Humbler than a Blade of Grass. [ II ]


Sri Gaursundar teaches us to chant the kirtan of Hari at all time by being ‘humbler than a blade of grass.’

Those who are given to worldly enjoyment can never be humble. The soul in the state of bondage identifies itself with the physical body and the material mind. This error leads the bound jiva to have attachment for the things of this world as being conducive to the well-being of the body and mind. The blade of grass in the same manner has its own humbler relationships with its physical environment. But it does not stand in the way of others but on the other hand submits even to be trodden upon without protest. The grass may therefore be taken as the emblem of humility among the objects of this world. But it has nevertheless a locus standi of its own in this world if only to stand as an example of humility to others. But the jiva soul can claim no place high or low in this world. This fact is not realized by the jiva in the state of bondage. The bound jiva accordingly believes as true its relationships with the things and concerns of this world. No person can really be humbler than a blade of grass so long as he recognises the claims of his body and mind. He can only pretend to be so.

This obvious meaning of the simple words of Sri Gaursundar has been grossly distorted by His pseudo-followers for making them serve their own selfish worldly purpose. Humility greater than that of a blade of grass has accordingly been supposed to be possible in the case of those who are unduly attached to the things of this world and has even been eulogised as a useful and necessary accomplishment for establishing cordial relations with the people of this world. The spiritual meaning has thus been allowed to make room for one which is congenial to the tastes of worldly people.

Such misunderstanding on the part of the bound jiva should be regarded as not only natural and deliberate but inevitable. The soul that is averse to the service of Krishna has necessarily an elaborately calculated aversion for all good qualities. This perversity is also not wholly unknown to its possessor. The jiva given to sin simulates also the quest of Truth and starts with the pretended conviction that its known untruth will thereby be proved to be true. It is accordingly deliberately prepared to admit nothing which does not serve this purpose. The perfect wisdom and mercy of providence permits the jiva to cut itself off from the Truth by such calculated perversity. It has to thank only itself for the origin and prolongation of its state of sinful ignorance.

The very first step, therefore, that has to be taken by the fallen jiva if it wants to know the Truth is to cut itself off completely from its past and use its experience of the wrong method in arriving at the sincere conviction that it has failed utterly to guide him to the Truth. Till this is clearly realised there is no effective desire for spiritual enlightenment.

The method of learning the Truth is different from that of learning the untruth. It is necessary in the first place to unlearn the untruth. In proportion as untruth is unlearned the Truth spontaneously makes its appearance. The wrong method takes it for granted that we are capable of learning the Truth by our own effort. But as a matter of fact we find that it is untruth that is learnt by such method. We lose faith in the method on the realisation of this fact. The very next question we ask in the moment of disillusionment is ‘Is there any such thing as Truth? Can it be learnt at all? By what method can it be learnt?’

This question does not occur to the person who is satisfied with the results yielded by the wrong method. The conduct of a worldly man is based on the conviction that he does not require any other thing than what he is able to procure by his own effort. He believes that his present condition on the whole sufficiently happy. He has do doubt about it. He is of course prepared to listen to advice for increasing his happiness. This he regards as his true interest. Even if he happens to be told the Truth he does not relish what appears to be opposed to his interest, does not give it sufficient attention and so fails to understand his mistakes. One who believes that he lives successfully by his own effort has necessarily sufficient confidence in his methods and convictions. Those methods and convictions he regards as absolutely necessary for his well-being and even safety. He is therefore, seldom prepared to consider any proposal of their total abandonment. He may take one of two courses in regard to Truth. He is either openly opposed to it. Or he may defer to it outwardly without allowing it to influence his conduct. The ordinary worldly man belongs to the latter class. Because by following this method he has not to displease anybody. The practice of such duplicity ordinarily passes by the names of humility and tolerance in the world. Sri Chaitanya did not obviously mean by humility greater than that of a blade of grass this refined duplicity which is practised in the world under the names of tolerance, liberalism; humility and civility. It is absurd to think that by practising such duplicity the Truth can ever be realised and practised. Insincere assent to Truth is a greater obstacle in the way of its realisation that even open opposition. The chanting of the Kirtan of Hari by the method of smooth duplicity has produced those terrible results that are traceable to corrupt religious practices. The fact is that Truth has to be learnt by the method of submission. By the method of asserting oneself Truth is obscured. Mock humility makes the case worse.

