1956 Back to Godhead vol 3 part 01 - The S.R.C. Catastophe
Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja
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DELHI, 1st March 1956 Thursday, Vyas Puja Issue
Peace through the Sages
It is good to be political and national leader and to take office and work hard for it. I have seen that it is better to be able to leave it and enjoy the company of the sages of our land and to help them to speak to men and women again.
A patient aural reception of the transcendental message set up in the "Bhagwat" will cure humanity of its diseases of insanity.—Ed.
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The S.R.C. Catastophe
The S.R.C. catastrophe that has taken place in Bombay town, Puri, Cuttack and some other places in Bengal, Bihar etc. has been viewed with great concern by all the people of India and every thinking man in India will ponder over it as to whither we are drifting. It is a sort of national fervour from the provincial angle of vision which is gradually taking place in the minds of the people as a natural consequence of gross materialistic conviction. The material conviction of the people in general is exhibited in different manners and they have been thoroughly discussed in the revealed scriptures of the Indian sages but unfortunately, with advancement of India's freedom movement, we are gradually forgetting the importance of the unmistakable self realistic assertions of the great sages of India.
In his recent speeches, Shri Rajagopalachari the veteran politician of India said like this: He said "It is good to be a political and national Leader and to take office and work hard for it. I have seen it is better to be able to leave it and enjoy the company of the sages of our land and to help them to speak to men and women again."
We think that the above assertion from the lips of Shri Rajagopalachari will give some food to the politicians and national leaders of India for pausing upon their leadership over the innocent people in general.
We have purposely used the word unmistakable as above mentioned on the self realistic assertions of the sages of India, because their leadership was never meant for misleading the people but on the contrary whatsoever they spoke, they spoke from the platform of a liberated soul. The leadership of conditioned soul is always misleading because the conditioned soul does not know the ultimate goal of life.
The human form of life is different from animal form of life. The human form of life is attained by the gradual evolutionary process of animal and vegetable forms of life, in the cycle of 84 lacs of species of living being. The human form of life is therefore meant for the highest realisation of perfection towards the path of 'Vishnu' or the all pervading absolute Personality of Godhead. Impersonal realisation of the Supreme Godhead is also another side of the Absolute Truth but in either case impersonal or personal the aim of life is meant for going 'Back to Godhead' in order to get freedom of life, in the actual sense of the term. Actual freedom of life is attained when one is freed from the chain of different conditions imposed by the law of nature in different forms culminating in repeated births and deaths combined with old age and diseases during the short course of the duration of life.
Advancement of India's freedom movement was started by some great men like Shri Aurovindo and Mahatma Gandhi. But these gentlemen got all their inspiration from Bhagwat Gita. This book of great philosophy is accepted by all learned men of India and abroad but no body has given stress on the eternity of life and therefore the eternal need of it. Lessons on the eternity of life is the beginning of Bhagwat Gita.
Every leader is concerned with the temporary need of the present life and most of them think that the temporary needs of the present life are all that we need to solve without any care for our eternal need. This is the root of ignorance.
The eternal need of the living entity is different from the temporary needs and India's culture of civilization was aimed at the eternal need of the living being. A suffering patient in the hospital is treated for the cure of his disease and not for the relief of his temporary symptoms which are treated as a matter of course. An ailing patient may be suffering from the temporary symptom of sleeplessness and other minor disturbances. The physician may treat this symptom of sleeplessness by an injection of morphia or other sedative drug but that does not mean that the physician has forgotten the real disease of the patient. That is the business of an expert physician. By the way he may treat for the symptomatic ailments of the patient but he aims at curing of the disease at root.
In the Bhagwat Gita, this world has been described as the abode of miseries and temporary also. Nobody can improve this by plans etc. The miseries are different and they have been chronologised in the different heads namely (1) miseries in relation with the gross body and subtle mind (2) miseries in relation with our dealings with other living beings and (3) the miseries in relation with the laws of nature beyond the control of the highest intelligent political leader.
