the devotion of loving service to the Supreme Lord called bhakti as the supreme dharma or supreme purpose of human existence. It is not possible for non-devotees to be able to understand the impeccable magnitude and sublime beauty of such refined and sophisticated subject matters as loving, devotional service to the Supreme Lord.
In the very first sloka of the 18,000 slokas contained in the Srimad Bhagavatam we find the words "satyam param dhimahi" which means I meditate on the absolute truth. Followers of the Vaisnava tradition are never hypocrites, they are the clear and knowledgeable followers of the absolute truth and the complete absolute truth in its highest manifestation is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna, Who is worshipable by all. The Supreme truth is extremely esoteric and highly confidential, far beyond the consumate reasoning and conceptual power of the mind and the senses and impossible to understand except by the purified medium of a Vaisnava Guru and by receiving initiation from him become qualified to serve the Supreme Lord with all one’s heart and soul and execute loving devotional service to Him.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead with Mayadevi submissively behind him was sighted at Soumyapras at Badarikashram on the bank of the Sarsvati River by Srila Vyasadeva. Temporal power is illusory power. It manifests differently in the form of Kapila's Sankhya philosophy which postulates that material natures is the cause of the cosmic creation. IN Kanada’s Vaisesik atomic theory which concludes that a combination of atoms is the cause of the cosmic creation. In Jaimini’s Mimamsaka philosophy which he propounds that if there is a God, He is subject to the laws of fruitive activities and thus controlled by actions In Gautama’s Nyaya theory of logic the conclusion is that the atom is the sole cause of the cosmic creation. In Patanjali’s Vibhuti Kaivalyadi or astanga yoga system the premise is that by practicing meditation and mastering mystic yogic postures Brahman is attained when self-realization comes; and finally the mayavadi philosophers headed b Sankaracaya put forth the hypothesis that this world is false and that everything is an illusion and the impersonal Brahman effulgence is the cause of the cosmic creation.
When Caitanya Mahaprabhu traveled to the south of India through the Jarikhanda forest it was seen that elephants, tigers, deers, birds, trees, plants and all moving and crawling flying and stationary beings chanted Hare Krsna in divine ecstasy and experienced bliss. Since the concealment of Sanatana Dharma 500 years ago with the departure of the Supreme Lord Krsna to His eternal abode and the subsequent degraded commencement of the age of quarrel known as kali yuga. From that time onwards until even today an over abundance of diverse and obtuse religious points of view have manifested and been indoctrinated concerning the Supreme Lord. The universality of their doctrines depending upon the innate, internal development of the culture in question. From atheism which denies the very existence of God to zoomorphism which conceives of God as an animal; throughout this world these speculative concoctions abound unlimitedly and the deviation and distortion down through the ages has been horrendous. However it is well documented that Saivites, Saktas, Hindu, Buddhist, Hebrew, Christian, Muslim yogis, yavanas, mleechas, dacoits, infidels an mayavadis alike; irregardless of caste, creed, color, ashram conception or designation in far away countries or within Mother India, before B.C. and all through A.D. receiving the mercy of Vaisnava and Bhagavat dharma joyfully engaged themselves in devotional service of the Supreme Lord and tasted bliss. This declaration should be noted and not be taken lightly for it is an archaeological reality that the Greek ambassador Heliodorus was a Vaisnava devotee of Vasudeva Krsna one century and a half before the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is absolute, eternal and transcendental to the temporal nature of the material worlds. If this misunderstanding is transported by ones imagination into the mundane scope of human intellect it is falsely understood and subsequently misconceived as idol worship. Then it is subjected to the conception of dualities perceived as form or formless, distinct or indistinct, existent or non-existent in accordance to one’s conditioned understanding. Fortunately the Supreme Personality of Godhead is transcendental to all material conceptions and designations and far beyond any and all ontological opinions and dialectics. Supporters as well as antagonists of a conceptual God transgress His supreme transcendence with mundane visions of time, place and objective reality. But just as the sun existing millions of miles away shines pure light in a clean or dirty place equally; but is uninfluenced by either of them. In the same way the Transcendent Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krsna and His supra mundane and wonderful incarnations although appearing in the material world are never influenced and never subject to the jurisdiction of the material energy.
