An informal discourse given at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math
in Sri Nabadwip Dham, West Bengali, India in the 1980’s

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Primary subjects of discussion

  • Harmony as the model to understand beauty, truth, and God.
  • Sriman Mahaprabhu’s refutation of Sri Sankar Acharya
  • Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.37
  • Lord Rama’s Banishment of Sita Devi
  • The subtleties of truth

This discourse was given in February of 1982, but the exact date is unknown.

Literal Transcript

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Gauraharibol.

Nitāi Gauraharibol.

anvaya-vyatirekābhyāṁ yat syāt sarvatra sarvadā
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 2.9.36)

anvayād itarataḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.1.1)

Direct, indirect method we may approach a cause, approach a cause. But direct approach is more healthy and helpful.

ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanaṁ
(Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: Pūrva-vibhāga, 1.11)

And prātikūlyena Kṛṣṇānuśīlanaṁ? That is also possible, to cultivate in an indirect way. That is also possible, but that is not very desirable. Ānukūlyena Kṛṣṇānuśīlanaṁ: to cultivate about Kṛṣṇa in a favourable way, in a positive way, that is desirable. By elimination of the indirect side. But indirect side is not less important. It is approaching to the highest stage of devotion in any way or other. It is necessary. It is a necessary part. Indirect. Indirect.

Devakī is indirect to Yaśodā. Yaśodā is always afraid of Devakī, Vasudev. They come to claim the child as their own. How can it be? And the Rādhārāṇī’s camp, they think that the Chandrāvalī’s camp, group, they are anti. Indirect to the direct camp. So, in all rasa, there is harmony in discord. When Kṛṣṇa begins His play along with the friends, two parties of course: one side Kṛṣṇa and other side Balarām. And then the old cowboys, they are divided. But two sides, Balarām and Kṛṣṇa, to represent two opposite sides when playing began. And other divided into two, and they began to fight, began to fight. And who will be defeated, their punishment is that they will carry the man of the other party on their shoulder. In this way some sort of service punishment.

Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Balarām was very strong, and on the other side, Śrīdām was very strong. Śrīdām came to Kṛṣṇa’s party. Kṛṣṇa was less strong. Balarām sufficiently strong. So, Balarām one party, and Kṛṣṇa another party, and Śrīdām must be in the party of Kṛṣṇa. In this way and then the playing began. They are two parties fighting. And Balarām generally did not accept that He is defeated. His party is defeated—He won’t accept that. So, whenever that proposal comes, “Your party is defeated”, Balarām became enraged, “No, you are wrong.” That was His nature.

Hare Kṛṣṇa.

And sometimes also some demons entered into the party, taking the form of a cowboy. They also, this Pralambha, then Vyomāsura, they mixed within the party and they are seeking opportunity for taking on the shoulder, taking away, any of them. So, Vyomāsura, he one day carried Balarām into the depth of the jungle, and when Balarām could understand that he is a demon and not anyone of our party, then such a big blow He put on his head that he died there.

Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Enjoyer, enjoyed. Then also some groups of different rasa. In this way it is the necessity of the nature of līlā: bifurcation. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Synthesis means there are many antitheses, otherwise synthesis. Harmony means many: many and one, one and many. Unity and plurality: that is harmony. Plurality must be there, bahu.

neha nānāsti kiñchana
(Bṛhad-āraṇyaka-upaniṣad: 4.4.1)

We will say many, many, and they are not independent. They are meeting in a common cause: na nānā, not many, because they are harmonised into one. So, in Upaniṣad it is said,

neha nānāsti kiñchana
(Bṛhad-āraṇyaka-upaniṣad: 4.4.1)

“There is no variegatedness.” What’s the meaning? Śaṅkar Āchārya, he sacrifices many and accepted only one. Mahāprabhu told this is not proper acceptance of the revealed truth. The nānā must have recognition, and one also have recognition. Both plurality and unity, both should have recognition. Not only one. Why do you say that there is no nānā, no variety, no plurality? You have no right to say that. If plurality is not there, then what is the necessity of saying? Eh? What is the necessity of saying that there is no plurality? Plurality is there, and still there is one who is connecting the plural and controlling the plurality. So, plurality and unity: both exist simultaneously. You are to admit this. This is the conclusion of Mahāprabhu. But Śaṅkar Āchārya, he sacrificed the wholesale plurality, diversity: “There is only one is there. No plurality.” Then, necessarily it becomes nondifferentiated, non-specified, nirviśeṣa.

apāṇi-pādo javano grahīta
(Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad: 3.19)

“No leg, no hand. No hand, no leg, but He can run and He can catch.”

paśyaty achakṣuḥ
(Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad: 3.19)

“No eye, but He can see.”

sa śṛṇoty akarṇaḥ
(Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad: 3.19)

“No ear, but He can hear.”

