Search For Truth

Spiritual Means and Ends
by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura
Published in The Harmonist (Sree Sajjanatoshani)


Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura

 

 

The materialistic demeanor cannot possibly stretch to the Transcendental Autocrat who is ever inviting the fallen conditioned souls to associate with Him through devotion or eternal serving mood. The phenomenal attractions are often found to tempt sentient beings to enjoy the variegated position which is opposed to undifferenced monism. People are apt to indulge in transitory speculations even when they are to educate themselves on a situation beyond their empiric area or experiencing jurisdiction. The esoteric aspect often induces them to trace out immanence in their outward inspection of transitory and transformable things. This impulse moves them to fix the position of the immanent to an Indeterminate Impersonal Entity, no clue of which could be discerned by moving earth and heaven through their organic senses. It is therefore necessary to help such puzzled souls in their march towards the Personality of the Immanent lying beyond their sensuous gaze of inspection. This in fact is man's highest objective: Search for TRUTH.

We have heard from the Divine voice of Shri Guru Deva the following text of the scriptures: "O thou Muni who art given to mental speculation, whatever act is performed, whether it be mundane or spiritual, should be performed in the way that is conducive to the service of Shri Hari, if one is really anxious to acquire the function of spiritual devotion".

We happen to be servants of the devotees of God. We are not servants of either elevationists or liberationists. We are the bearers of Hari's own footwear. Under the circumstance we do not join issue with the communities that desire any other thing beside the service of Godhead, viz., elevation or liberation. For we know that the worship of Dharma, Artha, Kaama or Moksha is merely deceitfulness. In other words they have a close connection with my addiction to the non-self.

There was a time when Shri Gaursundar (Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) in the course of His pilgrimage to different parts of India, had instructed the people in these words, "Whomsoever you meet, instruct him about Krishna. Deliver this country by becoming Guru by My command.' At that time the question arose in our minds as to how we were to discourse regarding the supreme object of desire if we were not ourselves Self-realised souls. Thereupon Shri Gaursundar gave us His assurance: "In this matter you will not be obstructed by the current of worldliness. At this very place you will obtain My company once again." Use every endeavor for the service of Divinity. Do so from the position in which you happen to be placed. In whatever country, in whatever age, in whatever body you may happen to be lodged, use all your endeavour for the Divinity. If we have to carry out the command of Shri Chaitanya there is no other alternative but to discuss all those words that we have heard from the prophetic lips of Shri Gurudeva. The only duty of the servant of Godhead is to try to do that by which one's skill in performing the service of Godhead is continuously developed. The only thing that is worth praying for is this, that our mind may be more and more attracted towards Krishna. We do not want riches or followers nor do we desire to be saved from the misery of birth and death. In this world different persons aspire for ends other than the service of Krishna. They desire Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. They worship various gods for obtaining what they desire. But when we are in the presence of Mahadeva, let us hail the Lord thus: "Glory to the ruler of the realm of Vrindavana, Whose forehead is adorned with the moon, glory to Him who is worshipped by Sanandan, Sanatana and Narada, glory to the Chief of cowherds! O Lord bestow on me unceasing, unconditional love to the twin lotus Feet of the amorous Hero of raja." When we approach Katyayani we say, "I bow to thee, Katyayani who have power to delude, who have power of causing all occurrences, who have power over our selves. May the Devi make the Son of the cow-herd Nanda, my Husband."

We do not pray either for the cure of disease or for liberation by a process which may mean the simultaneous destruction of both disease and patient. We approach them and say, "May you bless us that our minds may be directed to Krishna." The people of this world pray for being the possessors of things that are other than Krishna. But the ambrosial words of Shri Gurudeva declare that Krishna is the only real possession. We are in the grip of non-spiritual prepossessions. They obstruct our quest of Krishna. It is necessary to discuss how we may be rescued from the clutches of such prepossessions. It is for this reason that our questions were framed. We did not wish to pick others' pockets. We did not intend to inconvenience others. We are above such meanness. Those who are addicted to the service of lust and anger may judge differently. But let us pay heed to what our former Guru Shrila Madhavendra Puri has said regarding our proper duty: "I have indulged, times out of number, in every form of wickedness, yielding to lust and other passions. But the outworn passions have had no pity on my poor self. They continue to trouble me shamelessly and remorselessly. Lord of the Jadus, for this reason, just now, giving them up and knowing truth, I have come to You to throw myself into Your protection which alone can save me from all fear. May You employ me fully in Your Service."

We are indeed beggars. But for that reason we need not be beggars of desires that pander to the gratification of our senses. It had been our prayer that all communities of 'Sadhus' might profitably seek the mercy of Chaitanya Chandra. They would be filled with the greatest admiration, if they do so. Our prayer has been formulated by one of our Acharyas in the following words: "Holding the blade of straw between my teeth, falling prostrate at your feet and making hundreds of humble supplications, I say this: O, Sadhus, casting away everything to a distance ever practise loving devotion to the Feet of Chaitanya Chandra."

What Sri Chaitanyadeva has told us in a special manner, the straight path by following which many can be delivered from all sensuous desires, is nothing else but accepting the protection of the service of Godhead. He said, 'For one who is free from all sensuous desires, who is anxious to serve Godhead, who is desirous of getting across the ocean of this world, the contemplation of, or association with, worldly people and carnal women are, alas, worse even than the swallowing of poison.'

It is better to commit suicide by swallowing poison than to associate with people who desire other things than Krishna, or seek the enjoyment of such things. Having once begun to serve Hari, if such a person becomes attached to things other than Krishna, he is thereby utterly ruined. Bharata became King of Bharatavarsha. He had formerly practised a great variety of endeavours for spiritual progress, had practised asceticism, had made actual progress on the path of the service of Hari. But he had to be born as the young one of a deer. He had conceived a very slight desire for an object other than Krishna. He had wished to perform what is ordinarily known in the world as an act of kindness. It was nothing more serious than a slight desire to serve a helpless animal, but even for this reason Bharata had to be born as a deer. Therefore the lotus feet of our Shri Gurudeva command us to have no duty other than the service of Krishna. 'May you have your mind fixed towards Krishna' is the only proper benediction.

Advaitacharya at a certain time indulged constantly in preaching the doctrine of undifferentiated union with Brahman. Shri Gaursundar desired to put an end to his activities. For this purpose He set out from Shri Mayapur in the company of Lord Nityananda. They proceeded towards Santipur by way of Lalitpur. At Lalitpur they met a sannyasin who kept the company of prostitutes. The two Lords, full of Divine fervour, sought the hospitality of that profligate sannyasin. The sannyasin blessed Mahaprabhu Whom he considered to be an ordinary boy thus: "May you have riches, descendants, a good wife and learning." On hearing this benediction of the sannyasin Mahaprabhu said it was no blessing at all but a curse. The only real benediction is that one may obtain the favour of Krishna. The adulterous sannyasin, on hearing these words, said to Mahaprabhu, "I have today direct experience of what I have heard before. Now-a-days if anybody desires well of another and says so, that person returns the favour by belabouring his well-wisher with the cudgel. I find the behaviour of this Brahmana boy to be exactly like that. I most gladly blessed him that he may gain riches, followers and good fortune. I had no other object than his well-being. This boy thinks that it is no benefit but an attempt to do him harm. He is ready to blame me for this." Thereupon Lord Nityananda looked wise and displaying the gravity of a guardian of the boy said to that profligate sannyasin, "It is not up to you to argue with this boy. I have understood how great you really are. Do not be offended with this boy, for my sake."

The adulterous sannyasin was pleased with the words of Nityananda Prabhu. He offered to feed him. Nityananda sanctifies the fallen. Nityananda and Mahaprabhu having bathed in the Ganges ate the fruits given them by the sannyasin at his house. Presently the profligate sannyasin threw out repeated hints to Nityananda Prabhu about accepting "Aananda' meaning 'Wine." The wife of the sannyasin forbade him to annoy the guests in that manner while they were taking their meal. Mahaprabhu asked Nityananda Prabhu, "What does the sannyasin mean by the word 'ananda"? Nityananda Prabhu was acquainted with the behaviour of all kinds of persons. He informed Gaursundar that the adulterous sannyasin referred to wine by the word 'ananda'. No sooner did Biswambhar (Gaursundar) catch his words than, muttering the Name of Vishnu, He at once gave up eating, performed the Achamana and without delay ran to the Ganges with Nityananda Prabhu and plunged into the stream.

By means of this act Mahaprabhu taught the duty of avoiding bad company. He taught more than this. In the words of Thakur Brindavandas, "The Lord favours the adulterous and the drunkards. Yet He kills one who is versed in the Vedanta if he maligns the Sadhus. This person was a sannyasin. Yet he did not hesitate to drink wine. He also kept company with carnal women. Yet the Lord went to his house. If he is not actually benefited in this birth it will do him good when he is born again. The only persons whom the Lord does not love in His heart, are those who speak ill of others maliciously. All the atheistical sannyasins missed the good fortune of obtaining a sight of the Lord. This is proved by the case of all the sannyasins who lived at Kasi."

Those who desire liberation and expect to merge in the undifferentiated Brahman are greater hypocrites than even those who desire worldly enjoyment. Accordingly Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has advised all persons, who really seek their own good, by all means to avoid their company.

Urvashi found that the period when she could gain her selfish purpose was over; she did not hesitate forthwith to desert Pururava or Aila King of Chandravansha. Thereupon Aila, feeling the cruelty of Uravshi, was cured of his hankering after worldly enjoyment. It was in this connection that Shri Bhagavan said to Uddhava, 'Therefore one who is wise should attach himself to the companionship of the good, giving up completely all association with bad men. The very words spoken by the Sadhus have certainly the power of destroying all evil tendencies of one's mind." [1]

The only duty of the "Sadhus" is to cut away all the accumulated wicked propensities of every individual. This alone is the causeless natural desire of all the Sadhus. Worldly people possess a double nature. They express one kind of sentiment but internally cherish a different purpose. Moreover they want to advertise this duplicity as a mark of liberation or love of harmony. Those who are unwilling to show any duplicity, wish to be frank and straightforward, or in other words to exercise unambiguously the function of the soul; such really sincere persons are called sectarian and orthodox by those who practice duplicity. We will cultivate the society only of those who are straightforward. We will not keep company with any person who is not so. We must by all means avoid bad company. We are advised to keep at a distance of a hundred cubits from animals of the horned species. We should observe the same caution in regard to all insincere persons.

