Success in life begins with knowing, "Who am I? What is the purpose of my life?" Knowledge of the self exists; but sincere seekers are rare. More rare are the great teachers of such wisdom. Since time immemorial, wise men have described our wonderful nature: spiritual, primeval, ever-existing, undying, unchangeable, imperishable. This selection of the writings of Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa (Chris Butler) shares that timeless wisdom — inspiring, challenging , practical.
Selected articles from the magazine
SREE SAJJANA-TOSHANI or THE HARMONIST
Edited by Paramahamsa Paribrajakacharyya
Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj
Published between 1927 - 1936
ASCETICISM and epicurianism are alike opposite to the principle of devotion. It does not follow; therefore that spiritual living is realisable by following the middle course between those two extremes. Had this been so spiritual living would have in only a form of worldliness? But there is nevertheless a close parallelism between mundane and spiritual life. It is not, however, possible for the material mind to find out the nature of this parallelism by any speculative interpretation of the words of the Scriptures. Spiritual life is a living and substantive entity always revealing himself to other spiritual entities who are inclined to lead the spiritual life. In order to realise the significance of the conduct of a sadhu it is necessary for one to make up his mind to lead the spiritual life. But very few persons in this world are prepared to do so in real earnest. That is the reason why most people are liable to grossly misunderstand the conduct of a sadhu.
THE exoteric face of the transcendental service of Godhead has been a subject of endless and heated controversy among the propounders of empiric theories about the Absolute. These controversies have necessarily tended to gravitate towards the opposite poles of elevationism and liberationism. No solution of the differences that divide the two camps of polemical empiric philosophers and theologians could be reached by the resources of mundane experience. To the empiricist, therefore, the question, as to whether asceticism or epicurianism should be the proper form of service of the Divinity, is the veritable gordian knot of speculative theology.
THE original authorised exponents of the Teachings of Sree Chaitanya are known as the six Goswamis. They are Sree Rupa, Sanatana, Raghunath Bhatta, Jiva, Gopala Bhatta and Raghunathdas. Five of them left records of the Teachings of the Supreme Lord which they wrote in the Sanskrit language. These six Goswamis took up their residence in the Land of Braja for the purpose of preaching the super-excellence of the worship of Sree Krishna as practised by the spiritual milkmaids of Braja, the true meaning of which was made available to the present fortunate Age by the Career and Teachings of the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna-Chaitanya.
The works of the six Goswamis, at any rate a sufficient number of them, have come down to us intact. The study of these priceless volumes has been neglected too long partly on account of the indifference of the degenerate followers of Sree Rupa and partly by the deliberate policy of the pseudo-teachers of the Religion of loving devotion who did not want the public exposure of their own falsehoods which had been laboriously manufactured for securing a lucrative trade in the name of Religion.
Sri Madhavendra Puri is said to be the sprout of the great tree of devotional love represented by Sri Chaitanya Dev to the world. He comes of the line of Sri Madhwa, the Acharya of the pure Dwaita (Dualistic) philosophy. It is well known to a student of religious literature that pure Dualism is one of the four Theistic Vaishnava Schools of ancient India. As Brahma, the creator himself, has been mentioned to be the pioneer of the Faith, the school is also known as 'Brahma Sampradaya'.
The Word of God is both the Object and the Agent of His Own manifestation. As the agent of His manifestation the Word makes His appearance in this world through the medium of the succession of the Divine Masters. Sreela Viswanath Chakravarty Thakur is sixth from Sree Chaitanya in the line of the Divine Teachers of Medium of the Appearance of the Word in this world.
The six Goswamins of Vrindavana form the contemporary group of the teachers of the Word at the time of Sree Chaitanya. In the next generation the Word was preached on an extensive scale by Sreenivas Acharyya, Thakur Narottama and Shyamananda Prabhu. Sreela Viswanath Chakravarty Thakur represents the third period of propaganda activity.
A large number of stalls, aggregating no less than eighty-five have been set up for visualising, in a concrete and easily intelligible form, many of the most fundamental principles of the revealed Religion. The following account has been compiled to afford the visitor to the Exhibition some ideas of the subject matters demonstrated by the arrangements of the separate stalls in their serial order.
The cyclical Appearance of Vishnu, the Personal Absolute, in this world in Infinite Forms corresponds to the stages of gradual progress of the Theistic disposition among His eternally associated servants in different Vaikunthas. These Appearances and their respective specific Forms are capable of being described in terms of the stages and their corresponding physical forms of evolution, on the mundane plane, of the physical organism...
The seed of the creeper of spiritual function is obtained by the fortunate dormant soul as the result of sub-conscious friendly association with serving souls, by the Grace of Krishna and Sri Guru. This is the beginning of conscious service.
The principle of devotion is a transcendental form of activity inherent in the soul in the state of Grace. This principle grows by exercise. By its means the soul is quickly relieved of all mundane activity. This is the crossing of the neutral stream. The soul now finds herself on the further shore of the stream that separates the spiritual realm from the mundane. She feels a new joy by being relieved of the burden of the world. The light from the spiritual world has come to her. But she cannot yet actually perceive either the objects or relationships of the new world. She feels relieved of all necessity for mundane activities but finds no other form of activity to take their place. This is the sphere of the un-differentiated Brahman or the realisation of God-head as the Great Unknown.
THOUSANDS of people from all parts of the country have had the good fortune of visiting the spiritual exhibition which has been manifested at Sreedham Mayapur by the grace of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj.
For those who have been sincerely desirous of making the real acquaintance of the summum bonum, the globes symbolising the gradual stages by which the soul progresses towards his natural function, must appeal more strongly than anything else.
The extension of Nityananda, the alter Ego of the Supreme Lord Sri Gaursundar, for the purpose of serving Sri Gaursundar in endless ways, and the Nature of Sri Gaursundar, the Principle of service Himself in His Own Divine Form, has been made visible to the mortal eye, in relation to the Object of all service, viz. the lotus Feet of Sri Krishna.