CENTENARY ANTHOLOGY : PART 2
Srila Guru Maharaj—His Holy Teachings
All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga
Faith and Harmony
By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
Here in the mundane plane, eliminating God, everyone is self-centred therefore there is clash and reaction. But in the higher realm, with harmony, there is no clash. In that plane any apparent clash exists to promote inner wealth.
In this mundane plane there is apparent friendship but inner animosity, but in the God-centred plane there is apparent competition but inner friendship because the flow of God-service is common to everyone.
Krishna consciousness is the most accommodating. We are to consider that it is beyond justice. It is the land of mercy consideration. Our highest goal is from the consideration of mercy, not justice. It is inconceivable, but above justice is the plane of mercy and affection, and that is Krishna consciousness. It even goes over what is our due, therefore it is high. The consideration there is crossing our capacity, so there is no room for any complaint. Everything is coming through affection and it is not based upon any justice according to our capacity, so we have no right to make any judgement. If any position will be given to us there, it will be by extended affection. On the whole, to enter into the plane of divinity means grace. We have no rights, and He may not even allow us to enter there. Only we must have as our visa the good-will to serve that land, and not to engage in treachery, otherwise we will not be allowed entrance. Faithful contribution to that land is sraddha, with that we may be taken in—not only taken in but we shall find all home-comfort there and full freedom. The fullest freedom is in Krishna consciousness, and that is above justice. The law of the country is ignored, and more benefit is allowed. We will get more freedom, comfort, and everything there in Vrindavan. Why? Because it is a transaction of natural faith and love, affection, etc. It is inconceivable,
achintyah khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet
The Upanisads say, "Do not venture to test that plane with your reason. It is beyond the capacity of your thinking, it has different laws, so do not try to approach there with your calculations."
So, when we apparently see a clash between persons who are trying for realisation, we must understand it properly. We may feel discouraged: "They are approaching towards harmony, so why should they come in clash?" But we find it happens, and it may be of different types according to the plane in which the clash takes place. In Vaikuntha we find that the four Kumaras were going to visit Narayana, but Jaya and Vijaya appealed to them not to go at that time. The four Kumaras were infuriated and threw a curse upon Jaya and Vijaya. We sometimes find this apparently undesirable clash between the devotees, though ultimately it is all for some higher purpose for the Lord's satisfaction.
Clashes can even be seen in Krishna-lila. Of course, in Vrindavan competition is of the highest type and we are to understand that it is necessary. It is planned by Yogamaya to enhance the satisfaction of Krishna. Different plans are designed by Yogamaya, and the apparent clash is designed purposely in order to produce a peculiar satisfaction in Krishna. Such things are found even within the various groups including that of Srimati Radharani. In Krishna's Vrindavan pastimes we even find so many asuras set against His lila, but those demons have a contribution—in a negative way—in that a hero must have some incidents to show his heroism. To kill asuras is a part of heroism.
We even find clashes within the same group—groups within a group—but we shall try to take what is found there as part of lila. The criterion of lila is that it happens for the satisfaction of the Centre.
We also find clashes, even severely, within the lila of the most magnanimous incarnation of the Lord, Sriman Mahaprabhu. Advaita Prabhu and Srivas Pandit presented themselves as members of the aristocratic class, but Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur represented just the opposite: the common mass. It is recorded in Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat that one day soon after the miscreants Jagai and Madhai had been converted and included in the sankirtan, Advaita Acharya revolted: "You are taking in the ordinary people of the lower section. This makes it difficult for persons of dignified position like myself and Srivas Pandit to remain here in this clan of sankirtan." When Mahaprabhu heard this, it pierced him in the core of His heart. He could not tolerate such a statement. He immediately left the party, ran straight to the Ganges and hurled Himself in the waters. Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur quickly followed the Lord and they also jumped in. Nityananda took the Lord by His shoulders and Haridas by His feet and they pulled Him out from the waters of the Ganges.
Mahaprabhu said, "All right, but I shall go and stay with Nandan Acharya." Nandan Acharya was a devotee whose home was on the banks of the Ganges a short way from the town of Nabadwip. Mahaprabhu hid Himself there and instructed, "Do not disclose to Advaita Acharya that I am here."
Then Advaita Acharya Prabhu thought to himself, "What have I done? I could not control myself. My aristocratic sentiment came out so suddenly and it hurt and struck the sentiment of Mahaprabhu so much so that He fled and jumped into the Ganges." Advaita Acharya then fasted. He mourned, "What have I done?"
After two days, the news of Advaita Acharya's resolve to fast till death reached Mahaprabhu. Then Mahaprabhu's heart melted again and He approached Advaita Acharya. "Acharya, get up, I am leaving My hide-out and I am coming to you." Quoting a verse He explained that by the order of a minister representing the King so many persons are hanged, but that same representative of the King who has hanged so many by the King's order, he also may be hanged by the order of the King. "The Absolute is such, please do not mind it. Now get up and take Prasadam."
In this way Advaita Acharya was pacified. Furthermore, we hear that sometimes Mahaprabhu showed him honour due to his age. Advaita Acharya was very senior in age, he may even have been more senior than Mahaprabhu's father, however he always considered that Mahaprabhu was not a man, therefore he constantly tried to show respect to Him. But Mahaprabhu did not allow, "What! You are senior. You are in the rank of My guardians, the rank of My parents. You should not show honour to Me, rather I am to show you honour." He began forcibly taking the feet-dust of Advaita Acharya who became distressed.
Then Advaita Prabhu thought, "I have to make a plan so I can receive His punishment." So he went to his Santipur house and began to preach jnana-marga showing that mukti is the highest end, and bhakti is lower. "The principle of bhakti admits that God is fully independent, 'We may try to please Him, but He may or may not be pleased, it is His will.' So what is the necessity of wild-goose-chasing? God may or may not be propitiated and we may or may not get His Grace, it is all uncertain. But mukti is in our hand: by certain practices we can enter into samadhi, therefore mukti is our real end and friend. We should take to that." In this way Advaita Acharya began to preach in the Santipur camp.
The news reached Mahaprabhu: "Advaita Acharya used to preach for Your camp but now he preaches against Your principle." Then one day Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu went to Santipur, and what a scene! Mahaprabhu began to give a good beating to old Acharya, "Why have you invited Me and brought Me down here? By your invitation and attraction I have come down but now you are going against Me. What is your reason?" Mahaprabhu began to slap him.
Haridas Thakur shuddered, "What is this? I am seeing inconceivable things." Nityananda Prabhu stood there and found Himself to be relishing something, and wondering what more things would come out. Sita Thakurani, Advaita's wife, protested, "No, no. Don't beat that old man so hard. He will be finished! Stop your beating."
But Advaita Acharya came through smiling: "Now I have taken revenge on You. You always come to take my feet-dust. But now see! You have come to punish me, so who is superior, myself or You?" In this way the Acharya came out smiling and everything was pacified, rather Mahaprabhu was a little indisposed. Sometimes we see such things also within the devotee section. Such things are there!
In Dvaraka also we find clashes. We find in Dvaraka that there was much dispute about a gem. The father of Satyabhama, Satrajit, gained that gem by worshipping the sun-god. It was known as the Shyamantaka Jewel, but it was presently taken away by one after another.
Prasena, the younger brother of Satrajit, took that Syamantaka Jewel. He wore it around his neck and went into the forest in order to hunt. While in the forest a lion became charmed with the grace of the gem, he killed Prasena and took it. Then the bear Jambavan, Ramachandra's servant, fought with the lion, killed him and took away the gem.
Anyhow a rumour began that Krishna had somehow captured the gem, and that it was all His diplomacy. Because of this, Krishna thought, "The burden is now on Me, so I shall have to search for that gem, take it and give it to its proper place. A bad name has come upon Me, so to clear My name I am to search for the gem." He therefore searched along the way that Prasena went. He then followed the footprints of the lion and found a place where a bear and the lion had been fighting. The lion lay dead.
Following the footprints of the bear Krishna reached a hole in the earth. He entered there, and that is a story in itself. Anyhow, when Ramachandra's servant, Jambavan, finally understood the situation after fighting for fifteen days or so, he came out and offered the gem—and his daughter, Jambavati—to Krishna.
Then again the gem was lost. The suspect was Satadhanva. It was suspected that by some means Satadhanva had captured it, although it was not the case. On hearing the rumour Satadhanva became afraid, "They think I have the gem, so I will be killed."
Though he had not taken the gem, the rumour was so much against him that he became frightened and ran away from that place. Because he was running away, Krishna and Balarama followed him. Krishna ran fastest, captured Satadhanva and killed him. Searching him He found no gem and so became puzzled. By this time Balarama had caught up with Him and Krishna told him, "I have killed Satadhanva in vain. No gem is found here."
Balarama then exclaimed, "Oh, You are deceiving Me. You have become so unfaithful. All right, You go back, I am going to Jarasandha, the enemy camp." There he began to train Duryodhan. Such lilas do take place and are to be traced in Srimad Bhagavatam.
When explaining all these things, our Srila Guru Maharaj used to say, "These hindrances come on the path in order to make it more valuable and in order to deceive those of less faith and the unfaithful. Those who are fortunate souls will be able to cross over all these incidents and will be hopelessly attracted by the sweetness of the lila of Krishna. They will be given entrance there."
Purposely these hindrances are posted along the way so that ordinary people may not enter. Krishna-lila will come to those who have deep faith and who have some real taste for the thing. In spite of all these hindrances it will come to those for whom this is unavoidably charming, and who, by descending grace, are helplessly drawn beyond such apparent hindrances. The technical name for this lila is asura-mohan. This has been planned in order to deceive the asura types: those of undivine character.
So we are to be careful about all these things. There can be quarrels amongst the parties up to the very highest. With such a beautiful flower, so soft and good-looking as a rose, why should there be any thorns? Its roots draw nourishment from the earth, and that sap produces such a soft flower, such a beautiful thing. Why should that sap also produce so many thorns on the stem? So, there is thesis, antithesis and synthesis. There is assertion of a subject, then comes opposition, then higher harmony comes in synthesis where there is found higher grouping, higher unity and harmony. Then again that becomes the thesis and so antithesis comes and again both become harmonised. This is the nature of lila, and such nature is there to help.
Sometimes we may find that in order for a drama not to become monotonous some light-heartedness may be introduced to make the audience laugh. Just as a clown may be introduced in the midst of a drama to prevent any monotony, the asura-mohan-lila may be necessary to give variety to Krishna's pastimes. We have to properly adjust many things when considering Krishna's lila.
I was astonished to find in Srimad Bhagavatam that when Krishna was about to enter Dvaraka after a long absence, a procession party from the town came to receive Him. It is described in Srimad Bhagavatam that included in the procession were prostitutes dancing. I thought, "What is this? In Dvaraka there are prostitutes?" I was shocked, rather, to find this. "How can Dvaraka accommodate prostitutes?"
In heaven there are also prostitutes, but we are to analyse what is at the basis of all this. Both good and bad exist, but badness is only found in the mundane realm. What is here must have its origin in the higher realm—and this is only a perverted reflection of that. Everything that is found here is also there first. From there its reflection has come here as the perverted manifestation. The main difference is that everything in that spiritual realm is full of serving attitude, but here it is all with enjoying attitude.
We cannot drag everything within our reason and arguments, but still we are to try to understand things according to our capacity, faith and realisation. Despite all this, sweetness is sweet and truth is truth. Truth, however strong it is, is truth. We are to accommodate this in our mind. We should not think that only this mundane purity is the basis to prove transcendental divinity: we are not to take the standard from here and apply it there. We are to understand service to be so pure.
Draupadi had five husbands, but if we take her name then we will be purified:
"Ahalya, Draupati, Kunti, Tara, Mandodari—remembering these five ladies forever destroys even greatest sins."
All these five ladies had more than one husband, but they were gained by circumstance. The scholars may make you feel cautious, but do not think in that way: if you take their name you will be purified—such is their position. It is not for lust. It is not for mean lust that they gained so many husbands, but at the bottom of it all is sacrifice. You are to remember that. You are to study the depth before giving evaluation. You are to understand and follow the basis, the very foundation. Sacrifice can make anything pure. You are to understand the very fundamental things of existence. The degree of purity or impurity does not depend on form, but substance. We are to draw our attention towards that. We are to try to understand the substance, and not so much the form.
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