VOLUME 1 Parts I, II, III & IV
His Divine Grace Sree Sreemad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Moharaj the celebrated Acharya (Spiritual Head) of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas spoke the following few lines as His Message just a few days (23rd December, 1936) before His passing away from this mortal world.
"I have most probably given many people troubles in the mind. Some of them might have thought about me that I am their enemy because I was obliged to speak the plain truth for service and devotion towards the Absolute Godhead. I have given them all those troubles only for the reason that they may turn their face towards the Personality of Godhead without any desire for gain and with unalloyed devotion. I hope some day or other they may understand me rightly."
"I advise all to preach the teachings of Rupa-Raghunath (disciples of Lord Chaitanya) with all energy and resources. Our ultimate goal shall be to become the dust of the lotus feet of Sree Sree Rupa and Raghunath Goswamins. You should all work conjointly under the guidance of your spiritual master with a view to serve the Absolute Knowledge, the Personality of Godhead. You should live somehow or other without any quarrel in this mortal world only for the service of Godhead. Do not please give up the service of Godhead in spite of all dangers, all criticisms and all discomforts. Do not be disappointed for most people in the world do not serve the Personality of Godhead; do not give up your own service which is your everything and all, neither reject the process of chanting and hearing of the transcendental Holy Name of Godhead. You should always chant the transcendental Name of Godhead with patience and forbearance like a tree and humbleness like a straw."
"We wish that this mass of our body of flesh and blood may be sacrificed at the altar of preaching the Samkirtan Movement (congregational chanting of the Holy Name of Godhead) propagated by Lord Chaitanya. We are not desirous of becoming a hero of work or a reformer of religion, but our reality may be identified with the dust of the Lotus Feet of Sree Rupa and Raghunath for that is our everything. The flow of the transcendental tide of the attraction of devotion will never be blocked, and you with your all energy shall devote yourself for fulfilling the desire of Sreela Bhakti Vinode Thakur. There are many amongst you who are well qualified and able workers. We have no other desire whatsoever."
"There are certainly many difficulties while we are in this mortal world but it is not our business simply to be overwhelmed with those difficulties or to try to overcome them only. We must know even during the duration of our present life, as to what we shall gain after overcoming all those difficulties of life and what shall be the mode of our permanent existence. We must make an adjustment of all things that evoke our love and hatred and for those that we want and do not want. Attachment and detachment of this mortal world will engage us more and more as we become farther and farthest from the Lotus Feet of Sree Krishna. When we are able to transcend the position of attachments and detachments of this mortal world and be attracted with the Holy Name of Godhead, it is then only we can understand the import of the transcendental service of Sree Krishna the Personality of Godhead. At the first instance the subject Krishna is startling and perplexing to us. Every one who is called by the name 'man' is more or less struggling knowingly or unknowingly to eliminate those invading elements what are baffling our conception of eternal need. It is our only duty to enter into the kingdom of eternal need."
"We have no love or hatred for any one in this world. All arrangements made in this world are but temporary. There is, therefore, unavoidable necessity for that ultimate need for every one in this world. You should attain the transcendental loving service of the objective, being situated in concerted action for that one aim. Let there be a constant flow of the ideas and thoughts as conceived by Rupa Goswami and His followers. We shall not at any time show our slightest dejection for the seven tongued "Samkirtan" movement. If we have undaunted faith in it we shall then only achieve all perfections. You should all therefore preach with fearlessness and with utmost energy the message of Rupa and Raghunath under the guidance of the followers of Sree Rupa."
(Translated from Bengali by the Editor)
"There is no other way out of this great ocean of Nescience except the unalloyed mercy of the Absolute Godhead. Living entity although superior in nature in comparison to the nature of matter, he is by association dependant and weaker than the material nature. The Absolute Godhead is the creator of all entities, He is the maintainer and deliverer of all entities. The innumerable living entities are infinitesimals and Godhead is Infinite. The infinitesimal living entity is therefore subordinate to the Infinite and as such he is transcendentally the eternal servitor of the Absolute Godhead. The Supreme Spirit Godhead is the ultimate rest of all entities. This material world is a construction of the material energy and the material existence of the living entity is a sort of punishment just like a prisoner. The punishment is due to forgetfulness of Godhead by the living entity. And therefore there is no deliverance of the living entities from the clutches of Nescience save and except by the revival of his sense of Godhead. Those who have forgotten the relation of Godhead are only the prisoners of this Material world and those who have not forgotten Him are the liberated souls.
"The conditioned souls who are bound up by the material energy can get rid of prison life by the mercy of Godhead if he prays for it by penance and service. Great Sages and Messiahs of the world have devised various ways and means for this self-realisation of the living entity and all such means can be grouped into three different channels namely good work, knowledge and devotion.
"There are many sub-divisions within good works such as the system of four castes of four orders of life, sacrifice, austerity, charity, penance and various such things. And there are scriptures wherein the respective results of all the above mentioned good works are illustrated and explained. If those results are again analysed and scrutinised, we can understand that higher station of life such as one in the Heaven, opulence in this material world, power, deliverance from miseries and diseases or attainment of higher standard of services are the net results of the above good works. And by separating the one of higher standard of services, we can only understand all other results as one of material world. As such all the results pertaining to the material energy which can be attained by the performances of good works, are but temporary and subject to exhaustion. In order of mundane time and space, created by the Material Energy, everything is limited by the laws of Nature. So all these limited acquisitions cannot help us in our attempt to get rid of the conditional life on the contrary the temporary good results of these good works bind us more strongly within the limits of material energy.
The ultimate end of attaining higher status of life is to obtain sufficient time for culture and performances of higher duties. The system of the four castes and four orders of life as introduced by the religion of the Hindus, is designed to mould up the character of the respective performers for higher duties and thus to give them ample chance for cultivating spiritual knowledge. If therefore any one who even after obtaining higher standard of life as well as sufficient leisure, does not culture this higher duties namely the cultivation of spiritual knowledge and philosophy, then according to the opinion of Bhagvats, the labour and energy lost in this direction is spent up for nothing. And in most cases it has been found that those who have obtained sufficient rest and comfort after performances of hard labour, have mostly squandered away the valuable time and energy thus obtained in different occupations other than spiritual culture. This fact proves conclusively that good works cannot give any one the ultimate goodness that is freedom from the bondage of conditioned life.
"Cultivation of higher spiritual knowledge which discerns the matter from spirit does not also help us in the achievement of the highest goal. By this culture of spiritual life one can realise only one's self, as distinguished from gross matter, and can also understand that the spirit soul is above matter as ignorance of this fact makes him bound to undergo the rigours of conditioned life. This self-realisation may help one for attaining the marginal position between material and spiritual existence but this does not mean actual spiritual life and its spiritual activities without which the spirit soul cannot obtain the highest bliss. This marginal state of life may be called the life of self-satisfaction as distinguished from the life of self-realisation which means engagement in the transcendental activities of the spiritual world. Self-satisfaction without this self-realisation (attachment for spiritual activities) does not bear any substantial fruit.
"The quality of spiritual activity is so much attractive that it attracts even the most self-satisfied spiritualists and thus engages them in the spiritual activities as distinguished from the material activities.
"Thus the result of good works, when it gives sufficient leisure for the cultivation of spiritual activities and spiritual knowledge it is then and then only that good works or cultivation of spiritual knowledge can be accepted as means to the ultimate goal. Therefore devotional activities only can lead us to the spiritual activities and nothing else. Good works or spiritual knowledge under the guidance of devotional activities can be helpful for spiritual activities but devotional activities even without the help of good works or spiritual knowledge can alone help us in the attainment of spiritual life.
"The Personality of Godhead Sree Krishna informed Uddhava that neither good works even without any desire for fruitive action, nor spiritual knowledge, nor the system of caste and creed nor the studies of scriptures, nor penances, nor even renunciation can satisfy Him, as do the devotional activities themselves.
(Transformed into English by the Editor from Bengali.)
All Glory to Sri Guru and Gauranga
vande 'ham sri-guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaisnavams ca
The man having forgotten himself as the son of Godhead, has forsaken his real constitutional nature. He has misidentified himself with everything non-godly and therefore manipulates a material existence conducted by the mind and the six instrumental senses. He is concerned only with his material coverings of gross body and the subtle mind but cannot see either himself or his so-called numerous fellowmen. This is what we mean by Nescience which is darkness. The man having designated himself with the relation of his vehicular body and the finer elements of mind and ego etc., like the motor-car driver who has identified himself wrongly with the motor-car itself, has manufactured a civilization which is self contradictory and self denial.
His so-called rationality having not gone far above the rationality of the lower animals, he laments at the death of his fellowmen or at the loss of his own things which he has never witnessed by real experience. This is what we mean by Nescience which is darkness. He slightly feels only and that after the death of his fellowmen that the body loses something that moves it just like the driver moves the motor-car, but still due to the darkness of Nescience he never concerns himself with the driver of the body but takes care superficially only for the body or the mechanical car.
In the darkness of Nescience he is fully amazed with mechanism of the gross body just like a boy who is amazed with mechanism of the motor-car, but he hardly tries to understand that without a driver any amount of astounding mechanical arrangement of the motor-car or that of the human body, it cannot move either of them even by an inch. This is what we mean by Nescience which is darkness.
The defect of the present day civilization is just like the above. This is actually the civilization of Nescience or illusion and has, therefore, civilization been turned into militarization. Every one is fully concerned with the comforts of the body and everything related with the body and no body is concerned with the Spirit that moves the body although even a boy can realise that the motor-car mechanism has little value if there is no driver of the car. This dangerous ignorance of humanity is a gross Nescience and has created a dangerous civilization in the form of militarization. This militarization which, in softer language, is nationalization, is an external barrier to come to an understanding of human relation. There is no meaning in a fight where the parties do fight only for the matter of different coloured dresses. There must be therefore an understanding of human relation without any consideration of the bodily designation or coloured dresses.
"BACK TO GODHEAD" is a feeble attempt by the undersigned under the direction of His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, the celebrated founder and organiser of the Gaudiya Math activities-just to bring up a real relation of humanity with central relation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
That there is a great and urgent need of a literature like this is keenly felt by the leaders of all countries and the following statements will help much in the procedure.
Some time back a bold statement by the Metropolitan of India in the form of Moral and Spiritual Re-armament movement, was published in the Hindusthan Standard, in which the reverend Bishop declared that "INDIA GUIDED BY GOD CAN LEAD THE WORLD BACK TO SANITY."
The President of the United States of America in a message to the Senate stated that "the underlying strength of the world consists in the moral fibre of citizens. A programme therefore of moral re-armament for the world cannot fail, to lessen the dangers of armed conflict. Such moral re-armament, to be most highly effective, must receive support on a world wide basis."
The Ex-president of the United States of America Mr. Herbert Hoover sent a message in a citizen's meeting in New York which included the following words. "What the world needs today is to return to sanity and moral spiritual ideals. At the present moment, nothing so concerns mankind."
Some 236 members of the British House of Commons jointly affirmed that spiritual principles which are common heritage of all people, are more fundamental than any political or economic issue. They also strongly affirmed that there is urgent need to acknowledge the sovereign authority of God in home and nation to establish that liberty which rests on the Christian responsibility to all one's fellowmen and to build a national life based on usefulness, unity and faith.
Sir Stafford Cripps the Lord Privy Seal of Britain in a meeting of Christians sometimes in the month of September 1942, said that the Kingdom of God would be accomplished through the Divine Power of love and he declared that "the tasks before us are, first so to conduct ourselves as individual Christian that in spite of the difficulties of our surroundings, we may work towards the establishment of the Kingdom of God throughout our country and the world and second, so to influence and change our social-economic and political environments as to encourage both ourselves and others to take to the Christian way of life."
The horrors of the war are pinching every one and all in the world and a statement of Mr. Windel Wilkie after his return from Russia, will tell the story of all other countries in the world. He stated that "Five million Russians have been killed, wounded or missing. At least sixty million Russians are slaves in the Russian territories controlled by Hitler. Food in Russia this winter will be scarce, perhaps worse than scarce. Fuel will be little known this winter in millions of Russian homes. Clothing except for the army and for essential war workers has nearly gone. Many vital medical supplies just do not exist."
What is true for the Russian people is also true for other people, as we Indians are feeling the same scarcity, the same want and the same disgust.
The disgust of the war is well summarized by the Foreign Secretary of Britain Mr. Anthony Eden who said that "this time we have to finish the job properly. We will not tolerate this business every twenty years. When the job is finished we must see that they cannot start it again. That is the will of the nation and the united nation."
The Archbishop of Canterbury in his recent broadcast in London said, "In every quarter of earth men long to be delivered from the curse of War and to find in a world which has regained its peace, respite from the harshness and bitterness of the world they have known till now. But so often they want the Kingdom of Heaven without its King. The kingdom of God without God. And they cannot have it."
"OUR RESOLVE MUST BE BACK TO GOD. We make plans for the future for peace amongst the nation and for civil security at home. That is quite right enough and it would be wrong to neglect it. But all our plans will come to ship-wreck on the rock of human selfishness unless we turn to God. BACK TO GOD, that is the chief need of England and of every nation."
And lately Sir Francis Younghusband while speaking at World Congress of Faiths said that, "that now religion is everywhere attacked brutally, we, look to India the very home of religion for a sign." Sir Francis pleaded that India, by her example might show the world how religion can be the most potent of all uniting forces in the conduct of human affairs."
Sir Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan the great Hindu philosopher addressing a crowded public meeting in Calcutta recently, observed:
"At a time like this when there is poverty, malnutrition of body and mind, when many people do not know what it is to have a cooked meal, or to lie on soft bed, when millions of homes turn into homes of hunger and prisoners of poverty, religious men will have to address themselves to the task of removing them."
"Today the world was noisier, more controversial and violent. There was more hope and more uncertainty, more aspirations and more frustration. And the years that intervened (from the last war) showed the bankruptcy of any spiritual value. The Versailles Treaty, the League of Nations, and the Disarmament Conference failed because they had not the back ground of public opinion to sustain them. This war, when it would be won, would prove to be the breeding ground of other wars if the peace was not saved. It could happen only if powerful nations ceased to take pride and glory in their possessions which were based on labour and tribute of other weaker nations. This perhaps was what Sir Harcourt Butler meant when he said that the principles of Hinduism contained the essential elements for the saving of world civilizations."
In another meeting the same philosopher pointed out, "We have to defeat tyranny in the realm of thought and create a will for world peace. Instruments for training the mind and educating human nature should be used to develop a proper social outlook without which institutional machinery was of little use."
These psychological movements of the leaders of all countries-combined with the orders of my Divine Master Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada has led me to venture to start a paper under the above name and style "BACK TO GODHEAD" which implies all the words that we may intend to say in this connection.
India has been politically subjugated so to say for the last one thousand years but very few have been able to exploit her spiritual resources up till now which are measured unlimited by the spiritual masters. Politically India may ask all so-called foreigners to quit the shores of India but spiritually she did never ask any body to do so nor she will do so even now. She will rather invite all the so-called foreigners to come and exploit the spiritual resources of India's advancement and this transcendental exploitation will not only enhance the glory of India but will also enrich the glory of the whole world for unity, faith and humanity.
It may not be out of place to mention herein that His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswaty Goswami Prabhupada, just before his departure from this mortal world, wrote me a letter from Puri dated the 3rd December, 1936 directing me towards my duty in fulfilling His mission in the world for propagating the religion of Divine Love as propounded by Lord Chaitanya. In course of writing that letter, He wrote the following lines amongst other things.
"I am fully confident that you can explain in English our thoughts and arguments to the people who are not conversant with the languages of other members."
"This will do much good to yourself as well as your audience."
"I have every hope that you can turn yourself a very good English preacher if you serve the mission to inculcate the novel impression to the people in general and philosophers of modern age and religiosity."
And when I was consulting my well wishers and friends who are able to help me in this great adventure, all of them encouraged me in this connection. His Grace Sripad Bhakti Saranga Goswami Moharaj the Preacher-in-charge for the Western countries appointed by His Divine Grace who has recently returned from London preaching work to his headquarter, very kindly sent his blessing from Sri Nityananda Gaudiya Math in his letter dated the 15-3-43 in the following words amongst other things:-
"I know that His Divine Grace used to admire your intelligence and it was His earnest desire that the world outside be benefitted through your writings in English."
Under the circumstances since 1936 up to now, I was simply speculating whether I shall venture this difficult task and that without any means and capacity; but as none has discouraged me including late Prof. Nishikanto Sanyal and Spd. Vasudev Prabhu (now Puri Moharaj), I have now taken courage to take up the work. Late Prof. Sanyal used to encourage me always by publishing my articles in his "Harmonist" and sometime back he wanted to give me the charge of the paper which I could not accept due to personal considerations.
But at the present moment my conscience is dictating me to take up the work although the difficulties are not over for the present situation arising out of War conditions.
