The Doctrine of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

BY: SUN STAFF - 5.9 2022

Excerpt from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura's discussions with Herr Baron H.E. Von Koeth and Herr E.G. Schulze - Published in the Harmonist

We require the fullness of things. The plenary transcendence is to be approached. The difficult problem to be solved is how we can do so. First of all we find that the mind is meant for dealing with the external finite things of this world. Our senses are gratified by available objects but these objects are found to be inadequate for our purpose. When we are in search of more than is available here, or when we require a continuity of those very things, we are simply denied this full satisfaction. We cannot have our desirable objects in full, so we try to devise some means that continuity may be preserved.

Here we find three different trends, I mean qualities. One quality tends to operate for creative purposes, the next for sustenance and the third for destruction. Thus we have three situations. When there is nothing, something comes up for our sensuous inspection, something which was not in existence before or whose existence we could not trace before, just like an entry on the stage. It exists for some time. And then it takes its exit from the stage. These are the three stages we mark in this world, whereas in the Absolute, these are not the current conditions, though they have got their existence in order to foster the ecstasy of the Absolute.

We have to eliminate all sorts of undesirable impediments. We have to get rid of the alloyed portions, the defective portions, which we have incorporated with us. All sorts of imperfections should be avoided.

In the region of the Absolute we know there are three different energies working, one of which is His ecstatic energy by which bliss is conferred on us, and He is found to be inebriated with the ecstatic explorations. The very Absolute indulges Himself in the ecstatic mood and He is delighted; and when we find that He is delighted, we, being more or less part and parcel of the transaction, get a share as well, we being not the mind but the soul proper. When He is delighted, we necessarily get the advantage of that delightful temper of the Absolute. When He is surcharged with all beatific phases, we are also endowed with a part as per our own eligibility; as per our affinity for serving Him, we enjoy a part. Here where we are passing through a non-absolute region, our enjoyment is nothing but depriving Him of His enjoyment. We should take proper care not to carry our defective ideas there. The passionate desires of this mundane world should not be carried to the Absolute region. The second is the true energy, the energy of diffusing true knowledge; and the third is existence.

In the mundane region, we find three things: existence, sustenance and destruction. Destruction is a thing which is quite undesirable here. But in the Absolute region, we find the very dissociation or separation has got a factor in inebriating us. Here when we are deprived of something, we are rather helpless; there we get more opportunities of serving Him in case of separation. The procedure of approaching Him is to realise the condition of separation. Here we do not find Him. The Absolute cannot be had here though we may have ample inclination for having Him. The very formation of our equipments, the mind and the senses, is quite inadequate to have an approach to the transcendence, neither can we expect Him to be confined here as one of the objects of phenomena. We need not think that He comes under our sensuous jurisdiction. If He can come as an object, we should accuse Him of His finiteness. He is not to be dealt with as one of the material objects which can be reciprocated by our senses. He keeps Himself quite out of our vision and out of the touch of our senses. Unless we have devotional aptitude, we cannot invoke Him here. He does not condescend to come to this region and become an object of the activities of our senses. So we should find out a means to approach Him and this is known as Sadhan-Bhakti, i.e., the procedure to be adopted in our case. The Supreme Lord has not given us any privilege of exposing Himself to our senses. Phenomenal objects are presented to us, for duping us, for deluding us. So we have to be in touch with Him, but He has denied us this privilege. This is the case of separation. When He, the Lover, the Centre of all love, has denied the beloved His presence, our inclinations and activities should double, or treble to have His association. So this sort of separation is an essential point, is indeed the cardinal point, that will help us to have the inclinations of approaching Him.

All our attempts should tend towards association with Him, because the association is denied for the purpose of studying our hearts. He has given us this facility to have an easy track to reach Him. The very condition of separation is a very good thing for His servitor as he can culture his affinity or inclination for the Absolute more than when he is allowed to appear before Him. He has intentionally deprived us of His presence. He was found to be for a loving temper, but the Lover has deserted us, and we are to follow Him. When we are disappointed in not having His presence, we should actually thank our stars that our Lover has gained much by dissociating Himself from us. I mean the Autocrat has got the right of making Himself quite happy by deserting us, and we are to submit to His pleasure and wish, we are to submit to His whims. We must abide by His decision. That I consider to be service. That is, I need not satisfy my senses by approaching Him. But when he has managed to shut Himself from my senses, I know He wants that I should acquire more affinity for Him, and He has given me that opportunity. If He came within our perception, we would simply gratify our senses, which would be a detriment to our cause and would prove an obstacle to our service.

