This brochure contains the essence of true Vaishnavism as revealed in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Geeta, the Bhagavata etc., and their teachings put into practice by Shri Chaitanya Deva. Four things may stand in the way of realising the truth laid herein -the cloaks of (high, or low) birth and station, (proficiency or deficiency in) worldly knowledge, and (beautiful or ugly, male or female) form. The Over-soul within Whom all individual souls are contained and to Whom all souls knowingly or unknowingly submit, confutes our tricks-and talents. The words for every soul who speaks from that life must sound vain to those who do not dwell in the same thought on their own art. When the walls of time and space are taken away we lie on one side to the boundless deeps of spiritual nature and attributes of the Supreme Lord, find that there is another youth and another age than that which is measured from the year of our worldly birth and realise that the scale of the soul is one and the scale of the senses and, understanding -the agents of the material mind -is another.
The soul in man is not the mind directing the organs of sense and action but the animation of the mind and these organs and the background of our existence. The angle of vision between these individual souls and the Over-soul is one and the same everywhere, whereas there is a distinctive variety and multiplicity of the angles of vision between the material minds and the world of the senses.
These lines will probably create a desire to know in all details the essential nature of the Eternal or Absolute Truth and prompt an honest and sincere enquiry in all who will go through them. His Divine Holiness Paramahamsa Paribrajakacharya Shri Shrimat Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja, the President-Acharya and Organiser-in-chief of the Viswa-Vaishnava-Raja Sabha is ever ready to send His associated counterparts -ideal devotees to explain at full length the said scriptures in Bengali, Hindi and English in any part of the world. He has no other work than pouring perpetual benedictions on the suffering humanity and stopping the perennial springs of triple miseries their flesh is heir to.
The word 'Vaishnavism' indicates the normal, eternal, natural condition and devotional characteristics of all individual souls in relation to Vishnu, the All-pervading Soul. The word 'Vaishnava', which literally and naturally means one who worships Vishnu out of pure love expecting nothing from Him in return. The jiva is the part who is identical with the whole when taken qualitatively and different when taken quantitatively. This is the true and eternal relation between jiva and Vishnu. The service of the Master is the fundamental function of the servant, so every jiva is a Vaishnava. Jivas are of two kinds -(l) eternally free and (2) eternally enslaved. Free jivas are never enslaved and they are serving the Supreme God in five different functions in His eternal blissful abode, where there is no destruction, no misery. Jiva once entered there, never comes here.
To quote a passage from this booklet, 'the jivas preferring the A-chit world, fall into the clutches of the Octopus Maya, when the mortal customs of mind and body were put on him as a punishment. He dislikes the blissful and eternal service of his Master and prefers to quench his thirstful desires of enjoying matter. Thus in going to lord it over Maya, jiva became enslaved by her'. Mere artificial restraint and austerity on the body and the mind, a mechanical regulation of diet, living in a solitary place and a knowledge of the scriptures will never inspire Atma-jnan in jivas. The mind and the soul are hostile to each other. Again there are two minds; one the spiritual mind or the mind of the soul; the other the material mind which has willing, feeling and perception of the gross world. The spiritual mind never prays for daily bread, any sort of material relief and worldly prosperity.
The spiritual minded real Vaishnavas are the wealth of this world. Who serves the Supreme Lord under the guidance of a spiritual Master, is a true devotee and must attain his final goal.
Vishnu, the Supreme, All-pervading Soul gives life and meaning to all that is. He is the highest unchallengeable Truth devoid of illusion everywhere and through eternity. He is Sat - ever-existing, Chit -all-knowing, Ananda -ever-blissful and fully free. He is in jivas and jivas are in Him, as are the rays in the glowing sun and the particles of water in the vast rolling ocean. As nothing but heat and light of the sun, and coldness, liquidity etc. of the sea is found in the constituents of the rays and the particles of water respectively, so nothing but Sat, Chit or free-will and Ananda is found in the jiva. The ingredients and attributes of the whole must remain in the part in a smaller degree.
