(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 14 February 2013, Simhachalam, Germany, Srimad Bhagavatam 9.2.4)

cpt_dec 2012Vasiṣṭha was meant to be on the transcendental platform; on the pure devotional platform being a Spiritual Master. There was some fault but still, as a Spiritual Master, Vasiṣṭha is worshiped and respected even though there may be some trace of imperfection in him. He is not condemned and therefore not stripped of the office, so to speak! We see that Vasiṣṭha is not rejected; it is overlooked; it is minimal because actually Vasiṣṭha was ordinarily giving proper instructions. It may be there, Viswanath Chakravarti Thakur points it out but at the same time we should not make too much of it. And everytime we hear the name Vasiṣṭha, we say, “Vasiṣṭha, he is influenced by tama-guna! It says in Prabhupada’s purports!

It does but we if take this statement out of Prabhupada’s purports, carve it in stone, magnify it and over emphasize it then we are misrepresenting the actual understanding. So, it is interesting that it is possible that one can take a bona fide source like Prabhupada’s books, one can take statements and present them out of context. One changes the emphasis of the statement and suddenly the meaning changes; the importance changes. For example, I could say, “Vasiṣṭha was not free from tama-guna – the mode of ignorance…” That’s one way of saying it, or…

VASISTHA WAS INFLUENCED BY TAMA-GUNA!! TOTALLY INFLUENCED BY TAMA-GUNA!!

You can see how emphasis can change the meaning. Therefore in presenting arguments based on the scripture, one must be very careful to present quotes in the context of the entire message. We must be careful and look at what was Prabhupada’s general mood on this topic and the general mood of the archaryas and check if it is sort of consistent. And if we don’t have so much knowledge, then we should also be a little careful not to become so absolute and make sweeping, absolute statements. We should not do so because maybe we are mistaken! Therefore we see in discussions with advanced vaisnavas that they often present their point of view in a humble way by saying, “In my understanding, it is like this…”

 

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