You are here
CC Antya 6.198
‘śuddha-vaiṣṇava’ nahe, haye ‘vaiṣṇavera prāya’
As stated by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his Amṛta-pravāha-bhāṣya, some people, usually very rich men, dress like Vaiṣṇavas and give charity to brāhmaṇas. They are also attached to Deity worship, but because of their attachment to material enjoyment, they cannot be pure Vaiṣṇavas. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam. The pure Vaiṣṇava has no desire for material enjoyment. That is the basic qualification of a pure Vaiṣṇava. There are men, especially rich men, who regularly worship the Deity, give charity to brāhmaṇas and are pious in every respect, but they cannot be pure Vaiṣṇavas. Despite their outward show of Vaiṣṇavism and charity, their inner desire is to enjoy a higher standard of material life. Raghunātha dāsa’s father, Govardhana, and uncle, Hiraṇya dāsa, were both very charitable to brāhmaṇas. Indeed, the brāhmaṇas from the Gauḍīya district were practically dependent upon them. Thus they were accepted as very pious gentlemen. However, they presented themselves as Vaiṣṇavas to the eyes of people in general, although from a purely spiritual point of view they were ordinary human beings, not pure Vaiṣṇavas. Actual Vaiṣṇavas considered them almost Vaiṣṇavas, not pure Vaiṣṇavas. In other words, they were kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs, for they were ignorant of higher Vaiṣṇava regulative principles. Nevertheless, they could not be called viṣayīs, or blind materialistic enjoyers.