Exercise unambiguously the function of the soul
Posted November 10, 2004
Sometimes it appears that liberation from the clutches of mundane identification is more gratifying than the experience of Bhakti directed toward Sri Krishna. The truth is that it is not really the case. However from the view point of a neophyte bhakta, it may appear so. I remember being in India, sitting near a temple and observing a few goings on, one of which was the great happiness felt by a neophyte devotee. He was experiencing the pleasure of waking up before sunrise. He was saying that it was such a spiritual thing and it was so transcendental. The fact is it was not so spectacular and is an everyday occurrence for early risers. Spiritual bliss is far beyond any measurement of time to be found in the mundane atmosphere. In the same way, the happiness of liberation is thrilling in comparison to bondage. But the happiness of "Real Bhakti" is much more gratifying than the happiness felt by the impersonalist or the sense enjoys. The fact that a neophyte devotee does not necessarily experience this high level of transcendental bliss does not mean it doesn't exist.
The are many examples of Krishna Bhaktas who were placed in external conditions that would have caused great distress to ordinary persons yet they remained aloof not feeling any disturbance and at the same time displayed transcendental bliss without interruption.
Here is a short list with brief narration of the pastime:
- Hari das Thakur - He was beaten and whipped in many market places by envious Smartas and never gave up the chanting of the divine name..
- AC Bhativedanta Swami - He suffered 8 heart attacks on the ship Jaladhutta yet he continued to remember Sri Krishna and continued to fulfill desire his Guru Maharaja.
- Ramanuja Acarya - He was being poisoned by local priests and many death treats.
- Srila Bhaktisiddhanta - Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's had been vigorously refuting the concocted conclusions of the thirteen deviant Vaisnava sects - the Aulas, the Baulas, the Kartabhajas, etc. He had also condemned compulsory monetary remuneration for darsana of the Deities in the temples. In addition, he strongly objected to the abominable practice of charging fees for recitation of Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavata-gita. He was preaching that Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared on the eastern bank of the Ganges in Sridhama Mayapura, not on the western bank of the Ganges at present day Navadvipa as was falsely claimed. For all of these reasons, all the smarta-brahmanas, panditas and other sects attacked Srila Bhaktisiddhanta.
- Gandahari - was embarrassed and humiliated publicly yet remained surrendered to Sri Krishna .
- Prahlad Maharaj - death treats - child abuse - torture yet he remained trancsendental and desired that the lord be merciful even to those who did him harm.
- Lord Jesus Christ - crucified -beaten to death - you all know the story.
- Bheesma Dev - he was shot full of holes and lay on a bed of arrows yet remained aloof until he could complete his discourse Dharma and see Sri Krishna face to face.
- Queen Kunti - My dear Krsna, Your Lordship has protected us from the poisoned cake, from a great fire, from cannibals, from the vicious assembly, from sufferings during our exile in the forest, and from the battle where great generals fought.... I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see you again and again, for seeing you means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths. (Bhag. 1.8.24-25)
How is it that they were not disturbed is a logical question. The answer is simple and is the basic and most fundamental teaching of all the great devotional personalities and that is: we are not this material body and we must live - speak - think - etc. on such a platform.
If unable , then we will claim bodily identification such as Hindu, Christian, Moslem, Man, Woman, Child, Bird, Lesbian, Gay, Black, White, Brown, Yellow, my Krishna your Krishna. What will follow is we will then need to adjust our philosophies in this life to suit our misconceptions. Srila Bhaktisddhanta has said very directly "we must exercise unambiguously the function of the soul." IF one is not able to maintain such level of realization and practice, one should at least be honest and take good advice from a genuine sadhu. Search Him Out! He won't bite ! Listen to Him ! Our true identity can be realized by his help. Another thing is that one should not pose as the sadhu nor should one claim to represent Sri Krishna while living a life of misconception. We should be humble and with folded hands offer some assistance to the Genuine devotee. We will then get strength to advance in our OWN realization. Not a borrowed realization or something we may have read about in history books. Otherwise we will create havoc and confusion which is obviously a dis-service and can lead toward Aparadha..
Sriman Mahaprabhu has said: "I am not this body nor this or that: what I am is a servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna."
To be a servant of the genuine sadhu is in fact the greatest position to be had within this material world. One will find safety, comfort, freedom from suffering and will, by their grace coupled with OUR OWN search for Sri Krishna, experience the real pleasure of Pure Krishna Bhakti which far surpasses the pleasure of liberation. Then our lives will be successful.
Submitted for the pleasure of the the devotees by Arijit Das