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

by Sri Narayan Das Bhakti Sadhukar


Professor Nimai used to stroll in the streets of the city in the company of His pupils. Men of the highest rank stepped down from their conveyances to accost Him as they came across Him on His way and made obeisance to His Feet with all humility. All persons felt an instinctive awe on meeting the Lord. There was none in the whole of Nabadwip who did not now unreservedly admit His pre-eminence as a scholar. Whenever a citizen performed any religious function he made it a point, as was the custom of the times, to send offerings of food and clothing to the House of the Lord.

Householder Nimai Pandit was most open-handed in spending money. With Lordly Magnanimity He gave to the needy and the distressed unceasingly and without stint. Gaur-Hari thus gave away rice, clothing and money to the poor most generously whenever He chanced to meet them. There was a constant arrival of chance-guests at the House of the Lord. The Lord gave to all in the measure due to each. Sometimes a dozen or score of sannyasins would turn up all on a sudden. The Lord would joyfully invite them all to His House sending word to His mother for immediately providing the alms of cooked food for a score of sannyasins His mother was sometimes put to great perplexity for want of sufficient eatables in the House for meeting these peremptory demands or her Son. But such anxiety was always relieved by the automatic arrival of all requisites from unknown quarters.

Lakshmi Devi would then cook the food most gladly and with special care. The Lord Personally watched Her cooking and Personally attended to the feeding of the sannyasins, never relaxing His attentions till their actual departure. He spared no pains to please His guests. The merciful Lord welcomed every chance-guest in this hospitable manner. The Supreme Lord taught all householders, by. His Own Example, their most distinctive function. 'The principal duty of every householder,' said the Lord, 'is to serve all his chance-guests. I call that person even worse than birds and beasts who, being a householder, does not serve his chance-guests. If one happens to be destitute of every necessary by reason of ill-luck due to his previous bad deeds, he should still gladly spread for the chance-guest some straw as a seat, and offer him water and resting ground. No good man can be without these. Let such a person speak out truly and let him express his regret for not being able to do more. Such loyal conduct would save him from the terrible offense of inhospitality. If one serves sincerely and with a glad heart according to his means his proper duty to his chance-guest is thereby duly performed., Thus taught Sree Gaursundar and His Own Conduct bears out His Teaching.

Thakur Brindabandas, commenting on the above, observes that those chance-guests to whom Lakshmi and Narayana made the gift of their food, were certainly most fortunate. Even Brahma himself and his following always pin their hopes of deliverance on food from the Hands of the Lord Himself. This supremely coveted food was obtained by any and every chance comer. It was truly most wonderful! There are those who opine otherwise. These maintain that no lesser beings are ever in any way eligible to be recipients of such food; and the Brahma, Siva, Suka, Vyasa, Narada, and the head of all the gods, all the self-realized souls and all eternally free souls came thither in the forms of mendicants, apprised of the Appearance of Lakshmi and Narayana at Nabadwip. Otherwise who else have power to be there? Who else but Brahma and those who are on a level with him, can ever be fit to obtain that food? Others, however, hold that the Descent of the Lord into this world was for the Purpose of delivering all the miserable. The Lord ever relieves the distressed in every way. Brahma and the other gods are His own limbs, and the limbs of those limbs. They are ever and in every way the associates of the Lord. But there is His Own special promise regarding this particular Appearance, 'I will give all jivas what is attainable with difficulty by Brahma and his peers.' It is for this reason that the Lord offered His food at His own House to all the distressed.

Charity to the poor and unstinted hospitality to all chance guests are recommended by the Scriptures as the principle duty of all householders. The Varnashrama system permits a person to marry, set up as a householder and pursue an honest trade or profession for earning his livelihood. But no householder must cook any food for his own consumption. He must always cook only for the Lord. Neither should he amass wealth for the livelihood of himself and his family. He may accumulate wealth in order to relieve the distressed and for performing the duty of unstinted hospitality to all chance-guests.

Miserliness is unreservedly condemned. A Brahmana, i.e., one who sincerely professes to lead a regulated spiritual life, is distinguished by this quality of liberality in the spending of his wealth. He must be perfectly open-handed. It is his nature and also his duty, to employ his wealth for relieving distress. It is his duty to give liberally food, clothing and money. It is also his duty to serve and accumulate a certain amount of wealth for this purpose. It is his duty to give with an easy mind. There is no higher duty for a householder than this.

This is clearly opposed to the ideal of the worldly economists who favour the method of niggardly 'doles, for relieving (?) distress. Indiscriminate or lavish charity is considered by the Economists as harmful both to the giver and the recipient of such charity. The recipient of indiscriminate charity is supposed to be encouraged thereby to lead the idle life of a parasite. The giver of such charity is accordingly supposed to be a conscious or an unconscious abettor of unprincipled idleness. It is, therefore, supposed to be the duty of a householder not to countenance any form of begging. That form of charity alone is permitted by the Economists which is exercised for helping people to lead an industrious life. This discrimination is strongly inculcated by all modern Economists. But Sree Chaitanya makes no reservation in regard to hospitality to chance-guests.

As a matter of fact the charitable disposition itself assorts ill with the principle of discrimination. Is a professional beggar really a great nuisance as he is ordinarily supposed to be by the Economists? He is the inevitable product of the practice recommended by the uncharitable Economist. He is the natural and salutary (? ) check on the social triumph of undiluted industrialism. Would the world be an ideal place if it be inhabited solely by uncharitable, rich misers? Is not miserliness after all quite definitely and logically traceable to the same selfish instinct that produces the professional beggar at the other end? Those who discourage indiscriminate charity indirectly encourage miserliness by their deprecation of the vice of improvidence. The economic view cannot be free from this grave defect.

The real danger of all those who live to eat, is due to their besetting desire for the cultivation of undiluted selfishness. This latter is the root-cause of all economic and other troubles of this world. It is, therefore, necessary to insist that the householder must give up the ideal of calculated selfishness if he is to be really at peace with himself and the world. The miser need not suppose that he is a better man than the beggar. Both of them are in equal danger of becoming selfish by, the avoidance of their duty by one another. The householder can be cured of his selfishness not by so-called discriminate or no charity, but only by true magnanimity.

Those who advocate saving in order to increase the capital of a country only extend the application of the principle of exclusive selfishness to the sphere of national economy with its corresponding disastrous result. A nation which lives only to eat, is no better than the uncharitable householder whose case has been considered above. The bubble of the fashionable capitalistic theory will be pricked, and is in course of being pricked, by the rival principle of unselfish brotherly co-operation, for multiplying the so-called necessaries and luxuries, for a higher purpose than that of selfish enjoyment by the nation or the individual. That higher purpose is unreserved service of Godhead, which, however, cannot be understood by those who are too exclusively absorbed in the pursuit of the alternative lines of the selfish ideal.

But it may be urged that the ideal of unselfish living sketched above, has also its danger. An unselfish individual and nation are liable to be exploited by the selfish. This is no doubt true. But is it really harmful to any party? The ,varnashrama system was never properly followed in this country. It is bound to be recognized as the best social arrangement possible in this world, and as the only one that offers the least opposition to the goal of spiritual living.

The special hospitality shown by Sree Gaursundar to sannyasins points to a spiritual duty on the part of the householder who aims at the attainment of a higher than the merely economic plane of living. By the practice of open-door hospitality alone the householder is brought into proper touch with those who keep up the ideal of spiritual service of the Lord in the form that is least likely to be misunderstood by the economic householder.

The institution of asceticism (sannyasa) is the distinguishing feature of the varnashrama system. It is the fourth stage in the life of a person belonging to the system; the other three being Brahmacharya (period of spiritual training), Garhastya (householder life) and Vanaprastha (period of retirement from domestic life). The Yati or sannyasin does not cook for himself. He may accept food cooked by the twice-born, who, being worshippers of Vishnu, cook only for the Lord. No articles of food may be offered to Vishnu that may cause pain to any sentient being or stimulate animal passion. Hence there should be no objection on the part of sannyasins to accept food cooked by Brahmana householders.

But no sannyasin may settle down at any place other than the Abode of the Lord. A sannyasin must continuously move from place to place for the benefit of those who lead a stationary life. A sannyasin has no other purpose than to serve the Pleasure of Vishnu. He is the Guru or spiritual Guide of all persons belonging to the other three stages. It is the duty of every householder to hospitably receive him with the greatest honor. It is the duty of the householder to offer his best hospitality to the sannyasin who is always a chance-guest. It is also his duty to receive the sannyasins with the greatest honour that is due to the order of the spiritual teachers of society.