During a great scarcity of rains, Shri Rajgopalachari admitted the incapability of any efficient government to arrange for it and he asked the people to pray to God. The S.R.C. adjustment of our lands of living is a sort of temporary need but our eternal need of life is different from it. But the leaders of the people do not know the eternal need of man. They are themselves bound up by the laws of nature and they wish to lead others who are also bound up by the laws of nature. A bound up person by hands and feet cannot give release to other persons who are also similarly bound up by the hands and feet. A person who is really free from the condition of natural laws can give relief to the people in general who need cure of the eternal sufferings imposed by the laws of nature in the matter of birth, death, old age and diseases. All the miseries above mentioned are symptoms of the main disease from which every living being is suffering. And in the course of treating the main disease, the side issue symptoms are automatically treated.
The side issue symptoms of material disease of the conditioned soul are manifested in the following manner.
- (1) A misconception of one's own self identified with the material gross body and subtle mind.
- (2) A sense of spoiling the human resource of energy in the future plan of protecting the kinsmen who are considered as one's own men.
- (3) A conception of purification by accepting water as the place of pilgrimage.
- (4) To accept the land of birth or anything earthly as the object of worship.
- (5) To neglect the instructions of great sages who spoke from the platform of a liberated soul.
The S.R.C. catastrophe in Bombay is due to the 4th symptom of the material disease. India's civilization was based on the purpose of treating the material disease of the spirit soul. The spirit soul is the noumenon of all the phenomenon objects. The gross material body is the phenomenal manifestation of the noumenon soul acting through his agent the mind. In the Bhagwat Gita this fact has thoroughly been analysed. The senses and the limbs of the body are prominent at the first sight but behind the senses there is the subtle mind manifesting by thinking feeling and willing. Behind this willing power there is intelligence which is still more subtle. Behind this intelligence there is the consciousness of one's ownself and people require to be enlightened about the nature of this spirit soul in his pure consciousness. The pure consciousness is spiritual consciousness and impure or mixed consciousness is material and false consciousness.
People in general are being trained up in the matter of false consciousness and therefore symptoms of the material disease are sure to occur every now and then. The S.R.C. catastrophe is another form of communalism based on a false consciousness of worshipping an earthly object. Unless the disease is cured the five principal symptoms of one's material disease is sure to happen. Some years before, we had to write an article on Gandhi-Jinnah talks. It may be quoted here profitably in connection with the type of communalism exhibited in the acts of S.R.C. catastrophe.
We wrote as follows:—(Back to Godhead Oct. 1944) "We are sorry to learn that Gandhi-Jinnah talks about unity of the Indian people have failed for the present. We are not very much optimistic in the result of such occasional talks between several heads of community and are of opinion that if any solution is arrived at as a token of unity for the time being, it is again to break up, to meet another shape of problem which may not be on the ground of religiosity. In Europe the fighting parties are almost all Christians, and in Asia the major parties, we mean China and Japan, are almost all Buddhists, but still they are fighting. The fighting will go on between Hindus and Mohammedans, between Mohammedans and Mohammedans, between Christians and Christians, between Buddhists and Buddhists till the time of annihilation. So long there will be a pinch of a desire for sense-gratification, surely there will be fight between brother and brother, father and son, nation and nation and so on. The process of unity does not stand on the plane of enjoyment or renunciation; the real unity stands on the plane of service which is transcendental to varieties of mundane enjoyment and renunciation. And that is the plane of spirit."
Unless therefore we are trained up to rise up on the spiritual plane it is not at all possible to create an atmosphere of humane world. Sometimes staunch diplomats like Sir Winston Churchill get disgusted and cry in the wilderness to get rid of the terrible national frenzy of hate.
The frenzy of national or provincial hatred for men speaking in another language is another side of the material disease manifested in the frenzy of national love for the land of birth (Bhowma Ijjadhi). The World Wars No. I and No. II were fought out in the spirit of Germany's fervour of love for her own countrymen resulting in the concomitant frenzy of hatred for others. All historical battles take place on account of such dual side of a false frenzy called love and hatred.
