Status Quo

Status Quo

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

MAY 28, 1935

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. These pessimistic philosophical systems of India and other parts of the world, embodying the tamasika point of view, have accordingly glorified the life of renunciation of worldly pleasures, ending in self-annihilation, as the only reasonable goal of human life. This is endorsed by all the wealth of speculative casuistry by what now a days passes as Buddhistic thought. Life is looked upon as the fruit of the forbidden tree which is very tempting to the taste but very brittle and very bitter in its results if its pleasures are enjoyed. Nevertheless Buddhism, which is essentially a form of Epicureanism, must be said to be the creed of the majority of the world at the present moment. The tamasika view of life identifies its votary with the enjoyer of worldly pleasure and pain which are suffered in the physical body and mind. It is unmixed animistic attitude. The current shakta and shaiva worship and also other forms of worship for the purposes of the body and mind are hollow imitations, under the urge of the tamasika guna, of spiritual worship, for worldly aggrandisement.

The rajasika point of view supports ethical conduct as the proper form of activity of the body and mind. It is optimistic and poses to be altruistic. Rajasika activity has also its ultimate reference to the gratification of the senses. The distinction between rajasika and tamasika activities consists in the fact that the latter is essentially destructive and immoral, whereas the former is moral and creative of temporary values. It is the rajasika temperament that expresses itself in the rule of law that is sought to be established in the affairs of this world. The rajasika temperament is always at war with the tamasika, and its activities are constantly thwarted by the invasions of the latter. Rajasika thought is found to an extent in the practices and codes of the Smarta Hindus, although they now-a-days follow the philosophy of Shankara, which is a disguised form of Buddhism and is nihilistic. The number of rajasika people is very much less than tamasika persons in this world, in all countries.

The sattvika guna may be defined as that quality which leads to a mixed realisation of the fact that the gratification of the senses is not the business of human life. It is opposed to the gross enjoyment of organised worldliness on a moral basis, of the tamasika and rajasika temperaments respectively. But the mixed sattvika guna does not cut itself away from all relative reference to the other two gunas, and, as a matter of fact, it is more or less contaminated with both of them. The sattvika people accordingly accept progressive increase of the abiding principles of existence (sattva) by the culture of tamasa and rajasa principles in due subordination to itself. The sattvika temperament is on principle opposed to tamasika and rajasika activities as a finality. The number of sattvika people is everywhere much less even than rajasika persons.

The teaching of Mahaprabhu Sree Krishna Chaitanya is based on the principle of unalloyed sattva which is incomprehensible even to people of the mixed sattvika temperament. The great distinction between His teaching and the mixed sattvika point of view consists in this that He rejects the theory that any admixture of tamasa and rajasa elements can be beneficial for persons of a sattvika disposition. The self is not to be identified with the principle of mixed sattva. He is unadulterated sattva. There is need for the realisation of the true ego, unbiased by any other considerations. This must be the only real starting-point for any enquiry about the duties of a person in this world.

But no teaching has any immediate chance of being popular unless it is prepared to recognise the current institutions and usages of the civilised peoples of this world. Independence of opinion is not tolerated if it seems to be diametrically opposed to the supposed best interests of such individuals and societies, evolved by a long process of painful vicissitudes. But there should be no hesitation in one's choice if the alternatives are the ephemeral pleasant and the abiding good. If, however, the good is found to be opposed to sensuous gratification, it is not likely to be acceptable to the present mentality of the people of this world. The unmixed sattva principle does not favour the cultivation pari passu of the qualities of raja and tama. It is only by the destruction of this tripartite arrangement that is capable of being affected by the culture of unmixed sattva that the transcendental realm of the truth is manifested. If this destructive work is obstructed or avoided, there can be no escape from this mundane world.

The Message of the unalloyed sattva was preached to the people of this Godless world by Sriman Mahaprabhu and His associates and followers. His teaching has to be approached through the spiritual language of unalloyed souls who are mixed sattva. The influx of spiritual energy, ushered into the world by Mahaprabhu Sree Krishna Chaitanya, was continued through the medium of the Acharyas, the line of the spiritual exponents of the message of the Supreme Lord. It is the only living channel of spiritual communication that is available in an accessible form in this world to the present day. This fact is being explained and practically demonstrated by the movement initiated by Thakur Bhakti Vinode.

The experience of our preachers both in India and in Europe, while it vindicates the truth of the difficulty of obtaining a real hearing for the Message of the Supreme Lord, holds out the great hope that the Message, Who is identical with the Truth Himself, will find His own followers and draw them to His feet by His own-powerful initiative, wherever they be, and that it is the duty of the preacher of the Message to serve as the loyal medium of His Appearance as He is. The only difficulty that can discount or retard the success of our missionary activities is unwillingness or indecision on the part of any preacher to make himself the mouth piece of the Absolute Truth without caring to earn popular applause by any policy of receding from the unalloyed position in face of immediate misunderstandings. It is not the world which has given the right of settling the claim of any person to the status of a servant of the Truth.