The need for every one of us is to solve the real problem of suffering caused by our existence in this mortal world. The solution is well-known to those special souls who are truly acquainted with the eternal spiritual realm, and they are able to impart that to others. It is the introduction to these secrets which is being expressed in this booklet Inner Fulfilment.
I bow down with my full obeisances to my Spiritual Master, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, from whose books this present publication has been compiled, with the addition of newly transcribed selections from his taped discourses. Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the acknowledged head of all theistic schools and spiritualists of the modern age. His teachings are largely of the ‘post graduate’ grade, but he graciously gave much encouragement and clear directives for newcomers to seriously take to the path of the attainable goal of life—joyful immortality.
There are almost two hundred publications from his Mission now available worldwide in over a dozen languages. Most of these publications assume that the reader already has some familiarity with the conceptions involved. Inner Fulfilment, however, has been compiled to give an introduction for all sincere seekers, whether or not they are previously acquainted with such topics.
Readers interested in further literature and information are invited to refer to the list of books and addresses at the back of this publication and to correspond with the Secretary of any of our principal centres worldwide.
This book is being published during the Centenary Year of my Srila Guru Maharaj in order to help further extend the treasures of his guidance to sincere souls the world over. As his successor and the Sevaite-President-Acharya of his worldwide Mission, it is a great duty for me, and also a great joy, to broadcast his teachings and glories far and wide.
I extend my happy appreciation to Sripad Mahananda Das Bhakti Ranjan for bringing out this booklet, Inner Fulfilment, as one of our Mission’s introductory publications for mass distribution.
It is my prayer that the compilation of the selected texts herein may give nourishment, and new life, to all.
Swami B. S. Govinda
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
The Auspicious Day of Jagannathdev’s Ratha Yatra
30 June 1995
Searching the Solution
From taped discourses by
Srila B. R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
The innate principle of life is to save one’s own self, to become immortal, to come out of ignorance, and to become happy.
Our very existence is being threatened at every second here where we live; also, ignorance is threatening to cover our knowledge; and we are always being threatened to be swallowed by misery. These are our standing enemies, our born enemies, which are constantly threatening us.
We must fight them in a scientific way and find out how to get free from them. They threaten our very existence, our very knowledge, and our very sense of happiness.
bhidyate hrdaya-granthis chidyante sarva-samsayah
ksiyante casya karmani mayi drste ’khilatmani
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 11.20.30)
When we gain the proper solution, all questions will disappear. That which is almost impossible and unthinkable—such a solution we will gain from the ancient scripture Srimad Bhagavatam. Such a stage is possible. What is that? Bhidyate hrdaya-granthih: all the ties within the heart will be unloosened. The heart is full of different bindings. We tie ourselves with this idea, that idea—thousands of ideas. We are tied down by: “I like this. I like that. I like it.” But there is a certain type of knowledge that may descend within us that will cause all these bindings to be unloosened at once.
At once we will find that so many ties are all unnecessary: so unloosen them, unloosen them all. They are our enemies. We thought them to be our friends, and we wanted to tie ourselves with them. Unloosen! Unloosen! Unloosen! They are not friends—but are all enemies—therefore all the ties of the heart are to be broken off.
Bhidyate hrdaya-granthih is in the first stage: to become free of the ties of activity—karma. And the layer of knowledge is the next stage, chidyante sarva-samsayah: there are so many doubts; doubts after doubts, but just as mist disappears, all doubts will be cleared. There is such a stage: a plane free from all doubt.
The Upanisads also come and say:
yasmin vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati
yasmin prapte sarvam idam praptam bhavati
tad vijijnasasva tad eva brahma
Enquiry is good, but enquire like a proper man, in a proper, scientific way. Search. Search for the particular thing which equates to the search of everything. Come to search that thing which will solve your entire problem. Searching after this, searching after the wants of A, searching after B, searching after C—dismiss all these mad ideas. Search only after the one thing that will satisfy everything. It is possible.
Yasmin vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati: if we know that one point, everything is known. If we get that thing, everything is achieved. Is it possible? Yes, it is possible! And when we come to such faith, then it is real faith: it is sraddha.
It is possible—there is the central truth. If we know that, everything is known. If we get that, everything is got. So, if you want to be a student, study such a thing of absolute characteristic, the grand characteristic, not partial. Search for the whole, the conception of the whole. That will take us to the understanding of the one ruling polarity, the one unity, the oneness of the whole: the idea that from one point the whole of our conception is being controlled and ruled. The One is the whole, and the One is the Master of the whole, and if I can be acquainted with that One, I will be acquainted with the whole.
