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By Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur

Published in The Harmonist (Sree Sajjanatoshani)



The ontological view will surely tell us that Eternal Brahman is the all-Pervading Supreme Cause of all manifestive eternal and transforming domains. All the Vedantic literature viz., Shruti, Nyaya, Smriti and Prakarana tend to delineate the Personality of the Unique Owner of all Eternal manifestations and their opposites and the conception of His Personality need not be morphologised by worldly temporal transforming attributes and at the same time He should not be denied His Spiritual Form, Attributions and spiritual eternal innumerable transcendental Qualities and unending and unrestricted Pastimes, Owing to His supersensuous situation, frivolous attempts should not be directed against Him by our anti-theistic exploitations. He should be approached through Shruti or pure aural reception of transcendental Sounds which should not be confused with mundane sounds which are temporary and meant for the gratifications of our senses. The mundane sounds have to submit to our inspectorial staff of the senses, whereas cogent transcendental Sounds are enriched with superior delegated powers of Divinity to regulate the previous conviction of an enjoying captivated object who poses himself as a subject to lord it over the phenomena. The mind and all other wrong activities of senses are to be regulated by means of devotional temperament to proceed to the Region of eternal transcendental Beatitude. The approaching activity along the path of devotion will empower all individual captivated entities to throw off the thralldom of this enjoying region.

Over this, we can trace as well the development of the Vedantic aspects in history and in many ritualistic works, known as Satwata Pancharatra, all of which show an advanced thought of practical Vedanta. Moreover the commentators on the Puranas and the Pancharatras also give us facility to dive deep into the conception of the Transcendental Truth which will form an enterprise of the Vedantic extension. Some of the Prakarana books show a definite tendency to move towards the impersonal goal. The analytical development has given us a long list of arguments refuting pure impersonalists where we find a foliation of “Rasa’ apart from its indolent aspects. This is no doubt a valuable addition to the Vedanta library. Vigilant writers will come up in the field of the Vedanta in its dualistic phase, vehemently protesting against the ideas of indolent pantheists by their synthetic propaganda towards the Absolute. This process may appear to us as an inductive process leading to pantheistic vision in the long run shaping convergently to one point. Many schools of philosophy in their progress tend to convert themselves to one thought where specification is utterly denied; in other words, they speak of many things which will be proselytized to one thing viz., indistinctive monism.

Some of the adventurers have been found to transform the substratum itself or proselytize their mundane exploitive journey to the theory of misconception. The analytic process meets the synthetic aspirant at a point and we find a combined attempt of their development in literature which is also included later on in the Vedantic School. Dwaitadwaits scholars of the Bhaskara and the Nimbarka schools have given us such views. The empiric starting from a perishable plane aiming at the direction of the indestructible could bring for us a cumulative view of the terminus. The system of the Vedanta philosophy should always look forward to approach the Absolute and not to any search of the non-absolute. The mundane morphological march need not be considered identical with the transcendental morphology which cannot in any case show either transiency or altering phases.

The origin of the Vedanta is innate in knowledge and inseparable from the same, though its practical phases may insist on tracing the cause where it submits to inspection. Nature seems to undergo a transformation, but a vigilant eye could easily discern the unalterable situation, as she has two perceptible aspects, viz., measurable and immeasurable. The measurable attributes vary according as the temporality and permanency of the measurer. Transcendental measurement is perfect and true and not liable to become a victim of mundane controversy arising out of transforming, imperfect, unretentive and finite relativities. The purpose or essence of the Vedanta is not conflicting as it has been reduced by wranglers to polemic exploitations which simply puzzle the observer.

