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why are Gaudiya Vaishnavas so intolerant?

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Why are they?

In Hinduism it is common to regard one's Ishtadevata as supreme and all other

deities as aspects or manifestations of him/her.

For instance, the Shaivas regard Shiva as Parabrahman and respect Vishnu,

Krishna, Brahma, etc. as aspects or manifestations of Shiva and the goddesses

such as Lakshmi, Radha, Sarasvati, etc. as aspects or manifestations of


The Shaktas also respect the other deities.

But the Gaudiya Vaishnavas seem to hold the view that only Krishna is god, all

other deities are mere demi-gods.

Why? Did Sri Chaitanya preach that?

Is this view shared by all Vaishnava sects, or are there branches of the

Vaishnava tradition that follow the classical Hindu tradition?

On which scriptures do they base their view, and on whose interpretation of

these scriptures?



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Your question should be studied in the context of this month's

topic, "spiritual growth" under discussion. With spiritual maturity,

one can visualize unity in diversity. Religious fanaticism is an

indicator of spiritual immaturity and consequently, the perception of

fanatics goes against common sense. Fanaticism is not exclusive to

one belief and let us not accuse the Vaishnavaites alone with such



The most important role of any religion is to help the subjects to

grow spiritually. Spiritual growth necessarily require several key

elements: (1) Love everyone and hate none; (2)have the wisdom to do

the 'right' and refuse to do wrong; and (3) accept success or

failures with equanimity;


The concept of Ishtadevata in Hinduism is to help the devotees to

focus their mind and cultivate devotion and love. Though the devotees

may consider their Ishtadevata as the supreme deity but they do

recognize that other manifestations are no way inferior. Within a

family, the mother may worship Devi (Sakti), the father may choose

Shiva and the kids may love Ganesha. There are no predefined in rules

in Hinduism for the choice of one's Ishtadevata. The fundamental idea

of Ishtadevata is to cultivate 'love' and remove 'hatred' from one's

mind. True devotion to Shiva, or Vishnu or other gods of one's choice

should necessarily imply loving everybody and hating nobody.


Chaithanya was a true devotee of Krishna and he considered everyone

around him as Krishna and he couldn't visualize anything other than

Krishna. He had reached the ultimate level of spiritual maturity and

his mind is filled with Krishna and nospace left for anything else.


None of the Hindu scriptures such as the Upanishads, Gita, Ramayana or

Mahabharat or the Puranas do not hold the view that only Krishna (or

Shiva) is the only supreme God. Vaishnavaites do hold the view that

Vishnu (or one of the thousands of attributed names of Vishnu which

include Narayana, Govida, Krishna, etc.) is the supreme God. The

Virashivas on the other hand feel that Shiva (or many of the other

names attributed to Shiva) is the supreme God. Even today, orthodox

vaishnavaites will not visit or worship the deity of Shiva and

similarly orthodox shivaites do no visit or worship the deity of



The solution to all the problems that mentioned is to gain spiritual

maturity and starting point for spiritual growth is keep the mind

open and keep it from evil thoughts!


Warmest regards,


Ram Chandran

advaitin, "Alexandra Kafka"



> In Hinduism it is common to regard one's Ishtadevata as supreme and

> all other deities as aspects or manifestations of him/her.

> ......

> Is this view shared by all Vaishnava sects, or are there branches

of the

Vaishnava tradition that follow the classical Hindu tradition?

> On which scriptures do they base their view, and on whose


of these scriptures?


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  • 7 years later...
  • 1 year later...

So you are the new acarya to declare that no Vedic scripture such as Upanishads, Gita, Ramayana or Mahabharat or the Puranas hold the view that only Krishna is Supreme? Maybe you should read the Upanishads, Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharat and the Puranas before declaring such a concocted statement.

Only a few people have read Vedic scriptures A-Z and Z-A backwards. And those who have(e.g.Madhvacarya, Ramanujacarya) declare Krishna to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And a survey shows that those who have read only 1 or 2 srcipture or even none say that all demigods and Krishna to be same. Now you tell me who is correct and more intelligent?

Personally speaking I think you haven't even read the Bhagavad Gita properly which states:

Bg 7.20 — Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.

Bg 7.21 — I am in everyone’s heart as the Supersoul. As soon as one desires to worship some demigod, I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to that particular deity.

Bg 7.23 — Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet.

And we have accept that Krishna is the Supreme knower of Vedas above all of us and it`s thus confirmed:

Bg 15.15 — I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.

Srimad Bhagavatam 4.31.14 states — As pouring water on the root of a tree energizes the trunk, branches, twigs and everything else, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the senses and limbs of the body, simply worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead(Govinda) through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality.

