Srila Gaurakishoradas Babaji Maharaj
Written by Bhagavan Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad
for the Harmonist (the issue dated December 2, 1934)
The conduct of the devotees of the highest order is not amenable to any of those rules of propriety that are devised by man for the regulation of the affairs of this world. The affairs of this world are quite safe in the hands of Providence. But man in his ignorance cannot realise the fact that it is not given to him to set it right. Man is always afflicted with his never-ending wants and fears. He is pleased to suppose that he has not protector other than himself. The proverb that Heaven helps those who help themselves does not mean that God has no initiative in the affairs of this world.
As a matter of fact, all power belongs to God. He is the sole possessor of power. There cannot be two masters. Nothing can, therefore, happen in this world without the Absolute Initiative of Godhead. God is also All-Good. How can, therefore, anything, but unalloyed good flow from Him? So man must be mistaken if he finds anything wrong in the ordering of the affairs of this world. The ethical instinct is certainly part and parcel of the nature of man. He is always anxious to distinguish between right and wrong. Is this ethical instinct unreal and illusory? Even if it be so how can such illusions itself originate from the Source of All-Good?
Srila Gaurakishoradas Babaji regarded everything of this world with an equal eye. He resided for a considerable time inside a public latrine in the town of Nabadwip. Every person had practically free access to him at all time. A Vaishnava has no association with anything temporal. Did Babaji Maharaj associate with all persons without troubling about right and wrong?
Srila Gaurakishoradas Babaji's own conduct does not bear out such ultra liberal purpose behind his activities. He was opposed to the professional readers of the Bhagavatam. He hid himself in the public latrine for avoiding association with the Godless people of Nabadwip. He warned the Editor of this journal against the objectionable practices and opinions of the sects who led an immoral life by professing that it was in conformity with the Teaching of Sree Gaurasundara. He, however, spoke of those mischievous street boys, who threw dust at him, as being identical with Sree Krishna Himself. How are these differences in his conduct to be reconciled?
There were persons at Nabadwip who supposed that they could be benefited by imitating the conduct of Babaji Maharaj. Some of them began actually to live in the public latrines. By such arrogance they were plunged into the depths of degradation. It is never possible to obtain the mercy of the pure devotee by undergoing physical hardships. The pure devotee is approachable by the method of sincere submission. It is not possible to submit in all sincerity to the servant of God except in the spiritual plane of service. It is only by the special Grace of Sree Krishna that one is blessed with the disposition that can unreservedly seek for the mercy of His devotee.
Srila Gaurakishoradasa Babaji also expressed his disapproval of the practices of the so called Samjogi Vaishnavas who live in the company of women outside the sanction of wedlock. He did not permit any person to touch the feet by way of salutation. He lived in a tiny shed of split bamboo. He was always in the exclusive state of his intimate service of Sree Krishna and did not wear any clothing. He once proposed to Maharaja Manindra Chandra Nandi Bahadur of Kasimbazar when the latter visited Him in his shed to stay at His side in another similar shed by giving up his earthly possessions, for the purpose of serving Sree Krishna. He was found to eat raw earth, grain, etc., without any inconvenience. His conduct was one of the severest asceticism. This conduct was displayed to the time of His disappearance.
He once surprised Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode by appearing to Him in the dress of a foppish dandy wearing a well-trimmed beard. He said that He had changed His dress as a protest against the wrong assumption of the garb of a paramahansa by a number of persons at Kulia (Nabadwip town). He often came to Sree Mayapur and was an object of deepest affection to Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode. Srila Gaurakishoradasa Babaji came to Nabadwip from Vrindavana when Thakur Bhaktivinode revealed to the world Sree Mayapur, the Transcendental Birthplace of Sree Gaurasundara. Editor was directed by Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode to seek for the mercy of Srila Gaurakishoradasa Babaji.
The conduct of the highest order of devotees exhibited by Srila Gaurakishoradasa Babaji, is never comprehensible to those who are not enabled by the Grace of Sree Krishna Himself to seek for the mercy of Srila Babaji Maharaj with sincere unreserved submission. It is an offence at the feet of the transcendental servitor of Godhead to suppose him to be subject to mundane birth and death. It is no less an offence to hold the profane view that his appearance and disappearance in this world are similar to the birth and death of mortal man. It is only by the causeless mercy of the pure devotee that it is possible to realise his transcendental nature by the unmasking of the spiritual nature of our own real selves. The evidence of this is supplied by our own pure selves. We are perfectly oblivious of our real entity as long as we are in the conditioned state. We are not then anxious to know ourselves. We are told by the Scriptures that we can never know the nature of the sadhu so long as we continue to be in the state of utter ignorance of our own real selves than when nothing can be nearer or more directly known to us.
