The Expansions of Advaita Ācārya

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Ādi-līlā 12.1-12

The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless.

…the followers of Advaita Ācārya divided into two parties. Such disagreement among the disciples of one ācārya is also found among the members of the Gauḍīya Maṭha. In the beginning, during the presence of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Paramahaṁsa Parivrājakācārya Aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, all the disciples worked in agreement; but just after his disappearance, they disagreed. One party strictly followed the instructions of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, but another group created their own concoction about executing his desires. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular man to become the next ācārya. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of ācārya, and they split into two factions over who the next ācārya would be. Consequently, both factions were asāra, or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master. Despite the spiritual master’s order to form a governing body and execute the missionary activities of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, the two unauthorized factions began litigation that is still going on after forty years with no decision.

TEXT 1
The followers of Śrī Advaita Prabhu were of two kinds. Some were real followers, and the others were false. Rejecting the false followers, I offer my respectful obeisances to Śrī Advaita Ācārya’s real followers, whose life and soul was Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

TEXT 2
All glories to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu! All glories to Lord Nityānanda! All glories to Śrī Advaita Prabhu! All of Them are glorious.

TEXT 3
I offer my respectful obeisances to the all-glorious Advaita Prabhu, who forms the second branch of the eternal Caitanya tree, and to His followers, who form His subbranches.

TEXT 4
Śrī Advaita Prabhu was the second big branch of the tree. There are many subbranches, but it is impossible to mention them all.

TEXT 5
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was also the gardener, and as He poured the water of His mercy on the tree, all the branches and subbranches grew, day after day.

TEXT 6
The fruits of love of Godhead that grew on those branches of the Caitanya tree were so large that they flooded the entire world with love of Kṛṣṇa.

TEXT 7
As the trunk and branches were watered, the branches and subbranches spread lavishly, and the tree grew full with fruits and flowers.

TEXT 8
At first all the followers of Advaita Ācārya shared a single opinion. But later they followed two different opinions, as ordained by providence.

PURPORT
The words daivera kāraṇa indicate that by dint of providence, or by God’s will, the followers of Advaita Ācārya divided into two parties. Such disagreement among the disciples of one ācārya is also found among the members of the Gauḍīya Maṭha. In the beginning, during the presence of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Paramahaṁsa Parivrājakācārya Aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, all the disciples worked in agreement; but just after his disappearance, they disagreed. One party strictly followed the instructions of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, but another group created their own concoction about executing his desires. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, at the time of his departure, requested all his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not instruct a particular man to become the next ācārya. But just after his passing away, his leading secretaries made plans, without authority, to occupy the post of ācārya, and they split into two factions over who the next ācārya would be. Consequently, both factions were asāra, or useless, because they had no authority, having disobeyed the order of the spiritual master. Despite the spiritual master’s order to form a governing body and execute the missionary activities of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, the two unauthorized factions began litigation that is still going on after forty years with no decision.

Therefore, we do not belong to any faction. But because the two parties, busy dividing the material assets of the Gauḍīya Maṭha institution, stopped the preaching work, we took up the mission of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura to preach the cult of Caitanya Mahāprabhu all over the world, under the protection of all the predecessor ācāryas, and we find that our humble attempt has been successful. We followed the principles especially explained by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura in his commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā verse vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana. According to this instruction of Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, it is the duty of a disciple to follow strictly the orders of his spiritual master. The secret of success in advancement in spiritual life is the firm faith of the disciple in the orders of his spiritual master. The Vedas confirm this:

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

“To one who has staunch faith in the words of the spiritual master and the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the secret of success in Vedic knowledge is revealed.” The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is being propagated according to this principle, and therefore our preaching work is going on successfully, in spite of the many impediments offered by antagonistic demons, because we are getting positive help from our previous ācāryas. One must judge every action by its result. The members of the self-appointed ācārya’s party who occupied the property of the Gauḍīya Maṭha are satisfied, but they could make no progress in preaching. Therefore by the result of their actions one should know that they are asāra, or useless, whereas the success of the ISKCON party, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which strictly follows guru and Gaurāṅga, is increasing daily all over the world. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura wanted to print as many books as possible and distribute them all over the world. We have tried our best in this connection, and we are getting results beyond our expectations.

TEXT 9
Some of the disciples strictly accepted the orders of the ācārya, and others deviated, independently concocting their own opinions under the spell of daivī-māyā.

PURPORT
This verse describes the beginning of a schism. When disciples do not stick to the principle of accepting the order of their spiritual master, immediately there are two opinions. Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is useless. One cannot infiltrate materially concocted ideas into spiritual advancement. That is deviation. There is no scope for adjusting spiritual advancement to material ideas.

TEXT 10
The order of the spiritual master is the active principle in spiritual life. Anyone who disobeys the order of the spiritual master immediately becomes useless.

PURPORT
Here is the opinion of Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī. Persons who strictly follow the orders of the spiritual master are useful in executing the will of the Supreme, whereas persons who deviate from the strict order of the spiritual master are useless.

TEXT 11
There is no need to name those who are useless. I have mentioned them only to distinguish them from the useful devotees.

TEXT 12
Paddy is mixed with straw at first, and one must fan it to separate the paddy from the straw.

PURPORT
This example given by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī is very appropriate. In the case of the Gauḍīya Maṭha members, one can apply a similar process. There are many disciples of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, but to judge who is actually his disciple, to divide the useful from the useless, one must measure the activities of such disciples in executing the will of the spiritual master. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura tried his best to spread the cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to countries outside India. When he was present he patronized the disciples to go outside India to preach the cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but they were unsuccessful because within their minds they were not actually serious about preaching His cult in foreign countries; they simply wanted to take credit for having gone to foreign lands and utilize this recognition in India by advertising themselves as repatriated preachers. Many svāmīs have adopted this hypocritical means of preaching for the last eighty years or more, but no one could preach the real cult of Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world. They merely came back to India falsely advertising that they had converted all the foreigners to the ideas of Vedānta or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and then they collected funds in India and lived satisfied lives of material comfort. As one fans paddy to separate the real paddy from useless straw, by accepting the criterion recommended by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī one can very easily understand who is a genuine world-preacher and who is useless.

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