We are to search for the Master of the conscious plane. Almost everything depends upon consciousness. External sensations and perceptions all depend upon consciousness. A ‘thing’ means a perception of the thing by eye, or by touch. Everything that we experience in this world is a cluster of perceptions, sensations—and the whole thing is based on consciousness.
So we are to search for the Master, the King of the conscious world. We have no engagement in this mundane world except to search for the cause, the prime cause. In different stages of life there is gradation of cause up to the land of beauty and love. We are to withdraw there. Back to God, back to home. Back to the centre. Home—not only consciousness.
Consciousness is only on the way. Just as on a long journey there are so many hostels along the way, similarly, consciousness is on the way to the land of love and beauty—to the land of Krishna. First we must cross consciousness, then we shall find sweetness, anandam, rasam. Anandam is controlling, not consciousness. Consciousness is the basis, but the real hankering of all of us is for happiness, ecstasy, anandam, rasam. Rasa, beauty, is controlling, and that can satisfy our inner hankering—not jnan, knowledge, and not consciousness. Consciousness is not the integer. What to speak of this material energy, even consciousness cannot satisfy our inner hankering.
The inner hankering is for satisfaction, happiness, sweetness, love, beauty, and mercy. Really the inner analysis of our heart is that we are all hankering for sweetness, for rasa, but we are wandering hither and thither for that rasa, and frustrated we come back with a slap on our cheek. We are going for rasa, but frustrated, with a slap, we are coming back. In this way we are wandering endlessly, as dictated by the forces of the external nature. We are wandering hither and thither, but by this process we won’t find the proper thing.
Fortunately the agents from the high level come to our relief. By various means, with or without us being aware of it, they inject some special news, which, when accumulated, creates such energy in us that, “I must go back to my home!” We are told that our home is such, and that our fortune is connected with such a form of life. We must return back there. That is the campaign of Krishna consciousness, and that is the land of Vrndavan, the happiest domain, the most extensive plane which includes everything. It is not a part. This world is a negligible part of that infinite world, that infinite ocean of sweetness. All may be accommodated there.
It is not idolatry, not hypnotism, not sentimentalism, not emotionalism, but it is concrete fact as much as we want happiness. The materialists are searching and thinking they are getting something; but by money and women they are becoming frustrated. What is apparent is not real. They are being deceived in such a way all through their lives more or less.
So, we are fortunate if we receive guidance from the conscious friends in our life, who endeavour to recruit us to that domain: “Come to your senses. Come to your normal position. Come to your home. You are all misguided like crazy men, running hither and thither for happiness and pleasure, but you are not getting it, and this is common. The wild-goose-chasing of scientific researchers is trying to furnish you with more comforts of the transient, flickering type, but such attempts are going in the opposite direction.
“They are inviting you to get more comforts by the help of the gross conception, but you will not find the real thing there. You will have to go inside. Home is necessary. Instead you are being carried to a foreign land, dependant upon a foreign thing for your happiness. But real happiness does not depend on the supply of these physical comforts, it is within. It lives within. It is an independent thing.
“Stone and electricity cannot produce comfort for you. But that which can give comfort is superior in comparison to one who is searching like a crazy man for comfort. Real comfort holds a superior position to you. That which is inferior to you in nature will not give you comfort. Your thirst can be satisfied and fulfilled only from the higher region, not from the lower. Therefore do not be mad to find it in the lower, in the fossil, but direct your search to the higher realm and take guidance from those friends who endeavour to recruit you to that domain.”
To heed this call is the real wealth of life for each and every one of us.
The Vision of Goodness
Basically the advice of Rg-veda, the first Veda that descends from the upper world to this world, is: “The primary requirement for you all is to conceive that there is a world above, and ‘above’ means in the line of consciousness. Your highest identity is that of consciousness, and you must adopt that conscious world above you as your shelter. You will live and move there. This is the radical change. Here, you are in the atmosphere of exploitation, but that is the land of service. There, you have to think in terms of service. That is on your head. That region is superior to the stuff you are made of. So do you want that connection? Or do you prefer to reign in hell than to serve in heaven? What do you like? Consider, and then come forward. You can have a prospect of attaining everything up to Krishna, the Absolute. Otherwise you will have to revolve here in this world of 8,400,000 species.”
jalaja navalaksani sthavara laksa-vimsatih
krmayo rudra-sankhyakah paksinam dasa-laksakam
trimsal-laksani pasavah chatur laksani manusah
“There are 900,000 aquatic, 2,000,000 immobile, 1,100,000 worm-cum-insect, 1,000,000 bird, 3,000,000 animal, and 400,000 human species.”
