VOLUME I PART II
Readers of 'Back to Godhead' who were practically disappointed to learn that the Government of India had twice refused to give permission for the continuance of publication of "Back to Godhead", will be glad to know and see that in the third attempt by their humble servant, the Government of India has kindly given special permission to continue the publication of 'Back to Godhead'. We have already conveyed our sincere thanks to the Government of India for allowing us to serve the purpose of His Divine Grace Sree Sreemad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Moharaj and we can now assure to our numerous readers and patrons that "Back to Godhead" will continue to be published in each and every month regularly. Extracts from the text of the last correspondences that passed between the Government of India and your humble servant, which resulted in the re-appearance of "Back to Godhead" is given herewith:—"Sir, with due respect, I beg to submit that under instruction of His Divine Grace, Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Moharaj, the spiritual head of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, I had to start a paper under the caption,—"Back to Godhead". The very name will suggest the intention of starting such a paper in the midst of heavy turmoil through which the world is now passing. A copy of the same booklet is sent herewith for your kind perusal. In that booklet you shall find strong world opinions, even by many reputed politicians all over the world,—in favour of such a movement to bring back the world,—into sanity by training the mind and educating human nature for the unshaking spiritual plane, considered to be the supreme need of human kind. I hope you will kindly go through the paper by making some time and I may draw your attention specially to the introductory portion.
"Permission was sought from the Secretary of the Department of Industries and Civil Supplies for starting the paper as a monthly magazine, but as usual, the permission has not been granted for scarcity of paper. But in the opinion of the Editorial Board of "Back to Godhead" amongst whom there are many erudite secular scholars, Sanyasins and self-sacrificed souls,—there is not so much scarcity of paper as much there is scarcity of education.
"We believe that the ultimate supplier is the Personality of Godhead. He supplies everything through His Material Agent the Nature for the benefit of living entities, but Godless creatures think that they are the proprietors of things which is madness and illusion. Catastrophe that is now in vogue in the present war of supremacy, is guided by this false sense of proprietorship and therefore there is need of making propaganda amongst all human beings, in order to bring them back to the sense of the ultimate proprietorship of Godhead of everything and we are simply allowed to handle things in order to give bonafide service to the ultimate Proprietor.
"For the scanty supply of electric light and air conducted by the electric fan, the power of which is after all borrowed from the treasure house of Nature, we have to pay heavily to the supplying agent but we do not think for a moment that we must pay at least something to the Ultimate Supplier for the immense store of light and air without which we cannot live for a moment.
"Scarcity of paper there is, that any sane man can understand and as such we can also understand the same; but we can understand another thing also why there is so much scarcity all around which the Secretary could not possibly follow. In ancient time, the enlightened Indians would sacrifice tons and tons of valuable quality of Ghee in the fire, knowing well the productive economic laws, but not foolishly as we think but for a greater benefit of humankind which the world has yet to learn from India. By sacrificing tons and tons of Ghee for the Jajnas there was hardly any scarcity in the then society of India but at present abandonment of such sacrifices for God's sake, dictated by modern productive economic laws, has produced nothing but scarcity all round.
"Can we not therefore sacrifice a few reams of paper in the midst of many wastages, for the same purpose in order to derive greater benefit for the humankind? I request that the Government should take up this particular case in the light of spiritualism which is not within the material calculation. Even in Great Britain the Government has immensely supported a similar movement called the Moral Re-Armament Movement without consideration of the scarcity of paper which is more acute there than here.
"Let there be a page only if not more for the publication of Back to Godhead for which we do not mind but my earnest request is that the Government should at least let there be a ventilation of the atmosphere for which my paper "Back to Godhead" meant. Kindly therefore give it a serious consideration and allow me to start it even by one page every weekly or monthly as you think best without thinking it as ordinary waste of paper, for the sake of humanity and Godhead.
"I hope most faithfully that you shall pass order sanctioning the publication of this most important transcendental message and oblige.
"Thanking you in anticipation,
I have the honour to be
"Sir, With reference to your letter dated the 10th July 1944, I am directed to say that on reconsideration the Government of India are pleased to grant permission as a special case for the continuance of publication of the magazine "Back to Godhead" and to allot a ration of ..................... of news print per month for the same.