There was a time when Thakur Narottam was pleased to tell the plain truth to many worthy persons who came of the highest lineage. Thakur Narottam, in the eye of worldly people, had manifested himself just as a member of an Uttaradiya Kayastha family. For telling the truth he became the object of attack by bad people. Those who judge other people by the testimony of their senses, are, as a matter of fact, maliciously disposed. These persons, devoid of sound judgment, began to find fault with Thakur Narottama. Why was he, born in a kayastha family, going to set up as a religious teacher of persons born in Brahmana families and also make them his disciples? When these accusations reached the ears of Narottam Thakur he said that rather than provoke the opposition of any person he would completely desist from instructing anybody. Shri Ramakrishna Bhattacharya and Shri Ganganarayan Chakravarti, who were disciples of Thakur-mahasaya, thereupon said that if he gave up teaching the world will go to the dogs and there will be a great increase in the number of atheistical Pashandas in the world. Saying this one of them put on the garb of a betel-seller and the other attired himself as a potter. Meanwhile the whole body of proud Pandits of the hostile community arrived at Kheturi with the intention of defeating Thakur-mahasaya in open controversy. After their arrival at Kheturi they went to the bazar and proceeded to the potter's shop for purchasing earthen posts in which to cook their food. The potter began to talk with them in the Sanskrit language. From there those Pandits went to the betel-shop for purchasing betel. The betel-seller also talked with the Pandits in pure Sanskrit. At this those proud Pandits thought within themselves that it was a most wonderful country where even potters and betel sellers could talk in the purest Sanskrit. Thakur Narottama was the greatest person of such a place. It was impossible to conceive how great a Pandit he could be. Therefore instead of losing their reputation by approaching him it was better to leave the place without delay. Thinking in this way those Pandits hurriedly left the village. Thus we find that those who obtain the protection of Truth are always liable to be attacked.

What is ordinarily called unfair judgment or sound judgment, is neither of them the same as Truth. Many persons suppose Truth to be the same as common-sense. That which cannot be harmonised with common-sense is not admitted as Truth by such persons. But what is the nature of persons whose common-sense is supposed to be identical with the Truth? Is it the common sense of souls who are free from the defects of liability to error, inadvertence, defective senses, desire to deceive? Or is it the common sense that is born of the experience of changeable minds subject to all those defects? The common sense of the ordinary run of mankind, who are subject to all those defects, is at best only mental speculation. It may sometimes exhibit a certain impression of relative or temporary truth. But it is not really Truth. The intellectual faculty of persons who are led by the blind active forces of physical Nature cannot understand the topic of the unadulterated, self-revealing function of pure spiritual existence. A certain person is tasting the deliciousness of an excellent preparation of good pudding. Another person arrives there and proposes that a quantity of lime and mortar, which happens to be in his possession, might be mixed with the pudding to complete its deliciousness. If this advice is actually taken one is thereby prevented from getting the pleasure of eating good pudding. The taste of the pudding is bound to be spoiled by such a policy. Bits of stone, lime, etc., scorch and choke the passage of the throat and cause the death of the person who swallows them. Bhakti or service of Godhead is supremely unconditional, self-sufficient, perfectly pure and absolutely devoid of all earthly quality. If any person advises that the pure devotional impulse may be perfected by adulterating it with desires other than service of Godhead, such as fruitive activity, empiric knowledge, attempt to become one with Iswara by means of Yoga, etc., all of which are the products of this material world, then the advice of such a person is exactly similar to that of mixing lime and mortar with good pudding. Lime and mortar are quite foreign to good pudding. The two things never suit one another. Fruitive activity, empiric knowledge, Yoga, are activities of the individual soul in the state of bondage. They are the functions of the material body and mind. On the other hand Bhakti is the natural impulse of the pure soul. It is a spiritual function. It is the activity of the soul who is absolutely free from all worldly defects. It is for this reason that there cannot be any real mixture of the service of Godhead with fruitive work, empiric knowledge and similar worldly activities which are foreign to bhakti by their very nature, being the function of entities that are categorically different from the soul. But when the fruitive work, empiric knowledge, etc., recognize their subordination to Bhakti and are practised in obedience to bhakti then such activity may be termed as bhakti although it may seem to be adulterated with fruitive work and empiric knowledge. Such adulterated bhakti may help a person to attain the path that leads to pure Bhakti which is the transcendental function. When a person attains to the transcendental service of Godhead there is then no longer any adulteration. It is this which finds expression in an oft-quoted Shloka of the celestial sage, Narada, "That activity which is prescribed by the Shastras in reference to Hari is certainly called Bhakti. By its means the transcendental Bhakti is gained."

We are not prepared to collaborate with those who are given to worldly activities. There are persons who are ambitious of climbing to the top of the Himalaya of progress by means of their mental speculation based on the experience of the external world. We are not prepared to cultivate association with empiricists of this type who profess to be able to approach the Truth by the ascending process from experience to the unknown. 'We will not allow any hostile person among ourselves but will always keep him on the other side of our boundary'. This is the advice of our Gurudeva. We do not want the person who is given to good eating and sensuality. Such persons are not really genuine seekers of the Truth. How will our purpose be served with the help of persons who possess a double nature? There is no correspondence between what they say and do. The tiding that the sweet and healthy words of our Shri Gurudeva have brought us will not be listened to by persons who have a double tongue. They will never lend their serving ear to the message. Lay men connot [sic] understand us. Those who lives have not become identical with that of the devotee, as is very well illustrased [sic] in Shrimad Bhagavatam, will not be able to understand our message.

It is for this reason that the Bhagavata instructs us, to turn over a new leaf, "Persons of good sense must entirely give up all association with bad company and cultivate close association with the Sadhus. There is not doubt that the words of the Sadhu possess the power of destroying the evil propensities of one's mind. The Sadhus in this way benefit every one who associates with them". There are many things which we do not disclose to the Sadhu. The real Sadhu makes us speak out what we keep concealed in our hearts. He then applies the knife. The very word "Sadhu" has no other meaning than this. He stands in front of the block with the uplifted sacrificial knife in his hand. The sensuous desires of men are like the goats. The Sadhu stands there to kill those desires by the merciful stroke of the keen edge of the sacrificial knife in the form of unpleasant language. If the Sadhu turn into my flatterer then he does me harm, he becomes my enemy. If he gives us flattery then we are led to the road that brings enjoyment but no real well-being.

It is not proper to hear the exposition of the Bhagavata by one who does not live the life enjoined by the Bhagavata. It is our duty to associate with a Sadhu who is better than ourselves. 'Association with those who are better than oneself is association with Sadhus'. But who really possesses the life of the Bhagavata (God's own)? "He is called 'Free' in this life whose only endeavor is for the service of Hari in every activity of mind and speech and in all circumstances". "May the mind be directed to Krishna" this is the only form of benediction that is uttered by the Sadhus. The contrary form "May the inclination towards Krishna be destroyed giving rise to the ambition to lord over things other than Krishna," is never the form of the benediction of the Sadhus.

The word bhakti (service of Godhead) cannot be properly used except in connection with the word Krishna. Krishna alone is the only Object of bhakti. Brahman is the object of knowledge. The paramatman (Supreme soul) is the object of the effort to approximate. But Krishna alone is the only object of worship or service. We shall explain later on in the course of our discourse how Krishna alone can be the only Object of worship.

The ordinary meaning of the word "Chit" is knowledge. Knowledge possesses the quality of mastership. From the words of Shri Chaitanyadeva we are enabled to know that the Son of the Chief of Braja is the real indivisible Knowledge. Krishna-chandra is specifically the Possessor, Source and Concentrated Embodiment of the Cognitive Power. The source from which all knowledge emanates is of three kinds viz., (a) pure cognition, (b) cognition, adulterated with non-cognition and (c) non-cognition. Those who hold that direct perception by the senses is the only source of knowledge maintain that knowledge or consciousness is a product of non-cognition or matter. These persons believe that non-cognition is the final principle. The propensity that comes into play as the result of such speculation is called tarka or hypothetical controversy. Those who want to make matter produce the principle of consciousness, find themselves, in the sequel, necessarily occupied with consideration as to how it is possible to gradually neutralise the cognitive principle, how to make it effervesce altogether into the original state of non-cognition. These persons by their austerities try to reduce that temporary consciousness into the state of complete unconsciousness. If a person begins to perform worldly activities, if he continues to do so in a liberal measure, he is liable to become too much fatigued in the course of such activity. It is at such a stage of exhaustion that the desire for becoming unconscious matter, the desire of liberation in the form of annihilation of consciousness described above, makes its psychological appearance. It is a good thing to practice open-handed liberality. It is a good thing to nurse the sick and to help the needy in different ways. Ideas like these make a tempting appeal to our judgment and seem to promise even a temporary relief to sufferers when man is terribly oppressed by the normal condition of existence in the realm of matter. We are then attracted towards processes that are dangled before our eyes by the external world. It is in this manner that we become performers of 'useful' work, we practice 'virtue', we worship a relieving god, we become moral, or, sometimes, we do bad deeds, commit sinful acts, become irreligious or immoral. We are driven into all such predicaments by the hostile pressure of the external world.

There is no grossness in the subtle material principle. But the subtle owes its birth to gross matter. Subtleness manifests itself by abstracting its ingredients from the gross things of the external world. Gross matter is the parent of the subtle existence.

In this world the function of non-cognition has become more or less adulterated with that of cognition. The mind and intelligence are occupied in gathering knowledge from the realm of non-cognition. There is a world in which there is no such subject as non-cognition which is professed to be the final reality by the propounders of the theory of the finality of the atom or the material force. In that world everything is cognition. There are some who say that there must be the realisation of utter powerlessness in undiluted cognition. It is true that the possessor of empiric knowledge has bitter experience of material force in this world. It is only when one is anxious to fly from the bitterness of such experience that the opportunity of rendering cognition, of which we stand in need, devoid of all power, presents itself to us. The Gaudiya Vaishnavas have a language of their own. They call the material force "Bahiranga-Shakti," the power that manifests itself in the extraneous members of the Divine Person. The Professors of undifferentiated knowledge want to designate the Entity who is devoid of this extraneous power as the Brahman. They form their idea of the Brahman by repudiating the material force. They have got the experience of that power from the phenomena of radio-activity and molecular movement in this world in which the cognitive principle is found adulterated with the material principle. But the Brahman also means the Great, the Whole. Those who are privileged to have the sight of the Greatness, the Wholeness, know that the word Brahman means only Bhagavan "the Possessor of all Power." In the words of Shri Chaitanya Deva the Primary meaning of the Word Brahman is "Bhagavan".

The Sankarsana Sutra uses the word Brahman to denote Vishnu. In the concluding portion of the Bhagavatam we find the following Shloka, "The essence of all Vedanta is Brahman Who is identical with the Supreme Soul. He is the only substantive Reality. He is one and without a second. The one thing needful is exclusive and eternal devotion to Him."

Every Sound has a two-fold potency, viz. (1) the enlightening natural potency and (2) the natural potency productive of ignorance. That potency of the sound which, diverging from Krishna, Vishnu, Shri Chaitanya Deva, points to something else, is the potency that is productive of ignorance. By their enlightening natural potency all words express Krishna, point to Krishna. Those words that obey us as their master, help us in the function of enjoying the things of this world, being promotive of enjoyment, are thereby separated from the Divinity and, therefore, exhibit the natural potency that produces ignorance. The Sound 'Krishna' points to the sabstnative [sic] Reality. In this world made of material, limiting quality, the meaning that is offered of the Sound 'Krishna' and what is understood by the common run of people by the Sound 'Krishna' are neither of them the entity who is the real Meaning of the Sound 'Krishna'. In other languages such sounds as "God", 'Allah' etc., or, even in the Sanskrit language such sounds as 'God' 'Iswara' 'Paramatma', etc., express a certain conglomerate of distinctive power which is an adulterated entity separate from Krishna. Those sounds fail to accommodate the full commanding potency of the Sound "Krishna". The full meaning of the Sound "Krishna" may be thus set out: 'Krishna' is the Supreme Lord. He has a specific Form, the concentrated embodiment of the spiritual principle of Existence, Cognition and Bliss. He has no beginning. He is the beginning. He is nourishing the whole world. He is the Cause of all Causes'.