Gross material enjoyment makes most humans happy as pigs in stool. Epicureans will shamelessly go into debt to satisfy their carnal pleasures. To be conscious of the obvious and potent spiritual energy which is orchestrating everything which is known and unknown is the birthright of every human being. One has to be a flesh eater, an alcohol drinker, a drug user or retarded to deny one’s birthright. Total amnesia to spiritual life is what the human race has created for themselves. Atheistic Sakya Singha and atheistic Kapila Muni aimed a gnostic life ignoring the spiritual world. Sankaracaya and other earlier ascetics also prescribed to this theory. Out of 8,400,000 different species in this material creation the human species is only one. It is so very difficult and rare to attain a human birth; yet billions of people misuse a truly golden opportunity and simply waste their human life trying to fulfill their animal propensities by foolishly pursuing their desires.
In more modern times in Sri Navadvipa Dham, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura the pioneer and master foundation layer for the devotional religion of bhakti yoga has explained that one must be accepted by one of the four authorized sampradaya’s as given below:
1)Ramanuja’s Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya
2)Madhvacarya’s Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya
3)Visnusvami’s Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya
4)Nimbarka’s Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Lord incarnate, Himself accepted the Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya of Madhvacarya when he accepted diksa form Sripad Isvara Puri and thus glorified or disciplic succession eternally.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu did this to set the example and exemplify that the first limb of devotional service which is accepting a spiritual master must be followed and that this injunction is mandatory for every human being. Mahaprabhu declared that aul, baul, shain, daresh, kartabhaja, ativari and other various and sundry deviant sects of these four original sampradyas are factually not Vaisnavas. Their concocted assumptions and speculative interpretations have developed into full fledged distortion and deviation having no longer any connection with Bhagavat Dharma and Vaisnavas cannot be held responsible for their actions. Those who are respectful of Sanatana Dharma are not advaita-vadis and pantheists.
"Sri Krsnadas Kaviraj Gosvami in defiance of mayavadism wrote about the evolution of the Brahman in detail. Srila Vyasadeva charts the precise course in this regard in His Vedanta-sutra consisting of the transcendental absolute truth without any human deficiency. The human deficiency is apparent in the form of so many unqualified commentaries of Vedanta sutra with Sankaracarya's Sariraka Bahsya heading the list. The message revealed in the Upanisads as expressed in Vedanta is definitively glorified. The Brahman indicates that the source of everything is Bhagavan, who is full with all transcendental opulences and superior to all and that this Bhagavan has a name, form, body, abode, associates, paraphernalia and a personality and that this Supreme Personality of Godhead is the one without a second Lord Sri Krsna. Wherever He descends becomes the spiritual world by His exalted position and who are unable to perceive His transcendental glories are blinded by the limited interpretations of their own erudition and thus the most they can do is establish Him as impersonal.
While writing this introduction for "Vaisnava Vijaya" the transcendental welfare and ultimate salvation of all humanity is foremost in my mind. Without accurate reasoning, correct understanding and proper guidance this can never be achieved; for an appreciation of the higher concepts and finer principles of spiritual life which are extremely subtle will not be realized. In the regard we the devotees of Sanatana Dharma are eternally grateful to all the care and time that was given by the stalwarts of religious principles, the previous Vaisnavacaryas who systematically and comprehensively following implicitly the siddhanta of the disciplic succession left a spiritual legacy in their writings complete with commentaries for posterities future generations of Vaisnavas.
