8-Preaching and Siddhanta

There is ample precedence for preaching something other than siddhanta given by our acaryas and Srila Prabhupada. Many examples of this are cited below. Indeed, regarding the origin of the jiva, many devotees of twenty and thirty years standing cannot properly understand this subject, which goes to show the intelligence of a preaching strategy by Srila Prabhupada.

Irrefutable proof of a preaching strategy

In addition to the many examples below we would like to point out a very significant proof that Srila Prabhupada was preaching something other than siddhanta when he sometimes said that we did fall from the spiritual world. The question at hand in this presentation is whether or not a living entity already in the spiritual world (originating there) may fall down. It is well known that there exists numerous irrefutable sastric references that once a conditioned jiva becomes qualified by purifying himself and subsequently enters the spiritual world they do not fall back down into the material world. For example Bg. 15.6 states, yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama--"Once going there one never returns." We have however found numerous statements of Srila Prabhupada (many of which are even printed in the OOPs book) directly contradicting such clear sastric statements. How are we to reconcile these contradictions? If we rule out a preaching strategy we are admitting that Srila Prabhupada is making statements against sastra, implying he either doesn't know sastra or is introducing a new siddhanta. Both of these choices are very dangerous for a disciple to assume. The statements are:

Paramahamsa: But ultimately if we come to Krsna, there's no return. But nevertheless, Jagai, and ... the two gatekeepers, they returned?
Prabhupada: There is return, that is voluntary. Return there is.
Paramahamsa: If we want.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Paramahamsa: So we can come to the spiritual world and return?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Paramahamsa: Fall down?
Prabhupada: Yes. As soon as we try, "Oh, this material world is very nice," "Yes," Krsna says, "yes, you go." (Conversation, Los Angeles, May 13, 1973)

Devotee: If we came from there, how did we fall if we were already there?
Prabhupada: ...because we are in the material world, it is to be understood that we have fallen down...we are in the material condition of life. Just go on treating it, and as soon as you are cured, be careful not to fall down again. But there is chance of falling down, again becoming diseased. Not that because you once become cured, there is no chance of becoming diseased again. There is chance. Therefore we shall be very much careful. (Bg. lecture, Los Angeles, December 19, 1968)

Usually anyone who has developed his relationship with Krsna does not fall down in any circumstance, but because the independence is always there, the soul may fall down from any position or any relationship by misusing his independence. (70-02-27)

Devotee: Well, I believe you once said that once a conditioned soul becomes perfected and gets out of the material world and he goes to Krsnaloka, there's no possibility of falling back.
Prabhupada: No. There is possibility, but he does not come. (Cc. lecture, San Francisco, Feb. 18, 1967)

Acyutananda: But in the Gita, it says, "Once coming there, he never returns.
Prabhupada: But if he likes, he can return.
Acyutananda: He can return.
Prabhupada: That independence has to be accepted, little independence. We can misuse that. Krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare. That misuse is the cause of our falldown. (Conversation, Mayapur, Feb. 19, 1976)

Devotee: If one is fortunate enough to revive his natural position in the spiritual sky, how can he keep from falling down again? ...
Prabhupada: Anyone, even in this world or spiritual world, he has got the potency of coming down by misusing his little independence. It is nothing like that, that if you become president, you are secure. (Lecture, Atlanta, March 2, 1975)

A nice example of Srila Prabhupada's preaching strategy was shown in Durban in 1975:

Prabhupada: (chants mangalacarana prayers) Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kindly participating in this great movement. This movement is not started by me. This was started long, long years ago by Krsna Himself. Firstly, He spoke this philosophy of Bhagavad-gita to the sun-god . . . We have come from the spiritual world in this material world. We have forgotten our father. So we have to revive this relationship with our father, or God, or Krsna. That is the main business of human life . . . We have come from God; we again go back to God if we simply understand Krsna, or God. This is the whole instruction of the Bhagavad-gita. (City Hall Lecture: 751007LE.DUR)

Srila Vyasadeva also did this himself:

The whole idea is to draw the attention of the mass of people to krsna-katha through their strong affininty for hearing mundane topics. (Bhag. 3.5.12, text)

Childish foolish people are attached to materialistic, fruitive activities. Therefore the Vedic injunctions indirectly lead one to the path of ultimate liberation by first prescribing fruitive religious activities, just as a father promises his child candy so that the child will take the medicine. (Bhag. 11.3.44, text)

In other words, the revealed truth may be hidden within the mundane concessions of ordinary religion to help the ignorant class of men--paroksavada vedo 'yam.

