3 thoughts on “Critical analysis on BG 18.64 & its Śāṅkara-bhāṣyam (Is BG 18.65 merely a means or an objective in itself ?)

  1. Rajaram Venkatramani is the contender (the debate occurred on RKDB’s FB Timeline). His assertions are under the ‘objection’ column and ours under the ‘clarification’ column. Assisting us is also HG Hari Parsada Das Adhikari Prabhu (RGS) of ISKCON Mumbai. The relevant FB thread for this discussion –

    Objection – I chanced upon your post and thought that a critique of your post will be a good offering to Sankara on His Jayanthi. First of all, you have an incorrect understanding of Sankara. He does not recommend one pill for all. For those who are attached the body but have the the adhikara, he teaches vaidhika karma as the means. He advises one to do it in the mood of surrender to the Lord without expecting any thing in return. Such a person attains krama mukti. For those who are not attached to the body, He advises renunciation as per vaidhika dharma so that he will attain jivan mukti. For those who are neither fit for karma nor jnana, He teaches bhakti, which is essential for the practitioners of karma and jnana yoga also. He supports unalloyed devotion to the Lord. However, He does not compromise on the truth that the so called bondage is due to ajnana and it has to be removed only through jnana, as darkness by light. This happens by Isvaranugraha for a bhakta and jnani alike.

    Clarification – We have presented our analysis based on the Gaudiya Vaisnava point of view. Your good self is most welcome to prepare a critique our post. But, remember that we will remain last in this polemical exercise. My blessings and well-wishes are for your work. Kindly share it with us when complete.

    Objection – It is your analysis and unless you can show that your purvacharyas gave a similar analysis, it is not even a Gaudiya Vaishnava position. If you say that you are arguing based on the gaudiya vaishnava principles, it is imperative that you state who the preceptor of gaudiya vaishnavism is. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was a Sankaracharya who shaved his shikha and removed His thread. Instead of worshipping as such, you ignore His sanyasa form as described in Caitanya Bhagavatham and painted by contemporaries. You cannot claim Him as your preceptor. If bandha is due to ajnAnA, mokshA must be through jnAnA. Every thing else must be a means to the rise of jnAnA. This is Sankara’s position and if you disagree, you should state why. A devotee rejects all types of liberation and engages in unalloyed devotion (SBh 3.29.13) and the fruit of such devotion is the supreme state of Vishnu (SBh 3.29.14). It is clear that your position ananya bhakti is its own goal is contradicted by SBh as it gives the (non-dual) state of Vishnu unasked for.

    Clarification – Kindly show us the point by point rebuttal of our essay by preparing another draft deconstructing ours and then share it on our Facebook Timeline or on this comments’ section. Unless that is done, we have no interest in an informal and haphazard discussion with you, dear gentleman.

    Objection – It is not required to add to polemical articles as they don’t encourage a dialogue. I have shown the fundamental faults in your analysis and conclusion – restated below. First, it is your position as you have not based it on any gaudiya vaishnava acharya’s commentary on BhG 18.65 Second, Sri Krishna Caitanya wasa Sankaracharya who shaved His head and removed thread. If you don’t accept Him in that form, It shows your rejection of truth due to bias against Sankara sampradaya. How can you be relied upon to represent Him truthfully? Third, if ajnAnA is the cause of bondage, which we all agree, only jnAnA can remove it as Sankara says. How else do you think it will go? Fourth, you are wrong to state that suddha bhakti cannot lead to advaita siddhi. I have shown that it does (SBh 3.29.13 – 14). Sankara clearly states that a bhakta will attain Him simply doing bhakti just as a jnani will attain Him through vedanta sravana. It is not that a bhakti yogi will adopt jnana yoga or vice – versa. It will not be natural for them to do so.

    Clarification – 1) Since, we are member of the scholarly lobby of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya, whatever analysis we do is also counted in the Gaudiya way. Gaudiya Vaisnava Acarya’s specific commentary on a particular passage is not required to do its analysis as long as the analysis uses the classical Gaudiya conceptions.
    2) The second accusation is unwarranted and not belonging to our essay and hence, its discussion here is irrelevant.
    3) The reason we can be relied to represent CM fully is because we come in the unbroken lineage of precepts commencing from CM Himself.
    4) Ajnana is not the cause of bondage; it is ‘bhagavad-viparyaya-asmrith’ as explained in SB 11.2.37. And the only way to get rid of it is through the performance of bhakti-yoga. Kindly refer to the beginning of the Bhakti-sandarbha of Srila Jiva Gosvamipada. Ajnana (i.e. ignorance about one’s own self being non-distinct from the non-specified Absolute) as interpreted by Sanakara is not the root cause of bondage.
    According to the Gaudiya Vaisnava conception, the fruit of suddha-sadhana-bhakti is only the prema-bhakti alias para-bhakti and nothing else. The five types of liberation are only phala-abhasa and not the actual phala. If those five types of liberation would be actual ‘phala’ or ‘prayojana’ of mukti, they would not have been discarded by the suddha-premi-bhaktasas the SB 3.29.13 verse itself is testifying. The fact that para-bhakti or prema-bhakti is the actual goal of suddha-sadhana-bhakti is explained in the Narada Purana Verse – “devarse vihita prokta harim uddisya ya kriya / seiva bhaktir iti proktya taya bhaktih para bhavet //” Also, the SB 11.3.21 and SB 5.6.18 verses are substantiating our point. If you claim that even the jnana-marga leads to para-bhakti on the basis of the BG 18.54, our purvacarya VCT clarifies during its commentary on that verse that jnana-marga cannot bestow the ‘para-bhakti’ unless and until the association of the bhagavata-paramahamsa is obtained by that jnani-paramahamsa or the brahma-bhuta-jana. To illustrate this point, he gives many evidences.
    Regarding the interpretation of the term “mad-bhavaya” as seen used in SB 3.29.14, it doesn’t indicate the monistic liberation of the jana-margis. It indicates the prema-mayi-seva which the devotee receives after entering the nitya-lila of his ista-deva in the Holy Dhama. If that mad-bhavaya would mean the brahma-sayujya-mukti of the Advaitin, it has been discarded, in beforehand, by that devotee as seen substantiated in SB 3.29.13. Also, a similar term “mama-sadharmya” has been used by Lord Krsna in BG 14.2 and that also doesn’t indicate the Advaitic interpretation of brahma-sayujya-mukti. Why? Because, because ‘samana-dharmata’ is not found between the two merged objects. Only, between two distinctly perceived and existing items, is the ‘samana-dharmata’ found. There cannot be any ‘samanata’, if there is only one non-dual non-specified Absolute existing.
    5) The Absolute that the bhakta attains through suddha-bhakti is the “Bhagavan” or ‘Svayam-bhagavan”. The Absolute that the nirvisesa-nirbheda-brahma-jnani attains is the ‘nirvisesa-brahma’.
    6) A jnani cannot obtain the nirvisesa-brahma only on the strength of jnana-marga. Jnana-misra pradhanibhuta-bhakti is needed to accompany that ‘jnana’ to make the jnani obtain liberation. All such notions have been elaborately discussed in the Six Sandarbhas of Jiva Gosvami and within the commentaries of VCT and BDV on BG and SB.