At this time it would not be inappropriate or out of place; nor is it possible to resist the temptation to recall the illustrious devotees starting with Sri Brahma, Sri Narada, Sri Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva, Sri Madhvacarya, Sri Ramanuja, Sri Visnuswami, Sri Nimbarka, Sri Madhavendra Puri, Sri Rupa, Sri Sanatana, Sri Jiva, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta, Sri Gopal Bhatta, Sri Raghunatha Das, Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraj, Sri Visvanatha Chakravarti, Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada, Srila Bhakti Prajnan Kesava Gosvami Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Gosvami Maharaj, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja; all who were luminaries and divine preceptors empowered in their own right and who dedicated their lives to the universal preaching of Bhagavat dharma in Lord Caitanya's glorious sankirtana movement to every nook and corner throughout all the worlds.
In closing I wish to express that it is a habit for worms and insects to look for faulty cracks and crevices in marble palaces even though it is futile. It is also the nature of the demonic and evil to attempt to thwart and attack any noble effort form saintly people. Contrarily saints, seers and men of virtue are able to gather nectar from common flora and herbs. Vaisnavas are the most beloved of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are unbiased, unenvious and unoffensive and naturally always humble. They will always avoid mayavadism or any philosophy where there is no possibility to have a personal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even if their position is lowly and far away they still will shun impersonalism like the plague and with full faith and undeviated mind, peacefully and contentedly worship the Supreme Lord Krsna surrendering everything unto His lotus feet.
Always desiring the blessings and causeless mercy of my Divine Master, Nitya-lila Pravista Om Visnupada 108 Sri Srimad Srila Bhakti Prajnan Kesava Gosvami Maharaj, I humbly take your leave.Tridandi-Bhiksu Bhakti Vedanta Vaman
Patrons of transcendental knowledge and those enlightened by it, insisted on this publication of "The Life History of Mayavadism". But he chances of this actually manifesting became very rare in this dark age of kali. Atheism along with its base concurrent thoughts and its degrading tendencies even in the research arena can hardly be understated. The literary incarnation of the Supreme Lord and the compiler of the Vedic scriptures Sri Veda Vyasadeva narrated in the twelfth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam that in the age of kali, revelation about he absolute truth will face immense difficulties. This was predicted over five thousand years ago and now in the present times we are feeling the awesome reality of this prophecy. In the bringing forth of this treatise many setbacks and hurdles I was forced to face. In brief I must acquaint my readers with them.
In l915 at Sridham Mayapura as a naisthika brahmacari I had the rare opportunity to attend the Srimad Bhagavatam classes of Jagat Guru Om Visnupada 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Srila Prabhupada. By reflecting upon the opening statements of all his lectures I could understand his complete conviction against mayavadism. Four years later in 1919, after having been correctly taught the Gaudiya Viasnava siddhanta and properly trained up to preach and spread the sankirtan mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; Srila Prabhupada blest me and gave me his benediction in realizing the scriptural truth and ontology. He would often remark, "So long as there is Sankaracarya's mayavadi philosophy in this world, there will be obstacles on the path of pure devotional service. So on this earth there should not be a single place where mayavadism can find any shelter.
As I spent longer and longer in his association and began to deeply contemplate his teachings, I realized that this idea was advocated in all his letters, essays, writings, lectures, commentaries, speeches and instructions. Srila Prabhupada's firm, unwavering conviction against mayavadism made a strong impression in my mind. Srila Prabhupada had given almost a dozen lectures quoting from commentaries given by Ramanuja, Madhvacarya and other noteworthy commentators of Vedanta philosophy which also firmly opposed to mayavadism. These lectures I dutifully copied down and added to my collection. After careful and thorough deliberations over them for some time I was able to have some realizations and at that time I was ordered by Srila Prabhupada to go out preaching and specifically prove the falsity of Sankaracarya's mayavadism. This I began and I gave lectures at Ravenscroft College in Cuttack and to the intellectual elite in Allahabad, Assam, Meghalaya, Calcutta and Mathura amongst others. Some parts of these lectures were published in the "Dainik Nadia Prakash" the then daily newsletter. In short the ideas of Vedanta-sutra were placed before the readers in the way of "Nam Bhajan Siksa".
