• What's really needed is to recognize the need for spiritual as well as material happiness
  • The yogi's interest is inner peace and self-realization and social harmony
  • Perfection means being in tune with reality
What's really needed is to recognize the need for spiritual as well as material happiness

Who am I

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.

Universal Brotherhood


UNIVERSAL brotherhood is a heavenly commodity. Love builds and hatred destroys it. The natural relation between on soul and another is that of fellowship in unadulterated love of Sri Krishna. This relation is realised through the endeavour to love the Lord. Love of the Lord is the guiding principle to unite us as brothers or fellow servants, all of us being the exclusive servants of the same Lord. This relation is alone natural and is automatically established as soon as we become really attentive to God, our only Lord, the sole Object of our exclusive service.

Love of the Lord being the natural function of our soul we must be always on our guard against the unnatural and obstructing intruder, lust, that is the bastard born of our unnatural alliance with flesh and blood. The teachers of Divine love preached their gospel of love by loving the Lord with all their faculties. Being killed in the physical body they had no reason to retaliate and being hated by reason of the flesh they were not anxious to be dragged into a similar predicament themselves. Christ, while appearing to be crucified, cried aloud, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing." Did not Nityananda, while seeming to bleed under the blows of his assailants, request Lord Chaitanya to show mercy to Madhai saying that he himself contrived to get the wound?

Love of Krishna suffers no ill and consequently does not know revenge. That fleshy disposition is entirely foreign to the soul. It cannot be accommodated in the all-loving nature of the soul in intimate relation with God. For where is the possibility of a wire's losing the electric charge while effectively connected with the battery? The soul that realises her subjection to the Divine Soul Who is All-love, is necessarily herself all-loving to the extent of her reciprocal nature and cannot be otherwise.

Difference of interest is visible only when the relationship of the physical and mental bodies is considered without reference to the soul. The twin bodies that enwrap the soul cause all the apparent difference; or rather, the more our attention is given to our encasing of bodies the stronger and more inevitable and apparently unbridgeable is the difference. Our attention to flesh and blood tends to foster complete inattention to God. This tendency to entire inattention to God is the cause of the unnatural subjection of the soul to body and mind, of spirit to matter. In the annals of the tragic serfdom of soul to matter, race, colour, man-made creed, etc., are things that supply the motive power and the consequent lust or hatred manifests itself in every form of gilded or naked hideousness.

Not wholly relishing to live in such an atmosphere even the misguided soul also always tries, however feebly, to assert himself. But the soul acting now under his misguided judgment utterly fails to devise the right means to find the condition of real harmony. The means that are adopted from time to time for this purpose only serve, under the circumstances, to make union still more impossible. The wrong treatment aggravates the malady. That is why our Peace-conferences, Leagues of nations and all other conventions directed by lust fail to achieve their purpose.

We fail and fail again, but do not know or care to know, why we are thus almost predestined to fail. The reason of this should be also obvious. The cause of failure is betrayed by such as statements from authoritative quarters as that, “There is no place for Saints in politics." The Reality need not be officially ousted from the considerations of practical politics despite the most impromising appearances. This should be true of all institutions. Religion and life need not be treated as two different subjects even partially independent of one another. It need not be taken for granted that one must live only by distrust and dishonesty, and only profess with the lip abnegation of the interests of the flesh. One must learn to cling to religion to triumph in life. Life cannot claim to have triumphed if religion is banished from the domain of practical considerations. The talk of love of God now hardly commends itself to our constant and dominant consideration. The examples of the past teachers of love have been forgotten and those of present ones are ignored.

Now-a-days there exists many an official religious mission all over the world. Even they appear to find it impracticable to be purely religious bodies. They are allowing themselves to be transformed more or less into agents for the promotion of lust (worldly interests). They are often called upon to help the cause of a narrow community to which they are assumed to belong by the flesh, even in the guise of a religious body. And we must not also forget that it was both easy and convenient for Ravana to cast his lustful eyes on Seeta, in the garb of a mendicant. The altars are liable to be easily desecrated by the worship of lust,-ungodly things,-money, name, fame, amelioration of the flesh, removal of the wholesome although seemingly distressing consequences of immoral life, etc. etc. These apparently benevolent deeds of the misguided worldling have no power to infuse the spirit of love into the hearts of the people who suppose themselves to be benefited in this fashion. For you cannot find any trace of electric charge in a wire which is not connected with the battery.

Sree Raghunath Das Goswami

(Continued from PP. 280 February, 1930)

By this time the devotees from Gauda (Bengali) arrived at Puri. The Lord welcomed them all as in the previous year. In their company the Lord swept the Gundicha, dined out in the open and danced in the Car Festival. The mind of Raghunath Das was filled with great wonder on beholding these devotional performances. Then Raghunath Das cultivated the acquaintance of all the devotees. Adwaita Acharya bestowed on him his mercy in manifold measure. Shivananda Sen related to him how his father had sent ten persons to take him back and had written a letter to him on the subject. Those men had come up with his party at Jhakra from where they went back on not finding him with them.

The devotees returned to Gauda (Bengal) after a stay of four months at Puri. Informed of this the father of Raghunath sent a man to Shivananda to enquire about his son. The conversation between this person and Shivananda Sen has been preserved in the immortal work of Kaviraj Goswami. The man asked Shivananda Sen, 'Did you find any Vaishnava with the Supreme Lord, who is the son of Gobardhana, by name Raghunath? Did you make the acquaintance of any such person at Neelachal? Shivananda said, 'He is with the Lord. He is most famous. There is no one at Puri who does not know him. The Lord has made him over to Swarup. He is as dear to the devotees of the Lord as their own lives. He chants the Name night and day. He never quits the feet of the Lord even for a moment. He is most averse to the world and has no thought for food or clothing. He keeps up life by eating something now and then. When it is near midnight he takes his stand at the Lion Gate after seeing the ceremony of flower-offering to Jagannath. If any-body choses to give him anything he eats something. He fasts or chews raw fruit or grain as the occasion serves."

The man conveyed these tidings to Gobardhan. Raghunath's father and mother were filled with grief on receiving this detailed information. They sent men and money for their child. Two servants and one Brahman with four hundred coins accordingly came to Shivananda. Shivananda said that it would not be practicable for them to reach Puri by themselves and told them to accompany him when he went there next. He sent them back with the assurance that he would take them with him when he next set out for Puri with his party.

The very words spoken by Shivananda Sen to the messenger sent to him by Gobardhan Mazumdar were heard and carefully recorded in verse by his gifted son Karnapur, the famous Poet. The Poet's words are -Shivananda said 'Jadunandan Acharya of most deliciously sweet appearance is the object of affection of Sri Vasudeva Datta (of Kanchanpalli). Raghunath Das is the disciple of Jadunandan Acharya. By his good qualities he is more than our own life to all of us and by means of the excessive mercy of Sri Chaitanya he is always most gentle, the beloved of Swarup Goswami and a unique treasure of the realm of renunciation. Of those who live at Neelachal who does not know him?.....'Who by delighting the minds of all became the soil of some rate fortune which ripened into maturity without culture,-in whom the incomparable tree of the Love of Chaitanya bore fruit at the time of planting its seed.' Karnapur has given in verse the exact words that Shivananda spoke to the messenger to Gobardhan Mazumdar.

Shivananda in due course set out for Neelachal next year. A servant and a Brahman from Gobardhan Mazumdar accompanied him to Puri. The Brahman and servant with four hundred coins made their way to Raghunath. Raghunath Das did not accept their help. Those two, however, remained at Puri with the money. Thereafter Raghunath with much ardour invited the Lord to accept alms of food twice a month. The two invitations cost eight Panas of Cowrie-shells. Raghunath took this sum from the Brahman and servant. Raghunath continued to invite the Lord for two years and then gave it up. When Raghunath did not invite Him to dinner for two months the Lord asked Swarup why Raghunath gave up inviting Him. Swarup replied that he had done so on deliberation. Raghunath thought that he had been inviting the Lord by accepting money from a worldling, He realised that the mind of the Lord could not be pleased by such invitation. As the Lord could not accept the offering with unmixed pleasure the only gain by such invitations was his own 'reputation'. The Lord accepted his invitation by reason of his entreaty thinking that if He declined to accept it his foolishness would make him sorry.' These considerations made Raghunath give up the practice of inviting the Lord.

On hearing this the Lord said with a smile, 'By feeding on the cooked food of worldlings the mind is made impure. If the mind becomes impure, it is no longer possible to recollect Krishna. The cooked food supplied by a worldling proceeds ultimately from motives of meritorious activity (rajas) tending to a worldly result. It, therefore, pollutes the minds of both donor and enjoyer. By reason of hesitation on his account I have accepted it so long. It is well that he has given it up by his own conviction.'

After a while Raghunath also ceased to attend at the Lion Gate for his food. He began to obtain his food by begging at the chhatras. On hearing of this from Govinda the Lord asked Swarup, 'Why does not Raghu stand for food at the Lion Gate?' Swarup said, 'Feeling it troublesome to wait at the Lion Gate he begs his food at noon from the Chhatras.' The Lord said, 'He has done well by giving up his attendance at the Lion Gate. To beg at the Lion Gate is the trade of a harlot.-'He is coming, he will surely give,-he has given; another is coming, he will give; this person who is gone did not give; another will come and give.' At the Chhatras one may fill his belly by whatever is obtainable. There is thus no other matter but chanting of Krishna with joy.'

