śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Year 10, Issue 12
Posted: 18 January 2018
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
Śrī Caitanya’s Grace Leaves No Evil in its Wake
Part 1 of 3
There are those who are said to have adopted the śreya-pānthā, the excellent path (C.f. Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.1–1.2.2), which leads to mankind’s true well-being, and who are bent towards serving God on account of their being attracted to Him and tied to Him by the purest love – the love naturally found in the jīva’sessential constitution of pure sentience (cit). True rasa (the sweetest sentiments of pure cit) has grown in their heart – when considered in relation to the final Reality; and they have had recourse to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa as the ultimate refuge, even to the exclusion of topics of goodness (the highest mode of nature in this world), what to speak of rajaḥ and tamaḥ (the two inferior modes).
The closest associate devotee (or eternal servitor) of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu – namely Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara – has described the Lord’s plenary grace as follows: it is the grace that generates no evil in its wake and that is meant to awaken those whose sentience has been clouded by primordial ignorance, having been guided by the mirage-like theory that the world is an illusion. Such people regard knowledge of the Personality of Godhead as inferior to that of His impersonality, which is free from any feature of distinctiveness that may be observable in matter. This is their own imaginary conception.
The knowledge of that final Reality is only accessible through the culture of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In the very first śloka of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the mutual relationship between God, the jīvas and matter has been shown. Material distinctiveness is, of course, unnecessary. So when these deluded people experience the bitterness of matter, they take leave of material enjoyment, adopting the principle of ‘not this, not that’ in order to get rid of the idea of enjoying worldly objects. But they comprise a group within the class of ignorant people who labour under the idea that the final word is the cessation of the faculty of perception, or the final goal is exemption from any special research with that faculty. This is because, as they think, distress is the track of enjoyment or pleasure, and acceptance of the wished-for road brings about the three kinds of human sufferings: those caused by the mind and body, by other creatures, and by natural catastrophes.
The people who err the most are those who, adopting the doctrine of illusion, cling to matter, mistaking it for spirit (cit). There is no reality in it. They wrongly opine that attempts to acquire knowledge through transcendental devotion are of the same type as attempts for the limited knowledge of material enjoyments. They have erroneously given the highest place to the doctrine of non-distinctive impersonality, disregarding objects that are favourable to the service of God and ignorantly keeping aloof from that service. We should be anxiously craving for the real good that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has shown by declaring the unnecessariness of their impersonal doctrine.
They have found themselves in a fix, having indulged in the wrong thirsts and having presented the Plenary Entity as one wanting in fullness. Such people are really miserable, having established themselves in the belief that there is variegation only in the world of matter and that attributing variegation to cit is only a phase of deliberation on the inert nature of matter. Without fail, the error of considering the distinctiveness of cit as equal to that of matter brings about one’s downfall, instead of producing the desired object. The sentimental sweetness of matter must be destroyed or dried up. But God Himself is the embodiment of tasty sweetness (C.f. “raso vai saḥ” – Taittirīya Upaniṣad 2.7) and, as such, that tastiness – the very flavour of sat-cit-ānanda, or the embodiment of eternity, sentience and bliss – must last forever. If it did not, one’s deliberation would end in the Buddhistic conception of the morphologists* or mere logomachy** of the māyāvādīs.
* C.f. linguistic morphology (the study of words, their etymology, and their interrelationships)
** arguing about words
As long as the principle of material distinctiveness is not destroyed, men will have to keep away from the vicinity of Reality, being satisfied only with materialism. But the moment their sentience is roused to wakefulness, they will understand the distinctiveness of cit, and it is then that they will acquire competence to listen to the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Others must enter either the fold of henotheism (worship of one of several deities) or impersonalism (non-distinctiveness). We should culture the transcendental rasa after going beyond the region of material distinctiveness.
to be continued...
Adapted from The Gaudiya Volume 8, Number 1, Part 1 of 3
by the Rays of The Harmonist team