The fundamental axioms of Vedanta-sutra have been so deviated by Sankaracarya in his commentary Sariraka-bhasya that it is totally opposed to the principles of Vedanta philosophy. In this work Sankaracarya states that Brahman is formless, impersonal and unqualitative. That is why Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself stated: mayavadi bhasya sunile haya sarva-nasa: "If one hears this illusory commentary then one is doomed." No where in any of the five hundred and fifty-five sutras of "Vedanta sutra" is it mentioned that Brahman possesses these three attributes. Brahman cannot be formless, impersonal and unqualitative. If Brahman is no also in possession of form why is that so many saintly souls have written praises to the dust of his lotus feet. So these statements by Sankaracarya about Brahman being formless, impersonal and unqualitative are utterly false and deceptive; hence atheistic and demonic. No where in his Vedanta-sutra does Srila Veda Vyasadeva ever mention these three abominably atheistic words of formless, impersonal and unqualitative.
Sankaracarya cleverly interpolated these three gnostic and antitheistic trends of thought borrowing them from Buddhism and then very craftily and expertly superimposed them in his commentary on Vedanta-sutram. So the Brahman of mayavadi philosophy alluded to by Sankaracarya is not true Brahman. It is an illusory, distorted and false imitation of Brahman and should not in any way, shape or form be ever mistaken for the real Brahman. Those souls who are eager to learn and understand the life history of mayavadism can now understand the root of its beginnings already here in the forward.
The word Brahman itself confirms the transcendental sound vibration. This is the transcendental Name Brahman "Hare Krsna" preached by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Those who have no affinity for this transcendental name and who have not the esoteric understanding of the word Brahman the results of their chanting of the Hare Krsna mahamantra becomes totally futile. The broadcasting of the Hare Krsna Mahamantra was the main purpose for establishing the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti in 1
940. Promulgating and preaching Lord Caitanya’s sankirtan mission for Krsna Prema through the medium of the Hare Nama is the sole objective of this all embracive organization. It is the desire of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krsna that the truth of Vedanta and Sanatana Dharma be revealed in the world along with the chanting of His holy names.
In 1934 during my tenure in Sri Caitanya Math as the executive director of all 64 maths of my divine master, Jagad Guru Nitya-lila Om Visnupada 108 Srila Prabhupada Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, I was approached by two senior devotees who having firm faith in my scholarship of Vedanta philosophy earnestly requested me to write an article on mayavadism for the monthly magazine of Srila Prabhupada’s called the Gaudiya. It was to be printed in the special annual issue. Knowing that Srila Prabhupada would be very pleased by this endeavor and understanding how much this would mean to hi, I readily agreed and began working on it immediately. I do not think it would be appropriate to disclose the names of these two devotees herein, but as I consider it my duty to refer to their educational appellations; one may be called Vidyavinode and the other Vidyabhusana and it was by their request and the desire to please my beloved Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada that "Vaisnava Vijaya" or The Life History of Mayavadism was compiled by me.
After some months of careful and thorough research covering every aspect of mayavadism the article was completed and Vidyanode came and collected my hand written manuscript. When the annual special issue of the Gaudiya came out I discovered that my article was not included in the publication. I was told by Vidyanode that my article was too voluminous to fit in the annual issue so it was decided that it would be printed separately in the future. When I inquired form him whether or not Srila Prabhupada had read the article, Vidyanode informed me that he had personally read it to him in its entirely and that Srila Prabhupada was very pleased and delighted to hear it. Hearing this I left the article with Vidyanode without further ado.