An illustration is quoted: One infinitestimal absolute was fanning the Absolute Infinity. The moment he thought that the Lord was delighted by his services, that the Master had accepted his services, he became overpowered and could fan no more. Thus he was found to be negligent in offering his services. The fanner should have known that he ought not to satisfy his senses by stopping his services by considering that the Master had accepted his services. He should not have become inebriated, because it proved rather a bar to his offering further service. Instead of being carried away by our emotional sentiments, we should always be alert in offering our service, and service is best offered by chanting the Name. The Supreme Lord is keeping Himself at a distance and we are to seek Him assiduously; this is the proper way of chanting the Name. The Name of the Absolute should be chanted continually so that we may be mindful and not diffident to offer our services. As soon as we show our diffidence to serve Him, and stop chanting His Name, we are necessarily led to lord it over the worldly phenomena, and we get a quite different occupation. The occupation or the sole function of the soul is nothing but to associate himself with the Supreme Lord. As soon as we are negligent of our services, we miss the opportunity of associating with Him. We are His eternal servitors (Bhaktas) and as such we have no other occupation but to serve Him. If we neglect this injunctions, [sic] we will have to become engaged with temporal things; but these engagements will not be continued for a long time. There will be a cessation of such engagements, and we miss what is eternal.

The transcendental Name is quite different from the ordinary sounds. The ordinary sounds carry the impression of things of this world for our purpose. All things of this phenomena are meant to serve us; but we are to serve Him. Service is to be rendered to the Absolute, and we need not hanker after receiving service from non-absolutes. Anything done for the purpose of our own self, is not service. Whatever is offered to the Absolute, is known as service or Bhakti. When the service is done property [sic], when it is not dominated by some regulation, the service is pure. All gnostic transactions or associations with the mundane things are quite opposed to service because they are meant for our purpose and not for the purpose of the Absolute. When we know we are absolute infinitesimals, our vision is fully restricted to the Absolute Infinity and not to any non-absolute thing. Devotion or Bhakti is the policy of approaching Him. Unconditional surrender should be performed at all cost. When we surrender, we will have an opportunity of depending on Him fully, otherwise we will be thinking of other things whether the Absolute is at all prepared to rescue us from this troublous region or not. The unconditional surrendering will give us the assurance that we will be rescued from the worldly affinity. If we chant the Name continuously, we will be able to get rid of our inclination of accepting worldly things, we will be simply relieved from the invasion of phenomenal finite objects. So chanting should be the process. We need not trouble ourselves in the beginning to enter into the details of the Absolute; the very chanting of His Name will take us to Him.

This world is a place of trial. We are to educate ourselves in the transcendental Science. We should not fail to do so now that we have got a human frame. We must avail our present opportunity, leaving aside everything else for our next life. This life should be engaged solely in the pursuit of the Absolute and that sort of pursuit will be effected if we adopt the process of devotion. We have very little to do with the worldly people; but we have everything to do with those who are engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord. Association with people who are busy with their measuring temperament, will not be congenial for our purpose. We should not culture our enjoying temperament as most people are inclined to do. If we have at all to meet an undesirable person, we should always make it a point to proselytise him through education about the Transcendental.

The only aim of our life should be to make progress towards the veiled region. People may accuse us that we are talking in a vein of mysticism which cannot be examined by the senses. But we do not talk of mysticism, we talk of certainties. As seekers of positive knowledge, we should try to peep into the veiled region. People are busy in examining things by their seeming aspects. The seeming positions are not to be confused with the actual positions, as a wrapper should not be considered to be the letter. We should penetrate into things. The outer case, the bahiranga maya-shakti, has produced these things to be measured by our senses. This sort of measuring is not at all congenial to our purpose. We should have a peep into the Absolute. We should not take our physical and astral bodies to be our real self. At present we know nothing due to ignorance, and this ignorance, is to be dispelled. We cannot deny the fact that we will have to die and get rid of this fleshy tabernacle. We cannot retain it. So the real owner of the body should be aimed at first. This is swarupajnana. We should not be identified with our bodies. When we are found to be eligible to see Him, we will be attracted by His sublime beautiful face. His beauty should not be enjoyed by us, but our beautiful transcendental frame should be shown to Him for His pleasure. As soon as we show Him our spiritual beauty, He will disclose Himself to us.