Are sahajiyas better than Mayavadis?
From: Jacob P
One place Srila Prabhupada is saying that sahajias are much much better than mayavadis and that they are devotees.
Transcription By: Geetanjali Nath Mataji
Edited By: Shyam Venkateswaran P
Question: Are sahajiyas better than mayavadis, because they are devotees?
Answer: Yes. There are four categories of people with respect to their relationship with matter and with Krishna. The materialists are detached from Krishna and attached to matter, the mayavadis are detached from matter but they are detached from Krishna also, the sahajiyas are attached to Krishna but they are attached to matter also, and devotees are attached to Krishna and detached from matter. So among these four categories of people, those who are attached to Krishna and detached from matter, the devotees are the best. But along with that, attachment to Krishna is always auspicious. So, relatively speaking, the sahajiyas, who are attached to Krishna, are better than the devotees who are detached from Krishna. Now why relatively speaking? Because it will depend on the sahajiyas who are attached to matter, what is the nature of their attachment to matter? If because of their attachment to matter they are just not able to give up some non-sinful attachments, then that can be overlooked. But if those sahajiyas are claiming to be renunciates, babajis or sanyasis and then in that garb, they are engaging in the sense gratification, then that is very grievous. Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur has said that for such people Radhakunda can become narak-kunda because it is extremely offensive to do sinful activities in the holiest of all abodes and rationalize it in the name of exalted devotion. So the mayavadis, if they are living moral lives and they are not focusing so much on blasphemy of Krishna, but are just focusing on impersonal Brahman, that means they are brahmavadis more than mayavadis, then actually they may well be better situated than the sahajiyas. So whenever we make categories, categories are very good for conceptual understanding, but taxonomy, (taxonomy is the whole subject of classification), can never ever be mapped onto reality in a precise one to one sense. Now all sahajiyas are not the same and all mayavadis are not the same. So therefore, we have to look at the individual consciousness and conduct of a specific sahajiya or a specific mayavadi to be able to compare. But in general, if the sahajiyas, due to their attachment to Krishna are performing devotional service and because of their attachment to matter they’re not becoming hypocritical but are just doing some non-sinful material indulgences which devotees should not do, but they are doing them, that is not a very serious problem. But if they are renunciates who are doing sinful activities that are entirely against the principles of the renounced ashram, then that is a much more serious problem.
Nicely explained. some of my doubts regarding definition of Mayavadis and sahajiys allayed. Thank you, Prabhuji.