Edited by - Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj

VOL.XXVI JULY, 1928, 442 Chaitanya-Era No. 3.

Current Topics

We are glad to notice that the higher spirits of the human Society after due deliberation have deemed it fit to establish harmony by dismissing the idea of contending with each other. At last the numerous streams of inhumanity that have filled up the cavity of the bloodthirsty ocean are forcibly going to be stopped by the generous humanitarian agency. This is an activity in the right direction to introduce the heavenly peace of love on mankind. The newspapers are flooded nowadays with the tidings of the future establishment of peace amongst belligerent nationalities. Misdirection of valour and wrong ambition lead men’s aspiring energy to unsympathetic tumults and the sequel proves to bar the future progress of true concord and harmony. The several powers are signing a wider Magna Charta to settle their disputed matter in a more civilised way than to indulge themselves in gunshots. Civilization should no doubt prove to come to a settlement wherever any prejudice prevails on a particular section of God’s creation. Contending ideas might be opposing when they think that they have got the greater justification in balancing their rights of the conflicting thoughts. It is needless to point out to the peace-loving higher feelings the prime necessity of putting a stop to violence and the conferers of the boon have rightly acted on this behalf. As an observer of harmony we would look forward to see the same demeanour among the contending intelligence when they engage themselves to trouble one another as fishvendors of the Billings gate.

People of different tastes are apt to talk fashionably about their own orthodoxy from their respective angles of vision, disregarding the subjective existence of the things observed; but they ignore to realise the positions and circumstances in which they themselves are placed. Everyone cherishes right and left his own belief and sticks to his sequel of his stubbornness in action. As advocates of harmony, can we not entreat them to desist from their waging war against one another on different merits. The Empiricists have taught to view the worldly manifestations in a particular light and they are not ready to accept the theistic truth outside the range of the senses. The medium of communication has been ordained us to sounds and words and whenever a symbolised message in the shape of sound is poured into our ear, we show an inclination of testing the sound by the process of conception with the help of four other sense-acquiring organs and this test instigates us to plunge into conflicts considering our position safe and well-guarded. In observing the specification of transcendental objects, we are completely overpowered by our old prejudice of viewing the thing as mundane object. The transcendental thing needs not a regulation from an empiricist who is apt to dwell upon the matter as one of the objects of phenomena. It is clear to everybody that a particular atmosphere has little value when it is considered from another sphere. If we neglect to distinguish sensuous from supersensuous manifestations we are apt to misunderstand our position in weighing things supernatural. Furnished with the limited store-house of mundane knowledge one should avoid unpleasant discourse with a transcendentalist by dint of one’s officious enterprise.

The epistemologic mood when ignored us likely to bring dissension among parties intoxicated with their particular temperamental hobbies. The Harmonist would not find her way to agree with the heterogenous thoughts vocalised in the sentiments of a recent centenary celebrationist. The exoteric reviewer might have found his way to impress on the people the efficacy of congregated religious parties of heterodox views; but an impartial observer may not subscribe to his opinion when he sees that such discordant heterogenous mood stands in the way of the propagation of the Absolute Truth. The proselytising activity of the following of Sree Chaitanya Deva did not spare any loophole to contaminate the intellectual and social atmospheres of the country, so it is quite needless that a proposer should be indulged in formulating a compound mixture of different thoughts which are likely to adulterate an Absolutist, that is, the uninterrupted idea of the true follower of the Vedas. The analogy of introducing some building materials into a palatable sauce may serve well to the misunderstood when the Harmonist fails to appreciate why the so-called well-wishers of the society take delight in assimilating undisputedly adulterated grease with water. Though the idea of preparing through stitching a garland of different flowers is unquestionably laudable, and may prove to be acceptable to the modes of lustful society, the Harmonist cannot possibly agree to the short-sighted policy when the Absolute Truth is going to be disfigured by the hasty attempts of deceitful atheists. The Religion of the Absolutist cannot stand without true ethical principles when we find that leaders come out as louder platform speakers to conceal their immoral views in the garb of intellectual feats. Such futile attempts on the part of incapable brains cannot hold good when critics come forward to scrutinise the ins and outs of their hearts full of spontaneous affinity towards their foul propensities.

The Word of the Amnaya as the sole fundamental evidence.

The heard transcendental sounds (Srutis) received through the channel of eternal preceptorial succession from Brahma creator of this physical world, which bear the name of the knowledge of the Brahman (Brahma-vidya) are known as the Anmaya *(1).

This science of the Brahman, as the basis of all sciences, was taught by Brahma the primal god, creator and sustainer of this world, to Atharvan his first-born by which the Divine Personality as Word which is identical with Truth, becomes known, along with the knowledge of the Truth*(2).

