Published On: Thu, Sep 8th, 2022

Bhaktivinode Thakur – Tattva Viveka Chapter One

Bhaktivinoda Thakur

Tattva Viveka – Chapter One
(First Realization)

Text 1

jayati sāc-cid-ānanda-rasānubhava-vigrahaḥ
procyate sac-cid-ānandānubhūtir yat prasādataḥ ||1||

The form of eternity, knowledge and bliss with experience of great rasa, by whose mercy this book concerning the Lord full of eternity knowledge and bliss is written, remains victorious.

Text 2

ko’haṁ vā kim idaṁ viśvam āvayoḥ ko’nvayo dhruvam
ātmānaṁ nivṛto jīvaḥ pṛcchati jñāna-siddhaye ||2||

“Who am I? What is this universe? What is the relationship of the two?” The jīva enclosed by his body asks these questions for perfecting his knowledge.

Many days after taking birth, humans attain knowledge of viṣayas (objects) in an excellent way. The external things and their qualities that the senses perceive are called vișayas (objects). To the extent that an infant’s senses mature, the infant becomes aware of objects. All qualities of the sense objects which are tasted attract the senses. As long as humans are attached to these objects, they can do nothing except contemplate these objects. Sound, touch, form, taste and smell become the heart’s intimate friend and gradually make the heart their servant. Becoming absorbed in these objects, humans become bewildered.

“Taking birth, one necessarily will die and dying one will no longer have a relationship with those objects.” This discrimination may sometimes arise in someone. By good fortune when a person develops this discrimination, he suddenly becomes detached from these objects and begins to inquire. With this detachment, he then asks himself these three questions for developing knowledge. “Who am I, as the experiencer of this material world? What is this broad universe? What is the real relationship between me and the universe?”

Text 3

ātmā prakṛti-vaicitrād dadāti citram uttaram
sva-svarūpa-sthito hy ātmā dadāti yuktam uttaram ||3||

Because of the varieties of natures among various jīvas, the jīvas obtain various answers. The jīva situated in his svarūpa attains the right answer.

When the detached person asks questions like this, the ātmā answers the three questions. The ātmā, answering the three questions, gathers these together and these are known as vijñānaśāstra or tattva-śāstra (scripture concerning truth). In our country, though people accept the Vedānta scriptures approved by the Vedas and pursuant literatures, there are many scriptures which reveal views which opposed to the meaning of the Vedas, such as Nyāya, Sāṅkhya, Yoga, Vaiśeșika and Karma-mīmāṁsa. As well, various views which are completely contrary to the Vedas have arisen, such as Buddhism, Cārvāka, etc. In China, Greece, Persia, France, England, Germany and Italy, etc., materialism, positivism, secularism, pessimism, scepticism, pantheism (Advaitavāda) and atheism and other philosophies have been preached.

Some philosophies, establishing a Supreme Lord by logic, have appeared. “With faith one should worship the Lord” – one such philosophy has been preached in many places in the world. Such philosophy is established solely on faith in some places. In some places it is preached as the dharma given by the Supreme Lord. Where the philosophy is based solely on faith, there it is called theism. Where it is established as given by the Lord, there it is known by the name of Christianity, Islam, etc., based on scriptures given by the Lord.

Actually the answers that the ātmā gives to these three questions are of two types: answers of the svarūpa and answers from various opinions. One may ask at this point since the ātmā is only one type of tattva, why does he not give one answer to all? The answer is that ātmā is a pure spiritual svarūpa. Situated in that svarūpa, when that ātmā gives an answer, it will be one answer everywhere.

But the universe in which the jīva is suddenly situated is not its perfect residence. The universe arises from prakṛti. The shadow śakti of the Lord’s superior śakti produces the universe. The jīva situated in the universe accepts various material dharmas as his sva-dharma. Naturally, his real nature becomes restricted and a conditional dharma mixed with the guṇas of māyā becomes strong. The spiritual jīva obtaining a mixed condition in material dharma, conducts all the spiritual functions in a conditional manner. The function of spiritual knowledge transforms into the mind, a mixture of spiritual and material. Thus, taking support of variety within māyā, the mind thinks it is the ātmā and it gives the answers to the questions. The answers are thus various and many. Answers are given according to the places where the ātmā resides, according to social interaction, conduct, clothing, food, language and ways of thinking. Thus there is variety in matter according to place, time and individuals everywhere.

First, the ātmā develops mixed variety by association with matter. Secondly, variety based on various places, languages and births arises. That person who wanders in all places and learns all languages, studying the histories of all the places can alone nicely judge the various philosophies. Giving only a sketch of these philosophies, I have given up in frustration. Of the two types of answers given by the ātmā, one answer is the correct one and the real one.

Though there may be various remarkable answers they can be divided into two groups from the point of view of knowledge: jñāna and karma. Here, one question can be asked. “When one answer is called the correct (yukta) answer, it means you give respect to logic (yukti). But does not logic accept variety in matter?”

I answer that all statements are obedient to material variety but statements are not free to discuss spiritual matters. When I use the words yukti and yukta the usage has a pure spiritual function in making distinctions between what exists and what does not exist. The function manifests various philosophies using material logic because of association with matter. When the ātmā is situated in its svarūpa, it gives the correct (yukta) answer.

Among the various answers, that which is called jñāna, distinguishing spirit from matter, shows matter, which nourishes material dharma, to be beginningless, the root of everything, and then, by negation, it establishes Brahman devoid of śakti, which destroys material existence. Karma is an effect which takes the form of cultivating matter without belief in God, arising from the ātmā’s association with matter.

Pure jñāna and karma in the ātmā’s cultivation of spiritual bhāva and cultivation of action, will be discussed in relation to bhakti, which lies within the correct answer. Since words naturally are under control of matter, they are not so suitable to reveal the pure spiritual tattva free of doubt.

Text 4

citraṁ bahu-vidhaṁ viddhi yuktam ekaṁ svarūpataḥ
citram ādau tathā cānte yuktam eva vivicyate ||4||

Understand that there are a great variety of answers and that there is one correct answer arising from the svarūpa of the jīva. First, the variety will be considered and then the correct answer.

Text 5

ātmāthavā jaḍaṁ sarvaṁ svabhāvād dhi pravartate
svabhāvo vidyate nityam īśa-jñānaṁ nirarthakam ||5||

Some say that everything is insentient, even ātmā, by its nature. Matter is eternal and knowledge of God is meaningless.

Text 6

sarvathā ceśvarāsiddhir īśa-kartā prayojanāt
para-loka-kathā mithyā dhūrtānāṁ kalpaneritā ||6||

There is no proof at all for God’s existence since God must also have a creator. Talks of another world are false, produced from the imagination of rascals.

Text 7

saṁyogāj jaḍa-tattvānām ātmā caitanya-samjñitaḥ
prādurbhavati dharmo’yaṁ nihito jaḍa-vastuni ||7||

The conscious ātmā arises by combination of material elements. This quality of consciousness is fixed in material substance.

Text 8

viyogāt sa punas tatra gacchaty eva na saṁsayaḥ
na tasya punar āvṛttir na muktir jñāna-lakṣaṇā ||8||

At death, consciousness disappears again. Of this there is no doubt. Taking birth again and liberation through jñāna do not take place.

Among the many philosophies, svabhāva-vāda or jaḍa-vāda (materialism) is widespread. It has two types: enjoying matter (jaḍānanda-vāda) and extinguishing relationship with matter (jaḍanirvāņa be discussed in detail later. First materialism in general will be shown. In all types of materialism, it is concluded that whether ātmā or insentient, everything arises from dull matter. Matter was not previously conscious. Belief in God is most meaningless. Matter is eternal. If one images something called God, one must search for a creator of God himself. In other words, the concept of God is never proven at all. All the stories concerning God and afterlife for the jīva written in various countries in religious texts are the imagination of rascals and not factual. What are called soul or consciousness is merely special quality arising from matter, and arises by the interaction and combination of the elements. When the combination is broken, the quality which arose disappears. Again it remains as matter. Rebirth is impossible for the soul. The soul’s liberation from matter found in Brahma-jñāna is also impossible since the qualities of matter cannot remain separate from matter itself. Thus matter is substantial and real, and everything else is qualities of matter.

All atheists accept these ideas. Some among them determine that the goal is happiness in the material world. Others conclude that material happiness is temporary and insignificant and thus search for the happiness of nirvāṇa (negation of the world).

First I will consider those who accept bliss in this world (jaḍānanda-vādī). They are two types: those who advocate happiness for the self (svārtha-jaḍānanda-vādī) and those who advocate bliss not for the self (niḥsvārtha-jaḍānanda-vādī). Selfish pleasure seekers conclude that “since Lord, the soul, the next world and results of karma do not exist, we should spend our time in unabated sense pleasure, while being wary to some extent of the immediate (negative) results of our actions. It is not necessary to spend time uselessly on spiritual activities.” By association and bad karma this type of faith has been current since ancient times in human society. However, it is not seen anywhere to be a stabilizing element in society. Such ideas take shelter of a particular person, who then records those ideas.