So the part is identical with the whole when taken qualitatively and different, when taken quantitatively. This is the true and eternal relation between jiva and Vishnu. So He always prevails over jiva who is also ever subject to Him. As the service of the master is the fundamental function of the servant, so the service of Vishnu is natural and inherent in jiva and it is called Vaishnavata or Vaishnavism and every jiva is a Vaishnava. As a person possessing immense riches is called a miser if he does not display and make proper use of them, so jivas when they do not display Vaishnavata, are called falses though in reality they are so.
*Tritapa -The three afflictions are three kinds of miseries known as the "Adhyatmika" i.e., those that are due to one's self; the "Adhidaivika" those that arise out of deities or are of supernatural origin, and the "Adhibhautika" those that arise out of natural causes and beings. For example, fever and other such diseases, anger, desire and other such passions form the misery known as the "Adhyatmika". Thunder, lightning etc., produce the "Adhidaivika" misery. The "Adhibhautika" misery results from other animals such as tigers, snakes etc. Changeability is the prime factor of the mind, it flies like a roaming bee on the wings of desires and changes at will its name, colour, creed, habitation etc. One frequently goes from 'Log Cabin to White House', from the seal to the crown. The sweet sixteen changes into bitter sixty -'The old order changeth yielding place to new.' Jiva in this manufactory of change, in this whirlpool of birth and death, is called enslaved (Baddha or apparent), ever engaged in forging the fetters of bondage.
*As an instrument, a servant, a friend, parents and a consort. uproots the cause whence all these afflictions arise. This cause has been identified with the enslaved condition of jivas. So real and permanent kindness consists in bringing before the enslaved jivas a true and vivid picture of their natural, free and blissful existence and reinstating them in their true position. Thus real kindness is applicable to the real jiva and apparent kindness to the apparent jiva.
Ye wicked mind! Thou art not a Vaishnava.Thy apparent chanting of Hari's name in a lonely house is for attaining worldly supremacy; it is nothing but pure hypocrisy! Dost thou not know that worldly supremacy is as valueless as the dung of a boar and that it is one of the splendours of Maya or illusion Why shouldst thou think, year in and year out, of wealth and enjoyment ? These are all fleeting and transitory! When thou claimest wealth as thine own, it creates in thee lusts for enjoyment. Madhava -the Lord of all wealth, should only and always be served with it. Why dost thou trespass on the lusts of women whose only and eternal proprietor is Yadava -Krishna, the charmer of all enjoy- ers. Ravana -lust-incarnate, fought in vain with Raghava -the Love-incarnate, for the imaginary tree of the supremacy which is but a mirage. The supremacy thou seekest is like quicksand ever receding from thy foothold. Thou canst never stand upon it and if thou insist on doing so, it will lead you to rack and ruin. If thou can place thyself on the steady and solid standing- ground whereon a Vaishnava ever stands, thy feet will never slip. Why dost thou suffer under the false hope of profaning Hari's men -the devotees, and attaining their inherent spiritual eminence and boast of thy fruitless and foolish efforts? An unworldly and eternal pre-eminence spontaneously follows the holy heels of a Vaishnava. The relation between a Vaishnava (devotee) and Vishnu (the Lord) does not smell of Maya (illusion) or worldly deceit. Knowest thou that thy seeming supremacy is as treacherous as a woman devouring a dog's flesh and thy feigning loneliness is totally hellish. "I shall give up 'Kirtana' -chanting Lord's name, and besmear myself with supremacy - what is the good in searching for such eminence?" -if this be thy thought, knowest thou for certain that Madhavendra Puri did never deceive himself and commit theft in his own storehouse of perception like thee! Thou shouldst never compare the unsolicited eminence following Madhavendra Puri like an attending maid, with your seeming one which is like the dung of a boar. Thou hast drowned thyself out of envy in the filthy waters of enjoyment and hast abandoned the perfections of kirtan.