The above Meaning of the Sound 'Krishna' was brought from the south of India by Shri Gaursundar and made known to all the people. No other country except Bharatvarsha knows the Meaning of the Sound 'Krishna'. In Bharatavarsha also there are divergent currents of thought in which the sounds: Iswara, Paramatma, Brahman, etc., have manifested themselves. These currents of thought indicate the secondary potencies of the Sound Krishna or even postulate powerlessness of the Divinity. They are also unable to convey the knowledge of the fullness of meaning of the Sound "Krishna". Anything that is seen, heard, smelt, tasted or touched by our senses giving rise to empiric knowledge, is an entity produced by physical Nature. The Sound 'Krishna' has not been used with reference to these products of physical Nature. The Entity Krishna is not comprehensible to knowledge dependent on material senses of absence of material senses. He is an Entity Who transcends physical senses and physical nature. Truth can never be served by the faculty that diverges from the Lord. The service of Truth is the function of the soul. It is incapable of being diverted from the Truth. It is causeless and uninterruptible. Truth is identical with the Teacher of the Truth. There can be no knowledge of the conclusions of the Vedas without undeviating service at the lotus-feet of Shri Guru-deva. No one can be the Teacher of the Truth except the devotee of God. This is not the dogma of irrational orthodoxy. It is the real Truth. One cannot be the Guru although he be descended from the highest lineage, be initiated in all sacrifices, has studied the thousand and one branches of the Veda, if he be not a true Vaishnava.

In ancient times there was a city called Kanchi in the South of the country. In that city there lived a very famous Professor whose name was Yadavaprakasha. There is a tradition that at that time there was no other Professor in the whole of that part of the country who was his equal in learning. Laksmandesika (Ramanuja) went to him for the purpose of study. He resided with his teacher. He was devoted to his studies with his whole heart. He was perfectly sincere in his conduct towards his teacher. These excellent qualities soon attracted the attention and captured the heart of this teacher. One day Yadavaprakasha following the interpretation of Shankaracharya was explaining the well-known text of the Chandogya that the two eyes of God-head are red like the hind-part of a monkey. This caused intense-pain to the heart of Ramanuja. Ramanuja was at the time engaged in tending the person of this teacher. He felt very much pained on hearing the blasphemy against the Holy Form of God-head. The warm tears from his eyes fell in drops on the back of Yadavaprakasha. This sudden fit of weeping surprised Yadavaprakasha who asked Ramanjua about the cause of his grief. Ramanuja then said that there was no necessity of explaining the word 'kapyasam' in such a filthy and blasphemous manner especially as the word possessed an excellent meaning. Was it not a most highly offensive act to compare the Eyes of God Himself the most Revered Lord and Master of us all, with the worst part of the body of a monkey?

Yadavaprakasha was very angry on hearing these words of Ramanuja. He reprimanded Ramanuja in most severe terms, 'How highly impertinent for a mere lad to find fault with the interpretation of Acharya Shankara! Was it possible that there could be any other explanation of the text than that of the Acharya'? Ramanuja replied in words that were expressive of modesty: "Yes", said Ramanuja "there is another meaning of the text which augments the happiness of the spiritually enlightened. Acharya's explanation is intended for deluding those persons who are endowed with the unspiritual aptitude. I am telling you the other meaning. Deign to listen to my words".

There-upon Ramanuja offered this famous explanation of 'Kapyaasam' in the text. 'Kam' means water. That which drinks water is 'kapi'. 'Kapi' is thus no other than the stem of the lotus. That which is placed on the stem is 'kapyasam'. In other words the two Eyes of that Supreme Person are tinged with red like the undimmed lustre of the unplucked lotus on its stem shining on the bosom of the blue waters.

Yadavaprakasha was filled with the greatest astonishment on hearing this explanation of the Scriptural text. He felt most keenly the disgrace of his defeat at the hands of his own disciple. Maddened with anger he plotted to do away with Ramanuja in secret.

No teacher of undifferentiated Cognition, or of utilitarian works, or of any worldly state of union with the Supreme Soul (Yoga) or of the performance of activities resolved upon by one-self (vrata) or of asceticism, or of magic, or of hypocrisy can really be designated as the superior Guru. They are all of them only triflers and being really very light-headed indeed, are capable of being easily manipulated. They are never the benefactors of the conditioned soul. They are on the contrary the enemies of themselves as well as of all others.

But the Maha-Bhagavata, the best of devotees, the Vaishnava Guru, alone is causelessly merciful to all souls, is alone grieved by their misery. It is for this reason that our former Guru Shrila Raghunathadas Gosvami Prabhu has instructed us to place ourselves under the guidance of Shri Sanatana Prabhu who alone is really grieved for all of us and can alone impart the knowledge of our relationship with Godhead. The actual words of Shrila Das Gosvami Prabhu require to be quoted in full: "I place myself under the protection of my Master Shri Sanatana Prabhu. Shri Sanatana Prabhu is the ocean of mercy. He is always grieved at the misery of others. He makes me drink, with the greatest care, of the liquid-sweet of the service of God-head. The attachment to that service weans one completely from any hankering after any other thing. I was quite ignorant of this and was wholly unwilling to serve God-head. But he, nevertheless, took infinite pains with me and prevailed over my stubborn opposition to his good counsel. Such is Prabhu Sanatana".

What is really the source from which we derive knowledge of the Truth? Is it pure or mixed cognition? Is it also the only thing needful? It is necessary first of all to decide whether the above propositions have proceeded from the theory of undifferentiated cognition, of undifferentiated non-cognition, or from activities of pure cognition which are full of eternal bliss. To become one with non-animation is the goal of the theory of undifferentiated non-cognition. To merge completely in the featureless existence of undifferentiated cognition is the goal of the theory of undifferentiated knowledge. The realisation of the blissful eternal service of God-head in the realm which is free from all ignorance establishes one in the unconditional safe function of pure cognition. The emancipation that is spoken of in the Bhagavatam is not destruction of the triple envelope of the bound soul. It is nothing less than the actual establishment in one's own natural condition. Mukti is establishment in one's own proper condition by discarding the contrary. When one is established in one's own proper condition one gets beyond the reach of ignorance. Then the true function of the cognitive faculty, which is no other than the service of God-head manifests itself fully. The distinctive service that is natural for every individual soul is then uninterruptedly and fully manifested. 'There are different ways in which different persons choose to obey Me. I also serve them in correspondingly different ways. Men, O Partha by every method follow the path that is Mine.' [2] God-head Himself here says in effect that He worships His worshipper in exactly the same way in which the latter worships Him. In the mood of a consort the devotee serves God-head with all his faculties, and accordingly Krishna gives up all His limbs to him. Krishna regards Himself as under obligation to his devotee even after giving Himself completely to him.

In the Sholka of the Gita referred to above the word "Mam" Me should be specially observed. The word referred directly to Krishna. It is Krishna who is the speaker. He says, "He who worships Me does so in one of five different ways, each one of which is characterised by the quality of utmost submission. But the mood of the consort displays the highest measure of submission. If the submission be not to Myself it would be rendered to My shadow or to My external deluding power (Maya), it is then no submission to Me". It will not do if curd is called milk. Curd is no doubt derived from milk as its source. But the spoilt milk is never curd. It is possible for a person to be able to see the perverted, imaginary from of Vishnu. If such a person submits to his perverted vision it will be no submission to the real Vishnu. Vishnu is not perverted. It is possible for a person to see, to experience a vision of His which may be the product of his own wrong way of looking at Him. If this happens to be the case it is to be understood that the person fails to have any real signs of Vishnu. The Gita has this Shloka, "Those who worship with reverence other Devatas", O son of Kunti, also worship Me, indeed, but by the method that is improper." [3]

To see any object other than Krishna, is the improper process of seeing. This improper method of seeing is identical with all our evils and disruptive differences. It is possible to get rid of the condition of this improper seeing. Thereafter it is really possible to see Krishna. Krishna is the ocean of infinite undying sweetness. There are twelve rasas (leavening qualities) in Krishna. Five of these rasas are primary. There are seven secondary rasas which help to increase the sweetness of the primary rasas. All these rasas are completely harmonised in Krishna alone.

Shri Shukadeva Gosvami said to Maharaja Parikshit, 'Listen O King I am going to give you an account of some of the rasas of Shri Krishna. Shri Krishna is in Himself the shining sphere of infinite rasas. When Shri Krishna made His appearance in the company of Baladeva in the amphitheatre for the exhibition of feats of strength set up by king Kamsa each one of the spectators saw Krishna according to his own individual disposition. Wrestlers, fond of the martial qualities saw that Krishna was terrible like the thunder. Females, fond of the quality of love, saw that Shri Krishna was the God of Love Himself. The masses of the people saw that Krishna was the only King of all men. The cow-herds, with friendly and paternal love, saw Him as their Kinsman. All the frightened, wicked kings saw Krishna as the Punisher of evil-doers. Every father and mother beheld Him as a most beautiful Child. The king of the Bhoja, Kamsa saw Him as Death himself. Persons, who are saddled with a materialised understanding, viewed Krishna as the vast cosmos. The great yogis with tranquil disposition beheld Krishna as the Ultimate Entity. All the males of the Vrishni race saw Him as the Supreme Object of their worship'. [4]

Every one will obtain the service of Krishna; even those will obtain it who are wandering in pursuit of other and diverse speculations. There will be in the long run an end of the wanderings of those who have gone astray. Because Krishna is the only Attracter and we are all of us attractable by Him. But there may appear temporarily a barrier between the Attracter and the attractable. As soon as the barrier is removed we shall experience directly the real nature of the attraction of our Attracter.

There may be companionship with the non-animate. This is called bad company. This bad companionship is practised by means of the physical body and the ignorant mind. It is necessary to give up this bad company. If we do so our real self, whose nature it is to be attracted by Krishna, experiences the direct attraction of Krishna. Krishna attracts the pure cognition. Exclusive devotion is a characteristic of pure cognition. One has no access to the spiritual realm till this quality of exclusive devotion makes its appearance.

