The Constitutional Function Of The Soul

22nd Kartik, 1928, Friday Afternoon
I have no capacity to tend to the feet of the denizens of this holy place. Yet by the grace of Çré Gaurasundara and urged by your good wishes, I stand here to speak only if I may thereby serve the servants of Çré Gauräìga. Indeed if we can truly serve the feet of the devotees of Çré Gauräìga, by whose graceful glance alone all desires, hopes, and aims in life are easily fulfilled, then that will be a crowning achievement.
We are proud of our ego. We are either given to judge sinful and pious acts or think how we can lord it over others by acquiring power. These are all base self-glorifications. But one devoted to Gauräìga says that all desires actuating every object from the pillar to the highest being (Brahmä), all labour for worldly possessions, all longing for enjoyment and every kind of renunciation after satiety, are all pseudo-existent and evanescent, i.e., subject to change and time. When we lose anything so acquired, life seems vacant and useless. But it is quite futile to try to straighten the tail of a dog—such being the end of all enjoyments in the fourteen spheres. All pleasures acquired as the fruits of worldly work are transitory.
Carried away by sense-perceptions of eye, ear, touch, taste and sound we turn into ego-worshippers. In this state the pure activity of the soul lies dormant. Then we also desire the pleasure in heaven. And when such ideas are strong in us we err by identifying ourselves with this mind, which thus seems to be the enjoyer of the things of this world. This propensity for selfish enjoyment deadens the pure function of the Soul.
But the Soul knows that Çré Kåñëa is the One Absolute Truth.
Çré Näräyaëa is the embodiment of His Majesty. Näräyaëa though is the ultimate source of the Absolute Truth, Kåñëa’s transcendent designation, form, qualities, and sportive activities (lila) excel Näräyaëa’s Majesty by His display of sweetening Beauty. In Kåñëa the fullest majesty is mellowed by the most delicious sweetness (madhurya) which predominates. When we do not know all these and forget our true selves, we cannot understand the activities of a Vaiñëava and the transcendental truth underlying such activities, and so give ourselves up to worldly enmity and friendship, taking things transitory and illusory as eternal and real.
Secondly, Kåñëa is completely all-cognisant. Material objects are not self-conscious. God is ever existent. It is, indeed, through mistake that we consider ourselves as Brahman. It is only then that such useless arguments for the effacement of all super-sensual diversity or variety in Absolute Truth take hold of us. The function of the spirit is clogged and our minds run after worldly enjoyment. The materialised mind thinks that sensual enjoyment is obtained at Kåñëa’s feet. But at the feet of Kåñëa everything is spiritual and so not an object for the gratification of our senses. When truth is obscured in us carried away by egotistic tendencies, we take things material as of the spirit.
Kåñëa is bliss. In Him dwells perfect joy—He is the embodiment of it. Sensual knowledge or joy is not perfect;—therein all our longings are not realised. Under the spell of sense perceptions we imagine that there might be unalloyed happiness in ego-worship or in the kaivalya state of Pataìjali.
All seeking after joy is the function of the soul. When the desire for joy wakes up in our minds we commit a blunder in running after worldly objects and enjoyment. It is only when we receive a spiritual sight of Kåñëa that we understand that His service must, of necessity, be the sole aim in life. As long as we thus hanker after our own pleasures we try to enjoy the world through the senses and are given to hollow argumentation. But this world is not made for our enjoyment. When spiritual bliss will appear in us like the incessant flow of oil then shall we be truly tied to the feet of Kåñëa.
Such numerical variety as that of one, two and three exists only in worldly diversity. This diversity acquires a certain inexpressible sameness in the world of spirit. Then we can appreciate that Kåñëa alone is the eternal Truth Absolute. When the very existence of Truth and sensiency in our own selves becomes solely relative to Him only then we are established in our real normal state.
At present many false meanings have been imported into the word “devotion.” Regard for one’s parents, loyalty to man, obedience to the teacher, etc., pass as bhakti. But the root “bhaj” means “to serve.” If we do not clearly judge as to what must be the medium of that service then it is sure to be misapplied. As Caitanya-candrämåta sings:
kalah kalir balina indriya-vairi-vargah
sri-bhakti-marga iha kantaka koti-ruddhah
ha ha kva yami vikalah kim aham karomi
caitanya-candra! yadi nadya krpam karosi
“This is the quarrelling age. The senses, which are our enemies, are now very powerful; and crores of thorns choke the path of pure bhakti. I am quite at a loss to know what I shall do or where I shall go unless Caitanya Candra shows mercy unto me.”
We live in the Kali-yuga—this is an age of strife. So it happens that the self-luminous path of pure devotion is completely covered up with millions of thorns in the shape of foolish argumentations and wordy wranglings. In these circumstances it is absolutely impossible to have the knowledge of pure devotion without the mercy of Caitanya Candra. Çré Caitanya Candra is Kåñëa Himself. He is the Godhead. We cannot know God by the exertions of our senses. As the Kaöha Upaniñad says:
nayamatma pravacanena labhyo
na medhaya na bahuna srutena
yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas
tasyaisa atma vrnute tanum svam
“The knowledge about the all-embracing Oversoul cannot be attained either through reasoning, argumentations or hearing the Vedas; only to him does He manifest His person whom He accepts.”
Godhead is eternal. We cannot attain to Him unless we realise He is bliss Himself. One confined within his psychic range in a hundred ways cannot know what God is and so accepts things other than God as objects of his worship. Unable to understand the true subject and object of enjoyment, as well as the nature of enjoyment itself, he imagines the world as created to afford him every kind of pleasure. This materialised mind strives only after selfish enjoyment. By this fleshly form we cannot serve Kåñëa. It is possible only in spirit. The atomic theory of the world knows nothing of that service.
In the variety of His manifestations, Absolute Truth Himself is to be determined from Näräyaëa. In Kåñëa exists Näräyaëa, Who is His Majestic form. Baladeva is the manifestation of His Self. He is the all-pervading Oversoul. With the revelation of the function of supreme knowledge in our soul, we come to know that Kåñëa is the Absolute Truth. He is also perfect bliss, reverence does not stand in His way. Intimate service cannot be rendered if one is actuated by reverence. Yet Kåñëa is the eternal object of the devotees’ whole-hearted service. But He is to be served with the ever-existent senses of the soul. We cannot serve Him through imagination or sentiment. Super-sensuous knowledge of our relation with Him is essential. There is nobody whom I can call my own except one who is solely devoted to Kåñëa. Kåñëa alone is the one object of my service. This faith is the one glory of the Vaiñëava. This is the supreme necessity of life. Material fame full of the idea of selfish enjoyment is never desirable.
Time is running short. The time for the evening wave-offering ceremony is drawing nigh. I must no longer encroach upon your time of service. If it be Kåñëa’s wish I shall again try to serve you. A thousand obeisances at the feet of the devotees of Kåñëa.