    Objection – You have avoided the other objections Anyway, from SBh 3.29.13 – 14, it is clear that an unalloyed devotee is liberated from three modes or attains moksha at some point. It is therefore crystal clear that the fruit of unalloyed devotion is moksha. As to what this moksha is the Lord clearly says that it is His state. It must be the state of absolute bliss equal to His own infinite bliss as no other reward befits a suddha bhakta. This cannot be attained if there is duality because upanishads say that there is fear in duality (Br. Up. 1.4.2). So, you must admit that the bhakta and the Lord are non-different. You may say that a bhakta is an amsa of the Lord and hence non-different but then the sastras clearly say that Brahman is impartite (niramsa). Therefore, you have to admit that the bhakta is absolutely non-different from Ishwara. SBh also says that it is only Hari who appears as gopis, narada etc. The view thatt he liberated person is non-different from Vishnu is stated by Jaimini and accepted by Sankara in Brahma Sutra Bhashya. However, how can jIvA and Ishwara be one as they have different qualities? It is possible if their svarupa is same just as a clay doll of king and queen are one in the sense of being clay. This view of Audulomi is also accepted by Sankara. On the merit of the process, a bhakta cannot get liberated without his ajnAnA destroyed by rise jnAnA. A jnAni is one of the four types of bhaktas, the highest. There is no conflict between a real bhakta and a jnAni.
    Clarification by HPD – sorry to interrupt. I don’t want to comment on any portion of the main article. But Rajaram Venkataramani ji if you say that mokṣa follows bhakti then I am of the opinion that you should re-read the section of the bhāgavatam (10.14.4) which says that kaivalya-jñāna can never match Bhakti. I am making this statement only because you quoted the bhāgavatam to say that the fruit of bhakti is mokṣa. The actual fruit of bhakti is prema and not mokṣa. Mokṣa is a side-effect of bhakti.
    And the conclusion that mokṣa is the fruit of bhakti goes directly against the conclusions propounded in the Nārada-bhakti-sūtra 26 and 30.
    Of course you can quote the Bhagavad-gītā 14.26 to say that a bhakta attains mokṣa as a result of his bhakti. However, the bhakta spoken of in BG 14.26 is the sādhaka who has arrived at the stage of niṣṭhā and not the siddha who has attained prema. This can be seen by reading the Gītā-subodhinī-bhāṣya on the same verse.

    Clarification (by RKDB) – 1) We have not avoided any philosophical objections. We have just preferred to not delve further into some historical aspects you have raised. We just don’t want to reply to those objections which are irrelevant to our essay. Why? Because both those objections raised by a contender and their answers from our side will cause grave distraction while doing analysis to the main content of the original post.
    2) Br. Up. 1.4.2. talks about the duality like the ones which are described in BG 2.14 and BG 12.18-19. It can never talk about the innate duality which forever remains between the individual spirit souls and the Absolute (both the personal and impersonal aspects of that Absolute). According to Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusanapada’s Govinda-bhasya commentary on the Brahma-sutras, even during the merging with the nirvisesa-brahma, the brahma-sayuja-prapta-jiva doesn’t actually loose his individual existence with that Absolute. There is an esoteric explanation given to explain this point which we shall not discuss here, unless a specific desire is shown by the contender to know it. If the duality mentioned in Br. Up. 1.4.2 is directed towards denoting the inherent difference prevalent between the jivas and Bhagavan, the whole concept of the suddha-premi-bhaktas’ strong want for the discard of the panca-vidha-muktis and esp. the ‘ekatva’ or the ‘sayujya-mukti’ – as seen in SB 9.4.67. Also, the term ‘atyantika’ as used in SB 3.29.14 – lays the foundation for the Gaudiya concept of “pancama-purusartha-svarupa-prema-bhakti”. Bhakti has been considered ‘atyantika’ there because it surpasses the fourth purusartha i.e. moksa. Since, it surpasses the fourth objective i.e. liberation, it is automatically known as the fifth objective.
    3) Haribhakti-sudhodaya’s assertion in Naradiya-purana – “tvat-saksat-karanahlada……sukhani gospadayante brahmanyapi jagadguro//”, SB 4.30.44, and SB 6.11.25 clearly reject moksa as the parama-purusartha and directly/indirectly establish the parama-ananda-mayatva of the bhakti-yoga.
    4) Advaitic Sankarite conception of “amsa-amsitva” alludes that the fragment or ‘amsa’ must be originally part of the existence of its ‘amsi’ and that it separates from its ‘amsi’ later on just like the stone separates from the aggregate mountain by cutting off from it. But, this is not the Gaudiya Vaisnava conception. When the notion of ‘amsa-amsi’ is used in relation to Paramatma and the tatastha-jivas, the tatastha-jivas were nowhere ever considered to be part of the innate nature of Paramatma at any juncture of time. When such is not the case, there cannot arise any instance of existentially separating from that Paramatma. Rather, the ‘amsa-amsitva’ concept is interpreted by us to mean that the tatastha-jiva has those qualities in fragment, which are present in the Paramatma or Bhagavan in unlimited feature. Because, the gunas like cetanatva and nityatva are present in amsika-matra in the jivas, the jivas are considered to be the amsas. Vide “nityo-nityanam cetanas cetananam….” of Upanisads.
    5) Wherever in the sastras, it is said that the eternal associates or the ‘nitya-siddha-parikaras’ of the Lord are non-different from Him, that is the truth. They are not ontologically in the same placement as we, the tastastha-jivas, are. Vide – “nitya-siddhah mukunda-vat…”.
    6) Sankara’s Bhasya is not the only Bhasya on Brahma-sutras seen within the wider literary heritage of Sanatana Vedic Dharma. We have more than 6 Bhasyas of various Vaisnava Sampradayas on the Brahma-sutra and they don’t confirm with Sankara’s views of Absolute Monism.
    7) Jamini’s views are many times contradicted even by Vyasadeva very clearly in the different passages of Brahma-sutras and hence, it is not necessary to take him for granted in every matter. Other rsis are also not as authentic as Vyasadeva.
    8) Kindly refer to VCT’s and BDV’s comments on BG 7.16-19. Also, refer to RG’s BRS 1.2.20-21 and its comments by JG. Everything will be clear as to what type of a bhakta that jnani is. He is placed into the misra-bhakta category. Also, a jnani has been symbolically called as Lord’s atma or self. Whereas, the Lord places his dear devotees like the Uddhava and the gopi-janas as more dear than His own self. Vide the Adi-purana and SB 11.14.15 sloka “na tatha me priyatamah atma-yonir na……” and the verse SB 11.14.16 and it is very clear that His premi-bhaktas are more dear to the Lord even than His own self (if that self is considered symbolically to be the jnani on the strength of BG 7.18).
    Many thanks to HG Hari Pārṣada Dās Prabhu (RGS) for supplying additional points in this discussion. Kindly keep it up!
    We see that the discussion is gradually and naturally becoming a polemical discussion. And that’s why we had requested the honourable contender to write a separate rebuttal to our original essay, to which he deliberately expressed his indolence. Many people challenge scholars to merely show off their own half-baked knowledge and don’t have competence to systematically deconstruct the thesis of those scholars. Anyways, as the contender wishes!