The external world is also a source of one kind of knowledge. This knowledge is nothing but the entities of the external world in a refined form. The attraction exercised by these entities is accordingly also exerted towards the material cases. There is quite a variety of such knowledge, none of which is knowledge of Krishna. The knowledge of the undifferentiated Brahman, or that of the Supreme Soul, or that of the phenomenal world, which is gathered by the cognitive principle independently of the knowledge of Krishna, are all of them only different layers of the same class of knowledge. The Brahman which is a concoction of the mind of the professors of the creed of the so-called undifferentiated Brahman, can afford no glimpse of the real Brahman. The sight of the Supreme soul or undifferentiated union with Ishwara fancied by the pseudo-yogis is even a greater blasphemy than the dogma of the undifferentiated union with the concocted Brahman. The Professors of undifferentiated union with their concocted Brahman do not admit the existence of the Individual soul. The professors of undifferentiated union with Ishwara admit the existence of the individual soul. They want to enable the individual soul to usurp the seat of God-head. This surely is an instance of a far more rebellious attitude towards Godhead than even that of the votaries of the concocted Brahman. It is for this reason that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has said that union with Ishwara is even more condemnable than merging with the concocted Brahman.

In order to discuss these subjects it is first of all necessary for us to have the pure source of knowledge. Are these discussions derived from adulterated cognition? Or is pure cognition their source? Are they derived from any source made by man? Or is their source made by Godhead? If the source happen to be made by man there must exist the defects of mistaken judgment, inadvertence, etc.

What is the entity known as 'I'? Am I the body that I have obtained from my parents? Or am I the mind-intelligence-ego by means of which I am busy making and breaking my resolves? This topic contains a great many issues. We have had the opportunity of listening to these discussions from a very early beginning of our life. We have been discussing these subjects all through these fifty years. We had much time for a good deal of discussion all through the twenty-four hours of the day. We have discussed these topics throughout the whole of the twenty-four hours of every day. We have discussed them while we slept as well as when we lay awake. This body also will fall away in the course of discussing them for its further allotted period.

It is very difficult to get into the inner apartment of the discussion regarding 'I'. There stand ready at the two consecutive entrances two gate-keepers who are preventing all access to the vicinity of the 'I'. Why can't we get the sweet scent of the Body of Krishna? Why does not the fifth scale note of Krishna's flute enter my ears? Why do the tumult of the streets, the noises of the busy world pour incessantly into my ears? At present the soul is asleep. His agent the mind, as manager of its sleeping master's concerns, is cheating me as intermediary. I am accustomed to go by the function of the mind. The mind who business it is to cheat the soul by its evil counsel is keeping me occupied on the path of selfish enjoyment. The soul is the master of the mind and the body. Speech functions as the foreman of a jury. The speech of pure cognition is of one kind, that of non-cognition is of a different kind. The mind is non-soul. This is borne out by the Gita, 'The earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, intelligence and ego are My eightfold material Nature. Besides these there is another entity of a quite different kind who is non-material. This last is no other than My manifestation as the individual soul. By means of the individual soul the material universe is maintained.'

The individual soul, (Jiva) is then super-material. But he is, nevertheless, possessed of the marginal function. He has relationship with the process of birth-life-death. But the individual soul has also his place in the super-material sphere. The activities of the individual soul in this latter condition are called also transcendental. All that is perishable is included under 'Apara-Bidya' (empiric knowledge). All that is imperishable comes under Para-Vidya (transcendental knowledge). Transcendental knowledge stands on 'sumati' or the good disposition. The term 'sumati' occurs in the Veda. 'O Vishnu, we shall serve 'sumati' by simply uttering Thy living Name even with very little knowledge of His real meaning'. [5] May all of us gain this good disposition. May we gain that good disposition which prompts us to serve 'sumati'.

There is a function which is called 'Upanayana' (bringing near). We come to learn from the words of the shruti that the birth of man is three fold, viz., (1) seminal birth (2) by Gayatri, (3) by initiation. The seminal birth comes first in order of time, from the mother's womb. Then comes the second birth on the attainment of purification by the Gayatri-mantram. The next birth is brought about on receiving Spiritual enlightenment (diksha). We obtain a body from the mother's womb by vital fluid from the father. This is our first birth. The body that we get by this process is one kind of body. The second kind of body is that which is born by the union of the Acharya as father and Gayatri as mother at the time of our investiture with the Holy thread. Then the Acharya-father binds us with the thread of Sacrifice for the purpose of introducing us to the study of the Vedas by means of the Mantras, 'I will lead thee into the presence of the Veda etc.' The birth to which we are thereby subjected in the home of the Acharya is our second birth.

The ceremony of tying the Sacrificial thread does not import that thereby the physical body may be preserved but that the Veda or true knowledge may be gained by its means. Our third birth takes place on the occasion of the ceremony of imparting spiritual enlightenment by initiation into performance of worship (Yajna). This is spiritual birth proper by attainment of the ceremony of imparting enlightenment is performance of Divine worship, Yajna or Upasana, which latter means 'to live in close proximity', this being the etymological meaning of the word. The performance of Yajna or Upasana is the function that has to be practised subsequent to receiving spiritual enlightenment (diksha). The function which we perform on appearing in the presence of the Holy Form of real knowledge (Veda) is termed Upasana. The Person in Whose presence we dwell on gaining access to His proximity is the Object of Upasana. He is the Veda-Person, Lord of Yajna, Vishnu. The function for the performance of which we dwell with Him is Upasana or worship which is also Yajna or sacrifice. The prescribed method of Yajna is different for the different Cycles (Yugas). For the Satya-Yuga - when virtue was fully prevalent - the method prescribed was that of meditation (dhyana). In the Treta-Age - when the prevalence of virtue had decreased by one quarter - the Yajna took the form of sacrifice by fire (Makha). In the Dwapara-Age when dharma had decreased by one half it took the form of ministering to the person of Godhead as a servant attends to his master's needs (paricharya). In the Kali-Yuga, when virtue has gone under to the proportion of three quarters, the Yajna has the form of preaching or Kirtana. In this Iron Age virtue is totally on its last legs and in consequence the other methods have no chance of success.

The code of scriptural regulations known as the Veda has come down to this world as Shruti (that which has been heard) from preaching (Kirtana) as its source. The present is the Age of controversy (Kali-kala). In this Age whatever proposition may happen to be put forward, it forthwith provokes active discussion of its pros and cons and raises a storm of reasoned opposition. The chanting or preaching of the Name and Glory of Hari is the only Scriptural method (Shrautapantha). That absolutely consistent expounder of the Shruti, Shrimat Purnaprajna Madhavacharya, in his commentary on the Mundakopanishad quotes the following words of the Narayana Samhita: -- "In the Dwapara-Age Vishnu was worshipped by all people by the method laid down in the Pancharatra (division of the Scriptures treating of their rationale). In the present controversial Age (Kali Yuga) the Supreme Lord Hari is worshipped by means of His Name alone.

It is needful to consider about the Object of our worship. If we obtain access to the presence (upasana) of any inanimate object or happen to be situated in its vicinity we are thereby induced to put it to some use or in other words, we attempt to extract some service to ourselves from it. But the entity that happens to be self-conscious is necessarily also a free agent. If I make the attempt to get upon his shoulders he is apt to offer his opposition to such activity. We have no power at all whereby we can put to our own service One Who is fully free. On the contrary it is we who find ourselves irressistibly [sic] put to His own service. The current Utilitarian theory is always busy to find a use for every thing: for the natural current of the flowing river, the free air of the atmosphere, for the falls of the Niagara. But we cannot employ any self-conscious entity, -- least of all, the fully Self-conscious and fully free Entity - in the same way in our service. He never submits to us.

During our sojourn in this world the consideration that other objects may serve our pleasure, that we may become the worshipped, has come to prevail. Is the show of service that we display in the garb of worshippers towards other entities of this world, possessed of a mixed quality or of unalloyed purity? The generations of the Rishis practised sacrifices, (Yajnas, dhyanas) etc. They never entertained the judgment that they are eligible to receive the service of others. They offered their services to their Devatas. In the portions of the Veda treating of worship (upasana) we find them making use of the following mantras (which saves us from thraldom to the mind) in their hymn of praise of the gods: --

"Thou, fire (i.e. Vishnu), may Thou lead us unto the treasure of the supreme Truth (paramartha) by the good path. Bright One, may Thou lead us in unison with the movement of the whole cosmos and by the method of the knowledge fully directed to Thyself. May Thou destroy all our sins in the forms of nescience and insincerity. We bow to Thee time and again." They praise the gods by means of this and other similar hymns. They consider these hymns as the constituent limbs of the acts of upasana (lit, abiding in the presence of the object of worship). The proof of these statements has been most clearly preserved in the oldest Vedic history. The Rishis did not regard themselves as objects of worship. They were worshippers of the Devatas. This disposes of the allegation that the process which bears the name of upasana is a comparatively modern innovation. The method that is approved by the school of pure knowledge or exclusive Monism is that the proper object of life is to merge in the Brahman. It is found to be the historical fact that in times long before the origin of the method of the desire for service, upasana was the only spiritual impulse which existed among all people while their disposition regained its natural, primitive simplicity. Now-a-days in this Age which is so inordinately fond of discordant controversy (Kali-Yuga), the opinion which is opposed to history has become fashionable, that is the form of upasana, is of recent origin. Such a view is altogether erroneous. Wheresoever the function of the consciousness has been found to exist the tradition of upasana is also seen to have prevailed from the very beginning of history. Brahman or the Entity of real knowledge (Veda) the real Truth, first manifested Himself in the heart of Brahma, the first progenitor of all animate beings of this world.

The Rishis and the Devatas are offsprings of Brahma. The Devatas possess the quality of self-effulgence in a boundless measure. It is for this reason that the Rishis served the Devatas with infinite devotion. This relationship of the worshipper with the worshipped must have always subsisted between the Rishis and the Devatas.

We also notice that in the first dawn of our consciousness as well as in the beginning of our cultured state or intellectualism, service or upasana was the universal natural impulse. In the subsequent periods if we carefully consider the diverse forms of religion also in the pre-historic Ages, we find that the impulse of service is always spontaneous in human nature. It is in the present Age of Discord that there has arisen such an amount of disputation on this subject. The reason is that we are now-a-days unhesitatingly occupied in the engrossing task of trying to lord it over one another. The Utilitarian theory has undergone its due expansion and is aspiring to yoke everything into our so-called service. We spare no manner of close endeavour (upasana) - every one of us does it to the best of his power - to become the recipients of service (upasana). This familiar process known as barter made its appearance with the beginning of civilization. If I perform some service for another he pays me its value. Men are thus placed towards one another in the relation of servant and master. In this world we possess different sense organs to the number of eleven for doing service viz., the eye, ear, nose, tongue, skin, speech, hand, anus, leg, generative organ and mind. By means of these instruments we adjust our respective occupations towards one another. One thus becomes the master of another who in his turn becomes the servant or subordinate. One occupies a high, the other a low, position. One is engaged in rendering obedient service to another.

Every human being - all animate, all conscious and non-conscions [sic] entities - are thus located in the system of the threefold relationship of worshipper, worship and object of worship. Each entity is related to another as servant or master. Wherever we find more than one or many entities, each of them is seen to be engaged in ministering to the wants of another. We observe this process called upasana in constant operation in both animate and inanimate worlds and yet we are anxious to establish the view that the Reality is absolutely devoid of all distinctive features and to congratulate ourselves on possessing sound judgment and wonderful power of argument, by which we are enabled to reach such a grand conclusion. If the knowledge that is devoid of all distinctive features be the object of my worship, the endeavour which I put forward for the purpose of serving such object is itself the process of my specific kind of worship.