The apparently inactive conduct of the paramahansa, exhibited by Babaji Maharaj, must not be considered as in any way less beneficial to the world than the activity of preaching the Word in a visible form that is sometimes displayed by the eternal servitors of Sree Krishna by their auspicious descent to the mundane plane. Neither the one nor the other can be truly understood except by the mercy of the paramahansa. The apparent non-activity of the paramahansa is the perfection of transcendental activity. This cannot be understood by those who have no access to the plane of transcendence. The active propaganda of Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode for spreading the Knowledge of the Teaching of the Supreme Lord is in no way different from the practice of devotion of Srila Gaurakishoradasa Babaji. Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode accordingly directed the Editor of this journal to seek for the real Knowledge of the Teaching of the Supreme Lord from Srila Gaurakishoradasa Babaji, although He was to all outer seeming devoid of the knowledge of the alphabet.
It will do no real good to us if we choose to be confused in the choice of our course by such apparently contradictory modes of life of the paramahansas who are the Godsent transcendental saviours of all fallen souls. It is the only thing needful for us to seek in all humility to be enlightened about the real significance of their appearance in this world by accepting with faith the assurance of the Scriptures that the appearance of the sadhu is always for the redemption of all conditioned souls specially those who are the most unworthy.
There is no humility except the sincere disposition to submit unconditionally to the servant of the Supreme Lord. All other show of humility is hypocritical being a function of the conditioned state when we do not know the Truth. Until we know the Truth how can we avoid to be hypocritical in all our professions of duty? The proper attitude in such circumstances is the one exhibited by Srila Sanatana Goswami Prabhu when he approached the Supreme Lord with his sincere enquiry for being enlightened ab initio regarding the nature of his self and his duty.
Editor was directed by Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode to receive the knowledge of Truth from Babaji Maharaj who was unread in the Shastric literature of this country. But Srila Gaurakishoradasa Babaji was realised by Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode as the Acharya of sambandhajnana that is exercising the function of Srila Sanatana Goswami Prabhu for imparting to fallen souls the realisation of the nature of their real selves.
The Shastras declare the spiritual unity of the Divine Master manifesting themselves as the Line or Medium of the Descent of the Revelation in the form of the Word of God. The mode of Appearance of the Word exhibits a three-fold distinction according as He shows Himself as the Knowledge of relationship, as the Function of relationship and as Love to the Feet of the Absolute Person Sree Krishna.
The Age is distinguished for advancement of scientific knowledge and for its readiness to explore the Truth by all the resources at its disposal. The realisation of Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode was that Editor could receive the Knowledge of the Truth only from the hands of Srila Gaurakishoradasa Babaji who did not apparently possess any training in scientific modes of investigation. The Age, proud of its scientific knowledge, cannot be expected to appreciate any proposal that does not fall into line with its methods and convictions. But unless we are prepared to submit to the paramahansa on his own terms we can have, according to the Shastras, no chance of being relieved of the state of utter ignorance by all our scientific knowledge. The conduct of the teacher of real Knowledge should not also be expected to conform in any way to the hopes and convictions of utterly ignorant persons. We cannot be eligible for the discipleship of Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode, whom we may be disposed to honour on account of his display of scientific scholarship, unless we are cured of all our scholastic vanities through the realisation of the knowledge of transcendence by unconditional submission to the feet of Srila Gaurakishoradasa Babaji.
It is the purpose of the Harmonist, by the grace of Srila Babaji Maharaj, to make available to the whole world His teaching of the knowledge of our relationship with the Absolute as far as this is permitted by His mercy. But it is not possible for any of us to really benefit by His teaching unless we voluntarily seek for His mercy. He is the eternal servitor of Sree Krishna. His function for bestowal of enlightenment is for all time. He can never die nor does He refuse to be accessible to the humble seeker of His mercy. May the transcendental personality of Srila Gaurakishoradasa Babaji be pleased to manifest Himself to the eclipsed cognition of our souls through these discourse inspired by the sacred tithi of His disappearance.
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