In India Cārvāka was a brāhmaṇa atheist. In China Yang Zhu, in Greece Leucippus, in Asia Sardanapalus, in Rome Lucretius, wrote books on materialism. Baron d’Holbach has said that one should respect methods that increase one’s happiness. Skill in making oneself happy through other’s happiness is called dharma.

At the present, all people write books, accepting the principles of materialism. With the aim of attracting people’s faith, they preach a type of selfless materialism. In India secularism is very ancient. The Mīmāṁsakas, nourishing this philosophy, distorted in a scholarly manner the meaning of the Vedic scriptures which are respected by all Aryans and established apūrva in place of God, using statements like codanā-lakṣaṇo dharmaḥdharma is that which is indicated by the injunctions of the Veda.

In Greece, Democritus established the roots of this philosophy. He said that substance and void are eternal. The combination of substance and void is the creation and their separation is final destruction. Substances are different by amount. There is no difference based on different types. Knowledge is a condition in which external objects and internal objects combine. All objects are made of atoms. The atoms accepted as eternal by Kaṇāda and the Vaiśeṣikas are somewhat different from the atoms of Democritus.

The Vaiśeṣikas say that ātmā and Paramātmā are counted as eternal objects. In Greece, Plato and Aristotle did not accept that the Supreme Lord is the basis of the entire world and the only eternal object. The errors found in their philosophy are also found in these learned philosophies. Gassendi (France) accepted atoms and concluded that God was the creator of the atoms.

Diderot and La Mettrie in France preached selfless materialism (niḥsvārtha-jaḍānanda-vāda). This philosophy gradually increased and attained its perfection in the works of Comte in France. He called his impure philosophy Positivism. The name is baseless, since in his opinion we understand nothing except material perception and material laws. We have no knowledge except by the senses. Mental perceptions are all a special type of material perception. Nothing can be determined as the final cause. The beginning and goal of the world cannot be known. There is no evidence of a conscious creator. Mental perception should remember mutual relationships, results, similarities and dissimilarities. It is not necessary to attach anything non-material to this. Thoughts of God are infantile. Philosophical thoughts are childish. Provable thoughts are adult. One must consider all actions in terms of what is beneficial and unbeneficial. According to him, all humans should act selflessly with morals, helping others. It is necessary for humans to nourish the internal introspective functions. Nourishing this, one should worship an imaginary material female form. Though it is false, it makes one’s tendencies successful.

Earth is mahat-tattva (supreme fetish). Place is a support for activity (supreme medium). Human nature is the main existence (supreme being). One should worship in the morning, at noon and in the evening the female form holding an infant. One should carry out this imaginary worship of one’s mother, wife and daughter in past, present and future. In the activities of dharma one should not seek any results.

In England, Mill nourished selfless materialism along with Comte, calling it bhāva-vāda. A type of secularism attracted the hearts of youths in England. Mill, Lewis, Paine, Carlyle, Bentham, Combe and other logicians started this trend in philosophy. It is divided into two categories: Holyoake was the creator of one faction. He mercifully accepted God to some degree. Bradlaugh, the creator of the other faction, was a complete atheist.

Philosophies of both selfish and unselfish material pleasure, though having some differences, are materialistic. No matter how deep the above mentioned philosophers discuss, they simply reveal the philosophy’s meaninglessness. Pure, spiritual reasoning rejects these baseless philosophies as insignificant just by glancing at them. Even when materialistic reasoning deliberates neutrally, it rejects all these philosophies as unreasonable or illogical.

  1. With the intention of uniting everything into one entity, calling this reductionist tactic “scientific,” they say that matter is the root of everything and they make everything one. This causes great error since if one says that matter is the root of everything, that the many atoms have eternal existence, that void has eternal existence, that the relationship between matter and the void is inconceivable, and that the śakti of the atoms, their qualities and their actions are without beginning, then the creation of the universe cannot take place at all. Far from reducing the number of elements, the elements become unlimited. They cannot understand what time is. This attempt to simplify things is merely childish.
  2. Materialism is completely unnatural and unscientific. It is unnatural because nature of things is to have a cause. Furthermore, it is most illogical to say that the nature of matter is to be eternal while not accepting consciousness. It is the nature of the gross worlds to have cause and effect. Without that, the material world would not have its nature. It is unscientific because only consciousness is able to control matter. It is contrary to science to say that consciousness is a quality of matter and that qualities produce objects.
  3. Consciousness is naturally superior and elevated. To make it dependent on matter is an act of foolishness. Professor Ferris has deliberated on this subject in detail.
  4. What is the proof that matter is eternal? Professor Tyndall has determined definitely that there is no proof that matter is eternal. One cannot believe that some person could observe things from beginningless time till the present and for infinity in the future in order to term matter to be eternal. One cannot believe that matter is eternal with lack of evidence.
  5. Buchner and Molescott have said that matter is eternal. It is an individual imaginary conclusion. If after some time matter is destroyed, the conclusion will be false.
  6. Comte wrote that it is not necessary to search out the beginning or end of the universe. This is a childish idea. Because the jīva is a conscious entity, he cannot suppress his natural tendency to inquire. The tendency to inquire about effect and cause is the mother of science. According to Comte’s idea, without doubt human intelligence will disappear after some days. Humanity will become inactive.
  7. Only foolish people will believe that without witnessing it, man’s consciousness has arisen from the combination of matter. We have in our hands almost three thousand years of history. No one so far has seen humans being produced spontaneously. If it were possible for humans to arise from combination of matter or through gradual evolution, in three thousand years such a human should have been produced.
  8. The harmony and beauty of arranging the natures of humans, animals and trees indicates a supremely conscious maker. When consciousness is established as the cause, materialism is completely destroyed.

In such ways, by various logic, materialism is refuted. The most unfortunate humans only accept materialism. They have no spiritual happiness. Their aspirations and expectations are very few. Later, materialistic nirvāṇa-vāda will be shown.

Text 9

kartavyo laukiko dharmaḥ pāpānāṁ viratir yataḥ
vidvadbhir lakṣito nityo svabhāva-vihito vidhiḥ ||9||

They say that ordinary dharma (morality) must be observed so that one will give up a taste for sins. The eternal laws arising from nature are observed by the wise.

Text 10

puṅkhānupuṅkha-rūpeṇa jijñāsyo sa sukhāptaye
jīvane yat sukhaṁ tat tu jīvanasya prayojanam ||10||

One should try to inquire about how to attain happiness by all means, since happiness in life is the goal of the living being.

Text 11

jīvane yat kṛtaṁ karma jīvanānte tad eva hi
jagatām anya-jīvānāṁ sambandhe phaladaṁ bhavet ||11||

After death, the actions performed by a person yield results for other beings in the world.

Text 12

na karma nāśam āyāti yadā vā yena vā kṛtam
apūrva-śakti-rūpeṇa kurute sarvam unnatam ||12||

When actions are done by anyone, the results are not destroyed. All attain advancement by some extraordinary (apūrvaśakti.

Now we should discuss the ordinary conduct advocated by the materialists. They say that even though God, ātmā and the next life do not exist, man should have moral conduct. The actions by which people attain ordinary happiness are called puṇya and the ordinary inauspicious actions are called pāpa or sins. It is necessary that one’s own happiness follows the happiness of others. Thus it is necessary to observe ordinary morality. If one performs moral acts one avoids sin and its resultant suffering. Nature is always filled with rules. Therefore, material life born of nature is filled with rules. It is necessary for the learned to seek out the rules of maintaining one’s life. Happiness of life arising from morality is the goal of life. In order to attain that happiness, one must always thoroughly seek out and observe rules of material life according to one’s nature.

If one says, “after death one has no existence, and thus why perform acts of morality, where one sacrifices one’s own happiness?”, the answer is that all the activities of one’s life must bring results even after one’s death. After one’s life, all one’s actions give result to other jīvas. If you get married, raise children, and give them education and moral teachings, the results of your action will be enjoyed by many people. If you earn money and build schools, hostels, roads and ponds, all jīvas will enjoy the results of your actions for a long time. If you say that the results of those actions are destroyed quickly, the answer is that whatever action is performed never gets destroyed. When action matures, apūrva-śakti arises. That śakti, nourished by acts, gives progress to unlimited universes in the future. By that action, you have attained selfless acts of morality.

The morality that the materialist teaches falls like a house which is devoid of walls. Morality with no aspiration for after life or without fear will never be observed. Those who proclaim happiness through selfless morality are actually selfish moralists. They cannot maintain their selfless position. Baron d’Holbach (Mirabaud) writes with profound deliberation in his book called System of Nature (1770) “There is no selflessness in the world. I say that skill in making oneself happy by other’s happiness is morality.”

