His Divine Grace

Place: Srimad Uddharana Thakura's birthplace, Saptagrama
Time: Sunday, 1st February, 1925 (during Gauda-mandala parikrama)

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.

Uddharana was a friend of Sri Baladeva in Vraja. He was not an ordinary cowherd but an eternal companion of Sri Baladeva and a seller of spiritual milk. Out of our great good fortune we have come to that place in this world where that friend of Vraja arrived. Remembering him stimulates our devotion.

The relationship between Lord Visnu and the Vaisnavas:

There is no difference between Lord Vishnu and the Vaisnavas. They are related to one another as eternal master and eternal servant, and one is the object of worship while the other is the shelter, or worshiper. Whatever we understand about devotees like Srivasa we will also have to understand about Sri Uddharana Thakura. We are often deceived into committing offenses when we try to measure the devotees of the Supreme Lord, who are His eternally perfected associates and fully transcendental, against our material understanding or the knowledge we can gain through our senses. Thus we say that the Lord's devotees are, like us, forced to enjoy the fruits of their karma. We conditioned souls sometimes take birth in a family of gold-traders because of our karma, so we think Srila Uddharana Thakura is like a member of our family - as if we too are all small Uddharana Thakuras.

The fate of those who consider a Vaisnava as belonging to a particular caste:

If a person born in a gold-trader's family worships Hari with undivided attention by following in Srila Uddharana Thakura's footsteps, then he too becomes eligible to receive from the whole world the respect befitting a Vaisnava like Uddharana Thakura. But if one is born in a goldsmith's house and doesn't worship Lord Hari, then even if he were to be born in a higher, brahmana family, he would be an ordinary human being compelled to enjoy the fruits of his karma. In this case he would not be fit to receive the respect due a Vaisnava like Uddharana Thakura. If such a person mistakenly demands such respect, then, because he considers the Lord's transcendental devotees as belonging to a particular class, he will be addressed as "hellish" by the sastras and saintly persons. Those who are unalloyed servants of Sri Gaurasundara and who actually worship only Lord Hari are intimate companions of Sri Nityananda Prabhu and belong to the actual Gauranga family.

The scriptural evidence, from Sri Vyasadeva:

It is written in Sri Padma Purana:

arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhir
visnor va vaisnanavanam kali-mala-mathane pada-tirthe 'mbu-buddhih

sri-visnor namni mantre sakala-kalusa-he sabda-samanya-buddhir
visnau sarvesvarese tad-itara-sama-dhir yasya va naraki sah

sudram va bhagavad-bhaktam nisadam sva-pacam tatha
viksate jati-samanyat sa yati narakam dhruvam

"One who considers the Deity in the temple to be made of wood or stone, who thinks of the spiritual master in the disciplic succession as an ordinary man, or the Vaisnava to be coming from some caste; or the water which washes the feet of the pure devotee or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to be ordinary water, although such water has the potency to destroy all evils of the age of Kali; or to consider the holy name of the Supreme Lord or mantras dedicated to Him which are able to destroy all sin to be ordinary sounds; or to consider the Supreme Lord of all, Lord Visnu, to be equal with other demigods, is considered to possess a hellish mentality. A person who thinks in this way is certainly a resident of hell."

"One who considers a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead who was born in a family of sudras, nisadas or candalas to belong to that particular caste certainly goes to hell."

There is no greater offense than considering a Vaisnava equal to a non-Vaisnava. Those who consider Srila Uddharana Thakura as belonging to a goldsmith's family like themselves by thinking themselves born in the family of Srila Uddharana Thakura, and who consider the worshipable Salagrama-sila to be simply a stone, will certainly go to hell according to the sastra's prescription.

The consideration of the characteristics of guru-tattva:

There is no difference in tattva between the friends of the Supreme Lord and the four-armed Lord Narayana; there is only a distinction in pastimes and transcendental mellows. The spiritual master is nondifferent from Lord Nityananda. My spiritual master is directly Nityananda Prabhu. To my spiritual maser, his spiritual master is also nondifferent from Lord Nityananda. The spiritual master of my spiritual master's spiritual master also has a spiritual master who is nondifferent from Nityananda Prabhu to him. All you Vaisnavas are part of Sri Nityananda Prabhu's spiritual variegatedness and expansions of His transcendental mood. This does not mean that my spiritual master has ever said from his own mouth that "I am Nityananda." Rather, he is always a servant of Sri Gaurasundara. He considers himself a servant meant to fulfill Sri Gauracandra's mission. But if out of grave misfortune I ever hear that my spiritual master is not identical with Sri Nityananda, and then I will certainly understand that my spiritual master has rejected me as a great offender. May I never see the face of that atheist, even in a dream, who says my spiritual master is someone other than Nityananda.

One cannot comprehend the transcendental Vaisnava Thakura empirically:

As a result of misdeeds committed in previous lifetimes, a human being takes birth in a lower family. But this does not mean that Srila Uddharana Prabhu appeared in a lower family because of previous sinful activities. Srila Uddharana Prabhu is not a mundane gold-trader, an ordinary human being, or a product of matter. If we try to measure Thakura Mahasaya, we will simply be deceived.

As published in the
By His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada
Reproduced with the permission of Touchstone Media. The text may be purchased in its entirety here.