The Special Characteristics of the Acharyya Part II PDF Print E-mail

The Special Characteristics of the Acharyya Part II

[ BY PROF. NISHI KANTA SANYAL, M.A. ]
(August, 1928.)

But the ample gift-basket filled with the ripe fruitage of eternal well-being that had been brought down into this world from the Divine Tree on high would never have been unpacked and the life-giving fruits would have remained un-tasted inside the sealed baskets of the immortal works of Thakur Sri Bhaktivinode if the task of their dissemination had not been bequeathed to a successor worthy of shouldering the high responsibility. Sri Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur is verily the manifestation of the goddess of pure learning engaged in expounding the Word of God at all time. Hailing from Sri Purusottama Kshetra in Utkal, the place of his auspicious appearance in this world, this best-beloved of Mukunda, in fulfilment of the prophecies of the scriptures that ‘the pure religion will spread from Purusottama in Utkal’, and ‘the holy Name of Sri Gaursundar will be preached at all places’, is successfully occupied in the superhuman work of carrying to all parts of the world the priceless gift of the non-harm-producing mercy of Sri Bhaktivinode Thakur which renders accessible to all jivas the shoreless Ocean of bliss. He has disclosed to the astounded vision of humanity the substantive form of a most wonderful edifice of universal harmony, crowned with the triumphantly waving banner of victory reared with complete success on the broad base of preaching of the holy Name and love of God securely laid by Thakur Sri Bhaktivinode.

Thakur Sri Siddhanta Saraswati, like the great Acharyyas of former times, has set before us the ideal of carrying out the wishes of Sri Chaitanya by the same four-fold method that was so successfully adopted by themselves as has already been stated. To this Divine task he has wholly consecrated all his super-human energies that are never satiated by their ceaseless efforts to serve Krishna in all time,—recalling the ardour of Sri Rupa who prayed for a billion-fold increase of the senses in order to enable him to realise the sweetness of the service of the Lord.

Whenever Srila Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur happens to journey to a new place the very first thing that he proposes on arrival is the establishment of printing presses for the publication of devotional literature and its wide circulation among all classes of the people,—the object being to prepare the way for the descent of the transcendental sound by silencing the vocal efforts prevailing in the worldly atmosphere. The same purpose marks the attempt that he is making to cause the seat of spiritual learning long vanished to reappear at Gaudapur. If the pliant, inquisitive, serving child is afforded an opportunity of realising at that early stage the identity of the transcendental sound with the object denoted by it by the process of the conveyance of the direct meaning of such sounds to the spiritual understanding the thirst for the whole time Kirtan of Sri Radha-Govinda is likely to be aroused in him. The prevalence of in-harmonious efforts which are the offspring of the meaning directly conveyed by worldly sounds to the perverted intellect, which are the parents of fears, selfish enjoyments and malice, are the obstacles in the way of the Kirtan of Hari which is possible only when one is enabled to realise that the only function of his proper self is the service of Sri Guru-deva, i.e. of Krishna and His devotees, in the realm of the spirit.

Srila Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur has vindicated the high position of the true Brahmana and Vaishnava by the propagation of the pure Kirtan of Krishna. He has proved the freedom of all activities of the Vaisnava guru from all defects due to their complete permeation by the will of Krishna. This synthesis has been accompanied by the most decisive refutation of all current un-spiritual views that are opposed to un-alloyed devotion;—such as marked philanthropism; smarta views upholding materialistic activities; philanthropism proper which attempts to effect a compromise between the perfect, spiritual effort which is identical with the object to be gained and the defective, un-spiritual methods conceived as means to an end which is different from itself; the view that the spiritual is the product of the material; the view which gives rise to the vanity that leads those who belong to the status of disciples or are even unfit for discipleship to pass as spiritual preceptors; the fatal error that is responsible for laboriously artificial efforts to imitate the transcendental conduct of the paramahamsas. He is ceaselessly employed, as Acharyya of the eternal religion, in defending the method of auricular transmission of the transcendental sounds (Srauta path); Krishna; the devotees of Krishna; the objects employed in the worship of Krishna; the expansion of Krishna’s own Form in the shape of His holy realm (dham); —against the attacks of the enemies of Krishna who is identical with the knowledge Absolute that admits of no alternatives (advaya jnana).

In pursuance of these efforts this transcendental Acharyya has apparently exposed himself to the risk of being maligned, insulted, persecuted and endangered in countless ways, like Sri Nityananda and Thakur Haridas in similar circumstances, at the hands of the world which is opposed to Vishnu to the points of its hair and the tips of its fingernails; but he has firmly persevered in the most vigorous prosecution of all his beneficent activities. His attitude has been misunderstood by the atheists as one of unmitigated arrogance. But where are we to look for another person who has shown a higher ideal of the service of the devotees of God?

The insatiable desire of Srila Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur for worshipping and honouring the Vaishnava Acharyyas has been shown by his comprehensive tour a few years back of Gaudamandal, by his journeys all over India for the purpose of visiting personally and doing homage to the holy sites sanctified by the activities of the former Acharyyas. He has in course of his tours visited Udupi Kshetra of Srimad Madhvacharyya; Kanchi and Perambedur of Srimad Ramanujacharyya; Nimbagram, Selimabad etc of Srimad Nimbacharyya; the gadi of Galta immortalized by the victory of the author of the Govinda Bhasya. He has unearthed numerous records regarding Sri Vishnuswami. He had visited all those places that were trod by the holy feet of Sri Gaursundar in His exhibition of the lila of the Acharyya and has made definite provision for the preservation of the memorials of the Lord’s visit to the different places and for reviving the teachings of the Acharyyas. He has instituted the worship of the Acharyyas at Sri Chaitanya Math in Sridham Mayapur, the place of advent of Sri Gaursundar. He has arranged for the due celebration of the appearance and disappearance anniversaries of the Acharyyas at all the Maths that he has established in different parts of the country. The nature and value of such service will be brought home to the reader if he remembers that practically no one in Bengal was aware of the very existence of Srimad Madhvacharyya before Srila Prabhupad made him known to this country. It will be no exaggeration to state that the philosophies of Srimad Madhvacharyya and Srimad Ramanujacharyya have been made familiar to the people of Bengal by the exertions of Srila Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. These are among the proofs of his whole-hearted worship of the Vaishnava Acharyyas.

(To be continued.)