We see that the statement about selflessness is meaningless like a flower in the sky. The goal of selfless morality is to give oneself happiness without suffering. If selfish persons believe in it simply on hearing the word ‘selfless,’ the goal would be easily achieved. Is affection for mother, brotherhood, friendship or affection between men and woman selfless? If happiness for oneself did not exist in all actions, no one would perform these acts. In order to gain his own happiness some people will give up their own lives. All happiness attained through morality is selfish. Even show of affection for God is selfish. What is called one’s nature is actually selfish, for one’s own purpose. Selfishness is one’s nature. Selflessness is very unnatural; therefore it is never seen. If a man’s life does not aspire for a future life, or does not act for happiness in the future, it would be impossible to perform any action. Jaimini and western philosophers preached apūrva-vāda and śakti-vāda which is not attractive to persons of pure intelligence.

Those who accept this philosophy are cheated. In India, the smārta scholars write about Jaimini’s apūrva-vāda but in the end they all talk about the happiness of afterlife and the mercy of God. When they can understand clearly that God and apūrvavāda are contrary to each other, they would give up that philosophy. Jaimini knew very well that following God is very natural to the jīva’s heart and thus with skill and care manufactured a god who gives results within apūrva-vāda. Because of his skill in mixing God with his philosophy, atheistic karma-vāda became popular in India, strengthened with the support of smārta scholars.

One person’s interests conflict with another person’s interests. Thus just on hearing the word ‘selfless,’ people of ordinary intelligence give respect to the concept of selflessness with a desire for attaining their own interests. This also is a strong cause for the spread of atheistic karma-vāda.

How the proponents of “bliss through selflessness” (niḥsvārtha-jaḍānanda-vādī) engage the world in karmas is not easy to understand. To some degree, because of self-interest, all jīvas can accept the dharma (morality) they teach. But when the jīva studies in detail karma-tattva, the jīva becomes selfish and as much as possible engages in sinful acts. He thinks to himself, “Brother! Do not give up enjoyment of happiness. When others do not know, enjoy as much as you like since it does not interfere with the progress of the world. Since there is no conscious God who sees everything and gives results to karmas, what should be feared? Just be careful that others do not know about it. If they know, there will be defamation, punishment and unwelcome obstacles. If that happens, neither you nor others in the world can be happy.” It seems that if one researches in detail the character of scholars who teach atheistic karma one will find this behaviour.

At some time, a smārta scholar teaches activities of cāndrāyaṇa, etc., to a person inquiring about atonements. When the inquirer says “O Bhattācārya! If I must do a cāndrāyana atonement for killing a spider, your son must also do this atonement since he committed the same sin.”

Seeing a great calamity, the scholar, turning a few pages of the book, says, “Oh! I made a mistake. It says that if one kills a spider it is insignificant. You do not have to do anything.” One sees such behaviour and actions among the atheistic smārtas. There are some arrangements for worship of the Lord, for supporting some atheistic dharmas. In this case even if the jīva’s next life and the Lord’s role of giving results are accepted, these ideas are subordinate to karma. Natural bhakti is not seen in this philosophy. Rather, on consideration, it is seen that in speaking of selfless dharma, ultimately it becomes selfish dharma. To prevent this, it is convenient to make a God who is omniscient and the giver of results. Considering this, among the atheistic karma-vādīs, some manufacture worship of God in their scriptures as a special karma.

In his version, Comte made arrangements for an object of worship which is real, since there would be inactivity by merely studying philosophy. Comte was more sincere. Jaimini was more farsighted. Comte’s worship was not popular with ordinary people. Jaimini was more profound, so his karma-vāda was accept by the ordinary smārta society. Finally, Comte and Jaimini have the same philosophy but on seeing the results of smārtas’ activities, it appears that it cannot give auspiciousness to human society at all, no matter how it is performed. Secularism, Positivism or smarta karma-vāda are never able to uproot sin. Remaining in the world for a long time, these philosophies have created many obstacles to bhakti.

Sometimes all these karma-vāda speak to bhakti, “I am obedient to you, O Lord! I make people qualified for you. I purify adharmika people’s hearts, and offer them to your feet.” Such words are a result of being double hearted. They are not true words. When karma follows bhakti in truth, it is no longer called karma; it is called bhakti. As long as karma is known by its name, it competes with bhakti and seeks its own importance. Advancement in science, society and arts are called karma. But when karma transforms into bhakti, then science, society and art become dazzling and elevated. Detailed description will not be given here.

Text 13

bhavaḥ kleśo’bhavaḥ keṣāṁ mate saukhyam iti sthitam
nirvāṇa-sukha-samprāptiḥ śarīra-kleśa-sādhanāt ||13||

Some say that material existence is suffering and that happiness is nonexistence of matter (abhāva) or the attainment of the happiness of nothingness (nirvāņa), since the body produces suffering.

As long as materialists believe that material happiness is bliss, they will pursue material happiness according to their conviction. Producing material happiness either selfishly or unselfishly, they enjoy that happiness. Actually material happiness is insignificant, and not a suitable assistant for spiritual life. Those among the materialists who have great power of discrimination cannot be satisfied at all with material happiness. They seek eternal happiness, while believing that there is no independent spiritual existence.

Thus they naturally pursue material (negation) nirvāņa thinking it to be happiness. They say that existence is suffering, happiness is termination of existence. They search for happiness in nirvāṇa (nonexistence) while the body gives an experience of pain.

When the idea of material happiness arising from atheistic karma-vāda was strong in India, when the Vedas, which are full of tattva, were said to be the scriptures propounding dharma, atheistic karma-vāda was said to be Vedic and the brāhmaṇas following materialism sought sensual pleasure in this life by ordinary sacrifices and happiness of drinking amṛta and enjoying Apsarās in Indra’s city after death, then being dissatisfied with material bliss, Sākya-siṁha of kșatriya lineage established Buddhism, for the happiness of nirvāņa, after contemplating the unavoidability of bodily suffering. There is much evidence to show that even previous to this, some people preached nirvāṇa-vāda of this type. But from Sākya-siṁha’s time, this philosophy was accepted by many people and he was accepted by his followers as the founding preacher.

At that time or a little earlier, one scholar named Jīna from a vaiśya family preached a philosophy similar to the Buddhists’. This is called Jainism. This began in India. Buddhism crossed mountains, rivers and oceans and spread to China, Tatarstan [1], Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Japan, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), etc. Even today, Buddhism is current in many countries. Buddhism has many branches, but voidism or negation of matter is seen in all branches. Human nature however cannot exist without the Supreme Lord. Thus in various sects of Buddhism the Lord is worshipped.

[1] This probably refers to the Buddhist group called Kalmyks.

Having met a Buddhist of Burma recently, who did not understand its tenants, I asked him some questions. He answered that the Supreme Lord is without beginning and that the Lord had created the whole universe. He appeared in the form of Buddha and now Buddha is in Svarga as the Supreme Lord. We will go to his abode by performing pious acts and following rules. From what he said it appears that he did not study Buddhist philosophy. He simply explained as Buddhism what human nature desires.

All such philosophies generated from crooked logic will not be accepted as beneficial for society but will be locked in books and the hearts of their teachers. Those who identify themselves as followers of these philosophies will accept natural ideas arising from human nature as the philosophy. Comte’s affection for the universe, Jaimini’s God in the form of apūrva in atheistic karma and Buddha’s negation of matter would later be certainly transformed by the followers of these philosophies into a form of natural dharma. That has happened.

A type of nirvāṇa-vāda similar to Buddhism and Jainism was preached in Europe. This is called pessimism. There is no difference between pessimism and Buddhism. There is difference on one matter however. In Buddhism the jīva accepts suffering life after life and wanders about. Taking support in one life of the rules for nirvāṇa, the jīva attains nirvāṇa and then parinirvāṇa. In pessimism there is no rebirth of the jīva. Thus nirvāṇa-vāda has two types: with only one birth and with many births.

Buddhism and Jainism are of the second type. Both accept many births of the jīva. According to Buddhism, practicing compassion and detachment for many births, Sākyasiṁha first became a Bodhisattva and then Buddha. According to Buddhists, practicing humility, patience, forgiveness, compassion, selflessness, contemplation, detachment and friendship, the jīva attains parinirvāņa. In parinirvāṇa there is no existence. In ordinary nirvāṇa there is compassion.

The Jains say that if one practices all good qualities following compassion and detachment, the jīva attains the position of Nārada, Śiva, Vāsudeva, Para-Vāsudeva, supreme ruler and then Bhagavān within nirvāṇa. In both philosophies the material universe is eternal, karma is without beginning, but has an end. Existence is suffering. Parinirvāṇa only is happiness. The ideas of Vedic karmas revealed by Jaimini are inauspicious for the jīva. The rules to attain parinirvāṇa alone produce auspiciousness. For karma-vādīs, Indra and other Devatās are supreme but for the nirvāṇa-vādīs they are simply servants.

Schopenhauer and Hartmann are of the first type of nirvāṇa-vādī (one birth). According to Schopenhauer, by practice of renunciation of the desire for existence, fasting, renunciation of free will, humility, accepting bodily suffering, purity and detachment, one attains nirvāņa. According to Hartmann it is not necessary to accept any suffering. After death one naturally attains nirvāṇa. A person by the name Hara Benson showed the eternal nature of suffering and the impossibility of nirvāṇa.