From the breath of the Supreme Person, Iswara, have issued all the four Vedas, Itihas, Purana, Upanishad, sloka, sutra, anubyakhya. The Ramayana, the Mahabharata etc, are Itihases. There are eighteen great Puranas with Srimad Bhagabata at their head, also eighteen Upa-Puranas (secondary Puranas), both of which are denoted by the term Purana. The word Upanishad is applied to the group of eleven Upanishads viz. Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, etc. By sloka is meant the works made into verse by the Rishis in anustupa and other metres. The Sutra denotes the various aphorisms, embodying the meaning of the Veda, made by the principal practising teachers (Acharyyas) of the knowledge regarding the Truth. By the word anubyakhya is meant those explanatory works in the form of commentaries etc., that have been made by the ancient practising teachers with reference to those sutras. The whole of this is spoken of as the Anmaya. The primary meaning of the word Anmaya is Veda (knowledge)*(3).

The Veda which is its own evidence is also the highest evidence. Its character as the evidence itself suffers by the adoption of derivative or secondary meanings of its words*(4). The evidence of the heard knowledge (sruti) is the highest. The primary meaning of the Sruti is the evidence. Whatsoever the word of the Veda says, which is its own evidence, is true. By the admission of secondary meaning its quality of being its own evidence suffers abrogation*(5).

The works of the Goswamis such as the Sat sandarbha (the six discourses) etc. and Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita belong to the class of anubyakhyas mentioned above. Whence the Vedas, Puranas, Itihas, Upanishad, Vedanta-sutra and the works such as the commentaries etc. of the Vaishnava Acharyyas, are all of them words of the authorities (Aptabakya). The special excellence of such authoritative words is thus noticed in the eleventh skandha of the Srimad Bhagabata (xi 14/3-7): —

‘Sri Krishna said to Uddhava, ‘The words known as the Vedas I spoke to Brahma in the beginning. Therein has been stated the principle of unalloyed devotion to My proper Self, which is the dharma (constituent function) of all jivas. The word known as the Veda is eternal. It being lost at the time of the complete absorption (pralaya) of this world I told it again clearly to Brahma at the time of creation. Brahma communicated it to his sons Manu, etc. The devas, rishis and men—all of them—in due course received the word known as the Veda. Created beings and their rulers have been differentiated from one another by reason of having obtained different natures produced by the triple qualities viz. sattva, rajas and tamas. A great variety of opinions has been adumbrated which differ from one another as explanations of the word in accordance with this difference of nature. Those alone oh Uddhaba, who have received the true anubyakhyas etc. through the channel of the spiritual preceptors from Brahma, profess the pure view. All the rest have become the slaves of various atheistical (pashanda) opinions, by reason of holding different views.’

We are thus enabled to learn definitely from the above that a community bearing the name of the Brahma-sampradaya has existed continuously ever since the time of creation. In this community the un-adulterated word itself known as the Veda has preserved the Divine religion. The Word thus received through the channel of the spiritual preceptors is the Anmaya. Those who do not admit the Brahma-sampradaya pointed to by such texts as (verse in Sanskrit), etc, are the preachers of the atheistical views as has been said by God Himself in the passage quoted above. Those who while professing to belong to the sampradaya of Sri Krishna-chaitanya do not admit in private the established method of preceptorial succession are undoubtedly the secret emissaries of Kali (discord).

However that may be, all persons of good fortune hold, as the highest of all evidence the Anmaya—the authoritative word received through the succession of spiritual preceptors. This is the first teaching of Sri Chaitanya.

In his Tattvasandarbha (9&10) Sri Jiva Goswami says, ‘I have already indicated that relationship with God (Sambandha) consists of the characteristics of Sri Krishna as the object of expression and the expression itself, that the means of attaining this relationship (bidheya) consists of the elements of worship, and that the object (prayojana) of the practice of such method comprises the characteristic of love for the God-head. I shall now try to specify the evidence that establishes the above explanation of the three categories. Man is by nature subject to the four-fold drawbacks in the form of error etc., and are, therefore, unfit to get into touch with the inconceivable and supernatural entity. The evidence on which he relies, in the shape of direct perception by the senses etc., is always faulty. The Word of the Veda marked by transcendental utterance, the cause of the universal and supermundane knowledge received through the channel of a succession of persons who are eternally pure spirits, is the one evidence that is available to a person who is desirous of understanding properly the entity that is located beyond all things, is the support of all, is inconceivable by all and is possessed of a nature that is altogether wonderful.’