Then Śaṅkar Āchārya accepts only one part. No ear, no eye, no leg, no hand. But Mahāprabhu says, “No, you must accept both.” “He has no leg, but He can run, He can walk.” What does it mean? He can see, but He has no eye. What should be the meaning? The eye is there, but the eye is not the fleshy eye as we have got. This is the purpose. The leg is not like the leg that we possess. The eye is not so that we have got, but He has got His eye. So,

‘prākṛta’ niṣedhi’ kare ‘aprākṛta’ sthāpana
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 6.141)

That is the conclusion of Mahāprabhu: not this mundane, but He has got spiritual. Spiritually He has got everything, and this negativeness only will apply to the mundane characteristics. Otherwise, He can see; so He has got eye. But He has got no eye, that is, no eye similar to us. That should be the purpose of the Vedic mantram. Everywhere we are to take in that way.

sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma

“Whatever we see, it is Brahma.”

Sarvam: Śaṅkar Āchārya says no sarva, not many, but only one Brahma. Mahāprabhu says, “How no? Sarvam is also existing. Otherwise, no necessity of saying such. But one is the master, and they are subordinate in a system. The controlled and the controller. In this way. Otherwise, no necessity. If it is not existing, then what is the necessity of your talking so much? To whom have you come to preach? What is the necessity of preaching if they are not existing? So, that is also existing. Māyā is also there. Māyā has got its existence, otherwise, why you have come to remove māyā? If māyā does not exist, if misconception, misunderstanding, does not exist at all, then what is the necessity of your talking so much to remove misunderstanding? It is there. So, misconception, the possibility of misconception, is also there. It is reality. It is reality, that misconception, provincial, local conception. It is also there. The relative is also there, not only absolute. Absolute relative: both coexistent. This is chid-vilās. Chid-vilās. Not the negation of a particular thing but the adjustment, adjustment with everything with the whole.


Kṛṣṇa is considering the case of Śiśupāl, how he will be killed. A meeting, Kṛṣṇa, Balarām, and Uddhava—three discussing. What Kṛṣṇa says, Baladev giving opposition. Opposition. Kṛṣṇa wants a policy to be adopted. Baladev: “What is this policy? You please leave it Me. I shall go kill him straight. What is the policy this and that? I don’t understand I these things.”

Then Uddhava, he is trying to pacify Baladev, Baladev. And it is represented very cleverly in Māgha Kavi.

vaktum ukte musala-pāṇinā
(Śiśupāla-vadha: 2.70)

Dhvani: the … in the ornamental way. “What the Musala-pāṇi has told … ” Musala-pāṇi is Baladev. Musala means club. Musala-pāṇi, Baladev, that gives a hint that He does not reply on any intelligence of politics. He wants to solve everything with the club, with the strike of His club. Musala-pāṇi: that He has got less intelligence but wild force. Musala-pāṇi. Then it was arranged; the Rājasūya-yajña is advancing, and Śiśupāl will be invited. All will be invited. And Kṛṣṇa will be given by the Pāṇḍava the highest position, and that Śiśupāl won’t be able to tolerate, and he will abuse Kṛṣṇa in a very boisterous way, and then Kṛṣṇa already promised that a hundred offences He will pardon to Śiśupāl’s mother, his maternal aunt, and that will be fulfiled, and he will be killed there. This all was presented by Uddhava in that meeting. Then ultimately what to do? That ultimately was accepted by Balarām.


Nitāi Gauraharibol.