The person who is engaged in the quest of the Undifferentiated Brahman says that at the point where the three separate lines of consideration of knower, object of knowledge and knowledge merge into one indivisible activity of cognition, the logical limit of the cognitive process itself is reached. 'Let the diversity end. One in observing another is showing himself to his observer. Let the functions of both cease.' Such a consummation is called the desirable state of non-activity. If the observer of the light and the process of observing the light could be extinguished it is supposed that such an event could free us from the necessity of worship (upasana), rescue us from the grip of the process of the triple texture. We are in the midst of, we are engaged in the performance of, certain forms of activity. If this process is destroyed we are disposed to imagine that the principle of activity itself is thereby eliminated.

We are located on the marginal line forming the boundary between that perishable world and the realm of the Absolute (Vaikuntha). All speculations involving any reference to the phenomenal world will cease if we could reach the marginal line. So long as we happen to be engaged in the quest of the principle of non-cognition we are led to think that we might escape the clutches of our evil lot on the cessation of the separate existence of object of knowledge, act of knowledge and knower. The goal to which such a proposition leads is devoid of both categories, there being no reference either to the phenomenal world or to the realm of the Absolute in such a goal. The composite position of knower, knowledge and object of knowledge is evolved from the marginal power. It forms one of the perishable divisions of the Reality. In the marginal position we engage in diverse activities and are enabled thereby to experience the existence of the worshipper, worshipped and act of worship. All of these are also not one but many. In common parlance we say that one cannot serve many masters. When we try to serve the entities of this world we find ourselves committed by such endeavours to the slavery of lust, anger, greed, infatuation, vanity, malice etc. If the object of worship, the act of worship and the worshipper merge into one category a condition of intense maliciousness is found to prevail as the sequel of such consummation which exists only in one's imagination.

Those who possess sound judgment declare that the activity of service has prevailed at all periods in the history of the world. Every object is always found to be closely bound to every other object by the relationship of servant and master. If any entity adopts on its own account the role of master it thereby falls into the evil condition of such activity.

Should we be worshippers of worshipped? There is a certain sect which is called "Baul" or insane. The Baul says, "I am enjoyer. This home is for my enjoyment. This tenement is meant to serve myself".

There are two kinds of Bauls, householder Bauls and recluse Bauls. A number of Bauls renounce the world. They, however, put on the garb of Krishna for the exclusive purpose of enjoying the world. They intend to become Krishna in right earnest. Their point of view is that all other persons should place themselves body and soul at their entire disposal.

Shri Gaursundar does not endorse the validity of such opinions. He says that the undifferentiated monistic view cannot be considered as the real meaning of the Vedanta or of the Veda. He says that there are found three kinds of propositions in the Veda viz. those regarding the nature of relationship, those regarding the practice of relationship and those regarding the object of such endeavour. These different groups cannot be made to lose their distinctive specification. Mahaprabhu tells us of the process of the evolution of power. He does not advocate any process of mere confusion on one thing for another (Vivarta) as the explanation of the principle of evil.

The good old Vaishnava Acharyapada Shri Madhava says, "Vishnu Himself is the Ultimate Real Substantive Entity". The seeker of the undifferentiated Brahman maintains that the featureless Great One (Brahman) is the ultimate Principal. But this last is a proposition that can be put forward only by those who are themselves in the conditioned state. In the state of freedom such consideration automatically ceases to be entertained. The Entity Who is the source of everything, is Vishnu. We also notice that the formula (Mantram) saves us from the plight of mental speculation, that we have to utter it at all times, and that in the pure state as well as in the state of defilement, in all conditions, he who recollects the Possessor of the Lotus Eyes (Vishnu) is pure both internally and externally.

One is higher than another in proportion as his conduct is more in conformity with the requirements of the spiritual standard. The Brahmana is the highest of all the Varnas for the reason that he has learnt to behave properly from the Acharya i.e. one who practices the function of the soul and establishes others in the same. The Kshatriyas (military class) are the protectors of mundane society. They devote themselves exclusively to politics. Those who have similarly to busy themselves very much about knowledge of Brahman and worship of Godhead, have also very little time to spare for other kinds of activities.

The life of the Brahmana is that of the beggar. It is the duty of society to serve and to help those whose sole profession is to cultivate the knowledge of the Brahman. The Brahmanas also should obtain what they require by the method of begging. If there is left any surplus on their hands over and above what they require for their own daily use they should give it away to others as free gift. They must not accumulate anything as provision for the future.

In many places, as for instance in the Government census operations, the whole body of destitute beggars have been put into one class with the Sadhus. If the ordinary beggar who is in want of necessaries be regarded as identical with the Tridandi or Sadhu Bhikshu of the Bhagavata it amounts to a political or social travesty of truth.

The vagrancy act is not applicable to the bonafide itinerant preacher viz., the Tridandi Bhikshu. If the seeker of the knowledge of Brahman has to find much time for getting his food and clothing, the margin of time left to him for finding the knowledge of Brahman is unduly curtailed. It is for this reason that Manu has said that the whole world belongs to the Barhmanas [sic] who are its real proprietors. This is perfectly true. Those who worship Godhead accept what they require at any time by the method of meeting only the requirement of the moment. They entertain no anxiety with regard to worldly needs. The society is under obligation to provide them with neither more nor less than what is necessary for their cultivation of the knowledge of Brahman. The society which does not place itself under the guidance of those who possess the knowledge of Brahman will sink down to the uttermost depths of degeneration.

The Brahmana, the Kshatriya and the Vaisya are the proper objects of worship of the Sudra. If in this world any one is disposed to entertain any principle of superiority he must go by this rule. He who does not seek for the Entity Who is the object of quest of the Brahmana, is landed into the thousand and one futile topics of this world, that are absolutely different from the quest of the Brahman.

"The four Varnas with Ashramas sprang from the Face, the Hands, the Thighs, and the Feet of the Supreme Purusha (Indweller). He who does not serve or fails to render due respect to the Purusha Who is the Lord Himself and the source of all souls loses and falls from his possession."

The Face of the Purusha is the highest of all His Limbs, His Hands are next below His Face in the order of excellence. His Thighs are lower than His Hands and His Feet are lower still. In other words, there is gradation of descent from the higher to the lower, from the Face to the lower portions of the Form of the Purusha. In like manner the Brahmana is the best of all; the Kshatriya is next lower; the Vaishya is lower than the Kshatriya; and the Sudra is the lowest of all. The face is the best of all limbs. In the face are placed the brain, the seat of intelligence, and the mouth, the seat of speech, (Kirtan). That Brahmana who devotes all this time to the chanting of the Name of the best of Purushas viz., Vishnu, the source from Whom he has sprung, alone is properly a Vaishnava. The head performs the function of judging and deciding. The Brahmana who is the brain of the society controls all activities of the hands and thighs of the social body. It is the brain, the Brahmana, who tells the feet in what manner they should move. He tells them where to go and where not to go. It is the Brahmana who tells them to walk on the plane of Krishna in the eternal realm. "It is the function of the house-holder, the husband to betake himself to his wife at the due season. But My worship is obligatory on all."

If the community of the recluse Bauls proclaims, "We will indulge in the unchecked gratification of our senses by putting on the garb of Krishna," or if the Baul who is addicted to domesticity thinks, "I will enjoy the pleasures of my home", it may be asked how long it would be possible for a servant who belongs to this external word, by his own admission to continue in such service. If the Brahmana does not serve the Supreme Lord Who is the source of all souls, if he does not serve Him Whose eternal servant he is by his proper nature, he gradually sinks lower in the scale of his function, suffering successive degradation in the respective conditions of Kshatriya, Vaishya, Sudra, Antyaja Mleccha and others.

There is a certain class of persons who are devoid of ordinary common sense who say, "The function of the servant of this world is the worst of all. We have, therefore, no intention of practicing any similar function in the next worlds. We intend to be master, to be objects of worship." As if the transcendental realm is full of unwholesomeness and is tortured by the triple quality as is the case with this world! If one is ignorant of the true meaning of "Vaikuntha" one is liable to fall into this kind of poverty of judgment. He is apt to attribute and imagine the existence of the unwholesomeness of the perverted reflected image even in the undisturbed substantive entity itself. Into that realm where there is no principle of limitation, no question of evil, where there is only unmixed good, it is not our duty to carry from here anything that is productive of evil. The sun is a luminous self-revealing entity. It is not necessary to carry any lamp to the sun.

There is a popular tale to illustrate such misconceptions. A certain Boatman was troubled by the idea that the operation of pulling at the cord for towing his boat was a miserable job involving great hardships, inasmuch as it required him to trudge painfully along most uneven ground over thorn and brambles which ofter [sic] stuck into the bare soles of his feet. Therefore, if he could manage to get rich somehow he would be in a position to tug at his cord by bestriding quilts and mattresses which he would take care to spread over either bank of the river. The boat-man of the story was so foolish that he intended to carry all the miserable pursuits of his poverty-stricken state into the condition of affluence. The consideration that if he could get rich it might not be necessary for him to tug at the cord at all would not penetrate his foolish pate. Those persons who are bent on journeying to the transcendental realm laden with all the superstitions and material judgments of this world, who are anxious to transport their sense-ridden logic to the transcendental realm, who choose to imagine that in the realm that lies beyond this world there can be any scope for the unavoidable slave mentality of this world or any form of service which is in any way characterised by the factors of the unwholesomeness of this world, are indeed as stuipid [sic] as the foolish boat-man of the story. The function of the servant that prevails in the realm of the Absolute, the servitude of the soul in the state of freedom from the fetters of material bondage, is the natural condition of the soul i.e., perfect subordination to his own proper nature (Swadhinata). By such servitude even unconquerable Godhead himself is subdued - the supreme Lord of all Lords becomes our own.

A narrative in the Upanishads runs as follows: Once upon a time Indra on behalf of the devatas and Virochana on that of the asuras, repaired to Brahma for the purpose of learning about the nature of the self. Virochana was led by observation of the reflected image to suppose that his external gross body was the soul. Indra without being in a hurry like Virochana, set patiently about the quest of the words of Brahma. His patience was rewarded by making him acquainted with the real nature of the eternal entity viz., the soul who transcends the physical body and mind. The madness of those who direct their intellectual expedition to the external cases, is what is called asura judgment. The war between the devatas and the asuras is going on at all times. By the mode of worshipping (upasana), of devotion (bhakti) the suras were enabled to realise Vishnu as the Best of all entities. When the evil propensity of transgressing against Vishnu made its appearance the non-daiva mode of judgment engulfed the faculty of pure consciousness of the soul (jiva). When man becomes excessively addicted to the needs of the non-self he sets himself against the worship of Vishnu. Then man falls even lower than the status of the devatas. The devatas also offer opposition to the worship of Vishnu. They are apt to think that the asuras are their rivals to frustrate their own attempt of becoming Vishnu. The denizens of the realms of Satya, Mahas, Jana and Tapas are higher in the scale of creation than the devatas who are addicted to the pleasures of the realm of Svah, for the reason that the residents of those higher realms belong to the community who have renounced the pleasures of the flesh.

