Conqueror of All Quarters

Oct 25 2009 - Krishna Talk 94

Mahaprabhu Since time immemorial, the world has seen and has gone through many ideas and conceptions pertaining to mankind and it’s ideologies. There have been a number of political systems in place like monarchy, socialism, democracy, communism, fascism and many other ‘isms’ have evolved. The world has even seen great reformers, thinkers, philosophers, religionists and revolutionaries who have tried to change the world with their own ideas and theories.

Of course, some of the reformers have been able to expel certain unacceptable practices in society, and some great thinkers and philosophers have triggered positive ideas and thesis amongst the people. Some revolutionaries have definitely upstaged many systems and beliefs in the society.

Hence, a few distinguished people have tried, but have had very little impact or success in bringing peace, stability, sense or prosperity into this world. Still, we are living in a world that is in chaos, which was in chaos and which will be in chaos for a very long time to come. The fundamental aspects or drawbacks of this material world have persisted along with mankind and its advancing civilization. Nothing much has changed in a world that has seen wars, famines, natural catastrophes, poverty and social discrimination for ages.

Does the world need more failed ideas, political systems and leaders or is there something that is beyond material comprehension? What the world needs to know is that mankind is in very urgent need of a new outlook on life that the material and intellectual advancement of modern times has repeatedly failed to provide. The real necessity is a purely religious movement of God consciousness.

The Absolute Truth can be known, and indeed must be known, if we are to solve all the problems of material existence. Yet the truth cannot be known by mental speculation or any other human endeavor. Mundane systems or leaders may create certain short-term happiness and hope in the world, but they certainly cannot diminish anybody’s material bondage. No matter how good a material system is or how great a leader is, they cannot deliver any one from birth, death, old age and disease.

Disparity in human society is due to lack of principles in a godless civilization. There is God, or the Almighty One, from whom everything emanates, by whom everything is maintained and in whom everything is merged to rest. Material science has tried to find the ultimate source of creation most insufficiently, but it is a fact that there is one ultimate source of everything that is. This ultimate source is explained rationally and authoritatively in the beautiful Srimad Bhagavatam. The very first verse speaks of Krsna as the cause of all causes. He is the primal cause, and He is the very form of eternal being, knowledge and bliss.

janmady asya yato ‘nvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah svarat
tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah
tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ‘mrsa
dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyam param dhimahi

O my Lord, Sri Krsna, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Sri Krsna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahma, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Sri Krsna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.

The world goes on in its own perfect way. The world stands in no need of any reformer. It has a very capable and a complete person for guiding its minutest happenings. The person who determines that there is scope for reform of the world, himself stands in need of reform.

No person can deflect the direction of the world even a hairs breadth from the course chalked out for it by providence. When we perceive any change being actually effected in the course of events of this world by the agency of any particular individual, we must know very well that the agent possesses no real power at any stage. The agent finds himself driven forward by a force belonging to a different category from him. The course of the world does not require that it be changed by the agency of any person.

All material political regimes under the name of many hundreds of ‘isms’ are simply mental concoctions or speculations of a certain class of people adulterated with materialism. The British writer, Ernest Benn once said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.” The whole material conception of politics, sociology, philanthropy, altruism etc, conceived by the conditioned souls is done so on the basis of this misconceived ‘I’ and ‘mine’, which are products of the strong desire to enjoy material life. Identification with the body and the place where the body is obtained under different conceptions of socialism, nationalism, family affection, and so on and so forth is all due to forgetfulness of the real nature of the living entity. The divine nature of the living entity is spiritual and is completely free from all the concoctions and speculations of any material political system or belief.

Great philosophers of India such as Sri Sankaracarya and Buddha renounced this material world to practice the means of attaining nirvana or the ultimate annihilation of all distress. Buddha preached the cult of non-violence. Sri Sankaracarya preached that this material world is non-reality and the spirit soul is the Supreme Truth. He stressed renunciation and culture of knowledge as the means to attain the highest stage of realization. Neither of them however preached that a material plan, under the guidance of modern scientific and experimental thought, could bring real happiness to a human being. Both of them preached different patterns of ultimate voidness and stressed renunciation. In other words, both of them only stressed the uselessness of the material world. Yet neither of them gave any positive information of the life in eternity.

On the other hand, Western philosophy and philosophers most definitely failed in their attempts to give any genuine knowledge of our purpose of existence and our relation and role in this creation. However, some philosophers of the west were able to understand and propagate some meaningful theories about evolution of consciousness, theism and some below par knowledge on creation, sustenance and assimilation of this material world, But yet again, in the end, these philosophers and their philosophies only influenced a certain type of people and may have provoked some sort of change in the mindset of the people during their time period – but certainly their influence did not pervade the entire world as we do not find their philosophies being followed everywhere today.

Nowadays it is not so much the reformers and philosophers, but the pseudo-religionists that are to be seen everywhere. These fake religionists are there only for the sake of name and fame and easily mislead people. They have neither knowledge nor detachment from material affairs, for most of them want to live with the golden shackles of material bondage under the shadow of philanthropic activities disguised as religious principles. By a false display of religious sentiments, they present a show of devotional service while indulging in all sorts of immoral activities.

