~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

The Bhagabat

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

JUNE 12, 1935

The sun is a self-effulgent thing, to see which no extraneous light is necessary. The sun is seen with its own light. The Bhagabat is like the sun in the spiritual firmament and self-effulgent as well. If, out of his great mercy, he makes his own real self manifest to any fortunate sentient being, only then can he be visible to the latter. The Srimad Bhagabat says (1.3.45) that when in the Dwapara Yuga Sree Krishna made His Own Pastimes invisible to the people of this world then the Bhagabat, shedding the best spiritual light amongst all the other Purans, and being identical with Sree Krishna Himself, rose in the spiritual firmament diffusing the light of the full conception of the real function of the soul for the satisfaction of the actual needs--the summum bonum of those human beings whose spiritual vision had been obscured by the influence of the Kali Yuga (Iron Age).

In dark nights men cannot see anything; but when in the morning the sun rises and the darkness which obscures the vision is dispelled, all things of this world become visible to our eyes by the rays of the sun falling on our retina. Due to the influence of Kali, the spiritual eyes of the people are covered with nescience, but with the appearance of the Bhagabat in this world, nescience being removed, the spiritual eyes have not only been opened but also devotion for Sree Krishna, the knowledge of Krishna and the Transcendental Love for Krishna, so long unattainable in the other three ages, by manifesting themselves now to the jivas of this Iron Age, have made them grateful to the same.

According to Srila Thakur Brindaban, the biographer of Sree Krishna Chaitanya Deva, the Bhagabat is of two kinds, one being the spiritual scripture, the Srimad Bhagabat, the other being the best devotee of the Supreme Lord, the Divine nectar of devotion personified. The Supreme Lord Sree Gaur-Sundar and Sree Nityananda Prabhu, by dispelling the nescience from the hearts of jivas, cause them to meet these two kinds of Bhagabats and by enlightening them regarding the eternal relationship of love subsisting between them and the Supreme Lord, surrenders Himself, as it were, to their loving wishes.

The earthly sun and moon can only destroy the external darkness and manifest objects of this mundane world to the material eyes, but the teaching of the relationship of inconceivable simultaneous distinction and non-distinction between jiva and Sree Krishna, by Sree Gaur-Nityananda, in the two forms of the Scripture Bhagabat and the best devotee of God (Bhagabat) being manifested in this world, can dispel from the core of the hearts of all jivas spiritual darkness in the forms of desires for Dharma (virtue), Artha (wordly riches), Kama (gratification of the senses) and Moksha (salvation), thereby manifesting the real truth therein.

The Bhagabat is a thing which is eternal, full, pure, free, and the spiritual nectar personified, and has no birth nor death as within the limited mundane time, although the Bhagabats make their appearance in the different ages of the for the well-being of fallen humanity. They never come under the control of Maya, the deluding energy of God. Those who consider the Srimad Bhagabat to be on a par with the other books of this world, composed within limited time, fail to realise the transcendental nature of the same. Similarly, those who consider the unalloyed devotees of God (the Bhagabats) to be ordinary mortals, born of human parents belonging to certain social groups that have been evolved in this world, are also unfortunate like the former. Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu in his Upadesamritam has said that no mundane deficiency should be noticed in the pure devotees of God.

Just as the sun can help our eyes to see all objects around us so also the devotees (Bhagabats) can confer upon us spiritual eyes of true knowledge, as instruments to have the vision of Godhead. Hence the sadhus are the only real friends, inseparable from Godhead Himself, of those who are walking in the path of devotion. The subject matter of Srimad Bhagabat is the religion of sadhus absolutely free from malice and all hypocritical hankering for Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha which are more or less permitted by other religious scriptures.

The intention of the Srimad Bhagabat has been clearly elucidated in the first Skandha in the second sloka of its first chapter. Similarly the sadhus also, instead of preaching a doctrine which has as its objects, the desire for fruitive actions, non-distinctive knowledge, Yoga (breathing exercise), Tapa (austerities), any activity other than the gratification of the senses of Krishna and any hypocritical mental speculations, always preach the doctrine of unalloyed devotion, a thing which is the best treasure of such truly altruistic sadhus.

Just as the rising of the sun makes all objects of this world visible to human eyes, so also the unalloyed devotees themselves, being eternally engaged in the service of Krishna, manifest in others the eternal relation of jivas with Godhead. The Bhagabatas are thus the only effective preachers of the eternal relation of jivas with Godhead. As owls, unable to bear the light of the of the rising sun, retire into dark holes; so also atheists hide themselves in the obscurity of their dark retreats when they are unable to bear the influence of the Light of Truth made visible in this world by the Bhagabats who are like so many suns risen in the spiritual firmament.