śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!

Rays of The Harmonist On-Line Edition

Year 10, Issue 1
Posted: 15 February 2017

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

Śrī Vyāsadeva - Part Two of Three

by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda


[Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda on his 59th birthday, delivered at Avidyaharaṇa Naṭya-mandira, Śrīdhāma Māyāpura 15 February, 1933]

...Continued from Śrī Vyāsadeva - Part One of Three

I happen to be an entity dominated by the knowledge of the five mundane categories. I am entrapped in the functions of littleness by abstaining from the thoughts of the Great One. And it is for the reason that I have preferred to remain confined to the functions of my littleness that the egotistic sentiment, that I am the master of myself and of all entities, has appeared in me. It has become necessary to get rid of this desire for domination. Nothing is easier than to assert that the little should aim at being identified with the great. If one allows himself to be mastered by such senseless ambition and tries to realize his ‘oneness’ with the Divinity, such egotistic vanity effectively blocks the course of all real well-being.

When we are cast into the state of evil by harbouring the hallucination that we are the equals of the Divinity, there appear simultaneously, (1) a condition which is experienced as one of griefs, (2) the state of infatuation due to “forgetfulness” of our real nature and (3) fear. In other words we lament on account of supposing ourselves to be identical with our gross and subtle bodies, being enchanted by the limiting energy (māyā) of Godhead. The mischief makes its appearance when I begin dishonestly to think that Godhead, His devotee (Vaiṣṇava), the spiritual guide and I myself are on a footing of equality, and that I am superior to them.

From the wicked thought that I am the equal of the spiritual guide and the Vaiṣṇavas, or that they are less than myself, the dreadful offence of contempt for one’s superiors gathers strength. This is the real culpable arrogance. The text of the Bhāgavatam, “One who, while worshipping Govinda, abstains on principle from worshipping His devotees, is called ‘arrogant’,” speaks of this arrogance which manifests itself in one who neglects the worship of the devotees of Godhead. When the conviction that all entities connected with Godhead are objects of my worship as much as Godhead Himself, dawns upon our souls, we are freed from the clutches of grief, infatuation and fear. The only method by which this desideratum is realizable is the service of Godhead.

It is this very principle that has been sung by Śrī Vyāsadeva in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, “By listening to the narrative of the Bhāgavatam, with submission, the hearer’s aptitude for the service of the Supreme Divine Person, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is aroused. This serving disposition dissipates all sorrow, infatuation and fear.” It is solely because we have lost the service of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa that we are subject to sorrow, infatuation and fear.

In the verse, “The ‘knowing’ one wrote this thesaurus of the principles of devotion of which mankind is so ignorant”, Śrī Vyāsadeya has been styled as the ‘knowing’ one. In other words, all the rest except Vyāsa have been declared to be ignorant. I am ignorant. Why did I offer myself to the temptation of wielding domination? I am by no means the master. On the contrary I am, indeed, the slave of sorrow, infatuation and fear.

I am eligible for reading no more than the Mahābhārata.

Let these worship the Śruti, those the Smṛti, others the Mahābhārata, through fear of the sorrows of this mundane existence. Here, am I, engaged in the act of worshipping Nanda, in whose corridors the Supreme Lord sports as his darling son.

In a mind rendered perfectly pure and concentrated by the cementing process of transcendental service, he experienced the vision of the full Divine Personality. And also of the limiting deluding potency, occupying a condemned position of dependence on Him. A potency by whom, completely infatuated, the individual soul regards his essence as made up of the triple mundane qualities, although his nature is really transcendental. And by whom the individual soul is saddled with all those unnecessary and harmful requirements that are the products of the mundane energy. He had also a vision of the nature of the direct service of the Transcendent by means of which these needless difficulties cease automatically.

Here is the error. I never thought that Nanda Mahārāja is the lotus feet of my śrī guru, because I am so busy in contriving the destruction of Kṛṣṇa. Had it not been for this, why am I in my present plight?

All through the period, during which we continue to be anti-devotees, we are overtaken by a good many calamities. The only way for being relieved of those evils is bhakti, or to serve Godhead by the natural aptitude of the soul. It is this which the ‘wise’ Vyāsadeva was enabled to know.

Adapted from The Gaudiya Volume 5, Number 2 & 3
by the Rays of The Harmonist team

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