The sannyasin is the chance-guest whom Sree Gaursundar specifically teaches all householders as in duty bound to honour. according to the varnashrama system no person is to be permitted to live for himself. The professional beggars are no exception to this rule. But neither the professional beggar nor the self-centered householder is a fit member of the society that is organized for serving the spiritual end although they are tolerated and given the chance of improvement by the generous provision of the system. The loyal members of the system never live unto themselves and are therefore, neither selfish householders nor professional beggars; although all householders are required by the system to tolerate and cherish even disloyal persons for the purpose of mutual improvement.

The professional beggar and miserly householder necessarily claim the lion's share of hospitality of every loyal household in a society in which they happen to form the majority of members. It is not laid down in the Shastras that there is any obligatory duty of hospitality toward those guests who insist on staying at a place for more than a single day at a time. From this provision it appears that the obligatory duty of householders towards chance-guests really refers to the sannyasins. The poor and the distressed are also mentioned in the Shastras as objects of charity. But it is carefully laid down that charitable gifts to such persons would benefit the giver and the receiver in the worldly sense only. But the hospitality to the chance-guest is recommended on the ground that it produces spiritual benefit to the householder without the necessity of his having to try to find out sadhus by undertaking journeys that are also enjoined to holy places where only the sadhus are to be ordinarily met with. Every householder was provided by means of such organized hospitality with the opportunity of spiritual communion with the sadhus coming to his door by serving them for his own benefit. In this duty all members of his family could also participate and be benefited thereby. It is not merely social benefit which would be secured by this practice, but an inclination for the spiritual service of the Lord without which no so-called social good is worth a brass farthing.

The institution of sannyasins is, of course, also liable to degenerate. Those sannyasin who do not serve the Lord are even worse than mere professional beggars. There has been an enormous increase of both species of beggars, as is to be expected in this world. But those professional beggars who pass themselves off as sannyasins in order to exploit the religious homage of the good householders, are also liable to be benefited by having to conform to the rules of the order which require every sannyasin to keep aloof from all association with the other sex and strictly discourage all accumulation of wealth, fixity of habitation and luxurious living. Those professional beggars with the garb of sannyasins who observe none of these rules, should be regarded as mere scoundrels who must not certainly be honoured as the spiritual teachers of the community. But it should be possible for every householder, with a clear realization of the true principles of the varnashrama system, to practice unstinted charity and good will towards all persons in the measure that is due to each. But the claim of pseudo-sannyasins, to be the authorized spiritual teachers of the community, should not also be seriously entertained on any Shastric principle. They may be sent away with kind words and outward respect due to their garb and may be given the bare necessaries of life of which they may actually stand in need.

There is, however, another and a higher aspect of the matter. Sree Gaursundar was playing the part of a devotee in the position of a householder. Those who were the recipients of the favour of His hospitality were undoubtedly most fortunate. Who then could be those who are really worthy of such high fortune. Do Brahma and other great beings on a level with Brahma stand in need of such favour? Even they, say the Scriptures, fail to attain the supreme mercy of such favour. Judged by the test of eligibility, however, they ought to have a preferential claim to such favour. So it is maintained by those who take this view that the Householder Leela of the Supreme Lord, acting the part of the ideal devotee, was intended for favouring Brahma and other great personages, who availed the opportunity by presenting themselves in the garb of chance-guests and beggars in distress.

Food, clothing, rice, a seat, anything offered by the Lord has power to benefit everyone in the fullest measure. Brahma and other great beings are no exceptions to the rule. There call be no true greatness save by the Favour of the Lord. One who attains such greatness by Divine Grace is enabled to realize more and more the infinite mercy involved in the eternal necessity of having to be the recipients of the Divine Favour. Unless the Lord is pleased by one's activity it has no value whatsoever. Its contribution to the Pleasure of the Lord constitutes the sole and supreme value of all activity for the lowest of jivas, as for the highest. Those who want to serve the Lord without desiring to be favoured, have a very poor idea of spiritual service. It is by all means the only natural function of the soul to desire the Divine Favour in every way. It is unnatural for the soul to desire any favour from any other quarter. Those who have no hankering for the Divine Favour, can have no experience of His Real Nature. This fatal stupor is curable only by the Causeless Mercy of the Lord which is apparently unnecessarily and indiscriminately. showered on all. Those jivas who fail to be reclaimed by the Divine Favour, have equal reason to be grateful to the Supreme Lord Who mercifully permits the fullest liberty of choice to all souls even against His own perfectly beneficent Dispensation.

It was, therefore, no departure from the principle of absolute causelessness of the manifestation of Divine Mercy, but really the most brilliant fulfillment, that is noticeable in the Activities of the Supreme Lord as Householder, in bestowing, His Favour, coveted by Brahma, Siva, and all highest personages, indiscriminately on all. This Conduct of the Supreme Lord also places before us, in true amplitude, the incalculable range of the beneficence of the activities of the bona fide Vaishnava householder. The Lord's purpose was to vindicate the function of His devotee. The favour of His devotee is superior in the quality of graciousness even to that of the Lord Himself. The devotee is eternally engaged in doing good, of which the recipients are unconscious, to those fallen souls who are deliberately opposed to the willing service of the Lord. This unsolicited favour from His devotee is the sole unknown cause of eligibility for the conscious and willing service of the Lord that is slowly manifested in all conditioned souls who are thus favoured. Rice, clothing and money which conditioned souls readily accept from the Vaishnava householder under the merciful pressure of destitution or even from the desire to beg by assuming the garb of a spiritual mendicant, possess the power of healing our aversion to the Lord that is equal to that of the direct Mercy vouchsafed by the Lord Himself to conscious and grateful recipients.

Everything possessed by a Vaishnava householder belongs wholly- to the Lord in the special sense that the devotee is fully conscious of the sole proprietorship of the Lord and is also eligible to act up to his conviction. His charity is, therefore, to be distinguished from that of one who usurps a thing by the right of pseudo-proprietorship. Whatever is therefore, accepted, given away or retained by the true devotee, is done on behalf of the Lord and, therefore, possesses the spiritual quality, imparted to an object due to its spiritual dedication to the service of the Lord, viz., that of delivering those concerned in the same from the bondage of this world. The food that is offered by the devotee to the Lord is called maha prasadam after acceptance by the Lord. Those who accept maha prasadam thereby consciously or unconsciously progress towards the activity of spiritual service. The remainder of the maha prasadam, after being honoured by the devotee, is termed-maha,prasadam, who possesses even greater efficacy than the prasadam as he produces faith in the spiritual nature of the devotee. All this is implied in the Hospitable Activities of the Lord acting the part of a Vaishnava householder.

If any trace of doubt is still left in the minds as regards the necessity of a Vaishnava householder serving Vaishnava sannyasins arriving at his house as chance-guests, it may be observed that the Vaishnava householder does not aspire to favour, help or benefit any body but serves all persons with whom he has any dealings. One who fancies himself to be a Vaishnava is a hypocrite. The Vaishnava is really and fully aware of his inferiority to every other entity; all of whom are viewed by him as objects engaged in the service of the Lord who are to be honoured as properties and servants of his Master. The devotee alone is, therefore, fully eligible for consciously serving the Vaishnava sannyasins and understands the real value of their mercy in visiting unsolicited the homes of householders under the Direction of the Lord, in order to afford them an opportunity of serving the Lord in the best manner by showing hospitality to themselves. This function of hospitality is capable of being fully discharged only by the Vaishnava-householder who is in a position to understand its necessity and high value for all concerned.

From the point of view of the householder the spiritual value of the obligatory duty of hospitality to all chance-guests consists in its being the necessary supplement of the begging and peripatetic guiding function of the sannyasins. The value of such hospitality increases in proportion as its significance is realized and embodied in the act. The external activity is liable to be abused by the misconception of its real nature. But the abrogation of the duty which is so emphatically and clearly enjoined by the Shastras on all householders involves the fatal danger of breeding disbelief in the spiritual principle. One, who is really anxious to find out the duty of a householder, should be careful to avoid the mistakes of supposing it to be a merely mechanical activity on the one hand or as the product of designing hypocrisy or ignorant simplicity on the other. The householder should exercise his hospitality discriminately and must always pay due attention to the spiritual import. The modern institutions of public almshouses, hospitals and other charitable organizations err by trying to remove only the worldly miseries and wants of those whom they desire to serve. The husk is ostentatiously dangled before the greedy imaginations of self-deluded souls who are deliberately disposed to prefer it to the grain which tastes bitter to their diseased palates. These institutions, if they are to do the maximum good to mankind, should change their principles of management and objective by subordinating unconditionally the worldly point of view to the spiritual. The present discriminating worldly charity which they dispense, should give place to indiscriminate spiritual charity. This applies equally to individual householders who make a show of benefitting the needy and the destitute and other chance guests by practicing covert arrogance in the name of serving hospitality. To the purely worldly understanding, the product and the punishment of egotistic vanity which is the proper negation of the principle of spiritual service, these considerations are unfortunately apt to seem visionary and unpractical. Those who deliberately choose to regard the perverted reflection as being itself the substance of which it really happens to be the shadow, have no other alternative but to continue to behave perversely.

