śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Year-5, Issue 8
Posted: 5 September, 2012
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Inspired by and under the guidance of
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Drawn to the Absolute
by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda
If you are forgetful about rendering your service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, you will be denied the entire benefit and compelled to walk the stage of conditioned life. So the true duty of the mind is to associate itself, through the senses, with the Divine. We are now engrossed in our passionate senses, and these are flying in different directions, so we do not concentrate on One. Hence there is deviation from the Absolute.
Because of that deviation, we find that hundreds of things appear before us; they tempt us, and we engage ourselves in rendering service to them. But when we are assured that the only duty of the soul is to render service to the Over-Soul, and that the other incorporations are but temporary, we shall decide that we should fully emerge from these different engagements of the world, which are placed before us.
We shall come to understand that we are part and parcel of the Fountainhead, the Over-Soul, and though we are not the substance itself, we are fractional parts of one of His potencies. We are given to understand that no foreign thing should be included in the transcendental region, and we do not find the unalloyed position of transcendence in this world. We are mistaken when the idea comes that we are part and parcel of this universe; merely adjuncts to the phenomenon in which we now experience our conditioned life.
At present, we are rather enwrapped by two wrappers: one made up of matter and the other of obstructing subtlety. We therefore run the risk of subscribing to the view that our selves are identical with mundane phenomena. But, if we are more keen, we will find that we have an astral body. We can be drawn to the Absolute from the limited concrete world; we can build upon these purified ideas of the gradations of subtlety of matter.
So our duty should not be confined to these external wrappers – I mean the material body with its senses and other equipment. This equipment is associated with external things only, so we should not consider them as the means to depart from that which is apparently concrete and progress toward more abstract ideas. And the loftiness of these abstract ideas varies according to our empirical prowess. All of these phenomenal transformations apply only to the external and internal bodies, not to the soul.
* * *
We have our own position in the intermediate plane – that is, the land between cit (spiritual) and acit (material) – and we call that plane taṭastha. Some human souls are conditioned and some are liberated. Liberation is nothing but going back to the original position, which is to offer our services to the Eternal Being, as we are eternal objects.
If we want to be gripped by temporality, we may achieve as much by enjoying this world, which presumably gives us happiness. But as all experienced men have observed, the normal condition of this world is that it is full of miseries. That very thing itself is puzzling. Why have we come to this place? It is so because we have exercised our free will to play on a particular level, and we have been abusing our free-will to assume the role of the doer (kartā).
In other words, we have taken an initiative to enjoy this world and we have thereby submitted to the trap: the laws of karma. We should think that, at our own risk, we have had everything. Only when we come to know from good counsel that the external body is misused by association with this world and that our internal body is misused by mental speculation or by meddling with these external phenomena, do we realise that our own entity is lying there, dormant, inside of these, and that, if the interest of the soul is once generated in us, we will find that serving the Absolute is the eternal function of the soul, and the only virtue.
Adapted from The Gaudiya, Volume 29, Number 2
by the Rays of The Harmonist team