by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

The Smarta Doctrine
    Two kinds of smrti sastra:

    1) spiritual, or satvata smrtis;

    2) material, moral or fruitivework oriented smrtis.

      Satvata smrtis include: Sri Bharadvaja Samhita (included in Narada  Pancaratra),  Brhat  Samhita,  Visnu Samuccaya, Vaikhanas Samhita,  the  Agamapramanya  compiled  by  Sage  Albandaru,  the Sadacar  Smrti  compiled  by  Sage  Purna  Prajna,  the Krsnamrta Maharnava,  the  SmrtyarthaSagara  by  Cchadari Nrsimhacarya, the Prameyamala   by   Vira   Raghava,   the  Prayoga  Candrika,  the Vaisnava?dharmasuradrumamanjari   by   SamkarsanaSaranadeva,  the Smrti?ratnakara  by  Vitthalacarya,  the  Sri Haribhaktivilasa by Srila  Gopala  Bhatta  Gosvami Prabhu, the Sri Satkriyasaradipika and the Samskaracandrikapaddhati by Sri Dhyana Candra.

    "The  ordinary  nontheorist  community  and the sinful living entities  cannot  understand the wide difference existing between apparent similarities and sincere dedication ((between a "smarta" and  a  Vaisnava)).  They are thus becoming smartas with external vaisnava  designations;  thatis,  although externally maintaining all  the  rituals  and  activities of a Vaisnava, they internally cherish allegiance to the smarta ideal of materialistic work. The lay  nontheorist  society  cannot diagnose this deceptive disease infecting  the  remotest  corners  of  the  heart; it is the true doctor, conversant in the scriptures and in the science of Krsna, who  is  aware  of these complications and can persuade the frank and  surrendered  soul  of  these diseases and endeavor for their cure.  They  look  for  sincere  dedication  and not for external details  of  Vaisnavism  or  for  drama.  Where dedication serves materialism  the  sense  organs,  and  seeks  peace, prasadam and contentment,  there  are  only  material or moral regulations the smarta  doctrine  in the guise of a socalled vaisnava doctrine is evident.  Only  the  mercy  ofa pure devotee can deliver one from this dire calamity."

         Celebrating occasions like Ekadasi:

        Vaisnavas  or  spiritualists  celebrate  such  occasions  as enhancers of devotion or out of the pleasure of serving Krsna and without  any  desire.  Smartas, on the other hand, celebrate them for  physical or mental welfare or as activities fulfilling their moral,  economic  or sexual desires. So, notwithstanding apparent similarities,  the  motives of Vaisnavas vs. those of smartas are poles apart. Taking bath in and worshiping the Ganges

        Vaisnavas  view  the Ganges as nectar from Visnu's feet, are reminded of Visnu by her contact and take bath in her in a spirit of service, knowing her to be a transcendental object of service. So  "even  Ganga  herself  desires  to  bathe  Haridasa". But the smartas  want to utilize Ganges water for cleansing themselves of sins,  filth  and  unholy  thoughts. The Ganges, whose water even Lord  Siva  takes gladly on his head as it washes the feet of his Lord,  the  smartas  want to use as maidservant or a sincleansing machine.

    Installing and worshiping Deity forms of the Lord:

        The Vaisnavas do not differentiate between Krsna Himself and His  Deityform.  They  accept  sankirtana  as  the prime means of worship and  by  that  means  perform  the  abhisekha  and other rituals,  according  to  Sriman  Mahaprabhu's  instructions.  The smartas  consider  the  Deity  as  different  from  the  Lord, as something transient and imaginary for temporary assistance of the aspirant,  to  be  rejected or immersed later on. They imagine to instil  life  and  consciousness  into  the idol and employ it in gratifying  their  desires. Sometimes they even use Deity worship for enhancing some trade.

    Establishing monasteries:

        The  Vaisnavas  establish  monasteries  to  provide  saintly association  and  propagate the sankirtana movement. They believe that just as lighting a fire to cook food rids us of darkness and cold as well without separate endeavor, similarly sankirtana will relieve  us  of  all social problems. Smartas, on the other hand, pompously  open  monasteries for the sake of selfadvertisement or for  some  temporal  social or moral welfare. Thus freehospitals, artifical  celibacyschools,  gymnasiums,  etc.  are often part of their monasteries. Or they may open abbeys for hoarding property, deceiving other people or such other material activities.

    Deity worship:

        Vaisnavas  know that the non-Vaisnava or onoprincipled man is not  qualified  for  Deity  worship  even  if born in the best of families.  Only  when he attains "bhutasuddhi" or the realization that  the  constitutional  position  of  the  living  entity is a servant of Krsna from a bona fide spiritual master can he perform purified worship. To the smartas the only qualification necessary for   Deity   worship  are  birth  in  a  high  family,  external clenaliness  and  ability  to  chant sanskrit verses. The post of Deity  worship  expands like a priest's profession. Mentally they do  not  consider  the Deity as God and do not try to arrange for the Deity's comfort.