» Lord Caitanya and Mayavadi Sannyasis

Lord Caitanya and Mayavadi Sannyasis

Lord Caitanya and Mayavadi Sannyasis

When Lord Caitanya was in Benares, a brahmana approached Him and said, “My dear Lord, I have invited all the sannyasis of Benares to my home. My desires will be fulfilled if You also accept my invitation.

Lord Caitanya was the only Vaishnava sannyasi in Benares at that time. All the other sannyasis were followers of Mayavada philosophy, and thus considered the God to be impersonal, devoid of form and qualities. Even though Lord Caitanya never mixed with the Mayavadi sannyasis, He smiled and accepted the invitation of the brahmana to show His mercy to the Mayavadi sannyasis who had even criticised Lord Caitanya.

The next day, the Lord went to the house of that brahmana. As soon as He saw the sannyasis sitting there, He offered obeisances and behaved in a humble way. He exhibited His mystic power by manifesting an effulgence as brilliant as the illumination of millions of suns.

When the sannyasis saw the brilliant illumination of the body of the Lord, their minds were attracted, and they all were very respectful. The leader of all the Mayavadi sannyasis, Prakasananda Sarasvati, said, “You are a sannyasi. Meditation and the study of Vedanta philosophy are the sole duties of a sannyasi. Why do You abandon these to dance and chant with fanatics?”

The Lord replied: “My dear sir, My spiritual master considered Me a fool. He said I am not qualified to study Vedanta philosophy, and therefore he told Me to always chant the holy name of Krsna, the essence of all mantras, or Vedic hymns.”

The Lord described the glories of the holy name and the result of chanting. He quoted a famous verse from the scriptures, and explained, “Compared to the ocean of transcendental bliss that is tasted by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, the pleasure derived from realization of impersonal Brahman is like the shallow water in a canal.”

After hearing the beautiful speech of the Lord, all the Mayavadi sannyasis were moved and their minds changed.

The Mayavadi sannyasis said, “Dear sir, there is no objection to Your being a great devotee of Lord Krsna. Everyone is satisfied with this. But why do You avoid discussion on the Vedanta-sutra, the scripture that explains the essence of Vedic knowledge? Then the Lord showed the defects in the famous impersonalist Sankaracarya’s explanations on Vedanta, and all the assembled sannyasis were struck with wonder.

Hearing His words, His listeners spoke very humbly: “Dear sir, You are Vedic knowledge personified and are directly the Supreme Lord Himself. Kindly excuse us for the offenses we previously committed by criticizing You.” On the instruction of Lord Caitanya, they too chanted “Krsna! Krsna!” always. Thus the Lord excused their offenses and very mercifully blessed them with the name of Krsna.

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