After Mahaprabhu, divine conception was polluted by sahajiya sampradayas:

 

 

After Mahaprabhu, divine conception was polluted by sahajiya sampradayas:

After Mahaprabhu, the divine conception ( Science of Krsna Consciousness ) was polluted by the sahajiya sampradyas: aula, baula, , nera, daravesha, sani sahajiya, sakhibheki, smarta, jata-gosai, ativari, cudadhari and gauranga-nagari. Some goswamis came to re-establish it, but it again became polluted. Thirteen apa-sampradayas that polluted Mahaprabhu's pure conception are summarized as follows.

 

 

Aula-sampradaya, Baula-sampradayaThey invented their own ways of understanding Lord Caitanya’s philosophy, without following in the footsteps of the Acaryas. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself indicates herein that all such attempts would simply spoil the spirit of His Community. Direct contact is not possible. Neither that is the way of worshiping by the method of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. That is sahajiya-vada. ``I am talking with Krsna. Krsna is snatching my cloth.'' There is a book, one lady has written, his (her) experience, that Krsna comes, He talks with her and snatches her clothe. She has written openly. But this is not Caitanya Mahaprabhu's way. There is one gentleman, Mr. Raya, in Poona, and he has got also woman. Everyone must have a woman, parakiya. This is sahajiya-vada. This is sahajiya-vada. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu never said, ``This is the parakiya-rasa: one should have one woman.'' No. He observed complete sannyasa life. Rather there was very, very severe, rigid restriction about women. But now, these sahajiyas, they are going on in the name of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: aula, baula, kartta-bhaja, neda, daravesa, sani, sahajiya, sakhibheki, like that, so many. They are apa-sampradaya.

 

Jati-goswamiThey created a caste of goswamis, just like they created a caste of brhmanas, a caste of goswamis. So this goswami will come by hereditary birth, just like brahmana. So Bhaktivinoda thakura was very sorry to see the condition of the society.

 

SmartaBecause their leaders became vaishnavas, many lesser smartas thought it prudent to externally adopt vaishnava customs. This is how the smarta-apasampradaya, or Vaishnavism compromised by caste brahmanism, began. The smartas think they have monopoly rights on initiating persons born in brahmana families, and that only such persons as initiated by them can wear the sacred thread.

 

KartabhajaAwul Chand (c 1694-1770) ascetic and originator of kartabhaja cult, was born probably in 1694. He was brought up by a childless Mahadev couple in Ulabirnagar village in nadia district. His childhood name was Purnachandra. He completed his primary education at his foster father's home and afterwards studied Sanskrit and theology with Harihar Thakur.

 

According to one view, Awul Chand was a disciple of a Muslim fakir; according to another, he was initiated into vaisnavism by Balaram Das at Fulia and then took the name of Awul Chand. Awul Chand traveled to several holy places. Finally, on coming to Ghoshpara near Kanchrapada, he started living under the patronage of Ramsharan Pal. Gradually word spread about his miraculous powers. Twenty-two persons, including Ramsharan, became his disciples, forming the nucleus of the Kartabhaja community. Awul Chand's devotees regarded him as the incarnation of Sri chaitanya. Awul Chand passed away some time in 1770. Devotees still gather annually at his tomb in boalia.

 

Gauranga-NagariThe party known as gauranga-nagari is therefore considered to be deviated from pure devotional service. This is on account of them giving Lord Caitanya the same facility as Krsna, which He did not like. Our service mood should be compatible to the attitude of the Lord. It is not that we should overlap the attitude of Krsna upon Lord Caitanya, or Lord Caitanya upon Krsna, or Krsna upon Ramacandra, or Ramacandra upon Krsna.

 

Gauranga is not in the mood of nagara (Sri Krsna, the male beloved). No one can serve Gauranga by thinking himself a gopi and thinking of Gauranga as Krsna. Everyone has to serve Him in dasya-bhava. No one should think, "I am Lalita, Visakha, or any other gopi." This is called gauranga-nagari-vada.

 

It is possible for Krsna to be the enjoyer of conjugal mellows, but not Sriman Mahaprabhu. He is always in the role of a gopi, Srimati Radhika. Anyone can serve Mahaprabhu in dasya-rasa, but no one can do so in madhurya-rasa. In this pastime, this would be absurd. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta says that this vada, gauranga-nagari-vada, is sahajjia. Sri Caitanya-bhagavat and our guru-parampara also reject this idea, and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has cut down their arguments.

 

SakhibhekiThe artificial way of decorating oneself in the dress of a sakhi, as is done by a class of mundaners called sakhibheki is not inspired by supramundane intelligence. Such artificial decoration of the body, which is meant for annihilation, certainly cannot please the transcendental senses of Sri Krsna. It is therefore a mundane wishful desire of the less intelligent, easygoing pseudo devotees, and as such it cannot reach the transcendental stage of the cowherd girls of Vraja.