The relative world is a creation of one's frenzy of love and hatred and all man-made creeds are based on these affairs of love and hatred which stand on the platform of sense-gratification or 'Kama'. If we therefore want to get rid of the frenzy of hatred a product of impure consciousness, we must get rid of the fervour of love also on the plane of impure or material consciousness. Material love and hatred are one and the same thing because they are productions of the impure consciousness. To distinguish the one from the other is an act of mental concoction.
To purify one's consciousness means to give up all man-made creeds manufactured in the factory of impure consciousness and accept the creed of 'Bhagwat Gita' as advised by the Lord in the highest platform of pure consciousness or the Absolute Truth.
The criterion of advancement of education is different from the standard of university education. In the Bhagwat Gita it is said that a man when he is really educated can only look on equal terms-a gentle Brahmin, a cow, a dog, an elephant or a Chandala (the lowest of the human being). One may ask as to how it is possible to look on equal terms the educated Brahmin (man of higher qualities) and a street dog? The answer is very plain and simple. A really educated man does not look over the fleshy tabernacle of a living being but he introspects the spirit within the body. A sane man does not see the dress of another man but he sees the man of whom dress is a covering only. The dress has no value if there is no man behind the dress. The gentle Brahmin, the cow, the Chandala etc. are but different dresses encaging the spirit soul within the dresses. Dresses or designations are not the real personalities and a really educated man sees the personality as he is and not the dress or the designation. There are many lawyers or medical practitioners decorated with similar degrees but people flock to the personality which is mainly concerned. A serpent decorated with costly jewel is as much dangerous as an ordinary one.
Humane world is possible when we are really human being not by dresses or by designations but by the qualities just befitting human beings. Votes in quantity do not count before the votes in quality. Human civilization must be distinguished from animal frenzy busy in the matters of eating, sleeping, fearing and sense-gratifications.
The lower animals have no power of introspection but some of them are more powerful in the matters of other items of animalism. There are many flying birds, who can go up higher in the sky than any civilized man proud of his invention of aeroplanes. That does not make any difference between a man and an animal. The only difference between man and animal is that the one can be educated in the spiritual science while the other is by constitution incapable of receiving such education. Therefore a man devoid of this important part of introspecting power, is no better than a beast. Humanity therefore must be educated to revive its dormant divine nature or pure consciousness and thereby rise up to the plane of spirit soul. They must go Back to Godhead. Here is a tiny attempt to train up the human mind towards spiritual identity and we hope to get proper cooperation from all sections of people.
Shri Vyas Pujah
Under the auspices of The League of Devotees (Reg.) 83rd Birth Anniversary Day of Om Vishnupada 108 Shri Shrimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada, will be celebrated today at No. 32, Maharaj Ranjit Singh Road, New Delhi.
At 6 p.m. in the evening, Goswami Abhay Charan Bhaktivedanta will speak on the techniques of The Spiritual Master who is the bonafide representative of Shri Vyasdeva, the father of supramental knowledge.
Decoration of The Dead Body
The following two Sanskrit slokas are quoted in the Chaitanya Charitamrita from Haribhakti Sudhodaya. (11 and 12th.)
- jatih sastram japas tapah
- apranasyaiva dehasya
- mandanam loka-ranjanam
- sucih sad-bhakti-diptagni-
- dagdha durjati-kalmasah
- svapako 'pi budhaih slagyo
- na vedajno 'pi nastikah
Bhagabad=The Personality of Godhead. Bhakti=Devotional activity. Hinashya=one who is devoid of. Jatih=Caste or heredity. Sastram=Book of knowledge. Japah=Meditation. Tapa=Penances. Apranasya=What is devoid of life. Eva=certainly. Dehasya=Of the body. Mandanam=Decoration. Loka=Popular. Ranjanam=Satisfaction. Suchih=One who is purified or a Brahmin. Sadbhakti=Devotion of the Supreme one. Diptagni=Burning fire. Dugdha=Exhausted. Durjati=Low birth. Kalmasha=Result of past misdeeds. Swapaka=One who eats dog (the lowest of the human being). Api=also. Budhai=By the learned. Shlaghya=Object of respect. Na=Not. Vedajna=One who knows the Vedas. Api=Even though. Nastikah=The faithless.