Lakshmi Devi cooked the meals of the family by. Herself, unassisted, and yet experienced the greatest happiness in the performance of this duty. Most fortunate mother Sachi, watching this Behaviour of Lakshmi, felt a great and hourly increase of her gladness. From early dawn Lakshmi performed all the duties of the household alone by Herself. This was Her Nature, or Religion. She drew the circles of the svastika in the shrine for Godhead and the figures of the Conch and the Disc with great care. She made every preparation for the worship of the Lord by perfumes, flowers, incense, lighted lamp and well-scented water. She constantly served the tulasi and applied Her Mind, with even greater assiduity, to the service of Sachi Devi.

By observing this Conduct of Lakshmi Sree Gaursundar did not say anything openly but felt glad at Heart. On some days, taking into Her Arms the Feet of the Lord, Lakshmi Devi would continue to tend Them for a while. Once Sachi had a most wonderful vision. She saw a most brilliant massive tongue of fire buming under the Feet of her Son. On some days mother Sachi scented a great perfume of the lotus flower everywhere about the rooms, doors and windows, that also never ceased. Thus at Nabadwip abode Lakshmi and Narayana hiding Themselves and so no one could know. Then, after sometime had passed in this manner, the Lord, Who is ever full of every wish, had a desire of beholding the country of East Bengal. The Lord thereupon spoke to His mother to the effect that He intended to go out of Home for a few days. Sree Gaursundar said to Lakshmi to serve the mother unceasingly. Thereafter the Lord, taking with Him a few favored students, started for East Bengal, with great Pleasure.

In the above paragraph I have tried to reproduce the words of Sree Brindabandas Thakur. They afford a glimpse into the ideal of the relationship of the loyal wife to her God-fearing husband in this world. Sree Lakshmi Devi is the ideal servant of Her Husband's Household. There is no one else to assist her. Mother Sachi as well as Sree Gaursundar are recipients of Her help. She occupies the unconditional subordinate position. There is no question of equality of status or function. Her duties lie within the household and are not shared by Her Husband or mother-in-law. Her principal work is to make careful arrangements for the worship of Vishnu, decorate His shrine by drawing the figures that are emblematic of the Powers of the Lord, tend the tulasi and attend constantly on Sachi Devi. She cooks and serves the meals offered by the family to Godhead. She tends the Feet of Sree Gaursundar. She works from early dawn till late at night. She does all this with a perfectly loyal and glad heart.

This is no doubt wholly opposed to worldly ideas regarding the proper position of the wife in the household of her husband. It appeals to neither the mundane intellect nor to the mundane connubial sentiment. The life seems to be too mechanical, too narrow and too much subordinated. It does not at all provide for the bodily and mental comforts of the wife. It severely curtails the sphere of her activities to the inside of the house of her husband. There is no variety of work, no provision for leisure or other recreation. There is strangely enough little reference to the sexual conjugal love. It may not be unnaturally supposed-that all this may be convenient from the point of view of the elders but are not likely to be relished either by the husband or, least of all, by the over worked wife herself who is crushed by a system of sheer, joyless, purposeless slavery which can only make her gradually lose even the energy of making any piteous protests. The mother-in-law is the standing dread of a worldly wife who considers it physically impossible to please superimposed elderly mistress at her elbow whose tastes are bound to differ radically from hers.

The difference between willing rational service and slavery is real and need not be overlooked. If one submits to another from a sense of duty and in pursuance of a rational object such submission becomes necessarily differentiated from slavery. The quantity or nature of the work that may be performed is no proof of its slavish character. What should be the proper object of every household? The atheistic conception seems to be that the household is the product of the sensuous outlook and its object is to satisfy our mundane cravings in an effective manner. Work and leisure according to such view, should be so arranged that no undue excess of either may produce harmful bodily or mental discomfort. Liberty of choice in the selection of work and the method of its performance is regarded as the keystone of the arch of social and domestic felicity; although the danger of anarchy in both domestic and social government is also admitted. The two objectives of the household system of this democratic Age of equality are maximum personal liberty and maximum personal comfort of every inmate. The outlook is of course worldly. Those who are disposed to defend the system of purdah and subordination of the wife to her husband, do so because they believe that the worldly ends are likely to be better served by the adoption of those methods.

As a matter of fact inequality in work, temperament and ability are hard facts of our everyday experience, that cannot be abolished by simply overlooking their existence from a conviction of the sheer impossibility of harmonizing all discordant differences. If the object of the household institution be to secure the maximum possible worldly enjoyment for every member, it is not possible to devise any arrangement by which this is really attainable. The full cup of domestic happiness is liable to be dashed in an instant by a solitary whisper and the mischief cannot be healed by the shibboleths of liberty and equality, or by the elaborate cunning of a complicated worldliness. The worldly end in itself is the Tantalu's Cup and it gives its deluding character to all the details of the system. It is the worldly end which really destroys the peace of the household and is bound to prevent the attainment of any really satisfactory result.

The sole object of the household institution should be to serve the Supreme Lord if it is the purpose to produce real peace and harmony. possible only by spiritual association. Neither the wife nor any other member should aim at personal comfort, nor should be encouraged to do so. But it is not possible to instill into any individual member the principle of unselfishness unless the same forms also the accepted principle of all members of the household. the service of the Supreme Lord alone can impress upon all unselfish persons, the necessity and desirability of its adoption as the only unconditional common function of all members of every household.

The Supreme Lord can be served only if He happens to be a person essentially like overselves if He condecends to receive our service. But it does not remove all difficulties, although it establishes the reality. of the serving function.

If the service of the Lord resembles the so-called service that is ordinarily offered to a human being the difficulties connected with the latter will recur in the proposed function. A human being normally desires the satisfaction of his personal needs and is prepared to do willingly what promises such satisfaction. The only difficulty in this case is that he does not know what can actually satisfy him. He is constantly in search of such satisfaction by the adoption of the available defective methods, due to his natural want of judgment and capacity. It is for this reason that he is doomed to suffer from perpetual dissatisfaction. Moreover, there is no reasonable guarantee that the methods adopted by him, for the unattainable ideal of complete personal satisfaction of Himself as a human being, will be, in every case, promotive of the similar satisfaction of those whose services he must require for his purpose. This uncertaintv in regard to both is reflected in the modern democratic cry of liberty and equality, showing that those interests have not been served by the unchecked pursuit of selfish happiness by each individual human being, however high the individualistic ideal may be regarded to be in the abstract. But the proposed democratic method has also its own defects. It quite unnaturally ignores all real differences of capacity, taste and character of the individuals. No lasting habitable structure can be expected to be built on radically unnatural and fallacious assumptions. The attempt is bound to produce fresh causes of discord and disappointment.

The common service of the Supreme Lord should be acceptable if it be really free from the above defects and thus ensure the attainment of the maximum satisfaction of the individual and the community. Vishnu is the Only Person Whose Plans for His Own Personal Satisfaction are ever productive of a perennial variety of conditions of the highest and lasting general and individual satisfactions of all jivas. The Pians of Vishnu benefit everybody, even those who wilfully abstain from receiving the benefit from a deliberate misunderstanding of the Nature of the Divine Personality. The atheists are mistaken in being afraid of losing their independence of action if they have to unconditionally obey the Lord. If they have no rational objection to unconditionally obeying their own real nature they can have none to obeying the Lord. By obeying the Lord all souls are enabled to attain the complete natural function of their own proper selves. By disobeying Him the soul ceases to find either himself or his function. This is proved indirectly by the futility of every effort to institute the perfect household by the misguided soul's own independent effort, by ignoring his natural relationship to his Lord. The service of the Lord is the source of all knowledge, all existence and all satisfaction of all souls. If we do not submit to serve Him we naturally grope in utter darkness by mistaking darkness for light. The object of every endeavour of every soul should be to seek for the Divine Guidance if he really wants to attain his complete normal existence. The service of the Lord should, therefore, be the only legitimate object of all household and social institutions.

