Insights From The Harmonist

Selected articles from the magazine
Edited by Paramahamsa Paribrajakacharyya
Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj
Published between 1927 - 1936

The truth about Srila Uddharana Thakura:

Srila Nityananda Prabhu is the proprietor of all tad-rupa-vaibhava [nondifferent expansions]. When Sri Gaurasundara sent Sri Nityananda Prabhu to the kingdom of Gauda to spread the magnanimous religion of love of God, Srila Uddharana Thakura was the main pillar among Sri Nityananda's followers.

Although he was born in a lower, vaisya family, since he was a transcendental personality he cannot be identified as belonging to that family or caste. In other words, Thakura Mahasaya was not a goldsmith or trader of gold.

SREE Prataparudradeva was reigning in Orissa at the time when, in 1510 A.D., Sree Krishna Chaitanya, then in His twenty-fifth year came to Puri immediately after His acceptance of Sannyas (renunciation). On His arrival at Puri Sree Chaitanya met Vasudeva Sarbabhauma, the greatest Vedantic scholar of that time, to whom He was pleased to reveal His Divine Personality. Sree Chaitanya then set out on His pilgrimage to South India.

These wonderful tidings soon reached the ears of King Prataparudra who thereupon summoned Vasudeva Sarbabhauma to the royal presence at Cuttack in order to receive from him definite and authentic information regarding Sree Chaitanya.

IT is not possible for man to ignore the real existence of evil in the life that he has to lead in this world. The principle of evil has, indeed, its existence in the human mind. It is not altogether an inexplicable, spontaneous instinct, but embodies a very real element of rational judgement. To be addicted to the pleasures of the senses in any undue measure, that destroys all self-control, is universally regarded as a morally condemnable state of the mind. It is a fact that everyone is really liable to fall into such evil condition. Therefore, the existence of evil is not something that is merely imaginary unaccountable. All persons admit by their conduct the possibility of the prevention and amelioration of this evil. It is, therefore, quite reasonable to undertake a serious enquiry into the causes that bring about the appearance of the principle of evil.

The third of February, 1935 when the last 'Ardhodaya-Yoga' took place, was a memorable day to the religious minded and pious Hindus of India, who took advantage of this auspicious moment, irrespective of their age and sex, to have a dip into the holy waters of the Ganges for acquisition of piety at an enormous cost of health, money and other sundry comforts, that beggar description. Like a stream gliding down the inclination with tremendous impetuosity, the concourse of the pilgrims, fully absorbed, literally ran towards the Ganges to have the touch of her sacred water.

The word samkeertana calls up the picture of singing and dancing, to the tune of a particular type of music, in the company of group of persons. But the word does not bear any limited meaning. Dancing and singing in company was no doubt practised by the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna Chaitanya and His associates on particular occasions. This was the form of samkeertana that was performed by Mahaprabhu in the courtyard of Sreebas's house. Sreenivas Acharyya, at a subsequent period, in association with Shyamananda Prabhu and Srila Narottama Thakur made this form the vehicle for preaching among the masses. The Gaudiya literature is particularly rich in Padavali or songs appropriate for such form of Samkeertana.

The province of Dravida is one of the holiest lands of India. She is literally the mother of jewels in every sense just as Sri Gaur Sundar, Embodiment of magnanimity by manifesting Himself with His realm and paraphernalia sanctified the country of Gauda (Bengal) which has since become the objective of pilgrimage, so the Vaishnava acharyyas who are founders of the four Vaishnava-sects, by appearing in the province of Dravida scattered broadcast the rays of devotional service throughout the world. Eternal and everlasting by its nature the principle of transcendental devotion first of all dawned upon this world to the mind of Vedavyas in its exclusive state, in the grassy land of Brahmmabarta on the bank of the Saraswati and passed through the stages of infancy and boyhood on the holy plains of the Naimisha forest on the bank of the Gomati...

From this time onwards Raghunath continued to worship the Govardhan Shila and the garland of gunja. Having received this extraordinary Favour Raghunath forgot everything else in his great joy. He attached himself with body, mind and speech to the service of the Feet of Shree Gauranga. ‘Raghunath’, says Kaviraj Goswami, possessed good qualities that knew no end. It is never possible for any one to describe them all. Raghunath acted up to the rules enjoined by the Shastras for the life of perfect renunciation with the most scrupulous fidelity. The course of Raghunath’s life is comparable only to the line that is cut into the slab of hard stone in the quality of its enduring firmness.

The life of Raghunath at Puri has been recorded by Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami in a few telling words. Seven and a half praharas of his day were spent in kirtan and recollection. There was left scarce four dandas, during night and day, for meal and also, on certain days, for sleep. The story of his renunciation is a most wonderful narrative. During the whole of his life he never allowed his tongue to taste any enjoyable food. He never wore any other clothing than patched and tattered old kantha and rags. He carried out with the utmost care the command of the Lord. He ate what was barely sufficient for maintaining life. He reproved himself for eating too much. ‘A person whose chitta is cleansed by true knowledge is enabled to know the nature of the soul and thereby gains everything. Then why do sinners, neglecting such course for what purpose or for what reason, care for nourishing their bodies?’

Avoiding the paths that led through the villages Raghunath proceeded along the forest tracks meditating on the feet of Chaitanya with body, mind and speech. He journeyed thirty miles in course of a single day and stopped in the cattle-shed of a cow-herd in the evening. Finding him fasting the milkman offered him milk. Raghunath after drinking the milk lay there for that night.

Here, at his parental home, the guards detecting his absence went to his Guru and enquired about his where-abouts, who told them that Raghunath after taking his permission had returned home. There was now a great clamour, 'Raghunath has fled.' His father said that Raghunath must be fleeing in the company of the devotees of Gauda who were on their way to Nilachal to meet the Lord, and directed ten men to pursue and bring him back. He wrote a letter to Sivananda couched in supplicating terms to send back his son. Those ten men went as far as Jhakra where they overtook the party of the Vaishnavas. Presenting the letter to Sivananda they asked him about Raghunath. Sivananda told them that Raghunath had not come to him. Those ten men there-upon returned to the parents of Raghunath who were filled with fear and anxiety for their child on receiving the tidings.