I have the honour to be,
"Sir, With due respect I, on behalf of the editorial board of my paper, beg to convey thanks to you and through you to the Government of India for kindly reconsidering my application of the 10th July and subsequently passing order for the continuance of publication of my paper—"Back to Godhead". This favour has immensely helped us in carrying on the orders of our spiritual Master His Divine Grace Sree Sreemad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Moharaj and therefore His Divine Grace's blessings are due to you. May God bless you with spiritual mentality for all the days to come,"
I have the honour to be,
We are sorry to learn that Gandhi Jinnah Talks about unity of the Indian people have failed for the present. We are not very much optimistic in the result of such occasional talks between several heads of community and are of opinion that if any solution is arrived at as a token unity for the time being, it is again to break up, to meet another shape of problem which may not be on the ground of religiosity. In Europe the fighting parties are almost all Christians and in Asia the major parties, we mean China and Japan are almost all Buddhists but still they are fighting. So fighting will go on between Hindu and Mohomedan, between Hindus and Hindus or between Mohomedan and Mohomedan, between Christians and Christians and between Buddhist and Buddhist till the day of annihilation. So long there will be a pinch of a desire for sense gratification, surely there will be fight between brother and brother, father and son, nation and nation and so on. The process of unity does not stand on the plane of enjoyment or renunciation, the real unity stands on the plane of service which is transcendental to all mundane enjoyments or renunciation. That is the plane of spirit.
Mahatma Gandhi is far above ordinary human being and we have all respects for him. He should now give up his activities on the plane of sense-gratification of enjoyment and renunciation and must rise up to the transcendental plane of 'Atma' or spirit for a greater unity talks of all human races. We should like to quote a stanza from Bhagawat Geeta as a matter of reference to the Mahatma. We mean to refer to the 13th sloka of the 9th chapter which runs as follows:—
mahatmanas tu mam partha
'Oh, descendant of Prithu, those who are Mahatmas and have acquired the qualities of the gods, do serve Me (Sreekrishna) without directing the attention to any other thing, knowing well Me the original and eternal source of all things.' [Bg. 9.13]
The Mahatma has already acquired the qualities of the gods as specified in the Bhagwat Geeta and the next stage for him is to concentrate his attention in the service of Shree Krishna without any diversion, that is without engaging himself in the business of enjoyment and renunciation based on bodily and mental sense gratification. The specified duties of Mahatma are mentioned in the next sloka which runs as follows.
satatam kirtayanto mam
'Those Mahatmas do render service unto Me by always speaking and glorifying Me with earnest endeavour and with steadfastness in vow of service. Thus constantly engaged in My service they surrender unto Me with transcendental love.'
We would therefore request the Mahatma to take up now the message of Bhagwat Geeta to the world and preach there the message of Sree Krishna and instruct all human being to surrender unto Him, so that all other corollaries such as political, social, communal or religious unity will follow without any waste of time, by the methods of violent or non-violent manufactured in the human brain. The Mahatma has a definite position in the world who can give relief to the universe, by preaching the message of Bhagawat Geeta and we have always our cooperation with him in that respect.
We are pleased to find that leaders of world politics such as Mr. Churchill has now a days began to think of a human world and trying to get rid of the terrible national frenzy of hate. The frenzy of hatred is another side of the frenzy of love. The frenzy of love of Hitler's own countrymen has produced the concomitant frenzy of hatred for others and the present war is the result of such duel side of a frenzy called love and hatred. The whole creation of the material world is more or less based on this principle of love and hatred. So when we wish to get rid of the frenzy of hate, we must be prepared to get rid of the frenzy of so called love. This position of equilibrium free from love and hatred is attained only when men are sufficiently educated. In the Bhagwat Geeta it is said that a man when he is sufficiently educated can look on equal terms a gentle Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog or a Chandala. One may ask as to how it is possible to look on equal terms a gentle Brahmin and a dog? The answer is plain and simple. A real educated man does not look over the fleshy tabernacle of a living being but he introspects the spirit within the body. A sane man does not see the dress of a man but the man who puts on the dress. The dress has no value if there was not a man within and similarly, the gentle Brahmin, the cow, the elephant, the dog or the chandala are but different dresses encaging the spirit soul within them. Unless therefore men are educated sufficiently to see within the dress, the duel frenzy of love and hatred will continue to work. 'Humane World' is possible when we are really human being as distinguished from ordinary animals. The lower animal has no introspection of the soul within because it is incapable of being sufficiently educated. The distinction between a lower animal beast and a higher animal man lies in the capacity of this introspection of the soul within. A man devoid of this power of introspection is no better than a beast. This introspection, is however easily attained by the service of Godhead. So Mr. Churchill's Humane World implies that we must go "Back to Godhead."
