Three Stages of Understanding

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.18.30 - Three Stages of Understanding (download mp3)
by Krishna Dhan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
SB 11.18.30
veda-vada-rato na syan
 na pasandi na haitukah
suska-vada-vivade na
 kaƱcit paksam samasrayet

A devotee should never engage in the fruitive rituals mentioned in the karma-kanda section of the Vedas, nor should he become atheistic, acting or speaking in opposition to Vedic injunctions. Similarly, he should never speak like a mere logician or skeptic or take any side whatsoever in useless arguments.
Although a paramahamsa devotee conceals his exalted position, certain activities are forbidden even for one trying to conceal himself. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that in the name of concealment one should not become a ghost. The word pasanda refers to atheistic philosophies opposing the Vedas, such as Buddhism, and haituka refers to those who accept only that which can be demonstrated by mundane logic or experimentation. Since the whole purpose of the Vedas is to understand that which is beyond material experience, a skeptic’s so-called logic is irrelevant to spiritual progress. Srila Jiva Gosvami warns us in this regard that a devotee should not read atheistic literature, even with the purpose of refining arguments against atheism. Such literature should be entirely avoided. The above-mentioned prohibited activities are so detrimental to the advancement of Krsna consciousness that they should not be adopted even as a superficial show.

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