At this point it must be said that many among the advaita-vādīs are nirvāņa-vādīs. The philosophy of those advaita-vādīs who desire spiritual happiness in the bliss of Brahman after nirvāṇa will be discussed later. Those who do not accept any type of bliss after nirvāṇa, thinking that existence has been extinguished, are called jaḍa-nirvāņa-vādīs. This philosophy is most untenable since it does not define the nature of the existence of the jīva. If the jīva arises from matter, then it must be included in the philosophy of jaḍānanda-vādī (bliss through matter alone). That is mere atheism. If the jīva is an independent tattva, how can it disappear? Where is the proof of it disappearing? In summary, all these philosophies are extremely atheistic.

To destroy the evils of the atheists (i.e. jaḍa-karma-vādīs), this philosophy of nirvāṇa was introduced. Its preachers became enthusiastic and, with effort, spread the philosophy strongly. The brāhmaṇas in India preached their own supremacy and atheistic karma-vāda. The other varņas such as kṣatriyas became disturbed and, banding together, preached Buddhism, while the vaiśyas banded together and preached Jainism. When the different groups became enflamed with material enmity, this hatred had a great effect. The groups made efforts for their beliefs without deliberating on it being logical or illogical. In this way Buddhism and Jainism spread in India. In countries where this philosophy spread, there was no strong deliberation. The philosophy was accepted as being inspired by God. Modern European nirvāṇa-vādīs preached this philosophy with hatred towards Christianity. This is revealed in history.

Text 14

kecid vadanti māyā yā sā kartrī jagatāṁ kila
cid-acit-savinī sūkṣmā śakti-rūpā sanātanī ||14||

Some say that māyā is the creator of the universe. It instigates cit and acit, is subtle, a form of śakti and is eternal.

According to some philosophies the beginningless śakti called māyā creates the whole universe. It has a subtle form. It produces conscious and unconscious tattvas. When Buddhism became prevalent, and this philosophy began to decrease because of preachers lost a taste for that philosophy, it took on newer form with the efforts of its preachers. Eventually it became tantric Buddhism. At that time, māyāvāda philosophy was created. It remained with the name Buddhism within Buddhism itself.

But among others who were not Buddhists, it was preached as māyāvāda, or covered Buddhism. When it was preached in the form of a darśana to assist the meaning of the Vedas, the māyāvādīs became active as followers of the Vedānta. In the northern regions the ācāryās, following tantric scriptures, preaches māyā-śakti-vāda in a different form.

Many say that Tantric philosophy arose from Kapila’s darśana. That is not so in my opinion. Though prakṛti is the cause in Kapila’s philosophy, the puruṣa is accepted as a beginningless conscious entity through the statement – pușkara-palāśa-van nirlepa: he is uncontaminated like a lotus leaf. In my opinion, Saiva philosophy arose from Kapila’s Sāṅkhya. But in this philosophy because prakrti is greatly respected, ignorant people mistake it for the Tantric philosophy. Though in some places in Tantric philosophy there is a comparison of puruṣa and prakṛti with the two halves of a chickpea, ultimately prakṛti is the producer of the conscious tattva (puruṣa).

The tantric also imagines a nirvāņa for the jīva, where prakṛti disappears. Among the proponents of material śakti (jaḍa-śakti-vādīs), no type of theism is seen. Just as those who accept a spiritual śakti (cit-śakti-vādīs) pray to the Lord as a conscious entity with devotion, so the followers of material śakti pray from time to time to material śakti, though they scoff at the worshippers of spiritual śakti. The confirmed atheist Baron d’Holbach prayed to material śakti as follows:

“O prakṛti! O ruler of all elements! O offspring, intelligence and truth! May you remain as my protector for a long time. May all humans praise you. O goddess prakṛti! Show us your intended path of happiness. Remove illusion from our minds. Remove evil from our minds. Arrange so that we do not stumble in performing our tasks. Make knowledge our kingdom. Grant eternity to the self and peace to our hearts.”

The prakṛti-vādī Holbach also said that there is no soul, no God and no afterlife. One should respect the individual’s path to increase happiness. The śakti of one’s nature is the ruler of everything.

In the Mahānirvāṇa Tantra, Śiva praises Kālī, the ādya-śakti:

sṛṣṭer ādau tvam ekāsīt tamo-rūpam agocaram
tvatto jātaṁ jagat sarvaṁ para-brahma-sisṛkṣayā

“You alone existed invisibly before the creation, as the form of ignorance. The whole universe arose from you by the desire of Para-brahman for creation.”

In this verse, the tantric philosophy is distinguished from the uncontaminated puruṣa and active prakṛti of Sāṅkhya philosophy. Later the text says:

punaḥ svarūpam āsādya tamo-rūpaṁ nirākṛtiḥ
vācātītaṁ mano-‘gamyaṁ tvam ekaivāvaśiṣyate

“Again you take your svarūpa of ignorance devoid of form, indescribable by words and beyond the mind. You alone remain.”

tvam eva jīvo loke ‘smiṁs tvaṁ vidyā-para-devatā

“You are the jīvas in this world. You are the supreme deity of vidyā. Here, there is no distinction of the conscious jīva and the natural śakti. This is contrary to Sāṅkhya philosophy.”

yāvan na kșiyate karma śubhaṁ vāśubham eva vā
tāvan na jāyate mokṣo nṛṇāṁ kalpa-śatair api

“As long as good and bad karmas are not destroyed, liberation will not take place for men in a hundred kalpas.”

kurvāṇaḥ satataṁ karma kṛtvā kaṣta-śatāny api
tāvan na labhate mokṣaṁ yāvat jñānaṁ na vindati

“Performing constant karmas, performing hundreds of hardships, as long as one does not attain jñāna, one will not attain liberation.”

jñānaṁ tattva-vicāreṇa niṣkāmenāpi karmaņā
jāyate kṣīṇa-tapasāṁ viduṣāṁ nirmalātmanām

Jñāna arises for pure learned persons who become thin from austerities, by deliberation on tattva and with performance of niskāma-karmas.”

na muktir japanād dhomād upavāsa-śatair api
brahmaivāham iti jñatvā mukto bhavati deha-bhṛt

“Liberation does not arise from japa, homa or hundreds of fasts. The embodied being attains liberation on understanding that he is Brahman.”

manasā kalpitā muktir nṛṇāṁ cen mokșa-sādhanī
svalpa-labdhena rājyena rājāno mānavās tathā

“If thinking of liberation in the mind produced liberation, then people would be kings by attaining a piece of land.”

jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ tathā jñātā tritayaṁ bhāti māyayā
vicāryamāṇe tritaye ātmaiveko’vaśiṣyate

“Knowledge (awareness), the object of knowledge and the knower arise by māyā. Deliberating on these three only, finally the one ātmā remains.”

jñānam ātmaiva cid-rūpo jñeyam ātmaiva cin-mayaḥ
vijñātā svayam evātmā yo jānāti sa ātma-vit

“Knowledge is the conscious ātmā. The object of knowledge is the conscious ātmā. The knower is ātmā. He who knows this is the knower of ātmā.”

There are many types of tantric philosophy. One cannot say that the tantric śakti-vāda arose from one particular darśana. What is accepted in one place is not accepted elsewhere and is refuted. In some places Para-brahman is the ultimate creator; in some places, it is prakṛti and in some places, it is the jīva. In some places, the jīva is false and some places jīva is true. In some places, nāda-bindu [2] is the creator, while in other places it is prakṛti and puruṣa, and in some places it is only prakṛti. To conclude, one cannot systematically analyse this philosophy since it is a great mixture of things.

[2] The nasal part of oṁ.

The first verse quoted (sṛṣṭer ādau…) indicated that only prakṛti existed before creation and that by the desire of the Para-brahman the universe was created. Who is prakṛti and who is Para-brahman? Who is the jīva who becomes Para-brahman on gaining knowledge? The second verse (tvam eva jīvo loke ‘smims…) says that prakṛti is the jīva. One can see no logic in that statement. As well, ritual sex, taking intoxicants, eating meat and fish are not taken from any Vedic scripture. I will say no more about tantric śakti-vāda, having rejected the apūrva in atheist karma, Devatās who are the same as mantras, and imaginary material worship proposed by Comte.

Text 15

athavā bhāva eva syāt neśvaro na jagaj-janaḥ
bhāvo nitya-vicitrātmā nābhāvo vidyate kvacit ||15||

Mental state alone exists. There is no God or living entities. The mental state consists of constant deliberation. Non-existence of mental states never occurs.

Some who consider themselves learned say that nothing except mental states exist. They say that the objective world does not exist. It is all in the mind. The ātmā, the shelter of that mental state, is not tenable. In reality mental states only exist and nothing else. Bishop Berkley and others are a type of bhāva-vādī. This they call Idealism. Mill also accepted bhāva-vāda to some extent. Bhāva-vāda (Idealism) should not be thought of as cid-vāda (spiritualism). Bhāva-vāda is contemplation of material objects. The bhāva is meditation on material objects, just contact with material objects. It is not a special tattva different from matter. When human mind experiences of objects, then all bhāvas arise. This bhāva-vāda is never beyond materialism.