    Objection for HPD – Hari Pārṣada Dās, it is good to see you after a while. SBh 10.14.4 is about the supremacy of the process of bhakti yoga over jnana yoga. This is quite well accepted in all traditions. As Lord Krishna says in BhG 12.3 – 5, the process of jnana yoga is very difficult due to our attachment with the body and its relations. The key point is a bhakta is also liberated from ajnAnA only through jnAnA. After attaining jIvan mukti, a concept which Sankara and Baladev accept not others, the mukta continues to do bhakti until videha mukti, the end of the kalpa or as long as he / she desires. The underlying reality Brahman remains the same through all these.

    Objection for RKDB – Radhakrishnadas Brahmachari, 1) your rejection of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankaracharya form is not merely a historical point. It shows the influence of evolution of gaudiya philosophical thought on historical truths and the mood towards His divine sanyasa form. The shift in attitude towards Advaita will be evident if you read sarvabhauma incident on CB and then CC. 2) If you don’t accept Br. Up. 1.4.2 without any basis, it is your choice but it rejects duality outright. 3. SBh 4.30.44 is not about moksha. You probably had some other verse in mind. After SBh 6.11.25, which is the mood of suddha bhakta, Dhruva is seeking renounciation in SBh 6.11.27. Please read everything in context. 4. No. In gaudiya vaishnavism, there is an eternal special relation between the Lord and jIvA who are distinct entities. From the Lord’s absolute stand point, jIvAs are His energy and hence non-different. Please learn your tradition correctly. 5. There are many valuable bhashyas as per the intelligence of the author. Sankara Bhashya is by the infinitely intelligent Lord Himself. 6. Jaimini’s view is accepted by Badarayana in this case. 8. There are only four types of bhaktas. Prema bhaktas such as the gopis are in the fourth type only as clarified by Sridhara. As there are different levels of steadfastness in devotion and knowledge, one can come up with sub-types but the key point is liberation is through jnAnA only. 9. There is no need to treat Bhakti as a panchama purushArthA. As Madhusudana shows, it is non-different from the bliss of brahman and so is moksha. In reality ananda is the ultimate purushartha. 10. The Lord expresses love for His devotees in many ways by calling them inferior, equal, non-different, superior etc. It does not mean that He likes one type of devotee and not the other. He just responds to a devotee according to his / her devotion.

    Clarification (by HPD) – Rajaram ji, good to see you too. You said ”The key point is a bhakta is also liberated from ajnAnA only through jnAnA.”
    If by jñāna you are referring to brahma-jñāna, the bhāgavatam would not agree. Jñāna which is bhagavat-sambandhī is the liberating factor for the devotee, and that too is a byproduct of bhakti, as given in SB 1.2.7
    The key point in the purview of all bhakti-ācāryas is that bhakti is independent of karma and jñāna.
    Also the underlying reality for a bhakta does not remain the same. It gives constantly new rasa, as specified in the verse “yad-avadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-pādāravinde” quoted in Prabhupāda’s commentary to BG 2.60
    To summarize it in one key verse,

    yasya deve parā bhaktir (note the term bhakti)
    yathā deve tathā gurau
    tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
    prakāśante mahātmanāḥ (Śvetāśvatara 6.23)

    Now even the upaniṣadas don’t disagree with the pre-requisite of bhakti for attaining jñāna.
    So if someone asks “What comes first, bhakti or jñāna?” The answer is — bhakti. Because unless one has guru-bhakti, one cannot get jñāna. Thus, bhakti becomes independent of jñāna. She is like a supreme goddess ruling over all other processes.

    Objection (for HPD) – Hari Pārṣada Dās Yes. Without bhakti, it is not possible to have jnAnA or vairAgyA as stated in SBh 1.2.7 and why should bhakti even produce jnAnA if it is of no value? It is because jnAnA is the liberating force and vairagya is required to relish the bliss constantly. Now, our ignorance is about the self. It is not that we know the self in reality but don’t know its relationship with Ishwara. Or that we know Ishwara but not His relationship with the self. We don’t know the self. As we don’t know the self, the liberating force is knowledge of the self given through statements such you are brahman. However, pleasing the relationship is with guru and Ishwara, we cannot love them if we think they are distinct from the self as the love of the self is supreme as stated in the upanishads. The liberating knowledge is therefore to know that Ishwara / guru is verily the self. It is to know that Vasudeva or Brahman is all that is in reality. It is to know the svarupa of everything as ananda.

