Glories of Sripad Baladeva Vidyabhushana
Therefore Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham: [Bg. 4.1] "This yoga system, Bhagavad-gita yoga system, I first of all spoke to the sun-god." Vivasvan manave prahuh. And the sun-god, whose name is Vivasvan, he spoke to his son Manu. Manur iksvakave 'bravit. And Manu spoke to his son, Maharaja Ikshvaku. Maharaja Ikshvaku is coming from the dynasty of the sun-god Vivasvan. There are two ksatriya families, one from the moon god, another, the sun-god. So Maharaja Ramachandra appeared in the family of the surya-vamsa, Ikshvaku, Maharaja Ikshvaku.
So this is the parampara system. And everything is described in the Brahma-sutra by Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva happens to be the disciple of Narada. Narada happens to be disciple of Brahma And from Vyasadeva, Madhvacharya; then from Madhvacharya disciplic succession, Madhavendra Puri. Madhavendra Puri was the spiritual master of Ishvara Puri. Ishvara Puri was the spiritual master of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the spiritual master of the Six Gosvamis of Vrindavana: rupa sanatana bhatta raghunath, sri jiva gopala bhatta dasa raghunath. So from the Gosvamis, then Kaviraja Gosvami, Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura, then Jagannath das Babaji, then Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Gaura-Kishora dasa Babaji, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. And we are servant of Bhaktisiddhanta. So there is a disciplic succession.
That parampara should be followed. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. If we want to understand really Vedic literature, then we must follow the parampara system. There are four sampradayas, parampara: the Ramanuja Sampradaya, Madhvacharya Sampradaya, Vishnu Svami Sampradaya, and Nimbarka Sampradaya. So we belong to the Madhvacharya Sampradaya. Fortunately, all these acharyas, even Shankaracharya, they appeared from South India. This sampradaya, acharya-sampradaya, is going on all over India. So every sampradaya has got his commentary on the Brahma-sutra. Therefore Krishna says here, brahma sutra-padais caiva hetumadbhir viniscitaih [Bg. 13.5]. Unless a sampradaya, the four sampradayas, they do not comment on the Brahma-sutra, he'll not..., that sampradaya is not accepted. And if you do not accept the sampradaya..., sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah.
If you do not take your initiation mantra from the sampradaya, then it is useless. Now, there are so many apasampradaya. They do not come in disciplic succession, but becomes guru, teacher. Therefore everything is topsy-turvied. Nobody has got fixed idea what is God. Everyone has created his own philosophy. The whole thing is now confused.
Therefore Krishna specifically mentions, Brahma-sutra. Brahma-sutra-padais caiva hetumadbhir viniscitaih [Bg. 13.5]. The sampradaya must have understanding of the Brahma-sutra, Vedanta-sutra. So all the sampradayas, they have got their commentary on the Vedanta-sutra and... Even Shankaracharya. But his commentary is not accepted by the Vaishnava acharyas because he has tried to derive some meaning, interpretation. But there is no question of interpretation. When the things are clear, in the Brahma-sutra, all the sutras are very clear. So you don't require any interpretation. You can expand, explain very elaborately. That is another thing. But you cannot go beyond the sutra.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu therefore says, mayavadi bhasya sunile haya sarva nasa [Cc. Madhya 6.169]. Mayavadi bhasya means Sankara, Sariraka-bhasya of the Brahma-sutra. If you hear the Sariraka-bhasya, then you'll be doomed, you will be Godless. Therefore it has been forbidden by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. All the Vaishnava sampradayas, Ramanuja Sampradaya, Madhvacharya Sampradaya, they all, I mean to say, disagree with the commentary of Shankaracharya, Sariraka-bhasya, Brahma-sutra.
