by Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhara Maharaja
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Modern science is only increasing the circumference of this world, the world of exploitation. According to Newton, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We must be conscious of the fact that all acquisition is ultimately nullity, because like a boomerang reaction will come back again to produce zero. This is actual scientific knowledge. But modern scientific progress is no progress, or progress in the wrong direction. It is like borrowing money. Taking a loan is not money at all. Whatever we take from nature will be extracted from us to the penny. So there is no gain. We are within the circumference of the exploiting world. Every object we take from nature is like a loan. But the loan must be cleared, rest assured.
The Quest Of Life
The first principle of any living being is to live, to save himself. That should be the starting point of our whole endeavor for progress or knowledge. In the Upanishads we find asato ma sad gamayo, tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, mrtyam mam amrtam gamayo. This indicates what should be the primary tendency of our quest in three phases. First, I am transient and mortal, make me eternal. Next, I am ignorant and in nescience, take me from ignorance to knowledge, from darkness to light. Then, I am in sorrow and misery, guide me to anandam, joy and a fit life there. These should be the real goals of life, and any research must begin here only. Sac cid anandam, satyam shivam sundaram. These should be the subject matter of our research, the line of our approach to save oneself and save the world, to remove the darkness of ignorance and get the light of knowledge, and to remove misery and get the nectar of the sweet, sweet life. Scientific knowledge which avoids or ignores this is simply false, wild goose-chasing. And it is self-destructive or suicidal. At any time atomic researchers can prove that their science devours itself. The civilization already created by it sucks its own blood. Modern man is feeding on the flesh of his own friends or of himself. Material science and knowledge means only this. But this is not knowledge.Real knowledge must absorb oneself and others in eternal life, full knowledge and peaceful existence. This is our conception. This is what Gurudeva has given to us. Our Guru Maharaja came to spread this sort of knowledge and we came hankering. Hungrily we felt ourselves looking for such things. Still we are engaged in that sort of quest, and that should be the real life for one and all who are in this mundane world. There should not be any other quest or any other engagement. There should be nothing of the kind. Then that will be real life.
Return To Zero
And renunciation is not the remedy. That is the next point. The Buddhists and Shankarites say, “Yes, renunciation is the remedy, leave everything.” But the vaisnavas come with a third proposal. They know it is temporary living in the land of exploitation, but one cannot exist without engagement. Only renunciation means withdrawal, to return to zero. That is not desirable. So the vaisnavas say that there is a land of dedication, and that is normal, where every unit is a dedicating unit. And dedication must be towards the center. Our inner atma, not mind or mundane intelligence, but transcending all these things our real conception is the soul which has some relationship with the subtler realm. The land of dedication begins with Vaikuntha and ends in Goloka.
Retirement Is Hell
Vaikuntha is the land of calculative dedication in terms of constitution and bound by law. But Goloka is the layer of spontaneity. It is desperate, careless of its own self - so intense. That is the highest, and by the work of dedication of all it becomes a very heavenly area. All dedicating, none extorting, so happiness of the highest degree is to be found there. Everyone is enjoying there. If all are idle men and they meet together that will be like hell. But if all the working men cooperate together there will be immense opulence. Because everyone is dedicating to the highest degree, opulence or bliss is flowing everywhere. There is no want. All Krishna consciousness, pure beauty and love reigns there. The king is that of beauty and love, where there is no force of labor, but all is a labor of love. Beauty and love are controlling, not power. That is Goloka. This is Gaudiya vaisnavism. And Mahaprabhu and His followers carry the banner of such creed.
Idea Behind The Sound
And where do we start? Through nama, divine sound, it is easy to begin the spiritual quest. The most subtle thing in our experience here is sound. And it is cheap, much easier than dravya, yajna and so many other things which are to be gathered. Sound comes freely and without any expense. So our research can begin with sound, but that sound must be of divine characteristic.
Just as the medicine in a homeopathic globule cannot be shown by the outer figure, so also only when sound, the name Krishna comes from the proper person, then Krishna will is there within. In other words, Krishna from the mouth of a sadhu and Krishna from the mouth of an ordinary person is not one and the same. Just like the potency of the homeopathic globule depends on the medicine within. The idea behind the sound, from where it comes, whether from Vaikuntha, Goloka, or some particular rasa, to that place the sound will gradually assert itself and take you there. The sound, Vaikuntha nama grahanam. must come from the infinite world, Vaikuntha, not from any mundane origin. So the inner potency is to be discerned and detected. To a certain extent I am able to give some idea.