Mr. Bernard Shaw has congratulated Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of the latter's 76th birthday in the following words:—"I can only wish this were Mr. Gandhi's 35th birthday instead of his 76th." We heartily join with Mr. Shaw in his attempt to subtract 41 years from the present age of Mahatma Gandhi. Everyone tries to subtract at least some years from his calculated age and this attempt of increasing duration of life within the mind is quite natural for an ordinary cult of man. The psychology of such artificial way of increasing life's duration is that everyone of us does not wish to die. But death is so cruel that it does not respect our wishful desire. It comes when it must and any amount of our worldly acquisition cannot protect us from the cruel hands of death. Mr. Shaw or Mahatma Gandhi both are distinguished thinkers and lead the world in respect of many things. There are other great men and scientists who are equally respected leaders of thought in the world but none of them has ever tried to solve the question of death which none of us, beginning from Mr. Shaw to the man in the street, desires. The leaders of nations have however opened many factories for manufacturing weapons for the art of killing but none has opened a factory to manufacture weapons for protecting man from the cruel hands of death, although our wishful desire is always for not to die.
A layman may ask why the leaders of the world have set aside such a big problem and are engaged in the temporary arrangement of dal bhat which are lavishly produced by nature's own way but extremely mismanaged in distribution by the leaders of men. While the dal bhat problem is solved by nature's own production, the leaders of men may pause for a while and can see their way if the big question of death can be solved. There is a suggestion, however, in the Bhagawat Geeta which solved the death question without wishful desire to live by subtracting ages. The suggestion is this (Bg. 8.16)
'Oh son of Kunti! the world (planets) up to the Brahmaloka, are all destructible but one who attains to Me, has no more to take his birth.'
The Kingdom of God is non-destructible and one who enters there does not come back to this region of death. This verdict is confirmed by all the scriptures of the world. If there is at all any such abode where death does not take place—why the leaders of nations should cling to the earth of the land of their birth where death is inevitable? They should now combine and make research if there is at all such a place. We wish that in their ripe old age, Mr. Shaw and Mahatma Gandhi will make combined effort to educate men to learn how to go back to home, back to Godhead.
"Bhakti" means spontaneous loving service. When a servant renders service to his master in consideration of monetary exchange, it is no loving service neither this hired service can come within the category of "Bhakti". When a friend renders service to a fellow friend in consideration of obligation or in expectation of reward or as a matter of gratitude, it is no longer spontaneous loving service and therefore cannot be called "Bhakti". When a father loves his son in expectation of future reward or self satisfaction or a son loves his father in consideration of gain or gratitude, it is no longer a spontaneous loving service and it is out of the operation of "Bhakti". Similarly when a wife loves her husband with a view to the inflated pocket of the husband or a husband loves the skin and complexion of his wife or in consideration of duty towards each other, it is no longer a spontaneous loving service. During our stay in the material world we have to maintain a relation between a material thing and its owner; between a master and a servant; between a friend and a friend between a father or a mother and a child or between a husband and a wife or such similar extended relation between man to man, man to beast or man to nature and none of these categories of different relations can be termed as "Bhakti". No relation within this mundane affair is possible without a motive behind it and even though apparently we may meet some relativities without any motive behind them, by deep analysis it will be possible to see behind them some sort of motive, may be in a lower or higher degree. As such "Bhakti" or spontaneous loving service cannot be applied to any object within the world of three dimension but it is a thing which is absolute monopoly of the Personality of Godhead.
When there is a question of service, there is automatically the acceptance of one who is served and also a servant. The Master or the Almighty Godhead being omnipresent, His service or His servants are also omnipresent and as such "Bhakti" is also omnipresent. Omnipresent as the Personality of Godhead is "Bhakti" is a term which is transcendental to all mundane ideas of service with its ineffectiveness or inebrieties. The service of the mundane world has its selfishness, insufficiency, and ineffectiveness but "Bhakti" is completely different from all such mundane ideas. "Bhakti" is self-sufficient eternal and independant. Nothing is helpful for attainment of "Bhakti" and nothing is determinative for discharge of "Bhakti". She is herself the means and herself the end, in her pure state.