In the Household of Sree Gaursundar every function was performed for pleasing the Supreme Lord. The practice of conjugal love is one of the most coveted objects of worldly life. It is also liable to degenerate into an abnormality due to the sensual nature of depraved man who is impelled by lust to deceive, himself in regard to his sexual responsibilities. Marriage is a failure if it be regarded as a means of satisfying one's carnal appetites. The wedded husband and wife should not be less free from the offense of sexuality than the bachelor. They marry with the object of attaining perfect immunity from carnality by adopting the regulated conjugal life that leads to this spiritual result. Such conduct for such purpose is practiced in the service of the Supreme Lord. But this natural function can also be neither learnt nor practiced except under spiritual guidance. The unassisted mentality of tiny individual souls does not enable them to realize their own supreme good. The rationality of the reason of man can itself be realized only by being rationalized by the All-knowledge and by consciously sharing in serving His Cosmic Plan. It is only in this way that one can escape the tyranny of his own native littleness.

Religion is not a departmental affair, nor the special business of any particular set of people. It is the practice of the service of the Truth in all affairs. But the Truth cannot be fully served by the limited cognition of the conditioned soul. The Truth in His Proper Nature is always Full and Immutable and is known only to the Supreme Soul Who has also the power to Communicate Himself to the multitude of individual souls. The Truth cannot be known if one acts in opposition to the source of rationality.

Conduct which is irrational is also improper and unnatural for a rational being. There can be no other test of impropriety. All conduct, therefore, ceases to be rational as soon as it neglects to receive inspiration from the Source of all knowledge. No act can be irrational or undesirable that is done in conscious obedience to the Will of the Absolute. The domestic duties of the loyal wife cease to be drudgery and slavishness if they are performed in conformity with the Wishes of the Supreme Lord. The leisure, liberty and comforts of the worldly wife are the means of confirming her taste for dissipations that are bound to react in a most mischievous manner on her real self and on the souls of her aiders and abettors.

The service of the Lord, Who is perfectly free from all defects, is the only natural function of the pure cognitive essence of the free soul. In every work that a truly rational being undertakes there can be only one object, viz., to realize and carry out the Wishes of Godhead. The Conduct of Sree Lakshmi Devi belongs to the plane of the unconditional loving service of the Lord. The unity and concord of the household are fully secured by the willing and indefatigable exertions of the loyal God-fearing wife, and, at the same time, the only function of a perfectly rational existence in the form of the practice of loving devotion of Godhead is realized for herself by the service of those who thus employ her in their service of Godhead. If Sachi Devi had any desire for selfish enjoyment she would have failed to have such high regard for her Daughter-in-law. She accepted the services rendered to her by Sree Lakshmi Devi in the spirit in which they were rendered, viz., in order to honour her Divine Husband's mother who possessed the spontaneous absorbing serving affection for her Divine Son. Sree Lakshmi Devi loved her Husband on the plane that is absolutely free from all mundane passions attainable to one who is wholly dedicated to the service of the Lord. The Lord responded to Her serving love by pursuing the Role of the ideal Devotee Who serves Krishna with all his faculties. But at the bottom of it all lay Her actual relationship with the Divine Personality, the fulfillment of Whose Wishes tantamounts to the successful performance of one's whole duty.

The work of a menial is looked down upon, but it can never be banished from this world. It is similarly easy enough to sneer at the loyal wife who sets herself with perfect satisfaction to the exclusive performance of ordinary domestic duties. But the food cooked by Sree Lakshmi Devi is accepted by the Lord and benefits all who partake of the remains of the Lord's Meal. The rich food cooked by atheists may minister to the pleasures of the palate of an Epicurean, but is never the Great Grace (maha prasadam) of the Lord that the other is. The humblest work that is performed for the Lord has the greatest potency and more than fully satisfies the utmost needs of all the faculties of our souls, because it is most fully free and rational. This makes spiritual conduct eternally different from the worldly and absolutely unintelligible to all worldlings.

The personal subordination of the wife to the good husband makes her the mistress of the household in the sense that she is thereby enabled to have the right of serving every member in the way that is in keeping with the spiritual purpose. If she aspires to be the mistress in the sense of being allowed the right to lord it over the household, her position from the spiritual point of view would be worse than useless, inasmuch as she would altogether cease to render any service to the Lord. On the spiritual plane the only admissible position for the soul is that of the servant of servants. In such case, however, neither the wife nor the husband is really servant or master of one another. Both are servants and servants of the servants of their common and only Lord. Any difference in the nature of their respective forms of service does not affect their natural status of exclusive servants of the Lord. Failure of duty towards the Lord would result if either party misunderstands his or her real status as servant of the Lord. Those who suppose that any authority can be exercised by any of us by the right of selfish enjoyment (the worldly sense of mastership), are thereby led to quarrel about precedence and status. In the spiritual institution of the household precedence is accorded to the female over the male in the service of the servant of the Lord. The wife is truly honoured above all other members in this way. This is the Divine Dispensation and is intended to curb the vanity of mastership and mistressship that are inborn to the conditioned state which is disposed to exploit the difference of sex for selfish enjoyment. There would thus be no difficulty if we regard the arrangement enjoined by the Shastras from the point of view of our mutual service to our common and only Master.

The personal service which was rendered by Sree Lakshmi Devi to Her Husband may be objected to by those females who are unduly addicted to sensuous enjoyment under the impression that it is the goal of all human endeavour. Such persons may be disposed to think that the life led by Sree Lakshmi Devi was too formal or too respectful or wanting in the qualities of sympathy and affection. But everyone will easily perceive the exquisite propriety of Her Conduct as being in perfect conformity with the requirements of the very highest spiritual service.

This brings us to an important issue. The relationship of sensuous enjoyment is wholly forbidden to the conditioned soul although it alone necessarily appears to him or her as the one thing needful. In place of such relationship, which prevails in this world, and which is the root cause of all troubles of conditioned souls, is to be substituted the relationship of common service of the Supreme Lord by the employment of the senses not for the gratification of one another but for the sole satisfaction of their only legitimate Enjoyer. This institution of marriage is intended to lead to the realization of this relationship of spiritual service in the matter of sexual conduct. This is realized by honestly following the injunctions of the Shastras against the natural dictates of our worldly inclination. Enjoyment is the right reserved for the Supreme Lord, because He alone is the only Master. He alone possesses real authority over all persons and its exercise also does not, for this reason, involve any untoward consequences. The true rational order of spiritual cosmos is set at naught by the unnatural proprietary ambitions of conditioned souls, who are by their spiritual nature, servants of every spiritual entity and can never be the Lords of any entity because every entity including themselves, is the exclusive servant of the Supreme Lord.

The failure to realize the spiritual import of the Conduct of Sree Lakshmi Devi is responsible for the sexual excesses that are sometimes practiced under the garb of following loyally the conduct of Sree Gaursundar as Householder. Sree Gaursundar was pleased with the Conduct of Sree Lakshmi Devi because it was in accordance with His Own Purpose and showed His Pleasure by commanding Her to serve Sree Sachi Devi during His sojourn in East Bengal. Sree Gaursundar did not reward the loyal service of Sree Lakshmi Devi by relaxing His strictly regulated Conduct towards Her, but by giving Her further opportunities of service of a higher order. The service of the servant of the Lord is higher than the direct service of the Lord Himself. Whenever the Supreme Lord is-pleased with the devoted service of a soul He shows His appreciation of such devotion by conferring on him the higher privilege of serving His servants. The mother of Sree Gaursundar serves the Lord, by the practice of parental affection. Sree Lakshmi Devi and Sree Tulasi Devi also serve the Lord by their respective aptitudes as consort and maid. Sree Lakshmi Devi also served Sree Tulasi. She now gave Her whole service to Sree Sachi Devi. It was no disrespect to Sree Tulasi Devi on the part of Sree Lakshmi Devi to prefer the service of Sree Sachi Devi to that of Sree Tulasi, inasmuch as Sree Tulasi occupies a position of inferiority to the Mother of Godhead in the scale of reverence. As a matter of fact, however, the apparent indifference shown to the service of Sree Tulasi by Sree Lakshmi Devi in comparison with her reverential and constant attendance on Sree Sachi Devi, was the better way of serving also Sree Tulasi.

The Activities of Sree Gaursundar are, however, not fully grasped in all their surpassing excellence unless we remember the cardinal fact that He is actually the Supreme Lord Himself. Sree Lakshmi Devi is the Eternal Consort of the Supreme Lord. The inexpressible Mercy of these Activities of the Divine Pair consists in this; that They play the roles of jiva souls, endeavouring to practice the exclusive service of the Lord in this world. The Lord does not appear in His Role of Enjoyer, lest He be misunderstood. But we are so grossly addicted to sensuous enjoyment that there Are not wanting persons among us who have not scrupled to seek to detect the presence of mundane sensuous propensity even in this wonderfully transparent and unambiguous Behaviour of Sree Gaurundar towards Sree Lakshmi Devi.

Sree Thakur Brindabandas dwells lovingly on the incidents of the sojourn of the Lord in Eastern Bengal in the company of His students. The Lord progressed in His journey to East Bengal by slow stages. No one, who had the good fortune of witnessing the Lord on His journey could take away his eyes from Him. Females on catching Sight of the Lord expressed the opinion that it is really worth while for the Mother Whose Son is He to have been born at all. Let us therefore, do humble obeisance to the Feet of His Mother. That Maiden who has obtained such Husband, is also most fortunate. That excellent Lady has obtained the highest goal of Her womanly birth., Thus praised repeatedly and without stint every male and female who chanced to meet the Lord on His journey. The Sight of the Lord, Whom gods aspire to behold, was available to all persons.

In this manner, moving slowly forward, Sree Gaursundar reached the bank of the Padmavati, in course of several days, journey. The Padmavati possesses the charming beauty of her mighty waves and excellent banks which look as if planted with orchards. As the Lord caught sight of Padmavati He sportively plunged into her water with His followers. From that day, sings Thakur Brindabandas, fortunate Padmavati acquired the efficacy to sanctify all the world.

The river Padmavati is a most beautiful sight. Her waves, banks and strong current are most captivating. The Lord beheld the Padmavati, to her great good fortune, with the greatest Pleasure, and took up His residence on her bank. The Padmavati thus obtained the same high favour which had fallen to the lot of the Daughter of Janhu (the Bhagirathi). The Lord with His followers bathed daily in the water of the Padmavati and sported with the greatest ardour in her stream, just in the same way as He had done in the Ganges.

Gaurchandra stayed for sometime in the country of Vanga. It is for this reason that East Bengal is a blessed land to this day. The Lord abode on the bank of the Padmavati. All the people were very much gladdened by the happy tidings of His Appearance in their midst. The tidings quickly spread in all directions that the Greatest of Professors, Nimai Pandit, had arrived in the country. All those worthy Brahmanas, who were really fortunate, soon presented themselves before the Lord with appropriate offerings for the teacher for admission to the high privilege of His Teaching. As they. presented themselves before the Lord they made their humble obeisance and supplicated for His favour with great humility to the effect that it is by our great good fortune that it has come to happen that Thou hast appeared in this country. The selfsame Person to Whom we are wont to resort for our studies carrying with us our treasure and family to distant Nabadwip, that rare Treasure Himself, has been brought Bodily to our own door by the Mercy of Godhead. Thou art the visible Incarnation of Brihaspati himself. There is no other Professor who is like Thee. Even the parallel of Brihaspati is not worthy of Thee. Thou seemst to be an Integral Portion of Godhead Himself, as no one except the Divinity can ever possess such scholarship and may attract so irresistibly the mind and treasure of all of us. We pray to Thee for the gift of a little learning to all of us. May we humbly submit, Best of the Twice-born, that all of us do study and teach by the help of Thy annotations and have thereby received already the indirect benefit of Thy most valuable instructions. May Thou be pleased to make us also Thy direct disciples that Thy Fame may pervade the whole world.' The Lord encouraged them by His Smile and for a period, condescended to enact His Pastimes of Teacher in the country of East Bengal. 'By the force of this most fortunate event, writes Thakur Brindabandas, 'even to this day, all over the country of Bengal, males and females perform the congregational kirtan instituted by Sree Chaitanya.'

The place, where Sree Gaursundar took up His residence during His stay in Eastern Bengal, is not mentioned in any of the available records. Some maintain that it is the village of Magdoba in the district of Faridpur. It is necessary to note that the practice of the congregational kirtan initiated by Sree Chaitanya, in which both males and females took a part, was found to be already well established in different parts of East Bengal shortly after the Disappearance of Lord Chaitanya when Thakur Brindavandas wrote his immortal work. Thakur Brindavandas's account gives us the further interesting information that Nimai Pandit was the Author of a gloss on the Kalapa Vyakarana which was extensively used in the tols of Eastern Bengal. But we have not yet come across any copy of the gloss if, indeed, one was ever actually penned by Sree Chaitanya.

This puts it beyond all doubt that the Fame of Nimai Pandit as Professor is far from being a myth concocted by His Ignorant followers. The fact that the country of East Bengal with its great river was actually sanctified by the visit of the Supreme Lord, although the spiritual contention may not be really acceptable to the atheistical understanding, is the really momentous feature of the whole episode. There cannot be a greater fortune for a country than the Personal Presence of the Lord on its soil. The result is spiritual and eternal but is impossible to trace in a form that appeals to the heart of persons immersed in secular affairs. There may come a time when it will be possible to write the inner history of the wonderful vicissitudes of conditioned souls during their sojourn in this world from before the beginning of Time. The peripatetic Tour of Nimai Pandit in East Bengal will appear in the true perspective in such a Narrative as fraught with consequences that are not measurable in terms of any mundane value. It is necessary for the purpose of the present account to hint at the associated result. The land trod by the Lotus Feet of Sree Chaitanya becomes the Hallowed Tirtha which it is the bounden duty of all Vaishnavas to visit. The country which is cherished by the Vaishnavas is afforded the only chance of attaining to the pure service of the Lord.

The Lord was seen, as He really is, by many fortunate inhabitants of East Bengal, both male and female. The female realized Him as the ideal Son and Husband. In the literature of the sect which calls itself 'Gaur-nagaris' the fact, so clearly stated by Sree Brindavandas Thakur, has been willfully distorted in order to suit their theory that Nimai Pandit excited the passion of unconventional amour in all female beholders. But Nimai Pandit was the Ideal Husband and Son and the Teacher by His Own Personal Example of the spiritual necessity of absolute abstinence from sexuality. The Supreme Lord in His Pastimes as Sree Chaitanya does not appear in His Roll of Enjoyer and Proprietor of all things. Sree Chaitanya is not Sree Krishna as Lover of others, but Sree Krishna as loving Himself. The two roles are wholly different and cannot be confounded with one another. One who loves the Lord has no desire for his own enjoyment; whereas the Lord Himself possesses an infinite desire for every form of enjoyment. The insatiable desire for enjoyment of the Lord provides the perennial opportunity of His service to all pure souls. It was the object of Sree Chaitanya to show by His Own Conduct how this service is to be performed by the pure souls. For the conditioned soul accordingly the Leela of Sree Chaitanya is unambiguously wholesome as affording him the chance of learning the service of the Supreme Lord by His Own Guidance and Example. It is, therefore, necessary to be on one's guard against any willful distortion of the nature of these Supremely Magnanimous Activities of the Lord. They are not identical with, but correspondent to, the Dvapara Leela of Sree Krishna. The necessity of this caution will appear from a consideration of the following facts recorded by Thakur Brindavandas to warn us against the fatal consequences of misrepresenting the Teachings of Sree Chaitanya from worldly motives.

It is, of course, not possible for any except the specially fortunate to understand the Transcendental Activities of the Divinity. It is no undue disparagement of the nature of the conditioned soul to declare that he has no chance of understanding the Ways of Providence by his own puny effort. That, which becomes intelligible to the reason of man by its assertive exertions, is necessarily limited. We are fatally disposed to be complacently content with such knowledge (?) as comes to us in the shape of our so-called acquisitions. But they are not the Whole Truth. That which is limited, that is to say exceeded or contained by. the limited reason of man, is rejected by his soul as unnecessary and worthless, the moment its limited character is clearly demonstrated. So there is a constitutional spiritual hankering for the limitless in our proper selves. This hankering also imperatively demands complete satisfaction. Such satisfaction is declared by all the scriptures to be realizable by the method of submissive acceptance of the grace of the transcendental teacher. We feel no hesitation to submit to the teacher (?) of the limited and are also proud to be the slaves of the laws of Nature. But when it is proposed that we should submit to the Unlimited or, in other words, be really free, we vehemently object to the process on the ground that we are likely to lose our birth-right of freedom by being deprived of the slavery of Physical Nature. It is this disloyal irrationality that is the only stumbling block in our way and which prevents us, more effectively than we are ever sincerely prepared to admit, from having any access to the actual realm of the Absolute. There are very few persons, indeed, who are not too obsessed by such misconceptions not to misunderstand the logic of the argument set forth above; and fewer persons still who are prepared to act up to it in practice.