I wish that every one who is enlightened and educated of all nationality, may take active interest in this periodical publication for wide circulation as this paper will contain only the transcendental messages of the great savants of India and specially of Lord Chaitanya, the Godhead Incarnate Who descended for the deliverance of all fallen souls in the present age. My duty will be simply to repeat in the "BACK TO GODHEAD" just like an interpreter what I have heard from and what I have been ordered to deliver by my great spiritual master H.D.G. Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada. Nothing will be manufactured by me by my mental concoction. Such words will descend as Sound Transcendental and when they are given proper serving reception by the aural channel, surely they will act like medicine to carry all back to home and "BACK TO GODHEAD."
It is proposed that at least part by part issues of this literature shall be published every year and the subscription is fixed up at Rs. 6/- per annum in India or fifteen shillings per annum abroad. The writers of this paper will be mostly those who have dedicated their lives, resources, intelligence and speeches for the service of the Absolute Personality of Godhead and for the welfare of all entities. The readers will therefore derive the highest amount of benefit by their association if they will simply sacrifice a little time for the service of Godhead as will be directed in this paper from time to time. Surely they will go back to Godhead and the present rotten world will be transformed into the Kingdom of God as they will learn to acknowledge the sovereign authority of God in home and outside.
The subject matters delineated in the pages of "Back to Godhead" may seem to be very dry in the beginning as the messages are from a different sphere altogether but still we have to give attention to the messages if we really mean to cure the disease of Nescience and go "BACK TO GODHEAD." Sugar-candy is never sweet to those who are suffering from the disease of the bile. But still sugar-candy is the medicine for bilious patients. The taste of sugar-candy will gradually be revived if the bilious patient goes on taking sugar-candy regularly for the cure of the disease. We recommend the same process to the readers of "Back to Godhead."
Godhead is One without a second and all living entities are His eternal subordinate transcendental servitors. Realisation of this transcendental relation, will be the attempt of this paper and therefore there is no bar for any one in the world irrespective of colour, creed and nationality, to go back to Godhead.
Abhay Charan De,
In the Padmapuranam the Absolute Truth is compared with the Fire. As the Fire illuminates by diffusion of its rays, although it is situated in one place, so also the Absolute Truth, although situated far beyond the reach of our imperfect vision, is omnipresent in all directions by distribution of His varied energies. These energies or potentialities of the Absolute Truth, are innumerable and immeasurable in quantity and quality but primarily all of them can be grouped into three principal divisions under the following headings, viz.,
(1) Internal Potency or "Chit Potency"
(2) Marginal Potency or "Tatastha Potency"
(3) External Potency or "Maya Potency"
The Absolute Truth is omnipresent everywhere and anywhere represented by all these potencies by a transcendental process which is inconceivable by any mental speculation. As the fire expands its heat as its natural potentiality, so also the Absolute Truth, call Him the Impersonal "Brahman", Localised Aspect of Godhead "Paramatman" or the Personality of Godhead "Bhagwan"-in all such manifestations, He manifests His different potentialities in respect of creation, destruction and maintenance of the universe or the entities within the universe. These are quite natural to Him as the heat is to the fire. The Material Nature as we try to explain by our imperfect mental speculation, is only the External Nature or External Potency of the Absolute Truth whereas the living entities represented by different species of Spirit embodied, which are eighty four lacs of varieties-are but innumerable manifestations of His Marginal Potency as separate individual portions. The actions of the Internal Potency technically called the Chit potency, is almost similar to the activities of the External Potency technically known as "Maya" or illusion. The difference between "Chit" potency and the "Maya Potency" is of quality and quantity. The manifestations of the "Maya" potency by creation of the innumerable universes like one as we can see presently, is said to be one-fourth quantity (portion) of the whole creation. The creation of the "Chit" potency is three-fourth of the whole creation and is the Kingdom of God or technically called "Baikuntha". Herein lies the difference in quantity of "Maya" and "Chit" Potencies. The other difference is one of the quality namely the creation of the "Chit" potency is non-destructible and eternal while the creation of the Maya Potency is destructible and temporary technically called the material Nature.(1) The former is real while the latter is unreal or shadow. The one is light(2) while the latter is darkness. In the darkness one cannot find out what he wants. And in the material nature also one cannot find what he searches out throughout the whole span of his life. From the darkness one however can make out a guess for the light and from the shadow one can make out an idea of the origin. The real is technically known as Transcendence or Noumenon as opposed to the shadow technically called the mundane or phenomenon. But all the same we must not misunderstand them as one and the same as sometimes it is wrongly interpreted by imperfect speculation. Thus lies the qualitative difference between the "Chit" and the "Maya" potencies.
The creations of the marginal potency technically called the "Tatastha" Potency-are the numberless individual living souls trying to lord it over the Material Potency (Maya). The difference between the "Chit" Potency and the "Tatastha" potency is one of quantity only but almost not of quality as opposed to the difference with the "Maya" potency both in quality and in quantity. In other words quantitatively there is much difference between the "Chit" and the "Tatastha" potencies but qualitatively there is almost no difference.(3) Therefore "Tatastha" potency is in all respects superior to the "Maya" potency in relation with the "Chit" Potency. We can see therefore a perpetual endeavour on the part of the living souls to lord it over the material nature or "Maya".(4)
The living entities therefore being one with the Transcendence in quality, are also indestructible and eternal. This fact is elaborately corroborated in the Geeta as follows (Bg. 11) "The soul or the spirit of the living entity is never born nor does it ever die. It was never created in the past nor it is created at present neither it shall be created in the future.(5) That is the soul is transcendental to physical time, represented by Past, Present and the Future. The spirit is therefore unborn, indestructible, eternal, the oldest but always fresh, it is never put to annihilation even after the destruction of the body and the mind."
"Thus one who knows the soul to be non-destructible and eternal—can he ever kill any other soul or does he order to kill others."
"Transmigration of the soul from one body to the other after the destruction of the body, is just like one's changing an old garment for a new one. The non-destructible soul simply changes its material body but is never killed or put to death as we generally misunderstand."
"No weapon can penetrate the soul, no fire can burn it, no water can moisten it and no air can dry it up."
"The soul is impenetrable, incombustible, incapable of being moistened or dried up. It is permanent, constant, immovable and eternal."
"The soul is declared to be incomprehensible, invisible, immeasurable and knowing the soul to be so, one has nothing to lament for, Oh Mighty armed."
The living entity is therefore permanently related with the "Chit" potency as opposed to its temporary relation with the material nature or the "Maya" potency. His relation with the material nature is casual and the cause for such accidental relation is the forgetfulness of his real nature. The living entities are just like sparks of the fire (the fire being compared with The Absolute Truth) or the molecules of the rays of the Sun (the Sun being compared with The Absolute Truth). Qualitatively there is no difference between the fire and its sparks or the Sun and its molecules of rays but quantitatively there is a gulf of difference between them.
The living entity therefore when he forgets his real nature as one with the "Chit" potency and identifies himself as one of the creations of the material nature or the "Maya" potency by his tendency of forgetfulness-is as a matter of consequence, put into the various material afflictions represented by the threefold miseries of material existence. These threefold miseries are:-
(a) Misery pertaining to the material body and the mind such as perceptions of cold and heat and conceptions of distress and happiness.
(b) Misery pertaining to the awards of other living entities such as an attack by the enemies, bites by the animals etc.
(c) Misery pertaining to the controlling powers of gods such as occurrences of earthquakes, famines, wars, pestilence etc.
A temporary relievement from one of the above threefold miseries is known to us as happiness (?). Negation of distresses is undoubtedly called happiness but all happinesses in the material nature, are adjusted by the "Maya" potency and as such all such happinesses are conditional as much as they again await the onslaught of another distress. In the material nature, all so-called happinesses or the so-called distresses are of temporary nature. As such temporary happinesses cannot satisfy the living entity, the latter's nature being one with the "Chit" potency i.e., non-destructible and permanent.
The tendency of the living entities, is therefore a hankering after eternal happiness and non-destructible existence. The entire activities of living beings are directed towards this end. But as they are under the conditions created by the 'Maya' Potency which is itself destructible and temporary, the desire for a happiness of permanent nature, remains ever unfulfilled in the Material Nature. The exodus of the residents of Calcutta to other places out of fear of being raided by the Japanese bombs, is due to the same tendency of non-destructible existence. But those who are thus going away, do not remember that even after going away from Calcutta saved from the raids of the Japanese bombs, they are unable to protect their bodies as non-destructible at any part of the material universe, when the same bodies will be raided by the bombs of material nature in the forms above threefold miseries.
The Japanese also who are threatening the Calcutta people with ruthless air-raids for increasing their own happiness by possession of lands-do not know that their happiness is also temporary and destructible as they have repeated experience in their own fatherland. The living beings, on the other hand, who are designed to be killed, are by nature eternal, impenetrable, invisible etc. So all those living entities who are threatened to be killed as well as those who are threatening to conquer are all alike in the grip of the "Maya" potency(6) and are therefore in the darkness. The Hindu conception of the Goddess "Kalika Devi" is the symbolised representation of the darker manifestation of the Absolute Truth and in that darkness-destruction, annihilation, death and miseries are the only concomitant factors as we can observe in the grim-Figure of the Goddess "Kalika Devi" in an attitude, always threatening with destruction.
Leaders of materialistic civilization take shelter in this darker Aspect of the Absolute Truth or the Goddess of darkness in order to dissipate the present and temporary distresses without knowing that darkness cannot be removed by an unscientific handling of the darkness itself but it can be removed only by the scientific handling of the Light only. Without light any amount of speculation of the human mind (which is also a creation of the material nature) can never restore the living entities to permanent happiness. In that darkness any method of bringing peace in the world which will stand eternally, be it nonviolent or violent, can bring only temporary relief or distress as we can see all creations of the External Potency. In the darkness non-violence is as much useless as violence while in the light there is no need of violence as much as of non-violence.
Without entering into the details of these, we may take it for granted that fear of being destroyed and killed is an outcome of our association with material nature while in reality we are one with the transcendence. As such we have nothing to fear nor to be destroyed. The body is destructible but the spirit is not. The living entity in the darkness of the Absolute Truth, wrongly identifies with the material nature or "Maya" and concludes himself to be destructible. This causes his fear of being destroyed while actually he is not to be so. Forgetfulness of the Almighty Father is the cause of such misidentification. Intelligent persons therefore should approach to the bonafide spiritual master and accepting him to be nondifferent with the Lord, will devote himself cent per cent in the transcendental service of the Lord. This is what we mean by going "Back To Godhead."
Forgetfulness of the transcendental loving service of the "Chit Potency" of the Personality of Godhead Sree Krishna, is the cause of fall-down of the living entities. Reinstallation of the relation of the "Chit" Potency shall therefore be the ultimate goal of human life. If the living entity therefore somehow or other comes in touch with a bonafide saint and scriptures and thus becomes eager for revival of his lost relation of the "Chit" potency, he can then only be liberated from the clutches of the "Maya" potency and then only all creation of the material nature appears to him as insignificant, temporary and illusion.
At this state of being related with the internal potency of the Absolute Truth, THE LIVING ENTITY DOES NOT HANKER AFTER UNNECESSARY ACCUMULATION OF MATERIAL WEALTH FOR UTILISING THEM IN THE SERVICE OF THE EXTERNAL POTENCY NAMELY "MAYA" FOR DESTRUCTION AND DARKNESS; nor does he lament for any so-called material loss. He looks at that time on all other entities in a spiritual light, as one and the same, covered only in different material encagement of different names under the influence of "Maya." The beginning of such spiritual existence thus ushered forth by the Divine Grace-makes the liberated soul turn towards the transcendental loving service of the Personality of Godhead under the influence of His "Chit" Potency in place of his (soul's) engagement in the temporary service of the "Maya" potency as above-mentioned. This fact is corroborated in the Bhagwat Geeta by Lord Sree Krishna as follows:—
"One who is situated in the Transcendence and is fixed up in his mind, he is always untroubled and does not rejoice by attainment of what is desirable nor does he lament by attaining what is undesirable." (Geeta 5.19.)
"Unsurmountable are the ways by which one can get rid of the 'Maya' potency with her threefold modes, but one who surrenders unto Me (Sree Krishna) he only can get rid of the clutches of 'Maya.'" (Geeta 7.14.)
When the living entity becomes overwhelmed in the engagement of his service of the "Maya" potency, he forgets altogether his divine relation with the Godhead. This horrible state of life is technically called the Asurik i.e., the life of a demon. The name of demon as we often hear in different scriptures, does not mean any horrible figure of extraordinary dimension as the artist generally paint by imagination, but demon is a man who is godless.(7) Description of such godless man is given in detail in the sixteenth chapter of the Bhagwat Geeta.
A godless man does not know what shall he do and what he shall not. He is mostly unbeliever in the teachings of the different scriptures and is generally atheist by nature. In his opinion, religion is superfluous and an unnecessary engagement and as such he attacks religion specially in the most brutal manner. He does not follow any injunction of the scriptures but commits all kinds of sins which he could not have done by following the order of scriptures. He follows his own path and does not accept any authority. In his opinion there is no cause of the creation of the universe except a desire of passion, as a child is born by the passion of a man and a woman. He does not find therefore any design behind the creation of the universe, and thus says that there is no Creator whatsoever. The universe is a product of Nature's fortuitous course and there is no ultimate controller of Nature. He finds every day that matter is unable to take any initiative out of its own will and thus the world is produced by a chance assembly of atoms and so forth. Without any fear of the Authority therefore, he finds it easier to preach his own way of thinking that there is no God at all. He says that every one can manufacture his own religion and thus the process of religiosity so sublime and so divine becomes a subject for his recreation. He preaches that there should be as many religions as there are men on the surface of the globe and there is no necessity of accepting the fact that God is one and religion is one.
In the opinion of a godless man, conception of Godhead is the product of Devil's workshop in the idle brain. God is manufactured by designing brain of the professional class (?) and thus everyone and anyone can manufacture his own God and follow his own way of religiosity for so-called salvation.
Thus concluding the godless man in demonic propensity, engages himself in the service of the "Maya" potency for the destruction of the world. Devoid of spiritual knowledge, he is less intelligent and works out foolish designs out of his foolish brain, in order to create trouble in the world. He considers himself over intelligent and by his over intellectual method he brings disaster on the tranquility of the world peace. He becomes a leader of similar less intelligent persons and leads them also towards destruction like a blind man leads another blind man to get themselves both fallen in the ditches.
The motive power for such unlawful leadership is nothing but an unquenchable thirst for power, desire for domination and unconquerable passion. This is hankering for recognition and drunkenness of power. Moved by such unholy passions he starts all sorts of agitation for the fulfillment of his manufactured ideals of world leadership. And thus proceeding on his onward march, he is met with another demon of the like nature and thus a clash begins between the rival demons. Both of them being godless, the "Maya" potency of Godhead takes them to task, like the demon "Mohisasur" The Goddess engages such demons in fighting with one another until they are individually or collectively vanquished by their own unholy engagements. She engages them just like a school teacher engages naughty boys in the business of pulling each other's ears by each of them. The demons are thus punished in their vain search out for recognition by the "Maya" potency.
The godless man is always overwhelmed with material thoughts of unlimited measure. He not only thinks for his own sense-gratification but for the sense-gratification of his family, society, country, nation and so on and that not only for one decade but also for all the time to come after his death. He does not, however, understand that after his own death he has to change all the details of his calibre. Ignorantly situated, thus he accumulates wealth for the respective welfare works by committing all kinds of sins. For such welfare works he does not hesitate to do harm to others in respect of his own self, family, society, country or nation. Thus he becomes an ill-conceived leader of his family, society or nation in order to satisfy an unquenchable desire for self-gratification without knowing the modes of nature by whom he is engaged in such unholy task up to the destruction of the creation and without caring for the Supreme Authority Who is competent and able to take care of all families, societies, countries or nations without any distinction of caste, creed and colour.(8)
The godless man is bound up with many hopes based on self gratification and anger and for the satisfaction of his such unholy desires, he continues to accumulate worldly riches and powers by all possible means.
The godless man thinks like this. "I have got this thing today and thus my mind is satisfied for the present. I have got so much and in the near future this shall be increased again and again. I have killed my that enemy and my other enemies shall be killed in due course. There is no God (?) and if there is any God at all, He is my order-supplier or it is I. (?) I am therefore Godhead (?) enjoyer, perfect, powerful and happy etc. I am recognised by all men on the earth and who is there who can be my rival in so many respects? I shall therefore hoard up wealth for the benefit of me and my men."
Thus he becomes more and more overwhelmed with the darkness of the Goddess "Kalika Devi" or the "Maya" potency in order to perpetuate his life of darkness until the end of creation.
The godless man also sometimes poses himself as a pseudo religious man. He engages his men and money with pride and vanity in the so-called spiritual activities or religious ceremonies. By such performances he wants to demonstrate the grandeur of his wrongly accumulated wealth in order to be recognised as a great devotee of God (?) not for the sake of Godhead (as he does not believe in the existence of Him) but for the sake of his kinsmen, friends, flatterers dictated by a false sense of respectability and aristocracy. Such godless man however, envies the All-pervading Godhead situated along with him as also with other living entities. He thus makes unlawful animal sacrifices and if any saintly man advises him not to commit such sinful acts, he casts aspersions on such saintly persons propelled by his ill-acquired self sufficiency, power, pride, passion and anger, etc.