 

We have already discussed in detail that the forms of Srimati Radharani and Her various female associates called the sakhis are composed of divine substance and their activities are therefore meant for the service of Sri Krsna. Their activities are never to be compared with the superficial activities in the material world. Sri Krsna is the all-attractive Personality of Godhead known as the enchanter of the universe, and Srimati Radharani is known as the enchanter of the enchanter of the universe. The imitative endeavors of a mundaner to become a sakhi is strictly forbidden by Srila Jiva Goswami in his commentary on the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. The real devotee may thus be warned not to imitate the dress of a sakhi as a means of bhajana or worship. Such activity is offensive and strictly forbidden.

 

CudadaharisThink that Srimati Radharani will become attracted to them simply because they dress their material bodies like Krishna.

 

Neda or Neda-Nedi (Vaisnava-Buddhist)The word neda indicates a man with a shaven head. Nedi means a shaven-head woman. The neda-nedi cult is said to be still visible around the Navadvipa area, where they are indistinguishable from other shaven vaishnavas wearing tilak and white cloth. The neda-nedi apasampradaya began at the time of Sri Virabhadra Gosvami, the son of Lord Nityananda and Jahnava Mata. It is said that Sri Viracandra converted over a thousand nedas and an equal number of nedis to vaishnavism from tantric Buddhism. Under his direction, these neda-nedis took to the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Most of them got properly married, thus ending the illicit connections that had been going on between them in the name of tantric meditation. But after some time, a number of them again revived their old practices while passing themselves off as vaishnavas. Nowadays, the neda-nedi is taken to be a type of baul.

 

From Dr. Ramkantha Cakravarti, we get a historical account of a Buddhist monk of Orissa who became a vaishnava in Puri during the time of Srila Sanatana Gosvami's stay there. He was initiated and received the name Acutyananda das. But after mixing with the vaishnavas for some time, he became dissatisfied by their adherence to varnashrama-dharma. Buddhists are naturally antagonistic to varnashrama, so when Acutyananda consulted a Buddhist guru named Mahananda, he was advised to leave the company of the devotees. Acutyananda established his own group, preaching, bolanti prabhu bhagavan buddharupa mo sri caitanya tanka carana seva kara: "I serve the lotus feet of Lord Buddha in the form of Sri Caitanya."

 

AtivadiAtivadi priests sometimes dress up as women on certain religious occasions; they are known for loosely mixing with women.

 

The ativadis have often exploited their influence for political ends, and can be quite fanatical. In this sense, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur said they resemble certain Islamic sects like the wahabis. Yet at the same time, despite their fervor for Jagannatha, the scriptures they have received from their founder contain many impersonal ideas. Though they worship the Lord's form in life, they believe after death they will realize that He has no form, and that they will merge into Him.

 

They practice yoga and sometimes work magic, to cure diseases, for instance. They form a secret brotherhood, like the Freemasons in the West, and are also involved with drugs like marihuana and opium. Bhaktivinoda Thakur reckoned there were 15,000 of them in Orissa during his stay there. At that time, they were often engaged in conspiracies against the government.

 

Jagannatha das ( founder of the Ativadi ) had a sweet singing voice, which attracted women to him. He engaged these ladies in massaging his body. When brought to the court of Prataparudra Maharaja for indecent behavior on this account, he said to the King, "I don't see any difference between men and women." He was imprisoned for conduct unbecoming a vaishnava sadhu.

 

Prakrta-sahajiyaThis is what hits at the heart of the prakrta-sahajiya contamination: they refuse to follow the reformatory process. Thus their perceptions of Krishna, Krishna's devotees, Krishna's service and love of Krishna are faulty creations of their lower nature.

 

"Without serving Krishna according to vidhi-marga regulative principles of the pancaratrika-vidhi, unscrupulous persons want to jump immediately to the raga-marga principles. Such persons are called sahajiyas." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.45-46, purport)

 

They sometimes say that one enters raga-marga only by the causeless grace of Bhaktidevi and not by a vain attempt to conquer sensual disturbances, but Srila Prabhupada says, "When a devotee strictly follows the rules and regulations, Bhaktidevi becomes very much satisfied with him, and at that time he is never disturbed by anything external." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.59, purport) "

 

kartabhaja-apasampradayaIn India, the kartabhaja-apasampradaya is nowadays lumped in with the Bauls of Bengal (aula, baula, sani, daravesa). Though indeed it is in many ways similar to the bauls, there is yet a singular feature of this cult that distinguishes it from all others: its doctrine of guruvada. To be sure, all the tantric apasampradayas venerate the guru, and they all justify this veneration with a philosophy they call guruvada. But none go to the extreme that the kartabhajas do by proclaiming the guru to be God incarnate.

