śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!

Rays of The Harmonist On-Line Edition

Year 11, Issue 7
Posted: 2 August  2018

Dedicated to
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

No Worldly Matter Should Engage My Thought

by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda


Pure jñāna (sentience), pure vairāgya (abstinence) and devotion are convergent, or the same thing. Within them, everything culminates in naiṣkarmya, freedom from karma, or all mundane action and reaction, not in the gratification of the senses. Weal and woe are two different things. If you roam here and there for your own welfare or happiness, woe is your due, so it is not appropriate to hope for a good result (pleasure). The karma set forth in the scriptures is not to be performed by those who are liberated. The fruit of karma is sometimes pleasurable and sometimes bad and painful.

The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam does not inculcate the path of karma. It speaks about the Supersoul (God), so that the living entities may achieve the highest good. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes naiṣkarma and the character of a paramahaṁsa (absolutely selfless devotee of God). It is with deep deliberation that the Bhāgavata is to be listened to, read carefully and understood. [Refer to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 12.13.18.*] We should contrast and compare what the Bhāgavatam teaches with what is said in other treatises.

* Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the spotless Purāṇa. It is most dear to the Vaiṣṇavas because it describes the pure and supreme knowledge of the paramahaṁsas. This Bhāgavatam reveals the means for becoming free from all material work, together with the processes of transcendental knowledge, renunciation and devotion. Anyone who seriously tries to understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, who properly hears and chants it with devotion, becomes completely liberated.* [BBT]

If you read books other than the Bhāgavatam, you will be influenced by the processes of karma and jñāna, will experience pleasure and pain and undergo birth and death. You may get dharma (puṇya, or pious credit), artha (wealth) and kāma (fulfilment of desire). Or someone desirous of emancipation (mokṣa) may renounce worldly life, but such a person does not perform service to God. It is only the devotees of God who do that. God is not served even by the practice of aṣṭāṅga-yoga, which bestows mystic perfections (siddhis or vibhūtis) like aṇimā (the power to be infinitesimal) and laghimā (the power to be as light as hydrogen), not to speak of the salvationist who may want to get rid of the weal and woe of worldly life and be the recipient of enjoyment in the negative form [meaning the mere removal of worldly suffering].

The Bhāgavatam speaks of such a person as having adopted the wrong course: the way of karma, jñāna or yoga. Liberation is easily accessible to one who adopts bhakti (devotion). True well-being may not be available when you are the receiver of pleasure, but it is when you are the giver of pleasure. The devotee says, “God may either accept my service or reject it, but I must serve Him.” This is bhakti.

Those on the path of karma want to be enjoyers in this life as well as the next, whereas bhakti is the eternal function of the pure, or uncovered, soul. If we are able to regain our real health, real position, we shall be easily able to dissociate ourselves from the binding of this world.

No worldly matter should engage my thought. God is eternal, pure Truth; this is His essential characteristic and He should be the only object of our concern. Our neutral character (or marginal nature, which makes us inclined to this course or that – meaning the course of service to God or our own enjoyment) is responsible for our birth, stay and decay under the influence of māyā.

God’s hands, feet, mouth, eyes, ears and nose are not like mine. My senses and organs are different from one another, but there is no such difference between Him and His body. In regard to Him, the proprietor and the properties are identical. His name, appearance, attributes and activities are all one. The nature of the material world is such that the name of a thing is different from the thing itself. The appearance and attributes are different from their owner. The word “blanket” and the blanket itself are not the same. One’s appearance, also, changes.

God, however, being not dependent on anything, requires no other help. He may come before the vision of anybody and everybody as He pleases. He is absolute, self-willed and self-luminous. Svetāśvatara Upaniṣad (3.19) has thus said, “Though without feet and hands, He walks fast and accepts things; though without eyes and ears, He sees and hears; though no one knows Him, He knows everything that is knowable. Those with truly intuitive knowledge speak of Him as the foremost person and greatest of all.”

His eyes, ears, etc., are not material but fully sentient (cit). A jīva deluded with the Election Theory cannot make any conception hereof. The Election Theory and theism are not the same.

Lord Nārāyaṇa revealed the pure Truth in the heart of the original poet Brahmā (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2). Even the most learned err in their conception of the Absolute Truth. Human deliberations are erroneous, but the Absolute Truth is errorless. The adage satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi (we contemplate the Absolute Truth) occurs in the first verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The Bhāgavatam cannot be correctly known by empiricism, or worldly experience, which is worthless, no matter how vast it may seem. It is therefore absolutely essential to take shelter at the feet of the real guru.

Adapted from The Gauḍīya, Volume 8, Number 5
by the Rays of The Harmonist Team

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