Thursday, 20 September 2012

Why Not To Follow Cults?

Note: Almost entire article is an English rendering of Kripaluji Maharaj's lecture Main Kaun Mera Kaun--Part 10's fraction. If there are any errors in translation or in my understanding of the subject, my apologies. 

Darshan literally means 'to see.' People often translate it as "Philosophy." 

Darshan, according to Vedas and Puranas means---"that which helps you decide exactly pertaining to all matters."

Darshan can be broadly categorized as follows:

A. Astika Darshan--Darshanas which consider Vedas as ultimate authority.
B. Nastika Darshan---Darshans which don't regard Vedas as authority.

Astika Darshans are of following two types:

A.1. Those which regard Vedas as ultimate authority and also emphasize existence of God as ultimate authority.----Ishvarvaadi Vedic Darshanas. { It's also called "Sanatana Dharma."}
A.2. Those which consider Vedas as ultimate authority but don't accept God(don't need God to explain things.)---Aneeshvarvaadi Vedic Darshanas

Examples: Meemansa Darshan and Samkhya Darshan---arguments suggesting that Karma gives results on its own and is an automatic system without the need of a God.

{Buddhism is similar but doesn't consider Vedas as an authority.}

Nastika Darshan are of following two types:

B.1. Those which don't consider Vedas as any authority but emphasize existence of God: For example--Christianity, Islam and Judaism.----Ishvarvaadi Avaidic Darshan.
B. 2. Those which neither accept authority of Vedas nor accept existence of any God---Atheism and Buddhism for example---Buddhism differs from Atheism because of acceptance of reincarnation and Karma, in which regard it's similar to Meemansa or Samkhya Darshan.----Aneeshvarvaadi Avaidic Darshan.

Now lets take category A.1 and discuss about it in details:

A.1. Those which regard Vedas as ultimate authority and also emphasize existence of God as ultimate authority.---Ishvarvaadi Vedic Darshanas

This category is mostly accepted inside India only. Vedas are considered as ultimate authority mostly inside India only.

A.1 has following 5 types based on Ishvara(God) worshipped:

a. Vishnu
b. Shiva
c. Sun
d. Ganesha
e. Durga

Each one of A.1 categories listed above has many sub-categories inside it.

Take for example category A.1.a: Vishnuvaadi Vedic Darshanas:

i. Advaita
ii. Vishishtadvaita
iii. Dvaitadvaita
iv.  Vishuddhadvaita
v. Dvaita
vi. Achintya-bhed-abhed.

This categorization is obviously confusing for an ordinary person like me. {{I am talking about  A.1.a: Vishnuvaadi Vedic Darshanas categories only}}
These types are not constant and they are being created and updated day-by-day by new Gurus. These paths were created by great personalities. The question is: why? 

Vishnuvaadi Vedic Darshana considers that cycles of creation and destruction follow one another and  these cycles had no beginning--they are eternal like God. Even if you consider just present creation---it's about 2 Arab years old! It started with Bramha--the creator driven by passionate mode of ignorance.

We realize that these categories came especially in last 2500 years. The first in the line of great Vedic authorities was--Adi Guru Shankaracharya.

He propounded Nirguna-Nirvishesha-Nirakara God--the God who has no qualities, no size, no shape, no personality and does nothing.

This comes into category A.1.a.i { Please remember it.}

Rest of the A.1.a categories are just  answers to A.1.a.i.

In other words:  Vishishtadvaita, Dvaitadvaita, Vishuddhadvaita, Dvaita and Achintya-bhed-abhed are all answers to Advaita.

There arises a question about the origin of these sects in A.1.a.--Why did Shankaracharya create his 'Shankara Mata?'

Did he not have a guru to follow?

Guru is considered very important  in Vishnuvaadi Vedic Darshana. { Sometimes even more important than what appears to be Truth--because Truth is not what appears.}

Shankaracharya's Guru was Govindacharya, who was a disciple of Gaudpadacharya, who was a disciple of Shukdeva Paramhamsa, who was disciple of Srila Ved Vyasa-----> this chain leads you to Bramha and Bramha's guru--Narayana---Bhagvan Shri Krishna. Then there is no Guru---so why not call it the cult of Krishna? Why is it called 'Shankara Mata?'

If you follow Shankara's cult---then it's obvious that the followers of Shankara if they're charismatic enough, would create many more cults in days to come.

Similarly Ramanujacharya, Nibarkacharya  also had their Gurus.

If you take Achintya-Bhed-Abhed ( category Mahaprabhu(an incarnation of Shri Krishna) was a disciple of Ishwara Puri--who was a devotee of Krishna. If you follow his line of Gurus it traces back to Madhvacharya who was a devotee of Shri Vishnu. Strange enough, as it might seem, Madhvacharya considered Bramha as the greatest authority and he did not regard Krishna as the supreme personality of Godhead. He considered Gopis merely Apsaras(damsels dancing in Swargaloka.)---But all in his line of followers were devotees of Radha and Krishna---which is quite weird.

The conclusion is--there are only three elements according to Vedas--Bramh(God), Jeev(Soul) and Maya(illusory potency). If one were to accept any great personality as Guru---there would be too many Gurus and too many opinions--all of them emphasizing that they're the only one who are RIGHT and others are all WRONG.

It's evident that a simpleton like me would get confused by all these sects and cults.

Why is it necessary to accept authority of Jagadgurus like Shankaracharya? Every great personality which comes along will create a cult. Meera, Tulsi, Sur, Nanak, Kabeer---there are so many---then if you start counting them from Satayuga--Prahlad, Ambreesh, Dhruva and countless others are there---why not follow them? 

The conclusion is that it's not wise to follow cults.

Follow God and avoid Maya--either you're moving towards God or you're moving towards Maya--there is no third entity(because you're the third and only other entity.)