 

Kartabhaja-guruvada is drawn from the mayavada idea of Absolute Oneness; the conclusion is that the guru alone is God in His worshipable form. No form other than his is worshipable, including the arca-murti. No name is chanted other than the name of the guru - if the name "Krishna" is chanted, it is because the guru is Krishna.

 

In Lord Caitanya's acintya-bhedabheda philosophy, the guru is known to be non-different from God, but that does not mean he is identical to God in all respects. He is asraya-vigraha - the receptacle of Krishna's mercy. He is vishnupadaya (situated at Lord Vishnu's lotus feet) and krishna-presthaya (very dear to Krishna). As Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami states in his Manah Siksa, yuruvaram mukunda presthatve smara parama ajashram nanu manah: "O mind, please remember again and again your spiritual master, who is most dear to Krishna."

 

The founder of the kartabhaja-apasampradaya was one Aul Chand, who lived approximately from 1686 to 1779. He was a fakir or daravesa said by his followers to be none other than Lord Caitanya Himself, whom they say reappeared at Ghosepara in Nadia 200 years after He appeared in Sridhama Mayapura. In Ghosepara, the residence of Karta Ram Sharan Pal and his wife Sati is still preserved as the kartabhaja place of pilgrimage. This husband and wife were Aul Chand's principal disciples, said to be adi-purusa and adyasakti. Nowadays, the Ghosepara Kartabhaja center is overrun with bauls during the three-day Dola Yatra festival. This is probably why many people think the kartabhajas are a kind of baul. But they are a distinct group with a distinct philosophy, and they used to be extremely influential in the last century. In 1893, an invitation was extended to Karta Dulalchand, a famous songwriter and guru of this sect, to attend the World . of Religions in Chicago (at which Vivekananda lectured). But the invitation was a little late - by that time, Dulalchand had been dead for 60 years!

 

The kartabhaja sect has its own holy book called the Bhaver-gita, most of which was written in the form of songs by Dulalchand. Much of the text is puzzling and purposefully contradictory; it is to be understood only by initiates. But there are clear hints of mayavada and tantric ideas (though it seems the kartabhaja sect does not have a reputation for sexual promiscuity like the bauls). The followers are supposed to marry and be true to their partners. And they should be vegetarian, at least on Fridays (the Muslim sabbath). Husbands and wives should not have sex on this day also. The kartabhajas share with the bauls the concept of jiyante mara - living death - as the highest goal. They chant the name of Krishna, but say the names of Kali and Khoda (Allah) are equal to it, because all are names of the guru.

 

An interesting note of history is that the kartabhajas were a powerful movement of revolt against the jati-gosai and smartas, who as mentioned earlier, had become the sedentary establishment of 18th century orthodox Gaudiya Vaishnavism. The kartabhajas and other sahajiya groups converted thousands of common folk on the plea that "the company" (their special term for the Gaudiya Vaishnavas) was once rich, but is now bankrupt. Out of the ruins of the old company, a new company has arisen (meaning the kartabhajas). This company does not carry out business in the name of religion.

 

The word karta means "master" or "boss"; with this term the kartabhajas address their gurus, beginning with Karta Ram Sharan Pal. All the kartas lived at the residence of the first karta and organized the kartabhaja mission from there.

 

The faithful followers of the kartas are called baratis, which means "members of the bridegroom's party" in the curious terminology of this sect. The business of the baratis is to fully accept and serve the karta as God on earth. Because of their fanatical devotion to this principle, the kartabhaja sect was very well organized and enthusiastic, and thus very influential among people who could see the faults of the jati-gosai and smartas.

 

The kartabhajas worship no deity other than the karta. Whatever words he speaks are themselves sastra and should be blindly obeyed. His activities are always divine. Such divine activites were revealed by Aul Chand, the founder-avatar. While living with his disciple, Ram Sharan Pal, he used to squat in a room alone without moving for many days together. But when Ram Saran had a wedding ceremony for his eldest daughter, Aul Chand suddenly came out of his room completely naked and danced all around the wedding party. Ram Sal became angry, but when Aul Chand threatened to leave his house forever, Ram Saran surrendered and begged him to stay, suddenly realizing that Aul Chand was God.

 

In Bangladesh, a new version of the kartabhaja sect was founded some years back by one Anukul Chandra. He is now dead, but latter-day devotees can be directly initiated by him through preachers known as ritviks. New initiates must agree to follow the principles - be vegetarian once a week and worship no deity other than Anukul Chandra's picture.

 

Note:The list of anti-parties goes on and on and will branch off into it own subbranches. Sincere followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu must fully understand the true spiritual conception from the lips of the genuine sadhu, then work to maintain it's purity with out compromise. In order to get a clear understnding of Mahaprabhu's teaching please read Jaiva Dharma by Bhaktivinode Thakura.

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