There is a famous statement in Bhagavatam:krsnas tu bhagavan svayam --- meaing Krishnais the Original Personality of Godhead


Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad [2.1] states: yathāgneḥ kṣudrā visphuliṅgā vyuccaranty evam evāsmād ātmanaḥ sarve prāṇāḥ sarve lokāḥ sarve devāḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni vyuccaranti. tasyopaniṣat satyasya satyam iti “Just as small sparks emanate from a big fire, similarly all living entities, all planets, all the demigods, and all material elements such as the earth emanate from the supreme soul, Śrī Govinda. His instructions are the supreme truth.”


Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is not just an devotee, He is the Krishna Himself. There is enough proof to declare this. First, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited all signs of Lord Vishnu throughout his body. Secondly, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had showed the Universal Form to Advaita Acarya. Thirdly, acaryas have accepted Him as an incarnation of Krishna. Fourthly, scriptures state:

krishna-varnam tvishakrishnam


yajnaih sankirtana-prayair

yajanti hi sumedhasah

“In the age of Kali, intelligentpersons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation ofGodhead who constantly sings the name of Krishna. Although Hiscomplexion is not blackish, He is Krishna Himself. He is accompaniedby His associates, servants, weapons, and confidential companions.”[srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32]


Also Atharva Veda, one of the four originalbooks of the Vedic literature, states:

Text 6



eko devah sarva-rupi mahatma

gauro rakta-shyamala-shveta- rupah

Chaitanyatma sa vai Chaitanya-shaktir

bhaktakaro bhakti-do bhakti- vedyah



The one Supreme Personality of Godhead,who is the master of all transcendental potencies, and who may beknown only by devotional service, appears in innumerabletranscendental forms. He has appeared with red, black, and whitecomplexions, and He shall also appear in the golden form of SriChaitanya Mahaprabhu. He shall assume the role of the perfectdevotee, and He shall teach the conditioned souls the path of puredevotional service.



Text 8



vedanta-vedyam purusham puranam

Chaitanyatmanam vishva-yonim mahantam

tam eva viditvati-mrityum eti

nanyah pantha vidyate ’yanaya



One who understands that Sri ChaitanyaMahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known by thestudy of Vedanta philosophy, who is the original cause of theuniverse, and who is the oldest, the original person, crosses beyondthis world of birth and death. This is the proper understanding ofthe Supreme Personality of Godhead, and aside from this there is noother way for one to achieve liberation.


Anyways...going back to the to Krishna being Supreme:

5th Chapter of Sri Brahma smahita states:

isvarah paramah krsnah


anadir adir govindah



"The supreme controller is Krsna, who has an eternal form of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. He is known as Govinda and he is the cause of all causes."


And Lord Chaitanya used to say:

siddhanta sastra nahi brahma-samhita'ra sama

govinda-mahima jnanera parama karana

alpaksare kahe siddhanta apara

sakala-vaisnava-sastra-madhye ati sara


"There is no scripture equal to the Brahma-samhita as far as the final spiritual conclusion is concerned. Indeed, that scripture is the supreme revalations of the glories of Lord Govinda, for it reveals the topmost knowledge about him. Since all conclusions are briefly presented in Brahma-samhita, it is essential among all the Vaisnava literatures."


Ok Vaisnavas do not disrespect demigods. Maybe a neophyte Vasinava who lacks knowledge does but a true Vasinava would never do that. Vasinavas only say Krishna is Supreme Being and others are subordinate to Him. <<<This is truth according to scripture and if some1 thinks saying truth is being disrespectful then i don't know what to say....Vaisnavas respect demigods as the demigods are also Krishna's devotees.

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  • 11 months later...


Vaisnavas do not disrespect demigods. Spot on.


Yes , Vaishnawas don't disrespect Devatas . But Gaudiyas do . Gaudiyas are not the only vaishnawas . They are  parts of mainstream Vaishnawism of Hindu Sanatana Dharma and mainstream vaishnawism don't call devatas as demi-gods . They don't use demi-god word .


What is the reason for using demigod word . Demi-god means Half God . Veda doesn't mention such half god concepts . So why don't they use Devata word instead of Demigod ? Now you will say Half god means the jiva who acquired the divine state . This is also not acceptable . Because Vedas don't glorify them in such manner .


Vedas give very high salutations and great esteem to devatas . So calling them Demigods is certainly disrespecting them .


Now my question , Why should devata worship be considered different from worshiping Paramatma ?


Because , In Bhagavata Purana , Shri Krishna himself says that Devatas , Bramhanas and cows are the most sacred places to worship him . He resides there . Note that worshiping devatas for material gains is a different thing and I don't think worshiping krishna for material gains would be a different thing from this .

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