Vedic Insights

Selected articles from the magazine SREE SAJJANA-TOSHANI or THE HARMONIST Edited by Paramahamsa Paribrajakacharyya Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj Published between 1927 - 1936

The Place of Vaisnava Philosophy in the World of Religion

The two ways to know the science of the truth - ascending and descending:

The word dharma means "to understand." It is the means by which one can get to the truth about an object. Dharma distinguishes between matter and spirit. We are spirit souls, and as seers, we see the visible world. We can take initiative because of our independent nature, but matter cannot act on its own.


"CHARITY begins at home." Telescopic philanthropy as been the butt of much undeserved ridicule. It is necessary in the interest of all to reconcile the apparently contradictory claims.

Altruism should imply an inclination for serving all entities and doing harm to none. The propositions which we shall attempt to develop are, (1) that the only way of really serving all entities is to serve Vishnu and (2) that if Vishnu is not served one is under the necessity of consciously and unconsciously extorting service from all entities which process is identical with the practice of undiluted malice against oneself and every entity.

Status Quo

The 27th sloka of the third chapter of the Geeta contains an explanatory reference to the mode of operation of the gunas. It also supplies a definition of Godlessness. The Godless person thinks himself to be the master of his activities in as much as he allows himself to be deluded by the operation of the gunas. But it is people of a sattvika disposition who would be at all prepared to accept this proposition of the Geeta as a principle of conduct. The generality of the people is led by the rajasika and tamasika gunas and are bent upon ignoring the actual connection of God with the affairs of this world. The tamasika disposition may be defined as one of which is actuated by a consuming desire for worldly aggrandisement. Such blind passionate living leads ultimately to self annihilation. The life of indiscriminate material enjoyment is opposed to permanence...

Man and Animal

Man has been defined as a rational animal. There is thus an element of rationality combined with animality in man. Man has a higher nature and lower nature. The common characteristics of man and animal have been shown in the following sloka: Eating, sleeping, fear and sexual intercourse-these are common to human beings and animals. Religion is the differentia of man from animal. All men, however, are not equal. Some are savage, some are civilized; some are intelligent, some foolish; some are rich, some poor; some are high, some very low. If a close study is directed to the nature of man it is noticed that he has a body and a mind...

Good and Bad

Nothing in the world is good in itself, nothing which cannot but become good when used towards the service of Godhead.

On the plane of perfect reality the natural function of the unalloyed soul is to serve Godhead.

The 'real' spiritual plane is also the 'natural' plane of the unalloyed soul. The truly 'natural' is that which cannot but be independently of all conditions, therefore, also it is the truly 'real'. The truly 'real' alone is that which always is what it is; therefore, it is alone the truly 'natural'.

Who Am I? Part II

We must call these attempts of those scientists of misdirected intellects and the stubbornness of these undeveloped brains—as the outcome of a grossly atheistic turn of mind in challenging the Omnipotency and supreme authority of Godhead and denying the existence of the very source and cause of all existence. Godhead is called “Vishnu” because He pervades the whole universe making all existence possible and upholding the universe with its manifested phenomenon. Only the saints have the eyes to see it. So it is mentioned in the Vedas that only the saints do perceive the all-pervading, highest essence of Vishnu being the only Reality unlimited by space and time. It is not an hallucination but the sternest actuality more true and real than the limited senses can ever expect to perceive or comprehend.

Who Am I?

The Word ‘I’ refers to the Speaker before us or the first person in our cognisance. The ‘I’ is generally identified with bodily figure of the speaker. In our attempts for identification virtually we cannot and, as a matter of fact, do not ordinarily go beyond the bodily form and make, the stature, the colour together with any distinguishing mark or marks the body of the speaker might have got, his sex, locality, nationality, mentality, parentage, learning and other acquisitions, profession and also any relationship in which the speaker stands to us.

The Message of Sree Chaitanya

A connecting link between the Transcendental word and human ears having been ordained by the kind providence. It has been possible to bring the Message of Sree Chaitanya to the doors of the people of this universe. It is not through the medium of the tie of the flesh but through that of sound or speech that we stand united with our fellows also in the ordinary affairs of life. We can have a peep into one another's mind not through our eyes, but through our ears.

The Transcendental Message of Sree Chaitanya runs in the channel of spoken communication. The Message advises us not to make any attempt to see the Form of the Absolute through our mundane eyes. The Absolute in the fullness of His Initiative and personality is our Eternal arbitrator and Regulator. In trying to see and hear Him by our initiative we shall see and hear things other than they really are. When the Transcendental Message entering through the ears reaches our liberated cognition, it opens our spiritual eyes to show the real thing in its true colour. By means of the transcendental sound a link can be established between us, the whole animated kingdom and the Absolute. It is the Divine Sound alone Who can give us a clue to what has never been seen not made cognisable by our senses.

The Principle of Vaishnavism

Let me first of all perform the duty of making my obeisance of the lotus feet of the Vaishnavas.

All animate beings of this world are Vaisnavas or Servants of Vishnu, the all-pervasive Supreme Lord. All lifeless objects are also Vaishnavas. Those who possess the faculty of taking the initiative are Vaishnavas as also those who do not possess the power of initiative. The Highest of all persons Whom all these Vaishnavas serve, Who is the root and support of everything is Vishnu.