Such hellish godless persons are gradually forced to go down and down in the domain of darkness and in the kingdom of demons, so that perpetually they may suffer the pangs of the threefold miseries as above mentioned by the unfailing stroke of the trident in the hands of the "Maya" potency. In other words such people are themselves responsible for gliding down to such a horrible state of life without any hope of deliverance from the clutches of Nescience.
But the All-merciful Personality of Godhead is so kind to us that He has sent forth through His authorised agents scriptures like the Vedas and the Puranas. These transcendental sounds when admitted by aural reception in a submissive mood by any man in the world, he can realise Godhead in the form of Scriptures and Saints and then only he comes to his senses that it is Godhead or His authorised agents only that can deliver him from all miseries and no one else.
Therefore the highest form of philanthropic or altruistic service that a man can render to his fellow brethren—is the propagation of transcendental service of the Personality of Godhead by awakening the spiritual sense of all sleeping men caught hold of by the grip of the "Maya" Potency. The easiest method for reviving such spiritual sense in the heart of all fallen souls, was taught by Lord Chaitanya who took compassion with the fallen souls of the present age, as congregational chanting of the Holy Name of Godhead. He saw that fallen souls of the present age are always engaged in a habit of quarrelling with one another in the fields of sociology, politics, economics, philosophy and religion and as such they have no hope of deliverance by the practice of good works, cultivating spiritual knowledge or by means of performing costly sacrifices. He therefore inaugurated the movement of the transcendental "Samkirtan" or congregational chanting of the Names of Godhead. This process of reviving the sense of spirituality in human society is the most potent and universal form of religion in which everyone can take part irrespective of caste, creed and colour distinctions. It is assured by the Lord that by this method only one will be able to attain to all spiritual perfections. So everyone must help in the propagation of such transcendental movement for the supreme benefit of mankind nay all living entities.
Amongst the innumerable transcendental Names of the Godhead, Lord Chaitanya has prescribed the following sixteen words composed of thirty-two Sanskrit letters,—as the most potent sounds in the "Kali" age. As uttered by the Lord Himself—men may take advantage of repeating the following transcendental sounds every day in an assembly of family members both male and female at least once in every evening or at any time conveniently for his own as well as other's benefit without any grudge. The sixteen words run as follows:—
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
(1) "But above this visible nature there exists another transcendental nature which is unseen but eternal and which does not perish even when all other created things of material nature perish." (Bg. 8.20).
(2) Description of the Mundak Upanishad (3.9.10).
(3) This part is well explained by Lord Chaitanya in His doctrine of "Achinata Vedaveda" i.e., simultaneously one and different.
(4) "Living entities are My parts and parcels and they are eternal. But they are undergoing prisoner's life bound up by the material nature of mind and the six senses." (Bg. 15.7)
(5) It is futile attempt therefore to produce life-substance in the laboratory of scientists.
(6) All works are entirely done under the influence of the modes of Nature (Maya) and the living entity bewildered by false vanity thinks that he is the performer. (Bg. 3.27)
(7) Vishnubhakta vabet daiva asura tad viparjaya.
(8) "Those men who devoutly seek refuge unto Me (Sree Krishna the Godhead) and always think of Me without a pause of a second, I personally carry their necessities of life." (Bg. 9.12)
[This article also appeared in two parts in Back to Godhead Vol I Part VIII and Vol I Part IX published in 1952]
The summary of a lecture delivered at the opening session of the Fifty-Sixth Annual convention of the Theosophical Society in America, held on July 25th, 1943 was handed over to me by a well wisher friend in a pamphlet under the heading of "The Theosophist as the Ideal Citizen in War and in Peace." By perusal of the pamphlet we could gather the following points which lead to the ideals and philosophy of the Vaishnavas.
The Theosophist believes in a Personalised Consciousness or a Directing Will behind the operation of the universal activity. This conclusion is quite logical as we can see in every field of our activities. We can observe that nothing in the world is possible to perform without a directing Will. Matter has no power to move without a touch of Free directing will and as such it is quite natural to think that the whole material nature, however big and consummative, is directed from behind, by a great Will which is termed differently by different speculationists.
But the Vaisnavas or the devotees of the Absolute Personality of Godhead, not only believe in a Personalised Consciousness in the process of the direction of the universal activities but also they actually accept Sree Krishna as the Absolute Person who is the root of all causes and all effects.
In this connection if we refer to such authentic literatures as Bhagwat Geeta, Brahmasamheeta etc., they may help us in approaching nearer to the Personalised Consciousness of the Absolute Personality of Godhead. The first stanza of the Fifth Chapter in Brahmasamheeta, affirms very emphatically that Lord Sree Krishna Who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the Origin of all and He has no other origin as He is the Prime cause of all causes.
His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada explains this stanza as follows:—
"Krishna is the exalted Supreme entity having His eternal name, eternal form, eternal attribution and eternal pastimes. The very name Krishna implies His love-attracting designation, expressing by His eternal nomenclature the Acme of entity. His eternal beautiful heavenly blue-tinged body glowing with intensity of ever existing Knowledge has a flute in both hands. As His inconceivable spiritual energy is all extending, still He maintains His all charming medium size by His qualifying spiritual instrumentals. His all accommodating supreme subjectivity is nicely manifested in His eternal Form. The concentrated all-time presence, uncovered knowledge and inebriating felicity have their beauty in Him. The mundane manifestive Portion of His Own Self is known as all-pervading Paramatma, Iswara (Superior Lord) or Vishnu (All-fostering). Hence it is evident that Krishna is Sole Supreme Godhead. His unrivalled or unique spiritual body of super-excellent charm is eternally unveiled with innumerable spiritual instrumentals (senses) and unreckonable attributes keeping their signifying location properly, adjusting at the same time by His inconceivable conciliative powers. This beautiful spiritual Figure is identical with Krishna and the Spiritual Entity of Krishna is identical with His own Figure."
"The very intensity blended entity of eternal presence of felicitous cognition is the charming targeted holding or transcendental Icon. It follows that the conception of the indistinguishable formless magnitude (Brahman) which is an indolent, lax, presentment of cognitive bliss, is merely a penumbra of intensity blended glow of the three concomitants viz., the blissful, the substantive and the cognitive. This transcendental manifestive Icon of Krishna in His original face is primordial background of magnitudinal infinite Brahman and of the all pervasive Over-soul Krishna as truly visioned in His variegated pastimes, such as Owner of transcendental cows, Chief of cowherds, consort of milk maids, Ruler of the terrestrial Abode Goloka and Object of worship by transcendental residents of Goloka beauties, is Govinda. He is the root cause of all causes who are the predominating and predominated agents of the Universe. The glance of His projected fractional portion in the Sacred Originating water viz., the Personal Over-soul or Paramatma, gives rise to a secondary potency-nature who creates the mundane universe. This Over-soul's intermediate energy brings forth the individual souls analogously to the emanated rays of the sun."
The glance of His projected fractional portion as referred to above is confirmed in the 10th sloka of the ninth chapter of Bhagwat Geeta. The Personality of Godhead says, "Material Nature (Prakriti) under My surveillance, gives birth to everything moving or fixed (animate or inanimate) and by this process, O son of Kunti, the universe evolves."
This glance, superintendence or surveillance, as we may prefer to call it by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is just like the superintendency of an executive head of a government who does everything as directing will but still one does not see him in every sphere of the governmental activities. Without him nothing can be done but on the face of the activity he seems to be absent as the performance is completed by another agent. Such is the relation of the Material Nature with the Absolute Personality of Godhead.
The Material Nature is called the 'Mother Brahman' i.e., She is impregnated with the seeds of creation by the Absolute Personality of Godhead as confirmed in the Bhagwat Geeta in the 14th chapter.
Sree Krishna says there "That the Material Nature which is called also 'Mahat Brahma' is my womb; therein I place the seeds or germs of creation from which comes the birth of all entities, O the son of Bharata."
Under such Personalised Consciousness as the Theosophist believes in, it is natural to conclude that there is a great plan for the created universe.
The Vaisnavas accept this plan in a very simple way. The Supreme Personality of Godhead being the Absolute Enjoyer and Creator of everything that be, the plan is so made that everything in the creation is meant for the sense gratification of the Supreme Being. Any one that creates disturbance in this great Plan of the Supreme Being is considered by the Vaisnava as Aparadhi or Offender and there he concludes quite naturally that when an entity or Jiva soul forgets his ownself as the eternal servitor of the Supreme Being for adjustment of the Great Plan and considers himself as an enjoyer, he is at once caught hold of by the external potency of the Supreme Being which is termed as Maya, and begins his existence in the material Nature forgetting his real nature of Spirit. He drags on a conditional life under the modes of Nature, thereafter.
This Great Plan is explained in the Bhagwat Geeta in two ultimate slokas i.e., the 65th and the 66th slokas of the 18th Chapter which conclude the teachings of Bhagwat Geeta. The Personality of Godhead Sree Krishna says there that everyone should offer himself as the eternal transcendental servitor or devotee of Sree Krishna with heart and soul. He should not be like the "Karmayogi," "Jnanyogi" or "Dhyanyogi" but should be "Bhaktayogi" pure and simple and in every sphere of his activity, he should only serve the purpose of the Supreme Personality of Godhead according to His Great Plan under the guidance of Him or His bonafide representative. This will gradually lead one to the position of eternal servitude of the Eternal Person and this advice was imparted to Sree Arjuna because he was Sree Krishna's most bosom and dear friend.
Within this plan of action Arjuna was also advised to give up all other engagements and simply to follow the Personality of Godhead. In the beginning of the lessons of Geeta the Personality of Godhead explained to Arjuna as many different engagements as the duties of a renouncer, of a Sanyasin, of a Yogi, or a Jnanee, of a Karmee etc., and now he orders straightly to give all these engagements up and directly follow the wishes of the Personality of Godhead. In that way He assured Arjuna to protect him from all vices that may accrue for not having attempted to do all other duties and for that reason he has had to lament for nothing. By the performances of transcendental loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, the pure spiritual nature of every one and all becomes manifest. The performances of all so-called duties in this mundane world such as performances of religious duties, worldly duties, purificatory duties for higher state of life, acquisition of knowledge, meditation for controlling the senses and the mind, etc., are performed in order to rise from the conditional life of bodily and mental existence and in order to attain to the spiritual existence plain and simple; but when one transcends all such conditional state of life and rises high by the spiritual attraction of the All-blissful, Eternal Form of Sree Krishna, he has nothing to do and nothing to perform.
All activities of the material existence are targeted to some sort of ideal or plan. "The universe is never at any moment the result of a mere 'fortuitous concourse of atoms,' but on the other hand the result of the operations of Directing Will." From this follows the logical conclusion that the Will operates according to a plan: In brief, a believer in Theosophy accepts as a fact that, "in and through all things, a Directing Will is at work, with a plan of Action from moment to moment towards a predominated end." That is the version of the Theosophist in a different way as the Vaisnavite works. The predominated end is to serve the purpose of the Predominator Absolute.
In other words all our activities are targeted either to the end of some bodily purpose, or some mental purpose or some spiritual purpose. Activities to the end of some bodily and mental purposes have practically no permanent value having regard to the very end being transient and temporary and are therefore classified under two heads namely good or bad. But the activities towards spiritual end is called transcendental to all good and all bad purposes and as such activities may be divided into three departments for permanent and eternal existence. These three departments may be termed as attachment towards impersonal spiritual existence as opposed to variegated material existence, attachment to the All-pervasive Godhead or localised aspect of Paramatma the Super-soul or attachment to the Predominator Personality of Godhead in His All-blissful, Eternal and All-attractive Form. If we analyse all our activities in this world they can be grouped together under either of the above different headings, namely mundane or transcendental, temporary or permanent and all such activities attain some sort of atmosphere according to the plan or ideal of the performer. They are differently named under different headings and different plan but such activities as are targeted towards the transcendental sense gratification of the Predominator, Personality of Godhead Sree Krishna, are termed as unalloyed devotion. Such activities are devotional activities and they should never be misconceived as ordinary activities under the headings of bodily or mental plan of actions. These activities or the devotional activities are real activities towards the end of the Great Plan and they never disturb the adjustment of the Great Plan whereas all other activities may it be good or bad, are simply disturbing to the Great Plan of the Predominator and they should therefore be given up by one who desires to work according to the Plan.
In the ninth chapter (24th Sloka) the Personality of Godhead declares most emphatically that "I am the Enjoyer and Lord also of all sacrifices, but men do not know Me in truth and therefore they suffer."
Whenever any activity is performed which does not satisfy the transcendental senses of the Personality of Godhead or does not adjust the Great Plan of action is called a sin. When Sree Krishna wanted Moharaj Judhisthir to tell a straight lie to Dronacharya, Moharaj Judhisthir first declined to tell such a lie and then he told the truth in a round about way which apparently seemed to the ordinary men to be untruth in a round about way. But Moharaj Judhisthir himself told the truth as far as practicable. But the after result was that Judhisthir had to visit hell for the reason that he declined to tell a lie according to the Plan of Sree Krishna. Ordinary men understood that Judhisthir was compelled to visit hell because he told lie in a roundabout way, but savants could understand that he had to visit hell for the reason that he did decline to tell lie according to the order of Sree Krishna. The import of the story is that telling lie or telling truth does not matter if it can reconcile with the Predominated End. In ordinary life also we can judge a means by the result of its end. End justifies the means. If the end is to satisfy the Great Plan of the Predominator Absolute Personality of Godhead, it does not matter whether the means are right or wrong according to the poor judgment of imperfect judges. The Absolute Personality of Godhead being the Supreme Enjoyer He must be satisfied by all means that is the Great Plan according to the philosophy of the Vaisnavites.
Empiric Theosophist gives this Great Plan of the Absolute Person different names such as "the Plan of God, which is Evolution" the "Archetypal World" a "Power, not ourselves," which makes for righteousness" and the Theosophist will argue "that in and through all things, from an electron to a star, from an amoeba to an angel, there is a pattern" and one who has discovered this pattern is called a Theosophist.
The Vaisnavite believes in the "Plan of God, which is Evolution" but not in the way as the Theosophist accepts. The Theosophist believes that "all things are moving to an ordered end, just as a lotus root buried in mud, will in the process of its ordered growth, inevitably produce the beautiful flower." But the Vaisnavite will apply more reason to it than any other philosopher, and he will say that the process of ordered growth is also conditional. The seed or root of a lotus may be buried in mud but still the growth will be checked if proper help is not available from Nature or Prakriti. The condition is offered by the nature that makes the flower to grow or die in the bud. The Evolution is not steady from one stage to another but the same is also depended on the modes of the Material Nature and according to one's modes of work. It should not be therefore concluded that once a Jiva-soul or spirit is embodied in a human form, he is no more changed to a tiger or an angel but according to the Vaisnavites the Evolution is so flexible that an Angel can become a tiger or a tiger can become an Angel at any moment according to the works of free will helped by the modes of Nature.
Every individual soul being part and parcel of the Super-soul has independence subordinate to the Absolute independence of the Predominator and this independence is never hampered by the Predominating independence of the Absolute Person. He is full in Himself and His independence is never conditional to the independence of the Jiva soul. According to Archetypal Plan the Vaisnavite believes that Man is made according to the Model of God Himself and therefore man is considered the highest being in the process of Evolution and he is actually so, as we can judge by the favourable circumstances.
A man's height, his beauty in respect of colour and form, his intelligence and strength, his power of endurance and above all his psychic development clearly indicate that he is highest of all created beings. And for this the Vaisnavite affirms that embodiment of a Jiva soul as human being as the most coveted, rare form of life which is helpful for the spiritual salvation of the embodied and therefore the Vaisnavite concludes that this human form of life is much more important than the life of an angel and what to speak of other in lower animals.
But unfortunately very few men realise this importance of human life and most of them prefer to enjoy life to their best capacity under conditions offered by the Material nature. When a man realises that his human form of life has been awarded to him after crores and crores of births and deaths through many many species of embodiment by the process of Evolution and recognises "a Power, not ourselves, which makes for righteousness" and as such distinguishes the same with another power which makes for righteousness indirectly, then he tries to rise up to the unconditional complete free life and activity in the kingdom of Godhead and for this purpose he engages his life, money, intelligence and words for attainment of the highest form of spiritual existence.
In the above process of Self-realisation the Vaisnavite like the Theosophist not only realises that he is also in some measure the Good, the True and the Beautiful but also he constantly remembers that quantitatively his goodness, truthfulness and beauty are never comparable with those of the Predominator. As the Egyptian philosophers put it, "The Principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficient, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception"; so the Vaisnavite also realises the same Principle both qualitatively and quantitatively. Qualitatively he makes no difference with the great Predominator but quantitatively he always maintains a difference between the Predominator and the Predominated.