The Absolute Infinity and absolute infinitesimals are not at loggerheads with one another. So the subjectivity and the objectivity described in the Vedanta Philosophy have different denominations from the present conception of the limited idealists who disown all types of objectivity. If we keep a keen watch over the transcendental object we can eliminate the grossness and the mundane subtleties. The new state of the spirit need not have any relation with mundane manifestations. The unalloyed soul should not be disturbed by cutting asunder the transcendental links inseparable from the entity of the unalloyed spirit. We should not anthropomorphise our present crippled ideas when we traverse the Vedantic path. The potency of the Personality of the Transcendental Absolute (Purushottama) need not be restricted out of our poor experience of this world which is of a faulty nature. The apotheotic conception should not prevail in the region of transcendence, as that plane is not to be confused with the world of three dimensions. The passionate views of imperfect limitations, if carried over to that region, would give a speculative transitory result which we should avoid for the safety of this particular philosophy. The origin of the Vedanta need not be epistemologised from the limited experience of phenomena. Of course, our restless mind cannot resist such temptations, but we should be cautious not to disturb the peace and the harmonious system of transcendence. We are to approach, and not to mutilate, the receiprocal [sic] entities of transcendence. Our intuitive faculty shows an unlimited scope of designing and shaping things according to our whims, but those are of no use, if such whimsical orders are not carried out by the transcendental Authority for reasons best known to Him. We have marked that our mind is offered viands for its consumption in the fettered situation and with the same we cannot utilize our mind and mental activities however ethical, and however much they may impress on us here for our future movements in the eternal path of welcoming our volitional and cognitional enterprises. An empiric mind with its intuitive aspirations cannot possibly work, unless helped by the spiritual Power Who does not bear the same attitude to the present phenomenal impressions. It would be better for us if our exploited innovations do not accompany us during our acceptance of the conception of the Transcendence. Our present consciousness and mind with all their paraphernalia cannot possibly claim the suzerainty of the Transcendence when our poor ego is quite adaptable to and contented with the dolls of the phenomena. We have got an enjoying caliber when we tread on the worldly path receiving the help of our gross body and flickering mind. We have noticed that phenomena have direct connection with the mind and its paraphernalia. The mundane phenomena have got a perishable value, whereas the distinctive character of phenomena beyond our conception, is not identical with our present store of knowledge. The phenomenal objects require modification and our different philosophical speculations require rectification, whereas the transcendental Region does not submit to such regulative admonition and chastisement. We are to approach the transcendental Truth Who does not tolerate any aggressive exploitation from any other quarter. The summum bonum of all knowledge, beatitude and unending time, should not be mutilated for the sake of the safety of our eternal entity, which is absolute infinitesimal and not Absolute Infinity, as the inflation of our quantitative eternal ego is not expected to go beyond our own. The imperfection of grossness and subtlety should not claim to have their location in that region, as Paravyoma is never meant to accommodate the special characteristics of worldly phenomena. The subject-matter of the Vedanta is not an innovation, as the origin was lying dormant in spirit, and the Vedantic sound need not have had any origination in this material world. The transcendental Sound, though specified to exhibit a differentiative character, is not to be enjoyed by our enjoying senses.

We must necessarily convince ourselves that the essence of the Vedanta philosophy should terminate in the principle of devotion.

The last aphorism of the Vedanta Sutras tends to the impression that Sound will bring us to the Region wherefrom a return journey along the path of knowledge is not possible. It goes to show a process leading to the Transcendence, where no foreign invasion can be invited to form an opposite party who can persuade a sojourner to shift himself from the transcendental termination. The place is not meant for an indolent being to benumb his unending progressive activity for dissociating his connections with the transitory dark and undesirable element. By the constant chanting of the Transcendental Name the aim of spiritual aspiration will be fulfilled and no other process can remedy the evil of accepting the undeserving position of a worldly enjoyer. The whole line of our religious associative transaction should terminate in our activity of being an instrument of the transcendental Sound. The constant uttering from the lips of a transcendental devotee can only help a man to get rid of his limited activity for the limited perishable objects. The aural receptive entity is not to exert its influence to impede the course of the transcendental Sound who would be pouring in with the purpose of regulating the erring ego.

So an eternal devotee should not cease to chant the Eternal Name of Hari constantly without any interruption. The interceding - repelling and covering - energy of the Absolute will otherwise act on him. The anti-devotional attitude will keep a reader of the Vedanta far off from the Absolute Truth. The sincere student of the Vedanta is expected to realize the presence of the Object of his eternal devotion and to be emotional. The mellow quality will display some symptoms which will bear testimony to his transcendental realization; otherwise it would prove his impervious character resembling that of a stone or adamant, or in other words, he would be considered to be an unsuccessful reader of the subject. The conception of the Absolute Truth will never be in his possession, if he confines himself to his sensuous activities and always desiring to lord it over the worldly phenomena.

If he cares to learn from others the real nature of their experience to bring himself in touch with the objects that have not been within the range of his senses, he will profit much by such an association and try to add to the store of his knowledge, which he could not have gathered by his attempts through the senses. When he welcomes the unprecedented nature of the Vedanta working in him his sensuous aggrandizement, he erroneously thinks himself amply rewarded by the acquisitio0n of experience of an expert who is running after an impersonal object void of all sorts of designation. He can avail himself of a partial view of the indeterminate non-designative plane where the triple forms of the mundane qualities are not expected to preponderate in exhibiting their significance. The transcendental Sound becomes his sole engagement, he having secured the position of setting himself free from the egoistic exploitations of the phenomenal plane. Such a position would offer him the conception of the Absolute to Whom his only duty would be to offer his eternal services. This stage I known as regaining imprisonment as an enjoyer. Now he is in his proper health to engage himself as the eternal servitor of the Absolute, knowing his own position. The full conception of the Absolute will give him the facility of serving the eternal Master in the highest capacity of devotion. In the Dahara Chapter of the Chhandogya Upanishad, we find that all these passionate activities are fulfilled when true salvation is acquired. The passionate activities are proselytized to most perfect engagement with the Absolute. So eternal full recognition will render a servitor exactly fitting the Great Consort for Whom every unalloyed spirit should have her only activity.

