We love to read a book which we have never read
before. We are anxious to gather whatever infor-
mation is contained in it, and with such acquirement
our curiosity stops
This mode of study prevails amongst
a great number of readers who are great men in their
own estimation as well as in the estimation of those who
are of their own stamp. In fact, most readers are mere re
positories of facts and statements made by other people.
But this is not study. The student is to read the facts
with a view to create, and not with the object of fruit-
less retention. Students, like satellites, should reflect
whatever light they receive from authors, and not
imprison the facts and thoughts just as the magistrates
imprison the convicts in the jail!
Thought is progressive. The author's thought must
have progress in the reader in the shape of correction or
development. He is the best critic who can show the
further development of an old thought; but a mere de-
nouncer is the enemy of progress, and consequently of
nature. Progress certainly is the law of nature, and
there must be corrections and developments with the
progress of time. But progress means going further or ris-
ing higher. The shallow critic and the fruitless reader are
the two great enemies of progress. We must shun them.
The true critic, on the other hand, advises us to
preserve what we have already obtained, and to adjust
our race from that point where we have arrived in the
heat of our progress. He will never advise us to go back
to the point whence we started, as he fully knows that
in that case there will be a fruitless loss of our valuable
time and labor. He will direct the adjustment of the
angle of our race at the point where we are.
This is also the characteristic of the useful student.
He will read an old author and will find out his exact
position in the progress of thought. He will never pro-
pose to burn a book on the ground that it contains
thoughts which are useless. No thought is useless.
Thoughts are means by which •we attain our objects.
The reader who denounces a bad thought does not
know that a bad road is even capable of improvement
and conversion into a good one. One thought is a road
leading to another. Thus, the reader will find that one
thought, which is the object today, will be the means of
a further object tomorrow. Thoughts will necessarily
continue to be an endless series of means and objects in
the progress of humanity.
The great reformers will always assert that they have
come out not to destroy the old law, but to fulfill it .
Valmiki, Vyasa, Plato, Jesus, Mohammed, Confucius,
and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu assert the fact either
expressly or by their conduct.
Our critic, however, may nobly tell us that a reformer
like Vyasa, unless purely explained, may lead thou-
sands of men into great trouble in time to come. But
dear critic! Study the history of ages and countries!
Where have you found the philosopher and reformer
fully understood by the people? The popular religion
is fear of God, and not the pure spiritual love which
Plato, Vyasa, Jesus, and Chaitanya taught to their respec-
tive peoples! Whether you give the absolute religion
in figures or simple expressions. or teach them. by means
of books or oral peeches, the ignorant and the thought-
less must degrade it.
It is indeed very easy to tell, and swift to hear, that
Absolute Truth has such an affinity with the human
soul that it comes through as if intuitively, and that
no exertion is necessary to teach the precepts of true
religion, but this is a deceptive idea. It may be true of
ethics and of the alphabet of religion, but not of the
highest form of faith, which requires an exalted soul to
understand. All higher truths, though intuitive, require
previous education in the simpler ones. That religion is
the purest which give us the purest idea of God. How
then IS it possible that the ignorant will ever obtain
the absolute religion. as long as they are ignorant?
So we are not to scandalize the Savior of Jerusalem
or the Savior of Nadia for these subsequent evils.
Luthers, instead of critics, are what we want for the
correction of those evils by the true interpretation of the
God gives us truth as He gave it to Vyasa, when
we earnestly seek for it. Truth is eternal and inex-
haustable. The soul receives a revelation when it is
anxious for it. The souls of the great thinkers of the
bygone ages, who now live spiritually, often approach
our inquiring spirit and assist it in its development.
Thus, Vyasa was assisted by Narada and Brahma. Our
sastras, or in other words, books of thought, do not
contain all that we could get from the infinite Father.
No book is without its errors. God's revelation is
Absolute Truth, but it is scarcely received and pre-
served in its natural purity. We have been advised in
the Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.3) to believe that truth
when revealed is absolute, but it gets the tincture of the
nature of the receiver in course of time, and is con-
verted into error by continual exchange of hands from
age to age. New revelations, therefore, are continu-
ally necessary in order to keep truth in its original
purity. We are thus warned to be careful in our studies
of old authors, however wise they are reputed to be.
Here, we have full liberty to reject the wrong idea,
which is not sanctioned by the peace of conscience.
Vyasa was not satisfied with what he collected in the
Vedas, arranged in the Puranas, and composed in the
Mahabharata. The peace of his conscience did not sanc-
tion his labors. It told him from inside, "No, Vyasa!
You can't rest contented with the erroneous picture of
truth which was necessarily presented to you by the
sages of bygone days! You must yourself knock at the
door of the inexhaustible store of truth from which
the former sages drew their wealth. Go! Go up to the
fountainhead of truth, where no pilgrim meets with
disappointment of any kind. Vyasa did it and obtained
what he wanted. We have all been advised to do so.
Liberty then, is the principle which we must consider
as the most valuable gift of God. We must not allow
ourselves to be led by those who lived and thought
before us. We must think for ourselves and try to get fur-
ther truths, which are still undiscovered. In the Srimad
Bhagavatam (11.21.23) we have been advised to take
the spirit of the sastras, and not the words. The
Bhagavata is therefore a religion of liberty, unmixed
truth, and absolute love.