Sacrifice To The Center
What is the meaning of dedication or sacrifice? Yajnarthat karmano ‘nyatra loko yam karma bandhana. Work should be done only as a sacrifice. All other work is mere energizing force. And yajno vai Krishna, aham hi sarva yajnanam bhokta ca prabhur eva ca. The Lord or Guardian says that it must be devoted towards Me, to My satisfaction, otherwise it is not yajna. Sacrifice means that it must be for the Absolute center, and not for any provincial interest, sectarian purpose or anything else. It must go to the Absolute and then it will be real yajna. Other yajna, devata upasana (demigod worship) will go up and then come down. So devata upasana is saguna, and My upasana is nirguna. Saguna means under the influence of maya, the good and bad of this world. And nirguna means that of Absolute characteristic, which has value everywhere. Just as the standard of money is not currency like the dollar, yen or ruble, but gold, so rasa is the standard of realization of the Absolute. Provincial ideas, sectarianism or anything like that won’t do. Such provincialism will be devata upasana, not worship of Myself. The attempts of the little-brained persons will certainly be futile-going up and coming down. abrahma bhuvanal lokah punar arvartino ‘juna. “I am the only enjoyer of everything, and I am friendly to all. When you can realize that I am all in all and that I am a friend to you, then at the time all misgivings will disappear in you.” My guardian is the Absolute all-fearful power. My interest is represented in Him. I may not know of my own real interest, but He knows it better. So I don’t have to be afraid that the management is with Him. Absolute good is an autocrat and that is the best arrangement. The absolute good must be concentrated there in the autocrat. He must have complete freedom, then everyone will be benefited because He is all good. So there should be no misgivings, no apprehension, then one’s heart will be filled with peace only.
Sreyan dravya mayad yajna. By sacrifice and yoga also, dedication is promoted. By dedication we live and grow, and by exploitation we die and go down. By renunciation we become zero and stand still like in deep slumber. So both exploitation and renunciation must be given up and dedication to the center and to all in connection with the center, must be taken up. I shall not exploit anything, at the same time I must not dismiss anything. Everything is friendly to me. One should see with this vision. In Gita, Krishna says yo mam pasyati sarvatra sarvam ca mayi pasyati, “I am everywhere. Only see in that connection, with that angle of vision. Try to find Me, and everything in Me. Then you will be out of danger. Otherwise, that which is non-God will take you otherwise. If you can see the connection of God everywhere then you are safe. No one will be your enemy. You will have no foes, you are in the midst of friends. He is everywhere and everything. He is not lost in My sight, and I am not lost in his sight”. In Bhagavatam it is also mentioned. sarva bhutesu yah pasyet bhagavad bhavan. One who can always see My connection with everything, and accordingly see what will be his connection with Me, is properly adjusted. He can adjust with everything. He can see things perfectly, otherwise he cannot avoid punishment. Yamaraj, the punishing judge, won’t allow us to escape.
Sacrifice For Krishna
One who performs yajna towards Krishna with this sort of knowledge, is the real type of yajna. But other types of yajna mentioned in the Vedas, for propitiating different gods or demigods is not yajna proper. One who performs such yajnas does not know the purpose of the scriptures. Only when it is done for Krishna, then the yajna is performed in truth.
One’s conception of Krishna must also be proper. The mayavadis and others also recognize Krishna, but they see Him as a part of maya. This is not correct. We must have the view of Krishna beyond the modes of material nature. Such vision will depend on our faith which is acquired by previous sukriti. Faith is necessary. Intellectual approach based on false ego will not help.
The false ego means the ego who is receiving and transmitting false information, false knowledge. The ego is like a yantra or machine. Like a computer the false ego is receiving false news and transmitting false news. It is engaged with what is not wholesome and what is opposite to our real interest. Our innate tendency is to live. This is our inner nature or inner necessity. But if that is not being transmitted, it is working against my interest, and that is false. The ego is like the computer, but because it is dealing with falsehood it is called false ego. False information means that one is not acquainted with reality. There may be false duality or real duality. Everything may be real, but if our conception is false then everything will be false.
Connect With The Infinite
Argument alone cannot bring us to the conclusion. Sraddha is necessary, for discussion alone cannot give birth to any fruitful thing. The conclusion is Tarko pratistha, so high that only sraddha can reach it, and nothing else. The electromagnetic ether can reach the sun, moon and stars, but not the air or other media. So to approach the infinite world, the knowledge or experience of this world will not help, but only sraddha comes to our aid. The intellect or knowledge is like the vayumandal, the air around the globe. What is learned through the experience of the earth cannot pierce through the domain beyond. Only the ether connects everything. So sraddha, faith, can connect us with the farthest quarter and take us there. Faith is the basis and by dedication to Krishna we can reach the highest platform of perfection.