In a freely flowing conversation, Sri Swamiji answered four vital questions on our sampradayam (tradition) to a devotee, who questioned with humility and simplicity.
This will be presented in four parts over the next four issues. Here is the third question.
Devotee: Sri Swamiji, I have a question… it is about our sampradaya. Respected Sri Swamiji, many people who are in the same path of Krishna bhakti call Sri Adi ShankaraBhagavadpada as a ‘mayavadi’…
Sri Swamiji: They speak this way because they have not understood the great Acharya properly. I believe that they have not gone really in depth into the works of Sri Adi Shankaracharya. One of his important Vedantic works is PrabhodaSudhakaram. Of all his Vedantic works, this work has harmonized the Saguna Brahman (Divinity with attributes) and Nirguna Brahman(attribute-less Divinity). He talks about the supremacy of Bhagavan Sri Krishna clearly in this.
So Sri Bhagavadpada is not a mayavadi but a brahmavadi.
He proclaims that Brahman alone exists and not Maya. Hence he is a brahmavadi.
His works like PrabhodaSudhakaram, Hari stotram (Hari meede) clearly show that Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavadpada is an ardent Krishna bhakta and a clear Vaishnava. Only few have realized this. In the village of Tiruvisainallur there was a mahan by the name, Sri Rama SubbaShastri. He has pored deep into the various works of Sri Adi Shankara and come to the clear conclusion that Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavadpada was an ardent Vaishnava who was truly devoted to Krishna.
Is this clear?
Devotee: Pranams to Sri Swamiji! It is amply clear now! How much apacharam (divine offence) would it be to belittle or disrespect this great Acharya, Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavadpadacharya! I have heard Bhagavan may even tolerate His apachara but not a vaishnavaapachara. I realize now that his detailed commentary on Vishnu Sahasranaama, his Krishnashtakam, Govindashtakam, BhajaGovindam, Pandurangashtakam, Yamunashtakam, Gangashtakam, Rama Bhujangastotram… all clearly proclaim his love for Krishna and the Divine Name. I have been truly blind all along!
So always, at all places, and at all cost, the praise of Lord Krishna has to be sung with a firm belief, without entertaining any idea of finding fault with different Sampradayas.
May Krishna forgive me if I had even thought ill of other great acharyas!Pranams with gratitude, Sri Swamiji.
Sri Swamiji, I just have one last question if Your Holiness would permit…(Sri Swamiji nodded with a smile.)
(To be concluded in next issue)