So far we are concerned, Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, our acharyas, they took it, Srimad-Bhagavatam, as the right commentary on Brahma-sutra. Bhasyam brahma-sutranam vedartha-paribrmhitam. This Srimad-Bhagavatam is the real bhasya of Brahma-sutra. So the Gaudiya Sampradaya did not make any commentary on the Brahma-sutra because they took it, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took it as, Srimad-Bhagavatam, as a natural commentary, because Srimad-Bhagavatam is also made by Vyasadeva and Vyasadeva is the original author of Brahma-sutra. So author made his own commentary; so there was no need of another commentary. This is the Gaudiya-siddhanta, Gaudiya-Vaishnava-siddhanta.
But sometimes back, in Jaipur, there was a challenge that "The Gaudiya Sampradaya has no commentary on the Vedanta-sutra." So at that time Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura was requested... Because he was grand scholar, grand old man scholar, at that time living in Vrindavana... So he was very old at that time; so he authorized Baladeva Vidyabhushana, that "You do it" There was no need, but people are demanding, "Where is your commentary on the Vedanta-sutra?" So Baladeva Vidyabhushana, with the order of Govindaji at Jaipur, he wrote the commentary on Brahma-sutra. That name is Govinda-bhasya. So the Gaudiya -Brahma Sampradaya, they have got also commentary on Brahma-sutra. That is required.
So Krishna has explicitly explained that brahma-sutra-padais caiva hetumadbhir. Hetumadbhir viniscitam. The Brahma-sutra is called therefore nyaya-prasthana, with logic and reason, hetumadbhir, cause and effect, Everything. Because people like to understand on the basis of philosophy and reasoning everything. Yes, that is required.
Any understanding without philosophy, that is sentiment. And philosophy without religious conception is mental speculation. These two things are going on, not combined All over the world there are many so-called religious systems, but there is no philosophy. Therefore the so-called religious system does not appeal to the modern educated persons. They are giving up religion, either Christian, Muslim, Hindu. Simply formalities, rituals, they do not like. They want to know everything on the basis of philosophy. That is Bhagavad-gita.
Bhagavad-gita is based on philosophy, this system, Krishna-bhakti. Bhagavad-gita means Krishna-bhakti, devotion to Krishna, Krishna consciousness. That is Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita, the teaching is man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. This is Bhagavad-gita. "Always think of Me." Krishna conscious, pure and simple Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Everywhere Krishna stressed on His personality. Aham adir hi devanam: [Bg. 10.2] "I am the origin of all the devatas." Mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya [Bg. 7.7].
aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
- Lectures : Bhagavad-gita 13.8-12 -- Bombay, September 30, 1973
Everything is there.
So bhejire munayah athagre bhagavantam adhoksajam. There are some theories—that is not fact—that ultimately the Absolute Truth is impersonal. But here we find that agre, in the beginning, after creation, all the sages... First of all, there was Brahma. And then he created so many saintly persons. Maricyadi, great sages. And they also engaged themselves in worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not impersonal, from the very beginning. Bhejire munayah atha agre. From the very beginning. Bhagavantam adhoksajam. Adhoksajam, we have described many times: "beyond our sense perception." The Absolute Truth is a person, it is very difficult to understand. "Beyond our sense perception." They, generally they think that "How a person can create such huge cosmic manifestation?" That is their bewilderment. They cannot accommodate, accommodate in the teeny, poor brain that the original Absolute Truth is a person. That is their problem. So their idea is that by personal worship, one has to reach again to the impersonal transcendence. But we don't find from the sastra like that. Now, the most authentic sastra is Vedanta. Vedanta is accepted by all classes of men. Because without accepting Vedanta, nobody will be bona fide. Generally they think that the impersonalists are Vedantists. Generally they think, but that's a wrong conception. They... All the Vaishnava—Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya—they are also Vedantists. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Vedantist. We are also Vedantist. It is not that Vedanta is the monopoly of the impersonalists. No.
