Glories of Raghunandana and Advaita Acarya

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta 1.6 | February 14, 2016 |

English with తెలుగు Translation; Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India

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Question: Can you throw some light on the philosophy of Vivekananda? I have read that he was a contemporary of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. What is his philosophy? Is it bona fide?… Expand>

Question:

Can you throw some light on the philosophy of Vivekananda? I have read that he was a contemporary of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. What is his philosophy? Is it bona fide?

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

Does that make him bona fide? Well, why Vivekānanda? There are so many - this ānanda, that ānanda; there are so many people. Why not concentrate on the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa given in Bhagavad-gītā? Is what Vivekānanda says the same as what Kṛṣṇa says? Well, Vivekānanda went to America. Śrīla Prabhupāda went to America. Vivekānanda brought back one woman from the West. Śrīla Prabhupāda made hundreds and thousands of people from the West follow all the principles of pure bhakti along the principle of Bhagavad-gītā: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. So, we can see that Śrīla Prabhupāda did what Kṛṣṇa said and Vivekānanda didn’t. So why give any importance to him? Of course, he is famous in the world, but so many people are famous. Vivekānanda sai d, whatever his philosophy might be… Of course, his guru’s philosophy was yata mata tata patha — as many paths… as many opinions, that many paths - which directly contradicts what Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. His guru was eating beef, so what kind of paramparā is that? That’s documented. In the name of proving that all paths are the same he followed Islam and ate beef for some time. So, if you want to think he is bona fide, you can follow him and go wherever he is going. But we want to go to Kṛṣṇa. People who eat meat like Vivekānanda and smoke… Of course, there are śāstric provisions for eating meat, but in general that should not be done. Those who do, they’re… That’s tāmasic, that’s in the mode of ignorance. We can’t think that there’ll be any good result from doing that; even if they are famous. There are so many famous swamis in the world today. They are almost all bogus. 

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Question:

sarvārtha-sambhavodeho

janitaḥpoṣitoyataḥ

natayoryātinirveśaṁ

pitrormartyaḥśatāyuṣā

Translation: With one’s body one can acquire all goals of life, and it is one’s parents who give the body birth and sustenance. Therefore no mortal man can repay his debt to his parents, even if he serves them for a full lifetime of a hundred years. (S.B.10.45.5).

Questions:

1. Why does Krishna say here that one cannot repay his debt to his parents even if he serves them for a full lifetime of a hundred years when in S.B 11.5.4 Narada muni says to Vasudeva–“One who has taken shelter of Krishna’s lotus feet, is not indebted to demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind or even one’s forefathers who have passed away.” So how are we to understand this statement and how should we take this comment in SB 10.45.5?

2. Is this comment applicable to only a Krishna conscious father and mother or a materialistic father & mother also?

 

ANSWER BY HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

"All right. Karttik Kumar form Bangalore is quoting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.45.5, spoken by Kṛṣṇa.

sarvārtha-sambhavo deho
janitaḥ poṣito yataḥ
na tayor yāti nirveśaṁ
pitror martyaḥ śatāyuṣā

Translation: With one’s body one can acquire all goals of life, and it is one’s parents who give the body birth and sustenance. Therefore no mortal man can repay his debt to his parents, even if he serves them for a full lifetime of a hundred years.

So there’s that verse which Śrīla Prabhupāda quotes three times, I believe, in Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Because Arjuna’s whole proposition was not to go against the family.

devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇāṁ
na kiṅkaro nāyam ṛṇī ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam

O King, one who has given up all material duties and has taken full shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, who offers shelter to all, is not indebted to the demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind or even one's forefathers who have passed away. Since all such classes of living entities are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, one who has surrendered to the Lord's service has no need to serve such persons separately. (SB 11.5.41.)

So this appears to be contradictory because Kṛṣṇa says you can’t repay your debt to your parents, even if you serve them for a full lifetime of a hundred years. But then Kṛṣṇa says: “If you take shelter of Me, then you are not indebted.”

Well, one statement is qualified by another. This is common – that (there is a) general truth, (and) there are exceptions. Sri Lankans are good people. OK, we can accept that as a general proposition. Well, this one is not good - some of them are not good. So it’s a general case, but it’s qualified.

Actually, one can repay the debts. One repays the debts to the parents by having children. That’s the understanding. So the children, they will offer pinda to the Pitris.

DEBT TO THE PARENTS
What is the debt to the parent? - That you were given a body by them. So you can’t exactly repay, but you create more bodies. So there is a way to repay, but the mood of this is that what you were given is so valuable that we feel we can’t repay. We shouldn’t think: “OK, I repaid them, and then leave them alone, forget them.” That’s the idea. Gratefulness should be there.

sarvārtha-sambhavo deho
Everything we want to do, that can be done through the body. If you don’t have a body, you can’t do anything. If you are a ghost, for instance. If you are born in a subhuman body, then one cannot achieve the goal of life. So therefore, the human form of life is very valuable. But, if we fully dedicate to Kṛṣṇa, then we become free from the ordinary method of repaying the debt to the parents because we actually benefit not only the parents but even previous generation and even forthcoming generations. Kṛṣṇa delivers them all.

So therefore, one is not a debtor if he takes full shelter of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa takes care of all, the parents and everyone else. So the general case is that one cannot repay the debt to the parents. And of course, that’s very much part of Indian culture, especially in North India very well-known this story… What’s his name? Kumara Sampat, Sampat Kumar; what is it? Śravan Kumar. Very common picture to see him carrying, on his shoulder, the father and mother.

MATERIALISTIC PARENTS
So, question number two. In one sense it is more applicable to materialistic father and mother. Inasmuch as, by Kṛṣṇa consciousness you repay the debt. Of course, you shouldn’t think that: “Well, (it) doesn’t matter about my parents.” A child in Kṛṣṇa consciousness shouldn’t be neglectful of parents. But, (one) may also, if one is fully engaged in preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then (he) may not marry and look after the parents in old age. But it should be seen that someone looks after them - some arrangement is made - something is done. In Kṛṣṇa consciousness we shouldn’t take it as an excuse to neglect our parents."

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