Sri Jiva Goswami has established that the Srimad Bhagabata is the highest of all evidence by determining the evidential nature of the words of the authorities and proving that all the Puranas possess this quality of authoritativeness. The characteristics on which he relies for establishing the superiority of the Bhagabata have led him to mention as authorities also Brahma, Narada, Vyasa and in their company Shukadeva and also the scriptures proved as authoritative by Sriman Madhvacharya the spiritual preceptor of Bijayadhvaja, Brahmatirtha, Vyasatirtha, etc, of a later period. From these statements it appears definitely that the Sri Brahma-sampradaya is the undoubted preceptorial channel of the servants of Sri Chaitanya. In conformity with this Sri Kavikarnapur Goswami has firmly laid down the preceptorial line in his work ‘Gauraganoddesa-dipika’. The author of the commentary on the Vedanta sutra, Sri Vidyabhusan, has also adopted the same succession. Those who deny this line of preceptors are the greatest enemies of the followers of the feet of Sri Chaitanya. There cannot be the least doubt of this.

There is one special point which must not be overlooked in any discussion regarding the authoritative word. The words of the authorities are all of them the evidence of their own truth. In regard to them, therefore, there is no room for the adoption of secondary explanations. The meaning that is impressed on the mind directly on hearing the radiating sound-nucleus is the effect of the inherent quality of the sound itself (abhi-dha-britti). If we take the expression (words in Sanskrit), as soon as these words are heard the direct impression that is produced is that Sri Gaurchandra is no other than Sri Krishna-chandra Himself. Whereas the expression (words in Sanskrit), which directly means ‘the village of cowherds in the Ganges,’ does not yield any sense if we adopt the direct meaning of the words for which reason it becomes necessary in this instance to take the help of the secondary meaning to obtain the correct explanation that the village of the cowherds stand on the bank of the Ganges and not in the stream. In respect of the words of the Veda there is no such necessity for the adoption of the secondary meaning. The Chhandogya (8-13-1) says, (words in Sanskrit). The word (word in Sanskrit) means the spiritual power of Sri Krishna, the power which ever belongs to Sri Krishna’s proper Self. The direct meaning of the text, therefore, is: ‘I seek the refuge of the blissful state that is the essence of the spiritual power of God by submission to Sri Krishna; and seek the refuge of Sri Krishna by submitting to the condition that is the essence of the blissful spiritual power.’ In as much as the correct logical meaning of this Vedic text is obtainable by means of the direct meaning of the words why have we to adopt with Sri Sankaracharya the secondary meaning , viz. ‘Divinity that is present in the heart. (words missing from article))… of the word ‘Shyama’? All those who are free from the bondage of this world spontaneously worship Sri Shyamasundar with His Divine consort. That is the real meaning of the Vedic text. Therefore, we find it stated in the Charitamrita that the character of the Veda as the evidence itself suffers by the adoption of the secondary meaning.

There is a variety of methods of obtaining the secondary meaning, those methods have the technical manes of (words in Sanskrit) and (words in Sanskrit). None of these are effective in the ascertainment of the transcendental entity. On the contrary they give rise to error if they are so used. Sri Sankararcharya has observed that the direct meaning of words gives no help in ascertaining principles that are of an indeterminate character and for this reason, one has to find the meaning of the Veda by the secondary method of interpretation. Sri Gaudapurnananda Madhvacharyya has this specific objection (Tattamuktavali sloka 22) to the view just stated. ‘In considering the power of words it is a settled principle that there is no room for the secondary meaning when the direct meaning is adopted. Where is the necessity of any discussion about its boundary if the village itself has no existence? Can a son be born without a father? The issue may be put thus. If the direct meaning of words is found inapplicable in regard to transcendental entities how can the secondary meaning give any help in as much as it is by its nature the mere auxiliary of the direct meaning? A wise man should, therefore, try to find out the transcendental significance by the direct meaning of the words of the authorities and discard altogether the secondary interpretation.

The whole position may be summed up as follows. Sri Chaitanya Chandra who appeared in Nabadwip in this Kali Age (Age of Discord) has rescued the beneficient religion born of the Veda by freeing it completely from the defects that had crept into it in course of time. He is the same spiritual, primal Poet who disseminated the eternal Word of the Veda in the heart of Brahma. The four-fold fault in the forms of deceit, hallucination, mistake due to defective sense organs and error of judgement, unavoidably vitiates all the speculations of man. In the discussion of the Truth that is located beyond the reach of the senses the above four-fold fault cannot be avoided by even the greatest of scholars. Therefore, in regard to the transcendental entity the words of the Veda, which have not been made by any one, is the sole evidence. Other forms of evidence such as direct perception, inference, analogy, history, etc. are sometimes of help but always in strict subordination to the evidence of the Word of God.

*(1) Karika.
*(2) Mundaka 1-1-1 ;1-2-13.
*(3) Brihadaranyaka 2-4-10.
*(4) Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi VII 132.
*(5) Ibid, Madhya VI, 135 & 137.