Now, the Vedanta, in the beginning it is, the first sutra is: athato brahma jijnasa. So to inquire about Brahman, the Absolute. Now, the next answer is janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. Brahman, the Absolute Truth, is that from whom everything emanates. Janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. Now, this janmady asya yatah is explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Therefore Srimad-Bhagavatam is explained by Vyasadeva himself. Vyasadeva is explaining Vedanta-sutra in his book, Srimad-Bhagavatam. Bhasyam brahma-sutranam. Sri Vyasadeva says, "This is the real comment, or bhasya, of Vedanta-sutra, Srimad-Bhagavatam." Therefore Gaudiya Vaishnavas, Gosvamis, they did not write any comment on the Vedanta-sutra because they accept Srimad-Bhagavatam is the natural commentary on the Vedanta-sutra. So why they should write again? But still, when there was such question raised in Jaipur that the Gaudiya Vaishnava has no commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, at that time, Baladeva Vidyabhushana, he wrote Govinda-bhasya on Vedanta-sutra. But still, Vedanta-sutra does not mean to understand impersonalism. No. That's not the fact.
Therefore in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, in the very beginning, the Vedanta-sutra is discussed. Unfortunately, the professional Bhagavata reciters did... Neither they have got brain, nor do they explain the, from the very beginning, Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, from the very beginning, Vedanta-sutra is explained: janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. In the Vedanta-sutra, the answer is: "The Absolute Truth is that from whom everything emanates." So Srimad-Bhagavatam explains: janmady asya yatah anvayad itaratas carthesu abhijnah sva-rat [SB 1.1.1]. As soon as we speak that the original source of everything, janmady asya yatah, so what is the nature of that original source? Whether He's a dead stone, or a living being? That is the next question. Everything that we experience is coming from the supreme source. Whether that supreme source is a living being or a dead stone? What will be the answer? From common sense? From common sense, suppose if we find out the original source of everything, what will be the nature of that original? The Bhagavata explains therefore: abhijnah sva-rat. He's not dead stone. Abhijnah. He has got consciousness. What kind of consciousness? Anvayat itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah. He knows everything, directly and indirectly.
- Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.25 -- Vrindavana, November 5, 1972
Prabhupada: So, it is actually bhasyayam brahma-sutranam. It is stated. This is the real commentary on Brahma-sutra by Vyasadeva himself, author. Vyasadeva is the author of Brahma-sutra, and he has written personally, under the instruction of his guru, Narada Muni, this Brahma-sutra-bhasya. And it begins with the Brahma-sutra aphorism: janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1] The Brahma-sutra begins with these words: janmadya, athato brahma jijnasa. Janmady asya yatah. So these things are explained elaborately. Therefore Brahma-sutra-bhasya, bhasyayam brahma-sutra. Vedartha paribrmhita. So therefore in our Gaudiya, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did not write any bhasya of the Brahma-sutra, neither the gosvamis, because they took it that Srimad-Bhagavatam is the real bhasya of Brahma-sutra. But when.... Sometimes the Gaudiya Vaishnavas are challenged that "You cannot be accepted as bona fide community, spiritual community, because you have no bhasya on Brahma-sutra." Then Baladeva Vidyabhushana wrote govinda-bhasya. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did not like or ask His disciples to write, because He thought, "This is the Gaudiya, Brahma-sutra-bhasya." Not Gaudiya—for every Vaishnava. Bhasyayam brahma-sutranam. So we have got now Gaudiya Vedanta-bhasya. Ramanuja Vedanta-bhasya is there. Madhvacharya Vedanta-bhasya is there, all. And Gaudiya had not. But since this challenge was made in Jaipur, then Baladeva Vidyabhushana, he took: "Yes," and he finished, Gaudiya bhasya, and it is called Govinda-bhasya. Actually, in India, unless one follows the acharyas and has given commentary on the Brahma-sutra, he's not a bona fide. Nyaya-prasthana. Brahma-sutra is called nyaya-prasthana. Sruti-prasthana, smrti-prasthana, nyaya-prasthana. So any bona fide acharya must give his understanding about these three prasthanas.
- Conversations : Interview with Professors O'Connell, Motilal and Shivaram -- June 18, 1976, Toronto