Thus the Vaisnavite not only recognises "a Power not ourselves, which makes for righteousness" but also recognises the same in an indirect way and gives these different names such as Jogamaya and Mohamaya and the Jiva-souls who are under the control of either of the above Power or Energies, are called the Marginal Power. And above all these three Powers, puts the Powerful or the Predominator as the Absolute Personality of Godhead. The Philosophy of Kshetra and Kshetrajna as discussed in the Bhagwat Geeta is based on these three powers and above them the All-powerful Personality of Godhead Sree Krishna. Our essay on Godhead and His potentialities published in this leaflet tries to explain this subject more elaborately. The conclusion may be drawn like this that Godhead is the Whole thing and All-Powerful and the Powers may be grossly divided into three headings which are as above. The Vaisnavite like the Theosophist, believes himself as an unit in the same Whole under the subheading Marginal-Power.
The Theosophist's delight in the feeling of a brotherhood of all living entities is the Vaisnavite's highest plane of Vaisnavism called the stage of Mohabhagabat; but the process of realising that highest form of universal Brotherhood by the Vaisnavite is different from that of the Theosophist.
The Theosophist's ideal of universal brotherhood is without a Central relationship whereas the Vaisnavite's universal brotherhood is based on with a Central relation. The Theosophist puts his ideal of universal brotherhood as follows:—
"But to be brother to all that lives means to the Theosophist a responsibility to all that lives. Since the Theosophist is a human being his responsibility is towards all other beings like himself. The concept of a Universal Brotherhood of all Mankind passes from being a mere intellectual ideal into ever present, ever driving Reality.
"It is from this realisation of an interlinking of all mankind, and in a very precise manner the interlinking of man and man within any community, whether small like a village, or large like a nation, that the reality underlying the word 'citizen' derives its implications of responsibility, duty and sacrifice. The Theosophist knows, by his knowledge of the pattern, that men have not come together to form communities because of greed or for the purpose of self-protection; but that they have together primarily because they are to be mutually helpful, each to give what he can to the others, and to receive from them what he needs and to help to release in every other the Goodness, Love and Beauty that lie hidden in the heart of every man, woman and child.
"It is towards this goal that the Great Plan has fostered civilization from savage to civilized; therefore the word civilized connoted the duties of Citizenship. Among these duties are a valiant defense of those who are unjustly attacked, to protect the weak against the exploitation by the strong, and to release the hidden Beauty of the Divine in all men and things, by aiding in the development of the sciences and the arts, and by all ways which appeal to the Highest in Man and which bind man to man and nation to nation."
The Vaisnavite accepts all the above principles in the bond of universal brotherhood but he can see that these ties of brotherhood are only superficial and they cannot stand for a permanent relationship. Great leaders of thought in almost all countries in the world have tried this method of binding man to man and nation to nation by some sort of altruistic method but the Vaisnavite differs from them that such process may temporarily cause some sort of external brotherhood between man to man, etc., but will fail in the ultimate, unless one is not helped to revive his inborn-nature technically called "Swarupa" as distinguished from his "Birupa" or external nature. The valiant defense of those who are unjustly attacked or protect the weak from the exploitation by the strong, are undoubtedly worthy of mention for binding man to man and nation to nation but the Vaisnavite wants to make every one and all so strong that he would not need any outside protection nor will be exploited by... ...anyone else. The Vaisnavite says that a living entity when he forgets his real "Swarupa" as the eternal transcendental subordinate unit of service, becomes exploited and constantly attacked by the "Birupa" or material nature. The exploitation and attack which we generally see externally on our fellowbeings are but the attacks and exploitation of the Grim Material Nature which tries to put the conditioned soul to the path of righteousness in an indirect method—just like the teacher chastises the student in order to put the latter into righteousness. Temporary help to save one from such attack or exploitation, may save one from such attacks or exploitation by a visible agent of the material nature, but that will not save the sufferer from the hands of Material nature which is called Godly and unsurmountable in the Bhagwat Geeta. When a culprit is given punishment within the walls of a prison house by the Superintendent of the prison, the childish cry of other prisoners or protest by them can give some temporary relief to the prisoner meant for punishment, but that cannot give him real relief. Brotherhood within the prison walls by the prisoners themselves will not surely improve their ideal of universal brotherhood under the grip of the Jailor in charge.
The whole ideal of universal brotherhood, peace and amity will surely give permanent delight as soon as the brothers are given relief from the exploitation and attacks of the Material Nature just like prisoners when they are freed from the control of the Jail Superintendent to relish the sweetness of brotherhood conceived by them. Within the walls of a prison house brotherhood for mutual relief is revolt against laws of the Jail and as such universal brotherhood within the laws of Material Nature is meaningless.
The Vaisnavite therefore tries to bring one first of all out of the exploitation and attack from the hands of Material Nature by putting one under the guidance of Yogamaya and then only he conceives for a real universal brotherhood between man to man and nation to nation.
The process of getting relief from the exploiting and attacking hands of the Material Nature is to surrender oneself unconditionally unto the care of the Absolute Personality of Godhead and that is the recognised formula in the Bhagwat Geeta. When one gets "BACK TO GODHEAD" he can really form an unit in the ideals of universal Brotherhood and none else.
Every action in the mundane world is influenced by the modes of Material Nature and as such they are activated either by good ideals, passion or ignorance. The first class actions are performed under the modes of goodness but even such actions are influenced by the material nature as a result of which they are nonpermanent, imperfect and uncongenial.
So in order to get rid from the exploiting and attacking hands of the Material Nature, one has to transcend the modes of material nature by constant service of the Personality of Godhead because that is the process of transcending the modes of material nature. When every one therefore is engaged in the service of the Personality of Godhead it is then and then only in relation with the Personality of Godhead everything becomes perfect, permanent and transcendental. That is the process concluded in Bhagwat Geeta.
The Personality of Godhead says in the 26th sloka of the 14th chapter as follows:—
"And he who worships Me by an exclusive devotion in service, having passed over all the three modes, is conformed to the nature of Brahman (the Absolute)."
Thus according to the Vaisnavite, only those who will engage themselves in the devotional service of the Personality of Godhead by their life, money, intelligence and words can be eligible to be a member of the bond of universal brotherhood. By serving the whole only the units can be served.
The ideals of the Theosophist as put by H. P. Blavatsky are as follows:—
"Let thy Soul lend its ear to every cry of pain like as the lotus bares its heart to drink the morning son.
Let not the fierce sun dry on tear of pain before thyself has wiped it from the sufferer's eye.
But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain; nor ever brush it off until that caused it is removed.
These tears, O thou of heart most merciful, these are the streams that irrigate the fields of charity immortal."
These words can be given practical shape only by those who have dedicated their life for cent per cent service of the Personality of Godhead and without this they will simply remain as golden ideals never to be fulfilled in the kingdom of man. The devotees only think for the fallen and down-trodden, try to pick them up from the mud of material existence and it is they only who try for the permanent benefit of the sufferers from the exploitating and attacking hands of the Grim Material Nature represented by the figure of the Goddess Kalika in destructive mode.
"Charity immortal" can be effected only when we are able to revive one's remembrance of the eternal service of the Personality of Godhead. How this service can be performed is a subject for delineation in another chapter but as the Theosophist says that to become a citizen in the kingdom of God implies responsibility, duty and sacrifice, the responsibility of a Vaisnavite is to revive in the consciousness of every one and all, the transcendental relation of Godhead. The duty is first to engage oneself in the transcendental service of the Personality of Godhead and then to try to engage others also in the same transcendental engagement and therefore there must be sacrifice of life, money, intelligence and word for the propagation and revival of such transcendental activities. Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for this cause and everyone who wants to enter into the Kingdom of God must be ready to sacrifice at least portion of his income if not other things in order to turn this hell into the Kingdom of God. God is Great and He reserves the right of not being exposed to the mundane speculationist and dry philosophers but He appears Himself by His own Will and Independence when He is offered transcendental loving services in all respects. The Sun appears in the morning just out of His own accord and not being bound up by the extraneous effort of the scientist. The scientist will fail to make appear the Sun at night by the discovery of all searchlights and scientific instruments. When He appears, ignorance disappears and one is able to see Him All-Good, All-Knowledge and All-Beautiful and one is also able to see himself too, that he is also all-good, all-knowledge and all-beautiful qualitatively. When he rises one can see the sun in the rays of the sun and not only the sun but also himself and all other things by him. As with the appearance of the Sun the darkness flies away so with the appearance of Godhead by His transcendental Name, Fame, Form, Qualities, etc., ignorance, poverty and wretchedness disappears; that is the verdict of all savants and scriptures.
The Theosophist tries to know the Godhead and His Kingdom in the Pattern by slow degrees in the process of self-effort and by the inductive process of generalisation but the Vaisnavite's process is the opposite. He approaches a Superior Authority who knows Godhead and His kingdom and tries to know from him submissively by the process of deduction in a mode of service and relevant sincere questions for knowing the truth. The thirty-fourth sloka of the fourth chapter of Bhagwat Geeta enjoins this in the following words:-
"Learn this (knowledge of Godhead and His Kingdom, etc.) by doing reverence (i.e., by becoming disciple) by counter-questions and by services. The Wise (one who has realised Godhead and His Kingdom) who has seen the Truth will teach (this knowledge) unto thee."
The process of the Vaisnavite is easier and perfect than the process of the empiric philosophers who try to know God and His Kingdom by dint of their poor fund of limited senses and imperfect knowledge derived from sensual speculation. In ordinary course of our life also we approach to the right person for learning a subject perfectly. We do not approach an engineer if we want to learn the science of medicines. Similarly if we want to know God and His kingdom or if we want to be servant of God, we must approach a real servant of God and must not approach one who is a servant of dog. Unless therefore one has not approached to the feet of one who is transcendentally wise and perfect, it is useless to talk of God and His kingdom.
In that process the Vaisnavite has realised Sree Krishna as the Absolute Personality of Godhead and the Origin of all causes. The Great Goswamins have discovered 64 transcendental qualities in their fullness in Sree Krishna which are never to be found out in any other person or god and therefore found Him (Krishna) as All-Good, All-Knowledge and All-Beautiful.
The Theosophist realises Sree Krishna in His Impersonal Aspect Brahman or All-pervading Vishnu Who dwells within as Paramatma and without as the Virata and this realisation is in perfect harmony with the observation of the Vaisnava. But the Vaisnava goes still deeper and sees Him as the Personality of Godhead "Bhagwan." The all-pervading aspect of the Personality of Godhead is realised by the Vaisnava simultaneously along with his realisation of His Personal Aspect. The vivid example for this is Pralhad Moharaj. When Pralhad Moharaj was being threatened by His atheist father Hiranyakashipu to be killed instantaneously, He (Pralhad Moharaj) stood firmly and boldly without any care for His father's threatening words. Hiranyakashipu asked, "How is it that you, foolish boy dare to neglect my anger which threatens the whole of the universe? Under whose influence you are so much fearless that you do not take any care for my words?"
Pralhad Moharaj replied to his father, "Oh king, the strength on which I depend is not only my strength but that is also your strength and that strength is also the strength of all strong men. Under that strength everything animate or inanimate in this universe works as subordinate. He is the Almighty, He is the Time, He is the Power of the senses, He is the strength of the mind, He is the strength of the body and He is the spirit of the sense organs. His power is unlimited, He is the Greatest of all, He is the Lord of the three modes of nature and He by His own strength, creates, maintains or destroys this whole universe. You may give up your this faithless character, do not nourish this nature of enmity and friendship within your heart but be equal to all beings. There is no other greater enemy than the mind who is uncontrolled and always going astray. To feel for all entities as one with us is the highest form of religion. In the ancient time some foolish men like yourself used to think as if they have conquered all the four corners of the universe, without conquering the six senses within themselves who are all-killing objects. But there is no enemy for the one, who is equal to all entities, self-conquered saint. The enemy is created by our ignorance only."
The atheist father became too much angry on these words of his son Pralhad Moharaj and began to taunt him saying, "You fool, you dare to ill-fame me and call yourself as the conqueror of all enemy and thus you are proud of your acquisition. By this I can clearly understand that you are strongly desirous of death as I know those who want to die say all these rubbish words before me. Do you believe that there is any God more powerful than myself? Where does He live? If He is all-pervading why does He not live within this pillar before me? I shall sever your head from your body who is so much proud and let your God come here and save you."
Pralhad Moharaj still remained silent as He knew that God is all-pervading and that He is sure to live within the pillar marked by Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu broke the Pillar and the Personality of Godhead came out of it in the shape of Narasingha just to kill the atheist Hiranyakashipu and other demonic people.
So the Vaisnavite's realisation of the Absolute Godhead is full and perfect in all of His different aspects while the realisation of the Empiricist or the Mystics (Yogins) or Fruitive worker are but partial and imperfect as they can only realise in one aspect of the Absolute Truth.
The Theosophist as an unit in the Whole desires to mould his destiny and thereby the destiny of the Whole. The individual soul when he becomes a Vaisnava that is, identifies himself with the interest of the Visnu, the Lord of the Universe, it is then only he realises his real position as a unit in the Whole and thus he finds out his duty towards the Whole also. He realises that he is a part in the Whole and not equal with the Whole. He is simultaneously one with the Whole and different too. He realises that Sree Krishna the Absolute Personality of Godhead is Great and Infinite while he himself although the part and parcel of that Infinite—is infinitesimal. He is the Fire and the individual souls are innumerable emanated sparks from Him. As such qualitatively the individual souls have the same potency of fire as the Fire himself. Sree Krishna the Absolute Personality of Godhead is All-attractive, so the individual soul when he actually realises his own position and thus becomes attracted by Sree Krishna—he is then able to attract thousands and thousands of other individual souls towards the Lotus Feet of Sree Krishna. In other words when an individual soul realises himself fully by the mercy of Sree Krishna, it is then only possible for him to attract others to the Lotus Feet of the Absolute Personality of Godhead. At this stage only the individual soul can realise that he is an eternal servitor of the Great and the Infinite. Eternal life is his constitution and transcendental Love of Godhead is his business or religion. As such the Vaisnavite at this stage moulds his destiny by activities which transcendentally increases his Love of God and similarly he tries for others so that they may also revive their latent constitution of Love and Service for the Absolute Person. These activities are as practical as we have to do our daily necessary works and are never to be simply an intellectual speculation with result of fatigue and disappointment. The practical works are so much real that they gradually put oneself in the ocean of transcendental Bliss and the whole universe shall appear to such lover of God, as all-blissful, eternal and full of light. This is called unconditional pure and eternal life of the individual soul in his spiritual existence.
As such the Vaisnavite can distinguish the life of an individual soul in divisions namely unconditional and conditional. As referred to above the individual soul remains the same part and parcel of the Great and the Infinite both in the unconditional as well as conditional states. It is never to be misunderstood that in the unconditional state the individual soul becomes the Infinite from infinitesimal. And because the individual soul is infinitesimal always and never the Infinite, he is subject to become conditional under the laws of material nature and were he infinite at any stage he would have never been subjected to a conditional life under the laws of Nature. That is his marginal position.
When Pralhad Moharaj, the celebrated devotee of the Personality of Godhead Vishnu and the son of Hiranyakashipu the well-known atheist—was a mere boy of five years old, was seen one day by his fellow playmates, chanting the transcendental name of Hari (The Lord). The boys, who were all born of atheist family and thereby known as the children of the Ashuras, asked Prolhad Moharaj a question which is now-a-days a common enquiry by all busy men. The question was quite plain and simple and it was an enquiry by the children of the Ashuras as to why Prolhad was wasting his valuable time by chanting the name of Hari. They asked him to come out of his place and make an enjoyment of life by fulfilling the utilitarian theory of eat, drink, be merry and enjoy. This was quite a natural thing for the children of the Ashuras because the Ashuras are none but those who know nothing of transcendence but are always busy with the business of material enjoyment.
The symbol of material enjoyment is a combination of gold and cushion and Hiranya-Kashipu was made the King of Ashuras because his very name suggested that he was concerned with only gold and cushion. Gold is the medium of exchange for all material comforts and cushion or soft-padded bedding is the resting place for enjoying women and wine. Hiranya means gold and Kashipu means soft bedding. Hiranya-Kashipu was therefore the King of such materialists who simply cared for gold and cushion and as such he did care little for the Lord or his Name.
But fortunately or unfortunately in order to show to the people of the world that material enjoyment is not the ultimate end of life but the aim of this human form of life is a mission for going back to God and back to home, Prolhad Moharaj who was an empowered incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, as is stated in the Geeta, took his birth in the midst of the most stubborn materialists, as the son of Hiranyakashipu who was atheist and materialist to the bottom of his heart.
The laws of appearance and disappearance of the Almighty Lord or that of His bonafide servants are different from the laws of Nature and both of them are free to make their choice as to where and how they should appear and where and how they should not. Therefore it is not at all astonishing why Prolhad Moharaj should have appeared himself in the family of atheists; thus a struggle between the theist and the atheist began.
