Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura
Mahaprabhu's Startling Revelation
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Sri Krishna Chaitanya has ushered the Transcendental in the phenomenal, which would startle the whole world. All savants and sober people would welcome the real view of things manifesting their eternal representation. The phenomenal representation is defective. We must pick the transcendental representation. Bhakti, different from lording it over matter, is different from ordinary mentality. We would be much benefited by perusing the conversation. Every one should be forced to hear this, in which everyone is vitally interested, in preference to Hegel, etc. for gratifying an individual or national interest. We should have interest only in Theism. We need not trouble the Absolute with our challenging mood. In this poor life we require relief.
If we are sober, and not childish, we would find it to be so, that it is a better course to direct all our activities to the Absolute Who has no shaky position. With all these present equipments we are to serve Him. But these mundane things cannot approach the Absolute. Only the soul can approach Him. The aspiration of the soul proper is not ritualistic performances, refutable intellectual speculations like the Vedanta. The only aim is to offer our service to the Absolute. We would otherwise indulge in altruistic exploitations, which are so inviting at first sight from a comparative view of these worldly things. But the just thing should be to seek to serve the Absolute. But where to find the Absolute? The solution of this question has also been attempted by four different schools who worship Shakti, Surjya, Ganesha and Siva. None of these propose to offer their whole to Vishnu, Who is the very Substratum and the Personality of Godhead. Others are recognized as p ersonalities, but have to show their crippled face for certain people. Surjya is worshipped by seekers of dharma; Ganesha for success; Shakti for the fulfillment of worldly desire; Rudra (Siva) by the freeing mood the liberating aspiration. We have a feeble ambition of knocking at the door of everybody who is interested. Everybody is interested in pure theism, which never came before nor will ever come in future.
If we want to cherish a tree, if we want to get fruit, we pour water at the root. We would rightly resort to Krishna, the Ever-existing Entity. If He is worshipped all other gods are worshipped. By pouring water at the branches all will not be cherished. The view of the whole spiritual sphere supplies the occasion for service in all five rasas. Of these, Santa, Dasya and Gaurava-sakshya belong to the lower half, being two and half aspects debarred from the other half Vishrambha-Sakshya, Vatsalya and Madhura ( consort ).
If we fail to accept the Absolute as our Consort, we shall try to be consort here. Males and females are the complementary aspects of personality. We would show the predominating aspect. But consort-hood can be claimed even when we have a masculine face here. We are transferred to other place by our passions. We are proselytized from one school to a more covetable school.
Bhandarkar preferred Sita-Rama to Radha-Govinda, Lakshmi-Narayana to Sita-Rama expanding the series to the impersonal form as the Advaitins would say. The skeptics etc. would further hold that materialistic thoughts are best and we should not meddle with spiritual things but try to get the highest elevation here. But these would not bring us any good whatsoever. We want the transcendental light of the worship of Radha-Krishna to be circulated everywhere with a very ethical representation. It would enable us to get rid of the poor sensuous ideas.
In considering the Absolute Position of Transcendental Eternity, Full-Knowledge and Incessant-Bliss we are dissuaded in fixing Him in sexological questions. When we take up the neuter phase with its prominent feature, we do naturally pin the same in the neuter phase. The position of relativity prompts us to target Him in the Masculine form. But when question of reciprocity intervenes, we necessarily jump into tracing the Material Cause neglecting the Efficient Cause. In our atheistic considerations, the question of sexology is more or less found to terminate in temporary view only. When we proceed to attend to the cause of this universe, this cosmographic investigation leads us to the apparent phases of things. So, when the exoteric manifestations win over our heart, we see a poly-atheistic view of the Object. Sometimes it turns to Animism, as Taylor would tell us; or sometimes Henotheism enshrouds our contemplation.
When polemical questions disturb us, we show a different mood of assimilating everything in one category, eliminating at the same time numerical question. When that view is scrutinized thoroughly, we indulge in a finitudinal mood by accepting the origination of every thing to be an indolent entity. Up to this time, we do not take up the theistic phase of Vasudeva. The first impression of theism leads us to Vasudeva, the Personality of Godhead, where we find no prominence of the neuter demonstration of the prerogative. We find the Efficient and Material Cause, simultaneously manifested in the singularity of Vasudeva. Vasudeva is considered as the first quadrant of the four-fold Aspect to complete the circumambulating inspection of the Circular Personality Who has four directions. The introductory commencement of Vasudeva has terminated by the appendix or the three other folds of the same.