According to the judgment of ordinary people Vishnu is only one of the devatas and the other devatas do not derive their powers from Vishnu. If Vishnu is regarded as only one among the devatas such a view gives rise to the cult of the plurality of gods, or polytheism, henotheism (panchopasana) and pseudo-latitudinarianism in effect propose nothing short of ultimate and complete merging in the One viz., the Brahman, of becoming indistinguishable from the Brahman, by breaking all devatas. Persons who are so disposed have a conviction, which they have had prior to the commencement of the process of worship, that the Object of their worship is devoid of all distinctive status of His Own. In other words they seek to prove that there is no need of worshipping Godhead at all. Let us, these creeds say in effect, by way of sheer hypocrisy insincerely admit, for the time being, a process of temporary worship and the temporary objects of our worship. They are led to judge in this manner by their previous bitter experience of this world, in order to escape the bad consequence of committing themselves for good to any position which is likely to undergo change in the future. Shrimad Bhagavatam has the following shloka which inculcates the method of being saved from such difficulty: 'Constant and unforgetful devotion to the lotus Feet of Krishna diminishes all evil and fosters our good in the shape of purification of the ego, attachment to the Supreme Soul and Knowledge attended with distinctive realisation of the Truth and consequent aversion to the phenomenal and the transitory'.

To be subject to lust, anger, greed, infatuation, vanity and malice is to be in the evil condition. To be opposed to Krishna and His devotees is to lapse into evil. By attaining to the constant recollection of Krishna alone is it possible to be delivered from evil. If the spark of fire of the recollection of Krishna once flashes on the track of memory, or in other words, if the realisation that I am the eternal servant of Krishna, is once aroused, it sets on fire the whole refuse-heap of evils and burns them to ashes.

If one says even once, 'Krishna, I am Thine', "Krishna delivers him from the bondage of the limiting Energy (maya). If a person chants the Kirthana of Hari in every way it is only then that he can cease to seek honour for himself, can render due honour to every one and be humbler than the blade of grass. In the verse regarding 'Humility greater than that of the blade of grass' the word 'constantly' means undiverted chanting of Hari without offering any opportunity to the operation of lust, anger, etc. A person who is subject to lust, anger, etc., does not possess the utmost humility which is greater than that of the blade of grass and even if he has a taste for limited material enjoyment he is never humbler than a blade of grass. Utmost humility, greater than that of the blade of grass, is the characteristic only of him who is unceasingly given to the quest of Krishna i.e., addicted to the uninterrupted and mellowing process of the agony of loving separation from Krishna.

'By constant listening to and reciting the deeds of Krishna with faith and reverence Godhead enters the heart in no very long time.' The empiric truth available in this world has a certain characteristic of relativity. The truth that manifests itself in the relative function is not the unalloyed Truth. The service of the Supreme Soul is not service of matter. Krishna alone is the Object of our constant supreme service. Perform always the chant of Krishna; of His quality, of the distinctive personality of His servitors, of His Pastime. The lotus feet of Shri Gurudeva, who advises us to do so, alone should be the constant object of our worship in every way. He is the eternal associated counterpart of Godhead. Vaishnavas who serve Shri Guru are objects of our worship.

There are many persons who profess the opinion 'I am the Brahman' by a distorted interpretation of the famous Scriptural text. They do not practice the forbearance of accepting the comprehensive interpretation of the mantram of the Shruti. We can easily cross over the impossible expense of the Ocean of Maya if we take hold of the support of devotion, and can do so only by such submission. The only method that is open to us for gaining our destination is to follow in the footsteps of those great souls who have preceded us on the same path. They are our only Pole Star on the path of spiritual endeavour. Those great souls of former times are possessors of the true knowledge which is attended with spiritual love and detachment from the world. The heart that is brightly illumined by the pure spiritual essence, bears the name of Vasudeva. It is only in such a heart that knowledge dawns, i.e., the Personality of the pure cognition Vasudeva, super-knowledge or spiritual love and detachment from the world or, practice of devotion in the stage of endeavour, manifests itself. We can get across this realm of un-reason by acting up to such a decision. The word 'Tamas' means 'Mayavada', -- the impure enjoyment approved by the professors of Utllitarianism [sic]. The Sannyasins of the triple staff (Tridandi) ensure their progress in the direction of Truth by accepting the above mode of judgment. Mankind will be assured of progress on the path of spiritual endeavour by acceptance of the triple staff of renunciation and being thereby enabled to join in the chant of the Tridandi Bhakshu of the town of Avanti of the Bhagavata: "Adopting this unceasing attachment to the Supreme Soul, worshipped by the former great souls, I shall get across this abyss of gloom, which is extremely difficult to cross, by serving the Feet of the Bestower of Salvation." [6]

Krishna is the sole real Object of worship. He is the only Object of worship of all entities that can or will ever be. He attracts His devotee for the purpose of serving His servants. If the function of my mind takes the direction of the service of any other entity than that of the best of the servants of Krishna it should be impossible to find such another fool as myself. He who serves all those who wish to serve Him, is verily that Entity Who has no limit, Who is the Ultimate of the ultimate of ultimates and the Cause of the cause of all causes.

The Ultimate Reality Krishna has been called Swayamrupa, "Beauty's Own Self", by obtaining portions of Whose Beauty His servants have become most exquisitely beautiful. The community of the servants of Krishna regard the beauty of form as an offering for His service, by means of which the Divinity is to be served. No beauty is comparable to a millionth part of the Beauty of Krishna. When we endeavour to approach Krishna by way of service we have to be possessors of beauty and are actuated by the desire of beautifying ourselves. Then arises the process which is called Abhisara (i.e., proceeding to the secret place of assignation). There are two kinds of Abhisara viz., (1) the sukla or white Abhisara and (2) krishna or dark Abhisara. The Gopis (milk-maids) run to Krishna by one method when the moon is risen, by the other method when the moon does not shine. There is the same secret expedition for the quest of Beauty, of the Good Quality of distinctive individual servitude, or Pastime.

Krishna is Beauty Himself and Shri Baladeva Prabhu is Krishna's Own Manifest Self.

'The soul is not realised by one who is without the support of Divine Power, neither by austerities, nor again by the avoidance of all ceremonials. The enlightened person who endeavours to attain to Him by these methods enters the realm of the Brahman'.

'The lotus Feet of Nitai (Nityananda) are most refreshingly cool like crores of moons. The shade of His Feet relieves from the scorching heat of the world. Leaving out Nitai Who is so merciful, one must not have Radha Krishna. May we ever hold firmly to the Feet of Nitai?'

Nitai is real Manifestation, but not real beauty. He is not omnipotent or strong by the help of any other entity. It is not possible to separate Omnipotence from Him. He is not devoid of power. The power of Baladeva is the distinctive power of Himself, the Manifestation of Krishna's Own Self. Although in Baladeva the proprietorship of power is predominant He still belongs properly to the category of Divine Power. Baladeva is just next to Krishna in the category of object of worship. In the Maha-Vaikuntha He is manifest as Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. The topics of the fourth dimension lie beyond the three-fold specification of the linear, superficial and cubical magnitudes of this world. The topics of the fifth dimension are still higher. They are such words as flow from the Flute of Shri Krishna. 'He is the same beloved Krishna with Whom I am united here in Kurukshetra. And Myself also am, indeed the Radha. This is the very same bliss of our meeting with one another. Yet My mind is longing for the woodlands on the sloping banks of the Kalindi with the fifth-scale music of the sweet Flute playing in the heart of the groves'. [7] The Entity Narayana who is the conglomerate of the four-fold expansion of Shri Baladeva as Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, abides in the Maha-Vaikuntha, being the Primary manifestation of Baladeva. There is associated with Him a certain process which bears the scriptural designation of Vyuha. The object of worship has a five-fold nature of His own. Those who are well-versed in the subject of the five-fold need know all these matters. We cannot obtain real enlightenment from any one who is ignorant of the five-fold need. One cannot perform the function of the Guru if he does not possess the knowledge of the five-fold need.

Archavatara: -- This is of eight kinds. The Archavatara (descent in the form of the Archa or Visible Object of worship) makes His appearance in the world for the purpose of bestowing His mercy on unfortunate souls like ourselves i.e., on those who possess a stupid judgment. Krishna manifested His Divine Pastimes in this world in the Dwapara Age. But that age is long, long past. Unfortunate souls that we are, we were not privileged to come into the world in that period. We could not obtain the sight of Krishna for this reason. We do not know anything about Krishna. But what an amount of good the Archa of Krishna has been doing to us. This Archa is of all time. We are having the sight of Krishna even by being born after an immense interval of time. Appearing in the form of the Archa Krishna has been arousing the serving impuse [sic] of our souls.

Antaryami: -- Godhead is present in every single entity formed of His marginal and deluding potencies, in the form of internal Guide (Antaryami) and is regulating us from within. 'Iswara (Ruler, Regulator) abides in the heart, O Arjuna, causing the movement of all entities, set on these bodily appliances contrived for the purpose, by His deluding potency.

Vaibhava: -- This term points to the causal Appearances of Divinity for specific purposes. 'Whenever the proper function of souls is tainted, O son of Bharata, and unspiritual conduct comes to prevail, I cause the Appearance of Myself on every such occasion'. This and other Shlokas of similar import point to the Descents in the different ages.

Vyuhu: -- The four Vyuhas viz., Vasudeva, Shankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are one and the same Entity. By the sight of one quater [sic] the whole integer is seen. The estimation of this world is that based on the view of one quarter of the whole. This is partly intelligible by the Science of Trigonometrical Mathematics of the sphere. We can also nnderstand [sic] the degree of fulness of service of the servitor and the subjective psychology of the Object of worship.

Paratattva: -- Vasudeva is the transcendental Entity. Baladeva is the super-transcendental Entity. The Ultimate super-transcendental Entity is Krishna. Vishnu is the principle of the Prime Source of the Phenomenal world. He is comparable to the milk and Rudra to the curd. Curd is milk turned sour from its natural wholesome state, by the action of an acid substance. Vishnu is essentially incapable of transformation or perversion. The nature of Rudra corresponds to the perversion that has arisen in my deluded idea of Vishnu. If we ascribe transformability to Shri Vishnu, the particulars of such an ascription of the idea of the original non-transformable entity are to be attributed to the mutilated or distorted form of my defective conception of Vishnu brought about by this process which is the exact principle involved in the representation of Rudra.

Brahma: Brahma is a reflected form of the Divinity analogous to the reflected image of the sun in different crystal receptacles. 'Just as the sun makes his own energy be manifest to an extent in all the shining stones, in the same way, in the case of Brahma and his power in regard to this mundane world, it is Govinda Whom I serve. Govinda is the Primal Person Whose reflected form is Brahma".