The clash between the theist and the atheist exists always since the time immemorial and for the reason of this the relation between a theist and an atheist remains always a strained circumstances even if the relation is so intimate as that of between a son and a father: The atheist father Hiranyakashipu tried to kill his only beloved child Prolhad more than once for the only fault of his son's faith in God. In such a struggle between the theist and the atheist, the theist of course always comes out victorious, that is the verdict of history.
Now to come to our original point, we may say that Prolhad Moharaj, thus being asked by his fellow brethren as to why he was wasting his valuable time in the chanting of the name of Hari generally known as Kirtan,—he replied to his friends in the following words:—
"Brother, we have got this valuable human form of life after crores and crores of evolutionary processes. Thus this life, although temporary and liable to death, is a very valuable asset and in this body of our life only we can attain to the Supreme goal. We should not therefore waste our time even for a moment and must immediately engage ourselves for the attainment of the Prime necessity of life, the object of our material enjoyment being the same in all other forms of life."
The contention of the friends of Prolhad Moharaj was that the chanting of the name of Hari, may be set aside as a business of old-age recreation. For a body of five years old who is faced with a very bright future of life in the material world, such unusual chanting of the name of Hari is sheer waste of time (?). As a matter of fact if chanting of the Name of Hari is a matter of business for old age recreation, that sort of recreation may not be indulged in even in the old age. But if it is a question of absolute necessity, every man is a born old man and the name of Hari must be taken shelter of as soon as he is able to pronounce the elementary vocabulary. Old age means nearer approach to death and for human life and that especially in the present age of quarrel, there is no certainty as to when a man will die. Despite all precautions of the state and society, the mortality of man both young and old is taking place at every moment and yet the living ones think that they are immortals (?). That is a fun of the Maya and Prolhad Moharaj wanted to dissipate the illusion of his friends who were all the children of the Ashuras. He said-
"My dear friends, do not be foolish. Material enjoyment you had had enough many a time in your past lives and as such material enjoyment you will have according to your rank and position. But you must try for the supreme goal which was not possible to be performed during your past many lives." The four principles of material enjoyment are known as eating, sleeping, fearing and sense gratification. The cats, dogs, tigers, ants, serpents, birds and beasts like the man, have all got to enjoy these principles of material enjoyment according to their respective positions. The dog eats something and after eating goes to sleep for sometime. He also fears from the attack of another dog like a man fears from the attack of his enemy. The dog also begets children in the womb of his bitch wife, exactly like the man, and the dog's family is maintained with equal care as that of a man. But the difference between the dog and the man is that the dog cannot know anything besides those four principles of animal life called material enjoyment, but the man, by dint of his superior consciousness can know, if he tries to know at all, as to what he is, what is this manifested creation, who is the Almighty and what are their inter-relation with one another. The dog cannot make any distinction between a dog and the God because apparently both are composed of the same ingredients namely G. D. & O. But a man in his pure state of consciousness can know that a dog is dog and God is God by the law of identity. God cannot be dog and the dog cannot be God. A man of developed consciousness can understand that God is great and all other things are His subordinate servitors. He can know that forgetfulness of God is the quality of the dog and therefore a man tries to distinguish himself from the position of a dog simply by trying to know what is God. This process of knowing God the Almighty, varies in different ways by different people according to different country and climate and the standard method by which one tries to approach God or the relation between Him and the man, is generally known as religion. A man who has no such religion may be classed with the dog as he is no better than the latter. It is stated in the scriptures.
"Dharmena heena pasuvi samana."
i.e., a man devoid of religion is just like an animal. As a matter of fact therefore, Prolhad Moharaj was not wasting his time by chanting the name of Hari as seemed to the atheist friends but he was rightly utilising the valuable time of human existence with a view to self-realisation.
When the chanting of the Name of the Lord is done individually or incompletely it is called 'kirtan'. But all the same Kirtan or Samkirtan is always meant for chanting of the Name of the Lord and never means a debating society of mundane words. Samkirtan is however the greatest common formula of universal religion acceptable in the present age of quarrel, called the 'Kali yooga'.
In the Puranas it is stated that the process of knowing God, in the Satya yooga or Golden Age, is by concentration and meditation. Men would live during that age for one lac of years and it is said that Mohamuni Valmiki attained siddhi or perfection after 60,000 sixty thousand years of meditation before he was able to compose Ramayana. (So Ramayana is not a mundane poets' speculation.) The process of knowing God in the Treta-yooga or silver-age, was the performances of big sacrifices such as Aswamedha yajna, that in the Dwapara yooga or Bronze-age, was by worshipment with all paraphernalia and that in the Kali yooga, i.e., in the present age of quarrel (iron-age) the process is by performances of congregational chanting of the names of the Lord. The injunction in the scripture is as follows:—
Kritejat dhyayate Vishnu tretayam yayata makhoin
In the present age of quarrel therefore, when all conclusions are arrived at by an assembly of fighting men, the chance of realisation of the Absolute conclusion is very little by other processes such as, works, knowledge, re-union or meditation except by the process of congregational chanting of the Name of Hari.
About 450 years ago, Lord Chaitanya, the father of Samkirtan movement, appeared Himself in Bengal in the district of Nadia and inaugurated first the system of congregational chanting of the name of the Lord. He made a vigorous transcendental propaganda work for this purpose. As a result of that movement, the whole of Bengal, Orissa and Southern India, was over-flooded with His transcendental propaganda work and many eminent personalities like Rupa and Sanatan the then ministers of the Nawab of Bengal and Ramananda Roy the then governor of Madras and scholars like Vasudeva Sarbabhouma or Sanyasis like Prakashananda Saraswati all became His disciples amongst many other thousands of disciples at that time.
At Benares he converted Prakashananda Saraswati along with his 60,000 (sixty thousand) Mayavadi Sannyasin followers to His cult of Samkirtan. At Allahabad He favoured Ballavacharya at Arail on the other side of Allahabad and at Puri He did so by reclaiming the great scholar of the time namely Vasudeva Sarbabhouma an accredited logician and empiric philosopher of his time. All these combination made Lord Chaitanya's movement a great success and as a result of that movement the present city of Brindaban in U.P. was excavated by the two Goswamins namely Rupa and Sanatan who were empowered by Lord Chaitanya. Since that time in various parts of India the cult of Samkirtan has spread up like fire and has been accepted as the only process of transcendental realisation by many many saints such as Tukaram in Maharastra and others. It is said that Saint Tukaram got inspiration of the holy name Hare Krishna by Krishna Chaitanya (Avanga 3875) and since then he flooded the whole of Maharastra and Western India by the Samkirtan movement. In the 'Chaitanya Bhagwat' also we can see a foretelling of Lord Chaitanya—that the cult of the Lord will spread in every village and all towns that are on the surface of the Earth. From this foretelling we can hope that the cult of Samkirtan will take very shortly an universal form of religious movement and this universal religion, wherein there is no harm in chanting the Name of the Lord nor there is any question of quarrel,-will continue to years, as we can know from the pages of authoritative scriptures.
The cult of Sree Krishna Chaitanya is as follows:
Harernama Harernama Harernamoiba Kevalam
i.e., in the age of quarrel, the transcendental Name of Hari (Lord) is only to be chanted and there is no other alternative except this, for transcendental realisation. He has thrice emphasised on the Name of Hari as well as on the word alternative, in order to give on it very strong impression as we generally do by giving stress at least three time on a thing just to give good impression. It should be noted therefore that the process for transcendental realisations recommended for the three periods namely, Satya, Treta, Dwapara will not be feasible in the present age. The people of the present age are short lived and poor in knowledge and poor in material prosperity. They are also corrupted by the association of "Kalee" or the age of quarrel. The symbolic expression of the Age of Kali is represented by the four principles of vices as was observed by Parikshit Moharaj during the first advent of the Age of Kali about 5,000 years ago. The four principles of vices are as follows.
(1) Illegitimate association with woman and unrestricted sexuality.
(2) Unrestricted slaughtering of cows and other minor animals.
(3) Encouragement of drinking and other intoxicating habits.
(4) Mass movements of gambling adventures in all spheres of human activities namely, political, social, economic and religious, etc.
We may also very carefully note that the Age of Kali has passed only 5,000 years after the battle of Kurukshetra which was fought between the Kurus and the Pandavas and just after the disappearance of Lord Krishna from this mortal world. The major portion of the Age of Kali is still unfathomed as according to Hindu Shastras (Law books) the Age of Kali has to prolong more for 4,27,000 of years. The signs of the Age of Kali as mentioned above have already begun to be very prominent even in the very beginning of the age, and we do not know what will happen when the age will be at its full youthful time. Thus we can at least know that for the coming four lacs and twenty-seven thousands of years, no one can check the progressive current of the influence of the Age of Kali represented by the above four principles of vices as no one is able to check the seasonal changes in the duration of a year. The laws of Nature cannot be changed by anyone who is himself under the laws of Nature. The above four principles of the Age of Kali have spread from the West and as stated in the Scriptures it is spreading its influence on the Eastern horizon too. We may try our utmost by all our resources and inventive powers to check the above forces, by such imaginary actions as Hinduraj, Moslemraj, Non-violence, socialism, communalism, and so forth as the human brain can conceive of-but we are completely helpless in checking the onrush spread of the cult of the Age of Kali, by any conceivable method except by the counterblast, namely congregational chanting of the Name of Hari (The Lord). It is for this reason only that Lord Chaitanya has thrice emphasised the fact,
Kalou Nasteba, Nasteba Nasteba gatiranaath,
So from the onslaught and ravages of the age of Kali, no one will be able to concentrate his mind even for a moment. Even the preliminary processes of meditation (Yoga) will be impossible to perform by any man in the present age. Therefore the processes as was enjoined in the age of Satya, has to be replaced by the process of Harer Namoiba. In the same way no one can perform the great sacrifices which required so much wealth and so much knowledge. The men of the Treta Yooga used to live for 10,000 of years and therefore it was possible for them to accumulate the necessary funds as well as knowledge necessary for the performance of the great sacrifices such as the Aswamedha Yajna, etc. Even it is possible now to accumulate the necessary funds for such sacrifices, it is not possible to find out the required learned Brahmin who could take charge for the performance of such sacrifices, so that the desired result can be had of. Thus in the present age, we are poor both by funds and knowledge and as such the principles of sacrifices as recommended for the Treta Yooga must be replaced by the principles of Harer Namoiba. In the same way the processes of the Dwapara Yooga has also to be replaced by the principles of Harer Namoiba as ordered by Lord Chaitanya. He has thrice emphasised on the fact as there is no other alternative for the mass emancipation in the Kali Yooga, for the reason that all other methods for bringing peace in the world will always be frustrated by the contamination of the above four principles of the age of Kali.
Lord Chaitanya conducted His transcendental movement strictly according to the injunction of the Shastras (law-books) because that is the qualification of all bonafide Acharyas or authorities, and as such he has most reasonably and scientifically ordered us to chant the Name of the Lord as follows. In the scriptures the Taraka Brahman Names of the Lord in this age are composed of 32 letters and 16 words, symbolised as follows:—
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
The chanting of the above sixteen words composed of 32 Sanskrit letters combined together is called the "Mahamantram". (Moha=great, Man=mind, Tran=deliverance) that is, the great instrument for our deliverance from the clutches of the mental plane. At present we have no information of the transcendental plane or Self-realisation but are hovering over a plane created by the Mind called Manaratha. These sixteen words can alone deliver us from such mental activities.
If any one therefore takes shelter of the Mahamantram with unconditional surrender, he can very easily attain to all successes both material and Spiritual, that is the verdict of Lord Chaitanya. This Mahamantram when murmured within the mouth it is called "Japa" and when chanted loudly so that others also may take advantage of hearing the same, it is called SREE KRISHNA SAMKIRTAN. Both these processes of Japa and Samkirtan were perfectly demonstrated by Thakur Haridas an associate of Lord Chaitanya. This Thakur Haridasa is also known as the Namacharya, i.e., the authority from whom, the chanting of the transcendental Name of the Lord, must be learnt. It is needless however to say that this Thakur Haridas happened to appear himself in the family of a great Mohamedan showing thereby that the cult of Lord Chaitanya is acceptable universally without any distinction of caste, creed and colour.
According to Lord Chaitanya, this Sree Krishna Samkirtan is glorified for the following reasons:—
Sree Krishna Samkirtan is glorified because by His influence the darkness of Nescience cast over our pure consciousness is dissipated. The Nescience is our forgetfulness of the service of the Lord, the All-attractive Personality of Godhead. Before the advent of the Age of Kali—Sree Krishna the Supreme Lord appeared Himself as one of us (?) and conducted the sacred battle of Kurukshetra in order to teach us, through Arjuna, the essence of all knowledge in the form of Geeta. The supreme instruction of Geeta is most confidential and that is said by the Lord Himself as follows:—
Sarba Dharman paritayya Mam ekam saranam braja
Aham tam sarba papevya moksaisyami ma sucha
i.e., "Give up thy all engagements created by the mind and take shelter of Me alone. I shall deliver thee from all possible sins, for which you may rest assured."
In the same Geeta (Bg. 15.7) Sree Krishna says that the Jiva souls are eternal parts and parcels of Him but the 'Jivasoul' has now become conditioned by the modes of Nature attracted by the subtle mind and five subordinate senses, encaged in the gross material body. The fact that the Jiva soul is completely different from his body and the mind, has been elaborately explained in the very beginning of the Geeta and this misidentification of the spirit soul with material body or the mind-has been the root cause of all Nescience in the forgetfulness of our transcendental eternal relation with the Supreme Lord. The last instruction of Geeta is thus in the way of reinstallation of the Jiva soul unto the service of the Lord and that is the aim of clarifying the mirror of our pure consciousness.
But the mirror of our pure consciousness is now covered with a layer of dusts primarily called mundane desire for enjoyment and mundane renunciation or hatred for enjoyment. First of all we are attracted by the glare of material enjoyment and thereby we desire to lord it over the material forces of Nature and her regulated laws by becoming Iswara, Lord, Master, King, Proprietor, Leader, and so forth but when we are defeated in our such enjoying habit by the trident of Durga, the superintending goddess of the material world, we then try to become a pseudo renouncer or "Tyagi". Thus in the beginning of our association with the material enjoyment, we declare ourselves as "Bhogi" or enjoyer and when we are baffled in our such process of enjoyment we become "Tyagi" or renouncer of the world. Both these functions are performed on the mental plane only. And in this way Durga or the material Nature pulls us by the ear and the laws of Nature known as "Trigunas" or the three modes of Nature till we do away with such mental speculations of Bhoga and Tyaga detrimental to the path of self-realisation.
When we want to become an enjoyer we do not remember as to whose things we are going to enjoy. We forget at that time that everything is created by and property of the Lord. We are unable to manufacture even a pinch of earth and what to speak of the finer elements such as water, fire, air, ether etc. We forget that all these elements are the gifts of the Lord Himself through His External Potency of Nature and the Jiva soul is simply allowed to make a use of them for the service of the Lord or in order to satisfy his false position of an enjoyer (?). As soon as the objects of such false enjoyment are taken away by the sway of the laws of Nature, the Jiva soul looks blank and becomes a silly renouncer like the fabulous jackal in the orchard of grapes. The Jiva soul forgets to know that all the materials of his false enjoyment are supplied by the Nature in accordance with the orders of the Lord and the captivated conditioned soul falsely thinks that he is absolute enjoyer of the things. He forgets that he is a prisoner in the fortress (Duga) of the External Potency (Durga). When he renounces therefore under an awkward circumstances, he gives up only that gross enjoying habit but becomes a subtle enjoyer of his other resources namely the mind and the ego. Thus he hovers over the plane of mental concoction for becoming one with the Lord making a spiritual suicide of his own individual existence. This sort of illusion is the last snare of the Most Powerful Qualitative Nature and for this reason only Sree Krishna warns the Jiva soul as follows:—
"Daivijhesa gunamae Mama Maya duratyaya." Unsurmountable are the ways of the modes of Nature and the only way out from the tangle of such modes of Nature-is complete voluntary surrender unto Me (Sree Krishna). The last line completes as follows: "Mam eba je prapadyante Maya etan tarantee te." Thus the desire or hatred for enjoyment or renunciation both are creations of the false ego. They are therefore as if dusts on the mirror of our pure consciousness. When this is cleared off by Sree Krishna Samkirtan the Jiva soul then and there can see only his real face on the polished mirror of pure consciousness and then he can know only that he is neither the enjoyer nor the renouncer but an eternal entity as transcendental servitor of the Supreme Lord. The dust is Maya or illusion which can be compared with the shadow and the Lord as the beam light. When He appears Himself on the mirror of our pure consciousness, the Maya gives way and the shadow disappears. We cannot see the Lord nor hear His voices by our present imperfect senses but when with full voluntary surrender we chant the transcendental Name of the Lord with service and submission, He mercifully makes His own appearance in the transcendental state of our existence when freed from the contamination of the spirit of enjoyment and renouncement.