The people of East Bengal, enlightened by the mercy of Sree Gaursundar, adopted the method of congregational chanting of the Name of Hari as the true universal method of worshipping Godhead. But no sooner did they accept the form of the pure religion than they were victimized by a regular succession of pseudo-saviours. Even by the time of Thakur Brindavandas there had already arisen quite a large number of these pretenders to savourship and they had actually done a good deal of positive harm. One of these degraded wretches in order to gain his livelihood passed himself off as Raghunath, the Avatara of Vishnu. Another sinner persuaded the people to sing him as Narayana by giving up the congregational chant of Krishna established by Sree Gaursundar.

Commenting on the doings of these profane hoary rascals Thakur Brindavandas notes the height of absurdity of people, who are so entirely at the mercy of Physical Nature that she makes them change their point of view three times in course of every day, being able to induce any one to mistake such ROGUES as themselves as the Supreme Lord. There was one of these devils, a pseudo-Brahmana, in the country of Rarh, who wore the mask of a Brahmana but was really a savage cannibal. This particular rascal had the audacity of making the people call him 'Gopala' (the Divine Cow-Boy Krishna); for which reason he was nick-named the 'Shiala' (fox) by the people.

Thakur Bindabandas uses very strong language, indeed, in his open condemnation of the practices of both these pretenders to saviourship and their deluded followers. He is specially grieved for the latter, declaring that the wretch who accepts any person as Godhead in lieu of Sree Chaitanya, is the worse criminal of the two. He then solemnly exhorts all persons 'to accept as true the facts that Gauranga Sree Hari is the Lord of the infinity of worlds, that all bondage wears off by the mere recollection of His Name, that one triumphs over all adverse circumstances if he but recollects even His servants. The Praises of the Lord are sung by the whole world. It is imperatively necessary to serve the Feet of the Lord after the manner of Himself, by discarding the wrong path.'

The danger from pseudo-saviours is twofold. They (1) induce the people to give up the worship of the Lord and (2) make their victims serve their own vile selves. The method that was adopted for gaining these ends was outwardly similar to that of Sree Chaitanyadeva. Thy also prescribed the congregational chanting of the name of Godhead meaning themselves. 'Sree Chaitanya is Godhead Himself. There is no impropriety in chanting His Name. There would be the most fatal dereliction of one's duty if one disbelieves the Divinity of Sree Chaitanya. The only duty of all His followers is to proclaim this Truth to all the world in the clearest possible manner so that no one may suffer by missing the excellent opportunity of serving the Supreme Lord in the only feasible way in this controversial Age which is devoid of natural faith. Those people who do not believe in the Divinity of Sree Chaitanya, are alone unfortunate, as they are prevented from adopting the only method of attaining the transcendental service of Godhead. This is the sad lot of the Sceptics. There is, however, a lot that is even worse than that of the Sceptics, viz., that which befalls the disloyal over-credulous. They allow themselves to be misled by the sufficiently transparent artifices of audacious rascals who know very well how to exploit their weakness. The true course lies midway between these extremes. The conduct and speech of the followers of Sree Chaitanya are, indeed, liable to be misunderstood by the hypocrites and their victims, in opposite ways. The atheistic credulous are apt to be misled by rascals who pass themselves off as Godhead for their utter want of faith in Sree Chaitanya. The faith in Sree Chaitanya is to be attained by avoiding the defects of disloyal credulity on the one hand and of scoffing incredulity on the other. It is, therefore, necessary to be cautiously but fully open to real enlightenment. But the case of those unfortunate people who are over-credulous on principle is the most deplorable of all, inasmuch as they are sure to fall into the clutches of those hypocritical rascals whose business it is to lead all those, who deliberately seek the untruth, still further away from the Truth. The only way of avoiding this danger is not to court it by neglecting the proper exercise of one's natural sense of right and wrong and by not following in all sincerity what really appears to be the right path even to our present imperfect judgment. The only right conduct, which also should spontaneously suggest itself to all persons so conducting themselves, is the cultivation of exclusive association with those who actually lead the spiritual life by avoidance of all unspiritual company. By such conduct the innate tendency for the service of the Truth is strengthened and the chance of benefiting by the instructions of the bona fide sadhus, who come to every seeker of their own accord, is decisively increased.

But it is not till one has the opportunity of the right kind of personal association with sadhus that he has any substantive chance of spiritual enlightenment, i.e., of realizing his natural faith in the Actiue Existence of Personal Godhead. One who seeks to undergo the necessary training for being fitted for the spiritual service of the Supreme Lord, can obtain real and effective help in this Age from no one else except Sree Chaitanya. But it is reserved only for those who are sincere seekers of the Absolute Truth to realize this. One may be very dull or very intelligent, as the world goes. Such dullness and cleverness will equally help or retard one's progress on the spiritual path according as he is sincerely disposed to serve. The theory of good conduct is related to substantive good conduct itself, as shadow to substance. The substance necessarily includes the shadow, but not vice versa. Right conduct is the practice of substantive sincerity. Those who are disposed to under value actual conduct regarding it as external are liable to overlook this all-important consideration. External conduct can alone feed the inner enlightenment by the process of concrete actual growing experience of the reality. The experience of the service of the Lord resulting from conduct possesses far greater enlightening power than the experience of worldly affairs, inasmuch as on the spiritual plane conduct and theory are really identical. A dull person who sincerely acts under the direction of a sadhu, attains the spiritual vision in much the same time that is taken by an intelligent person who is equally sincere. Worldly dullness does not stand in the way of obtaining the service of the Godhead, provided there is no deliberate insincerity. The dull person is never made intelligent in the worldly sense by his spiritual enlightenment. He still appears to be very dull to worldly people who are devoid of all true intelligence and incapable of understanding the perfectly cognizant spiritual conduct of the bona -fide servant of the Lord.

That, which appears to be wrong or right to the stultified conscience of the conditioned soul, is undoubtedly true for the time being, although the hollow and ephemeral nature of empiric ethical conduct must be patent to everyone who feels the slightest inclination for the ethical principle. Spiritual conduct is not mechanically attained either by practising or by discarding the empiric ethical conduct. In the conditioned state, ethical conduct with the necessary safeguards should be undoubtedly obligatory and one, who may be wantonly disposed to disregard the rules of morality, should be regarded as a real menace not only to social but also to spiritual well-being, and such conduct should be punished by all means. This will also automatically prevent the exploitation of the unthinking masses by the otherwise formidable gang of the pseudo-religionists. It is absolutely necessary to try resolutely to avoid this last-mentioned danger. But one should at the same time be careful not to fall into the blunder of supposing that empiric morality is the absolute principle or that social or domestic well-being is the summum bonum of human life. If the standpoint from which the moralist regards life be incapable of affording us a view of the Truth, in spite of any passing conveniences that may seem to result from its adoption, it should be the bounden duty of the human reason to seek for further enlightenment. Such an attempt may, indeed, show our want of absolute faith in the conclusions of empiric morality. But it is not antagonistic to the empiric moral principle. On the contrary it marks the stage of distinct ethical progress emhodying as it does the conviction that speculative morality does not take us far enough towards the attainment of the goal vaguely proposed by such morality.

Spiritual conduct, indeed, must not be imagined as identical with the empiric moral conduct, nor as its derivative. By the cultivation of so-called moral living the spiritual life is not positively realizable. Moral life is the imaginary Ultima Thulc of the advocates of so-called worldly well-being. The vision of the empiric moralists cannot pass the bounding line of the horizon of this world. The principles of empiric morality have a limited and temporary value. They are rehabilitated, not supplemented by the laws of spiritual living. One, who is truly anxious for spiritual enlightenment must, therefore, be prepared also for a thorough re-adjustment of his moral conduct both as regards its external manifestation and internal attitude. This change will not coincide with the requirements of the really irrational form of living striven for by the worldly minded ethical person and may even be found fault with by those who are thoughtless enough to imagine the correlative worldly principle to be the obligatory rule of human conduct. Such opposition is beside the point and has always to be reckoned with by all sincere seekers of the service of the Absolute Truth. It has its value for the negative well-being of the world in forcing the spiritual novice to explain his purpose to his opponents in an intelligible form thus helping the diffusion of the knowledge of the Truth and preventing hasty adoption of untruth that is found to parade in the garb of truth in this world.

