As published in The Harmonist (Sree Sajjanatoshani)
Edited by Paramahamsa Paribrajakacharyya Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj
WE, the members of the Gaudiya Math, beg to offer this humble tribute of our loving homage at the Feet of Your Holinesses on the eve of your departure to the west on the holy mission of preparing the minds of the peoples of those parts for accepting the words of His Divine Grace in unchallenging mood. The Divine Personality and the Mission of the Acharyya are not unknown to the Occident. The West is also aware to an extent of the fact that the Message of the Absolute may neither be delivered nor received by the imperfect apparatus at the disposal of the soul in the conditioned state. These truths are found in an undeveloped form in the Biblical literatures. It will be the preliminary part of your activities to deliver the complete spiritual epistemology to all seekers of the Truth.
The natural direction of true enlightenment has always been from the East towards the West. The wonderful progress of material civilization of modern times has been mainly due to the labors of the thinkers and workers of the West. It is the purpose of His Divine Grace to enable humanity to consecrate its material resources to the service of the Absolute. The misdirection of those resources constitutes the most dreadful menace to the real peace and well-being of the world.
Sree Gaudiya Math in Calcutta, the principle branch of Sree Chaitanya Math, is instituted by His Divine Grace for affording the second city of the Empire the opportunity of studying the Career and Teachings of the Supreme Lord in the lives and activities of its members. It is not a speculative system that Your Holinesses are carrying to the peoples of Europe and America but the spiritual life itself. We have no doubt that this will be realized in the activities of your Holinesses by all sincere souls of those countries.
We have no doubt that a branch of Sree Chaitanya Math will be established in the metropolis of the Empire at no distant date to be the head quarters of our propaganda in the West. We have every hope that the highly cultured people of England to whom you are going just now will give your Holinesses a patient and prejudiced hearing and will be enabled by close and attentive personal association with you by means of such institution to discover the real nature of the service of Godhead.
Material science has been able to overcome the bounds of race and country and become a universal and unitary concern. It is the cherished dream of all sincerely devout persons that the complete Revelation will one day surely break down the barriers of sectarian misunderstanding and triumphantly inaugurate the Church Universal.
It is the Mission of Your Holinesses to persuade the peoples of the West to offer their lending ears to the living Words of His Divine Grace for realizing the complete nature of the Vedic Revelation. Your Holinesses are constantly engaged in the service of His Divine Grace this is sure to impart to the Words and activities of your Holinesses that living spiritual persuasive force which is sure to win the most rebellious hearts.
His Divine Grace has been preaching the Absolute Truth to the people of this country on a public scale during the last decade or so. During this comparatively short space of time thousands of persons irrespective of caste, creed, color, age or sex have been enabled to recognize the undiluted genuineness of His Divine Mission. His Divine Grace has revealed the Career and Teachings of the Supreme Lord Sree Chaitanya to the modern mind in its widest sense. The rapid and phenomenal expansion of the activities of the Gaudiya Math during these years of the world-wide tumult of the greatest war and its aftermath fills us with the hope that the Teachings of Sree Caitanya will be welcomed with the most profound joy and relief by the peoples of the Occident who are in a better position after their late terrible experiences to appreciate the necessity of a living faith which is able to fully satisfy the actual requirements of this scientific age. The acceptance of the Teachings of the Supreme Lord Sree Chaitanya by the peoples of the West will in its turn afford the people of this country the opportunity of trying to understand the real nature of their priceless heritage in the light of the enlightened verdict of the best minds of the West.
With hearts big with these high hopes for mankind on the eve of their actual realization by the mercy of His Divine Grace we beg to offer this humble tribute of your respectful Homage at the feet of your Holinesses as an imperfect expression of our feelings on this auspicious occasion.
Your Holinesses' humble, servants
Members of the Gaudiya Math.
Replies of the Preachers
My most revered and affectionate Divine Master, His associated counterparts, President, Sisters and Brothers,
Sree Gurudeva has been graciously pleased to impose upon my most unworthy self His commands involving a great responsibility. Power and ability I have none. I put my hope in the causeless mercy of Sree Gurudeva and Vaishnavas. I make my obeisances to the Lotus Feet of Sree Gurudeva whose mercy gives the dumb the power of delivering the Words of God with the highest eloquence and the lame the power to surmount Sumerian obstacles. We offer our heart-felt thanks for the many kind words of blessing, affection, praise, sympathy and encouragement for ourselves personally and in regard to the purpose of our journey to Europe that have found expression in the farewell address presented to us by His Divine Grace, members of the Mission, friends and well-wishers on the eve of our departure to the West.
The present occasion recalls to my mind the similar event when the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna Chaitanya was pleased to send Sree Rupa and Sanatana to preach His word to the people of the West. The people of those lands had been devoid of real knowledge of devotion and spiritual living. Sree Rupa and Sanatana were commissioned to persuade those people to spiritual living.
The Supreme Lord employed the two brothers to lead the army of his devotees who were despatched to the West. We resemble them in as much as we are being sent to announce the coming of Srila Prabhupad and in respect of following in their footsteps as their humble servants.
In that far off west there is possibly to be found an equal or even greater volume of inattention of all-time devotional aptitude but more sympathy for worldly amelioration. We are unacquainted with those countries. We have no first-hand knowledge of the characteristics of those people but their culture is incomparable though their speech is different from ours.
This is our first attempt to carry the Message of Sree Chaitanya to those rational peoples. Our purpose is nothing less than the preaching in such strange environments of the real Truth in His Fullness. This is surely a task that is worthy of the infinite causeless mercy of Sree Sree Guru and Gauranga.
Srila Prabhupad had declared war against those of the world who are averse to the service of the Absolute. Our only weapon is the revealed Transcendental Sound. Our only armor is the mercy of the Divine Master and the Vaishnavas with the sincere co-operation of the lending ears.
Of the two commanders selected by Srila Prabhupad for this great enterprise one happens to be a veteran and the other, his companion possesses the freshness of youth. The veteran is proceeding to the field invigorated by the energy of is youthful companion. His Holy only capital consists of the attitude of constantly praying for the gift of affection of Hari, Guru and the Vaishnavas with the generous willing temperament of the audience. May this little lamp be constantly fed with the unctuous liquid of your affection. May the light of lamp spread its effulgence to those countries in the act of being waved in worship of you.
Srila Prabhupad is the living form of the Word of Sree Chaitanya identical with uneclipsed cognition. My humble self and my companion are proceeding to the distant lands in the office of the bearers of the Word of Sree Chaitanya. Srila Prabhupad is the Master Musician. We are the musical instruments made of clay in His hands. The earthly quality of this drum of clay (Mridanga) transformed into a living instrument by the touch of the hands of the Master will proclaim the Word that enlightens. The force of the Word from the living source will automatically overcome all obstructions offered by the opaque entities of this world.
My Divine Master and Vaishnavas, may You be pleased to bless us that our minds may always remain attached to the Lotus-Feet of our Master. If the mind is constantly and lovingly directed to the Lotus-Feet of Sree Gurudeva the cognitive faculty is enabled to be in touch with the Absolute. By the exercise of such cognition one is enabled to succeed in promulgating the inner purpose of the Master. By the strength of this relationship we would be able to invoke sympathy by degrees from the hearts of the peoples of all countries. We are confident that all persons will then enroll themselves, heart and soul, to join the chorus of the melodious Word of Sree Chaitanya. After we have tuned all harps to harmony, peace will flourish in all parts of the world.
We firmly cherish the hope that this inner purpose of Sreela Prabhupad will be realized by our successful preaching.
Many great warriors and commanders were employed in the enterprise of building the bridge across the Ocean by Sree Ram Chandra. There was a tiny squirrel among those mighty personages. Srila Prabhupad has employed a squirrel, no other than my humble self, in the building of the bridge of Transcendental Love between the East and the West. There is certainly no end of my happiness at this. My Divine Master and Vaishnavas, if I am enabled, by being anointed with Your Feet-dust to carry thither by the process of Kirtanam, the glory of the Transcendental Message, an atmosphere may soon be created where you will naturally be most cordially welcome in the near future. This is the prayer of my humble self who has no other desire.
The Sun in the form of the Word of Sree Chaitanya has arisen in the Eastern horizon in Sree Gaudapura. May all of you bless me that I , as a tiny ray of that Sun, may be enabled, on our arrival on the Occident, to serve properly the Lotus-Feet of Sree Gurudeva Who can dispel the accumulated darkness of ignorance of the long series of one's previous mundane lives. I pray at your feet for Your mercy that I may constantly chant the Word of Sree Chaitanya That has power to impart spiritual enlightenment, and in doing so may humbler than the blade of grass, covet no honor for myself and be disposed to offer due honor to all entities. In the chant of the Word of Sree Chaitanya is to be found the unique harmonious meeting-ground of self-interest, disinterestedness and interests of all other entities.
The Holy Name and Divine Love by Whose means Sree Chaitanya Deva had won the world is no other entity than the Chant of See Krishna by many persons in company. If it be, indeed, one's purpose to obtain mastery over one's own mind, there is no other surer means than the congregational chant of Krishna, the life of all real learning. Aversion to Hari Who relieves from all worldliness is the normal condition of the people of this world. The war that is being waged by Sreela Prabhupad against ungodly people of this world is nothing but a fight for winning the hearts of all entities. The Chant of the Word of Sree Chaitanya is the only weapon for subduing the heart that never fails.
The preaching of the revealed Transcendental Word in every part of the world will bring about the lustration in opening up of the ear of the listeners. "When the Word has entered the orifice of the ear, it does not take very long for the mind and the five sense-organs to be fully regulated. Then from the heart the Word forces His way to the tip of the tongue and dances incessantly in the form of the Transcendental Sound. The Name Krishna is Omnipotent". These words have been penned by Sreela Thakur Bhakti Vinode. His words will then attain the Eternal Plane of their self-manifestation. Revered Vaishnavas who possess a most sympathetic heart, may you bless us. The Words of Thakur Bhakti Vinode will manifest their truth when the whole world realizes the attraction of the Goodness of Sree Chaitanya and Nityananda.
The Message of the Vedanta that has been made known to the Occident by preachers from the East up till now, is not the genuine Vedanta. They have carried to the West speculation concocted by their erring minds which is opposed to the Vedanta. It is the view opposed to the Vedas in its alternative forms of veiled and professed atheism. All the practicing teachers of the pure theism and the Supreme Lord Himself have stated Sreemad Bhagabatam to be the genuine exposition of Vedanta. In Sreemad Bhagabatam, fruitive work, empiric knowledge, the practice of austerities the method of controlling the breath, and every other method not directed to the gratification the Absolute Person have been declared unspiritual, being without any value for the Soul. In the same work the causeless Endeavour to gratify the Divine Senses of the Supreme Person Who is Absolute Autocrat and full of Transcendental Blissful Activities has been established as the only universal and eternal function of all souls.
The real spiritual constructive solution of all controversies is effected by the Word of the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna Chaitanya. Extended altruism in the real sense as well as the final scientific settlement of all the difficulties of this world-the offspring of the atheistic attitude--will be substantially realized by the promulgation of the religion of the Bhagabatam manifested to this world by the Career and Teachings of Sree Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
We are not proceeding to the West as self-elected religious preachers puffed up by the vanity of their empiric wisdom professing sectarian and non-sectarian views, who have always claimed, now as formerly, the attention of mankind in favor of their patent inconclusive speculations. Neither are we undertaking the journey to Europe and America as preachers of any particular branch of the so-called Hindu religion. We are going to the Occident by the command of the Lotus-Feet of Sree Gurudeva carrying with us the priceless commodity of the Eternal Supreme Religion of the soul that is the nature of all unconditional spiritual entities at all times and at all places. Neither have we assumed the garb of religious preachers by accepting our liveries at the hands of ungodly public opinion. In lieu of these we have received our liveries from the Protector of Sanatan Dharma, Sree Krishna Chaitanya Himself, through the word of Sree Gurudeva. The Divine sanction has been announced in such texts as the following, "Deliver this country being Guru by My Command".
"Let every person who has been born in the land of Bharata do Eternal Good to others by living up to the import of such birth".
"My Name shall be preached to every village and town of the world".
Our journey to the West is not undertaken for the worldly benefit or otherwise of any entity, in which case conflict of interest is inevitable. But in the religion of the soul there is no possibility of conflict born of the desire for sensuous gratification of individuals or aggregates, in as much as, on that plane, it is the purpose of every entity to offer himself for the gratification of the Spiritual Senses of the Absolute Autocrat. In such function there flows the perennial stream of the real Eternal Love.
We are not proceeding to the Occident for securing any profit, honor or fame on our own individual account. Neither are we going there for making a present to those peoples of any form or profit or worship based upon the ulterior purpose of the attainment of piety, wealth, sensuous gratification and liberation which tend to our individual comforts depriving thereby our eternal function towards the Absolute.
We are impelled by the one unswerving desire for the consecration of that glory which of the manifestation of the Glory of the Absolute Autocrat. This is found in the Words of the Supreme Lord, "My sacred Fame will overspread the world. Mankind will sing My Glory in their joy."
There is no other way for any sentient entity to escape from the clutches of the turbulent puffed-up Siren of self aggrandizement than the means of cherishing the absorbing desire for the gratification of Absolute Autocrat. To serve the Manifestation of the Eternal Glory of the Absolute Autocrat is kindness to all entities. It is the relishing desire for the Transcendental Name and the Service of Vaishnavas. It is this which alone is Transcendental Love.
We are going to the West for the sole purpose of serving the Manifestation of the Glory of Sreedham Mayapur, the plane of self-dedication, which is the real inner purpose of Sreela Thakur Bhakti Vinode and Sreela Prabhupad, Divinely commissioned carry out the Desire of the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna Chaitanya that is in other words, to serve the Manifestation of the Personality of Divine Manifestations, enshrined in Sree Chaitanya Math, all over this mundane world which is ordinarily devoid of all real cognition.
We pray at the Lotus-Feet of Sree Gurudeva, Gaudiya and Gauranga the mercy of this only blessing that we may be enabled to chant with an unhesitating voice the living enlightening Message of Sree Viswa Vaishnava Raj Sabha to the assembly of the whole world by following the method of preaching inculcated by the Supreme Lord Sree Krishna Chaitanya has stated by the crest-jewel of the order of Tridandi Sannyasins Srila Probodhananda Saraswatipad, 'By holding the straw between the teeth, falling at your feet uttering by hundreds of ways my humble supplications, I make this submission, may all ye pure souls, practice loving devotion of the Lotus Feet of Sree Krishna Chaitanya, the Supreme Lord, leaving every other things at a distance."