Ye wicked mind, bearest in mind that solitary devotion is propagated in disguise by the adopters of evil means. Thinkest thou over and over again what Supreme Lord Gauranga kind- ly taught us addressing Sanatana Prabhu with the utmost care. Dost not forget for a moment the two most valuable words He taught -apparent and real, apathy and sympathy, freed and enslaved -never confuse the one with the other. Singest thou the Lord's name aloud. He is a Vaishnava who is never a victim to the tigress of wealth, beauty and fame. He is indeed apathetic and a pure devotee. The transitory world is to him as a snake is to its charmer. He is indeed apathetic who moderately partakes of things necessary for, and in favour of devotion -neither below nor above par -avoids all enjoyments and is ever free from diseases. He looks upon every thing as his Lord as well as Madhava's, and not meant for his own enjoyment. This identity with, as well as attachment for, the things of Madhava -is real apathy. Fortunate indeed is he who is thus attached to Hari and who sees Hari's Lila or splendour in the realm of matter. He is rich in hypocrisy who sings the Lord's name to attain eminence. Forsakers of matter out of fear or desire and enjoyers thereof are both equally Non- Vaishnavas. Shun the company of both. Thou canst neither own nor disown the things of Vishnu and thus run mad after enjoyment or renunciation.
The mind of Mayavadins can never think of Krishna and in a mood of imaginary salvation condemn a Vaishnava. Oh mind! Thou art a servant of the Vaishnavas and thou shouldst always hope for attaining devotion. Why shouldst thou hanker after solitude? A false renouncer calls himself a forsaker -and can never be a Vaishnava, as he abandons his servitorship and drowns himself in solitude. What's the gain in acquiring that seeming good? Ever engagest thyself in the service of Shri Radha and keepest aloof from the snaky enjoyment. Singest the Lord's name not for glory or supremacy. Why shouldst thou run after false retirement for devotion, leaving aside the worship of Shri Radha, your eternal Object of worship?
The dwellers of Braja are the real objects of preaching, and they being living agents and meant for preaching do not aspire after supremacy and are strong enough to instil life into the audience. Preaching is the symptom of vitality. Song of Krishna does not smell of any attempt for supremacy.
The Humble servant of Shri Radha and her Lover always hopes for kirtan and begs of all to sing the name of his Lord aloud. When meditation will spontaneously follow kirtana, then and then only solitary devotion and renunciation will be natural.
Its utterance, however sweet and sound, its meditation, however deep, long and undisturbed, though apparently true have no reality and are ever subject to change and destruction. Sometimes it imitates the activities of the spiritual mind and picks its own pocket. An abnormal heat in the body caused by keeping a clove of garlic under the armpit or exposing the body to the scorching sun, and the heat caused by fever, though similar in perception, are not the same thing -the former is artificial, empiric and inductive, while the latter is natural, spontaneous and deductive; the activity of the germ working within, bursts forth in the shape of feverish heat, headache etc. When the spiritual mind sets about his dormant devotional activities and his inherent love of God begins to blossom forth at the touch of the eternal, superior ecstatic Energy incarnate as his deliverer, tremor (Kampa), tears (Asru), stupefaction (Stambha), perspiration (Sveda), horripilation (Pulaka ), pallor (Vaivarnya), humility (Dainya), throbbing, (Vepathu), exultation (Harsha) etc. appear on the body as spiritual changes (Satvika vikara). Sometimes changes of this nature and appearance are noticed on the bodies of emotional persons whose minds are so supple and susceptible as to easily produce those peculiar signs at the clangour of the drum and the cymbal, sweet music or the like. These are mere effects of the cause; and the effects disappear as soon as the cause is withdrawn, as the fever-looking heat disappears from the body as soon as it is withdrawn from the burning rays or the garlic is removed from the arm-pit. As the pendulum oscillates between two extremes, so the mind oscillates between enjoyment and abstinence. When it gets tired with the meat and drink of this world, the busy strife of the dinning city, the griefs and woes of sweet home, the guilty mind seems to awake and exhibits a life of retirement, non attachment or reclusion, oftentimes, vainly directing its energies to annihilate the imperishable and indestructible devotional energy of the spiritual mind -to reduce it to nothing so that it can never feel, will or perceive -it may never come across the fleeting, changeable, and afflicting things of pleasure and pain. Sometimes one male mind feels the want of a female mind, and thus a male body gets united with a female body through the bond of wedlock. No sooner is this want fulfilled than fresh