1960 Back to Godhead vol 3 part 19 - Chaitanya Charitamrta

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Chaitanya Charitamrta

ESSAYS AND TEXT

(First Part continued from issue XVI)

(4) This real and unreal feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is more explicitly explained as follows:—

Darkness is the name of absence of light. In light there is no darkness but it is the outside experience or negative conception of light. Similarly, the kingdom of God or the Vaikuntha world is the real reality without any change or annihilation. The material world is a temporary shadow of the Vaikuntha world and as such the life in the material world is temporary, knowledge imperfect and happiness flickering, as the shadow is always temporary and flicking and without any substance. The material world is the phenomenal representation of the noumenal Vaikuntha world. The sun rays is reflected by a mirror in darkness. The so-called light in darkness has no value if there was no sun. Reflection of the sun ray is a proof of the existence of sun. The living beings are so many separated fragments of the Supreme Whole. Such living entities in different categories of life enter into this material life and give it a false and temporary life. The matter is inert and therefore matter as it is has no automatic action. The sparks of the Supreme Lord or the living being handles matter in an enjoying spirit creates some interaction by different arrangement and the whole thing appears to be real. But actually the reality is not in the material world but it is in the spiritual world Vaikuntha. Both matter and the living entities are different energies of the same Supreme Lord although the living being is a superior energy than the material one.

(5) The example of interaction of the material elements is understandable in the matter of real and unreal existence. The five elements like the sky, air, fire, water and earth do enter into the making of any material body but still all of them are aloof from such material construction. Any material construction is nothing but an amalgamation or exchange of material elements in varied degrees. Although the sky is outside the body still it appears that it has entered all material constructions. In the same way the Personality of Godhead is far beyond the reach of a conditioned living being but yet He has entered everything in the material construction including atoms electrons. The Personality of Godhead in His all-pervading Paramatma or Super Soul feature does enter in every entity call it the biggest or the minutest but He is realised only by entity who is submissive and surrendered soul. Proportionate development of submissiveness is the order of spiritual realisation ultimately meeting the Supreme Lord in Person as a man meets another man face to face. The surrendered soul proportionate to his development of an attachment transcendental for the Supreme Lord feels the presence of his beloved everywhere and all his senses are engaged in the loving service of the Lord. His eyes are engaged in seeing the beautiful couple of Shri Radha and Krishna seated on the decorated throne underneath the desire tree in the transcendental land of Vrindaban. His noses are engaged in smelling the fragrance of flowers offered at the Lotus feet of the Lord. His ears are engaged in hearing the messages from the Vaikuntha world and his hands are busy in embracing the Lotus feet of the Lord and His associates. In such a way the Lord is manifested before the pure devotee from within and without and these are some of the mysteries of devotional relation of a devotee and the Lord bound up by the tie of spontaneous love which is the goal of life for every living being.

(6) Therefore those who are serious about the knowledge of the transcendental world, which is far far beyond the material cosmic creation—must approach a bonafide spiritual master to learn the science bothwise namely directly and indirectly. One has to learn bothwise namely the ways and means of approaching the desired destination as well as things which are hindrances to such progressive march. The spiritual master knows how to regulate the habits of a neophyte disciple and the serious student has to learn the science from him in all respects. There are different grades and standards of prosperity. The standard of comfort and happiness, conceived by the common man engaged in manual labour, is the lowest grade of happiness in relation with the body. The highest standard of such bodily comfort is achieved by the fruitive worker either for this life or the life after death by pious activities to reach up to the plane of Heaven the kingdom of the created gods with delegated powers. But this conception of comfortable life in Heaven is insignificant in comparison to the happiness of being one—in the impersonal Brahman. The happiness of Brahmananda or the spiritual bliss derived from the impersonal Brahman is also compared with a pit in the face of an ocean when one develops pure love for the Lord. Ever increasing ocean of transcendental happiness is derived from the association of the Personality of Godhead. To qualify oneself for reaching that stage of life is the highest perfection of life. One should try to purchase a ticket for going back to home back to Godhead and the price for such traveling ticket is an intense desire only. This intense desire is not easy to awaken even by continuous pious activities of crores of life. All associations of mundane relations are sure to be broken in course of time but once the relation is established with the Personality of Godhead, in different mellows—it is never to be broken even after the annihilation of the material world.

Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami therefore quotes an authoritative passage from the songs of 'Krishna Karnamrita' composed by a great devotee Srila Bilwamangal Thakur. He was designated as Leelasuk. He intensely desired to enter into the eternal pastimes of the Lord and lived at Vrindaban for seven hundred years in the vicinity of Brahmakunda. Sri Bilwamangal Thakur appeared in South India and was the chief disciple of Vishnuswami. It is said that he installed Dwarkadhish Deity who was given over to the Ballava sect Vaishnavas for worship. He flourished in the 8th Century Saka. Chintamani was his instructor spiritual master because at first it is she only who had shown him the spiritual path. Soma Giri was his initiator spiritual master and Shri Krishna who is constantly decorated with the plume feather of a peacock was also his instructor spiritual master. He has adored all of them on equal term and that is the point we have to note down in this connection. In his adoration for Shri Krishna the Personality of Godhead, he describes that Srimati Radharani takes shelter under the shade of His lotus feet and enjoys the transcendental mellow of conjugal love. This complete treatise of Krishna Karnamrita is dedicated to the transcendental pastimes of Shri Krishna and Srimati Radharani. It is a book read and understood by the highest grade devotees of Shri Krishna.

In our conditioned state when we are engaged within the material body it is not possible to see Shri Krishna with these naked eyes. But we can feel His presence if we offer to Him bonafide service. And satisfied by such transcendental loving service only, the Lord, who is present in everyone's heart as the Super Soul, gives His advices and favours us by sending His representative a liberated soul as our instructor spiritual master. Therefore it is imperative that in order to learn the transcendental science one must avoid the company of undesirable persons and shall always seek the company of the saints and sages who are able to impart us lessons on transcendental knowledge. The impregnated words of such realised soul penetrate within our heart and thereby eradicate all sorts of misgivings accumulated by years of our undesirable association. The undesirable persons, for a neophyte devotee, are (1) the gross materialists constantly engaged in the matter of sense gratification and (2) unbelievers who does not serve the Personality of Godhead but serves the senses and whims of the mind by speculative habit. Intelligent persons seeking for transcendental realisation shall avoid their company very scrupulously.

The advantage of such association with saints and sages who are constantly engaged in discussion of messages from Vaikuntha is described in the Bhagwat (3/25/22) which was spoken by Lord Kapila to His mother Devahuti. The Lord said, "By intimate relation with the devotees, it so happens that the impregnated words of Me are systematically discussed. And in their association only such messages become pleasing to the aural reception of the recipient. And in course of hearing these powerful words it is quite possible that the path of transcendental realisation becomes clearer and resulting in first of all a reverence for Me gradually developing into attachment and ultimately transcendental love for Me." The process of transcendental realisation begins with a sense of reverence for the Lord. And by constant company with the saints and sages such reverence transforms into devotional service which drives away all sorts of unholy attachment for material objects. When he is thus cleaned of all misgivings a systematic steadiness follows giving birth to attachment leading ultimately to spontaneous love for Godhead.

And who is a saint? Only those who have unalloyed devotion for the Lord are pure saints. Due to such pure devotional love for the Lord such saints develop the sense of awakening of the Lord's presence. In the Srimad Bhagwatam also it is said like this. The Lord said to Durbasha Muni who picked up a quarrel with a great householder devotee namely King Amburish. As a result of misunderstanding between the King and the Muni, the latter tried to kill the King when Sudarshan Chakra, the celebrated weapon of Godhead, appeared on the scene for protection of the devotee King. When Sudarshan Chakra attacked Durbasha Muni he fled away frightened by the weapon and sought shelter practically from all big Gods of the heaven. Everyone was unable to protect him so ultimately he approached the Personality of Godhead who also sent the Muni to beg pardon from the King and glorified His devotees by saying, "The saints are my heart and I am also their hearts. They do not know anything besides myself and reciprocally I also do not know anyone else besides them." In the same way Maharaj Judhisthir addressed saint Vidur after his return from a tour of pilgrimage. The king said, "My dear Sir, saints like you are themselves pilgrimage personified. Such saints, on account of their hearts being occupied by the Personality of Godhead, can cleanse the place of pilgrimage polluted by the sinners who visit such places to purify themselves."

