• 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.

Selected articles from the magazine
Edited by Paramahamsa Paribrajakacharyya
Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj
Published between 1927 - 1936

IN our vocabulary we come across two words Prem and Kam. The English equivalents for these two words are ‘transcendental love’ and ‘mundane-lust’ respectively. There is a general tendency to confuse Prem with Kam. And considering the sameness in their outward character, such confusion is inevitable. But a little reflection will disclose a heaven and hell difference between them. Prem is divine and Kam is hellish. In a beautiful passage in Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita the distinction between them has been shown in a most happy and felicitous way. The passage runs thus—

Mr. Melville T. Kennedy M.A., in his 'Chaitanya Movement' (p.247), in enumerating the defects of the Bhakti movement of Chaitanya mentions the use of images 'which play so prominent a part'. He goes on to observe that the common defence of image-worship, that it is a necessary aid for ignorant and spiritually undeveloped folk, manifestly cannot be applied to Chaitanya, one of Bengal's greatest sons. The writer has given his clear opinion on p.114 where he states that Chaitanya fully shared the view-point of His time, and believed in the reality and blessedness of the God's presence in the 'image before him'.

Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita has the following transmitted word (amnaya) regarding Sri Krishna (Madh. 20-146), —‘The Vedas everywhere expound Krishna only, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly, in some parts by the synthetic or positive method elsewhere by the differential or negative method,—but they always expound Krishna and nothing except Krishna.’ And again (Adi 2—106, 65, 24-26), ‘Krishna is Godhead Himself. Krishna is the support of all. Krishna is the Supreme Lord. This is the declaration of the Shastras. In His own proper self Krishna is non-bifurcial (advaya) knowledge and also the Entity that is the Object of knowledge. Brahma (the Great), the supreme soul (paramatma) and Bhagaban (God as Possessor of supreme power and majesty) are His three different forms. The Vedas, Bhagabat, Upanishad and Agama declare Him to be the complete Object of Knowledge, Who has no equal, Who is seen by devotees by the process of loving service in the same manner as the sun’s own form, as distinct from its rays and the luminous ball, is visible to the devas. Those who worship Krishna by the methods of yoga and empiric knowledge realize Him as the Supreme Soul (paramatma) and Brahma (the undifferentiated Great One) respectively.

THE Harmonist is to-day entering on the fourth year of her service of all pure souls whose only function is to serve the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna by every faculty, in conformity with the teaching of the Lord himself embodied in all the Scriptures. The service of the Divinity in its unalloyed form of exclusive spiritual love is the hidden treasure of the scriptures. Few, indeed, of this mundane world ever attain to it. Love for God, contaminated and distorted more or less by the reservations of mundane considerations of selfish gratification, is to be ordinarily found in this world. But the present Age is too critical to be prepared to admit the validity of the alloyed form of the love of God. The alternative is, therefore, either to strive for the pure form of devotion or to reject the very principle of the spiritual function. The Iron Age is least disposed to abate its contentions against love, from instinctive deference to the principle of causeless love.

In former Ages men were less critical and less willing to be critical in matters of devotion to Krishna. This change of temperament has necessitated attempts to explain the fundamental principle of love itself to meet the objections of loveless critics. But the critics are confident that they have the advantage of the controversy. This is proved by the prevailing tendency in all counties in favour of mundane knowledge and mundane felicity as against cause less exclusive devotion to Krishna.