Guru As Truth Conductor

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta 1.1.46 | August 19, 2012 |

English; Cupertino, California, USA

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Question: However, this particular preacher was speaking out against the worship of Krishna. He was saying that Krishna cannot be God because he was killed in a hunting accident and left a material body. When I saw him preaching like this I felt very disturbed that all of the students around him were misled into thinking that Krishna was a human and could be killed.… Expand>

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For about five months now I have been engaged more actively in book distribution. Every Thursday I go around knocking on doors at different apartment buildings with another devotee, and I also try to distribute books every day at Krishna Lunch on the university campus. One day when I was walking back by myself to the preaching center from the campus, I saw this man preaching in the plaza. It was obvious that he was from some kind of church, and he was speaking out against all other religions with the exception of his own. There were many students gathered around him asking questions. Usually, I ignore these kinds of preachers and just keep walking. However, this particular preacher was speaking out against the worship of Krishna. He was saying that Krishna cannot be God because he was killed in a hunting accident and left a material body. When I saw him preaching like this I felt very disturbed that all of the students around him were misled into thinking that Krishna was a human and could be killed. Since I have gained more confidence and desire to speak about Krishna due to book distribution, I wanted to say something to try and clear up this misconception, but I started to think that he would not understand what I had to say. So, I ended up just walking away. I would like to know, what is the best thing to do in these circumstances? Is it better to kindly say something or walk away? If it is not too much trouble for you, I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

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I have been listening to your holiness' lectures for about 5 months day and night and I like the philosophical clarity of thought by which your holiness presents Krishna Consciousness, and of course the quality of the recording is nice.

I have also heard all of your Holiness' Q&A audio lectures available on the internet before asking this question.

In the western part of India, especially Maharashtra, there are many saints (I am not sure if this is what peoplel are supposed to call them) like Swami Samartha, Sant Dnyāneshwar, and Giriraj Maharaja whose followers are mostly simple and poor villagers. HG Caitanya Charan Prabhu mentioned in www.thespiritualscientist.com that devotees are supposed to respect them and glorify them for whatever bhakti they are doing, although they are using chanting or glorification of the Lord as a tool to gain followers and ultimately make them Mayavadis.

But the problem in practical application is that if we respect them then they will think that we are approving of their activities. For example most of their followers are vegetarian but they feel  that tea does not break their fast on Ekadashi, so they consume tea on their fasting days also.

Are these Maharaja's with their sampradaya's bona fide? If yes then which Sampradaya do they belong to?

In most rural parts of Maharashtra we don't have ISKCON centers, But we do have maths of the above mentioned personalities, so what should be our attitude towards the followers of the above mentioned personalities?

And what should be our approach to bring them to Krishna Consciousness as we don't have any ISKCON centers here? What are the do’s and don't we should follow to bring them to the service of Srila Prabhupada, or if not that then at least a bona fide Guru Parampara?

Can we or do we have a website or any such means where it is clearly stated that XYZ math or Sampradaya is bona fide or not bona fide, so at least we don't offend the ones who are outside of ISKCON and belong to a bona fide sampradaya and do not promote (by respecting them) the bogus so called spiritualist?

I do not intend to hurt any devotee, my only motive is to seek the truth or clarity of thought for healthy spiritual progress. Please forgive me for any offenses.

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