A person who is devoid of devotional activities on behalf of the Personality of Godhead has no value for his high caste or heredity, knowledge in the books, meditation, penances—because all these are to him like the decoration of the dead body.
The lowest of the human being (the dog eater), whose lower birth as a result of past misdeeds, has been exhausted by the burning devotional activities for the Supreme one, is an object of respect by the learned but not the one who is faithless even though he may be well versed in all the Vedas.
These slokas were quoted by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu when He met Shri Rupa Goswami along with his younger brother at Allahabad.
The material body, an encagement of the spirit soul and made of five gross elements of material nature namely earth, water, fire, air and sky—is a dead body from the beginning of its formation in the womb of its birth. The ingredients of the body is supplied by varieties of secretion of a male and a female body and when the favourable circumstance is created by such combination, a living soul takes shelter in that material combination according to the past deeds of the migrating soul. Transmigration of the soul takes place according to the mental situation of the dying man. The subtle body encircling the spirit soul carries him to the special body destined for him by the law of nature. The law of nature is executed in terms of her different modes and a living entity is accommodated in a suitable womb according to his association with different modes of nature namely goodness, passion and ignorance. Here is a great science for many research scholars.
Persons who associate or develop the natural quality of goodness—transmigrate to higher status of life. Those who associate or develop the natural quality of passion-transmigrate to middle working status of life and those who associate or develop the natural quality of ignorance do transmigrate in the lower status of life which include the life in the animal kingdom. Therefore the conclusion is that all the different varieties of species of life are made by the laws of nature according to the spirit soul's tendency of association which can be changed by the free will of the living being from higher status of life to the lower, from lower to the higher or from middle to the higher or lower as it may be.
In this progressive path of different status of life the highest position is the status of a devotee of the Personality of Godhead. That is the highest aim of progressive life. The material body begins to decay from the day of its very formation. Development of the material body from embryo to childhood, boyhood, youth and old age are different stages of dying process which is complete when the soul transmigrates from one body to another.
The human form of body is meant for the highest realization of life, i.e., to know one's own real identity, the universe and its laws, the controlling power and the Supreme Powerful and also the different inter-relations that exist between one another of all of them as above mentioned. And knowing this one is sure to become a devotee of Vasudeva.
In the Bhagwat Gita it is said that empiric philosophers (the Jnanaban) after many births do realise the Supreme Powerful Personality of Godhead Vasudeva and thus surrenders unto Him—which is the beginning of devotional life. All sorts of philosophical research, studies of the Vedas, meditation, sacrifice, penances and many more things subordinate to these paraphernalias-are done only for attaining to the higher status of life culminating in the transcendental loving service of the Personality of Godhead. This mode of service is technically known as 'Buddhi Yoga' or the mystic power transcendental to the mental speculative plane. "Buddhi" is above the mental activities and as such the cult of devotion begins in pure consciousness or in the liberated state of the soul. It is therefore called 'Buddhi Yoga' or 'Bhakti Yoga'. This Buddhi Yoga where it is mixed up with the aptitude of productive work, it is called 'Karma Yoga' and when the same is mixed up with the aptitude of philosophical research, it is called 'Jnana Yoga'. In any case however the attainment of 'Buddhi Yoga' is the highest status of life because this is not the concern of the dead body. If therefore this status of life is not attained the so-called progress made in the matters of elevated birth, higher studies of the books of knowledge, meditation, penance etc. are but all decoration of the dead body.
