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The Bharaty Debate

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years ago

 

A debate between Prof. Bharaty who is also a Hindu Swami and Hridayananda das Goswami  held in 1973 criticizes the devotees’ missionary activities and their sole focus on Krsna claiming himself to be an authority of the Vedas.

 

The sound quality is not so good, but even just by the tone of the two speakers you can understand  a lot. Someone in the audience comments that Swami Hrdayananda is responding from the 4th cakra, Prof. Bharaty from the 5th.

 

 

 

Listen or download here

 

 

Here  is a summary:

 

Prof. Bharaty had criticized the Krsna conscious people at the International Congress in Chicago. On March 18th 1973 he wrote that, “most young people of America are undisciplined and lazy …, they accept gurus and are being misled.  Krsna Consciousness and other Hindu cult groups give some peace of mind however temporary, but it is a disservice to those who are seriously looking for true knowledge and options both from India and the West. “

 

Acaryadeva writes replies in response that “you have perpetuated a great injustice upon the Hare Krsna movement , its founder and its adherents by totally misrepresenting their actual motives and the essential goal of the movement.  You are a fool and rascal. ..” Thus he challenged him to a public debate to let the truth be known.

 

In a panel they meet with an audience to ach one of them represents their viewpoints. Acaryadeva first point out some psycho-sociological aspects regarding, donations and giving out literatures which is a bona fide occupation, then he explains some basic philosophical aspects:  God is independent, He can do anything, we are parts and parcels of God, we have minute independence.

 

Bharaty argues with reference to the Vedas that Krsna is not the Supreme Lord, other gods are mentioned much more often and in India only a small percentage of the people worship Krsna. Do devotees really claim that their way of approaching Hinduism is superior to others?

 

Acaryadeva: We are not Hindus, we are Vedic. Bharaty tries to separate the Vedas from the supplementary literatures, such as Bhagavad-gita Krsna is the Supreme Lord. Throughout the Vedas is mentioned that Brahma was enlightened (tene brahma hrda adi-kavaye) by Krsna, and that in the beginning of creation there was Narayan. (quotes verses)

 

There are different incarnations of God and demigods. The universe is governed by them, just like every country needs government. In the Upanishads it is said that no one is equal to God or greater them Him. Krsna says that “I am Varuna, I am Indra”. They are like ambassadors. At the same time Krsna says He is not everything. You cannot find anyone equal to or better than God. God is one, but the living entities are many. (Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. There is one being that is the greatest. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam

 

We do not accept the category Hinduism. Bharaty says we cannot quote a scripture to proof itself, but that is not true. There cannot be any better authority than scripture, it must be authority on everything including itself if it not different from God.

 

We are not trying to brainwash but become purified, free from all material activities. Ultimately we have to see how we are becoming purified, not just debate on scriptures.

 

Vedavyasa saw that everything becomes diminished in Kali yuga, so his conclusion was the people cannot understand the Vedas. We cannot fool ourselves to think that we can master the Vedas in some days. We are not sufficiently intelligent. Therefore (quotes scripture) we have the opportunity to become perfect, and thus Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita are presented to us.

 

The Vedas are not polytheistic.  Krsna may be presented there as omkara or Narayan, but this is just another name of Krsna. In the Upanishads he is addressed as isvara.  He has many names, but it doesn’t change the fact that there is only one God. Brahmas conclusion is isvara parama Krsna. Krsna says, by all the scriptures I am to be known. That is the conclusion of all the scriptures.

 

Upanishads: You people do not know much about Hinduism. In the Vedas it doesn’t say. The word Hindu is not even in the Vedas.

 

Bharaty: Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita are not self-evident.

 

Acaryadeva: Our claim is that anyone who studies Bhagavad-gita and chants Hare Krsna is eligible to enter the spiritual world. Prof. Bharaty is a covered atheist. He says there is no supreme God, which means to say there is no god. Our purpose to come here is not to go tit-for-tat but to give people an opportunity to go to the spiritual world, and in this age this is possible by chanting Hare Krsna. That is the evidence of spiritual advancement.  In the Bhagavatam it says sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokshaje ahaituki apratihata yayaatma samprasidati. There is no selfish motivation. We are saying that love for God which is uninterrupted and has no personal motive is the best religion. Every other religion has to be rejected.

 

Then the moderator opens up the panel for questions from the audience. Prof. Bharatys replies usually are wishy-washy and not concrete.

 

Question: Who wrote the scriptures?  I do not mean God …

 

Acaryadeva:  The Vedas are originally coming from Krsna and coming down in disciplic succession. We are the consciousness in the body, we are conditioned, but there are people who are not conditioned.

 

God has different names because He has different activities.  We are giving specific information about the activities. We either admit that we are humble servants of God.

 

Bharaty: The world is unreal.

 

Acaryadeva: It is real, but it is temporary. We don’t stop the senses but engage them in eternal sense objects. So who is sympathetic to sense perception?

 

Question: Why is the conflict between the religions?

 

Bharaty: You see why we’re here for the last three hours … It is a question of interpretation of scriptures.

 

Acaryadeva: There are different ideas of God because God has different aspects, therefore there is different perception. In the virat purusha one can see the whole universe as God and the different demigods are parts of the universe.

 

Bharaty criticizes the perspective of a personal God.

 

Acaryadeva: We have no experience of great things being done by non-persons. The impersonal meditation on God is only recommended for those who are too envious on the personality of God.

 

We are concerned how people become liberated, not intellectual liberality that everything is alright.

 

In Bhagavad-gita Krsna is speaking to everyone and everyone has a right to hear.

 

Bharaty claims that the Veda, Gita and the Mahabharata are only about 500 years old.

 

Acaryadeva: We don’t care very much about your chronology of the Vedas.

 

Q: What does it mean when you say liberated?

 

Acaryadeva: Liberated means not to take another material body. There are two kinds of individualism: False egotism and purified egotism. Egotism is eternal because we are eternal.To say there is no absolute God is atheism. If everyone has a right to speak about God,  why not God Himself?

 

Every speaker gives a summary at the end.

 

Bharaty about Acaryadeva: He talks as convert to converts but others cannot listen. He is extremely narrow, fanatical & sectarian.

 

Acaryadeva responds to his recent points:  Regarding convert: We not trying to convert, we are trying to present Krsna. The example is given of a house on fire: If you don’t go there and safe the people you have no character. In the same way those who are intelligent can recognize that they are suffering the threefold miseries. We don’t force people to come or chant Hare Krsna, but to say we should not preach is a very cruel and uncompassionate view point.

 

As far as Bhagavad-gita there are many view points in Bhagavad-gita but there is also a conclusion which says that one should surrender unto Krsna. So it is not our own imagination but we don’ t compromise or delude what Krsna says. For those who don’t want to surrender to Krsna there is an open invitation to remain in this material world forever.  There is no limit to material bodies, but if someone is concerned with liberation he has to surrender to Krsna. It is not our idea. It is Krsna’s idea. If you think the Supreme Person should compromise, that is a denial of monotheism which we do not accept.  There is an absolute truth and He is a person and He wants that we surrender to Him even though we don’t have to. Krsna is the same God worshiped by other people but in Vedic literature you will find the most specific references as far as form, relationship and pastimes are concerned. If anyone is interested in God that desire can be fulfilled in Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.

 

A final analysis of Vedic literature is given by Krsna (vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah…): I am the knower and the author of  the Vedas.

 

Who your authority is - you have to make your pick and take your chances. If you want to become free from material hazards, unlimited pleasure is available. We are minute spiritual sparks; if our only desire is love of God then we surrender to Krsna.