Avoiding Sahajiyaism


Aug 10, 2013 — CANADA (SUN) — Following are a number of interesting quotes from our Sampradaya Acaryas on various aspects of sahajiyaism and the need to avoid it:

"Bhakti-siddhanta-viruddha refers to that which is against the principle of unity in diversity, philosophically known as acintya-bhedabheda--simultaneous oneness and difference--while rasabhasa is something that may appear to be a transcendental mellow but actually is not. Those who are pure Vaisnavas should avoid both these things opposed to devotional service. These misconceptions practically parallel the Mayavada philosophy.

If one indulges in Mayavada philosophy, he gradually falls down from the platform of devotional service. By overlapping mellows (rasabhasa) one eventually becomes a prakrta-sahajiya and takes everything to be very easy. One may also become a member of the baula community and gradually become attracted to material activities. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has therefore advised us to avoid bhakti-siddhanta-viruddha and rasabhasa. In this way the devotee can remain pure and free from falldowns. Everyone should try to remain aloof from bhakti-siddhanta-viruddha and rasabhasa."

Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya lila 10:11

"The class known as prakrta-sahajiya, who consider the transcendental pastimes of Lord Krsna something like the behavior between a man and a woman in the material field, artificially think that hearing the rasa-lila will help them by diminishing the lusty desires of their diseased hearts. But because they do not follow the regulative principles but instead violate even ordinary morals, their contemplation of rasa-lila is a futile attempt, which sometimes results in their imitating the dealings of the gopis and Lord Krsna. To forbid such habits of the prakrta-sahajiyas, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has excluded their material intelligence by using the word visvasa ("faith")."

Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya lila 5:45-46

"In this connection it should be noted that a class of so-called devotees (known as prakrta-sahajiya) follow their own concocted ideas and, representing themselves as Krsna and Radha, indulge in debauchery. Such devotional service and attachment are false, and those so engaged are actually gliding down a hellish path. This is not the standard of ragatmika, or devotion. The prakrta-sahajiya community is actually cheated and very unfortunate."

Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 13

"To taste the mellows of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī's loving affairs in Her relationship with Kṛṣṇa, and to understand the reservoir of pleasure in Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Himself, as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, accepted the mood of Rādhārāṇī.

Purport: In this connection Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura writes in his Anubhāṣya, "Śrī Gaurasundara is Kṛṣṇa Himself with the attitude of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu never gave up the attitude of the gopīs. He remained everlastingly predominated by Kṛṣṇa and never accepted the part of the predominator by imitating conjugal love with an ordinary woman, as sahajiyās generally do. He never placed Himself in the position of a debauchee. Lusty materialists like the members of the sahajiyā-sampradāya hanker after women, even others' wives. But when they try to ascribe the responsibility for their lusty activities to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they become offenders to Svarūpa Dāmodara and Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura. In Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, Adi-khaṇḍa, Chapter Fifteen, it is said:

sabe para-strīra prati nāhi parihāsa
strī dekhi' dūre prabhu hayena eka-pāśa

'Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu never even joked with others' wives. As soon as He saw a woman coming, He would immediately give her ample room to pass without talking.' He was extremely strict regarding the association of women. The sahajiyās, however, pose as followers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu although they indulge in lusty affairs with women. In His youth Lord Caitanya was very humorous with everyone, but He never joked with any woman, nor in this incarnation did He talk about women. The gaurāṅga-nāgarī party is not approved by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu or Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura. Even though one may offer all kinds of prayers to Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one should strictly avoid worshiping Him as the Gaurāṅga Nāgara. The personal behavior of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and the verses written by Śrī Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura have completely repudiated the lusty desires of the gaurāṅga-nāgarīs."

Caitanya-caritamrta Adi lila 17.276

"The transcendental symptoms of ecstasy certainly are auspicious, but they are not for advertising to others. One should not advertise directly or indirectly that one is feeling like this. They should be checked. Otherwise one will gradually become sahajiya or one who takes spiritual advancement as something materially manifest. Actual spiritual advancement means detachment for everything material. So our activities are nothing material. Detachment from material activities, means attachment for spiritual activities, devotional service. After all, our energy has to be utilized, so when it is materially detached it means with greater enthusiasm our spiritual activities increase."