Some Advaitavādīs claim that the Lord and living entities do not exist. Only the concepts (bhāvas) of these exist. The concept of bhāva is eternal, and of various svarūpas. The bhāva never ceases to exist. Bhāva is ultimate tattva. This philosophy is very insignificant. This type of faith arises from a disturbed mind. Seeing the activities of those who write this philosophy, it appears that they themselves did not believe it. If one says that the bhāva is subtle matter, there is no fault. Thus bhāva-vāda must be counted among material philosophies.

Text 16

satyam eva tv asan nityaṁ sad evānitya-bhāvanā
kecid vadanti māyāndhāḥ yukti-vāda-parāyaṇāḥ ||16||

Some blinded by māyā, fond of logic, say that truth is not eternal. What is eternal in existence is a temporary state.

Some consider as follows: “What is said to be true or real is temporary. Its existence is temporary. When it transforms or perishes, it finally becomes non-existent. Therefore, non-existence is eternal and real.” This philosophy is ridiculous since it has no substance. Out of fondness for argument some person blinded by the darkness of illusion produced this bad logic.

First the statement “Non-existence is real” will be refuted. In common language this means “What does not exist exists and what exists does not exist.” This philosophy of scepticism or doubt (sandeha-vāda) arises from bad logic. Some scholars like Hume propagated this philosophy. Though scepticism is imperfect and unnatural, for some reason it became respected by many at one time. Bliss through matter and bliss through nirvāṇa produced such disturbance in the world that people, on hearing those names, developed hatred for them.

Human nature is pure and ornamented with devotion. It does not gain bliss from materialism. When materialism binds the hands and feet with iron chains of logic and puts a person in prison, the last attempt to free oneself of the chains by one’s own strength of logic is scepticism.

Matter is eternal truth. Matter is everything. This is the conclusion. Professor Huxley spoke this philosophy and it came from many other mouths as well. “Whatever happens, if not explained as arising from a material cause, is not scientific. There is no conclusion other than matter and cause and effect. Finally, consciousness and attraction (rāga) must be removed from scriptures. The waves of matter will drown the individual. The irrefutability of laws will bind up independence.”

When many people speak such bad logic, human nature, seeing its position being degraded, tries to go on another path by logic. Not worrying about any bad effect that this new philosophy produces, at least it destroys materialism. With this firm promise, logic produced scepticism. Though scepticism removed the confusion caused by materialism, it created another obstacle for belief in theism. People began to doubt whether they could actually see the truth. “I experience only the qualities of objects. Is what I experience the truth? I experience qualities by the senses. By the eye I experience form, by the ear sound, by the nose smell, by the skin touch, and by the tongue taste. I obtain knowledge of objects by accepting qualities through the five senses. If I had ten senses instead of five, I would have a different form of knowledge. Now all our knowledge is full of doubt.

Even though materialism is destroyed by scepticism, it gives no help to spiritual life. While definitely accepting the existence of objects, scepticism says this only. “I cannot understand this object in truth, since I do not have perfect knowledge and a perfect method of gaining knowledge.”

Scepticism ultimately destroys itself, since it accepts definite tattvas. If it accepts definite tattvas, what is the root of scepticism? If one examines the issue carefully, it is understood that scepticism is meaningless chatter. Do I exist or not? Who raises this doubt? I am raising the doubt. Therefore, I exist.

Text 17

sarveṣāṁ nāstikānāṁ vai matam etat purātanam
deśa-bhāṣā-vibhedena lakṣitaṁ ca pṛthak pṛthak ||17||

The concept of all types of atheism is ancient and characterized by differences according to place and language.

Materialism or the world as material śakti, the world as a mental conception (bhāva-vāda) and scepticism are three types of ancient atheism. Whatever types of atheism exist, they are included in these types. I see that the new atheistic preachers calling themselves preachers of new philosophies are all mistaken. Giving them new names and forms they reveal old philosophies. In India, many types of philosophies have been taught. Among them SāṅkhyaNyāyaVaiśeșika and Karma-mīmāṁsā are clearly atheistic. Yoga and Advaita-vedānta are covered atheism. Many may want to see a summary of these philosophies. For that purpose I have summarized these philosophies to some degree.

Sāṅkhya is a particular ancient darśana scripture written by Kapila. The great sage Kapila teaches us in his scripture Īśvara-siddhi: there is no proof of God.

mukta-baddhayor anyatarābhāvān na tat-siddhiḥ

“God is not accepted because there is no proof of his existence. He has to be either liberated or bound up (he cannot be realized if he is liberated and cannot be the lord if he is bound up).” (Sāṅkhya-sūtra 1.92-93)

The commentator Vijñāna Bhikṣu says, nanv evam īśvara-pratipādaka-śrutīnām kā gatis tatrāha: “What is the goal of the śrutis which propound the existence of God?”

multātmanaḥ prasamsā upāsīsiddhasya vā

“The statements about God are only praising liberated jīvas or those perfect in worship.” (Sāṅkhya-sūtra 1.95)

Actually God does not exist. Sāṅkhya goes to this extent.

Nyāya was established by Gautama. He says:

pramāṇa-prameya-saṁśaya-prayojana-drstānta-siddhāntāvayava-tarka-nirṇaya-vāda-jalpa vitaņdā-hetv-ābhāsa-chala-jāti-nigraha-sthānānāṁ tattva-jñānān niḥśreya sādhigamaḥ

“By understanding the true natures of pramāņa, prameya, saṁśaya, prayojana, dṛṣṭānta, siddhānta, avayava, tarka, nirņaya, vāda, jalpa, vitaņḍā, hetvābhāsa, chala, jāti and nigrahasthāna one obtains the highest benefit.”

One cannot understand the nature of that great benefit which Gautama mentions. It seems that if one can become expert at logic, one will attain the highest benefit. Among the sixteen padārthas, [3] God has no place. Thus the Vedas say, naisā tarkeṇa matir āpaneyā: one cannot attain knowledge by logic. (Kațha Upaniṣad 1.2.9)

[3] These sixteen categories are pramāṇa (valid means of knowledge), prameya (objects of valid knowledge), saṁśaya (doubt), prayojana (aim), dṛṣṭānta (example), siddhānta (conclusion), avayava (members of syllogism), tarka (hypothetical reasoning), nirṇaya (settlement), vāda (discussion), jalpa (wrangling), vitaņdā (cavilling), hetvābhāsa (fallacy), chala (quibbling), jāti (sophisticated refutation) and nigrahasthāna (point of defeat).

uttarottarāpāye tad-anantarāpāyād apavargaḥ

“By successive destruction, one after the other, of false knowledge, faults, material tendencies, birth, and suffering, one attains liberation.”

By absolute destruction of suffering one attains liberation. For Gautama, there is no bliss in liberation. There is no happiness in a relationship with the Lord. Thus his scripture on logic is contrary to the Vedas.

Vaiśeșika darśana originates with Kaņāda. It is not necessary to discuss this philosophy at length. If one deliberates on his basic sūtras one cannot find an eternal Lord. Some authors of this philosophy speak of Paramātmā among the seven padārthas as one tattva included within the jīva, in an attempt to remove the atheism in the philosophy. But Śaṅkarācārya and other philosophers proved that his philosophy is non-Vedic and atheistic in their commentaries on Vedānta-sūtras. In reality, it is seen that those who do not establish God as the independent creator are atheists even if they speak about God in their philosophy. The nature of God is to be the Lord of all tattvas. That should be known. Any philosophy that accepts some eternal entity equal to God is atheistic.

The writer of the Karma-mīmāṁsāsūtras is Jaimini. He does not write about the Supreme Lord at all. The subject is first of all dharma. According to his philosophy:

codanā-lakṣaṇo’rtho dharmaḥ karmaike tatra darśanāt

“Dharma is what is performed according to scriptural injunctions (codanā) which leads to good. This is called karma (pious acts) as that is seen in scriptures.” (Mīmāṁsa-sūtras)

The commentator Śabarasvāmī wrote:

kathaṁ punar idam avagamyate? asti tad apūrvam

“How can this be understood? There must be apūrva.”

When karmas are performed, some apūrva arises, which gives results. What is the need of a Supreme Lord who gives results? What can Comte and others, modern atheists, say beyond this?

Vedānta scriptures are the darśana scriptures which promote bhakti to the Lord completely. In their commentaries, the erring thinkers have placed covered Buddhist philosophy in the form of advaitavāda. However, the sincere people with great care have created correct commentaries on Vedānta and shown the proper path to the people of the world. I will later discuss the meaninglessness of advaitavāda.