    Clarification (by RKDB) – Towards our honourable contender – 1) The point as to how the Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophical thought evolved is not a point discussed in our original post and hence is irrelevant to be discussed here. It is an addition done by the contender to divert the original point of contention.Hence, we shall not waste time in explaining a theme not discussed or related with our post, at this juncture. A separate venue would be appropriate for it. 2) We have never said in our previous comments that the duality rejected by Br. Up. 1.4.2 is unauthentic in our view. Rather, we have found fault in the contender’s interpretation of this duality. According to him, the duality mentioned there denotes the ‘superficial’ difference between the Absolute and the spirit soul. But, according to our conception, sastras never talk about this duality in a way of rejection. Rather, this duality is promoted by the same Upanisads as in verses like “…..mahimanameti vitasokah” . Hence, how can it be considered that the Upanisads would reject this duality which they are promoting in other passages for getting liberation? Rather, the duality which is to be rejected is the one which is mentioned in BG 2.4 and BG 12.18-19. 3) Due to a typing mistake, it was written SB 4.30.44. Actually, it is SB 4.30.34. The context is not of Dhruva. The context there i.e. in SB 6.11.25-27 is that of Vrtrasura. And by reading those verses, it is very clear that only the prema-bhakti of Sri Hari is being sought by Vrtrasura in his prayers, after having rejected the desire of liberation. We are reading everything in context only. 4) According to the Gaudiya Vaisnava standpoint, the jivas are eternal and the Absolute is also eternal and they are eternally distinct despite the amsa-amsi relationship. The jivas are considered Lord’s marginal potency or the tatastha-sakti. In that sense, they are considered non-different from the Lord. But, they are considered different also. In ontological existence, they are considered eternally different from the Lord, according to our tradition. But, because they are dependent on the Lord for their existence (asraya-asrita sambandha as reflected in BG 7.7), in one sense, they are considered non-different from the Lord. Otherwise, the non-distinction of the marginal jivas is not the same as the non-distinction of the internal energy like hladini or Radha etc. Why? In case, of internal energy, the non-distinction which is prevalent between the the musk odour and musk is prevalent i.e. internal energy being the odour and the potent principle Krsna being the musk itself. In case of the marginal potency, the same type of ontologically existential non-distinction is not there between tatastha-jivas and para-brahma. Rather, due to asraya-asrita sambandha, there comes a sense of non-distinction i.e. an asrita or dependent object cannot remain wholly independent or distinct from its shelter i.e. asraya. Because, we also have to consider the the “svamsas catha vibhinnamsah….” verse of the Puranas which explains that the jivas are the vibhinnamsa or the distinct amsas of the Paramtma, whereas, the svamsas are the non-distinct amsas of the Paramatma. Forms like Mastya, Kurma, Rama etc. are svamsas. Just like a wife is considered an energy of her husband. Husband is considered a potent principle. But, wife’s ontological existence is different from her husband. Nevertheless, she is dependent on her husband for the survival and maintenance. In the same way, the jivas are ontologically distinct from the Lord, yet dependent on Him for their existence. Hence, there is also a sense of non-distinction between the jivas and the para-brahma – only due to this asraya-asrita sambandha. 5) It is clearly proclaimed both in Padma Purana and Garuda-Purana that Siva will incarnate in Kali-yuga to spread illusion on the order of Lord Narayana. Hence, Adi-Sankara incarnated. 6) Refer to the Govinda Bhasya of Baladeva Vidyabhusana to know how the Gaudiyas interpret certain passages of Brahma-sutra. 7) According to Rupa Gosvami’s BRS and BDV’s and VCT’s comments on BG, the four types of bhaktas mentioned by Krsna in BG are not part of the suddha-bhakta category. Kindly delve deeper into Gaudiya literary canon to understand these subtle points. 8) Bhakti has also been synonymously considered to be ‘rasa’. And, since ‘rasa’ is the most perfectly condensed stage of the ‘ananda’, bhakti is the ‘anandamayi’. It is the faculty or ‘vrtti’ of the hladini-sakti of the para-brahma. Then, how can bhakti not be anandamayi? It is fully replete with rasa. If the moksananda would be the parama-purusartha, then why the five-fold moska is rejected by the suddha-bhakta and only the desire for premamayi-seva of the Lord is kept by those devotees? Also, the usage of the term ‘atyantika’ or the ‘ultimate’ as seen in SB 3.29.14 clearly establishes the ‘prema-bhakti’ as the ultimate objective (the fifth objective) overruling even the fourth objective moska as elucidated int the earlier verse SB 3.29.13. 10) The four types of ‘sukrti-van upasakas’ or the pious worshipers are not fitting the criteria of suddha-bhakti and hence BRS should be referred for this clarification given there. But, we see that the contender has no interest in referring to any Gaudiya works for knowing the Gaudiya interpretation of those passages which are wrongly interpreted by the Sankarites. Rather, he wants to drag on his worn torn talks only. He has also opportunistically avoided replying to all of our refutations given in earlier comments. He has not touch those arguments of ours which he is unable to answer. He has silently sidelined them. We have no interest with such dishonest debaters.
    The contender doesn’t deliberately want to understand that the jnana and vairagya which are produced by the effects of the bhakti-yoga as described in SB 1.2.7. – are not independent of the bhakti. They are subordinate to bhakti. And those jnana and vairagya are actually the by-products of bhakti and are not referring to the nirvisesa-brahma-jnana and the suska-vairagya used by brahma-jnanis, astanga-yogis etc. That jnana and vairagya are by products of bhakti as also explained in SB 11.2.42. Furthermore, it is graphically portrayed in the Patala-khanda of the Padma-purana (those six chapters dealing with the Bhagavata-mahatmya) that Bhakti Maharani has a form of a Goddess; she stays on the banks of the Yamuna in Vrndavana and has two sons known as ‘jnana’ and ‘vairagya’. The terms ‘janayati’ as used in SB 1.2.7 – refer to these two sons of bhakti i.e. jnana and vairagya. And in that same context in Padma-purana, it is also described by Vyasa that Bhakti Maharani is served by the personified Goddess of liberation i.e. Muktidevi as her maid-servant. Refer to a verse there – “…muktim dasim dadau tubhyam jnana-vairgaya kavimau”.
    There are two types of jnana. 1) nirvisesa-brahma-jnana, 2) sambandha-tattva-jnana. The latter is divided two-fold viz., tat-padartha-jnana and the tvam-padartha-jnana. The latter is accompanying suddha-bhakti. But, the former also needs assistance of the jnana-misra-bhakti for bestowing sayujya-mukti to a jnani. Why? Refer to VCT’s comments on BG 14.17, where the ‘nirvisesa-nirbheda-brahma-jnana’ of a jnani has been considered to be falling within the bhautika-sattva-guna. Hence, jnana, a product of the bhautika-sattva-guna can never bestow any liberation. Bhakti is nirguna and hence, with her accompaniment, jnani can obtain his cherished liberation. But, for knowing these intricacies, Gaudiya siddhantas have to be well understood with an inquisitive and submissive heart and intellect.
    Mr. Contender can continue with his Advaitic thoughts and we shall continue with our Acintya-bheda-abheda-vadi thoughts on Vedanta. Hope he finds solace now. He has no answers to any of our precise refutations of his earlier raised contentions. Any neutral person reading these exchanges can easily ascertain this much. He merely sidelines them and raises new side contentions. Once he feels that we have satiated his queries, he brings out some new side argument and totally bypasses the talk on earlier contention. A healthy debate cannot ensue in such a way. If he wants to stick to the Advaitic interpretation, we will stick to ours. But, if he is actually serious to know our views, he should also answer the precise confutation of his points done by us earlier. Merely invoking new points after feeling that the old points are untenable – is not a way of a healthy and honest discussion. Rather, as soon as one’s earlier raised arguments are defeated in a debate, a contender should honestly accept his defeat and then, if he likes, should move forward with the newer points. But, such honesty is not present in today’s debaters having half-baked knowledge and unwilling to know other’s ideology fully. They merely want to impose their beliefs without knowing the interpretation given by the Gaudiya acaryas. They are unwilling to write an elaborate point by point rebuttal of a scholar’s essay and then want to engage a scholar stubbornly in a polemical debate. This is their duplicity. But, they are showing their incompetence in doing so only.