Opposition is also service. In madhura-rasa also, opposition may be seeming opposition, opposition, vāmya-bhāva, vāmya-bhāva. Of course this is very higher topic. Rādhārāṇī’s nature is vāmya-bhāva, vāmya. What is offered from the side of Kṛṣṇa, She flatly refuses that, and that increases excitement in Kṛṣṇa. That is a peculiar thing. Nirantara vāmya. The highest type of … What is nāyikā? Nāyak, nāyikā? Hero heroine. The highest type of heroine, she will possess that sort of attitude: always opposing the hero. Such a tendency. It is supposed to be the highest quality. All these things. So, opposition is also a particular service to the goal. In harmony, it was got its position. Otherwise, what is necessity of harmony? The greatest opposition force if one can control, there is the real capacity or real praśaṁsā, superiority of harmonising principle. The greatest opposition force can be harmonised by whom, he is the expert of harmoniser, the harmonising. So, harmony. Harmony means to control opposite forces. It must have to be such powerful that it will come into …

Rāmachandra told once when Lakṣmaṇ fell, hit by the śaktiśela, peculiar type of weapon of Rāvaṇa, śaktiśela, perhaps by Indrajit or someone. Rāmachandra repented very much, and He told afterwards,

deśe deśe kalatrāṇi
(Rāmāyaṇa: 6.101.14)

“We can get … the wife may be available in every province and country.

deśe deśe cha bāndhavāḥ
(Rāmāyaṇa: 6.101.14)

“Friends also we can have from many countries.

taṁ tu deśaṁ na paśyāmi yatra bhrātā sahodaraḥ
(Rāmāyaṇa: 6.101.14)

“But no land is seen where a brother from the same mother can be found.”

The was the wailing of Rāmachandra, but Lakṣmaṇ told from the opposite side. Rāmachandra said not a friend like brother is never available anywhere, but Lakṣmaṇ, he told from the opposite angle of vision:


“The brother is the worst type of enemy because when he comes in the mother’s womb, the elder brother, then he cannot suck the breast of the mother, milk. When the brother is in the womb, the elder brother is deprived of the mother’s milk of the breast.

garbhastha-kṣīrāhantāraḥ bhūmiṣṭha-kroḍoddhatakaḥ

“When he comes out of the womb of the mother, then he, the brother, he captures the lap of mother, and the elder brother is dispossessed of the lap of mother.


Kroḍa: that lap of mother is dispossessed by the elder.

yauvane dhanāhantāraḥ

When he is grown up, he comes to take the share of the father’s property, claims, “I have equal share with you. So,

nāsti bhrātṛ samo ripuḥ

“So, brother is the first class enemy of the brother.”

That was argued by Lakṣmaṇ Himself.


So, opposition. Still, Rāmachandra, He could control brothers. Harmony. In Rāmachandra also we find, He left Sītā, banished Her, banished Sītā when She was with child only by the remark of an ordinary subject. He banished Sītā. Then, when there was a particular sacrifice, Rāmachandra was asked by the ṛṣis that, “You must marry. Without wife, such sacrifice cannot be performed. So, you will have to marry.” That aśvamedha-yajña. Then, Rāmachandra refused to marry. Then, there was a compromise. Then, a golden statue of Sītā, that will be prepared and that will be on the left side of Rāmachandra when He will sacrifice, engage Himself in the actual sacrifice. The ṛṣis agreed. And when that news reached Sītā, Sītā thought first He will … Rāmachandra had only one wife, Sītā, whereas Daśarath had several thousands, His father. But Rāmachandra only single wife: eka-patni-dharaḥ. Kṛṣṇa bahu-vallabha in Dvārakā, thousands, but Rāmachandra only one: Sītā. And She … Rāmachandra of course apparently dealt with Her very cruelly, but when Sītā heard Rāmachandra is performing yajña, Sītā knew that He must have to marry again, but when She heard that Rāmachandra with a golden statue of Sītā on His side, He is performing yajña and He did not marry, then though banished in the forest Sītā, She had her satisfaction to the highest degree: “He is so faithful to Me. I am not banished from His heart. I am banished externally for the policy of government, but actually I am not banished from His heart.”

So, harmony, how the things of opposite types can be harmonised by higher principle. To harmonise things of a particular plane, energy of the higher plane is necessary to harmonse. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Anything, and there must be something anti, cannot but be. Some opposition, some opposite conception. Any statement: some opposition. And to harmonise that, Hegel says that is process of progress. Process of progress. Progress means this. Whatever there will be, some conception of opposition possibility. A possibility of opposition and then to do away with the opposition greater harmony is necessary.