The other characteristic is progress. Liberty cer-
tainly is the father of all progress. Holy liberty is the
cause of progress upwards and upwards in eternity and
endless activity of love. Liberty misused causes degra-
dation, and the Vaisnava must always carefully use this
high and beautiful gift of God.
The spirit of this text goes far to honor all great re-
formers and teachers who lived and will live in other
countries. The Vaisnava is ready to honor all men with-
out distinction of caste, because they are filled with
the energy of God. See how universal is the religion of
the Bhagavata. It is not intended for a certain class of
Hindus alone, but it is a gift to man at large, in what-
ever country he is born, and in whatever society he is
bred. In short, Vaisnavism is the Absolute Love binding
all men together into the infinite unconditioned and
absolute God. May peace reign forever in the whole
universe in the continual development of its purity by
the exertion of the future heroes, who will be blessed
according to the promise of the Bhagavata with powers
from the Almighty Father, the Creator, Preserver, and
the Annihilator of all things in Heaven and Earth.
We are very fortunate to hear His Divine_Grace,
Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajak Acharya
Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Maharaj, By age and by experi-
ence, in both ways, he is senior to me. I was fortunate to
have his association since a long time, since perhaps
1930. At that time he had not accepted sannyas, but had
just left home. He went to preach in Allahabad, and on
that auspicious occasion we were connected.
Sridhar Maharaj lived in my house for many years, so
naturally we had very intimate talks. He has such high
realizations of Krishna that one would faint to hear
them. He was always my good advisor, and I took his
advice very seriously because from the very beginning I
knew that he was a pure devotee of Krishna. So, 1
wanted to associate with him. Krishna and Prabhupad,
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, liked him to
prepare me. Our relationship is very intimate.
After the breakdown of our spiritual master's institu-
tion I wanted to organize another institution making
Sridhar Maharaj the head. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Saraswati Thakur told me that Sridhar Maharaj is one
of the finest preachers of Krishna consciousness in the
world, so I wanted to take him everywhere. This was my
earnest desire. But since he could not go around the
world and preach, at least the people of the world
should come to hear from him.
For spiritual advancement of life we must go to
someone who is actually practicing spiritual life. So if
one is actually serious to take instructions from a siksa
guru, or instructing spiritual master, I can refer him to
one who is the most competent of all my Godbrothers.
This is B.R. Sridhar Maharaj. I consider Sridhar
Maharaj to be even my siksa guru, so what to speak of
the benefit that others can have from his association.
Everyone is searching for rasa, pleasure. The status of rasa is the highest. As persons we have our subjective existence, but rasa, pleasure, has his supersubjective existence. He is a person. He is akhila rasamrtamurth: the reservoir of all pleasure. He is Krishna. Rasa is Krishna, there cannot be rasa in any other place but Krishna. He is the fountainhead of all different types of rasa. So, by the nature of our constitution we have to search after Krishna.
In the Brahma-sutra it is said, "Inquire after the supreme cause of this world, Search!" From where has everything come? By whom? And ultimately, where does everything enter after death? That is brahma, spirit the most fundamental plane from where everything springs up, remains, and ultimately enters.
Where is brahma? The Brahma-sutra advises us to inquire after the prime cause, the biggest, the all-accommodating. But Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replaced that, Srimad-Bhagavatam replaced that with krsnanusandhana: the search for Sri Krishna.
Brahma-jijnasa, the search for spirit, is a dry thing. That is only the exercise of your thinking faculty, a jugglery of reason. Leave that behind, begin the search for Sri Krishna and quench the thirst of your heart. Rasa jijnasa raso vai sah. The things acquired by your reason won't satisfy you. Jnana, knowledge, cannot really quench your thirst, so instead of brahma-jijnasa accept Krsnanusandhana and begin the search for Sri Krishna.
Where is Krishna? Our real want will be satisfied only by getting the service of Krishna; not by anything else. We want to satisfy the innermost demands of our hearts. We don't care to know where we are or what is controlling everything, but we really want to quench our thirst for rasa, for madhurya, for sweetness. We must search neither for knowledge nor for the controller of this world; we must search after rasa, anandam, after beauty and charm.
Sri Chaitanya Maha prabhu and Srimad-Bhagavatam have taught us what to beg for , what to pray for, what to want. They have taught us, "if you beg, beg for Krishna, not for anything else." So, the fate of the Vaisnavas, the students of the Bhagavayta and the followers of Mahaprabhu is sealed in the search for Sri Krishna. We want nothing else but Krishna.
The Vedas say, srnvantu visve amrtasya putrah: "O you sons of nectar, sons o the nectarine ocean sea: you were born to taste nectar, and you must not allow yourselves to be satisfied by anything but nectar. So, however misguided you may be for the time being, awake! Arise! Search for that nectar, that satisfaction." The Vedas tell us "Om!" Om means a big "Yes!" What you are searching for that is! Don't be disappointed." The Vedas say that the object of our inner search exists. The common search of all your hearts is existing, and your thirst will be quenched. By your constitution you are meant for that and you deserve that, so don't be afraid; don't be cowed down. It is already given in your being. And you can never be satisfied with anything else. So prepare yourself, after your long search, to receive that longmissing nectar in its full form and quality. Awake! Arise! Search for your fortune and you cannot but have that. It is your birthright. It is the wealth of your own soul. It cannot but be within you. You have no other business, no other engagement but Krsnanusandhana, the search for Sri Krishna: Reality the Beautiful.
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