A Probe Into Life's Relativities

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura

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Relativity and Absolutism may prove to be conflicting with each other at the first sight. But the harmony wanted by both of them should be secured to reach the unique position of the Truth who has no deviation. The negative idea of our present-day experience through inadequate senses on the temporal plane does not include a full description of the Absolute Truth in Whom some other phase cannot have lien to co-share. The synthetic method need not be confused with the analytic process, neither should the darkness be accepted as light to explain our observing stand.

The activities of our present senses over phenomenal representations have impressed us with a particular designation which should in no case be ascribed to the manifested region of the Absolute where our deformed senses and their objects should not be thrust with such vehemence as we are apt to apply in our present sphere. The transcendental specification does not submit to any limited sense of an enjoyer, but the cogent energy of transcendence always exhibits a supernatural predominating and justifiable aspect to regulate the shortsighted views entertained in the temporal region. A close attention will, I am sure, convince every observer if he is amendable to see things from different positions; so I take the liberty of asking everybody not to submit to the current views of many who are subject to an enjoying mood. A real enquiry with submission will ensure the safety of Truth. In cases of non-absolute subjects, an opposite party can have full claims to contradict or challenge, whereas in the Absolute no such second party is possible.

Among the considerate who were watching the Career of the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya on His return to Nadia from Gaya, the people of Sree Mayapur noticed His marked deviation from the former character of the Lord. They observed Him discouraging the impersonalism of the ascetic Prakashananda who was alleged to have been inculcating an unassorted epistemology which went to show the dragging of the conception of the Absolute to a region devoid of manifestive sentiency. The Supreme Lord compared the ascetic’s ways and methods to those of a villain wanting to rend asunder the All-charming eternal limbs of the Personality of Godhead. The discouraging tone and positive nullification of the theory of the ascetic from the lips of one who was a storehouse of theistic principles, brought a revolutionary effect on the pedantic mentality of the members of the then center of learning. But these discouraging remarks of the Supreme Lord made them to hold a poorer conception of the Lord Whom they found to have been belittling the mental powers of the pedantic coterie. Consequently the pedagogic function of the Lord Vishwambhar (Sri Chaitanya) was changed into that of a platform-speaker or a World-Teacher who was closely sticking to His instructions in practice. This simple method of combining principle with practice gave a right perspective to those who had the scope of comprehending the Absolute Eternal Blissful Knowledge. They understood that it was a part and parcel of blasphemy to relieve the different parts of the Transcendental Structural Entity of the Fountainhead Who is instrumental, ablative and locative of all Immanence, Transcendence and phenomena. The disclaiming of the spiritual Aspect of the Absolute had done great mischief in the cosmological enterprise of tracing the genesis of phenomenal existence. The sensuous speculation of the phenomena made them confident of their vaunted advance in the search for knowledge in their alleged thesaurus. The impersonalists have found facilities to explain by a suicidal policy of amalgamating the three manifestive positions. The relativity observed among sentient and insentient phenomenal things has got qualitative difference among them; where, among the sentients the distinctions are traced by the rhetoricians in five different connections. The esoteric interpretations of sentiency are more or less associated with the insentient as their conceptions are drawn from the mundane and the concrete. So they cannot be strictly relied on as being free from the contamination of a foreign opposite element. The quantitative as well as qualitative feature have participated a good deal in the discourse on relativity of knowledge.

The Supreme Lord, during His association with the inmates of the theistic society, conceived the idea of proceeding to the den of impersonalists at Benares where He could meet all who had proselytized themselves to subscribe to the erroneous views promulgated by Prakashananda, the then head of the so-called monistic community; and, in order to do so, He thought also that He should pose Himself as an ascetic of that order who could influence the members of that pedantic society despite their hollow arrogance. The fourth order of life was considered as the civic guardian of the society. So the Lord wanted to show Himself as an ascetic to attract the attention of all, instead of being received as one of them or less, in their comparative vision. Thought the Supreme Lord underwent the different stages of life, He exhibited the highest position of the fourth order by not sticking to the rigorous regulations and privations and not abstaining from dancing, singing and playing with musical instruments, which are essential concomitants of transcendence.

In all the manifestive stages, distinction and difference have got the upper hand in distinguishing each from the rest and differentiating them from the unique conception of the Integer; in other words, the quantitative and qualitative relations are established where there is a convergence of all the diverse course. In the theme of relation we find the necessity of numerical difference as well as of distinctive features when the conception of the Integer or Whole is held prominent. In both cases relation is the essential factor which can never be avoided by a knower in his activities on the other two planes.

The word ‘difference’ is used in our synthetical view of qualities and the word ‘distinction’ in the analytical view. If we avoid examining the distinctive and differentiative view of a particular subject we can get rid of the relativity of knowledge. The three distinctive locations are ignored to dismiss the idea of space; and the differentiative mood, when neglected, would drive out the factor of Time in the Entity, as differentiation presupposes the relativity of time. The synthetic method, adopted to eliminate the relativity or to remain ineffective to view the perspective of the Absolute, may, at some angle of vision, appear to be successful, and it will hover afterwards to fix its position in indistinctive or undifferentiated monism. These perplexing questions are asked to the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya at Benares by one of the late principal lieutenants of the then King of Bengal.

When there was a quest for knowing the true position of Relativity, the renouncing attitude of the monist was detected in the instructive reply of the repository of wisdom. The delineation of Full Knowledge of the scope of non-co-operation with mundane relativity gave us the occasion to survey the true manifestive plane of transcendence which is far removed from our impressions of a degraded mundane sty [sic]; though the obstinate mentality of opponents persisted in its objectionable move of getting rid of relative Blissful Knowledge. There is a qualitative relational difference between the transcendent and the phenomenal; so relativity cannot be ignored; if such a purpose is maintained of establishing the undifferenced and non-distinctive Unit, the rationalist school would not be able to set much value on its postulate. The undesirable imperfection observed in the temporal relativity of Nature should not be carried to an unknown region where there is no room for such anthropomorphic ephemeral defective functions. The weight of such measuring temperament would prove too heavy to be carried by the feeble porter with his mundane relative reasons and he will find it impossible to ascribe the same shortcomings to transcendence.

Our imperfect knowledge is now captivated within the mundane horizon, and we earnestly crave a release from the prison-walls of unwholesome relativity. That experience will necessarily lead us to conclude the desirability of non-co-operation with finitudinal relativity; for when infinite relativity is talked of we should not ascribe to it any defects of finitudinal experience here. The Supreme Lord did not confirm the Impersonal Phase of the Fountain-head of Nature and Eternal Super-Nature, but prescribed a long track which we should adopt in our sojourn in this temporal world as well as in proceeding to Transcendence. He did not prescribe the short-sighted policy of non-co-operation with perishable limited things of this world but instructed us to utilize them in a proper direction to get our desired end. No doubt our reliance on petty reasonings about mundane relativity would show an unwillingness to receive the Transcendental Truth unexplored hitherto by our defective aural reception; but a lucky moment would give us an accidental opportunity of paying a little more attention to the remedy which in its miraculous power proves the greatest relishing sauce of a thirsty soul.

Too much attachment to any limited thing will deny us the facility of extensive gains, though the policy of concentration is talked of very highly for our amelioration. Too much affinity for a thing produces marvelous results in a research scholar whose object is to bring to our view the hidden knowledge inherent in the outward object. The operation of Time has set up the function of durability acquired thereby, as for example in our existence of an ephemera. As the research-scholar or the lover of transitory object is observed to be shifting elsewhere from the object of his quest and as the object has got a temporary existence with the susceptibility of transformation, such exertions are meant to be analogous to time-serving exploits. The inadequacy and the exuberance involved will also prove the undesirability of such temporary fruitive acts. In the emporium of phenomena, our senses are found to engage themselves with all earnestness. When the senses are gratified from the ample service of their need, the satiative sequel does not later on suit their purpose.

The problem therefore that has to be solved is where to keep those objects of senses if we require any relief from their exploiting invasions. Are we to stop the actuating of our senses, or destroy the objects of our senses by devising some means? The enjoyer of the objects as well as the enjoyed objects are both situated in a tentative position of time. As the provisional existence and activities are captivated in a part of Time, these discrepancies should be redressed somehow to have a proper solution of these puzzling questions. We deal with shaky non-Absolute things. So we should have an inner desire to know the direction of the Absolute. We have had an irrepressible function of handling the phenomena by our senses, and the objects which manipulate our senses are found to be transformable. Because we are compelled to select our position in a place where there is no such trouble, therefore we seek for shifting ourselves from all limited platforms to one which is secure.

Association with the phenomenal objects has given rise to disruption, so dissociation is readily picked up as a remedy. And how to handle this function should be the next question. By dissociation we mean to get rid of the relativity of knowledge, i.e., to sacrifice our cognitive principle, which is inculcated by a certain school. Maximisation of knowledge might swallow up the two different positions of observed and observer, and will be transformed into a single observation. In that case the uninterrupted knowledge without the two wings of Eternity and Bliss cannot fly rationally though this seems to be secured by persistent dissociation from the manifested world.

When we ascertain that non-co-operation will give us what we have sought, do we mean to make ourselves abstain from all necessaries of life in order to gain perfect dissociation from the imperfect objects? The answer will be ‘no’. We need not put a stop to receiving the necessaries of life, but we accept only those functional activities that are necessary for our definite purpose. We will welcome the manifestive aspect and finite inadequate things to serve as ingredients facilitating a move towards the Eternal Blissful Knowledge without any reference to our misdirected enjoying mood. If they prove to be of any use to the Absolute, the temporal and faulty phases are indirectly removed from the conception of such things. So we need not have any apprehension of the unsuitability of these things and will discern their immaculate aspect without which they may prove to be snares making us utilize them for our impure purpose. The insipid situation of an impersonal conception need not predominate over us as a settled fact. On the removal of our enjoying propensities in connection with our temporal entities we would naturally shift the connection of such things into elements incorporated with the Absolute. Then comes the question - ‘What are the salient features of the Absolute and what should be the nomenclature of the Absolute?’ The Absolute is evidently to welcome all sorts of manifestive nature, instead of lurking merely as the unknown in a region behind our sensuous scope. Our sensuous activities are hitherto confined to the non-Absolute and when we care most for the immutable situation of the Absolute, no mutability should dissuade us from our covered object. If we want to clear out of the position of serving transformable objects and have only a single motive of serving the Immutable Absolute we must trace the connection of all manifestive things with Him. This will give us the much-coveted situation of continuing our vital activities in His service in this world too without an undesirable aptitude for mundane enjoyment. The burden of enjoyment is now shifted to the Absolute and we, being His irregular subservients, help Him in serving with these ingredients which are His imperishables, though they have been acknowledged by us to have been meant for our use. So the greatest facility is afforded by our serving temper in place of our wrong enjoying mood which proves fruitless in the long run.

Dissociation from undesirable things, when we have in view the Eternal Blissful Knowledge, will exactly serve the purpose if we can trace out their connection with the Absolute, having no bearing with their origin, and simply welcomed with a consideration that they have had only Eternal association.

We meet men who cherish the view of dissociating themselves from all manifestive features of phenomena in their attempted emancipation and want to deprive them of their utility in order to gain the full scope of impersonation. They are found to non-co-operate with the earthly phenomena under the apprehension of having been entangled with such association. As they have no knowledge of their self, or have a misguided conception of self like a cow mistaking, under the influence of an old apprehension that the red clouds are flames of burning fire, they want to flee from the very nature of the transitory perspective of the phenomena. A failure to detect the truth compels them to exhibit great diffidence in accepting the wholesale manifestive nature including the Transcendent. They want to carry the defective impression to the Transcendence considering the Transcendental region to be identical with the prison of mundane phenomena. So it should be a matter of grave consideration whether to show our back to all aspects by diverting ourselves to follow the undifferenced monistic phase of the Absolute. The view of the Transcendental subjectivity in our present activity is more or less misunderstood. So to get relief from such erroneous impression we must not neglect to utilize everything as far as possible for the service of the Absolute and must not participate in the views of the mistaken decision of the Impersonalists. If we do not do so we will class ourselves among the imprudent.

Four years after Shri Chaitanya’s meeting with Rai Ramananda, the Supreme Lord as an ascetic met Sanatana for the second time, when the latter asked his Master to enlighten him regarding his own self and the three-fold troubles he had to meet with during his journey of life. The Lord taught him that human souls are eternal Karsnas (servitors of Krishna); they form to have originated from the Borderland-Energy (Tatastha-shakti) of the Absolute Lord Krishna with two neighbouring dominions of phenomena and transcendence on two sides. The sub-servient souls being simultaneously associated with and dissociated from the Absolute are themselves no positive substratum but merely distinguished from the Absolute by their quantitative designation of energy. Forgetful of their true situation they are susceptible to isolate themselves by enwrapping with foreign quality from the Absolute; whereas they have the same quality with the Absolute with a magnitudinal variegated position. This very Transcendental Absolute Truth has disclosed the two-fold aspects of relativity reigning in the temporal mundane sphere as well as in the Transcendental Eternal Plane. So the question of relativity is to be treated in these two aspects independently, without subscribing to the opinions of impersonalists who have only one way of explaining away the phenomena in a derogatory manner.

On the western banks of the Ganges, close to the Panchanada Bathing Ghat, the retired administrative authority did welcome the transcendental description of Full Knowledge Who was never confined to the empirical activities of the learned renunciators including Prakashananda Saraswati who was inculcating avoidance of mundane relativity of knowledge. His high-sounding pedantic feats were properly cowed down by the Lord Shri Chaitanya. The band of impersonalists, who were known to have gained the civic guardianship of India from time immemorial, got the true impression of Ever-Immutable Undeviated Knowledge.

The Absolute craves for a singular situation where no relation could find place in our mundane reason. We need not disturb the Absolute by following anthropomorphic suggestions when we talk of the Absolute Who is quite different from what is made out in the views entertained by mundane relativity. In the mundane sphere we are the judge to accept a particular view though we are sometimes enforced to change our views by unexpected revelation of hidden Truths. Our analytic exertion may give us some hope of entering into the particular details of the Absolute by the synthetical method. The synthetic method has been observed to suit best in the inspection of phenomena. But in the Absolute no synthetic method can work out its way, as the word ‘Absolute’ has monopolised to itself like an autocrat the power not to allow any plurality which should give rise to a conflicting situation. The Absolute may show us some delineative manifestations which will permit analysis of the Absolute.

Why should we deprive the Absolute of His Eternal Manifestation by our approaching? The rationalist would shudder at the very thought of an Inspector of the Absolute. He will then isolate the observer when the Absolute becomes a part of the whole in which will be located the three distinctive positions such as are often found in the phenomena. The objector will not allow him to transcend the phenomena and keep his existence as one of the components of phenomenal existence.

Our present conception is so much concretized with perishable materials that we cannot differentiate the Absolute from mundane pieces of perishable matter. The Absolute in our present view cannot have manifested entities and we are prone to confuse the interpretation of the Absolute with the non-absolute to the elimination of plurality. The plural phases of the Absolute should not have any reference to mundane manifestation except by a resemblance of the seeming features we observe through our senses. The Absolute entities should never be identified with the mundane transformable enjoying position through our errant senses; but entities even in this mundane world who have the only engagement with the Absolute are not amenable to error, having connection with the Absolute. Though the seeming conceptions have got similarity both in mundane and transcendental worlds still they have a distinction in reference to the temporal and the eternal. All mundane conceptions show a differentiation between the exoteric and esoteric comprehension of the thing; so the factor of immanence is involved. In the Absolute there cannot be any trace of this bifurcated position. The immanence and phenomenal conceptions are identical in the Absolute though possessing of different phases and different units peacefully conglomerated without any disruptive intrusion of the mundane atmosphere. The unspeakable extension of the transcendence, though observed in the phenomenal view to have stopped all sorts of varied positions, still maintains a resemblance of manifestive Nature, and this transcendence has got analogous relation, even like phenomena to immanence. The seeming feature which is considered as an exoteric inspection of phenomena becomes a subconscious element of things; whereas, transcendence has got the full conscious eternal conception in a bit of the Absolute, an unconditioned soul, Who is free from the phenomenal clutch. The factors of pieces of matter and spans of time serve as infinitesimally small in esoteric reference when we speak of the full-fledged eternal transcendence. The transcendence has scaled up this time from the cubical expansion to the entities of higher dimensions. Persons who are disposed to talk much of matter and entangled with the physical liabilities may, by their limited conception, impede their course of investigation and would naturally tell us that such a view of transcendence has come out from the factory of phenomena in an enjoying mood; but we would not encourage them to be so audacious as to exercise their crippled senses for decisions on viewing higher things. The certitude of the Gnostics may rely on the mundane senses even as the agnostics do and would like to exploit all healthy eternal feelings associated with the Absolute Harmony. The working of the two entities has played agreeable and disagreeable parts in the present ever-changing world; but in the transcendence there is no question of disagreement between the eternal entities who have no susceptibility of being inharmonious to one another, and so the transcendental plane has got an Absolute value which cannot admit the deformities of an anthropomorphist. No foreign hallucinatory ideas could be ushered into the Manifestive phases of the Absolute; our present senses require regulation by the transcendental association which will give the real value of the Absolute instead of a contradictory value from the deformed perishable relativities.

It therefore follows that the impediments of the imperceptible quality of vision, of the inaudibility of sounds to our aural reception, of the insipidity of tastes, of unpleasant smells and of the defective dermal conception of external things, can have no trace in the transcendental Absolute as He has a distinctive character of transparence, continued auricular reception, exceptionally fine inebriating fragrance, tasteful dishes for increasing purposes without any defects of egressive easements, soothing without burning sensation or any sort of unpleasantness of any mundane sense, but having senses that are made up of transcendental Absolute; so, there in transcendence, all sorts of incongruent phases are continually stuffed in whenever such entrance is pressed through the mouthpiece of Gnostic exertions. The nature of phenomena has got a similar nature of transcendence save in the eclipsed view of the Eternal Manifestive Blissful Emporium of extended gnosticism. The impoverished phase of the excellent aesthetic culture cannot have a comparison with the Transcendental-Sublime Beauty of the Acme of the Absolute. But the most welcome different values of the reciprocity of our transcendental senses cannot come to our mundane situations. Our mundane empiricist would consider that one might break one’s limbs in a long jump to the transcendence, but he does not know that he can have such a long jump if the transcendental agent injects him with the super-excellent cogent non-shaky qualities of comprehending the entities of higher dimension which are above all worldly material range. There we find that inconceivable majesty, cogent potency, acme of prestige, fame and honour, beauty, all-sided prudence and faculty for dissociation from perishable existence are concentrated in the Absolute with a Manifestive Nature devoid of undesirable experience of the senses. This Super-beautiful gnosticism will be found identical with the transcendental love, the Absolute Entity should have the unalloyed Eternal Blissful Existence of Pure Knowledge Who can accommodate all undesirable conflicting situations in the most coveted Eternal Harmony. No negative situation of the Transcendental Absolute possessing all eclectic features can be entertained in the Transcendence. The relativities of the sentient world have a very strong footing in the transcendence, besides an eternal treasurehouse from which mundane eclecticism could emanate and stand. No pneumatologic exertion can give us relief from the association of enjoyable things which in their turn trouble us in our present sensuous play, but this has shown a similar feature of the Manifestive Absolute though in a crippled form. Our rhetoricians intercede at this stage to reconcile more or less the conflicting nature of the two manifested planes. The relations here tend to bring in transitory love but whenever any undesirable feeling disturbs us, we hasten to resort to an immaculated position. The innate impulse in us always seeks for a desirability and when this taste is troubled, we are found to launch into a hallucination of an insipid situation checking all of the manifestive phases. In the Absolute we cannot perceive any undesirability owing to the existence of defective varieties among us. The predominating aspect is to enjoy from the objects under his jurisdiction. In the mundane world we have hundreds of entities known as predominating aspects to suit the purpose of hundreds of such predominated aspects. The relationships in the relative manifestation and in the Absolute manifestation has a correspondence to enable us to trace the original position in the Absolute where Knower, Knowledge and Known are not to transform, neither to shift their position by some other outward agency. Space and time as well as individual activities prove detriments; whereas we have not carried any such defective and undesirable nature by our anthropromorphic exploits to the region of transcendence. The dissimilar feature is only traced in the singular position of the predominating part of the Transcendental Manifestation without any interruption of the different manifestive entities of the predominated aspect except the rapturous position that emanated out of the conflicting situation among them.

The Absolute is the Consort of the Spouse. He is the Son of the subservient known as parents. He is the only Object of friendship of all the friendly entities. He is the Master of all the dependants and is the only manifestation of all neutrality. The Absolute exercises His prerogative influence over all the manifestations who are but reciprocally emanated for His Pastimes. There is no occasion for any dissension that could create any disturbance not in conformity with the Absolute Volition. None of the entities could lurk outside His visual range; none of the sonorous sounds can keep itself away from His aural reception; no pleasant scent can resist His nasal enjoyment; no relishing feature could impede His tongue, and no heat or cold could claim to stand against Him, as our position has assured us of our subservient situation.

No monistic method can lead us to shake off our innate eternal service to the Absolute if we can secure our position as an infinitesimal part of the same. The Ethnic method will never be justified in making us lapse ourselves in the Absolute with the hallucinative cognition of identifying ourselves fully with the Absolute. Could we do so, we might not have been captivated by our senses. The suicidal commission of annihilating our differentiated cognition, volition and emotion would not relieve us from the realistic pangs unless we are helped by the association of the Manifested Absolute. Inebriated with our sensual comforts we may swell like a frog, if we want to inflate ourselves with the pedantic exploits of our impoverished gnosticism. Our prudence will never be purified if we pose any phenomenal position. So the Supreme Lord Sri Chaitanyadeva has told us to minimize our selfish entity in this world instead of maximizing ourselves fruitlessly to become identical with the entire Absolute, which is never our own position. We are transcendental different atomic phases of the Absolute, so we should not be masqueraded by worldly transitory garments of limited space, time and non-Absolute individuality.

Our mental speculation has been found to discern the positions of two planes where relativities could be either fledged or checked. But when we speak of unvitiated knowledge free from the mundane sensible world, we need not apply the zoomorphic or anthropomorphic imprudence to manufacture things instead of approaching the Eternal Manifestations. Mutilation or mutation may have some lien in the worldly phenomena, but there is no possibility of offering a jerk so as to shake the Absolute position of the transcendence; hence we need not confuse mind with the soul. The Soul is never disturbed by phenomenal objects which have incremental or decremental associated value. The Absolute reserves the right not to come under the jurisdiction of the sensible world. So the rigours of phenomenal experience would not be imposed on the eternal Manifestation. The Hellenic and Hebraic dispositions should not occupy the transcendental atmosphere, as they are serviceable only for our purposes here. In the Personality of the Absolute, conflicting thoughts, which are the outcome of mental exploits, would not predominate over the Absolute, as was the case within the scope of our mental horizon. Savants of different ages and different countries have formulated many a scholastic view by their efforts to answer according to their whims the epistemological and cosmological questions, which have very little value when realization of the Absolute finds its play in unalloyed souls.

The Transcendental Pastimes of the Absolute with the human souls act eternally to clear their position from the mundane atmosphere and no amount of the temporal and local objective reference could stand as a check to regain the Eternal functions of their senses. When mundane relativities are associated with the Transcendental Manifested Absolute, we get a very ugly figure, if we estimate from this worldly level. Of course all the secular branches of knowledge can have some propinquity to help the devotees but they cannot boast of a superior instructive dictatorship above their recipients who themselves may have some other stuff, not exactly confirming with the purpose of the enjoying mental exploitations. All secular branches of knowledge should inculcate a serving mood in those who have got only the aptitude for serving the Absolute. If these objects of the phenomenal museum are meant for the purpose of engagement from some angle of vision, it would be quite useless to apply them for such undeserving local selfish interest.

The Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya, Who is known as the very Fountain-head of All Love, has chiselled all high and low conceptions of temporal things by His Eternal Plane free from all sorts of crotchets and their irregular rationalistic exploitations.

The intercession of the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya among the members of the crowded rationalistic Parliament has done incomparable and eternal good to the Gnostic world as well as to the silly congregation of the so-called pedantic schools of mental speculation. The impersonal conception of the Absolute and the Personal Conception were at loggerheads with each other and they have both been pacified by His offering the interpretation of ‘achintya bhedaa-bheda’.

The conventional social conflicting views also got their due at the Hands of the Supreme Lord when He taught Shri Sanatana not to renounce the manifestive phase of natural emanations but to use them in quite a different way so as not to be captivated by the glaring features of the sensuous plane of an individual who is averse to submit to the manifested Absolute with a devout demeanour.

The Supreme Lord wanted all His apparently dissenting audience to show a line along which they could make eternal progress of the functioning of their unalloyed souls, instead of keeping themselves behind the prison-bars of temporal senses. The Supreme Lord did not ask any-body to confine himself to the short-sighted policy of mere altruism where mundane relativity proves to be the emperor of the mental and physical empire. He advised right and left, everyone, high and low, not to be sanguine about the temporal acquisitions formed by mundane relativities but to extend their view to the Transcendental Region where-from they can have a comparative estimate and a proper conception of the objects in view.

People of this world are all confined in their own secular enterprises and thereby permit themselves to be captivated by their own respective whims. And this association is meant for their transitory purposes. Everyone is vitally interested in the Absolute and he cannot possibly evade associating himself with the question of the Absolute except for the time being. All the attempts for any mundane acquisition cannot be retained, nor can all things of other places be had at a time; so a big gulf is to be crossed over to get the Absolute Knowledge. Partial gnostic attempts of empiricists would never permit them to come in touch with the Absolute, unless they acquire a submissive mood, a conciliatory habit, of receiving the transcendental Sounds invoked to their ears. In the Absolute there is no allocation of Space to accommodate forms and their extensions.

The infinitesimal Absolute does not require any such space. The intercession is so close that no material conception of space is to be intruded in His location. The relativity of the Absolute does not require an equality like that of mundane relativity. The question of extension does not vex a soul proper like that of a speculationist. So impersonal propaganda to get rid of the defective views of the mundane relativity has no power in dealing with the theme of Absolute relativity. The Absolute individuation should not be placed under the rigours of vitiated space and the strictures of time. The relation in the Absolute Region should not be classed in the same category of heterogenous afflictive situations, for His manifestive phases have no undesirability, such as hunger, thirst, pain sorrow, etc.

The human soul need not be put within the corporal body, as he is evidently the incorporeal in the strictest sense. The soul need not be put inside this tabernacle or this subtle corporal sheath. We do not identify a reflection with the original entity, neither do we consider a spark of fire to be different from the flame itself; so we need not think that a reflection or a spark has diminished the total value of the Absolute by their different situation. We need not think that the infinitesimal Absolute is only an outer case of the body or it is interwoven with molecules of the frame; the individuality is related to the whole and no addition or subtraction can be effected by the intercession of anything between them, either space or form. This has given rise to amalgamation or annihilation of the two perspective individualities or personalities, instead of occupying relative positions.

The Supreme Lord Sri Chaitanyadeva has reconciled these conflicting conceptions forwarded by the bands of rationalists who base their arguments on their sensuous acquisitions. The Absolute substratum has Absolute Energy from which infinitesimal absolutes as well as infinitesimal conditioned lives are emanated or created. The relation between mind and body need not be confused with the transcendental tie of relativity between the two quantitative phases of the Absolute, as quantitative relation there has not lost the position of the Absolute; or, in other words, we need not carry the thought of non-Absolute being or non-being of Entity to the Region of the Absolute. The prohibition of encroachments by the limited entities to the Region of the Absolute should in no case be neglected.

The enlightening hymns of Chhandogya have impressed us that he who can surpass all conceptions of limitation, knowing the Indestructible Personality of the Absolute, is alone not a kripana but is a . So the Supreme Lord asked Ramananda to explain his knowledge of Transcendence in order to shake off the popular crippled view of ascertaining Him by the outward phase. We have surveyed the different aspects of knowledge that are commonly known to people who draw their decision out of their present knowledge derived through the medium of the senses. The comparative merits of pious seekers of virtue against the fallen creatures who have entangled themselves in sinful acts, have been delineated as the stepping-stone of the staircase of Religion. The second step is known as the maintainer of the neutrality of virtue and sin, practitioner of the neutral phase of distinctive temporal specification in dismissal of manifestation, and finally the rejecter of the three aspects of observer, observation and observed against the enjoying mood of the religionist. The third step inculcates the process of devotion as the medium fire from the indirect method of negation of temporary phenomena. Then comes the fourth step where the ambitious fruits desired by elevationists and salvationists are not traceable. The Supreme Teacher admits the claim of loving devotion against the non-loving substratum of clouded and unclouded gains which are in other words rapturous and void of love. We deal here with the different perspective phases of devotional love which has very little to do with the ordinary situation of the numerous shareholders of this mundane existence.

The Object of devotion has no co-sharer to dissuade the ambition of a true aspirant. The unalloyed free soul has an innate volcanic activity known as love for the One Object and he is never to be expected to pick up anything for his own which would rouse up jealousy of birds of the same feather, but to achieve the only success of directing all interests from their contending activities to the One. This One is not to be supposed to discourage any favoured servitor from his particular phases of loving service.

To determine the Object of eternal love by the eternal true servitor, no foreign element is to be tentatively introduced to create a distraction from the Absolute Truth. Love may be effected in five successively different stages by the Lover to the loved. The very Embodiment of Love has the sole Entity of inviting the eternal loved servitors through their five different Ratis innate in them. Whenever love is attempted from a lower level it has a necessary tinge of reverence. Love is the principle entity in the tie uniting the two. In mundane phenomena love is described as ephemeral and non-eternal. But when the lover and the loved are both eternally reciprocated, such love is not to be confused with our present experience of what is denominated as mundane love. The element in a subtle, gaseous form, when condensed, becomes a liquid in the language of the scientists, and the liquid can in its turn be solidified by gradual development. From transcendental non-relativity love is traced to change its subtle form, taking the shape of unalloyed loving service to loving friendship and then to confidential loving friendship. The love becomes purer to concentrate itself on the filial Object and reaches the acme in the Object of Consort. The tone is not changed, but the magnitude of service is augmented gradually step by step.

Ramananda, in describing the loving nature of devotion, cited a verse composed by him which showed the gradual increase of felicity in things which are eatable and drinkable as per the degree and quantity of hunger and thirst. This bears an analogy to adding more sauce to our serving mood of true love, which brings more enthusiasm. Ramananda went on to cite another verse which was also his composition which purported to disclose the fact that no luck arising out of our action could be compared with the intense aptitude for devoted service to Krishna and this is the exchange value to be paid to secure in return the ripe and soft relishing quality of Krishna’s Devotion and this should be secured at all costs when it could be had. Such a disposition is not to be compared with earned fortunes. This is spoken of as the base of Prema Bhakti.

The Supreme Lord expressed His Approval of this and asked him to elucidate further. Service with loving temper has got a conspicuous aspect as distinct from the mere base. In this world we invite the objects to serve us and we have got the inner inclination of approving the adaptability of being served by others, as we are quite unaccustomed to find out the All-love Who has concealed Himself from us through our sensuous activities. So Ramananda exhibited the glaring phase of the Pure Service to the Personality of Godhead as the most interesting function of the soul. The soul, now lying in a dormant condition, has delegated powers to the mind in order to take over the charge of meddling with the external world by lording it over mundane entities. But the temporal activity can have the permanent function only if the loving aptitude is directed towards the All-love Who is the One without a second. As regards the aspects they will be dealt with later on along with the ameliorating functions of love. To support his statement Ramananda culled a passage of the Bhagavatam[1] together with a passage from the hymns of Yamunacharya: “Nothing remains unavailable to the servitors who are purified by the aural reception of the Transcendental Name of the very Entity of Holiness”. Alavandar, in his lyrics, gave expression to the same idea when he sang: -- “When will that day come when I will be in a position to please my Master, considering myself as an eternal unswerving slave, having dispelled all sorts of designs by my innate serving mood constantly.”

The Supreme Lord approved this version of unalloyed service and solicited further progressive elucidation. Ramananda’s answer was that aiming at confidential service of a friend to the Personality of Godhead is the highest aim of a devotee. The question of neutrality is amplified in associating the Integral Absolute and the Infinitesimal potency in the same line. In support of his statement Ramananda called a passage from the tenth Skanda of the Bhagavatam[2] which discloses the comparative situation of the unexpected fortune that was received by the cowherd friends of Krishna which excelled that of the ordinary servitors of the Absolute, the Object of the Transcendental Ecstatic Felicity realized by the sojourners of the tract of knowledge.

The Supreme Lord showed His approval when He heard of the confidential loving service as superior to menial service from the lips of Ramananda. When the normal stage is exceeded it was approved not with toleration but with definite and positive assertion. But the Supreme Lord said: “The confidential service is no doubt better than that of the service-holders. Still you are to advance a little more.”

So Ramananda had to disclose his heart more in speaking about Filial love for Krishna which is higher and nobler than the confidential friendship. To bear testimony to his assertion he culled two more verses from the tenth chapter of the tenth Skandha of the Bhagavatam: “The glory achieved by the parents in serving the Absolute Personality of Godhead exhibited the two incidents of comparative fortune of the parents. What led Nanda and Yasoda to avail of the parental situation vis-à-vis the Son-God and what were the incidents that led to the unparalleled luck of Yasoda which induced the Son-God to suck her breast?” The fortune that was not available to the four-faced Brahma, five-faced Siva, the generating and the destroying entity of the Absolute, nor to His spouse Lakshmi who has such unprecedented favour, was received by the milk-maid from the Dispenser of liberation.” The Supreme Lord approved this disclosure with great sympathy, but asked him to proceed to the climax.

Ramananda in response to His query gave out that Love of Consort predominates all other aspects of devotion. He recited two verses from the tenth Skandha of the Bhagavatam to espouse the glorious cause of the milk-maids who are the best of His sub-servients. The love for the Consort excels that of all loving servitors or loving parents. The intensity of affinity is the greatest in the milk-maids serving their Consort. The ecstatic displays that are found in ladies towards their husbands, the temporal but incessant love of the goddesses towards their gods, the strongest affinity of the Lakshmis towards Narayana, cannot be compared with the ecstatic enthusiasm that was enjoyed by the milk-maids at the Rasa Pastime when every one of them was in the arms of each of the variegated Entities of Krishna, He suddenly appeared before them with a smiling Face wearing the yellow apparel, garlanded with flowers. His beautiful appearance was so over-whelmingly attractive that the most sublime beauty completely transcended the very ideal conception of aesthetic culture.

The combination of Haasya, Adbhuta and Karuna Rasas added to the delicious taste of Madhura could not be compared with any other representation of the kinds. There are various means by which the services of Krishna are attained and these variegated aspects have their respective merits. A servitor is to reach by his predilection, the acme of the function of his soul. But there is a distinction established by comparative study of different predilections without being guided by a definite principle. A comparative study scrutiny would certainly give us knowledge of additional qualities just as we find in examining ether, etc., there is augmentation by successive additional attributes to reach the climax with the association of the five in the solid representation. The Personality of Godhead can only be made to accept our unalloyed loving service through love alone and not by reverential procedure. Shri Krishna being the very Fountain-head of all resorts to Rasa, He is ever prepared to welcome every servitor wherever he may be and whatever his serving procedure.

But if the Object is distorted like our confusing Jehova with Moloch and Moloch with Jehova, we would certainly miss the kindly feelings of Krishna. This conception of scrutinizing such matters will lead us astray from the true object. Our eternal functions and activities if misdirected will give us troubles and if we fail to determine Krishna, Who is the Sole Attracter of the unalloyed entities of souls, we will certainly fail to apprehend the process inculcated by Ramananda. Our erroneous promulgation will never enable us to get the best benefit that can be had by us, if we fail to single out the loving tenor towards Krishna against Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha, i.e., against the limited propensity of limited elevation and salvation.

Ramananda, being further asked to subjoin the Fullest Reciprocity of Madhura Rasa, proceeded to delineate the Counter Reciprocal Moiety of the whole by fixing the Object in Shri Radhika. The highest step of devotion is displayed in the service of the Pair and in utilizing the full independence of the servitor to espouse the cause of the Predominating Aspect of the counter-whole by associating oneself in Her company. Ramananda was found to describe the situation of the Paraphernalia and the transcendental duties congenial to the confidential service of the attending maids of Shri Radhika which completed the full narration of the manifestive position of the Amorous Pair.

This exposition by Rai Ramananda at the behest of Sri Chaitanya deserves the highest consideration. In effect he showed that the devotees who are imbued with All-Love and Who walk in the footsteps of the spiritual maids of Braja, alone attain to the realm of Goloka. The different locations of the devotees in Goloka according to the respective differences in the nature of their rasa i.e., mellow quality, are settled by the inconceivable power of Krishna.

Ramananda belonged to the Bhagavata School; so all his activities were pure and instructive, and well worth following. He was not an instructor who taught us merely how to get rid of this mundane bondage, but served as an advance-guide to eternally unfettered liberated souls in their incessant unalloyed service of the Pastimes of Krishna, which have no connection with or reference to the mundane relative service of the Lord.


[1] Bh. ix 6/16
[2] Bh. 12/11

Published in The Harmonist (Sree Sajjanatoshani)

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