These are the 8,400,000 classifications of species throughout which you will have to wander, in the world of action and reaction. You need to select your path. Do you want to be a member of the land of immortality? Do you want janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi (birth, death, old age, and infirmity), or immortality? If you want immortality, you will have to pay for the ticket. You will have to take the visa. You will have to prepare for such a categorical beginning.
Diviva caksur atatam … marisyeti pasu-buddhim imam jahi: “So do away with your animal consciousness that you are flesh and blood. No! You are not limited to flesh and blood, but you are a conscious unit, and you won’t die. You are not a member of this dying world, where everything is sure to die on account of its misidentification. This is forced upon you—you must die, you must become infirm, you must be born, you must suffer from disease—but all these are misidentification of your self with your body. This is animal consciousness: consciousness that you are an animal. But you are not so. You are a conscious unit, you are spirit, you are soul.”
Not only is the soul immortal, not only does God exist, not only is He the Absolute Dispenser of good and bad, but we, ourselves, are units of the conscious world. So pasu-buddhim imam jahi: separate yourself eternally from that mania, from that misconception and false identification with this material aspect which is the result of your degraded life.
Be reinstated in your glorious position as soul. And how is this possible? You are tatastha (marginal) by constitution, so you cannot stand on your own two feet. You must have some shelter, either mundane within your mundane identification, or above that, you must have some shelter above your head. O tatastha-jiva, you must have shelter in the svarup-sakti’s land, the final land.
According to the result of our karma we shall be placed in a particular environment, and we must start our spiritual life from wherever we are placed; we must begin our work of conquering all those samskaras (mundane tendencies) that comprise the mental encasement we are living in.
Tat te ’nukampam susamiksamanah: we should not only live in our present position without complaint, we should consider it as really necessary for our upliftment. In this way, we have to accept whatever adversities that come to us as the grace of the Lord. We must cope using this positive angle of vision of goodness: “This is my real necessity. There is no error in the calculation of the Lord. This test has been extended to me for my benefit. To stand, to face and cross this opposition is my chance to have my progress in life. This test has been given by Krishna to facilitate my progressive life.”
In the Bhagavatam we are advised to face all adverse circumstances in such an optimistic way. Then very easily and swiftly we shall cross these walls of misunderstanding, this maya, and we will be liberated, and more—we will have participation in Krishna consciousness, the life of dedication.
tat te ’nukampam susamiksamano
bhunjana evatmakrtam vipakam
“Whatever undesirable I find here is the result of my previous karma, and by the good will of the Supreme, that previous karma is going to be finished. I will be relieved. I will be made fit for higher service to Him, so this has come.”
That is the advice in Srimad Bhagavatam. Don’t quarrel with the environment. Try to be adjusted with it; correct your own ego. Everything is all right.
Your ego is demanding some sort of comfort from the environment. That is the cause of this hitch. There is no hitch in the outside, no ailment; but within, your ego creates the problem. That false ego should be dissolved, and the liquid nectar will flow and place you within the highest plane, the plane where there is no complaint. The smooth movement, affectionate movement of the most fundamental plane: your soul will find itself standing and walking in that plane. And the false friends—the circumstances we think to be friends but which are really all false—those false friends will be withdrawn.
That is nirguna, the causeless flow of welfare, which is most fundamental in the Absolute Plane. That is bhakti proper. Bhakti means seva, service—service divine. That is a causeless wave. The deepest wave, the wave of the deepest plane. That is causeless and that is irresistible. That means no beginning, no end. Eternal flow. And only my soul can take a stand in that plane and move in harmony with that plane.
Katha ganam natyam gamanam. In Sri Brahma-samhita it is mentioned, “All the talks there are as sweet as song; all the walking there, movement, is as sweet as dancing.” In this way, everything is sweet. That is the plane of harmonious movement—Vrndavan. We have to go back to that home.
We have come out with the spirit of colonisation in a foreign land, with the bad object of exploitation. For the purpose of exploitation we have come to colonise in this material world, and as a reaction we suffer. The whole cover must be eliminated, and our person within, the finest ego, must emerge. Within this gross mischievous ego there is the finer ego, soul; and that is the child of that soil.
Happiness in Higher Thought
Why is happiness eluding us? No matter how much we get, we always hanker for more. Such is the nature of every one of us in all fields and walks of life. How then could finite material objects and flickering bodily or intellectual pleasures satiate our infinite hankerings?
For as long as we go on searching for happiness within the material plane, our efforts and endeavours are destined to be irrevocably frustrated. Due to their natural limitations, material objects and goals simply cannot satisfy our limitless hankerings. Only by seeking out the beauty and love of the unlimited spiritual realm can we hope to be successful in our common quest for lasting happiness.