Pātañjala scriptures are the yoga scriptures written by Patañjali. In the sādhana-kāņda of this scripture it is written:

kleśa-karma-vipākāśayair aparāmṛṣṭaḥ puruṣa-viśeṣa īśvaraḥ
tatra niratiśayaṁ
sa tu pūrveṣām api guruḥ kālenānavacchedāt

“The Lord is a special person who is not touched by suffering, karma, change or desire. He is supreme and the seed of omniscience. He is the guru of the ancient sages because He continues through all time.”

Seeing such statements concerning the Lord in this darśana, many will think that Patañjali was a devotee. But one who studies in detail the sūtras will not be mistaken. In kaivalya-pāda it is written:

puruṣārtha-sūnyānāṁ guṇānāṁ pratiprasavaḥ
kaivalyaṁ svarūpa-pratiṣṭhā vā citi-śaktir iti

“Liberation is extinction of the guṇas which are free of human goals, or it is consciousness established in itself.”

In Bhoja-vṛtti this is explained as follows:

cic-chakter vṛtti-sārūpya-nivṛttau svarūpa-mātre
‘vasthānaṁ tat kaivalyam ucyate

“Liberation means being situated in one’s svarūpa alone, which is devoid of functions of consciousness.”

Kaivalya is being situated in the svarūpa of cit-śakti. What is the meaning of the cit-śakti and kaivalya? On attaining liberation does the jīva function or not? When the jīva attains liberation, what is his relationship with the Lord established during sādhana? Unfortunately, there is no answer in this scripture. Looking through all those scriptures again and again, it appears that the Lord mentioned in the section on sādhana is a special object imagined for perfection of meditation. In the perfect state, the Lord is no longer necessary. Are these scriptures theistic or atheistic? You should answer.

All these atheistic philosophies have been preached in various countries in various languages under various names.

Text 18

karma-jñāna-vimiśrā yā yuktis tarka-mayī nare
citra-mata-prasūtī sā saṁsāra-phala-dāyini ||18||

Argumentative logic mixed with karma and jñāna produces various philosophies which give material results to human beings.

There are two types of logic: pure and mixed. Pure logic uses the spiritual vision of the pure ātmā. It is faultless and is the natural quality of the ātmā. Material thoughts mixed with the above mentioned natural functions of the ātmā bound by matter is called mixed logic. It has two types: mixed with karma and mixed with jñāna. It is also called argumentation. It is reprehensible since in it there are the faults of bhramapramādavipralipsā and karaṇāpātava. Its conclusions are always faulty. Pure logic always has one type of conclusion. All the philosophies produced from mixed logic are of various sorts and mutually conflicting. If one acts according to these philosophies, the bound jīva will become simply bound up.

Text 19

yuktes tu jaḍa-jātāyā jaḍātīte na yojanā
ato jaḍāśritā yuktir vadaty evaṁ pralāpanam ||19|||

By logic born of matter one cannot transcend matter. Thus logic which takes shelter of matter speaks without meaning.

Mixed logic arises from matter. First, the material image that the bound jīva received by the senses is brought to the head by the nerves. When it is stored there by the power of memory, material logic acts upon all those images. From that, many hypothesis and thoughts arise. The beauty seen in combining all these images is called knowledge. Many conclusions are externalized from these images by categorizing them as favourable or unfavourable. This is called logic. Comte said “Arranging what has been seen, store it, and from that search for truth.”

Whatever images are seen come from the material world. Cannot the logic applied to them be called material logic? But how can objects beyond matter and their qualities be understood by this method? If something exists beyond matter, then necessarily there must be a suitable method to realize it. Those who do not understand this superior method or do not desire to know about it because of bad impression, after taking support of material logic, will speak only meaningless sentences. Is there any doubt about this?

When the material world is investigated, material logic gives results very nicely. In engineering, medicine, combat, music, etc., material logic is especially effective. Logic mixed with knowledge produces theories about objects. Then logic mixed with action produces results. When a railroad is imagined in the mind of a material scholar it is logic mixed with knowledge. When it transforms into effects and becomes logic mixed with action, it is used in engineering work. Engineering is an object of material logic. Material logic cannot make its object something beyond matter. Logic beyond matter is effective for objects beyond matter. Materialism, jaḍaśakti-vāda, nirvāṇa-vāda, bhāva-vāda, using material logic for trying to understand the universe’s cause, which is beyond matter, can never bring satisfaction since these methods are very laughable. No matter how many books are written, they are all meaningless words.

Text 20

pralapantīha sā yukti rudantī svātma-siddhaye
carame parameśānas svīkaroti bhayāturā ||20||

Material logic, speaking nonsense, longing for perfection of the ātmā, finally accepts a supreme being out of great fear.

Though perfect logic is the nature of the ātmā, the ātmā bound by matter knows only that the burden of matter is very heavy. Investigating, it then gives great respect to mixed logic. For this reason, many people of this world favour mixed logic. Pure logic beyond matter is rare. Only those who by good fortune are inclined to worship the inner function perception have understood the glories of natural samādhi, or pure logic. For a long time, the materialistic world has respected mixed logic and has aspired for attaining truth from it. At first, the world adores the philosophies produced from mixed logic, and after accepting them, finally becomes dissatisfied with them. If the logic is bound up or mixed, it can have no relationship with the ātmā.

From time to time this mixed logic tries to help the ātmā. It produces various philosophies and various nonsense words. Not satisfied, mixed logic then begins to hate itself. It begins to chatter and wail. “Ah! After much materialistic action, distancing myself far from the eternally related ātmā, I have given up my nature.” Crying in this way, overcome with fear, finally it accepts the Supreme Lord as the cause of all effects. In this condition, the human mind preaches about the Lord who is established upon logic in various countries. Udayanācārya has written about this condition in his book Kusumāñjali. In the west, Deism and Natural Theology appeared and have been accepted according to the state of development of the minds of that place.

But the God established by mixed logic is very incomplete, since the nature of God established by material logic is just a meagre state of matter as a cause. It is unnatural since in those philosophies there is no elevation of the ātmā, no inspiration for the ātmā, and no investigation of the ātmā. This will be shown later.

Text 21

kadācid īśa-tattve sā jaḍa-bhrāntā pralāpinī
dvaitas traitaṁ bahutvaṁ vāropayaty eva yatnataḥ ||21||

Bewildered by matter, material logic speaks of God or carefully concocts two or three or many Gods.

Material logic with its useless words, on accepting the Supreme Lord, is not able to produce a unified conclusion about God. Sometimes this logic thinks that matter and spirit are two forms of God. God as the form of pure consciousness creates auspiciousness. But God as the form of matter is the form of inauspiciousness. Zarathustra (or Zoroaster) accepted two eternal Gods, material God and a spiritual God. In Zend Avesta he accepts two Gods. The devotees of the Lord label this material Mīmāṁsa, because of similarity. This designation later became used in relationship to persons averse to the Lord, who follow karma-kānda and jñāna-kānda. Zarathustra was an ancient philosopher. Not accepted in India, he preached this philosophy in Iran. With time his philosophy gave rise to Satan, a counterpart of Lord in Jewish and Islamic religion.

When Zarathustra taught about two Gods, necessity of three Gods appeared among the Jews. This is called the Trinity. At first these are conceived as three separate Gods but when philosophers were not satisfied with this, they concluded that they should be the Lord, the Holy Ghost and Christ. When in India Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva were conceived as three separate Gods, it produced confusion in faith. Philosophers took the three as one tattva and taught that scriptures forbid making distinctions between them.

One sees faith in many Gods in many places. Particularly in uncivilized places, one cannot see the concept of a single God in a pure form. Sometimes, people were encouraged to accept Indra, Candra, Vāyu, etc., as independent Devatās. The mīmāṁsakas later refined this idea and established Brahman. All this is simply the meaningless blabber of logic.

The Supreme Lord is one tattva. If he becomes more than one, society cannot nicely survive. There will be conflict between the various rules (of different philosophies and Gods) and without doubt society will decline. All intelligent people must accept that the visible universe arose from the desire of one person.

Text 22

jñānaṁ sāhajikaṁ hitvā yuktir na vidyate kvacit
katham sā parame tattve taṁ hitvā sthātum arhati ||22||

If one rejects natural knowledge, logic cannot exist. How can logic establish the Supreme Lord if it gives up natural knowledge?

The logic arising from the natural knowledge of ātmā is pure and faultless. The conclusion arising from it is true. If one rejects this natural knowledge, logic cannot exist. The logic created for knowledge of objects in material affairs is impure and mixed. When mixed logic speaks of tattva it is meaningless. If it defines God, its theory is not proper. Mixed logic is not suitable for discussing God. The conclusions concerning God arising from pure logic that takes shelter of natural knowledge are true.

It may be asked at this point, “What is natural knowledge?” Ātmā is spiritual and thus full of knowledge. The natural knowledge in that ātmā is called natural knowledge. Natural knowledge appears eternally with the ātmā. It does not arise from realizing anything material. This natural knowledge may be called pure logic. Before material knowledge arose, the jīva was aware of this natural knowledge:

  1. I exist.
  2. I continue to exist.
  3. I experience bliss.
  4. I have a great shelter of bliss.
  5. It is my nature to take support of that shelter.
  6. I am eternally obedient to that shelter.
  7. The shelter is exceedingly beautiful.
  8. I have no power to reject this shelter.
  9. My present condition is lamentable.
  10. Rejecting this lamentable position, I should again cultivate a relationship with that shelter.
  11. The material universe is not my eternal home.
  12. I do not become elevated by elevation in the material world.