    Objection (for RKDB) –
    Radhakrishnadas Brahmachari, I have studied gaudiya vaishnavism for 15 years and continue to study for its value in promoting bhakti. In the entire discussion, I have not shied away from answering a single point raised by you or Hari Pārṣada Dās. If any point in unanswered, I will try to. BTW, padma purana verses cannot refer to advaita as the description does not fit Sankara but only Lakulisa. With love – “Dishonest Mr. Contender with half baked knowledge who by passes your arguments”

    Clarification (by HPD) – Rajaram ji, you say “jnAnA is the liberating force and vairagya is required to relish the bliss constantly”. I am sorry again this is not true. bhaktir evainam nayati (Bhakti is what takes one to the Lord). Also, vairāgya is not required to relish the bliss of bhakti. It cannot be said that if one has too much vairāgya, he is the best bhakta, because it has been said by Lord Krishna in SB 11.20.8 that the bhakta cannot be too detached. Vairāgya, if done too much is an impediment to relishing bhakti.

    Also the assertion that you make — “However pleasing the relationship is with guru and Ishwara, we cannot love them if we think they are distinct from the self as the love of the self is supreme as stated in the upanishads.” — these assertions are not supported by the Upaniṣadas. You will need to find me a quote.

    And to know that everything is “ānanda” is merely śānta-rasa, or even below that. Please try to understand me when i say that the definition of bhakti does not end at Ādi-Śaṅkarācārya. No doubt Ādi-Śaṅkarācārya is one of the greatest ācāryas but every contribution cannot be credited to him.
    Also, you have said that you have not shied away from answering any point. If that is the case, I would like to bring back the discussion to my point on Nārada-bhakti-sūtras 26 and 30 which I mentioned earlier, because they prove directly that bhakti is independent and is the sādhana as well as sādhya.
    Also if you say that the predictions in Padma-purāṇa refer to Lakulīśa and not to Ādi-Śaṅkara then you are making a huge error. Vācaspatī Miśra (who is an advaita-vedāntī) refers to himself as a māyāvādī in his Bhāmatī commentary on Vedanta sutra 2.1.29. So is he a followe of lakulīśa? Also, all other commentators like Bhāskara and Vijñāna-bhikṣu and Srila Jiva Goswami (in the paramātmā-sandarbha) use the term māyāvāda to refer to the philosophy of Adi Shankaracharya.

    Vijñāna-bhikṣu quotes the same verses from Padma-purāṇa (māyāvādaṁ asac-chāstraṁ) in his commentary to Vedānta-sūtra. How then can you say that it refers to Lakulīśa? Any previous authority supports your stance?

    Clarification (by RKDB) – Since, Mr. Contender’s last remarks have been answered by HG Hari Pārṣada Dās Prabhu, I will not focus again on them. But, I would to point out a simple fact that Mr. Contender has not tried to refute or even address my lastly made theological contentions, which any observer can easily notice.
    Dear Hari Pārṣada Dās Prabhu, The following assertion made by honourable contender – “……as the love of the self is supreme as stated in the Upanisads…” – is trying to denote the following statement found in the Upanisads (Brhad-aranyaka 2.4.5 ) – “….atmanastu kamaya sarvam idam priyam bhavati…”. The whole paragraph is here – “Na va are patyuh kamaya patih priyo bhavati, atmanas tu kamaya patih priyo bhavati; na va are jayayai kamaya jaya priya bhavati; atmanas tu kamaya jaya priya bhavati; na va are sarvasya kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati; atmanas tu kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati.” (Bri.U. 2.4.5): “Nobody loves anything for its own sake…….” But, honourable contender doesn’t know that the above assertion of Upanisad doesn’t indicate any spiritual/devotional relationship that is prevalent between Bhagavan and the bhakta. Rather, that Upanisadic proclamation indicates only mundane relationships full of selfish affection. The tone of the above Upanisadic passage shows that is only depicting the mundane relationship. If not, the assertion of NBS 24 – “nāsty eva tasmiḿs tat-sukha-sukhitvam” meaning – “In such false devotion one does not find pleasure exclusively in the Lord’s pleasure.” – wold turn wrong. Through vyatireka-nyaya, it is understood that in pure bhakti, one finds pleasure in Lord’s pleasure. Furthermore, ātmendriya-prīti-vāñchā — tāre bali ‘kāma’

    kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-icchā dhare ‘prema’ nāma

    “The desire to gratify one’s own senses is kāma [lust], but the desire to please the senses of Lord Kṛṣṇa is prema [love]” (Cc. Ādi 4.165). This above analysis proves that from the side of the asraylambana-vibhava of sthayi-rati i.e. devotee, the love is self-less, thus proving the ‘atmanastu kamaya sarvam idam priyam bhavati’ assertion of Br. Up. inapplicable in devotional context. Now we shall analyse as to how that same assertion of Br. Up. is also inapplicable in terms of the reciprocating affection shown by the Bhagavan i.e. visayalambana-vibhava of rati towards His bhaktas. Since, bhagavan’s love is also self-less, the ‘atmanastu kamaya….’ is also not applicable in terms of His bhakta-vatsalya. SB 11.14.16 should be referred and everything will be crystal clear towards the honourable contender. Furthermore, if, on Lord’s part, the affection would be selfish, the Lord wouldn’t have said as such in SB 11.14.15 – “na tathā me priyatama

    ātma-yonir na śańkaraḥ

    na ca sańkarṣaṇo na śrīr

    naivātmā ca yathā bhavān” Translation – “My dear Uddhava, neither Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Lord Sańkarṣaṇa, the goddess of fortune nor indeed My own self are as dear to Me as you are.”

    Clarification (by HPD) – Well in Ādi-śaṅkarācārya’s commentary to Bṛhadāraṇyaka 2.4.5, he says that the term ātmanaḥ refers to a soul free from all designations. If that is the case, the soul does not need any benefit (kāmāya) for the soul has already achieved the highest benefit according to the tenets of advaita.

    If the term ātmanaḥ refers to the husband or the wife then again Yajñavālkya (the speaker of this section of the Upaniṣad) will become a propagator of material attachment.

    Thus, the term ātmanaḥ here refers to the Supreme Brahman and not for the jīva. Why so? Because even previously when Yajñavālkya has used this term, he has used it for the Supreme Brahman. For example — ātmā vā are draṣṭavyaḥ

    So when the Bṛhadāraṇyaka says — “na vā are patyuḥ kāmāya patiḥ priyo bhavaty ātmanas tu kāmāya patiḥ priyo bhavati”, it means that “It is not by the desire of the husband that the husband becomes dear to the wife. It is by the desire of the Supreme Lord that the husband becomes dear to the wife.”