After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada in Calcutta on January 1, 1937, there was a considerable state of turmoil and unrest in the 64 maths of his Gaudiya Mission. Two years passed b and in this time all the important documents, manuscripts and deeds of Srila Prabhupada were stolen away. No one cared for them and they were lost forever. In June 1939 I found it impossible to stay any longer and I left the association of the Caitanya Math. In 1940 I founded Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti at 33/2 Bosepara Lane in Calcutta at a rented house. Subsequently in September of 1941 on the full moon in Katwa I took Vedic Tridandi Sannyasa from Srila Prabhupada’s dear disciple, Srimad Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja and returned to Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti and continued with my preaching commitments.
By the will of providence I chanced to sojourn to Champahati Samudragarh at the Sri Gaura Gadadhara Gaudiya Math to observe the Kartik month of the Chaturmasya Vrata. While there one devout devotee, Mata Ushalata Devi who as a much blessed disciple of Srila Prabhupada, presented me with a brief full of papers. To my great surprise and delight many of Srila Prabhupada’s important documents and manuscripts were discovered along with my article on the "Life History of Mayavadism." This gift from the Lord, made possible by the mercy of my Gurudeva made me immensely happy and I accepted it as a manifestation of my Guru’s desire.
At the earnest request of the residents of Chinsurah, Sri Uddharaan Gaudiya Math was founded in 1943. While spending time there I had the occasion to offer Srimad Bhagavatam classes for one week at Sanskrit Tol, Serampore. This institution was founded and directed by renowned scholar Sri Phanibhusan Chakravarti M.A., B.L. He possessed a vast and impressive library, befitting a maha pandita of his caliber and qualifications. It was a truly splendid collection of rare and out of print Vedic literatures in their original first edition and he gave me the freedom to use it to my hearts desire.
One day while browsing through the hundreds of books one drew my attention. It was entitled "Lankavatara-sutra" and I was curious to learn what it contained. So in order to have complete knowledge of its contents I read it thoroughly and discovered some very interesting information. In one particular part of the book it records that Ravana would go to Mr. Kailasa and meet with Lord Buddha to deliberate and discuss impersonalism. The books also gives ample proof of the state of impersonalism in Treta Yuga over one million years ago that is very impressive. I copied the relevant portions from ‘Lankavatara-sutra and added them to "The Life History of Mayavadism" for clarity. These sastric references had not been given in the original manuscript which had been previously presented to Vidyanode.
In 1946 during my stay in Varnarsi for observance of Damodara Vrata the time was marked by a very interesting incident. AT Bodh-Gaya I found the Buddhist temple under the custody of one prominent acarya of the Sankaracarya sect as the temple president. The temple management was fully administered by him and moreover he was the only member on the trustee board. M curiosity being aroused by this extremely unusual combination of circumstances I went to his office to meet him. My modest question was, "Bodh-Gaya is a famous place of pilgrimage for Buddhists and you being an acarya in the Sankara sect, how then have you become the temple president of such an important Buddhist temple Does the Sankaracarya sect now subscribe to Buddhism" This last statement inflamed him and his reply was , "Sankaracarya was never a Buddhist. The Vaisnavas declared him so with ill will. It is outrageous! Have you ever seen the book ‘Lalita Vistara" After replying I had, he requested me to discuss the matter with the temple pandit. Summoning him we had some in depth discussions and at the conclusion the pandit handed over the book ‘Lalita Vistara" to me. The facts and evidence from this book as well have been quoted in suitable places and this information was also not included in the original manuscript given to Vidyanode.
Three years later in 1949 the "Sri Gaudiya Patrika" was inaugurated as the monthly magazine of the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti in Bengal. In due course of time the editor, Pujapada Niryalila Pravistha Narasimgha Maharaj inspired the gradual publishing of the "Life History of Mayavadism" by printing it as a twenty part series from the summer of 1954 through the autumn of 1955. This was actually the first edition of this book.
In spite of many, many requests and solicitations from numerous learned quarters and intellectual circles to print this book as one volume, for many years their desires remained unfulfilled. Many an unforseen obstacle may subject itself to one in this temporal world. If we contemplate the fundamental cause deeply and comprehend the narratives of Sri Sri Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva we can clearly understand that Kali although still an infant and not full fledged has already taken over this world and is reigning freely as can be ascertained by the deplorable plight and degraded condition of this earth.
