Question: I have been in Iskcon for about 5 years now and practising Krishna Consciousness. I have seen that in the Gaudiya literatures like Chaitanya Charitamrita , Mayavada philosophy is condemned. I do understand the fundamental principle of Advaita, Acintya Bheda Abheda and Dwaita philosophies and very much agree to our Acintya BhedaAbheda tattva. My question is, when Adi Sankaracharya has written few songs like Bhaja Govindam and Jagannatha Ashtakam, where he glorifies Krishna exhaustively, what is the reason that still Mayavadism is condemned in our society? I am very much confused because of this. Please kindly clarify my doubt.
Answer by Romapada Swami: When Lord Krishna departed from this planet 5000 years ago, Kali Yuga degraded to a great extent, to a point came when the people of India started slaughtering cows and supporting other heinous sins by misinterpreting the vedic scripture. So as to prevent the people from doing sins like slaughtering Lord Krishna appeared as Lord Buddha and denied or disapproved the Vedas. He taught non-violence and a doctrine that everything is zero.
Lord Buddha came to put a stop to animal slaughter but his teachings destroyed the Vedic teachings.
Then Lord Krishna ordered Shiva to appear to re-establish the Vedic culture. The way he did this was to present a twisted version of the Vedas that would attract the atheistic Buddhists. In this way Lord Shiva incarnated as Shankaracharya. He re-established the Vedic culture, but with a distorted interpretation of the Vedas very akin to Buddhism. He taught a principle that everything is one.
Shankaracharya on these special occasions taught devotion to Krishna, revealing his true position as a vaisnava; his impersonal teachings were simply a tactic to defeat Buddhism and re-establish Vedic culture. Once this was established, on occasion he revealed his actual desire, namely that we should all surrender to Krishna.
However, his followers did not take to heart these instructions (like Bhaja Govindam). They were too attracted the false idea of becoming god themselves.