~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

As published in The Harmonist (Sree Sajjanatoshani)
Edited by Paramahamsa Paribrajakacharyya Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj
June 1931 to June 1932

THE slippery way to degradation is charming at the very outset, apparently invigorating, is enriched with pseudo-expectations, an apparent acquisition of chewing the cuds of sweets dreams, a tantalized plane of seeming renunciation and a store-house of phantasmagoria or a high mansion of will-o-the-wisp. If hopes are entertained committing suicide from the acme of the Everest, those attempts of falling may meet obstruction by the uneven caves of hilly deserts. But the way to down fall from the transcendental plane is so very smooth, polished and lubricated plane of marble that hardly any trace of resisting pins could be had in such translation. If I get a turn of mind to follow the slippery path to degradation, I will be unconsciously reaching the lowest point of the nefarious plane. When I meet such an unfortunate position of degrading myself, I find, our well-wishing dictators and Vaishnavas appearing on the scene as checkers and obstructers. But I find my irregular independence setting out in hundred ways to chalk out my track in inventing thousand and one paths to be successful to reach the lowest level. I then find my fitness to embrace degradation for the success of my whims under the impulse of my invigorating charming dreams regarding my benefactors as impediments to whatever is dear to me. The bewildering propensities at the very outset forge my fetters by invincible reasonings and are thereby ensured the progress of their successful march. Sometimes my propensities read aloud the unfailing pretension of incurable disease, sometimes they take resort to the unanswerable plea of a house holder's wants, disadvantages, debts, rigors of law and all others which may serve to bear the appearance of entanglements to check the benign tongue of the Preceptor and His associates; and the sequel is to come down to the unfathomable bottom of destruction.

Generally I put my petition on the table of my Preceptor and His associates that a change is necessary to go back to the soil where I was brought up or placing irrefutable reasons on their table for the necessity of going back to make settlement of my properties; or I court the approbation of mixing freely with my kinsmen. These frivolous reasons are offered as arguments for a change from the association of Vaikuntha to the horrors of the atmosphere of pandemonium.

The sudden change of the association from the highest level to the lowest degradation appears to me to show my shameful conduct putting away my transcendental life and the high jump of going back to the fiery hovel from the peaceful situation of Vaikuntha as quite opposed to my practices. To pacify my revolutionary conception I place my pretended above reasons for shifting my position from the umbrage of my Preceptor and His associates. This inborn appetite makes its appearance as a gangrene covered with a seeming phase of a healthy skin. I spin out hundreds of pretensions for reverting my positions by the open beat of drum in procession and to be furnished with travelling expense of my journey for the objects in my view. I am prone to disclose my heart that I am obliged to get into the life of a householder to attend to my infirmed parents, as there is none to attend them. It is with great apparent diffidence that I progress to be obliged to lead a family life and to submit to the misery of working for livelihood for my old parents who are quite incapable of earning their bread.

I formulate a hundred reasons to decorate and enrich the amenities of the household of the Geeta of the proverb with a view to degrade myself under pretext of reasonings. I take resort to innovations in a clever way to enjoy the world and to save myself from remonstrations likely to be offered by my true friends. Sometimes I play the dodge of forwarding my reasonings to the effect that as mendicants and servants who by the clear call once definitely renounced the world, are also degraded with their mentalities changed, so, following them, why should I not protect myself from evils by changing the apparel of a Brahmachari to that of a householder?

The robe I embraced hitherto was never meant to offer the highest standard of serving my Preceptor heartily, nor was it meant for my cognizance of the true self. Had it been purported to target my real self, I would have succeeded in ascertaining my future duties. I would have picked up the transcendental words of my Preceptor which incessantly flowed into my years. I could not ascertain who my real parents are. I was fascinated, 'Are the parents associated with my structural body?--For what have I come to this world?' If I had a bonafide intention to know all these, I would have continued my association with my Preceptor and His associates. To tell the truth I took my robes with an insincere motive though I concealed my inner heart, to pass the sweet life of a householder. So I was a pretender, I joined the mission as a dishonest seeker, not as honest one. I played the part of a deserter from the sweet association of my family and children not for serving heartily my Preceptor but for satisfying my external senses. As a pretender I masqueraded my irregular independence and was actually concealing myself to lead an irregular life just like a fiery horse without reins.

I had observed before entering the Mission, the householder's life to be full of misery and pains, troublesome and entangling and enchaining myself, So under the then impulse I was led to deem it fit to be instigated to live an irresponsible and comfortable life, to get rich dishes under the pretext of Prasadam, to dance independently under the garb of devotion. I craved enjoyment of paradise under the pretext of devotion. I falsely played the part of a true devotee to win approbation. I thought I could delude my competitors with these seeming activities by apparently getting over misery, pains, troubles, needs, dependence and relativity.