Secondly Sree Krishna Samkirtan is glorified because by His influence we can extinguish the perpetual fire of material tribulations that always burn in the midst of material existence. Forgetfulness of our transcendental relation with the Lord, has compelled the Nature to inflict her trident of threefold miseries pierced into the heart of us. The threefold miseries are:
(a) Miseries pertaining to "Atma" or the body and the mind such as heat, cold, diseases, sorrows, losses, invalidity, hunger, thirst, old age, death, etc.
(b) Miseries pertaining to the "Bhuta" or other entities such as troubles inflicted by enemies, animals, insects, etc., and
(c) Miseries pertaining to the disturbances by the "Devas" or the controlling gods such as famine, flood, war, pestilence, cyclone, earthquake etc.
The conditioned soul in his false position of an enjoyer or renouncer has to undergo the threefold miseries as above mentioned in spite of all his scientific efforts to overcome them. The scientific brain with which the conditioned Jiva soul tries to make a solution of the miserable problems-is also a gift of the modes of Nature and he is therefore befooled in his tiny efforts to conquer the laws of Nature by a tiny instrument called the brain, given by the Nature. The laws of Nature however can smash the products of such millions and billions of combined brains by her one stroke of the powerful trident.
The constant effort of the conditioned soul to give a fight with the laws of Nature makes the conditioned soul more and more embarrassed, as we can find in the picture of the "Mohishasur" in his fighting mode with the mother "Durga". The Mohishasur has a trident of the Mother pierced in his chest is the symbolic expression of the threefold miseries sickening our heart.
Such a huge fire of tribulation can only be checked by the Sree Krishna Samkirtan. By Sree Krishna Samkirtan only, the conditioned soul can gradually know that he is neither enjoyer nor renouncer but a transcendental servitor only. By the revival of such pure consciousness, he surrenders voluntarily all his manufactured processes of conquering the laws of Nature and then only can corroborate with the lessons of Geeta "Sarba Dharman paritayya" etc. When he does so, he easily transcends the laws of Nature. The laws of Nature cannot act on him by such revival of pure consciousness. At that time even within this material world he becomes freed from the action of the laws of Nature in his transcendental position. Such is the power of Sree Krishna Samkirtan.
Thirdly Sree Krishna Samkirtan is glorified because by His influence the darkness of our heart becomes whiter and whiter. Sree Krishna Samkirtan is compared with the moon rays that diffuses the whiteness of "Kumud" (Lotus) flowers.
Similarly the moon rays of Sree Krishna Samkirtan diffuses the whiteness of our pure consciousness.
Fourthly Sree Krishna Samkirtan is glorified because by His influence the life of knowledge becomes blessed. In the "Mundak Upanishad" we can get information of two kinds of knowledge. The one is pertaining to the matter (physical) and the other pertaining to the spirit (metaphysical). By Sree Krishna Samkirtan when one's heart is unfolded like the Kumud flower by the rays of moon, one realises his own self as distinct from the body and the mind. In the present conditioned state of our existence, we are more concerned with the knowledge of the body and the mind but as we realise, our real self by the process of Sree Krishna Samkirtan, that we are separate from the body and the mind, so a pure hankering after our real existence becomes evident. That is the life of real knowledge and is called generally the life of "Brahman Jijnasa" i.e., an enquiry into the life of spiritual existence as distinguished from spiritual suicide.
The Jiva Soul being constitutionally "Brahman" or Spirit, an enquiry of the knowledge of Spiritual existence is quite natural for him and by the culture of that knowledge of spiritual existence only the Jiva Soul again becomes reinstated to his constitutional position of transcendental relationship of neutrality, service, friendship, affection and love of God which is the ultimate goal of spiritual life. As for the mundane knowledge such as art, science, philosophy, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and so forth they become automatically acquired by the process of Sree Krishna Samkirtan. Sree Krishna Samkirtan includes such knowledges indirectly or as a matter of course as it is evident by the recitation of Bhagavat Geeta and Sreemad Bhagavat. There are perfect elucidation of such mundane knowledge in the readings of Geeta and Bhagavat.
Simple culture of the mundane knowledge makes the Jiva Soul bound up by the vanity of such mundane knowledge but by Sree Krishna Samkirtan, not only those knowledges are acquired without any separate effort but also the student becomes freed from the mundane vanity for the acquirement of such knowledges. Freedom from the vanity of such mundane knowledge, leads one to the path of real knowledge i.e., to the Lotus feet of the Absolute Personality of Godhead Who is the Fountain Head of All knowledge.
Fifthly, Sree Krishna Samkirtan is glorified because He enhances the ocean of enjoyments. By acquisition of mundane knowledge certainly we find out the ocean of material enjoyment but such enjoyments are partial, insignificant and temporary in as much as they are unable to give us perfect happiness.
But by Sree Krishna Samkirtan we do not only acquire the enjoyments of the material knowledge but we can extend the sphere to the enjoyment of spiritual existence. By the imperfect material knowledge, we are able to enjoy the material world for a limited time and within a limited space but by the extension of the spiritual knowledge, the ocean of enjoyment becomes extended to unlimited time and unlimited space. Unless therefore we can engage our resources acquired by the sacrifices of life, wealth, intelligence and words for propaganda of the service of Sree Krishna Samkirtan, we are sure to be disappointed in our attempt for material enjoyment and as a result of such limited attempt, we are sure to be dashed constantly like a pendulum of a clock, between the poles of material enjoyment and renouncement.
Sixthly Sree Krishna Samkirtan is glorified for He can give a taste of the nectorine of transcendental mellow. When everything is therefore conjoined with the performances of Sree Krishna Samkirtan everything in such transcendental relation becomes transcendental in nature by the transcendental touch and as such the mundane nature which is always imperfected by its inborn inebriety and unwholesomeness, cannot act on them. In the transcendence, the mundane imperfectness is always conspicuous by its absence, and therefore Sree Krishna Samkirtan can give us a taste of complete nectorine. The elevationists of the mundane world can surely taste the nectorine of the fruits of their respective works for some time, and the salvationists may undergo the dry regulations of renouncement negatively of the bitterness of material enjoyment without any scent of the transcendental variety, but the performer of Sree Krishna Samkirtan, by his process of engaging all for the service of Sree Krishna with full touch of the transcendence, does never become bound up by their such transcendental activities, like the elevationists nor has had the necessity of undergoing the dry process of renouncement. The performer of Sree Krishna Samkirtan always transcends the activities of the mundane elevationists and salvationists and remains an eternal servitor of the Lord and enjoys in every step of his transcendental existence a touch from the Lord. He is therefore reposed to a position of perfect peace enviable by the desirers of mundane enjoyment, renouncement or perfection.
Then again Sree Krishna Samkirtan being transcendental sound, we must distinguish Him from any of the mundane sounds. The mundane sound is always different from the object designated by the sound. For example we may cite that the mundane sound 'water' is always different from the object water designated by the sound water. When we are thirsty we may repeat the word 'water' and 'water' by sounds for one hundred and a thousand times, still we shall not be able to quench our thirst by such constant practices. That is the imperfectness or mundane inebriety of the mundane sounds. But Sree Krishna Samkirtan although descends from the transcendental kingdom apparently like the mundane sounds, just to favour us for His being audible by our present imperfect senses, He should never be concocted as one with the mundane sound. We must always remember that there is no distinction between Sree Krishna and His Name, Fame, Quality, and Paraphernalia. The Lord is Absolute Knowledge and there is no mundane relativity between Him and His Names etc. He is eternally complete or "Purnamadam." His Name is also therefore "Purnamadam" and therefore when His Name appears before us in His completeness-the Lord does not lose anything thereby but still remains in His fullness. That is the potentiality of the Almighty God. Completeness derived from completeness leaves out a balance of completeness. One minus one leaves out a balance of one again, as distinguished from the mundane calculation of one minus one equal to Zero. The Upanishads confirm the fact like this:—
"Purnashya Purnam adaya Purnam ebe abshishyate."
The Lord therefore can descend before us by His inconceivable mystic powers, in the form of Sound Transcendental, and if we like, we can receive Him properly by surrender and service by a submissive aural reception. If Sree Krishna comes Himself in our presence as He actually did during the battle of Kurukshetra or Sree Rama Chandra comes Himself in our presence as He did actually during the Ajodhya Leela, what we are expected to do to receive the Personality of Godhead? Surely we shall try to receive Him with all devotion and services, so that we may be favoured with His Grace. Similarly as His Name is non-different from Him, we must receive the Name with all humility and submissive aural reception with the same attitude as we have had done in the presence of the Lord Himself. "Sree Krishna Samkirtan" is not therefore a sense pleasure of music and songs as are conceived by some mundaners. We should always remember the following sloka in connection with Sree Krishna Samkirtan namely:-
Nama Chintamani Krishna Chaitanya Rasavigraha
Purna, Suddha, Nitya, Mukta, avinyatat Nama Namina.
i.e., the Name of Sree Krishna is equally powerful as Sree Krishna Himself for there is no distinction between Him and His Name. The Name is therefore All-perfect, All-pure, Eternal, and distinguished from the mundane sounds which are always different from the objects designated by these sounds.
Sree Krishna has said Himself while addressing Narada that He does not necessarily make Himself immobile by His situation in the transcendental world, neither He is so, being seated in the hearts of the Yogins as Paramatma and so forth, but He resides surely in His fullness, where His devotees chant the transcendental Name in right earnestness. Sree Krishna being the absolute enjoyer as stated in the Geeta,
"Aham eba saraba yajnanam bhokta cha Prabhur eba cha"
i.e., "I am the Absolute Enjoyer and Master of all Yajnas or sacrifices etc."—He cannot be the object of our sense-pleasure in combination with music and bands and called thereof "Samkirtan." He cannot be enjoyed by our irresponsible whims and feats. He says therefore that He lives only there where His devotees chant His Name.
"Mad bhakta jatra gayantee"
He declines to descend Himself where there is dearth of His devotees. Because His devotees never try to enjoy Him or His Paraphernalia in a pseudo-spiritualistic mode. His devotee knows it perfectly well that Sree Krishna being the Absolute Personality of Godhead i.e., "Purushottama" as stated in the Geeta, He cannot consent to reside at a place where His transcendental Name, Fame, Quality, etc., are considered as equal with mundane names, etc., and thereby treated with all undevotional manner. In the Geeta he has clearly declared that He does not reveal Himself to every one and any one.
"Na Aham sarbasha prakasha Yoga Maya samabrita"
The Absolute Godhead always reserves the right of not being exposed to those whose eyes are covered with the modes of Nature. His devotion however begins only when one has learnt the A.B.C. lessons of Geeta in perfectness. This perfect knowledge of Geeta is practically demonstrated by complete surrender unto Sree Krishna only, leaving aside all other things. The first stage of Sree Krishna devotion begins only when one is firmly convinced that by Sree Krishna devotion only one is able to perform all other duties. To abide by the dictations of Sree Krishna is the real discharging of all other duties. This sort of staunch devotion is called "Sraddha" and by the gradual development of the activities of "Sraddha" in the association of devotees, one can rise up to the stage of Prema Bhakti the highest plane of transcendental Pastimes of the Personality of Godhead.
Such being the Nature of the transcendental Name of the Lord, the Name must be received through the transcendental sources i.e., from the lips of the devotees only as above mentioned. The transcendental Names of the Lord in His various forms or manifestations such as Rama, Nrisingha, Narayana, Krishna, Gopalam, Vishnu, Govinda, Radharamana, Gopinatha, Seeta Pati, Raghubara, Baladeva and many others in the spiritual kingdom, are always complete with the transcendental potencies and by the mercy of the Lord, there is no hard and fast rules in respect to time and space for the transcendental chanter. The devotee who has received the Name from a transcendental source i.e., from the lips of a devotee as above mentioned, may repeat the Name at all times, without any restriction. By this the Lord has favoured us to allow His constant association, so that one can always live with Him, go with Him, eat with Him, sleep with Him, work with Him, without being disturbed by the laws of Nature or her threefold miseries.
Such is the unbounded mercy of the Lord on us but still we are so much wretched that we have no inclination for chanting His Name in spite of His being so easily available for the fallen souls of the Age of quarrel. There is nothing to lose or nothing to spend-but everything to gain by chanting the Name of the Lord but still we have no genuine desire for their chanting and we must see to the causes why we are so much disinclined although the Lord has become so merciful on us.
As a matter of fact our first misfortune commenced from the time immemorial when we forgot the transcendental service of the Lord and thus became conditioned by the modes of the material Nature. This misfortunate occurrence became manifested in trio under the following heading namely:—
(a) Material enjoyment without any responsibility.
(b) Good or bad works for the furtherance of the above propensity in the present life and in future births also.
(c) Culture of material knowledge in order to make a measurement of the Immeasurable.
All the above threefold activities with their various sub-headings are to be considered as our misfortunes by which we are always debarred from the chanting of the transcendental Names of the Lord. Spontaneous eternal love for the Lord is a birth right of the Jiva Soul, but in the realisation of his such pure consciousness, the above mentioned trio is the stumbling block. He is checked on his onward march by such refuses and as a matter of course the Jiva Soul is apt to be contaminated by ten kinds of disease-germs known as "Namaparadha" or offence at the feet of the transcendental Name of the Lord, as one can find out in the "Padmapuranam." The sincere devotee who wants to attain a perfection (Siddhi) for himself by the process of chanting the Name of the Lord must refrain from the ten kinds of offences which are quoted below from the "Padmapuranam."
1. The first and foremost offence is the act of defaming the great saints who have glorified the chanting of the Name of the Lord by example in their own life and precepts. According to ordinary moral principles no one must be defamed for serving any ulterior motive. But still according to the gravity of different offences, defamation of Saints who have done much for the propagation of the Name of God and His Fame must be considered the gravest of all offences. Those who are therefore accustomed to defame such saints, are spiritually great offenders and such persons can have no access to the transcendental Name of the Lord. We should therefore be guard against such offence.
2. The second offence is to place the Absolute Godhead or Vishnu Tattwa in the category of the demigods who derive their powers from the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is one without a second and all other gods are His servitors, having no separate existence as another Almighty Godhead. These subordinate gods are stated in the Geeta as "Anya devata" i.e., gods other than Myself (Sree Krishna)
Jepyanya devata bhakta jajante shradhyannita
This abidhipurbakam means unduly or with offensives. The Supreme Godhead is Sree Krishna undoubtedly and this is confirmed in all the scriptures and specially in the Brahma Samhita as follows:—
Iswara parama Krishna sachchitananda vigraha
i.e., Sree Krishna is the primeval Lord and Origin of everything. He is the cause of all causes. He is the Summum Bonum Absolute Godhead. The Plenary Manifestations of Sree Krishna are manifold such as Rama, Nrisingha, Vishnu etc. But all such manifestations are Absolute knowledge. No one is therefore equal or greater than the Absolute Knowledge. This subject is itself a matter of studies by transcendentalists but without knowing the intricacy of the Absolute knowledge, those who simply imagine that the Absolute Godhead and subordinate demigods are one and the same commit great offence at the feet of the Supreme Lord. The subordinate gods such as Shiva, Brahma, Ganesh, Surya, Indra, Chandra, Varuna, Vaue etc., are either qualitative incarnations of the Absolute Godhead or in other cases Jiva souls with delegated powers from the Personality of Godhead. Neither existence of the demigods shall be misconceived nor they should be made one and the same with the Absolute Personality of Godhead. Those who want to attain perfection in the way of chanting the Names of the Lord must refrain from such conglomeration of facts in the spiritual science.
The third offence is disregard of the Spiritual Master. The devotee must receive the transcendental Name of the Lord from the transcendental lips of a bonafide spiritual master who is cent percent devotee of the Lord and nothing more or nothing less and then begin chanting the transcendental Name of the Lord by constant repetition. Such spiritual master as above mentioned is known as the Guru from whom either initiation is taken or the one from whom spiritual instruction is received. One should have unflinching faith in such self realised transcendental spiritual master. The bonafides of such spiritual master can however be known, by their activities only which are always evident in respect of everything being done for and on behalf of the Lord. The self-realised spiritual master never deviates from the rulings of Shastras (Law Books) and he always does in practice what he speaks in theory. Those who however manufacture spiritual lessons from their own fertile brain, without having undergone any spiritual training from a bonafide spiritual master, cannot be counted as a spiritual master. Disrespect for such bonafide spiritual master and respect for the pseudo-spiritual master both are offences of the third order.
The fourth offence is defamation of the standard scriptures such as the four Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Brahmasutras, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Geeta, or other literatures which conform to the principles of the above mentioned scriptures. In the Geeta Sree Krishna Himself accepts 'Brahmasutras' or 'Vedanta Darshan' as the standard of all spiritual knowledge.
