~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

The seventh teaching: acintya-bhedabheda-tattva

"Everything material and spiritual comes under acintya-bhedabheda-sambandha. Jiva and matter are both transformations of Lord Krsna's energy. This is inconceivable. Knowing acintya-bhedabheda-tattva, the jiva understands that he is the servant of Krsna and is like the spark or ray of the spiritual sun that is Krsna. Such transformations of the Lord's energy are inconceivable, says the sruti; but the so-called 'transformations' of theSupreme Lord Himself that the mayavadis would, like to have everyone believe in are only mischievous and offensive postulation.

"So far, these seven teachings comprise sambandha-jnana or knowledge of the eternal relationship. The Vedas further point out abhidheya, or the easiest means to achieve that goal.

Abhidheya: the nine limbs of devotional service

"The nine limbs of devotional service are: hearing, chanting, remembering, worshipping, praying, rendering service, carrying out the orders of the Lord, being a friend of the Lord and completely surrendering to the Lord. The chanting of the holy name is the most important devotional activity. The Vedas have volumes describing the glories of the holy name.

The prayojana (necessity) is krsna-prema

"The jiva must take shelter of the pure devotional process. By the mercy of Lord Krsna he will attain krsna-prema, or love of Godhead. Pure devotion is indicated by the human proclivity to always render favorable devotional service to Krsna. Pure devotion strives only for further excellence in devotion, being satisfied with nothing else. It is unencumbered by the desire for fruitive action or empirical knowledge. Pure devotion is uncontaminated by fruitive activity or empirical knowledge. The Vedas recommend that one can cultivate pure devotion by taking full shelter of the holy name: this is essential.

To criticize the Vedic teachings is offensive

"Sruti substantiates the nine ascertainable teachings, and the guru who is well versed in the scriptures is able to reveal these truths. Anyone who criticizes the srutis commits a heinous crime. He is a sinner and an offender to the holy name.

"Jaimini, Kapila, Nagna, Nastika, Sugata and Gautama are six philosophers who were stuck by the fangs of mundane logic and reasoning. They simply did some lip service to the teaching of the Vedas, but they did not accept God. Jaimini propagated that the best knowledge the Vedas has to offer is the fruitive ritualistic portion known as karma-kanda. Kapila dared to state that God was imperfect; he accepted the process of yoga, but without understanding its deeper implications. Nagna spread poison by teaching a practice of tantra that is in the mode of ignorance. Carvaka Nastika was an atheist who never accepted the authority of the Vedas, and Sugata the Buddhist imposed a different meaning upon them. Gautama propagated logic and did not worship the Supreme Lord.

"These mischievous interpretations are in fact offenses against the Vedas. Through sophism, such philosophers speak half-truths that are likely to confuse the ordinary listener, though an experienced Vedantist can easily detect their ruse. Avoid dabbling in such philosophical concepts because they are detrimental to spiritual growth. The mayavadi philosophy is equally dangerous, for it suppresses the natural devotional mood. Mayavadi philosophy is factually camouflaged Buddhism. In Kali-yuga the propagation of this philosophy, which is a perversion of the Vedic truth, has been authorized by the Supreme Lord. On the Lord's behest, Lord Siva became its propagator. As Jaimini seemingly upheld Vedic authority but practically propounded a warped version of the Vedic conclusions, similarly mayavadi gurus give Vedic proof to establish their covert Buddhism; thus they obscure the essence of the Vedas, which is the science of devotional service.

"Astavakra, Dattatreya, Govinda, Gaudapada, Sankaracarya and all of Sankara's materialist-philosopher followers are known

as mayavadi gurus. In Buddhism, the principal teaching is the nonexistence of the soul. Buddhism does not admit a concept of brahman. The theory of nothingness, the last word in Buddhism, is rendered by the mayavadis into the concept of the formless, impersonal brahman, which is so conceived by them in order not to be material. But these concepts are diametrically opposed to the eternal science of devotional service. Any affiliation with such thoughts automatically makes the jiva commit namaparadha. Some accept the mayavadi philosophy but chant the holy name, but this is an offense against the name.