But now I find that I am over whelmed with misery, pain, dependence relativity. I find I could not set myself free from the slavish disposition and to say the truth, I have never been in touch with my Preceptor and Shree Krishna in my serving mood. If I disclose my heart I could recognize my position that I really jumped into the mission of devotees being instigated by dreams of enjoyments in order to get rid of the unbearable afflictions which victimize and trouble a householder's life. But I had my stream of enjoyments flowing undetected, concealed beneath outward covering of sands. Now I entertain that I should go back to my former intoxicated position of a rat seeking for his old shelter and this has brought me to the slippery plain of slaughter. I am now visioning the sweet dreams of flowery enjoyment, offering my head to be chopped off by the guillotine. Oh! This is the powerful engine of twisting, my mentality, which was never detected before.

I know it perfectly that my Preceptor is often shouting with His usual mandates to grant me a license which could give me relief from the impending clutches of seeming apprehension. Will not my sleepy condition break down and receive the transcendental tidings? Hark! The song of dissipating my slumber is being sung. This has a different music from the charming lullabies of the world.

The true song was sung by Preceptor,--'Ye fishlike human souls! Why do you entangle yourselves in this snaring net of the measured existence? Don't you know you will ever be captivated there by the tempting baits of enjoyments? You will have to remain within the prison bars like a criminal and you will lose your independence by undergoing punishment? But I advise you to lead the life of a subservient to Krishna in the Ocean of Love where you will find your full independence, if you have at all any loving mood for the Transcendental Absolute.'

It was before now my mentality that whatever is talked of by my Preceptor, can have no real footing in this world. I cannot claim that I have freed myself from that sort of mentality. But now I realize by my actual experience that all the words that were uttered are true to the letter. I had that sort of innate inclination in me of enjoying the world by my senses. The very genesis of enjoyment has formulated the development of need, disadvantage and ill-health which is to break asunder all sorts of remonstrations to lead me to gain, and this wrong impulse is nothing but jumping into the burning flame of worldly enjoyment.

This indomitable wrong spirit might have corroboration and approbation from the so called worldly advisors or pseudo-preceptors. But the real and bonafide Preceptor is always in the mood of really sympathizing with the miserable like ourselves. He is always our well-wisher. He is found to impede our agreeing and disagreeing mentalities by His apparent rigors of disciplinary words to save us. Once we heard the mortal champion Napoleon to say as he stood before the Alps, " I don't find any mountain before me." but greater Alpses are just in front of falling souls who are ever apathetic to regain their serving mood, instigated by their sensuous efforts, temptations, which are better instances than millions of Himalayas that are observed to have their apparent locus standi. Our Preceptor has ignored all these and the temporal conceptions of millions of mortal Napoleons with His incomparable high-sounding shouting. He is found always to have possessed all the transcendental powers in His speech when He says that no barrier of want can impede our course, no amount of ill-health can dissuade us from serving Krishna all time which is the essential function of unadulterated souls. The only need we experience of man here is the want of delineation of the song of Krishna and this forgetfulness is the root cause of all ill-health. I know not whether there is any instructor who has so boldly preached this doctrine, having had the true diagnosis, like the transcendental Supreme Authority of service-holders, I mean Valadeva. I know not any other Preacher Who has so sincerely wished our success in dispelling the apathy to our serving Krishna eternally. I know not any Acharyya Who has boldly impeded the erroneous views of the deluded eternal souls. I know not any Acharyya Who has got so firm a determination of more well-wishing mentality than our present Preceptor. I know not any Acharyya Who has such determination against offering the slightest license of enjoyment. Surely I have not come across a description of such an Acharyya Whose well-wishing excelled that of our present Preceptor; but we have never witnessed such fullest view as in the out-and-out true impulse in words and deeds of the Preceptor.

Inspite of my eternal aptitude for enjoyment, my eternal deafness, my eternal propensity to fall, I am not fully disappointed of the standard of the highest boon of the immortal situation of my Preceptor. I still possess a confidence in Him that I could be lifted out of the Abyss into my lifeboat which is identical with His Lotus Feet. I am not despondent of my success. I entertain full hope of ascending up the Purpose Tree of the Lotus Feet of Sri Krishna Who are the fulfillers of my highest ambition. I have come to the conclusion that in every stage of our different births, we will be supplied with our reciprocal needs of senses. But I must not allow even a second to pass in any other engagement till my life-breath is over. I should seek my eternal good.