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Sankara, India’s Greatest Impersonalist Meditated on Lord Krishna

Srila Prabhupada chastises impersonalist yogis and swamis, the nominal followers of the ninth-century teacher Sankara, in this commentary on Sankara’s Meditation on the Bhagavad Gita: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

But he never denied the spiritual form known as sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, or the eternal, all-blissful form of knowledge that existed before the material creation.

Sankara’s preaching of impersonalism is especially meant for teaching foolish persons who consider Krsna to be an ordinary man composed of matter.

Only the fools and enemies of Krsna, who cannot understand what the Bhagavad-gita is (though they make commentaries on it), say, “It is not the personal Krsna to whom we have to surrender ourselves utterly, but the unborn, beginningless Eternal who speaks through Krsna.”

Whereas Sankara, the greatest of the impersonalists, offers his due respects to Krsna and His book the Bhagavad-gita, the foolish say that “we need not surrender to the personal Krsna.”

In the Brahma-samhita it is said that Krsna’s name, form, quality, pastimes, entourage, and paraphernalia are all ananda-cinmaya-rasa–in short, everything of His transcendental association is of the same composition of spiritual bliss, knowledge, and eternity.

As stated in the Bhagavad-gita (4.9), Krsna’s birth and activities are mysterious and transcendental, and therefore only the devotees of Krsna can know them perfectly.

Sankara was not such a fool that he would accept Krsna as an ordinary man and at the same time offer Him all devotional obeisances, knowing Him as the son of Devaki and Vasudeva.

One who merges into the spiritual auras of Krsna, known as the impersonal Brahman effulgence, does not fully develop his spiritual body.

One who enters into the abode of Narayana develops a spiritual form exactly like Narayana’s (four-handed), and one who enters into the highest spiritual abode of Krsna, known as Goloka Vrndavana, develops a spiritual form of two hands like Krsna’s.

Sankara, as an incarnation of Lord Siva, knows all these spiritual existences, but he did not disclose them to his then Buddhist followers because it was impossible for them to know about the spiritual world.

Therefore Sankara said, brahma satyam jagan mithya, or, material variegatedness is false but spiritual variegatedness is fact.

He disclosed his real mind, however, by recommending that people worship Krsna, for no one can be saved simply by mental speculations composed of word jugglery and grammatical maneuvers.

hi na hi raksati dukrn-karane “You intellectual fools, just worship Govinda, just worship Govinda, just worship Govinda.

Sankara himself offered his salutations to Lord Krsna so that some of his intelligent followers might understand the real fact by the example set by their great master, Sankara, the incarnation of Lord Siva.

But there are many obstinate followers of Sankara who refuse to offer their salutations to Lord Krsna and instead mislead innocent persons by injecting materialism into the Bhagavad-gita and confusing innocent readers by their commentaries, and consequently the readers never have the opportunity to become blessed by offering salutations to Lord Krsna, the cause of all causes.

In other words, it is for all the demigods and demons who do not know where the ultimate end is that Sankara teaches, and he especially instructs the demons and the fools to offer salutations to Krsna and His words, the Bhagavad-gita, by following in his footsteps.

Only by such acts will the demons be benefited, not by misleading their innocent followers by so-called mental speculations or show-bottle meditations.

Sankara directly offers salutations to Krsna, as if to show the fools, who are searching after light, that here ls light like the sun.

That is the highest perfection of life, and that is the highest teaching of Sankara, the great learned scholar whose teachings drove the voidist philosophy of Buddha out of India, the land of knowledge.

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