The Career and Teachings of the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna-Chaitanya

by Sri Narayan Das Bhakti Sadhukar


Sree Gaursundar as Professor chose the afternoons for visiting the citizens of Nabadwip in the company of His pupils. He graciously accosted all the people; and everyone entertained feelings of the deepest regard for the Lord. This respectful attitude towards Him, which was universal, was a matter of instinct, as at this period no one was aware of the Divinity of the Lord. The Lord frequented all the streets of the city affording the people an opportunity of beholding Him Who is inaccessible even to the gods.

The Lord now behaved with the same absence of reserve on these visits to the citizens as we noticed on the occasion of His nervous malady. In this case also no one was able to recognize Him although He stood fully manifest to all seeming. Thakur Brindavandas has handed down the following particulars of these activities. On one of these occasions Sree Gaursundar presented Himself at the door of a weaver's home. The weaver at once made obeisance to Him with the greatest respect. The Lord asked Him to bring out his best cloth, which the weaver did at once. The Lord asked what price he expected for his cloth. The weaver replied that he would accept whatever was offered. After the bargain had been settled the Lord said He had no money with Him. The weaver replied that it was not necessary for Him to pay immediately. He might take the cloth, wear it and pay in ten days or a fortnight or by installments, according to His convenience. The Lord bestowed His auspicious Glance on that weaver as He left the place.

The Lord then entered the quarter of the town which was occupied by the milkmen. He took His Seat at the door-way of the home of one of the cowherds. The Lord, by the privilege of a Brahmana commanded him jocosely in an imperious tone to bring out his milk and curds, saying that He would favour him that day by accepting the best of the gifts that his household could provide. The cowherds beheld it was the God of love Himself Who thus asked for their gift. With great respect they offered their best seat to Him. The Lord continued to talk in a jocose vein to the cowherds. They addressed Him as their 'maternal uncle'. Some asked Him to eat their cooked food in their Company. A certain milkman took Him to his home on his shoulders. A few remarked that He had once eaten all the cooked food that was in their houses and He might probably recollect it. Saraswati, the Goddess of speech, spoke truly, but the milkmen themselves did not know. The Lord laughed at these words of the cowherds. All the milkmen now brought out their milk, ghee, curds, sar and excellent butter and gladly gave to the Lord. The Lord expressed His satisfaction at such friendly conduct of the cowherds.

He then went forward and entered the home of a dealer in perfumes (gandha-vanika). The trader made his bow at the Feet of the Lord with great respect. The Lord asked him to bring out his best perfumes. As he did so the Lord inquired their price. The trader replied that the price must be already known to Him and that it would be hardly proper to demand any price from Him. That trader then begged to be allowed to apply the perfumes to His Body and to return home for that day. If enough of fragrance persisted till next day and did not cease after bath, then He might pay any price that He liked. With these words the trader, with his own hand, put his perfumes all over the Holy Form of the Lord in a rapture of joy that was perfectly unaccountable. 'The Supreme Lord', observes Thakur Brindavandas, 'abiding in the heart of all beings, ever attracts their minds unto Himself. Who is not bewitched by the Sight of His Beauty?'

The Lord next made His way to the home of a garland-maker. The garland-maker was smitten with the extraordinary Beauty of the Lord and did obeisance to Him after offering a seat with great respect. The Lord asked Him to give good garlands and told him that He had no money with Him. The garland-maker noticing that He had the appearance of one who had actually realized Godhead said that He might not pay. With these words the garland-maker placed his garlands on the Divine Form of the Lord. This made Sree Gaursundar and all His pupils laugh. The Lord bestowing His auspicious Glance on that garland-maker, made his way to the home of a betel-seller.

The betel-seller was taken by surprise on seeing the Lord Himself crossing the threshold of His humble abode. In his delight the betel-seller, of his own accord, offered Him his betels which made the Lord laugh. The Lord asked why he was offering the betel made up with betel-nut without demanding any price. The betel-seller made reply that it was due to a spontaneous impulse of his mind. The Lord began to chew the prepared betel that had been offered. The betel-seller then presented the Lord with betel-leaf, camphor and other spices of excellent quality used in making up the betel, desiring Him with great reverence, to accept it and would not take any price. Sree Gaursundar favoured that betel-seller in this fashion.

The Lord visited the residence of a dealer in conches who made Him, obeisance with great reverence on beholding Him. The Lord asked for good conches declaring that as He had no money with Him He did not know how He could buy them. The conch dealer, at once gave the Lord his best conches with the remark that He might pay at His leisure and consider Himself under no obligation to pay The Lord was very much pleased by hearing these words of the conch-dealer and bestowed on him the favour of His auspicious Glance.

In this manner the Lord visited regularly the houses of all the towns-people of Nabadwip.