If logic does not take support of this type of natural knowledge, logic becomes mixed and is just meaningless words. In all types of science which logic investigates, first some natural knowledge must be respected. If some basic principles are not accepted in mathematics, astronomy, etc., no science can advance. Similarly, in spiritual matters some natural principles must be accepted. Upon this one establishes dharma. That is the basis of truth.

Text 23

ekatvam api tad dṛṣṭvā tat-samādhi-cchalena ca
sthūlas bhittvā tu liṅge sā yogāśrayacaraty aho ||23||

Seeing oneness on the pretext of samādhi, piercing the gross material level, logic takes shelter of yoga on the subtle level.

One group, taking support of pure natural knowledge, cannot settle their philosophy and as well have no faith in material logic. They accept some points of natural knowledge and respect God as one tattva. Absorbed in knowledge, they take support of samādhi. This is not natural samadhi since it is false contemplation. By false contemplation, though they pierce the gross universe, they cannot see the spiritual world since a natural tattva will only manifest through natural samādhi. On seeing the subtle world, they think that the jīva has achieved the final abode. Actually they take shelter of the subtle aspect of the material world and remain there.

The difference between the subtle and gross material worlds is that the gross universe can be perceived by the senses and the subtle world by the mind. The subtle universe is merely the universe when it was previously in a subtle form. The material universe is of two types: the gross matter and the more subtle, effulgent part. Theosophists speak of an astral body. This is the effulgent material body. The subtle body is subtler than that, being made of mind. Patañjali and the Buddhist yogis say that the subtle world is the intangible world full of powers.

The spiritual world is completely different from this. The kaivalya state mentioned by Patañjali’s followers is just a state opposite of the gross and subtle worlds. But discussion of the spiritual tattva is not seen in their scriptures.

No one can explain the nature of the jīva meeting the Lord directly in the section on sādhana in Patañjali’s sūtras. In the section on kaivalya no one can explain where the Lord mentioned resides and the relationship of the jīva with the Lord. If all the jīvas who have attained liberation merge into the Lord, that is practically speaking Advaitavāda. Whether it is yoga scriptures, Theosophy or Patañjali’s philosophy, it is not eternally beneficial for the jīva. Yoga scriptures are one intermediate step between the gross matter and the pure spiritual tattva. Thus the jīva who seeks spiritual happiness attains no bliss in this.

Text 24

kecid vadanti visvaṁ vai pareśa-nirmitaṁ kila
jīvānāṁ sukha-bhogāya dharmāya ca viśeṣataḥ ||24||

Some say that the Lord created the universe particularly for the jīva’s happiness and for dharma.

Some conclude that the creator made this universe for the jīva’s pleasure. If we accrue dharma while enjoying the world without committing sin, we attain the mercy of the Lord. The doubt is this: if the universe was created for the jīva’s happiness, the Lord created it imperfectly. The Lord is endowed with all śaktis and his will is always fulfilled. Whatever he desires happens immediately. If one thinks that the world is created for the jīva’s pleasure, one must attribute fault to the Lord. If the universe was created to teach dharma to the jīvas, he should have made it differently since everyone does not attain dharma in the world.

Text 25

ādi-jīvāparādhād vai sarveṣāṁ bandhanaṁ dhruvam
tathānya-jīva-bhūtasya vibhor daṇḍena niṣkṛtiḥ ||25||

Because of the first sin of the jīva, all jīvas are bound up in this world. By punishment inflicted on the Lord, the jīvas are redeemed of their sins.

Thinking of rectifying a fault of the one eternal Lord, some teachers of religion have concluded that the world is not a place of pure happiness. It is filled with suffering. They surmise that the universe is a place of punishment for the jīvas. If the jīva has committed some offense, why is punishment necessary? What offense did the jīva commit? Not able to give a good answer to the question, religions arising from narrow intelligence accept one astonishing philosophy.

Having created one original jīva, the Lord placed him in pleasurable garden with his wife. He forbade them to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. On the bad advice of a wicked jīva, the original couple ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge, and by this offense of disobeying the Lord’s order, they had to leave the place and fall into the universe of suffering. From their offense all jīvas became offenders and took birth. Seeing that the jīvas could not destroy this offense, one limb of the Lord, similar to a jīva, took birth among human beings and, taking on his shoulders the sins of all the jīvas following, accepted death. All the jīvas following him attained liberation easily. Those who did not follow him fell to everlasting hell. The idea that other jīvas were absolved of sin by the punishment accepted by the Lord’s expansion as a jīva does not make sense to natural intelligence.

Text 26

janmato jīva-sad-bhāvo maraṇānte na janma vai
yat kṛtaṁ saṁsṛtau tena jīvasya caramaṁ phalam ||26||

From birth, the jīva comes into existence. After death, there is no birth. The jīva attains a final result by the activities performed in that one life.

When one places confidence in a religion of mixed logic, one must believe some illogical tenets. The jīva exists from birth till death. Before birth, the jīva did not exist and after death the jīva is not located in this world of activities. Jīva is human and no one else. This faith is for persons of very narrow intelligence. The jīva is not a spiritual tattva. The Lord made the jīva. of matter. One cannot say why the jīvas appeared in an unequal state. One jīva is born in a house of suffering, another in a house of happiness, and other in a house of bhakti and another in the house of a demon. Why the jīva, taking birth, must become good by good birth and bad by bad birth cannot be said. Because of this, the Lord can be described as lacking discrimination.

And why are animals not included as jīvas cannot be explained. Why are animals and birds food for humans? That a person after one birth attains everlasting heaven or hell cannot be accepted by a person who believes in a merciful God.

Text 27

atra sthitasya jīvasya karma-jñānānuśīlanāt
viśvonnati-vidhānena kartavyam īśa-toșaņam ||27||

The jīvas in this world must satisfy the Lord by cultivating karma and jñāna through performing works to uplift the world.

Groups following this philosophy cannot worship the Lord selflessly. Their common conception is that while cultivating karma and jñāna, by attempting to uplift the world as a duty one can satisfy the Lord. By creating auspiciousness in the world by running hospitals, schools and other charities, the Lord is pleased. Discussions of piety (karma) and knowledge (jñāna) are prominent but they cannot ever know pure bhakti devoid of attempts at karma and jñāna. Worship of the Lord only out of a sense of duty can never be selfless or natural. “The Lord has been merciful to us. Thus we worship him.” This is low intelligence since its opposite thought is “If the Lord were not merciful, I would not worship him.” The person has the low desire for future mercy of the Lord. If mercy gives the tendency to bhakti, there is no fault. But in this religion one does not see this discussion. Mercy which is convenient and gives happiness to the present life is only seen.

Text 28

īśa-rūpa-vihīnas tu sarvago vidhi-sevitaḥ
pūjito’tra bhavaty eva prārthanā-vandanādibhiḥ ||28||

The Lord minus his form, who is all-pervading, is worshipped by rules, with prayers, respect and other offerings.

According to this philosophy and many new philosophies following it, the Lord is without form and all-pervading. Cultivation of jñāna is the main activity in this philosophy. If one says that God has a form, it limits him. This intelligence coming from jñāna always disturbs their hearts. The Lord cannot be anything except the formless all-pervading entity that we advocate on the path of jñāna.

Actually the concept of God of the narrow minded people following this path is that of some entity limited by matter. It is like the ether which is all pervading and formless. This is their idea of God. It is called materialistic worship. However, the jīva is beyond the twenty-four elements and the Supreme Lord or Bhagavān has a non-material svarūpa with millions of times more qualities than the jīva. He is the friend of the jīvas, most merciful, the supreme controller of contrary qualities like pervasion and absence of qualities. The followers of this philosophy are not able to realize nicely this Supreme Lord. Their worship of the Lord is very faulty and incomplete. Worship consists of prayers and obeisances. Even the words used in these actions are very material. Completely absorbed in discussing jñāna, they fear to worship the spiritual form of the Lord, so that, in agitation, they advise everyone to never think of the spiritual deity form of the Lord. They say that if one worships the deity form it is like worship of matter. By this bad influence they are unable to realize the qualities of the sac-cid-ānanda Lord beyond matter.

Each person advocating this philosophy thinks himself the best and if one surrenders to the feet of a guru, he will give bad instruction. With this fear, even if they accept a proper guru after much endeavor, they have no devotion to him. Since false gurus lead one on the wrong path, one should even reject an authorized guru.

Some say that when the ātmā develops correct tattva, he can understand the Lord by his own endeavors. Thus surrendering to a guru is not necessary. Some say that it is best to accept the chief ācārya and that the best ācārya is the Lord. He is the guru and deliverer. He enters our svarūpas and destroys our sins. It is not necessary to accept a human guru. Some among them respect some collection of works as dharma scriptures given by the Lord. Some, when they accept those works, acknowledge many mistakes. Out of fear they do not accept any scripture.