When the Personality is viewed in His Predominating Aspect we find the manifestation of the Predominated Reciprocal Disclosure. So in the second phase of the Theistic view, we witness the Transcendental Vasudeva in His Lakshmi Narayana Aspect, where the Efficient Cause of the Transcendental Vasudeva is obscured. This very inquisitive temper must not lead us to scrutinize Lakshmi-Narayana like finite objects of this world which have a despicable phase of relativity.
But the transcendental phase of relativity will relieve us of all baseness and grossness, when we find, in Rama-Vaikuntha, eternal Dasaratha with Kaushalya, whose descended manifestations are traced in time and space for the publicity of those who deserve it and not for any preferential attachment of imperfection of historicity. We find Sita-Rama in the third phase of Theism.
The gopis went in search of Krishna to Symantapanchaka. The denizens of Vraja had no occasion to meet Krishna every day while at Dwaraka. They thought they should approach Him when He came for His bath at Brahmakunda. (1) The gopis told Krishna they are not at all sanguine to be heaved up to the position of yogins who have very little interest in the substratum, but are interested in a subtle and hazy idea. We reject that process. (2) Others hunt after lucre, etc., for their temporal need. The former want self-control, the latter have no ambition to renounce these earthly pains. They should read the Mahabharata. The gopis did not want these things, their only desire was to be consort. The Rishis resident in Dandakaranya wanted to meet Rama as consort, but that could not be as they had male forms. Still they had that aptitude. Sita should not allow anybody to have any share in her spousal relationship. So Rama could not accept that sort of Eternal mood. So they were asked to join Him in Krishna-lila; and were converted to gopis in their next life.
Rhetoricians tell of five rasas which should tend to the Absolute only. On the non-eternal plane they tend otherwise.
Ordinary people do not understand what service is. Most people are injuring the cause of service excepting the school of Devotion. Jnanins want to merge in the Personality of Godhead. Buddhists think that they can get rid of all miseries by annihilating themselves. Henotheists think that they will, in the long run, reach a state where there is no manifestive or designative feature. Devotees call such people non-devotees, atheists, skeptics, etc. There are karmins or karmavirs who are doing many things. They declare that they have got a definite object for which they work, otherwise they would be called frantic or mad people. They are all wage-earners, contractors and do their work in order to get something in return. Agnostics on the other hand do not trouble themselves with such things; they want to lose themselves; they want to commit suicide. These people are not devotees. The idea of a devotee is quite different from the ordinary idea of men in general. The devotion al school is always looking after the interest of the Absolute. They do not class themselves as karma-kandins or jnanakandins they do not join these two parties. They are quite different.
This world is a perverted reflection of the original one, which is our real home. Instead of passing our time here, we want to go back to our eternal abode. We are now very busy to have pleasant sensations through our senses from the phenomenal objects. We should make it a point of eradicating the root cause, which has brought us to this world of delusion, apparent pleasures, miseries and troubles. It is the mind, which is the root of all evils and the root of all pleasure-seeking inclinations. So the mind should be killed first i. e., it should not be allowed to take initiative in anything.
Now the mind is controlling our senses and the soul is lying in a dormant condition. The soul has delegated its power of transacting with the external world to the mind, and the mind has five ministers to help in the administration of the phenomenal world. But the mind is not a dutiful agent of the soul. It always tries to injure the interest of the soul. The soul has come down here and, while doing so, it has incorporated two envelopes, one subtle and the other gross. But the soul is now in a drowsy condition. It exactly compels the mind to look to its interest. At this crisis, the ever-merciful Lord Sri Krishna sends his messengers with the Transcendental Sound. This Transcendental Sound is to be received through the ears. The Transcendental Sound is meant to regulate the five senses, which are engaged in a wrong way to foster the cause of the mind and to injure the cause of the eternal soul. So aural reception in the first thing we should seek from the Agent, the deputed Messenge r from the transcendental plane. The Transcendental Sound is transmitted through the lips of the Messenger in shape of Mantra and in the shape of Nama. The very Name or the Nomenclature of the Transcendence can regulate the senses. "Go on chanting the Nama, constantly repeat the Transcendental Nomenclature, and you will find that energy is being injected into you. But this Nama should come to you from a good source, from a transcendental source, and not from any mundane source." The Name should not be confused with the other sounds of this world. The Transcendental Sound regulates, the senses and does not submit to the senses for scrutiny. When the Supreme Lord met Sri Rupa at Allahabad, He imparted those Transcendental Sounds to Sri Rupa with all explanations.