Saying so the Lord once more bestowed His favour on Raghunath. He gave him the stone of Gobardhana and the garland of Gunja twigs. Shankarananda Saraswati had brought the stone and garland when he came from Brindaban. The gunja garland was attached to the side of the Gobardhana stone. Shankarananda laid these two before the Lord for His acceptance.

The Lord was delighted on receiving the two things, the like of which was not to be found before. He put on the garland of gunja at the time of recollection. The Lord nursed the Gobardhana stone by holding it to His Eyes and Bosom, receiving its odour and placing it on His Head, The stone was constantly bathed in His tears. The Lord called the stone the Body of Krishna'. He bore on His person the stone and garland in that manner for the space of three years. Being pleased with Raghunath, He gave him the stone and garland.

The Lord said, 'This stone is the holy concentrated Form of Krishna. Worship him with earnestness. Worship this stone by the pure, rational method (sattvic) of service. You will obtain the treasure of the love of Krishna in no time. The sattvic worship is performed in the pure form by means of the spray of Tulasi and water procured in an earthen pitcher. Place one Tulasi spray inside two Tulasi leaves. Offer the Lord with faith eight sprays of Tulasi in this form. The Lord gave him this command as He made over to him the Stone with His own Holy Hands.

Raghunath began to perform the worship with great joy. Swarup gave him two pieces of cloth half a cubit in size, one small board as a seat and one earthen Kunja to fetch the water. Raghunath worshipped the Lord in this fashion. At the time of worship he beheld the darling Son of the Chief of Braja in the Stone. Raghunath was overwhelmed with love as he thought of the Gobardhan stone which the Lord had given him with His own Hands. The joy that is experienced by worship with Tulasi and water is not equalled by that of worship on a grand scale with the sixteen offerings. When Raghunath had continued to worship the Lord in this manner for some time Swarup Goswami said to him. "Offer eight couris worth of Khaja (a kind of sweetmeat). If it be given with faith it becomes the equal nectar.' Then Raghunath began to offer eight couris worth of Khaja which was supplied by Govinda by command of Swarup.

When Raghunath received the Stone and garland he arrived at the following conclusion regarding the intention of the Lord, 'The Lord has surrendered me to Gobardhan (Sri Krishna) by giving me the Stone and to the Feet of Radhika by giving me the Garland of Gunja.'

(To be continued)

Taking refuge in God

(Continued from p. 188, Nov. 1929)



  1. Hari!
    Sri Rupa Goswami In the form of Sree Guru Taught in my ear,--Learn the meaning of my words, You who beg for the gift of the Name; You will then find attraction in chanting the Name.
  2. The Name, Form, Quality, The excellent Deeds of Krishna, With the utmost care, Apply to thy tongue And mind, in order Following the Scriptural injunction.
  3. Dwelling in Braja, Following the spontaneous bent of love Practise chanting and recollection. In this manner employ Thy whole time, Accept this as the essence of all teaching.
  4. Ah! Rupa Gosain! When wilt thou, out of mercy, Grant this wretch to live in Braja! Thy soul is love; To be the follower of thy feet Is the hope of thy servant.


  1. Gurudeva!
    Out of thy great mercy, 'Mid the wood-land of Gauda, Thou hast given me a place in Godruma. Thou hast given me thy command, -- Abiding here in Braja You sing the Name of Hari.
  2. But when, O revered one! Wilt thou, out of thy mercy, Bestow the fitness on this slave ? When will my mind be tranquil, I will bear up with all, And serve Hari with singleness of heart?
  3. In childhood and youth, By contact with worldly pleasure, My habit has grown corrupt. By my own evil deeds This body has become A hindrance to the service of God.
  4. Now in old age Smitten with the five-fold malady, Teach me how I am to serve. Crying with anguish, At thy feet I fall in this great distress.


  1. Gurudeva!
    By administering a particle of thy mercy, Make this servant of Thine Infinitely more humble than a blade of grass. Imparting strength To bear all trials Make me unsolicitous of my own honour.
  2. Give me, my Lord, The strength to honour all In the manner that is due. It is only then that with joy I will sing the Name of Hari, And all offence will end.
  3. When will this person, Gaining such mercy, Be blessed, indeed, O Lord ? Destitute of strength and wit I am very low ; May thou make me thine.
  4. To judge of my fitness, I find I have none, Thy mercy is essential. If thou art not merciful, I will not cease weeping Till life itself is spent out.