ছাত্র: মহারাজ, আপনার সঙ্গে আমি একটা কথা বলছি ।

শ্রীল শ্রীধর মহারাজ: হ্যাঁ ।

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: The highest type of harmony is so that diversity ultimately help it. The opposition helps the main flow. Not only harmonised but it advances the beauty of the harmony. When harmony is successful, then it becomes the necessity of beauty. The necessity of beauty. Beauty and harmony: same thing. Beauty … Harmony generally perhaps used in the sound world, and beauty in the eye world. Eye and ear. But anyhow the opposition enhances the beauty. If there would not be any diversity, then beauty was not possible. Different things will be, and they will be harmonised, and that is beauty: vilās. Otherwise, it will jumbled together: nirviśeṣa brahma. So, Kṛṣṇa represents beauty, and His harmonising capacity exceeds, supersedes, everything. Even stealing is beautiful. Lying is beautiful. Whatever He does. His wickedness is also beautiful. The conception of the greatest harmony, that He can harmonise anything and everything. Nothing can be there which He cannot harmonise. So, the opposition, what is very objectionable—the stealing, the lying, debauchery, so to say—is inconceivable in Him all harmonised. So sweet. No enemy. Enemy also becomes friend in harmony. Beauty means that. Harmony means that.


Not afriad.


bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.2.37)

The origin of fear only comes from the lack of harmony. Fear: fear is born from disappointment of harmony. Otherwise, no place of any fear.

dvitīyā … bhayaṁ dvitīyābhini …
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.2.37)

Undesirability is represented in Sanskrit at bhayam. Bhaya means apprehension, fear, worried-ness from lack of harmony.

bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.2.37)

Of second interest. Common interest, one interest. If we can reduce many interests into one interest, as parts of one interest, then there is harmony. No fear. Only fear from separate interest. Clash between separate interest. But if that can be linked in common interest, no fear.

bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād
īśād apetasya viparyayo ’smṛtiḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.2.37)

The first stage that we are afraid. We have got apprehension. Why? Dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ: we are suffering from the mania of second interest, separate interest. So, we are afraid; we have got apprehension.

dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād
īśād apetasya
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.2.37)

When does it come to effect, to take place, this apprehension? Īśād apetasya: when we deviate from the common master, idea of common master, common controller, common guardian. Then only we suffer from apprehension. The vyādhi, the disease, of apprehension arises only when we loose, we separate from the common controller, common guardian, or all. Īśād apetasya: master consciousness. That we have got a master, we have got a controller, and He is common to all. And He is … our interest represented there in that common master. Īśa, Īśa-jñān: I have got my master, and He is to look after that. And He is master of all. So, no apprehension. So, deviation from the consciousness of a common master, common guardian, the apprehension comes to rise.

īśād apetasya viparyayo asmṛtiḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.2.37)

And then when deviated, one is minus of the common guardian, then viparyaya, he comes in very unfavourable circumstances. Loosing that common master consciousness, he comes in a very dreadful position, viparyaya. Viparyayo asmṛtiḥ: and forgets … he is puzzled and forgets his own self, and real self-interest also he looses. Viparyayo asmṛtiḥ: he is beside himself. Asmṛtiḥ.

tan māyayāto budha ābhajet taṁ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.2.37)

Then, if he can come, he comes to know anyhow by the help of the external sādhu: it is His māyā. Then, who can control the māyā? He does not go to fight with māyā, illusion, misconception, the forgetfulness of the centre, the forgetfulness of his guardian. He appeals to the guardian, guardian Himself.

