Happiness is Not Possible Without Devotional Service
“Unless one is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, the mere renunciation of activities cannot make one happy. The sages, purified by works of devotion, achieve the Supreme without delay.” (Bhagavad Gita 5.6)
There are two types of sannyasis, or persons in the renounced order of life. The Mayavadi sannyasis are engaged in the study of sankhyaphilosophy, whereas the Vaisnavas are engaged in the study ofBhagavatam philosophy which gives the proper commentary on theVedanta Sutra.
The Mayavadis also study the Vedanta Sutra, but they use their own commentary, called Sariraka Bhasya, written by Sankacharaya. Unlike the Vaisnavas who have multiple engagements in the transcendental service of the Lord, the Mayavadi sannyasis, engaged in the study ofsankhya and Vedanta and speculation, cannot relish transcendental service of the Lord. The Mayavadi commentary of the Vedanta-sutra, theSariraka-bhasya twists the real message of the Vedanta-sutra in an impersonal way and one who follows the “logic” of this commentary concludes that there is no Supreme Lord in the ultimate issue, there is only the impersonal brahman with no individuality or personality.
Because Mayavadis reject the conception of individuality and personality and claim ultimately that the Supreme Lord has no permanent existence, they conclude all that exists is oneness with brahman therefore they have no practical engagement in the service of the Lord. They have nothing to do except to study their impersonal interpretions of sankhya and Vedantaphilosophies.
On the other hand the students of the Bhagavata school, the devotees, are engaged in devotional service and therefore have multiple engagements in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. The Vaisnavas have nothing to do with material activities, and yet they perform various activities in their devotional service to the Lord. But the Mayavadis, engaged in the study of Sankhya and Vedanta and speculation can not relish the transcendental service of the Lord. The devotees experience real transcendental bliss because Krishna reciprocates with them when they serve Him. Devotional service is not a one-way thing. The devotees serve Krishna and Krishna reciprocates with the devotees in real transcendental and blissful ways. This is the ‘taste’ or the ‘nectar’ that the devotees experience constantly while they are engaged in the service of the Lord.
The Mayavadis can not relish this transcendental taste from service to the Lord because they do not believe in the Lord in the ultimate issue so they see no reason to serve Him. Rather they address each other as “namo narayana…” When one Mayavadi sannyasi meets another he greets him with “namo narayana“, “I offer my respects to you Narayana.” This is their philosophy. They conclude that everything is one, therefore everyone is god… So they consider themselves to be the supreme and there is no question of them rendering service to anyone else. And certainly they will not render service to Krishna because they believe that Krishna is simply a manifestation of the impersonal brahman within the material energy, maya, and that Krishna has no permanent existence. So this is why the Vaishnavas have given them the name ‘Mayavadis’, because they mistakenly and very offensively think that Krishna ismaya…
Anyhow there is no transcendental bliss for the Mayavadis because this transcendental bliss comes from the loving relationship between Krishna and His devotees and that loving relationship is established and nourished by the service and surrender of the devotees. But Mayavadis will not serve or surrender to the Supreme Lord. They think they are the supreme lord themselves…
Therefore because the Mayavadis can not get any pleasure from the transcendental service of the Lord their studies of Sakhya and Vedanta become very tedious. There is no pleasure in hearing: “There is no individuality, there is no personality, there is no bliss, there is only oneness…” It is very tedious indeed. Because actually we are eternall individuals and our bliss comes from relationships with others. The Mayavadis try to artificially eliminate individuality, personality and relationships so in the process they eliminate all their sources of any sort of pleasure or bliss. Even the perverted so-call pleasures of the material world depend on personality and individuality. But the Mayavadis claim this personality and individuality is false. “It is all one…”
So this dry speculation and the artificial interpretations of the Vedantaare all useless for the Mayavadis because their study and speculation simply becomes tedious and they can not get any taste, any pleasure, any bliss from it. So sometimes the Mayavadis take to the study ofSrimad-Bhagavatam because they can not find any bliss in their studies of the impersonal interpretations of Vedanta. They often imitate devotees and even speak on Krishna and the Bhagavatam because they can get a good following in this way. Consequently their study of and preaching of the Bhagavatam becomes troublesome.
The Vaisnavas who are engaged in devotional service are happy in the discharge of their transcendental duties, and they have the guarantee of ultimate entrance into the kingdom of God. The Mayavadis, however, ultimately fall down from the path of self-realization and again enter into material activities of a philanthropic and altruistic nature, which are nothing but material engagements. The Mayavadi preaches: “brahma satyam jagat mithya“–“Brahman is truth and this material world is false,” and they try to renounce the material world, but later on they come back into this so-called false material world and start opening schools and hospitals and doing mundane welfare work.
Therefore the conclusion is that those who are engaged in Krishna consciousness are much better situated than the Mayavadis who can only speculate on brahman or the oneness of everything although they will also come to Krishna consciousness, after many births.