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CC Ādi 7.41

Text

sannyāsī ha-iyā kare gāyana, nācana
nā kare vedānta-pāṭha, kare saṅkīrtana

Synonyms

sannyāsī — a person in the renounced order of life; ha-iyā — accepting such a position; kare — does; gāyana — singing; nācana — dancing; kare — does not practice; vedānta-pāṭha — study of the Vedānta philosophy; kare saṅkīrtana — but simply engages in saṅkīrtana.

Translation

The blasphemers said, “Although a sannyāsī, He does not take interest in the study of Vedānta but instead always engages in chanting and dancing in saṅkīrtana.

Purport

Fortunately or unfortunately, we also meet such Māyāvādīs who criticize our method of chanting and accuse us of not being interested in study. They do not know that we have translated volumes and volumes of books into English and that the students in our temples regularly study them in the morning, afternoon and evening. We are writing and printing books, and our students study them and distribute them all over the world. No Māyāvādī school can present as many books as we have; nevertheless, they accuse us of not being fond of study. Such accusations are completely false. But although we study, we do not study the nonsense of the Māyāvādīs.

Māyāvādī sannyāsīs neither chant nor dance. Their technical objection is that this method of chanting and dancing is called tauryatrika, which indicates that a sannyāsī should completely avoid such activities and engage his time in the study of Vedānta. Actually, such men do not understand what is meant by Vedānta. In the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15) Kṛṣṇa says, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham: “By all the Vedas I am to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.” Lord Kṛṣṇa is the actual compiler of Vedānta, and whatever He speaks is Vedānta philosophy. Although they are lacking the knowledge of Vedānta presented by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the transcendental form of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the Māyāvādīs are very proud of their study. Foreseeing the bad effects of their presenting Vedānta philosophy in a perverted way, Śrīla Vyāsadeva compiled Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as a commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is bhāṣyo ’yaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇām; in other words, all the Vedānta philosophy in the aphorisms of the Brahma-sūtra is thoroughly described in the pages of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Thus the factual propounder of Vedānta philosophy is a Kṛṣṇa conscious person who always engages in reading and understanding the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and teaching the purport of these books to the entire world. The Māyāvādīs are very proud of having monopolized the Vedānta philosophy, but devotees have their own commentaries on Vedānta such as Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and others written by the ācāryas. The commentary of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas is the Govinda-bhāṣya.

The Māyāvādīs’ accusation that devotees do not study Vedānta is false. The Māyāvādīs do not know that chanting, dancing and preaching the principles of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, called bhāgavata-dharma, are the same as studying Vedānta. Since they think that reading Vedānta philosophy is the only function of a sannyāsī and they did not find Caitanya Mahāprabhu engaged in such direct study, they criticized the Lord. Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya has given special stress to the study of Vedānta philosophy: vedānta-vākyeṣu sadā ramantaḥ kaupīnavantaḥ khalu bhāgyavantaḥ. “A sannyāsī, accepting the renounced order very strictly and wearing nothing more than a loincloth, should always enjoy the philosophical statements in the Vedānta-sūtra. Such a person in the renounced order is to be considered very fortunate.” The Māyāvādīs in Vārāṇasī blasphemed Lord Caitanya because His behavior did not follow these principles. Lord Caitanya, however, bestowed His mercy upon these Māyāvādī sannyāsīs and delivered them by means of His Vedānta discourses with Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya.