M O V I N G   F O R W A R D

With a Case for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”.

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Segment 16.3
Why the Ritvik-vadis Score Points.

In the summer of 1995, a BTG article appeared in which the author, a guru, attempted to show how jivas fall down from the spiritual world without really falling down. Some devotees promptly dubbed it svapnavada, the dream theory. This theory was presented as a reconciliation of Srila Prabhupada’s teaching on the origin of the conditioned soul, despite the fact that we have no sastric support for this theory.

Would Srila Prabhupada teach something as our siddhanta, with no sastric support for it? That is unimaginable. Nevertheless, this BTG essay attempts to establish the simultaneous Nitya-baddha[1]/Nitya-siddha condition of the jiva as the Gaudiya Vaishnava siddhanta, although it flagrantly contradicts our philosophy of parinama vada, which states that the illusory energy is a real energy of the Lord and jivas are really entangled in that energy, as was seen by Vyasadeva in his trance.

The example of the dream is sometimes used to help us understand the nature of illusion and the statement that everything is ultimately spiritual, being Krishna’s energy. To think, however, that it literally means we are simultaneously Nitya-siddhas and Nitya-baddha s reveals an improper understanding of our philosophy.  Moreover, it is simply ludicrous to think like that.

Also, our philosophy states that bhakti, once achieved, cannot be covered by the illusory, inferior energy of the Lord. The BTG article establishes that Maya has the potency to cover Nitya-siddhas under the protection of the svarupa-sakti of the Lord, and cast them into the supposed dream state. Did these Nitya-siddha souls have bhakti or not?

This is nothing but Mayavada philosophy with a twist.

The author wrote:

“Yet now, if we inquire, from the perspective of eternity, ‘How long has that fallen and restored soul been absent?’.  The answer is ‘He never left.’ Or, alternatively, ‘The question does not apply.’ For the logic of eternity dictates that no one falls from eternity, even if he does so.”

Here the author attempts to convince the reader, that conditioned existence, is an absolute illusion, a mere figment of the imagination; because the conditioned soul never really left the spiritual world. Of course, he does not use the words “spiritual world”. He favors the more abstract term, “eternity,” but krishna-lila is what most BTG readers will understand upon reading the passage. He has essentially defined the experience of conditioned material existence as an absolute illusion. In so doing he has inadvertently presented in the pages of BTG-Mayavada philosophy. He, and by inference, the editors, are either unaware or confused about the distinction between the Vaishnava doctrine of parinama vada[2] and the monistic theory of vivarta vada[3], the doctrine of the Mayavadis[4], who denigrate the soul’s real life in this world as a hallucination.

Instead of saying brahma satyam jagan mithya, this author is saying vaikuntha satyam jagan mithya. This creates gaping inconsistencies in the philosophy, but the author is not aware of that. He is determined to reconcile Srila Prabhupada’s statements about the jiva having fallen to this world from the Nitya-lila of God, with his opposing statements that “the conclusion is no one falls from Vaikuntha.”

The author does not try to reconcile Prabhupada’s statements with the previous acaryas, but with a “logical” explanation. But the tarko ‘pratistha srutayo vibhinna verse of Mahabharata, says that this use of logic is futile, for logic without scriptural support is dry logic.

This author does not appreciate that the parampara flows down, and the task of reconciling the statements of one acarya, is to reconcile it with that of other acaryas, and ultimately with the sastra. The task of reconciling the philosophy, is to make the teachings of Prabhupada conform to the Gosvamis, not to make the Gosvamis’ teachings conform to Prabhupada’s; otherwise, there is no meaning to guru, sastra, and sadhu.

How can people lacking such basic understanding of how to determine philosophical proof and the parampara siddhanta, occupy the post of guru? This sort of occurrence only gives credence to the ritvik-vadis’ rhetoric. How does this example square with the stress Prabhupada gave in the excerpt from the Tokyo lecture previous cited, that one who has understood Krishna thoroughly, and is able to refute all opposition, can be guru?

The BTG article was penned by a person we all assume to be on the cutting edge in our philosophy, but his blunders were glaring and numerous; eleven major philosophical inconsistencies were found in this two-page piece. Yet he is a guru & sannaysi, without knowing the science of Krishna.  Moreover, the editor who approved this essay for publication is also a guru & sannaysi too; hence, he too does not know the science of Krishna.

Naturally, one wonders, among all those gurus, who do not write essays or books; how many of them know the science of Krishna?  It is no mystery, therefore, that the ritvik-vadis can score points against ISKCON.

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[1] Nitya-baddha—the eternally conditioned soul, bound in the material world.

[2] Parinama-vada—the theory of transformation in the creation of the universe.

[3] Vivarta-vada—the erroneous concept; propounded by Sankaracarya, that God is no longer complete after He expands His energies for creation; the Mayavadi interpretation of the Vedanta-sutra that the Supreme Lord becomes changed when He expands and that all manifest varieties are unreal.

[4] Mayavadi—one who propounds the philosophy of Sankaracarya, which basically holds that God is featureless and impersonal, that devotion to a personal Godhead is false, the material creation of the Lord is also false, and the ultimate goal of life is to become existentially one with the all-pervading, impersonal Absolute.

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