In the spiritual society no sect or Sampradaya is considered as bonafide party who has no authorised interpretation of the Brahmasutras. (Interpretation of "Brahmasutra" by the party represented by Lord Chaitanya is known as "Govinda Vashya" of Acharya Baladeva Vidyabhusan). Those who therefore invent some spiritual party without knowing the Brahmasutra from an authorised spiritual master or do interpret without proper reason and philosophy, do simply create disturbances in the spiritual line without doing any benefit to himself or to his unfortunate followers. Sreela Rupa Goswami describes such unauthorised activities as follows:—
Sruti Smriti Puranadi Pancharatrabidhin bina
Pseudo-devotional activities without reference to the standard scriptures as above mentioned, are simply acts of disturbances in the name of spirituality. The performer of Samkirtan must refrain from such disturbing elements.
The fifth offence is to misunderstand the glorification of the transcendental Name of the Lord as exaggerated facts. Actually by the chanting of the transcendental Name of the Lord, all gains be it material or spiritual are automatically obtained. It is simply a question of time that takes for the fructification of the desired result. But those who think, without attaining to perfection, that such results are exaggeration of facts, do commit offence of the fifth order. The performer of Samkirtan must refrain from such misrepresentation of facts.
The sixth offence is to manufacture concocted or designed meanings of the Names of Hari (The Lord) or that of the scriptural truths. One can directly understand that the word 'Hari' means the Personality of Godhead Who is Eternal Bliss, Eternal Knowledge, and Eternal Form but without knowing the intricacy of the Lord's form etc., those who think 'Hari' means the Impersonal Brahman do commit offence of the sixth order. There are others who are still less intelligent and do manufacture meanings of the word "Sree Krishna" as the mind (?) Rama as satisfaction and similar other things. Such manufacturers of distorted meanings do not generally take what is direct and spontaneous interpretation but they always try to enforce indirect interpretations for their own temporary benefit only. They are also great offenders and the performer of Samkirtan must carefully take leave of them.
The seventh offence is to indulge in vices on the strength of chanting the Name of the Lord. Those who are really recipient of the transcendental Name of the Lord from the transcendental sources, and those who chant the Name of the Lord very carefully without any offence as above mentioned, cannot naturally indulge in vices as a matter of course. But for the reason of that those who intentionally commit vices knowing that they are always with the Lord (?),—are the greatest of all offenders and their counteracting endeavours for the vices committed during the day time, by the chanting of the Name of the Lord, in the evening, cannot be accepted as Samkirtan at any cost. One should always guard himself against such pseudo-spiritual devices for the well being of one's ownself as well as one's followers. This sort of offences can be compared with the act of pouring water on the fire while it is burning. Water pouring and burning of the fire cannot go together.
The eighth offence is to equalise the value of all good works with the chanting of the transcendental Name of the Lord. Penances, austerity, meditation, fasting, methodism, morality or such goodness that lead the performer to higher stations of life, cannot be equalised with Sree Krishna Samkirtan. Those who do like that, are also offenders at the feet of the transcendental Name. The results of all the above mentioned good works are after all material in nature because they can offer in return material prosperities only and are therefore limited within time and space. But the transcendental Name of the Lord and the Lord Himself are non-different. As such realisation of the Absolute Truth cannot be compared with relative goodness. The performer of Samkirtan must be on his guard against commitment of offence of the eighth order.
The ninth offence is to preach and advise of the transcendental nature of the Name of Lord to such a person who is atheistic in temperament, mundane moralists, and addicted to elevatory process only. Unless one has cleansed his heart from such contaminations, he can hardly be eligible for receiving the transcendental Name of the Lord.
There are many professional spiritual masters whose business is to sell the transcendental Name of the Lord (?) and these traders generally sell to persons who are altogether unfit. Such business transactions on considerations of £. s. d. exchanged between the spiritual master and the so-called disciple are undoubtedly great offences. The student of Samkirtan must refrain from the association of such pseudo-spiritualists in order to achieve perfection in the process of Samkirtan.
The tenth and the last but not the least offence to the lotus feet of the transcendental Name of the Lord is either to become inattentive to all the above offences or not to take to the chanting of the transcendental Name of the Lord in spite of hearing all the glories of the system.
A serious student of Samkirtan can get rid of all the above offences if he desires so, knowing well the different forms of offences and by refraining from them by all possible precautions. This can however be done without difficulty by continuous chanting of the Name of the Lord and for such constant reciter of the transcendental name of the Lord, there is no room for committing such offences.
In conclusion we may add that without culture nothing can be made to perfection. The culture of the science of Samkirtan is Sree Krishna Himself, both being non-different. In mundane matters only the means and the end are different from one another. But in the transcendence the means and the end are non-different. In preparatory stage only, for chanting the Name of the Lord, there is every chance for committing the above offences but for the reason of that we must not be disheartened at the least. We should always remember that both the preparatory stage and the perfection stage of Samkirtan is nothing but Samkirtan. The difference of these two stages are realisation and non-realisation only.
As a matter of fact therefore all people must be led to the Science of Samkirtan by all means and they shall be engaged in the culture of the science by Samkirtan only. The offences as described above if kept in view, the sincere culturists will be able to avoid them without difficulty. In the "Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu" of Sreela Rupa Goswami, it is said that the mind must be fixed up in the chanting of the Name and the regulations are to serve them as subordinate servants. The sowing of the seed of Samkirtan must be performed immediately unto the heart of every one and all and the watering process of the seed so sown must be done by constant hearing and chanting in the association of devotees. When the seed sprouts at the heart, the gardener must protect it from all sides by guarding against the above mentioned offences. In this process the seed of Samkirtan will grow up to a big tree when the nectorine fruit of Love of God shall automatically ripe and the gardener will be able to taste the same transcendentally, sell it and make a huge profit thereof. Om tat sat.
By a Tridandi Swami of Sreedham Mayapur, Nabadwip
The Vedic culture is considered to be the most ancient and mysterious in the scholarly circle. The great spiritual Dictator Sree Krishna Dwaipavana Vyasdeva is known to be the deliverer of the Vedic message in its present form as such the great Vyasa is held in uncommon reverence in all the authentic various schools of vedic interpreters. The last and the greatest gift of the supreme personality to the Theistic scholars, is the great Bhagbat Purana.
In this holy book the essence of Theism, contained in the Vedas has been revealed in such a living and magnificent manner that it dazzles even the intellect of many vedic thinkers. The bonafide followers of the dictator however feel simply charmed to see the beauty of spiritual wisdom unveiled in this great treatise. The Absolute Truth the Beautiful has been discovered here in His lovely autocratic character, and an automatic affectionate service of the same Supreme Being, has been declared to he the Summum Bonum of living beings.
Maximum happiness is of course the goal of life. But people are seen to strive after different objects for the same. Their objects of interest while scientifically arranged may be considered under four heads namely, Dharma—the consideration of duty, Artha—accumulation of worldly energy, Karma—actual consumption of the necessaries of material life and Moksha or perfect liberation from the forces of Nature. Great thinkers of Vedic Philosophy however easily agree to dismiss the consideration of Tribarga or the first three forms of objects but there is much controversy over the conception of the fourth goal, i.e., liberation.
A section of erudite scholars forcibly asserts that complete withdrawal from material world means a certain (sure) disolution of individual existence. On the other hand powerful Theistic thinkers with transcendental understanding backed up by the faith in revelation upholds strongly that individual existence can be retained in absolutely spiritual relativity—perfectly independent of material existence. Vedic interpreters also class themselves in these two groups:—
1. Supporting Impersonal Salvation,
2. Salvation of person from material relativity.
Both the above schools however admit the authenticity of the sayings and decisions of the great Vyasdeva though interpreting him in their own respective lines. But Sree Bhagwat Purana—the last and the greatest work of the greatest apostle, bewilders the Impersonal School to a great extent and clearly condemns mere independence from matter eulogising a life of positive attainment of spiritual confidential partnership in the Absolute Personal Being—The Supreme Beautiful. In other words a really liberated soul must have a definite eternal function it is said, as if in the Absolute commonwealth and in discharging the duty wherein unfettered soul enjoys the maximum happiness. The Absolute Autocrat is also the Absolute Good. So Autocracy here is always meaning to compensate the limitations of the little partners in their voluntary co-operation and thus promoting dynamic, harmonious, common pastimes.
While perfectly unveiled Godhead shines as Sree Krishna to give us all sorts of engagements in Him. He is the Emporium of all sorts of Rasas (transcendental mellows) or ecstatic energy. Principal rasas are five in number, such as Santa—a mode of mere allegiance, Dasya—that of actual service, Sakhya—that of friendly co-operation, Vatsyalya—that of filial affection and Madhura—the mode of consort-partnership. All the modes of Rasas, we are told, have been harmonized to form the Spiritual Person of Sree Krishna the Godhead.
The material world being merely shadow in character, the very essence of life is to he traced in the causal spiritual realm in its pure positive glory. So according to Bhagbat school our life has got its fulfilment in the most optimistic form in the company of Sree Krishna. Such attainment of final adjustment will place our life in perfect harmony and consequently in all round and unique happiness. While not imaginary but real of all reals such life is certainly the highest attainment.
We tried above to give a very brief description of the conception of our desired attainment. The next question will be how to reach this destination. This will form the second part of this article. We shall take it up next time.
(To be continued)
By Radhagovinda Dass, B.A.
In the world we comprehend the existence of three objects namely (i) Iswara or Godhead. (2) Jiva or Soul and (3) Matter or Jada (lifeless). Of these the consciousness of Iswara is infinite, that of Jiva is partial and the rest is void of the sense. Earth. stone, water, fire, air, ether and the like are styled as Jada as they have no will; whereas men, beasts, birds, insects etc., are known as animated beings possessing free will. But of all the animations humanity is vested with the power of discretion. Godhead is the Creator of all objects both animate and inanimate. As He has no gross Form He is not visible to our present eyes. He is a transcendental Being and His Name, Beauty, Attributes, and achievements are all transcendental and hence not perceivable by our senses.
Now the problem arises that if He is not perceptible by the equipments we are gifted with, then how to realise Him in all His aspects? To solve this we find, amongst the thinkers of the East and the West, two processes are followed to approach Godhead. One is Inductive or the ascending process which base its acquisition: on the sense perception and the acquirements obtained by this process constitute the system of empiric knowledge. Those who attempt to proceed towards the Ultimate Reality by the Inductive process arrive at a conclusion that Brahman or Godhead has no Form, no beauty, no attributes and is free from all designative features. He is the embodiment of summation of negations. This is the highest conception about Truth of the Impersonalist school. By scrutinisingly following the process we see that reliance on experience gathered by sense perception, gives rise to four-fold issues namely, (1) Agnostisism, (2) Scepticism, (3) Pantheism and (4) Atheism which will be discussed, if Providence permits in a separate thesis.
Now there is another process which is called the Deductive or Descending process (Aboroha Pantha) which consists in total surrendering of the follower's self together with his mundane acquisitions giving up all prejudices acquired by association with rational thinkers who denies the existence of Spirit.
In the Bhagbatam we find:—
There are three distinct philosophical ideas of the Supreme Being i.e., (1) The idea of the Negative Brahman of the Pantheistic school, (2) The idea of a Universal Soul Paramatama of the Mystic (Yoga) school and (3) The idea of a Personality of Godhead with all His majesty, might, glory, beauty, wisdom and supremacy combined in the Person. The ideas of Brahman and Paramatama are included in the ideas of Bhagwan or Godhead spiritually, therefore Bhagwan is the Supreme Being or Hari. Sreemad Bhagbatam, the gist of all scriptures has established that the name Krishna and Krishna alone indicates the fullest conception of Godhead including all sorts of ideas ever revealed to the realised souls from time to time.
Human ideas are mental or spiritual. The mind is speculative hence the ideas obtained by the speculative mind is defective. The mind acquires knowledge by association through the sense-organs whose power is limited by imperfection. The limited equipment can conceive the objects within three dimensions. But things outside the third dimension is not within the reach of those sense with limited capacity. Godhead is situated beyond the sensuous jurisdiction. He is purely spiritual and can he approached through the spiritual process only. He is Adhokshaja i.e., He reserves the right of not being exposed to mundane senses. He out of His own mercy and prerogative can manifest Himself with His entourage to the human senses. To be enlightened on this point the following example may he cited by way of an analogy. Our eyes can see the object within the purview with the help of another light. For example the Sun is known to be a self-luminous object. When we go to see the sun we cannot do it with the assistance of any other light discovered by human brain than its own rays. The rays of the sun act upon the retina and the retina thus acted upon is enabled to fulfil the purpose. It is to note that in order to see the sun our duty will be to turn our attentive direction to the location of the sun and keep the eyes open so that the rays may come in their contact. Thus in the same way if we are sincere seekers after Truth, if we heartily want to approach Krishna the Supreme Lord, we must be receptive and follow the instructions of the inspired souls.
The Name, beauty, Attributes, and Pastimes of the Supreme Lord are not an object of grasping by the ordinary senses of human beings. They reveal automatically (of His own initiation) to the souls engaged in the discharge of eternal services to Him without prejudices. The material senses cannot approach Him. It is the spirit in man which can approach Him in direct communion.
One who is willing to realise the Absolute Truth must be sincere and submissive. To proceed in a challenging mood is to encounter titter failure. He shall have to cultivate the transcendental serving temperament. In the Geeta we find:
"Learn thou this by sub-mission, investigation and service. The wise, the seers of the essence of things will instruct thee in wisdom." Sree Krishna Chaitanya Who was born in Mayapore in the town of Nadia on the 18th February 1486 A.D. promulgated the lessons of how to approach the Suprerne Lord. He taught us that cent per cent engagement of our senses to the service of the Almighty will enable us to realise Him. This is to be done through the transparent agent of the Lord known as Sree Gurudeva (Divine Master). The Gurudeva is the manifested medium. He is God in the form of His personal best servant. He appears in the world in the form of a human being in order to teach mankind, the interrelation of Godhead, jiva and Maya. The First blessings of Godhead bestowed upon the man is to be in a position to secure such a bonafide Gurudeva. But we are warned to beware of false Gurus. The non-serving entity officiating as guru or Spiritual guide though highly qualified in other respects such as possessing vastly erudition and practising renunciation etc., but not cent per cent rendering services to the Lord dovetailing himself in thought and activities in conformity with the dictate, and ideals set up by by his own Gurudeva, is Pseudo Guru through whom Truth is not revealed. He is opaque hence obstructs the direct connection. If we are sincere in our purpose we are sure to meet with the bonafide Gurudeva and if we can fully surrender to His lotus feet and engage our energies according to the direction imparted by Him, we shall have the nearest approach to the Supreme Authority. This we conclude with the dictation of the Upanishada:—
"Truth reveals to him who has full confidence in his Gurudeva the spiritual preceptor. One must show no lesser respect to Gurudeva than one bears for the Lord."
By Jogesh Chandra Bose, B.A.
The innate tragedy of Western Civilization has been grought to light by this total war. A suicidal mania has caught hold of it. Unconscious of its destiny, it seems to be heading towards it destruction. They are hoping for victory of the allied democratic nations. We fully agree. But will the dreadful cost which staggers one's imagination even now, justify it ultimately to mankind as a whole? We doubt. Our concern is not the loss or gain of this or that nation. Mankind as a whole is an organic unit—although this consciousness is slowing dawning upon it to-day—heavy loss or suffering of a part can seldom be to the abiding good of others.
With out limitations in this world we cannot ignore the causal nexus. Speculations are ripe to trace out the root cause of this huge catastrophe. Some attributed it to economic maldistribution, others to the desperate bid for racial supremacy and consequent imperialism of some form or other. These are contributory conditions no doubt, in which the festering sore has come out; but the real cause we think, is to be found in the life of the individual as it affects society as a whole to-day.
We must admit that this is a very singular moment in history:—We have arrived at a very critical turning-point where man's attitude towards fundamental values in personal and social life are daily changing. Formerly it was religion, then art now science have become the object of man's sceptical attack, although any nonsensical theory in the name of any of them is sure to find votaries and believers. Unparalleled increase in productive powers has given birth not to peace and plenty but to war, famine and misery. Men will one thing to be the results of their efforts but what is brought about by them precisely the opposite and all their efforts at ideological reconstruction, only enhance the number of conflicting and partial views about reality. Chaos has become the very keynote of his life inspite of the wise efforts of the great leaders of science, art and culture. But why does this strange doom hang over mankind? In the words of a good thinker of the west, "they are no longer the doctors they are the disease." And this disease has manifested itself in this huge holocaust. We are to go to the root of this disease that is the great problem facing us.
Man no longer looks up to religion for solving his difficulties. He goes to science or politics. Good. But is it not the tragedy of science and politics, that we are witnessing in this war? They are no longer to be considered as panacea of all evils. We think the time for re-orientation of our outlook towards "Dharma" has come. (I deliberately avoid the word religion here). Religion as such has of course sickening tales of class and caste oppressions and exploitation to account for in many countries. Non the less science and politics also have to do that. Really what are we to do is not to recount their failures but to so re-adjust their relations as they can best be to the real good of man as a whole. So we should try to know the real function of each, and how they should best act harmoniously. Our concern here is to renovate our outlook towards religion and this will teach us how to deal with the science of politics.