The external conduct of a person possessed of real humility is incomprehensible to those who are addicted to worldliness and can have, therefore, no real hankering for or sympathy with the Truth. A really humble person can alone be wholly devoted to the Truth. He is in a position to serve the Truth always and under all circumstances. He can serve it with all his faculties. He can serve it to the exclusion of every other thing. He accordingly uses his voice for no other purpose than proclaiming, chanting the Truth and in the most unambiguous manner so that it may not be misled or misunderstood by himself and his hearers. He of course believes firmly that the un-ambiguous preaching of the Truth cannot but be wholly beneficial to everybody concerned in spite of any passing inconvenience that it may entail upon the preacher or the audience.

Those who have no real experience of the Truth deny all this. But as a matter of fact untruth can do no good to anybody under any circumstances. It is not possible to dilute the spiritual truth by means of empiric truth. The two never mix. It is possible to dilute successfully only the untruth. Worldly people base their conduct on untruth declaring it to be the truth and when this is pointed out perversely maintains that it is never possible to follow the Truth fully in this world. But there can be no difference between half-truth and untruth. Whenever truth is curtailed to the slightest extent the whole acquires the quality of untruth. Spiritual truth is absolute, indivisible Truth. Empiric Truth is changeable and divisible. That which is changeable and divisible is for that very reason untrue and harmful. Absolute Truth is only real truth and always wholesome and beneficial because it ever holds good. Those who think that truth can do harm confound the Absolute with the empiric truth. The Kirtan of Hari is not the chanting of the empiric truth and admits of no compromise or alternation.

The Absolute Truth requires of its followers perfect loyalty to itself. Such complete adherence to the Absolute Truth is possible only for those who have no interest other than itself. This loyalty to the Absolute Truth is spontaneous and irresistible. No sooner does the Absolute Truth makes its appearance than it dispels completely all open and masked partiality for untruth or half-truth as being both harmful and unnecessary.

The kirtan of Hari is not a string of words denoting any object, relationship or experience of this world. The kirtan of Hari is the constant and natural function of all the faculties of the jiva soul in the state of its freedom from all affinities with this changeable world because the Absolute Truth is identical with Hari.

The humility of the chanter of the kirtan of Hari is not the mock humility or duplicity of worldly people. It is the attitude of perfect and absolute submission to Hari who is no other than the Absolute Truth. This perfect submission is the indispensable condition of serving Hari who has to be served exclusively, constantly and by all the faculties of the soul. The only function of the voice is to chant the kirtan of Hari which is identical with and inseparable from the simultaneous service of Hari by all the other senses. One who does not employ his voice constantly and exclusively in chanting the kirtan of Hari has no access to the service of Hari by any other faculty.

The kirtan of Hari has, therefore, to be chanted by being humbler than a blade of grass. There can be no trace of worldly vanity. There can be no seeking after any worldly advantage. The only object should be to please Hari.

Absolute Truth is a living person and not an abstract principle. He has the power of communicating His commands to us and expressing His approval and disapproval of our activities. No one who does not fully submit to Him can understand His command.

The Absolute Truth is not anything limited or partial, neither can it be divided. It is not dependent on any condition excepting itself. It is always one and the same. Listening to or chanting of it is always and necessarily beneficial being the natural function of the soul. Any other view of its nature will stand in the way of that perfect humility the outcome of absolute submission which is the indispensable condition of its realisation.