It is the Divine Will to intensify the forces of kali yuga. Norms of human behavior, ethics, morals and judgement have reached such low levels that it will be difficult for posterity in future generation to surpass them; but somehow or other they will. The Supreme Lord deputed his servitor, Mahadeva Siva to descend to earth and taking birth in a Brahman family develop a philosophy that would be logically acceptable to those opposed to bhakti to the point where they would accept the Lord as impersonal possessing no form , no personality and no qualities. Here is a vivid description of this as Siva describes to Parvati:
(*Note from Puru, Devanagari and word for word translations are omitted in this cyber version, but are found in the printed version from Gaudiya Vaisnava Press)
mayavadam asacchastram pracchannam bauddhamuchyate
maya iva vihitam devi kalau brahmana murttina
The theory of impersonalism is a false scripture and is know as disguised Buddhism. It is me O’Goddess, in the form of a brahmana who perpetrate this in the age of kali.
Now we will see in this next example that the Lord Himself confidentially instructs Siva thusly:
svagamaih kalpitais tvam ca
janan kuru madvimukhan
mancha gopaya yena syat srsti resottarottara
With your own concocted scriptures, make the people adverse to me and hide me so that the population may grow perpetually.
Now Siva reveals to Parvati the method in which he created his theory
vedarthavan mahasastram mayavadam
avaidikam maya eva
kathitam devi jagatam nasakaranat
The great scriptural theory of impersonalism is non-vedic though taking its meaning from the Vedas, O’Goddess. It is me who has told this because it is the root of destruction of the worlds.
Mayavadism is factually covered Buddhism and it has been authorized for Siva to incarnate and spread this theory by Lord Visnu. Atheistic people can only turn against their natural, constitutional position by accepting demonic ideas. To accomplish this task Siva took birth as Sankaracarya and misrepresented the Vedic scriptures by speculative logic and deceptive interpolation. It can be understood from Vedanta that Siva is the Lord of chaos, Brahma is the lord of creation and Visnu is the lord of preservation. To expedite the forces of Kali, Sankaracarya powerfully declared, "This world is an illusion! This world is false! This existence is not real!" This demonic teaching with a covert purpose gives false wisdom to spiritual unactivated humans. In kali yuga the gloom and darkness is deepening rapidly and the degeneration of the whole creation is pathetically regressing to idleness and apathy. Humanity unable to save itself is helpless, beguiled by its own tune and charmed by its own dance into the deepest darkness of ignorance.
Definitions and explanations, hypothesis and theories nowhere to be found in Vedanta philosophy or in Vedanta-sutra were ruthlessly presented by Sankaracarya without compunction. Even if we were to accept his philosophy as a doctrine of knowledge; still because of the fallacy of his basic fundamental ontology it would have to be rejected and totally excluded from the Vedic pantheon. Sankaracarya’s mayavad theory can never in any shape, way or form be accepted as a doctrine of knowledge. This opinion is not only held by me; but it is also fully in line with the previous Vaisnava acaryas going back to antiquity. In the Sandilya Sutra, chapter two called the Bhakti Khanda, verse 26 we find:
brahma-kandam tu bhaktau tasya anujnanaya samanyata
The portion of knowledge of Brahman commonly accepted is for devotion.
The knowledge of Brahman is made for devotion whereas knowledge without devotion is meaningless unless it is utilized in the service of the Supreme Lord. Acarya Svapneswar in his commentary on Sadilya’s Sutra clarifies it even further. We cite the relevant part of this commentary below:
jnana pradhanye jnana kandam
prasiddhir na syad iti manvana pratyucate
When we say that the later portion which is famous as the Vedas is the knowledge of Brahman it may not be believed so we reply:
bhaktartham brahma kandam
sruyate na jnanartham
tasmaj jnana kandam iti brumah
This portion of knowledge of Brahman, the Vedas is not for the sake of knowledge only but for the sake of devotion therefore we call it the portion of the knowledge of Brahman.