But one may also commit the no less fatal blunder of waiting too long to embrace the Truth when He actually presents Himself by pretending to be cautious. If this is hypocrisy or idleness, as is often the case such a procedure will not help one progress towards the Truth. It is necessary to be sincerely prepared to firmly discard all untruth and to accept actively the Truth at all time in proportion to our real convictions. One who does not do so, is still the unreclaimed egotist who has not yet to acquire the salutary ambition for seeking to become an humble and active servant of the Absolute Truth. A seeker of the active service of the Truth should also be prepared to commit an infinity of mistakes in his honest endeavour to find Him. Indifference and idleness are the masked-forms of hostility to the principle of spiritual service and have to be most carefully avoided by all who are truly desirous of attaining the service of the Truth.

The Lord stayed for two months in East Bengal moving about in different directions always taking a particular interest in visiting the river Padmavati. There was a great resuscitation of sound erudition by His scholastic exertions. Hundreds of persons returned to their homes gaining their diploma by a brief course of study under the Lord;—such is the wonderful Power of Sree Chaitanya. The whole of East Bengal rushed to the Feet of Nimai Pandit for the acquisition of learning. Thousands of persons in this manner became the disciples of the Lord; and it is impossible to ascertain the number of those who obtained the blessing of His Teaching.

Meanwhile at Nabadwip Lakshmi Devi was very much distressed in Her heart by separation from Her Lord. She did not divulge Her condition to any one. She constantly served the mother. She tasted no food since the departure of the Lord but only made a show of accepting food as a mere formality. She was stricken at heart with the deepest grief by separation from Her Lord. She wept all through the nights by Herself. Sree Lakshmi Devi got no respite from Her great anxiety even for a moment. She at last felt the separation to be wholly unbearable and wished to make Her way to the presence of Her Lord. Thereupon, leaving behind in this world a body resembling Her Own Transcendental Form, Lakshmi Devi silently betook Herself to the Side of Her Husband, eluding the notice of everybody. Holding closely to Her heart the Lotus Feet of the Lord, Lakshmi Devi thus found Her way to the bank of the holy Ganges, in the state of beatific contemplation.

Thakur Brindavandas has refrained from describing the grief of Sree Sachi Devi at the Disappearance of Lakshmi, remarking that the cries of the mother melted even hearts of wood. The neighbors were very much pained by hearing of the departure of Sree Lakshmi Devi and turned up to do their customary duties by the departed.

The term used in the Shastras to denote the Consort of Godhead is 'Shakti' which may be rendered as 'Power'. Godhead is the Possessor or Lord, of all Powers. The Power of the Supreme Lord wears a twofold aspect and serves Him in apparently opposite ways. There is in the first place the spiritual Aspect. This is the Enlightening Aspect of the Divine Power and it is this Aspect that is directly obeyed by all bona fide servants of the Lord. There is also the deluding, Material or Limiting Aspect. This Aspect is of the nature of the Shadow of the Spiritual Aspect and as such manifests Herself at the opposite pole as the negative and subordinate form of the Spiritual Aspect. This second Aspect is called in the Shastras 'Maya Shakti' or the 'limliting' Power ; while the Spiritual Aspect is called 'Chit Shakti' or Cognitive Power. The two are not really separate, as the material Aspect is correlative and wholly under the control of the Spiritual Power. The bona -fide servants of the Supreme Lord are not under the necessity of obeying His Material or Limiting Power. Sree Lakshmi Devi is the Plenary aspect of the Spiritual Power of the Lord.

The relation of the Spiritual Power to the Supreme Lord, Who bears the Name of Sree Krishna, is one of indivisibility. Sree Krishna as the Lord of His 'Chit Shakti' is the Possessor and Controller of Power by means of the Divine Will, while Sree Lakshmi Devi, the Spiritual Power of the Lord is the Executrix of the Divine Will. Between the Divine Will and the Agency of His execution there is no difference of category, the One automatically and fully implying the Other. Sree Lakshmi Devi is the Plenary Power of Sree Krishna, representing the Will of Her Lord and carrying out the Same in regard to the secondary powers. Maya or the Material Power, is the Negative, Deluding Face of the Spiritual Power for the performance of a subordinate function that is secondary of correcting the paltry perversity of dissociated souls and for this reason being necessarily superfluous in the Spiritual Realm. The Material Power is comparable in Her action to the operation of a piece of cloud on the broad bosom of the spotless sky preventing the conditioned souls of this phenomenal world from obtaining a view of the Great Sun Sree Krishna. The cloud devised by Maya is a very very small part of the Cosmic arrangement, serving the Spiritual Power in a negative capacity for the sustenance of disloyal souls and correcting their perversity by providing the congenial scope for its indulgence. Maya has to employ deception in order to correct without resorting to any violence, the perversity of the dissociated soul due to the abuse of his freedom to choose his own course. But this necessity to deceive has no place in the economy of the Spiritual Universe

We are in this place concerned with the question of the intervention of the Spiritual Power in the benighted sphere under the penal jurisdiction of Maya. This is the Descent (Avatara) of Sree Krishna into this world For this Purpose the Lord employs the smallest fraction of His Spiritual Power, Or sends down Those Infinity of Plenary Divine Forms of His Own Who serve in diverse ways the Various Purposes of His Endless Activities, or He Himself comes down into this world. Sree Lakshmi Devi, the Eternal Consort of the Lord executes all these Purposes of the Lord through every degree and variety of Her co-ordinate manifestation. She is identical with the Divine Activity.

But the Principle which constitutes the bond between Sree Lakshmi Devi and the Supreme Lord, is not one of mechanical submission and domination. It is not at all like the relationship that exists in this phenomenal world between material power and its deluded possessor or slave. Neither is it the so-called rational submission which is conceivable by the perverted reason of the conditional soul. The Principle is expressed in the Shastras by the term 'prema' ordinarily rendered into the English word 'love', although the word love, does not possess the spiritual significance of 'prema'. 'Prema', or 'spiritual love', may be defined as the principle of conduct that aims exclusively and causelessly at the gratification of the Spiritual Senses of Krishna. Unspiritual love (karma) is defined as the principle that aims at the gratification of the material senses of non-Krishna i.e. of the agent himself.

Divine Personality, as conceived by the conditioned soul, is a profanation. The worldly notion of personality is radically unwholesome, being made of material stuff. It is not possible for the conditioned soul to conceive of personality except in terms of a phy-sical body bound to a sensuous mind delighting in its inextricable union with the former. This gross conception of personality also finds its way into the empiric attempt to conceive a Personal Godhead. The unwillingness on the part of empiricists to recognize the Divine Personality, is due to their apprehension of the inevitable presence of grossness in the personal conception itself. They naturally hesitate to extend to the Supreme Entity who is declared by the Scriptures and the innate senses of all humanity to be free from the least taint of unwholesomeness the degrading notion of personality that is conceivable to the reason of the conditioned soul. But there would be no ground for such hesitation if the Divine Personality were found to be really such as to make Him not only altogether free from our actual gross experience of personality of this world, but in perfect keeping with the highest requirements of our unbiased reason, which Can never be really satisfied with its hypothetical concoctions, and also with the declarations of the Scriptures.

The conditioned soul posing as a person is possessed of two conjoined sets of apparatus called indiscriminately in the English language, by the same word viz. 'senses'. The internal, cognitive sense-principle operates on the external world in the conditioned state by an external process of physical perception through the medium of the physical sense-organs directed and supplemented by the re-action of the material mind which educes the subtle entities of precepts and concepts from the gross impressions of external objects supplied initially by the physical organs. The personality of the conditioned soul is empirically supposed to consist definitely and concretely of the enveloping material principles and processes of the mind and the physical sense-organs directed to the objects of phenomenal Nature and tending to material gratification realizable in terms of the same by the inner conscious principle which remains otherwise passive. The unwholesome element of such personality consists in its material sensuousness. The inner conscious principle, by seeking to establish his affinity with the objects of phenomenal Nature, is ultimately responsible for the perpetuation of the super-imposed unwholesome ego thus realized as the individual personality which is condemned by the spiritual pro-personalists and the empiric impersonalists alike.

Philanthropism is the result of the unpardonable and sacrilegious attempt to make an ideal of this pseudo-personality and to thrust it also on the Divinity Himself. This is not always unaccompanied by a suspicion of the incongruity of such attempt. But the philanthropists fall into this utterly profane error by striving to escape by a natural impulse from the suicidal alternative of the acceptance of the principle of impersonality proposed by the logical school of Empiricism. But by confounding the mundane for the Divine they prove to be even worse enemies of theism than the impersonalists.

The tragedy of the profession of the spiritual(?) nature the mundane personality is due to the incongruous association of soul with matter in the state of bondage. The conditioned soul deliberately seeks sensuous gratification, which is foreign to his own spiritual nature, by making the world serve the pleasures of the senses. The principle on which he is made to set to work in such a process is supplied by his deluded assumption that he is proprietor, or enjoyer of this material world. But the role which is thus attempted is one that is foreign to the real nature of the jiva soul.