Surya: The sun travels along his orbit through the twelve signs of the zodiac. He is the form of a Sura or Deva. Time is his extraneous manifestation. 'I bow to the Brahman of inconceivable manifested form devoid of all quality, being quality's ownself, the form which is the support of all this world'.

Ganesha: He is the destroyer of all dangers and difficulties. The reader of the Lalitavistara is aware how powerful was the rule of this leader of the masses at one time in this land of Bharata. Ganesa is the giver of success of the utilitarian activities of the world, the object of worship of the Vaishya community who concern themselves with economic pursuits. In the sphere of the Vaishyas the function of the demos, the views of the masses or common run of the people, possesses the prevailing force.

Vishnu: Vishnu is untransformable. He is all-pervasive. He is Lord of the limiting energy. He is not served by the enjoying aptitude of the individual soul. The other devotees, who wield power over this world, are worshipped by the ideas that are conducive to material enjoyment. But the judgment of those who covet the worship of Vishnu, is expressed otherwise. 'I have carried out the evil commands of lust and the other impulses of the senses in every way and at all time. But those masters have proved inexorable and have not been nullified by pits, or satiation, towards my sufferings. Lord of the Yadus, I have only just now found my better judgment and having renounced their service altogether have come to Thee, the Refuge Who frees us from all fear. May Thou employ me in Thy service'.

The meaning of the word 'atman' is rendered as 'Hari' by virtue of this qualities of 'extension' and 'maintenance'. The atman or the individual soul, is part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. Hari is the part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. Hari is the Supreme Soul. The world literally means the double function of the Godhead viz., those of creation and maintenance even as the mother nourishing her child. The nourishing function of the mother is, as a matter of fact, a tiny distorted reflection of the Function of Hari. Vishnu or Hari, Whose Form is made of spiritual essence, is the Deity Who presides over the function of continuance or existence which is distortedly reflected in the state of temporary existence intervening between the acts of creation and destruction in this world. All entities are nourished, none are destroyed, by the Supreme Soul. The function also points to expansion, the other coordinate activity of the soul denoted by the literal meaning of the word 'Atman'.

The Shruti says: "The jiva (i.e., the individual soul) is a tiny entity as tiny as the hundredth part of the breadth of the tip of the hair. Know that he is very small in magnitude and also unlimited'. In other words the jiva-soul (jivatma) is an infinitesimally small particle of the Cognitive Potency. But he is unlimited by being of the essence of the Plenary Cognition. All those qualities that inhere in the Plenary Cognition are also present in the jiva-atman in an infinitesimal measure. Whatsoever is there in the plenary entity is also present in the tiny soul. But Plentitude is not tiny, the Integer is never a fractional part, nor a fraction of a fraction, nor a fraction of a fraction of a fraction. In many places in the Scriptures the Supreme Soul, Paramatma, is referred to by the term 'Atman'; and the jiva is also often referred to by the word 'atman'.

The word 'jijnasa' means inclination to know. The inclination to know about the atman precludes the inclination to learn about divisible entity or fragmentary time. The discourse has in view the whole entity and time in all its fulness. The word 'atman' implies that the entity bearing the name is in a position to fully maintain himself. That which is not able to maintain itself cannot be termed atman. The term atman is used in this sense irrespective of his great or small magnitude.

Knowledge is located mid-way between the knower and the object of knowledge. Unadulterated knowledge occupies a position that is intermediate between the knower, whose exclusive function is to know, and the object, whose exclusive function is to become known to such knower. If any third function happen to intervene there can be no such thing as pure knowledge. That from which knowledge is obtained, that which supplied the proof of the reality of the cognitive function, can be one of three categories. It may be either pure cognition, a mixture of cognition and non-cognition, or non-cognition. If there intervene any non-cognitional entity in conjunction with cognition, it is mixed cognition.

'Achit', or non-cognition, is the opposite of the conscious principle. When the object of knowledge is achit (non-cognition) and the knower is a mixture of cognitional and non-cognitional elements the knowledge of such knower constituted of cognitive and non-cognitive elements is knowledge of achit (non-cognition). In such a circumstance the function of pure cognition is dormant, resulting in the consequent dormant condition of the recipiency of pure knowledge. If the object of knowledge were in possession of any cognitive potency it would have made some use of its free initiative.

When inquisitiveness regarding the nature of the 'atman' or the question 'Who am I?' is asked by the conditional soul he can obtain by way of response only knowledge which is a mixture of cognitive and non-cognitive elements. This must be so because in this case that by whose means the enquirer is to know viz., his knowing aptitude is shrouded in a gross and subtle covering which has imparted to it the condition which is a mixture of cognitive and non-cognitive elements. If the knower as well as the object of knowledge are both of them pure cognitive entities only then can there by any complete knowledge. If the knower happens to be more or less in contact with the external world then knowledge which is more or less of a mixed quality, can alone be attainable.

The supreme 'Atman' (Paramatman) and the 'Brahman' are one and the same Entity. The nature of the Brahman implies non-duality and greatness. The distinctive characteristic of pervasion of the Universe, that is found in the Supreme Soul (Paramatman), is absent in the Brahman. Each and every limited entity produced by the Material Energy is devoid of the essential characteristic of the 'Brahman'. No limited conception is to be attributed to the unlimited Brahman.

Both the mundane and transcendental functions are located in the conception of the supreme Soul (Paramatman). The limiting principle is left out in that of the Brahman by the theory of the non-potency of the Absolute. The Supreme Soul implies the consideration of mundane and spiritual potencies. When the non-potent Brahman is regarded as the Absolute it results in the destruction of the quality of distinctiveness represented by the specific existences of seer, seeing and seen. One aspect of the greatness of the Absolute is non-distinctiveness devoid of all distinctive manifestation; the other aspect is that of the Possessor of the Plenary Potency full of distinctive manifestation.

Seekers of the Truth are divided into two classes. One of these maintains that they did not possess any knowledge previously and that their knowledge had a subsequent beginning. The other class will continue to know till the process of knowing itself automatically ceases at the long end. By the term 'Seeking to know the self' is implied positively the desire to know about the self and negatively the desire to know about the non-self.

The non-distinctive view of the Brahman expresses only the absence in the Brahman of the qualities of this world. The professor of the distinctive view declares that the non-distinctive view itself is also one of the infinity of the specific features of the distinctive manifestation viz., the conception of the absence of all mundane distinction. The concept that underlies the view that takes into consideration the simultaneous presence of the non-distinctive and distinctive aspects of the Entity is that of the Oversoul or paramatman.

The Oversoul according to the latter view is the comprehensive vast cosmic form as opposed to mere non-distinctive existence. The aphorisms of Patanjali such as: 'Or by enquiry about Iswara (Ruler of the *Universe)' 'Yoga is suspension of the faculties of the receptive organ of consciousness,' embody a process of thought that is somewhat different from the view that professes the non-distinctive nature of the Brahman. By those aphorisms the falsity of all entities on the basis of a theory of illusion has not be admitted. The view of the potent oversoul also betrays the admission of the internal, marginal and external potencies of the substantive Entity. The consideration of relationship between the living organism and its incorporated limbs involves the recognition of ownership of the limbs by the organism. Limb and organised body, form and possessor of form, potency and possessor of potencies are correlated pairs the first terms supplying evidence of the existence of the entity denoted by the second. The substantive entity is one, its potencies are numberless. The view of the non-potent Brahman which does not recognise any distinctions as within the identical entity, within the same class, as between different classes or between knower, known and knowledge, is located at a long distance from that of Patanjali.

A certain number of persons think that the cessation of conception and perception should be the objective. In the period subsequent to that of Shakya Singha the view of absence of cognition i.e., imponderable material principle, and still alter that of the finality of non-distinctive cognition, have become current. This last asserts that non-differentiated cognition alone survives while the distinction of seer, seen and sight passes away.

The Oversoul in His unity is an extended Entity, the incorporated fractional parts are small in magnitude. In the external potency there is present the aptitude for being affected by time, such disruptive characteristics being incompatible with the principle of unity. The internal potency presents the characteristics of permanence and wholesome integral differentiation. In the exoteric potency there is misery, in the esoteric potency everything is unmixed perfection.

If we give up the non-cognitive element, if we abandon the consideration of even the subtle mental body, we arrive at the view of pure cognition and are no longer influenced by the power of the exoteric potency. But when we proceed to join to our thinking the gross and subtle bodies, we are made aware of the mixed existence compounded of the principles of cognition and non-cognition and of those considerations that underlie the process of Hata-Yoga on the path of fruitive material activity or that of Raja-Yoga on the path of speculative knowledge. By these processes we are instructed in the views of a final principle of truth that is compounded of cognitive and non-cognitive elements.

When God is actually realised the tiny particle of unmixed cognitive potency finds himself attracted by the Plenary Cognition. The relationship of incorporation or externality in regard to the potency of the substantive Entity, then becomes noticeable. The elements that are made of the measure of mundane quality produce the numeruls [sic] one, two, many. Difference of seer, difference of the seen, difference of sight, vision of plurality, many images of the one entity reflected in many mediums, make their appearance. In the realm of the inner potency all things displaying a unity of significance, the numerals 1, 2, 3, 4 indicative of diversity do not express any mutually contending relationship. The eternal diversity of the realm of the inner potency is not characterised by the qualities of mutual opposition, changeability and destructibility. Temporariness or destructibility is not the proper nature of the eternal natural function, is not the proper Nature of Vishnu, but only the semblance of the spiritual, fashioned by the limiting Energy of Vishnu. In this world the different things are perishable. They are not definable by the term soul or self. They are non-soul, ephemeral.

The individual soul is not non-soul. The atheist says that the individual soul is non-soul. The theist says that the individual soul is an eternal, spiritual entity, is an unadulterated cognitive entity in his own nature, is akin to the potency of the Plenary Cognition in a small measure is eternally subordinate to and overruled by the Plenary Cognition.

Godhead possesses one variety of limbs that are internal and another variety that are external. In the external limb the full Cognition is obstructed, there is the aptitude of being affected by time. This mundane world had sprung from the external limb. In this world everything is on the move. Every mundane entity evaporates like camphor. There prevails the quality of changeability in this world. The child grows into a young man, then old age comes, then he falls a victim to decay and death. Man is led to different strata of the mundane existence by the impulse of his desires, he is born in the womb of his mother, through semen and blood. It is our duty to enquire about the nature of our real selves. It is not our duty in this life to engage in the question of the non-self. We have the following in the second chapter of the Gita: 'As a man puts on different and new clothing by casting off his old worn-out apparel, in like manner the in-dweller of the body is born in another new body giving up his old worn-out corporeal frame. Weapons do not pierce the soul, fire does not burn him, water does not drench him, nor does wind dry him up. The soul is incapable of being cut by any weapon. He is permanent, free to inhabit any form, unchangeable in his essence and quality and ever-existent.'

In the Seventh Chapter of the Gita there occurs the following: -- 'My other and different nature consists of solid, liquid, gaseous states, heat, space, mind (Pradhan -- material principle subtler than space), intelligence (Budhi - prime material principle) and the ego (Ahankar). All this is secondary. Know that My Supreme Nature is different from this. The Potency that is the source of all individual souls who lord it over this world is constituted of My Superior Essence'.