By religion men generally understand something mysterious which reason should not aspire to comprehend. This mystic idea about religion has certainly vitiated his conception of it and has made it the toy of his speculative imagination in many places. It has after been turned into a gamble about the future and the beyond. But dharma in the true sense of the term only reveals out relation to the Truth. There should be nothing mystic about it. Man knows the external world through his mind and senses. This knowledge must be transitory, partial and conditional for the mental apparatus is so by constitution. But knowledge of Reality acquired through the soul is eternal and permanent—that being the nature of the soul. All sciences are arts deal with the former while religion is the concern of the latter. As mind cannot come into direct relation with matter as such the soul also remains ever uncontaminated by any mental functions. Soul can act only in relation to the over soul—i.e., Truth Absolute. All attempts of men to know the over soul through the mind is sure to be frustrated in the long run and this gives birth to all contaminations of his essential nature. Thus religion is misused in this world and loses its hold on life. God has reserved to Himself the right not to expose His Self to human mind and his senses. The All-spirit Purnachetan reveals Himself only to the spiritual in man i.e., his soul. So the Upanishad says
To a half beast man of the African jungle the complexities of a civilized man are all mysterious so to a man who is all-mind soul, is equally mysterious. Hence arises the mystic view of religion and its so-called discarding or acceptance by the ultra-rationalists and mental gropers.
Our soul's relation to the Absolute lies at the basis of life, nay that is life! Whenever this is ignored frustration and futility stare humanity in the face for then we only take a partial and conditional view of the Truth. When man gives himself up to mental and sense pursuits be it religion, art or science in * * ultimate frustration become inevitable in every sphere of life and life becomes unnecessarily complex. The climax of these life complexities, we see in this was. The fundamental irony of human life lies in the fact that he must learn through suffering for he proceeds by challenging Truth at every step. But on the soul place man progresses by submitting to the Absolute not by challenging Him as he does on the mental plane. This submission is unconditional and unquestioning, it lies in the very nature of the soul. And it manifests itself on the mental and physical place by loving service rendered to Godhead and his creation. Here service and duty first, then from it come all real rights spontaneously. No intermediary should stand in the way of this service. God and his counter-manifestation—His Devotee—alone can re recipients of the eternal service of the soul. our duty to society, to the state, nay even to our own selves only follows from it. If we reverse this deductive process each would only exploit our life and become an instrument of oppression. We best serve man when we serve him as Krishna's servitor, otherwise we must exploit him.
Man to-day is dead tired of the inextricable complexities of life in the mental work. What he calls progress and deludes himself, is nothing but creation of new vicious circles in life every day. In utter despair he cries out—What is life? Life is death, and he faces death everywhere. But, a new dawn is casting its fore appearance in the midst of darkness—the Dawn of Service, of [devanagari] of submission to the Truth. This alone can bring harmony and real peace on earth.
Modern man fears that he will become tradition-bound and lose all incentive to progress by this attitude of submission to truth and by placing religion first as happened in the middle ages called the dark age. With progress has come free thinking and liberty in living. But Truth is not static something. He is the source of incomputable variety. The Upanishad says he is [devanagri]—He is more changeful and rapidly moving than mind itself—all real progress lies in Him. Only when our relationship with Truth becomes vitiated by extraneous mental considerations of salvation, world piety or sense of enjoyment i.e., spirit becomes enmeshed in matter that all clogging of true progress ensues. Real contact with Truth is maintained through service alone.
But who is to usher in this age? One who can render unalloyed service to Truth—one who is a Shuddha Bhakta—whatever be his creed, colour of caste—is the messenger of this age. Let us prostrate before Him. Through him is humanity to be redeemed to-day. All praise, al homage to Sree Gurudeva who stands at the forefront of them all. Who else in this age has done so much for preaching Suddha Bhakti and reforming society so that it can be properly practised there? He is the great Harbringer of the Dawn. [devanagari]
By Tridandi Swami Bhakti Saranga Goswami
The spiritual process of religion transcends the scope of our present rational faculties. Man is a reasoning animal. It is no wonder that he should also reason about Religion. He wishes to be satisfied that he is not asked to accept any propositions that are in plain contradiction to the principles of his rational nature. He also expects to be able to establish the ultimate unity of all human thought in the different branches of human activities by this philosophical method. It is for this reason that Philosophy has also been called the mother of all Sciences, it should also be equally amenable to the motherly jurisdiction of Philosophy.
If, however, Religion does not propose to employ the empiric scientific method in its process of approaching its subject-matter, the philosopher is likely to be as much puzzled by such attitude as the daughter sciences. This is, however, exactly what Religion proposes to do. Therefore the only thing that is left for the philosopher to do in the matter is not to seek to impose his regulating jurisdiction of Religion, but to wait at his proper distance as an unfit observer. If Philosophy is willing to submit to this limitation, she should be in a position to be enlightened about her own limitations by offering her humble submission to the communications of Religion regarding the Absolute to Whom Philosophy can otherwise have no access.
Religion is not irrational. Religion alone is truly rational. The so-called rationalism of empiric Philosophy is only another name for our unavoidable state of ignorance of the Truth. Philosophy thinks herself justified in trying to make the best of a bad job. But Religion is never prepared to admit that our ignorance is unavoidable. It is bad Philosophy and bad Science which are seeking to encourage in us a fatalistic belief in our unavoidable ignorance. It is undoubtedly a very bold assertion to have to say on behalf of Religion that not a single creature of this world need despair of finding the Truth if only it is willing to lend its ear to the true voice of Religion in spite of all the dissuasive pseudo-rational representations by empiric Philosophy and the empiric Sciences that are the real obstacles in our way. The pseudo-rationalist will at once jump at such a proposition, misrepresenting the challenge of Religion as an invitation to accept its communication in blind faith and without questioning. But those who entertain these common-place views of shallow critics have to thank only themselves for their misfortune, in as much as they have never had any inclination of giving a serious hearing to the other side before accepting the garbled versions of irrational objectors. It is necessary to use language in describing the respective positions of the two parties which will leave no doubt in the mind of the bearer regarding the real point at issue.
Who am I? Why am I in this world? What is this world? Why do I feel unhappy and perplexed? What is the method by which I can learn the Truth? These questions are no regarded as answerable either by the empiric Philosophy or by the empiric Sciences. They make it their business to accept the position as it is, and then try to make the best of what they cannot but admit to be a really very bad job. Their purpose is, therefore, quite different from that of Religion. Religion never wants us to accept our present position as being either satisfactory or unsatisfactory unless we possess the knowledge that is necessary for arriving at any rational decision. Religion also forbids emphatically to busy ourselves about any other matter before this fundamental problem has been actually solved to our satisfaction. What is tells us is this, "Do not bother about what you will eat, drink water, or where you will find shelter against the inclement weather. That is not at all the real problem. If you are occupied with those matters, you will be unable to understand the real responsibility of human existence. Before you put your bread into your mouth, get the answer to the question why you should eat at all. If you eat your bread without getting any answer to this question, you take the first step of the road to ignorance, death and misery. Believe in the rational order of this world. Believe in the infinite possibilities of your own rational nature if it is only properly cultivated, if the fundamentals are not relegated to the background for fear of immediate inconvenience or through the thoughtless plea of an immoral necessity. As you are really a rational being, you should have the courage not to do anything that is not perfectly rational. You should believe that no harm can result to you from the pursuit of this only rational course." Do your empiric Philosophy and you empiric Sciences recommend this course to you? Do they not, on the contrary, invite you to folow the exactly opposite method? Is it, therefore, the fault or merit of Religion it is does not countenance these immoral proposals? It is necessary, if we are to be able to understand the relation of Religion to all other branches of human knowledge, including empiric Philosophy, not to wilfullly misunderstand the issue that is so clearly and so emphatically placed for our consideration by the revealed Scriptures and the great Prophets.
Mahaprabhu Sree Krishna Chaitanya has explained more fully than any other teacher of Religion the causes why the revealed Scriptures have been misunderstood and mis-interpreted all over the world. He tells us that this misfortune has been due to the fact that Religion has been attempted to be brought within the jurisdiction of empiric Philosophy and the empiric Sciences. He has explained the difference in the methods of enquiry that are folowed respectively by the true religionists and the empiricists. The method of the revealed Scriptures, He has informed us, is the method of approaching the Transcendence in His descended Form of the articulated Word or Sound appearing on the Lips of the transcendental Teacher. The descent of the transcendental articulated Word or Sound enables us to approach the Transcendence by our present faculties and, directly, by our faculty of hearing. For this process two conditions require to be fulfilled. The transcendental Sound has to manifest Himself in the Form that is approachable by our aural faculty. Secondly that we should be in a position to recognise the Sound, which we are able to hear, as being really transcendental, and accordingly to be enabled between our true cognitive faculty and the Absolute Truth even on this plane of apparent truth. The initiative is taken by the Absolute Himself. It is open to us to refuse to respond to His initiative by the only manner by which our spiritual nature would be properly adjusted to Him. Such refusal is an offence also against our own proper nature. It is by the abuse of this freedom of our rational nature that is is possible for us on our own responsibility to be placed on this plane of apparent truth but of real delusion and ignorance. On this phenomenal plane we find a variety of occupations for being adjusted to the invironment through our body of flesh and the material framework of our mind which are foreign to our spiritual nature and which possess both initiative and hankering for things of this world in the irrational manner with which we are familiar, and which present themselves to our souls as trustworthy managers of our affairs for forwarding the suicidal policy that we have perversely adopted as our own. This unholy league, between the body of flesh inhabited by the perverse mind and the perverse soul who wilfully chooses not to understand the irrationality and perversity of our mental and physical life, is the cause why we are in this world.
I have dealt with only one of the questions that ought to be answered satisfactorily before our souls can have any truly rational function at al in this world. I have given the answer that is supplied by Mahaprabhu Sree Krishna Chaitanya in explaining the Shrauta Pantha or the method of approaching the Transcendence in the articulated Word or transcendental Sound when He makes His appearance to our aural faculty. If we refuse to seek the guidance of the Absolute, we fall into the clutches of His deluding energy. Our choice lies between submission to the enlightening energy of the Absolute and submission to His deluding power. Our spiritual nature would be acting in the true rational manner if it seeks to submit to the enlightening power of the Absolute. Our spiritual nature would commit wilful suicide if it decides to submit to the deluding power of the Absolute knowing it to be His deluding power. The empiric philosopher and the empiric scientist invite us to submit without questioning to the contrivances of the deluding power. Why is this life at all worth pursuing? Can the empiric philosopher or the empiric scientist ever hope to be able to answer this question? The truth is that life is not worth living for the prospects that either the philosophers of the scientists have to offer. The truth is self-evident to all who do not perversely shut their eyes to the natural dictates of their rational nature.
If once the Absolute enters the open ear of our souls the spell of the deluding energy is for ever broken. It is, therefore, our first duty to seek for the solution of those fundamental questions of existence which I have mentioned before. It is necessary to seek for the answer to those questions from religionists who alone profess to be able to answer them. It is not necessary to pretend to be able to understand before we actually do. We need not recognize the claim of any religious teacher who cannot really satisfy these requirements of our spiritual nature. There need be no sects of really different schools of thought in the domain of religious enquiry. The religionist does not ask us to follow any fictitious course. If the physicist invites us to be interested to the investigation of the properties of mundane sound, do we resent such invitation for the reason that it is irrational? Are we justified philosophically or scientificaly in rejecting the proposal of al the revealed Scriptures to seek to approach the Transcendence in the transcendental Sound appearing in an actual audible Form and by methods that are suitable for approaching the Transcendence? If we begin to quarrel about the philosophical justification of such invitation, do we not really put the cart before the horse? Does not the same philosophical objection apply to the invitation of the mundane physicist? Are we being asked by the religionist to do anything more irrational? Are we justified in rejecting the truth of proposal without a fair trial by perfectly scientific methods?
The Name of God is identical with God Himself. We are not God. Our souls are infinitesimal servants of God. We can find God if we are willing to behave towards Him as towards our one Absolute Master. Our souls can serve God in this world in the Form of the Name by the faculty of submissive hearing. If we submit to hear God as our Absolute Master, we are thereby brought into the presence of God. As soon as we are in the presence of God there is automatically perfect solution of all our difficulties and doubts. This is the real Darshana. The Indian equivalent of Philosophy is Darshana which means literally 'seeing'. We see God only when we hear Him. There is no discrepancy in spiritual hearing. The soul can hear the Figure and Colour of God. We cannot hear colour in this world. We cannot see sound. On the transcendental plane there is no such discrepancy in the senses. The whole entity enters undivided through every channel of transcendental perception.
When we are face to face with God, we can understand the purpose of human life which is to serve God in our every act. If the Whole is served, all constituents are necessarily fully served. The manner in which a God-realised soul ooks upon the world and its concerns alone rational and conducive to the real welfare of all entities. Such a person is called a sadhu in India. The real sadhu is the only true philosopher as he sees things as they are and not as they appear to be. But the cognitive realisation is not a static process. Cognitive activity on the transcendental place in its dynamic aspect is the practice of love towards the object of All-Love. To see God is, therefore, to love God. To love God is to befriend the souls of all entities. There can be no truer friend of humanity then the real sadhu.
Religion is not opposed to Philosophy and Science if the latter consecrate themselves to the service of God as He really is. This consecration of philosophy and Science is possible, and herein lies also the possibility of real worship by the activities of this world. By the method of the worship of the Archa or Sree Murti or the Visible Divine Image, the consecration is effected by the sadhu by means of their incorporation in the activity of transcendental discourse. The sadhus therefore, are the real pivot of the Scriptual redemptive process. As a medium of the descent of the Word the sadhu is himself a transcendental person. But the medium is not the Principal. He is the transcendental servitor. He is the real worshipper in his own right. When he happens to descend to the mundane plane, he performs the function of saviourship by incorporating the conditioned souls in his transcendental service. Those who are fortunate enough to be thus accepted for his service by the sadhu are thereby endowed with communicated eligibility for functioning on the transcendental plane with the spiritualised mind and body. The Saviour Sadhu is the Acharyya. He employs those whom He accepts in bringing about the descent of the Word by means of their discourses under the absolute spiritual guidance of the Acharyya Who is not merely the first among His equals but the Manifestive Self of the Plenary Sole Servitor of the Absolute, whereas we are infinitesimal subservient servitors by our proper spiritual nature.
The redemption of mankind is an eternal process which is provided for by the descent of the Acharyya in the unbroken line of the Amnaya. My Divine Master Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Paribrajakacharyyabaryya 108 Sree Sreemad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj appeared in the line of the Divine Preceptors of the Brahma-Madhya-Gaudiya Amnaya, being the tenth in succession from Mahaprabhu Sree Krishna Chaitanya.
(Sardar A. S. Namdhari from Rawalpindi has a proposal for opening an all faiths university for which we have all sympathy. But we suggest before doing the actual work, he may hold a conference of all religious heads and find out the greatest common factor for a universal religious mode. We believe that the greatest common mode of religion which is the most potent uniting force can be found in the Bhagavat Geeta and a conference may be held on the basis of this universally accepted philosophical and religious treatise. The following is the extract of the statement issued by the friend.-Editor.)
"I have received numerous messages from men and women of all classes and creeds from all over India congratulating me success in my humble endeavour to found a Universal Religious Centre. I heartily thank my countrymen whose words of encouragement and help have deepened my conviction all the more that in spite of the atmosphere being charged with rivalries the heart of this ancient land of great culture and civilization is sound and that a need is universally felt for a platform where men and women irrespective of the faith they profess, may get together and understand each other better and give religion a more solid basis of reality in human affairs.
"The truth has come upon me, through the blessing of His Holiness Satguru Maharaj Partap Singhji, the spiritual head of Namdhari Sikhs, to whose inspiration and guidance I owe this scheme, that more things are wrought by prayer than the deadly weapons of the modern warfare. Religion is still a force which can spur us on to activity and progress, spiritual and material.
"To the best of us has come a sense of frustration and they have given up the pursuit of their ideal Unity. But in this darkest hour in human history, I see a silver lining in black clouds.
"I pray that my idea is to build various places of worship in a vast area. They will not necessarily be so close to each other as to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of prayer of the sister community. In between a fruit garden is being laid with provision for a common hall where joint celebrations of all prophets' days will be held with a permanent rule of constructive propaganda of all religions.
"We don't live by the body alone. The soul in us is the guiding star, whose building up, like the bodily muscles, we should not neglect. Thus this new venture will be a spiritual hospital to cure the beast in man, wherefrom a flood of prayer will emanate to bring about Universal abolition. Its psychological effect, I am sure, will uplift the soul of the entire mankind. Interference in the religion of others is not ever our aim, but co-ordination of all schools of faith into a religious university is the ideal for we are the servitor of the same Almighty Godhead, in whose oneness we all believe."