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Tradition of Debate

TRANSLATION
The Bhaṭṭācārya presented various types of false arguments with pseudo logic and tried to defeat his opponent in many ways. However, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu refuted all these arguments and established His own conviction.

PURPORT
The word vitaṇḍā indicates that a debater, not touching the main point or establishing his own point, simply tries to refute the other person’s argument. When one does not touch the direct meaning but tries to divert attention by misinterpretation, he engages in chala. The word nigraha also means always trying to refute the arguments of the other party.

cc madhya 6.177


 

Fire is certainly devoid of life, but devotees and brāhmaṇas are the living representatives of the Supreme Lord. Therefore to feed brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas is to feed the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. It may be concluded that instead of offering fire sacrifices, one should offer foodstuffs to brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas, for that process is more effective than fire yajña. The vivid example of this principle in action was given by Advaita Prabhu. When He performed the śrāddha ceremony for His father, He first of all called Haridāsa Ṭhākura and offered him food. It is the practice that after finishing the śrāddha ceremony, one should offer food to an elevated brāhmaṇa. But Advaita Prabhu offered food first to Haridāsa Ṭhākura, who had taken his birth in a Muhammadan family. Therefore Haridāsa Ṭhākura asked Advaita Prabhu why He was doing something which might jeopardize His position in brāhmaṇa society. Advaita Prabhu replied that He was feeding millions of first-class brāhmaṇas by offering the food to Haridāsa Ṭhākura.

He was prepared to talk with any learned brāhmaṇa on this point and prove definitely that by offering food to a pure devotee like Haridāsa Ṭhākura, He was equally as blessed as He would have been by offering food to thousands of learned brāhmaṇas. When performing sacrifices, one offers oblations to the sacrificial fire, but when such oblations are offered to Vaiṣṇavas, they are certainly more effective.
SB 4.21.41


 

It is herein stated that one should strictly follow the scriptures if one actually wants an auspicious life. The same is explained in Bhagavad-gītā (16.23):

yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya
vartate kāma-kārataḥ
na sa siddhim avāpnoti
na sukhaṁ na parāṁ gatim

“He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.” One who does not strictly follow the terms of the Vedic injunctions never attains success in life or happiness. And what to speak of going home, back to Godhead.

One śāstric injunction holds that a householder, a kṣatriya or an administrative head should not refuse to accept a woman if she voluntarily requests to become a wife. Since Kālakanyā, the daughter of Time, was deputed by Nārada Muni to offer herself to Yavana-rāja, the King of the Yavanas could not refuse her. All transactions must be performed in light of the śāstric injunctions. The śāstric injunctions are confirmed by great sages like Nārada Muni. As stated by Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura: sādhu-śāstra-guru-vākya, cittete kariyā aikya. One should follow the principles of saintly persons, scriptures and the spiritual master. In this way one is sure to attain success in life. Kālakanyā, the daughter of Time, presented herself before the King of the Yavanas precisely in terms of sādhu, śāstra and guru. Thus there was no reason for not accepting her.
sb 4.27.25


 

TRANSLATION
Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu criticized Śaṅkarācārya’s Śārīraka-bhāṣya as imaginary, and He pointed out hundreds of faults in it. To defend Śaṅkarācārya, however, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya presented unlimited opposition.

TRANSLATION
The Bhaṭṭācārya presented various types of false arguments with pseudo logic and tried to defeat his opponent in many ways. However, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu refuted all these arguments and established His own conviction.

PURPORT
The word vitaṇḍā indicates that a debater, not touching the main point or establishing his own point, simply tries to refute the other person’s argument. When one does not touch the direct meaning but tries to divert attention by misinterpretation, he engages in chala. The word nigraha also means always trying to refute the arguments of the other party.

cc madhya 6.176-177


 

Keśava Kāśmīrī first wanted to bluff Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by saying that since He was not an advanced student in literary style, He could not review a verse full of metaphors and literary ornaments. This argument has some basis in fact. Unless one is a medical man one cannot criticize a medical man, and unless one is a lawyer he cannot criticize a lawyer. Therefore Keśava Kāśmīrī first depreciated the Lord’s position. Because Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was to the champion a student of grammar, how could He dare criticize a great poet like him? Lord Caitanya, therefore, criticized the poet in a different way. He said that although He was certainly not advanced in a literary career, He had heard from others how to criticize such poetry, and as a śruti-dhara, possessing a complete memory, He could understand the process for such a review.

CC ADI 16.50


 

 

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