A chanter of the kirtan of Hari is necessarily the un-compromising enemy of worldliness and hypocrisy. As chanter of the kirtan of Hari it is his constant function to dispel all misconception by the preaching of the truth in the most unambiguous form without any respect of person, place or time. That form has to be adopted which is least likely to be misunderstood. It is his bounden duty to oppose clearly and frankly any person who tries to deceive and harm himself and other people by misrepresenting the Truth due to malice or bonafide misunderstanding. This will be possible if the chanter of kirtan is always prepared to submit to be trodden by thoughtless people if any discomfort to himself will enable him to do good to his persecutors by chanting the Truth in the most un-ambiguous manner. If he is unwilling or afraid from considerations of self-respect or personal discomfort to chant the kirtan under all circumstances he is unfit to be a preacher of the Absolute Truth. Humility implies perfect submission to the Truth and no sympathy for untruth. A person who entertains any partiality for untruth is unfit to chant the kirtan of Hari. Any cringing to untruth is opposed to the principle of humility born of absolute submission to the Truth.

That which passes under the name of humility in the world is to be carefully avoided by the chanter of the kirtan of Hari.

If a follower of un-truth pretends to oppose the falsehood of another he can do so only from malice and from no love of truth. The conduct of a chanter of the kirtan of Hari should not be confounded with the conduct of such a person. No one who is himself ignorant of the truth is either able or willing to dispel the ignorance of another by means of the truth. The chanter of the kirtan of Hari is not to be confounded with the malicious critics and censors of this world. It is malice and vanity which lead worldly people to find fault with their neighbour and to attempt to impose by falsehood and cunning their un-truth on their victims. Such critics and their victims are likely to misunderstand for opposite reasons the opposition offered by the preacher of the truth to both for the purpose of doing real good to them.

Falsehood is resorted to only by those who are enamoured of the enjoyments of this world. As everybody wants to secure the lion’s share of a stock of enjoyment whose amount is limited by its very nature it gives rise to a struggle inspired by malice. Falsehood is used as a convenient method worthy of the cause for securing fame and wealth by deceiving others preventing them from knowing that they have been gained at their expense. This is the alpha and gama of the much louded struggle for existence and its methods recommended by the evolutionists on the basis of biological evidence. Those who are thus fatuously enamored of untruth die to their insatiable lust for worldly enjoyment the gratification of which it seems to promise, have necessarily no patience for those who may appear to stand in the way of the realisation of an impossible and really tragic quest.

It is undoubtedly the spirit of malice born of competing covetousness which leads a worldling to set up as an admonisher of the faults of others. Such conduct deserves to be deprecated. A sinner does not sin the less whether he is fully conscious of it or not when he undertakes the advocacy of the cause of truth as understood by himself and certainly deserves to be chastised for his shameless insolence.

Those who serve the Truth at all time by means of all their faculties and have no hankering for the trivialities of this world are always necessarily free from malice born of competing worldliness and are, therefore, fit to admonish those who are actively engaged in harming themselves and others by the method of opposing or misrepresenting the Truth in order to attain the rewards of such a policy in the shape of a perpetuation of the state of misery and ignorance. The method which is employed by the servant of the good preceptor for preventing such misrepresentation of the truth is a part and parcel of the truth itself. It may not always be pleasing to the diseased susceptibilities of deluded minds and may even be denounced by them as a malicious act with which they are only too familiar, but the words of truth from the lips of a loyal and humble servant of Hari possess such beneficent power that all effort to suppress or obstruct them only serves to vindicate to impartial minds the necessity of complete submission to the Absolute Truth as the only cure of the disease of worldliness. Humility that is employed in the un-ambiguous service of the truth is necessarily and qualitatively different from its perverted prototype which is practised by the cunning people of this world for gaining their worldly ends. The professors of pseudo-humility have reason to be afraid of the preachings of the servants of Hari one of whose duties it is to expose the enormous possibility of mischief that is possessed by the forms of spiritual conduct when they are prostituted for serving the untruth.