Jayaśrī dāsī: Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam mentions that the real Buddha is an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. Why is the real Buddha not worshiped nowadays? Why is it that a false Buddha is worshiped?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: We preach about the real Buddha wherever we go. Do you know the difference between Bhagavat Buddha, meaning the incarnation of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and the Māyāvadi Buddha?
Jayaśrī dāsī: Yes, you told us this before, many years ago in Taiwan.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Those in the line of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura teach this truth. Therefore some people know – but where we do not go, they do not know. Now it is the duty of all of you to preach this mission.
Dīnanātha dāsa: Your Gurudeva’s book, Māyāvāda kī Jīvana (Beyond Nirvāṇa), mentions that Śrī Śaṅkarācārya was defeated by the Buddhists in Tibet, and then he gave up his life by plunging into a vat of boiling oil.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Yes.
Dīnanātha dāsa: It is true?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: What my Gurudeva has written is true. He has evidence.
Jayaśrī dāsī: How can this be true? Was Śaṅkarācārya not a scholar like the Tibetan Lama (Buddhist) guru?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Śaṅkarācārya defeated all kinds of religious persons in India, but he could not defeat any devotee. He never defeated any devotee of Kṛṣṇa, or Rāma, or any incarnation of Viṣṇu. He only defeated jñānīs (mental speculators) and karmīs (materialistic philosophers).
Dīnanātha dāsa: Just some jñānīs and karmīs.
Jayaśrī dāsī: Isn’t Śaṅkarācārya more advanced than any Buddhist? How could he be defeated by them?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: He could be defeated by them because he accepted Buddhism. He accepted and preached ‘covered Buddhism,’ a hidden form of Buddhism. The root of Śaṅkarācārya’s teaching is Buddhism. His guru was Govindapāda, whose guru was Gauḍapāda. They knew more about Buddhism more than he knew.
Jayaśrī dāsī: So, the guru of Śaṅkarācārya is more powerful than Śaṅkarācārya.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Yes, more powerful.
Nanda-nandana dāsa: Since both of them are not bonafide, what is the significance of one unbonafide teaching or teacher defeating another unbonafide teaching?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Śaṅkarācārya taught a special thing: He accepted the Vedas, and also the Supreme Lord as the Creator. He taught that the Supreme Lord exists, but has no form. He taught that the Supreme is impersonal. This is the only difference. Buddhism does not accept the existence of God.
Gauḍapāda was the guru of Śaṅkarācārya’s guru. The disciple of Gauḍapāda wrote commentaries called Sāṅkhya-kārika, from which Śaṅkarācārya based his own commentary and preached his Māyāvāda (impersonal) philosophy. They knew more than Śaṅkarācārya in the matter of their own teachings, no doubt.
On the other hand, Śaṅkarācārya was actually Śaṅkara, Mahadeva (Lord Śiva). No one can defeat Śaṅkara, so it was only by the wish of Kṛṣṇa that he appeared to be defeated. Now his duty was completed. There was no need of his staying any longer in this world.
Jayaśrī dāsī: But the way he died was quite horrible – to die in boiling oil! Why didn’t Kṛṣṇa arrange for a better way?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: There was a ruling by the Buddhists that no one should deviate from Buddhism and no one should follow Śaṅkarācārya. To this end, they determined that everyone should see how he received that painful death. It was declared before the debate that he who loses would enter boiling oil.
This may be likened to the Muslim Kazi who declared that Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura should not be beaten inside a house, but in twenty-two marketplaces. In this way all would know, and no one would dare to give up being Muslim to accept Hinduism.
Dīnanātha dāsa: Yes. It was to create fear.
But, at least the Māyāvāda philosophy accepted the Lord, although they said He is impersonal, without form. This is more favourable than Buddhism. If Śaṅkarācārya had defeated that Buddhist, wouldn’t that have been more favourable for Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Somehow this was the will of Kṛṣṇa. No one can challenge Kṛṣṇa. Without Kṛṣṇa’s will, nothing can be done. Even a blade of grass cannot move and leaves cannot fall without His will. So, there was some reason why Śaṅkarācārya was defeated.
Why did Duryodhana want to disrobe Draupadī and make her naked? Was she meant to suffer for some past karma?
Jayaśrī dāsī: He was envious.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: No, no, no. Kṛṣṇa personally inspired Duryodhana to do this. From within Duryodhana’s heart, Kṛṣṇa told him: “You should do this.” Kṛṣṇa thought, “In this way the Mahābhārata battle will take place and I will have the opportunity to kill all the Kauravas.”
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: Kṛṣṇa considered, “I will take away the burden from the Earth.”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: There are so many reasons.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: Kṛṣṇa also wanted to show the world Draupadī’s full surrender to Him. She called Him, and He was bound to come.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: This may also be the reason.
During the attempted disrobing of Draupadī, Bhīma declared, “Because Duryodhana said, ‘Naked Draupadī will sit on my lap,’ I will break his leg. And I will break the arm of Duḥśāsana because he pulled her cloth with that arm.”
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Śrīla Gurudeva, a couple of days ago you were speaking about the pastimes of Lord Rāma. You said that Rāma placed the real Sītā in the care of Agni-deva, the fire-god, and a false Sītā was kidnapped. Then Rāma wept in the forest, “Alas Sītā, alas Sītā!”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: This was Rāma’s sweet humanlike pastime.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: But He already knew that She was with Agni-deva. Why would He weep?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: At that time Rāma forgot all of this.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Oh, very interesting.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: (leaving for his gate to board his plane, calling out to the devotees present) Come to India in October– November for Vraja-maṇḍala parikramā. I am inviting you all.

Walking with a Saint – Morning Walks and Conversations 2008 (Airport Darśana)
Image/Art made possible by Pixabay.com

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