"Adau shraddha tatah sadhu sangah tah bhajana kriya tatah anartha nivrittih syat tato nistha ruschis tatha." We should first of all make a sifting enquiry throughout the world to single out the proper person from whom we can get the process for our adoption. We should have full reliance or confidence (shraddha) in Him. He will dictate to us what sort of engagement or bhajan we should perform for the welfare of our souls. As a result of this engagement or bhajan-kriya, we will be set free from all sorts of troubles and all our acquisitions and empiric activities will be regulated. That is, all undesirable elements which have crept in along with our devotional activities will be eliminated. This is called "anarthanivriti. Then comes nistha. We should resolve that we will not deviate from our only object which is to serve the Absolute, to our bhajankriya, the continuity of which should not be disturbed. When we transcend 'sadhanbhakti', w e are placed in 'bhava bhakti' region where we will find that 'rati' is the cardinal point, the principal thing. When we were passing through sadhanbhakti, 'shraddha'' was the index. Here, in 'bhava bhakti', 'rati' is the index. Rati has five different aspects shanta, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhura. Rati is the substratam which lies between sadhana bhakti and bhava bhakti. Rati is supplied by four different ingredients known as vibhava, anubhava, sattvika and sanchiari. Vibhava includes alambana and uddipana. In alambana we find vishaya and ashraya. There is activity of vishaya for ashraya and of ashraya for vishaya,. The Vishaya is One without a second, but ashrayas there are many. Krishna is the only Vishaya and Karshnas (servitors) are the ashrayas. Rati is associated with Vishaya and is developed by the infl uence of uddipana. When we designate ourselves as ashrayas, we have only one Vishaya Who is always looking to confer mercy on us i. e., proper engagement for us, and at the same time we should have the same aptitude for having the connection of Vishaya. Anubhava is regulated bhava, following vibhava. Then comes sattvika and sanchari. The former is eight in number and the latter 33 in number. Sattvika indicates ecstacy. The ecstatic or enthusiastic features of sattwa are displayed, developed and nurtured by the 33 sanchari bhavas. So rati is associated with the four ingredients vibhava, anubhava, sattvika and sanchari. When they are mixed up, we find a palatable drink rasa. Rasa is formed by the composition of these four ingredients with rati. Then we come to prema-bhakti, where rasa is indicatory. In bhava-bhakti rati is the cardinal point. The Vishaya. and the ashraya both drink this rasa. We have now come to prayojana tattva. Ashrayas taste Madhwya rasa. The development of bhava-bhakti leads to prema-bhakti, and in prema-bhakti we find rasa. People need not confuse chit rasa with jara rasa. Chit rasa is tasted in a region where no imperfection can possibly reach. Jara rasa, as we find in stones like Nala-damayanti etc., should not be carried to that region. The domain of rasa is Bhagavata. The book is dedicated to rasikas and bhabukas and not to anybody else. Krishna-prema is the only prayojana or need. This is the final stage.
There are some people who with their hallucinative ideas think that bhoga should be the final goal, and there are some perverse people who think that tyaga should be the final destination. But these things are not congenial for our preparatory works. We are not to confine ourselves to the ideas of bhoga or tyaga. Parama-dharma is not temporary religion associated with the retention of temporary things. We must not think that parama-dharma is on the same line with itara dharma. Parama-dharma or Sanatana-dharma is meant for our eternal purpose. Our soul being eternal, this Sanatana-dharma is to be adopted, but not the pseudo-sanatana-dharma advocated by the karmis and jnanis. So we should be very careful not to accept agnosticism of the Pantheists. We should also be careful not to accept the enjoying mood of the karma-kandins who are very busy to have us as suppliers of their gluttony. So true devotion should be defi ned first. In order to do so, the second sloka of the Bhagavata reading "Dharmah projjhita-etc." has come to us. Projjhita means, "from which all pretensions have been uprooted." Persons who have already transcended the mundane regions are known as sadhus, and the religion of the sadhus is inculcated in the Bhagavata. Matsarata is the combination of the five obstacles viz., kama, krodha, lobha, moha and mada. By indulging in these passions we become matsar. i. e. jealous. Sadhus are free from jealousy. Vastavya vastu means positive Entity. We should have access to the positive Entity and not the negative side of the dreamy representations of the objects. Krishna-prema-rasa should be our desired end.
The only knowledge is the Darling of Nanda, Who is replete with all knowledge. Darkness assuming form envelopes my eyes and it is for this reason that my function of vision is inoperable, that there has appeared in me the tendency to various other activities. By means of my senses, viz., hands, feet, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin I am engaged in a variety of work, by reason of doing which there has been appearing this multitude of diverse kinds of dangers that confront me. By attempting to walk with these feet I often stumble and fall, by trying to discuss with this mind I am invoking manifold evil by not being able to understand the real subject of knowledge.