Lord Siva was ordered directly by Lord Krsna to preach imaginary philosophy as Sankaracarya and make people averse to the Lord. (Padma Purana, UK 17.107, text)

Sripada Sankaracarya has given his interpretation and imaginary meaning. It does not actually appeal to the mind of any sane man. He has done this to convince the atheists and bring them under his control. (Cc. Madhya-lila 25.42, text)

Srila Prabhupada also states:

Lord Buddha, an incarnation of Lord Krsna . . . preached in a duplicitous way, saying that there is no God. Nonetheless, he himself was an incarnation of God. (Bhag. 5.15.1, purp.)

In a 1971 conversation with Revatinandana, Srila Prabhupada said,

These questions are not to be discussed in public. They require a much higher understanding. For the public it should be, 'This is matter, this is spirit.' That's all.

This is an example of a preaching technique by Srila Prabhupada. A well known example of preaching something other than siddhanta is that of Jiva Goswami's advocation of svakiya-rasa over parakiya-rasafor the spiritual benefit of his disciples, while simultaneously always following Rupa Goswami internally. Srila Prabhupada writes,

He could understand that sahajiyas would otherwise exploit the parakiya-rasa, as they are actually doing at the present. [Cc. Adi-lila 10.85, purport]

Srila Jiva Goswami wrote his commentaries so as to pacify his contemporaries and also present the siddhanta indirectly. In the Locana Rocini Tika on Ujjvala Nilamani 1.18, he writes:

Some things I have written here by my own will, and some due to the will of others. The part which is coherent is by my will, and the rest is due to others.

Further examples are Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Sri Krsna Samhita and the Bhagavata wherein he states that the lilas of Lord Krsna are not to be taken literally and further that the descriptions of the planetary systems in the fifth canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam are allegorical. How are we to view these statements? Certainly, as stated by Sadaputa Dasa, he has a particular preaching purpose in mind.

Sadaputa Dasa:

After drinking in from their British teachers the ideas of William Jones and other Western orientalists, these young people were not at all inclined to give credence to old myths. How then could the teachings of Krsna on love of God be presented? Bhaktivinode Thakura judiciously chose to give a partial picture of the truth that would introduce important spiritual ideas without invoking rejection due to deep-seated prejudices . . . He chose to sidestep these mythological aspects of the Bhagavata in an effort to reach an audience of intellectuals whose mundane education ruled out such myths as absurd fantasy. Indeed he went even further. In 1880 he published a treatise entitles Sri Krsna Saµhita in which he elaborately explained the philosophy of Krsna consciousness. In this book he also put forth a reconstruction of Indian history similar to the one introduced by Sir William Jones to brind Hindu chronology into line with the Mosaic timetable of the Bible. This involved converting demigods and Manus into human kings and reducing their total span of history to a few thousand earthly years. (Rational Mythology by Sadaputa Dasa, Back to Godhead Magazine, Jan/Feb '94)

In order to sidestep the strong prejudices of readers trained by the British in Western thinking, Bhaktivinoda Thakura is presenting the Bhagavatam as allegorical, but we would suggest that this is not his final conclusion. (Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy)

Srila Prabhupada has also stated:

Krsna's service is so sublime that even if we cheat, you are not culprit. But because we have to deal with the worldly man, we have to go according to their rules and regulations on cheating. Otherwise, a devotee of Krsna, he never cheats. He never cheats. Whatever he does . . . Just like a mother says to his child, "My dear child, if you take this medicine, I will give you this lugloo." The child is diseased. He will not be able to digest lugloo, but the mother sometimes cheats him. And when he takes the medicine the lugloo is not delivered. Similarly, sometimes we have to say so many things very pleasing to him, but our business is that let him take this medicine. That is tactics. But that is not cheating. If the mother helps the child in drinking medicine and then afterwards she does not supply the lugloo, that is not cheating. Some way or other... That is the instruction of Rupa Gosvami, yena tena prakarena manah krsne nivesayet: "Somehow or other, let everyone be Krsna conscious." There is no question of vidhi-nisedha. Sarve vidhi-nisedha syur etayor eva kinkarah. The other rules and regulation will act as servant, but the main business is to bring one to Krsna consciousness. That is the main business. We are not meant for cheating anyone. We have no business. But to lead one to Krsna consciousness we may say something sometimes. So that is not cheating. (SP Room Conv. Atlanta, March 2, 1975)

Pusta Krsna: Sometimes it may be required to interest someone in a book, that they may find out their interest. Just like people are interested in philanthropic activity.

Prabhupada: Just like our . . . What is his name?

Hari-sauri: Tripurari? (laughter)

Prabhupada: Some lady inquired, "Is there any instruction about the power shortage?" "Oh, yes." (laughs) So she purchased, and the next day she said, "There is nothing about power." So suppose Tripurari has sold one book. The lady inquired, "Is there any basic instruction about power shortage?" And he said, "Yes." So you think it is wrong. That is your version . . . Another example is that Yudhisthira Maharaja. He was asked by Krsna that "You speak lie to Dronacarya that 'Your son is dead.' " Yudhisthira Maharaja refused. For this he had to see hell. He was more moralist than Krsna. For this moral activity he had to visit hell.

