Mar 07, 2015 CANADA (SUN) Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's English introduction to "Srimad-Gaurangalila-Smaranamangal Stotram", in eight parts.
Rati as explained above is the unit of the principle of pure spiritual love of Krishna. Mixed up with ullash ( zeal ) it becomes priti. Priti creates exclusive love in Krishna and repulsion for things and persons other than Krishna and His connections. When the idea that Krishna is my own is added to priti it becomes prem. Here commences the idea that God is my own Lord and I am His servant. Add confidence to prem and it becomes pranay.
Here arises the relation of friendship with Krishna. In pranay the idea of respect loses its hold. Add to pranay the idea that Krishna is my exclusive and dearest object of love and it curiously turns out into man. Krishna with all his greatness and power exhibits a sort of submission to it. Excessive melting of the heart being added, prem turns out to be sneha. Here ensues the relation of a son and parents, between Krishna and the worshiper. In this stage too much weeping for Krishna, want of satiety with communion and a desire to watch the interests of Krishna naturally occur. Desire added to sneha is rag. In this stage a moment's separation is unbearable. Here commences the relation of husband and wife between Krishna and the worshiper. Distress attending upon want of mutual interview is happiness. Rag again seeing its object as new at every moment, and being itself new at every moment, converts itself into anurag. In this stage reciprocal subjection and a strong desire to accompany the lover everywhere are the principal features. Anurag infinitely rising in an astonishing state, amounting as if to madness, becomes mahabhab. This is indescribable ! From rati to mahabhab, the whole principle is what we have called sthayi-bhab. Added to vibhab, anubhab, swatika, and sanchari the sthayi-bhab becomes Krishna-prem rasa the eternal extacy or beatitude.
We have a perverted picture of this noble rasa in human life, as human life in the thraldom of maya is but a perverted reflection of the spiritual life. When the soul alone acts towards its proper object, the spiritual hero Krishna, the rasa is pure : when the mind and the senses act upon a wrong object, rasa is degraded and becomes hateable. The perverted rasa gives clue to the idea of the noble spiritual rasa to man in general; hence these arguments and descriptions have been attempted in words which correspond with words directly meaning the features of the perverted rasa. We ask our readers to take care to make a nice distinction between spirit and gross matter otherwise a fall is inevitable.
One who studies the name, forms, attributes and the lila of Krishna as described in the Srimad Bhagavat with a sincere heart, mind and strength in the company of one who has realized the spirit, is expected to know it by the influence of bhakti. One who is apt to rationalize everything closely does scarcely acquire the truth in matters of spirit, as by law of God reason in its present state can never reach the sphere of the spirit.
It is needless to go further on this subject. Those who will have the opportunity to go as far as we have stated, will make a further enquiry from their heart and the All-Beautiful Lord will then help them to realize the spirit and to rise higher and higher in its realm. But as long as the mind is confounded with spirit there is no way to rise beyond matter and its relations. The great mistake that most of the western philosophers have generally made is to identify the mind, the perverted ego (ahankar) with the soul or spirit. We are sorry for that.
To summarise man in his present state has three different principles in him,— (i) one sthhul principle or gross matter composing his body, (ii) the linga principle or sublimated matter appearing in the form of mind, attention, rationality and the perverted ego by which one confounds himself with the material world. This state has been caused by the influence of maya or the illusory energy with the object of correcting the soul in his wrong intention to enjoy, in consequence of forgetfulness of his nature as God's servant, (iii) Man in fact is solely independent of maya and her connections. The only way to get rid of the present difficulty is the influence of pure bhakti imbibed from a true bhakta. Bhakti as a means, elevates the man upto the All-beautiful Krish¬na and again, as an end, maintains him with eternal Krishna-prem.
While located in the mayik world man must live peacefully with the object of cultivating the spirit. In his society he must lead a pure life. Avoid sins and do as much good as he can to his brother man. He must be himself humble, bearing difficulties of life with heroism, must not brag of any goodness or grandeur he has and must treat every one with respect due to him. Marriage with a view to peaceful and virtuous life and with a view to procreate servants of the Lord is a good institution for a Vaishnav. Spiritual cultivation is the main object of life. Do everything that helps it and abstain from doing anything which thwarts the cultivation of the spirit. Have a strong faith that Krishna alone, protects you and none else. Admit him as your only guardian. Do everything which you know that Krishna wishes you to do and never think that you do a thing independent of the Holy wish of Krishna. Do all that you do with humility. Always remember that you are a sojourner in this world and you must be prepared for your own home. Do your duties and cultivate bhakti as a means to obtain the great end of life, Krishna-priti. Employ your body, mind and spirit in the service of the Deity. In all your actions, worship your Great Lord.
Thus we have laid before our English-knowing readers a summary of Mahaprabhu's life and precepts. If it be necessary we shall try to supply more information treating these subjects in English in a short time.
Our gentle readers will now find that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu preached pure monotheism and chased out idolatory. We have shewn that he makes a nice distinction between Srimurti worship and idolatory. He tells us that idolatory is the worship of things and persons that are not God himself. When the sanyasis of Benares addressed him as the God almighty, Mahaprabhu told them that it was the worst of sins to address a Jiva as God. And again he has several times denounced the worship of a form or image other than the true immage of God (after which man was created). Its representative emblems are to be used in worship as offering the true image of the Deity. God is one without a second. "There is none to vie with Him" is the moto of Mahaprabhu's religion.
It will also be seen that Mahaprabhu shewed in his character, and preached to the world, the purest morality as an accompaniment of spiritual improvement. Morality as a matter of course will grace the character of a bhakta. If it is not seen in the character of one who presents himself as a Krishna-bhakta, his sincerity may be doubted.
There are four classes of thoughts viz atheistic pantheistic, indifferent and theistic. Chaitanya's religion rejects the first three as inimical to religion. He preaches pure theism alone and advises men to avoid the three others.
He preaches that Vamasram-dharma including the institution of caste is simply a social institution introduced by the Rishis to do good to man in society. They should be allowed to decorate the Aryans as long as they do not oppose spiritual improvement. By sending Pradyumna Misra a rigid Brahmin to Ramananda Rai for spiritualisation, he has shewn that one who is aware of Krishna-tatwa may be a guru, be he a Shudra, Brahmin or Sanyasi.
He preaches equality of men in the enjoyment of the spiritual aggrandisement. He preaches universal fraternity amongst men and special brotherhood amongst Vaishnavs, who are according to him, the best pioneers of spiritual improvement. He preaches that human thought should never be allowed to be shackled with sectarian views. He tells us that a man should earn money in a right way and sincere dealings with others and their masters, but should not immorally gain it. When Gopinath Patnaik, one of the brothers of Ramananda Rai was being punished by the Raja for immoral gains, Chaitanya warned all who attended upon him to be moral in their worldly dealings.
In his own early life he has taught the grihasthas to give all sorts of help to the needy and the helpless, and has shewn that it is necessary, for one who has power to do it, to help the education of the people, specially the Brahmins who are expected to study the higher subjects of human knowledge.