Acarya Svapnesvar was not a modern commentator. He was born in the 1400’s in Bengal in a Vaisnava ksatriya family, as the son of a royal, commander he was knowledgeable enough about sastra to understand the importance of the writings of Sandilya. All saints and seers and scriptural luminaries of antiquity were well aware of Sandilya, that great writer of scriptures. Srila Veda Vyasadeva gives relevant details regarding Sandilya in the Skanda Purana. In the chapter called Visnu Khanda in the first canto, verses 16 and 17, Sandilya is mentioned while eulogizing the glories of the Srimad Bhagavatam.
ityukto visnuratas tu nandadinam
sandilyam ajuhava asu vajra-sandeha-nuttaye
When Visnurata was thus told he immediately called for Sandilya, the priest of the Nandas and others in order to remove the doubts of Vajra.
atha utajam vihaya asu sandilya
pujito vajranabha nisada asanottame
Then Sandilya leaving his hermitage immediately went there and sitting on a suitable seat was honored by Vajranabha.
Another example to show the caliber of Sandilya’s qualifications is given by Narada Muni, who also held Sandilya in great esteem. We found an 82 year old edition of the Narada Bhakti sutras in the original sanskrit printed in Varanasi 1808 Sakabda era. In the 83 chapter of this text Sandilya is mentioned.
om evam vadanti jana-jalpa-nirbhaya
kumara vyasa sukadeva sandilya garga
visnusvami kaundinya sesa uddhava aruni
bali hanuman vibhisana dayo bhaktyacaryah
Those masters on the path of devotion who speak of the Supreme Lord like the four Cameras, Vedavaysa, Sukadeva Gosvami, Sandilya Rsi, Gargacarya, Visnusvami, Kaundilya, Sesa, Uddhava, Aruni, Bali, Hanuman,Vibhisana and others all are of the same opinion and are unafraid of the prattle of ordinary people.
Acaryas of devotional piety give directions by instructions for the best ways and means of devotion. Theses are very great and saintly souls and I pray that they not belittle this humble offering which follows in their footsteps. Narada Muni describes Srila Veda Vyasa the compiler of Vedanta-sutra and includes Sandilya along with him as writers of devotional scriptures of the highest order and Sandilya the rishi also glorifies Vedanta-sutra as the root scripture of his writings and the foundation of the devotion of bhakti.
The preceding slokas reveals that Sankaracarya’s ordeal of attempting to establish impersonalism, denying the Supreme Lord His form, His individuality, His opulences, His potencies, His paraphernalia and His beloved associates and devotees, making the Supreme Lord an enigma and giving Him only the nomenclature Brahman is devoid of all rationality and is complete concoction.
My last humble but earnest request to all sane and intelligent persons desiring freedom from the clutches of kali, is that they should declare total prohibition on Sankaracarya’s mayavadi hypothesis, never listen to the senseless prattle of indistinct formlessness and never utter a single word of impersonalism to anyone. Total prohibition on mayavadism is based on the injunction declared by Srila Krsnadas Kaviraj Gosvami in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya-lila, chapter six, verse 169 below:
jivera nistara lagi' sutra
mayavadi-bhasya sunile haya sarva-nasa
jivera--of the living entities; nistara--deliverance; lagi'--for the matter of; sutra--the Vedanta-sutra; kaila--made; vyasa--Srila Vyasadeva; mayavadi--of the impersonalists; bhasya--commentary; sunile--if hearing; haya--becomes; sarva-nasa--all destruction.
Srila Vyasadeva presented Vedanta-sutra for the benefit of all living entities, but if one hears the impersonalist commentary of Sankaracarya they are doomed.