In this way, they place themselves as great spiritual leaders with many adherents blindly following these bogus leaders, Such worshippers ultimately follow the pseudo-religionists towards the most obnoxious place in the universe after the completion of their ‘spiritual master business’.

asurya nama te loka andhena tamasavrtah
tams te pretyabhigacchanti ye ke catma-hano janah

Such killers of the soul, whoever they may be, must go after death to the world of the demonic which is full of dense darkness. (Sri Isopanisad, mantra 3)

We find that these so-called gurus are more interested in doing social welfare activities such as opening hospitals, distribution of food, shelter and clothing and many programs for uplifting the poor. Such programs have become the most integral and fashionable part of every spiritual institution and leader because these acts immediately catch everyone’s attention and bring admiration. Such men are generally atheists, devoid of any true spiritual knowledge.

Without any doubt, these acts are appreciable in today’s society, but they are not the ultimate solution to the condition of humanity. Simply pouring water on the trunk, branches, twigs and leaves of a tree is not the way to help it grow – rather it needs to be nourished from the root level and automatically every part of the tree will be energized.

Charity can be utilized as the initial way of bringing people’s attention to the realization of their existence in this material world and showing them the real path of spiritual progression for one’s ultimate benefit. But just mere welfare activities should not be the ultimate objective of any individual or institution. These kinds of welfare activities have been going on in this world since time immemorial – but has the situation changed?

Poverty, social discrimination, disease, lack of education and many social barriers still exist in our society. Hence, one should properly understand how the laws of nature in this material world work before venturing out for any social service of any kind.

What is necessary for this material world? The prime necessity is to change our outlook on this temporary world. The greatest example was shown for the contemporary generation by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Precisely 523 years ago Sri Caitanya appeared in this world as the personal manifestation of the Absolute Truth. He is known as the yuga-avatara – the incarnation of the modern age. Many scholars and historians may see Mahaprabhu as a great social reformer, philosopher and a religious leader and this is certainly true. Yet He was widely regarded as the most magnanimous of all spiritual teachers of mankind. He was the true conqueror of all quarters of humanity. Every true reformer, every great religious leader and even God Himself comes to this world in order to reclaim the conditioned souls back to the kingdom of God. That is the real idea of any genuine reformer, philosopher, religionist or anybody who is willing to make a difference in this world.

Mahaprabhu gave us the ultimate knowledge of understanding God, understanding our relationship with Him and taught us the activities that nurture that relationship. Real knowledge promotes that we are not this body, we are the soul. Real knowledge shows us that the soul is within the body and explains the nature of the soul, the necessity of the soul and the goal of soul.

Mahaprabhu and His followers taught us about real humanitarian work and social reform. Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted everyone in His sankirtana movement. He didn’t differentiate between higher and lower castes, rich or poor, or learned and illiterate. The teachings of Mahaprabhu give the clear connecting line between the mentality of modern day social reformers, philanthropists and philosophers, and the ultimate message of transcendence. The method detailed by Mahaprabhu Sri Krsna Caitanya is categorically different from the method that is presently followed as the study of religion in the east, as well as the west. The futility and inapplicability of the inductive method to the study of transcendence are self-evident.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s welfare activities were concerned to take the people ‘Back to Godhead’ by the simple devotional activity of sankirtana. His method of welfare work is not only simple, but also applicable universally. Sri Damodara Svarupa Gosvami rightly appreciated the welfare activities of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as:

heloddhulita-khedaya visadaya pronmilad-amodaya
samyac-chastra-vivadaya rasadaya cittarpitonmadaya
sasvad-bhakti-vinodaya sa-madaya madhurya-maryadaya
sri-caitanya daya-nidhe tava daya bhuyad amandodaya

Oh my Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the ocean of mercy! Let it be so that my heart may give rise to such non-corrosive welfare activities which are freed from all varieties of diffidence, which are completely pure and stainless, which are full of transcendental bliss, which stop all varieties of arguments of the revealed scriptures which turn the heart into intense madness, which make the devotional activities favourably pleasing and which bring in the real sweetness of happiness.

That is the picture of the welfare activities of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. People may misunderstand Him because He did not open any hospital, because he did not canvass for the undertakers or because he did not labor for any so-called social welfare work. But in fact what He did includes and surpasses all varieties of social, political, humanitarian, altruistic, moral and spiritual work.

So far as social work is concerned, He gave everyone an equal chance to rise to the highest order of life. Sri Haridasa Thakura was born in the family of a Mohammedan but Lord Sri Caitanya gave him the highest position of a brahmana and he was declared as the acarya of the transcendental Holy Name. He delivered Jagai and Madhai from the most fallen position and He turned Sarvabauma Bhattacarya and Prakasananda Sarasvati, the two great stalwarts of the Mayavada cult, into Vaishnavas. He engaged the services of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis in the culture of devotional science from their political activities as ministers of Nawab Hussain Shah. Therefore, He gave equal opportunities to all classes of people – politicians, scholars, the fallen, non-Hindus, atheists, the women, children, the cats and dogs, the beasts of the jungle etc. That is the universal application of the common cult and the standard of real welfare work.

He organized thousands of men armed with mrdangas and karatalas, when the Kazi of Navadvipa banned the sankirtana movement on the streets of Navadvipa. He was the pioneer of the first non-cooperation movement that finally resulted in the Kazi giving himself unto the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu.

Thus, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to turn everybody into mahatmas, even from the lowest position of mankind, by constant engagement in the chanting process of the transcendental name, fame and qualities of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. The Lord was so liberal that by His mercy nobody was incompetent to adopt this transcendental process. Every human being who is articulate can adopt this principle of chanting and by gradual purification by this transcendental chanting process, one can rise up to the highest platform of perfection.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wished to divert the different misplaced channels of love into their original form, making use of this human form of life which is most rare to achieve. We therefore request all people in general – religionists, modern philosophers and all other enlightened men and women to take advantage of this opportunity and try to attain the ultimate perfection of life.