The Lord is always there, even in the worst period of our lives. He is waiting, waiting to help us. We must only look up for His grace, with sincerity—with all sincerity. He is everywhere, waiting; “My boy, look at Me. Don’t make much of the external environment. I am here, very near to you. You have cast your focus aside, you have cast your consciousness outside. Make it internal, and you will find Me here. Make it above. You are looking down to secure servants and comforts, but if you look up, for existence higher than you, you will find Me in that plane. Look up! Don’t look down, searching for servants.”
You want to become a master and thus are searching for servants, hunting after things for your service. Take the opposite course, become a servant and search for your master, your Lord, then you will be uplifted, taken up to a higher domain. If you want to live in a higher domain you will have to serve. If you want to be a master, then you will have to come down in the lower zone, where you can be a master.
This is neither exaggeration nor imagination, it is something scientific. You can enjoy only those that are of a lower position. So, by attempting to enjoy, mean association becomes inevitable. Only by preparing for higher service will you be able to come in contact with your soul’s higher position.
Sacrifice. By sacrifice you go up; by the enjoying spirit you will have to go down. We are to understand what is exploitation and enjoyment, and what is higher service. Divine service is pure, and in that service there is also a pure type of joy and ecstasy. By giving we become gainers, and by extorting we become losers. This scientific truth should be understood.
By robbing things from others, someone can find superficial satisfaction, but underground there is some suspicion that the result won’t be very good; “The reaction will come to attack me.” To exploit by stealing provides some sort of enjoyment, but happiness is also enjoyed by big donors through their giving in charity. There is a difference in quality between these two sorts of happiness, and we are to distinguish between them.
In different planes there are different conceptions of happiness, and a comparison is to be drawn between the qualitative differences in the pleasure derived. We are to conceive of different planes of life. The life of higher service is divine life. The Absolute God is there. Everything is for Him. Everything here is for His pleasure.
But, in which way can we attain divine life? What is mundane? And what is divine? We are to differentiate between them. We have to examine them in order to accept the divine life.
What is God? God is not an order supplier. If I am sick, I am not to just ask, “O God, cure my sickness!” And if I am poor, I should not only pray, “O God, give me money!” Such mercenary connection is not very happy, but still it has some meaning because at least there is thought that there is some supernatural power, and that He can do wonders. However, it is better to want God without expecting anything mundane from Him. We should want God—who is the source of all this opulence—and we should not want anything else which we consider valuable. We are to depend on Him: “O Lord, give me what is good. I am an imperfect being, I do not know what is good and what is bad. Please provide whatever You consider to be good for me.” This is an improvement over praying to Him for mundane benefits. But best is to accept the creed of unalloyed service to the Highest: “I want You, my Lord, nothing else.” And what will be our connection with Him? Service. “I want only Your service.”
At the beginning we might think we are losers, but ultimately we will gain. Apparently we are giving ourselves, we are sacrificing our selfish interests, but in the subtle sense we gain thereby. This ontological truth should be appreciated. It is neither a dogma, nor blind faith. It is based on higher, unprejudiced reasons.
Our life is unfulfilled, and we want fulfilment. Of this there is no doubt. But what type of fulfilment should we hanker for and search after? We know we are in want, and at the same time we yearn to remove our want and attain satisfaction. There is no doubt this is so for everyone. But how can we make progress from unfulfilled life towards fulfilment? To do that we are to search for God. We are to search for Him.
The Happiest Form of Life
Absolute love and charm is all-accommodating. None can deny it. None can say, “I don’t want love.” It is so universal. One may say, “I do not want any grandeur, any power”, but, “I do not want love”—never. Sometimes one may even go as far as to say, “I don’t want justice.” That may be possible. Of course, generally it may be the exception, but still it may be said, “I don’t want justice. By justice that man will suffer. Rather, I shall suffer, and that man be saved.” Just as Jesus Christ said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” By that prayer, Lord Christ set justice aside: “No, justice may go on this side, and let me be the sufferer.” We can take the risk of dismissing justice, but we can’t avoid love. We can give up everything but that love for love. If we have the eye to see, then we shall see that only to get love, prema, we can give up everything in the world. So how valuable is that thing? Mahaprabhu and Srimad Bhagavatam came with that.
God takes the form of Krishna in the plane of love, and that is the most fundamental and the most subtle plane behind this variegated creation. So come to that plane, try to penetrate into that plane, where God is Krishna, and where the paraphernalia is Vrndavan. Anyhow try to have admission in that plane, and you will find there the happiest form of life.