    And this same understanding is applied to all the other similar statements in this section.

    Clarification (by RKDB) – Śrī Ādi-śaṅkara’s explanation is nice; but the problem still remains the same that it is self-contradictory. How? Because, in Advaita, the ‘nirupādhika-para-brahma’ who is totally free from all mundane (and even transcendental – according to Śaṅkara’s views) designations and who is denoted by the term ‘ātmanaḥ’ in the Br. Up. 2.4.5 – cannot have any ‘upādhi’ or limiting adjunct. According to the tenets of Advaita Vedānta, ‘kāmanā’ or desire is a limiting adjunct not applicable to the ‘nirviśeṣa-nirguṇa-nirupādhika-nirākāra-brahma’. Thus, Śaṅkara’s attribution of ‘kāmanā’ to the nirupādhika-brahma is inconsistent with his general stand on nirguna-brahma.

    Objection (for HPD) – Hari Pārṣada Dās let us take one point at a time and agree or disagree. Otherwise, we miss each other. You said that too too much vairagya is an impediment to bhakti. SBh 11.20.8 does not say that a devotee should not be too detached. It says that a devotee is not depressed (nirvinno) and nAti sakto (not too attached). Such a devotee is advised to do prescribed to varnashrama duties but ultimately become desireless (nirIhah) in SBh 11.20.26. (I am happy to take any one point that you think is your strongest and discuss it). Radhakrishnadas Brahmachari I am neither dishonest nor a contender. I have a divine name and should not be sarcastically called Mr. Contender. Baladev and Visvanath quote Madhusudana, Sankara, Sridhara and Gaudapada respectfully. Anyway, I have probably studied Gaudiya Vaishnavam for longer than you have and not opposed to it. I may disagree with a few conclusions. Let us not act as if we are rivals but try to learn from each other happily.

    Clarification (by RKDB) – Your tone is that of an ‘honourable contender’ and I cannot place you in the category of classical scholarly mentors of age-old sampradayas that you have mentioned in your comments. Many of your points have been refuted by us and you have tactically sidelined them and started discussing on side points. This reveals your dishonesty. Anyways, since you have not addressed any of my theological points again, I am not bound to refute you anymore. I have no intention to disrespect your good self, despite our mutual difference in views. Meanwhile, the points of HG Hari Pārṣada Dās Pr. that you have raised will be answered by him. Hare Krsna.

    Clarification (by HPD) – Rajaram ji, please check the definition of nirviṇṇa when it appears first in the bhāgavatam in SB 3.25.7 from any commentary you like.
    Also you have studied the gaudiyas for past many years, so especially for the gauḍīyas, too much detachment is not appreciated by Srila Rupa Goswami. Here is the pramāṇa:

    nivṛttānupayogitvād durūhatvād ayaṁ rasaḥ
    rahasyatvāc ca saṁkṣipya vitatāṇgo vilikhyate (Bhaktirasāmṛtasindhu 3.5.2)

    Objection (for HPD) – Hari Pārṣada Dās, SBh 3.25.7 talks about how disgusted (nirvinna) Devahuti is with senses. It does not give allowance for sense gratification or material attachment. As I said before, SBh 11.20.8 says that a devotee should not be depressed (nirvinna) or too attached (nAti sakto). It is not an allowance for being attached to material world. Such a devotee is advised to perform varnashrama duties and ultimately become desireless (SBh 11.20.26).

    Clarification (by HPD) –
    Rajaram Venkataramani ji as i told you please refer to any commentary on nirviṇṇa and it won’t say “depressed”. It says clearly “disgusted” or “detached”. Here is what Srila Rupa Goswami also says about not being too detached:

    nātisakto na vairāgya-bhāg asyām adhikāry asau (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.14)

    He used the term clearly “na vairāgya bhāk” (Not too much into detachment). I hope it is clear now.
    Objection (for HPD) – Hari Pārṣada Dās whether you take nirvinna to mean digusted or depressed (both are valid), it means not to be unhappy. It does not mean you are allowed to have material desires. As I said before, a later verse (SBh 11.20.16) says that such a devotee should become desire-less (nirIhah) (albeit gradually).We see that Dhruva was desirous of kingdom but became desire-less. We also see that even a virtuous attachment to a deer caused re-birth for jada Bharatha. Logically, desire will agitate the mind and make your work for the goal. If you don’t achieve the goal, it will make you sad. If you achieve your goal, the attachment to the object won will cause fear of loss. The desire for Vasudeva is without this defect because He is never an object to be gained being the very Self and for the same reason never lost. Only ignorance about Him needs to be destroyed. (It is enough for me to show that Sankara is true to sastras. It is not necessary for me to reconcile or criticize what other acharyas say. Being saintly, they are as worship-able as my own).

    Clarification (by HPD) – Rajaram Venkataramani nobody is advocating cultivation of material desires. The term ‘nirviṇṇaḥ’ means ‘not too detached like the jñānī’. Why? It is explained in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu that the jñānī has a tendency to fall in the traps of phalgu-vairāgya. Thus, if a jñānī is shown the descriptions of śṛṅgāra-rasa from Bharata-muni’s Nāṭya śāstra, he rejects it due to his phalgu-vairāgya.

    A devotee is not too detached like that. A devotee will know how to use it for advancing his bhakti. The bhakta knows (from SB 1.5.33) that the same thing which a jñanī may reject, can be used therapeutically for curing his disease. Therefore, Srila Rupa Goswami says clearly in Bhakti rasāmṛta sindhu that the jñānīs are especially disqualified from prema-bhakti (mādhurya).

    Objection (for HPD) – Hari Pārṣada Dās Let us take the meaning of na nirvanna in SBh 11.20.8 as non-annihilation of material desires as you imply. Such as devotee is not considered perfect yet. The same verse says that bhakti yoga will award him perfection. SBh 11.20.9 advises him to perform kAmya karma according to vedic injunctions until attachment to Hari Katha arises. Such a person who is purified gets jnAnam or bhakti in this life itself (SBh 11.2011) as per one’s desire. Generally, those with yoga buddhi desire bhakti as they relish the relationships and others with sankhya buddhi desire jnana. It is clear from this that bhakti yoga and jnana yoga are one of the two paths, which a karma yogi takes to after developing attachment to Hari Katha. They – bhakti yogi and jnana yogi – are advised to attain perfection (abhAvAya) before death arrives or in other words become a jIvan muktA. The example is given of a bird leaving nest before the tree is cut down (SBh 11.20.15) without attachment (alampatah). Such a person who has given up material attachments and desire (nirIhah) understands the Lord (SBh 11.20.16). Even after knowing Him, the mind could stray and means are given for its control in the subsequent verses. Let us both agree that material desires are not the ideal according to SBh for a true bhakta or a jnani. There is no room for likes and dislikes with respect to material objects in the case of a suddha bhakta. In the next post, I will respond to srngara rasa.