Text 29

idam eva mataṁ viddhi sarvatraivāsamañjasam
īśvare doṣadaṁ sākṣāt jīvasya kṣaudra-sādhakam ||29||

Know that this philosophy is incorrect in all respects. It finds fault in the Lord and gives little benefit to the jīva.

Though there is one God in this philosophy, in many places the philosophy is not correct. It attributes many faults to God and is useless for the jīva inclined to the Lord. There is one God, and the jīva has a right to be independent of the Lord’s will and to sin. Those who relinquish this right cannot experience the Lord’s māyā-śakti. In a weak state, the jīva commits sin. All sins arise from the weakness in the jīva. If one rejects the idea of sin and piety on the path of beginningless karma, the Lord becomes faulty for giving the jīva weakness. They say the Lord is faultless but in actual fact, all faults are thrown on the Lord. They cannot distinguish and understand the pure spiritual nature of the jīva and his gross and subtle bodies. Their jñāna and vijñāna are faulty and restricted. Thus they cannot understand prema and bhakti. Though proud of material vijñāna, they are stunted in spiritual vijñāna. The results they achieve are minor. Attainment of Svarga at the subtle level is their final attainment. They think that the subtle is spiritual (cit-tattva). For this reason, they cannot differentiate between mind and ātmā.

Text 30

kecid vadanti sarvaṃ yac cid-acid-īśvarādikam
brahma-sanātanam sāksād ekam evādvitīyakam ||30||

Some say that everything — jīva, matter and the Lord—are all eternal Brahman, one entity and nothing else.

For a long time Advaitavāda has been current. Accepting one part of the Vedas, this philosophy appeared. Even though many scholars outside of India preach this philosophy, there is no doubt that it spread to all countries from India. Accompanying Alexander to India, many scholars learned this philosophy well and the scholars of his country wrote books about this in Advaitavāda, Brahman is the sole entity and nothing else exists. Jīva, matter and the Lord as differentiated entities are the results of material intelligence. Brahman is the undistorted root of all things seen. This Brahman is eternal, without transformation, without form and without qualities. It has no upādhis. It has no śakti and no activity. It has no other state and no transformation.

One sees these statements in various places in the Vedas. The brahmavādīs easily accepted these statements, but seeing the universe with qualities, they think, “How can this Brahman be the cause of the universe? One can directly see the universe. From where did it come? If this cannot be answered, our excellent philosophy will not function.” Contemplating, some idea arose. “How can inactive Brahman accept effects or śaktis which cause effects? By accepting only one entity, the proposition of Advaita will not be broken.” Deliberating, first they decided that if a transforming śakti existed in Brahman, Advaita would not be destroyed. Brahman itself transforms into the universe and then it is perceived.

Text 31

vastunaḥ pariṇāmād vā vivarta-bhāvataḥ kila
jagad-vicitratā sādhyā jagad anyaṁ na vartate ||31||

By vivarta or the transformation of Brahman, the variety in the universe results. The universe does not exist in any other way.

In one version of this philosophy transformation was accepted. Another proponent then argued as follows. One should not accept fault in Brahman. If Brahman is subject to transformation, it is no longer Brahman. Reject transformation (parināma-vāda) and accept vivarta-vāda (illusion). Brahman has no other state. Thus transformation is impossible. Brahman remains in knowledge of tattva. If there is false perception of the universe due to lack of knowledge of tattva, our philosophy will be perfect in all parts. From thinking a rope is a snake, fear and various emotions arise. Mistaking a shell for silver one develops desire for it. By accepting vivarta, there will be no fault in Brahman. The universe which is false is perceived by ignorance. There is no universe, there is no life, Brahman alone exits. Perception of the world is a mere illusion. This illusion is called ignorance or māyā. This illusion is not included in tattva. Only one entity exists and nothing else. That entity is the spiritual entity and the world we know (vyavahārika jagat) is an illusion. This was the conclusion. When conditioned intelligence is conquered by spiritual knowledge, the material illusion is destroyed, while Brahman is realized. Liberation is then achieved.

Text 32

athavā jīva-cintyāyāṁ jātaḥ sarvaṁ jagad dhruvam
jīveśvare na bhedo’sti jīvaḥ sarveśvareśvaraḥ ||32||

Some say that the whole universe arose from the thoughts of the jīva. There is no difference between the Lord and the jīva. The Jīva is the lord of all lords.

Another group of scholars arose and did not accept the theory of an illusory universe. They said, “The universe is not a mere self-accomplished illusion. The illusion of the universe arose after the appearance of an illusory jīva. Is jīva a separate entity then? That cannot be. If one accepts it as a separate entity, Advaita is destroyed. The jīva must be illusory.”

These scholars divided into two groups and made two philosophies. One group said that Brahman is like ākāśa, and the jīva appears separate by the ignorance creating division, like the ākāśa in a pot. Another group opposed this and said that in that case Brahman is put in an embarrassing position: Brahman becomes cut and controlled by māyā. Rather than proposing this theory, one should accept that the jīva is a reflection of Brahman. Imagine the jīva as a reflection of the sunshine or like moon on water. The jīva, becoming a false entity filled with ignorance imagines a material universe under the influence of ignorance. In reality Brahman is one without a second. Jīva is not a different entity. The universe is not a separate entity.

There is a great error in all these theories. Scholars covered by the darkness of their philosophies did not see this and did not want to see it. The error is this: the one entity without a second is Brahman. There is no other entity. As long as one does not accept Brahman’s inconceivable śakti, all the previous conclusions are worthless. How can one establish Brahman devoid of śakti as one entity when one person proposes māyā, another proposes ignorance, another proposes illusion and another proposes an illusion of an illusion? In all these theories there are faults that destroy Advaita.

If one accepts inconceivable śakti and proposes Brahman as one entity, there is no need to take shelter of some other entity. The śakti of the entity is nondifferent from the entity. Though form and no form, transformation and no transformation, quality and no quality are contrary qualities, by inconceivable śakti, they can coexist without contradiction. Man’s logic is limited and thus cannot understand the inconceivable śakti properly. Why should he accept this inconceivable śakti? The glory of Brahman with inconceivable śakti is superior, with its unlimited qualities, to the glory of Brahman without qualities.

I hereby establish Para-brahman. The Brahman endowed with superior śakti is Para-brahman. Brahman without śakti, without qualities is one portion of Para-brahman. Without doubt, to reject Para-brahman and meditate on a partial Brahman is the result of an inferior heart. Kevala advaitavāda cannot satisfy a proper logical mind. It cannot harmonize all the statements in the Vedas. It cannot produce the ultimate auspiciousness for the jīva.

Text 33

eteṣu vāda-jāleṣu tat sad eva viniścitam
anvaya-vyatirekābhyām advaya-jñānam eva yat ||33||

The truth, advaya-jñāna, can be determined within this net of various philosophies, by positive and negative actions.

The network of all these philosophies is simply the impure thoughts of speculators. Among these philosophies resides truth. Finding and rejecting all the falsities, and searching for and attaining truth is called discernment of truth.

Victor Cousin, a French philosopher, understood this process but could not be successful. The reason for his lack of success is that he tried to grasp the essence in the analysis of truth arising from Western intelligence. Western intelligence is very materialistic. It cannot understand the subtle difference between ātmā and non-ātmā. Such people think that the material mind or subtle matter is the ātmā. Just as beating chaff to get rice is useless, Cousin’s grasping the essence was futile in the end. In Īśopaniṣad it is said:

hiraṇmayena pātreṇa satyasyāpihitaṁ mukham
tat tvaṁ pūṣann apāvṛṇu satya-dharmāya dṛṣṭaye

“The form of Paramātmā is covered by a vessel of impersonal light. O spiritual sun, please remove the covering so that we can see the nature of Paramātmā and your eternal qualities.”

This process is called “searching for dharma through the Vedas.”

aņubhyaś ca mahadbhyaś ca śāstrebhyaḥ kuśalo naraḥ
sarvataḥ sāram ādadyāt puṣpebhya iva ṣațpadaḥ

“Just as the honeybee takes nectar from all flowers, big and small, an intelligent human being should take the essence from all religious scriptures.” (S.B. 11.8.10)

Taking support of the tendency to grasp the essence which is approved by the Vedas and Bhāgavatam, the learned devotees obtain the essential truth and supreme tattva from all the inferior scriptures which define matter and from the great scriptures which define ātma-tattva. The name of this truth is advaya-jñāna, which is a factual portion (sad-aṁśa) of the sac-cidānanda tattva. The word sat indicates its factual existence. When it manifests the asat or false, it disappears. The word sat means the undivided spiritual world. The material world is just a reflection (asat) of the spiritual world.

iti śrī-sac-cid-ānandānubhūtau
sad-anuśīlanaṁ nāma prathamo’nubhavah