This injunction must be followed by all devotees, friends and well wishers of Vaisnavism. Moreover we must augment it by the sublime teachings of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura who wrote thus:
visaya vimudhah aar mayavadijan
bahkti sunya duhe prana dhare akarana
The lives of ignorant materialists and impersonalists are useless as both are devoid of devotion.
seyi duyer madhye sivaya tabu
mayavadi sanga nahi magi kona kala
Among the two the gross materialist is better for one should never ever associate with an impersonalist.
mayavada dosa yar hrdaye pasila
kutarka hrdaye tar vajra sama
Whose heart the poisonous noise of impersonalism has entered is the same as having his heart struck by a thunderbolt.
bhaktira svarupa aar vasaya
mayavada ‘anitya bolia sava kaya
The essence of devotion is to the Supreme Lord and sadguru; but impersonalists consider these ephemeral manifestations.
dhik tar krsna seva sravana
Krsna ange vajra haane tahar stavana
The prayers from those inimical to the Supreme Lord Krsna’s service of the hearing and chanting of His holy names is like a thunderbolt in Lord Krsna’s body.
mayavad sama bhakti pratikul
ateva mayavadi sanga nahi chai
There is nothing more against devotional service to the Supreme Lord Krsna than the denial that He has a personality; thus one should never have the association of an impersonalist.
Thus with all these instructions in mind we should always adhere to the pure and pristine teachings of the great Vaisanava acaryas, making them our only shelter and refuge in transcendental life. Srila Vyasadeva projected the highest welfare for all human beings when he compiled the Vedanta-sutra. . The Veanta-sutra and the Bhakti-sutra are synonomous. They have both originated from the same source with the same goals and same objectives. This have been made apparent in the previous pages while deliberating on the subtance of Vedanta-sutra and the Vedanta philosophy. The only deliberation remaning is the efficacy of nama-bhajan-siksa.
The chanting of the holy names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krsna is the highest scriptural truth. In kali yuga without the devotional chanting of the Lord’s holy names; all other activities cannot be approved. The great acaryas, sages, rsi’s and munis of India prescribed this path as the only way to attain imperishable transcendental knowledge as well as bliss. All other paths whether they be by jnana, by yoga, by tapasya, by meditation or any other austerities or methodology are fruitless unless they are accompanied by the chanting of the holy names of the Supreme Lord Krsna and His incarnations. Any concocted deviation or speculative assumptions that doesn’t include the chanting of the holy names of the Supreme Lord Krna and His incarnations should be understood to be valueless.
The mayavadi theory of impersonalism is full of innuendo oposed to bhakti and the factual existence of the Supreme Lord Krsna. Moreover it is also full with the fault of being bias toward humans beings who are all part and parcel of the unqualified Brahman.
Why is a mayavadi required to continue austere penance after attaining the status of Brahman And if he considers himself to be Brahman and declares ‘aham brahmasmi’ then what is the need for any further self-mortification This methodology is written in the book ‘Siddha-Sadhana-Dosajukta’ much relished by mayvadis. It is commonly practiced by them; but if one is already in possession of something why should one continue to waste additional efforts for it This hypothesis I carefully analyzed from the original version of this book. Also on page 153 the delineation of nirvana rupa fal nirodh should be well noted.
Since January lf 1968 Sriman Nava Yogendra Brahmancari has made an earnest attempt to publish this "The Life History of Mayavadism" in book form. I am indebted to him. Sri bhakti Vedanta Vaman Maharaj took immense pains for its publication in the "Sri Gaudiya Patrika" amking literal changes and improvements. Although myself being ill, I tried t odo my level best for it, especially by adding the term "Vaisnava Vijaya" to the title, as withou it the transcendental truth would not be made apparent. The truth must prevail! The trust must always prevail!.
I humbly request the readers of this book to study the contents of this book very carefully. By doing this one will insure that they will never be captivated or ensnared by the illusion of mayvadism and also by doing so they will be able to easily lead others away from mayavadism.Bhakti Prajnan Kesava