Such devotees are of two different varieties namely, (1) the associates and (2) the neophytes. Perfect servitors are called associates whereas devotees who are endeavouring to attain perfection are called neophytes. Amongst the associates some of them are attracted by the opulence of the Personality of Godhead and others are attracted by conjugal love of Godhead. The former devotees are placed in the realm of Vaikuntha to render reverential service while the latter devotees are placed in Vrindaban for direct service of Shri Krishna.

The Personality of Godhead also expands Himself by three kinds of incarnations. They are (1) partial incarnation (2) qualitative incarnations are such as the three Purusha-Avatars expanded in the matter of creation of the material world and other incarnations like Matsa, Kurma, Varaha etc.

About the qualitative incarnations, the trio of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwur, to create, maintain and annihilate the material world, are counted. And instances of empowered incarnations are like the king Prithu and the Vedavyas Muni.

Apart from the incarnations of different categories of Personality of Godhead He manifests Himself in two similar expansions called by the name "Prakash" and "Vilash." Shri Krishna married at Dwarka sixteen thousand queens and He was present with each and every one queen at the same time in the same Form also. Similarly, during Rasa Dance He expanded Himself in the same form to perform the duet with each and every damsel of Braja. Such innumerable forms of Godhead of the same original pattern is called "Prakash Vigraha." When He expands Himself a little differently from His original form such as the form of Valadeva in Vrindaban and Narayana in Vaikuntha then He expands His Vilash Vigrahas. There is no difference in bodily forms of both Shri Krishna and Valadeva but the colour is different. Similarly in Vaikuntha Narayana has four hands while Shri Krishna has two hands only. So these forms of Valadeva and Narayana are called Vilash Vigrahas. The forms of Vasudeva, Aniruddha, Pradumna, Samkarshana etc. are also His Vilas expansions. This fact is corroborated by the words of Srimad Bhagwatam (10.33.35) "The All-powerful Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna engaged Himself in the performance of Rasa dance by placing Himself separately in between a group of two Gopis. All the Gopis present in the dance felt it individually that they were being embraced by the Lord as soon as the latter entered the dance. And to have a glimpse of this transcendental Rasa dance all the denizens of heaven appeared in planes accompanied by the respective consort. They then showered flowers from the sky in reverential delight. The showers of flowers from them were combined with celestial concert music."

And the same Bhagwatam (10/69/3) description of the Lord's Rasa Dance is given as follows:

"It was astonishing that Lord Shri Krishna who is one without a second expanded Himself in sixteen thousand similar forms to present Himself during His marriage with sixteen thousand queens in their respective homes."

And in the Loghu-Bhagwatamritam compiled by Srila Sanatan Goswami the fact is corroborated as follows:— (L.B.A. 1/Abesh 9).

"Such innumerable forms exactly resembling each other in all respects are called 'Prakash-Vigraha.'"

And so far the Vilash Vigraha is concerned as explained above the same Laghubhagabatamrita confirms as follows:

"By the inconceivable mystic powers of the Lord, when He presents Himself in different forms with equal potency the Lord is then known as Vilash Vigraha."

Such Vilash Vigrahas are represented in Valadeva in Vrindaban and Narayana in Vaikuntha as well as His expansion in the Forms of Vasudeva, Aniruddha, Pradumna and Samkarshan.

The author of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita thus explains the feature of different potencies of Shri Krishna. There are then primary different consorts of the Lord. They are called the Lakshmis Queens and the Damsels of Braja. Consorts in Vaikuntha are called Lakshmis as Lakshmi Narayana. Consorts in Dwarka are called Queens as Rukmini Krishna and the consorts in Vrindaban are called Gopis as Radha-Gopinath. Gopinath Shri Krishna who takes pleasure in being addressed as the son of the king of Braja (Nanda Maharaj) is the original form of the Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna.

Shri Krishna and His different incarnations potential power and all such innumerable expansions are associated with further smaller expansions or servitor expansions called by the name devotees. The Personality of Godhead remains overcrowded by His pure devotees and consorts. Therefore to offer prayers to the Lord must be preceded with prayers for His associates and this procedure is good in all respect for the praying devotee. The author has therefore offered his respects in the above manner and next he proceeds to deal with the 2nd Sloka out of the 14th prayful offerings.

The second sloka as referred to above is described as follows:

"I offer my respectful prayers to both the Lords namely Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Nityananda combinedly who have appeared as the sun and the moon on the tiger-hill horizon of Gouda Desha (Bengal) surprisingly at one and the same time."

And who are these Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Nityananda? They are no other than the same Shri Krishna and Valarama who are the resources of all rays of the sun and the moon, both of them in persons appeared themselves simultaneously on the horizon of Gouda-desha.

Appearance of the Lords Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Nityananda causes disappearance of all sorts of darkness and the whole universe is enlightened thereof. By such enlightenment the substance is revealed like the sun and the moon reveal the perspective view of the world. By such dissipation of darkness by the Lords, religion in the real sense is explored by a common man. The appearance of these two transcendental brothers makes it easier to understand the Absolute Truth along with the disappearance of nesciences. Darkness which covers real knowledge is known as pretentious activities. Such pretensions of advancement in knowledge are called by the name of (1) religiosity, (2) economic development, (3) sense-gratification and at last but not the least, (4) the desire for liberation by merging with Brahman. This fact is corroborated by the 2nd beginning sloka of Shrimad Bhagwat as follows:—(Bhag. 1/1/2). The cult of Bhagwat Dharma is real religion for the complete set of living being and specially for the human kind whereas other cults within the categories of the above four items are pretension culture leading to unrest, war, pestilence, animosity, violence and envyness, conditions of corruption, bickerings, and all morbid state of social existence. (add here religion real and religion pretentious). B.T.G. No.—

Out of the above mentioned four kinds of pretentious activities the last one or the desire to get oneself merged into personal Brahman is the subtlest type of atheism.

As soon as such subtlest type of atheism, ambushed in the dress of liberation, is encouraged, the push of devotional service for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is completely blockaded by them.

Not only these pretentious activities but also other altruistic or subversive activities for sense gratification, all are derogatory to the progressive path of devotional service.

But by the mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and that of Nityananda Prabhu, such misleading paths of darkness is dissipated and the real substance becomes revealed in true perspective.

And what is that substantial Reality? It is Sri Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His devotional service and to attain to the stage of love for Shri Krishna. The easiest way to gain all these at a time is the chanting of His transcendental Name.

The Sun or the Moon vanishes external darkness and exposes all material objects to the vision of the living being. But these two brothers penetrate into the innermost corner of one's heart and eradicate nescience. After doing so they lead living being to meet two Bhagwats of whom one is called the Bhagwat Puranam and the other is called devotee Bhagwat. (Bhagwat means in relation with the Personality of Godhead).

These two types of Bhagwats are competent to impregnate the transcendental mellow of spiritual attachment and by such attainment of transcendental attachment, the Supreme Lord becomes Himself our constant companion.

The most astonishing feature of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu is that both of them have appeared simultaneously and they can very easily penetrate into the heart of the fallen soul. They are, therefore, veritably useful more than the mundane Sun and Moon and it is a fortune for the people of the world to be favoured by them.

Let us therefore pray at the lotus feet of these two brothers and this act of submission will scare away all kinds of opposition and will help in attaining the goal of life.

The author of Chaitanya Charitamrita thus finished the explanation of the first two stanzas and now he will attempt to explain the third one. The subject matter is so grave and sublime that it requires lots of explanation and has finished the job in as much as possible minimum words. One should speak shortly but it must carry on a volume of meaning. That is the beauty of impressive expostulation.

And anyone who will hear or read these explanations with rapt attention will certainly be benefitted in getting one's darkness of ignorance illumined. And by such attainment of knowledge one is sure to develop a deep attachment for Shri Krishna.

The author has very carefully expostulated the truths in respect of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu and Shri Adwaita Prabhu as well as the glories of their respective devotees. The truths have been so nicely explained that anyone hearing them will understand the essence of transcendental truth in nutshell.

With all obedience and obeisance unto the lotus feet of the Goswamins headed by Srila Rupa and followed by Sri Raghunath-the author of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita namely Shri Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami thus finishes the first chapter of the narration in the matter of prayers to the spiritual masters and their associates.

(To be continued)


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