bhūmau skhalita-pādānāṁ bhūmir evāvalambanam

If we fall on the ground, with the help of the ground we stand again. So, our forgetfulness of our guardian, that is the cause of all the disaster in which I find ourself, find ourselves. And again the only way to get out of the … to be reinstated in that idea of guardian, common guardianship. And that is effected by the sādhus, the normal that are not deviated from God consciousness. With their help, we are to appeal to that all-controlling agency, and then we can again be reinstated in that Īśa-jñān: that I have got my master. I have got my master, to whom … in whose holy feet I am to take shelter. I am to surrender to my master. The life of surrender again comes. We take, and everything is there. Only we shall always be conscious of our guardian, the highest harmoniser. The problem is one, only one problem: that we deviate from the consciousness of our guardian. And only way to get out of the trouble: to become conscious of our common guardian. That is God consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Back to God. Back to home. Back to Godhead. The only one problem: we are deviated from Godhead, and we shall try to go towards Godhead. We shall go back to Godhead. The only one word that is necessary, what is necessary. Back to Godhead. Back to home. Back to God. Back to home. The general problem is this, and by so many variegated ways that is to be promoted. But the main thing is this.

Hare Kṛṣṇa.


Kṛṣṇa consciousness: the centre of highest harmony. And harmony is sweetness. Harmony is beautiful. Harmony is Kṛṣṇa. Harmony is our guardian. Harmony is our mother. Harmony is our guardian. Harmony is our master. That is sweetness. That is rasa. No enemy, no enemy, no apprehension I will be devoured by the inauspcious element around.

Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare.

That guardian came to us from door to door: Gaura Nityānanda. “Take Us! I have come to you. Take Me!” Gaurāṅga Nityānanda from door to door: “Accept Gaurāṅga. I will be sold to you without any price. No price necessary. I will be sold to you. Only you take to Gaurāṅga.”

bhaja gaurāṅga kaha gaurāṅga laha gaurāṅgera nāma
ye bhaje gaurāṅgachā̐de sei āmāra prāṇa

“He is my vitality of vitality. You say, you take refuge. Go to Gaurāṅga. What is your real necessity? He has come to your door. Accept Him. Accept Him. And what is necessary, I am doing.”

Jesus came to wash the feet of his followers. Is it not? Wash the feet of the disciples, of ten? Something like that?

Students: Yes.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: So, Nityānanda Prabhu has come to offer any service, any service. “You take to the Name of Gaurāṅga.”

The approach nearly similar, but the object of approach, there is great different between Jesus and Gaurāṅga. Christos and Kṛṣṇa and Christos? Kṛṣṇa and Christos? Christ and Kṛṣṇa. One full-fledged, another partial achievement. The method closer. Means closer relationship.

Hare Kṛṣṇa.


And the Gandhi also there: ahiṁsā. But the achievement is only political mostly. This mundane political emancipation. But Jesus had some higher spiritual offer, and Mahāprabhu the highest spiritual offer on the basis of science. Full-fledged theism. Śukadev announced in the assembly of the great scholars of ancient India of different thought.


Nitāi Gauraharibol.

Any question?

Student: Mahārāj?

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Yes?

Student: When Rāmachandra was separated from Sītā, can that be … can those feelings of separation be compared to when Rādhā was feeling separation from Kṛṣṇa? Is there any comparison there?

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: No not … This is relating to the mundane government Avatār, and that is eternal, opposite. This is also eternal, but it has got temporary value, and that is permanent. This is a policy in the mundane administration, nīti. Rāmachandra is more given … Rāma-līlā is more given to the nīti. কি বলে ?

Śrīpād Akṣayānanda Mahārāj: Morality.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Moral …

Śrīpād Dhīra Kṛṣṇa Mahārāj: Conduct?

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: This mundane moral side. And Kṛṣṇa’s Pastimes concern only wholesale the highest Pastimes. No mundane reference. And here the reference is mundane. Good government. Good king. The good king of the highest conception. That we find in Rāmachandra. The highest possible ideal king in consideration with this mundane administration of many with religious background. But Kṛṣṇa-līlā is turīya, that is, has got no connection with this mundane world. That is an eternal plane in the highest quarter of the existence.

Hare Kṛṣṇa.


Śrīpād Parvat Mahārāj: What is the teaching behind His hearing of a person, or the people, and on the basis of hearing that impression, He banishes Sītā, who is impeccable? What is the teaching behind it? For moral? government?