This "Bhakti" which is applicable to Godhead only is unalloyed devotion without any desire for reward. Service of Godhead with a view to gain something is not unalloyed "Bhakti". It is quite possible that the devotee while within the modes of material nature, will as a matter of course, perform his services to Godhead with some form or other desire. These desires are divided into the modes of darkness, passion and goodness. Service of Godhead, with a desire of envy, pride, enmity, anger etc. which are the products of differentiation, is alloyed "Bhakti" in the mode of darkness. The example of such mixture of "Bhakti" in the mode of darkness, is set by those who offer prayers to Godhead for the annihilation of their enemies. Godhead need not be prayed specifically for the annihilation of one's enemies, for even though there is no prayer for such specific purpose, Godhead is always with his pure devotee to protect him from the hands of the enemies. The Personality of Godhead declares most emphatically in the Bhagwat Geeta that His devotee is never vanquished in all circumstances. Admixture of "Bhakti" in the modes of passion is evident when one renders service to Godhead with a view to accumulate wealth, fame and name which are the products of the modes of passion. And an admixture of "Bhakti" in the modes of goodness is found when one renders service to Godhead as a matter of duty towards the Supreme. But pure "Bhakti" is transcendental to all such material modes of goodness, passion or darkness. This "Bhakti" is a spontaneous response to a call of transcendental service. A tinged apparent spontaneous love is visible amongst the younger section of man and woman. A young man as soon as meets a young woman, spontaneously desires from his heart to associate with the young woman and in the same way the young woman's heart also desires the association of the young man with equal promptness and inclination. Apart from the genuineness of this lusty desires of the young man and the young woman, as set forth above, the promptness, natural inclination and the mode of spontaneity when awakened for the transcendental service of Godhead without personal gain whatsoever—are but genuine signs of love of Godhead, which springs up from pure spiritual plane as opposed to mental or physical actions. "Bhakti" when devoid of all mental and physical actions, is called unalloyed. She is unalloyed in the sense that she has not the slightest tinge of the modes of goodness, passion or darkness as these modes are limited within the spheres of mental and physical plane. Such unalloyed devotion free from the tinges of all designations of mental and physical plane, when engaged in the transcendental service of Sree Krishna the Personality of Godhead with a view to satisfy His senses only, is called pure "Bhakti". According to Kaviraj Goswami, the author of Chaitanya Charitamrita, the symptoms of unalloyed devotion are as follows. There can be no desire except a determination to make progress in (transcendental realisation of) the devotion of Godhead. There is no other worship than that of the Personality of Godhead neither there is any desire to worship the Impersonal feature of Godhead such as "Brahman" or "Paramatma". There can be no tendency for knowing for the sake of knowledge nor for working for the sake of fruitive results. Freed from all these, when one tries to take no more than what he requires for the sake of livelihood and for the culture of transcendental service of Godhead with heart and soul-it is called pure unalloyed devotion "Bhakti".
Such pure "Bhakti" is undying and ever increasing as opposed to material dying lust. Material lust which wrongly passes as love is satiable and dying.
We have examples of thousand and one cases of divorce of so called love affairs after the satiation of physical lust, but spiritual love of Godhead is never satiated. On the contrary, such unalloyed love of Godhead increases the spiritual propensity without a pause for a moment. These are some of the acid tests of spiritual love of Godhead and a devotee must be always on his guard against an undue analogy of material lust and spiritual love. There is a gulf of difference between the two.
By attainment of this transcendental love of Godhead, one becomes perfect immortal and satisfied of all material hankerings. Perfection, satisfaction or immortality are never achieved by a method which is itself imperfect, mortal and insufficient. There can not be any experiment with the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth has to be attained first by the Absolute method and then only absolute perfection immortality and satisfaction are attained. Vivid example of such completeness is Dhruba Moharaj. He began his penance with the purpose of material gain but at the end of penance and meditation when he met the Absolute Personality of Godhead, he saw himself completely satisfied of all his material hankerings. When the Personality of Godhead wanted to reward him with whatever he might desire, he declined to have anything as he thought that there was nothing valuable than the Personality of Godhead's presence before him which was never to be attained even by severest penances of many many ages. He felt himself to have got the most valuable jewel while he was searching after an insignificant stone. So by the attainment of the Absolute Truth, no one desires for anything but the Absolute only. The Absolute method for attaining such stage is to rouse the latent spontaneous love of Godhead, known as loving service "Bhakti" which is also Absolute.
