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CC Adi 14.29

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


māṭi—deha, māṭi—bhakṣya, dekhaha vicāri’
avicāre deha doṣa, ki balite pāri


māṭi—dirt; deha—this body; māṭi—dirt; bhakṣya—eatable; dekhaha—just try to see; vicāri’—by consideration; avicāre—without considering; deha—you put; doṣa—fault upon Me; ki—what; balite—to say; pāri—I am able.


“This body is a transformation of dirt, and the eatables are also a transformation of dirt. Please reflect upon this. You are blaming Me without consideration. What can I say?”


This is an explanation of the Māyāvāda philosophy, which takes everything to be one. The necessities of the body, namely eating, sleeping, mating and defending, are all unnecessary in spiritual life. When one is elevated to the spiritual platform, there are no more bodily necessities, and in activities pertaining to the bodily necessities there are no spiritual considerations. In other words, the more we eat, sleep, have sex and try to defend ourselves, the more we engage in material activities. Unfortunately, Māyāvādī philosophers consider devotional activities to be bodily activities. They cannot understand the simple explanation in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 14.26):

māṁ ca yo ’vyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate

“Anyone who engages in spiritual devotional service without motivation, rendering such service for the satisfaction of the Lord, is elevated immediately to the spiritual platform, and all his activities are spiritual.” Brahma-bhūyāya refers to Brahman (spiritual) activities. Although Māyāvādī philosophers are very eager to merge into the Brahman effulgence, they have no Brahman activities. To a certain extent they recommend Brahman activities, which for them means engagement in studying the Vedānta and Sāṅkhya philosophies, but their interpretations are but dry speculation. Lacking the varieties of spiritual activity, they cannot stay for long on that platform of simply studying Vedānta or Sāṅkhya philosophy.

Life is meant for varieties of enjoyment. The living entity is by nature full of an enjoying spirit, as stated in the Vedānta-sūtra (1.1.12): ānanda-mayo ’bhyāsāt. In devotional service the activities are variegated and full of enjoyment. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.2), all devotional activities are easy to perform (su-sukhaṁ kartum) and are eternal and spiritual (avyayam). Since Māyāvādī philosophers cannot understand this, they take it for granted that a devotee’s activities (śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam, etc. (SB 7.5.23)) are all material and are therefore māyā. They also consider Kṛṣṇa’s advent in this universe and His activities to be māyā. Therefore, because they consider everything māyā, they are known as Māyāvādīs.

Actually, any activities performed favorably for the satisfaction of the Lord, under the direction of the spiritual master, are spiritual. But for a person to disregard the order of the spiritual master and act by concoction, accepting his nonsensical activities to be spiritual, is māyā. One must achieve the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the mercy of the spiritual master. Therefore one must first please the spiritual master, and if he is pleased, then we should understand that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also pleased. But if the spiritual master is displeased by our actions, they are not spiritual. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura confirms this: yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ’pi. Activities that please the spiritual master must be considered spiritual, and they should be accepted as satisfying to the Lord.

Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as the supreme spiritual master, instructed His mother about the Māyāvāda philosophy. By saying that the body is dirt and eatables are also dirt, He implied that everything is māyā. This is Māyāvāda philosophy. The philosophy of the Māyāvādīs is defective because it maintains that everything is māyā but the nonsense they speak. While saying that everything is māyā, the Māyāvādī philosopher loses the opportunity of devotional service, and therefore his life is doomed. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore advised, māyāvādi-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva-nāśa (CC Madhya 6.169). If one accepts the Māyāvāda philosophy, his advancement is doomed forever.