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: He takes the responsibility of promising good government even to the worst people. Just as a bad son, he should also get affection of the mother or father. A wicked, a most wicked child, he has got also a position in the affectionate bosom of his mother or father. A slight remark against His, against His good name, a slightest remark against the sincerity of good government Rāmachandra could not tolerate. For that, He took the highest [beat?], highest sacrifice. For the least dissatisfaction of the subject, He held Himself responsible and took the whole reaction on Him, the penances on Him. I am not only master of so many, so many souls, but if anything even any imaginable remark comes against it … Just as when any disorder in any … in the department of any administration, the minister resigns. You are acquainted with that. This fashion, this etiquette, that whenever any unsuccessful thing in a particular department of the minister, the minister thinks that, “I am not fit. I resign. A fit man should be engaged in my place.” Retires to save his honour. Honourable retirement, honourable retreat, that, “I am unfit.” So, in that line, “I am a king. I am supposed to give a good government to my subjects, but I find there is some complaint about Me. Then, I must take the charge, the bad remark against Me, and I must have to take the challenge either to give away the kingdom, ‘I am not fit; I leave the kingdom’ or I shall have to, the alternate thing, I shall have to make sacrifice so as to make compensation for the complaint. So, Rāmachandra took the second line that, “You say that I Myself, I am doing wrong. I am not law-abiding, moral law-abiding. I am the dispenser of the laws, and I am a lawbreaker? Who is dealing with the laws of the country and the complaint came that He is the law breaker, religious law breaker, then I am taking the punishment on My own head according to your judgement. You subject, I give judgement for your control, and your opinion is controlling Me. Accept your judgement. And though I may know I can’t be charged with that complaint, but still, because someone says that I am so and so, so I take the punishment Myself so that there not be any room for other subjects to do such things.” Apparently, that may be objectionable, not really. Sītā is chaste. Sītā lived for one year, full one year, in Rāvaṇa’s house, and Rāvaṇa was a demon, and he was a great power. So, easily one may think that Sītā has been polluted. She was under the care of a Satanic person for the whole year. So, easily some complaint may come against Her. But few of us are satisfied that She is as pure as we can conceive, but general public may not have such understanding. So, to satisfy the mob, I take their decision as punishment on Me, and I accept that, ‘Yes, I banish Sītā.’ I am giving punishment to anyone and everyone from this throne, and when a slight voice is against Me that I am a culprit, I must take the punishment.”

That was the most generous type of attitude which Rāmachandra showed.


Student: Mahārāj, you were speaking of the principle of harmony.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Coming. Kṛṣṇa also did so when a bad name came to Him that He has stolen that Śyāmantaka-maṇi. But Kṛṣṇa knew that He has not taken, but He had to take that challenge and then after to do some justice to that bad name, and anyhow He followed the Prasena and the lion and then from Jambuvān, He stored that Śyāmantaka-maṇi and gave it to the owner to prove that He was not the thief. The kalaṅka, the bad name, came to Him, and in order to do away with that, He had to take such trouble and prove that I am not the thief.

Then, what do you say?

Student: I had a question because you were speaking about the principle of harmony.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Harmony?

Student: Yes. I was wondering if you could explain how that applies practically? What you were explaining?

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: What does he say?

Śrīpād Akṣayānanda Mahārāj: I don’t know.

Student: He wants to understand how to practically understand this principle of harmony.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: How practically to understand what is the principle of harmony?

Student: Yes. He is asking that.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: What is meaning of harmony you know? Harmony means what in your conception? What is harmony?

Student: Well, harmony strictly speaking is a musical term and it refers to different musical tones which are in balance and they sound …

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Yes. So different sound is tuned to one. That is harmony. Different যন্ত্রগুলকে কি বলে ? Different sound instruments, different tone from different man, many, plural, is connected with one and giving some sweet, on the whole giving some sweet and soothing feeling of sentiment. That is harmony. There must be different thing, different kind of sounds from different kinds of instruments, and different kinds of voice. Harmony. You see the earth, the planets, they are moving in their own way. And again they are connected with another movement, another force. The moon is moving around the earth. There are so many upagraha, planets, are moving around other planets. Upagraha means ki? Just moon to the earth, so in Bṛhaspati, in Śani-graha, there are so many subplanets. Planets, they are moving in their own way. Again, with all those movements, earth is moving around the sun. So many other moving. In this way, in one year earth is circumambulating the sun. There is Bṛhaspati, under, inm two or four years or twelve years Bṛhaspati completes its round around the sun. Again, there is a time when everyone can complete his one year movement. This … you know the LCM? Mathematics LCM? VCM? Do you know?

