~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

"The correct interpretation of the Vedic truth is this: if Lord Visnu is omnipresent, then worship of Him is automatically worship of all the demigods. By watering the roots, a tree prospers; by watering the limbs, leaves and branches, the tree withers and dies. Foolish people who forget the Vedic principles commit this mistake. Because their vision is perverted, they worship certain demigods according to their mentality. They are ignorant of the Vedic injunction that worship of Lord Visnu is an eternal activity in pure goodness, beyond the three material-modes.

"Due to the advent of Kali-yuga and the contamination of impersonalism, people have become polytheists and have disregarded the supreme position of Lord Visnu. Individual demigods can offer only limited benefits, while the Supreme Lord Visnu alone can offer all benedictions. He is the maintainer of everyone. If only these greedy materialists, would realize the advantage of worshipping Lord Visnu, they would abandon all demigod worship.

A householder Vaisnava's responsibilities

"A householder devotee of Lord Visnu or Krsna must worship the Supreme Lord Krsna on all occasions, and be free from doubt. He is not required to perform ablutions or other fruitive activities. The Vedas recommend the worship of Lord Krsna and His devotees. In worshipping forefathers and demigods, he should offer them garlands from the Deity of Lord Krsna. If, on the other hand, the householder devotee performs the sraddha ceremony according to the mayavadi's methods, or he worships other demigods, then he commits a heinous offense. To impose some dualistic concept on the Supreme Lord Visnu is a namaparadha and disqualifies one from the path of pure bhakti.

"A serious namaparadha is to consider demigods like Lord Siva to be separate supreme divinities. Polytheism is a grievous offense. Lord Visnu is the Supreme Godhead, but Lord Siva and the other demigods are also individually supreme1; this idea is incorrect: One can, however, worship the demigods as guna- avataras-, sakyavesa-avataras or as Lord Visnu's servants. No one is independent of the Supreme Lord's control, for He is the Supreme Controller and master of all energies.

Demigods like Lord Siva, Lord Brahma, Lord Ganesa, or the sun-god have been invested with, the Supreme Lord's potencies. Hence, they are powerful.The Supreme Lord is one; the rest are His energies. The householder devotee should abandon outright all materialism in the execution of his duties; he should increase his mood of pure devotion.

"Human society should conduct life according to the edicts of the varnasrama system; such a lifestyle is called sanatana-dharma or eternal religion. India is the land of piety (punyabhumi), and the varnasrama religious system was introduced and implemented here by great sages of yore. In other countries this system is also present in some form, though it never evolved into the perfected socio-religious system that was seen in India. Human nature cannot find full expression nor attain consummation without the social divisions of varna. To be sure, the eternal truth is this: like anyone else, even the low-born outcastes are fully eligible to enter the family of Krsna's devotees if they live their lives free from sin and offenses. Still, human society as a whole can neither properly exist nor function without the varnasrama system.

Advancement In devotion by following varnasrama

"A materialist must direct his life according to the directions of varnasrama-dharma. On the strength of worshipping Krsna in full surrender, one is gradually elevated through varnasrama-dharma to the platform of saintly conduct. But if one follows the varnasrama system without worshipping Lord Krsna, he is doomed. A householder must fulfil his varnasrama responsibilities. He should live with restraint and accept only what is essential for serving Lord Krsna. He should respect all formal rules and responsibilities as long as they are within the varnasrama system. One can easily accomplish all this as long as he is chanting the holy name and is engaged in devotional service. Moreover, one gains bhava or spiritual ecstasy by these same devotional practices. With the advent of bhava, one transcends the jurisdiction of rules and regulations.

"As long as one needs a regulated, formal social life, he must remain within the bounds of varnasrama. But after the first stirrings of spiritual love with the attainment of bhava, the jiva's beautiful nature becomes apparent.

He'll then require no further inspiration from the dictates of varnasrama-dharma. The mood of bhava is incomprehensible to materialistic persons because it is dynamic, appearing in a person by its own volition. The Vaisnava householder must follow this path with singlemindedness to be unaffected by the contamination of mayavadi influences.

Lord Visnu's name is nondifferent from Him

"Lord Visnu's name, form, qualities etc. should never be viewed as being separate from Him. He is non-dual; as the complete whole, He is the Supreme Absolute. If, due to ignorance, someone is attached to the dualistic concept of God, then he can at best attain the namabhasa stage of chanting, but he'll never reach prema. Then again, if he receives the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master and can overcome his anarthas, he'll attain the pure name by the gradual clearing process.

The bad logic and offenses of the mayavadis

"The dualistic concept of God is often arrived at by self-opinionated persons. This concept is reprehensible and very difficult to overcome. Mayavadi philosophers propose that brahman is formless and impersonal, and that Lord Visnu's name, form etc. are all products of illusion; they expect to perceive Lord Visnu as impersonal Brahman and nothing more. But such arguments are foolish and nihilistic. The mayavadi viewpoint stems from madness and a stubborn ignorance of the fact that the Suprcme Lord is endowed with omnipotence. Omnipotent brah-man is Visnu: the difference is in name only.

"The intelligence of the mayavadi philosopher is extremely demented. Seeing that the material existence is variegated, he concludes that the spiritual existence, being opposite to the material realm, must be featureless. This incomplete, immature theorizing leads him to imagine Brahman as dry and impersonal. In its original state, Brahman has a name, form, qualities, pastimes and so on—but the mayayadi is conditioned by human existence. The pure devotee is the scourge of this mischievous philosophy; he establishes the scriptural edict that, the Supreme Lord is non-different from His name, form, pastimes and qualities.