The Consort Absolute will wait for the consort servitor. The parent servitor will meet the Child Absolute, the object of his or her only engagement. The eternal friend servitor will regain his position as such. The personal attendant servitors will meet their Master and offer their confidential services, for sheer love. The confidential service offered by the neutrul [sic] entity will indirectly be directed to the Absolute without any recognizance on the part of the unalloyed individual spirit.

The different readings of the Vedanta under true guidance will give us the result that Personality of Godhead is not approached by identifying oneself with the transcendental Effulgence (Brahman) coming out from the transcendental Body of the Absolute and that the all-engrossing features (Paramatma or Universal Godhead) are but a part of the Absolute in Whom a freed soul does not merge. After such association the devotional aptitude will have a free play to join as a transcendental factor of His Pastimes. He is the very Emporium of all potencies and the resortive ocean of all sorts of love. The detachable border-land potency, though liable to come under the clutch of a disposition to enjoy Nature’s products and to welcome them as temporary servitors, can get a true direction by exchanging the enjoying mood for eternal devotion. The transcendental manifestation as well as the transformable mundane manifestations are simultaneously incorporated in the Absolute and differ from Himself like the rays of the sun and the flowing disc. The isolated individual phase of the servitor is eternally associated with Him. The analogy is drawn from the sun. The spirit, the flowing disc, the emanated rays and the penumbra are the four aspects concerning the sun and inseparable from the existence of the sun. So the manifested world has association with the integral position of the Absolute. True devotion should be the method of reaching Him, where all activities of the freed souls should tend finally to the eternal service to please their Absolute Object of service. The one phase of harmony of the Absolute need not be metamorphosed into rupture, by courting different phases of the goal.

The Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya, by inculcation of His loving attitude towards absolute infinitesimals has disclosed the reading of the Shrimad Bhagavatam as a standard light-house in our journey of life through the rough waters of the phenomenal ocean.

A temperament for renouncing all uncongenial phenomena has been ordained by instructing philosophers and theologians. The imaginary ideas of blind Salvationists who had no occasion to witness the Absolute Truth have not been approved by the Supreme Lord, but He has advised us to acquaint ourselves with the reading of Krishna’s Pastimes and to direct our services to the Adhokshaja; and in that case our feeble limbs and senses cannot claim to approach Him unless we have a true serving mood. We would fail to offer our services to Him, if we think that our present acquisitions are enough to approach Him Who has always reserved the right of not being exposed to the mundane activities of the enjoyers of matter and motion.

Vyasa, when he had an adorative temperament and sat for Samadhi with his devotional aptitude, witnessed, with his spiritual eye, the full transcendental Form of the Absolute incorporating the negative energy of Nescience which has the power to cover the senses of individual spirits who have been apathetic to their Master and indulged in their enjoying mood, posing as lords with predilections for embracing the triple mundane energy. Though the border-land potency is more powerful than the triple qualities of transformable nature and prefers to wait to serve at their command, still its predilecting nature can at any moment throw off the clutches of, and the affinity for, the phenomena, if she comes to know the desirability of her turning towards her Master, the Eternal Fountain-head, the transcendental Bhagawan Krishna, which will give her permanent release from her exploitative march of courting the most undesirable position of an enjoyer here. This fact of devotional instruction has not been imparted before to the undeserving humanity, but the kind-hearted writer of the aphorisms in his genuine commentary Shrimad Bhagavatam exposed the truth for the benefit of deserving souls. He was like a kind-hearted shepherd of the congregation of individual souls who were sheep under his protection. He managed to hand over the cattle to the transcendental Cowherd to learn the nature of worship and desirability of flocking to Him. None was so kind to mankind as He, to disclose the fact that the object of service to any other phase of Krishna would not be so profitable as to aim at the object of unalloyed devotion to Krishna Who will, by and by, help them to cut off their connection and the unusual affinity with the perishable objects. The unalloyed soul will be rescued from all apprehension arising out of the apathetic mood lying latent in the individual soul. The devotional engagement will enable us to comprehend the real position of self and no tempting nature would be able to win over the heart of the individual soul, dissuading him from his spontaneous transcendental loving service. The individual soul will be set free by his devotional practices to endure the affliction of separation of tempting things and will prefer to appreciate the only desirable object and to court His sweet pleasure, His sweet beatitude.