Student: LCM?

Śrīpād Akṣayānanda Mahārāj: Lowest common multiple.

Student: Oh, yes.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: A common. So many figures, when meet, they are divided, some five times, some ten times, some hundred times, they meet at one point. In this way, when variety meets in one point, it represents in one, all meet in one, that is harmony. Plurality meeting unity. In different planes. In plane of sound, in the plane of colour, in the plane of movement. It may be of different phases. But many meets one, in one point, that is harmony. Just as the so many branches of the tree, they meet in the trunk. The trunk harmonises so many branches. The twig harmonises so many leaves. In this way. Harmony.

Nitāi Gauraharibol.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Harmony can be applied in the plane of sound, and beauty, it is applied in the plane of colour, vision. So also, in different plane, the beauty, the harmony, the unity, and many similar words that can represent. The master, the guardian, the controller, the well-wisher. In different phases it may be applied. Many in one. Many represented in one point. And interest of the many when represented in one place.

Hare Kṛṣṇa.


Nitāi Gauraharibol.

Śrīpād Akṣayānanda Mahārāj: So in the Absolute, even discord brings harmony.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Yes. In the highest Absolute, there is room for the accommodation of anything and everything. Otherwise, cannot be absolute. If something outside, it is not absolute. Absolute: one, one accommodates everything. Enemy is no enemy to Him. All relatives. So, the … accordingly the Śaṅkar says, “Then, it becomes zero.” All—enemy, friend, all jumbled together—that is possible only in zero conception. But the theistic school says, “No, that is dynamic living, absolute good. It is not zero. Not necessarily it will be nondifferentiated, nonspecified, a zero-like thing. But everything will have got its fullest representation. Still, whole is so great that it can accommodate them. They are in full swing. All the parts, they have got their full interest, and the controller is this: the general is so high and tactful that He can control the soldiers, they are so brave, the suicidal squad. The suicidal squad, the soldiers must be very brave, and the general of the squad must be very very brave. Bold and brave and desperate soldiers also can be harmonised in a particular army. They can be controlled. Such brave and such genius there may be as to become their general.


Positivist, not negativist like Śaṅkar, but positivist: “Yes, everything His.”

When I was a boy of fourteen, I heard from one of my teachers:

satyaṁ brūyāt priyaṁ brūyāt mā brūyāt satyam apriyam
priyañ cha nānṛtaṁ brūyād eṣa dharmaḥ sanātanaḥ
(Manu-saṁhitā: 4.138)

He quoted it from some Upaniṣad perhaps. It says, “Satyaṁ brūyāt: always speak the truth. Priyaṁ brūyāt: always speak what is pleasing. Mā brūyāt satyam apriyam: never speak such truth which is not pleasing, unpleasant, satyam apriyam. Priyañ cha nānṛtaṁ brūyād: at the same time you must not speak a pleasing thing which is untrue, which is false. Eṣa dharmaḥ sanātanaḥ: this is sanātan-dharma, the eternal conduct.”

I was puzzled. What is this? Satyaṁ brūyāt: it is all right. Then, priyaṁ brūyāt: it is also all right. Not objectionable. But, “Mā brūyāt satyam apriyam: never say such truth which is unpleasant.” How it can be heard, tolerated? Whether it is pleasing or unpleasing, truth must be spoken. Why should it have any opposition that truth must not be spoken? Mā brūyāt satyam apriyam. At the same time, “Priyañ cha nānṛtaṁ: whatever pleasant but not true, don’t say so.” So, “Eṣa dharmaḥ sanātanaḥ: the eternal conduct should be like this.” So, truth also has necessity of modification. There is the truth of our conception. The higher truth can conceive, can harmonise both truth and falsehood. It comes out of that. Kṛṣṇa asking Yudhiṣṭhir, “Say that Aśvatthāmā is, Aśvatthāmā is dead. Say to Droṇāchārya.” But Yudhiṣṭhir faltering, hesitating. But Kṛṣṇa said. What is the truth of your conception? From the higher standpoint, that may not have such value. A general law in a particular plane, that may loose its generalness in the consideration of high office. So, gradation of conception in truth. Truth in our conception may not be truth from the higher plane of conception. Arjuna, he promised that whoever will blame his gāṇḍīva, he will cut his head immediately. One day, when Yudhiṣṭhir was insulted by Karṇa in Kurukṣetra battle, then Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa retired from the battle to take some rest in the camp and Yudhiṣṭhir abused Arjuna, “You gave me assurance that you will make me King. And I am tempted by that. I am a … I fell prey to your influence, but can’t do that. Karṇa has insulted me, very seriously. Fie your gāṇḍīva!”

