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Śārīraka-Bhāṣya – Commentary by Śrī Śaṅkarācārya.

The great Māyāvādī sannyāsī Sadānanda Yogīndra has written a book known as Vedānta-sāra, in which he writes, vedānto nāma upaniṣat-pramāṇam. tad-upakārīṇi śārīraka-sūtrādīni ca. According to Sadānanda Yogīndra, the Vedānta-sūtra and Upaniṣads, as presented by Śrī Śaṅkarācārya in his Śārīraka-bhāṣya commentary, are the only sources of Vedic evidence. Actually, however, Vedānta refers to the essence of Vedic knowledge, and it is not a fact that there is nothing more than Śaṅkarācārya’s Śārīraka-bhāṣya. There are other Vedānta commentaries, written by Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, none of whom follow Śrī Śaṅkarācārya or accept the imaginative commentary of his school. Their commentaries are based on the philosophy of duality. Monist philosophers like Śaṅkarācārya and his followers want to establish that God and the living entity are one, and instead of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead they present themselves as God. They want to be worshiped as God by others. Such persons do not accept the philosophies of the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, which are known as śuddhādvaita (purified monism), śuddha-dvaita (purified dualism), viśiṣṭādvaita (specific monism), dvaitādvaita (monism and dualism) and acintya-bhedābheda (inconceivable oneness and difference). Māyāvādīs do not discuss these philosophies, for they are firmly convinced of their own philosophy of kevalādvaita, exclusive monism. Accepting this system of philosophy as the pure understanding of the Vedānta-sūtra, they believe that Kṛṣṇa has a body made of material elements and that the activities of loving service to Kṛṣṇa are sentimentality. They are known as Māyāvādīs because according to their opinion Kṛṣṇa has a body made of māyā, and the loving service of the Lord executed by devotees is also māyā. They consider such devotional service to be an aspect of fruitive activities (karma-kāṇḍa). According to their view, bhakti consists of mental speculation or sometimes meditation. This is the difference between the Māyāvādī and Vaiṣṇava philosophies.
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.
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Transforming Hearts Politely.

The Māyāvādī sannyāsīs are āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ, which means that they have taken the path of the asuras (demons), who do not believe in the existence of the form of the Lord. The Māyāvādīs say that the ultimate source of everything is impersonal, and in this way they deny the existence of God. Saying that there is no God is direct denial of God, and saying that God exists but has no head, legs or hands and cannot speak, hear or eat is a negative way of denying His existence. A person who cannot see is called blind, one who cannot walk can be called lame, one who has no hands can be called helpless, one who cannot speak can be called dumb, and one who cannot hear can be called deaf. The Māyāvādīs’ proposition that God has no legs, no eyes, no ears and no hands is an indirect way of insulting Him by defining Him as blind, deaf, dumb, lame, helpless, etc. Therefore although they present themselves as great Vedāntists, they are factually māyayāpahṛta-jñāna; in other words, they seem to be very learned scholars, but the essence of their knowledge has been taken away.
 
Impersonalist Māyāvādīs always try to defy Vaiṣṇavas because Vaiṣṇavas accept the Supreme Personality as the supreme cause and want to serve Him, talk with Him and see Him, just as the Lord is also eager to see His devotees and talk, eat and dance with them. These personal exchanges of love do not appeal to the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs. All preachers will have to meet opponents, but they should not make them more inimical. They are already enemies, and if we talk with them harshly or impolitely their enmity will merely increase. We should therefore follow in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu as far as possible and try to convince the opposition by quoting from the śāstras and presenting the conclusion of the ācāryas. It is in this way that we should try to defeat all the enemies of the Lord.
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.
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Service to Humanity.

 
One who is not very expert in preaching may chant in a secluded place, avoiding bad association, but for one who is actually advanced, preaching and meeting people who are not engaged in devotional service are not disadvantages. A devotee gives the non-devotees his association but is not affected by their misbehavior. Thus by the activities of a pure devotee even those who are bereft of love of Godhead get a chance to become devotees of the Lord one day.
 
One should not imitate the activities of great personalities. One should be detached from material enjoyment and should accept everything in connection with Kṛṣṇa’s service.
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.
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Two Classes of Devotees.

There are two classes of unalloyed devotees-namely, goṣṭhy-ānandīs and bhajanānandīs. Bhajanānandī refers to one who is satisfied to cultivate devotional service for himself, and goṣṭhy-ānandī is one who is not satisfied simply to become perfect himself but wants to see others also take advantage of the holy name of the Lord and advance in spiritual life. The outstanding example is Prahlāda Mahārāja. When he was offered a benediction by Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, Prahlāda Mahārāja said: “My dear Lord, I have no problems and want no benediction from You because I am quite satisfied to chant Your holy name. This is sufficient for me because whenever I chant I immediately merge in an ocean of transcendental bliss. I only lament to see others bereft of Your love. They are rotting in material activities for transient material pleasure and spoiling their lives toiling all day and night simply for sense gratification, with no attachment for love of Godhead. I am simply lamenting for them and devising various plans to deliver them from the clutches of māyā.”
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.
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Art of pleasing Guru.

According to revealed scriptures, if a spiritual master can convert even one soul into a perfectly pure devotee, his mission in life is fulfilled. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura always used to say, “Even at the expense of all the properties, temples and maṭhas that I have, if I could convert even one person into a pure devotee, my mission would be fulfilled.” It is very difficult, however, to understand the science of Kṛṣṇa, what to speak of developing love of Godhead. Therefore if by the grace of Lord Caitanya and the spiritual master a disciple attains the standard of pure devotional service, the spiritual master is very happy. The spiritual master is not actually happy if the disciple brings him money, but when he sees that a disciple is following the regulative principles and advancing in spiritual life, he is very glad and feels obliged to such an advanced disciple.
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.
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Ecstatic Symptoms of Devotion – Genuine or Fake?

Sometimes persons who have no love of Godhead at all display ecstatic bodily symptoms. Artificially they sometimes laugh, cry and dance just like madmen, but this cannot help one progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Rather, such artificial agitation of the body is to be given up when one naturally develops the necessary bodily symptoms. Actual blissful life, manifested in genuine spiritual laughing, crying and dancing, is the symptom of real advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which can be achieved by a person who always voluntarily engages in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. If one who is not yet developed imitates such symptoms artificially, he creates chaos in the spiritual life of human society.
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.
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Why is Deity Worship Essential?

To chant the holy name of the Lord, one need not depend upon other paraphernalia, for one can immediately get all the desired results of connecting or linking with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It may therefore be questioned why there is a necessity for initiation or further spiritual activities in devotional service for one who engages in the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. The answer is that although it is correct that one who fully engages in chanting the holy name need not depend upon the process of initiation, generally a devotee is addicted to many abominable material habits due to material contamination from his previous life. In order to get quick relief from all these contaminations, it is required that one engage in the worship of the Lord in the temple. The worship of the Deity in the temple is essential to reduce one’s restlessness due to the contaminations of conditioned life. Thus Nārada, in his pāñcarātrikī-vidhi, and other great sages have sometimes stressed that since every conditioned soul has a bodily concept of life aimed at sense enjoyment, to restrict this sense enjoyment the rules and regulations for worshiping the Deity in the temple are essential. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has described that the holy name of the Lord can be chanted by liberated souls, but almost all the souls we have to initiate are conditioned. It is advised that one chant the holy name of the Lord without offenses and according to the regulative principles, yet due to their past bad habits they violate these rules and regulations. Thus the regulative principles for worship of the Deity are also simultaneously essential.
 
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.