This proposed proprietorship means the domination of the infinitesimally little over the Infinitely Great. Such a process can by its nature be only delusive and disappointing. If the tiny soul allows himself to be dominated by the Supreme Soul he suffers from no such self-elected difficulty. The Supreme Soul can find the employment for the tiny soul that relieves the latter from the necessity of seeking the impossible unnatural paltry satisfaction of the gross physical senses. In the perfectly pure rational existence the subordination of the really little to the really Great is realized as being necessarily natural and congenial. It is the unnatural domination of the non-rational and the non-Great that demoralizes the soul in the conditioned state. The only cure of the aberrations of this frail so-called mundane personality is, therefore, supplied by the arrangement of the positive spiritual service of the supreme Soul by the little souls, not mechanically as proposed by the smartas, for the purpose of the gratification of the physical senses, nor impersonally which tantamounts to self-destruction but for the infinitely higher purpose of seeking the gratification of the Spiritual Senses of the Supreme Person Who is the necessarily Absolute Proprietor of everything.

The Supreme Dominating Person can be served positively and consciously by reciprocal dominated personalities and only negatively and unconsciously by impersonal entities. Hence the real reciprocal spiritual personality of his willing servants, or powers, is proved. The relation of the individual soul to the Supreme Soul is not identical with, but the reciprocal of the relationship of the Supreme Soul to the jiva. Sree Lakshmi Devi seeks the gratification of the Senses of Sree Krishna by an infinite number of complementary little personalities of various dimensions and specifications acting in perfect harmony for ministering to the pleasure of the Perfect Senses of Sree Krishna. The Personality of Sree Lakshmi Devi is not one of enjoyer but of provider of the Enjoyment of Sree Krishna and She serves only the Pleasure of Krishna. This reciprocal function in its twofold aspect, is 'prema' or 'spiritual love'.

So when the Supreme Lord intervenes Personally in the affairs of this mundane world for the deliverance of conditioned souls, Sree Lakshmi Devi ever accompanies Him and carries out the Wishes of Her Lord towards the jiva souls.

This is the real background of the picture drawn by Thakur Brindavandas. But the role that Sree Lakshmi Devi has to play as the consort of the ideal householder-devotee during his sojourn, by command of the Lord, in this material world, is only One Aspect of Her Divine Function as the Eternal consort of Her Supreme Husband in the Realm of the Absolute. She is the servant of the Servant of the Lord. She has to minister to the pleasure of the Supreme Lord under the direction of Himself as Servant in the role of Householder. She must not, therefore regard Her Husband as identical with the Supreme Lord in His Nature of Absolute Proprietor. She must not suppose that Her Husband stands in need of, or has any inclination for, enjoyment of any kind for Himself. Her Function as the Consort of the Devotee corresponds to that of Her Husband, Both acting the part of Associated Servants of the Supreme Lord in Their Roles of Husband and Wife of Each other, in order to teach the deluded wives and husbands of this world their proper relationship to one another in conformity with their absolute loyalty to Krishna.

Her pang of separation is, therefore, inexplicable on the supposition that Sree Lakshmi Devi actually experienced the discomforts of a mortal wife placed in a similar circumstance; although Her Conduct seems to be due to such motive. Her Disappearance from this world, which is ascribed to the intensity of Her Sorrow, also calls for a little explanation to prevent any gross misunderstanding.

Sree Lakshmi Devi was engaged in tending Sree Sachi Devi by Command of Sree Gaursundar during His tour of East Bengal. By refusing to take food and drink and forming the resolution of deliberately starving Herself to death (?) to put an end to Her own grief, She might be supposed to have been apparently neglecting the duty assigned to Her by Her Husband. To this the Conduct of Sree Vishnupriya Devi, after Renunciation of the Lord and also subsequently to His Disappearance from this world, would seem to be a great contrast.

The duty of a faithful wife whose husband is abroad, as laid down in the Shastras, is to eschew all comforts for herself and keep her mind perpetually fixed on her absent husband. By this means she would be enabled to retain and augment the constancy and intensity of her love for her husband. A wife may be faithful to her husband either quite causelessly out of pure love, or from a sense of duty, or for her own selfish happiness. The wife, who loves her husband causelessly, is supposed to be the ideal wife; while one, who minds her own advantage in caring for her husband, is rewarded as a hypocrite. But none of these have any, reference to the service of the Supreme Lord. If the husband himself be a servant of Vishnu it is only then that the conduct of the wife, who seeks to assist him in such service, necessarily also attains the level of service of the Divinity. In this case any love, duty or indifference, shown to the husband personally , without any conscious realization of his function as servant of the Lord, would also seem at first sight to fall short of the full service of Krishna. This brings us really to the dangerous ground. It is, of course, possible for his wife to be carnally attached to a Vaishnava husband. If it be so, what will be the consequence of such attachment? A Vaishnava by his very nature can never be a participator in the carnality of his wife. There can, therefore, be no chance of reciprocal carnality in such a case, as the wife would receive no encouragement to follow her suicidal course. There would then remain the chance of her own regeneration if her attachment to the Vaishnava husband, although due to carnal motive, induces her to serve him faithfully through all apparent neglect on his part. This will tend to establish that real contact between the two which will he undoubtedly beneficial for both, if the husband continues true to the Lord. Even if in such a case the wife be not enabled to attain to the conscious service of the Lord she would unconsciously take a long stride in the direction of such service. If, therefore, the husband be a true Vaishnava a path is opened thereby even to a carnally disposed wife to attain to the spiritual condition by serving him in a friendly way. Any service rendered to a Vaishnava from any kind of friendly motive, is rewarded by the attainment of the summum bonum. On the other hand the only conduct, that is really obstructive of the spiritual well-being of any person, is that inspired by disinclination to serve the Vaishnavas or a positive inclination to oppose or vilify them.

The spiritual service of Krishna offers unfettered freedom of choice to every-body as regards the form in which it is to be rendered. The only thing needed is absence of conscious aversion to the Lord or to His servants, and especially the latter. Any aversion shown to the servants of the Lord is fatal for the same reason that makes any form of friendly attachment to him a means of assured safety. There is no other way for the deliverance of conditioned souls except by serving the servants of the Lord, who appear in our midst and who by command of the Lord graciously accept any and every form of service for the well-being of all sinners without exception.

Therefore, judged from the point of view of the wife of the ideal house-holder-devotee the conduct of Sree Lakshmi Devi is self-protected against all adverse criticism for the reason that it happened to be of the nature of an intense friendly attachment for the Servant of the Lord. Her Role was, therefore, exactly in keeping with the Purpose of the Lord Himself and vital for clearing up most serious misconceptions on the subject of one's duty by a Vaishnava.

The Departure of Sree Lakshmi Devi to Her Own Realm of Vaikuntha did not in anyway obstruct the Activities of the Lord. The loyal wife of the most rabid worldling can desire for no more pleasant exit from this world than was exhibited by Sree Lakshmi Devi without any of the unwholesome factors that are necessarily associated with the departure of the sinner.

But as a matter of fact the mode of Disappearance from this world of the Supreme Lord and His Eternal Consorts, servitors and paraphernalia is altogether different from the death of a mortal. The art of the magician furnishes the nearest parallel of the Divine Activity. The magical performs the feat of dying in his own person to the view of the spectators without really dying at all. Sree Lakshmi Devi deluded the people into believing that they witnessed Her death to the detail of cremating her Supposed dead body, independently of any change to Herself. The creation of an actual physical body was not necessary as the Eternal Consort of the Lord is the Mistress of physical Nature and performs all Her Spiritual Acts, even in this world, without any positive help of the Deluding Material Energy, Who is Her Own subservient Shadow

But the Grief of Sree Lakshmi Devi, which was the cause of Her Departure, was not a pretense. The Lord has the Power of making Himself invisible even to Sree Lakshmi Devi. Herself The Grief of Sree Lakshmi Devi is, however, not like the grief of conditioned souls who are pained by being deprived of their opportunity of selfish enjoyment. Sree Lakshmi Devi is the Eternally Inseparable Consort of the Supreme Lord, but is nevertheless not identical with Him. It is this which makes possible Their Relationship of Love in Union and Separation. She has Her Existence in the Divine Function of causeless loving service of the Supreme Lord. She serves the Lord equally both in union and separation. So there is no decrease of love or bliss but only a change of the form of service when Sree Lakshmi Devi displays the extreme Grief of Separation from Her Only Lord.