Then Arjuna, when the blame came to gāṇḍīva, Arjuna trying to draw the sword from his …

Students: Sheath.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Sheath. And Kṛṣṇa marked, “Hey! What do you do? You are going to keep up your promise by beheading brother Yudhiṣṭhir? You have understood very how to keep up the promise, is it not? But have you got only one promise? That whoever will blame your gāṇḍīva, you will behead him? Only this promise in your life you have made? And there are other promise, that you will make king Yudhiṣṭhir, the king of India? Was not that a promise of you? Why not that a promise? This and so many promises, and if you don’t keep up your promise, you will welcome death. That is another alternative. If you don’t, you can’t keep up your promise, then you will die. Death is also of different kinds. Eight kinds of death. One of them, death, is to engage in one’s own praise. So, as sin so the penance. So, go on praising your own capacity. Then, eight kinds of death, that is one kind of death, to praise one’s own self. Do that.”

Arjuna was perplexed. Yes, he was really going to behead Yudhiṣṭhir to keep up his promise, but he already promised that he must be made emperor of India. That was also a promise. So, Kṛṣṇa came with the conception of higher truth. Arjuna was perplexed, and Arjuna left.

In this way, in the conception of our truthfulness, there is also some defect. So,

satyaṁ brūyāt priyaṁ
(Manu-saṁhitā: 4.138)

What is satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi? What is true? The truth is not law. Truth is Kṛṣṇa. The ultimate conception will come that truth is personal, truth is a living thing, not a dead law, abstract. That is not the real conception of truth proper.

satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.1.1)

The characteristic of truth, let us try to understand. Śrīmad Bhāgavatam I am hereby going to give you the real conception what is truth proper. Truth is person. Truth is absolute. Truth is Lord. Truth is not a law, abstract, a man-made expression. So, to abide by the absolute movement, flow, flow of movement coming from the absolute control, centre, that is truth. Whatever He desires, He wants, surrender to that. That is truth. The highest conception of truth is there in harmony. Truth is to dance in harmony with the most original plane according to its vibration and wave. That is truth. That is inevitable, causeless inevitable movement of the plane—to dance in tune of that, that is truth.


Truth is God. Satyam. Then śivam. Then sundaram. Truth can be raised into that of kalyāṇ, goodness, and then again that is sweetness. Truth is sweetness, ānandam, rasam. That is truth. That is truth. What can fulfil, which can quench the thirst of all, that is truth. In its higher conception, truth that can satisfy, that can quench the thirst of anyone and everyone in the world. Truth has got such a wide conception. Satyam, and gradually that śivam. So when truth says that man will be punished with death, then mercy comes and minimises. Then, mercy is not truth, but is a higher conception of truth. Who can compensate this situation. Mercy may not come from a man in the street, but mercy can come only from such a position who can give harmony, who can compensate. He can only show mercy. Not anyone in the street. So, in this way, the higher conception of truth runs to sundara, satisfaction. To remove all the difficulties not only, but positively to fill up the whole heart with sweet nectar, juice, sweet juice.

(Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: Pūrva-vibhāga, 1.1)

The definition of Kṛṣṇa has been given in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu by Rūpa Goswāmī. Akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrtiḥ: the nectarean rasa, juice, and that is personified, that is harmonised. Personification means harmonised and living thing,


Nitāi Gauraharibol.

Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern exponent of the conception of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the school of Srila Rupa Goswami. Subtle and profound yet vivid and practical, his representation of both the broadest and deepest spiritual truths has and continues to fortify and nurture the faith of spiritual aspirants the world over. For more information on Srila Sridhar Maharaj, please visit his biography page.


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