It may be illustrated as follows. Supposing a man by dint of his educational qualification becomes a doctor of philosophy, or by dint of his hard industrial activities becomes a rich capitalist or attains to the kingdom of heaven by his power of mystic meditation and austere penances—even though with all these what does he gain? He loses everything with the destruction of the material body, because none of the above acquisitions belong to the soul proper which is ever-existing eternal object. 'Buddhi Yoga' is the function of the soul proper and whatever small or big progress is made in the matter of Buddhi Yoga—all of them become eternal assets of the soul, without any fear of destruction. The progress made of the 'Buddhi Yoga' during the existence of the current life is inviolable and non-degradable and as such even a small portion of it performed in this life can save one from the greatest calamities of life. In the revealed scriptures, there are many instances of this and the saving of Ajamil from the path of hell is one of the lucid example of this. Apart from Puranik examples there are many examples even today as to how even a neophyte mundane devotee is saved from many many dangerous pitfalls. This statement is corroborated in the 2nd Chapter of Bhagwat Gita. One should therefore not merely try to decorate the dead body, which is sure to be vanquished today or one hundred years after because there is nothing surer than the cruel death, but one must try to do things in the path of 'Buddhi Yoga' or 'Bhakti Yoga' as this will never vanquish even after the destruction of the body. The transmigrated soul will be given a chance for making up further progress in the path of Buddhi Yoga by his taking birth either in the family of a great devotee or a sincere and qualified Brahmin or in the family of a big merchantile capitalist. The 'Buddhi Yogi' who has yet not completed the path of his progress, is given such three grades of chances by degrees of his distinction in that transcendental service. In the matter of gross bodily activities known as 'Karma' and that of subtle mental activities known as 'Jnana', everything is finished with the end of the present life. Death means forgetfulness of all past deeds. This fact was reminded to Arjuna by the Lord in the 4th Chapter of Bhagwat Gita.
With reference to the above context of revealed scriptures we think that modern trend of human civilization is a wholesale process of decorating the dead body. Such decorations of dead body may be pleasing to the ignorant mass of people but to the persons who are actually learned and have spiritual vision of life, such civilized life is a process of wasting human energy at the risk of being pushed in the lower regions of births of animal or vegetable life. Puffed up by vain erudition and national power such leaders of spoiling human energy may not look forward to the most powerful hands of cruel death, but sane persons weep silently for the trend of modern civilization as to whither they are drifting.
We have seen recently a function of decorating the dead body at the junction of Ajmere Gate, Delhi and we could not distinguish what is the difference between such a function and that of leading a procession of decorated dead body. In India and perhaps in many more countries, some people follow the custom of leading a procession of decorated dead body for the pleasure of the lamenting relatives and in the same way the modern trend of civilization is a patch up work of human activities for covering the perpetual miseries of material existence namely sufferings of birth, death, old age and diseases. The big leaders have set aside these difficult problems meant for a solution in the human form of life and they are jubilant by decorating the dead outward covering.
Such civilization of decorating a dead body is never approved by "Buddhai" or the Buddhas. Sometimes we are enthusiastic in commemorating the relics of Buddha but we do not care to learn the teachings Buddha. The teachings of Buddha centered round the principle of "Ahinsa", 'Hinsa' means not to allow another person in prosecuting his rightful occupation. When an animal is killed it is called 'Hinsa' because the animal is hampered in the process of its delineating the proper terms of his life. And because it is checked in the progress of its rightful occupation, the men also conspire to kill the animal, are liable to be punished by the law of nature. It is just similar to the laws of the land. If a man is killed by conspiracy the whole set of conspirators are punished by the law. 'Hinsa' or violence on any living being is as much punishable as that of killing a human being. That is the law of inviolable nature. The punishment so awarded is for checking the rightful progress of one's duration of life, otherwise the soul being indestructible, nobody can annihilate the spirit soul—that is the instruction of Bhagwat Gita.
The highest form of 'Hinsa' is to keep in darkness the human being in his developed consciousness of life. The human form of life is the highest stage of developed consciousness and it is attended after full many years of gradual differentiation of transmigration of the soul. The human being therefore should not be hampered in his rightful progress of spiritual realization. This path of spiritual realization is open to all human being irrespective of caste creed colour and nationality. Nobody is banned from it except the one who willfully gets away from this rightful path and commits a spiritual suicide.
In the Bhagwat Geeta the Lord declares most emphatically that anyone even born of the lowest status of human being can attain the highest goal of life by accepting the need of Bhaktiyoga or the path of reaching the Lord. In the social status of life, the women, the labourer and the merchantile community are considered lesser intelligent classes and yet they can also reach the higher goal of life by Bhaktiyoga and what to speak of those who are learned and intelligent persons, philosophers and administrators.
Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaja