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By Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati

Published in The Harmonist (Sree Sajjanatoshani)

There are many persons who profess the opinion 'I am the Brahman' by a distorted interpretation of the famous Scriptural text. They do not practice the forbearance of accepting the comprehensive interpretation of the mantram of the Shruti. We can easily cross over the impossible expense of the Ocean of Maya if we take hold of the support of devotion, and can do so only by such submission. The only method that is open to us for gaining our destination is to follow in the footsteps of those great souls who have preceded us on the same path. They are our only Pole Star on the path of spiritual endeavour. Those great souls of former times are possessors of the true knowledge which is attended with spiritual love and detachment from the world. The heart that is brightly illumined by the pure spiritual essence, bears the name of Vasudeva. It is only in such a heart that knowledge dawns, i.e., the Personality of the pure cognition Vasudeva, super-knowledge or spiritual love and detachment from the world or, practice of devotion in the stage of endeavour, manifests itself. We can get across this realm of un-reason by acting up to such a decision. The word 'Tamas' means 'Mayavada', -- the impure enjoyment approved by the professors of Utllitarianism [sic]. The Sannyasins of the triple staff (Tridandi) ensure their progress in the direction of Truth by accepting the above mode of judgment. Mankind will be assured of progress on the path of spiritual endeavour by acceptance of the triple staff of renunciation and being thereby enabled to join in the chant of the Tridandi Bhakshu of the town of Avanti of the Bhagavata: "Adopting this unceasing attachment to the Supreme Soul, worshipped by the former great souls, I shall get across this abyss of gloom, which is extremely difficult to cross, by serving the Feet of the Bestower of Salvation." [1]

Krishna is the sole real Object of worship. He is the only Object of worship of all entities that can or will ever be. He attracts His devotee for the purpose of serving His servants. If the function of my mind takes the direction of the service of any other entity than that of the best of the servants of Krishna it should be impossible to find such another fool as myself. He who serves all those who wish to serve Him, is verily that Entity Who has no limit, Who is the Ultimate of the ultimate of ultimates and the Cause of the cause of all causes.

The Ultimate Reality Krishna has been called Swayamrupa, "Beauty's Own Self", by obtaining portions of Whose Beauty His servants have become most exquisitely beautiful. The community of the servants of Krishna regard the beauty of form as an offering for His service, by means of which the Divinity is to be served. No beauty is comparable to a millionth part of the Beauty of Krishna. When we endeavour to approach Krishna by way of service we have to be possessors of beauty and are actuated by the desire of beautifying ourselves. Then arises the process which is called Abhisara (i.e., proceeding to the secret place of assignation). There are two kinds of Abhisara viz., (1) the sukla or white Abhisara and (2) krishna or dark Abhisara. The Gopis (milk-maids) run to Krishna by one method when the moon is risen, by the other method when the moon does not shine. There is the same secret expedition for the quest of Beauty, of the Good Quality of distinctive individual servitude, or Pastime.

Krishna is Beauty Himself and Shri Baladeva Prabhu is Krishna's Own Manifest Self.

'The soul is not realised by one who is without the support of Divine Power, neither by austerities, nor again by the avoidance of all ceremonials. The enlightened person who endeavours to attain to Him by these methods enters the realm of the Brahman'.

'The lotus Feet of Nitai (Nityananda) are most refreshingly cool like crores of moons. The shade of His Feet relieves from the scorching heat of the world. Leaving out Nitai Who is so merciful, one must not have Radha Krishna. May we ever hold firmly to the Feet of Nitai?'

Nitai is real Manifestation, but not real beauty. He is not omnipotent or strong by the help of any other entity. It is not possible to separate Omnipotence from Him. He is not devoid of power. The power of Baladeva is the distinctive power of Himself, the Manifestation of Krishna's Own Self. Although in Baladeva the proprietorship of power is predominant He still belongs properly to the category of Divine Power. Baladeva is just next to Krishna in the category of object of worship. In the Maha-Vaikuntha He is manifest as Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. The topics of the fourth dimension lie beyond the three-fold specification of the linear, superficial and cubical magnitudes of this world. The topics of the fifth dimension are still higher. They are such words as flow from the Flute of Shri Krishna. 'He is the same beloved Krishna with Whom I am united here in Kurukshetra. And Myself also am, indeed the Radha. This is the very same bliss of our meeting with one another. Yet My mind is longing for the woodlands on the sloping banks of the Kalindi with the fifth-scale music of the sweet Flute playing in the heart of the groves'. [2] The Entity Narayana who is the conglomerate of the four-fold expansion of Shri Baladeva as Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, abides in the Maha-Vaikuntha, being the Primary manifestation of Baladeva. There is associated with Him a certain process which bears the scriptural designation of Vyuha. The object of worship has a five-fold nature of His own. Those who are well-versed in the subject of the five-fold need know all these matters. We cannot obtain real enlightenment from any one who is ignorant of the five-fold need. One cannot perform the function of the Guru if he does not possess the knowledge of the five-fold need.

Archavatara: -- This is of eight kinds. The Archavatara (descent in the form of the Archa or Visible Object of worship) makes His appearance in the world for the purpose of bestowing His mercy on unfortunate souls like ourselves i.e., on those who possess a stupid judgment. Krishna manifested His Divine Pastimes in this world in the Dwapara Age. But that age is long, long past. Unfortunate souls that we are, we were not privileged to come into the world in that period. We could not obtain the sight of Krishna for this reason. We do not know anything about Krishna. But what an amount of good the Archa of Krishna has been doing to us. This Archa is of all time. We are having the sight of Krishna even by being born after an immense interval of time. Appearing in the form of the Archa Krishna has been arousing the serving impuse [sic] of our souls.

Antaryami: -- Godhead is present in every single entity formed of His marginal and deluding potencies, in the form of internal Guide (Antaryami) and is regulating us from within. 'Iswara (Ruler, Regulator) abides in the heart, O Arjuna, causing the movement of all entities, set on these bodily appliances contrived for the purpose, by His deluding potency.

Vaibhava: -- This term points to the causal Appearances of Divinity for specific purposes. 'Whenever the proper function of souls is tainted, O son of Bharata, and unspiritual conduct comes to prevail, I cause the Appearance of Myself on every such occasion'. This and other Shlokas of similar import point to the Descents in the different ages.

Vyuhu: -- The four Vyuhas viz., Vasudeva, Shankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are one and the same Entity. By the sight of one quater [sic] the whole integer is seen. The estimation of this world is that based on the view of one quarter of the whole. This is partly intelligible by the Science of Trigonometrical Mathematics of the sphere. We can also nnderstand [sic] the degree of fulness of service of the servitor and the subjective psychology of the Object of worship.

Paratattva: -- Vasudeva is the transcendental Entity. Baladeva is the super-transcendental Entity. The Ultimate super-transcendental Entity is Krishna. Vishnu is the principle of the Prime Source of the Phenomenal world. He is comparable to the milk and Rudra to the curd. Curd is milk turned sour from its natural wholesome state, by the action of an acid substance. Vishnu is essentially incapable of transformation or perversion. The nature of Rudra corresponds to the perversion that has arisen in my deluded idea of Vishnu. If we ascribe transformability to Shri Vishnu, the particulars of such an ascription of the idea of the original non-transformable entity are to be attributed to the mutilated or distorted form of my defective conception of Vishnu brought about by this process which is the exact principle involved in the representation of Rudra.

Brahma: Brahma is a reflected form of the Divinity analogous to the reflected image of the sun in different crystal receptacles. 'Just as the sun makes his own energy be manifest to an extent in all the shining stones, in the same way, in the case of Brahma and his power in regard to this mundane world, it is Govinda Whom I serve. Govinda is the Primal Person Whose reflected form is Brahma".

Surya: The sun travels along his orbit through the twelve signs of the zodiac. He is the form of a Sura or Deva. Time is his extraneous manifestation. 'I bow to the Brahman of inconceivable manifested form devoid of all quality, being quality's ownself, the form which is the support of all this world'.

Ganesha: He is the destroyer of all dangers and difficulties. The reader of the Lalitavistara is aware how powerful was the rule of this leader of the masses at one time in this land of Bharata. Ganesa is the giver of success of the utilitarian activities of the world, the object of worship of the Vaishya community who concern themselves with economic pursuits. In the sphere of the Vaishyas the function of the demos, the views of the masses or common run of the people, possesses the prevailing force.

Vishnu: Vishnu is untransformable. He is all-pervasive. He is Lord of the limiting energy. He is not served by the enjoying aptitude of the individual soul. The other devotees, who wield power over this world, are worshipped by the ideas that are conducive to material enjoyment. But the judgment of those who covet the worship of Vishnu, is expressed otherwise. 'I have carried out the evil commands of lust and the other impulses of the senses in every way and at all time. But those masters have proved inexorable and have not been nullified by pits, or satiation, towards my sufferings. Lord of the Yadus, I have only just now found my better judgment and having renounced their service altogether have come to Thee, the Refuge Who frees us from all fear. May Thou employ me in Thy service'.

The meaning of the word 'atman' is rendered as 'Hari' by virtue of this qualities of 'extension' and 'maintenance'. The atman or the individual soul, is part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. Hari is the part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. Hari is the Supreme Soul. The world literally means the double function of the Godhead viz., those of creation and maintenance even as the mother nourishing her child. The nourishing function of the mother is, as a matter of fact, a tiny distorted reflection of the Function of Hari. Vishnu or Hari, Whose Form is made of spiritual essence, is the Deity Who presides over the function of continuance or existence which is distortedly reflected in the state of temporary existence intervening between the acts of creation and destruction in this world. All entities are nourished, none are destroyed, by the Supreme Soul. The function also points to expansion, the other coordinate activity of the soul denoted by the literal meaning of the word 'Atman'.

The Shruti says: "The jiva (i.e., the individual soul) is a tiny entity as tiny as the hundredth part of the breadth of the tip of the hair. Know that he is very small in magnitude and also unlimited'. In other words the jiva-soul (jivatma) is an infinitesimally small particle of the Cognitive Potency. But he is unlimited by being of the essence of the Plenary Cognition. All those qualities that inhere in the Plenary Cognition are also present in the jiva-atman in an infinitesimal measure. Whatsoever is there in the plenary entity is also present in the tiny soul. But Plentitude is not tiny, the Integer is never a fractional part, nor a fraction of a fraction, nor a fraction of a fraction of a fraction. In many places in the Scriptures the Supreme Soul, Paramatma, is referred to by the term 'Atman'; and the jiva is also often referred to by the word 'atman'.

The word 'jijnasa' means inclination to know. The inclination to know about the atman precludes the inclination to learn about divisible entity or fragmentary time. The discourse has in view the whole entity and time in all its fulness. The word 'atman' implies that the entity bearing the name is in a position to fully maintain himself. That which is not able to maintain itself cannot be termed atman. The term atman is used in this sense irrespective of his great or small magnitude.

Knowledge is located mid-way between the knower and the object of knowledge. Unadulterated knowledge occupies a position that is intermediate between the knower, whose exclusive function is to know, and the object, whose exclusive function is to become known to such knower. If any third function happen to intervene there can be no such thing as pure knowledge. That from which knowledge is obtained, that which supplied the proof of the reality of the cognitive function, can be one of three categories. It may be either pure cognition, a mixture of cognition and non-cognition, or non-cognition. If there intervene any non-cognitional entity in conjunction with cognition, it is mixed cognition.

'Achit', or non-cognition, is the opposite of the conscious principle. When the object of knowledge is achit (non-cognition) and the knower is a mixture of cognitional and non-cognitional elements the knowledge of such knower constituted of cognitive and non-cognitive elements is knowledge of achit (non-cognition). In such a circumstance the function of pure cognition is dormant, resulting in the consequent dormant condition of the recipiency of pure knowledge. If the object of knowledge were in possession of any cognitive potency it would have made some use of its free initiative.

When inquisitiveness regarding the nature of the 'atman' or the question 'Who am I?' is asked by the conditional soul he can obtain by way of response only knowledge which is a mixture of cognitive and non-cognitive elements. This must be so because in this case that by whose means the enquirer is to know viz., his knowing aptitude is shrouded in a gross and subtle covering which has imparted to it the condition which is a mixture of cognitive and non-cognitive elements. If the knower as well as the object of knowledge are both of them pure cognitive entities only then can there by any complete knowledge. If the knower happens to be more or less in contact with the external world then knowledge which is more or less of a mixed quality, can alone be attainable.

The supreme 'Atman' (Paramatman) and the 'Brahman' are one and the same Entity. The nature of the Brahman implies non-duality and greatness. The distinctive characteristic of pervasion of the Universe, that is found in the Supreme Soul (Paramatman), is absent in the Brahman. Each and every limited entity produced by the Material Energy is devoid of the essential characteristic of the 'Brahman'. No limited conception is to be attributed to the unlimited Brahman.

Both the mundane and transcendental functions are located in the conception of the supreme Soul (Paramatman). The limiting principle is left out in that of the Brahman by the theory of the non-potency of the Absolute. The Supreme Soul implies the consideration of mundane and spiritual potencies. When the non-potent Brahman is regarded as the Absolute it results in the destruction of the quality of distinctiveness represented by the specific existences of seer, seeing and seen. One aspect of the greatness of the Absolute is non-distinctiveness devoid of all distinctive manifestation; the other aspect is that of the Possessor of the Plenary Potency full of distinctive manifestation.

Seekers of the Truth are divided into two classes. One of these maintains that they did not possess any knowledge previously and that their knowledge had a subsequent beginning. The other class will continue to know till the process of knowing itself automatically ceases at the long end. By the term 'Seeking to know the self' is implied positively the desire to know about the self and negatively the desire to know about the non-self.

The non-distinctive view of the Brahman expresses only the absence in the Brahman of the qualities of this world. The professor of the distinctive view declares that the non-distinctive view itself is also one of the infinity of the specific features of the distinctive manifestation viz., the conception of the absence of all mundane distinction. The concept that underlies the view that takes into consideration the simultaneous presence of the non-distinctive and distinctive aspects of the Entity is that of the Oversoul or paramatman.

The Oversoul according to the latter view is the comprehensive vast cosmic form as opposed to mere non-distinctive existence. The aphorisms of Patanjali such as: 'Or by enquiry about Iswara (Ruler of the *Universe)' 'Yoga is suspension of the faculties of the receptive organ of consciousness,' embody a process of thought that is somewhat different from the view that professes the non-distinctive nature of the Brahman. By those aphorisms the falsity of all entities on the basis of a theory of illusion has not be admitted. The view of the potent oversoul also betrays the admission of the internal, marginal and external potencies of the substantive Entity. The consideration of relationship between the living organism and its incorporated limbs involves the recognition of ownership of the limbs by the organism. Limb and organised body, form and possessor of form, potency and possessor of potencies are correlated pairs the first terms supplying evidence of the existence of the entity denoted by the second. The substantive entity is one, its potencies are numberless. The view of the non-potent Brahman which does not recognise any distinctions as within the identical entity, within the same class, as between different classes or between knower, known and knowledge, is located at a long distance from that of Patanjali.

A certain number of persons think that the cessation of conception and perception should be the objective. In the period subsequent to that of Shakya Singha the view of absence of cognition i.e., imponderable material principle, and still alter that of the finality of non-distinctive cognition, have become current. This last asserts that non-differentiated cognition alone survives while the distinction of seer, seen and sight passes away.

The Oversoul in His unity is an extended Entity, the incorporated fractional parts are small in magnitude. In the external potency there is present the aptitude for being affected by time, such disruptive characteristics being incompatible with the principle of unity. The internal potency presents the characteristics of permanence and wholesome integral differentiation. In the exoteric potency there is misery, in the esoteric potency everything is unmixed perfection.

If we give up the non-cognitive element, if we abandon the consideration of even the subtle mental body, we arrive at the view of pure cognition and are no longer influenced by the power of the exoteric potency. But when we proceed to join to our thinking the gross and subtle bodies, we are made aware of the mixed existence compounded of the principles of cognition and non-cognition and of those considerations that underlie the process of Hata-Yoga on the path of fruitive material activity or that of Raja-Yoga on the path of speculative knowledge. By these processes we are instructed in the views of a final principle of truth that is compounded of cognitive and non-cognitive elements.

When God is actually realised the tiny particle of unmixed cognitive potency finds himself attracted by the Plenary Cognition. The relationship of incorporation or externality in regard to the potency of the substantive Entity, then becomes noticeable. The elements that are made of the measure of mundane quality produce the numeruls [sic] one, two, many. Difference of seer, difference of the seen, difference of sight, vision of plurality, many images of the one entity reflected in many mediums, make their appearance. In the realm of the inner potency all things displaying a unity of significance, the numerals 1, 2, 3, 4 indicative of diversity do not express any mutually contending relationship. The eternal diversity of the realm of the inner potency is not characterised by the qualities of mutual opposition, changeability and destructibility. Temporariness or destructibility is not the proper nature of the eternal natural function, is not the proper Nature of Vishnu, but only the semblance of the spiritual, fashioned by the limiting Energy of Vishnu. In this world the different things are perishable. They are not definable by the term soul or self. They are non-soul, ephemeral.

The individual soul is not non-soul. The atheist says that the individual soul is non-soul. The theist says that the individual soul is an eternal, spiritual entity, is an unadulterated cognitive entity in his own nature, is akin to the potency of the Plenary Cognition in a small measure is eternally subordinate to and overruled by the Plenary Cognition.

Godhead possesses one variety of limbs that are internal and another variety that are external. In the external limb the full Cognition is obstructed, there is the aptitude of being affected by time. This mundane world had sprung from the external limb. In this world everything is on the move. Every mundane entity evaporates like camphor. There prevails the quality of changeability in this world. The child grows into a young man, then old age comes, then he falls a victim to decay and death. Man is led to different strata of the mundane existence by the impulse of his desires, he is born in the womb of his mother, through semen and blood. It is our duty to enquire about the nature of our real selves. It is not our duty in this life to engage in the question of the non-self. We have the following in the second chapter of the Gita: 'As a man puts on different and new clothing by casting off his old worn-out apparel, in like manner the in-dweller of the body is born in another new body giving up his old worn-out corporeal frame. Weapons do not pierce the soul, fire does not burn him, water does not drench him, nor does wind dry him up. The soul is incapable of being cut by any weapon. He is permanent, free to inhabit any form, unchangeable in his essence and quality and ever-existent.'

In the Seventh Chapter of the Gita there occurs the following: -- 'My other and different nature consists of solid, liquid, gaseous states, heat, space, mind (Pradhan -- material principle subtler than space), intelligence (Budhi - prime material principle) and the ego (Ahankar). All this is secondary. Know that My Supreme Nature is different from this. The Potency that is the source of all individual souls who lord it over this world is constituted of My Superior Essence'.

These and other similar Shlokas give an account of the nature of the individual soul. The jiva soul possesses a certain character when he is in the conditioned state. He has a different character when he is freed from the bound state. He displays a third different nature when he is marginally situated showing an aptitude for both bound and free states. This may be illustrated by the analogy of a gnomon whose opposite sides bear different designations.

When I desire to be dressed up as 'master', to lord it over others, I become subjected to Physical Nature and profess to be an exclusive Monist, (Mayavadin). The Buddhists are materialistic Monists. The Mayavadins who profess to follow the Scriptures are designated masked Buddhists as they rely on the evidence of their senses and assume an overt attitude of challenging controversy.

The harmonious adjustment of all differences on the spiritual plane is based on the correct form of Monism (Suddhadwaita). Shripad Shridhara Swami professes the principle of correct Monism. Those who profess the doctrine of exclusive Monism (Kevaladwaita) endeavour to misinterpret the correct monistic views of Shridharswami in terms of their hybrid principle. This motive of the undifferentiated Monist is dishonest. Sarvajna Muni promulgated the doctrine of correct Monism many centuries before the time of Shankaracharya. His native village is Kalayanpur in the District of Madura. Correct Monism was distorted in course of time into the form of exclusive Monism which subsequently attained the position of predominance by the contrivance of a wise providence for confounding the atheist. There has even been an attempt to confuse the popular judgment by identifying Sarvajnatwa Muni, who lived after the time of Shankara, with Sarvajna Muni by the method of deliberate manipulation of evidence.

Inasmuch as unwholesomeness in the shape of a doctrine of pervertibility would tend to be prominent if the theory of the jiva being a constituent part of the substantive Reality Himsslf [sic] as found in the writings of Shri Madhavacharya, were accepted. Shri Gaursundar has approved the doctrine of Shakti (Potency) as propounded by Shri Lakshman Desika. That this world is not the perversion of the Substance but of His extraneous Potency, has been stated by Shri Gaursundar. The theory of the followers of Jesus Christ that jiva has been created by God within the limits of time, is unsound. The jiva is a differentiated part of the potency of the substantive Reality. In jiva there are present simultaneously the qualities of permanent and temporary existences. All the eternal substantive qualities are present in the inner Potency. The triple qualities of sattwa, rajas and tamas are to be found in the external potency or mundane Nature. The pure sattwa (cognitive existence) is eternally present in Vishnu, the Ocean of blessings in the shape of all permanently existing qualities. In Him there is no conditioned state. This world which is a product of the triple mundane qualities of sattwa, rajas and tamas is characterized by the conditioned existence. The mundane qualities of sattwa, rajas and tamas are mutually dependent categories.

'All activities in this mundane world', says the Gita, 'are performed by mundane nature (Prakriti) by means of the triple qualities. The conditioned state blinded by the principle of mundane egotism (ahankara), chooses to regard himself as master'. [3] The principle that is diametrically opposed to the mundane world, which is the product of the triple qualities, is that of inaction or the state of deep slumber covered by the theory of non-differentiation. 'I slept at ease'. 'Easy sleep' is retainable by one's memory. A person is conscious of his ego even during deep, easy sleep; otherwise there could be no remembrance of such happy slumber. There is a similar state when a person can remember and give out experiences of his previous births.

'The state of error is traceable to the misconception that the soul is identical with the physical body'. The conviction that this gross physical body is myself is the cause of mistaking one thing for another. 'I am this physical body which is liable to be damaged by time, -- I have been scolded by such and such persons - these and such-like statements are applicable to the relationship of the gross and subtle physical bodies.

The real unalloyed 'I' has no beginning nor end. I am neither the gross physical body, nor also the mind. I am not the mind that changes when the morning changes into noon and noon into evening. I am not the mind which is sometimes cheerful and at other times miserable.

That conception of the truth that undergoes change is a function of the mind. That consciousness which is capable of getting mixed up with the non-conscious, is a product of the marginal Potency. What a wickedness it must be for one who is a product of the marginal potency to entertain the idea that he is himself the possessor or regulator of power. It is such persons who are referred to by the shlokas of the Gita viz., 'prakriti Kriyamaanaani...', Iswaroham...', etc.

Just as paddy stalk is really quite different from shyama grass and it is necessary to weed out the latter, in exactly like manner spiritual consciousness is substantially different from non-spiritual, and it is no less necessary to get rid of the latter. Those persons who profess the compatibility of the claims of the spiritual with those of the nonspiritual are apt to imagine that association with saint and with sinner, paddy-plant and shyama grass, devotion and aversion to Godhead, are one and the same thing.

The theory that professes compatibility of the spiritual with the mundane is, indeed, a perversion due to Illusionism. The Illusionists (Mayavadins) profess with the lip that they admit the existence of all entities. But as a matter of fact they disown the existence of Godhead Himself. They do not admit the Eternal Name, Form, Quality, Activity and Individualities of the servitors of the Divinity. They manufacture the processes of anthropomorphism by attributing to Godhead conduct that is applicable to humanity, and conversely support the notion of apotheosis by imagining the possession of Divine Power by mortal men. By these silly methods they seek to bedaub with mundane impurity the substantive Reality who is the Fullness of Existence, Cognition and Bliss, by discarding the Eternal Sacred Name, Form, etc., of Godhead. Zoo-morphism which attributes Divinity to lower animals, is also a concoction of these people. All of them are worshippers of Idols (butparasth.).

Real Rama-Nrsingha-Varaha-Matsya Kurma etc., are Narayana Himself waited upon by all His distinctive Divine Paraphernalia, -- Each with His Own Eternal Divine Name, Form, Quality, Infinity of individual servitors, and Activity. Each is Lord of the Deluding Potency, all of them being Transcendental Vishnu-Personalities. Every one of them has His own eternal Vaikuntha (Absolute Realm). They descend by Their causeless Mercy at Their own sweet Will to the world of limitations from their own Vaikunthas in order to manifest Themselves to the jivas inhabiting this mundane world, by remaining fully in Vaikuntha and maintaining in tact Their unconditional immunity from all regulative principles. They are not the categories of the objects of worship or heroes of the professors of anthropomorphism, apotheosis, zoo-morphism, idolatry, latitudinarianism that seeks to include spirit and matter in a common category, or illusionism.

The fancies, hypocrisies, pretences of worship, of those who affect to make no categorical distinction between spirit and matter, like unto the futile endeavours of the demon Ravana in his abduction of the mundane duplicate of Divine Seeta, can never touch the fringe of the Divine Category of Vishnu Who wholly transcends all limiting attempts. Those who possess the knowledge of the soul offer their eternal worship to the Divine Person Who is Eternal, Real and Indivisible, who manifests Full-Existence, Full-Cognition, Full-Bliss, and who has His Eternal Name, Form, Quality, Activity, and distinctive Servitors. Such "Knowers" discard all impurities of this extraneous world, and turn their eyes to the Eternal.

The Illusionist (Mayavadin) cherishes the evil aptitude of attributing, or carrying, to the Divine Personality the limited unwholesome concepts of this world. The intoxication of his illusion never quits its hold of him. Even when he engages in the worship of Divinity Himself the blunder of confounding the Divinity with limited entities puts in its appearance. It is for this reason that the Mayavadin (Illusionist) attributes the quality of unwholesomeness to things pertaining to the Divinity and fancies the Eternal Name, Form, Quality, Activity and servitors of Godhead to be products of physical nature. A few even among the worshippers of Christ have supposed the chain of our Pauranic religious teachers to be apotheosists or zoo-morphists. Such an attitude is due to absence of full consideration and careful study of Hindu theology on their part.

Real Sanatan-dharma (eternal function of all souls) the religion preached by Shri Chaitanya is not what such persons think it to be. The fundamental principle has been clearly expressed by an eminent follower of Shri Chaitanya. His words are, "There is no worse blasphemy against Vishnu than to suppose that the Form of Vishnu is anything mundane."

Vishnu is uninterruptible Cognition, Existence and Bliss. In this world of limitations there is a plurality of substantive objective entities. In Vaikuntha there is One Indivisible Object of worship. In Vaikuntha there is no henotheism, Polytheism or cathonitheism. Maxmuller has applied the term 'henotheism' to convey a part of the significance of the process of worship known as 'panchopasana' (worship of five deities). Sadananda Yogindra has imagined an 'Ishwara' (Ruler of the world) as being the aggregate of inexpressible unknowables starting from the conception of 'sat' (existent) 'a-sat' (non-existent). This ephemeral 'Ishwara' manufactured in the workshop of the imagination of Sadananda Yogindra is never the Entity Who is Real Godhead worshipped by fully theistic persons. If any one imagines the God-head as being different from the Possessor of all potency, or as a limited entity, such speculation will prevent the realisation of Vishnu, the Entity of Indivisible Knowledge. There are many persons who are busy to reduce the Supreme Entity to a principle devoid of all distinctive features. They are anxious to saddle the Supreme Entity with restrictive speculations having their reference to the unwholesomeness of the limited concrete.

Shri Gaursundar says: "The Indivisible Cognitive Principle is Son of the Chief of Braja in Braja". In Absolute Cognition there is no mundane dualistic cognition. "The apprehension of good and evil in the dualistic state, is wholly a speculation of the mind. 'This is good, this is evil', all such knowledge is 'error'. The line of thought of those who conclude the world to be unreal by depending on realistic speculation derived from the gross external environment, has in view only the consideration of the outcome of our present limited perceptual experiences. Men are debarred from the view of the Substantive Entity. They are spectators of the transformation of the Potency of the Substantive Entity. They are receiving the opposite impression, due to the functioning of time. One particular thought suffers transformation by the operation of other speculative currents. Whatever is sought to be circumscribed within the limits of conception, tends to lose its entity. The process of incarceration within the four walls of limited speculation has engendered numerous diverse mentalities in man.

There is eternal difference between Exclusive Monism and the Doctrine of Inconceivable Distinction-cum-non-distinction. This difference is realisable in the religion of spiritual service of the Divinity. It is unjustifiable to attempt a reconciliation of the eternal difference that separates the unspiritual realisation from the spiritual, the pure cognition of the soul from the erroneous thinking of the non-soul. Such an attempt is opposed to the principle of service of the Divinity.

In the philosophical literature of the School of Ramanuja we meet the consideration of the Potency of God-head, categories being chit (cognition) a-chit (non-cognition) and Iswara (Rules). In the literature of Gaudiya Vaishnavas we find the terms antarangaa (inner potency), Bahirangaa (outer potency) and Tatasthaa (potency of the line between the inner and outer potencies). If the term chit (cognition) is interpreted in a thorough-going manner it cannot mix with achit (non-cognition).


[1] Bh. XI, 23.57

[2] Padyavali 386

[3] Gita III.27