~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

Spiritual Progress

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

MAY 28, 1935

The stages of spiritual progress are not the monopoly of individuals. They are equally observable in the arrangements of spiritual associations. The Truth is Autocrat and brooks no sham nor compromise. The Teaching of Sree Krishna Chaitanya provides the world with the only synthesis of the comparative solution of the problem of the plurality of faiths by complete adherence to the requirements of the Absolute Truth. It is open to the world to listen to His voice for its permanent wellbeing. Any synthesis not based on the Absolute is worse than useless, for the purpose of permanent well-being. Such constructions will cost much trouble and effort for their demolition in order to clear the only path to the Truth.

The Truth is not to be found in this world. Religion is not to be found in this world. Religion alone admits this difficulty and seeks to find the way out of it. Those who imagine that the Truth is to be found on the mundane plane form the opposite camp. There can be no compromise between these two. The whole history of the race bears testimony to the mischievousness and utter futility of every attempt at comprehension by ignoring this vital fact. Let us not repeat this sacrilege, in any unscientific hurry for patching up incompatible differences on this most vital issue.

Sree Krishna Chaitanya teaches us that the Truth always makes His Appearance in this world in the form of the Transcendental Sound. In other words the Truth Who is identical with His Name appears in this world as the Name. But the Name must be carefully distinguished from His dim reflection (Namabhash) and the offence against the Name (Namaparadh). The dim reflection and the offence must not be served as Godhead. Krishna is the Name. The Name Krishna is neither any mundane sound nor any mundane conception of the Absolute. The Name Krishna is to be served by being freed from these two prejudices. This process involves all genuine revelations bearing on the redemption of humanity of all the scriptures of the world.

The difference of faiths can be avoided if a real comparative study of all of them be promoted on the lines revealed for the first time in the history of theism in this world by the Teachings of Sree Krishna Chaitanya. The super-excellence of His Teachings consists in this; that He never stops short of the spiritual concrete and gives the minutest details of the complete function of communities and individuals on the plane of Absolute. It is a shallow philosophy that can fail to appreciate the Supreme need of definite help in matters spiritual. Such pessimism serves no useful purpose. Nay, is positively mischievous to encourage and multiply speculations for the express purpose of avoiding the concrete in spiritual life. There would be no risk in such course if we are sincere ourselves; if we do not confound the secular with the spiritual against all the dictates of our higher-nature.