Mercy is more beautiful than justice. We cannot think of blaming the spirit of justice, but at the same time we cannot deny that there is mercy over justice. But one who can extend mercy over justice must have such power that he is able to give due compensation. The Lord has such power of compensation. Krishna is such an aspect of the Lord. He can give mercy through love and affection, and by any means we want to live in that environment. Mahaprabhu came to show that to be the plane for which we should strive. And Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur said, “In no time the intelligentsia of the world will come to understand that this is the highest conception of attainment for all humans as well as of everything else in the whole of creation. The intelligentsia cannot be misguided for long by so many other proposals of the highest attainment which are only giving partial achievement. Many things are going on in religion in the name of the highest solution of our life, but what Mahaprabhu has given very soon will be detected by the intelligentsia of the world, and all will flock to the banner of Sri Chaitanyadev and will sing the glory of Mahaprabhu and Krishna.”
The fulfilment of our heart’s satisfaction is in the Krishna conception of the Absolute. He is the Lord of love, beauty, ecstasy, and happiness. He is our innermost necessity. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Go straight to Vrndavan by this special train. Don’t try to break your journey anywhere, for that will only be a loss of time and energy.” In addition He said, “Whoever you find, give them Krishna consciousness. It is just as in a famine-stricken country, whoever you will find you will give some food to save him, but this is a hundred times more urgent, so you are to inject Krishna consciousness. Tell them, ‘A loving Lord is above your head seeing everything. You only have to connect with Him and His servants. His servants are very, very kind and magnanimous. Somehow get some connection with them, and try to go to your home. Here, nowhere is home. Your home is only there.’”
For example, a madman may be wandering here and there, but if he is cured of his madness, he will go straight from the street to his home. He won’t continue to wander in the street endlessly like a vagabond, but he will go straight home to both satisfy himself and also to satisfy his near and dear ones, his guardians.
kim pramattasya bahubhir paroksair hayanair iha
varam muhurtam viditam ghatate sreyase yatah
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 2.1.12)
“Imperceptibly, many, many years pass uselessly in the life of a person intoxicated by mundane pleasures. Better if only for a moment he realises that he is losing valuable time, for he may thus become serious to attain his eternal benefit.”
Here, Sukadev Goswami says that one moment is sufficient to solve the whole problem of life, if it is properly utilised in sadhu-sanga. At all costs, try to utilise the opportunity of sadhu-sanga, the association of the agent of Krishna. What is the necessity of living for ages and ages if we are unconscious of our own interest? One moment properly utilised is sufficient to solve the whole problem of our life, for which we are eternally wandering about in this plane. We must be wakeful to our personal interest, not negligent. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to direct us to our real interest within: “You do not know your own heart. You are a foreigner to your own heart and its demand. There is a wealth within your heart. Try to find it; eliminate the foreign things, and you will find your heart to be a Temple of Krishna. With the help of a proper guide, search your own heart and you will find Krishna there. This is not a foreign thing to you. Every heart is a temple of the Lord. It is your property, it is your home. Back to God, back to home.”
A Labour of Love
The idea that I shall have to labour to live is very dishonourable. “If I have to live, I must labour”, that is very dishonourable. So the ancient scholars searched for a position where we can live without labour, where without pain we can live easily. They started a campaign to discover or invent such a position. Sometimes naiskarmya (a life without karma) received much appreciation within the society. They want to be without labour troubles. In this way the capitalists use computers and so many machines in place of so much man-labour. The man-labour has been so impertinent that the capitalists want to eliminate it.
The ancient scholars were sometimes very busy to discover a social position for all souls whereby they can live without labour, without karma: naiskarmya. They came to consider that self-satisfaction, atmaramata, could be achieved by complete withdrawal. To back up this conception they considered that Buddha and Sankar came to give relief by pointing out that there is a stage of samadhi such as we feel in a sound sleep. They described that if we can reach that plane of no labour, we will still be able to live happily, and we will find no trouble there.
Sukadev Goswami agreed, “Yes, naiskarmya is also found here.” But in Srimad Bhagavatam he gave a new form of naiskarmya: “You say that work is painful, work is dissipating. You say that labour is wasting energy. But now I am going to give you an ideal of life where there is no dissipation. You will labour, but without dissipation of energy.”
Service to the Lord is not labour. It is a giver, a sustainer. It does not deplete vitality; it sustains more and more. It is life-giving. Pure service is life-giving, not life-taking; not vitality-killing, but vitality-supplying. It is opposite in the eternal plane, especially in the Goloka area where everything is a labour of love. Without labour the residents of Goloka will think themselves to be fasting, and when engaged in labour they will think themselves to be well fed. Service is nourishing. Service is not depleting; it is not killing. Therefore our attempt should not be so much for knowledge, for trying to know everything, but it should be directed towards how we can utilise ourselves in the highest function: service.
