11-Conclusion: Bewilderment due to Vaisnava aparadha

Whenever Srila Prabhupada made statements indicating that we fell from the spiritual world, he did not quote sastra nor make subsidiary statements to back himself up (as he usually did otherwise). However, when stating the qualities of Vaikuntha and it's residents he often quoted sastra and gave numerous examples. For the "Fall Theory" to be correct one must speculate to great lengths, relativize and make so many assumptions and interpretations, entangling oneself in many contradictions, as we have pointed out in this presentation. Those who propound this theory are reduced to minimizing and juggling the very statements of sastra and our acaryas. They propose this even though their cited examples of falldown (Tulasi-devi, Jaya-Vijaya, Citraketu, Kala-Krsnadasa, Gopakumar, Vidarbhi etc) have been systematically debunked one after another.

It is our contention that the actual sastric truth regarding the jiva's original positon as presented herein and which is thoroughly supported by all our acaryas, has eluded many devotees due to their offenses to highly situated Vaisnavas. For example, when devotees were originally in confusion about the "Origin of the Jiva" issue some years ago in 1981-82, Srila Sridhara Maharaja enunciated the truth, for which he was called a mayavadi by a certain section of devotees. Somaka Maharaja, a formerly respected member of Iskcon who has now left in dissatisfaction, has documented this in his 1994 paper, In Search of Harmony:

At the time this tatastha question came out, there was a newsletter distributed everywhere stating that the idea that we are coming from brahman is mayavada philosophy and also all kinds of offenses against H. H. B. R. Sridhara Maharaja were broadcast, but the apologies to Sridhara Maharaja were not at all publicized.

Not only were the apologies not publicized, but they continued and even escalated after apologies were made for previous offenses. A chronology of events surrounding the siksa of Srila B. R. Sridhara Maharaja and the many offenses committed against His Holiness has been documented in the book Our Affectionate Guardians. The reaction to these offenses is that now those same devotees who are responsible for these offenses are presenting an opinion in regards to the siddhanta which is actually tainted with the mayavada conception.

A sastric reference to the anartha called tattva-vibrahma is given by Bhaktivinode Thakura in his Bhajana-rahasya, wherein it is stated that one remains in illusion about different tattva's, such as jiva-tattva, guru-tattva, vaisnava-tattva, and rasa-tattva. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura in his Madhurya Kadambini quotes a verse from Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu regarding the offenses which lead to a material conception of spiritual topics.

Some devotees in their fervor to prove that all jivas in the material world were originally in nitya-lila with our Lord have resorted to the same techniques used by the impersonalists, namely word jugglery and misinterpretation of sastric truths. This is the effect of one's offenses, that one developes the same qualities which they criticize of another.

Prominent Vaisnavas do not believe that we fell from the spiritual world and we have given many quotes above which show that our parampara acaryas also state this. They all unanimously fully recognize that the proper siddhanta is that no one ever falls from the spiritual world. This makes this "Fall-down" theory unique in it's disagreement with sastra and the Gaudiya acaryas. This unfortunately, also reflects upon the Founder-Acarya Srila Prabhupada, making it appear as if he did not understand the siddhanta. There are many non-definitive statements which can be interpreted either way according to ones manipulations, all of which add to the confusion. So we have tried to present only those statements herein which are clear and cannot so easily be misconstrued.

The works of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and Bhaktivinode Thakura as originally published in English by the Gaudiya Matha, excerpts presented herein, clearly support the no-fall position. Many key passages have been re-translated and interpreted in the OOPs Position book in an attempt to show the opposite.

Question: What happened to Subala?

Answer: I don't know, he was here yesterday.

Yet, this is what the OOPs Position book is presenting as the siddhanta, that all living entities originated in the spiritual world amongst the eternal nitya-parsadas of the Lord, became envious and fell to repeated birth and death and nonsense activities. Examples are cited of the cursing and consequent fall of Tulasi-devi and Sudama.

If this is to be the case, that such elevated, confidential and intimate associates of the Lord can fall down due to envy, then what is the purpose or meaning to being there in the first place? Sastric descriptions of the perfect eternal abode of the Lord which is the, "ultimate perfectional goal of the living entity" (Bhag. 3.27.28-29, text)" and that it "contains the highest perfectional stage of living conditions," (Bhag. 2.9.10, purport), ring hollow in this scenario. The Krsna book of Srila Prabhupada will require an amendment stating that "many of the personalities mentioned in this book may not be there in Goloka Vrndavana any more."

Are we to accept that uncountable formerly self-realized living entities, billions is just an acre of countryside, all became envious and fell from the bliss of the Lord's personal association? Perhaps Vaikuntha should then be named Sakuntha, the abode of anxiety.

If such perfect and pure devotees as Tulasi-devi and Sudama, who are most dear to Lord Krsna and Srimati Radharani, can be cursed to fall from the spiritual world to ordinary birth and death,then any resident can be cursed to fall at any time. This is hardly the perfect abode described repeatedly in sastra. To think like this is to imply that the internal svarupa-sakti energy of the Lord is influenced by maya-sakti, which is impossible.

Academic and Gaudiya scholars, not accepting the present explanation by some leaders and seeing the diversity of opinion amongst the disciples, will unfortunately simply think that Srila Prabhupada did not understand the siddhanta. This is most lamentable. In deference to this diversity of opinion, we close with the following quote from Srimad-Bhagavatam:

evam vadanti rajarsersayah ke ca nanvitahyat sva-vaco virudhyetanunam te na smaranty uta

Such is the account given by some sages, O wise King, but those who speak in this illogical way are contradicting themselves, having forgotten their own previous statements. (Bhag. 10.77.30, text)