wants of wealth and home and hearth arise. When it rolls in wealth and the sweet smile of wife and children cheers it, alas, the grim reaper whose name is death, reaps, with his keen sickle the bearded grain and the flowers that grow between at a breath! Then it realises that it was drinking poison from a cup of gold. Thus it happens that the spiritual mind feels that it is fallen in an ocean whose waters of deep woe are brackish with the salt of human tears, and that it is within the jaws of lusts and anger like so many sharks and crocodiles swimming therein, enchained with ardent longings, totally unfriended and shelterless. He shakes off the torpor and realises that the material mind had so long been vainly playing with the fleshy forms known as the wife, the son etc. and fleeting joys like so many unsteady limpid drops of water on a lotus-leaf. Had satiation been in strength Myro and Ophellius would have been happy; had it been in wealth Croesus would have been happy; neither lies it in power nor in all these things together, for Nero, Sardanapalus and Agamemnon sighed and wept and tore their hair and were the slaves of circumstances and the dupes of appearances. The spiritual mind realises that he is living like a double-caged bird which identifies its own living self with the material cages, that the cages he is living in are ever subject to change and decay and though they look fresh and alive they are nothing but dust and will crumble into dust. The subtle cage of the material mind is within the gross cage of the physical body. The material mind is dancing like a jack- daw with the borrowed plumes of a peacock. He reflects - What relish can there be in this decaying body, made up of the five decomposable elements and full of putrescence and impurity? Shall we not mind for a moment that this perishable and ever-changing body is liable to wrath, ambition, illusion, fear, grief, envy, hatred -separation from those we hold most dear and association with those we hate? What relish can there be for material enjoyments when we are exposed to hunger, thirst, disease, decrepitude, emaciation, growth, decline and death. The universe is tending to decay, -grass, trees, animals, spring up and die. Mighty men are gone leaving their joys and glories. Beings still greater than these have passed away -vast oceans have dried -mountains have been thrown down, the polar star displaced, the cords that bind the planets rent asunder, the whole earth deluged with flood -in such a world what relish can there be for fleeting enjoyments? Living in such a world are we not like frogs jumping in a well? To get rid of the deception of this false and treacherous seeming friend, we should be sin- cerely suppliant before the Supreme Lord and water our couch with tears; He will receive our prayers, have mercy on us and out of His naturally loving kindness, appear before us as the pre- ceptor, with all the proficiency in the scriptures and fully free from the hankerings of the senses, to rid us from the clutch of the wicked mind, which has flame all around and death with- in, to cut asunder all its knots and hitches and to dispel all our darkness of the heart as an elephant runs away from the darkest recesses of the jungle at the approach of the lion and the veil of darkness is withdrawn from the surface of the earth at the advent of Aurora. Then the mind will brood over its guilty woes like a scorpion girt by fire.
Vaishnava Thakur, the ocean of kindness, I take shelter at thy lotus-feet. Have mercy on me, your humble servant, and purify me with the cool shade of your holy feet. Check my proneness to pollute myself by (1) using offensive and hurtful language to others, (2) floating adrift with various frivolous and despicable passions, (3) using harsh words, (4) coveting palatable things, (5) giving loose to my appetite, (6) hankering after lasciviousness; -rid my grovelling self of the six evils of (1) putting by things in excess, (2) going against devotion by adher- ing to that which is forbidden and abhoring that which is favourable, (3) indulging in useless idle gossips, (4) retarding devotional progress and accelerating the contrary, (5) keeping company with the non-devotees and remaining aloof from the devotees, (6) floating with changeable views and transfuse into me the six virtues of (1) eagerness for walking in devotional ordinances, (2) firm conviction and sincere faith, (3) patience and perseverance in devotion, (4) adherence to the favourable enjoinments and abhorrence for prohibitions in devotion, (5) for- saking the company of the effeminate tied to a woman's apron-strings and the impious, (6) following the footsteps of the righteous men. I have been waiting for your company, bereft of which I am totally powerless to sing the name of the Supreme Lord (Krishna); so be kind enough to instil in me reverence and enrich me with the wealth of the Lord's (Krishna's) name as Krishna is yours and you can give Him to me -a beggar, bereft of all worldly wealth and following you chanting 'Krishna', 'Krishna'.