Service, service, service. Don’t be afraid that service is depleting energy. Service is life-giving. It is feeding you properly. Service!
We are to understand that slavery to Krishna is a most dignified position. And everything against that ideal is meanness. The only standard of life for a gentleman is to understand and accept the position of subordination to the Absolute Truth. To admit what is proper and real, and on that basis make one’s life advanced, is not meanness. To understand one’s proper position and to understand one’s proper duty and discharge it—that is a gentleman’s life; to accept what is truth. What is considered to be meanness will be removed very soon. And what is really for our welfare and beneficial to us will increase.
You are at present in an adulterated conception of your own life. The mind, intelligence, and exploiting energies of different kinds are all adulteration. So from your existence will be eliminated all kinds of adulteration. It will be purified, and your real self within will come out in its pristine glory—you will find you have a happy devotional connection with the Supersoul, the Super-knowledge. You will come across knowledge proper—a clear, personal type of knowledge—with its paraphernalia and systematic existence.
Whatever you are attracted to at present in this mundane plane will be transferred. Affection proper will be discovered. At present your affection, attraction, and love are misdirected, but they will find their proper place and position. The special characteristic is that you will have a real place and position where these faculties of affection and attraction will find a special support, a proper place to which they will be directed. This is devotion.
Devotion is above all. Saranagati, surrender, is the highest property of everyone. Surrender to Him, and He may graciously make His Name known to us, and we will be able to know Him.
In the Upanisads it is said, “Yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyah: whoever He chooses to make Himself known to can know Him.” Otherwise, no one can know Him against His will. He has reserved all the right of not being exposed to the senses of anyone and everyone. He is so high, He can do that. If He does not wish to make Himself known, no one can know Him—whenever He wishes to make Himself known to someone, one can know Him. This is His position.
On the order of his Gurudev Devarsi Narad, Vedavyas gave the scripture Srimad Bhagavatam as the conclusion of his teachings. After giving the Vedas, Upanisads, Puranas, Mahabharata, Bhagavad-gita, and other texts, Vedavyas gave his last gift in the world of scriptures, Srimad Bhagavatam. And the message of the Bhagavatam is that beauty—not knowledge or justice—is above all. Mercy is above justice. Affection, love, beauty, charm, harmony—these are above all, and this absolute conception of the ultimate reality is in the Krishna conception.
Beauty is above knowledge and power. Knowledge is above power, and above knowledge is beauty, charm, love. That is the supreme. Srimad Bhagavatam has declared, “Krsnas tu Bhagavan Svayam: the Krishna conception of Godhead is the most original conception of the Absolute.” This is the prime declaration of the Bhagavatam: the Lord, as Beauty, is above all. And below Him is awe, reverence, power, and the like.
Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanyadev pointed out, “Go to the beautiful—Reality the Beautiful; He is your highest attainment. Hanker neither for power nor knowledge; hanker for service of the Beautiful, and thereby you will be taken in and given entrance into the land of the Beautiful.” This is the highest realisation. Don’t waste your energy by engaging yourself in any other pursuits, but go straight—jnana-sunya-bhakti. By the help of sadhu-sanga*, take the Name of the Lord, and try to march straight onwards to the Krishna conception of Godhead. Krishna consciousness is our highest achievement, and this is given by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srimad Bhagavatam.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu recommended, “Don’t waste your energy for anything else. Use your energy for the Krishna conception of Godhead.”
So we try to make our progress in this line, and at the same time we also ask our friends to try to embrace this life. The fulfilment of life for every particle of existence of this world can be found here.
March towards universal good. Wherever and whoever you are, it does not matter. Take your course towards Krishna consciousness. This is the highest fulfilment of life for everyone. You are only to turn your face towards Him and march, and the Sweet Absolute, Sri Krishna, will welcome you. This is the campaign of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas.
Srila Rupa Goswami described Krishna in a scientific way as the Akhila-rasamrta-murti. Our hearts are hankering for satisfaction and happiness of different types, but He is the emporium of all such rasas, flavours of ecstasy. All types of rasas are in Krishna, and He is the personification of them all, so everyone can find his corresponding place in Him alone, and nowhere else. He is Krishna, the Akhila-rasamrta-murti. All our necessary satisfaction is personified in Him. So only He can say, “Give up everything and come to Me, and you won’t have to repent. You will find your highest satisfaction.” No one else has ever said such a thing in any place. Only Krishna has said this, and Mahaprabhu pointed it out, “Go directly to that side and don’t go any other way. March straight towards the Krishna conception—that is your home.”