This philosophy cannot be understood by neophyte devotees. Our purpose is why we are pushing so much this sales of books. Because our missionary activities will be very widely known. That we want. Somehow or other let him purchase a book. That is our mission. There is no question of transgressing moral principles . . . We want that book selling must be increased as much as possible. This we want. The same thing. Let the child take medicine. Never mind the father is speaking lies . . . Because as soon as he takes the medicine he'll be benefited. End justifies the means. End is that everyone should have a Krsna literature. Doesn't matter what is the means. Because he has taken one Krsna literature, that justifies everything. This is the principle. (760505rc.hon)

Here again, preaching doesn't always mean directly presenting the siddhanta. Additionally, Jiva Goswami states in his Tattva-sandarbha that he cites only those portions of the revered Sridhara Swami's commentary that follow the natural spirit of the Bhagavatam and its Vaisnava conclusions. This is because Sridhara Swami interspersed his Bhagavatam commentaries with monistic advaitin interpretations-not as conclusions, but as a tactic to attract the followers of Sankara from their dry cakes of impersonal philosophy to the Bhagavatam's nectarean descriptions of krsna-lila. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself greatly appreciated Sridhara Swami's Bhagavatam commentaries and became very much disturbed when Vallabacarya did not show proper respect to Sridhara Swami. Interestingly enough, we also find that Bhaktivinoda Thakura could not tolerate Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's respectful mention of Madhusudhan Saraswati, a Mayavadi couched in Vaisnavism.

Srila Prabhupada writes,

These are the secrets of the acaryas. Sometimes they conceal the real purpose of the Vedas, and explain the Vedas in a different way. Sometimes they enunciate a different theory just to bring the atheists under their control. (Cc. Madhya-lila 25.42, purp.)

When we are preaching to neophytes, non-devotees and the likes we should tailor our preaching such that we most easily capture their faith, as Srila Prabhupada did--yena tena prakarena. However, when elucidating the finer points of siddhanta to mature devotees or in discussions with scholars, who may be well acquainted with sastric conclusions, we must preach the siddhanta. The mature sincere devotees will settle for nothing less and the scholars will simply think we are foolish and don't understand our own philosophy.

To preach to the neophytes that we fell from the spiritual world makes it simple to explain everything nicely. It is easy for a preacher to state that we were with Krsna, become envious and must go back to Krsna. To try and explain to the predominately mayavada tinged populace (including ourselves also) that we came from the brahman but should go back to Krsna is much more difficult. It is also conveniently easy to blame the Lord for our suffering when we don't understand clearly why we are here. So with this preaching fall-strategy we have no such loose ends. And the explanation that Srila Prabhupada was preaching something other than siddhanta when he sometimes said that we fell from Krsna lila, preserves Prabhupada's agreement with the conclusions of all previous and present acaryas.

We have presented several statements of Bhaktivinode Thakura above stating explicitly the origin of the nitya-baddha and the nitya-mukta entities of the different spiritual regions. This explanation leaves little room for interpretation. Unfortunately the authors of Our Original Position have chosen to try and interpret many direct statements of our acaryas that one never falls. They try to manufacture evidence from marginal references which don't state at all what has been inferred by the authors. We may also point out that although the authors have carefully dissected many portions of the Leaves presentation they have also ignored some of the most important and irrefutable evidence. In their book they analyze word meanings and screw out from sections of the Jaiva Dharma of Bhaktivinode Thakura entirely different meanings than that published in English by the Gaudiya Matha and in the Leaves book. Although the authors of the GBC Position book, have in some instances, pointed out defects in logic or word usage in the Leaves book they have not shown that all living entities within the material world have fallen from the Lord's lila, nor have they accounted for the many well documented strong statements (purports and sastric texts) contradicting their proposals. Thus their presentation is very incomplete and insubstantial by scholarly standards. An acceptable presentation must undergo sastra sangati--proper reconciliation of apparent contradictions.

If the siddhanta is No Fall, as we have presented strong evidence in favor of herein, then the only contradiction is that Srila Prabhupada sometimes preached that we fell from the spiritual world. This (no-fall) siddhanta is that it is hard for neophytes to understand the actual philosophy--even many devotees of twenty and thirty years standing do not understand it--and it is more difficult to preach. If we assume that we were all originally with Krsna and due to envy and illusion fell from the spiritual world to a life of repeated birth and death, every last one of us, billions and trillions of living entities, then there are many philosophical contradictions which cannot be explained. In this case scenario there is no reason for Srila Prabhupada to state strongly so many times that we don't fall from the spiritual world, for there is no preaching strategy here (or are we now going to admit a preaching strategy?). Also, many of the statements supporting "no-fall" are direct sastric texts, not purports. The OOPs Position book does not explain these many contradictions, of sastra and commentaries of so many acaryas.