In such hour of peril the lotus feet of my Sri Guru, being moved to pity, have manifested themselves in this world in order to impart to me the knowledge 'that you are the servant of the Darling of Nanda', and to dispel the darkness of ignorance due to my loss of sense of duty, which had lead me to embark on the enjoyment of worldly objects and to think such enjoyment to be my duty. With this eye I see that it is not my 'duty' to see viz., the bondage that obstructs me from my vision of Him Whom I ought to see by all means, and, by being deprived of Whose sight, I see this bondage of material enjoyment. The lotus feet of Sri Guru have imparted to me the light of spiritual knowledge by removing that bondage from my eyes and by making the lids of my eyes to open slightly. Sri Gurudeva instructs me saying, 'Open your eyes a little and see.' All these days I have been thinking that I can see by keeping my eyes closed.
The instant that the dearest servant of the Supreme Lord, His own best beloved one, in order to rescue me, out of mercy, from the clutches of worldly vanity, made me cognizant of the service of the Darling of Nanda, it is only at that moment that I could realize that there is no other function of the jiva's own self, there is no other blessing, except the endeavour to please the Senses of the Darling of Nanda. The Darling of Nanda alone is both the only Mode and the only Goal of all. Sri Chaitanya Deva has said Himself, "The hearts of other persons are their minds. My mind is Vrindavan; I deem My mind and the Divine woodland where Krishna loves to stroll as the same."
The holy Vrindavan is really the heart of Sri Gaursundar. Those who are saved from the clutches of evil, alone realize the nature of Sri Vrindaban. The word abhista in the verse of Thakur Narattom means literally "to desire in every way." That which is desired by Chaitanya in every way, that which Chaitanya wills, the teaching that He imparts for making the unconscious conscious when will Sri Rupa Goswami Prabhu, he who has established this teaching of Chaitanya in this world, place me in the close proximity of his lotus feet for the same service of the Lord! Or the word 'Swayam-rupa' may also mean the personal form of the Divinity, the darling of Nanda, "When will the person Krishna Chandra, drawing my soul into Him, take me to the proximity of his lotus Feet?"
With this bag of bone and muscle, this carcass of flesh and blood which has been born of parents for the purpose of suffering pain, for undergoing the triple misery in the prison of this world, for my aversion to Krishna, with this bundle of flesh and bones one cannot go to the presence of Krishna's personal Form in Whom are concentrated the Principles of all real existence, consciousness and bliss. Nor is it possible to approach the proximity of the Feet of the personal Divinity with the current of mental thought engrossed in external objects of sensuous perception, in which there is consciousness of any other object than the Darling of Nanda. When the external objects of this world, this house, this body, this air, these fruits and flowers, this whole world, tell me, 'master, we wish to serve you', then I think, 'very well, let me be the lord of these.' The air-god is an object of my highest worship. Inhaling him with my nose and fancying him to be an object for ministering to my p leasure I try to absorb him into my lungs. And why? In order to maintain my life. I have conceived the desire of becoming their lord by maintaining my life. I cannot understand that this eye is preventing me from seeing the unique and incomparable beauty of the Darling of Nanda by beholding external color and form; nor that the external sound is the obstacle to my catching the sound of Krishna's flute.
I cannot find the strength to surmount this obstacle until Sri Guru, full of endless mercy, manifests himself to me. I have been unable to feel any liking for the lotus Feet of Sri Chaitanya, the Darling of Sri Nanda, and for the feet of Sri Rupa Goswami, Sri Rupa Munjari, whose endeavours are fast bound to the lotus Feet of Sri Chaitanya. Alas, indeed, where is another person whose fate is so blasted as mine?
Persons, averse to Godhead are establishing the tidings of aversion to the Darling of Nanda in this wicked world. But Sri Guru, the best beloved of Sri Chaitanya, out of mercy, is trying to establish the lotus Feet of Sri Chaitanya in my heart. When will Sri Gurudeva graciously allot me a place in the close proximity of his lotus feet? When will he make me enter the 'community' of the followers of Rupa? When will the Vaishnavas, making me bathe in the shower of the dust of their feet, accept me as their servant? When shall I be able to behold that blessing, by bathing in the particles of the feet dust of the Vaishnavas? When will I receive that blessing in which I shall be able to obtain the mercy of the beauteous person Himself?
Baladeva Nityananda, who is the manifestation of Godhead's Own Self, is himself endeavouring to serve Krishna by cherishing the belief that he is the protege of Krishna's beautiful transcendental form. There can be no service of Sri Chaitanya if one is enveloped by the faculty of aversion. Sri Gurudeva is that very person who focussing in himself the manifestation of Krishna's Own transcendental Form, is engaged in establishing the heart's desire of Sri Chaitanya in this world.