A. Common Basic Agreement. -- All the interpretations of the Aphorisms would show that the Fountainhead is One without a Second. He is Positive Knowledge and is not to be captivated by mundane speculative method. He is both Transcendent and Immanent. All the commentators conjoin in subscribing that the Immaterial Plane is an essential need of the unalloyed Spiritual Entity. Every view has corroborated the emancipating policy of Vedanta; so they do not differ in the matter of its renunciating principle. But the principle of dissociation of temporal thought and observation is dealt with in different ways.

B. True Reconciliation by the Supreme Lord Himself. -- The Supreme Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya has furnished a true reconciliative principle by which the cardinal points of difference in reading the Aphorisms are harmonized. And the ‘Govinda-Bhashyam’ may be accepted as a true attempt to meet the conflicting impressions that have arisen from different angles of vision. The manifestation of the Spirit has got a different aspect from the mundane impression of the enjoyers which is given an opportunity to corroborate in a harmonious spirit. In going back to our original situation, the soul is disentangled from the inadequacies and shortcoming of natural manifestations.

C. So-called Denouncement of Vedaanta by the Supreme Lord: -- Shri Krishna Chaitanya is often observed by silly eyes to have rejected Vedanta, because a sectarian interpretation of the same has renounced the manifestive phase in the transcendence. In order to remove the common impression of the nomenclature of Vedanta such words were incidentally recorded through the foresight of Shri Krishna Das Kaviraj Prabhu as he did critically expose the erroneous impressions among the pedants of the day who guided the masses. The Supreme Lord was misunderstood by Sarvabhauma and Prakashananda in their common belief of henotheists. So the real and true explanations through Transcendental Sounds from the Supreme Lord regulated and removed their inadvertencies in the true conception of Vedanta.

Shri Jeeva Gosvami Prabhu has given a very clear conception of the true view published before the Krishna-loving demeanour of the devotees. The Akhilarasamritamoorti, Krishna’s nomenclature, is delineated in the Aphorisms under guarded words which have a characteristic of brevity meant to delude and confuse the barren, unsoft, unripe, non-relative amplifiers of their impoverished reasons. Moreover, misunderstood versions of Vedanta will again mislead people just like the misconceptions of the Udipi Pandits when the Supreme Lord accosted them at their very seat.

The common interpretations of the Aphorisms would tell an unwary reader that Saadhanaa will lead to mukti (Saayujya or complete merging into the Absolute) or four others, (viz., Saalokya, Saarshti, Saamipya and Saarupya), which are more or less indexes of mundane reference instead of Prema or Transcendental Love.

The misguided theists have drawn wrong conclusions in their incorrect readings of the Aphorisms of both Jaimini and Vyasa. So the correct transcendental position may be inculcated into the brains of non-devotees when they recollect several passages of Bhagavatam which reject the erroneous abstracted ideas of phenomena. Shri Govinda Bhasyam has supplied some more additional enlightenments to the writings of Shri Jeeva, specially because all vague observers have demanded a positive interpretation of the ’Achintya-Bhedaabheda-Siddhaanta’ of the Supreme Lord.

The really anti-Vedic speculations like those of the Samkhya, Patanjala, Nyaya and Vaisheshika schools, and even the Purva-Minamsa which is fond of exclusive fruitive activity in conformity with the teaching of only one portion of the Vedas, may be said to have come into existence by relying outwardly on the Vedanta itself. After discarding all these speculations one should adopt the Ultimate Principle identical with the doctrine of Achintya-Bhedaabheda which postulates ‘inconceivable simultaneous distinction and non-difference.’ This makes one eligible for being a true devotee.

The basic principle is that this animate world is made up of jives and the inanimate world is constituted of matter. Of these, the jives have been manifested by His Tatastha (Intermediary) Potency, and this phenomenal world has been manifested by His Vahiranga (apara) potency. He is consequently to be deemed the cause of all causes. To explain it in another manner, He regulates all of them by the Power of His Will, although He is not an entity different from the Marginal and Material (Tatasthaa and a-chit) Potencies. By the transformation of those distinct Potencies have been produced the three; Praadhaana (substantive material principle), Prakriti (material cause) and Purusha (efficient cause). Hence although as regards the subjective nature of Potency, He is Pradhana, Prakriti and Purusha, yet as the possessor of power He is eternally distinct from all those separate potencies.

