Svami Sadananda Dasa, letter 5.11.63
[…] During my journeys in India I met countless learned and 'holy' men, some were very good people but no one really considered the Shastrams to be the Light instead of their own intuition and their own 'experiences'. Believe me when I say that I was startled when base emotional piety was presented as bhakti and was praised as such.
Gurudev [Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati] used to give the following piece of advice, 'When one listens to or reads the Shastrams, first of all, one must forget, free oneself from everything one knows from other sources.'
Gradually I realised that what people read and translate from the Shastrams – from the Upanishads to the Bhagavatam – what they present as the teachings of the Upanishads, etc., are not in the texts themselves; that people either are too lazy to see in what sense a word is used in the text itself or simply are unable to keep their own world of ideas and their own emotions out of the texts when they read and translate. […]
Svami Sadananda Dasa, letter