It is easy; it is difficult. Easy because it is our inborn tendency. It is home. But now, we are far from home. It is home, my own, so there is hope that I may reach there one day. It is my home and I won’t find satisfaction anywhere else, so I must go there, but I am far away from that home comfort. There is the difficulty—I have lost that land.
Simplicity is the first qualification. If you are really simple, sincere, then automatically you cannot but come under the divine feet of Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanyadev. It is so plain and so non-artificial. Love is a plain truth that should attract everyone. Even more than general love, divine love will attract all normal persons; it cannot but be. It is only necessary to be simple and unprejudiced. The antithesis is the only thing drawing us back from God, otherwise it will be found to be the plane of universal love. And ‘universe’ does not mean to a particular part of the universe, but the whole. Love is coming from the Absolute.
“Is there such a fool in the midst of the mortality in this world who will not worship He who even the immortal worship? It is a great wonder that there can be such a person who will avoid such worship just to undergo all the mortal sufferings.”
Achintya-bhedabheda. Everything is His will, and it is the greatest adventure to search for Krishna, to search for the root of the whole infinite. One needs sufficient courage and preparedness to face the risk. To go to discover the North Pole or the highest peak of the Himalayas involves risk and mandates courage. How much courage is necessary to find out the absolute cause of the Whole? Internal courage—spiritual courage—is necessary. We are to have our soul’s courage and the confidence of deep faith. We are to understand the noble character of the faith within us. Without electricity we cannot connect with the moon or the other planets. Our hands and eyes cannot contact them. It is faith that can connect us with the things farthest from us. All other methods fail. Faith is substantial, it is not part of an illusion of the mind. The whole mind is a concocted thing: it is a source of forgery. Faith is not to be found there. Faith is a function of the soul.
We cannot even see what is within our own body without the help of some apparatus. Through faith, sraddha, the soul can approach and see the higher world.
By faith we can approach the highest, noblest thing, not by our hand or the help of any mundane elements.
The Land of Beauty
“Where every word is a song, every step is a dance, and the flute is the dearmost companion … ”
“Every word is a song.” This is not a sound of this plane. This is from some other world, some other world that is so soft, so sweet, so heart-capturing. It is a world where correct behaviour occurs most sweetly and harmoniously. Every word is like a song (katha ganam). Every movement is sweet, like dancing (natyam gamanam api). It has been described in this way. Everything is replete with the highest degree of beauty. This is the land of beauty—there everything is beautiful. Everything has the touch of beauty divine. The prime cause is charming, attracting, and arresting to the heart and soul: “Stop!” There is a land of such existence. Our aspiration is for such a life (Radhika-Madhavasam). We can sincerely foster the idea to feel attraction to a life of such a plane where everything is of a musical character.
This is Vrndavan. Vrndavan is so friendly, so sweet, so near to us, and such a well-wisher of ours. We are quite at home there—sweet, sweet home. Svarupe sabara haya Golokete sthiti: in our innate and innermost existence, we are members of that plane. Now we have come out, and we have scattered our consciousness all over the surface. Cover, cover, cover—there are so many layers, and they are all dry things. The substance, the spirit, is within. Eliminating this bodily cover, the mental cover, the liberation cover, and the Vaikuntha cover, I may enter into the land of Vraja. Vrndavan resides within me, if I can find my friends everywhere. They are my friends and relatives, and they will give me all-pleasing experience, ecstasy. Mahaprabhu came with this news for us. “O you who are a child of that soil, why do you suffer here, my children, my boys? Why do you suffer? Amrtasya-putra: you are a child of that soil, and you are suffering so much as though you are in a desert? Your home is so full of resources, so sweet, and you are running in the desert? What is this? Come! Leave this poisonous charm, this suicidal charm. This charm, maya—the charm of misunderstanding—is suicidal. Leave this apparent charm! This is poisonous, like a witch. The witch has charmed you here and made you spellbound. Come along with Me! I shall take you to your home which is so sweet!” In general, this is the call of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu.
This should be the course of our life, our cherished goal. Srimad Bhagavatam tells us this. Home, sweet, sweet home. You are a child of that soil. In one word, that is the goal.
Why is that the highest goal? Because that is your home. Svarupe sabara haya Golokete sthiti. This one word ‘home’ is sufficient to attract you. You are wandering in a foreign land, but here is your home. You’ll get home comfort here, and you won’t be able to deny that. So, back to God, back to home, back to Godhead.
A man should be judged by his ideal. The greatness of the ideal he is trying to realise is to be marked. The man of the future, the man of tomorrow, should be judged by his ideal. If his ideal is great, he is great, because if he is sincere, tomorrow or very soon he will reach it. So our ideal is the all-important factor. We may not attain our high ideal very easily. It is not inferior ‘merchandise’ to be disposed of cheaply in the market; it is most valuable. But the cost does not matter whatsoever.