This simultaneous distinction and non-difference has also sprung from His inconceivable Power. The speculations of other schools cannot be said to contain this Truth that holds good in all positions. Shri Jeeva Goswami in his exposition of Brahma-Samhita has shown that the attainment of love for Krishna by the practice of pure devotion through the knowledge of the mutual true relationship between Jieva, Jada and Krishna is posited in Achintya-Bhedaa-bheda-Vaada. The Vedanta interpreted with the aid of the Bhagavatam leads to the same conclusion.

D. Disagreeing Characteristics. -- In the different interpretation by the readers of the Aphorisms, we find that the Absolute One has the greatest magnitude in comparison with the other items of reference, viz., Jivas (Individual souls), Prakriti (Material Energy), Kala (Time) and Karma (Fruitive work). Energy is not accepted along with the One Fountainhead. Others have seen all sorts of energies centered in that One. There are Manifestive Natures of that One that are opposed by a particular school of Absolutists who deny all sorts of potencies, inasmuch as these are the outcome of temporal senses. So the question of potency in the Fountainhead has been made a controversial point. The phenomenal world is a production of the Efficient and Material Causes which are denied in the long run by the analogy of Vivarta. So Devotion has not been accepted as the medium of approaching the manifested Transcendental Absolute. According to their secular view no distinctive process should be asserted in the Integral situation of the Greatest Magnitude.

Other commentators dissenting from this view have established Distinctive Monism and Differentiated Synthetic Dualism by polemical controversies. The Distinctive Monism has established Ever-Existing Vishnu as the Supreme Authority of the Personality of Godhead. But there is again a dissension between this Vaishnavite view and the Shaivite aggression where the Impersonal termination is figured by the Phallic Emblematic Form of Representation of a temporal existence. They have a distinct motive of establishing Impersonalism in the long run, though for the sake of argument they come forward with a quarrelling attitude with regard to the Eternal situation of the Personality of God-head.

Commentators also differ in the divisibility of the Integral Brahman by suspecting Swagata, Sajaatiya and Vijaatiya Bhedas which we always meet in the gross objects of this temporal world; whereas manifestive distinctions are and can be found in the transcendence as well without any rupture or unwholesomeness of this gross and mundane region.

E. Transcendental Spontaneous Import: Vidvat-Ruddhi-Vritti of Shrutis. -- There may occur a doubt as to why the Commentators have shown different temperaments from the reading of an identical passage in the Aphorisms. We may say in reply that they have been guided by wrong recollective convictions of Nature’s qualitative products instead of having any true aural transcendental reception from the lips of true devotees. The transcendental Sounds are not located in the different chambers of the museum of mundane relativity, but they have got ’Rudhi-Vritti’ which kills functional references of sounds which are quite adaptable to the senses.

F. Aspect of Shri Moorti. -- The Impersonal school believes that the conception of ‘Indistinctive Brahman’ and the partial conception of the All-wide Paramaatmaa should be the final decision of the Vedanta-Darshana. But as the polemic side of the Aphorisms was meant for the infant class of theological seminary, no elucidating treatises should be inserted in the Aphorisms which would be rather perplexing to unfledged youths who are busy with their puerile mundane impressions. The juvenile thought is supplemented by the true transcendental pastimes of the Personality of Adhokshaja and not by a particular Aspect of the One Who is considered as the Fountainhead of all Personalities of Godhead. Akhilarasamritamoorti Krishna has solved the whole question in all its phases by including the fullest identify of Brahman where transcendental relativities do not form cataracts to the eyes of readers, and in approaching Him the interpretations of Bhagavatam and Satwata Pancharatras have paved the way to get the true ontological aspect of Vedanta. So the five descending Aspects of Krishna in five planes are no barriers as they are to the shortsighted policy of the Mayavadins and Karmins.

In the fifth Aspect of Archaa we find the best suitability of regulating the wrong activities of our senses which actuate us as enjoyers of mundane phenomena and of having a devotional temperament to regain the relationship with the Absolute Krishna. The monists may claim that the five transcendental projections of the Absolute are detrimental to their whims; so the Supreme Lord may redeem those fallen souls of Mayavadins and Karmins, when they do approach Archaa (Facsimile of the Transcendental Manifested Absolute in mundane region), Antaryaami (Immanent Aspect of the Transcendental Manifested Absolute), Vaibhava (Manifestive Transcendental Aspects of the Personal Absolute in the Eternal as well as their disclosures in this mundane spheres), Vyuha (Transcendent Quadrantal Manifestations of the Personal Absolute), and Paraa (Integral Origin of the Personal Absolute), instead of shouting with their tentative arguments which have no locus standi.