These and other similar Shlokas give an account of the nature of the individual soul. The jiva soul possesses a certain character when he is in the conditioned state. He has a different character when he is freed from the bound state. He displays a third different nature when he is marginally situated showing an aptitude for both bound and free states. This may be illustrated by the analogy of a gnomon whose opposite sides bear different designations.

When I desire to be dressed up as 'master', to lord it over others, I become subjected to Physical Nature and profess to be an exclusive Monist, (Mayavadin). The Buddhists are materialistic Monists. The Mayavadins who profess to follow the Scriptures are designated masked Buddhists as they rely on the evidence of their senses and assume an overt attitude of challenging controversy.

The harmonious adjustment of all differences on the spiritual plane is based on the correct form of Monism (Suddhadwaita). Shripad Shridhara Swami professes the principle of correct Monism. Those who profess the doctrine of exclusive Monism (Kevaladwaita) endeavour to misinterpret the correct monistic views of Shridharswami in terms of their hybrid principle. This motive of the undifferentiated Monist is dishonest. Sarvajna Muni promulgated the doctrine of correct Monism many centuries before the time of Shankaracharya. His native village is Kalayanpur in the District of Madura. Correct Monism was distorted in course of time into the form of exclusive Monism which subsequently attained the position of predominance by the contrivance of a wise providence for confounding the atheist. There has even been an attempt to confuse the popular judgment by identifying Sarvajnatwa Muni, who lived after the time of Shankara, with Sarvajna Muni by the method of deliberate manipulation of evidence.

Inasmuch as unwholesomeness in the shape of a doctrine of pervertibility would tend to be prominent if the theory of the jiva being a constituent part of the substantive Reality Himsslf [sic] as found in the writings of Shri Madhavacharya, were accepted. Shri Gaursundar has approved the doctrine of Shakti (Potency) as propounded by Shri Lakshman Desika. That this world is not the perversion of the Substance but of His extraneous Potency, has been stated by Shri Gaursundar. The theory of the followers of Jesus Christ that jiva has been created by God within the limits of time, is unsound. The jiva is a differentiated part of the potency of the substantive Reality. In jiva there are present simultaneously the qualities of permanent and temporary existences. All the eternal substantive qualities are present in the inner Potency. The triple qualities of sattwa, rajas and tamas are to be found in the external potency or mundane Nature. The pure sattwa (cognitive existence) is eternally present in Vishnu, the Ocean of blessings in the shape of all permanently existing qualities. In Him there is no conditioned state. This world which is a product of the triple mundane qualities of sattwa, rajas and tamas is characterized by the conditioned existence. The mundane qualities of sattwa, rajas and tamas are mutually dependent categories.

'All activities in this mundane world', says the Gita, 'are performed by mundane nature (Prakriti) by means of the triple qualities. The conditioned state blinded by the principle of mundane egotism (ahankara), chooses to regard himself as master'. [8] The principle that is diametrically opposed to the mundane world, which is the product of the triple qualities, is that of inaction or the state of deep slumber covered by the theory of non-differentiation. 'I slept at ease'. 'Easy sleep' is retainable by one's memory. A person is conscious of his ego even during deep, easy sleep; otherwise there could be no remembrance of such happy slumber. There is a similar state when a person can remember and give out experiences of his previous births.

'The state of error is traceable to the misconception that the soul is identical with the physical body'. The conviction that this gross physical body is myself is the cause of mistaking one thing for another. 'I am this physical body which is liable to be damaged by time, -- I have been scolded by such and such persons - these and such-like statements are applicable to the relationship of the gross and subtle physical bodies.

The real unalloyed 'I' has no beginning nor end. I am neither the gross physical body, nor also the mind. I am not the mind that changes when the morning changes into noon and noon into evening. I am not the mind which is sometimes cheerful and at other times miserable.

That conception of the truth that undergoes change is a function of the mind. That consciousness which is capable of getting mixed up with the non-conscious, is a product of the marginal Potency. What a wickedness it must be for one who is a product of the marginal potency to entertain the idea that he is himself the possessor or regulator of power. It is such persons who are referred to by the shlokas of the Gita viz., 'prakriti Kriyamaanaani...', Iswaroham...', etc.

Just as paddy stalk is really quite different from shyama grass and it is necessary to weed out the latter, in exactly like manner spiritual consciousness is substantially different from non-spiritual, and it is no less necessary to get rid of the latter. Those persons who profess the compatibility of the claims of the spiritual with those of the nonspiritual are apt to imagine that association with saint and with sinner, paddy-plant and shyama grass, devotion and aversion to Godhead, are one and the same thing.

The theory that professes compatibility of the spiritual with the mundane is, indeed, a perversion due to Illusionism. The Illusionists (Mayavadins) profess with the lip that they admit the existence of all entities. But as a matter of fact they disown the existence of Godhead Himself. They do not admit the Eternal Name, Form, Quality, Activity and Individualities of the servitors of the Divinity. They manufacture the processes of anthropomorphism by attributing to Godhead conduct that is applicable to humanity, and conversely support the notion of apotheosis by imagining the possession of Divine Power by mortal men. By these silly methods they seek to bedaub with mundane impurity the substantive Reality who is the Fullness of Existence, Cognition and Bliss, by discarding the Eternal Sacred Name, Form, etc., of Godhead. Zoo-morphism which attributes Divinity to lower animals, is also a concoction of these people. All of them are worshippers of Idols (butparasth.).

Real Rama-Nrsingha-Varaha-Matsya Kurma etc., are Narayana Himself waited upon by all His distinctive Divine Paraphernalia, -- Each with His Own Eternal Divine Name, Form, Quality, Infinity of individual servitors, and Activity. Each is Lord of the Deluding Potency, all of them being Transcendental Vishnu-Personalities. Every one of them has His own eternal Vaikuntha (Absolute Realm). They descend by Their causeless Mercy at Their own sweet Will to the world of limitations from their own Vaikunthas in order to manifest Themselves to the jivas inhabiting this mundane world, by remaining fully in Vaikuntha and maintaining in tact Their unconditional immunity from all regulative principles. They are not the categories of the objects of worship or heroes of the professors of anthropomorphism, apotheosis, zoo-morphism, idolatry, latitudinarianism that seeks to include spirit and matter in a common category, or illusionism.

The fancies, hypocrisies, pretences of worship, of those who affect to make no categorical distinction between spirit and matter, like unto the futile endeavours of the demon Ravana in his abduction of the mundane duplicate of Divine Seeta, can never touch the fringe of the Divine Category of Vishnu Who wholly transcends all limiting attempts. Those who possess the knowledge of the soul offer their eternal worship to the Divine Person Who is Eternal, Real and Indivisible, who manifests Full-Existence, Full-Cognition, Full-Bliss, and who has His Eternal Name, Form, Quality, Activity, and distinctive Servitors. Such "Knowers" discard all impurities of this extraneous world, and turn their eyes to the Eternal.

The Illusionist (Mayavadin) cherishes the evil aptitude of attributing, or carrying, to the Divine Personality the limited unwholesome concepts of this world. The intoxication of his illusion never quits its hold of him. Even when he engages in the worship of Divinity Himself the blunder of confounding the Divinity with limited entities puts in its appearance. It is for this reason that the Mayavadin (Illusionist) attributes the quality of unwholesomeness to things pertaining to the Divinity and fancies the Eternal Name, Form, Quality, Activity and servitors of Godhead to be products of physical nature. A few even among the worshippers of Christ have supposed the chain of our Pauranic religious teachers to be apotheosists or zoo-morphists. Such an attitude is due to absence of full consideration and careful study of Hindu theology on their part.

Real Sanatan-dharma (eternal function of all souls) the religion preached by Shri Chaitanya is not what such persons think it to be. The fundamental principle has been clearly expressed by an eminent follower of Shri Chaitanya. His words are, "There is no worse blasphemy against Vishnu than to suppose that the Form of Vishnu is anything mundane."

Vishnu is uninterruptible Cognition, Existence and Bliss. In this world of limitations there is a plurality of substantive objective entities. In Vaikuntha there is One Indivisible Object of worship. In Vaikuntha there is no henotheism, Polytheism or cathonitheism. Maxmuller has applied the term 'henotheism' to convey a part of the significance of the process of worship known as 'panchopasana' (worship of five deities). Sadananda Yogindra has imagined an 'Ishwara' (Ruler of the world) as being the aggregate of inexpressible unknowables starting from the conception of 'sat' (existent) 'a-sat' (non-existent). This ephemeral 'Ishwara' manufactured in the workshop of the imagination of Sadananda Yogindra is never the Entity Who is Real Godhead worshipped by fully theistic persons. If any one imagines the God-head as being different from the Possessor of all potency, or as a limited entity, such speculation will prevent the realisation of Vishnu, the Entity of Indivisible Knowledge. There are many persons who are busy to reduce the Supreme Entity to a principle devoid of all distinctive features. They are anxious to saddle the Supreme Entity with restrictive speculations having their reference to the unwholesomeness of the limited concrete.

Shri Gaursundar says: "The Indivisible Cognitive Principle is Son of the Chief of Braja in Braja". In Absolute Cognition there is no mundane dualistic cognition. "The apprehension of good and evil in the dualistic state, is wholly a speculation of the mind. 'This is good, this is evil', all such knowledge is 'error'. The line of thought of those who conclude the world to be unreal by depending on realistic speculation derived from the gross external environment, has in view only the consideration of the outcome of our present limited perceptual experiences. Men are debarred from the view of the Substantive Entity. They are spectators of the transformation of the Potency of the Substantive Entity. They are receiving the opposite impression, due to the functioning of time. One particular thought suffers transformation by the operation of other speculative currents. Whatever is sought to be circumscribed within the limits of conception, tends to lose its entity. The process of incarceration within the four walls of limited speculation has engendered numerous diverse mentalities in man.

There is eternal difference between Exclusive Monism and the Doctrine of Inconceivable Distinction-cum-non-distinction. This difference is realisable in the religion of spiritual service of the Divinity. It is unjustifiable to attempt a reconciliation of the eternal difference that separates the unspiritual realisation from the spiritual, the pure cognition of the soul from the erroneous thinking of the non-soul. Such an attempt is opposed to the principle of service of the Divinity.

In the philosophical literature of the School of Ramanuja we meet the consideration of the Potency of God-head, categories being chit (cognition) a-chit (non-cognition) and Iswara (Rules). In the literature of Gaudiya Vaishnavas we find the terms antarangaa (inner potency), Bahirangaa (outer potency) and Tatasthaa (potency of the line between the inner and outer potencies). If the term chit (cognition) is interpreted in a thorough-going manner it cannot mix with achit (non-cognition).

FOOTNOTES:
[1] Vide Bh. XI, 26-26
[2] Gita IV-11
[3] Gita IX-23
[4] Bh. X/43/17
[5] Rig. 1-156-3
[6] Bh. XI, 23.57
[7] Padyavali 386
[8] Gita III.27
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