    Clarification (by HPD) – Once again Rajaram Venkataramani ji, “na nirviṇṇaḥ” does not mean that he has material desires. When did I say that a bhakta has “material desires”?

    What 11.20.8 means is that in his vairāgya, the bhakta has not gone to the extreme and rejected even those things that are related to Lord Hari. Please please and please, read any one commentary from any ācārya that explains the term nirviṇṇa before you conclude in this matter.

    I’m surprised I gave you such a huge example and you did not touch it at all. Lets take the same example again. Bharata-muni has described śṛṅgāra-rasa in his Nāṭya-śāstra. Now, not even a single jñānī has ever ventured in that direction. None of the sannyāsīs belonging to the daśanāmī sect have written books on it.

    On the other hand, Srila Rupa Goswami says in his Nāṭaka-candrikā — “rasāḥ śṛṅgāra-vīrāḍhyā jñeyā rasa-sudhārṇave” — “One should learn about the rasas like śṛṅgāra, vīra etc. from the book named Rasārṇava-sudhākara.”

    Now does it mean that he is asking us to develop material desires by reading rasa-śāstra? Of course not. That will go against the anyābhilāṣitā śūṇyam principle.

    Therefore, I told you that the worldview of a jñānī is completely different from that of a rasika-bhakta. The jñānī’s ultimate aim is to relish his vairāgya, but the bhakta relishes bhakti-rasa. In SB 11.20.8, the discussion is about attaining perfection in bhakti-yoga and not jñāna yoga. So the ācāryas of bhakti-yoga get to decide the conclusions regarding it. Therefore, i ask you again, please read at least one commentary explaining the term nirviṇṇa in 11.20.8

    Objection (for HPD) – Hari Pārṣada Dās You mentioned that too much detachment is not recommended for a devotee and I showed from SBh that whether you are a bhakta or a jnani you should aim to be completely free from desires, which a bhakta can achieve by absorbing himself in Hari Katha. If you also say that a devotee should be completely free from material desires, we are in agreement and there is no need to argue out of sectarian outlook. After my elaborate post touching on three meanings of nirvinna, if you think I don’t understand it, please explain. Where is the need to patronize? Now, I told I will write about sringara rasa in my next post. Where is occasion for you to be surprised that I ignored your huge example?

    Clarification (by HPD) – A pure devotee should be free of material desires, but his vairāgya is not the same as the jñānī’s vairāgya. The devotee can go back and accept some material facilities if needed but if the jñānī does that he will be heavily criticized by the scriptures.
    Also, the devotee’s progress does not stop when his material desires are extinguished. The jñānī on the other hand has achieved his goal when his material desires have been extinguished. There is not really much progress for the jñānī from that point onwards. But for the bhakta, the progress never ends.

    Objection (for HPD) – Hari Pārṣada Dās There is a difference between accepting material objects and having material desires. A suddha bhakta, who is worship-able as Ishwara Himself if not more, will accept material objects to perform bhagavad bhakti. How else can one operate in the material world? It does not mean one has material desires. Like a deity does through sastras or in person, a suddha bhakta expresses desires so that disciples can have the opportunity to serve and get purified. The reciprocal relation between a suddha bhakta and a sadhana bhakta gives the sadhana bhakta an opportunity to approach Hari. If a suddha bhakta sublates the likes and dislikes due to total absorption in Vishnu, how can sadhana bhakras serve? However, a sadhana bhakta who does not have bhagavat sAkshAtkAram and who is still bound by trigunAtmika mAyA should not accept material objects. If he is attracted to material objects, he should gradually detach himself through the process of bhakti yoga. The same applies to a jnAna yogi or a paroksha jnani and he should fix his mind on Vasudeva, the innermost Self of all by listening to and reflecting on upanishads and continuing to do bhagavat bhakti. He should withdraw the mind gradually from material objects. However, it is only reasonable that an aparoksha jnAni, who has no identification with the body, is not bound by the vaidhika injunctions that pertain to the body. Even though it is so, he will act according to vaidhika injunction as long as he lives in the body so that the ignorant are not mislead. This is due to Ishwara sankalpa to establish pravrtti and nivtti margas. (When we discuss rasa tattva point that you raised, we will see how aparoksha jnani and suddha bhakta are non-different as both operate only by bhagavat sankalpa). On your second point, the extinction of desires happens when you perform naishkAmya karma yoga. You don’t need to become a jnana yogi or bhakti yogi for that. These are paths only for knowing Vasudeva, who is infinite. On knowing Him directly, you will reach a state of completeness, the very state of Vishnu.
    No school of thought can write down the infinite glories of Vishnu and advaita is no exception. As infinite experiences are possible with respect to savisesha brahman, it is not possible for any acharya to write them all down. Even the Veda, which is His own breadth and is non-different from Him is unable to describe Him in full. Though greater than the greatest. the Lord makes Himself accessible as an object of devotion even for those of sinful disposition from very birth. This flow of mind (mano gati) towards Ishwara is called bhakti and it melts the heart completely. In this molten state, the object of devotion – Vishnu – is imprinted. Even if the mind forgets the thoughts and acts of devotion, the bliss experienced is never forgotten. Hence, this bliss is called bhakti rasa and is a permanent modification of the mind (manovrtti). This bliss is non-different from Brahman or Ishwara. Therefore, bhakti rasa is non-different from Ishwara Himself and for this reason it is eternal though the mind is temporary. While karma (action) is possible through sankalpa (an act of will) and a little sraddha (sincerity) bhakti (love) is only possible if the attraction arises spontaneously. No amount of practice can guarantee the rise of love without His anugraha (mercy). Once the attraction arises, it propels the sadhaka towards Ishwara by its own power. In this sense, it is similar to atma jnana. It takes IshwarAnugraha for one to develop tendency towards jnAna and once the paroksha jnAna (theoretical knowledge) arises, it propels the jnana yogi forward towards direct realisation (advaita siddhi). BTW, Hari Vamsa, Muktiphala of Hemadri, BhavArtha Dipika of Sridhara, Bhakti Rasayana of Madhusudana and many other works analyse bhakti rasa. Avadhuta and Paramahamsa sanyasis such as Sadasiva Brahmendral express their bhakti anubhava through poetry rendered in popular songs.