We should feel within, “I want no less than that highest thing, that Advaya-jnan, that Autocrat. That Autocrat of goodness, the supermost Commander of everything. I want Him, and nothing less, and I should live and move for that. I should feel in myself that whatever I shall do, at every second, I am meant for that. I am meant for my ideal. I have no time to waste or hesitate for anything.
“If at every moment I move in every way with the ideal in my heart, I shall always make some progress towards it. If I can just stay in touch with my ideal, that will guide and inspire me. In any and every action, whatever I shall do or undo, whatever I shall eat and whenever I shall rest, my ideal will be overhead. And that will gradually take me out of all these entanglements and enticements, and one day or other I shall be able to reach it.”
Back to Godhead. There is home. Unsettled, we are running hither and thither with no principle of life. So our position is very sad and our life is troublesome. To think, “I can’t put my faith anywhere”, means that I can’t find a friend anywhere—I am friendless and moving amongst foreigners or maybe even enemies. But I must find a friend or some friendly atmosphere. I must come into such company in which I can put full faith, in which I can believe and trust. Otherwise my life will be miserable. If wherever I cast my glance I think, “I can’t trust this; I can’t trust them; they are all my enemies”, then I live in a prison house. To be amidst uncertainty and untrustworthiness is a very deplorable position. So, by God’s grace, sraddha should come to us: “I can not only trust and believe, but I cannot but show my regard to a personality in a higher position.” Gurum evabhigachchhet.
The destination has been settled, but how shall I reach it? When shall I reach it? Those who come to my aid to take me there are my masters, my Gurus—Siksa-gurus and Diksa-guru. Whoever helps me to go there is my Guru. He is my guide who will help me to reach my destination, the station of my innermost hankering (Radhika-Madhavasam prapto yasya prathitah krpaya Sri Gurum Tam nato ’smi). He has helped me to locate my destination; he has educated me about how and what to aspire after, and how to reach that highest, most desired shelter. I have attained all these things through him. He is my all-in-all in life, the master of my life. There is a boat, and he is the helmsman (Guru-karnadharam). I have surrendered unto him. I have accepted him. I have boarded his boat, and he is taking me towards the goal of my life.
The Key to it All
This Nabadwip Dham, on the banks of the Ganges, has such great value, especially for the realisation of our highest self, as recommended by Sriman Mahaprabhu. It is the land of love, sweetness, charm, and beauty. All these words are synonymous. It is heart-capturing. Our real existence is neither in our knowledge nor our power. It is in our heart. Really, our proper identification is with our heart. So, the direction in which our heart is moving is the all-important factor in our life. It is a heart-transaction.
Mahaprabhu recommended: “Don’t rely on your knowledge, reasoning capacity, or power. The heart-transaction is all-important for you. The inner factor of your existence is in your heart. So try to guide your heart towards sweetness—towards home. And your real home is not here where you are wandering around with no certainty throughout eight million four hundred thousand species according to your karma. And only in the human birth, with the help of the divine agent, can you go back to your home: to home and affection.”
Home is where the environment will take care of us. Home is our fortune, and our comfort, independent of even our considerations. The paraphernalia there will help us very affectionately and lovingly. So we should make good use of this opportunity to go back to God, back to home, our sweet, sweet home.
Mahaprabhu recommended the path: “With the help of the divine agent and the revealed scriptures, try to go there yourself. Your present position is uncertain. After death it is not fixed where you will be carried by the current of your previous karma. Therefore try to utilise for the best whatever time is available before your death. You have free will. Therefore the days before your death are to some degree in your hand to use. So you must utilise that time with the utmost care for God-realisation.” There is nothing so important as this for all of us.
The advice in common for us all is: “Give up all your duties and jump into the one duty—to go back home. There, everything is full and complete, and everyone will look after your real interest. So you must go there: back to God, back to home.”
The excerpts in this book (except for Part One which is newly compiled from taped discourses) are taken from discourses by Srila B. R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami recorded in the following publications of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip:
Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion Volume I
Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion Volume II
Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion Volume III
Our life is unfulfilled, and we want fulfilment. Of this there is no doubt. But what type of fulfilment should we hanker for and search after? We know we are in want, and at the same time we yearn to remove our want and attain satisfaction. There is no doubt this is so for everyone. But how can we make progress from unfulfilled life towards fulfilment? To do that we are to search for God. We are to search for Him.
The fulfilment of our heart’s satisfaction is in the Krishna conception of the Absolute. He is the Lord of love, beauty, ecstasy, and happiness. He is our innermost necessity.