Vaishnavas are the wealth of this world. They who serve the Supreme Lord under his (Vaishnava's) guidance, walk in the commandments of the Lord and follow His observances, the rest live and die in vain. The best ornament of our head should be the dust of their feet, the best food, the remnants of their dish and the best drink, the water that washes their holy feet -these and only these can renew devotional love in us. Who but a Vaishnava will save our blinded selves from being led by the blind and from the onsets of ever-increasing insatiable lusts, anger, covetousness, illusion and egotism? We are groping in the dark labyrinth of this world and know not whither lies our way.
All souls or jivas in their true selves are related to Krishna, the Over-soul, either as (1) His mute servants, -the flute, the rod etc., (2) His servitors, His gardeners, His sweepers etc., (3) His friends, playmates, (4) His parents Nanda-Yashoda, (5) His consorts -Shri Radha and her attendants. This relation being eternally fixed is neither inter-changeable nor transferable. Krishna, the Prime Cause, the Lord of all lords, the Supreme of all Gods, is embued fully with the six divine pre-essences -(1) Wealth, (2) Might, (3) Glory, (4) Splendour, (5) Wisdom, (6) Dispassion -dilute in His over-flowing love and all-charming beauty. He is the only Lover and the only object of love. This love, fully free from all earthly dross of lusts and passion, makes the Lover serve His beloved ones and the beloved ones their Lover -this love drowns all conceptions of Divine Sovereignty and possession of the above six pre-essences. The eyes of the beloved are always blind to notice the sovereignty or adorability of the object of love. The beloved ones, spontaneously deem themselves either equal or superior to the object of love, in consequence the former playfully ascends the shoulder of, chastises or takes to task or brings up with affectionate care, the latter. The love of Krishna is thus characterised. Krishna's loving beauty is so enamouring that even the god of lusts is charmed by Him and Krishna Himself being charmed by His own beauty and loveliness covets the pleasure enjoyed by the best of His lovers Shri Radha, by lovingly serving such Form as His. So anointing Himself with the lustre and complexion of Shri Radha and having been imbued with Her ardent longings of love, Krishna is ever dallying as an exemplary lover of Himself as Shri Gauranga. Shri Krishna, the essential nature of the Supreme Being -the only Real and Eternal Truth is the only object of love and Shri Gauranga the possessor and distribitor of that love Krishna is simultaneously dallying with His dear consort in the groves of Vrindavana and tasting the extract of love-succus flowing from His consort as Gauranga at Nabadwipa, Himself singing Krishna's name and teaching others how to Iove Krishna and sing His name. In so doing He distinguishes pointedly the real name, identical with the Object Himself, from the apparent or false one which is taken profanely, blasphemously or in vain. He emphasises that in this Kali-yuga (era) worldly people indulge in (1) duplicity, 2) intoxication, (3) sensuality, (4) killing of animals, (5) mer- cenariness and so are unable to meditate upon, or worship Vishnu and to perform Vedic sacrifices. So the chanting of Krishna's name is the only meditation, the only sacrifice, the only worship in this Kali-age -Name is the means, Name is the end. But is should be noted with the utmost care that Krishna's name is not mere combination or utterance of letters. A similarity in utterance and appearance is not identity. The fire and the glow-worm though similar in appearance are not identical. The minutest spark of fire set consciously or unconsciously, seriously or playfully will instantaneously burn an inflammable thing, whereas a thousand glowworms will not act in a thousand years. Krishna's name is identical with Krishna Himself and pregnant with all the properties and attributes of Krishna. So His name, unlike all other names, is full of energy, perfect, eternal, pure, devoid of illusion and eternally free. Aurora is sufficient to dispel the darkness of night and to drive the wild animals to their lairs and thieves and dacoits to their resorts, enables us to distinguish the various objects of senses and ushers the advent of the glowing lamp of heaven. So does Namabhasa (the utterance of name avoiding the ten profanations) stop poverty from planting our pillows with thorns, destroy our worldly hankerings and dispel the illusory gloom, so that we may see the Name face to face. When the everburning lamp peeps out of the eastern horizon, its ever-effulgent rays make us see it face to face and feel its golden rays and enable us to see all objects bathing therein. The sun is seen and felt by us with its own rays and heat and not with the help of any other glowing object. The brightest candles of the universe put together can not make the sun visible to us. When our dreamy nights are at an end -when we shake off the torpor, open our eyes, turn them to the east, we see the Name-sun with all his glory and beauty.
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