    Clarification (by HPD) – Rajaram Venkataramani Thank you for getting the point clear that a bhakta does not have material desires. You are incorrect when you say that a sādhana bhakta should not accept material objects. He should accept or reject all objects that are authorized by his/her guru. He/She should not get into the business of whimsical acceptance or rejection. And a jñānī does not have any concept of yukta-vairāgya, so acceptance of material objects for the service of the Lord is not for him. For a jñānī, it is vairāgya all the way. That is the big difference between jñāna and bhakti. The state of completeness is not the state of being Vishnu, but the state of being his servant, friend etc.

    Also you made a statement: “Hari Vamsa, Muktiphala of Hemadri, BhavArtha Dipika of Sridhara, Bhakti Rasayana of Madhusudana and many other works analyse bhakti rasa.”

    This statement has the following problems: “Harivamśa is not by an advaita-vādī, Muktaphala is not written by Hemādrī. Bhāvārtha Dīpikā never gets into any details of explaining any rasa, and Bhakti-rasāyana also does not describe any component/sub-component of rasa.”

    Therefore, none of the advaitīs actually touched bhakti-rasa, and that is a fact!

    Objection (for HPD) – Hari Pārṣada Dās right from the start I have been clear that a suddha bhakta cannot have material desires. It was you who argued that too much detachment is not good for a devotee. Now, you have advanced a new theory that a sadhana bhakta should accept material objects authorized by guru. No. Out of ignorance, a sadhana bhakta will want material things and also desire to go “back home back to godhead” as in aspire for goloka, vaikuntha etc. Sastras will support him by giving kAmya karma and krama mukti as no one can renounce by force. Once, knowledge dawns that Vasudeva is all that is, he will lose interest in getting anything or going anywhere. Such an atma rama will worship Hari naturally as long as he exists in some loka. You are incorrect about bhakti rasa in advaita and merely dismissing off all the texts I quoted plus ashtapadhi, narayaneeyam etc. is not a good way to debate.

    Clarification (by HPD) – I still stand by my stand where I say that too much detachment is not advised for a bhakta. It may be for a jnani but not for a bhakta. Also I stand by firmly on my stand that none of the jnanis have composed literature on bhakti rasa before Srila Rupa Goswami (and in many cases also after Srila Rupa Goswami).

    Clarification (by RKDB) – MK 1.2 of VCT along with CC 2.19.1 of KDKG also go in favour of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas!

    Objection (for HPD & RKDB) – Hari Pārṣada Dās Jai Sri Narasimha! Hope you had a good celebration and drank panagam offered to Narasimha. BTW, 1. you contradict your own earlier stand that a suddha bhakta cannot have material desires by reverting to your earlier stand that too much detachment is not advised for a bhakta. You should deliberate to arrive at a firm conclusion in line with sastras. 2. I can only offer evidence that bhakti (rasa) is integral to advaita tradition and bhakti tattva is well established using logic. 3. Dance is an offering made in the daily puja. Nowadays, we do it using mantras. Those days it was done physically. Radhakrishnadas Brahmachari I suggest you learn how to arrive at truths based on pramanas. All traditions are different perspectives of truth but when we engage in polemics we should rely on sruti and smrti or logic if not opposed to sruti.

    Clarification (by HPD) – Rajaram Venkataramani ji Jai Narasimha Dev! Now once again, pleas try to understand that “not having material desires” and “not being too detached” can be compatible and not contradictory.

    Clarification (by RKDB) – We also suggest that our honourable contender should first answer all the unanswered contentions which he has bypassed indifferently a long ago – before talking hi-fi!

    Objection (for HPD) – Hari Pārṣada Dās if you are talking about unconditional and selfless love that wishes well for others that we encounter in the vyavahara realm, yes that is allowed and is natural for a jnani because he sees his Vishnu, the Self everywhere. A jnani such as janaka may continue to rule for the welfare of others though they have no interest in power or comforts. A jnani such as Indra may continue to not only rule but also enjoy kama rasa with apsaras. However, he will not have the sense of doer-ship but remain a mere witness to the actions of the mind and the body. A jnani who is a devotee will perform devotional service as long as the body exists, with a clear understanding that “I am He”. He or she may also take a dualistic position “I am His” or “He is mine” as required by the role. Such duality accepted for bhakti is considered sweeter than advaitam in the tradition. “bhaktyArtham kalpitam dwaitam advaitAd api sundaram”.

    Clarification (by RKDB) – We also advise the respectable antagonist to diligently undergo the profound perusal of ‘Siddhanta-ratnam’ and ‘Suksma-tika’ of Sri Ekanti Govindadasa alias Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusanapada for having a true grasp of where the kevaladvaita-vada of Acarya Sankara stands.
    We also give him our well-wish to review the Sarva-samvadini of Srila Jiva Gosvamipada to factually understand where both the JG and Adi-Sankara stand.
    After such a diligent scrutiny, the contender is most welcome to approach and address us again. Hope the indication is well understood and digested during the right hour before that its too late.

    Objection (for RKDB) – Radhakrishnadas Brahmachari in any discussion, points are addressed one after another. I took one of Hari Pārṣada Dās’s point because he understands how to discuss respectfully using common valid pramanas. I want such scholars to represent gaudiya vaishnavam in vidvat sadas. I am ready to take any of your point and address. There is no rule that Sankara is not understood by Advaitins.

    Clarification (by RKDB) – We are not interested to have a debate with the honourable contender (again respect is shown from our side to the opponent) because he carefully sidelines sensitive contentions for which he doesn’t have reply. He may continue with any other scholar he wants. We do not waste time with vitanda-vadis. And he is also no one to decide who would represent Gaudiya Vaisnavism and who would not. That is none of his business. I request HG Hari Pārṣada Dās to give answers to the lastly raised contentions of the hounourable contender, if he really wants an answer to his raised objections for the sake of learning and not showing off his ‘Dravidian Iyer’ arrogance and ‘grha-medhi’ learning in front of staunchly celibate scholars.

    Objection (for RKDB) – Varna and ashrama change. It is unfortunate that you have converted this in to a jAti and ashrama issue. It is equally unfortunate that you view a debate / discussion as a contention. All I did is to show that Sankara’s conclusions are vaidhika and unopposed to bhakti. As I repeatedly told you, if any point is unanswered, I will try to answer. I continue to learn gaudiya vaishnavam from a pure sanyasi devotee in ISKCON as it is a wonderful and sweet tradition. He knows my advaita lineage and affiliation. He even helped my friend’s Ph. D. research to establish bhakti in advaita. Why would I not learn from you? Of course, I don’t want to force a debate or discussion on you.

    Clarification (by RKDB) – We are not fools that we don’t understand the disposal of the person having philosophical discussion with us. Whatever we have said about you is how we perceive you. You feel bad or good is your problem. You have not showed anything concrete so far with all your contentions smashed by us and you have failed to produce a point by point rebuttal of our original paper too. If there is a learning disposition in you, that will have to be shown to us in your practical dealings and theological discussion.

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