The depth and power of the humility taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

This post is a continuation of To Be Conscious Of Our Highest Prospect.

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Grass Beneath A Mountain

trnad api sunichena taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 17.31)

The meaning and prospect expressed are infinite, and the general direction is, “Oh, do you take to the process of divine sound, the only and easy course to reach the goal? To come that level you will have to accept such an attitude. Then, you will feel that there is a very fine level through which you can reach there. The finest level is there, but you are to accept such attitude here. Then, it will be possible. There is no necessity of removing a mountain or opposing a river current. Big things won’t be necessary. Only by the cultivation of spiritual sound you will be able to reach the goal, but you will have to take such an attitude. Then, you will feel that you will come to a particular, very subtle level. Only through sound we can go there, our soul can be attracted, can be connected, with that. But only if we can pose ourselves in this way: trnad api sunicha taror api sahisnu. That means much. That is not an outward statement. If we go to adopt that sort of mood, we shall have to cross many oceans. We will experience that from our present position of egoistical boasting, when we are to go down to the lowest level of a blade of grass, then country after country, plane after plane, we will have to cross. To reach into that sort of attitude, so many suns, moons, earths, will be passed on our way. We shall have to bid adieu to concrete things. So many basic thoughts of the concrete ‘bigger’ things have to be bid adieu to reach that attitude properly.

Amanina manadena: my connection is with the subtle and higher things; all else will have to be ignored. Amanina manadena: the plane of life will be changed. The plane will change where our activity should be, where our energy should be invested. It should not be in this plane that we see about us, in the concrete.

Milton told,

Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war.

If we thrust the meaning of that deeper, then we may come to trnad api sunicha taror api sahisnu amani manada: the adaptability of such plane of life practically in our utilisation. So many peaceful victories are needed to reach that plane. So, “Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war.” Muhammad’s direction was, Koran in one hand and sword in the other, “If anyone does not accept, behead him immediately.” It is war. Mahaprabhu says just the opposite: trnad api sunicha: forget giving resistance. Taror api sahisnu: and if any resistance comes to you, try to forbear with the best of your energy. Amani manadena: don’t try to encroach upon the prospect of others, it is all only physical prospect, and don’t give any opposition to them. With such adaptability, wage this war: that of peace. Peace has her victories, and they are peaceful and not won through physical war. If you can attain such victories, then you will be automatically lead to a particular plane where you will find ample, wonderful things beyond your expectation and your conception.

Through only His Name, Krishna is over-flowing, all-pervading. There we find a wonderful flow, all full of meaning. It is nothing dead but an inner innate flow through the plane just as the flow in the ether is full of meaning for those who can catch it. Scientists who can come to the level of ether may find many wonderful things in the vibrations there. Similarly, the sound aspect of the Whole is so sweet, so attractive, so happy. We cannot conceive it or think out, but He is there, and it is not unscientific.

sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
(Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Purva-vibhaga, 2.234)

All attempts must be made in that spirit: I am for Him. That will be the main principle of our advancement: I am for Him.

sevonmukhe hi jihvadau

Then, it will be possible for us to reach that plane. I am for Him. Die to live. This is the whole process. Peace hath her victory, but die to live: it is in that process always. Dissolve this ego considering that to leave this ego means to embrace death. It is a subtle death: to leave a particular ego. One layer of ego may require many births to satisfy its death, and there are many different covers of ego. But the entire ego should be dissolved: “I am for Him. I am for Him.” Die to live. I want the property of that wonderful dream to be satisfied.

But as one has said,

trnad api slokete padi gela vada

“I had much hope that I shall be a Vaisnava, but when the advice in the verse trnad api came to me, I felt, ‘Oh! That is impossible.’”


trnad api sunichena taror iva sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 17.31)

“The Lord’s Name is to be chanted constantly with more humility than a blade of grass, tolerance like that of a tree, respect for everyone, and without desire for respect from anyone.”

atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah
(Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu: Purva-vibhaga, 2.234)

“Although Krishna’s Name, Form, Qualities, and Pastimes cannot be grasped by the material senses, They manifest themselves on the tongue and to the other senses in response to one’s service attitude.”

vaisnava haba bali’ chhila mora sada
trnad api sloke padi gela vada

“I had the hope of becoming a Vaisnava, but when I read the verse trnad api, my hope was lost.”


Spoken on 9 May 1983, though there is some discrepancy in notation and it may have been 5 September 1983.

The original audio recording of this talk can be heard here.