Srila Prabhupada Letter to Makhanlal, 06-03-70

"A loathsome ideology is spreading insidiously in several places in Bengal. All the activities and conduct prescribed by this Sahajiya doctrine are extremely corrupt and contemptible. The jiva is cinmaya (spiritual), and its only natural dharma is cinmaya service to Krishna.

The word sahaja means saha-ja, i.e. that which arises along with the atma. Transcendental service to Krishna is sahaja (natural) for the pure atma, because it occurs along with the jīvātmā and thus it is naturally inherent. However, it is not natural in the stage of bondage to inanimate matter. Sahajiyas cheat others and are themselves cheated or deprived of their pure and natural love for Krishna by transforming the union of man and woman into a mundane, supposedly natural dharma.

In actuality, the union of man and woman is not a natural dharma. On the contrary, in the natural dharma of the atma, the union of the dull male and female bodies is extremely loathsome, depraved and inappropriate conduct. What is called sahajiyā-dharma nowadays is totally immoral, contrary to saintly behaviour and opposed to shastra. Pure Vaishnavas should be extremely careful in regard to this. That dharma in which the custom is to accept mantra in the left ear is in all respects a deviation.

…We never find anywhere in the scriptures instructions such as, "One should associate with a woman in order to attain Vrajendra-nandana." On entering into mādhurya-rasa the minute conscious jiva attains his own natural condition. Then there is no necessity whatsoever for associating with the inanimate material nature. Chota Haridasa, himself being prakṛti (female), was rejected by Mahaprabhu for committing the offence of conversing in puruṣa-bhāva with another prakṛti.

Licentious people create the path of their own sense gratification, but śuddha Vaishnavas neglect them. The association of a married woman is not part of bhajana even for householders, therefore this association of woman has been accepted in a regulated way free from sin for conducting household life. It is the opinion of pure Vaishnavas that male sādhakas should perform bhajana and remain separate from female sādhakas. A female sādhaka should not invite any male person to her bhajana party. Bhajana is a completely spiritual activity. When even the slightest mundane sentiment is allowed to enter it becomes ruined.

…Many times, because of bad karma, miscreants of various unauthorized cults, such as pseudo-religion and irreligion, say that they preach the teachings of Sri Caitanyadeva. Being absorbed in material enjoyment and not having the ability to discriminate, many people accept those unauthorized cults as the line of Mahaprabhu, and thus they are cheated from receiving the actual instructions of the Lord.

An abominable sect known as sahajiya is secretly being followed in many parts of Bengal. The activities of this cult are extremely sinful. They do not follow sahajiya-dharma or spontaneous duties that are mentioned in the sastras. The spontaneous duties of the pure spirit soul are to engage in the transcendental service of Krsna. These duties are spontaneous for the soul, and they manifested at the same time as the soul, but they are not spontaneous when the soul is materially conditioned.

The cheaters and the cheated have turned their pure love of Krsna into mundane spontaneous activities by the meeting of man and woman. Actually pure love is not like that. For a soul in its constitutional position, the contact of a material male and female body is extremely abominable and improper. The cult that is being advertised at present as sahajiya-dharma is against all Sastras."

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Sajjana-toshani 4/6

"The prākṛta-sahajiyās do not realize that they are violating the orders of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who specifically said that to understand Vṛndāvana and the pastimes of Vṛndāvana one must have sufficient knowledge of the śāstras (Vedic literatures). As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.12), bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā. This means that devotional service is acquired from Vedic knowledge. Tac chraddadhānāḥ munayaḥ. Devotees who are actually serious attain bhakti, scientific devotional service, by hearing Vedic literatures (bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā). It is not that one should create something out of sentimentality, become a sahajiyā and advocate such concocted devotional service. However, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura considered such sahajiyās to be more favorable than the impersonalists, who are hopelessly atheistic. The impersonalists have no idea of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The position of the sahajiyās is far better than that of the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs. Although the sahajiyās do not think much of Vedic knowledge, they nonetheless have accepted Lord Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Lord. Unfortunately, they mislead others from authentic devotional service."

Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya lila 1.34 Purport


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