~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)


His Divine Grace

Place: Belihal, Midnapura.
Time: Tuesday, 10th February, 1925 (during Gauda-mandala parikrama)

Pure devotional service is the only dharma for all people of all times and all places:

Nowadays, people are trying to become successful on the paths of karma, jnana, yoga, and so on, which are averse to the Supreme Lord. These endeavors are going on in the name of either religion or national service, and they are the favorites of materialistic people. But these activities are simply the activities of an atheistic society. They contain not even a tinge of serving attitude toward the Supreme Lord. Rather, those who practice a path founded only on knowledge derived from the senses want only to enjoy Krishna and His devotees.

The members of the atheistic society are themselves both cheaters and being cheated as they use their ability to speculate devoid of service to the transcendental personality to propagate theories like "unity of all religions." Even though the people of the world consider such mental concoctions factual, these ideas are still far from actual truth. The endeavors of those who manipulate sensual knowledge can never be real religious principles, or sanatana-dharma. The unmotivated, uninterrupted, pure service to the transcendental Personality of Godhead is the supreme religion for the living beings and is beneficial for all. In that service there is no cheating like karma, jnana, and so on.

The science of spiritual variegatedness is incomprehensible for those who know only matter:

Because they don't understand the sweetness of pure devotional service, or the soul's natural propensity, foolish people who possess only material knowledge think duplicity, karma, jnana, and other such processes, equal to devotional service. Sometimes they think devotional service an impotent process and fall into the clutches of mental concoction as they compare their limewater to the milk that is bhakti. Thus they think that devotional service cannot be effective unless they mix it with duplicitous processes like karma, jnana, and so on. They consider their cherished theories religion for all people, and the soul's natural propensity a sectarian, narrowminded religion. This mentality is nothing but the topmost misfortune of persons bewildered by Lord Vishnu's illusory energy. These people will never understand discussions about the kingdom of spiritual variegatedness, nor will they realize the glories of Lord Vishnu or the Vaisnavas.

Worship of the Vaisnavas is topmost:

It is said in the Padma Purana:

aradhananam sarvesam visnor aradhanam param
tasmat parataram devi tadiyanam samarcanam

"Of all types of worship, worship of Lord Vishnu is best, and better than the worship of Lord Vishnu is the worship of His devotees, the Vaisnavas."

Worship of the Vaisnavas is greater than the worship of Lord Vishnu. Worship of the daughter of King Vrsabhanu, Nanda, Yasoda, Sridama, Sudama, Dhama, Vasudhama, Raktaka, Patraka, Citraka, the cows, Krishna's stick, flute, and horn are greater than the worship of Krishna.

Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana introduced:

Among the seven famous temples in Sridhama Vrndavana, Sri Syamasundara comes after Sri Govinda, Sri Gopinatha, and Sri Madana-mohana. At the last stage of his manifest pastimes, Gaudiya Vedantacarya Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu served Sri Syamasundara in Sridhama Vrndavana. Sripada Baladeva Vidyabhusana was the fourth descendant of the gosvami family of Sri Gopivallabha Pura. In other words Sri Rasikananda Prabhu's son and disciple was Sri Radhananda Deva. Sri Radhananda's son and disciple was Sri Nayanananda Deva. From Sri Nayanananda Deva a Vaisnava brahmana from Kanyakubja named Sri Radha Damodara Dasa took initiation. This Sri Radha Damodara Dasa was Sripada Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu's pancaratrika initiating spiritual master.

Vidyabhusana Prabhu wrote an Upanisad commentary. Forty-one years ago, with a desire to publish Sripada Baladeva's Upanisad commentaries, I wrote Srila Visvambarananda Deva Gosvami to kindly collect those commentaries for me. At that time he wrote to Sri Syamasundara temple and was informed that the Upanisad commentaries had been immersed in the Yamuna because they were too old. So other than his commentary on the Isopanisad, no other of the Vedantacarya's commentaries can be found. Srimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura published the Isopanisad after personally writing a commentary to accompany the commentary of Sri Baladeva.

Just as Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura protected the prestige of Gaudiya Vaisnava dharma by appearing as a Gaudiyacarya – the fourth successor of Srila Narottama Thakura Mahasaya, so Sripada Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu protected the Gaudiya sampradaya as the first Gaudiya Vedantacarya by appearing as the fifth descendant of Sri Syamananda Prabhu.

Distinctions between the preaching of the three acaryas:

Srila Srinivasacarya, Srila Syamananda, and Srila Narottama Thakura - these three acaryas spread the highest topics of devotional service to Hari to the less educated people through music and songs. According to the name of their place of residence a melody has come into being and became famous by each name. For example, from the name Reneti, which is where the spiritual master of Sri Syamananda's sampradaya, Sri Hrdaya Caitanya lived, comes the ranihati sura. The melody of Sri Srinivasacarya's sampradaya is called manohara sahi, and the melody of Srila Thakura Mahasaya's sampradaya is famous as gadera hati.

A truth about Rasikananda:

According to some opinions, Sri Rasikananda Prabhu was an incarnation of Aniruddha - that is, he was Vishnu-tattva. Sri Syamananda and Sri Rasikananda are described in the Bhaktamala, a book written in Hindi by Nabhaji.

As published in the
By His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada
Reproduced with permission of Touchstone Media. The full length text may be purchased here.