The Lord next made His way to the house of a diviner who could predict everything. The Lord told him that as he was reputed to be a very competent person He had come to him to inquire about information regarding Himself as to what He was in His former births. 'Right' said the diviner. But on applying himself as a preliminary to repeating mentally the mantram of Gopala that diviner of excellent deeds at once beheld the Divine Form with the bluish hue, Four-Armed, holding the Conch, Disc, Club and Lotus, His Breast adorned with the jewel Kaustuva and the sign of Srivatsa. He saw the Lord in the prison-chamber at the dead of night with His parents in front of Him in the act of adoration. Presently he had a vision that the father, taking up his new-born Boy in his arms, put Him away that very night in the cowherd settlement. He saw again the Nude, Beautiful, two-Armed Child, with the belt of jingling bells on His Waist, tasting the butter with both Hands. The diviner in fact saw all those Signs that belong to his own cherished Divinity on Whom he mediated at all time He beheld once again the divine form, with the Flute touching His Lips, in the triple-bent attitude, surrounded by the milk-maids, discoursing instrumental and vocal music. On beholding this extraordinary vision the diviner opened his eyes in wonder and fixing his gaze on Gauranga went on repeating his recitals. He then supplicated the Deity of his cherished worship in these words, 'Listen, O Gopala, divine Boy! Do Thou show me quickly who this Brahmana was in His former Births.'

Thereupon, the diviner had a vision of the Lord, Bow in Hand, of grass-green Hue, seated in the Attitude of the warrior. He saw Him again in the midst of the Cataclysm of complete destruction in the form of the wonderful Boar Whose Tusk was holding aloft this world. He saw Him once more Appearing as the Man-lion, of most fierce Aspect, infinitely Tender to His devotee. He saw Him again in the Act of deluding the sacrificing King Bali, in the Form of the Dwarf. Then He beheld Him in the form of the Fish in the waters of the Deluge, playing merrily in the Flood. That diviner of excellent deeds saw the Lord once again in the Form of the maddened Holder of the Plough, with the Club in His Hand. The diviner saw the shining Form of Jagannath with Subhadra in the middle and Balarama on His right. The diviner had a vision in is manner of the true Nature of the Lord, but yet he understood nothing. 'Such', says Thakur Brindavandas, 'is the force of the deluding power of the Lord.'

The diviner was very much astonished and thought within himself that the Brahmana must be a great sorcerer or He might be some god who had perchance appeared to him in a frolic in the guise of a Brahmana in order to delude him. He also duly noticed the indications of the super-human fiery glow irradiating the body of the Brahmana and was perplexed thinking that he was being befooled for pretending to know everything. While the diviner was busy with these thoughts the Lord said laughing: 'Who am I? What do you see? tell me everything without reserve." The diviner said, "Be pleased to leave me alone for the present. Let me repeat my mantram with a clear mind. I shall tell You in the afternoon.' 'Very gook," said the Lord as He went off on His way laughing.

The Lord now presented Himself at the home of His beloved Sridhar. The Lord often visited Sridhar at his house on various excuses and never left him without exchanging jokes with him for a short time. On seeing the Lord Sridhar at once approached Him with great respect and made Him take a seat. Sridhar was naturally of a most gentle disposition. The Lord's behaviour was that of a most restless and arrogant person. thereupon the following dialogue ensued between Sree Gaursundar and Sridhar.

The Lord asked, 'Sridhar, you take the Name of Hari constantly. Why do you yet suffer such great privations? Tell Me how it is that you suffer from want of food and clothing by serving the Lord of the Goddess of wealth?' Sridhar replied, 'but I do not actually starve and I also put on clothing of some sort, be it long or short'. the Lord went on, 'I notice your cloth is patched at a dozen places and there is no straw to the thatch of your hut. Is there the person in the town who is stinted for food and clothing by worshipping Chandi and Bishahari?' Sridhar said, 'Bipra, Thou hast said well. But yet the time of all persons passes all the same. The king lives in a palace of gems and eats and dresses most sumptuously; the birds inhabit the tree-top. Nevertheless the time of both passes away all the same. They enjoy the fruits of their respectively acts awarded by the Will of Isvara.'

The Lord said, 'You have immense wealth. You dine on it most sumptuously in secret. when will that day be when I shall make your secret known to everybody? then shall I see how you can deceive the people so!' said Sridhar, 'Pandit' it is better for you to return home. It is not meet for us to quarrel with each other., The Lord said, 'I am not going to let you off in this fashion. Tell me at once what you are going to give Me., Sridhar replied, 'I live by selling the bark of the plantain tree. You better say what at all I can give your Reverence.' The Lord said, 'I am not just now going to take the buried treasures that you possess. I shall have it later. For the present give me gratis plantain, radishes and the soft core of the plantain tree. I shall not trouble you if you do so.' Sridhar thought within himself, 'The Brahmana is so very arrogant. He is certainly: going to thrash me one of these days. And even if He hurts me what can I do to a Brahmana? Neither can I afford to give Him daily without being paid. Still what a Brahmana takes even by force or guile is surely my good fortune, and I shall, therefore, give Him everyday., After meditating in this manner Sridhar said, 'Listen, Your Reverence You need not pay anything. I shall willingly give you core, plantain. radishes and bark. So be pleased not to quarrel with me any more., The Lord said, 'This is well and good. There will be no more quarrel from now if only you always give Me good core, plantain and radishes.'