By attainment of "Bhakti" or loving service of Godhead, the devotee—
(1) Does not wish for any other engagement.
(2) Does not fear from anything.
(3) Does not envy any object.
(4) Does not enjoy sensually.
(5) Does not endeavour for anything mundane.
A pure devotee or transcendental servitor of the Personality of Godhead having rejected himself completely under the direction of Godhead, has no other engagement whatsoever. Therefore his attainments, gain or loss are never to be considered as the results of his own works but they are all the awards of the Personality of Godhead. It is not to be considered that only he who works most diligently for his own benefit enjoys all pleasures in this world and the devotee as he simply engages himself in the transcendental service of Godhead—suffers from all sorts of material wants. The devotee having fully engaged himself in the service of Godhead, naturally thinks of Him in every moment of his life and whatever he does for the maintenance of the body and soul together are always done with a view to the transcendental service. Godhead rewards such sincere devotees sufficiently even materially and protects His devotee from all encounters. Such is the mission of the Personality of Godhead in the Bhagavat Gita (Bg. 9.22).
Ananya chintayanto mam jo jana paryupasate.
The Personality of Godhead takes pleasure in maintaining and subsidizing His devotees as an ordinary man takes pleasure in maintaining his family even at a personal sacrifice. It is not that the pure devotee wants anything from the Personality of Godhead but the Personality of Godhead Himself out of His own accord looks after the necessities of His pure devotee and protects everything belonging to such devotee. Outwardly it may seem that the activities of a pure devotee is similar to the activities of an ordinary man but there is a gulf of difference between the two class of activities. The devotee's activities are performed automatically being inspired by the Personality of Godhead while the activities of an ordinary man is done dictated by centralised or extended personal aims. The special benefit of the devotee is that his gains for such inspired activities are all but the Grace of the Almighty Godhead but the gains of an ordinary worker, however great, are the results of his own activities. Grace of Godhead is a source of permanent and transcendental pleasure and gains by personal endeavours are temporary transient and reactionary in the modes of nature. The former is liberation while the later is bondage. The devotee by the Grace of Godhead approaches nearer to the kingdom of Godhead and ordinary worker in due course glides down again in the field of material activities bound up by the modes of nature. The Personality of Godhead although remains neutral and silent in respect of all activities of conditioned soul, he derives pleasure in rewarding His devotees in these activities of unalloyed transcendental service for the Personality of Godhead. In this respect there is no offense on the part of the devotee because he does not want anything for his own benefit but it is the Personality of Godhead who takes pleasure in rewarding the devotee.
A pure devotee is not afraid of anything. In all circumstances he keeps himself fit and steady. According to Sreemad Bhagavat fear of a conditioned soul is due to his intimate association with the material nature the external separated energy of the Personality of Godhead. The conditioned soul thinks always perversely due to his forgetfulness of Godhead, and therefore there is always an anxiety as to what is going to happen next moment. But the devotee is always fearless because he knows well that nothing can happen without the sanction of Godhead directly or indirectly and as such everything that comes from Him is considered by the devotee as His grace. Even in the most reverse position he (the devotee) stands without any fear and accepts all odds as His blessings in different forms. Pralhad Moharaj was put to many such odds even by his father Hiranya Kasipu but Pralhadmoharaj stood all such tests with firmness and without fear. The devotees who are always absorbed in the service of Narayana the Lord is never afraid of anything whatsoever. He looks equally on both the hell and the heaven.
A pure devotee has no object to envy. In the Bhagwat Gita it is stated that prior to ones attaining the plane of devotional service, one has to make himself identified with the quality of Brahman the Supreme, when such liberated soul becomes ever cheerful. He has at that time nothing to lament for neither anything to envy.
Brahmabhuta Prasanna atma na sochati na kankshati:
Na prahinshyat priyam prapya nodbijet prapya chapriayam.
Jam hi na byathaeneta purusham Purusarsava
(To be continued).