The Lord dined everyday off the plantain-bark of Sridhar. The core, plantain and radishes of Sridhar were the most relished dishes at His Daily Meal. The Lord ate the gourd, that grew on the plant trained on Sridhar's thatch, cooked in milk and pepper. The Lord now asked, 'Sridhar, what do you think I am? I shall go home as soon as you tell Me only this.' Sridhar said, 'You are a Brahmana, a part and parcel of Vishnu Himself., The Lord replied, 'You do not know. I come of a family of milkmen. But you see Me as the Son of a Brahmana. I, however, know Myself to be a milk-man.' Sridhar laughed on hearing the Words of the Lord and did not recognize his own cherished Deity by the force of His Deluding Power. Said the Lord, 'Sridhar, I will tell you the Truth. All the greatness of your Ganges is due to Myself.' Sridhar protested, 'Well, Nimai Pandit, art Thou not afraid even of the Ganges? Man grows sober with advancing years. But Your restlessness is increasing with double speed'. After indulging in such merry repertoire with Sridhar Lord Gauranga-Hari returned to His own Home.

The above episodes may seem to represent the Lord in the character of a begging Brahmana who is out among the hard-worked artisans and poor people to squeeze from them the best that their poverty can yield. there are two subjects in this picture, viz., the conduct of the Lord and of the humble folk, both of which deserve our careful consideration.

Sree Gaursundar did not accept the gifts of the poor for any charitable purpose but frankly for His Own Personal Use. He does not appear to have rendered them any service in return; those people did not expect nor wish for any return. Neither did they apparently give their things with the idea that they were giving them to a needy beggar. they gave from a feeling of reverence and not on account of His individual qualities of which they had not always a very decidedly all-round favourable opinion. even Sridhar admitted to himself that the Brahmana was unduly arrogant. the soothsayer, who to many persons would seem to have been the most favoured of all, took Him to be a Person versed in the Black Art Who was trying to befool him. so all these people gave away their best things to this arrogant brahmana in conformity with a customary practice and not for the reason that Sree Gaursundar possessed any outstanding merit or worth of His Own. Sridhar even complains that the Brahmana was not above using both force as well as dissimulation to obtain the lion's share of his scanty wares. Sree Gaursundar may, thus appear to be evidently exploiting the credulity of ordinary superstitious, ignorant, masses for His own personal profit and thereby countenancing the objectionable practices of those degenerate Brahmanas who go about begging for their livelihood.

why did those poor people give Him their best things? Let Sridhar speak for the rest. Sridhar said he did not covet the wealth of kings. He thought that the time of himself was passing in exactly the same way as that of kings and he did not hold Godhead responsible for making any inequitable difference between a king and himself as in his opinion there was really no difference. But neither was Sridhar a cynic. He was aware that the things of this world were capable of being rightly used in the service of Vishnu; and that no depth of poverty was an excuse for the neglect of this paramount duty. giving to the Brahmana was in his opinion, identical with giving to Vishnu 'because Vishnu was represented in this world by the Brahmana for accepting such service through His devotees. True, the Brahmana in question, viz., Sree Gaursundar, appeared to him to be very arrogant and dissembling. But he himself was also not prepared to give willingly anything to the Brahmana on the worthless plea of his utter poverty; and, therefore, the only alternative was to suffer his things to be taken by force or fraud by the Brahmana who did him the favour of accepting his things in this boisterous fashion'. This is the inside of the heart of Sridhar. This was the faith of all those humble people.

But can we really serve Godhead by offering Him the things of this world . Sree Gaursundar says we can. If we regard Godhead and the objects offered to Godhead as categories of this world the process is objectionable involving the degradation of worship. Godhead is not a receiver of any earthly objects. But we have also nothing to offer Him except these very earthly objects, because we ourselves are of this Earth at present. Sree Gaursundar says that we are not earthly; but if we attain our natural, super-mundane, state we are in a position to realize that the objects of this Earth have also a spiritual relationship to ourselves. This spiritual side of the things of this world does not manifest itself to us as long as we continue to regard them as being meant for gratifying our hankering for worldly enjoyment. Such attitude is the sign as well as cause of our real ignorance of our true self.

There is such a thing as the soul, apart from limited and temporary entities of all gross and subtle types. This soul is our proper self. The vision of our souls is for the present clouded by the exclusive contemplation of alien objects which we are apt to consider as having affinity with ourselves. The soul in the sinful state values only such use of things as can afford him pleasure in some form or other. He constantly strives to multiply the opportunity and scope of such enjoyment. This vision is, however, the clouded vision. It was not Sridhar's vision. Sridhar realized that the enjoyment of the things of this world could not really satisfy his soul. The things of this world are meant not to be enjoyed but to be used in some other way. They are to be offered unconditionally to One for Whose Sole enjoyment they are meant. And Who is that One Person ? He cannot be any sinful creature. He is no mortal, but Godhead Himself. The Brahmana is part and parcel of Vishnu. Vishnu also appears in this gross world for enjoying the things of this world. Sridhar believed that He does so for the benefit of sinners, that Vishnu appears in the form of Brahmanas who are free from all sin. A Brahmana knows the proper use of the things of this world. He does not seek his own enjoyment but serves Godhead therewith. It is because he possesses this knowledge that he is a Brahmana. If anything is given willingly or unwillingly to a Brahmana it is offered to Godhead and is sure to reach Him through the Brahmana. The things of this world in this relationship to Sree Gaursundar also appeared to Sridhar in this light. This was so because Sridhar's soul was in his natural state who could realize that he has no affinity with the things of this world as a means of his worldly enjoyment.

Sridhar's philosophy might seem to make no provision for the material prosperity of the world. It may also seem to be akin to blind faith. The last objection has been answered in the preceding paragraph. The so-called clear-sightedness of the conditioned souls is their real blindness. Our faith in the value of the things of this world as objects of our enjoyment, is the real blind faith. Sridhar's faith is not blinded by this essentially- irrational partiality in favour of worldliness the utter-worthlessness of which must be patent to all as a fact of even one's daily and hourly experience. Sridhar's philosophy does not, indeed, trouble about the progress of this world which it attributes to the Direct Action of Godhead awarding the material fruits of the sinful endeavours of conditioned souls who alone happen to be the denizens of this mundane world. He regards so-called worldly prosperity more as a snare than a help. But he is careful not to ignore, for this reason, the very existence of this world. The world is not an illusion.

So long as we are placed in this world we cannot but have to do with things mundane. Our duty, while we are so placed, must however, be to use all kinds of material facility for the service of Vishnu Who has no wants of His Own but Who condescends to

condescends to receive our offerings in order to enable us to live, also under these adverse circumstances, a life of service. The service of Vishnu is the only true and eternal religion. It's truth can be recognized by our clouded understanding during those lucid intervals when we are impelled by the experience of worldliness to be impartial seekers of a really wholesome function. There are sinless people who are not subject to the domination of the enjoyable side of phenomena to whom all things of this world disclose their spiritual forms who teach us to serve Vishnu with their help. The condition that is ensured by such service is the only true progress and one that, instead of augmenting our blindness, serves to clear up our blinded vision.

But we may still be disposed to ask certain questions, 'Will the offering of our best things to unworthy and beggarly Brahmanas, who claim them as a matter of right for the purpose of gratifying their worldly appetites, also conduce to such a result?' It is not necessary to discriminate between a real Brahmana and a real non-Brahmana? And who, indeed, is a real Brahmana? Did Sridhar or the other poor people really know that Sree Gaursundar was Vishnu Himself? Evidently they did not bother. Is such blind devotion to caste Brahmanas recommended as a reliable and wholesome principle by the above episodes? Neither did Sridhar nor any of the other townsmen, who were so liberal to Sree Gaursundar, entertain any suspicions regarding the worth of Sree Gaursundar as recipient of their gifts. They did not venture to gauge the worth of a Brahmana by the measure of their clouded understanding. In this view their conduct was not the denial but the perfection, of the truly rational attitude. They waited to be enlightened, without muddling. This excellence of judgment was the natural concomitant of their own unworldly life which is an indispensable preparatory for the spiritual. They will thereby soon learn about the real Truth and be saved from the degrading effects of indiscriminate, worldly charity to beggars for a worldly purpose. It is the only duty of all true Brahmanas to enlighten everyone who really wants to be enlightened. Unworldly conduct in every relationship of life is the only proof of the possession of such desire. This mode of imparting enlightenment is the eternal Dispensation of Providence and it never fails to operate with unerring beneficence in all cases. Those who are charitable to Brahmanas from any worldly motive never have the sight of a real Brahmana who possesses the knowledge of Godhead.

But it may be argued that Sree Gaursundar was encouraging the trade of a betel-maker by accepting his service. Is not the trade of a betel-seller altogether harmful? Will such encouragement not be misunderstood as approval of a practice which is condemned by the Srimad Bhagavatam Srimad Bhagavatam warns us against sensuous enjoyment of the objects of this world and proceeds to enumerate categorically certain forms of sensuous enjoyment that are to be avoided by all means. It says no doubt that no rules are applicable to those who really serve Krishna. Srimad Bhagavatam does not mean that the bona fide servants of Krishna are privileged to indulge in sensuous conduct. What it means is that Krishna is served by the senses of those who are perfectly unmindful of their own enjoyment. We are not required to give up anything we are required to learn the only proper method of using everything. Till we understand this true method we should agree to be taught, by desisting from the wrong method which would otherwise prevent us from knowing truly by the only effective method, viz. , that of actual personal experience.

Sree Gaursundar did not declare a crusade against the externality of conduct of any kind. All activities are a part and parcel of the eternal scheme of the universe and can and need never be abolished. Sree Gaursundar desired that we should acquire the right vision which enables us to employ all things of this world in the service of Krishna, without interfering with the external appearance which is the eternal perverted concomitant reflection of the real shutting from us the true view of the Reality. But the perverted reflection can no more be abolished than the reality. Both exist for ever in their respective reciprocal relationship. It is not they but our attitude to them that requires to be adjusted. Gaursundar declares that the smarta view, i.e., the ordinary view of so-called orthodox Hindus, which regards a thing of this world as pure or impure by its worldly reference, is opposed to the teaching of the spiritual Scriptures. Nothing can be impure except the attitude of the observer. To the pure vision everything is necessarily pure. According to the Bhagavatam the paramahansas are above all those rules that are meant for the guidance of conditioned souls. This leniency to them means neither undue partiality nor indiscriminate license. The Scriptures provide for the strictest guidance of all dissociable souls by the eternally free sadhus who alone can understand the real spirit of those regulations and can, therefore, apply them in the proper way. This is so because they themselves always spontaneously follow the spirit that is negatively represented by those regulations. The real devotees are privileged to know that for no one there is any such thing as impurity in the sphere of spiritual service. Those who, being themselves averse to Godhead, set up as teachers of the Bhagavatam, delude themselves as well as their pupils by their false teachings.

The eternally free state is not a figment of the atheist's imagination. It is, on the contrary, the most decisive proof of one's utter ignorance of the state of the devotee to suppose that the true nature of such state can be realized by the imagination of one who does not serve God. It is tantamount to confounding the shadow with the substance, darkness with light; because such knowledge is real ignorance and such imaginary purity is the most insidious form of aversion to Godhead. Such deluded people bring upon themselves the richly deserved punishment that is due to their hopeless pursuit of the shadow under the willfully mistaken plea that it is the substance. The identification of the unreal with the real, of the wrong idea with the object, is the consciously perpetrated great error of all empiric speculations regarding the Reality. It is equivalent to conscious or unconscious denial of all reality on the dishonest plea that the Reality is incomprehensible to our present limited understanding. On this misapplied plea are we justified in deliberately choosing to be content with an imaginary 'moral, order and call it also 'real, on the testimony of a gratuitously assumed universal instinct of the race? In other words are we to recognize the failure of our pervert reason to know the Reality by stifling the faculty of reason itself? Sree Gaursundar warns us against such useless act of suicide and declares that the Reality really exists and can also be really known to us despite the self-created insufficiency of our present understanding; and that it is, therefore, our first and only duty to try to realise the Truth by adopting a life which is really free from all taint of duplicity. That this is also the only truly rational course and one whose success is a foregone conclusion.

On His return home after accosting Sridhar in the manner described above, Sree Gaursundar seated Himself at the door of the room that was consecrated to the worship of Vishnu The students, who had been in attendance, departed to their respective homes. As He caught sight of the rising full moon the Lord's heart was filled with loving recollections of the Moon of Brindavana. He thereupon began to discourse strains of the Flute, Whose sweetness was never experienced in this world. But no one could catch it except the mother.

On hearing the note of the Flute that bewitches the triple universe, the mother fainted on the spot by complete immersion in the ocean of bliss. Presently recovering her external consciousness, having compassed her mind, she listened to the unprecedented melody of the Divine Flute. She perceived the sound to proceed from the direction where Gaurangasundar was seated Having this wonderful aural experience the mother came out of the room and found her Son still sitting at Vishnu's doorstep. She could no longer hear the strains of the Flute but beheld the Disc of the Moon in the Bosom of her Son. She saw distinctly the Sphere of the Moon inside the Breast of her Son and looked about her in amazement.

Returning to her room the mother began to think about the reason, but could not arrive at any solution. Such was the high fortune of mother Sachi who constantly beheld such never-ending Divine Manifestations. One day during the night mother Sachi heard hundreds of people singing and playing on musical instruments. She heard various musical sounds made by the mouth, the sound as of a dance, the tread of feet as if a vast Rasa Pastime was in progress. One day she found that all the house, the rooms, doors and windows, were made exclusively of light. Another day she had a sight of celestial nymphs, beautiful as Lakshmi Herself, their hands adorned with the shining lotus flower One day she had a vision of shining gods and, after just catching sight of them, could not see them again. All these visions are nothing at all impossible in the case of the Mother Whom the Veda declares to be the very Form of Devotion to Vishnu. Even those, on whom the Mother casts Her auspicious glance but once, are thereby endowed with the eligibility of beholding those manifestations. Thus did Sree Gaursundar, Wearer of the Garland of Wild Flowers, abide in His Own Eternal Joy, in concealment; such being His Pleasure. although the Lord was manifesting Himself in all these various ways yet He could not be recognized even by any of His Own servants.

The Mothers of Sree Krishna serve the Lord as embodiments of the principle of pure reverential devotion like that of Devaki and Prisni, or by unmixed maternal affection like Yasoda and Sachi. The Mothers are not denied the transcendental un-alloyed service of Krishna although they are His superiors by relationship and are regarded as such by Krishna. It is the special privilege of the servants of Krishna to behold the manifestations of His Divine Power and Majesty. Sree Sachi Devi serves the Lord with greater devotion than His other servants. She loves Sree Gaursundar as her Son standing in constant need of her protecting affection. This is different from the purely reverential attitude of service. In this world parental affection precludes all element of the principle of service as practiced by an inferior. Even when the mother nurses her own child she cannot be supposed, without a jarring violation of all sense of propriety and truth, to be guided by a feeling of reverence for her own offspring. The two sentiments, as they are conceived in this world, are different and incompatible. In the Mothers of Krishna maternal affection perfects and incorporates, instead of excluding, the element of loyal servitude. There is no loss of any principle but only the growing excellence, by additional elements, of the one indivisible basic function which, inconceivably to us, gathers up all minute and nice distinctions that are found pervertedly reflected in the exclusive grades of mundane relationships.

The most noticeable Feature of the Activities of Sree Gaursundar at this period, is Arrogance. He chose to carry the Pastime of His Arrogance to such lengths that there was at that time in the whole of Nabadwip no person who could beat Him in this respect. Commenting on this Thakur Brindavandas is led to observe that it is the peculiar and inalienable Characteristic of Krishna that He has no equal in whatever role He chooses to play and Sree Brindavandas Thakur proceeds to recapitulate the most notable instances of His Excesses. When the Lord chooses to indulge in the Pastime of fighting He excels all in the most perfect use of the weapons of warfare. When He wishes to indulge in amorous sports He effects the conquest of myriads of His sweethearts. When He desires to enjoy the pleasures of riches the homes of His servants are filled with the most profuse abundance of all precious jewels. When, at a subsequent period, this very Arrogant Gaursundar renounced the world and turned a Sannyasin, a particle of His Renunciation was vainly to be looked for in all this triple universe. The truth of this Fact, says Thakur Brindavandas, writing of Events that were still fresh in the minds of all the people, is patent to all. The Renunciation of Sree Gaursundar is never possible in any other person.

Those who represent Sree Gaursundar as engaged in amorous pastimes with His mistresses in the manner of His Activities of Dvapara Leela, commit an unpardonable offense against the canons of historical as well as spiritual propriety. It is directly opposed to the testimony of Sree Brindavandas Thakur who says clearly that at this period when Sree Gaursundar was exhibiting the Leela of a house-holder at Nabadwip He was, indeed, a most restless and mischievous Person Who was full of arrogance, but with one most significant reservation, viz., He altogether abstained then and throughout His Career from the society or discourse of women for indulgence in amorous pastimes as Enjoyer. He exhibited all along the role of the ideal servant of Krishna who is exclusively devoted to his Lord and absolutely free from any hankering for enjoyment on His Own Account.

Certain sections of Sree Chaitanya's professed followers, actuated by their worldly propensity, do not hesitate even from casting the aspersion of adulterous conduct on the perfectly abstemious Character of Sree Gaursundar. This willful and gross misrepresentation of a historical fact only shows the depths of the utter degradation to which the human nature is liable to fall by its efforts to comprehend the Doings of the Divinity under the dictates of its irrepressible hankering for sensuous enjoyment. It is for this reason that the contemplation of the conduct of the devotees of Krishna has been extolled by the Scriptures as being of greater help to souls striving for spiritual amelioration than even the Doings of the Lord Himself; because the Latter are liable to be wholly misunderstood by those who do not properly realize the supreme necessity of being instructed therein by the transcendental preceptor who leads the perfectly unworldly life and who is thereby enabled to have the right understanding of the Divine Activities of Sree Krishna Who is altogether unintelligible even to the candid worldly mind that pretends to seek for the real Truth. By such willful distortion of the Leela of Sree Gaursundar these insincere and thoughtless people only prevent themselves and others who are minded like themselves from realizing the true nature of the genuine devotee whom it was the object of Sree Gaursundar to make known to us by His Own Divine Conduct and Teaching. Unless and until we learn to follow the Teaching of Sree Gaursundar we can never realize the true Nature of the Activities of the Lord in His Avatara. in the different Ages by reference to their Source.

For the same reason a conditioned soul must never try to ape the transcendental conduct of the servants of Krishna; because the activities of the unalloyed devotees cannot be understood except by their mercy, that is to say except by unconditional submission with body, mind and speech to the servant of the Absolute. It is not enough to have listened to the words of the devotee without submitting to be fully guided in our every act. On the transcendental plane there is no difference between idea and word and object denoted by them. This has to be realized not by persisting to differentiate between them while undergoing discipleship under a sadhu, but by submitting to realize them as an indivisible whole in our practice as well. So long as we actually retain an idea of our present disloyal conviction that they are separate from one another and that the Absolute Truth can be realized by merely exercising our intellect in the same way in which we find out the so-called truths of our worldly experience, we are doomed to deceive both ourselves and others by willfully and profanely confounding, against the imperative dictates of our own unalloyed reason, the material with the spiritual. Or, one may fall into deception of the opposite kind and ape the external conduct of a sadhu without caring to listen, with sufficient attention and with a serving disposition, to his words regarding Krishna. This will make one's conduct a mechanical performance and also prevent the due realization of the momentous fact that on the plane of the Absolute there is no such thing as unintelligibility, i.e., absence of the fullest cognition. Every act of the servant of Krishna is instinct with all real cognitive significance, not in the imagined, figurative, or transferred but undivided absolute sense. The words of the sadhu have to be lived if one is sincerely willing to realize their true significance. Hence there arises the necessity of complete submission to the bona fide spiritual guide at all stages of spiritual endeavour.

The Doings of Krishna are not cognisable even to His Own servants unless He is pleased to let them know The activities of Sree Gaursundar, although He exhibits the Leela of the devotee, are not intelligible to any person except by means of His special Grace vouchsafed through His servants. The Arrogance of Nimai Pandit deceived everybody in regard to His Real Nature. He appeared even to the Vaishnavas as an atheistical pedant whose only ambition was to acquire the reputation of the greatest scholar of His time. They confounded Him with those really egotistic pedants who abounded in Nabadwip and who were the worst enemies of the true religion inasmuch as in their role of teachers of the Religion they supported their impieties by the authority of the Holy Scriptures. They are the Putanas who abound in a controversial Age and it was necessary to stop their mouths if the Religion as not to be stifled at its birth. It is the Nature of Krishna to deal with everybody at his own weapons. He is the Servant of His servants and the Terror of His enemies.

The Ideal Devotee of Krishna, Sree Gaursundar possessed by right of His Devotion all these Qualities of Krishna Himself. He was dealing with the atheistical teachers of religion on their own plane where alone, indeed, they could be met, although they did not deserve such aggressive mercy. But the Lord Himself must not, therefore, be supposed as belonging to their plane. By this conduct Sree Gaursundar was trying to help them in the only way that would be intelligible to them, viz., by proving the insufficiency of their polemics and thereby making it clear that they could not understand the real meaning of the Scriptures.

The Pride and Arrogance of the Lord humbled even those proud and arrogant atheists who had grown hoary, in the practice of sophistry and were too bad to be reformed in any less violent way. This is the case of all empiricists, more or less, of this day or that. They really understand nothing, but always act as they know everything. They only submit to the sophist who is a greater juggler than themselves. Such polemical defeat serves to confirm them more strongly in the wisdom of their suicidal course. But if the art of the juggler is used not to confirm but rescue the juggler from his favourite self-deception such remedial jugglery is thereby raised to the level of the service of Krishna Who wishes to rescue all perverse souls by their own co-operating free choice. Sree Gaursundar set the example of such service in His Leela as ideal House-holder and Teacher. It is the duty of all scholars and teachers, if they want to be saved from self-deception and to prevent others from being deceived by their pedantic untruths, to accept unreservedly the service of the Absolute Truth as the only goal of their endeavours, and, when they find Him, to assert Him against all who parade such untruths as the medicine authorized by the scriptures of all the ills of our mortal estate. If this ideal of teachership were adopted it would really cure all distempers that the flesh is heir to, which can be healed by no other method.

The distinctive feature of the Teaching of Sree Gaursundar is Causeless and Unbounded Mercy to all souls. The very Fullness of His Mercy stands in the way of the realization of its nature and specially by those pedantic worldlings who are proud of their own mis-supposed worth and are thereby led to prescribe their nostrums for the undoing of their unfortunate admirers. Those who mechanically follow the dictums of Vaishnavism or Revealed Religion, i.e., all Pharisees also necessarily fail to understand the supreme Mercy of Sree Gaursundar. Sree Gaursundar sets no value on conduct that is not inspired by unalloyed love for the Absolute. He teaches the function that breaks through all rules and conventions for the purpose of acting up to the Fountainhead of all rules and conventions. He sets His Face against all forms of self-complacency that is unduly vain of its laurels. The pure soul knows no inferior and has no taste for pedantic sophistry for procuring any worldly laurels. He strives under all circumstances, to realize the unconditional service of the Absolute. He has no selfish inclination and no suspicion that anything may not benefit himself. He knows spontaneously by his open-hearted experience of the Reality that to serve the Absolute in all manner and under all circumstances, is the only proper function. The service of the Absolute is capable of being realized and equally liable to be missed, under every form. Those who fix their attention on the external form, can never understand the behaviour of the real servants of the Absolute. No Pharisee can understand why Godhead sends the pouring showers of His Mercy on the just and the unjust. In this case the Nature of the Source from Whom the conduct proceeds, spiritualizes the whole act. Those who confound spirit with matter, the Absolute with the relative, cannot understand, due to want of candour, how that which is apparently opposed to their experience of this world, can be necessarily, True on the plane of the Absolute. But their stupidity happily does not abolish the Truth Himself. The arrogance of the Pharisee misjudges the quality of the Magnanimous Arrogance of Sree Gaursundar. This is the wholly deserved punishment of the hypocrite. It is the only method by which even the Pharisee is saved and those who are needlessly vain of their worldly virtues, are enlightened regarding their real function towards others.

It is the Nature of Krishna to excel every entity in whatever He does, with a single exception. Krishna is always excelled by His devotee. One day the Lord happened to be passing along the public streets in the company of a number of His students who crowded on all sides of Him. The Lord was as richly dressed as a king. He was clad in a yellow robe, like Krishna. His Lips were dyed with the betel and His Holy Face had the splendour of a million Moons. All the people were praising Him. They said, 'He is verily the God of Love Himself Who has put on His Visible Body.' On His Forehead shone the tilaka mark pointing upwards. His Beautiful Hands held His books. The Glance of His Lotus Eyes dispelled all sorrow. The Lord was coming along merrily, swinging His Arms, in the company of His students who were naturally of a most restless disposition. Sribas Pandit, fell in with Him on the way quite by accident and burst into laughter as he caught sight of the Lord. Nimai Pandit made obeisance to Sribas. The generous Sribas blessed Him by way of response saying, 'Live Thou for ever.' Sribas then laughingly asked, 'Whither goest Thou, Crest-jewel of the Arrogant? Why waste Thy. time in these vanities foregoing to serve Krishna? Why dost Thou teach Thy students so, night and day without respite? Why do people read at all? Is it not to learn devotion to Krishna? If that is not gained what does such learning avail? For this reason be well-advised not pass all Thy time in such vanity. Thou hast studied till now. It is high time for Thee to serve Krishna without delay.' The Lord replied smiling, 'Be assured. revered Pandit, what you say will certainly come to pass by your grace.' Saying this the Lord proceeded smiling to the bank of the Ganges and there re-joined the body of His pupils.

Sribas Pandit, a Brahmana advanced in years, was accustomed to treat Sree Gaursundar in the manner of a superior and well wisher who regarded his junior as an object of his affectionate concern. Regarded from the point of view of reverential service such conduct towards Godhead must appear as improper. The same kind of objection would apply equally to Sandipani Muni, teacher of Krishna, to Garga Muni who was family-priest of the chief of Braja and, in Gaur-Leela, to Brahmananda Puri, co-disciple of Sree Isvara Puri. It is, however, a comparatively poor conception of our relationship with Krishna to suppose that it should be confined to distant reverence for the High and Mighty Godhead.

The idea of the Absolute involved in the forms of reverential worship, is somewhat analogous to our conduct in this world where the sentiment of reverence precludes all really familiar intimacy. If a person who is situated on the plane of this world affects to conduct himself towards Krishna as towards his Chum or Junior he certainly perpetrates the grossest impropriety. The philanthropists (prakrita sahajiyas) pretend to think that it is possible to adopt the attitude of confidential intimacy found in this world towards Sree Krishna while we are in the sinful state in imaginary imitation of the similar feasible relationships of the absolute world without committing the grossest profanation. At the same time it would be no less untrue to suppose that the method of distant reverence itself is, therefore, the only or proper kind of service of the Divinity.

The method of distant reverence is based on an incomplete view of the Absolute and does not therefore, belong to the highest plane. It is shy and diffident. It is also indicative of a certain reserve of love. Reverential service is of course not to be confounded with any form of hypocritical philanthropism. It is wholly free from all error of judgment and is bound to develop by directing its closer attention to its immature service of the Absolute. Contented reverential service, nevertheless, resembles that of the overjoyed traveler who builds his halfway house and prepares to settle down in it permanently under the impression that he has reached the goal. It is not easy to persuade such a traveler to resume his forward journey, especially if he has already built a solid structure and is supported by a strong body of admirers and colleagues of real purity of purpose. This is the form of service that is attainable in the Majestic Realm of Vaikuntha which supplies the ideal of the current religions. The latter are, however, really a veiled form of quasi-worldliness and often tantamounts to a religious refusal to seek the fullest service of the Absolute. Reverential worship especially in its degenerate forms, has proved the determined foe of all impartial and thorough inquiry in the domain of religion, no less effective than the pseudo authoritative methods that were once prevalent in the sphere of worldly knowledge. This unnatural form of worldliness aping the real service of Vaikuntha has been accepted as the only legitimate form of religion by all worldly persons who have been prepared to justify their practices by a sort of ridiculous assumption that religion is necessarily opposed to science, i.e., to the principle of free inquiry. But neither need the defects of the current forms of religious orthodoxy lead any but a deliberately foolish or wicked person to the serious conclusion that there is no such thing as the Absolute Truth Whose Admitted existence is certainly the only real obstacle in the way of all irresponsible free thinking so much affected by empiricists.